Dungeons and Dragons Wiki:Homebrew Content Requirements
As part of our mission to provide players and dungeon masters with quality, easy to find homebrew material we have a few policies and guidelines that differ from other wikis. These policies impact all of our homebrew editors and contributors, and we feel that it is important to make them as clear as possible.
These policies are not imposed on material in the Canon or the SRD namespaces. The restrictions herein apply only to homebrew material in the standard namespace.
- 1 Homebrew Articles
- 1.1 Standard Homebrew Article Requirements
- 1.2 Standard Homebrew Article Issues
- 1.2.1 Plagiarized Homebrew Articles
- 1.2.2 Improperly Attributed Homebrew Articles
- 1.2.3 Incomplete Homebrew Articles
- 1.2.4 Inappropriately Balanced Homebrew Articles
- 1.2.5 Poorly Formatted Articles
- 2 Homebrew Projects
- 3 Homebrew Quality
A homebrew article is a single page addition to the homebrew section of our wiki, and covers most of the work you are likely to see there.
Standard Homebrew Article Requirements
Each article on this wiki must fit the following requirements:
- All article content must be your original work, or work you are reprinting with the permission of the author.
- The original author and current custodian must be specified in the author template. This template is designed to be used at the top of the page, before any of the content begins. The custodian, or the adopter of the article, is required if the original author has abandoned the work, or if the work has been posted by another user with the authors express permission.
- All articles listed in the navigation pages must be both mechanically complete and consistent. We allow for incomplete and in process articles to be maintained as a user sandbox (see Creating User Sandboxes below for more information).
- An article with the same name as an SRD article, such as a redone race or feat, must have a note at the top indicating that it is not the SRD item as well as a link to the SRD item.
- All articles must be formatted according to the standards of this wiki. We do our best to follow the formatting standards set by the primary sources for Dungeons and Dragons material. To help with this, we have Preloads. You may either find them on the entire list of preloads or by navigating to the homebrew navigation page for the article type you wish to create, and clicking the "Add New ArticleType" link near the top of the page.
- Nearly all articles must be given a balance level according to our balance standards. There is an entry in the author template where this should be specified. We also expect that the balance level you indicate for your creation is accurate. Some article types, like races, are excluded from this requirement.
- All article names must carry the proper identifier.
A complete article is an article that is mechanically functional. This does not mean you need every section that is provided. For example, classes only need the class table and a description of the abilities. The sections that are not required are often times called fluff or flavor.
An article is considered incomplete if the mechanics are absent, if the mechanics are insufficiently clear to be playable, if any <!-- Fill Me In --> fields remain present in the article, or if it lacks expected semantic properties.
Somewhere in the article, you will likely have defined a level of balance implicitly or explicitly. This may be in the balance property of the author template, or it may be a written description of how a variant rule affects the game. We expect this to be a representation of the goals of the author, and an indication of the classes relative power level. Erroneous assignments will be discussed on talk pages, with the expectation that either the content or the assignment will be updated to correct the issue.
An article is considered mechanically inappropriate and inconsistent if it has a balance point above wizard, a balance point below monk, or has multiple determinable balance points at various points in its progression.
Standard Homebrew Article Issues
Articles that do not follow the above requirements will be dealt with in the following ways.
Plagiarized Homebrew Articles
We do not accept plagiarized articles. These will have the Delete Template placed on them and will be removed within one week. If a page of yours has been deleted because of this issue, we will ask you to provide some form of proof that the charges were false before we can recover the page or allow it to be recreated.
Improperly Attributed Homebrew Articles
Articles lacking the author template will also have the Delete Template placed on them and will be removed within one week. As we are unable to determine whether a posted article is your original work or the work of another reposted with permission, we are unable to add this template to pages it is missing from. Our admins are happy to help you apply the template if it is missing, however, because we don't enjoy deleting pages for this minor reason. You can ask for assistance on one of their talk pages or in our chat, just make sure to do so before time runs out.
Incomplete Homebrew Articles
In order to keep this wiki from building up a supply of incomplete and abandoned work, incomplete articles must be located in a user sandbox and lack categories that would allow them to show up in navigation pages. At a minimum, an article must be mechanically complete and playable. An article can be mechanically complete but lacking expository details (fluff) and still be considered complete, but it is important that the article not contain the missing sections as they are in the preload. A base class lacking an example character may be complete, but a base class that contains an empty header or "<- something here ->" in the section where an example character should be is considered incomplete. This can be remedied by removing or commenting out the empty header or "<- stuff ->" lines from the article until such time as they are completed.
Any incomplete article found in the main navigation pages will have the Incomplete Article Template added to it. These articles are subject to standard deletion policies, and may be removed if the article is not completed and the template removed. If you are not going to be able to work on the article consistently and do not wish for it to be removed per this policy, you are welcome to move it into a user sandbox to finish at your leisure. This process is described at our sandboxes page.
Inappropriately Balanced Homebrew Articles
Occasionally an article will not specify a balance point, will specify a balance point that doesn't follow our balance guidelines, or it will fail to meet the balance point that it set out to. Any of these three conditions need to be discussed on the article's talk page before any changes are made, and making a change to the article's balance rating without the author's consent should not be the first action taken.
For an author facing one of these issues, there are several ways to resolve them.
- The easiest way is to simply specify a balance level that more accurately represents the article.
- In cases where an article failed to meet an intended balance point, you should generally improve or detract from the features of the article until it meets the intended balance point.
Again, the decision to make either of these changes, or none at all, generally lies with the author. Suggestions to help them achieve one or the other belong on the article's talk page.
Balance Level Issues
If you feel that an article is not currently at the balance level the author has specified, and the author is unresponsive or refuses to make any changes to their work, you may add the Winter Cleaning template to the article. You must cite balance level issues in the template reasons and your argument must be laid out on the talk page. If you fail to do either of these steps the author may remove the template without penalty.
Once this is done, the template will remain for one week to allow for commentary about the balance on the article's talk page. After this period, the template is removed and the balance updated if there is a consensus that it is different than originally specified. Since the author is assumed to be voting for the current balance level and the individual who placed the template is assumed to be voting for an alternate level, additional members of the community must weigh in on the matter or no changes are made. Once a balance has been set by this policy, the author may not revert the balance indicator without substantial changes to the class that address the indicated issues.
This procedure may not be used to adjust or alter text of the article aside from the balance point itself. The intent of this policy is to leave as much creative freedom to our authors as possible without sacrificing our quality control or balance goals as a wiki.
Articles Without an Author Specified Balance Level
A general exception is made for articles where the author has not specified a balance level within 30 days of adding the article to the wiki. These articles may have their balance level assigned to them by a member of the community to assist in bringing the article and the wiki in general up to date. If the original author later changes the balance level to a different value than the one assigned, that balance level will be subject to all of the policies and author protections presented here, including the inability of the community to change it back without following the above procedure.
Articles Above or Below Our Balance Levels
If there is no appropriate balance level for an article, because it is too high or too low for our standards, you may simply put the article up for deletion, citing your inappropriate balance in the template and adding any other important details on the talk page.
Poorly Formatted Articles
The least egregious of the above issues is poor formatting. We do not delete articles that are improperly formatted, but we do apply the Winter Cleaning to them. This template indicates that the article needs additional work to bring it up to the readability standards of the wiki, and may be deleted if it fails to reach those standards. Additional information on this template appears below.
A homebrew project is a much larger work than an article, and may be comprised of many homebrew articles. Campaign settings, sourcebooks, and quests all belong in this category.
Standard Homebrew Project Requirements
Each project on this wiki must fit the following requirements:
- All content must be your original work, or work you are reprinting with the permission of the author.
- The original author and current custodian must be specified in the author template. This template is designed to be used at the top of the main page, before any of the content begins. The custodian, or the adopter of the project, is required if the original project has abandoned the work or if the work has been posted by another user with the authors express permission.
- All projects must contain a completeness rating. We specifically allow incomplete and in process projects to be maintained in the standard navigation pages, because so much work is involved in building them that it is likely we wouldn't have any projects if we didn't. There are some limitations to this policy however, and it is further detailed below.
- All projects must be given a balance level according to our balance standards. We also expect that the balance level you indicate for your creation is accurate, as this is an indication of what sort of design work went into your project. There is an entry in the author template where this should be specified.
- All projects must be formatted according to the standards of this wiki. We do our best to follow the formatting standards set by the primary sources for Dungeons and Dragons material, but there's a lot of variance for these items.
- All subpages of a project need to be named according to the following convention: My Project (Ed. Project Type)/Page Name. Articles that can stand on their own outside of the project, such as races, classes, feats, etc., should be named as if they were stand alone articles and transcluded into the project.
- Articles included in a project are subject to our regular policies towards articles, and must meet those before they should be included in a project.
Standard Homebrew Project Issues
Projects that do no meet the above requirements will be dealt with as we deal with articles that do not meet their requirements, with the following exceptions.
Incomplete Homebrew Projects
Since we specifically allow projects that are not entirely complete, the project completeness template provides a measure of just how complete a project is. The template ranges from 1 to 5, where 1 indicates that the project is basically a stub that lacks even a sketch of the final work and 5 indicates that the project is complete and comprehensive. Once posted to our regular navigation pages, a project has 30 days to sketch itself out completely and earn a rating of 2. Failure to complete even the outline after this period will result in the project page and all subpages being deleted. A project with a completeness level of 2 or above is no longer subject to this deletion policy.
Once the technical aspects of a piece of homebrew have been ironed out, the more difficult question of quality arises. As part of our goal is to have high quality work on the wiki, we have additional measures that apply to completed articles.
This is important, so I'm going to bold it: Do not apply any of these templates to an incomplete article. An article must be complete before we worry about it's quality and whether it needs additional polishing or should be removed entirely. We don't put these things on unfinished products.
An article can be completed without being well polished. These articles aren't bad in any particular way and are technically complete, but need additional work in one or more areas to truly shine. At the beginning of each year we try to identify these articles and get the authors to clean them up a bit, or get the community to make edits that retain the original intent of the author.
Any user can identify one of these by placing the Winter Cleaning Template on them, and they should do so with actual suggestions and notes as to where the article is falling short. This gives the author and community a place to start working from, or to defend against on talk. The goal of this template is to improve an article, but these articles are candidates for deletion should they not be cleaned up sufficiently for the community to give it a pass. As long as an article is being actively worked on or discussed, it will not be deleted. If two weeks pass without work or comment, and the article still has not been passed by the community, it may be deleted. If the author removes the template from the article before consensus has been reached, it may be deleted without further notice, so you probably shouldn't do that.
Additional information about this cleaning can be found at Dungeons and Dragons Wiki:Winter Cleaning.
We're fairly certain that no one thinks they write bad homebrew, but that doesn't mean that they don't do it anyway once in a while. Change for change's sake is a rather poor sort of homebrew, as it simply complicates matters without being helpful. Other homebrew is simply bad for the game, carrying effects that increase the power disparity between players or interact with systems in detrimental ways. Some pages, mostly NPCs and Optimized Builds, just fail to be sufficiently useful, missing their intended mark entirely. And some stuff just "sucks", though you should try to avoid such subjective measures of quality as often as possible.
We want to avoid these types of articles entirely, as they decrease the overall quality of the wiki as a whole. Keeping them here also makes it more difficult to find higher quality material. Any user can add the Delete Template to an article of this type, along with an explanation of why they are doing so, in an attempt to have the page removed. Doing this allows the author and community to address the concerns, defend the work, and make changes if appropriate. The goal here is to salvage the work rather than remove it, but it will be deleted if that's what it takes to keep quality up. Pages with the deletion template are generally removed sometime after two weeks.
We understand that some people are going to take issue with other people once in a while. It's a community, and these sorts of problems come up from time to time. Attempting to use quality control as a way to harass or drive off a user is completely unacceptable, however, and will not be tolerated. Be fair when you use these templates and it shouldn't come up, focusing on the material and not the person. If there is reason to believe a user is harassing other users with these policies, they will be blocked for a period of time based on the exact circumstances of the harassment.