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House Style Guide

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House Style Guide

Version 1.3; 08/27/12

Please review the document thoroughly. Prospective authors are encouraged to use this guide in preparing your manuscript for consideration to UP for publication. Adherance to the style guide however is not required. Adherance to style guide requirements will be executed during the editorial phase of your manuscript. Editors and proofreaders are expected to ensure the adventure's compliance with the House Style Guide.

I. General English rules of grammar and style

I.a: Grammar; The rules of grammar as set forth Chicago Manual of Style (most current edition) will always set precendent, unless overridden in the sections that follow.

I.b: Spelling; American English will be the spelling standard for all materials.

II. Reference to source material

When refering to a particular rules book in the course of the adventure, always refer to the publication using the acronyms that follow. Never refer to the publication by name in the course of the module. Never include trademark or copyright symbols in the course of the adventure;

II.a: First Edition references; In text references to any material published by TSR, Inc. should follow the guidelines as set forth in the Introduction section of all modules. That is;
DDG:Deities & Demigods; refers to either the First Edition rules systems, a selection of divine beings and pantheons both fantastic and mythical.
DMG:Dungeon Masters Guide; refers to the First Edition rules system publication providing detailed information to a GM regarding many aspects of conducting a successful game.
FF:Fiend Folio; refers to the First Edition rules system publication, providing a collection of creatures most baleful.
MM or MM2:Monster Manual, and Monster Manual II; refers to the First Edition rules system, providing a collection of creatures, baleful and benign, arranged in two volumes.
PHB:Players Handbook; refers to the First Edition rules system describing the process for players to develop personalities to use in the game.

II.b: OSRIC references; When refering to OSRIC content, use of either OSRIC or OSRIC SRD is acceptable.

II.c: Other publications; Other materials, such as Dragon Magazine, need to be cited appropriately within a footnote on the page that the reference appears, and notices of copyright or trademarks (where pertinent) need to be added to the OGL on the inside front cover.

II.c.1: The author is responsible for providing credit information on all materials originating with any third parties, and for securing usage rights where required.

III. Units of Measure

III.a: Time; Do not abbreviate standard game units of time; i.e., segment, round (alternatively; melee round may also be used), and turn should be fully spelled out.

III.b: Distance;

III.b.1: Inches; never use 'hash' marks. Inches should always be expressed as an abbreviation; i.e., 12-in. When indicating the attribute being measured, insert a hyphen between the number and unit; i.e., 12-in long.

III.b.2: Feet; never use 'hash' marks. Feet should always be expressed as an abbreviation; i.e., 12-ft. When indicating the attribute being measured, insert a hyphen between the number and unit; i.e., 12-ft long.

III.c: Movement; never use 'hash' marks. Movement rate in feet should always be expressed as an abbreviation; i.e., 90 ft.

III.d: Degrees; when describing temperature, always use a degrees symbol; i.e., 100˚. When describing an angle or slant, always spell out the word 'degrees'; i.e., 100 degrees.

IV. Die Rolls

IV.a: How many and what kind; a lowercase d followed by a number (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20, %) indicates a specific polyhedral die to be rolled. Where preceded by a number indicates the number of times to roll the indicated die; i.e., 3d6. It is not acceptable say, "three six-sided die," to achieve the same result.

IV.b: Die result; when specifying a die roll result that triggers some action, specify the range properly as described in section X.a.4 below; i.e., 1–2 on d6.

V. Game Rules

V.a: Versioning; OSRIC rules are always presented as the standard. Differences in rules where First Edition deviates from OSRIC will be noted either in footnotes (where they occur), or in reader aids immediately following the paragraph in which the rule is referenced.

V.b: Referencing TSR rules; When referencing TSR rules, use First Edition or alternatively FEADAD followed by the publication abbreviation as set forth in section II.a; i.e., First Edition PHB or FEADAD DMG.

VI. Backmatter

VI.a: Order of sections; Appendices should follow this ordering;

  1. any appendix section(s) provided by the author, not covered by the following listings
  2. new creatures
  3. new magic (spells and items)
  4. OGC material
  5. additional setting narratives
  6. adventure maps (presented in the following order; module by level, immediate vacinity, setting region, setting continent)
  7. NPC listings
  8. PC template listings
  9. GM Adventure Log
  10. Player Character Record Sheet
  11. marketing materials (if present)

VII. Player Character Information

VII.a: Attributes; Character stats should be spelled out, but may optionally be abbreviated; strength = STR, intelligence = INT, wisdom = WIS, dexterity = DEX, constitution = CON, charisma = CHA, and are always listed in that order.

VII.b: Other character data; other information is presented as follows; number of attacks = #AT, armor class = AC, damage = DAM or Dmg (make use consistent throughout the manuscript), dungeon master or game master = GM, experience = EXP, hit die or hit dice = HD, hit points = HP, magic resistance = MR, movement rate = MV, player character = PC (non-player character = NPC), possessions = POS, special abilities = SA, special defences = SD, "to hit" = TH. None of this information should be spelled out.

VII.c: Races; Character races are to appear in the following singular/plural terminology; dwarf/dwarves, elf/elves, gnome/gnomes, half-elf/half-elves, half-orc/half-orcs, halfing/halflings, human/humans, sarngoch/sarngoch.

VII.c: Classes;

VII.c.1: Magic-Users; should be hyphenated. When appearing at the start of a sentance, captilize both words; i.e., Magic-User. When not refering to the class function, you may differentiate by saying, "a user of magic." Avoid breaking the words across lines or spreads when possible.

VIII. Formatting Conventions

VIII.a; Spells and magic items; spells should appear in non-bold italics; i.e., fireball. Magic items should appear in semibold-italics; i.e., sword of dancing.

VIII.b: Notes; non-critical to narrative. Contain ancillary information not required for the playing of the game. Appear as light condensed font, set-off within border.

VIIIc.: Creature stats; Appear at the ned of the encounter in which the creature is referenced, or alternatively, following the paragraph in which it is entered in long encounters. Appears as small font, set-off within border. Contains the following information; creature name (##): AC ##; MV ## ft; HD ##; HP ##; #AT ##; DAM ##; POS xxx (without ending punctuation). Alternatively, may also contain SA, SD, and SP information with publisher's agreement.

VIII.d: GM narratives; appears as light text, set-off within border.

VIII.e: Section and product cross-references; These elements will always appear as all caps and bold.

IX. Headings

IX.a: Level of headings; Standard module template provides for three levels of narrative headings, encounter title, table title.

IX.b: First-level headings; title case first-level headings; do not capitalize conjunctions.

IX.c: Second-level headings; title case second-level headings; do not capitalize conjunctions.

IX.d: Third-level headings; sentance case third-level headings.

IX.e: Encounters; title case encounter titles; do not capitalize conjunctions.

IX.f: Table titles; sentance case table titles. Table numbering will be provided during layout.

IX.g: Bold lead-in paragraphs; sentance case lead-in head, followed by a semi-colon and en space. Run-in text may start with capitals if the first statement is a complete sentance, or lowercase if the first statement is a fragment.

IX.h: Italic lead-in paragraphs; sentance case lead-in head, followed by a semi-colon and en space. Run-in text may start with capitals if the first statement is a complete sentance, or lowercase if the first statement is a fragment.

X. Punctuation

X.a: Hyphenation and dashes;

X.a.1: EM dashes; always place word spaces preceeding and following any em dash to avoid the dash crashing into the glyphs on either side.

X.a.2: Hyphenation settings; words with at least 6 characters, prefix 3 characters, suffix 3 characters, hyphenation limit 2 consequtive. Do not hyphenate headings and capitalized words.

X.a.3: Displaying negative numbers; use a hyphen or dash to indicate a negative number.

X.a.4: Number range; when indicating a range of numbers, use an en dash to separate low to high; i.e. 3<en dash>10 miles.

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