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Rick Meints

How do we make this website work better for Chaosium

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Greetings all,

Now that Chaosium is going to be more actively involved in this forum and directing users here from the Chaosium.com website (in the near future) we are interested in reading your suggestions on how to fine tune these forums, their features, and their contents. We welcome your feedback. Our only request is that you be constructive and suggest fixes along with any issues you raise. Identifying problems is silver. Identifying a problem and suggesting how to fix it is gold. We appreciate your help.

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The current (and honestly previous) format is almost optimal IMO.

An "Ask the Great Old Ones" thread that Chaosium representatives respond to questions would be a nice addition. Even if it's just to say "We can't comment on that currently." I know a lot of people here would be comforted just knowing someone is listening.

Ben was a great source of anxiety control here doing just that. 

(Miss you Mr. Monroe!)

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Ben was a great source of anxiety control here doing just that. 

(Miss you Mr. Monroe!)

Straight up! We miss you Ben.

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A few suggestions

1) The forum controls are in the upper right of the forum layout and on the default theme they are difficult to see (see attached image). They aren't optimally styled on any of the themes IMO. Perhaps tweak the CSS a bit to add a background to the control area so it stands out more?

2) Branding the forums as BRP Central is odd given the focus of the forums and also the recent business decisions around BRP. Maybe give the forums a different name but keep the domain name? The domain is irrelevant really but calling the forums something that reflects the broad nature of the forums might be handy.

3) The Glorantha section might need some subsections for the various rulesets that are used for the game. 13th Age, Heroquest and Runequest (whichever edition) will all have some very specific questions for each game. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 10.57.51 PM.png

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I would separate Glorantha into its own section, as it isn't a game, but a setting. If they are directing people here from Glorantha.com then I would also suggest subsections within Glorantha for Heroquest: Glorantha, RQ: AIG, and 13th Age (though perhaps not this as it didn't seem that active).

SDLeary

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There are also some interesting views being expressed in this thread.

The whole BRP vs Chaosium thing seems very confused. Are these the official Chaosium forums now? Because if so, calling them basicroleplaying.org sends out a strange message, because not all Chaosium games use the BRP system (and Chaosium is more than RPGs anyway, with fiction, board games, computer games (licenced ones like King of Dragon Pass), etc.

It also doesn't help that the banner at the top of the forums is an old BRP one, and again doesn't reflect the current line of Chaosium products.

I think that this needs to be re-looked out, to decide if these forums are sending out the right corporate message. For example, how is it going to attract players of HeroQuest?

Talking of HeroQuest, if the aim is to get those players on board, along with all those interested in Glorantha, the forum structure is going to need tweaking. On glorantha.com we have eleven sub-forums for various Gloranthan subjects. As well as HeroQuest we have RuneQuest 2&3, Runequest 6, plus the imminent 13th Age, plus of course general discussions about the world of Glorantha that have no rules involvement. Having a single forum for all Gloranthan subjects is going to be very confusing (e.g. someone posts about a subject that you initially think is RuneQuest but then a bit later you figure out is HeroQuest). Right now the forums for Glorantha are full of very out-of-date postings (again, unattractive to newcomers), so it would be good to get content copied over from the glorantha.com forums or at the very least update the stickies (e.g. the list of current products).

I think that the idea of having a single set of forums for the new Chaosium is an excellent idea. It looks like a convenient solution was available by adopting the pre-existing BRP forums (sorry, I am ignorant about the history of the BRP forums) but without looking at how well they fit the needs of a new set of Chaosium forums. So the execution seems poor so far. However, this can be fixed by addressing these issues, and those that others have outlined.

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Right, after having read some more threads here, I can now see the problem. These forums aren't owned by Chaosium, and the owner wants to keep the BRP name for now. Which is of course his decision, fair enough. But I'd suggest to Chaosium that there's already a conflict here, in terms of the way that the BRP forums have been existing and successfully running for a long time, and how something that is BRP-branded fits the needs for Chaosium's community outreach. I would suggest that for BRP-based games like CoC, it fits very well. But for non-BRP-based games (such as HeroQuest, and general Gloranthan discussions that are non-rules-based), it fits somewhat less well.

Rick, you asked for solutions to be suggested as well as the problems themselves. Here you go - rebrand the forums totally as Chaosium.

 

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An "Ask the Great Old Ones" thread that Chaosium representatives respond to questions would be a nice addition. Even if it's just to say "We can't comment on that currently." I know a lot of people here would be comforted just knowing someone is listening.


If this is going to be the quasi-official site, then perhaps an "Ask the Great Old Ones" forum might be more appropriate than just a single thread.

 

Rick, you asked for solutions to be suggested as well as the problems themselves. Here you go - rebrand the forums totally as Chaosium.

What about the non-Chaosium BRP players, such as TDM's currently-named-RQ6?  We know from the initial announcement that they'll continue to publish compatible products.  Also Revolution D100 and plenty of other non-Chaosium, BRP-family games.

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What about the non-Chaosium BRP players, such as TDM's currently-named-RQ6?  We know from the initial announcement that they'll continue to publish compatible products.  Also Revolution D100 and plenty of other non-Chaosium, BRP-family games.

Those products (at least, the TDM ones, I know nothing about Revolution D100) use licences from Chaosium, so they're just part of an extended family of Chaosium products. I don't see why they couldn't sit in a Chaosium-branded forum, with their own sub-forums.

 

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Those products (at least, the TDM ones, I know nothing about Revolution D100) use licences from Chaosium, so they're just part of an extended family of Chaosium products. I don't see why they couldn't sit in a Chaosium-branded forum, with their own sub-forums.

 

No, they don't. OpenQuest, GORE, Legend, Renaissance, Revolution and Aeon are not licensed by Chaosium. Not more than Pathfinder or Castles&Crusades are licensed by WIzards of the Coast. They leverage the Mongoose RuneQuest OGL, so they have some form of heritage from the BRP/RuneQuest world. But they are not officially sanctioned by Chaosium in any way.

Now the story of the MRQ OGL and BRP Central is a complicate one and you have wisely pre-pended to your statements "I do not know the history of these boards": I will not annoy you with the details unless you are really eager to hear them, but there is a "past record" about these forums, and about all these systems, that has a non-trivial degree of complexity.

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Thanks for correcting me, it's good to know more about this. Well, us Gloranthan folks were invited by Rick to come over here and say what we'd like to see improved about these forums, without warning us that there's a lot of history here and no doubt hard work done by the admins, moderators and so forth. So without knowing that background it's easy for us to cause offence and suggest things that simply don't fit in with what's gone before.

So it seems that the TDM stuff would fit in fine under a Chaosium banner, but plenty of other stuff won't. So that's another reason to keep the BRP branding. But HeroQuest doesn't fit into that (the BRP banner) either, and that is a Chaosium product now. I'd like to here Rick's and MOB's views on this.

 

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Yes, I found it weird to see all the crew from the Gloranthan boards redirected here. HeroQuest is a different beast than BRP. Not to mention the excellent 13th Age, which is pure D&D. I have played all three extensively lately and know the difference ;)

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So these forums are basically BRP with HeroQuest/Glorantha sticking its foot in the door, is that fair to say now? I only have vague knowledge about Chaosium games outside of HQ, so I might have missed something.

Are there any other game systems under the Chaosium banner, other than HQ and associated Gloranthan stuff (such as RQ6), that aren't BRP? There are some card games, aren't there? And Chaosium have already announced two upcoming board games from Reiner Knizia (one Gloranthan, another not).

 

 

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So these forums are basically BRP with HeroQuest/Glorantha sticking its foot in the door, is that fair to say now? I only have vague knowledge about Chaosium games outside of HQ, so I might have missed something.

They are a lot more than just "BRP". They encompass a wide range of the BRP family of systems, including many closely related/derived systems such as AEON, Revolution, Gore, Delta Green, OpenQuest, and others - most d100 systems. To me this is what BRP Central has always been about (including related genres and worlds in the context of BRP, such as Glorantha). Most people here mix and match a variety of sources (BRP/d100 related systems and many worlds/backgrounds) for their own personalised version of BRP.

This is why the forums are called BRP Central.

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Right, after having read some more threads here, I can now see the problem. These forums aren't owned by Chaosium...

 

Then Chaosium should get their own forums.

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They are a lot more than just "BRP"...

Thank you, I am understanding this better and better all the time. I hope that you guys can see the problem here for us Glorantha-philes, especially those of us who are into HQ rather than RQ. Our forums have been closed and we've been told to head over here and to make suggestions about how to make things "better". But of course some of us (many of us?) don't know the background of these BRP forums and all the various systems that have spun off from BRP. So it's easy for us to sound like foreign invaders who suddenly want to make everything look right for our own way. I hope that you can see that we're puzzled about finding the best way to fit into something that is totally based around BRP.

 

Edited by Steve

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Lets play nice with our new friends. Yes, BRPcentral is home for a vast network of systems based loosly or strongly on the backbone of BRP. There are some systems here barely related at all. And yes, Steve, it does feel invasive, especially after all the recent changes. BUT hopefully the veterans here will recognize having new faces, perspectives, possible writers, and stimulating conversations is a fine step forward. Things will need tweaked/added/possibly removed and that is what Rick seems to be asking advice for. 

I for one welcome you and your fellow Gloranthians. If for nothing else than to introduce you to the sweet gooey goodness that is Magic World. :)

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I just stumbled across the forum themes (Theme button at the bottom, for those who haven't seen it either). There's already a RuneQuest theme, so adding a Glorantha theme (possibly an HQ one too?) would seem like a trivial way to drastically change the "branding" for those who aren't into BRP games, and other themes would probably help too (e.g. a Cthulhu one). I can't imagine that themes are too hard to set up.

 

Edited by Steve

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I confess, I remain unclear as to what the exact relationship is between Chaosium and the site. What I don't understand is why the WHOLE forum is suddenly "officially" Chaosium's, including the sub-fora for games that Chaosium does not publish, has no commercial stake in and is effectively in direct competition with? How is that going to work going forward?

Specific Official Chaosium fora make sense to me: a Glorantha (all systems, with sub fora for specific rule sets and a rule-agnostic one perhaps); Call of Cthulhu ( with perhaps subdivisions for eras / settings?); and so on for supported Chaosium systems and settings.

More practically and immediately, as mentioned elsewhere the current text editor is awkward to use and needs replacing, or at least a simplified alternative that is more straightforward but minimalist in function making available.

As mentioned up thread a "Q&A" type thread / forum would be a good idea. Might I suggest a sticky thread where blog posts / updates can be posted which is locked so only Chaosioum staff can post, stickied to the top of the forum (whichever seems best!) and each post linking to a NON-stickied "discussion" thread for that post? Makes the announcements easy to search (they are in one thread) and keeps announcements and the discussion they trigger linked but neither clutters up the other. Whether that is best as a single thing (i.e. all announcements) or divided up in to say separate  CoC / Glorantha etc threads I'm not sure - part of the objective I think needs to be making sure its straightforward and easy for efveryone to navigate and understand where stuff will be posted and discussed.

Cheers,

Nick

 

 

 

 

 

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 Thank you for the feedback

I confess, I remain unclear as to what the exact relationship is between Chaosium and the site. What I don't understand is why the WHOLE forum is suddenly "officially" Chaosium's, including the sub-fora for games that Chaosium does not publish, has no commercial stake in and is effectively in direct competition with? How is that going to work going forward?

Specific Official Chaosium fora make sense to me: a Glorantha (all systems, with sub fora for specific rule sets and a rule-agnostic one perhaps); Call of Cthulhu ( with perhaps subdivisions for eras / settings?); and so on for supported Chaosium systems and settings.

Chaosium is a small company with limited time and resources. Trifletraxor (the site owner) made us a very generous offer to use BRP Central as Chaosium's "official" posting place and to work with us on adding topics and such. We don't own these forums. We support these forums, and we want want to do a lot of posting here. We thought we could modify (mainly by adding) a few things here rather than creating "yet another forum" somewhere else. To us, "Basic Roleplaying" involves a whole extended family of games, game worlds, and game companies. If some games or game worlds are "first cousins" or "second cousins" or whatever other analogy you want to use to explain it, we're not fussed. We want to post stuff, have fun discussions, share ideas, provide updates, and answer some questions along the way. If you preferred us to say, "BRP Central is where Chaosium says lots of cool stuff more often than in other forums", instead of "BRP Central (basicroleplaying.org) is the new official online forum for Chaosium" that wouldn't be an issue. The word "Official" wasn't used to mean we intend to enforce rules, limit discussions, or drive away "evil competition"TM. We don't fear other gaming efforts or other game companies. We have no hidden agenda. We see these forums as a hub for having more Chaosium related discussions.

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I confess, I remain unclear as to what the exact relationship is between Chaosium and the site. What I don't understand is why the WHOLE forum is suddenly "officially" Chaosium's, including the sub-fora for games that Chaosium does not publish, has no commercial stake in and is effectively in direct competition with? How is that going to work going forward?

Specific Official Chaosium fora make sense to me: a Glorantha (all systems, with sub fora for specific rule sets and a rule-agnostic one perhaps); Call of Cthulhu ( with perhaps subdivisions for eras / settings?); and so on for supported Chaosium systems and settings.

More practically and immediately, as mentioned elsewhere the current text editor is awkward to use and needs replacing, or at least a simplified alternative that is more straightforward but minimalist in function making available.

As mentioned up thread a "Q&A" type thread / forum would be a good idea. Might I suggest a sticky thread where blog posts / updates can be posted which is locked so only Chaosioum staff can post, stickied to the top of the forum (whichever seems best!) and each post linking to a NON-stickied "discussion" thread for that post? Makes the announcements easy to search (they are in one thread) and keeps announcements and the discussion they trigger linked but neither clutters up the other. Whether that is best as a single thing (i.e. all announcements) or divided up in to say separate  CoC / Glorantha etc threads I'm not sure - part of the objective I think needs to be making sure its straightforward and easy for efveryone to navigate and understand where stuff will be posted and discussed.

Cheers,

Nick

I think this has to do with Rick's statement from a couple of weeks ago. One of the ones where he was responding about lack of communications. 

He stated that there was NO provision in the Chaosium web page software to support forums. This page is the biggest of the BRP oriented forums that I'm aware of, so it makes some sense that Chaosium would form a partnership with Trif.

Now Moon Design shifting their forums over is somewhat less clear. The forums on their page su.... were functional, but certainly not brilliant, so I can see why they might be looking for something better. Embedding them in a well established forum for BRP is certainly something of a "What??" moment though. Perhaps they really are aiming at some point to become Chaos Moon Design Mechanism! ;)

However it works out, I have no problem with it. I like both Glorantha and HQ.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
damn separate code button

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