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Sparked by comments on https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/56737/which-is-the-most-obscure-rare-or-hard-to-find-fantasy-rpg-ever-published?noredirect=1#comment117817_56737

I think we can all agree that question is poor as-asked.

Why do these comments imply collecting is off-topic? We've got a tag for it and everything.

This is entirely opinion based, our site does not hand poll questions at all or extended discussions. This type of question would be a much better fit on a forum or reddit. – Joshua Aslan Smith

Welcome to RPG.SE. This question is not answerable in its current format. You should give a look at the FAQ about good subjective/Bad subjective. – Mouhgouda

1 The banner fibs as I didn't mark this as primarily opinion-based but too broad. This could be quantifiable if sufficiently narrowed. For example, a history of gaming question focused on severely limited-print-run professionally produced RPGs (i.e. not vanity press, not self-published) should be within the site's scope. – Hey I Can Chan

This is the kind of question that doesn't have a stable answer, though. Five, ten years from now, the most rare/obscure/expensive/hard-to-find RPG might be one that hasn't even been published today. – SevenSidedDie

@user23715 It's not a problem when it's the exception. When every possible answer to a question must eventually become stale though, that's a sign that the question doesn't suit this site. – SevenSidedDie

@SevenSidedDie meta disagrees – the dark wanderer

Consider if the question were asked on a theoretical stamps.se as "what is the rarest collectable stamp in the world?" that would be a fine question for the SE format (unless the site has weird rules). A question like this could be a good fit for our site, but the criteria are not yet well defined. OP, I recommend 'rarest collectible fantasy RPG' or 'most expensive fantasy RPG system' as potential distillations of your current criteria. – the dark wanderer

4 The one I've been designing over the last few years. There's only one copy that was ever made, and it's stored in a medium (my own memory) that only one person in history has ever had the ability to read. Is that obscure enough for you? – Matthew Najmon

1 @thedarkwanderer That meta would be relevant if this was a good question for the site now, but it isn't. I didn't say that was the reason for closing, either, I said it was a sign — a red flag. A hypothetical stamps.SE is not a legit comparison either: in numismatics, rarity is largely the point of the hobby, and knowing rarity would be the main line of expertise on an SE. That's quite different from the point of RPG.SE, and detailed tracking of every book's rarity is quite distant from our core competency. – SevenSidedDie

1 @thedarkwanderer As for your suggested edit, cross off "most expensive" (which is at least quantifiable with tools we have) — that would be a duplicate. "Rarest" is unfortunately unquantifiable with existing tools (and possibly a meaningless question anyway, as Matthew Najmon demonstrated). – SevenSidedDie

Folks, take this to meta or chat. Comments are not for discussion. – Brian Ballsun-Stanton♦

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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not clear what you're asking for the meta to discuss. Are you asking us to re-evaluate the general validity of collector questions? If so, why are you dedicating most of your text to a question that is closed for reasons other than being a collector question? You seem to feel that the comment thread you've preserved makes your argument for you, but it doesn't really have anything to do with collector questions as a general category. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 15 '15 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW OH! That explains why I get downvotes on meta questions. I thought I shouldn't have any argument at all in the question itself, because it's a question, not an answer, and good questions are neutral. The comment thread is there because it contains people arguing about whether or not collecting RPGs is on topic and that should probably be preserved. Some of the comments made me think that some people thought that collection questions were inherently off-topic for some reason, and comments on all of the other questions seemed to indicate that as well. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 15 '15 at 2:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you have a solution/position, you can present it in an answer. But your question has to justify being a question. You've said nothing about what you're asking or why. Strip away the comment copy-paste, and there's just "Here's a bad question. Should we stop asking the kind of question it's a bad example of?" There's nothing for answers to get hold on because you haven't said why you think it's worth asking. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 15 '15 at 2:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW Ok. My reason for asking is that other people in the comment thread seem to think that this kind of question is off-topic, which worried me because I don't understand how this kind of question is different than any of the others in the accepted answer. Basically I was hoping for people to either explain that collecting is off-topic or affirm that no unusual policy is applied. \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 15 '15 at 2:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ So your question is "Why do these comments imply collecting is off-topic? We've got a tag for it and everything." Editing to ask that would make for a great meta question. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Feb 15 '15 at 2:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thanks for the help! \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 15 '15 at 2:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which one of these comments implies collector-related questions is off topic? Could you narrow down this comment extract to just the pertinent comments? It seems to me only one of these might be implying collector questions are off topic (the third last by SSD). \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 16 '15 at 5:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Yah, after the meta response and looking over the comments and the question I think you're probably right. At the time I felt like most of them were (e.g. complaining it's opinion-based because it's a collector question). I don't think that anymore, but I'd rather not edit this to 'boy, this one specific comment by at-user sure is wrong, isn't it' as that's not very nice nor very helpful to anyone nor representative of what my question actually was (because I was confused at the time). \$\endgroup\$ – the dark wanderer Feb 16 '15 at 8:07
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We might want to get rid of it and/or historical lock those questions if we decide this site is specifically about RPGs (the actual activity itself) but not about RPGs (things typically associated as/with the activity but which are, in fact, not the activity itself).

This has already been solidly decided and is not in question at all.

RPG.SE is fine with questions about things associated with RPGs, or otherwise not about the activity of playing one itself. See , , , , , among other tags for plenty of questions about things away from the table but connected to RPG.SE.

On our on topic help page we have a section on real-world topics: ctrl+f real-world topic. If it's genuinely within the expertise of an RPG.SE player and we'd be the best people to ask, it's on topic here.


As Brian said, the real issue is whether collector questions are good for the Stack Exchange Q&A format. We've only had four in that tag: one is closed, three are fine. Signs are the category itself is okay, but we'll still close individual questions asked here that don't fit. (If the category turns out to be not-OK, that'll only be after we notice we're closing basically all of its questions for not fitting.)

(This is not an answer creating new policy. This answer is just saying we do things as usual, and no policy decision needs to be made yet.)

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Not really. On the stack, we are quite happy with refusing to answer questions that aren't appropriate for our format. Note well, bad questions make bad precident, and this is a bad question regardless of its topic.

  1. what specific problem does this solve? If the question as phrased as a specific problem, our expertise may be applicable.

  2. How can good subjective or even objective criteria apply? The best answer is a list answer where people compete for whatever strange prices they've paid for out of print books at $BigCon.

  3. Can this sort of thing have an answer? Maybe, but then it becomes Too Broad.

In short, the first hurdle is a generally useful one. We deal poorly with "I was just wondering" questions because they seldom, if ever, present enough details for us to actually solve the problem.

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    \$\begingroup\$ That's why I didn't say no. But "collector value" does signal that we should take a good, close, look at the question, to insure it's a real question being asked. Therefore "not really." This problem really isn't as complex as you're making it out to be, mate. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Feb 15 '15 at 1:56

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