facemaker329
 member, 7389 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Mon 21 Mar 2022
at 17:09
RTJ questions
From a player perspective, since I really don't particularly enjoy being a GM, I will say that I see the RTJ questions as a way to get a sense of chemistry...

Does this player seem to gel with my style as a GM?  That is the over-riding concern (or would be, for me).  In my experience, party chemistry is truly the biggest make-or-break factor for a game.  If the chemistry's there, players will hang together through a lot of ups and downs.  If it's not, you as GM are entirely reliant on the individual devotion to the game (system and setting) of the players.

I can't think of any "silver bullet" questions that will reliably reveal those factors.  There are "indicator questions"--experience, for instance, will tell you if a player has been able to gel with groups in the past (but can't tell you, if there's not much experience there, whether shortcomings were the player's fault or if the player just tried to get in the wrong groups.)

So, when answering questions, I tackle the standards readily enough--do you have gaming experience, are you familiar with this system, can you keep up with the posting rate, etc.  I'm even fine with writing samples, although there's always a few minutes of anxious consideration as I hunt for a post to use as a sample.  Anything beyond that, I regard as an insight to the GM, and there aren't necessarily good or bad questions for that.  If someone asks a really silly, but entertaining question, it gives me a hint that this is likely to be a pretty light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek game.  If they ask me to relate some personal tragedy, I think they're fishing for ways to up the emotional impact.  And if I feel like the answer I want to give to those questions is "None of your business!" then I know that this is not the game for me.

I wish I'd figured that out years earlier.  It would have spared me a lot of unpleasant gaming experiences (I won't call them "wasted efforts"...they taught me something, so it wasn't a waste.  But I learned the hard way that a bad fit with the GM is a problem, no matter how much you love the setting...and a good fit with the GM is great, even if you're taking on unfamiliar rules and a totally foreign setting.)

Make of that what you will, in terms of which questions to ask.

This message was last edited by the user at 02:51, Tue 22 Mar.

evileeyore
 member, 662 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Mon 21 Mar 2022
at 19:32
RTJ questions
Jarodemo:
There are no solid rules, but many GMs ask some of these questions:

- Experience playing the game system and/or game world.
- RP experience in general.
- RP experience on RPoL or similar sites.
- Writing sample (brief or long, sometimes general or sometimes with a specific theme, often to include dialogue) to get an idea of your style and/or language skills.

Yup, those are all things I'd use as a GM.  The last one (language skills) is very important to me as a GM and as a Player.  If the prospective individual (Player or GM) displays poor writing skills in the RTJ (or RTJ request from a GM), then they cannot clearly communicate in a game that requires writing.  That isn't just a "red flag" or "checkmark", that's a no go for me.

quote:
- Player age.

If this is important to me I'll flag the game Adult to weed out the children and teens, otherwise I don't care if you just turned 18 or approaching one-hundred-eleventy-five.  But the only reason for that would be if wanted complete freedom to get descriptive, and generally I think the Mature tag would suffice for my tastes.

quote:
- Player location / timezone.
- Info about the character you want to play (race/class etc., physical description, background...)

I don't care about this as a GM.  Okay, sure if I'm running a game with niche/role protection, then I'll require that request be put in their RTJ, but the rest of the info isn't required.  And as a Player if I'm expected to show up to the RTJ with a fully made character and completely fleshed out background, I'm going to bounce without submitting.  I'm not doing all that work before I even know I'm in.

As both GM and Player, I'm a firm believer that Character Creation is part of the interview process, you can be dropped or bounce for no reason at any time during the process (though I'll always give a reason, and none of that "you're just not a good fit" blather either, I'll be specific about why I'm booting someone or bouncing from the game - and sometimes I've even let a Player stay on once they knew what they were 'doing wrong'.  I'm not an "infallible god", I do miscue my share of things).

quote:
- Some GMs will include a hidden RTJ question or request in their game info to make sure you have actually read what they spent time crafting (for example, include the word Potato in your RTJ).

This I don't care about so much.  It does occasionally annoy me when I see it in an already overly complicated RTJ, but rarely such that I'd avoid submitting if the elevator pitch had already managed to draw me in.  It would be a red flag though.

quote:
... often if the game is likely to be very popular (such as a D&D5e game) then GMs can afford to be more picky...

I'm of the opinion that a GM/Player should always be picky.  I'd rather end up running/playing a solo game than a game that has one good Player/GM than a game with a GM< or bunch of other Players that run the gamut from "completely terrible" to "barely there".*


* A few exceptions not withstanding.  Almost all the games I'm in have fallen into the "update once a week" status, which I'm honestly fine with as my job has become very busy and doesn't afford as much "free interwebbing time" during work hours (and I work 10 hours a day, so... yeah, that's when I tend to post in the games I'm playing in and why I'm not running a game).




facemaker329:
... I learned the hard way that a bad fit with the GM is a problem, no matter how much you love the setting...and a good fit with the GM is great, even if you're taking on unfamiliar rules and a totally foreign setting.

This is truth.  I've jumped into so many good games on RPoL I'd not likely have bothered with (because I'd never even read the system prior), except the pitch sounded good and the GM came across well.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:35, Mon 21 Mar.

donsr
 member, 2542 posts
Mon 21 Mar 2022
at 20:54
RTJ questions
Yeah?  Time Zone? doesn't matter much   to me in here.

I have people In England , Irland, Scotland,  Denmark, all over the US and   south America?... they are pretty active...active is what is umportant
evileeyore
 member, 663 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 02:57
RTJ questions
donsr:
Yeah?  Time Zone? doesn't matter much   to me in here.

I'f you're looking for "real time" interaction, which I've seen people transition to playing on Discord for, then Time Zones would matter.

I was in a game here once that got real busy between 1am and 6am GMT, because the GM and a bunch of PCs all lived in California (6pm to 11pm Cali time), so for me the game would explode with posts from 9pm to 2am (I'm in Florida).  Which would really cut into sleep time if I tried to keep pace with a rapidly evolving conversation... that game really needed to be played by a dedicated group that all had the same time window available (I often ended up doing a scarecrow impersonation in threads, just standing around mutely, occasionally interjecting, but mostly not contributing nearly as much as everyone else).  The poor poster who lived in Australia was always trying to catch up to conversations in that game.
donsr
 member, 2543 posts
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 03:22
RTJ questions
yep yep.... we talked a few times about discord..but its not every one's cup of tea..i have never been there.

 I would hate to lose a player because they didn't want to , or couldn't  use it...i  have a bit of an edge..i have more time then most folks, so i can answer posts on and off through the  day, and   weave thsoe  in who are out of the 'currecnt' time/

  My Son streams video games..and he has   english   buddies , they don't  seem to have toom much time linking up.

 a very sad  think with my space game.. there was a Guy from England, he was really into it.. when i used to use Skype, he and I would skype a few times with him askign me about  my game and weapons and tossign Idea  around.

 poor guy passed away a few years  ago..we wouldn't have ever know, except his siter  found our Emails  and others he gamed  with..she sent us   the bad  news..But that's the closest i've  been to 'live  play'
agious
 member, 9 posts
 If there's a will
 There's a way
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 13:16
RTJ questions
In reply to donsr (msg # 9):


 Right, I'm going to be the poster boy for every blind person on RPOL for a moment. discord is not useable for an individual who is blind. If a sighted person will help them, then it can be used, but it is impossible for a blind person to use it on their own.   If you use discord as part of your games, if you'd post the fact in a thread that can be accessed  during the joining process, it'll save you, and said person some headache.  The same goes if you use a lot of image based maps.  Its not personal, I am not going to tell you how you should run your games, and I've had to say no to some games during the joining process, because they were image heavy, and its something I've started asking for when joining.  Its not personal, but its something, as a player I've had to consider.


Just as an update, I'm using the reply feature, because this post made  me think to mention it.  I'll probably post a thread  somewhere related to things I feel screen-reader users of RPOL should probably know.
All just FYI.

This message was last edited by the user at 13:21, Tue 22 Mar.

evileeyore
 member, 664 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
 Joined 20150819
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 14:31
RTJ questions
agious:
I'll probably post a thread  somewhere related to things I feel screen-reader users of RPOL should probably know.
All just FYI.

Please do.  It's not something I ever have to think about, but if there's a way to make things easier for or to telegraph that a game wouldn't be as accommodating to the blind, give us some pointers.
ladysharlyne
 subscriber, 3345 posts
 Member before Oct 2005
 Creative Writing ROCKS!!
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 17:08
RTJ questions
Hello,

From my freeform games point if view and only my point of view,  I run adult rated freeform.  I donít ask age or personal information in a rtj bio form.  Simply your character details.  There are two hidden clues to find in my rules so I know you actually read them.  Then three writing samples to show you donít just do short one lone posts.  The age rtj is left up to our wonderful Admin/Moderator team.  When the character bio is written out and good writing paragraphs, no more than three, I accept you in good faith you are here for the long run.  But then rules are broken and you are out. Personalities donít suit the game, arguing, flaming players, GMs, in or out of my games you are out.  Making a character, doing a few posts then looking in to the game you donít make a post, O PM still no reply, ghosting me/the game, you are out because doing all this means you were not sincere enough to even tell me you are quitting in a polite way which is one of the questions in the rtj to begin with.  My games are slow to moderate post speed, told you in the rtj, I took the chance on you and your rtj and I take the last word.

To me if you game on Discord that is not playing a game on RPOL.  I use Discord to talk to my player friends.

Also I would like to say I have had BRILLIANT WRITERS in my fames over the past 17 years that have been blind.  I would love to hear what perks as a GM I can do to help anyone with any disabilities to use my games!  Thank You.
Jarodemo
 member, 968 posts
 My hovercraft
 is full of eels
Tue 22 Mar 2022
at 20:15
RTJ questions
In reply to agious (msg # 10):

Interesting. I have never knowingly played a game on RPoL with a blind player, but I can understand that maps and images would cause an issue.

Personally if I was the GM I wouldn't have an issue with a blind player but I would find it helpful if they flagged that fact to me, so if I do include maps or images I could add some additional narrative for them. It would make a bit more work for me, but might help me be more creative in my descriptions, which should make me a better writer.

I would suspect (with no proof whatsoever, just a hunch) that some GMs would be a bit wary of having a blind player in their game. Not that they would be anti the player, just that they might be scared of screwing up and doing or saying the wrong thing. In such a case, if the player could act as a guide that would really help a nervous GM.
Brianna
 member, 2248 posts
Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 08:52
RTJ questions
I don't know whether she's still around but for a while I DMed a game with a blind person in it.  I might not have known (though very occasionally her voice-to-text misread something that had two spellings/meanings - but sighted people do that too) except that she asked me to help her pick character pictures.  I doubt that people who played with her ever knew unless she told them.
Suedog
 member, 13 posts
Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 17:48
RTJ questions
Homophones are evil.
truemane
 member, 2159 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Thu 24 Mar 2022
at 22:14
RTJ questions
I try to keep mine as short as I can while still getting what I need from them. I always feel bad when people are excited to play but I don't invite them, and I feel extra bad when the RTJ is a lot of work. At the same time, what I'm recruiting is players, not characters. I need to get enough from the RTJ to catch a glimpse of the person behind it, and try to get a sense of whether or not they'll be a good addition.

My experience is that if you get the right people in a room together, it'll be fun no matter who plays what. And if you get the wrong ones, same same.

So my usual RTJ consists of two or three questions related to the character and two or three related to the player. And I always state that I only need 100 - 200 words for any given question.

Character questions are almost always some variation of:
-Quick and high-energy "Elevator Pitch." If you had 30 seconds to convince a Netflix exec to greenlight a mini-series based on this character, what would you tell them.
-At least one question about your character's place in the world. Something like "Tell me about your homeland" or "Tell me about where you learned your skills" or similar. And I highlight that what I really want to know is what your race/class/school/homeland stands for, and how your character is the same or different.
-At least one question highlighting a key conflict or decision point that's common in the game/world/story. I might ask whether being an 'adventurer' is considered a step up or a step down from your previous life and how your family feels about your choices. I might ask what what it is you're known for, and whether or not it's true. I might ask what's one thing you've done that you will always regret.
-Usually one question that grounds the character in the specific story I'm telling. "One year ago a dragon attached Goodvale Keep and the prince. Why were you at Goodvale Keep that day? What important business did the dragon attack interrupt? What things went wrong for you because of that interruption? How did you get out alive?"

Player questions vary, but usually consist of:
-One or two sample conflicts (over rules or story) to see how they react to a disagreement. It's hard to articulate precisely, but it's not so much their method of conflict resolution I'm looking for (because everyone basically says the same thing: talk about it respectfully and accept the GM's decision), as it is a sense of what they think the rules are for, and therefore what they think the GM's job is, and therefore what they think their job is. It's not so much what they say as how they say it.
-One or two short examples of ways a rule can be important to different people for different reasons. And I ask them which they prefer. I've been using 'Should female human characters get a Strength penalty? Why or why not? Would you give them a bonus to compensate?' for a long time. I'm less interested in whether they say 'Yes' or 'No' than I am in why they say so, and how they phrase it.

In my experience, intractable conflicts happen most often when two people have a different underlying assumption (often invisible and non-articulated) about something fundamental about how the game works. Are the rules meant to simulate or emulate? Does the GM or the book have ultimate authority? What responsibilities to the participants have toward each other?

I have good instincts, and I've been doing this a long time, and I'm been refining my RTJ process the whole time.

I try to keep it quick and fun and relevant. That's the holy trinity for me.
warjoski
 member, 127 posts
Mon 28 Mar 2022
at 06:10
RTJ questions
It depends on what game I'm running.

For one game, I asked perspective players to describe in character why they hated banjo music.  Why?  The game was supposed to be humor based.  I wanted players to understand that and establish a sense of silliness from the get go.

I will sometimes ask players to tell me how their characters would react under certain situations.  Nothing elaborate.  Maybe a few sentences.  The situations are usually ones like dealing with an uncooperative partner or dividing up loot.  These are meant to give me a gauge on how the character will react to certain situations that occur in an RPG and whether they will mesh well with a group.

I tend to run a lot of solo games.  That's a different dynamic.  I don't have to worry about whether this character is going to fit with other players.  Instead, it's more about the player themselves.  What kind of game do they want?  What are their tolerances?  I usually give them a list of story types (Horror, Romance, Comedy, etc.) and ask them to rate them from  most desired to least desired.

For me, the questions are usually about setting expectations, both for myself and the player.  In group games, it's also about getting an idea about how well this particular player's style of play will mesh with others already in the game.
Brianna
 member, 2249 posts
Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 08:53
RTJ questions
I've learned to avoid games where the GM doesn't provide enough text to pass as a 'writing sample' for himself, and ask for something similar from prospective players.  I adopted this policy while on another site after I found myself attempting to interact with characters whose players couldn't compose an understandable sentence, whose grasp of grammar and spelling was next to nonexistent (and I found it wasn't the people for whom English was a second - or even third or fourth - language, but those 'educated' recently in North America), or whose posts were just too much work to try and figure out what they meant, and in one case with a GM who had the same issue.  Of course there was the GM who wanted a complete history for any submitted characters but whose game description was only a couple of short sentences, not only nothing like what he wanted from his players, but without enough information to know what kind of character and history would fit into his game!
donsr
 member, 2549 posts
Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 11:01
RTJ questions
::chuckles:: Brianna, My structures and such are not great. and  many of the NPC  talk  in slack and such. Alot of the action posts   are set  by lines so players  can easily find their character's play in the action.

and sadly? I am not the greatest  typist in the world..i have broken spell check, to the point  , that many works   are 'accepted' by the machine.

 I'll never be a poet Laurite ..but..the  game  moves well, player  seem to enjoy interactions, and  the 'game slang' has been picked up by the players over the years.

 There are folks who cringe when  seeing  bad grammer, or quirks  of my style of  typing, but in the end> don't pass up a good game, because you were 'grading papers'.

On the other hand, don't play in such a game, if  things  like that ruin your experience.
truemane
 member, 2160 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Tue 29 Mar 2022
at 13:12
RTJ questions
In reply to Brianna (msg # 18):

Yeah I learned that lesson the hard way once, too. I joined a Werewolf/Changers game, and the five players were all of them such good writers, such good storytellers, had made such interesting, nuanced, complex characters, and it turned out the GM could barely string a thought together.

I tried to privately corral the group after the game's inevitable collapse, but couldn't do it.
Brianna
 member, 2250 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 09:56
RTJ questions
In reply to donsr (msg # 19):

If I wanted to get picky, I could certainly find errors in your post, and as someone who used to type for a living, your spacing stands out as odd to me, but compared to the players I was talking about, you're an excellent writer!  You posted in complete, reasonably comprehensible sentences that were relevant to the subject.  I'm not sitting here scratching my head, wondering what on earth you are blathering about, what any of it had to do with my post, and if even you know.  A game with those players was not a 'good' one, unless I could get my character away from theirs, and the other players were better writers!
donsr
 member, 2550 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 11:50
RTJ questions
honestly, through the  decades of  playing on the old  defunct E-Z boards, and a few others. I have had  other  players complain about  my text with using '....' alot and other such  breaks in the prose.

 I do it for a reason, and , with some of the more ignorant ones, I would laugh in their face when the complained OOC. More or less saying 'get used to it, because this is what I do". I never had a GM kick me out of a game because of  grammar  or typing.  I think? Over the course of the  12 years or so i have  been running games here, I may have lost one or two players to my 'format '.

 Doesn't  really  matter to me, as long as the players who play, enjoy the game. I have had some great  writers who expounded eloquently, but didn't really add much to the game , or bring their character to life. I have some folks  who stitch together sentences  that make you smile as you picture that character in your head.

 I guess, Like most topics here. It comes  down to what you like ( and/or  what you'll put up with). You don't stay in games the cause you to be upset, or that you dislike checking in on.

Heck? I'm picky as well when i see a GM have  a massive amount of 'this is how you post and use this for that, ect. I  keep moving when a see a long list of deleted  games. Each to their own, some of us  had  classes in college, some did not, but still can play a great character.

I have  books I read, or am reading, that i frown at the author's presentations, but  i push through hoping the story  carries me through the  end. ::chuckles:: but i'm sorta cheap? so if i buy a book. I'm going to read it and get my money's worth, no matter how bad the writing is!
facemaker329
 member, 7391 posts
 Gaming for over 40
 years, and counting!
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 17:23
RTJ questions
There's a difference between not being able to type, and not being able to write.  I get what Brianna's saying...I have had a (blessedly) few experiences with other players whose concept of posting was a head-scratching mystery, to me.  I'm pretty good at unscrambling jumbled letters and correcting typos in my own head.  I've read enough, by authors with very different styles, and done enough theater (where, in scripts, traditional stylistic rights and wrongs often go right out the window for the sake of character portrayal) that it's really saying something if I look at a post and wonder, "Was this actually supposed to be a cohesive thought?"
Silverlock
 member, 135 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 18:22
RTJ questions
Whew, this topic sure raises some memories for me.

There have been games I looked to play in, where I didn't make the cut for 'writing' examples.  So often that if a GM wants more than a basic outline, or a few questions answered, I move along and look elsewhere.  I understand what the GM is looking for, I just don't want to invest a lot of time and effort into a game where I'm likely to be turned away.  Ditto with a game that wants frequent long-paragraph posting - I can't always be online, even after retirement, I'm not going to be parked in a chair in front of the monitor.   I've had GMs pick apart a post I made, that I worked on for a good amount of time, because it 'didn't fit with their ideals'.   That's OK.  Not every game is right for every person, and every GM gets to set their own game the way they like.

As a GM, I also get that my players have lives.  Sometimes all they can do is write me a short post, "I shoot at the monster".   That's good enough for me to carry the scene forward.  I don't mind spelling mistakes or syntax errors.  I've had ESL players and I work with ESL coworkers, so that's never a problem.  I have mild dyslexia and have made errors myself.  It's not important to have hang-ups about writing perfection, we are here to have fun !   I'm not here to be an English professor.
donsr
 member, 2551 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 21:49
RTJ questions
  Siverlock,  Those are good points. I do ask for a small back round ( sometimes folks give me a short story) i don't need that,,,where  are you from,why did you join up..and  maybe a 'hint' of back round.

 if i am interested  I PM the player  back , for what i call  an Interview, basically  telling them  the premise of the game, what to expect, what we  expect, and  ask them if they are interested . If they are, my quick handy dandy CS is there, and i can drop them into the  game with in  minutes.

 I really.....really.... hate it when players ghost. I tell them  up front, My games aren't  for everyone, but those that like it  tend to stay for a very long time...all i ask is.  'say goodbye'. I won't be mad, or have  my feelings  hurt, and i can used the   character to further a plot line. But my players invest themselves in  other layers, and when that person 'poofs'..its   as rude as it gets in here.
Silverlock
 member, 136 posts
Wed 30 Mar 2022
at 22:38
RTJ questions
In reply to donsr (msg # 25):

Don't take it too personally, Donsr.  Players ghost.  It happens.  I'm sorry, believe me, you have my sympathy; GMing is about putting a lot of work in, and when a player just disappears it's rough.  I had one disappear, no notice, with an important plot point just for them written into the game.

Sometimes it's Real Life, and GMs just have to move onward with the players who stay.  I've got a policy, three posts, then I gently NPC the PC and message the player.  If I don't hear anything back, and the PC is relevant to the plot, I'll NPC the PC some more until I can write them out of the plot.  I've had players who have been in my one game for decades.  One in particular took breaks for university, marriage, and children; every so often the player will resurface, and their PC welcomed back, even if it's just for cameo appearance in the game.
donsr
 member, 2552 posts
Thu 31 Mar 2022
at 00:50
RTJ questions
i had a few players take  2 years off?  come back and  i took them off the NPC list. Now? Players who say  'RL got me"..they get put into the back round.

  I realy don't get upset? I've been doing this  for decades.Its like  'saving private Ryan"... you hit the beach with a LC  full ofr  troops, and get to of the ebach with a handful.

 I feel bad for  a player who  was  getting some good  RP...maybe its osmeone they fly with... or are ground troops toegther..

 I have ..soemthign like 6 players  down for the count, that told us..some  ..very...very  bad  RL things. but they may come back, a few drop in OOC to say hi and see how the game is going.

That's  sorta my reward right there, folks who quit, and come back..or  are on the shelf and  'check in'  give us news  and  ask  'where are we now"

Like you said? its part of part of the beast.
Brianna
 member, 2251 posts
Fri 1 Apr 2022
at 06:52
RTJ questions
There are lots of reasons why a player may just disappear, and no, it isn't necessarily that easy to just make a quick post why.  A serious illness, whether the player or someone in their family, consumes not just time but focus; you may not even think about the game.  Computers can die, internet access can be interrupted, people can end up in hospital (and no, you still may not be able to post, our local hospital has Wifi only in theory, I couldn't get it to work, even though I was with it enough to try after the first day of a recent stay), or even die!  Job or life requirements can change unexpectedly.
bazhsw
 member, 56 posts
Sat 2 Apr 2022
at 19:57
RTJ questions
I don't have much feedback to add in relation to what questions should be asked in an RTJ but I do think it's important to recognise that whilst the RTJ questions will tell you something about the prospective players when they respond, they also say an awful lot about the GM too.  In many ways this is a really good thing because it helps ensure that the players and GM are a good fit for each other.

There are many times when I have viewed a really good game pitch and reviewed the RTJ questions and instantly given the game a hard pass because I suspect the GM will not be a good fit for me, or irrespective about what is in the pitch the game is really about something else.  So whilst this acts as a filter there is always a risk the RTJ may put off people who are great for your game OR attract people who most certainly will not.

There is also the question of how much work do you want your players to put in up front.  If your pitch is great and it's a popular game then perhaps you can be more discerning and ask for more but everyone has a sweet spot of up front effort they put in before it feels onerous for a game they may not be accepted for.  I always remember that rpol is a fun social activity of people collaborating to tell stories.   If it feels like work, or a job interview I will bounce hard off it.  GM's may pass on players who are a bad fit, but players are also passing on GM's because of the RTJ - when you've limited time the RTJ has to be worth the effort.

So I guess my best feedback for everything you are asking a player is for the GM to reflect and ask, 'if I don't get an answer to this question, what will it tell me about the player and will it be a dealbreaker'.  If it is a dealbreaker then it needs to stay, but if you have one 'nice to have' that's fine, if half of your RTJ is nice to have then maybe your questions won't have the impact they have.  I'd also reflect on 'reading my RTJ questions, who does my game exclude, who does it include and what kind of people will respond'.  So for instance, if you need players to hit the ground running in a niche system it's entirely appropriate to validate the players experience.  Likewise, if you say your game is beginner-friendly but your RTJ is going to need to display intimate system and setting knowledge, plus fifteen splatbooks to feel like you can engage then it will put beginners off (seriously, this happens quite a lot).  Another one is 'character sexual likes and dislikes', typically under 'name' in a character sheet.  If you are running an erotic roleplay that's fine but if you only intend sex to be a factor and not the focus of your roleplay then don't ask that question.  Same for posting rate - I got some great feedback once that the posting rate of the game is the posting rate of the slowest player and yet I have lost count of the number of games that ask for 'x' posting rate, it isn't met and actually doesn't make a difference.  If you ask for daily posting and are happy with weekly then all you are doing is diluting your player base.

I'd also think what to do you want your players to be like in game (and be honest!).  Do you want them to play fast and loose with the rules?  Do you really want them to push your carefully crafted story and setting in their own direction?  Some GMs absolutely adore player agency whereas others want a tight grip and quite a lot of structured control over the game.  Being aware of what you want is quite important.

I've not run to much on here but have on other places but when I am pulling an RTJ specification I am more interested in the person rather than the character pitch.  I'll be explicit about the values I expect from everyone in the game for it to be a positive environment to have fun (which are not the same thing as a list of rules which are then routinely forgotten about) - and I am happy for people to see that and go 'nah'.  I absolutely love the suggestions about 'how would you handle 'x'' or give a scenario for someone to respond to in character (and I'd keep it brief).  The best RTJ I responded to was a series of seemingly innocuous questions that once I answered I had realised gave birth to a character with some depth - what I also realised was that the GM had a whimsical and playful sense of humour which hit the spot for me.  If I think the GM is genuinely interested in me as a person and how I will fit in, plus they are getting me to think about a prospective character rather than submitting a 'hit and hope' concept then that's a massive plus.

Finally, a mistake I have made in the past, is effectively copying what I thought good RTJ formats were from others.  What I learnt was, because I hadn't really reflected on what I would want and how I looked to prospective players I was not being as effective as I would have liked at both attracting players and understanding how they would fit.