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What kind of Site do we want for BRP Central?

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What kind of site do we want at BRP Central?

Personally, I don't want it morphing into another The RPG Site, which is what seems to be happening.

I would prefer a friendly site where everyone can feel free to post and nobody is so intimidated by the nature or style of posting that they feel they cannot post.

If I wanted a site like that, I would go to The RPG Site, which I often do.

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Ever since it started, BRP Central has been a very friendly site, good-natured with humour throughout and a very, very light touch for Moderation. This is probably because it started off as a reaction to a certain someone being banned from another site for raising issues, so the new site didn't have that kind of heavy-handed moderation.

As Chaosium have started using this as their official web presence, we have had a lot more members, which is a good thing. However, it has also brought bad behaviour that we have seen on other sites, which, by and large, we didn't used to have on BRP Central. I am not sure if it is because this is an official Chaosium site or because it has more members/traffic.

What do people think?

Is it worth exploring whether BRP central should be more like this site or that site in nature? What about not being like certain sites in nature? Or, should be explore what we think BRP Central should be about?

Apart from being an excellent site for the discussion of BRP and BRP-like games, of course.

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My own opinion is that I wouldn't like it becoming another TheRPGSite, as that would spoil it. Similarly, I wouldn't like it to become another RPG.NET, as that is far too much the other way. 

RPG Pub was mentioned on the other thread. That is also a friendly site, but has a huge anti-MOB bias, for some reason that I do not understand, to the extent that he doesn't post there and we poor mortals have to defend Chaosium on the very rare occasions where that is necessary. I like the vibe over at RPG Pub, but always thought it was like what BRP Central used to be.

For me, BRP Central has its own flavour and personality and I would like to keep that, just without the toxic stuff that has crept in.

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I certainly enjoy the absence of moderation on this platform and most of the feedback I receive for my posts here.

 

For me, this forum has become the main place for the Glorantha tribe to interact via the possibilities of the Internet. Google+ was great while it lasted, but despite the contributions there having been archived on Tapatalk, hardly anybody appears to peruse that archive, and no new posts have been there for a while.

My own interests are fairly focussed (or narrow-minded). I don't have anything to add to any Pendragon discussion, but I like how Pendragon traffic has gone up in recent months - it is always nice to see that those parts of the hobby remain alive and kicking. I am not a great afficionado of the Cthulhu mythos and had my peak exposure with the Mythos trading card game.

I am told I can be intimidating - in real life as well as online. It is physically quite hard for me to make myself small, and apparently the same when I use my keyboard. I don't hold back much with my opinions, but I try to take care not to attack people, only their statements.

 

Can I calm you with the fact that I am on the record to only have exchanged blows with internet opponents that are taller than myself over internet discussions? (A single incident, an ironic event hosted by Heng Langeveld at Convulsion 1994 saw a good-natured duel between me and Alex Ferguson, with well-padded sticks brought by a professional nurse, the sticks a safe means of stress release for psychic patients. Henk was administrator of the RuneQuest Daily at the time.)

So if you are under 2 meters tall, you're safe from physical harm.

 

I have met many of the participants here in person on the European conventions. I haven't had any serious face-to-face difficulties with anybody here, the worst I have had was some light shepherding of somewhat over-inebriated folks. (Being potentially physically intimidating might be why the convention organizers let me handle those situations...)

So, unlike your usual internet forum, this is a fairly well-connected group of people of flesh and blood that are interacting here (at least in the Glorantha portions of the forum I spend most my activities on), and a lot less anonymous than sites like rpg.net or even more anonymous social media channels.

 

1 hour ago, soltakss said:

For me, BRP Central has its own flavour and personality and I would like to keep that, just without the toxic stuff that has crept in.

The world has changed around us in the past quarter century that we have had the chance to exchange our thoughts online. I don't think that anyone among us has changed significantly to being a less ethical person, but the internet around us has been degraded and abused by malignant or at least toxically selfish people or groups. All uf us live in the world that is affected by that, and we all adapt somehow to our environments. Not always to the better.

 

Discussions of real world issues and especially hurt feelings tend to drive people into the defensive if they feel their dignity threatened.

 

The dignity of a human being is inviolable. (First sentence of the German constitution.)

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This place isn't going to become like The RPGSite or theRPGnet or the RPG Pub - none of which are sites I particularly enjoy. This is a site for civilised and friendly discussion about a variety of games associated with BRP and Chaosium. We don't want to have to do much work moderating, and are very willing to largely work on the honor system. If folk can't behave within these very minimal requirements, then we have to take action. 

Edited by Jeff
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One of the best things here is how such a diverse slice of folk can gather with so few problems. Even better, I could (but won't) name a half dozen ill behaved folk that have had a bit of character arc in their time here. They aren't necessarily pleasing to little ol' moi, but have become contributing members of the community. Ergo, my subjective opinions mean little (but can hurt, so I try to wield them gently). There are others who display little to no arc but contribute nonetheless. The light hand of moderation can be frustrating on occasion. but there are a number of folk who have no problem defending others and their beliefs as well as their foibles. So, usually the laissez-faire works.

I would love to see BRP Central become a little more... BRP Central. I have written love letters to this site before (sorry), and hopefully won't embarrass myself again (search for 'em if you must, there is one around here, nearby in the tavern) with yet more. But I like the place. 

Eliminating a few problems, well... This will only work for those who wish to be better citizens...

People could read a lot read a hell of a lot more than they post and keep open minds while reading. I might be an bit of an outlier to this principal having lurked the digests and dailies for a couple of decades and here for a year before joining in. But at least I had a lay of the land and new a few of the personalities, so when I hit bumps at least they weren't surprises. Yep, read the post you are responding to, re-read your own post and then read the original once again and then...

 The delete key is your friend. I used to delete many more posts when I first started and hope that using it less means that I have improved (but I fear it has more to do with hubris than any amelioration on my part). After having read your brand-new shiny sparkling and brilliant new post if it does not fit, be brutal. Delete, delete, delete.

Editing, while better done before saving, can be a good idea after as well. (Editing right now to clean up a mess or two...)

My fave, be nice and know Thumper's mother's rule:

Quote

 "if you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

Screw using it, but at least know the frigging thing!

We could all be a bit more like soltakss, but hell, I have seen even him draw flames from disgruntled individuals. I mean if you can find flaws with soltakss, there is little hope for you here.

No, despite the occasional troll (not enlo, troll) that wanders in and kicks up a storm I do like the place and its denizens. 

The rest of you, quit disturbing shit! This is a fine resource that takes a series of great games and really stretches them to new heights! 

5 hours ago, soltakss said:

Personally, I don't want it morphing into another The RPG Site, which is what seems to be happening.

Don't know the other sites used as negative role models, so can't comment.

 

5 hours ago, soltakss said:

Ever since it started, BRP Central has been a very friendly site, good-natured with humour throughout and a very, very light touch for Moderation.

Yep, that's the site I would like to order, can I have it with onion rings instead of fries and could you super-world size it for me!

Cheers

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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No set of forums can remain a tranquil sea of politeness and serenity all the time. Angry, negative, or nasty posts will occasionally flare up, and are impossible to totally prevent. How we choose to react to them is absolutely within our control though.  I focus on my responses, and try to make sure they are helpful, kind, and constructive. I am a moderator on these forums, and I hope I seldom have to do anything related to moderating posts. Having participated in many other forums over the years I feel BRP Central is far better than most in terms of its civility and welcoming nature. 

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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

I mean if you can find flaws with soltakss, there is little hope for you here.

You should ask my wife, she'll list plenty, spending too much time on the Internet for my Crazy Hobby being just one of them.

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For those of us who don't necessarily spend a lot of time on many different forums, can someone elaborate on what they think TheRPGSite, RPG.net, and/or RPG Pub (or even, for that matter, ENWorld) are like? From my limited experience with a few of them, I frankly can't tell much, besides maybe that RPG.net is quite moderation heavy? I don't know. So yeah, RPG forums 101 would be welcome :)

And sure, everybody wants a nice, safe, friendly place to discuss nerdy RPG-related topics, but I think that, as the community size grows, so does the need for moderation. The number of "incidents" (whatever that is) will even outgrow community growth if they go unmoderated, since at that point your forums will be known as "safe" for whatever was that behaviour, attracting more similar people.

The only moderation "abuse" I can think of would be if posts criticizing Chaosium were to be locked or removed, but I don't see this happening any time soon. Most common scenarios of moderation are to keep tone/politeness/trolling in check (maybe that's me being Canadian but I think it's pretty hard to have "too much" of it), getting in front of problems (say, by locking a topic where arguments are going in circles... it's debatable whether that's desirable but IMHO it is), and doing general cleanup and maintenance (like splitting topics that are going off on a long tangent, closing duplicate topics, etc... again, it's debatable, but IMHO, assuming there's enough moderators, it's a good thing because it makes the forums easy to jump onto for newbies)... so... what I'm saying is, I don't have a super extensive experience with many forums, but I do have experience with a couple of long-running communities (15+ years), and I have never seen "too much moderation".

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I've been posting on here less than a year. One of the things I really value about BRP is the light touch moderation and I'm heartened by Rick and Jeff's statements above.

I feel it would be wrong to alter the nature of the forums just because of (rare) bad behaviour by a few individuals. That would be punishing everyone else who has used the forums respectfully for the transgressions of others.

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It's also worth noting that this is Trif's site.  We are his guests here.  I'd hate to actually work toward making this site into something that may be less (or just other) than what he wants... nor make it more onerous for him, etc.

 

 

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20 hours ago, lordabdul said:

For those of us who don't necessarily spend a lot of time on many different forums, can someone elaborate on what they think TheRPGSite, RPG.net, and/or RPG Pub (or even, for that matter, ENWorld) are like? From my limited experience with a few of them, I frankly can't tell much, besides maybe that RPG.net is quite moderation heavy? I don't know. So yeah, RPG forums 101 would be welcome :)

Well, a certain poster's "welcome" to me on The RPG Site was to call my mother a whore and wish me dead at the hands of Islamic terrorists. All because we announced we weren't continuing with RQ6, and it was my role to communicate that news (lucky me). I don't have an issue with robust discussion, but nerd-rage abuse like that seems to be pretty much textbook cyberbullying, yet the moderators there let that stand, so that was enough for me.

On 8/18/2019 at 7:44 PM, soltakss said:

RPG Pub was mentioned on the other thread. That is also a friendly site, but has a huge anti-MOB bias, for some reason that I do not understand, to the extent that he doesn't post there and we poor mortals have to defend Chaosium on the very rare occasions where that is necessary. I like the vibe over at RPG Pub, but always thought it was like what BRP Central used to be.

For me, BRP Central has its own flavour and personality and I would like to keep that, just without the toxic stuff that has crept in.

Likewise at The RPGPub: there seem to be a handful of long-standing and inveterate Chaosium detractors on that site (for reasons that are obscure to us), and as it's my current responsibility to speak for the company, I guess I am a visible target. However, that's another forum I do not frequent.

Here's something we've found: since the return of Greg and Sandy, and Moon Design joining the company, there are some people who it seems don't want to cope with the whole Chaosium ecosystem changing. You'd think they'd be happy that instead of withering and dying, the games they love are coming back stronger than ever. Instead of celebrating it and wanting to be part of it, they resent that Chaosium's revival has somehow diminished their own relevance and importance, or somehow invalidated their previous experiences (it hasn't). But it's like they preferred it back when they could feel they were the noble and stoic keepers of the flame, knowingly tut-tutting at Chaosium's incompetence: sadly Chaosium, during its low point, created a very bad cycle of codependence and enabling (and that low point was the better part of 20 years).

Fortunately, although we are by no means perfect and have made plenty of missteps along the way, we reckon we've managed to bring 99.9% of people along with us who are happy to see Chaosium successful and starting to prosper again. We've expanded our social media audience more than 2000% in the process, and are building up the audiences for our games by reconnecting with old fans and attracting newcomers (the recent Critical Role game being an example). We want those newcomers to feel welcome too, and we are fortunate we have Trif's BRP Central as the key discussion forum to help facilitate this; a site for friendly and civilized discussion about Chaosium (and related d100) games with a very light hand of moderation and an expectation of mature self-moderation. It's a shame some folks don't seem to want to be a positive part of it all now that Chaosium is vibrant and successful again. Because they could be if they really wanted. We are a very welcoming tribe. 

Edited by MOB
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12 hours ago, MOB said:

Here's something we've found: since the return of Greg and Sandy, and Moon Design joining the company, there are some people who it seems don't want to cope with the whole Chaosium ecosystem changing.

Huh, I didn't know there were such people... I think the whole Greg/Sandy/Moon Design takeover was the best thing that happened to the company -- I haven't been that excited about Chaosium products since the early 90s when I actually discovered Chaosium (and CoC in particular).

One other thing to think about with regards to moderation is how much of it is visible. There are forums out there that look like they have "light moderation" when, in fact, there's a whole bunch of it that goes on behind the scenes (and you learn about it only when you start hanging out on the companion Discord server, for instance).

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I don't think you'll need many fingers to count who actively dislike Chaosium and their games across various forums. Even people who don't care for company or products have to struggle to find much to grog about. The fans are generally properly - as opposed to obnoxiously - fanatic. All are aware of the alternative to the ChaosiMoon-merger, and no one wanted that. Chaosium just needs to learn that a) the internet never forgets and b) how to deal with gamers with a grudge - factual ones or not . Until they do, grudges will be an unpleasant element in any discusssions they cannot moderate to their liking.  

 But what kind of site do we want for BRP Central? I vote for a place where we can discuss d100-games, using the occasional adult choice of wording without having to look over our shoulder in fear of an approaching banhammer.  Issues will inevitably arise when you expect people to behave like adults on the internet. We will have to live with that.

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WARNING!

Warnings are coming to BRP Central. A new and feared weapon have been delivered into the hands of the moderators to control the wild masses!

1 warning point = 24 hrs restriction on posting! ☹️

2 warning points = 7 days restriction on posting!! 😦

3 warning points = 30 day ban!!! 😨

Points can accumulate, but are removed after 30 days.

But isn't this cruel and unusual punishment you ask? Yes, yes it is. 🐙

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2 minutes ago, Trifletraxor said:

Yes, yes it is. 🐙

fearsome walktapus, might i suggest a trouble tickets section so we can see when and why points are meted out? honestly one of the few things RPGnet, may fleas infest its armpits, did that was good. (doesn't have to be open to comments from non-moderators.)

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

fearsome walktapus, might i suggest a trouble tickets section so we can see when and why points are meted out? honestly one of the few things RPGnet, may fleas infest its armpits, did that was good. (doesn't have to be open to comments from non-moderators.)

I think/hope we'll not have to use it that often that we need a public thread for deterrent/marking the boundaries.  

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5 hours ago, Trifletraxor said:

WARNING!

Warnings are coming to BRP Central. A new and feared weapon have been delivered into the hands of the moderators to control the wild masses!

1 warning point = 24 hrs restriction on posting! ☹️

2 warning points = 7 days restriction on posting!! 😦

3 warning points = 30 day ban!!! 😨

Points can accumulate, but are removed after 30 days.

But isn't this cruel and unusual punishment you ask? Yes, yes it is. 🐙

See now... this is exactly the sort of thing that (I believe) you didn't want to do.

And if I'm right... I'm sorry we've driven you to it.   😧

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5 hours ago, Trifletraxor said:

I think/hope we'll not have to use it that often that we need a public thread for deterrent/marking the boundaries.

Yeah I'd rather a "0 warning point" be delivered via PM first, and then (if the private discussion doesn't go well, for instance) actual bans all be handled similarly privately.

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah I'd rather a "0 warning point" be delivered via PM first, and then (if the private discussion doesn't go well, for instance) actual bans all be handled similarly privately.

It would be nice to be able to fuck up (and be told about it in private <I did not say aboot, that's canadianist!!> :) once).

I know, I know, that's one...

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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As a fairly new member, and one that is absolutely green to rpg and tabletop forums in general, I've enjoyed my time here immensely. There's been a few occasions where discussions have heated up, and it can be uncomfortable, but from what I can tell they tend to pass fairly quickly. I've also had one or two bad days where I've come with crass or sarcastic remarks, and while I've rightly apologized for that, I also hope it's one of those things that're seen as a part of life - water under the bridge and all that.

I've been active on internet forums since my early teens, and have generally had the fortune of being mostly on positive ones. I'm not sure what exact cases are being referred to in this thread (and I hope I'm not one of the in-rushing barbaric hordes), but so far at least, I see virtually only positively engaged and enthusiastic people. Even when people are frustrated, it tends to be more "I want to get into this more, but I've met a wall", and less "This is dumb, I dislike it". Granted, I don't know how representative the Glorantha lore/background forum might be in the grand scope of things.

Anyway, thanks for keeping this site running, and hope things work out!

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I don't come to this forum nearly as often as I used, so I'm not cluing in on where all this friction is happening that people feel needs moderation? Is it in the Glorantha forums? I never look there.
I've seen no personal attacks or name-calling... or really much disagreement about anything at all. I've got certain things I'm prickly about (CoC 7) and generally try my best to just stay away from those topics, or at least not START the disagreement.

As for what other forums have wrong about them: to my eye it's mostly politics. Both RPGNet and RPGSite have taken political stances and let their posters air such grievances. RPGPub has not. RPGPub makes those other two look like a campfire full of hippies singing Kumbaya.

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20 hours ago, Simlasa said:

As for what other forums have wrong about them: to my eye it's mostly politics. Both RPGNet and RPGSite have taken political stances and let their posters air such grievances. RPGPub has not. RPGPub makes those other two look like a campfire full of hippies singing Kumbaya.

Alas, I hesitate to admit it, but my fave... the RuneQuest Forum, is the miscreant. We tried spankings, now it looks like the management is going to institute timeouts. Personally, I recommended the Iron Maiden... (excellent dude!), but I was voted down.

Alas

Edited by Bill the barbarian

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On 8/20/2019 at 5:30 PM, Trifletraxor said:

But isn't this cruel and unusual punishment you ask? Yes, yes it is. 🐙

If we are all good little boys and girls, that shouldn't be a problem.

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On 8/23/2019 at 1:51 PM, Bill the barbarian said:

Alas, I hesitate to admit it, but my fave... the RuneQuest Forum, is the miscreant. We tried spankings, now it looks like the management is going to institute timeouts. Personally, I recommended the Iron Maiden...

Music as punishment? That's unusually cruel, even for barbarian standards. (Although Iron Maiden might be preferable to country yodeling...)

Wacken!

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