RPGnet is one of the oldest and largest role-playing game websites on the Internet. It was founded in 1996 by Emma and Sandy Antunes, Shawn Althouse (etrigan) and Brian David Phillips, as a way to unify a number of transient game sites. In 2001 it was purchased by Skotos Tech, but maintains creative and editorial autonomy. Currently it is being run by: Shannon Appelcline of Skotos (site oversight, columns editorial, programming); Allan Sugarbaker (editorial oversight, reviews editorial, operations); and a variety of forum moderators and administrators.
The forums have grown over time. Tangency, the off-topic forum, has the most posts per day. There are also computer and board game forums, an "other media" forum that covers television, comic books, movies and books. The site also hosts small forums for photography, parenting, and other specific interests.
Like most large forums, RPGnet has developed numerous in-jokes, taglines, and recurring flame wars. Moderation was at one time very loose, but now follows fairly strict guidelines (see link below). Many game writers, artists, and designers post.
A wide range of tastes are present on the forums. Smaller "fringe" or indie role-playing game are particularly well-represented and the latest releases often generate a great deal of discussion. Threads on Dungeons & Dragons, World of Darkness, GURPS and other popular systems are fairly common. It's notable that discussion of Rifts and other Palladium games is rare considering those games' popularity, and those discussions that do take place often become heated. Exalted, on the other hand, is known for generating a particularly large number of discussion threads.
Other websites will excerpt or reference forum posts that (much as with the Fark PhotoShop contests) have lasting value, such as ZenDesign excerpting WoW-erizing movie quotes and From the Shop Floor borrowing from the Demotivators thread.
The review system was overhauled in early 2003 and since then reviews have appeared with numerous cross-references in an effort to try and improve navigation of the large review archive.
Currently, reviews appear on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. RPG reviews are published on Mondays and Fridays, while reviews of other products are published on Wednesdays.
Notable columns have included: 52 Pickup which promised to offer a new game every week for a year (it got to about a dozen before the initial author gave up, then another dozen before the second one did); Behind the Counter which continues to detail the runnings of a gaming retail store; and Freelancing is Not Free which describes how to freelance in the gaming industry. Noteworthy columnists have included game industry veterans such as Ross Winn, Gareth-Michael Skarka, Chad Underkoffler and Matt Drake. Sandy Antunes' monthly column has run without interruption since inception.
Prior to 2008, Columns Editing was handled by C.W. Richeson (2008), Shannon Appelcline (2006-2007), Michael Fiegel (2001-2005) and Sandy Antunes (inception - 2001). As of January 2008, it is handled by Shannon Appelcline.
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