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".)
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.)
(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.)
Our community for people who play, run, or are interested in human-mediated role-playing games of all genres.
Here's what I think we should start with:
- 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.)
- 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:
- Expert Advice (like Longer-form topical how-to articles, maybe this would end up being more like "Blogs" or would be combined with it)
- Art/Minis/Battlemaps Gallery (or maybe Contests, for people to show off their neat creations)
- 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.)
Primarily game system (such as
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, play-by-post, play-by-chat, and LARPs. [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
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?
"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?
"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?
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?
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?
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"?
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
Questions about Computer RPGs.
- 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.
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:
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.
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:
- Some easy way of making tables (tables of results are common to discuss or ask about, for instance)
- 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)
- Spoiler blocks (for published adventures, where some people might not want to see scenarios that they could be players for in the future)
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.