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FAQ – the DC Heroes RPG online community


Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

The DC Heroes Community is the bunch that talks about the DC Heroes RPG. When that results in character writeups, proposed new rules, and the like, it eventually gets archived on writeups.org.

So, no, writeups.org is not a company. It’s considerably closer to a punk fanzine. Which means that you can contribute too. You probably should.

So what do you need to know before you enthusiastically join to converse, contribute and comment ?


Short history

The original community was founded around 1995 by Joshua D. Marquart as a mailing list. For years it was kindly hosted by a small web design company, Idyll Mountain (now defunct) headed by Kynn Bartlett. In 2002 it became a Yahoo! Group.

The community, with Josh as its interface and editor, was behind much of the content for the Sidekick rulebook published by Pulsar for Blood of Heroes. A further evolution of this content comprises much of the new rules in Blood of Heroes : Special Edition , the most recent version of the game system.

Eventually, the Pulsar property was bought by members of the community in an effort to further improve it. Unfortunately, this proved unfeasible for legal reasons.

As of mid-2016 the community is still on a Yahoo! Group . Yahoo! Groups was part of the package bought by Verizon, though we don’t know yet what’ll happen to the service.


M&M spin-off

In 2011, we started having spin-off writeups.org discussion threads with the Mutants & Masterminds community. The current writeups.org thread is here .

The DC Heroes Community has no relationship with Roninarmy.com, which is operated by Green Ronin.


Traffic

There’s been a lot of work to keep this community alive. At its peak circa 2004, it could get to about 1500-2000 messages/month. However, as the most recent edition of the game is now 15+ years in the past, the number of active participants inevitably dwindles.

As of 2016 the volume of messages is closer to 200/month, often less. So on one hand that’s easier to handle, but on the other the trajectory toward extinction is obvious. People move on to other games, or away from the hobby.

Thus, having more people who have an interest in DCH and/or writeups.org participate would be neat.

As standard for Yahoo! Groups, it is possible to subscribe to get e-mail compilations rather than individual e-mails. Or even no e-mails at all (presumably because one reads the messages on the Yahoo! Groups’ web site). And yes, it’s free.


Joining

As noted on our DCH Yahoo! Group information page , there are two things to keep in mind when joining:

  • Add a little message about why you’d like to join to show us that you’re not a spammer. Not that we ever had much of a spam problem, but even one piece of spam is too much spam.
  • Expect the process to take several days. Yahoo! Groups doesn’t seem to receive much maintenance since 2014-ish, and certain processes (such as warning the mods that somebody applied to join) are unreliable if not broken.

Ground rules

Noise

The DC Heroes Community isn’t 100% technical discussion. However, we strive to stay on topic. For instance, it isn’t a comic books discussion community. There are plenty of those elsewhere.

There are occasionally off-topic posts, for instance to recommend a book, to ask a comic book history question, to discuss writing advice, etc.. But experience has demonstrated that community members are good at limiting noise, so that’s no big deal. It’s less than once a year that mods have to step in and go “guys, can the chatter, this is not what people who joined signed up for”.

Facts

The character writeups are done through research, not opinions (except for some very old ones). There’s also a strong preference for the scientific method.

So “of course Aunt May cna beat Galactus lol u sux” isn’t going to fly. The expectation is more along the lines of “the following incidents show that this version of Batman likely retains a STR of 05”.

Peer review and answers

Generally, the goal is to comment on each other’s work. However, posts frequently go without comment, since :

  • we’re low on manpower (we need more good people)
  • a lot of the regulars are quite late on their DCH Community e-mail (often 1 week or more)
  • since the noise is kept down, people will probably only post if they have something substantial to contribute, rather than something too minor or purely phatic.

The “just no” category

No racism, no homophobia, no misogyny, no flaming, no transphobia, no ableism, no antisemitism, no classism, no xenophobia, no insults, no sexism, no ego fights, no islamophobia… none of this shit.

The DC Heroes Community is more diverse than what most people imagine when picturing “a bunch of nerds”. Especially as contrasted with the amount of hate speech that floats in the bowl of many online nerdy community. We’ve been blessedly free of intolerance for decades, so stuff that would be unremarkable elsewhere is going to draw a forceful response here.

Stay away from politics and religion. There too, the Community is more diverse than what one likely expects.

No discussion of piracy, at all. If this happens, Yahoo! gets to summarily shut down the community. So that’s clearly not worth it.

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