Nutkinland was an online community and comedy Web site which grew out of the message boards for Eric Noah's Unofficial D&D 3rd Edition News (on the web from 1999-2001). Because Nutkinland was known to have no official rules save for a ban on illegal content, its was perceived as an alternative to Eric Noah's message board and its successor, EN World; for most of its existence NKL was a sub-community of users who wanted to discuss taboo subject matter in a comparatively unmoderated forum or simply flame one another. It is still widely known nowadays under its present name of theRPGsite.
Nutkinland was created by Christopher Haynes, who remained in control of the site despite the proliferation of administrators who assisted or temporarily replaced him over the years. The earliest comedic features of Nutkinland appeared originally on Eric Noah's message board in a series of play-by-post threads started by a sub-group of users known as the Pantheon. Because Haynes posted in these threads under the username "Squirrel Nutkin" this remains his best known ID in the RPG community.
On July 19th, 2000, Haynes created the comedy website Squirrel Nutkin's D&D Home Page. Its original purpose was to parody Eric Noah's site by gathering news and rumors about squirrels in Dungeons & Dragons. After D&D 3rd Edition was released in August 2000, Squirrel Nutkin's site was renamed Squirrel Nutkin's RPG Home Page and broadened to include squirrels in every role-playing game and not just D&D.
On February 12, 2001, added the Nutkinland message board to the RPG Home Page for the Pantheon and other users to post messages "in-character" as Squirrel Nutkin had done on Eric Noah's board by claiming to be Ratatosk, a squirrel in Norse mythology. As the userbase increased that aspect of Nutkinland was abandoned and the entire site was reinvented on July 1, 2002, as Nutkinland: Squirrel Nutkin's RPG Home Page. Featuring real news, reviews, and columns about the RPG industry, its purpose was to parody the community as a whole.
After Haynes closed the Nutkinland Web site and forums on June 12, 2004, he moved its users to a spin-off message board named Nothingland. Haynes soon retired from the new board but the two sites were nearly identical; many forum members believed that NTL was Nutkinland operating under a new name.
In February 2006, the administrators of Nothingland announced they were closing the Web site for personal reasons. A diaspora of other message boards sprung into action at that time to replace it, while Russell Morrissey (owner of EN World) contacted Haynes and offered to host a new version of Nutkinland using vBulletin forums previously installed on EN World’s server in case of emergency. Haynes accepted but family problems diverted his attention; a subsequent misunderstanding between the two caused Morrissey to launch The Nut Test message board (eventually renamed Circvs Maximvs) as a spin-off owned and operated by EN World instead.
Haynes claimed Morrissey's new board would make any future incarnation of NKL obsolete, and fell in with former members of EN World's technical support staff to help launch The RPG Site. In an attempt to increase traffic it was re-branded as Nutkinland: The RPG Site on April 1, 2006, but because Haynes was not directly involved in its management the new board was not well-received by users from the original Nutkinland. On August 19, 2006, Nutkinland: The RPG Site was renamed theRPGsite and handed over to an entirely new set of administrators, who have since reinvented it as an alternative to RPGnet for users who want to discuss RPGs in a comparatively less moderated forum.
- Steve Jackson Games Daily Illuminator, December 28, 2000.
- Steve Jackson Games Daily Illuminator, June 25, 2002.
- Green Ronin Publishing News, July 13, 2002.
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