So you want to have a conversation in real-time with the RPGamer Staff and the other site readers? Well, you've come to the right place. Unlike the many sites that feature shoddy applet-based chat rooms, or super-complex message board driven chats, RPGamer hosts a number of chat 'channels' on an RPG-flavored IRC network called EsperNet. The following information should be more than enough to get you set up and ready to help break the general idleness of IRC with some good, old-fashioned talking.

RPGamer On IRC

Getting Started
What Is IRC?
IRC, which stands for 'Internet Relay Chat', is a form of internet communication that has existed for many long years, and is harnessed as a communications tool by many of the world's largest companies and chat-centric webgroups. It is an extremely quick communication method due to its relatively simple nature but, often times, IRC networks feature extended services such as file transferring, script activation, and bot usage.
Do I Need to Download Anything?
Depending on which operating system you use, and the varying levels of administration authority you have over your personal computer, you might need to download an IRC client. An IRC client is simply a program that allows you to log on to an IRC network server using a specific port that is separate from the typical FTP and HTTP access to the same server. Below is a list of the most common IRC client software:
Windows mIRC mIRC is by far the most popular IRC client for Windows. It offers a wide array of customization options, and is capable of harnessing virually every IRC feature in existence.
Windows Trillian Although Trillian functions largely as a multiple instant messenger emulator, it's IRC capabilities are both fully functional and varied.
Macintosh IRCle IRCle is virtually identical in all technical regards to its Windows counterpart, mIRC. Customization options, full IRC functionality, and a super helpful homepage are just some of the great things going for this client.
*nix GCC Most *nix users shouldn't even need to be told how to access IRC. However, one of the easiest methods is to install GCC and set up the header files for normal and extended network browsing.
Cross-Platform RPGamer on IRC If you're incapable of downloading, installing, or otherwise setting up any of the above client programs, then RPGamer has just the thing for you! It's a simple JavaApplet that can be run from any web-browsing software and used to access an IRC network anywhere in the world. It comes complete with all the basic functions of any other client, and includes RPGamer's own help tutorial.
Does It Cost Money?
Unless the IRC client software you are using carries a surcharge for its use, there is no charge to connect to - or chat on - EsperNet.
All Right, I Have a Client, Now How Do I Connect?
The process varies greatly from client to client and reading the help documentation is the only sure way to find out exactly what you need to do. However, the specific information that you will need, regardless of which program you choose to use, is as follows:
Port 5555
In addition to the most common variables the network uses (which are listed above) there are a multitude of other EsperNet network servers you can connect to, many of which support connections to other ports. For full details on the functionality of EsperNet, you should visit their website.
IRC Basics
What Is a Nick & How Do I Register One?
An IRC 'nick' is essentially a 'user name' or a 'screen name' that you use while you're on the IRC network to identify yourself; when using RPGamer on IRC you will have a randomly generated nickname by default. All of the RPGamer staff can be identified by looking at the bios page. In order to chat in many channels on EsperNet you will need to register your nick. To do this, simply type the following command into the IRC server window on your client (changing the words 'emailaddress' to your own email address and 'password' to the password you'd like to use):
Server Window /msg nickserv register password emailaddress
Every time you connect in the future, you will need to identify yourself at the IRC server window so that you can 'login' to your nick. The necessary command to do this is (again, change the word 'password' to the password you chose when you registered):
Server Window /msg nickserv identify password
How Do I Join the RPGamer Channels?
As of right now, RPGamer operates #rpgamer, #edscorner, #arthaus, #fabfics, #reviewhaven, #savingthrow, and #operahouse. To join any channel on EsperNet, you simply input the following command at the IRC server window (replace '#channel' with the name of the channel you'd like to join):
Server Window /join #channel
How Do I Talk to Only One Specific Person?
In much the same manner as you communicate directly with the nickserv service on EsperNet, the easiest way to talk to just one person is to use '/msg theirnick yourmessage'. However, many clients allow you to open separate private query windows to carry on longer conversations by using '/query theirnick'.
IRC Authority & General Rules
How Do I Know Who's In Charge? Who Do I Bring Problems To?
Considering that nearly every IRC client displays channel operators (moderators) in a different fashion, the only totally reliable way to find out who's in charge of an RPGamer operated channel is to reference the bios page and find out who on the channel is an RPGamer staff member. If you're being harassed by another user in an RPGamer operated channel, simply tell one of the staff members in private, providing evidence when asked. If an RPGamer staff member is harassing you, you can bring the matter to any department head or administration staff member, and the problem will be resolved quickly.

If you're being harassed by an EsperNet user across multiple channels, then the subject must be brought before an IRC Operator (IRCop) by joining #dragonweyr. If you are being harassed by an IRC Operator or an EsperNet Server Administrator, the subject must be brought before the EsperNet founder, IJ. Do not bother IJ for any reason that is not very, very important or you risk being banned from the network.
What Are the Rules I Need to Follow?
In addition to the EsperNet User Policy, the following rules are non-negotiable:
  • No Advertising
  • No Flaming or Harassment of Others
  • No Spoilers for Games Released Less Than 9 Months Ago In North America
  • No Strong Profanity or Excessively Maturely Themed Conversing
  • No Flooding, Colors, Alternately Styled Text, or Posting URLs Outside of Conversation
  • No Bots or Active Scripts
RPGamer would like to make it clear that we have no authority over, or official affiliation with, EsperNet. They are simply gracious enough to host a significant portion of our reader interaction mediums.

If you have a question regarding RPGamer's presence on IRC that isn't answered here, send your email to the RPGamer Webmasters and they will reply as quickly as they can in regards to your concern.

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