Do we have a Discord channel for this group? Any interest in starting one?
We don't as of yet. But Talanall and I were just discussing this idea the other day. It's a thing that will very likely happen in the very near future.
I back this idea.
I'm happy to send out invites to mine if folks want to hop in there.
What would this be for? Would the games be moved from forums to this app? Other than that I don't think I would have much interest...
Potentially. There's no reason why Discord couldn't be used to host a PbP game.
The software underlying this forum is fairly antiquated, and Fixxxer and I have talked several times about what to do about that. Probably, what will happen is that we keep the non-forum portion of this site as it is now but migrate the forums to a more modern software. But one of the amenities that really facilitates PbP-style gaming is the availability of a dicebot, so whatever is the final solution to this conundrum will need to provide for that; there used to be several different sites that provided a third-party dice service, but most have been shuttered. That's one of the reasons why we have a dicebot of our own.
Ideally, we'd also have some kind of e-mail subscription service, which we would use to keep people updated on movement in the games here. That's harder to arrange.
Discord isn't a perfect alternative, but it does have the benefit of pushing almost all of the IT maintenance off onto professionals, which is a decided upgrade from our current arrangement, which consists of "Whatever maintenance Talanall has the time and inclination to provide."
Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold
Discord would also provide a real-time medium for people who were interested in running a remote game in a non-PbP manner, or for people who are running a PbP game, but happen to have everyone's attention at the same time and would like to use that time to quicker effect. Talanall has a regular weekly D&D game this way already, and I'd wager that some of our other personalities do so as well.
I'm loathe to completely abandon the forum PbP medium altogether because it does provide a neat way to play games in a very passive way, allowing us to check in when we can and only requiring a moment or two away from whatever else is happening in our lives. But if it becomes the only option aside from constantly having to shut off features and users getting errors while trying to post, then so be it.
I do agree with Fixxxer's concerns that moving to discord would likely change the nature of the community on this forum. Discord is a faster medium than a forum, and that has advantages and disadvantages. That said, since the pandemic began, I've run and played in several games over discord, using both text and voice channels, and I've found it to be very easy to use. I'd hope to view it as a supplement to this forum, not a replacement, although from what Fixxxer and Talanall are saying it sounds like maintaining a forum is a lot of busywork.
That's primarily been Talanall's labor of love for a while now. But we can all see the effects of entropy. BBcode has been shut off. The "new post" link works about as well as "That Guy" at the office. We all get random errors here and there when trying to post. Talanall has done a great job and been a real trooper about things, given that it's not paid work and no jackbooted thug is horsewhipping him into going faster.
......outside of Fixxxer's private-time fantasies, anyway.
Maintaining a forum usually is not much work, but the software this one is running on is old, and the open-source community that used to support the components that make it work has moved on to newer stuff. So things go wrong, and unless I can puzzle through it on the strength of my own not-very-good programming chops, it's hard to get support in order to put them right again.
And all of that sort of thing depends on my having the time and energy to put into it; for reasons why that can be a losing bet, see my recent post history about events on the Gulf Coast. At present, I'm barely a functional person; if the Archive's underlying software took a dive into the shitter tomorrow, I doubt I'd have the intellectual or emotional currency to do anything about it.
Functionally speaking, there isn't a great deal of difference between running a PbP game on a forum and running one on Discord; you set up a dicebot, people upload and link images as needed to deal with maps, and it works in basically the same way.
It seems like a no-brainer, and I already have a Discord account. It sounds like there is no immediate plan to shut the forums down altogether, which is good, but if that changes I would like a bit of advance notice to get my 2EE affairs in order. I actually think the best plan moving forward, if the decision is made to migrate all current forum activity to a Discord server, is for me to upload my campaign-specific material to the D&D Archive itself (the website, not the attached message boards) for posterity. It seems like the kind of stuff we currently relegate to stickied posts would quickly get lost in the shuffle on a Discord server.
"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken
You can pin messages in Discord - I'm running two games on my Discord server right now and it's pretty easy to keep track of where things are.
So did we get one?
It's in the works. At present, I'm more focused on dealing with website issues.
We've got a discord server setup for PbP for some of my friends who used to play in person 20 years ago before we separated ways. Just for something in case we crash, let me get the channel invite so we can have a place in the meantime.
We've set up a channel for the archive. Anyone can join the server in the Dnd archive channel, here: https://discord.gg/MuD75BqNrb
I'll post it in more places to make sure everyone can gather over there in the event of a shutdown.