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"Hey, I see that [some role playing issue] is bothering you, and you speak English. [Here] (link) is a good thread about it. You can also check out this web-site, it's full of interesting content about RPGs! It's a Q&A site, but it's not like Yahoo! Answers, really, just trust me, it's not bad! It's more like a good RPG forum, but not a forum, and anyone can ask and answer freely, and you can edit anyone's post like in a wiki, and your posts can be edited... Oh, wait, you don't understand what it is?! Not eager to join?! Why?!"


OK, now seriously: StackExchange is a very special place. It's certainly a good place, but it takes time to understand how it works. It takes effort.

How can I briefly describe RPG.SE to someone I know who is interested in RPGs and speaks English, knows about Q&A sites and forums, but not about the StackExchange culture?

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"Do you need something specific answered? Go here for the experts!"

One thing I've noticed about RPG.SE is that I no longer have any questions to ask. They're all here. There's no need to sift through a ton of information to find the one thing that might be relevant to what you're looking for.

Any question you still have usually gets answered in 1-2 days.

Other places have opinions, but we require that everything has a basis in some source of facts, whether that's experience, rules, or straight up knowledge.

You know that almost everything you read here comes from the truth, or the closest thing to it. Sometimes, the answer is "there is no answer to that question", but good luck getting that same, verified answer somewhere else.

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In my experience:

Show them a specific example that addresses a problem they're having, then lightly explain the format.

"Yeah, simulating probabilities on exploding dice in Burning Wheel wasa real headache for me, but we eventually found a way to model it in AnyDice. See here."

In a face-to-face conversation, I might also explain that it's a Q&A site, not a forum, so posts are sorted by votes and not date order, and people try to only post whole answers while marginalia ends up in the comments.

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I provide links to answers on questions that come up in other venues.

Either in email or in-game chat, or on various forums where I discuss RPG's, if I remember a question and answer on the topic, I add a link to one I think is helpful from here.

In re this bit:

How can I briefly describe RPG.SE to someone I know who is interested in RPGs and speaks English, knows about Q&A sites and forums, but not about the StackExchange culture?

I explain that it isn't a discussion forum, but it is a place with questions and answers for the topic at hand.

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