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Talmek
05-23-2015, 09:53 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been a member of this site for years and I've watched over time as the discussions have waxed and waned, chat rooms swelled and contracted and now I've come to the point where the forums and the chat rooms are all but abandoned. Many, many people were recruited from this site to others due to the drop-off in activity and now it appears that there is (sadly) almost an abandonment of this occurring and I felt obligated to write something in the way of asking the community, or what's left of it, where does this site go from here?

When I first joined this site D&D 3rd edition was the "latest and greatest" in the fantasy roleplaying game genre, and since we've watched 4th edition, Pathfinder, and now 5th edition released and actively played. It's been a long time, all the way around and I'd hate to see this place go down as I've seen so many other websites over the years.

So here it is - What do you as the P&PG leadership see for the future of this site? Should we all begin moving to other sites? Is there any intention of keeping this site active and updated? What help would you need if you were to attempt to breathe new life into this site?

cplmac
05-24-2015, 01:04 PM
Unfortunately it seems that folks wonder off to other sites to be in games or take part in new discussions at them. Have heard in the past that other sites seem to have the same problem with slow times. We may just be at one of those times when folks are busy doing things on other sites, but have seen times before when folks that had been away from P&PG for a while, end up coming back because a game had finished up or the other site started to get slow like this. As we can not force folks to be here all the time, we just have to wait and see if the wander back eventually.

pruttm
05-25-2015, 09:36 PM
Well the chat has been down/crashed for several days or weeks. So that's one major reason there is no one in chat.

nijineko
05-26-2015, 04:01 PM
A site is only as alive as it's membership.

membership only sticks around when there is community, or compelling and useful features.

i believe that our community has caused this site to last much longer than it otherwise would have.

and we can keep it going still longer, so long as the hosting continues.

however, no new features, no active (i.e.: visible to members AND ESPECIALLY non-members) participation from leadership along with active events by members, no new partnerships, no unique support for p&p games in a virtual environment built into the site - or at least provided by the site.... degradation is inevitable.

i see us as having become like the old MU sites, say animemuck or newmoon. they still exist, and people still log in from time to time, but they are no longer the mainstream - and seem fine with that.

do we want to become a backwater where a few friends and friendly enemies hang out? if so, then do nothing.

if not, then we need to put our time and money where our mouths and desires are. we will need to become competitive with other sites such as enworld or rpgnet, and with other products such as roll20 and pcgen, not to mention other shared whiteboard platform. our matchup with obsidian portal was great, but unless we continue to expand (and in what direction, exactly) and grow we will not regain namespace online.

in my view - what we are supposed to be is an online platform for p&p gaming. are we there - we were, but we aren't anymore. gaming continues to change, but we haven't. chat and forums alone isn't enough to make an online pen and paper experience worth sticking around for, even if the community is great. (while some are happy with community, that is not enough for most.)



so, do we want to try? if so, what exactly do we do? what do we want to become? what will make us unique, different, better; worth time and attention from nonmembers?judging from the number of guests i typically see online, there is potential.

Sweeper
05-26-2015, 09:18 PM
Hope the Chat comes back soon. I miss chatting with my buds; it's usually the most I have time for.

Talmek
05-26-2015, 10:04 PM
Chat was an awesome part of the site, and personally it was one of the best inspirational tools I had as a GM. I absolutely miss the folks that used to haunt that room. Further, I believe that it is only the folks that have remained behind here at P&PG instead of moving on to other sites that are keeping this site from becoming a web-cemetery so Nijineko nailed it - loyalty to the site is what has kept it going.

I can tell you that when you type in "Roleplaying Game Forums" in Google you get nothing about P&PG (the website). I cannot recall how I stumbled upon this site back in 2007-2008 but I remember that I discovered it on a search engine.

Some would argue that forums are dated and no longer utilized in favor for Roll20 or some other application; you need only visit a few of the sites that do pop up on a web search to see that's not valid. The internet forum is still heavily utilized by people who want to discuss and play TTRPGs. Additionally, and just as a demonstration of our site's unfortunate fall behind the times - D&D 5th edition has been out (officially) for almost a year, yet no dedicated forum was ever created to stir up conversation about it! From a visitor's perspective it would appear that this site doesn't have any desire to discuss 5th edition (and that may be the case - I don't know that to be true) and since D&D and Pathfinder are your two most popular TTRPGs on the market currently we may be sending a message that we don't want to talk about it.

I'm perfectly willing to act as a mod if needed, distribute flyers at my FLGS advertising the site, and I am absolutely willing to bring my gaming community over to this site from EnWorld (this is actually in progress - I just don't want to lose all my information in the event that this site were to disappear).

What other ideas does the community at large see that this place needs? Am I all alone in my thinking that we have lost our way?

Daydreaming
05-28-2015, 05:37 AM
Well, I was a paying supporter of the site, at least until that option was removed....
I don't know why they would remove the subscription option if money is needed. :confused:

I'm also willing to advertise the site on some social media formats, etc...

I do know that the appearance of the site could be updated to look more attractive to potential players/GMs. I have some ideas in the graphic design department for that if any of the higher ups care to listen to a noob like me haha.

I know we have people using skype during their games sometimes, but implementing a voice chat server such as mumble or teamspeak for example could be more useful, since skype can be a pain at times, and harder to work with, it's also more personal, so people can sometimes be less inclined to use it. With a voice chat server there could be separate rooms for different games going on, and rooms for hanging out or specific discussions too. They don't cost very much to keep either.

Maybe updating the chat system to something more friendly for p&p could be beneficial as well?

Also, possibly adding character page options that link to the players profile, and giving sub options to post as that character in a way where the characters name or picture can be clicked on, and the user is sent to their character page.

More people are drawn to visuals these days unfortunately, so even though they're more of a written game sort of thing, they need something visual to stimulate them, or being able to chat on voice with others too. I just know from my own experience when trying to introduce p&p gaming to others, they always complain that there isn't anything to look at really.

My favorite GM, Narayan on here, he does a great job. He utilizes maps he's made himself, he draws up simple layouts of battle scenes so we can get a better idea of what's going on, and even creates a wiki page for a lot of things through obsidian portal. Things like that help a lot and keep people interested.

Another idea is a basic paper doll character avatar sort of thing, where there is a base for many different racial types/appearances, and then simple clothing, hair, colors, eyes, etc options to customize them, so that way people could create a simple representation of the character they're playing. A lot of people love to have their character come to life in imagery. I've had numerous people over the years ask me to draw their characters for them, or I've heard them complain about not having pictures made of their characters. It could be a system very similar to the south park character creator, something simple, not in the south park style of course haha.

Anyways it's 2:37am, and I am ranting, and having random ideas and thoughts about how to help the site haha, so if these things have been tried, I apologize. I just want the site to keep going, I really enjoy being able to play on here since it's so hard for me to find groups to play with offline, not to mention transportation and health issues haha.

Matt James
05-28-2015, 08:42 AM
I'm not sure what keeps kicking chat offline. I'll see if I can't get Farcaster to chime in. Life's been extra busy.

hannon.ac
05-29-2015, 10:14 PM
I've been a member of this site for years and I've watched over time as the discussions have waxed and waned, chat rooms swelled and contracted and now I've come to the point where the forums and the chat rooms are all but abandoned. Many, many people were recruited from this site to others due to the drop-off in activity and now it appears that there is (sadly) almost an abandonment of this occurring and I felt obligated to write something in the way of asking the community, or what's left of it, where does this site go from here?


I use to use this site for recruiting.

Then I started having problems. One problem, which was fixed, was that I couldn't post any games that were at a live address, only online games. Apparently something in the coding didn't recognize my address.

The second problem, occurring now, is that I don't get notifications of new games. I had an old player email me wanting me to join his campaign. I looked on the site, and there it was (7 miles from me). No notification.

Maybe other people are or were having similar problems and moved on. Not sure, but I don't see a whole lot of games posted in my area anymore. I tend to check regularly due to the above mentioned issue.

Ivan
06-03-2015, 02:56 AM
Hi Guys,
As a new member here I want to say that I love the place!
Over the last week though the site has been very very slow to load, and what was usually only a couple of guests online at a time, is now something closer to 90. Just wanted to check that your service isn't under attack from goblins or anything :-)
Chat would be great! Let me know when its working :)

Cheers,
Ivan

Ivan
06-03-2015, 03:03 AM
PS: I've just tried on two different computers, both different ISP's, Chrome, Firefox and IE. Very slow load times... approx 3 minutes a page.... help!

jpatterson
06-03-2015, 07:04 PM
You're right. Just now it took me over a minute to load just to read your comment(s). Something seems to be wrong with the server.

Ivan
06-04-2015, 12:16 AM
So glad it wasn't all in my head hehe. Performance is much better today, pages popping open super-quick.
Thanks heaps guys, my sanity can be restored :D

Matt James
06-05-2015, 09:49 AM
I'll let you know if I hear from Farcaster.

Soft Serve
06-29-2015, 06:08 PM
No such progress in chat apparently?

nijineko
06-30-2015, 09:31 AM
i think we should focus on gamer database, personally.

Soft Serve
06-30-2015, 03:03 PM
The LFG / LFP thing we have? Or do you mean just bringing more people here in general?

nijineko
07-01-2015, 12:21 AM
not much point in bringing more people here unless we have something unique/special worth staying for (see previous discussion). i mean we might manage to bring about a third renaissance to pnpg, but our second died out due to the problems we've been discussing before. the first most used feature is the game/player finder, the second was chat. if we are going to be "the goto" support site for pnpg, then we need to adapt and accommodate.

we have a pretty extensive gamer database, i think we should peddle that functionality as a "feature" to other sites. figure out how to integrate our database and functionality as a module in other forum types, enabling us to pool databases of users. it should either be a low cost or free/pay-for-premium structure so that it generates revenue needed to keep our site open. expand out into other countries and languages. brazil and europe have some serious gaming communities, as does japan. i was listening to a broadcast of a CoC game in japanese the other day. quite interesting to hear the spin they put on it.

it was pulled off with obsidian, we should really look into that again. our forums would need to be tweaked a bit to accommodate if it worked out.

Soft Serve
07-01-2015, 11:52 PM
I've actually personally never used it. I've been of the mind that the "in person" games were dying out in favor of play-by-chat. Technology making it relatively easier for people to make games happen with NPC and map generators and not having to work out transportation for folks or feeding a horde of people in your living room every week. But that's just my experience / observation of things. I mean I know people who can find games just by posting a sign-in sheet at local game stores.

I doubt P&PG would make money off the game locator. I think people would just as well find another place to post meet-ups than pay for one that automates the process slightly.

We could be the "go-to" site for anything at this point since right now we're the "go-to" site for people who remember a few years ago when this site had traffic. I think Wizards ceased their "hook a week" thing where they posted adventure hooks sometimes with unique characters and monsters. We could do that. We used to have an "ask a DM" panel right? We know people involved in Aether Con, (I think) there are some game publishers / designers e-mails around here, contests can be hosted, we could host community made games or settings, really there's a lot of options that can be explored alongside the game locator.

I mean to say, I think there's some resources that can be tapped to try again (again.)

pruttm
07-03-2015, 06:20 PM
I just sent farcaster an email about the chat. Maybe he will fix it.

Soft Serve
07-13-2015, 08:15 PM
Anyone mention anything to Matt yet?

jpatterson
07-14-2015, 01:27 PM
Yes he posted in this thread, and I posted about it in the mod forums as well. He said he'd contact Farcaster. *shrug*

Soft Serve
07-15-2015, 03:26 AM
Yes he posted in this thread, and I posted about it in the mod forums as well. He said he'd contact Farcaster. *shrug*

Happy late birthday by the way.

jpatterson
07-15-2015, 07:57 PM
Ha thanks. It was... up to it, it was good. That day - not so good. It happens. A few of us are at a different chat for specifically the chat portion which isn't working here, though the rest of the site seems intact and people still registering and posting and looking and finding groups and players.

Soft Serve
07-15-2015, 10:44 PM
Is it a chatzy room or skype or something?

tireironmike
07-17-2015, 02:18 PM
I came in the hopes of finding someone to Face to Face play. I stayed in the hopes of seeing content. That's what this site lacks...Content.

Things that would keep me around?
1. Home-brewed settings and system hacks.
2. System/setting specific boards. Example a Starwars board within the Sci-fi board.

As of write now, there is not much that's gong to keep me around once I find a group. Once I get a group I'm going to want to get cracking and writing my next game. That will mean me going off to other boards to get ideas (reddit, 4chan, Somethingawful) or go to system specific boards to help me hammer out my setting.

jpatterson
07-17-2015, 07:15 PM
Those are some good ideas and observations, tireironmike.

1. When you say "hacks", do you mean people uploading their own houserules to a game so others can download them?

2. I think people always use many resources, and you can't be truly "loyal" to just one site when it's something requiring wide-ranging variety and creativity. Yes, even if there were good organization and nesting of forums (SW within Sci-Fi), the content is the other thing that's needed - all the great potetion setups are nothing if there's nothing in them. I don't have the ability to reorganize the forums, unfortunately, to even get that part taken care of.

tireironmike
07-20-2015, 09:07 AM
1. When you say "hacks", do you mean people uploading their own houserules to a game so others can download them?

Similar, more like...More like this. (https://rpggeek.com/thread/1139180/hacks-you-want-play) Take a system you like, say NWOD. Add some stat splats, custom Merits and powers. Wrap it around a setting people are familiar and bam...NWOD:Marvel the Marveliing



2. I think people always use many resources, and you can't be truly "loyal" to just one site when it's something requiring wide-ranging variety and creativity. Yes, even if there were good organization and nesting of forums (SW within Sci-Fi), the content is the other thing that's needed - all the great potetion setups are nothing if there's nothing in them. I don't have the ability to reorganize the forums, unfortunately, to even get that part taken care of.

I agree. right now this board needs user generated content to retain it's user base. Which means we need to increase our user base to generate content. It's a catch 22 situation.

Foehunter82
07-22-2015, 03:01 AM
So, you need a way to jumpstart user recruitment.

I haven't been on these forums in a couple of years, by the way. I came back to see if there were any 40K-specific boards. I seem to remember a lot of game-specific boards in the past.

Anyway, I've left these boards and returned on a few occasions already because the people here have been very helpful and friendly in the past. Any time I have had the desire to get involved with tabletop gaming, this has been my go-to forum. I only tend to go elsewhere if I can't find what I'm looking for here. User-generated content is definitely one of the things that I enjoy looking at. I think the gamer database could work, too (some would likely even pay for it, if they find it helpful enough), but you would definitely need more than the database alone to keep people coming back. Otherwise, other sites would just want the database to be an app that they could mod into their own forums, effectively cutting this one out entirely.

That's my opinion, anyway.

nijineko
05-05-2016, 08:36 PM
So what is the admin doing to promote pnpg these days?

Soft Serve
06-02-2016, 12:24 PM
It's been almost a year since I posted in this thread. The only thing that's changed is that the site seems less stable now with


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Appearing at the top of the page. XD It's like we're breaking the Matrix.

Lazarus
06-03-2016, 09:01 PM
Take the BLUE pill! For the love of God, the BLUE PILL!

kirksmithicus
06-07-2016, 12:25 AM
Well the site does need a a little TLC. Things like fixing the chat app, but also things like getting rid of some of the older threads, or archiving them. It would also be nice if the player locator was cleaned up. As there needs to be a time limit on accounts that have been idle. Some of them have been around for years and have long been abandoned. We also might do well to update some of the forums to have sub forums that reflect current gaming interests. I for one have gone back to playing the Moldvay version of Basic D&D, but I hear that some people like the current 5e, yet there is no forum for such.

I am not sure if anything will be sufficient to bring people back given the profusion of game related forums, facebook groups, Google+, blogs, Twitter etc.

Lazarus
06-07-2016, 10:28 AM
I would imagine that many of those abandoned accounts are because the forum owner abandoned the site. The chat function has been down for two years now. Since the owner doesn't care, seems the members are returning the sentiment.

kirksmithicus
06-07-2016, 09:46 PM
Yes, many of them are and were, but many were abandoned long before Farcaster gave up on the site. In fact there were abandoned accounts when I signed up 8 years ago. Well that sucks about chat they should probably just get rid of it then, but as I understand the site has no one who can take care of it.

jpatterson
06-14-2016, 12:49 AM
I've seen this on another site I modded for, if it's the same thing. The admin there was hard pressed to ever actually remove accounts. This served to continually inflate his site's member total, even if the members were long, long gone for years. I'm sorry to see PPG like this, but right now I'm too busy anyways so maybe that's part of what happened, but chat being down and problems with signup and no real adminning also contributed. I appeciate what I found here and the fun I had and the generosity of an RPG I won as a result of runnin a "convention" game here online. Alas.

Soft Serve
06-15-2016, 04:03 AM
There's no right way to say that P&PG is not what it used to be, and it likely won't ever be. Maybe it'd be best if Matt handed the site down to someone and we refocused. Archive most everything, keep the site small for the few people who still pop in, let it grow back to what it was organically.

Cut our losses, cater to the few who still show up, restart.

Matt James
07-20-2016, 10:31 AM
Robert still owns the server and website. I had just come in to attempt to help. Sadly, even my own time has been consumed with work and family.

ShackMaster
07-05-2017, 04:07 AM
This is sad. :( I hope this isn't the end of this forum and community as a whole. It all seems interesting and fun. We may even introduce this kind of gaming to the new generation. Let's not let this community fade out.

ShackMaster
07-10-2017, 02:25 AM
Hmm, I wonder if the admins of the page will ever come back to revive the forum, or did they move to a much-updated website?

Frankie
08-11-2017, 02:35 PM
It's a shame there are so many different RPG Player sites - PPG, EnWorld, Meetup, r/LFG, RPGGeek, FindGamers, etc. If only they could all join forces into a single shared database of LFG & LFP info.

tesral
08-17-2017, 04:03 AM
Last post on the topic, three years ago.

He's dead Jim.

rabkala
08-18-2017, 09:23 PM
I actually thought this site went down for the count a few years ago. I am amazed it still exists. I'm glad I saw an email notification by another player. I moved to FantasyGrounds a couple years ago to play with several players who moved from my area. Hi all.