General alteration guidelines:
How to write a short (TAP) description:
A short deption should always start with an article, which is almost always an 'a' or 'an'. It should also contain what the item is itself and some description about it. It can also be 'some'.
While a short description such as "a wedding ring" is perfectly fine and acceptable, it is rather bland. Item alterations should be unique and flavorful, so you should take advantage and consider something more descriptive.
For example: "a wedding ring fashioned from interwoven strands of metal"
Something like that is much more descriptive and much more alteration-worthy. Not that simple descriptions can't be satisfying, just that there isn't much point in altering an item if you aren't going to give it a touch that is personal to your character.
Another example: "a braided wedding ring composed of interwoven strands of metal"
This is another example portraying the same image, just worded differently.
How to write a full (LOOK) description:
Full descriptions can be where it starts to get tricky. One of the most common things I see done is people writing the name of the item (ie: ring) over and over and over again as they reference it. This gets repetitive, and can be confusing and hard to read for others. I also see a lot of people repeating a good portion of their short description in the full descriptions.
Good example: "Lengths of copper, silver, and gold have been worked together to form an intricate pattern. The various metals offer a difference of color and contrast as they wind their way around the finger to form this simplistic, yet elegant band."
This is an example of what can be considered a 'good' full description. While I did re-use some works from the short description, it was not done excessively. I've also used a similar word (band) to portray the same meaning as the word I used in my short description (ring).
Another thing to keep in mind when writing full descriptions is that when you show an item to someone else, they also see your short description with it.
Autumn shows you a braided wedding ring composed of interwoven strands of metal. Lengths of copper, silver, and gold have been worked together to form an intricate pattern. The various metals offer a difference of color and contrast as they wind their way around the finger to form this simplistic, yet elegant band.
I think this is one thing that is easy to forget or overlook when designing item alterations and one that can have the most impact. If you write something along the lines of:
Autumn shows you a braided wedding ring composed of interwoven strands of metal. The braided wedding ring is made of lengths of copper, silver, and gold that have been worked together to form an intricate pattern. The various metals of the braided wedding ring offer a difference of color and contrast as they wind their way around the finger to form this simplistic, yet elegant band.
Do you see the problem with this design? Both the short and full descriptions re-use the same description, which causes doubling up because of its redundancy. A design like this will need to be re-written.
'Please do not include your TAP description in your LOOK description!'
How to write a read description:
Read descriptions are only visible when you actually attempt to READ an item, so they should understandably contain a description for someone who attempts to read the item and nothing else. The read description needs to begin with a complete sentence describing the action that takes place when you attempt to READ it. Typically, this looks like some of the following examples:
An inscription along the inside of the ring reads, "..."
You notice letters and symbols on the ring, but cannot make out what they say.
For single-sentence READs, you may keep the entire description on one line, such as:
An inscription along the inside of the ring reads, "With all the love I have to give."
However, if the description needs multiple sentences, it's probably best that they're separated by line breaks:
You open the small recipe book and read:
"Three pinches pixie dust
One unicorn horn tip
Four eyes of newt
Two snail antennae
Mix in a large pot and serve with mint."
Some final thoughts:
Watch your materials as some metals, gems, threads, and the like can be rare and are in short supply. If it is something rare (like adamantium or mithril), then it will need to be supplied to use in your alteration. If you have an item of the material you'd like to use in your alteration, it can be forfeited in order to give your alteration this material.
Some things we will do:
Change a ring to a band, a visor to a helm, a knife to dagger, etc. These items are relatively similar and thus can be altered from one to another. (Please note, this cannot be done through the store. This can only be done during in-game alteration sessions.)
Some things we won't do:
Specific design limitations and rules: The rules are posted here.