D&D General Differences Between D&D Boards

I apologize, if this is breaking a social taboo, like starting a group text with your Spouse and Lover and asking which is a better kisser.

I glanced at the Giants in the Playground 5e board today and saw that @ad_hoc had also started a 1st level spell ranking thread there, as well.

The differences in responses was interesting.

Now I generally just check EN World, (that was actually my 2nd time on GITPG since 3e days), but while the amount of posters seemed greater in numbers, the rule knowledge seemed lower.....or rather I should say, I saw some really bad rules arguments being promulgated for longer, than I think would have been the case for EN World.

For those with D&D board Polyamory, what are the differences between various sites? Which do you like? What do you think are some best practices?

Categories can include, ( but should not be limited to):

RAW Knowledge
RAI Interpretation

I wish Optimization received a little bit more focus on EN World. Outside of Esker and Frog Reaver, it seems very lonely there. 😰
Is it because EN World has older posters? Posters that do not play 5e?

GITPG seemingly has a lot more Optimization threads.
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I wish Optimization received a little bit more focus on EN World. Outside of Esker and Frog Reaver, it seems very lonely there. 😰
Is it because EN World has older posters? Posters that do not play 5e?

It's because it is an RPG not a competitive strategy game.

There are too many variables to determine what is an optimal way of going about the game.

In an RPG the greatest commodity is spotlight time and the greatest reward is fun and hopefully enabling others to have fun.

When I look at whether something is good I'm looking at whether it will represent in the game what it claims to be representing in the rules.

Will this be fun to use? Are there interesting choices involved and ones which are informed by the narrative. Etc.

Furthermore, there is no way to figure out who is actually right. People can't even agree on who is right in competitive strategy games and there are actual winners there.

As far as GitP - If you ever wanted to know what the term 'Group Think' means then there you go. The people who post there have a very narrow view of how they want to play the game both in goals and with rules and houserules and whatnot. Those who don't share those views get run out which creates an echo chamber.

It happens in strategy game groups often. A group of friends might have a favourite game and one friend wins a lot so everyone else tries to copy that person's strategy. Soon enough everyone is playing the game to implement the best version of that strategy. The group then takes their game to a convention and plays against people who have a different view of the game. If that person wins against their friends all the time then they probably think they are an expert and everyone else is wrong about what is the correct winning strategy. Thing with a strategy game though is that what is a good strategy can be determined by who wins. Even then I have seen many times where people latch onto their views that they are still right.

So you can imagine what happens when discussing RPGs.

Posting on GitP is a guilty pleasure of mine. I disagree with 90% of the people there on just about everything. I have most people on 'ignore' so I can scroll through their huge threads and read the posts by either new people or ones I share a similar gaming philosophy with. I don't normally engage with most of the people there as I find the way they play to be alien to all I've ever known. Still, sometimes I will do a hit and run and drop a dissenting voice.

I post here for regular engaging D&D discussion. About the game but a lot of the discussion here involves news.

I made a ranking of spells for my personal use and as something to do during quarantine. I posted it to spur discussion. I know full well lots of people will disagree with me and there is no actual way to resolve who is right. I disagree with most people's evaluation of things too.


My personal opinion:

Optimization is more of a hallmark of 3rd edition D&D than 5th, and though this forum has fans of all editions on here, the majority of 3e fans may well have moved on to other forums.

GITP is a place where a lot of 3e fans reside (where 3e is their game of choice), hence the focus on optimization. For one thing, Order of the Stick is a cartoon that had its birth in 3.5e D&D, and it never “edition changed” after 3.5, so that may be the reason it feels like a lot of 3e fans hang there. (Rich Burlew has said that he sort of changed it to “editionless” later, but any time he makes a rules-based joke, the gist is still 3e influenced.)

Here there is a greater focus on 5e among forum members today, an edition which de-emphasizes system mastery. If you dig into older threads from the 3e days, you find a HUGE amount of optimization talk from people like Treantmonk from back in the day, and from a lot of people who either moved on largely to other platforms, or just moved away from gaming later in life.

every forum seems to have a “gravity focus“ - here is mostly 5e, a person likely goes to GITP for 3e focus, to places like Dragonsfoot (if they’re still around, I haven’t been in a while), etc.

as far as civility and cultural tone, I can’t say - it shifts over time. I still frequent this one because I like Russ, and there are a few old faces around I still connect with. 😀


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Just to get this out there in advance -- the thread is fine, but what we're NOT going to do is say mean things about another community. Feel free to say what you enjoy about other forums, but there's no need to insult anybody. Be nice.


I spend the majority of my time here, but land on some other boards sometimes when I am searching for things.

However, when I want to look for Homebrew content (monsters, class, magic items, campaign worlds, etc.) I will invariably check the UA reddit: Unearthed Arcana

The quantity and visual quality of homebrew content is astounding. The game mechanics quality is a bit all over (some really good and some don't know how to calculate CR), but that is not much of an issue for me, I just want interesting ideas.


I really enjoy that EnWorld has a dedicated section for Optimization and labelling for threads. I can ignore what I don't need. I don't need Optimization since 5e. I don't allow Feats or Multi-classing at my table.

I visit The Piazza Old D&D Worlds regularly and Dragonfoot for AD&D lore questions. I tend to avoid D&D Beyond and GITP.

Ultimately it's the «snark level» of a forum that determines if I stay or if I go. I have no patience for that.


I've gone to many of the various sites over the years to look around... but the fact that I've remained here after 18 years says everything it needs to about what @Morrus has put together here. Regardless of edition, this is still the best site to talk about D&D in my opinion, and my DMing skill has only gotten better by reading and following what other people have done here (to learn what's best to do and not do.) If I haven't said it enough, thank you Morrus!


Lord of the Hidden Layer
My primary experience with other boards was the WotC board (which I enjoyed) and a short dip into RPG.net (which I did not).
RPG had just put in a temporary 'No Politics' rule (to protect the moderators' sanity) ahead of an election, and about two dozen posters ragequit leaving behind nasty tantrum-posts which persuaded me the moderators' concern was well-founded. Hopefully the atmosphere improved subsequently, but I haven't gone back to check.

I have briefly checked out Candlekeep, GiTP, and Reddit. I am easily discouraged by any site that is hard to figure out the navigate or search, it seems. I should put more determination into it.

What I like most about EnWorld: the 'Enhancing -Adventure XYZ-" threads and the "how can I approach / solve this problem?" threads.

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