The internet is a big, scary place. But as it turns out, it’s a great place to get insight and information on all topics, including role playing games. Though sites like Troll in the Corner are great if you like the writers (and I hope you do), user-driven communities are a different way to get information, and tend to have a lot of people willing to share their opinion.
For gaming, there are a few places that I go for advice, information, and to shoot the breeze with other gamers. That being said, there are some caveats to keep in mind when soliciting advice on the internet. For one, everyone has their own opinion, and none of them are wrong. On a community site like Reddit or RPGNet, the best way to get information that’s valuable to you is to read what everyone has to say, and come to your own conclusions about what can help you. Accepting advice on the internet at face value is less dangerous in gaming than it would be in, say, medicine or auto repair, but there’s still no guarantee that what worked for “THAC0Dude123” will work for you.
The one place I go to read around most is RPGNet. There is an interesting community there, but what I like best is that someone like me who plays a range of systems can find something there for any game I’m interested in at the time without much trouble. The community there is very broad, and covers a broad range of playstyle preferences, levels of experience, and geographic locations. The game discussions are good, as well as their “Other Media” and video games sections. In addition to the discussions, there is a Play by Post section that is very active, and a good place to find people online to play games. One place I’d tread lightly if you choose to join the site is the miscellaneous discussion section, called “Tangency Open”. Hearing very opinionated people talk about Exalted and D&D is one thing, watching flame wars start on politics and gender issues is quite another.
The next area I read most is the RPG subgroup of Reddit. With fewer members than RPGNet, this subreddit can be quiet at times, but the discussions that do emerge tend to be interesting and have good advice. Additionally, as is the strength of Reddit as a whole, there are many links to very good articles hosted on other sites (including many that are posted here). I’ve posted significantly less often there since I started writing here, especially on discussions of my own articles (that isn’t to say that I don’t take the bait of my critics every once in a while).
There are many other sites on the internet, though most are game-specific (ENWorld for D&D, the SJGames forums for GURPS), or activity-specific (Myth-Weavers, a PbP-focused board, 1km1kt, a free and independent game focused board). For general role playing discussion that appeals to a broad range of gamers, the two sites I’ve noted above are a good place to start.