I'm fairly new here, and I am not entirely sure what makes a question on-topic or off-topic. Particularly when they are at the edge. But Looking at the Ragnarok question (which I tried to answer). To me it seems that this is asking for an idea generation.

Actually there are a few questions somehow similar, like that one, or that one.

I'm not saying they are not interesting, but it is hard to objectively evaluate which answer is best. It is stated in the FAQ, that

Note that questions must be specific as well as answerable. If you are looking for discussion, brainstorming, or an overall process rather than specific question-and-answers, the Worldbuilding Stack Exchange might not be a good place for your question.

Could someone clarifies WHY these questions are perfectly on-topic on WB.SE?

  • $\begingroup$ I agree (though not about the last one). I feel like we've gotten a lot of Idea Generation questions recently, and I've voted to close quite a few for this very reason. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ On and off topic are in theory defined in help/on-topic... $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ @ArtOfCode, which is linked and cited in my question..? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin So it is. I just read the comment that you weren't sure what was on topic and off topic, which should be defined by the help center. You've clearly already seen that though (which is perhaps more than can be said for many newish users). $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:44

2 Answers 2


Worldbuilders are a bit weird. By that, I mean that this site has some characteristics a bit different from other SE sites, and this is one of them.

I'm sure we had a meta-discussion about this a while ago, but I can't find it right now so I'll just say this:

If an idea-generation question can:

  • be packaged up nicely
  • be reasonably narrow-scoped (so there aren't millions of possible answers)
  • and is popular

then we seem to be accepting of them. Whether this is right or not I don't know and this would require more discussion, but that's the pattern I've observed.

These questions also tend to be the more controversial questions - ask at your peril.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you refer to that question ? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin Not the one I was thinking of - there was some discussion where I outlined my thinking on what IG questions are acceptable. $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin OK it's not quite what I thought it was, but I've found it. $\endgroup$
    – ArtOfCode
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 21:48

I agree, the Ragnarok question I asked is near to the "Idea Generation" border, but I don't believe it is over it.

See this answer here: https://worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/a/552/49

In this case the answers can be evaluated both by how closely they fit the legend while at the same time being scientifically plausible. That's also a constrained enough answer set that I do not expect to see huge numbers of different answers.

Of course I could be wrong, in which case the question should be closed. Personally I think it's the "right" side of the line but I agree it's near to it so people would be fully justified in starting a close vote if they think one is needed.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .