My reply was in answer to this question about 'How to make players settle differences IC?

I posted my answer, got a comment from SevenSidedDie, replied to it, then he replied and deleted my answer in one swift move.

Here's the whole thing:

My answer:

I believe there was a few other discussions around this site about settling differences between players and the answer is usually quite simple: talk then act.

Especially since you're in the early stages of your game, it's a problem that you can nip in the bud by having a calm and frank OOC talk taking place with the whole group.

Get everyone together and discuss the issue at hand to try and find a solution. And don't forget to chime in as a GM as well, by stating what kind of campaign you're going to run and what you would like to see as well.

Roleplaying is a group effort involving the GM as well, and everyone must find a common ground so that everyone, including the GM is having fun.

As with most things: 'Communication is key.'

SevenSidedDie's comment:

This could be improved by how this can be accomplished while following the GM’s rules and Principles that Dungeon World requires GMs to follow. In particular, this advice collided with the “Address the characters, not players” Principle; it’s not impossible to talk OOC without breaking this rule, but an answer should discuss how to accomplish that and what repercussions it will have on the GM’s rules later. It may also be worth discussing how to accomplish this using the existing GM mechanics, before it’s a problem that needs a chat OOC.

My answer to his comment:

I have no knowledge of Dungeon World or it's rules and principle. The question is pretty game-agnostic, and answers that are as game-agnostic would be useful to many people, while answers based solely on the tools provided by the DW might not be as useful for people unfamiliar with this particular game.

His last comment before his deleted my answer a few seconds later:

Actually, DW works very differently from most RPGs and it has explicit rules about how the things in the question are supposed to be handled, so the question is deceptive: it’s not at all system agnostic when they’re playing DW. As a pro tip: don’t answer questions about games unless you are familiar with the game. Being useful for others but off topic for the game in question does not provide value to future readers; it’s misleasing to DW readers, and we already have system agnostic questions about this topic.

Checking the relevant article in the Help Center didn't help at all. And the accepted answer doesn't mention the DW techniques as well, indicating that the author of the question wasn't specifically asking about what tools DW has to find a solution, but general techniques to help him deal with the problem.

So, from my point of view, it makes little sense that my answer was deleted, and it feels like, based on SevenSidedDie's last comment and his comment on the accepted answer, that my answer was deleted solely because I have no knowledge of Dungeon World and that the only reason the accepted answer wasn't deleted is because it has been accepted.


1 Answer 1



Being […] off topic for the game [is] misleasing to DW readers, and we already have system agnostic questions about this topic.

It is a really bad idea to answer questions about games without any knowledge of the game. Even deciding that the game is irrelevant requires being an expert in the game.

We often have the problem that people feel entitled to answer questions about games they're ignorant of, because they assume that the game doesn't matter.

And other users ignorant of the game vote those answers up. This is a terrible outcome for everyone involved.

To players of those games who are experts, this makes RPG.se look like a terrible resource for any game that isn't mainstream. We already have the unavoidable situation where the site is dominated by questions about mainstream games — we can't afford to make what little non-mainstream Q&A we have be obviously bad to experts of those games, or to naïvely “help” novice players of those games with bad advice: the blind leading the blind is the opposite of the purpose of this site.

We can't force people to vote a particular way. But we can remove answers that are obviously off topic for the question.

Our answer-writers are expected to provide expert help. You cannot know if you're providing expert help if you don't even know the game being played.

(The accepted answer hasn't been deleted because the author is getting the same chance to improve the post you were offered, and they haven't declined yet.)

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm having a hard time making sense of your answer because I do not see how the question was so narrowly about DW, at the exclusion of every other game in existence, that to answer you would need to be an expert in DW. You could make it about any game by changing the name of the game and the classes mentioned. It's not a question about a specific rule. The question was about a behavioral problem by one player affecting the whole group IC and OOC, the fact that they play DW is anecdotic at best and it wouldn't change the question if the OP hadn't even mentioned what game they play. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:31
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Also, I'd be genuinely interested in knowing more about the tools that DW has to deal with such a situation. I've looked online, but what I've found about the DW tools, and the "Address the characters, not the players" thing, doesn't seem to be really geared towards helping to solve such problem, but more like a tool to keep the immersion during the game. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 17:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Without being an expert in the game, you cannot know that it doesn’t have rules governing “behavior[…] by one player affecting the whole group IC and OOC”. DW is such a game. Understanding how its rules govern that requires having extensive GMing experience with it. (It goes beyond the one Principle I mentioned. A DW expert would have seen that point and realized they’re missing many other important rules. A novice or unfamiliar user would not. Pointing at the problem in an answer without giving every necessary piece to fix it is a good way to learn which one the answer author is.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you’re interested in learning how DW’s tools accomplish what the game does, you’ll have to start by reading the whole game, paying close attention to the GM rules section (not GM “advice” section as in most games — rules). Play will also help. Talking to others in the DW community can help unlock the “aha!” moment too. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't addressed my main problem: how was my question so 'obviously off-topic', as you say, that it deserved to be deleted? Why wouldn't a game-agnostic answer not apply to a group playing DW? Why wouldn't a game-agnostic answer not help a new GM, whether they play DW or something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 18:57
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ A) it doesn’t and b) not knowing that means you have only invalid answers to that question. Teaching you DW, while interesting, is not the job of mods on meta. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 19:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not completely sure what your answers reply to, as I asked three questions and you gave two answers. Would you mind to clarify? Thank you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 20:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sava at the risk of piling on, I'm going to chime in: I've played just enough DW (a few dozen sessions) to know that I'm definitely not an expert but that the rules, applied properly, handle a lot more than they might appear to at first blush. You've got here two of the site's top DW experts, by reputation telling you that the way DW functions makes your original answer a non-answer, and that this meta isn't the place to educate you on why/how that's true. At this point I'd suggest you either swing by Role-playing Games Chat and engage in... \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ ...conversation with some of the DW players in there, or play a half-dozen sessions yourself, read through some of the DW Q&A on the site, and then see if you agree or disagree that there's more to the ruleset-as-emergent than meets the eye. I've learned a lot about DW from interacting with SSD and mxy, mostly how much more there is to the games than I'd originally suspected. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright, if everyone who played that game says so, I give up. I did download the rulebook following the deletion of my answer, to try and see what was so special about it. Also looked at resources online about the game. I'll see what I get out of it once I have time to fully read the rules. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sava
    Commented Oct 12, 2018 at 23:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "the way DW functions makes your original answer a non-answer" - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/225370/… - "Just remember: if the text of the post contains an honest attempt at answering the question, then it is an answer" - Sounds to me like the answer WAS an answer and the correct course of action was a downvote, not deletion. I sympathise with the battle against uneducated upvotes, but deletion of honest attempts at answers just feels wrong. (Note I openly admit to a bit of cherry picking to make my point!!) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ (reading through rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7753/… now for more insight) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 0:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland Mods exist not to do the robotic thing when a situation is having the wrong outcome, it’s to do the right thing. Answers that assume every game is like D&D 5e (or whatever is the answerer’s actual expertise) would be fine if they were being downvoted, but the mass of voters who have the same ignorance occasionally results in the opposite. If we call that okay, we might as well give up and call ourselves D&D 5e Stack Exchange instead. But luckily, mods serve as exception handlers for when the system fails. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 0:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "call ourselves D&D 5e Stack Exchange instead" - Ooo that would make things a lot more relevant to my interests, can I get the ball rolling on this with a feature request? :D Just kidding. I've spent most my time on SO and only recently ventured to other SEs and it is surprising me the amount of different ways the rules are being applied. Surprising and frustrating, I like things like this to be very linear / black and white! But if it is working for the community then power to you all. Thanks for taking the time to reply. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 0:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RyanfaeScotland You’re in luck; in practice the front page is about 95% D&D 5e (estimate only; estimate void in Quebec), so it’s pretty much there currently. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 0:44

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