This is a placeholder with some tidbits we’ve come across, there will be a real style guide here for Starfinder and Pathfinder 2e eventually.
Owen KC Stephens has written a checklist of things to look for in your writing before you give the turnover to your editor, developer, or whomever.
Writing Basics: Final Checks for RPG Manuscripts
Until I complete our Style Guides for Starfinder and Pathfinder 2e, you may want to look at the Rogue Genius style guide for reference
For items not covered in this guide, use the Chicago Manual of Style vs. Oxford, MLA, APA or AP
For style/punctuation use Stunk and White
Use the Oxford comma
After years of writing technical documentation, Paul hates the use of intensifiers like really, quite and very as an adverb. If something is really hot or very big, you need to choose better describing words. If you’re writing for our Victorian line and have to get to the very heart of the matter, in a struggle for the very fate of England, at least some people talked like that.
Paizo’s editors warn people against using superlatives, everything you write is not the biggest, fastest, most powerful thing in the universe. It paints you into a corner creatively.
Related, Paizo’s editors warn you need synonyms for vast.
Horde is an army, Hoard is a pile of treasure
Mithral is Pathfinder, Mithril is Tolkien
Drift is Paizo IP, Hyperspace is Open Game Content and has been in the public domain for a long time. Hyperdive is the OGC replacement for Drift Drive or Engine.
Order of Adjectives
It’s important in your writing to get your adjectives in order.
Capitalization and Italics
There is no special formatting for the names of classes, races, subtypes, descriptors, class features, combat maneuvers, monsters, or mundane gear.
The names of ability scores, feats, skills, and saving throw categories are always Capitalized. Languages are capitalized.
- names of spells and magic items: magic missile, cube of force
- academic terms in Latin: summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude
- certain other foreign words
- titles of books and other full-length, freestanding works
- scientific names of plants and animals: Homo sapiens
- aircraft names—Italicize “personal” names, but not manufacturer or model names and designations:
Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis, Martin B-26 Marauder Flak Bait, Lockheed P-38 Lightning
- codenames—Use quotation marks: Kawasaki Ki-45 KAI Toryu “Nick.”
- foreign terms—Italicize the term and use parentheses or quotation marks around the translation: Arado Ar 234 Blitz (Lightning); the Blitz, or “Lightning.”
- plurals—A-6s, B-17s (not A-6’s, B-17’s), except where adding “s” alone might be confusing.
Spacecraft and Starship names
- ship and boat names in text are italic with initial caps.
- if a ship or boat has no name other than the hull number, then italicize the hull number as you would a ship name.
- names of ships: the Achille Lauro, the Costa Concordia, the Mayflower, the Titanic but not any prefix HMS, USS
- nicknames of ships and boats carry initial caps, roman, no quotation marks.
- italicize “personal” names of manned spacecraft: Mercury Freedom 7, Space Shuttle Challenger.
- do not italicize names of robotic spacecraft: Voyager 1, Galileo, Cassini.
- spacecraft components—Generally lowercase: lunar module, command module, shuttle orbiter.
Hyphens, En and Em dashes
Hyphen – used to separate numbers, 5-foot-square
En dash – used for a minus sign such as penalties
Em dash — used for blank entries in stat blocks, and to separate spells and spell like abilities from the title of a list and its contents (at will, 1st, 2nd) in a spellbook/stat block.
In the below table, the prerequisites and benefits of the feats are abbreviated for ease of reference. See the specific feat for its full details. The following format is used for all feat descriptions. The name of each feat section is bolded, the colon after the name is not. Feats are written in second person.
Feat Name: The feat’s name is followed by a basic description of what the feat does. This description is only a explanation of the feat, not the game rules defining how it works.
Prerequisites: A minimum ability score, another feat or feats, a minimum base attack bonus, a minimum number of ranks in one or more skills, or anything else required in order to take the feat. A feat may have more than one prerequisite. This entry is absent if a feat has no prerequisites. You’ll notice Great Cleave requires Cleave but also Str 13 despite the fact Cleave already requires Str 13. The Prerequisites are stated explicitly in each feat. If the feat has only one Prerequisite, the section name is Prerequisite: weird, but that’s how it goes.
Benefit: What the feat enables the character (“you” in the feat description) to do. A character cannot select a feat more than once unless it specifically says so. If a character somehow has the same feat more than once, the benefits of these feats do not stack unless indicated otherwise. Unless otherwise noted, the term “level” refers to character level. Benefit is always singular no matter how many effects are present.
Normal: This entry lists the normal rules that apply to a character who does not have the feat. A character with the feat, on the other hand, can overcome these limitations. This information can help players understand why the feat is useful. If not having the feat causes no particular drawback, this entry is absent.
Special: Additional unusual facts about the feat. If there is nothing unusual about this feat, this entry is absent.
Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 155
You can strike two adjacent foes with a single swing.
Prerequisites: Str 13, base attack bonus +1.
Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a single melee attack against a foe within reach. If you hit, you deal damage normally and can make an additional melee attack (using your full base attack bonus) against a foe that is adjacent to the first and also within reach. You can make only one additional attack per round with this feat. When you use this feat, you take a –2 penalty to your Armor Class until your next turn.
Great Cleave (Combat)
Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 157
You can strike many adjacent foes with a single blow.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Cleave, base attack bonus +4.
Benefit: If you strike a second target with the Cleave feat, you can spend 1 Resolve Point to make a melee attack against each subsequent foe that is both adjacent to the last target and within your reach, as long as you hit the previous foe. You can’t attack an individual foe more than once during this attack action.
For our artists and cartographers or art orders to the same.
Everything should be 300 dpi not less.
Maps need scales and compass roses, arrows facing north, etc.
Deckplans and battle maps are 1 square equals 5ft which is typical of D&D, Pathfinder, Starfinder and many related minis games. Squares are typically one inch.
If you have any feedback about this post or our books please feel free to contact us.
Evilrobotgames at Gmail.com