Author Topic: Cleaning Up Homebrew  (Read 1401 times)

Offline Stratovarius

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Cleaning Up Homebrew
« on: October 16, 2017, 08:27:24 AM »
The forum staff would like to improve the homebrew area, which is currently a little scattershot and difficult to explore. To that end, we've come up with a few ideas. Those ideas are:
  • The existing top level forums (Campaign Settings, Reworks, and New Mechanics) will be removed.
  • The Homebrew Optimization Contest forum will be merged into the Homebrew forum.
  • Any homebrew forum without a new post for one year will be moved under a forum called Homebrew Archive. This will remain in the homebrew area.
  • Any inactive homebrew forum with under 100 posts (currently 21 forums) will be merged back into the general homebrew forum (alternatively, they can merged together into a single forum under the archive, or into the archive itself).
  • Individual homebrewers (myself, bhu, sirp, Garryl, etc.) will receive one top level forum, named as desired, and any number of subforums beneath that one.

The goals of these changes is to improve discoverability of actively used & developed homebrew, simplify using the homebrew area of the forums, and give newcomers to homebrew an equal footing to existing members. Thoughts?

Offline phaedrusxy

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2017, 01:22:49 PM »
Umm... I don't really see the point of having an "archive" section for homebrew... since it's not the kind of thing that really requires constant updating... Maybe "Finished" would be a better name? :P

I also don't really see the point of merging a bunch of sections. That seems like going from a more organized system to a more disorganized one.

I don't see how any of these things would really "simplify" using the homebrew area, nor do I see why people who are brand new to homebrewing should even need to be on an "equal footing" with people who've put together enough stuff that they felt the need to ask for their own subsection.

But then again... I'm an old dinosaur who never posts any new homebrew anymore... so take that all with a grain (or cup) of salt...
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Online SorO_Lost

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2017, 02:04:00 PM »
That seems like going from a more organized system to a more disorganized one.
I second that.

Most of the subforums were created out of similar systems created by one guy so you're not going to eliminate anything moving to a username organized system. Plus, if we're no longer grouping by mechanics and giving "newcomers to homebrew an equal footing to existing members" we're open to just adding new subforums for every single individual homebrewer, rather than the bulk of it sitting in the main homebrew area, like a terrible wiki anyway.

What you could do is make a pass at condensing things some. There are several subforums that don't really contain much like Mage King's Talents or Inuyasha's Horrors, push them all into a single thread on the main homebrew area with a linked index at the top. This trimming will reduce the number of subforums with no real impact on the homebrew being grouped together and without the clutter maybe the next step in organization can be discerned.

Like maybe the next step is giving Prime a bouquet of RAM sticks so the Homebrew area has a tag system. Not a standard on titles, but actual tags you can search like #Arhosa #BaseClass.
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Offline oslecamo

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2017, 12:15:29 PM »
That seems like going from a more organized system to a more disorganized one.
I second that.

Thirded. It just feels more pratical for material to be organized by settings and subsystems rather than by who wrote it.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2017, 01:25:28 PM »
I do think that the more prolific homebrewers could use their own sub-boards.  I would actually find that to be more organized, especially for people who make a thousand little things that don't fit an existing category.

A compromise would be to create a new top level to add to the existing specifically for user-specific collections for the users who request it.  Some people won't want/need it, and I know that some people want it very much because it was requested as a change as soon as we came back online.

I 100% disagree with archiving inactive homebrew.  Once it's done it is done, usually that's a good thing because that means the homebrew is balanced and complete.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2017, 01:44:42 PM »
That seems like going from a more organized system to a more disorganized one.
I second that.

Thirded. It just feels more pratical for material to be organized by settings and subsystems rather than by who wrote it.

This would be true... if they were organized in that way. The homebrew section isn't. Unless you can tell me why SirP's Incarnum Green Man base class is a Rework while Truespeech rebuilds are New Mechanics. Then we have your brand new monster classes under Reworks, while Bhu's are New Mechanics. Likewise, both SirP's Majipunk and your Super Robot Wars are in Campaign Settings, when both are New Mechanics with the thinnest veneer of a setting (or none at all).

Umm... I don't really see the point of having an "archive" section for homebrew... since it's not the kind of thing that really requires constant updating... Maybe "Finished" would be a better name? :P

We have a large number of homebrew that is dead, usually in an unfinished state (26 forums don't have a single post in a year+, many for several years). We also have a large number of very small homebrew forums that were never finished (21 forums don't have 100 posts). Both categories are clutter. The suggestion is to reduce that in the same way that the PbP section has long managed archiving games. It's merely applying that principle to another area of the boards.

Online SorO_Lost

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2017, 05:06:38 PM »
Unless you can tell me why SirP's Incarnum Green Man base class is a Rework while Truespeech rebuilds are New Mechanics. Then we have your brand new monster classes under Reworks, while Bhu's are New Mechanics.
So the problem is nothing is sorted into it's categories and you thought purposing a change to the categories them selves would alter that?
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Offline oslecamo

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2017, 08:51:46 PM »
That seems like going from a more organized system to a more disorganized one.
I second that.

Thirded. It just feels more pratical for material to be organized by settings and subsystems rather than by who wrote it.

This would be true... if they were organized in that way. The homebrew section isn't. Unless you can tell me why SirP's Incarnum Green Man base class is a Rework while Truespeech rebuilds are New Mechanics. Then we have your brand new monster classes under Reworks, while Bhu's are New Mechanics. Likewise, both SirP's Majipunk and your Super Robot Wars are in Campaign Settings, when both are New Mechanics with the thinnest veneer of a setting (or none at all).
As a matter of fact, Bhu posts his monster class reworks in my Improved Monster Classes subforum. What Bhu posts in his own subforum are literally new classes meant to be taken by certain types of monsters.

Magipunk and Super Robot Wars may not have full books full of world fluff (yet), but they do have it, and neither me nor Sirpercival hide most (if any) of it behind paywalls. Plus we both present a set of races, classes, prcs, equipment, spells and whatnot. They're indeed meant that you can play a campaign using just those plus the basic D&D rules.

Umm... I don't really see the point of having an "archive" section for homebrew... since it's not the kind of thing that really requires constant updating... Maybe "Finished" would be a better name? :P

We have a large number of homebrew that is dead, usually in an unfinished state (26 forums don't have a single post in a year+, many for several years). We also have a large number of very small homebrew forums that were never finished (21 forums don't have 100 posts). Both categories are clutter. The suggestion is to reduce that in the same way that the PbP section has long managed archiving games. It's merely applying that principle to another area of the boards.

I agree that those that never took off may be moved to an archive. However a critical difference between campaigns and homebrew is that once a campaign is finished, it is finished, but homebrew is a different matter because it's meant for any group to use it. Besides a homebrewer may decide to go in hiatus for a year or two and then return, and then suddenly all their hard work can no longer be updated, which is not nice at all.

Offline bhu

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2017, 02:51:16 AM »
I do eventually mean to finish everything in my homebrew threads (and I do mean everything).  Life just keeps kicking me in the teeth.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2017, 10:13:12 AM »
As a matter of fact, Bhu posts his monster class reworks in my Improved Monster Classes subforum. What Bhu posts in his own subforum are literally new classes meant to be taken by certain types of monsters.

While this is true, it does not explain why one is considered a New Mechanic and the other a Rework, when both are entirely new homebrew content and not a rework of existing WotC material.

I agree that those that never took off may be moved to an archive. However a critical difference between campaigns and homebrew is that once a campaign is finished, it is finished, but homebrew is a different matter because it's meant for any group to use it. Besides a homebrewer may decide to go in hiatus for a year or two and then return, and then suddenly all their hard work can no longer be updated, which is not nice at all.

There's nothing stopping the homebrew from being updated, or questions posted in it? The archive for PbP is an organizational method, not something that blocks posting in forums should the players decide to restart the campaign. Also, homebrew that is in use has players & DMs posting questions, rule clarification requests, and minor tweaks happening as players report issues/make requests. A perfect example of this is your Mecha system, which has players constantly talking about it, and draws people to MMX. Forums that have not had a single comment in a year or more are not in use.

Offline oslecamo

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2017, 12:05:55 PM »
As a matter of fact, Bhu posts his monster class reworks in my Improved Monster Classes subforum. What Bhu posts in his own subforum are literally new classes meant to be taken by certain types of monsters.

While this is true, it does not explain why one is considered a New Mechanic and the other a Rework, when both are entirely new homebrew content and not a rework of existing WotC material.
The key difference is if they mean to replace something already in D&D, not simply adding something new. My improved monster classes in particular are a replacement for the LA rules as a way for players to play monsters and also changes how racial HD work, not something to use side by side with official LA rules and racial HD rules.

So basically:
Campaign setting-full set of classes+races+bling+fluff.
Rework- Here is an improved version of system X, discard old official version.
New-Everything else, can be just splashed in any campaign along other stuff.

I agree that those that never took off may be moved to an archive. However a critical difference between campaigns and homebrew is that once a campaign is finished, it is finished, but homebrew is a different matter because it's meant for any group to use it. Besides a homebrewer may decide to go in hiatus for a year or two and then return, and then suddenly all their hard work can no longer be updated, which is not nice at all.

There's nothing stopping the homebrew from being updated, or questions posted in it? The archive for PbP is an organizational method, not something that blocks posting in forums should the players decide to restart the campaign. Also, homebrew that is in use has players & DMs posting questions, rule clarification requests, and minor tweaks happening as players report issues/make requests. A perfect example of this is your Mecha system, which has players constantly talking about it, and draws people to MMX. Forums that have not had a single comment in a year or more are not in use.

Only after years of work Thank you for clarifying that archived stuff may still be updated.

Offline Nanshork

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2017, 05:37:26 PM »
It sounds like we should just change Campaign, New, and Rework to something else so that things make sense to everyone.

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2017, 10:55:44 AM »
It sounds like we should just change Campaign, New, and Rework to something else so that things make sense to everyone.

My recommendation in this light would be to combine New and Rework (they are, after all, all but identical in practical outcome), and create the Archive for those homebrews no longer under active use or development. This would also include shrinking the individual homebrew forums to remove those that are both no longer under active development and have less than 100 posts over their lifetime.

Offline Bronzebeard

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 06:57:23 PM »
Would bumping my own (very old) important (to me) thread is considered cheating?
And when all this is going to happen?

Offline Stratovarius

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 04:09:10 PM »
It can be done whenever, it was more waiting to see if the community had any further feedback.

And generally it's okay to bump a thread, provided it's not done too frequently.

Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2018, 11:13:15 AM »
I'm back. I'm fine with the OP as well as strat's recent suggestion. Come what may.

Offline bhu

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Re: Cleaning Up Homebrew
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2018, 08:19:00 PM »
my new section doesn't seem to display when there's been a reply.