What Makes A Good Game-Rec Answer
As we have said many times in our guidance on game-rec questions, they (like all subjective Q&A on the site) need to adhere to core SE guidance on Good Subjective, Bad Subjective. The most crucial part of this is how you support your answer with Back It Up!.
Back It Up! means that your answers must be based on either:
- Something that happened to you personally
- Something you can back up with a reference
We don't want your opinion. Or your judgement, preference, belief, rumor, or suspicion. We want your, or someone else's, expertise. This means you ran a Harry Potter game, or something really darn close to the OP's spec, or you have references to info from people that have done so.
All site questions should do this. Subjective "what should I do with a drunk player?" kind of questions are just as in need of GS/BS - "what you would do" no one cares. "What you have done and how it worked out" we care. But with game-recs, we have to be more draconian in its enforcement, because something about them makes hordes of people want to answer with their favorite systems. Which is understandable, there's a lot of semi-generic systems out there. So every game-rec regardless of requirements tends to get the identical suite of "GURPS! FATE! Savage Worlds! Etc!" answers, because those systems are flexible and their players are sure it'll work for the target scenario as well.
What Do We Do About Bad Game-Rec Answers
So what we usually do in escalation order when we see a game-rec question not being Good Subjectived is, as needed:
- Put on the game-rec notice
- Put a comment on the question reminding people about the requirements
- Put a comment on all answers not obviously GS reminding people of the requirements
- Delete the most egregious GS violating answers
- Delete the rest of the answers not obviously GS
- Close the question as irredeemable
This One Specific Question, Why One Answer Was Quashed And Not The Other
We have gotten to about stage 5 on this one. It's a time consuming and frankly boring process, so each time it brings up "do we need more game-rec restrictions" or "should we ban it like all the other Stacks." So do everyone a favor and keep it clearly Good Subjective.
In this case, mods deleted your answer because though it struck in the right vague direction, really only said "you can do dark fantasy with FATE, and I've done it" but that a lot of the more Harry Potter distinct stuff was "probably doable." That falls just short of the line. The answer that remained - well, it wasn't good at the start, but the edits got it to the other side of the line, which is "you can do dark fantasy with Savage Worlds, and I've done it," and as for the Harry Potter part "here's people who have done it, here's references." That brings it across the goal line of Back It Up!.
Back It Up! is deliberately a high bar. There are a lot of forums where you can go post "System for Setting: Harry Potter!" and get a huge batch of noisy crap suggestions (Google that string for proof). We want answers that are provably correct, and with subjective questions provable means not a logic exercise, but an exercise in experience.
For a game-rec, the kinds of answers that meet the bar are:
There's a game you have used for that specific thing. Slam dunk.
There's a game that explicitly says it does that - but you still need some familiarity with it. I can say "I've seen Redhurst Academy of Magic in game stores and it claims to be Harry Potter-y" - but since I don't know if it hits the OP's more detailed criteria, it's still not good. Like for the DBZ question, the DBZ game (if not specifically called out in the question) would be a good answer if the answerer had played it, or at least a similar R.Talsorian anime Fuzion game.
There's a game you have used for something very close to that. This is a judgement call. "I used it for a Babylon 5 game with that same feel and you're asking for Space: Above and Beyond, but that's minimal adaptation, just starfury = little space marine ships, etc." is probably OK. "I used it for Babylon 5, you want Star Trek, I'm sure it would be fine you just add in a bunch of near-magic technology and you're good" is less OK. Your answer hits right in here - the spell system is as core to HP as the technobabble is to Star Trek, and I don't think "modern dark fantasy" is close enough per se without having evidence it can support the specific magical system Potter revolves around.
Why Other Game-Rec Answers Somewhere Else On The Site May Be Bad But Not Yet Quashed
An addendum to answer more specifically why a specific other bad game-rec answer on this or other questions hasn't been corrected or deleted.
While it may of course seem like your friendly diamond mods are omniscient, it's not quite the case. We try to rely on you the community to detect and act on poor questions and answers before we have to, and bring such bad content to our attention. We don't actually consider it our job to read every single question and answer on the site - we participate as we feel moved, and otherwise wait for flags and stuff to bring things to our attention.
So as for "why hasn't answer X been similarly quashed without mercy," the answer may be:
- It's actually a good answer in our opinion
- We've seen it, and have commented hoping it will improve and are giving it some reprieve time
- We've seen it, and since the shouts of "those darn mods are always abusing their power and enforcing site rules" are too loud that week, are waiting for community members to act on it via comments, edits, delete votes, etc. (none of which are reserved for diamond mods)
- (Most likely) We haven't seen it, and no one's bothered to flag it for us or otherwise act on it.
If you want to ask us "why haven't you done something about answer X," and you haven't commented on or flagged or VtD'ed that answer for being bad, you should as the kids say "check yourself before you wreck yourself" and consider using those mechanisms.