I've created a collaborative narrative game called "Watch the World Die". It generates prompts and event chains allowing a group of players to create "the history of the apocalypse" and it is intended for prepping PostApoc RPG worlds, although it can also be played all by itself. The game is currently in beta, it's free and published in PDF format - here it is.

I want to ask people to read it, play it, and see if they can find any bugs, missed items, or flaws in the rules. Is this a relevant question to ask on RPG.SE?

Note: I've read related threads on meta, but I haven't seen a definitive ruling. And this seems like a somewhat different circumstance since my game is a support tool for RPG campaigns rather than literally an RPG itself. So I decided to make a new question for it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Role-playing Games Chat and the Community Promotion Ads are probably better tools for this kind of "get the word" out type of "question." \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Mar 13 '14 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Ace. I'm still playtesting, not ready to start promoting. I'll check out the chat. \$\endgroup\$ – As If Mar 13 '14 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ See meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/987/… for previous guidance on playtesting questions. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Mar 13 '14 at 17:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AsIf I'd also recommend chat for playtesting, as it lets you have a better back-and-forth (and gives a good source of recruits). You can create your own room if you want to cut down on cross chatter. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Mar 13 '14 at 18:40

I want to ask people to read it, play it, and see if they can find any bugs, missed items, or flaws in the rules. Is this a relevant question to ask on RPG.SE?

No, you shouldn't be asking that here - it'd go against a few points on our What types of questions should I avoid asking? page. Specifically, real questions have answers, which this one doesn't, and it's not the kind of question we field - it enters the realm of discussion. I'll quote two paragraphs from the beginning of the don't ask page:

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

Set up a discussion board, a report system, or something else and use that to handle your playtest reports. If you want a discussion board, maybe try the Discourse beta, made by the same Jeff Attwood who cofounded Stack Exchange - I've tried it and it works pretty well.

But really: Stack Exchange would suck at handling this anyway.

The entire reason we have questions to avoid is because those are questions this system doesn't handle well. Stack Exchange chose its niche of Q&A, and it does that really well at the expense of sucking at everything else. There are other systems that better support the other stuff.

Here's why it'd suck at handling your playtest reports:

  • The voting and accepted answer systems are not relevant to you. What is the point of having a negatively voted playtest report, or a positively voted one for that matter? If anything, they'll be a distraction. At its worst, it'd be discouraging people from giving you feedback, because they don't want to get downvoted / won't get votes / etc.
  • If someone submits an individual playtest report, it would be helpful to launch into discussion on it, ask further questions, talk with others about particular points, etc. Our comments will not support doing that. Forums will.
  • You do not need the community editing functions all that badly. They're not relevant.

So, really, you just need some other system that gives you what you need without the distractions of irrelevant Stack Exchange features.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Gotcha. And thanks for the link. That looks interesting. \$\endgroup\$ – As If Mar 13 '14 at 12:46

It's a bit tricky, because I think what you've designed itself would be on topic, but the question you want to ask is very broad and pretty much requires discussion in order to get good answers. As it hasn't been played yet, there isn't a body of knowledge out there to rely on to answer a question like "is there flaws in it?"

For a question like "are there flaws in the rules?" consider a case where two people play test and post answers:

  1. I say "no, it works great!"
  2. Someone else says "yes, because X"

In order to figure out if X is really a flaw, more play testing will need to be done and a discussion will have to happen. RPG.SE's questions aren't the place for that discussion (although chat could be!).

The same thing would be true in regards to missing items, except that one is also prone to answers that are lists of stuff you'd want to see in a post-apocalyptic setting. Questions that just ask for lists are also frowned on.

So, No

At the moment, I don't think that question is a good fit for the site. It's possible that we can reword it into one or more questions that would be a better fit, but IMHO you'd be better suited to a forum type environment for a play test like this.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree the wording is of vital importance. "Are there flaws in the rules?" is a great example of a terrible question. I was thinking more along the lines of "Point out a bug or a common-sense item that I missed". Maybe put a bounty on it. But I totally get your point. I'll think about it some more, and if I can rephrase it in a suitable way I'll come back to it. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – As If Mar 13 '14 at 12:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .