Setting Up Your New Game Forum
Being organized as a GM is key to saving time and being productive. Though each GM and game will have different needs, setting up your forum efficiently will help keep navigation clicks to a minimum for players and GM's. If you are unsure how to create your game, please see Starting a New Game At MW.
The Main Threadgroup
- OOC Thread
This thread is for players and readers to interact OOC (Out of Character). It might have to do with a specific game question, or it might have to do with someone telling the group they need a a leave of absence, or it might just have to do with some personal news like someone telling about how they got a new video game or otherwise. The point of this thread is to keep your adventure threads free of a lot of unnecessary tangents and chatter.
- House Rules
House rules are any modifications to the game system standard ruleset that you are using. This list will likely grow alongside the game to accommodate new circumstances that crop up. List all house rules in this thread if you have them. If you don't have any yet, you will likely adopt some over the span of a long game.
- GM Notes (GM only private thread)
Keep all of your notes handy in the main thread group. This can be plans or ideas or just things you want to remember. Although you can always go back and check the records of the game, as your game grows, having your own thread to edit becomes an increasingly more attractive option that tracking down which thread and which page a particular series of posts is on.
- IC Thread
Keep the current active IC (In Character, or adventure) thread in the main threadgroup. It is recommended you number your adventure threads for the purpose of archive keeping or use some other system (Book 1: Act 1: Scene 1) so that readers and potential new players can easily navigate through the old story.
- Locations and NPCs
Keeping public notes of major NPCs and locations in your world - as one or many threads - will help both you and the players remember who is who and what is what. This is especially important when the world is homebrew. Once such threads become long enough that they're just as difficult to wade through as the game threads, consider moving your game information to a wiki if you have not already. Use spoiler tags if you have large chunks of information and images for multiple entries.
Sometimes referred to as 'folders', subordinate threadgroups (hereafter referred to just as 'threadgroups') are the second tier of organization for a game forum. All threadgroups in a game forum are listed on the lefthand side of the page. Threadgroups are useful places to keep threads not used all the time, or grouped together by purpose. Most game forums need only two threadgroups: Archive and Characters.
Whenever you stop using a thread, close it and move it to the Archive subgroup. Closing it prevents further player posting in the thread. Moving it gets it out of the way while still keeping it accessible for future reference.
To minimize PM communication between players and GMs, it's helpful to give each player a private thread. Such threads, which are easiest to manage when kept together in a threadgroup, are used for character specific mechanical issues, the digital version of passing notes to the GM, awarding experience or other rewards, and other concerns the player or GM might not want to discuss publicly with the entire group.
You may find that adding other threadgroups or types of threads are appropriate for your GMing style, so feel free to add them as needed, though this will cover the basics of most any game.
For a full live example of this article, please go HERE, however, it is recommended that you have read the full article first.