Randomworlds is an IRC chatroom — and, more recently, a Discord chatroom — I run for tabletop RPG fans to discuss the hobby and other subjects of interest to them. You might think of it as a friendly virtual RPG-themed neighborhood pub: good friends, no flames.
Up until 2018, #randomworlds (the IRC channel) was #rpgnet.
Back in the day, #rpgnet was the official chat for the website RPGnet. When Skotos Tech purchased RPGnet in 2001, they wanted their own browser-based chat room to be the official chat, and the relationship to the IRC room effectively ended. The Skotos chatroom hasn’t existed for quite some time, however.
In any case, #rpgnet continued to exist, vanishing only temporarily one day when the previous channel owner had been gone long enough for the channel’s registration to expire. I happened to sign in that day, found the place unregistered and registered it myself.
RPGnet, the website, has grown progressively more political over time. #rpgnet, by contrast, remained strictly apolitical. Despite the lack of an official connection between the chatroom and the website, the name was creating some confusion. As a result, the decision was made in 2018 to change the name of the chatroom to #randomworlds. There are no hard feelings toward RPGnet, mind you. The name just didn’t make any sense anymore.
The #randomworlds rules are designed to prevent flamewars before they start, and I would say that they’ve been hugely successful in that regard. They are as follows:
- No pro/con statements about real-world religion. Factual statements are fine, as are discussions of gameworld religions.
- No pro/con statements about real-world politics. Again, factual statements are fine, as are discussions of gameworld politics.
- No flaming. Debate is fine, but if things start getting heated, cool it down, or we’ll cool it down for you.
- Keep the language kid-friendly. Anything that would pass muster on U.S. network TV is acceptable.
- If someone is uncomfortable with a topic and asks for it to be dropped, please respect that request. This right should not be abused, however.
In addition to general RPG-themed chatting, we also regularly host Q&A with game industry folks. Past guests include Kenneth Hite, Robin D. Laws, Greg Stafford, Greg Stolze, Marc Miller, Jonathan Tweet, Margaret Weis, Mike Pondsmith, Ken St. Andre, and Mark Rein•Hagen.
The easiest way to join the chat if you don’t have an IRC program is to go to http://tinyurl.com/randomworldsirc. Select your nick, log in, and enjoy!
Or, if you prefer, we have a newer Discord chatroom. I’ve recently decided to move our Q&As there, and the room is seeing rapidly-increasing traffic.
Either way, see you there!