Reading these two (here and here) questions from Feralheart, there is obviously a lot of push to close these questions as off-topic. I believe this push is primarily due to people thinking that these questions are about software/writing, and not about worldbuilding.

I think all phases of the worldbuilding process, not just the imaginative parts, should be on topic here. I would like to propose that questions about how to document and publish a world you have built are strictly on-topic. What pushed me into this decision is that the tags and both exist and have good and useful questions attached to them. Both of Feralheart's questions, in my mind, fit the mold of existing questions in those tags, and are thus on-topic and sufficiently narrow for this site.

If we decide that we should welcome these sorts of questions, then we should vote to re-open both of them (if they remain closed). I skipped them both in review queue, pending discussion of the merits here.

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    $\begingroup$ My upvote means I think this is something we should talk about, not necessarily that I think these specific questions are in scope, which I don't yet have an opinion about. (Right now I think they're light on details, which is orthogonal to the scope question.) $\endgroup$ May 7, 2017 at 21:35

3 Answers 3


On Writers we draw the distinction between general tools questions ("how do I define heading styles in Word?") and specialized tools questions that apply in particular to writing ("how can I use Word to format a conference paper per IEEE format? are there templates?"). I suggest that we take a similar approach here. That would mean that questions about how to use a wiki in general are off-topic, but if a question identifies specific worldbuilding considerations, they can be on-topic.

"How do I use a wiki to record my world?" would be off-topic (also broad), but "how can I use a wiki to maintain information about my world, some of which requires MathJax, diagrams, and animation, and some of which must be access-controlled so my players can't see it?" could work here. (That's an outline, not a complete question; there are other details that would need to be included in the question too.)


Question: How do I unjam my mechanical pencil?

I'm organizing the notes for my world-in-progress on index cards, but my 0.3mm mechanical pencil keeps jamming. How can I deal with this?

Also, the colored markers smear and I don’t like that either! Is there a better card I can use?

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    $\begingroup$ A fair point, but mechanical pencils are used for more than just Worldbuilding. Questions on how to organize a wiki for your world aren't the same as questions about how to make a food blog or put online documentation for your awesome Android app. There is some overlap with Sci-Fi.SE, since a wiki about your world isn't much different from Memory Alpha or Wookiepedia; but still the documentation of a world is relatively narrow and highly aligned with Worldbuilding. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    May 8, 2017 at 2:31
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    $\begingroup$ Organizing a wiki isn't a worldbuilding question either. Documenting a world sounds like either technical writing, or fiction depending on how you want to write it. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    May 8, 2017 at 2:52

Question about choice of wiki is :

  • Not specific, as no requirements (what does it mean "good"?) and context (like server, budget, traffic) are given.

  • Not specific to world building - he wants good wiki software with absolutely no requirements specific to this particular prpcess

  • Classic shopping question - there is Software Recommendations SE for them. At least OP could look there to see how good requests for software recommendations are asked.

That said it should be left closed until it is edited to be both more specific and more worldbuilding related. Not as any general rule, but because this one is flawed.

Question about RPGFramework is one-liner and people tend to be prejudiced against one liners. It only accumulated "unclear" votes, and why wouldn't it? If my guess is right, then it is purely opinion based, but I voted "unclear", because I'm not sure. Either way, bad fit for reasons in no way related to it being a "documentation" question.

My conclusion: we need a few examples of decent questions about tools to make any general consensus. This one stays open, but one is too small sample.


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