This recent question What happens when an unconscious creature fails their saving throw against a Banshee's Wail? seems to be a duplicate of this question: Can an Unconscious PC hear you?

As the entire answer for this is predicated on whether or not the siren can hear you, it seems like a clear duplicate. But the case for the specific mechanics of the siren isn't unreasonable to be a new question, but it also seems like it does boil down to the same thing of "can the target hear".

Should the first question linked above be closed as a duplicate of the second question?


2 Answers 2


No, it shouldn't be closed as a duplicate

I'll give the arguments I gave elsewhere here too. Do note that I was the one to reopen the question.

The crux of the question is that the targeted creatures need to hear the banshee, not whether an unconscious creature can hear. This is the problem which resolves the question's issue, but not what it is originally asking.

While the needed fact is included in a quote in the question, that is given no focus by the question; that understanding is not included in the question's analysis. The needed fact isn't obvious to a casual reader; it is buried in an oft not vital part of a quote. While it may be obvious to system experts who are aware of it (because of the answer given), it would not be obvious to someone who has the issue given in the question. Being pointed to the dupe does not explain the problem's solution without further work (figuring out why that is relevant).

It is perhaps worth considering that the answer to this question is conceptually similar to a frame challenge. The question asks "What happens when X is applied to Y?" and the answer is that "X wouldn't be applied because Y can't Z". The alleged dupe target asks "Can Y Z?". That makes it a good question for an answer to link to, but not a dupe.


Question A: What happens when an unconscious creature fails their saving through against a banshee?

Question B: Can an unconscious PC hear you?

Let us examine these questions according to the three Duplicate Criteria.

Criterion 1:

It's the same question, or Question A is already covered obviously as a subset of Question B. Obvious here means I can tell at a glance it's there.

I assert that we have a case of obvious coverage of A by B. Let's review.

Question A states in the question body "All other creatures within 30 feet of her that can hear her", then goes on to ask if unconscious creatures are affected by the ability in question, that is, can unconscious creatures hear the banshee. Question B asks if unconscious creatures can hear. Question A is very obviously a subcase of Question B.

Criterion 2:

Question B has an obvious answer to Question A. Obvious here means I get a straightforward answer without hard searching — a couple of sentences buried in the middle of a post, or an answer which only sort of implies an answer to Question A, doesn't count as obvious.

Question B is answered by quoting:

An unconscious creature is incapacitated (see the condition), can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings

Question A is answered by quoting:

An unconscious creature is incapacitated, can't move or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings

Question A is answered by repeating back something stated in the question body then giving back the exact same answer as the answer given to Question B.

Criterion 3:

There is not some strong compelling reason to covering Question A alone, separately from Question B. (If the above bullet points are met this rarely happens.)

OP stated in a comment, responding to allegations of duplicature:

I understand what that other question is about, this isn't a dupe of that. Actually, this question was just that I'd missed the "that can hear her" part of the Wail description, but now that's been pointed out to me, I understand the implications. I would have deleted this question once that had been pointed out to me but that's not fair on the answerer.

OP has stated that deletion would be preferable had the question not received a highly upvoted answer by a new user. This is a compelling reason not to delete the question entirely, and an equally compelling reason to close the question. Mark it as a dupe and set the new contributor's answer as the only answer.

There is no compelling reason to leave the question open in light the first two points I've cited and OP's own admission that deletion would be preferable were it not for the contribution by a new user.

Criteria 1 and 2 are the reasons I initially dupe-hammered the question, but the information revealed in OP's responding comment solidified Criterion 3 in my mind.


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