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Guide to Data Entry
The Five Steps To Listing An Item
So you have one of those awesome RPG rule books in front of you... or maybe a nice meaty campaign book. Or some other RPG candy... Unless it is the issue of a magazine, if you’re holding it in your hands, then it’s an [item] in terms of our structure. (For other types of rpg-related products, check the RPGG Guide to Data Entry to see whether we include them in the database, and if yes how to submit them.)
Here is what you do to get it listed:
Checking Pending Submissions
Specific Field Rules
If you have an RPG that has seen two or more editions, these should be different [rpg] entries (and, subsequently, the rpgs need to be linked together by a family). If two editions have rulesets that are nearly compatible (the threshold is set arbitrarily at 98.3% compatible) such that any sourcebook, supplement or character could be used nearly seamlessly amongst them, then it is acceptable to list a single [rpg] entry and keep all items under them. Think hard before you combine multiple editions into a single [rpg] and remember that even with editions split out, a single item can can be linked to as many [rpg] entries as it is compatible with. Before you combine into a single [rpg] really think out how close the editions are! When in doubt, ask.Convention:
Here are examples of some of the more common rpgs with proper naming conventions:
If you have an rpg listed without an edition in (parens) and a new edition comes out, not only do you add the new [rpg] for the new edition, but the title of the old game must change to reflect it as a (1st Edition). Any items from the first edition that can be used directly with the second edition should be linked to both rpgs.
Even though a book containing only setting information may be used for multiple editions of a role playing game, it should only be linked to the edition for which it was initially published.
Items are things you can hold, read/view, buy or sell. It could be the core rulebook. A monster supplement. A sourcebook or a campaign book. Some cool dice designed only for that game. They are always attached to a [rpg] entry.Conventions:
Here are examples of some of the more common items with proper naming conventions:For the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st Edition)" game entry:
Remember... the names of these [item] entries will always be shown with the associated [rpg] and [system] (if any) to avoid any confusion about what this product is.
It is VERY important to get in a good description of the item. The first description entered for an item tends to stick - and if it's not done to a high level may never get corrected. Good descriptions now will save effort later (bad descriptions tend never to get updated).
There are five choices when entering a description for an [item]. All of them require proper attribution - there are no exceptions (see below for the attributions - an.easy way to get the formatting right is to use the link Click here for attribution formatting on the entry forms). The five choices for descriptions are (in preference order):1. From the back of the book. Such descriptions must be prefaced with wiki-formatting as '''From the back of the book:''' or similar.
2. From the publishers website. Short blurbs about a product are okay and you preface such a description with "From Publishers website:" or "Publisher Blurb:".
3. From the introduction of the book. A short blurb from the intro is fine if you attribute it as '''From the introduction:'''.
4. Your own words. Please make sure this is your own description of the item - and preface such a description with '''User Summary:'''" of other verbiage to indicate where this description came from. Do not inject editorial or review comments in the description - keep it sterile and factual please.
5. Wikipedia can be used - though ANYTHING taken from there must include a link back to Wikipedia (it is required by their license). This should be done using our wiki-formatting as:
Also note, Wikipedia is a wonderful resource - it is also sometimes wrong. Please use caution here.
Do NOT lift text from ANYWHERE else (RPG Net, RPG Now, etc) even with proper credits. It doesn't matter if you wrote it originally or not. This is really important. We take this very seriously - keep to the 4 guidelines above. If you notice anything suspicious, bring it to the admins attention and we will deal with it quickly.
Descriptions should be free from any external (i.e. non RPG Geek) links with the rare exception of a linkback to wikipedia for their Creative Commons license. The links module is used to store links, not description fields.
When entering the description for a higher-level entry such as an [rpg], use one of the following (in preference order):
1. The publisher's blurb on the game (prefaced with '''Publisher Blurb:''' in the description field)
Do not place the logo or the image of the product into the description field. The entry will have a place for images and for weblinks - try and keep the descriptions textual.
For [version] entries, the description is not vital. Here is what we suggest for [version] descriptions:
This is much like the [description] field above but contains more user content and little factoids about the game or item. Same restrictions apply - don't lift text from anywhere, but the guidelines about what can go in this field are less strict.
Note that the [more info] section is not accessible in the submission form - you can edit it after approval.
We expect this to be the 'wiki' portion of the entry and want users to add information as they see fit. This information should be of some use when people are browsing the item. For example, this is a perfect place to mention that Paranoia saw a 1st, 2nd and 5th editions (plus the latest XP edition) but there was never a 3rd or 4th. Please note, this field is not required for submission of an rpg or item. It doesn't even show on the [rpg] or [item] creation form.
[designers] [artists] and [production staff]
Some of these RPG books have a slew of people that contributed to them - especially when it comes to the art department. It critical that you get the designer/developer/authors and artists in place. We also ask that you get production staff as well - though an entry will not be denied if that goes missing. For a few books that may have hundreds of artists (e.g. Creature Supplements), listing the art director is sufficient.
Playtesters, Consultants or people 'thanked' in a book do not get listed.
People who write the introduction but provide no other game content do not get listed - however we encourage this information in the "More Information" field for the item. (for example: "Gary Gygax wrote the Introduction.")
The description for a new person does not need to include all the items they have worked on, as that will already be apparent from the links to items. However, if you add a new person that isn't linked to an item yet, please add a short comment, such as "Artist for Call of Cthulhu supplement XXX", or "Contributed to MechWarrior rules". It really helps the content approvers.
If there is nobody credited in the book for one of these fields, please choose "(uncredited)" so the admins don't have to bother trying to track it down.
You should ALWAYS search for the name before creating a new one. Be creative in your searches, since "David Funnyname" might be listed already as "Dave Funnyname", search for the most distinctive starting part of the name such as "dav funny" or just "funny". If it is ambiguous whether your "David A. Smith" is the same as a "Dave Smith" entry, take the time to do a little Internet research on other sites to see if they are actually the same person. Also keep in mind that sometimes people's names change, particularly women who marry. If you really really cannot tell, only then enter them as a new person.
If you cannot identify a specific publishing entity, and the printed edition appears to be available from a print-on-demand website such as lulu.com, please add the publisher as 'self-published' or 'web-published' and do not add lulu.com or other such websites as a publisher to the database. 'Self-published' usually implies a physical product has been produced; 'web-published' usually means made generally available electronically by the creator(s).
Every item has at least one version - the one you're entering. To give it a version nickname that is useful, keep the following in mind:
Occasionally, a book will be reprinted with a special cover (new artwork, leather-bound, etc). Sometimes a new printing corrects typos and has other errata built in. And, of course, we have books that were printed in more than one language! In this case we don't want to create a new [item] since the product is, essentially, the same. Instead we create a new [version] under that item. For example, the Dungeons & Dragons (v3.5) Player's Handbook was released in numerous versions including:
We would consider all these the same [item] but different versions of it.
Sometimes using a [version] isn't enough. For example: GURPS (Third Edition) had a revised rulebook called "GURPS (Third Edition Revised)". This book was cleaned up and updated to include the two compendiums. This is significant enough that we would not consider it a [version] of the third edition book, but would have its own [item] listing instead under the "GURPS (Third Edition) [rpg].
It's obviously a bit of a judgment call as to when to use a new [version] or to split into a new [item]. Again we use the 98.3% rule - but in this case it's not compatibility that matters (as it is for RPGs) but rather the basic content/layout must be the same to consider it the same [version]]. So, if the layout in the book or the artwork or the text is basically the same (not taking into account language translations which we prefer to be versions of the base item), then make the new entry a [version]. If the content/layout has been revised more than the spirit of the 98.3% rule, split it into a new [item] entry.
Here are some guidelines we follow (there are no hard and fast rules, however - we work with the submitter and within the spirit of the "98.3% rule"):The following would be [version] entries of the same item:
The following should be split out to new [item] entries:
Some items consist of several pieces, e.g. a boxed set containing a few leaflets or softcovers and other materials; or an rpg books sold as separate PDF files. If the things in the set are not available individually, but are bundled and marketed as a single item by the publisher, that's how we catalogue them in our database, too. When entering data, try to provide useful values, e.g. add up the page numbers and enter the total.
If a PDF was released in more than one format (say, print vs. screen layout), one version will do (use the data from the print version if available) and note that it came in multiple formats within the description field of the version.
[version] entries must have nicknames associated with them. The naming here is not as strict as it would be for the item title but it should include some distinguishing characteristic of the version being entered. Some examples of names include (but are not limited to):
If you are entering an item but aren't sure of the printing you can simply use a nickname of:
We aren't being too strict here; look at the existing version nicknames on an item to see what makes sense. For versions which are in another language, we ask that you use the nickname field to put in the title as it would appear in that language.
A [version] entry normally has an image associated with it. We do not allow uploading of images directly to versions, instead the image comes from the parent item. When viewing the [item] you scroll down and near the bottom you will see all of the attached [version] entries. To the right you can click "Link Image" to link up an image to this version (in this way you can specifically show what the cover looked like for this version).
ISBN-10 numbers should be entered without dashes or spaces. That is: “1234567890” not “1-234-5678-90”. ISBN numbers have exactly 10 or 13 digits. 13-digit ISBN numbers have a single dash and are formatted as follows: 123-123456789. All ISBN-13 codes currently in use have prefix "978" or "979".
Please note, that the ISBN-13 system wasn't designed until 2004 and no ISBN-13 was issued until 2005. Sometimes you may find an ISBN-13 for an older book listed online. These are automated ISBN-13 codes generated for inventory management. These codes are NOT the actual ISBN-13s for that book. The best place to check the ISBN is on the back of the book itself.
Sometimes box sets or accesories do not have an ISBN but use a UPC code instead. Please do not enter a UPC code into the ISBN field. You can identify a UPC code by two charateristics: It usually has 12 digits and starts with a "0".
The product code is the item number that the publisher has assigned the product. It is usually on the front or back cover (usually in the corner somewhere) or along the spine. For example, White Wolf's “Mage: The Ascension” has the product code "WW4600" on the back and spine. That's what would be entered into this field.
Many adventure modules come in a series – such as the classic Dungeons and Dragons G1, G2 and G3 – “Against the Giants”. The G1, G2 and G3 are the series code. Do not include them in the titles of the items – they belong in this field instead and will be prepended to the title by the UI automatically. Do not just put a series code of "1" or "2" in this field - this is only for clearly identified series codes which show on the cover and whose codes you want to show as part of the title. Here is an example of a series code (B2):
Please note, it is okay to have a series without a series code (i.e. "The Complete Book Of..." is a series without a distinct code) but it is never correct to have a series code without a series attached.
This is the total number of pages of the item typically excluding covers (unless the covers contain rules). For a box set, this should be the total number of pages for all books/booklets contained in the box. For a magazine or book, it is the last page number identified plus any extra pages at the back end. Pull out sections should be listed under "More Information" if not included in the count already. In a few rare cases the publisher put forth a continuing page count between books (witness GURPS 4th Edition Characters + Campaign guides). In this case, do your best to get the actual page count of the book (i.e. don't use the last page identified in this rare case).
We have a pull-down for common sizes though you are free to hand-enter any size dimensions of the product as needed. The dimensions are in inches only please. The dimensions of a product are dependent on the type of product as follows:
For D&D, often a set of 3 or 4 modules would come out that were tied together. A classic example is the G1, G2 and G3 modules collectively knows as 'Against the Giants'. We can add a [series] called "G - Giants" and link all 3 of those adventure/module [item] entries to it. Other popular [series] for D&D would be the “Complete Book Of...” series which featured a set of books covering virtually every race and class that was part of the D&D world - the publisher tends to produce a new book in the series every few months to extract your hard earned dollars ;) Series normally have an incrementing series code which can be used to identify each book of the series - our database has a way to enter the series code (see below).
We want to draw a thick line in the sand as to what we consider a series. We don't want to end up with a slew of series that are simply themed groupings - we wouldn't consider "Monster Manual" and "Creature Collection" a series, for example. Here is the definition of what we consider a series. It must be either:
There is no reason to link cover images into a series as the series will list all items it contains (and those items will have representative images which will show in thumbnail view on the series page).
Many games are part of an ongoing campaign world [setting] (such as the classic Greyhawk or Ravenloft within the larger D&D world). In those cases we can create a [setting] entry and link those [item] entries up so they are grouped.
A [setting] should be the name of the setting, not the rpg/book that covers it. For example, The Hunt: Rise of Evil contains a fantasy/horror setting from Mystic Eye Games set in Gothos, a world where dreams and nightmares come to life. The [setting] in this case is "Gothos", not "The Hunt: Rise of Evil".
A [setting] entry is used for any major setting described beyond what is included in the core rulebook (note, this doesn't mean it has to be different than the setting included in the core rulebook, but it must be fleshed out in more detail via sourcebooks, etc). We define 'major' here as: fleshed out into a level of detail that probably includes a time line, a physical world you can visualize, some of the key NPCs and some key events which take place.
The books that should be linked into a [setting] can include the core rulebook if a significant portion of the setting is described there. Sourcebooks and adventures can be linked in if they extend or add to the setting in some non-trivial way (that is, if a sourcebook simply mentions in passing something about the world, that's not enough to consider it part of the setting).
If a setting is so large that it contains one or more significant sub-settings, it is permissible to have both the overall setting and sub-settings. An example of this is Forgotten Realms which has a number of sub-settings such as Kara-Tur, Maztica, or the Savage Coast. If, for example, Kara-Tur was given its own setting then any book for that setting would be listed as belonging to the Kara-Tur as well as the Forgotten Realms. Sub-settings are approved on a case-by-case basis and generally will only be approved for the most popular of sub-settings.
Some people are confused if something should be a [setting] or a [series]. Ask yourself this question - if the items are grouped thematically in terms of describing the game world and the characters that live there -- then it is a [setting]. All of the campaign settings (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Ebberon, Forgotten Realms, DragonLance, etc) would be [setting] groups. If the book is part of an ongoing series released periodically by the publisher to cover a wide number of additional character classes, new player options, etc... then it is probably a [series].
Both [series] and [setting] can be linked upwards to an [rpg] entry, a [family] entry and potentially to a [system] entry. See the diagram below.
The family is an all-encompassing way of grouping rpg as well as series/settings together. This is most often used to group an RPG line that has seen many publications and many different editions over the years. You can imagine there would be a fairly big “Dungeons and Dragons” family (10 major editions over the years) as well as a “GURPS” family (4 major editions). If you are trying to use [family] to group together things thematically (in terms of the game world) or group things released in sets by the publisher, you probably want to use a [setting] or [series] grouping instead. If you are trying to use a [family] to group together rpgs that use the same core ruleset, you probably want to use a [system] entry instead (see below).Convention:
Here are examples of some of the more common families with proper naming conventions:
If you think we need a new family entry in the database, please contact an admin.
Many games share a common 'system' for gameplay. A set of rules that can be used across several RPGs. For example, the GURPS3 system is used not only for the core GURPS3 line but also Traveler used it for a while. The d20 system seems to have spread to a wide number of RPGs these days. When a system is common to more than one [rpg] it is best to cull it out into it's own [system] entry and attach it to the various [rpg] entries that use it. Remember, all RPG Games have a rules system - otherwise you couldn’t play it! Whether it gets culled out to a [system] entry is simple: if it is used/shared by more than one game, it deserves to be a [system] entry linked to those games.
If you think we need a new system entry in the database, please contact an admin.
Most of the category descriptions are pretty clear. There is some confusion over an “Scenario/Adventure/Module” and a “Campaign Setting”. The former is for single stand-alone modules. They may be part of a series (to take characters from, say, level 1 to level 20), but if the adventure can pretty much be picked up by a Game Master and run in a single session or two, it’s probably considered an “Scenario/Adventure/Module”. The classic example of an “Scenario/Adventure/Module” is the Dungeons and Dragons “B2: Keep on the Borderlands”. A Campaign is more a full book of description on the game world... fleshing out places and characters and the political system and large-scale maps and so on... this is normally a place where a Game Master can create a series of ongoing adventures using various adventure-hooks. Classic examples of campaigns would be: “Greyhawk”, “Blackmoor”, “Forgotten Realms” or “Eberron”.
There is a [category] of “Sourcebook” which is pretty general and covers all manner of books that are designed to work with the core rules. Technically a Campaign book would also be a Sourcebook. Some Sourcebooks contain Adventures. So... the challenge is how to list these. Here is the rule of thumb: If the item you are listing is a somewhat short adventure designed to be run stand-alone, call it an “Adventure/Module”. If the book is larger and fleshes out more of the game world with non-player characters and adventure hooks, call it a “Campaign”. Otherwise call it a “Sourcebook”. If a sourcebook contains a small adventure as part of the book, it’s still a “Sourcebook” - no need to also tag it as an “Scenario/Adventure/Module” also.
We are allowing Gamebooks like Choose Your Own Adventure, Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks and Lone Wolf Multiplayer Game Book to be listed on RPGG.
Do your best to fill in the Mechanics field. The choices are fairly self explanatory now. We are trying to include parenthetical information in these choices to help with any confusion. This extra information may or may not stay when we go live. You may choose as many mechanics as is appropriate for the item.
With [genre] there is a base genre and sub-genres. For example:
If you choose one of the more specific fantasy genres, you do NOT also pick the more generic base “Fantasy” genre. Only select the more generic “Fantasy” genre if a specific one doesn’t fit. Of course, more than one specific “Fantasy” genre might apply - more than one can be chosen in that case. You can choose as many genres as makes sense. That said, be judicious in your application of genres, and use the minimum number of genres necessary. Just because you have a D&D module that encounters a pirate does NOT mean that the adventure is in the Action/Adventure (Pirates/Swashbuckling) genre! The genre is supposed to describe the _essence_ or "feel" of the supplement, not the _topics_ of the supplement.
[add a logo]
A logo or representative image can only be added after the entry itself has been approved.
Once the entry exists go to the entry page and upload an image to the image gallery for the entry.
Once the image has been approved then follow the instructions for setting a representative image.
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