I recently asked this question on RPG.SE: Appropriate Obstacles for a "Find and Question" scene

I've got the answer I wanted, but I'm intrigued by why this question would be considered unclear.

There might be better ways to write it, but it seems like it would be clear enough to people who understand the mechanics of Dusk City Outlaws.

I'm probably going to ask more questions on here about the system in future, and want to make sure my questions are of the appropriate quality.


2 Answers 2


For a definitive answer, we would need comment from someone who voted to close it. I do not consider it unclear, and given how long it has remained open (it still has only four close votes after 17 hours and going through the close vote review queue) it seems likely that most of our users don't. If it gets the fifth close vote, it's not likely to remain closed for long.

It happens from time to time that people mistakenly approach questions from a very particular perspective that might not be applicable to the system in question. Eg. I've had similar issues when I've asked about Stories (a mechanic in 7th Sea) --- people sometimes don't realize it's a mechanical concept with a particular meaning, much like I believe "obstacle" and "scene" are in the case of your question. With such misunderstandings, the question might seem open-ended enough to warrant a close vote even if it's actually not.

The only other reason I could plausibly think to put your question on hold is for being too broad --- you're technically asking two questions, but they might be closely enough related to be narrow enough for our standards. But all in all you shouldn't let a few probably mistaken close votes bother you --- keep on asking!

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    \$\begingroup\$ The question has also gone through the close vote review queue and left open. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 11:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sdjz Excellent point --- I'll incorporate that to my answer. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 11:16

It's because it's difficult to tell rules concepts from natural language.

"legwork scene", "drama scene", "obstacle", "challenge".

I don't have the book myself, and don't know which of these phrases refer to concepts in the rules with special game meaning and which phrases are being used as regular ol' words to describe a situation, but I'm aware that they are sometimes used as game terms.

Someone who doesn't read them as game terms can interpret this question as idea generation - you don't know how to set up your game's plot, so you're asking people to toss out plot ideas, but you haven't provided any criteria to evaluate them by. That's an unclear question.

I'd suggest using some sort of distinguishing mark, such as bold, italics, or Initial Caps, to set words you use to name rules concepts of a game apart from words you use to explain your problem.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I also noticed that, at a glance, it looks like a primarily opinion-based idea generation question. However, none of the close votes listed that as their reason. Also, surely they should delineate game terms however the game in question delineates them? It's far more important that the question be clear to experts than that the question be confusing in a different way to users who don't know anything about the system in question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 2:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman: Indeed. For review-queuers, there's a "Skip" button if you don't know the system well enough to make a determination one way or the other whether the question is appropriate. (For those who just happen to see the question, well, there's no obligation to vote to close either.) Ideally, in such scenarios, even if you do vote to close, you'd at least comment to express what you found unclear about it... \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 4:58

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