This post was updated January 2023
Many gamemasters and TTRPG groups use Discord to connect for sessions and other people for general niche discussion.
Part of your responsibility as a community organizer is to ensure the safety of your community members. This article covers several ways to increase the safety and security of your TTRPG Discord community.
Create a Code of Conduct
As an admin or game master, setting the tone for your Discord server is essential. One way to do this is to have a code of conduct that sets out the expectations for behavior for everyone on the server. Everyone will have to agree to participate if you make it a mandatory part of the landing page (before they’re permitted to view channels in Discord). Automation like this can keep your server running smoothly and help you moderate more effectively.
This way, if you need to bounce someone, they can’t say they didn’t know.
There are a few different ways to set up a code of conduct. You can use a pre-existing template, or you can make your own. If you use a pre-existing template, customize it to fit your server. You can also add your own rules and regulations as you see fit.
Examples of rules to include:
- Be Respectful: We do not tolerate rude or harassing comments. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Language: This server is 18+, so moderate profanity is permitted. Any derogatory language or profanity used toward or against another user is strictly prohibited.
- Spam: Only send a few messages one after the other. It’s disruptive and causes clutter.
These are just a few examples. You could also cover rules around NSFW, advertisements, offensive usernames, profile pictures, voice chat, personal information, piracy, misleading news or info, channel-specific guidelines, and more.
Once you have a code of conduct, pin it to the top of your server so everyone can see it and reference it if necessary.
Ask Your Community How They Found You
It’s a good idea to have an introduction page where new members can share who they are and how they found your Discord. It should be where they land immediately after accepting the Rules and Code of Conduct to gain access to the channels. Prime placement like this is helpful for audience data and removing members that shouldn’t be there and could end up causing problems in one way or another.
Before you get going with your Discord server or open it up to more people, you should appoint moderators. It’s essential only to select moderators who will uphold the values you want in your space.
Make sure to appoint enough moderators to be available as needed. Search for possible moderators in your Twitter followers, Ko-Fi/Patreon supporters, or friends. Ask if they’re interested in helping out. Whether you gather volunteers or paid help is entirely up to you, your community needs, and your budget.
Having at least two moderators for every 100 members on your Discord server is a good idea. This way, there should always be someone available to handle any issues. Mod teams should also be diverse and represent the interests of your community best.
Moderators should be responsible for keeping the peace on your Discord server. They should be able to handle conflicts between members and keep an eye out for any inappropriate behavior. If they see something violating your Discord server’s rules, moderators should take immediate action to resolve the issue. Resolutions might include banning users or editing messages to remove offensive content.
Audit Your Privacy Settings
Ensure your private maintenance channels are actually private. For example, it would be really awkward to discuss whether a server member violated a rule and what to do about it to discover everyone could see that discussion.
Let’s Talk About Tagging
Turn off the ability for all members to tag @/here and @/everyone.
To @ someone on Discord is to tag them in a message so they get notified about it. Tagging helps get someone’s attention or direct a message to them specifically. Consider setting strict guidelines about tagging individuals.
A great way to reduce spamming your community with notifications is to create an opt-in role for go-live notices. This way, people interested in being notified when someone goes live can opt in, but those who are not interested can remain unbothered. For example, our channel has a role for playtesters. They’re the only ones that will get a ding when we tag playtesters.