The Help Center includes the following two points for on-topic questions:

  • A specific problem with playing or running a table-top RPG
  • Techniques for running or playing RPGs

But does that include topics on group dynamics and psychology, for example on how to treat or force groups to do certain actions?

The current question I have is basically the question "How to force a group to choose a leader without using out of game telling". It has a certain overlap with (or even belongs on) Cognitive Science but is limited to the situation a role playing party/a party of characters will find themselves in, so quite different to the real world (which Cognitive Science is about).

Are such questions on-topic?


2 Answers 2


Yes, depending on what you want.

If you want a question situated in "how did you get your groups to choose a leader?" than RPG Experts can answer that.

If you want a question situated in "how does the cognitive theory of nudging provide a way to hint towards a group leader" welllll... We're probably not the best bet.

At the end of the day, it's about how you frame your question. We certainly have questions about RPG groups and the problems they face, but they exist within our jargon and our sphere of expertise without any sort of well-controlled trials or studies.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 it's basic Venn diagram stuff, if it's a general human interaction question no, if it's specific to RPG scope yes. Per meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/a/5466 (you might want to pull that diagram to your answer). \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Mar 13, 2014 at 17:59

Yes. RPGs are group dynamics. The main objective is to construct an experience that fulfill the players. Some of the common problems you can face is when the group is not working, the players don't understand the DM (and viceversa), when a player is not having fun for some reasons or is uncomfortable with some topics, etc.

I am sure a psychologist could offer very interesting perspectives of these problems, but for a practical resolution its better to rely in gaming experience. In the same way a football team coach could better motivate its players than a psychologist most of the times.

The exception would be problems that goes beyond normal game experience and that fall into real psychological problems. i. e. A player that pathologically becomes violent during game sessions.


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