I have just asked a question relating to Mordenkainen, and this answer refers to a fan theory which I found really interesting. I would be very interested to see if there are any other similar theories, but I am pretty sure that asking for them would be opinion based or too broad.

I think this is the right place to ask if anyone can help me find a stackable way to ask about these theories? I can go to the various forum sites if I have to, but prefer to try and avoid it.

The related questions suggest rewording to a problem, but I am not actually sure how I can do that, so will explain what I am looking for:

I am doing research for a character background, he is a wizard, background of sage:researcher, and through his research has come up with a conspiracy theory that many large events throughout history have been manipulated by persons or groups unknown.

The original idea what that it could have been done for the personal gain of this group, but upon seeing Mordenkainens background I figured he was a good figure to have as the target of my theory, that my character was seeing the threads he was pulling but not knowing who was pulling them (he doesn't exist in my setting, so the DM would be free to put the blame on anyone, or make me wrong).

After seeing the fan theory it looks like part of what I am looking for is 'events that never happened', in the case of this particular answer a peace treaty that never happened.

I suspect that there will be other events that never happened, but since the significance of these events is unlikely to ever be compounded upon in lore I suspect it will all be theorising by fans.

I could ask for the history of wars in a particular setting, including wars that brewed but didn't spill over into full scale wars; or peace treaties, including those that never got signed; but asking a specific question about each type of string relies on me knowing what type of strings have been pulled beforehand.


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure SE is a good place for this kind of information

Not because it's off topic or because it wouldn't be of interest to others in the future, but because it is difficult (in the SE format) to:

  • Fully justify and explain what evidence exists that supports the conclusions drawn, especially over other, rejected conclusions
  • Deal with critiques on specific elements of reasoning (especially when the basis for that reasoning is not explicitly verifiable)
  • Assess which answers have the "best" theorizing to satisfy the question (however "best" is defined by the querent)
  • Deal with new, official details which emerge, whether they confirm or obviate a given theory
  • Establish why a fan theory, of any quality, is better than just writing your own story details which suit your needs into a given D&D setting
  • Deal with DM decisions in a specific campaign at a specific table. A player generally can't know how tightly a DM is following established lore, nor how familiar they are with that lore in the first place
  • Evaluate the quality and plausibility of a fan theory in the first place (though this will vary a lot by specific theory)

If you really want to get this sort of information through an RPG.SE question, you might have a good shot if you ask for specific elements which best support or refute the conclusion you need

It's well established here that asking about lore of a setting is valid, and leaning on expertise of users here is a good way to get specific bits of lore-related information. It's still difficult to get an SE-friendly form of question (at least as far as I can come up with options), but a question along the lines of

What officially published evidence exists that supports or refutes the idea that Mordenkainen was behind the abduction of Prince Thrommel?

That seems stack-valid to me, though that's not worth a whole lot in itself. Less focused questions in a similar vein might be OK:

My character is researching major events in Faerun history that might appear to have been manipulated by specific persons or groups. What published events might they read about that would suggest that?

I have a feeling that there needs to be more detail on that one, to narrow the scope enough that the best answer isn't along the lines of "all of them". But it at least tries to tap knowledge of the in-game canonical events and timelines, and so leverage user expertise on those subjects.

Ultimately fan theories tend to be houses of cards: they rely on specific interpretations of events as their arguments for other interpretations of other specific events-- an unprovable conclusion depending heavily on other unprovable conclusions for support. I'm not sure that free-wheeling approach really fits SE's reference-style format.

Take it to chat

It's not the same as a question on the site, but you can tap a lot of the same expertise without any of the stack policy limitations in chat.

tl;dr: The more you can structure questions as seeking official material which suits your specific criteria, the more likely you are to produce stack-legal questions that get information about fan theories.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd assume that asking history-of-gaming questions about fan theories would be the best loophole. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Jan 22, 2021 at 14:04

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