My question How do Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2's “rolling” for stats actually get generated? was closed as being off-topic because

Questions about playing video games and developing video games are off-topic here, but may be on-topic on Arqade and the Game Development Stack Exchange, respectively.

It feels like it was closed reflexively because CRPGS were mentioned in the title.

My question is about neither. Both of these games are (ostensibly) based on AD&D 2e rules and implement those AD&D rules into the game. My question is about the specific implementation of generating those statistics, and whether or not that stat generation method is actually an implementation of AD&D 2e rules.

The reason behind the question is that I am interested in developing a similar stats generation system for D&D 5e tabletop games I run, but wanted to get a baseline for the "canonicity" of this generation system in relation to AD&D 2e rules first.

Given the very close link to AD&D 2e, and the expertise in AD&D 2e on this stack I would have expected this question to be on-topic for this stack.

As @Carcer mentions in the comments

We also have questions about how to program a popular dice-simulation web application which honestly are of similarly dubious required-expertise relative to the stack's subject matter, but nonetheless are accepted as relevant because of the close relationship to what we do care about. Which is to say that just because a question involves math, or programming, or a videogame, it isn't automatically off-topic for rpg.se.

So, does the mere mention, or link to a computer/video game/programming topic automatically "poison the chalice" so to speak?

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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, I suspect opening a meta for this may prove to be premature; it's unfortunate that the question did get closed as quickly as it did but I expect that other users will vote to reopen it before too long. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 13:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer I opened the meta on it, primarily because it's unclear (I searched through the meta briefly and couldn't find anything that created this policy beyond "we don't talk about video games here"), so there isn't really a whole lot of clarity about the issue (or indeed why we don't accept CRPGs) \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW I don't think questions purely about a single-player CRPG in general (like Final Fantasy 8) should be on topic here as those games only share a nominative relationship with RPGs here. But at the same time, I don't think it should mean that a mention of a video game in a question should make it off-topic \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 13:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, this question seems to address the topic, and doppel's accepted answer is that questions about videogames based on traditional RPGs are likely better on arqade but may conceivably fit on rpg.se as well. I don't think there actually is a generally accepted policy that says we never ever talk about CRPGs here, I think it's just a bit of overzealous closing that will probably fix itself relatively quickly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @illustro I do think there's a bit of context here that would make the "RPG-ness" of the mainsite question a little clearer. Basically, your "the reason behind the question" paragraph. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I've added that paragraph in. I don't think it strictly requires the paragraph to be on topic, but can see how it might help \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think this is the perfect borderline question, and it's on-topicness is very much down to the wording. "How does CRPG rolls stats?" => Off-topic, "Which edition of RPG does CRPG stat rolling match?" => On-topic \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also related is our thing on generic real-world topics from our on-topic help: “Would an RPG expert give me a better/different/more specific answer to this question than an expert on video games?” Does telling you how Baldurs Gate stat randomisation works actually draw upon any tabletop-related expertise? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener In this specific case, yes, because I need them to use their knowledge of AD&D 2e and apply it to that stat generation method to address it's canonicity to AD&D 2e. I need both the in game stat generation method BG1/2 uses and the knowledge of stat generation in a specific version of a TTRPG applied to that generation method to answer the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro I suspect that essentially there's two questions. For Arqade: “What stat generation does Baldur's Gate use?”, and once that's answered, the one for us: “Here's the specific stat generation technique Baldur's Gate uses, and in theory the game is based on AD&D, so is this canonical for AD&D as well?” \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @dopple Interestingly enough, you could divorce the two entirely by asking what you've said on Arqade and asking "How do you determine stats in AD&D?" on RPG \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Also true! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


You have two questions, one of which is on topic here and one of which is on topic for Arqade.

"How does Baldur's Gate generate stats" is a video game question that should be asked on Arqade.

Once you have an answer for that,

"Is this stat generation method Baldur's Gate used really from one of the AD&D versions?" is on topic here.

As discussed in other Meta questions, things like roleplaying techniques that you might use in online RPGs or whatnot can be on topic here, but anything relating to the actual operation of a computer game should be on the computer game Stack.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yep, you said basically what I was thinking. The core question, the one that would need to be answered first, doesn't actually require knowing how AD&D stat generation works; it's entirely about knowing how stat generation in Baldur's Gate works, which doesn't draw on any tabletop RPG expertise. Once that is determined, knowing how AD&D stat generation works is effectively just an afterthought to the original question, in terms of determining "yes it's the same" or "no it's not the same". (As Medix2 commented on this meta question, how AD&D stat generation works could be its own question.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 22:16

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