Restrict replies to a certain group of users

I want to make a forum for students and consultants.

Students: can create topics, only reply to their OWN topic they’ve created

Consultants: can reply to any post, can create topics

is this possible? The whole value add of our forum would actually be that you can ONLY get help from consultants, similar to the Q&A board on

says post withdrawn? were you wrong? @merefield

Sorry in my haste I didn’t notice one restriction you included:

In a Category there’s no way to prevent someone from replying to a Topic they did not create.

‘Reply’ permission covers an entire Category and all its Topics

Out of the box there is no way to do what you want to achieve.

A plugin could achieve that. #marketplace is your friend :slight_smile:

@merefield I’d have 4 categories
Category A
Cateogry B
Category C
Category D

within those categories there would be several subcategories.

user group 1 can only create topics and reply to their OWN topics.
User group 2 can reply to any topic and create topics.

this is not possible without a plugin? do you think a plugin could be made for this if its not possible?

These are the out of the box group permission sets that can be set for each Category by group:


You will note there is no way to prevent someone replying to a Topic they didn’t create unless they have only See capability.

I see. Thanks. Looks like I’ll need a custom plugin. Where else could I find a programmer for this plugin?

You are well served here because of the domain expertise. I may even bid but tied up presently :).

I posted in marketplace. Thanks. If they can’t do it, looks like I’ll need Xenforo :\

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Plugins have almost unlimited control so I guarantee it will be possible.

Stick with Discourse, it rocks.

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Do you have any estimate for how much this plugin might cost?

I’ll PM you my take on it.

Permissions are at the category level. You want them at the topic level. Changing that will be very difficult.

Dang. Is this limitation exclusive to just Discourse, or do other forums support this?

Do you have a cost estimate to add this on Discourse? It’s definitely the best forum potential IMO.

Topic only permissions are going to be at least $5k and will be expensive to maintain.

You could have students submit their questions and then have them moved or approved into a category that they cannot post in, but they will not be able to reply.

My recommendation would be either enforce the ‘only consultants can reply’ retirement with community norms (just tell students not to reply) or give up allowing students to reply. If they need to add more info they could edit their original post.