There is currently a question on the board (with a bounty even) that is asking how to make their game interesting for a specific character combination. Oddly enough, a similar question from the player side here was put on hold.

While I think the question about the witcher and apprentice has merit in a discussion board, (who doesn't want to talk about Remo Williams?) it seems to me that it is also basically a question about "How to have fun in my game". Those kinds of questions are generally put on hold for being too subjective, and this one has existed for quite some time, and even had a bounty put on it.

Also, I would think that the second question here would be more appropriate since it's asking about the efficiency of a specific class in a specific game.

Again, I don't want to sound like I"m attacking either poster, just trying to figure out why one was on hold, and the other was not.



1 Answer 1


The question https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/89730/is-a-low-con-dex-based-eldritch-knight-viable has two problems:

1. Literally asking for opinions

Among other things, the question asks for

Suggestions for race and fighting style? Am I doing this wrong?

Soliciting suggestions like that is almost always purely a matter of opinion. Given a clear charop goal, suggestions might be primarily objective instead of opinion-based, but (as we see below) clear goals against which recommendations could be objectively measured aren't provided, so this request is purely opinion-based.

Ditto for “Am I doing this wrong?” It's unclear what is even being asked there, but it does seem like it's looking for personal feedback rather than asking something concrete. Clarification is in order there.

2. Lacking or vague optimisation goals

The other problem is that “viable” is not a meaningful way to communicate the question's optimisation goals. What does it mean? The way RPGers casually toss around the word “viable” doesn't have a clear meaning outside a particular local group or charop board. It's often used because it has a more-or-less understood meaning within a particular group or online community, but RPG.se contains a broad cross-section of the RPG community and such shorthand doesn't meaningfully communicate the same thing to our every reader.

That leaves us falling back on the common meaning, for lack of any other information. Unfortunately, “viable”, in basic dictionary definition terms, means being able to exist on its own or to be possible — as in, at all possible — and clearly basic ability to create the PC is not what they're asking. Whatever “viable” means to them, their optimisation question need to tell us, but it doesn't. We could guess, but everyone's guess would be different and based on their own opinions about what “viable” really means, leading to a mess of primarily-opinion-based disagreement in the answers and votes.

Asking for GMing techniques is often more than a matter of opinion

The other question, A witcher and their apprentice…, is asking how to handle a specific (anticipated, granted) GMing problem related to character skill disparity impacting spotlight time:

However, I have a massive concern about it: the master Witcher will be clearly much better at everything than his apprentice [but] I want all the players to have equal screen-time and have their characters shine in and of themselves.

This is the kind of thing that is a matter of art, but also a matter of objective techniques. GMing is not a science, but just as artists can recognise the objective pros and cons of a particular brush technique and recommend its effectiveness for a particular desired aesthetic result in a painting, so can we recognise effective GM techniques and recommend them for handling particular game-running goals and challenges. We have a lot of questions about GMing techniques, and they more-or-less work well in the Stack Exchange Q&A format.

Will there be some element of opinion involved in answering? Yes. But it won't be primarily opinion-based — answers will be (expected to be) primarily based on real experience, that is provided as evidence to back up and demonstrate that a recommended technique or course of action is effective for the problem in the question.

Answering from experience can't help the Eldritch Knight question, because we don't know what the asker's standard of “viable” is, so we can't know whether any of our experiences with Eldritch Knights is even relevant to their question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well said. It's a thin line, isn't it? But I think I see where SE:RPG is generally coming from. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – JPicasso
    Oct 31, 2016 at 12:31

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