Creating a community around your world can be so rewarding —both personally and professionally! Connecting with your readers will let you not only meet like-minded people, but it’s also an amazing way of getting feedback and motivation. And, of course, having a community is key to getting your books out there if you’re taking the pro route! In this post, we’ll look at five ways to use discussion boards to create a community around your world!
1. Create a community with live fiction
Live fiction is an amazing way to engage with your readers! It will let you breathe new life into your world, all while having fun with your audience. And your readers will probably enjoy the chance of seeing a story unfold in real-time. Well, using discussion boards, you’ll be able to create engaging live fiction for (or with) your fans! For example, the creators of the Vazdimet world started a board for free-form roleplaying. The result is a full story between two characters! Check out the interviews with Auren Reed and Mel Rahna for examples.
2. Create a community around your world
Whether you’re a writer or a GM, having a community around your content will help you a ton to spread the word about your work. Always make sure to have a clear layout that is relevant to your work! For example, if you’re a writer, you could have three boards, depending on what you want from your community. You could have announcements from the author, fan content (like fanfiction or fan art), and theories about the books. Boards for discussion headcanons and for the stories for an individual RPG group could be useful to you too!
Amy Winters-Voss, the author of the Liminal Chronicles, is using discussion boards for her own world. She decided to organize them into four groups: news, requests, chit-chat, and fanfiction. Check out the Liminal Chronicles’ discussion boards!
3. Create exclusive boards for subscribers
If you have supporters of your work through platforms like Patreon or Ko-fi, having exclusive community content for them is a great idea to keep them engaged! Now, we won’t go into detail on how to set up your world for your supporters (we have a whole post for that!), but consider having supporter-exclusive boards. These will not only give you a way to talk to your supporters directly (and exclusively), but it will also make them feel like they’re a part of a super-special exclusive group.
In Creation, the world by Graylion, there’s a board with several sub-boards that are exclusive to each of the world’s factions. Users that belong to a specific faction will be able to use only their faction’s board. Combine this with the play-by-post features, and you’ll have the ultimate roleplaying universe! Take a look at Creation’s boards for an example!
4. Use discussion boards for play-by-post games
Play-by-post is an amazing option for people who prefer slower games or just don’t have the time for live sessions. But it’s also great for downtime or just casual roleplaying, as a complement to your regular RPG sessions! And discussion boards have some features specifically designed for play-by-post, so you’ll feel right at home! You can roll your dice directly on your posts, and with the highlighted sections for out-of-character content and GM instructions, it’s super easy to know who’s talking exactly.
5. Discussion boards as community announcements
Finally, you could also use discussion boards as a changelog and request system. For example, if you often take requests or suggestions from your followers, having a central place to put them all is great for organizing your time better. And since your readers can follow threads, you can also use them as a changelog, announcing all changes you make and saving them in a single place for future reference.
Tillerz, the amazing bean that has created most of the RPG sheets on World Anvil, is using discussion boards for this! In their sheet creation world, you’ll find a requests board and a specific board for each RPG system they’ve worked on, each with examples and an update thread. Check it out (and make sure to show your appreciation if you see them around)!
By the way, poll posts are coming soon, so stay tuned for that!
Have we missed anything? How are YOU using discussion boards? Let us know in the comments!