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This site (SE not rpg.se) has a history of closing questions that are closely related to another question even if it is not the same question. However it seems when I try to make an answer to the more general question rather than the specific it gets voted down even though it is a valid answer to the general question even though it may not had answered the specific question.

Is this how we think it should be?

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Answering a specific question with a general answer is usually fine. The exception would be when the specific case in question is an exception to the general rule (e.g. providing traditional RPG advice to a non-traditional RPG question).

Providing an answer to a related but different question is not fine. In that case you should either wait for the related question to be asked, leave a comment, or (if the question/answer is going to be really good) post the question yourself.

It is this second case that caused you to be downvoted. Your answer was not a more general form of "how can I be more spontaneous?". Your answer was an answer to a question similar to "how can I prevent my players from destroying the adventure?"

The two questions/answers are related, but the relationship isn't one of general/specific.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I guess I can see this the way you have stated it. I guess this was the way that I read the text of his question. I hope we are just a little more generous with RPG questions than SE is with many of the others as far as dupicity goes. \$\endgroup\$ – user2015 Jul 1 '11 at 14:01
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Well, to address the edge case of downvoting your answer, I'd have downvoted it too. Not because I think it's a "general answer to a specific question" (I do that all the time) but because, in my opinion, it's absolutely horrible advice.

Therefore, I'd downvote it because I think it's a bad answer. (I didn't actually downvote it because I don't check starwars specific questions...)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I downvoted it as well, not because it's "more general" but because it's "off topic." \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Jul 1 '11 at 1:36
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The answer might not be quite specificity on topic but I don't see why it is worth -5. Piling on or what. I don't like the tactics in the answer but personally I would not have bothered to -1 it, may be a comment to say I did not think it was relevant to the question. But after all that is my opinion not everyone that reads the questions and answers would agree. Getting no votes would have been enough of a signal to those that cared.

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