I am interested in knowing if a particular type of product exists, that is a campaign setting entirely divorced from a game system.

I am not looking for a list of products (though a single example would be nice). I might be interested in financial/sales information, but I know that's a stretch for the industry.

I am working on designing the setting for our next campaign. My goal is to have a setting that I know well enough that I can can run a successful sandbox game ( I am sometimes poor with improv, so having some points to extrapolate from is helpful ). After outlining the content I want to create before we begin play, I realized that I am essentially writing a sourcebook for a campaign setting. As I'm not sure of the game we're going to play, it is currently system free.

This made me curious if products like this exist, and if they do if there have been any financially successful ones.

With the changes and extra information, would this be an acceptable type of question?


1 Answer 1


It's probably not a good fit for the Stack's design.

If the only thing you're looking for in an answer is "yes" or "no," it's not really gonna work here. The Stack likes answers which provide explanation and support for their solutions, but in this case that would quickly turn into lists and suggestions. Each answer would be equally right, differentiated only by volume or voters' subjective preference.

Asking for a single example sounds like a clever workaround because it's not a list, but it would run into the same problem as lists: every answer with a different example would be equally correct, and the voting system would break down.

We maintain a list of other resources for helping people with challenges RPG.SE isn't designed to handle, including the RPG.SE General Chat room.

I notice that you haven't said why you're interested in this information. The why of a question can often salvage it because the Stack's users are experts who may have experience in the actual challenge you're facing and can give you information and advice about your situation. Instead of asking for a particular bit of information in a vacuum, consider presenting the Stack with the context in which you think that information is needed--what's the problem to which you've decided this is the solution? I can't guarantee the answer will stay open, but it's more likely.

A much better question, from the Stack perspective, is to ask about the viability (defined re: effort expended vs earnings, I suspect?) of self-publishing system-neutral setting material. This is something which, if you give good standards for "viability," can be answered complexly with support from resources and experiences.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree. "Does it exist" is kinda like a trivial game-rec question, and ends up being very listy in the responses (yes and here's one...). Ask about your problem instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 17:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ This sort of question would be better asked on a forum. Try some of these: I've been told my question is better suited to a forum, but where should I go? \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ BTW, though you may be correct, this (and similar reasons why other types of questions, answers, topics and discussions are shut down) is why I think "the Stack's design" is not a great fit for RPG discussion in general, and part of why I find RPG.SE disappointing & frustrating, and don't participate much. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dronz
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 5:12
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Dronz It's definitely designed to serve a certain niche, and not other needs. Though that may make it not some people's cup of tea, that's a necessary effect of its design being good at its intended purpose. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 5:42

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