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I've been running a campaign in and around Westgate, and as part of this I've been researching absolutely everything I can find on the city

I've noticed that the Westgate city page is incomplete, and missing some interesting realms lore.

I thought it would be a good idea for me to compile some of the info I have gathered from my research and update the wiki pages.

This would be my first large contribution to the wiki, so I first wanted to check-in here and see if there's anything important I need to know about updating city pages, or general dos and donts? I'd not want to write a lot of info to just have it reverted or removed.

Currently on the page there's a section for Inhabitants and also another section for Organizations and Factions; if I were to expand this, would it be best to make a separate sub-page, or just continue building onto the main Westgate page?

I'm British, so I prefer to use the English spelling of words, (e.g. Organisations and not Organizations) and I also prefer title case for headings, but I have noticed most of the headings on the wiki are sentence case; is this a FR Wiki rule?

Also, is material from WoTC web downloads, Dragon/Dungeon magazine all considered canon?

Mallmus (talk) 00:21, March 29, 2016 (UTC)

First, welcome! We're glad you're here and want to contribute. BadCatMan has been working on a Manual of Style that will answer many of your questions. The other questions are best answered by our policies. Briefly, you must write everything in your own words, using past tense, and supply references for as much as you can. No homebrew is allowed. Web Enhancements, Dragon and Dungeon Magazine articles are all considered canon. Title case is fine (I think we have come to that consensus. If not, it's not your fault.) If you have a lot of info on a particular organization, then it could become its own page, but feel free to add it to the Westgate page for now. Sorry about the English/American spelling. You may certainly enter it in the way that your fingers like to type it, but it will eventually be converted to American spelling.

Please ask questions, either here or on the Talk pages of one of the administrators. We have templates for most everything, but if something is missing you can ask for it to be created or give it a whirl yourself and one of us will be along to tidy up. The best tutor is to look at an article that is already finished and in good shape. For cities, we have Wheloon and Earthfast as good examples. But most of all, have fun!

Moviesign (talk) 01:13, March 29, 2016 (UTC)

Good luck! I can speak from experience that big cities are very daunting projects, and Westgate is one of the more detailed and well known in the classic Realms. It's certainly one we need more detail on. Thanks for having a go, and welcome aboard. Whatever you need, just ask around.

Moviesign gave all the good general points. Speaking specifically of city articles now... First, have a look at some of our featured/good articles for cities; some more are Procampur (my first city project here), Calaunt, Tsurlagol, Tantras, (all mine), Manshaka, and Eshpurta. You can also look at Wikipedia for articles on real cities for more ideas. We don't really have set styles for arrangement and organisation, apart from the basics Movie mentioned, but these offer some ideas we've all come up with for aspects of cities.

For such a large project, I recommend compiling your article in a word-processing program first, like Word. That way, you can move stuff around, go back and change things, keep track of your notes, colour code or use Track Changes. Too many new editors work in the online editor, and go through zillions of edits before they're done.

Lore on cities tends to get largely repeated with each edition of the campaign setting book, and again with new source books. So I recommend preparing your citation templates ({{Cite book}} and such) first, so you can write something once, then apply all the necessary citations.

As writing an article about a city, especially one like Westgate, can be a very massive project, I strongly recommend breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable parts, and focusing on them separately. Say, you collect all the lore on the government(s) of Westgate, then spend some time working on a Governments section, before you move onto the next one. On that note, prepare the arrangement of the article first, marking sections for History, Government, Defense, Society, Culture, Language, etc., etc., as you feel is necessary, plus the order they should go in (what should be explained first, what later), so you know what remains to be written and what you can write about.

You can just keep building onto the Westgate page. Length is no great concern (Procampur is the longest city page), and it's convenient to have all the pertinent information on one page, rather than branching off into subpages. However, be mindful of what is relevant and specific to Westgate itself. Some editors tend to pile information about an ordinary shop, inn, or guild onto a city page, information that is better suited to a page about the shop, inn, or guild itself. For example, at Calaunt, I mentioned a brief bit about the local thieves' guild, the Shadowcloaks, in Law & Order (in the context of crime in Calaunt) and in Organizations (a brief summary of who they are and general knowledge any citizen could tell you). Much more detailed information about them is on the Shadowcloaks page itself, and the secret identity of their leader is on his own page.

Inhabitants I would reserve for only notable inhabitants: important persons, favourite characters. Category:Inhabitants of Westgate is for the whole lot, as this can get large. Organizations can cover all the factions, with enough detail on each as is relevant or practical. Information about the Zhentarim in Westgate may be better suited to Westgate than Zhentarim.

I hope all that helps.
— BadCatMan (talk) 02:20, March 29, 2016 (UTC)

Thank you both for your quick and thorough replies! I don't have a long reply yet, but I'll ask for more help as I go if I need it.

Because updating the Westgate city page will be a big job, I think I'll approach it in smaller chunks, instead of in one massive update.

As far as I can see the wiki doesn't have any "draft mode" or place where I can save my work and come back to it later?

What would you guys recommend if I wanted to prepare some text but not yet publish, but get feedback from the community? Would that be the talk page, here on the forums or my own personal profile pages?

Thanks again!
Mallmus (talk) 03:04, March 29, 2016 (UTC)

Your own profile page is the best place for sandbox drafts. The wiki allows subpages, just put a forward slash after a page title, then a new name, and it will be a subpage. For example, User:Mallmus/Westgate Draft (which you can just use, if you like). Lots of editors here use those for their projects.
— BadCatMan (talk) 03:39, March 29, 2016 (UTC)

Another quick question - are all the Forgotten Realms video game info considered canon? e.g. Baldur's Gate and its many expansions, and Neverwinter Nights 2: Mysteries of Westgate?

These games do have the WoTC logo on the back, and occasionally have info on locations, notable people, etc but I'm unsure if their content is considered Realms canon?

Mallmus (talk) 05:12, March 31, 2016 (UTC)

Technically, they're not considered canon (by fans or by whoever controls such things, I don't know), but they are indeed licensed products, and we do accept lore from them here. Of course, we only cover in-universe lore and events, and don't cover gameplay information, which is left to the game-specific wikis. We've outlined our canon policy and rules for resolving issues at Forgotten Realms Wiki:Canon. In short, the books trump games where contradictions arise. There are also tags for marking sections or pages as being from a game rather than a canon source.
— BadCatMan (talk) 05:42, March 31, 2016 (UTC)

I have another quick question about canon material. Is Living Forgotten Realms and RPGA content considered canon?

In Dragon magazine issue 381, on page 115 there is an RPGA Report from Chris Tulach, which says: Westgate, the City of Coin is a haven for all races and creeds. I've never seen Westgate referred to as the City of Coin (although this name is fitting), usually the city is nicknamed Gateway to the West.

Should this extra nickname be included in the wiki page?
— Mallmus aka Adam Wintle (talk) 07:29, April 1, 2016 (UTC)

I don't know about canonicity, but we do have pages on Living X and RPGA material here and there. Certainly, Living City material has been reprinted in canon books on Ravens Bluff, and I've included some of that in the Vast. Some users have been including Living Jungle material, like at Nubari. The extra name is fine. I've found RPGA/Living content often doesn't quite match the lore or flavour of the original setting, so it wouldn't rate as highly as canon material.
— BadCatMan (talk) 10:05, April 1, 2016 (UTC)
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