Establishing Culture---Part II: Let's try this again, and better

Your feedback, positive or negative, but constructive, is always welcome as a direct message or a comment to this post. I take it to heart and incorporate it when I agree with it. This post is a result of the direct feedback of many users.

TL;DR if you have little time

I’ve heard the feedback that I’ve received in private and public and after consideration I agree with a lot of it. The post quality is great, and that’s a win in my book. However, the provisions in the Part I post were an overreaction and a mistake, and I’m fully replacing them with the following.

Behavioral principles:

  • Always read posts charitably, never escalate, flag the post if suspicious.
  • Do not call out or shame other users in public. If you have a problem with another user, flag the post or solve it privately.
  • If you have influence acquired elsewhere, you’ll be held to a higher standard of responsibility in how you post, so that you’re not interpreted as trying to influence the forum culture to your liking—it can be damaging even if you don’t mean it.


  • Quality over quantity.
  • Self-reflection over showcase. Challenging each other, including me, is important.
  • No limit on type of play you’re allowed to discuss, but I’m going to clarify the forum agenda. More information on this will be shared soon.

Pledges on my side:

  • No zero-tolerance policies.
  • No account wipes uless by request of the user.
  • Action against users whose behaviour I find inappropriate will be progressive: first warnings, then silences, then suspensions.
  • No permanent bans without previous action.

Previous action that I softened:

Account sign-ups are also open to the public again.


A more thorough explanation of my thought process, why I took the previous action, and how I plan to move forward, is available in the collapsed main post below. I’ve tried to structure it so all of the important info is in the TL;DR, and you can only read the sections below that you care about.

If you’re new here, you likely won’t need to read this.

The Long Version (Click to Expand)

Let’s try this again, and better

The provisions in the Part I post regarding this topic are nullified and replaced by this post. I’ve unlisted Part I, to prevent new users from being overwhelmed by outdated information, but it’s not an attempt at removing things from the record. It won’t be moved to Hidden/Off-Topic and it will still be accessible to the public through the link above.

So, I’ve received a mixture of negative and positive feedback about the space in the last few days. The positive is mostly about the quality of posts and the types of discussions that are being fostered—that’s a big victory for me and I want to thank everyone who’s been posting. The negatives generally regard the suspensions I dispensed last week and the lack of understanding of the reasoning behind them.

I’ve agreed with most of the people who gave me feedback that the suspensions last week were an overreaction and a mistake on my part, as well as the provisions in the Part I post—I will only stand behind Brand’s suspension, which I think was warranted. The softening of these actions is explained in the TL;DR of this post at the beginning.

I’ve come to understand that a number of people are concerned with me acting on whim and banning people for dubious or difficult to understand reasons, which had a chilling effect on posting, which is not at all what I intended. Generally, I want to make this place accessible to anyone that shares its goals. So if those feelings are present, I’ve obviously make a gross mistake in communicating my intentions, which I’m attempting to fix with this post.

To be clear, my reaction last week is not an example of how I plan to administrate Wynwerod moving forward, and as well not how I’ve managed La Locanda for three years. Many of the Italian users understand this, because they know and trust me—but understandably some of you do not.

I also hope this process acts as a demonstration of the culture of trust and open feedback that I want to foster in this place—more on that later.

Provisions on behaviour and content

I’d like to repeat, partially reworded, a few of the provisions I already established in Part I—the ones that were actually good.

  • Quality and thoughtfulness should come before chatting and immediacy. Your discussions shouldn’t be self-serving, but also act as an archive to others that are interested in the same topic.

  • I’m not looking for you to showcase your play to others, but to share your experiences to invite self-reflection spurred by the other users’ questions and challenges. Challenging each other, including me, should be normal and not taken as an attack.

  • As said in the guidelines, natively English-speaking users should not immediately assume that because the de-facto main language of this forum is English that their cultural assumptions about what tone is acceptable are automatically true. Talking in an international environment requires a lot of charitable reading.

  • If you are upset by another user’s post, you are never to escalate. Either reach out to the user in private, or flag the post and I’ll intervene. If the user has made a mistake, I’ll ask them to amend their post and apologise if necessary.

  • Don’t use the handshake button on posts that are needlessly debating, inflammatory, or escalating. If I take action against the user who made the post, I may decide to take a small proportion of that action on anyone that used the handshake button on it—no individual exceptions, either everyone gets it or no-one.

  • If you have influence acquired elsewhere, you’ll be held to a higher standard of responsibility in how you post, so that you’re not interpreted as trying to influence the forum culture to your liking—it can be damaging even if you don’t mean it.

Pledges and guarantees

I’ve said above that I recognise my strong reaction has created a chilling effect in some posters, who fear being banned permanently for difficult to understand reasons. Posting on a forum requires investment of time and effort, and it’s right to recognise the right of users for that investment not to be lost on my whim.

Therefore, I’m making the following pledges:

  • I won’t institute any zero-tolerance policies. Whatever you do that irks me, there will be private reaching out, clarification, and warnings first.
  • I’ll take action against users progressively: first warnings, then silences, then suspensions.
  • I won’t wipe any account information unless requested by the user.
  • I won’t dish out permanent suspensions without a history of previous action against the user.

This is not really hard for me to do, as this is how I do things on La Locanda—I haven’t banned anyone there, yet. But obviously, given last week’s events, some of you might want this on paper, and here it is.

I will reserve the right to permanently ban in cases where really grave things have happened, where I don’t see any ability to rectify things with the user. In case this happens, I expect you to hold me to this high standard.

Trust-based instead of rules-based

I’d like to point out with these two points of the Posting Guidelines which will look weird to anyone used to traditional forum management:

  • This place doesn’t have rules and never will. On almost all forums, rules are applied arbitrarily. The result is that the enforcement of rules is actually the result of a personal relationship between user and staff. I prefer not to hide behind rules and committees and flaunt false objectivity – when you post here, you interact with me directly.

I’ve had a couple of users reach out and tell me that the way I administer the site seems subjective. It’s because it is, by design. A traditional forum here would have a moderator committee that would make decisions behind closed doors, and then issue formal statements in a neutral voice. I find this just gives the illusion of objectivity, without providing any. I prefer to be transparent with the fact that I will use my best judgement when administering the forum, and my biases and blind spots will come into play.

This is balanced by the second point:

  • Almost all decisions and discussions regarding forum organization and moderation actions are made in public and are subject to user comments and criticism – in fact, I am fallible and I will need and expect your feedback. In the rare occasion in which I’ll need for circumstantial reasons to keep a discussion private, I’ll post a summary later, anonymising people’s names and identifiable details.

I’m fallible and I’ll make mistakes—I expect that users will hold me to certain standards and let me know when they think I’m wrong. I’d like to create a culture of open feedback, where the way I manage the forum is openly discussed. I am very serious about this, and it’s not just for show. The various feedback I’ve received as the result of the Part I post, and my open acknowledgement of it in that thread and as part of this post, should act as an example of what that looks like.

These two things also mean trust is a currency here. If I trust you and know you, I’ll know you’re probably in good faith, and that’ll affect the way I interact with you. But it goes both ways—you need to trust me as well, and I hope this post is a first step towards building that environment of mutual trust.

Addessing last week’s incident more in detail

I would like to explain my thought process and how I arrived at that point of overreaction, not as an excuse, but so you can understand how I think, in the hope that it leads to higher trust through understanding.

My way of running forums is very unconventional, as I’ve explained above. It took a while to establish this culture in La Locanda, and partially it was possible through trial and error and because the influx of new posters was not that overwhelming, so each one got to get used to it with time. Additionally, new posters there are either newbs to online discussion or refugees from social media, so they are generally open to trying new things, and to the slower and constructed style of discussion. My expectation was to go through the same process here, slowly.

The main difference with La Locanda and the first days of Wynwerod is that I got a lot of users, very fast, way faster than I expected—additionally many of those users were veterans of previous communities and had strong pre-existing ideas and expectations of what online discourse looks like and a couple were really influential people. I dreaded finding myself in an Eternal September kind of situation, as those users invite their friends and followers and establish their own culture in my forum, with me unable to construct the space that I wanted.

This sense of dread quickly spiraled into anxiety (additionally fueled by some really bad external stress I was under that week for personal reasons), and I was just about to step back from the forum for a while when the @thebrand vs. @LordPersi incident happened. I never had to deal with public shaming on La Locanda, and I was sincerely floored. I first reacted by sending them to a private chat to calm down, but Brand’s lack of response to @LordPersi’s apology (where Alessio made himself very vulnerable) really didn’t sit right with me. When I learned that Brand complained about the incident elsewhere, while leaving us hanging for an entire day, it reached the point of no return for me.

At the same time, I was monitoring Jason’s behaviour. For context, in Italian spaces we have some really bad experience with influential people “parking” themselves in people’s chats and forums and acting maliciously to influence them out of the implicit threat of their followers acting out. Many of Jason’s interactions on the forum reminded me of those incidents, and read to me as red flags which indicated to me he might be participating in the forum to further his own agenda. Whether this was true or not is irrelevant to the story—I still have no way of corroborating it—so I’ll spare you the detailed argument.

At that point that I learned Brand was talking about us elsewhere, everything in my body was saying: This. Needs. To. Stop. Now. And after I banned Brand and Jason and suspended Matt and put the forum in invite-only mode, I immediately calmed down and didn’t feel under attack anymore. I still am pondering why I wiped the accounts, because it’s not really something I’ve ever believed in, but I ascribe it to the feeling I had at the moment of needing to remove those people from my vicinity.

Regarding Jason’s ban specifically, despite my suspicions, he didn’t do anything truly objectionable, and the perma-ban was a huge overreaction on my part[3]. Red flags are red flags, but they’re only indicators and not proof of bad behaviour. What should have happened is me having a chat with him in private, which would have validated or disproven my suspicions—or not, in which case I should have continued to observe until I had more information.

Finally, I hope you understand then that the situation last week was exceptional for me, both for what happened on the forum and what was happening in my life at the time, and something like it is unlikely to repeat. I’ve definitely learned something from it and I’ll act differently in the remote case something like this happens again, so that users don’t have to feel the effects of my anxiety. For example, turning the forum temporarily invite-only and members-only really helped, but I did it way too late.

And yes—anxiety being mainly about the feeling of control over the future, the irony is not lost on me that while I’ve been advocating for emergence and not controlling outcomes in play, I’ve been doing the opposite in managing this space.


If you’ve read this far, wow! Thank you. I don’t have anything to wrap this up, other than I’d like to put this whole thing behind us and start talking about play. Feel free to write your feedback in the comments below, positive or negative.

  1. I’ve softened it to 6 months to be consistent of the new policy of trying to avoid permanent bans. Otherwise, I stand by it—his behaviour was not something I want here. Due to the account wipe, his email isn’t associated with the account anymore, but I’ll restore it if he wants to, after that time has elapsed. ↩︎

  2. Due to the account wipe, his email isn’t associated with the account anymore, but I’ll restore it if he wants to, pending an email conversation where we clarify a few things on both sides. He’s currently indicated he doesn’t want to, which is fine by me, but he’s free to change his mind. ↩︎

  3. Particularly, if I had been wrong about him, then it would only cause unneeded offence with him. If I had been right about him, then it would only give excuse to further undermine the forum. In both cases, it was a mistake. ↩︎

12 Appreciations

I appreciate the reflection and the update. Honestly your response from last week made me loose a lot of trust in you. This update is starting to build that trust back up. In general I do appreciate a lot of the ideas and guidelines around this space, though not all of them.

I am very interested in seeing what will be put in this update. Honestly, on the very hard edge limit on only non self-serving actual play posts is off putting to me. When I read the previous Establishing Culture post, I interpreted it as a clear indication that I am not wanted or desired in this space.

I generally don’t really care about actual play posts. I generally don’t share my own actual play. I do talk a lot of stuff relating to ttrpgs and I almost always have that talk rooted in my personal experience. But with the phrasing and emphasis on “play”, it felt like none of that was valid in this space.

I still do not have a clear understanding of the variety of posts and content that can and should be posted to this space. To me, this was a huge contributor to the chilling effect of posts. I am still refraining from making new posts until I understand if what I might want to post is even welcome here.

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Thanks, @yoshi, I appreciate the consideration and that you took the time to write.

You’re not the only one asking for clarification regarding that point. I had a longer thing drafted but simply I didn’t have the time to finish it, so I cut it from this announcement, because everything else was really important to say. I’m working on that update, but it’ll take some time to write it properly and carefully, as I also have real-life obligations to take care of. But I can promise clarification is coming.

Actual Play really means here what it meant in the pre-internet-shows era, which is any reflection connected to something you actually played, be it a small or a large one. It doesn’t have to be a hyper-detailed account of your play, but can be anything simple like yesterday I was playing Dungeon World and we ran into this issue, what do you think?. So it might be that your type of discussion fits here, and maybe there’s been miscommunication on what I mean—you tell me.

All of that said, I do hold the belief that roleplaying discussion is only useful if contextualised to actually played experiences, and that how roleplaying discussion tends to be commonly handled detaches us from the realities of play. So, I’m designing a space with actual play discussion in mind and at the forefront. All of the non-actual play content here (for example, The Vault and Just Chat) is designed to eventually lead us back to discussion on actual play.

If we have a strong disagreement on this specific point, you’re obviously welcome to stay as much as you like, but this is a core principle of this space, and I won’t change it.

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Really nicely written, Yoshi.

I came here to say much of the same - but you have summarized it really well. I agree with each point here, and feel the same way. Every point. (I’m actually not used to agreeing so thoroughly with someone’s particular take, so I’m a bit shocked.) Thanks for writing so frankly.

I want to say more, but each time I find that Yoshi already said it, above.

On the guidelines:

Claudio and I have discussed what he considers to be the “limits” on discussion here, and I also find them very unclear (it often feels like a “I know it when I see it!” situation). What I’ve come away with is that the best way forward might be to post freely (while keep the guidelines in mind), and then see how the community reacts, and be prepared to adjust. Otherwise, trying to guess where precisely the limits are is just discouraging people from posting. So that was my takeaway: do post, then we can chat about it.

My personal preference is for a much more open and free space with opportunity for different voices and a variety of topics and opinions; I think we, as humans, tend to thrive that way, even if (and perhaps precisely because) there is disagreement.

I really appreciate and respect Claudio’s ability to take responsibility and operate transparently: I’m sure the above post was not easy to write and I appreciate it a great deal. Thanks, Claudio!

I like that the focus here is on learning and doing better in the future.

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So, on one hand I’m really unhappy that what I’ve established in the mind of some with the previous precedent is the idea that they can’t post freely. I’d like to get away from that and I realise that the only way to do it is to show healthy posting in the forum.

Am I going to be O.K. with every direction a topic takes? No, I’m not. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be handled through a public conversation that’s constructive.

An example of a thing I dislike is wrangling over hypothetical examples of play that never happened. Another one is overuse of hobby jargon. If this shows up, I’m definitely intervening somehow—first softly, but eventually I’ll just stop it. Do you need it to be on a chart somewhere, or can I just do it when I see it?

Recently I’ve had a misunderstanding with @JDCorley, which we cleared in private, about whether my post that was disagreeing with him was actually an attempt to put my moderator hat on and stop him from posting—it wasn’t. It’s obvious that there’s a perception problem here, and it may be that I’ve caused it.

On the other hand, I’m not too keen on providing a list of allowed and disallowed things and promising to stand by it, which people can then lawyer on. My style of management is flexible and adaptive to the situation, and I use my judgement based on how I think a conversation is going—which has been working rather well for me. I don’t want to be constantly managing people’s perceptions and expectations, which will turn me into some sort of a politician trying to appease people. I’ve done my duty in the opening post by admitting my mistake, I’m not going to chase people down to get them to post.

All of that said, I’m open to further ideas to fixing the problem.

I think you know I agree with you. I don’t think I’ve been establishing in any way that disagreement with me or anyone else is disallowed on this forum. The type of disagreement I would like to see is dialogical. Dialogue means exchange of experiences and mutual questions. I don’t want to run a debate hall.

However, the forum has an agenda—which I’m working on clarifying. I think there’s a clear difference between the two which is not a “free speech” or “disagreement is allowed” problem. I would like to have some common objectives that discussion in this space have, that distinguish it from every other space on the internet, and I don’t think undermining them and then claiming “free speech” is in any way reasonable.

The agenda doesn’t mean that anything outside of it is disallowed. As I’ve written in the guidelines.

  • The agenda expresses the main goals of this space. Generally, what furthers them is welcome and encouraged, adjacent activities that don’t hinder them are allowed, and whatever hinders them or puts them second to the personal goals of the users is frowned upon.

In the “adjacent activities that don’t hinder it” there’s really a lot of space for anything to happen, mostly in Just Chat. I’m not that strict.

An implication that I’m really disliking is that by setting a common objective for the space I’m somehow putting down an authoritarian iron fist and dictating what people can say. Can you consider the possibility that the space can have a common objective and allow for divergent views?

I also want to stress that I’ve heard this feedback only from North American users. Please consider if there’s a culture shock factor going on there.

I think I’ve really been very clear on this in the guidelines, and I encourage everyone to re-read them carefully—those are not for show, I’m deadly serious about every single word in them. They’re are informed by my experience on La Locanda over 3 years, and are much more an expression on how I plan to run this place than anything that’s happened in the past few weeks.

And I think some people are getting it. And maybe what we need is just a few months of successful running of this place to establish some better precedent.

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Hi @yoshi, long time no see!
As we shared the space at The Cauldron I think I understand what you mean by “talk about lof of stuff.”
You also know that I love to talk about the design of my games and discuss them, but this is not the space to do it in those terms.

I would like to reassure you that @Froggy is not trying in any way to force discussion or censor anything.
However, the stress on play and not design is intended and is simply meant to say: a thread here necessarily starts from an experience (or exemplification) of play, and not about a theoretical situation or idea yet to be tested.

As for his moderation, having seen his work in La Locanda I can vouch that his style, however unorthodox it may appear, is very effective.

Then again, the goals of this forum are made clear early on and I appreciate the time and effort @Froggy is making to further formalize his choices in these threads about Culture.

Give him confidence, the project has the preconditions to create a different space indeed, but a very interesting one.

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Just chiming in with my experience as an “experienced @Froggy user”, since I’ve been frequenting spaces organised by Claudio since the inception of the Locanda (and we still had a lot of discussions even in other places). While he’s showed that he can (and will) use an iron fist on spam and other unpleasant stuff (and he’s usually pretty quick at doing so), I want to reassure you that he rarely clamps down on useful or interesting stuff, generally preferring re-framing whatever stray thread it’s going on in order to bring it towards the space’s goals. And, as he already said, there’s the always the off-topic section.

While we got used to the “generic discussion space” of mainstream social media, online (and offline) communities and spaces tend to center around something (a fandom, an hobby, a specific technique) and define boundaries. Some talk is encouraged, some is tolerated, some is rejected. In this case, there’s a focus on certain parts of our hobby (the actual experience at the table), but there aren’t boundaries on others (language, design style, fictional genre…).

There are conversations you can have here you couldn’t have on other forums (i.e. @Paul_T 's topic Playbook Technique: playing against type would have fallen on deaf ears in a forum dedicated to OSR games - unless you found a way to reframe it in their terms, maybe) and there are conversations you can have somewhere else you can’t have here (i.e. the weeklong thread which has been going on in one of the Italian OSR chats about repeatedly hacking the same game). That’s why I encourage people to frequent multiple spaces, which allow for different conversations (or different angles on the same one: if I post a game in a TTRPG space I’d expect feedbacks on how it works, if I post it on Deviantart I’d expect more depth of critique on the art quality).

TL;DR: Claudio might be more upfront about it than most, but every space has similar rules to focus conversation in a specific direction. The difference here is that not only you’re told beforehand, but there has also been lots of thought on the kind of limitations put into place and on which type of conversation they are supposed to encourage.

5 Appreciations

Thank you I appreciate you saying this.

Based on this thread and the participation I’ve seen thus far on this forum, this place is not a place I want to participate in. Maybe it will be in a few months, but it’s not there now.

I really like a lot of the stuff in the guidelines, I really do. But I really don’t feel like I am, nor the stuff I want to talk about is welcome here. Perhaps I will check back in a few months to see how this place has developed. But if you all don’t hear from, good luck, I hope this place works for you.

2 Appreciations

It’s still not clear to me what “stuff that you would like to talk about” looks like. Could you give an example?

P.S. I am very put off by the need to announce one’s departure. It’s passive aggressive, and that’s that. You’ve already stated your disagreement once—the first time is good feedback, the second is just to be obnoxious.

There is definitely always the possibility of a culture shock in this sense.

However, on the other hand, if you want this to be an international space, it’s an issue if your forum only seems accessible or welcoming to people who share your heritage, right?

Speaking of culture clash: I don’t read Yoshi’s message here as passive aggressive (although I do understand why you might). It reads to me as an honest reaction to the general atmosphere here, and leaves the door open to returning later. It’s phrased in gracious, polite, and well-wishing terms. I don’t think it’s a good precedent to read “tone” into such things - that can easily turn into a form of escalation (e.g. Yoshi might now feel the need to defend himself against an accusation of “being passive aggressive”, and I don’t think that’s a conversation the forum would benefit from).

I think that in a mixed-culture environment we really really need to read charitably. Or, at worst, ask a question before stating disapproval. That’s my take.

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I add my two cents to the whole issue of culture management and agenda, starting from the incident.

I admit that I’ve written too quickly my reply to thebrand without pondering too much the tone. (Add on top that I’m not a native speaker but just a user with a good fluency.) I apologise again for that.

I consider how @Froggy has handled the issue satisfactory: he closed the thread, and helped both the sides understanding their respective faults and what went wrong. What I appreciate here (and on the “twin” Italian forum La Locanda dei Gdr) is that Froggy treats each user as a human being and not just a number: he listens to the people involved and addresses the problem in a direct but respectful way. I stress that this approach is rare to be found in other communities: most of the time, the moderators apply the guidelines mindlessly without the effort to dialogue in cases like this.

Also, I join @zeruhur and @thekernelinyellow in stressing that the culture @Froggy is trying to establish (i.e. accountability, focus on concrete tabletop play, argumentative standards, etc.) creates a positive environment in the long run. There is no censorship nor control on the content: Froggy wants to frame the conversation in terms of first-person role-playing table experience (e.g. “I was stuck when I described this scene…”, “I don’t understand why the player…”, and so on). The approach has helped many people increasing the enjoyment received from the RPG hobby since it addresses their practical concerns. This goal is obviously different from the standard and appears as weird, but it’s not different from what was common practice on The Forge. Trust the process. The successful experiment with the Locanda in the Italian community proves it.

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Well said, Alessio. I agree.

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I don’t think this is what’s happening here, at all. The feedback I got in private indicates that non-native-speakers (including but not limited to the Italian contingent) are still reticent to post due to the perceived intrusiveness of North American culture in english-speaking spaces. The language that I received in private is very much harsher than this, for the record. So, international space also means taking a critical look at the dominant culture. I don’t think reframing it as me being close-minded is at all fair.

Regarding passive aggressiveness, overt politeness doesn’t make a message nice. Again, I received a lot of feedback in private regarding that message, and you’re the only one praising its politeness. The content is fairly clear—I don’t like this and I’m not staying. If taking all of the politeness markers out, the content of something is not good to say, then it’s just not.

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Yesterday I got distracted and totally forgot to respond to this, which is very bad on my part because I strongly disagree with this phrase and I want to give my feedback on the issue.

I don’t think the line here has anything to do with nationality or culture. I believe it has all to do with how much of your moderation style we’ve experienced in the past. To make an obscure Italian pop culture reference, you are so not Italian[1]. Italian spaces don’t work as La Locanda at all, think of the L-guy incident on Ruling the Game[2] or how multiple Facebook groups work on a daily basis (even if you don’t use it anymore, we moved in pretty similar spaces and discussed their shortcomings every now and then, I can tell you nothing ever changed).

I think that if a random Italian player who never ever visited La Locanda (or interacted with you in another space) comes here, they’ll have the same doubts with this as Paul or Yoshi. On the other hand, I believe that any of them who stick around long enough here will grow the same trust in this space as we “old hands” already have. You have a pretty direct style of communication[3] which people tend to read as more aggressive than it is and it tends to require some time to get used to it, which is clearly not helping in this case because people come here with the standard set of expectations for a forum and find something which is aggressively different.

I don’t exactly have a solution for this, but I believe that framing it as a culture clash isn’t an effective way to deal with it. As can be seen in this thread, all the people who support your moderation style reference a space which has been running for years (and some of us have been there since the beginning), which is something that, due to the linguistic and cultural barrier, other users can’t really use as a reference.

  1. If you can find it in your country, Boris is a great TV series (and a course on Italian memes which covers a good 50% of them). ↩︎

  2. If those words mean nothing to you, it was just a guy with a lot of clout in the Italian mainstream RPG community who tried to bring it to bear on an OSR chat which didn’t exactly appreciate the move. It was extremely messy and a culture clash between mainstream Italian TTRPG talk and the weird stream of consciousness style of that specific space. I’m not using the guy’s name because he’s not here and there’s no reason to speak ill of him where he can’t respond. ↩︎

  3. Which is also an extremely not Italian thing. There have been multiple misunderstandings in Italian spaces (both on- and offline) involving Claudio and people used to the more indirect style of discussion which is the default in Italian culture. ↩︎

7 Appreciations

Fair enough, point taken. I’ll stop framing it in those terms.

This is very much on my mind, all the time, and that’s what I was referencing with the “parking” comment in the opening post.

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I stress out that it’s not only @Froggy’s task to harvest this culture of focusing on concrete play and direct table experiences. Everyone who joins Wynwerod should contribute. The goal is having something similar to The Forge in such sense. On the Locanda, everyone aims to that. If a new user isn’t accustomed to this style, we simply make explicit what expected without direct intervention from admins and moderators. That’s why on the Locanda there is the feeling of culture being a shared effort and not something enforced on the users.

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To clarify: I’m only taking inspiration from the Actual Play sub-forum of The Forge. I don’t want to re-tread the theorizing—that’s explicit and in the guidelines. Adept Play’s actual play section is a better modern example for how Actual Play should look like, where Wynwerod aims to be a slightly looser experience with other sub-categories such as Your Instruments, The Vault and Just Chat that are not necessarily restricted to actual play discussion, just in service of it.

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While I don’t have any direct experience with @Froggy as a forum moderator, I have come to really appreciate venues where there’s a focus to the discussion. Talking about role-playing online is really hard – I think it’s probably one of the hardest subjects to tackle online, for a lot of reasons, but a major one being that the subject of the conversation is ephemeral and it isn’t like a discussion about a book or a movie where at least everyone involved can point towards something objective, “out there”, to anchor the conversation. Because of that, I’ve found that grounding these kinds of discussions in some kind of concern, issue, or observation that arises from things that have happened during play at least connects the conversation to a specific (albeit still ephemeral) instance, rather than having to add layers of “what if” and speculation to something that’s already extremely slippery and hard to pin down.

I’d also add that in my experience, tying something to actual experience is a much lower bar than a lot of people assume: it doesn’t require an elaborate write-up of an entire session; it can come out of a simple observation about a single moment in play.

I’m looking forward to the potential of having another venue to have these kinds of discussions.

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Responding to the first idea here, I think prioritizing non-North-American voices on an English speaking forum is a laudable goal, even if that involves someone telling me to chill out every so often. I probably won’t shout “How dare you!” and fall out of my chair with fury. If I do, just link me back to this comment and I’ll remember what I said.

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Thanks JD, I appreciate you saying that!

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