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So it recently came up on Site approachability that our FAQ comes off as a little ... "get off my lawn".

So, how can we make it better?

  • What should be added?
  • What should be removed?
  • What's good the way it is?

Updated, please take a look.

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closed as off-topic by doppelgreener Oct 3 '17 at 23:57

  • This question does not appear to be about Role-playing Games Stack Exchange or the software that powers the Stack Exchange network within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to put a bounty on meta questions? Do I just not have that privilege, or is it not a feature of meta? \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 27 '11 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @legur there is no rep on metas therefore no bounty system; I can tag it [featured] which will bump it to the main site sidebar though. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeff Atwood Apr 1 '11 at 23:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ Where are we at on this? Are the mods unsure of where the community wants to go with the FAQ? Are we waiting on something, or some form of consensus? What can we do to help? :) \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Apr 2 '11 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CRoss edited the FAQ to read LeguRi's text below. I edited it after just recently to add a little more "get off my lawn" to redirect the confused computer and card gamers to the right SEs. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Apr 27 '11 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm closing this as it was about revising an FAQ page that no longer exists to be revised. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 3 '17 at 23:57
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Here's my own riff (not edited in above because it's ... fairly different). Not a community wiki because we should have different versions competing for votes. Edit if you want to modify this version though.

Be welcome, friend, and enter!

Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is for players, designers, and gamemasters of table top role-playing games and anyone else interested in the hobby.

We welcome questions about all pencil and paper RPGs, Dungeons & Dragons, Dogs in the Vineyard, Shadowrun, World of Darkness, or any of the thousands of others amateur or professional.

Take a look at What is role-playing, and where do I start? if you're wondering what this hobby is all about.

Don't be scared!

The best questions are those that have specific answers, but in general, if you have a question which covers...

  • A specific problem with playing or running a table-top RPG
  • Game rules
  • Tools and equipment used while playing table-top RPGs
  • Information about campaign settings
  • Matters which are specific to table-top pen and paper RPGs

...then you're in the right place!

Jump right in!

We like answers! If you answer based on your own understanding and experience, that's useful to us.

Better, faster, stronger...

We like to help you make your questions and answers better, too. Don't worry if you get a few comments on your contribution: we want this to be a resource that everyone can use and you may not be expecting some of our requirements.

Before you contribute, though, consider the following:

  • We want the questions on our site to be valuable sources of information for all web users, not just our community members, so we try to keep our personal opinions out of our questions and answers when we can. Don't be afraid to contribute your own experiences though. If you've experienced something, the lessons you learned may be valuable to others!
  • We don't re-ask the same question once it's been answered. We add more answers, we add comments, we edit the answers, and we ask a related question, but we avoid asking the same thing again.

If you read the above and rpg.stackexchange isn't what you're looking for, you might want to try:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Overall I like it, but the original point which started the FAQ2.0 discussion was @mxyzplk's point that the faq wasn't concise enough. Personally I feel like this might be a little bit TLDR for a new user-orientation. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 18 '11 at 19:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Then again, the same point can be made for the CW one above. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 18 '11 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Idea: what if - instead of defining Role Playing in the intro paragraph - there was a link to What is role-playing, and where do I start?? \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 18 '11 at 19:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRI Adopted. -- The headings are there for the TL;DR crowd, but I'm not sure we really care about them, since they're unlikely to provide good answers. We could tighten up the wording, sure, but we need more information communicated more effectively, so that people have a good idea of what a good question and a good answer look like just from reqding the FAQ. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Feb 19 '11 at 1:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Brian Ballsun-Stanron - Agreed. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 19 '11 at 5:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ To everyone: I fully welcome you editing this FAQ attempt if you think my headers are the way to go versus the other... \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Feb 19 '11 at 5:51
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Edit

We still have the same problem: the "get off my lawn" part of the FAQ "What kind of questions can I ask here?" is still lengthier than the "welcome to our site part" - visually it's twice as big and textually it's 30+ words longer:

The FAQ on April 1 2011

This makes no sense and is redundant since there is another section of the FAQ devoted to "What kind of questions should I not ask here" later on...


Here's a try:

Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is for players and gamemasters of tabletop role-playing games - Dungeons & Dragons, Dogs in the Vineyard, Shadowrun, World of Darkness, or any of the thousands of other pen-and-paper RPGs - who need answers to questions.

The best questions are those that have specific answers, but in general, if you have a question which covers...

  • A specific problem with playing or running a table-top RPG
  • Game rules
  • Tools and equipment used while playing table-top RPGs
  • Information about campaign settings
  • Matters which are specific to table-top pen and paper RPGs

...then you're in the right place!

Before you ask your question, though, consider the following:

  • We want the questions on our site to be valuable sources of information for all web users, not just our community members, so we try to keep our personal opinions out of our questions and answers when we can.
  • Likewise, we don't want the information on our site to become obsolete, and so we try not to ask questions whose answers may change with time.
  • Since the answers to questions on rpg.stackexchange shouldn't change with time, we don't re-ask the same question once it's been answered. We add more answers, we add comments, we ask a related question, but we avoid asking it again.

If you read the above and rpg.stackexchange isn't what you're looking for, you might want to try:

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  • \$\begingroup\$ A few quibbles with the penultimate section: Opinions aren't strictly forbidden. "Good subjective" questions and answers combine opinion and experience... As does any question that has multiple correct answers. We just don't want questions and answers that are PURE opinion. Similarly questions that change over time are okay (otherwise errata would exclude any rule question), but questions that change QUICKLY are bad. Finally, reasking adequately answered questions is bad everywhere, we don't want to call that out as an SE-specific thing (unless we can figure out a way to solve the problem :)) \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 11 '11 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - Agreed, opinions are sometimes called for; hence why I chose the non-binding term "try" as opposed to simply "we keep our personal opinions out..." :) I'll make those changes, but it's a Community Wiki answer, so feel free to edit it. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 11 '11 at 0:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - But - irrelevant of what the goals are in the end - I think listing goals instead of "what not to do"s is generally more constructive. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 11 '11 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi All right :) I've made a couple minor changes based on my comment above. Mostly removing that last clause, because I don't think anyone who reads an FAQ is likely to willfully reask a question. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 11 '11 at 0:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - I won't edit-wars with you, but given @David Allan Finch's answer to the Site Approachability question and its two up votes, I feel like explaining why we close dupes isn't a bad idea. (which doesn't mean not explaining it is a bad idea either ;) ) \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 11 '11 at 1:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi I interpretted David's post to be more in reference to "Subjective and Argumentative" and "Off topic" closures (particularly when he says "or to point it to a matching question before closing it down."). He goes on to talk about reasking very old questions which never received an acceptable response, which I believe is an acceptable form of duplication. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 11 '11 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi All that said, your name is the one that shows up on the bottom. I think it's acceptable to rollback to the version you're most happy with, especially when you're nice enough to leave a comment about it. It takes a few more itterations than that to make it a war :) \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 11 '11 at 2:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AceCalhoon - You didn't have to roll back; I was still mulling over it, and you're points about David's post... thanks nonetheless :) \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 11 '11 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi :) You can still find what little I wrote in the post history. Think it over, pick the bits you like, and go from there. \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 11 '11 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi: I've added some possible shortenings for consideration. Also, what about LARPers? \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Hallett Feb 12 '11 at 10:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaveHallett, @LeguRI Here is the link to the Meta LARP discussion: meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/165/are-we-including-larps \$\endgroup\$ – AceCalhoon Feb 12 '11 at 15:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Seems not worth talking about. Number of questions here on LARPs ever: zero. rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/larp \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Feb 12 '11 at 16:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi Awesome! But I wouldn't put it first—D&D is definitely the first among equals. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 15 '11 at 23:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk: I'd wager that we'd have more LARP questions if they were in scope. My first question here was closed, and my impression since has been that the site has a bit of a shoot-first attitude to closing. \$\endgroup\$ – Alticamelus Feb 21 '11 at 10:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LeguRi I went with a slightly modified version of the page, thoughts? \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross Apr 2 '11 at 21:13
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These items

  • Questions about RPG or genre related movies, comics, novels, or other media
  • Questions about Card games, miniature games, wargames, and boardgames

If your question is about Computer RPGs or MMORPGs, ask on gaming.stackexchange.com.

If your question is about board games, card games, or table top war games ask on boardgames.stackexchange.com.

appear to be duplicate information and could be condensed.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 - Good catch! \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 10 '11 at 23:18
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A couple minor formatting notes:

"But what about ..." is a bit large. It should match the other headings like "What kind of questions can I ask here?"

"We accept questions about rules, campaign settings, role-playing challenges, gaming tools, gamemastering challenges, and more. And yes, it's Ok to be subjective!" should be broken up into a list, to help it catch the reader's eye:

We accept questions about:

  • Rules
  • Campaign settings
  • Role-playing challenges
  • Gaming tools
  • Gamemastering challenges

And yes, it's okay to be subjective!

Perhaps make "it's okay to be subjective" a link to http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective/

I'll go over the exact copy, and compare it to what LeguRi has tomorrow and see if anything jumps out...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 - This is about the recent edits and deserves a bump. I also agree with the points. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 12 '11 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I took the liberty of formatting your example of making it a list as a block quote, for visual consistency with the other answers. \$\endgroup\$ – LeguRi Feb 12 '11 at 17:03

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