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Given the (already noticed) more subjetive nature of questions on this SE, should we add the suggestion that question posters add a real-life example (AAR fragment) when questions tend to the subjective? (Or at least consider the importance of such, so as to avoid 'talk to me about some what-if on this really general topic').

A question "what die type is rolled most in game X" is not subjective (barring bizarre playstyles in game X). "What is railroading" (one of my questions) might have been more useful to the community had I been forced to at least consider a real-life occurence and I (this may be personal) would have asked my question with more focus.

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I think the burden is really more on the answers. Adding an example to the question may not really reduce the subjectivity but instead make it a lot worse. "What is railroading" at least has a chance of generating a useful definition. "Did my GM railroad me in this situation where this happened" is purely subjective and something I'd vote to close in an instant - that's not suitable for a SE format, that's a forum whine.

Now, I do want to see answers carry real play examples rather than just being unbridled opinions... In this case, "In my play group, these following behaviors have caused people to complain the line was crossed from guiding the game into 'negative' railroading..." would be an excellent addition.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm, of course, real-life examples (in the question) may also have a derailing effect - you're right. I'm still looking for a way to make 'what is railroading' more useful / applicable. \$\endgroup\$ – Tobiasopdenbrouw Aug 22 '10 at 10:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Tobias I think the trick is to use the real-life example to make a too-broad question more specific, without making it a question that can only be answered by opinion. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 24 '10 at 18:49
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I think this really depends on what sort of question you're asking.

If you're asking an open-ended question like "What is railroading?" then I'm not sure it's at all helpful to focus the discussion around one thing that may or not be.

If however it's a question that relies on communicating a concept correctly in order for the question to make sense, well then yes, that's a good idea. For example, if you asked "What's the best way to handle disagreements over game mechanics?", then a couple of examples of the kind of disagreements you meant would probably lead to much better advice than if all the questioners just imagined their own problem before suggesting how to deal with it.

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I think that's a good idea. Anything that grounds the more subjective questions seems like a great idea to me.

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