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# Tabletop Role Playing Games

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Launched!

I would love to be able to have a community here for Tabletop Role Playing Games. I think that the rpg.SE community what I miss most from my decision to not create free content for SE anymore.

For those not familiar, TRPGs are a broad genre of game, which includes games that have a lot of tactical planning (like wargame-style) as well as games that are more shared storytelling experiences without any concept of a "winner". The general thing that makes them distinctive (and thus likely to generate questions where more experienced community members can provide help) is that the list of things you can do is usually very open-ended. That is to say, while in a traditional board game you have some limited number of options about what you can do on your turn, in a TRPG you can usually attempt to do anything that makes sense within the game's narrative. Games then generally have some tools (such as rolling dice to determine if you succeed) that are employed by the players to help determine what happens next.

Some kinds of questions that could come up, and are helpful to have a Q&A site/community to answer:

• A lot of the games have many rules to help determine what happens next, and it can be confusing to figure out how to apply them in a given situation.
• Due to the open-ended nature of the games, there may not always be rules that clearly apply. Asking for "good subjective" experiences about how other people handled similar situations can be very helpful.
• Many of these properties have established fictional worlds, and it can useful to know what the "lore" of a world is in order to tell stories within it.

I'm sure there's more, and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be putting in this box other than the idea. I was excited to get the (first?) email sent to the codidact announcement list saying that sites were starting to get created, so I figured I'd pop on and see if there was some way that this site could be created too. I'd be willing to put in some amount of effort to help, though I'm not sure what I could do.

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There have been quite a few thoughts strewn about here (which is good, as I think the idea here is to get people talking about what we might want), so I'd like to put together my summary of what I hope to be a complete "proposal", based on the thoughts of the few people who have commented so far mixed in with my own preferences in some proportion. Nothing here is meant to be set in stone, but I'm hoping it's close enough that any changes (and yes, please suggest further updates) would be closer to "tweaks" than "rewrites". (And if you do want a rewrite, by all means please write up your own "answer".)

# Name

Tabletop Role-Playing Games

(Identifies the topic fairly well, and is the general term used in the hobby as best as I know how. I'd rather more flavorful names be for things like chat rooms vs. the site as a whole.)

# URL Slug

rpg.codidact.com

(Hopefully that's generic enough that if we add or contract scope it'd still be applicable while specific enough to identify the site. It also matches rpg.SE for whatever that's worth.)

# Summary

Our community for people who play, run, or are interested in human-mediated role-playing games of all genres.

# Categories

1. Q&A
2. Stories (If you'd rather use something a little more generic like "Blogs" I'd be fine with that, but I think I want to emphasize that it's a place for people to tell their stories.)
3. Meta (For discussion about site policies and such.)

Some ideas for possibilities that could be added in the future, but I think it'd be best to keep things simple to start and leave them out for now unless other people think they'd really add something that would help the community launch rather than make it just look empty to start:

1. Expert Advice (like Longer-form topical how-to articles, maybe this would end up being more like "Blogs" or would be combined with it)
2. Art/Minis/Battlemaps Gallery (or maybe Contests, for people to show off their neat creations)
3. Idea Generation (Could maybe just be a part of "Q&A", but we could perhaps have something that's more open-ended and forum-like for "What monsters should the party encounter next" type questions which is a bit too subjective for a stricter main Q&A? I haven't really got this fleshed out in my head yet, it's just a starting point for discussion.)

# Q&A Tags

Primarily game system (such as dnd-5e, pathfinder-2e, dungeon-world, fate-core, and so on), with other tags as naturally added (there may be some figuring this out as we go what other tags are actually useful).

# On-Topic Game Systems

The idea would be to include all games that are "role-playing" in style, with the main criterion that it be human-mediated as to what happens next in the story. If the mediation is a group effort (as in "GM-less" RPGs) that would be fine, as long as it's not strictly rules-based (as in a board or card game). All mediums of RPGs would be welcome, including face-to-face tabletop, online virtual tabletop (VTT), play-by-post, play-by-chat, and Live-Action Role Playing (LARP). [LARPs might be a bit tricky as I'm not sure we'll have the expertise around to start, but anything clearly RPG-inspired with human-mediated storytelling should be fine to try asking.]

# On-Topic for Q&A

1. Rules questions on understanding how a game works.
• In D&D 5e, what squares does a 15-foot cone affect when we're playing on a grid?
• In D&D 5e, when resolving Magic Missile which sends out three darts, do I roll a die for each individual dart separately or just one die total and use the same one for each dart?
• In Fate Accelerated, if I make a "mook" with two stress boxes, does the second stress box handle two shifts or still only one?
2. "Good subjective" questions on best handling cases (and making house rules) that official rules leave open-ended.
• In D&D 5e, how do I adjudicate when a player wants to put manacles on an unwilling creature in combat?
• In D&D 5e, how do I determine which beasts a Druid is likely to have seen in their lifetime and can thus wildshape into their form?
• In Star Wars Saga Edition, how long does an energy cell last in a vibrobayonet?
3. "Good subjective" questions on how to handle encounter design and player-to-player interaction.
• How do I make an encounter challenging to the experienced players at the table without it being overwhelming to the newer players?
• How do I keep other players focused on the game (instead of distracted by their phones or the like) when it's someone else's turn?
• How do I best describe players taking damage so that it's more immersive than just a hit point statistic changing?
• What do I do if I think a player is cheating with their die rolls?
4. Questions about the lore of published RPG settings.
• Whose portrait is on the gold coins of Waterdeep in the Forgotten Realms?
• In Eberron, can a changeling easily change where he received an injury or cut so it doesn't look injured at all?
• In Umdaar, what artifacts are known to be in the Crystal Ruins?
5. Questions about math likely to come up in using or designing RPG systems.
• How does D&D 5e's "advantage" mechanic change the expected outcome?
• What is the probability of a character surviving using D&D 5e's Death Saving Throw system after they fall to 0 hit points?
• How can I easily simulate Fate/Fudge dice (that I don't have) using dice that I do have?
6. Questions about the history of roleplaying and RPGs
• Where did fantasy RPGs first have a concept of a "cleric"?
• What RPG first used the concept of "exploding dice"?
7. Questions about RPG terminology and jargon
• What does a "natural" roll mean?
• What's the difference between a Dungeon Master, Gamemaster, and Castle Keeper?
• What is a "THAC0" (and how does one pronounce it)?

# Off-topic for Q&A

• Does Skyrim prevent me from killing characters that are critical to the plot?
• Does the Baldur's Gate game scale difficulty based on the level of my character? But Note: Some questions involving Computer RPGs might be on-topic if it's primarily about the lore and setting, not about the game itself, if that setting is also used in tabletop RPGs. Also, questions about playing tabletop games using electronic tools like Roll20 and D&D Beyond would be fine, too.
2. Questions about board or card games. Sometimes the line on these can be a bit fuzzy, especially in the "setting" questions where for instance there are Magic: the Gathering settings that also have published rules for D&D. I'd tend to err on the side of allowing anything "borderline" for now, at least if there are people willing to answer them. But I'd expect that asking questions about Magic: the Gathering gameplay itself, or even D&D-inspired games like Three Dragon Ante, would be off-topic unless others feel differently.

### Stuff I'm not completely sure on, but I'm leaning toward off-topic:

1. Which RPG should me and my friends play? Though this could work, it'd need a lot of scoping and detail in order to really help someone, and is probably better addressed through a chat system or through a blog/wiki/etc. that presents games and what they're good and not as good at.
2. Questions primarily about real-world history and economics, even when RPGs are based on them Again this could be scoped somewhat and answerable, and RPGs grew out of wargaming and historical simulations, so there certainly could be questions about how the middle ages actually worked that'd be relevant to playing a game based on that, but I'd be inclined to encourage people to search elsewhere unless we attract a community here that's knowledgeable and wanting to answer such things.

# Importing from RPG Stack Exchange

My initial inclination is just to build our own database here rather than trying to import a ton of information with very little being "original" Codidact content. It would be neat (though I assume difficult and not at the top of the priority list) to be able to import specific questions or answers over. Like if there's a question here which is a "duplicate" of one on rpg.stackexchange, it'd be great if there were a button to be able to easily copy the answers for it over from there. Assuming that's not happening, then maybe we should work in the early days to come up with a standard CC-license-compliant way or template for people to use to cite any worthwhile answers from there.

# Building a Community

It seems to me like we have enough interest here to get started (and if you're reading this and interested but haven't yet done so, please leave a comment somewhere on if you're willing to participate, or at least upvote the "question" here so we know that there's interest). I am willing to answer questions about the aspects I'm familiar with (which is primarily D&D 5e though I've dabbled in some other systems).

One idea I've had (which I think I got from something linked somewhere by somebody from the topic I posted in general Meta Q&A on how to advertise) is to schedule some sort of regular weekly Q&A "event", like saying "Fridays are the main Q&A day" or something like that. That is, while people would be welcome to post questions and answers at any time, there would be some specific weekly day (or times?) that it'd be encouraged, to try to set that expectation that there might not be a lot of people using the site for a lot of the week (it's hard to get people to add one more site to the list of sites they check regularly), but that by some-time-period it's likely that everyone using the site would have seen it. And maybe people contributing content (blogs/stories/whatever) would be using that timeframe for when to post their weekly entry. Just a thought, and probably can be significantly refined.

# Technical features that would be good to have

None of these are really required to get going, but would be nice to have:

1. Some easy way of making tables (tables of results are common to discuss or ask about, for instance)
2. MathJax (most posts won't use it, but some might get into some technical aspects of probability that would find it useful, and I think it can perhaps also give one tables? I'm not that familiar with MathJax myself)
3. Spoiler blocks (for published adventures, where some people might not want to see scenarios that they could be players for in the future)
4. NSFW Filtering, or some network-wide or this-community-only standard of not allowing such content. Some people play RPGs with very "mature themes", and it'd be good to let people avoid that content if they don't want to be exposed to it.
Why does this post require moderator attention?

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I think this is a site that could do well here. RPGs are popular, numerous, and varied, and questions would also be varied -- questions about rules, questions about technique (playing a druid well, maintaining tension as a GM, designing resiliency to avoid TPKs, etc), questions about adventure design, questions about the storytelling aspects of games, questions about gaming styles and compatible systems... I think it's a target-rich environment, if you'll pardon the expression.

Some questions have come up that we should figure out, including:

• Tabletop games or all non-computer RPGs? Or, as another answer proposes, just D&D and not all RPGs?
• What should the name be? (Ties into the previous question.)
• Are there enough people interested in building the site here? The votes tell us people are interested in general and we don't need a lot of people, but we do need some engaged participants who can build and shape the site. Where do we find them (without spamming)? Are they already here?

Not needed immediately, but I encourage folks to think about data import as part of scoping too. You can import all, some, or no content from SE. If you want to "tune" the scope here compared to SE but still bring over some data, you might choose to focus on particular tags. Just a thought. (The Speculative Science proposal is going down that path.)

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# Suggestions on mediums that are on topic

• Tabletop roleplaying
• Larp (live action roleplaying)
• Forum- and chat-based roleplaying

All of these have very diffuse borders and overlapping communities. In all of them fiction is created by shared agreement of the participants, most of the time.

## Borderline cases

• Roleplaying in MMORPGS: I would say that questions about how to roleplay, in the sense of creation of fiction by interaction of the characters and mutual agreement of the players, would be on topic. Questions about rules, tactics, modding, contents of the games and other such issues would be better handled elsewhere.
• Solo roleplaying: Things like Tunnels and trolls solo adventures are clearly associated with roleplaying games and should be fine. Choose your own adventure -books are borderline, but probably out of scope. I think the criterium should be if the game in question is clearly a variation of roleplaying or shares cultural identity with the core forms of roleplaying.
• Using a roleplaying game as a board game: Maybe someone is playing Rune or D&D 4 as a pure boardgame. That is fine and should be within scope as above, as long as the game is a variation of something clearly identified as a roleplaying game. Independent board and card games are not within scope, even if they are based on a roleplaying game.
• Shared storytelling of various kinds: I don't know enough to have an opinion. I would err towards accepting them if they create fiction via mutual agreement about how it is, as the border between these and text-based forum games is thin. I have also seen "My life with master" and "S/lay with me" played as a shared writing exercise.
• Sexual roleplaying: There exist romantic and even sexual roleplaying games and sexual roleplaying does typically entail shared creation of fiction, so there is no bright line to draw here. However, the social issues and the interested communities are quite different, as far as I know, so most questions should not be on topic. Questions that are particularly related to the roleplaying side might fly.
• Roleplaying in education and therapy and other professional contexts: Separete communities, separate issues, but to the extent that the question is intelligible to the community (about roleplaying in general, about something that is recognizably a roleplaying game or a larp), it could be given a chance.

In general, for any and all borderline cases, I think there should be two criteria for accepting a question; if one or both are satisfied, than it should be on topic:

1. Non-conventional use of a roleplaying game should be fine; Fourthcore deathmatch and Tunnels and trolls solo adventures for example. Pretending to be fantasy character while fighting with boffers likewise.
2. Questions focusing on the roleplaying part of borderline activities should be fine; that is, shared creation of fiction via participant consensus, and preferably with many participants associating a particular character to themselves.

# Name

The easiest would be "roleplaying". Short and comprehensible. For url: "rpg" or "roleplay".

# What kind of issues could be discussed

These are in order of estimated number of questions.

• Rules questions: Very suitable for a Q&A site, very clear. Citing a source preferred.
• Best practices: Relevant experience or a reliable source required. How to handle situation A?
• Terminology: What does a word mean? What is the difference between B and C?
• History of roleplaying: Factual questions about the history of roleplaying. Citing a source or having been there required. How did D come about? Who published E? Who was the first to F?
• Theory: What is known about G? What was H's stance on I? How can J be understood? Citing a source required. I think both academic discussion and hobbyist theories should be on topic.
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Right now we don't have a good way of identifying people who would help build a new community, so let's do this: if you are interested in helping to build this site, please leave a comment describing your level of interest (casual visitor, enthusiast, expert in this topic within the site's scope, something else?). I'll edit them into the post later.

• I have spent a lot of time playing RPGs (mostly D&D through 3.5, with some misc mixed in) but don't currently play and am not up on the latest developments. I would participate in questions that are more "craft" and less rules-interpretation. If there is a blog that welcomes "craft" posts and/or reports of interesting campaigns, I would contribute. — Monica Cellio

• I'd be somewhere on the spectrum of enthusiast to expert. — ShowMeBillyJo

• I have played since about 2000 and a wide variety of games, including homebrewed games, obscure and popular indie games, various editions of D&D and other traditional games. I am also comfortable with rpg theory (academic and not). A little experience with larping and text-based forums games, too. I would be asking questions actively about Miseries and misfortunes (by Luke Crane). In other areas I would be active in answering and maybe ask something every now and then. — tommi

• You can put me down as someone willing to contribute, though I don't know if I have the wherewithal yet to do something time-consuming as daily moderation activities or the like. I primarily use D&D-5e but have dabbled in other systems. — ‭Peter Cooper Jr.‭

• A bit late to the crowd, but I'd be interested in participating casually using my experience in DnD 5e and also perhaps asking questions to learn about Pathfinder. — Quintec‭

• I'm interested in the enthusiast level. — akrigline

• I'm a member of a community interested in supporting a new home for "virtual tabletop" Q&As (consider me an RPG expert). We have some success community-building on Reddit and Discord, yet we have reasons to seek a Q&A site. I would love to help build a Codidact RPG community whether VTTs have a home under the RPG site, or if we self-host a VTT Codidact instance with greater assurance of buy-in because of the RPG site's success — corporat‭

• Recently got into D&D so I’d be very interested in such a community. — DonielF‭

• I'm not really into RPGs but I'm willing to moderate. — Mark Giraffe

• I'd be interested, mostly enthusiast level with a smattering of expert depending on the specific subject matter. - Cereal Nommer‭

• I'm interested. I've played a host of mainstream and indy ttrpgs and write/publish indy ttrpgs on itch.io. I'm fairly familiar with the indy part of the scene, less with anything 5e related. - Ostermad

• Have played some D&D and am actively looking for another campaign... also currently binging Critical Role. Would be decently interested in contributing to a RPG community. - Mithical

• Have played WOD / D&D for seven or eight years now and would be an active user, also have quite a few friends I will try to drag in. - Sigma

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I don't know if this has been asked, but would questions about developing RPG's be on-topic? I'm not talking about the programming side of it, simply the game design side of it.

For instance, if I asked about character or map design on this site, would it be on or off-topic?

Here is an example of such a question:

I am making an RPG game, and I have a question: How many roles should a good RPg have?

I don't want to overwhelm the player with too many roles (which makes the game hard to memorize) but I also don't want too few roles. Is there a golden rule for the number of roles?

As of now my game has around 4 roles, but I think that's way too less.

I know that questions asking how to program an RPG game would be off-topic, because that's suited better over at Software Development.

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I'm coming into this rather late, but one service that might be nice to offer would be a list of ttrpg texts. At present, itch.io's searching is terrible and other ttrpg storefronts have their own issues, so finding ttrpg materials from publishers lacking the funds of Wizards can be challenging, to say the least. Having a way to document a text would benefit the industry.

We'd want to include a title, author, publisher, and URL for the text, as well as distinguish the text's function as well (game system, adventure, setting, or some combination thereof).

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My main concern is the potential overlap with worldbuilding. However, I'd like to add some possible answers to the proposal requirements.

# Scope

I think it makes sense to limit the site to tabletop RPG's. This is a specific but diverse category. I do not think limiting to just D&D is a good idea - a lot of people who play D&D may also pick up a game like Fate or WoD on the side and have questions about it. Additionally, most non-mechanical topics will have the same answers regardless of which system is being used (see the "Fluff" and "Metagaming" categories below).

# Name

I would suggest The Tavern. I see two possibilities: either our name is descriptive, or it is somehow referential. Because of the specificity of the proposal, a descriptive name like "Tabletop RPG" is a mouthful - our scope doesn't include MtG (tabletop) or LARP (rpg). A tavern is a traditional RPG setting for characters to find refreshment, new quests, brawls, and information - only a dungeon is a more common trope.

We would then need a solid description where we can be specific about the site's scope and what is excluded.

# Categories

I would suggest the following categories (possibly with more friendly names):

### Crunch

A place to ask about mechanics and rules, including modifications. "How unbalanced is it to give a player a CR1 template in exchange for a level?" "Can I stabilize a fellow player as a bonus action?"

### Fluff

Refers to things happening within the context of the game that are not mechanics based. "How can I make a puzzle seem challenging but not frustrating?" "How do I roleplay a mute character?"

### Metagaming

Questions about things related to the game rather than the act of playing the game itself. "How do I get my players to show up on time?" "How do I tell my DM I want to play a different character?"

### Blog

TTRPG's are all about telling stories, and telling those stories to others is incredibly fun as well. Adding a place for tales of creation and play would be a good way to bring activity to the site. (This might need to be a later addition to the site as I'm not sure we'll have enough activity at the beginning - I can personally submit something every so often but we'd need more than that.)

# Building a Community

I think we could start with the community we have here since there seems to be decent interest. Word of mouth will be important at the beginning, Twitter and Tumblr are good places for this. Eventually we could do things like advertise on a podcast or sponsor some custom content.

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Soooooo, maybe I'm in the minority here but I'll throw this out as a possibility. I'm a D&D fan. I'm not really interested in other tabletop RPGs — and in fact, I'd be most interested in a codidact site only about D&D.

If I look at the top ten game system tags on rpg-se, I see, in order:

• dnd-5e: 15,948 questions (10 today, 64 this week)
• pathfinder-1e: 6,518 (0 today, 5 this week, 21 this month)
• dnd-3.5e: 5,261 (0 today, 11 this week, 42 this month)
• dnd-4e: 2,655 (0 recently)
• dungeons-and-dragons: 840 (0 today, 0 this week, 16 this month)
• system-agnostic: 508 (0 recently)
• world-of-darkness: 453 (0 recently)
• savage-worlds: 316 (0 recently)
• fate: 311 (0 recently)
• shadowrun-sr5: 265 (0 recently)

So.... what if we just made this a D&D q&a site?

1. That's where the action is.
2. It would save us the horrible charade of "Oh, we can't possibly guess what system your question about a dragonborn warlock's 11th-level mystic arcanum feature could be about, so we're closing your question" that is pretty much every new user's introduction to RPG-se.
3. It'd be easier to find and promote
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