I'm curious specifically about the question What is the order in which published D&D 5e adventures should be played?, which listed the published D&D 5e adventures available at the time the question was posted (which was March of 2017) and asked if there were relationships between the adventures and an order in which they should be played.

Now that a few years have passed, the list the OP wrote in their question is incomplete- to a current reader, a useful answer to the OP's question would need to refer to adventures not listed in the OP's question in order to be accurate.

Would the best practice be to:

  • Leave the original question alone, and avoid adding an answer that refers to titles not listed in the OP's question (i.e. leave it alone)?
  • Leave the question text alone, but edit the question title to reflect that it only encompasses a certain period of time (as V2Blast suggests in the question comments)?
  • Leave the question as it was written, and answer with references to adventures published after the OP's list was written in order to keep the answers up-to-date?
  • Edit the question with an up-to-date list of published adventures (and expect others to do so periodically as new titles are released)?
  • Edit the question and remove the problematic list, so the question is no longer tied to a specific point in time?
  • Have a Diamond moderator put a "Historical Lock" in place (thanks @nitsua60)
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Another option for your list would be a "historical lock," (available to diamond moderators). \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Aug 13, 2020 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


This particular question should be considered constrained to the list it offers up to early 2017. We should update its title to specify “up to March 2017” or “up to Tales of the Yawning Portal”. The question text should otherwise be left alone; the list of adventures makes its scope clear. Then, if we want an up-to-date list, it should be asked separately.

Changing this question from covering a short list up to early 2017 to covering all adventures for all time into 2020 and beyond is a major scope change that will almost certainly necessitate all the current answers being deleted. Per When a Question Changes Completely, Should it be a New Question?, that means this new scope should instead be asked as a new separate question.

We should not historical lock this question. Historical locks are for when a question is off topic or inappropriate for our site by our current guidelines, but the question is significant and we want to preserve its contents. That's not the situation here: the question is perfectly fine and on topic, it's just covering a point in the past. That's not what historical locks are for.

General advice on this situation

In general, if we're not sure, we should be inquiring with the OP as to their intent:

  • Is this question actually meant to be requesting comprehensive coverage of all D&D 5e adventures published ongoingly into the future?
  • Or is it just meant to be a question covering a fixed point in time? These are the adventures the querent was concerned about at the time back in early 2017, they don't necessarily care about the whole future list forever.

Both are fine. However, I'd remind the querent that our system works best when you are focused on solving the actual concrete problems you're facing yourself. Going broader to anticipate everyone's possible needs that the querent isn't actually facing isn't inherently better, and we often find breakdowns when an author tries to anticipate needs they don't actually have.


  • If the question is meant to be comprehensive coverage, and that doesn't significantly render all the answers obsolete, then we can use this question and update it to clarify. We should remove the list of adventure titles from the question. That's part of the answer's scope to define.

  • If the question is meant to be comprehensive coverage but that will render all the answers wholly obsolete, then that's a major scope change and the question should be left as-is per When a Question Changes Completely, Should it be a New Question?. We should treat it as though it is just limited to a fixed point in time (see next bullet point). Then, whoever actually cares about the fully up-to-date list should ask a new question about that.

  • If the querent isn't specifically seeking a fully up to date resource, we should leave it as-is. Specifying “up to March 2017” or “up to Tales of the Yawning Portal” in the title sounds fine.

I'd default to the last option if the OP wasn't here to ask. There's nothing in the question as written indicating it was asking for comprehensive coverage for all time, or anything inherently indicating a querent in 2017 will ongoingly care about adventures written all the way up to 2020 and beyond. If they don't care about that coverage, that's fine; there's nothing stopping someone else who does care about that from asking about it. Specifying a stopping point in the title will help make it clear that room is available.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ For the moment, I don't have any questions about chronological relations for all other D&D adventures, so I've edited the question accordingly \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Aug 17, 2020 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have had asked similar questions and deliberatel put "Up to [year]" into the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Aug 19, 2020 at 22:44

I would start by asking the OP to update his own question. In this particular case, it's my question, and having been alerted to this, I'll update it over the weekend.

If the OP gives no answer but his intent is clear (i.e., OP wrote something like "the current X" or "at the time of this writing, X", then OP is covering all existing X at that time and is aware that X can change over time, signaling future readers of that), the question should be updated (in this case, either by removing the outdated list or adding the new adventures to it).

New answers with updated information can be added over time if the accepted answer is now incomplete/incorrect. Again, pinging the answer's OP is a simple way of possibly solving the issue.

If the passage of time has made the question grossly incomplete or wrong, that even an edit would be insufficient or too extensive, the historical lock is the simplest solution. Doesn't take much work and doesn't override the OPs question/intention.

PS: if questions are found that this is likely to happen to, even before the question is outdated, OP should be alerted or the question edited to make it (if possible) robust to the passage of time (i'm sure there is a better expression, but I can't remember it...).

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    \$\begingroup\$ FYI: I have written up my own answer here suggesting that if you do care about an up-to-date scope, it should in fact be asked separately as a new question rather than editing the existing question, and this question should either way be constrained to the scope it originally asked about. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 14, 2020 at 11:56

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