The Tangled Web - Online Pen and Paper Roleplaying FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

How do I introduce myself in the 'Main Gate' forum?

Welcome to The Tangled Web!

This website is dedicated to providing you with everything that you need to participate in a tabletop role playing game, such as Dungeons & Dragons, over the internet. Whether you are an experienced Game Master looking to connect with players across the globe, or a fresh, new player looking to join your first game, this is the place to be!

We assume that you have already registered if you are reading this, and that you have received your account activation email. If you haven't, send a Staff Member a Private Message so that they can give you a hand.

Now that your account is activated, briefly familiarize yourself with the site's rules, then feel free to make an introduction here to tell us a little bit about yourself. Here are some things we love to see:

  • Your gaming history.
  • Your current interests.
  • How you found us.

Here are some things we don't like to see:

  • Ads.
  • Directed profanity or anything else explicitly offensive.
  • Links to recruitment occurring elsewhere.
  • Any 'Player Looking for Game' info, like your availability or posting frequency. There are other forums for that.
  • You might get a reply from a Staff Member containing a stock message welcoming you to the site. Don't worry if some of the information is redundant to you. It's a stock message, after all. But don't let that fool you into thinking that it's automatically generated.

    Remember, we want to know about you, not about what games you want to play or whether or not you're looking for a game. Of course you want a game, or else you wouldn't be here, right?

    Our games can be found in the Recruiting Office. Be sure to read its rules. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in your introduction or in our Site Questions & Feedback thread and we'll do our best to answer them. The site has its own system for rolling digital dice. Click here to learn about it and even test it out all you want. And, of course, our members are also free to discuss any other topic they want on our site, even if it's not tabletop-game-related.

    Again, welcome! We hope you enjoy your time here. Thank you for joining us and we look forward to seeing you in a game soon!

    Good luck and happy gaming,
    ~The Tangled Web Staff~

    What are the rules for posting a thread in the 'Recruiting Office' forum?

    The Recruiting Office is for recruiting players for your new game, or for recruiting players into your already established game.

    On Players Creating Threads

    Creating new threads in this particular forum is only for GMs that are recruiting for a new game. It's not a place for players to post that they are looking for a game. We have a special forum for that.

    The Recruiting Office is also not for posts of any kind that are not a GM specifically recruiting players for a new or existing game that is being run on this site. Discussions would likely be the appropriate place for any post that is not a recruitment.

    Sometimes the Recruiting Office is very active and sometimes it is not. Just remember to have patience and check in daily, and you should eventually find something that you want to join.

    GMs, pay careful attention to the Reputation of the Users that apply to your game. Low amounts of green Reputation are fine, but gray Reputation or any amount of red Reputation signifies trouble in that User's past, so take that into consideration. Similarly, players should also look at the Reputation of any GM that is trying to recruit. If the GM has red Reputation, it could be an early warning sign that the player will not enjoy a game under this GM, so be mindful of that before you submit your application.

    On GMs Creating Threads

    A GM should generally create a single thread for a single game, or a single thread for multiple instances of the same game. In your thread's first post, you should aim to be as informative as possible. When creating a thread, the following things should be answered, or at least given thought to:

    • What system are you using (D&D 5e, Pathfinder 1st ed., Pathfinder 2nd ed, D&D 3.5e, etc.)?
    • What medium(s) are you using (PbP, MapTool, Roll20, Discord, etc.)?

    If you are playing on a virtual tabletop, also consider the following:

    • What day(s) will you be playing?
    • How often will you be playing?
    • What time does the session(s) start, and in what time zone?
    • How long will you be playing?

    If you are playing Play-by-Post, consider the following questions:

    • How often will you require people to post?
    • What kind of action(s) will be taken if a person does not post within the required time?
    • Any supplementary programs needed?

    In addition, the first post should answer the following questions about the mechanics of the game:

    • What house rules does the game have?
    • What restrictions are there on source material?
    • How do players create their characters?
    • What other restrictions and/or requirements are there?

    These are all questions that will come up eventually, so covering your bases allows for faster communication. If you don't know the answers to any of the above questions yet, or want player input, then you should post that, too. In addition, the prefixes that we provide allow you to communicate what medium you will be using in the thread title. Choose the one that is most applicable to your game when creating a thread. If none are suited, or it is a mix of a few, use "Other".

    GMs are strongly encouraged to ask applicants how many other games they are already playing in. This will help you get an idea for which of your applicants are already in games and which ones are not, should you choose to use that information as criteria. Also, in the interest of full transparency, you should in turn let your players know how many games you are currently GM'ing, and whether or not you intend to run more games while this one is currently running. This will help your players get an idea as to whether or not they want to apply to your game.

    GMs are also strongly encouraged to find out how old their applicants are in order to make sure that the age of the players won't conflict with the "age" of the material that will be present in the campaign. TTW has a minimum age rule of 13 years old.

    Finally, games are not merely statistics. The tone and feel of a game are also highly important. Describe your game to the players, give them something to pique their interest.

    When you have found the recruits you are looking for or your thread has at least served its purpose, remember to close your thread, or new posts will continue to roll in. Don't just post that recruitment is closed. Please actually close the thread yourself.

    If your thread goes without any activity for at least a week, it might also get closed by a Staff Member.

    The Office gets cleaned out around once a month, and any threads that have been inactive for at least 30 days prior to that are deleted. If you like to reopen recruitment threads or copy/paste old info into new recruitment threads, it would be a good idea to hang onto a copy of your recruitment post for yourself in case the one in the Office ever gets deleted.

    On Requesting a Forum

    Game Forum Requests is the current acceptable method of requesting a game forum. The threads there aren't recruitment threads, so don't reply to someone's forum request to announce your interest. Read the instructions for that forum carefully, and post your request according to the template given. A request may take a few days, depending on how busy the Staff is. Forums should generally be requested only once the game has recruited the minimum desired number of players and is ready to start.

    On Unfinished Game Concepts and Interest Checks

    Your game should be ready to begin if you're recruiting players. If your game still needs work to the point that it's not ready to begin, or if it is not ready to begin for any other reason, do not recruit for it yet. Use the Interest Checks & Game Planning forum for situations like these. Your game should always be as complete as possible before you open it up for recruitment.

    On When Threads will be Closed

    Threads in the Recruiting Office proper will be closed after one week of inactivity, whether the game managed to achieve its full recruitment or not. In Game Forum Requests, threads will be closed after the requests within have been resolved, however long that takes. In all other subforums, threads will remain open until they are automatically deleted after 30 days of inactivity.

    What Your Options Are if Your Thread is Closed

    If your thread met the closing conditions and is closed by a Staff Member, do not reopen the thread. If you do, we will just delete it outright and also lower your Reputation. Also, do not just create another copy of the closed thread, either. It will [also] be deleted and your Rep will drop [again]. Closed threads are no longer able to be edited.

    If your recruitment thread gets closed and you're not done recruiting yet - as in, you don't have the number of players you were aiming for - then you've got a choice to make. Either start your game with the players you currently have, or don't run the game at all. Notify your recruits via PM in either case. If you choose to start your game with the players you have (and you submit a forum request that is eventually approved), you may then create a new recruitment thread in the Recruiting Office for the purpose of adding more players to your already-existing game, which should already be underway so that your initial recruits don't have to wait anymore. You can keep making "Additional Players Needed" threads as many times as you want each time the threads are closed, if you so desire, as long as there is an established, currently-running game tied to those kinds of recruitment threads.

    On Paid Games

    Any GM may attempt to charge their players for games if they want to. It's up to the players to agree to pay or not. In any case, unless it's explicitly stated by the thread creator and also verified by a Tangled Web Staff Member, The Tangled Web is in no way affiliated with games that charge their players. In addition, The Tangled Web requires that the GM conducts their transactions using reputable services that have mediation and refund protocols, such as PayPal. If there are complaints that a GM has not run a game nor given out a refund after being paid, The Tangled Web will not be able to get those funds returned to the players, but we at least reserve the right to permanently ban that particular GM from the site. It is up to the particular GM how much they want to charge for their game and it must be stated clearly in the first post of the thread.

    On Unrelated Posts

    Players who are not applying for the game in a thread should not, generally, post in that thread. If you are not in the game, do not try to argue with the GM or other players about things, especially when it does not affect you. If you feel something is against the rules, such as a GM restricting players unfairly or for disallowed reasons, report the thread instead of posting in the thread. Positive endorsements of the GM by former players are generally allowed, but overly negative feedback should be kept to a minimum. Again, if you are not part of the game, it does not affect you. If you are so offended by the GM that you want other people to avoid them, use other ways, such as PMs or off-site methods to contact the players. However, keep in mind that harassment and flaming is not allowed even in PMs, so keep criticism of GMs respectful and to the point. We have a Reputation system for a reason.

    Keeping things neat and tidy is important in the Recruiting Office, which is why threads are closed by a Staff Member if they go at least a week without any activity. This makes it very easy to sweep out the Office at the end of each month by getting rid of all the closed threads. With that in mind, please refrain from posting in threads unless it is a legitimate attempt to apply. Just posting to say things like "Good luck with your game!" or "Aw, I wish I had that time slot free on that day," or "I'm already in too many games and you probably won't pick me, so I won't be applying," serves no real purpose and actually draws out the length of time the thread is sitting in the Office, so please don't do it.

    Also, it's easy for conversations to run away sometimes, so do your best to keep things recruitment-related in recruitment threads. While waiting for that all-important post where the GM announces his picks, nothing is more frustrating than 20 false-alarm posts from applicants as they try to pass the time by discussing their favorite flavor of Pop-Tarts, so please keep discussion to its necessary minimum in recruitment threads. If you get into the game, you'll have the OOC thread for that kind of stuff. And if you can't wait, we already have an area for that kind of stuff as well.

    On Bumping

    GMs may bump their thread without any penalty, but applicants may not. If a GM wants the thread to be more visible, they will bump the thread themselves. Bumping may be done for as long as the GM wishes to keep the recruitment going. Yes, that means a GM can bump his thread to keep it from going at least a week without any activity. That's why we just go ahead and close them after a week. If that much time has passed and the GM hasn't bothered to bump, we assume that the GM doesn't care if we close the thread.

    Those are the Recruiting Office rules. Thank you for reading them.
    Good luck, and happy gaming.

    How do I request a forum in the 'Game Forum Requests' forum?

    This is the current acceptable way for GMs to request a game forum here at The Tangled Web.

    Please complete the form below and paste it into the first post of your new thread in the Game Forum Requests forum. Your request will be considered and then approved or denied. In rare cases you may be contacted by Private Message for more information. The submission of the completed form and the request of the game forum should be submitted by the user who will act as the GM for the game and also handled the recruiting for the game. If the request is approved and the forum is created, that user will be given Moderator rights for that forum only. Only GMs should request game forums, not the game players.

    Before you request a game forum, be sure that you are ready to begin your game and not still in the prep stages. Simply having a list of interested players who haven't joined for sure or made characters is not enough. We prefer to create subforums for games that will start as soon as they are created, so please ask for a forum only after you have recruited players and you are ready to use one. There have been many instances of people asking for forums and then disappearing.

    If you are a player, please refrain from voicing your interest in any games that are mentioned in game forum request threads, because these games already have their players. The request may mention that the game is still recruiting, and if it is you can find its recruitment thread in The Recruiting Office and voice your interest there. This is also not a place for handling games that have lost their GM. You can go to Games in Need of GMs for that.

    Forum request threads will be closed after they have been resolved, and deleted after 30 days of inactivity.

    Here is the form you need to fill out:

    • Campaign name:
    • Description:
    • GM's name:
    • Type of game:
    • System:
    • Recruiting Office link:
    • List of Players:
    • Mature content? (Y/N):
    • Still recruiting? (Y/N):
    • Password:

    Campaign name: This is the name of your campaign as it will appear on the forum list. This will also become the name of your main game forum. You will put all of your game threads in here once it's created.

    Description: Here you should place the description of the game. It will be seen under the forum name in the game forum list and within the forum itself. Keep it to a reasonable length - three to five sentences, no huge stories. This isn't a little prologue to your game, it's just a brief description of what is or will be happening in it. Also, always remember to check your spelling and punctuation, too, because we won't change anything. We don't want to assume, so we'll use exactly what you type.

    GM's name: This is the name of the GM running the game, and the one who will receive moderation rights to the forum requested. Multiple GMs are allowed, and they should all be posted here. One of the GMs must be the User making the forum request, though. Players are not allowed to request a game forum on behalf of others.
    NOTE: It is the campaign GM's responsibility to ensure that the forum rules are followed within the game forum. However, please report any violations to the Staff, too, through the Report Post button.

    Type of game: This will indicate which game medium your forum will go under (either Virtual Tabletop, Play by Post, or Other).

    System: This is, as the name says, the system the game will be using (D&D 3.5e, D&D 5e, Pathfinder 1st ed., Pathfinder 2nd ed., Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, FATE, etc.).

    Recruiting Office link: Use this space to link to your recruitment thread in the Recruiting Office. Staff Members should not have to go look for your recruitment thread. If you didn't use The Tangled Web's Recruiting Office to recruit your game group, make a note of that in this section and also make sure to at least use the next section to list your players' TTW Usernames.

    List of Players: This is a list of the players confirmed to be in your game right now. This is not the maximum number, current number, potential but unconfirmed number, or a number at all, but an actual list of actual TTW Usernames that you already know for sure are going to attend the game. We prefer it to be over 3 Users, but special cases will be accepted. If your list is still being finalized, then it's obviously not time to request a game forum. If your list is ready but you are hesitant to list your players' names because you fear it might disappoint some applicants or create some drama, request to be PM'd by a Staff Member by writing "PM me" here instead so you can list your players privately.

    Mature content? (Y/N): This requires a simple Yes or No. It is an indicator of whether or not the game itself may contain explicit material not suitable for minors. If Yes, the forum will be automatically placed under a password, and the GM will be given the password to distribute to his players and any other Users he wishes to share it with. Generally we do not encourage R-rated content, but if the GM is sure that there will be such content in the game, they should not hesitate to mark this, and they should know whether or not their group is composed of Users who are all old enough to be viewing such content. Most of the time, games that have the mature content password do not need it, however. So, again, think twice before choosing if the game will have mature content. A mature content password may be requested at any time, if the GM views it necessary. Also, keep in mind that "mature content" does not include violations of all TTW rules that are already in place. Nothing illegal may happen in a passworded forum. If you decide to have "mature content" in your game, it is your responsibility as GM to verify that your players are old enough to view/read such material. Failure to do so can be considered a violation of TTW rules.

    Still recruiting (Y/N): Another simple Yes or No. It's generally favorable to have a game ready to go, which usually means it isn't still recruiting at the time. However, it is possible and this does not affect the speed or processing of the request in any way.

    Password: Mature content games will always get a password, but if you just wish to have your forum passworded anyway, you may request that here. If you won't be putting a password on your game, write "N/A" here. If you do not care what your game's password is, write "don't care". You will receive a Private Message containing a random word that will serve as your game's password. If you want to choose your own password for the game, write "PM me", and you will be contacted by a Staff Member to find out what you'd like the password to be. Users with Moderator status are automatically able to skip the password screen to their own forums, and the GM is the Moderator of their forum.

    Here's an example of a good forum request:

    • Campaign name: Example Game
    • Description: The example story of a few example heroes who take on an example challenge to ultimately free the example kingdom from the example evil.
    • GM's name: Drew
    • Type of game: PbP
    • System: D&D 5e
    • Recruiting Office link: [link would go here]
    • Players: TTWUser1, TTWUser2, TTWUser3, TTWUser4
    • Mature content (Y/N): No
    • Still recruiting (Y/N): No
    • Password: N/A

    After completing the form you can add one more section wherein you request additional subforums for your game, but the request must be with very good reason. Here are some examples that are not good reasons:

    • I need a secluded, password protected place to do GM rolls. (Just do them in the main forum and don't label them, or use the Die Roller Testing Thread.)

    • I need a place to post side quest missions where the characters can do their 'grinding' even as the main story continues on. (A thread for this is more than enough. After all, you can create as many threads as you want in your forum.)

    • I need separate subforums because I'm running the same game for more than one group. No passwords needed. (Then no separate subforums needed. If you're not trying to stop the groups from viewing each other's threads, then why do they need their own subforums?)

    • I need a forum for keeping all of the world info and lore and such. (Nope. Again, your main forum is fine for this.)

    • I need a storage space for all the old threads that are finished. (Sorry. Just Close all old threads and Sticky the new ones if you need to. If we catered to one User's aesthetic requests, we'd have to do it for everybody.)

    Your reason should be more something like this:

    • I need two separate, password-protected places for two different parties of players who are playing the exact same game and it's actually important that they be unable to view each other's campaign activity.

    You should always start by asking yourself if the subforum is really necessary for you to run the game. If the answer is no, then think twice about asking for it. We can't give subforums out to every GM who wants them just to keep things organized and looking pretty. Sorry.

    Lastly, make sure you that, when you were choosing your players, you made sure to find out how many games each one of them were already in. It might affect your decision, after all, when you learn that one person is already in 5 games and another has been waiting months without any games at all. Did you double-check your players' ages? Make sure that the adult-level game you're about to start doesn't have a player in the group who is too young for the content.

    Don't forget to close your recruitment thread when you're done with it, please.

    Thank you all, and happy gaming.

    When and how do I use the 'Games in Need of GMs' forum?

    Maybe a group of you found each other in the Players Looking for Games subforum. Maybe you were in an active game and your GM disappeared. Or maybe you are a GM who is seeking a co-GM to help you run your game more effectively. No matter what the situation, if you are a group of players who is ready to go and just needs a GM, please complete the form below and someone might volunteer to GM for you. Remember, there is still no guarantee. Please do not submit a post if you are by yourself.

    Follow the format below. Those who just post a freeform paragraph are less likely to get a response, as potential GMs may see this as an inability to follow even the most basic instructions.

    Campaign Name: This is for games that have started but the GM disappeared and games that have not started yet but have a definite name. If the game has not started yet and either has no name or it's okay to change its name, put "N/A" here instead.

    Description: Provide some basic info about the game.

    Current Spokesman: This is the person who speaks for the group and the only one from the group who should post the GM request. They are the elected leader of the group until they hand control over to the new GM. Other members of the group should not post additional GM requests for the same game, though it is okay to post in the same thread created by the Spokesman.

    Former GM: If your game was already underway and then lost its GM, give the Username of the former GM and include some information as to why the GM is gone now. If the game never had a GM, put "N/A".

    Type of Game: Specify if this game is meant for Maptool, Roll20, PbP, Discord, etc., and whether or not this can be changed.

    System: Specify the rules system that this game uses or will use, and whether or not it can be changed.

    Players: List every member of the group here by Username, including yourself as Spokesman, so that the GM knows the size of the group they might be working with.

    Mature Content: Make sure the prospective GM knows the maturity level of the game they're stepping into, specifically when it comes to the game's levels of language, gore, drug use, and adult situations, and also specify as to whether or not it's okay if these levels are changed.

    Recruitment: If this game (still) has a recruitment thread, link to it here. The new GM can decide if recruitment will continue or not. If no recruitment thread was ever created, or it has been long enough for the original to have been removed from the Recruiting Office, then just put "N/A" here instead.

    Forum: If a forum exists, link to it here so that the GM can read up on what has happened so far. If the forum is password-protected, the Spokesman should request that any interested GMs PM them for the password.

    "What about when our game's GM disappears and one of us players is willing to step into the role? We don't need to use this forum then, right? Because we have no need to recruit."

    Correct. Here's what you do in cases like that:

    In the simple case where the current GM is still around and wants to hand control of the game off to one of the players, the current GM just contacts a Staff Member and control of the game will be shifted to the new player. Easy. The current GM should do it, not a player. If all the current GM does is submit a post in the game forum for the players, and then the GM forgets to contact someone on Staff to arrange for a new GM for the game, then the players are urged to remind the forgetful GM that their job isn't done yet.

    But what do you do when the GM disappears without any notice, shows no signs of coming back, and simply will not respond to contact attempts, but one of the current players is willing to step into the GM role? Then the following steps must be carried out by the players:

    Step 1: The player who wants to be the new GM creates a thread in the game forum, stating the intent to take over and inviting all the other players to "sign" by posting that they agree.

    Step 2: After getting affirmation from every player and then waiting a couple of days, the GM-to-be contacts someone on Staff and directs them to the thread.

    Step 3a: If the thread contains only affirmative responses from the other Users using that subforum, and at least a few days have passed since that thread was started, then the Staff Member will effect the change.

    Step 3b: If the thread contains any dissent or does not yet contain a response from every other player, then that means that there is insufficient data for a legitimate changeover to occur. No privileges will be changed, but the subforum will not be closed, and it will not be deleted until it has been inactive for around 90 days, as per normal inactive game rules, so there will still be time to keep trying to solve the lack-of-a-GM issue.

    When and how do I use the 'Interest Checks & Game Planning' forum?

    The Interest Checks & Game Planning subforum is for GMs to do two things:

    1. Gauge potential interest in a game idea without the commitment of actually creating a recruitment thread for it.

    2. Obtain some help in building their world/game/system/etc.

    Or perhaps both. A potential GM may first rely on the reaction to an Interest Check before bothering to put in the time and effort needed to create the game. One rule is the same, though, no matter what:

    Tag. Your. Threads.

    Interest Checks must be tagged as such with "[IC]" before anything else in the title. Interest checks will be closed after two weeks or after one week of inactivity.

    Game Planning threads must be tagged as such with "[GP]" before anything else in the title. Game Planning threads will be allowed to remain open as long as they stay active, but will be closed after one week of inactivity.

    Threads that are found without a tag might get deleted by a Staff Member, and then you'd lose all that work you put into it, so make sure that you tag them.

    Please keep in mind that neither Interest Check or Game Planning threads constitute an agreement to run a game by the GM, and the GM may still decide at any time to decline to run the game. Potential players are encouraged to be polite and understanding in these threads, even if the potential GM decides not to run their game. An Interest Check/successful Game Planning is not a guarantee of a game, and the potential GM has no obligation to run the game if they decide not to.

    Any games that reach ready-to-recruit status in this thread should have an official recruitment thread created in the Recruiting Office proper so that the community as a whole has its normal opportunity to apply. It is important that no recruitment or character pre-generation of any kind occurs in this subforum.

    Anything I need to know about the 'Virtual Tabletop Campaigns' and 'Play by Post Campaigns' forums?

    Not a whole lot. Just understand that these places aren't open-posting areas. All of the subforums and threads contained in these places are part of games that have already been recruited for and completed the approval process.

    Please don't create new standalone threads in these forums. Please don't try to just start a game of your own without first going through the proper channels. Please don't post in game forums that you don't belong to.

    The Play by Post Campaigns forum has one standalone thread that is allowed. It is the PbP Absence Thread. Players who are active in more than one PbP game at once can use this thread to make a general announcement when they are going to be gone for any extended amount of time.

    Game forums in Virtual Tabletop Campaigns will be deleted when there have been no new posts for at least 270 days (about 9 months), or upon request.

    Game forums in Play by Post Campaigns will be deleted when there have been no new posts for at least 90 days (about 3 months), or upon request.

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