Making an RP Site

Heya folks, for along while now I've been looking to create an RP site. I've been using a few, and so far have been rather unsatisfied with them for various reasons. I'll list a few concepts that I want to stay away from:

1. Forum based posting. While I am not entirely against the design of most forums, I don't find it appealing and generally I'm bothered by the general look of most RP forums.

2. Adult stuff. I'd like to keep the site PG-13, so as to have a broader audience and not have a bunch of kink based stuff clog up the site.

3. Instant Message style. While for some things I like having IM chats available, I'd like to keep the core RP site as something that can be looked at and responded to whenever the users require, instead of having to always be online and having everything pass in real time.

Essentially, I'd like to take the idea of posting from a username like forums do, however I haven't ever dabbled in creating forums. The sites I've made were rudimentary, simple, and met the specifications of the classes I took. Any thoughts? Ideas? Can I do this entirely using HTML with maybe a bit of javascript, although I'd like to stay away from javascript.

Okay, a few questions/comments.

1. So it seems like you're saying it's the aesthetic look of these existing forums that you don't like. Is that the case or do you have anything against the core idea of forums (i.e. subforums, threads, etc.)?

2. For this, the best option is to make sure you have the ability to apply moderator status to some trusted users in your community, so they can help you keep the "kink" out. Using yourself and moderators as filters is basically your best option since A.I. is not yet at a point where you could have a bot filter that stuff out for you reliably (as the UK government has recently proven, hehe).

3. This goes back to my question in #1; so you prefer the idea of persistent RPs rather than conversations that end once the users involved go offline (i.e. what forum software provides)?

This post paints fairly vague picture of what you want to accomplish. If the main issue is that you don't like how most forums are styled, then the next question to ask would be which forums are you basing this off of? There may be existing forum software that you like that you haven't encountered yet and may make your life easier. A lot of forum software can be skinned in different ways. That said if developing your own forums is something you want to go for, then awesome! There are just a few things you should know...

You will not be able to make a forum-like software using just HTML and a little bit of javascript. HTML is primarily for structuring the webpage, it does not provide persistent storage of posts and users and other things you might want to keep track of. The de facto standard for writing forum software and other similar web applications is combining HTML (and maybe a little javascript) with PHP and a MySQL database. MySQL (or any database for that matter) is how you keep everything persistent, by storing all the user/post/etc. information in a database that the webserver has access to. PHP then acts as the middleman and sets up the relevant information to pass to the HTML. There are many many tutorials on the web for working with PHP and MySQL.

Okay that said, you can use many other web technologies (Ruby on Rails, Django/Python, Node.js) and many different databases to achieve what you're looking for. If you want to work with primarily HTML and Javascript then I would recommend checking out . Meteor is a framework that lets you do both the client-side stuff (what you're used to) and the server-side stuff (what PHP does) all in javascript, and it packages a MongoDB database to work with. Okay wall of text done.

Thank you very much for the feedback, hopefully I can clarify the things you asked about.

1. I am completely content with the way a forum functions, with there being threads created by users and moderators, within which could be more threads with posts. Example: Fantasy RP's / Bioshock Infinite RP.

From what I have seen, the aesthetic looks of most forums is just something I don't like. Tek Syndicate is one of the few exceptions. Just googling "RP Sites" brings up a treasure trove of looks that I'm not looking for. The best example I'd like to take inspiration from is Eliteskills, which can be found at

2. The intention was to have a site that was kept under control by some experienced friends as moderators. So yeah, no AI stuff to deal with, just people moderating people.

3. Correct, persistent RP's that will be there with the posts even after you log back on and come back in a few days. That is what I would like to keep as the core mechanic of the site, basically a forum.


During the time it took for a response as well as for me to check back to see if this had received any feedback I was looking into various forum builds, which were frankly very dated looking. Sad to say, leads into what you discussed in your enlightening wall of text. While I'm proficient at HTML and CSS, I haven't dabbled much with javascript or PHP.

Because this is something that interests me, I think I'll be taking a class on some server side programming in the fall. I'm hesitant to create something based on someone's code that isn't mine, I'd feel much more content if I were familiar with everything that was going on as well as having the satisfaction of having the site truly be my creation.

Hopefully that clarifies the questions you had, and perhaps you have some guidance regarding learning PHP. I might just pick up a book and read.

A good overview of the php syntax can be found at

If you want some interactive tutorials check out

If it's a book you want, then I hear Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, and CSS: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites is pretty solid.

You can also check out the main PHP site for their (fairly readable) documentation.

Also one last plug for another thread in the Code forum. If you're ever looking for a starting point for learning a language, check out The Programming Super Thread for tutorials others have posted.

> A good overview of the php syntax can be found at w3schools (from W3C, the people who write web standards).

No, no!  w3schools is not affiliated with the w3c in any way.  It is a marketing ploy.  And they are not a great place to learn, either; especially when it comes to actual programming languages.  Go to (the official website), or read Mario Lurig's book (which is a bit dated, but still a good intro; plus it is free in PDF format).

Cancer:  yes, absolutely, learn PHP (or something, Python is cool too) and how to program.  If your local college/university has a decent course, take it.  However, don't expect to create something as complicated as a forum after a single semester.  There is simply too much to learn about.  Unless you plan to make this something of a career (or, a really serious hobby), you'll be better off finding an existing piece of software to run your forum, and maybe learn to tweak it along the way.

Your first part is correct and I've removed the bit in parentheses as that was indeed incorrect. The only thing I was suggesting is that the base tutorial is a decent quick overview of the syntax, which it is. For actually getting into it the PHP site and/or the other links/books are the way to go.

I was under the impression that Cancer is looking for something long term that would feel like a significant hobby. That said there are quicker solutions. Since he said he does like the look of these forums, I think taking a crack at Drupal may be a good route to go as you can really make it your own, while at the same time making use of some existing modules for areas such as authentication and moderation where you would very much be reinventing the wheel.