DISCUSSION Forums vs Discord

Jester

Unknown Cryptid
Original poster
It seems like Discord is the new platform for RP, which.... I don't get it, honestly. Maybe I'm just too old. That's not to say I don't use Disco, cuz I absolutely do, but I use it more as a community casual-chat than anything else with friends I have online. I don't like the format, or whatever for actually roleplaying, and I like to keep my DMs privated.

I still prefer forums after all these years, and it sucks that it seems to be a dying thing.... There's something special about watching a thread reach multiple pages, knowing there are however-many-posts-per-page and growing. It's forever archived - you'll never accidentally lose it. Everything is kept neatly in order and you don't have to make an entire server to organize what RPs go where, and make role settings. And anyone who feels like browsing to read it, hey, you got some fans. I just don't understand the Disco craze, tbh, not in the roleplay arena. Anyone want to shed some light on the pros and cons?
 
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PavellumPendulum

in the name of whoever you believe you need
COMMUNITY LEAD
COMMUNITY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. Multiple posts per week
  3. 1-3 posts per week
  4. One post per week
  5. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Adept
  2. Advanced
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Genres
Romance, modern, high fantasy, comedy, post-apocalyptic.
I totally feel you! It feels like forums are slowly dying, which sucks. I get that some people find Discord to be more convenient, but somehow, it makes me anxious to roleplay on there? Like, I get a notification and I feel pressured to respond right away, since it's a texting app, but I don't feel that way on the forums. I also dislike the character count limit on Discord when I'm typing and organizing all my rp servers is already a pain as is. Plus, I do feel immense satisfaction, watching the pages add up for my roleplays on here, 100%! It feels great, haha.

I think the idea with Discord is that it's an app, while forums usually aren't and require you to use a browser? And maybe all the organization work is fun for them? I've also heard from some that they like having a whole space with 'tab/channels', one for music, moodboards or whatever else. Oh, and using bots is another common reason I hear! The functionalities are apparently nice. Not that I know much about them, haha.
 
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Touch of Insanity

Just A Little Crazy
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Modern, Historical, Fantasy, Element of Romance, Yuri, Adventure, Magical, SOME Slic of Life, Supernatural
Forums are amazing. However, I have noticed since trying to get back into role playing on forums it has been a challenge not just in finding someone who links with your style, but being able to keep up with it. I've chalked it up to 'growing up' and having more and more adult responsibilities to deal with. Discord often provides a in your face, quick more chatrp feel then a forum does. Many people I find are looking for instant gratification and something to keep them busy for hours. I find with discord your also often less likely to get ghosted and dragged along before realizing the other person isn't coming back.

Discord also has character limits unlike forums, so there is less pressure to make these big massive replies. So unless you want to have to submit a large post in parts it's just easier to make it smaller.

I think it really boils down to what sort of posting style you are going for? Is it a group thing or a one x one? The fact is people were rping outside of forums even back in the MSN/AIM/Yahoo days. Discord has just made it easier to find communities that live in discord where before you'd find someone on a forum and maybe just maybe add them on a chatting service and rp there. Hell, I did an rp through email once upon a time.

Forums and Discord aren't even the only communities that lure people to rp, there is also rather large chatrp gaming communities as well.

I'm not active enough to really gauge the age range of people who are really active in rp anymore. I do know the groups I used to hang out with pretty much never rp anymore or have wandered off into deep voids and peek their heads out once and a while.
 
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Diana

Owl Mom Summer
ADMINISTRATOR
MYTHICAL MEMBER
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
  2. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
10AM - 10PM Daily
Writing Levels
  1. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
I love chat style roleplaying, which essentially is what Discord offers, along with that "get it now, get it fast" style of finding new partners and servers and getting to create your own instant private roleplay spaces. It's super convenient, and in theory totally awesome.

The reality is that it's incredibly INSECURE and not a safe medium for a long term big community. Server Communities have very limited control over their memberships beyond kicking accounts as they register, and though you can "gateway" a server where new accounts can't post until approval - you have no idea who that new account is. It can be someone sneaking in over and over again and over again. If you're trying to ban toxic individuals, predators, underaged peeps, and whatnot, you have to hope they accidentally reveal themselves, as server owners have ZERO tools for dealing with persistent threats.

Add on the fact that you are at the mercy of Discord's TOS and App. Eventually Discord is gonna do the same thing all apps & programs do - sell out to a shitty new company or to advertisers. >:/ ICQ, MSN, AIM, Skype... they all did it. Only a matter of time. Then it'll suck ass and everyone will switch to a new program.



Sometimes I worry about the dent in membership, but really I've been admining roleplay forums since 2001 and there is no shortage of new people out there discovering how great forums are for RPing. O: RP will trend towards other mediums all the time and people always end up coming back to forums. I remember when everyone wanted to jump ship and rp on tumblr 😂 and look what happened with that
 

Spammy

Swagolor Approved
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
Even back in the day when I would RP over AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and Skype, it was with people that I really trusted and had a friendship with outside of the RP. Or with a burner account I only accessed through Pigin or some other service I could turn off. I don't want to just add everyone to Discord. Also I'm way more comfortable with slow posting and not instant responses. Maybe that's just me being a boomer about things though.
 

Jester

Unknown Cryptid
Original poster
See the fast-paced thing I think I would actually enjoy about it. It really does suck to be ghosted mid-action, and that's one perk I can see is that Discord is a chat program, and would make it so fast, it'd be less likely to be dropped.

I guess I'll snoop around and see if there are any servers with it, just to try it out for myself and see how it feels?? I have no desire to actually host one, though. That's just too much effort, and I don't know squat about bots.
 

FenFren

- Lesbian - She/They - “ ree “
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Speed of Light
  2. Multiple posts per day
  3. 1-3 posts per day
  4. One post per day
  5. Multiple posts per week
Online Availability
Depends
Writing Levels
  1. Give-No-Fucks
  2. Intermediate
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Primarily Prefer Male
  3. No Preferences
Genres
Romance ✨
I prefer the forum based RP format, but I don’t think I can actually say that since I don’t have discord at the current moment.

Though, what I can say, is that the forum format just pleased me, beyond belief. The No character limit, the racking up of pages, how you can go back to the beginning with ease to reread the entire thing, it just pleases me. Not sure about the cons though, I haven’t come across many.
 

Jester

Unknown Cryptid
Original poster
I involved myself with a group, and I'm checking it out. From what I can already see, it's pretty quiet in terms of RP as well. Doesn't just seem to be a forum kinda issue, shockingly. It's a pretty damn big server, too.

I guess I gotta fix that, lol. Hardest part is starting, I suppose.
 

Nougat

5354
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Look for groups
Posting Speed
  1. One post per week
  2. Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
  1. Elementary
  2. Intermediate
  3. Adept
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Primarily Prefer Male
Yeah, I’m not really a huge fan of rping over discord. I really like to reread rps, whether it’s bc I need to remember something that happened or just bc I’m bored, and it’s a lot easier to do that on forums than on discord.

Also I like slow-paced things. I think if discord was around when I was younger I would enjoy it more, because I used to post really quickly so it would have been a lot more convenient than a forum. Nowadays I like to take more time and I think I would feel rushed to answer if I was on discord lol

There are some benefits to it, like I remember in some old sites I used to use where you could make a lot of different threads for your rp and they would all be grouped together, and you very easily do the same thing on discord with channels, which can be very convenient.
 

Breezi

Edgebabby
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per week
  2. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
  3. No Preferences
Genres
Fantasy, fandoms, sci-fi
I do both, so I like them both but sometimes Discord is better for quicker things. It might be easier to find what you are looking for on Discord, but holding onto it could be a problem. While forums, well, I think I prefer it more for formatting being fairly easy and consistent to do there, no rush to reply, so there are strengths and weaknesses. I will say, I've found a lot more Discord but it's more about activity than really anything else.
 

firejay1

The Phoenix
SITE SUPPORT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Look for groups
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
  6. Slow As Molasses
Online Availability
My times are pretty erratic, but it's only really rare to see me EST 3-11am. I'm on most of the time.
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Modern, Historical Romance.
As someone who has several Discord RPs, but is slow af, my opinion/experience with them seems to be the opposite of everyone else here.

I find that the forum is actually way easier to find partners on, because it's an enclosed space where we all know we wanna write and you can find groups and stuff rather easily. Discord honestly isn't helpful for me in finding new people to RP with, bc I'm in a limited number of servers, and the fast pacing of conversation means I can often feel overwhelmed and not really willing to reach out to new people. Instead, I use Discord for people I already know and like and want to have multiple RPs with, especially within the same setting (I love doing spin-off RPs so fucking much).

The organization is a HUGE draw for this type of thing. It's basically having your own realm. A private space you can dedicate to one partner, where you can cordon of sections based on the world you're in, and have separate themed OoC threads (so you can still image spam relevant inspo pix and not lose the worldbuilding info you guys just talked about for instance), which is especially important for me, because I write little snippets of character scenes when I'm excited about an RP, often, and having a dedicated space to share them is great for refinding stuff. Plus, if I have a personal relationship with that person or want them to beta-read some of my novels, etc. Bam. Can make a new section that's easy to find. Plus, there isn't a whole big space per person even when the post is small so it's honestly not hard to scroll through (I am also a huge rereader of my favorite RPs), and the lack of pages makes you lose track of how much or little you've written, which makes me happy when I scroll back and realize a partner and I have tons of beautiful words together.

I'm not a fan of the limited wordcount, but I do find that people tend to be a little less snooty because of it when you're doing a Discord RP. As an RPer I always promise my partners I'll give them something to reply to, but I feel really pressured and exhausted when ppl insist on having like, 3-para replies EVERY SINGLE TIME. Discord is nice because there's never that pressure there, which means I can write 3-para replies when I want, or treat it like a one-liner quick shot, which is especially great for organic dialogue, which I can find actually hard to find sometimes on the forum, because all that huge empty space makes you feel self-conscious about short replies.

I also don't feel particularly pressured to speed-reply on discord, but I know a lot of that has to do with a prior relationship of relaxed trust with the partners I Discord-RP with. They know I mean it when I say no worries (and like, leave me waiting for 6 months, haha), and in turn I don't feel pressured to post back either. A part of that also has to do with the notification system. With discord, since I know I'll be notified right away when I get a post by both computer or phone, I can post someone something and leave it and not think about it again until I get notified. With forum, if I'm itching for a post, I'm constantly refreshing my browser, and then I feel kind of bad when I give up and haven't checked in a while only to discover a reply has been waiting for me. Plus, alerts go away after a while once you click on them, so I feel like I have to leave the browser open so I don't have to go hunting for the thread again when I'm ready to respond, and then that open browser sits and stares at me anxiously until I finally do. Whereas with Discord, I always know where my threads are and how to access them in two clicks, so I can just click a notification away and come back to it when I'm ready, whether that be an hour or three months.

Not to say that I like Discord RP MORE than forum. I think the unlimited word count, and the more formal way it's organized is nice. Plus again, best way to meet new partners as far as I'm concerned, and gives me a little buffer when it comes to strangers, so I don't feel that bad (nor surprised) when I get ghosted because I haven't really invested all that much into it (creating a new server, organizing new threads, etc etc). It's easier to copypaste posts when I want to show someone else something cool I've written, and to let ppl know I've liked them with quick lil ratings and stuff. And of course, there is more of a sense of stability when it comes to a website over an application. I'm just saying, I think there are perks to Discord a lot of people don't realize. Would I do a forum-type trying to market general RPing to strangers or host a group RP on there? No. But it's great if you have a few dedicated partners and love to do multiple RPs with the same people or in the same settings.
 

Sorrelfur

Edgeduke
ROLEPLAY DEPARTMENT
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Give-No-Fucks
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Primarily Prefer Male
Genres
Romance, Yaoi, Modern, Slice of Life, Omegaverse, etc
I love discords for ooc chat but not rp tbh, the whole thing stresses me out. I use discord for most my ooc and non rp related shit so it stresses me out when I've got a ton of notifications. And I feel like I miss a ton of notifications on it and end up not seeing messages for months. I also find the layout super wonky on mobile I only had 2 discord rps and now I'll only do them if I absolutely am dying for the plot but even then I'm wary
 

Jester

Unknown Cryptid
Original poster
I'm liking that things feel like a whole website with all the channel organization, and the detailed world information you can see. But I can tell by the culture of Chatting that it's fast-paced, little attention span (people asking questions when the answers are cross-posted in 3 different channels?), and kind of.... overwhelming in activity, honestly.

If I stick to Discords, I'm definitely sticking to small servers. The big ones are just Too Much.
 
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PrideAscending

Edgepeasant
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
Online Availability
Online even when you don't think I am :P
Writing Levels
  1. Beginner
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adept
  5. Advanced
  6. Prestige
  7. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Primarily Prefer Male
Tldr; Discord makes my chaotic life easier when it comes to enjoying my long standing hobby.

I avoid, specifically, forum threads to roleplay on. I don't particularly like having any of my roleplaying seen by others unless they're explicitly involved in the roleplay itself. It's just one of my things.

I also have intense issues with object permanence. If a website/roleplay/thing is not where I can find it quickly by scanning my monitors I'm going to forget about it and that leads to unintentional ghosting of people which I feel awful about. Only one of my partners is ok with me remembering 3+ months later that I forgot to reply. Most here aren't.

Discord, like all of the instant messengers or emails before it, beeps, flashes, and otherwise indicates exactly when someone replies, where I need to look roughly, and can always fit nicely in one corner of my far side screen. It also doesn't result in my email being full of 'xyz replied to your thread/pm' emails which annoy me greatly to have to go through and delete them.

Discord is also faster for me, links up well to my phone as an app, etc. Plus the character limit gives me a good indicator for posts. 2000 characters seems to be my sweet spot for detail, action, and interaction, without going overboard or ending up in one liners.

At a minimum I prefer it for OoC contact. The voice to text function in discord is good enough that I can hold a conversation about something while cooking, or cleaning, etc. And I can't exactly do that with my pc without a headset, the hope the usb-bluetooth connection holds up, and specific sometimes expensive talk to text programs that still might need me to go and copy pasta into where it needs to go anyway.

I don't look for rps on discord servers. I got enough going on elsewhere as it is, but for the actual running of the rp? My go to for sure.
 
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PaulaVonMalotki

Looking for eRP
Invitation Status
  1. Look for groups
  2. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per week
Online Availability
I usually check in at least once a day, mostly in the early morning (GMT+1)
Writing Levels
  1. Beginner
  2. Elementary
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adept
  5. Advanced
  6. Prestige
  7. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Futanari
Genres
High and Low/medieval fantasy (eRP)
I just don't trust Discord.. it's a shady company, founded by a fellow who had another shady company before (-> selling private information without consent) ... they have not a decent business plan or a clear sourse of income (as other chats would have via renting servers and so on).. which makes me wonder where they get their money from to apace those investors... and it is a company with clear profit interests and not a community driven non-profit thing.. so.. yeah... just my two cents :3
 

Nyx

Witch of the Wastes
Invitation Status
  1. Look for groups
  2. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. Multiple posts per week
Online Availability
Weekdays and weeknights, work permitting
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Female
  2. Primarily Prefer Female
There are definitely some pros and cons to it, but I’ve had nothing but good experiences so far with Discord! I actually started out with Tumblr rp years ago that was HP based, when it was at the height of popularity with the last movies coming out. After that I moved on to forum rp because I wanted more of a high fantasy setting rather than a specific fandom. That lasted a few years before those sites died, which is the downside of forum rp I think. Sometimes there isn’t enough traction to keep things going and so the sites die slowly. Because of that, I was a few years out of rp before coming back into video game rp through FFXIV. Discord is amazing for people who rp in video games and want to develop longer rps and character development outside of the game, which is what drew me towards it. It’s nice to be able to create a whole server for you and a trusted partner or partners and be able to access whatever you need whenever you want. But like some people have mentioned in the other replies, there can be this sense of pressure to reply immediately because you can talk to the other person instantly, and that can be a downside for sure. I know I’ve felt that pressure from time to time, which is one of the reasons I was looking to get back into forum rp because I feel like it is much more relaxed. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other though, because rp is really about doing what’s fun and works best for you at whatever stage you are in with your rp journey, so both are great methods for different needs!