They're basically solo campaigns with the book acting as a DM, as I see it. However, you could argue that they're not, I guess.
3\$\begingroup\$ What is an example of a real question about a real problem that you have with one of these gamebooks? \$\endgroup\$– Brian Ballsun-StantonMay 11, 2013 at 23:43
\$\begingroup\$ I suspect that most, maybe all, possible questions about them would be on-topic for the Science Fiction & Fantasy SE. \$\endgroup\$– SevenSidedDieMay 12, 2013 at 3:16
1\$\begingroup\$ Wait, I thought of a way these could be topical: one series had conversion rules to make them multiplayer with a GM. I wish I knew which one it was, but my memory fails me. And that may be a valid question here… but only because it's about an actual RPG related to gamebooks, rather than the gamebooks themselves. So they'd be topical in the context of using them as "modules" for that RPG, whatever it's called. \$\endgroup\$– SevenSidedDieMay 12, 2013 at 3:19
\$\begingroup\$ That's the Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG, which is a conversion of the old Fighting Fantasy CYOA books. I know this is an ancient Q&A/comment, but for future readers of this, that's what SSD couldn't remember at the time of writing that comment. SSD later wrote these answers since this Q&A/comment, which includes a reference to Advanced Fighting Fantasy as an example of a game that is on-topic (because it is actually a genuine RPG) despite being based on a CYOA game that is off-topic. \$\endgroup\$– NathanSDec 6, 2019 at 9:51
Fundamentally, we're a site about real RPG questions for real situations. I suspect many contrived questions will lack standing or be more appropriate for sci-fi, but if you find yourself using them in an RPG context, they're certainly allowable.
While there is an element of sociality to RPGs, we have addressed solitare in the past. Therefore, if there exists a real problem with the mechanics of one of these, go for it.
1\$\begingroup\$ I think that it's important to evaluate gamebooks here in certain ways; they're certainly mechanically similar to tabletop roleplaying games, with a similar role in terms of analysis and the market. As a work of fiction, however, they do not fit into the site for certain questions; we're not a site that focuses on literary analysis or tropes and conventions of fiction (except as they relate to games in a more mechanical sense), so gamebooks can really go either way-setting questions could go here, as could mechanical questions and questions about gamebooks as a genre, but not story stuff. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2013 at 23:24
\$\begingroup\$ I think that questions that do not focus on the content and rather on the "How" they are used should certainly be on-topic here. It is a fine line though and I understand trying to steer clear of it. \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2017 at 7:19
One thing to consider is that some solo gamebook series' have an associated RPG (I can name Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf), which then brings campaign setting questions into consideration, specifically those related to gamebook events that could affect the multiplayer RPG setting. I think there's enough of a grey area that individual questions should be examined on their own merits rather than having a solid rule against them.