Feature Guide to Discussion Boards in Discussion boards Knowledge Base | World Anvil
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Feature Guide to Discussion Boards

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With discussion boards, you can create a forum right in your world. Create boards and threads to discuss topics related to your world, books, or campaigns, and you can even use its integration with your world to run a play-by-post campaign!


1. Create a category board

There are two board types:

  • Category boards are used to organize your discussion boards.
  • Thread boards hold the actual conversations, and can be grouped inside category boards.

Let's start by creating a category board for general chatter:


  1. Click the Advanced Tools icon in the sidebar and then the Discussion Boards button.
  2. In the "Create a new board" section, give your board a name like "General Chatter".
  3. Ignore all other options for now; scroll down and click the create button.

Congrats, you've got your first board! Let's go to the next step so that people can actually create threads.


2. Create a thread board

Category boards can't have threads, you need a thread board for that. You can create thread boards from the same page you created your category board from:

  1. Give the thread board a name like "Fan theories".
  2. In the "Parent Board" field, select the category board you created before.
  3. In the Type field, select "Thread board".

And there you go: you now have a basic but functional form on your world!


3. Create your first thread

Anyone can create threads in a discussion board (although you're able to limit this; more on that later). Threads can only be created in presentation view, which you can access from your world's homepage or with the "Go to Discussion Boards" button at the top right of the Discussion Boards editing interface.



To create a thread:

  1. Go to the thread board you want to create it in (remember, in presentation view!)
  2. Click the "+ Create a Thread" button at the bottom.
  3. Give the post a title and write something in Contents. Click the post button at the bottom.

This is how the thread creation form looks when all options are enabled:



As you saw, there are three more fields available. Feel free to play around with them, but we'll take a look at them (and learn how to disable them) later on.


You can also post as a character instead of yourself! If you have a player character on that world, click on "change" under your username at the top of the form. There, you'll be able to switch which character you're posting as.


Additional options

This is all you need to create a full forum in your world, with multiple categories and boards. However there are many options you can use to customize them. So let's take a look!


Moderation and permissions

You can make boards private or limit who can perform certain actions. To do so, on both category and thread boards, simply click on the board in edit mode and find the Access & Security panel. It has four options:


  • State: a simple switch between public and private.
  • Permissions to view: use this if you want to keep the board private for everyone except some specific users.
  • Permissions to write: by default, everyone can write in a board; use this option to limit it.
  • Permissions to moderate: board moderators can delete posts and edit its settings (but not its contents).

Permissions are handled using subscriber groups; if you're not familiar with this feature, check out this guide.


Toggling Play-By-Post options

When creating thread boards, play-by-post options are enabled by default, but you can disable them at any moment by editing that board. There are three options that you can enable or disable individually in the settings panel:


  • Show "out of character": enable this to let users differentiate between their in-character and out-of-character replies.
  • Show dice rolling section: when this is enabled, users can add a dice formula (such as 2d20+3) to roll the die when they send the reply.
  • Show gamemaster instructions section: this is useful for GMs to add "metagame comments" such as asking for rolls, actions, or anything else that's not in-world.

When these options are enabled, users will have additional text fields when posting something. Disabling them won't remove anything from previous posts that used them, it just removes the option of using it in future posts to that board.


Embedding boards

You can embed boards and posts in articles or any other text field that accepts BBCode on World Anvil. You can embed both boards (of any type) and individual posts:


discussion board copy board.png

discussion board copy post.png

  • For boards, go to the edit side of that board and find the copy button under the board name.
  • For posts, view the thread and click on the copy button in the top right corner of the post. Note that only the individual post will be embedded, not the entire thread.

In both cases, the button will copy a BBCode tag to your clipboard. Simply paste it in any article on World Anvil to embed it.


Other settings

There are other settings you can use beyond the above sections:


Settings panel

  • Name and description: use this to explain what the board is about.
  • Parent board: the board will appear under the category board that you select here. Great for organization, but you can also leave it empty to have it appear in the discussion board landing page.
  • Weight: boards are ordered alphabetically by default. However, you can use this field to have a custom order: the smaller the number, the higher it will appear in the list.
  • Board thread-replies direction: by default new replies are added to the bottom, but you can use this to make them appear at the top.

Design options

  • Display author signatures: this refers to the signature that each user can set up in their World Anvil account settings. Turn this off to disable them in your board.
  • CSS design rules: you can use CSS here to style your boards. Please keep in mind this is an advanced technical feature.

Deleting boards

Be careful: deleting a board is irreversible and will delete all threads and posts in that board.


To delete a board:

  1. Edit the board you want to delete (double-check it's really the one you want to delete!)
  2. Scroll down to the panel labelled "Danger Zone".
  3. Click the delete button, and then the checkmark button to confirm.