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Once again, why I do not fear making a post at The Forge

Started by John Wick, September 24, 2002, 04:04:04 PM

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Clinton R. Nixon


Certain people on - and certain people here, and certain people everywhere, for that matter - are ill-tempered and unintelligent and hurt conversation, and trash on others.

I saw what was said about John, and to be honest, I pretty much stopped it there with one good pointy private message.

I'm stopping it here. For the record, is an incredibly valuable resource that's been there long before the Forge. Some horrible people said some horrible things about John, but they aren't the entire site.

John, the thread you started was extremely nice, and means a lot to me. Thank you.
Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games

Marco ...

Isn't academic.

[Edited to remove passive aggressive remark. It sucked and came off badly. Not what I'd intended: Argument on by virtue of sometimes being infantile can also sometimes be more frank. ]

Isn't censored/moderated.

Reflects a lot of people who play the most popular games in the industry--and, more importantly, like them and think they are well suited to their purpose of roleplaying.

It's nicer and smaller than Usenet (man, if you think can get nasty, try freaking usenet).

There are some bright people there.

I've seen some of the best GNS discussions going there.

I've seen some of the best RPG-philosophy discussions going there.

I've never recieved a nasty Private Message on

They've reviewed one of my modules.

They might review my game (something that will likely never happen here).

If I wanted to post a review they would host it.

It's not The Forge--isn't trying to be, and shouldn't be. If had a booth at Gen Con, I wouldn't set up shop there.

But it isn't "a sewer."  It's hotter, faster, and bigger than The Forge (also cruder, coarser, and has lots of jerks like almost everywhere else on the Internet). If you don't like it consider that lots of smart, polite, and respected people do.

Edited to note:
I've found very weak as a game *design* forum--it's trying but, for me, it's been weak.

I posted the essays about fault tolerant game design here and got lots of thoughtful feedback. On it was moved to Ads/Promotion (essentially they saw it as pure advertising).

Unmoderated (and it *is* essenitally unmoderated) forums have a host of problems, all of which has in spades.

Essentially the two are different ( is far more populist, far more mainstream, and often a good deal more honest). None of these are inherently faults or virtues.

Also: Those people who flamed John are morons. It's hard to ignore them--I know. But man, every idiot who posted venom on that thread just made themselves look bad. It said absolutely nothing about John. I found it regretable that it happened at all.

JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland


QuoteSome horrible people said some horrible things about John, but they aren't the entire site.

I agree. I think everyone contributing to the RPGnet bashing here (myself included) was referring to the casual ignorance and hostility present in the MESSAGE BOARDS only. The site itself is very helpful and well run. I don't think anyone here will disagree with that.

QuoteBut it isn't "a sewer." It's hotter, faster, and bigger than The Forge (also cruder, coarser, and has lots of jerks like almost everywhere else on the Internet). If you don't like it consider that lots of smart, polite, and respected people do.

And, yes, there are quite a bit of intelligent people there in addition to the morons. Let's not get in a Forge/RPGnet pissing match. Just to clarify, it is a sewer in the sense that it houses a lot of wasted space in their message boards. Let's call a truce and drop the subject :).

Ron Edwards


Speaking of forum moderation, the Forge is moderated - and above, in this very thread, both moderators have spoken up quite clearly. However, subsequent posters are not listening.

Pigames, in particular - there are several issues I have with your last post, but the only one that matters here is that the topic has been moderated, and further discussion of what kind of sewer, so to speak, is not permitted. It's not your authority to say "let's drop it" when we moderators have already done so. I recognize your dismay at the thread in question, but your desire to get in a last word or whatever is something you need to self-regulate.

People get surprised at how unbending I can be about this stuff. I'll lock this thread upon one more phrase of invective, no matter how it's qualified.



No invective here.

While I am the first person to get in line to declare that censor ship is the most insidious evil that can be allowed to be perpetrated, I'm also the first to get in line to voice my appreciation for moderators who actually moderate in a topical / membership oriented forum.

Skillfull moderation is a very difficult and time consuming task (both reasons why many choose not to do it), but the Forge is one of the best moderated sites I visit.

Unlike EXTREMELY moderated sites (like the Babylon 5 discussion forum) where the moderator actually reads all posts before they get posted and only posts those he wants (including not posting posts if they are similar to others already made) and unlike extremely laxly moderated sites (like or most computer game forums), the Forge has struck a very delicate balance between heavy handed and anything goes.

This is due largely to the efforts of our two moderators, but also largely to the efforts of the now nearly 900 members and 100 - 200 or so active posters to behave in a rational, mature, and responsible manner.  In other adults.

So, thanks to our moderators for moderating.  Thanks to the memberships for being moderate.

Jeffrey Miller

Moderators also can be responsible for the shaping of the nature of the forum without directly censoring anyone.  Hopefully, moderators are both thermometers of public sense as well as leaders within the community.

John Wick

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Oh, and John, I published my game, The Riddle of Steel, largely due to some encouragment you gave me in an email where I wrote "I've got this game, what should I do with it..." I felt dumb for writing it at the time, but it was before I knew about any RPG websites, but I knew I liked L5R, 7th Sea, and especially Orkworld...

Anyway, thanks.

Jake Norwood

Hey! That's cool. That's really cool. Like, the nicest thing you can say to a guy.

Does that mean I get a comp copy? :)

Good luck and take care,
Carpe Deum,


On the moderation issue, and the Forge have very different approaches to moderation each of which I believe function well for the site in which they are used. has a minimal moderation policy, introduced relatively recently.  A thread is pulled or a poster banned only for very narrow reasons.  An irrelevant thread gets moved to the tangency forum, which is for non-rpg related discussions.  A particularly racist or otherwise bigoted thread may get deleted, although often the forum regulars will just make the poster wish they'd  been deleted.  Being banned only happens for repeated posting of items of sheer bigotry, racist rantings for example.

The intent, as far as I understand it, is to be as close to unmoderated as is practical.

Here, the intent appears to me quite different.  The Forge is closely and actively monitored and Ron does not hesitate to close down threads he views as unproductive.  This leads to a politer and more focussed but less free wheeling atmosphere IMO.

The approach works there because the main forum is a general rpg forum.  Anything rpg related goes.  It is a free for all and you have to hold your own.  I like it for that but it does mean sometimes you take a lot of noise with your signal.  

The Forge approach works because this site has a purpose, discussions are focussed and work towards progressing issues or game designs.  Most posters come to the Forge to explore ideas and develop stuff.  The close moderation and tight focus help that.  The same approach would of course be a disaster on, where a thread about which super hero game is coolest is entirely fine because sometimes people just like to chat about which games they like just for the sake of the chatting.

The JW thread was awful, I requested its deletion in fact.  After all, I actually started that thread and I was embarassed by what it had turned into.  Looking back I should have known that would happen but it certainly wasn't my intent.

So, John, sorry about my part in creating the thread where you got quite brutally flamed in my view without reason.  Hope things are cool where you are and life is good.

As to the two sites, they have different purposes and goals.  I post pretty much every day at and am almost never flamed (ironically the JW thread was one of the few where I was), it can be a bear pit but I find a lot of those who find it so bring their own bears.  

Of course, there are also some assholes with hobbyhorses who piss all over certain threads.  Any regular dreads certain topics arising because we all know that the same posters as last time will make the same egregious flames.  So it goes, it's a price you pay for the freewheeling atmosphere.

On a last note, I'd like to see Gaming Outpost back on its feet though I doubt we'll see that now. and the Forge are both cool IMO but a third site would do the hobby no harm at all.
AKA max