Questions tagged [on-topic]

Questions about whether or not a given question or sort of question is on topic at Worldbuilding Stack Exchange.

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43 votes
12 answers
1k views

Is Worldbuilding a What If Site?

A few months back, my participation on this site dropped heavily for various reasons, most of them real life commitments. Now I've come back, and there's something I've noticed. When I left, the site ...
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35 votes
11 answers
2k views

A proposal to finalize the "are real world questions on-topic" debate

If you would like to discuss this or explain disagreements, or want clarification please feel free to join this chatroom. The moderators have discussed the recent re-invigoration of the on or off ...
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35 votes
5 answers
640 views

Are the "spoon" questions on-topic? And should they be?

I'm not currently a particularly active user on Worldbuilding, although I've contributed a bunch of answer back when the site was new. I do, however, regularly visit several other sites on the Stack ...
29 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is my question "Too Story Based" and how do I get it opened?

See also: When should I close a question as "Too Story Based"? Asking about plot elements such as the actions of characters, rather than about the world in which your story takes place, is ...
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28 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's wrong with "idea generation" questions?

We now have a dedicated "Idea Generation" close vote/flag reason!! What does it mean? What is the problem with "idea generation" questions?
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27 votes
6 answers
688 views

Let's talk about sexploitation questions

I have seen some questions that just stand out as not belonging in WB (nor Stack Exchange, nor any other Q&A sites) and that have one characteristic in common: they seem to be coming from a (...
27 votes
6 answers
1k views

Worldbuilding Scope - Risk Factors

TL;DR: This question is the foundation stone of an attempt to more thoroughly define the scope of Worldbuilding by defining "Risk Factors" that make something Out Of Scope. The discussion of ...
24 votes
3 answers
449 views

How do we feel about questions where the answer is "it exists in the real world?"

Suppose someone has asked "How could I do this thing in my fiction world?" or "If such a thing happened in my fiction world, what would be the consequences?" As such, the question is completely on-...
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23 votes
5 answers
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Is a "real world" question off topic?

I recently came across this: How do I know if my moon is full? It's been closed as off topic by several high reputation users as not being about worldbuilding. It clearly is though, it's information ...
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23 votes
3 answers
215 views

Worldbuilding.SE, as opposed to History.SE, Physics.SE

A lot of questions I have about worldbuilding, it seems to me, could be asked at History.SE or Physics.SE. Already we have some examples: How quickly and accurately did news travel in rural medieval ...
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21 votes
1 answer
183 views

"Is this realistic?"

We don't have any examples of such questions yet, so I suppose it might be a little silly for me to be asking this on meta already, but I want to know. Do we consider questions asking if something is ...
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20 votes
1 answer
679 views

Are software recommendation questions on topic?

There are lots of various software packages out there that assist in the creation of a world, from keeping track of details, characters and plots to map creation tools. Are questions asking for ...
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19 votes
4 answers
161 views

Are purely virtual worlds on topic?

If someone needs information about virtual worlds, like for example, the one seen in Matrix, would that be on topic here? If yes -- how this should be treated / tagged etc.? Do we treat such worlds ...
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19 votes
7 answers
470 views

"Only Three Books" question set

So far there are two of these, one on There are now 4 of these: Chemistry, Physics, Grain, and Medicine. Essentially the question is: Which three books should be preserved, in the event that our ...
19 votes
0 answers
313 views

Case Study Series

As discussed in chat and based on Tim B's recent post , I'd like us to have a series of case studies, where various users of the site post their five top-rated questions (or any five questions of ...
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18 votes
2 answers
124 views

Procedural generation questions on topic?

I am interested in ways to use computer programs to procedurally generate worlds. The worlds would be random, but their generation would follow well defined rules. While I know that programming ...
18 votes
3 answers
146 views

Are Constructed Languages on topic?

Constructed languages, such as Quenya or Klingon, are a fascinating topic and can be an amazing way to bring a culture to life. We already have a question on the topic: How does one go about ...
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17 votes
2 answers
84 views

Are cartography questions on topic here?

A common thing to do when building a world is to build a map of that world. This typically outlines the various countries, important landmarks, factions, terrain, climate, etc. of the world. I ...
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16 votes
4 answers
248 views

Are the questions "How will our world change if all {men,women} suddenly die?" on topic or not?

There seems to be considerable disagreement about the questions How will our world change if all men suddenly die? and How will our world change if all women suddenly die?, which are bouncing back and ...
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16 votes
0 answers
209 views

Risk Factor Definition: Too Story Based

We're going to look at merging the "Too Individual" and "Too plot based" close reasons into "Too Story Based". Keeping in mind the discussions from Risk Factor definition:...
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15 votes
5 answers
506 views

How many questions here are really about worldbuilding?

Some of the recent questions on Worldbuilding have been interesting, and not just content-wise. Lately, we've had quite a few questions that seem (at best) tangentially related to building a world, ...
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15 votes
3 answers
237 views

What if there were a What If?

I think it'd be nice to have a place to steer some of the most-obviously off-topic "What If," as I mentioned earlier. Turns out, there was a proposal in Area 51 for some type of speculative-yet-...
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15 votes
1 answer
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What the scope of Worldbuilding is NOT about

... taking any question that isn't accepted elsewhere. This should be a reminder, or refresher. These days, there are many questions about trying to set objective and clear limits for the scope of ...
14 votes
6 answers
753 views

Should questions about painfully killing people be welcomed on this site?

Specific question in discussion: gruesome execution by slow dissolution in low-concentration acid solution But lets talk more generic: Questions of how to kill a person, or set of people are ...
14 votes
6 answers
438 views

How to deal with "funny questions"?

I am in nit-picking mode today. While my question about Christmas on Mars got great reception and loads of positive votes, and personally I totally enjoyed answering both questions about dining ...
14 votes
7 answers
389 views

Closing of True Name question

This question: You can control a Demon by knowing its True Name, but why? Got closed. I can see why as it's pushing into Opinion Based/Too Broad, but I don't really think it crosses the line - ...
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14 votes
3 answers
194 views

Case Studies - on or off topic?

Evolution in the scope of the site is not a bad thing, we've learned a lot about what does and does not work in the over-a-year since the site first entered private beta. I'll use a number of my own ...
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14 votes
2 answers
291 views

What changes about real-world questions are needed to the help center?

A year ago, we had Should the help center be updated to specifically list real world history questions as off topic?, to which nobody ever proposed an answer other than yes, let's list them as ...
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13 votes
2 answers
150 views

Should we answer off-topic questions?

Moments ago, I saw this: The question this was posted on is 100% opinion based + idea generation, thus making it clearly off topic. Should we answer off-topic questions (before they're put on hold/...
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13 votes
4 answers
606 views

Would we support expanding existing (fictional) worlds?

I'm copying in a Q and A from the proposal. Feel free to disagree and post new answers. For instance, the Commonwealth Saga has a lot of details about the worlds in it, especially in the two novels ...
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13 votes
5 answers
284 views

Understanding our double standard regarding some opinion based questions

For the past couple of days this question has been receiving rather a lot of attention. Even though quite a few commentators seem to agree that it is primarily opinion based it has only received 3 ...
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12 votes
5 answers
437 views

Are History of Worldbuilding questions on topic?

See this question: History of Worldbuilding - The Flying City Should questions such as this be considered on or off topic?
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12 votes
6 answers
321 views

How curious is too curious?

The fallout from Worse than zombies, part 1, has reminded me that I keep meaning to ask to what extent one can ask question about things they are curious about rather than issue they need answers to. ...
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12 votes
6 answers
244 views

Real World Worldbuilding?

I'm mainly active on Writing SE, but I'll often redirect someone here if I think their question is primarily about worldbuilding. However, I consider worldbuilding to be any kind of background ...
12 votes
1 answer
133 views

Are alternate earths on topic here?

What I mean by alternate earths is taking current day earth geology, and then applying different realities to it. For example a geographically identical earth but with a machine based civilization ...
's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
208 views

What if Worldbuilding banned What If questions?

Worldbuilding, it seems, is not a What If site. So let's start making that happen. If we don't want these questions around, then I think the first step is with close reasons. We currently have an ...
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12 votes
4 answers
178 views

Should we discourage "Build my world for me" questions (and how)?

This question has been asked elsewhere on Stack Exchange (for instance in Stack Overflow meta ). Basically, there is a type of question that exists, that follows the format "I need x, it should ...
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12 votes
5 answers
201 views

Case Study #2 - Daaaah Whoosh

Part of the Case Study Series As before, this is a series of my own top-rated questions; I'll give my own opinions about whether or not they are on-topic, and anyone else can give their own opinions. ...
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11 votes
4 answers
177 views

Are we closing too many questions?

I saw this question posted today: What is the tidal locking limit for this star? [on hold] It looked like a reasonable World Builder type question, but it was closed using the "Off Topic" flag. By ...
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11 votes
3 answers
792 views

Finding a more objective way to identify questions that are too broad

This is an attempt to settle a discussion started by Mourdos almost a year ago. I would like to know what others think of this. There is the full version here but I made some modifications to the ...
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11 votes
2 answers
207 views

Is this question about the colonization of Mercury on-topic?

Yesterday, a user asked How do you set up a long term colony on Mercury. The original title and text were How could we survive on Mercury? I am doing a project on planets and I was given Mercury. I ...
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11 votes
1 answer
314 views

"I have an implausible end goal. Please tell me how to get there!!"

Plausible Weapon or Other to Cause Space-stage Civilization to Shatter and Revert to Primitive Societies Since I am horrible at coming up with ideas, I couldn't think of a circumstance or weapon ...
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11 votes
2 answers
163 views

Is "check out my world" on-topic?

I recently saw this question and this related question which give a map of a fictional world and ask "how realistic is it?". The first concerns city and country placement, while the second is related ...
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11 votes
3 answers
237 views

Is this off topic, if so WHY?

So the bullet question. What can be used to make the world's deadliest bullet? Something about this question makes me think it should be off-topic. At the same time (especially with the edit) ...
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10 votes
4 answers
231 views

Questions about worlds with low maturity - What to do when a question cannot be answered right now?

EDIT: I've added a 4th point that I want help with I have recently noticed a lot of questions that seem like quite chaotic approaches to world building. In my humble opinion, if your approach is ...
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10 votes
3 answers
182 views

Should workarounds be suggested when the question implies an impossibilty?

The title is awful but I couldn't come up with a better one, feel free to edit What I'm wondering about is this: when presented with question such as this, this or this, where the answer is most ...
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10 votes
6 answers
387 views

How should we deal with inherently open-ended fishing-for-ideas questions?

We've had a number of questions lately that, in my opinion, skirt the rules. They're not specific (per the new Help Center, THANKS! for that BTW). Examples are: Anti-Psychic Countermeasures What ...
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10 votes
2 answers
92 views

What's an "Actual problem"?

I've found World Building an interesting stack exchange, and I've answered a couple of questions. I'm considering asking one now. However, I don't know what restrictions there are on questions. Do I ...
9 votes
2 answers
440 views

Create Custom Help Center Articles

We need to prepare for our site to enter public beta, and one of the things we need to do is define what goes in the help center and the tour. This is one of The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every ...
9 votes
4 answers
123 views

Questions about single individual actions

The Help secton states that questions are welcome that are about [...] as long as they are not about: Actions of individual characters, rather than elements of the world they inhabit The problem is ...

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