General RPG discussion forums
It's not actually a forum, but can sometimes be useful for questions that need quick back-and-forth discussion to sort out.
- Populated by the same experts as the main RPG.SE site
- The same community standards of behaviour hold in chat as on main
- Questions in chat aren't restricted to the kinds of "stackable" questions we allow on the main site; for instance, users are welcome to ask idea-generation and game/tool-recommendation questions in chat.
- The chat population is lower and the number of people who see your issue depends on the time of day
- Speaking in chat requires that you have already earned 20 reputation from upvotes on other questions and answers you've posted, making it slightly inaccessible for first-time users
A massive community based around Rich Burlew’s D&D-inspired comic, Order of the Stick. Has forums dedicated to discussing D&D 3e/3.5/d20 (including Pathfinder), D&D 4e, and D&D 5e, as well as other RPGs and homebrew. There are also several forums for playing games.
- Large community
- Very strong 3.5/Pathfinder expertise, strong 5e expertise
- One of the best places to find quality D&D homebrew, or find critique for your own
- The non-D&D RPG section is quiet, and the 4e section isn’t much more lively
- The rules are “strict” – which in practice means that the moderators have absolute authority, with no transparency or (meaningful) appeal process.
A piece of reddit devoted to tabletop roleplaying games and LARP. They have an excellent “New to RPGs?” introduction page and are welcoming of novices and experts alike. Not D&D-centric. See their FAQ for community rules and a run-down on what they do and don't cover.
- High traffic
- Discussion and questions about all kinds of RPGs
- High traffic means that if your post doesn't attract attention immediately, it can quickly fall off the front page
- It's reddit, so you can run into diverse “interesting” personalities, despite the subreddit's strong rules requiring civility and avoiding argument, and like all communities there are inherent biases in it and some related subreddits
One of the oldest general-purpose RPG forums. It has a dedicated subforum for D&D and other d20-based games, a general tabletop subforum for RPG discussion free of distractions from the 800 lbs. gorilla that is D&D, and a LARP discussion subforum. It now has a dedicated subforum for character build/charop reviews and feedback for any game system.
- Large community
- Diverse expertise, including D&D-centric and expertise that's aware of the much wider world of RPGs
- Decent moderation designed to keep antagonism under control, which succeeds more or less at times
- Diverse views on roleplaying styles and philosophies means you have to deal with people who might not share views relevant to what you want to discuss
- Easy to trip over the moderation rules. It's strongly advised to read them first, or be ready to take slaps on the wrist with grace and aplomb.
Forums with a slant towards latest-greatest D&D, but with decent coverage of other games as well.
- Usually has breaking coverage of D&D topics, even more so than WotC's own forums (and WotC forum functionality is notoriously bad in every incarnation)
- Not as... Weird as rpg.net. Kind of a halfway point between the Wizards forums and RPG.net in a lot of ways.
- They are trying very hard to sell their products to the community, expect ads and "announcements" and whatnot trying to market to what they know is a large user community
Mostly focused on old-school OSR gaming. Also known as "the place people banned from RPG.net and ENWorld go to."
- Experienced grognard discussions
- Will take anyone, so people who are likely to get banned from civilized forums due to their behavior could be sent here instead
- No holds barred insult fests are the default mode d'emploi
- Higher than usual percentage of psychos
Niche topic or community forums
A site for discussing map-making projects and techniques, for all skill levels.
- A lot of very talented cartographers, pro and amateur
- Many tutorials
- Specific to map-making discussions
- Not RPG-specific, so you can't assume RPG-centric knowledge when seeking help there
Forums generally dedicated to 2nd edition and older D&D, and the various retroclones.
- Excellent advice for those running an old school game
- Comprehensive knowledge of old rules and modules
- Collected large Gary Gygax Q&A threads
- Is focused on older styles of play, so won't be of much help to those playing games that aren't D&D (and 2nd Edition or older D&D at that)
The official forums for the Fear the Boot RPG Podcast.
- This community covers a broad spectrum of games and game styles
- The community is active and friendly
- They are helpful and responsive
- They are not going anywhere soon.
- The community discusses a wide variety of tabletop games (war games and board games), as well as a variety of geek topics.
- The community is not the biggest on the net
- It is a forum for a podcast; if you do not listen to the podcast, some of the culture of the community may be lost on you (But it's not TOO bad.)
As an aside, the podcast itself offers a good deal of advice, some of which has been turned into decent answers on main.
- The group is has an informal feel, presenting the opportunity to ask just about any question, from looking for help to sharing random stories about your games.
- The group is closed and admins review your social profile to determine if you are truly interested in RPGs and DMing.
- Community is friendly
- Group presents a wealth of experience and varied ideas
- Because the group is largely informal there is obviously not as much structure as other forums but there are rules and regulations to offset this.
- You need a Facebook account in order to join.
Forums focused on specific games and companies
A very niche community, catering almost exclusively to dnd-3.5e and especially for those who play it with at least something of an optimization bent. That said, as that game ages, the community broadens and tries new things. Also hosts extensive homebrew sections with a ton of material.
- Very casual community
- Best current source of optimization—particularly theoretical optimization—for dnd-3.5e
- Enormous amount of quality homebrew; lots of features for homebrewers
Could go either way:
- Moderation is fairly light, and posters are expected to be thick-skinned
- Small, somewhat tight-knit community
- Extremely niche focus
- Historically, the forum has had serious problems with stability
Note: Updated URL points to Minmaxforum.com despite being called Min/Max Boards on the page; same management, same content. Announcement of changeover on the Giant in the Playground] forums here and on its own forums here.
The official forums for Paizo publishing, including the official Pathfinder RPG message boards. This is your best source for questions or discussions related to Pathfinder RPG.
- Users are responsive and knowledgeable
- Lots of previous discussion - you might be able to answer your question without ever posting a thread
- Paizo developers are active in the community and can respond to threads that might not have a RAW response, but need some authority on the topic
- Pathfinder/Paizo game specific
The official Discord server for all editions of Pathfinder. While not actually a forum, it provides a good place for back and forth discussion.
- Users are responsive and knowledgeable
- Lots of active users
- Lots of community resources on it
- Conversations can move fast, causing responses to get buried if you are not paying attention
Both of them are communities on reddit devoted to Dungeons & Dragons (the latter specifically to D&D 5e). They have similar pros and cons for the purposes of this discussion, so I've grouped them together in a single answer.
/r/DND has a wiki with several different guides, FAQs, and links to useful resources. /r/DNDNext also has these, though it's a smaller community and the corresponding wiki pages tend to be shorter. Both are welcoming of novices and experts alike. See their respective sidebars for a list of each community's rules, and what they do and don't cover.
- Relatively high traffic
- Discussion and questions from various perspectives about D&D
- Both subreddits have weekly threads devoted to asking and answering questions
- High traffic means that if you make a post outside the question thread and it doesn't attract attention immediately, it can quickly fall off the front page (especially on /r/DND)
Enworld created a lifeboat forum to quickly evacuate all of the WOTC forum content that would be deleted. It has since been cleaned up and merged into their main Forum for Charop with posts for each handbook titled appropriately and prefixed with the 4e edition tag. The link in the header is to a forum post with a list of the guides deemed worthy and curated.
- Very large and very active player base
- Lots of character optimization help and pre-built class and race guides for whichever edition you are playing.
- Also covers all sorts of story, table, and player issues through various sub-forums to help you with whatever your problem, question, or random musing might be.
- All 4e, All the time! Does not include editions prior to 3rd edition.
- There is a lot going on and if you aren't up on the terms or abbreviations being used things can be hard to follow in some of the guides.
Onyx Path now publish most of the Intellectual property formerly published by White Wolf.
- Great for World of Darkness (all editions), Scion, Exalted and other games they publish.
- Official forum: The forums get the information like releases first. They are the place to report errors in prerelease content etc.
- Has fairly regular (though not ubiquitous) responses from the Authors of the games themselves. Particularly, Rose Bailey.
- They do not have a section at all for roleplaying games not of their making. Though this would fall under the Off-topic subforum they have, I don't see to many posts there.
- Depending on system/subsystem, not the most active place on the net for those systems.
These are good thoughtful forums, especially for anyone wanting to discuss anything and get detailed feedback and suggestions (or read years of discussion/idea/stuff history) for GURPS.
- Community enthusiastic about helping out newbies.
- You can almost always find a member of a community who will be able and willing to translate real-life experience in a given area of expertise into a roleplaying context.
Can go either way, depending on preferences:
- Moderation can be seen as strict and/or opaque, but generally enforces civility and constructive discussion well.
- The GURPS subset of the forum tends to be more active than most other RPG discussions.
- Not as populous as some other servers.
- Some front-page discussions may be too 'heavy' for a newcomer, and it may take some effort to sort out the discussions in order to focus those one is looking for / interested in.
This is the official forum for this game and its engine. There's also a powered by the apocalypse area providing dedicated subforums for:
- Dungeon World
- Monster of the Week
- Murderous Ghosts
- Sagas of the Icelanders
- The Sprawl
- Uncharted Worlds
- Urban Shadows
- It appears well mannered and reasonably active — not teeming with life, but has enough life to get responses.
- Mature themes like sex will come up in discussion here sometimes, because Apocalypse World and some of the other PbtA games deal with those themes.
The official forums for the company behind Savage Worlds and a large number of it's official settings such as Deadlands, Evernight and Rippers.
- Very friendly and supportive
- Expertise in homebrewing anything and
everything Savage Worlds
- Willing to help design settings from scratch
- A good place to turn to if you are trying to homebrew a setting for
Savage Worlds but haven't got very far, meaning your questions would
be too broad for this site.
The official forum for Traveller, Paranoia, Legend and other games by Mongoose Publishing.
- Friendly user base
- Offers support for games which may be hard to find other forums for.
- Hosted/supported by the game publisher
- May be considered "low traffic" (almost assuredly)
This list is a concatenation of the original crowdsourced submissions, after discussion at Proposal to reboot our forum list