Statements such as “not an actual problem” have been posited as criticism of questions and closure justification.

Is it true that every RPGSE question must pose an ‘actual problem’?

  • \$\begingroup\$ No, because whether something is required or not on RPGSE is different than clarity on the meaning of the term. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 8:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ You literally asked Is a "real problem" required for a question? in last year's question. (Also, my comment above is a formula comment that is automagically posted when a downvote-as-dupe is cast; I have no ability to prevent it.) \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Sep 1, 2021 at 8:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ That aspect was not addressed by any of the answerers so i’ll remove it from that question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 8:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ At least two answerers dedicated paragraphs to this question in the previous post. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Sep 1, 2021 at 8:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what aspects you find insufficient about the answers to the other question, nor (perhaps ironically) what end this question is trying to achieve. I'm assuming I'm missing something, but this currently feels like an attempt to get a statement "Yes, all questions must have an actual problem" which would then be used to argue for the closure of questions which don't need it. If you could elaborate on what you're seeking or need which isn't covered by the other question, there may be a worthwhile discussion in here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Sep 1, 2021 at 10:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I’m reviewing on SE the particularities about what here are acceptable questions, justifying a practical question with a problem narrative for some is not intuitive (maybe even contradictory, uncommon). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 10:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It may be more helpful to focus on whatever the concrete situation is that you're observing, and ask for our assistance or community guidance in some form with that. Are people having trouble with questions that express a clear problem? Point us to incidents and ask what the best practice response to those questions or situations is, for example. Are you running into trouble asking some kinds of questions on our site? Tell us about those and the trouble you're dealing with, and ask what you can do to help them work. Stuff like that. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 11:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thinking about it, I became confused by the thought "if -all- questions must be based on actual problems, why is 'no actual problem' not a defined close reason?" It seems to be one of two possibilities, either it's an oversight - the idea of 'actual problem' is so obvious to people they didn't think to create a close reason, or that mostly people don't think this way and it should not be required of -all- questions. But in the first case, maybe it should be a close reason. And in the second case, maybe it should be removed from the help document. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 12:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AmethystWizard "Not a real question" was in the original suite of close reasons, but got misused a lot by people basically voting "I don't like this question". It evolved later into "this question is unclear", and now the current "needs details or clarity". I feel that's as close as we've ever gotten to "no actual problem" as its own close reason, and it'd have the same problems "not a real question" had. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 12:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ This all said, it tends to be the case that if there is no actual problem expressed, we close it as "needs details or clarity" — because we need someone to add more details to clarify what the actual problem is they're having. Or we close it as off topic because it's just someone posting a diatribe or rant about something for some reason, which is exceptionally rare—most of the time we see this it's in answers instead. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2021 at 12:26

1 Answer 1



There is a help centre document which indicates that all RPGSE questions should be ‘based on actual problems’.

Questions help

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.


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