Should every question that at all ask for an opinion be community wiki? I ask because of the comments on What are the pros and cons of having a party leader?. Based on Bryants answer to How should we use Community Wiki?

If your question is intended to gather a list of equally relevant answers, and you don't expect one answer to be the most applicable, it should be a community wiki.

I don't think this applies. Should every opinion question on RPG be community wiki?

Update: Only mods can make a question community wiki now. If you feel strongly that a question should be, please flag it.

Equivalent Questions

All of these questions are looking for a single best answer that is more or less opinion.

Related Questions

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This blog post just put the stake in the ground for how to grade subjective questions - blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective It looks like great guidance. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Sep 29, 2010 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bummer about only mods having CW powers now. That really makes the tool a lot less useful. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 14:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon I agree, but it was causing fairly big problems elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of What does Community Wiki mean? \$\endgroup\$
    – yhw42
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 18:12

4 Answers 4


I think the distinction should be on the idea of asking for experiences versus asking for advice. I'm going to try and justify it with a more rep-oriented mindset.

Bear in mind that... (from the FAQ)

Reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you.

If you're asking people for accounts of things they've done or seen done while gaming (ex: What is the most impressive skill check or roll you've seen at the table, What did you do for a Tarasque Adventure) it feels fat out silly to award reputation for answers: just because someone died fighting the Tarasque or rolled a 20 on a Bluff check doesn't mean the community trusts them any more than anyone else. It would mean sometimes awarding reputation for an account of what someone else did, or for what someone else has done to/with you. It might make them cool but it doesn't make them trustworthier.

This just parrots my answer in How should we use Community Wiki?

(...) the questions which should be CW tend to be those which are more about listing people's experiences and ideas.

Where a subjective answer deserves rep is when the answerer clearly demonstrates the kind of insight and understanding which would make me come back to them personally if I could; if the answer could potentially lead to me trusting them more.

If someone proposed a rule which fixes interpersonal problems at the table I would be sufficiently impressed that I'd remember that user and - were this the real world - I'd seek them out with more questions in the future. It would demonstrate a valuable insight which - even though subjective - leads to me trusting that answerer more, ergo they should get reputation for the answer.

In Summary

This to me should be the distinction:

  • "What have you done?" Questions: Asking for people's experiences and ideas should always be Community Wiki.
  • "What should/can I do?" Questions: Asking for advice should not be Community Wiki; while advice is subjective, there is such thing as bad advice, which would affect "how much the community trusts you" so advice should be reflected in Reputation.
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like your answer a lot! It's very clear and easy to follow. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @C. Ross - Thank you! I was concerned it was a little long-winded and redundant. \$\endgroup\$
    – LeguRi
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 19:30

This gets at the heart of why I think opinion questions are generally a bad idea.

If it's not a community wiki, the expectation is that you're going to accept one answer. We're supposed to be building a repository of knowledge; the accepted answer should be the correct answer. If the accepted answer isn't universally applicable, we're sending the wrong message.

This is orthagonal to pros-and-cons; pros and cons can be objective. In theory you could ask a pros and cons question about RPGs with objective answers, and it wouldn't need to be a community wiki -- e.g., what are the pros and cons of fighters vs. paladins in 4e. Heck, I think there are objective answers to the question "what are the pros and cons of 3e vs. 4e," although I'd never ask that question because it's too likely to cause trouble.

I don't think the party leader question is inherently subjective. It's too big for me to answer it in any kind of coherent fashion, but it's not subjective.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You and I have a different definition of objective vs subjective. I think most things in RPG are subjective. Things that work well for one group might be horrible for another, I'd call that subjective. That covers most of the genre, leaving only rules interpretation and statistics, which I would call objective. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Sep 26, 2010 at 22:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you say that technique X is good, that's subjective. If you say that technique X is good if you want to produce effect Y, that's objective. The key lies in recognizing the difference between your preferences and universal truth. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bryant
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 0:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose I'm not thinking subjective, but not universally applicable. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 0:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The difference between Technique X is good and Technique X is good if it produces Y is too fine to be police on a rational basis. If it is clear and well-written and the answers don't spiral out of control it should stand. \$\endgroup\$
    – RS Conley
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 11:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with Bryant, in particular "If it's not a community wiki, the expectation is that you're going to accept one answer." For me that line says it all. If you can't defend accepting one answer, I think it should be CW. But ironically, this is just my opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBischof
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 13:14

The two rules I would apply are:

  1. Can a single answer reasonably be complete?
  2. Can each individual answer be determined to be correct?

It is acceptable for a single question to have many potentially correct answers. This happens all the time on the original trilogy sites. What's important is that if another person has the same question (as written), and is given the accepted answer, they have all the information required.

Going through your list:

  1. What makes a good pitch for a new game?

    Borderline, especially since the topic title doesn't include the full question. However, Adam Dray's answer is both complete and correct, so it would seem that a non-CW was appropriate. If I wanted to know how to pitch a game to a prospective group of players, I could use Adam Dray's answer.

    Dray's answer is not necessarily the only possibility, but it does stand on its own.

  2. Can rules changes fix interpersonal problems at the table?

    As asked, I would say that this question is bad. It is quite likely that the answers will not be complete (one answer will apply to some bullet points, another answer might apply to other bullet points).

    With rephrasing, this could easily be made into a great question. The likely course would be to focus on a subset of interpersonal problems (boredom, external conflicts, etc.).

  3. How do you alter the difficulty of a challenge/fight in the middle of it?

    Again, it is possible to give a complete answer to this question. There are many correct possible answers, and judging the "best" between them is difficult, but if I need to know A way to adjust challenge difficulty, I can get it from this question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Right. This was the argument I was making in the indie thread (meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/95/…). We can provide good, moderated, voted answers even when the question doesn't have only one right answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam Dray
    Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 14:16

No, some questioners are looking for a single best answer. This is similar to programming design questions on Stack Overflow. The best design is always subjective and it is up the questioner to determine which is the best answer.

Remember Stack Exchange isn't anything one thing nor is it a hybrid with a single focus. It is a repository of expert knowledge and it is a place were people can get questions answered and reward which response they feel is best.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Agreed; no - as long as it's opinion backed up by facts. On Server Fault, you might see "What's a good log management package." A valid question. The answers need a "why" in them, you can't just toss a name in there and say "I like it, it's the best," but that kind of question isn't a CW even on the original sites. CW is primarily for things that should be community-edited long term, and secondarily for lists and stuff like that. It shouldn't be a haven for off-topic or argumentative, those should be closed regardless. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 27, 2010 at 12:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "Remember Stack Exchange is anything one thing" isn't parsing very well for me. Could you reword or explain further? I suspect you meant "Remember Stack Exchange is not any one thing" but I'd like to confirm that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Sep 28, 2010 at 18:04

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