RPGnet is a role-playing game website. It includes sections on wargames, tabletop games and video games, as well as columns on gaming topics.[1]

Forum for tabletop role-playing games

A screenshot of RPGnet home page on November 18, 2018
Type of site
Available in English
Owner Skotos Tech, Inc.
Commercial Yes
Launched September 1, 1996; 25 years ago (1996-09-01)
Current status Active

RPGnet was founded in 1996 by Emma and Sandy Antunes, Shawn Althouse (aka etrigan) and Brian David Phillips, as a way to unify a number of transient game sites.[2] In 2001 it was purchased by Skotos Tech, but maintains creative and editorial autonomy. Currently it is being run by Shannon Appelcline of Skotos, while a number of volunteer moderators and administrators help maintain the forums.[relevant?]

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Originally based on Matt’s WWWBoard script, the 1997 RPGnet forums were formatted in earlier message boards‘ threaded style, being mostly dedicated to game design and industry news. With the change to vBulletin on 2002, new sections catering to the growing player and enthusiast user bases were added. The boards used vBulletin for the next sixteen years, until November, 2018, when they were migrated to the XenForo 2 software package.

Over time, the RPGnet forums have grown to encompass a broad range of subjects related to gaming and modern media. Tabletop Roleplaying Open, the general game discussion forum, has the most posts per day. There are also video games, play-by-post and board games forums, a section dedicated to game design, publishing and brainstorming in general, while the Other Media covers television, comic books, movies and books. The site also hosts small forums for photography, parenting, and other specific interests.

Like most large forums, RPGnet has developed numerous in-jokes, taglines, and recurring flame wars. Many game writers, artists, and designers post. Content and conduct rules are enforced by moderators, who “can do what they feel is necessary in their best judgment to promote the well-being of the forums,” even going beyond any written rules, “in order to keep the forums friendly and welcoming.”[3] A list of sanctions and bans on users assessed by the moderators is available for public view.[4] RPGnet policies have occasionally been referenced by other platforms and forums[5] when drawing their own policies.

A wide range of tastes are present on the forums. Smaller niche and indie role-playing games are particularly well represented and the latest releases often generate a great deal of discussion. Threads on Dungeons & Dragons, World of Darkness, GURPS and other popular systems are fairly common. Exalted is known for generating a particularly large number of discussion threads.

Other websites will excerpt or reference forum posts that (much as with the Fark PhotoShop contests) have lasting value, such as ZenDesign excerpting WoW-erizing movie quotes and From the Shop Floor borrowing from the Demotivators thread.

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