# Should RPG.SE merge with boardgames.SE?

I can think of a few good reasons:

1. Get both out of beta by combining stats

2. Currently Miniature Wargaming straddles the line in an awkward way (considering how similar some 'board' games are to D&D.

3. More cross-pollination between the two

4. If stackoverflow.com can handle languages from Python to INTERCAL, we can handle games from D&D to Bridge

5. We get a shiny new name; tableoverflow.stackexchange for example.

I'm sure this is riddled with issues, but when I saw it on this answer it seemed like the smart thing to ask.

• +1 for asking the question, -1 because i agree with mxyzplk – DForck42 Dec 20 '11 at 17:54

Absolutely not.

The two hobbies are too disparate. You may as well combine Stack Overflow and Server Fault since they're both "about computers."

This WotC survey shows that only 43% of RPG gamers play a classic type board game monthly. It's less than crossover with computer games. If there was cross-interest, more people from board games would be here already and vice versa. If there's not, an attempt to merge simply in order to "add the stats up" is ill-fated.

Basically, I have no interest in board games, I play RPGs. If this site is full of board game content, its value to me is extremely diluted and I would go back to all the RPG forums that, oddly, have plenty of membership without combining all those other games into them. The number of people that play board games/card games is way, way larger than those who play RPGs (3% of the surveyed population) and our content would be drowned out in the long run.

I think the response to low growth numbers isn't to dilute our content further - one of the goals of a SE is to curate good content to attract experts on a given topic. There are many RPG forums out there with hundreds of posts a day and thousands of users. The solution is to attract them, not become so defocused no one in their right mind would come here for RPG discussion.

Furthermore, I believe large numbers of board gamers couldn't help but approach RPG questions from that board gamer mindset, which means even the quality of answers on RPG questions would be biased.

RPGs are in general collaborative not competitive, they have a facilitator not just players - except inasmuch as some of the newer games obsess with selling tabletop widgets to up their revenue stream, there are few meaningful comparisons between the two.

• +1 Excellent answer and discussion point. – Pureferret Dec 19 '11 at 23:43
• 43% for classic board games. Not given is the % for Card Games/Trading Card Games/Word-knowledge/puzzle table games/miniatures table-top/games that use miniatures/war games/strategy games and social/party games. All of those categories were asked in the survey. Even conceding significant overlap, the 43% is bound to increase a fair bit when taking the union of all those sets. The survey is 12 years old though, I'm not sure how much relevance we should continue to give it. – Pat Ludwig Dec 20 '11 at 1:30
• OK, how about "only 7.8% of SE users who committed to the RPG.SE beta also committed to B&CG?" Also when I go to B&CG users, on the first page I only see like 5 faces I recognize... – mxyzplk Dec 20 '11 at 1:44
• As you know, both sites started fairly early in the area51 process and you can only commit to a very limited number of sites at a time. – Pat Ludwig Dec 20 '11 at 7:30
• Argh! I agree with mxyzlk ;) – David Allan Finch Dec 20 '11 at 8:51
• @PatLudwig limited, but not "one." 60% of committers to RPG only committed to RPG and nothing else, meaning of the stuff out there that's the only one they cared about. – mxyzplk Dec 20 '11 at 14:03

There doesn't really seem to be much in it for us.

1. Graduation is based on growth, not absolute numbers of users. So it isn't like adding B&CG will make us cross a population threshold to graduate. If they aren't growing fast enough and we aren't growing fast enough, the result will be a combined site that still isn't growing fast enough. It might result in upping our activity enough to trigger some kind of critical mass. But I'd want to hear a lot more merging success stories before relying on something like that.

2. It gets us more questions, but not very interesting ones. Mechanics questions are fine. They're safe. But the questions that really seem to take off (and the ones that seem more interesting to me, personally) are the softer questions. The ones related specifically to role-playing, authoring, and group dynamics. Compare our top questions to theirs.

3. What is the commonality between the two sites? Table-top gaming? But what about LARP? Not-video-gaming?

Strictly speaking I'm not against the merge... But I would want to see some benefits in it. Particularly given the uncertanties of rebranding.

2.Currently Miniature Wargaming straddles the line in an awkward way (considering how similar some 'board' games are to D&D.

I'm a little confused by this, as someone who isn't a participant at B&CG. The dividing line on our side is pretty clear: Are role-playing rules built in to the game? I.e. Castle Ravenloft is a board game, despite sharing mechanics and brand with D&D 4e.

• Strictly speaking I'm not against the merge... But I would want to see some benefits in it. This is more or less my standpoint, which is why I'd like to see this discussed. My point on wargaming is that, for a significant portion, they hold a lot of similarities with RPGs. When I finish off my Tau cadre I'll have fleshed out who they are, what they do etc. I might even make choices based on personality. There's no dialog but it's close. Also I've 'RPed' Arkham Horrors before. I was a lot of fun! – Pureferret Dec 20 '11 at 7:54
• @Pureferret You can roleplay Monopoly if you want to :) But that doesn't make Monopoly a roleplaying game. Both Warhammer and Arkham Horror seem pretty solidly board games as written. – AceCalhoon Dec 20 '11 at 20:32
• And now I must try that... – Pureferret Dec 20 '11 at 22:46
• LOL, yeah, you can take 4e over to B&CG if you like though :-P – mxyzplk Dec 21 '11 at 3:32
• @mxyzplk - hasn't this site chased off enough 4e traffic already? – Pat Ludwig Dec 21 '11 at 6:40
• Apparently it's chased off the senses of humor too. – mxyzplk Jan 6 '12 at 6:37