Guide to Discussion Boards

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  Discussion boards let you create a forum in your world, which you can use as a private space for your top supporters, as a hub for your world's community, or even for a play-by-post RPG.  

General overview

As the world author, you can create and edit your world's discussion boards from the "Advanced Tools" dropdown in the left sidebar. People with access to the boards will also see a "World Discussion Boards" button on your world's homepage, next to the follower count box.  

access sidebar.jpg

  This is what you will see in the discussion boards management page:  

  The top panel lists all boards and thread groups in your world —click them to edit their configuration. The bottom panel lets you create new boards or thread groups with their initial basic settings.   To create a new thread for people to post in, go to the presentation side of the discussion boards and find the "Create a Thread" button under your desired thread board.   Finally, keep in mind that there are two types of boards:
  • Category board: a top-level category that can have other boards inside. Threads can't be created directly within a category board.
  • Thread board: a category that groups threads of a similar topic. It's where you will see the "Create a Thread" button.
  • Threads can only be created under a thread board because category boards are meant to be used for organization purposes.  

    Board creation and configuration

    In this section, we will talk about the creation of a new board and all configuration options available to you.  

    Creating a board

    To create a board, simply fill in all the fields in the creation panel:  
  • Name: this is what the board will be called.
  • Parent board: if you want this to appear under an existing board, select it here. If this is your first board, ignore this option.
  • Description: a brief description of the board's purpose.
  • State: choose between public and private. If you choose private, only you and specific users chosen by you will be able to see and use the board.
  • Type: here you should choose between category board and thread board. The former is used for organization purposes, while the later is where people will be able to create new threads.
  • Play-by-post options: these only affect thread boards, and only if you want to have a play-by-post forum in your world:
  • Show "Out of character": a specific text box for out-of-character comments will appear when you write in a thread.
  • Show dice rolling: this will let users type in dice formulas that will be rolled virtually after posting the reply.
  • Show Gamemaster instructions: this will add a specific section for GM instructions (such as "roll initiative"), which will be highlighted.
  • Notification: clicking here means that your world followers will get a notification about the creation of a new board in your world
  • You will be able to change this information after saving, so don't worry if you're not sure about something. Click the Create Discussion Board button and you'll see it appear under the Boards panel.  

    Additional configuration options

    To edit the configuration for a specific board, click on it under the Boards panel. The configuration page is divided into four panels: settings, access & security, design options, and danger zone. Additionally, if the board has other boards under it, there will also be a Boards panel listing them.   On top of the settings you could set up in creation, there are some additional things you can tweak:  
  • Settings: these are the general settings for the board:
  • Weight: this defines the order in which the board will appear in a list. The lower the number, the higher up they will appear. If two boards have the same weight, they will be sorted alphabetically.
  • Board thread-replies direction: this lets you set how replies will be sorted in a thread.
  • Access & Security: there are several options you can use to set who can use the board in different ways. This panel heavily uses subscriber groups, so make sure to read the guide to subscribers if you're not familiar with the feature.
  • Permissions to view: If the board is set to private, the subscriber groups you choose here will be able to view the board.
  • Permissions to write: everyone in the chosen groups will be able to write on the board.
  • Permissions to moderate: the chosen groups will be able to delete posts.
  • Design options:
  • Display author signatures: use this drop-down if you want to disable user signatures.
  • CSS design rules: discussion boards are fully customizable with CSS. Use this box to type in the CSS rules for this specific board.
  • Danger zone: you can use this to delete the board. Remember that deletion is not reversible!
  • Embedding boards

    You can embed boards or single threads anywhere on World Anvil (as long as it supports BBCode). The embed will display information about the board and a link to open it, but it won't let users write in it directly.   You will find a button to copy the code on the board management page and also in the Boards panel.  
     

    Using boards

    When you access a world's discussion boards, you'll see a page with a similar structure to this:  

      The board you're viewing might have a different style if the author has customized it with CSS, but the structure should be similar. The table icon marks category boards, while the speech bubble icon is for thread boards.   If you click on a thread board, you will also see the "Create a Thread" button, which will let you create a new thread under that board. The thread creation page looks like this:  

      The above screenshot has all play-by-post options enabled. If the thread doesn't have them enabled, you will, at the very least, see the title and contents fields. Just fill them in as you want and click the post button. This is what a post with all fields filled in and using the default theme looks like:  

     

    Following boards & threads

    Whether you are actively participating in a board or thread, you can get notified of new messages. By clicking the button on the top right corner while viewing a thread or board ("Follow board" and "Follow thread" respectively), you can get notifications when a new message is created on the board or thread.  

    Posting as a character or organization

    When creating or replying to a thread you can write from your own account or, alternative as a character or organization in the board's world. To do so, click the little "change" link you will see under "Posting as [username]" and choose any character or organization that has an article. Your username and avatar for that post will be changed to those of the character or organization.  

     

    Posting as a player character

    It is possible to use player / hero characters in the discussion boards. To do this the hero needs to be added to the world. A player character can be invited to a world via the World Community > Player Characters interface.

    Contents

    FAQ

    Can I use emojis?
    Yes, the discussions boards are, currently, the only part of World Anvil where you can use emojis without causing errors.
     
    I don't want community/social features in my world. Can I disable boards?
    Yes, go to the display section of your world configuration and disable the World Anvil community social features check box.
     
    How can I delete a board?
    Edit the board and find the Dange zone panel at the bottom. Remember that deleting a board is irreversible.
     
    Can boards be used without a Guild membership?
    You don't need a Guild membership in order to post on a board. Only the owner of the discussion board's world needs a membership.
     
    Can I embed a board?
    Yes, board can be embedded anywhere on World Anvil that supports BBCode. Take a look at the embedding boards section to find the button to copy the BBCode embedding tag!

    Threads of World Anvil

    The following article has a list of discussion boards used in different worlds. If need inspiration to use them, check it out!  
    Threads of World Anvil
    Generic article | May 30, 2022

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