Discord vs Forum PBP


Online Campaigns General Discussion


It seems to me that Discord gaming might have taken a large chunk out of Pbp forum games, even more than VTT.

VTTs are an online way of playing TTRPGS sure, but they offer a very different play experience than the text RP heavy and slower playing rate of Pbp games. While I've never played a Discord game, it seems to me that medium has the ability to replicate the strengths of forum gaming while adding modern conveniences and more open modular technology that forums can't replicate.

You can't just add a bot or create one for a forum for example, and it's hard to create side chats as needed on the fly, and Discord also has the advantage of being a platform that many people already just have as opposed to having to create a forum account and actively visit. On Discord you just get a notification that someone has posted.

Am I wrong about this? Can someone who has played on both mediums comment? Of course a good group trumps all, but what advantage that PBP provide that Discord can't replicate?

And have a lot of GMs and Players migrated their time to Discord or is it just my imagination?


I've actually been pretty unlucky with Discord. I find players drop out quicker and aren't actually as committed.

I'd have though Bots would ease a lot of the work and time consumption, but the instant messaging aspect takes a bit out of the well-thought out posts players and GMs craft on PbP I'd guess.


Yeah I can see IMs/chat rooms being a different medium from Forum Posts.


Timespiraled wrote:

I've actually been pretty unlucky with Discord. I find players drop out quicker and aren't actually as committed.

I'd have though Bots would ease a lot of the work and time consumption, but the instant messaging aspect takes a bit out of the well-thought out posts players and GMs craft on PbP I'd guess.

True, but you do have the ability to easily edit the post at any time. Also, even though it does have an instant messaging aspect, it's not like you need to answer immediately. I just type things on IA Writer on Android calmly without distractions from Discord, then copy-paste.

And that for me is the biggest advantage of forum posts. The editor is stark and there are no distractions. You can focus on writing more and better. Discord's UI is more distracting to me, in my opinion, even if you mute servers. I also like the preview option more than on Discord. Sometimes I can't make out the preview on Discord on my mobile depending on the lighting or the size of the font.

The biggest complaint about using the forums is the BBCode. It's so much extra typing compared to Discord's mark up. I even feel Discord's markup is more robust.

I've been pretty lucky with discord on the three games I've participated as a player during Playdis Con. I've also seen very good well-written texts, so that isn't a limitation. (I'm looking at you, Stunt Monkey).


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I've been setting up a Discord server for my group. Schedules changed, and we were going to move to Fantasy Grounds, but that is still not getting us Together to play. So I thought Play BY Post, via Discord, and boom, awesome gaming happiness, right?

One thing I really like about the forums here is how it has all the tools to auto format IC, OOC, DICE, GM voice, etc. So there in one post you have a player OoC stating his plan, IC character acting, Dice rolling, etc. Discord, it appears you have to open several channels to do the same thing. I haven't figured out if you can change fonts and colors 'on the fly' in Discord yet.

So most likely we'll end up here cause it's working the way I want. While having Discord on the phones is easier to access throughout the day, I also like the 'Take Your Time' feel of posting here once or twice a day. One of th ebigger draws of PbP I have found is Role Playing is much better, and everyone can look up rules BEFORE they state their action, compared to at the table when someone does something, and then we all spend an hour verifying their action.

(Still hoping to get FG going though, I really love the mini-combat of Pathfinder, and am still figuring out how to do that via PbP. I know some people post a map image with a co-ordinate grid on it, but that seems a bit clunky)


Discord does have markup, here's an example of what we used during Playdis Con 2020, but you do need a bot for the dice rolls like Tatsumaki or Rollem. Both are free.

Discord Markup examples

You can also add spoilers by typing between bars: ||your spoiler text here||

There were ways to add color using code blocks, but that was not recommended as on mobile they colors would be hard to read.

If there is a thing that I miss from forum play is being able to see PC stats at a glance.

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I am wizened and old and have never used Discord for anything ever. But I know it's a chat interface, and if it's Play-by-Chat (where people are all logged on together and playing at once) versus Play-by-Post (where people can post whenever when they are able in a slower forum-based method) I know that I and my players don't have the time or time-zone compatibility to play "realtime" in a chatroom format. I specifically choose forum-based play because it's what fits into my schedule. If I wanna play realtime I'd rather just pull a table together with my friends (even if that isn't going to happen very often). It would take more time to find a time everyone could play together than actually play!

I like using Paizo's forums rather than other forums because, well, first of all, this is really the only online community I interact with anymore, and because the BBCode is quick to type and just robust enough to create enough formatting to ease some gameplay (but I was PBP and PBCing back when when had to create weird markup with asterisks and slashes and the like), and has an inbuilt dieroller, without creating a lot of option paralysis or have to learn another interface. I can link gameplay materials I keep on GoogleDocs easily enough as well. And I prefer that as it's easy to share docs without having to make everyone else get an account to see the docs. The alias system is also great so you can have all these characters and character sheets under one account (although I'd love if they'd update the profile form fields to make it easier to generate a robust and usable standardized character statblock--they are limited so everyone usually doesn't use them how they are intended to be used). And of course thus you can play in multiple games with multiple characters at once.

I don't doubt it is a dying, or at least now-being-used-less format overall, but as long as the forums last I'm sure I and some other folks will use them.


Being new to both forms of play (PbP/PbC), I'm interested in seeing where this conversation goes.

I am getting used to the pacing of PbP, and I find myself constantly logging in to check if there's an update. I may just be very eager/excited.

I've also discovered https://github.com/TheCraiggers/Pathfinder-Discord-Bot as a tool for discord which may be able to allow for quick checking of stats. This doesn't appear to be readily accessible to the non-technical people.


Discord is a chat and a forum somehow.
All the posts will stay there and can be read months or even years later, when that server still exists and you are still a member there. The creator of the server can do whatever he/she/them wants including editing posts of other people. But also setting up a bot, creating unique roles, creating all the channels you need.

You can do voice chat, but i think the quality is not so good, quality is better for teamspeak.
But for teamspeak at least one person needs to pay for the teamspeakserver!

I would say you better use it only for texting because as you mentioned DeathQuaker timezones are an issue.


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I very much prefer forum play. The Discord interface seems to encourage shorter posts with less of the narrative feel I enjoy on the forums.


In my search for a play-by-app i have also found:

mRPG - a chat app with campaigns, sheets, images and dice roller. Unfortunately, it seems to lack pre-made PF sheets and doesn't list PF2 as a separate game, but otherwise quite interesting.

RoleGate - a dedicated PbP website with some pretty cool features to help immersive posting/reading. It has an app which provides post notifications, but all actions must be done on a website itself. Not entirely sure yet how mobile-friendly it is, but definitely seems like a strong alternative to other PbP websites.


Turns out RoleGate doesn't have image support and the built-in map support is rather crappy. Welp, everything else about it looked great.

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