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My Players often come to me and ask:

  • "How does this ability work?"
  • "This example contradicts the text, which is correct?"
  • "How do these abilities interact?"

Generally I have a fairly solid response to them, and generally these are good questions.

RPGs can be notorious about being unclear -- or clear in places you don't need clarity and unclear when you do. This is not surprising every group is different.

Once I have taken alook at the rule they are asking me about, I often end up typing out a clarification and adding it to my list of House rules/Clarifications.

If I believe I have a canonical answer to "How does X work"? should I post a self-answered question?

Taking into account that the questions tend to be about systems that are not heavily represented on this site. So are the kinda questions we need more of, to increase our presence in that system's area.

What if my answer is not canonical?

For example a player came to me and said "This ability says Use the rules for X from the other book, but the example is different".

Another player/GM took a look and said "I know its weird, but the example makes more sense than the original rules. I would house-rule the example as being canon for all instances of X"

I was sceptical but I took a look and said "I see what you mean, the rules referenced are far less elegant. But actually I'm not happy with either, I'm going to rule it is instead done using method Z (based on the example, but modified to be more like the base text)"

I am confidant my solution is not what the authors intended, but is better than either.

Should this Question/Answer be posted? Perhaps this should be posted just as a question?

I suspect if I asked this just as a question, someone would suggest a house-rule like I did. But self answers are held to a higher standard, than the answers of others.

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This is not only okay, but explicitly encouraged:

  • if you have a question that you already know the answer to
  • if you’d like to document it in public so others (including yourself) can find it later
  • it is OK to ask, and answer, your own question on a relevant Stack Exchange site.

To be crystal clear, it is not merely OK to ask and answer your own question, it is explicitly encouraged.

Ideally your players could post the question and you could answer it, but we don't live in an ideal world and in practice that rarely happens. (Still, encouraging the keenest players to join up here is good!) And besides, sometimes we find ourselves asking questions, then finding the answer, and wanting to share here. That's encouraged.

The most important principle to follow is that the question should be a good question all by itself. When it's something you've figured out between yourself and your players, this is easier because someone has already made an attempt at formulating the answer to you, so you have a real question phrasing to start from. It's a bit harder when it's your own question, as the oogy mess inside our heads is often perfectly functional but non-verbal, and when you've solved the problem, you still might not have ever formulated a decent phrasing to build a good question on. But in principle, that's still okay and encouraged, the latter just takes more care and work to craft a good question from.

So make it a decent answer that others can also have a fair chance of understanding and answering, and answer it yourself, yeah. That's cool, that's useful.


As a practical tip, try to do only one or two of these at first. If there are any problems with the approach you're taking, that gives the community time to give you feedback before embarking on dozens of these. Even once the kinks have been worked out, keep the rate low, one or a few a day, so that the front page isn't flooded.

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Encourage your players to post their questions. We will then go through the usual clarification process to figure out what exactly their question is.

You are then welcome to answer their revised question with your house rule (if it still makes sense) with discussion of how your house rule changed play at the table.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I like this idea, I can basically say to my players "I will not answer any questions, outside of a session until it is first posted on RPG.SE" This is tempting, not 100% certain if my players would all be Ok with that "I don't wanna register for another site". Issue with this is, I always can answer there question, right now, during the game. Asking them to post, results in a delay. (And also given I am one of the top users in the appropriate tags, odd are, for now, that I will be the person to answer them) \$\endgroup\$ – Lyndon White Jul 17 '14 at 3:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ you probably don't want to do that as an umbrella rule... most cases it won't be worth the effort (and they'll know it, so they'll just ask someone else instead) and often it won't even be appropriate for our site. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 17 '14 at 4:02

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