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Messages - Hibou

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News / We're Live!
« on: February 09, 2020, 11:35:31 AM »
Hello everyone,

This'll be a shorter post than the one in the Discord, but the site is available now for posting. If you're here wondering about how you can get your old account back, ping me and I'll grab you the random one that's been generated. The site is still a work in progress, so please let us know if you encounter any issues!

News / Discord Access
« on: February 08, 2020, 09:48:46 AM »
Hello everyone,

Just a reminder that we have a Discord chat available to discuss things live (and play chat-based game sessions). Here's an invite link (ping me if it doesn't work):

News (Archived) / Preparing to Move
« on: May 27, 2019, 09:04:34 PM »
Hi everyone,

For all of you who have been patiently awaiting some sort of news about the CBG's future, this will be a long-overdue announcement. After a long period of discussing and trying out a few things (interlaced with banter and truly epic discussions on the Discord server), we've decided that we are in fact going to build a new forum to let us continue to operate with more-or-less the same format, rather than try and transition to something such as a sub-Reddit. Here's what this means:

  • We'll be locking down the current forums shortly into read-only mode, to avoid missing new work that might get posted, and to avoid accidentally destroying the data.
  • The plan is to transfer as much of the existing content as possible. In a best-case scenario this means that we'll get a mostly-seamless transfer of the content to an updated forum that you'll be able to log into like normal and continue posting. Worst-case scenario, we end up having to lock down the old forum as an archive for reference, but you'll have to restart/rebuild any threads for settings etc.
  • Nomadic and I are going to generate some backups and see what things look like after working through the data. Once we've determined which of the above scenarios has come to pass, I'll open up the new site and help people start signing up/logging in (I'll make sure anyone who requests it has their account reserved, too).

In the meantime, you can find us on Discord (use that link to be invited; you'll need sparkletwist or I to add you to the Members group there to see channels other than #general-chat). If you have any questions, ping us there or email me at tvgamblin @ gmail . com.


Homebrews (Archived) / Re: Great Lakes Earth Map
« on: September 01, 2018, 11:01:51 PM »
I've modified your post to put your map inside a spoiler, since it's too big and causes issues with viewing the thread. Anyone who wants to view the full map and still has trouble should open the spoiler button and then right click the image, followed by clicking "View Image". Please keep large images contained inside of a [ spoiler= imagename ] [/spoiler] (remove the spaces) tag combination or provide links instead of directly posting them if they won't fit the width of the post.

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: September 01, 2018, 04:23:55 PM »
Quote from: sparkletwist
There are already sub chat rooms, but we have to specifically add you to the "Members" group to see them just in case we get spammers or trolls or something. So make an actual username and come join us :D

Yeah, and to add to this, the plan I had in mind is that we'd control the creation of new chat rooms and do it on the basis of games being run, rather than actual settings.

Someone popped into the chat on Thursday or Friday evening and voiced some concerns to me, but I'm not sure who it was, so I'll post generic responses to them here:

  • You can freely change your nickname regardless of what your actual login account is, and it should remain persistent once you do - no worries about an account having a weird or random identifier in it.
  • I try to be available most of the time, but we've all got different schedules and conversations come and go. Much like the existing forum, people will respond to comments that they see when they log on or bring up new topics, and we have multiple chat rooms (with the option to create more) to span different kinds of conversations.
  • Discord was originally built for gaming chat use, so it has some built-in features that allow you to broadcast to your friends/fellow chat members what games you are playing. This is not enabled by default - you actually need to link any gaming service accounts to your Discord account for it to do this
  • We've had a pretty great turnout so far. Lots of interesting conversation on systems, setting concepts, and off-topic stuff. Hope to see more of our people join us soon.

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 28, 2018, 06:24:13 PM »
Some updates:

Working on some core functionality for the Discord bot (dice for now; other stuff depending on what comes to mind and what people suggest).

Still evaluating our new hosting. Mixed feelings so far, but there is work left to do - especially on my part, as up until now sparkletwist has done most of the looking - before we decide if it's the right fit.

Some great conversations happening over the last couple of weeks, and some cool collections posted in the #inspirational-art and #inspirational-music chats.

If anyone hasn't had a chance to check out the new chat yet, make sure to join us using the link that sparkletwist provided in the Tavern.

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 22, 2018, 07:16:01 PM »
So we're moving to some Wordpress hosting. Building the new site will begin soon. Just a short update, wanted to let everyone know we're still chugging forward :)

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 18, 2018, 07:41:13 PM »
Quote from: Mason
Hi guys.
 Infrequent poster here. I've enjoyed reading all of your creations over the years and sharing a few of my own things. I will miss the cbg in its current form (something about the old-internet design is nostalgic) but also looking forward to what comes next. It's weird how this site has drawn me back again and again, like a coffee shop or bookstore that is amazing (but somehow nobody knows about?) just to browse, read and relax. Thank you all for the content you have shared over the years. You're all brilliant, hope to see you on discord or wherever the cbg ends up :)

EDIT: Thoughts on reddit. I shamelessly plunder the DND subreddit, some of the content there is invaluable coming from gamers with 30-40+ years of DM experience. While most of the content from reddit seems to prescribe to the 'consume-throwaway' endless feed syndrome, there are some really amazing posts to be found. However, I feel that there are already dozens of subreddits that do one aspect of the CBG already, mapmaking, worldbuilding, GMing etc. I'm not sure a CBG subreddit could sustain numbers without regular contests/content/quality posts, which so many other gaming related subreddits already do.

The CBG wants to encapsulate all of the moving gears of campaign construction in one place (which is wonderful) while pushing for discussion on each of these topics. I am not familiar with Discord, but it seems like most of the activity here has been through the shoutbox lately with links to new posts sprinkled through out. I think it is the discussion about gaming in general that is invaluable in this community as some of the insights to worldbuilding and campaign construction are some of the most thoughtful and genuine reactions to be found.

That's all I've got haha.

Yeah, that is a fair point, and it was the counter-argument to the (semi-fallacious argument) that Reddit would make it easier for us to advertise.

At this point I think we've decided to avoid a transition to Reddit - we'll be doing some sort of new website - but let me iron out all of the details before I spout random details too much. The Discord is going pretty well so far!

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 17, 2018, 05:27:14 PM »
Quote from: LD
That sounds reasonable! Reddit obviously has failings as a true message board, but I cannot think of anything much better outside of actual forums with free hosting other than Proboards.  (single login for all proboard forums) AND ; have you already considered those options?

Thanks for making me aware of these, I didn't know about them. That definitely widens our options :)

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 17, 2018, 07:26:41 AM »
I guess now is a good time to provide an unofficial update - sparkletwist and I have been talking almost every night since the original post, discussing pro's and con's of each option, and most importantly how to make the right transition without a frustrating failure (e.g. bad launch or trying to use too many services).

We've still got some decisions to make, but the possibility of a new site made with Wordpress and hooks for both the Discord, and for users to log in using credentials from other platforms such as Reddit (only if you want to) is becoming a bit of a frontrunner. The leading argument against Reddit is that our niche almost requires the ability to post the content and the discussion in the same place - which to be fair can be done on Reddit too, but maybe not as cleanly. Either platform will offer one of the other key features I'm concerned about, which is better mobile support.

Stay tuned, and hop into the Discord in the evenings if you want to talk live - we're usually around :).

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 15, 2018, 07:46:58 PM »
So sparkletwist has set up a preliminary Discord. The invite is here. I encourage anyone who is interested to come join us, although if it's during the day when you first log on keep in mind we might not be around, and thus might not be able to give you chat permissions (sparkletwist made it relatively strict so that you can only talk in #general-chat if you haven't been whitelisted).

This is an opportunity to see where we're going with the chat moving forward. I think we're making progress on what we want to do, and this is likely it for live chat. Please come and tell us what you think!

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 14, 2018, 06:45:50 PM »
Quote from: Steerpike
Quote from: Hoers
To answer your first question, I think it's chiefly time, but also the lack of an influx of new people to participate as others become busier. It's fair to ask if we need to do a bit of soul-searching as to what it is that we are supposed to be at this point; this is especially true if we move to Reddit for example and find ourselves bumping up against r/worldbuilding.

Personally I see us as a kind of social club for a specific community of world-builders and roleplayers, rather than an organization with a unique purpose or mission. Sort of like the Bloomsbury Group or the Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen but on the internet. So it's not like the kind of activity we do is really unique - lots of people make roleplaying content - but we make specific stuff that's often really cool, and which has some interesting commonalities (a focus on very detailed settings/mileus).

Yeah, that is an accurate comparison I think. We've spent enough time together that I think we've developed a nice collective approach to the questions that come up, and newer folk who join us generally fit in well. It might not be appropriate to use the term "aging out", but maybe "aging absent" is a good way  to describe what inevitably happens. Doing so is fine, too - one could argue that what we do here isn't entirely unlike the tradition of generational storytelling - but again that speaks to my desire to ensure we continue to grow (if slowly).

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 14, 2018, 07:56:24 AM »
Quote from: LD
Thank you for the thoughtful explanation and exposition, Hoers!

Also, thank you for the explanation of Discord- had thought it was primarily a voice program; good to know it's more like IRC+sometimes voice.

As a related point- what is the way for the CBG to grow? Not much is happening now obviously. Things that have happened include the following:

1-Play by Post games (traditional RPG, and things like Republic Reborn and Underdeep)
2-Settings (on forums and on the wiki)
3-Collaborative World Building (on forums and on the wiki)
4-IRC games (and rules information and organization for same)
5-CBG Magazine
7-Advice/Questions about world building/settings
8-Everything Else (Off Topic, etc.)

So I guess there are at least two questions from that.

1. Why aren't we doing any of that? Time? the Creators/People running things stopped doing it? Or there weren't enough participants? Or People just have different interests in their lives? If the community is dead in some aspects of its interests, then is it worthwhile to preserve anything except that which interests the people who are putting the time into preservation (e.g. what interests Sparkletwist, Hoers, Nomadic...)

2. What of the above options would we continue to use in the future that could sustain the existing community (and maybe grow it)?

It's just my guess, but assuming no additional people join the site, I think "we" might still continue the following which are unique to this community, so whatever is chosen to go forward should focus on a format that promotes the following:
1. Off Topic Discussions Real time in IRC/etc. Chit Chat
2. Occasional Live games.
3. Occasional Play by Post Game (If there is a motivated organizer and a good topic).
4. Maybe a wiki/blog by someone or a collaborative worldbuilding blog (like Steerpike's Blog (individual) or collaborative projects (like on the wiki)).

As to fulfilling those goals... maybe:
1. Reddit (static) or Discord (live)
2. Discord or Roll20
3. Reddit??? Can Discord save multiple sessions like a forum to function for play by post?
4. Blogspot, other free Blog hosting software that is linked from the site (maybe the landing site could have a RSS feed from that blog)?
5. Archive for the older things.

Best case would be maybe the site act as a landing page with live "feeds" with events and other items that automatically update, e.g. "grab" metadata from one of the other free options- so no one has to manually update things? Not sure how feasible that would be, but it would certainly be financially better to outsource the hosting of most data to the free sites.

To answer your first question, I think it's chiefly time, but also the lack of an influx of new people to participate as others become busier. It's fair to ask if we need to do a bit of soul-searching as to what it is that we are supposed to be at this point; this is especially true if we move to Reddit for example and find ourselves bumping up against r/worldbuilding. I think we're a more focused community with a narrower goal of facilitating and building the campaign as a whole, whereas subreddits like that are more of a "critique my random thing" forum (which we have done to some degree as well). I think the equivalent of the "Campaign Elements and Design" subforum has been our strong suit for a long time, even if our Homebrew subforum is as busy or busier.

As for question two, I think your list is a great one. It'd be nice to have a place to openly host all of the major settings, and that's what we're looking into (sparkletwist and I were experimenting just last night with using "flair/tags" in the test subreddit we created to see how that'd sort, and we're considering retaining a wiki regardless). That being said, I wonder if we were to condense what the community is right now if we wouldn't be able to justify something else, like people hosting their content on free cloud services (Google Drive, the Microsoft equivalent, hell even GitHub - I've used it) and linking them in the sidebar or a sticky post. Such a system would be easy enough; what I'd do in theory is create a list of everyone's settings with links (if you were around when the CBG started on the WotC forums, this'll sound familiar). The only difference is that the content might be off-site - but again, whether that's at a wiki we host or individual accounts elsewhere remains to be seen.

I'm not sure yet what the extent of Discord's logging is. I know that Slack only stores the last 10,000 messages (or something like that) unless you buy a premium subscription, so if we moved there we'd do that. I think the Discord/Slack train of thought may end up being better suited to a replacement for the IRC chat and shoutbox. This is a key component either way though, because as we've collectively alluded to a few times already, having multiple games running is important to jumpstarting activity here.

Quote from: Steerpike
Quote from: LD
Why aren't we doing any of that? Time? the Creators/People running things stopped doing it? Or there weren't enough participants? Or People just have different interests in their lives? If the community is dead in some aspects of its interests, then is it worthwhile to preserve anything except that which interests the people who are putting the time into preservation (e.g. what interests Sparkletwist, Hoers, Nomadic...)

I suspect that a lot of us got started on the site in our teens and early twenties and are now in our late twenties or thirties or older, and so free time has ebbed as careers and personal lives developed (I was 20 when I first joined, am 30 now).

Moving to Reddit might well provide at least a gentle bump in membership, and we could build some presence in the bigger D&D/RPG subreddits. A couple of my posts in those subreddits have garnered in the region of 15,000+ views, and those numbers aren't all that unusual, so there's definitely an active rpg community. D&D is going through something of a renaissance for a bunch of reasons.

I do feel like maybe as a community the CBG should do something to mark the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. If we get a Discord, it might be cool to have an inaugural voice chat. I have often been curious as to what everyone sounds like.

More or less - as an anecdote, when I started posting here I was hammering out angsty content for the setting known as Vilydunn, then Haveneast, then a sci-fi one, and a bunch of offshoots and system concepts, but I'm 30 now, engaged, and pursuing a master's as well as working full-time, so if even a portion of us are taking similar paths then you're on the money as to what's happened. That's not a bad thing per se, but without the influx of new players who might have more time to inspire and encourage new posts and games, it's up to a dwindling number of people to keep things busy.

You're thinking what I'm thinking Steerpike. Reddit still isn't our choice of platform yet, but I think there we'd be in a good position as a quiet complement to r/worldbuilding and the related subs - the Saturn to its Jupiter, or something like that. There'd be a lot of opportunity to gain members via people who've found them and felt the subreddit was a bit too chaotic and unstructured (i.e. the reason I'd never suggest we actually migrate to their sub). Plus, we could always arrange cool Q&As and other activities with subreddits that could have a lot of useful information for our campaign builders, like r/AskHistorians and r/AskAnthropology.

I'm always down to chat. clomp comp whinny

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 13, 2018, 07:09:40 PM »
Quote from: LoA
Eh I don't know how I feel about Reddit. I don't like the idea of being open to everyone like that. I know this site is on its legs and all, but I like how cozy it is. I like the smallness of this community. I never want to be on another format with thousands of subscribers.

That's essentially what it is now, though; you just don't see new registrations anymore. If you look at the Members list, there are about 660 registered accounts, hardly any of which actually posted a significant amount. We have the same administrator abilities at Reddit (or similar platforms) as we do here (there's actually arguably more because we can see users' post history and even implement an approved posters list if we had to).

Furthermore, a major part of the reason why we even want to move is because it's difficult to justify maintaining the website in its technologically-outdated form, for the monthly cost, given the low user base. Frankly I'd like to see it return to the 2010-2012 period, where there were 2-3 active campaigns at any one time, and I'm pretty confident that the best way to do that is to tie it into a more modern platform with better tools for users to get the word out. I don't think having to deal with thousands of users is a real issue.

sparkletwist and I are working on a demo subreddit that we may be able to show off soon, so that everyone can get a first look at how such a transition might function. I'll use some of my old Haveneast stuff to fill a post or something as a better example for a long thread.

News (Archived) / Re: The Future of the CBG
« on: August 13, 2018, 10:13:55 AM »
Quote from: Kalos Mer
Dormant member that I am, I won't venture to vote on what the community does next.  I will say I'm sad, in general, about the decline of the traditional forum, as I believe its format had some unique charms and advantages that more modern modes lack.  My own heyday was in the 2004-2006 era on the old Wizards board and here, and I can't imagine doing the kind of stuff I did then (5,000 word posts on, I dunno, orc religious rituals) on Reddit.  That said, long content posts don't do a bit of good if there isn't an active community to read them - so if change is necessary to stabilize and grow that community, it's probably for the best.  I'll follow wherever you go, and try to be a little more active than I have been in the past decade.

What is the timeframe proposed for shuttering and archiving the old site and moving to a new one?  I ask because I want to personally archive my material that's on the site but I'll be travelling for a wedding (mine) for the next week.  Should I pencil in time to do my archiving tonight before I fly out, or will the board as it is still be here in a couple weeks?

I don't see us making a move for 2-3 months, and there will be a transition period where both sites are up simultaneously. No worries there :)

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