Current Role-Playing Game Forums Suck–Should I Add One to Livingdice?

Enworld and RPG.net are the clear leaders  role-playing game discussions within the gaming community.  That said,  these communities are now so massive that finding anything is nearly impossible and threads quickly reach “War and Peace” in length.  If that were not bad enough, the level of discourse on these sites often degenerates to the lowest common denominator and on the Internet, that can be quite low.

If I were to set up a forum on Livingdice, and it is strictly dependent on the response to this post whether I install one, I envision an open community. Open in the sense that anyone may join, but idiots get hit with a ban stick.  I am not interested in massive numbers of subscribers. I would rather have 50 intelligent, thoughtful forum contributors than 2000 “flame warriors” nattering about edition wars and how to min/max their paladin.

There is so much more to RPGs, in the story, the characters,  adventure design, even the mechanics of map making that all too often disappear under rule discussions and flame wars on current forums.  I am also keen to get a discussion started with current RPG designers and aspiring designers in a safe and encouraging environment about the process  and business of game design.

Does this sound like something you, my readership, would use regularly?  If so, please add a comment to this post and make your voice heard! Assuming I get enough of a response, I will get vbulletin installed. Vbulletin is a $200 software forum package and I do not spend this amount lightly, especially since Livingdice does not generate much income (but it does generate much personal satisfaction, which is why I keep doing it). Think of it as proof of my commitment to an intelligent, well-moderated forum about role-playing games.

So, if you want a forum that strives for sanity, intelligence and articulate contributors, please add a comment to this post.

Trask, The Last Tyromancer

trask

Trask is a long-time gamer, world traveler and history buff. He hopes that his scribblings will both inform and advance gaming as a hobby.

11 thoughts on “Current Role-Playing Game Forums Suck–Should I Add One to Livingdice?

  • August 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm
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    There is always SMF (simple machine forums) which is free, very customizable and really great for small forums, I have 2 websites running it.

    You can see it working at:
    http://www.againsttheshadow.org
    http://www.unifans.org

    Just disregard the main page, since it would be useless to you and that is given through an extension of SMF.

    • August 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm
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      Thank you for the links. I did consider some of the other free forum solutions, but I am willing to trade cash for long-term ease of use and features, like the CMS and blog options in vBulletin.

      Trask

  • August 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm
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    I would absolutely love to see such a forum exist on the Internet, although I would hate to see you pay so much money up front on such a gamble. I know that I would try my hardest to help such a forum flourish.

  • August 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm
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    I’ve been really happy with the stuff I see on this site. I would participate in a forum on this site.

  • August 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm
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    I’d like to see a new forum. I think you might as well just try it. There’s nothing to lose but time, and if you succeed you could have a really nice little community.

  • August 29, 2010 at 12:22 am
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    I think you should not create a new forum. There are plenty out there, just keep looking for one that suits you. Maybe ask your readership what fora they enjoy and why?

  • August 29, 2010 at 1:15 am
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    I would be happy to contribute if the forums were independent of any particular RPG system. Too many are locked to one or two professionally published systems.
    An intelligent forum aimed at mature discussion of rpgs would be most welcome.

    Cheers,
    Craig.

  • September 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm
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    Trask,

    I’m a moderator at a company-backed forum. I like to believe we have a pretty ‘open’ forum – obviously we’re not here to have people bag the company, but we do support some discussion on other gamesystems.

    I’d suggest two key elements to having a forum that succeeds at what you want:

    1) Define a good set of rules. At the end of the day, most things boil down to “don’t be a dick”, but many people need clearer definitions and examples. If you propose to throw any screaming matches over (say) FATAL into the firey pit, make sure you say something like “Don’t post here if your only intention is to be confrontational or argumental. Posts that do not contribute to the topic at hand, or the forum community, may be deleted at the management’s discretion.” Which leads into ..

    2) Good moderators. Try and find some community members whose judgement you can trust, then let them do the job – you can act as the final court of appeal. Make sure any moderator action (such as removing posts) gets logged, or shows up somehow, so if Poster X says “help! help! come and see the violence inherent in the system”, you can decide if they’re being victimised, or they’re trolls.

    I’d certainly be intereasted in the forums you describe.

  • September 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm
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    It all depends on the mods and the vibes it gives which will either make or break a community.

    I know a site and forum about video game music (midis) and they tend to pick favorites on groups and if you make a mistake they will try to make you feel bad and want you to condemn yourself for it forever…………. no matter how simple.

    I have noticed that no new members seem to have joined that forum in years which the forum seems to be stuck in a rut which I tried to break it out of but got ignored mostly.

  • September 14, 2010 at 11:20 pm
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    Hell: If you have a midi violation no matter HOW simple they will either give you a ‘slap on the wrist’ or burn you at the stake depending on your status and their mood which I always get negative vibes from that forum so I don’t go back.

    I mean some of those situations couldv’e been resolved peacefully by PM but they dont’ give anybody (including me) a chance.

    One rule is if your members are in violation of something ALWAYS let them know that and allow a channel of communication so they forum member can have a chance of making himself/herself better.

  • September 27, 2010 at 10:48 am
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    I think there already too many RPG forums in the Internet. Those that are not Rpg.net or EnWorld get a low amount of traffic. I suggest a better idea would be to find one that suits you and help it grow.

Comments are closed.