Does ArM Need Multiple Forums?

Should we set up multiple forum topics for Ars Magica?

  • Yes please ... it would help bunches!
  • No thanks ... it works fine as it is!

0 voters

So, the Ars Magica forum is over 40,000 posts ... far and away the largest forum on the board. I'm wondering if it's working the way it is, or if you might like me to set up multiple forum areas for it, each with a different topic, to try to organize things a little better. Please vote in the poll I've set up, then post a reply to suggest the topics you'd like to see if we end up going that way. Thanks!

Interesting question. I've voted yes to kind of get the ball rolling. But what would the sections be? It's a hard question given that everything currently gets lumped under the same heading. But I'd maybe look at something like...

Forum Announcements (probably already covered)
Ars Magica Announcements (open call, playtest invites, new books, sub rosa, etc)
Community (place for conventions, get-togethers, find-a-game, etc)
The Library (threads discussing the existing books, reviews, speculation, grill the authors, etc)
History of the Order (discussion on the setting and background)
The Art of Magic (rules, rules, rules)
Across the Order (fan-generated fiction, spells, magi, devices, etc)
Non-Hermetic Magic (for general topics destined to veer away from Ars Magica)

I'd visit those.

I'd imagine that there'd be some shared ground across those and I wouldn't police it too closely in terms of keeping different areas "on-topic". But I do think that having multiple areas might spark interest in things that some people might not have thought about before.

I just figured out how subforums work. I'll leave my sample up for you all to ponder until the decision is made. :slight_smile:

One forum is way better for me.
Two or three forum, I would adapt to it.
More than that, and I will simply ignore the excess forums.
It's just how I relate to forums in general, I like to read them all in the fewest place possible.

I voted no, but if you did do such a thing it could work out interesting.

The reasons the Ars forum is so large is two fold. It is your most popular game first of all. But more so it is the fact that Ars Magica has always been a very web culture game since the advent of web culture in the 90's. The Forums have replaced the Berklist in many ways, though the old list still roars to life once in a while.

But if you did split it into sub-forums, how would the division break down? There is the suggestion above, but I feel that subdivisions are a little too "lawful neutral" for my tastes. Before starting a new topic, I have to stop and think "which category does this belong in?". Categorization may cause you to subconsciously contort your post to fit the category. And further, most discussions tend to branch out into multiple topics. One single thread can contain postings that cover the entire range of the above mentioned categories. Look up the old Wards debate for an example :wink:.

Subdivising is, in many case, killing the posts... : the new posters don't know where, and for avoiding "You jerk, it's the wrong section", they don't post...

I'd prefer that you keep it like it is now :slight_smile:

I went with No, as checking several subforms is annoying and time consuming - their is usually only about 3-6 'active' topics going on at any one time, so though we have a lot of them, only a few are actualy going simultaneously - plus for those in ongoing pbp games, im guessing they have enough sub forms to check :wink:



I voted no.

The forum is the largest here, true, yet isn't very busy.



I voted 'no' because albeit the forum has many posts, there are not that many active threads. Thus having them in different sub-forums would not make the Ars Magica forum that much clearer but would force users to go in multiple sub-forums to see the threads they are interested in.

Would sub-forums be created, I'd advocate for the following ones:

  • Rules questions/debates
  • Mythic Europe lore (hermetic lore, "real-life" legends and historical facts)
  • Opinions on official books (I'd love having a topic for each Ars Magica book published by Atlas Games, containing reviews and opinions from those who used them in their sagas)

We would keep the main forum for all topics which do not correspond to the previous categories.

Similar to some of the others I voted no, I think it would just break up the posting, and it's just nicer having everything on one forum.

Of course, depending on your php-fu, could possibly categorise them at least for the purposes of searches and allowing people to browse all topics in a category, while keeping them on the one forum.

I share the same tastes

Salvete, Sodales!

I just put in another no-vote. Actually the main reasons for my preference for just one forum (potential problems in finding the correct forum, change of subject within an ongoing thread, more work in looking for new posts, manageable amount of traffic in the forum) have already been mentioned by others, and in my opinion they beat the one reason for various fora I can think of:

It might become easier to find older posts concerning a question I have. It is easy to follow the new threads, but even so I followed the forum from the very day it replaced the Delphi forum I can't remember half of the stuff that was discussed, and searching by keyword often gives just too many results, so I might use the less complicated way and just post my question. Still, this doesn't outweigh the advantages of one forum imo.

Alexios ex Miscellanea

No. For all the reasons cited above but particularly as it's reasonably clear as it is and only a few threads are active at one time.

Change can be good, but too much change at once can be crippling. Let's have a chance to get used to the new format 1st (and get back the RSS feed option).



It looks as though the voting is overwhelmingly "no" at the moment, but one thing that might be worth considering is to hive the announcements off into a sub-folder. Important as they are, they don't get updated very often and they take up a fair amount of screen estate, which means we have to scroll down to see if there's anything new below them.

At least if they were in a sub-folder we could see whether there have been any new announcements by looking at the last post date.

Just an idea...

Hi all,

I am new to the forums though I've been playing AM for a while. I am with the minority and voted 'yes' for subforums. The most pressing reason is to view 4th ed discussions: I and my troupe play 4th ed and it would be handy to browse a subforum dedicated entirely into 4th ed, if it's convenient to do.

Even despite this, I'd still respectfully argue that subforums are better than one single forum. I find that it's easier to organize and hunt through dedicated subforums than to search through one big one. The big issue, of course, would be what the divisions would be. For example, we could have a 'Houses' subforum, a 'spells' subforum, a 'tribunals,' a 'magic items.' A more basic idea could be 'characters,' 'laboratory,' 'mythic Europe,' etc.

Regardless, I do think subforums would be a good idea. My two silver pennies :slight_smile:.

p.s. Though I still love D&D, I've always praised AM as having my favorite magic system of any RPG I've played.

I voted yes also, contrary to the majority.

Subforums do help organize things more cleanly and users are not forced to browse through a long list of threads they are not interested in to find what they want. Also, with a single forum threads get buried very, very quickly so we have to browse page through page or use the search function to find any old information.

I voted yes, because I am much more interested in, say, rules discussions than I am in someone's descriptions of their saga. I'm sure there are some other useful categorizations, as well.

It would most certainly be preferably with at least a little subdividing.

Subforums could be:
"Rule questions and discussions"
"House rules and player additions"
"Characters, history and settings"
"Ex Miscellanea"... :mrgreen:

Not too many, but 3-5 or thereabouts would likely be a clear advantage.

The search and profiles systems works fine, with that i think that multiple forumus are unneccesary.

I voted yes, because I think subforums help if you are looking for a certain kind of topic. I very often use this forum as a source of inspiration for my own saga. When I'm browsing for ideas it would help if there were subforums for different topics. But only a few, I'd say two or three subforums at most, else they become a hindrance instead of a help.

I see two rather broad topics that could benefit from having their own subforum:

  • a recurring topic are requests for moderation, where people post new spells or items and ask for help in designing them. A dedicated subforum would be a great ressource if you are hunting for ideas or want do do some research when designing your own spells.
  • a Mythic Europe subforum. Here people could propagate and discuss various ressources about the Middle ages. A subforum could really improve your chance of finding what you are looking for.

Everything else should be kept in the main forum. Many threads start as a discussion about Ars Magica canon or become one later on, so just keep them all together. :slight_smile:

Just my two cents.