The question: How are pluses on vanilla weapons and armour different than previous editions?

This question was originally posted over 3 years ago. At the time, the question read:

Why do pluses on vanilla weapons and armour cap at +3?

Why do pluses on vanilla weapons and armour cap at +3, as opposed to +5 in previous editions? Is there meant to be a different style of item-based progression in DND5E, or am I just missing something here?

The question has two highly scored answers, currently at +63 and +31, answering the question as written above.

On January 9th, the question was closed as off topic for asking for designer intent.

On January 17th, the question was edited significantly to read:

How are pluses on vanilla weapons and armour different than previous editions?

How are pluses on vanilla weapons and armour different in 5e than in previous editions? I have noticed old editions are capped at +5 and 5e is capped at +3. What, if anything, would change if higher bonuses were available instead?

I do not think there is any debating that this is an entirely different question than it was previously.

Should this substantial revision have instead been a new post? Should we revert the revision and ask that OP post a new question?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: What kind of edits are acceptable to a question after an answer has been posted? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you proposing this question? \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu The guidance in the answer to the linked question above is basically "evaluate case by case", which is what I'm offering here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you are asking: is this an acceptable edit? Your framing indicates that you aren't in favour of it being acceptable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ "What, if anything, would change if higher bonuses were available instead?" is borderline asking for homebrew review. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AncientSwordRage But it's not; in fact it's doing exactly what we suggest designer-reasons questions should do instead: "Why did the designers make this terrible rule?" An alternative question that is better suited to the site is a well scoped homebrew question like “What impact will it have on the game if this rule is changed in this way?” \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener good point! Does it need to have more reasoning behind it? It does seem to be looking for a different kind of answer... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:35

2 Answers 2


I think it's not worth it

It's probably most in keeping with the current approaches to questions on the stack, but (in this particular case) it seems like a solution which improves nothing beyond being conspicuously adherent to the currently dominant rules.

It's not really in question that

  • The original post was asking for something off-topic to the stack (now, at least; I don't recall the policy three years ago)
  • The edit changes the nature of the question somewhat
  • The question was edited in a manner that is not consistent with best practices on the stack

But it doesn't seem to me that the top answers are not satisfactory answers to the question in its current form as well-- they sufficiently describe the bounded accuracy approach to 5e, and (some of) the mechanical consequences of that approach and consequences of abandoning it for older-style bonus ceilings.

If the question's current form is appropriate for the stack, and the highly-upvoted answers still answer it adequately, I'm not sure what is gained by asking that the entire endeavor be repeated. It feels to me like demanding that a duplicate question be posted, in service of preserving a question in a form that will necessarily be closed immediately.

I understand that closing questions has specific benefits to the stack in various situations, but I think that now (and in the recent past) we have experienced a shift towards more aggressive closures, sometimes on... shaky ground. We should not be looking for reasons to close questions, but rather looking for improvements which may be achieved through appropriate means, including closures. I appreciate all of the work that community members do in curating the site, but I have been increasingly feeling an overall vibe that seems, to me, to lean towards the former.

I'm interested in other users' opinions on whether or not reposting the current question (the one in a stack-allowable format) would be likely to draw different answers than it currently has, or, alternatively, if they feel the current answers have been invalidated by the edits. If so, I could probably be persuaded that this course of action is worthwhile. But otherwise this feels to me like demanding that a question say "half-dozen" instead of "six".

So in summary, my answer suggests a counter-question: What will be improved by doing this, beyond alleviating a technical-but-inconsequential policy violation?

  • \$\begingroup\$ That feeling regarding "more aggressive closure" doesn't seem to reflect our stats, unless you mean that the way we close questions is more aggressive. 2020: a year in moderation \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Desinger reasons being shammered is IIRC within the last three years ... or about three years ago. Doppel will know and mxy had this to say. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu It's the method of closure that I've noticed more than the pace or scale. There are reasons to close questions, and quickly, when warranted. But I see (probably) well-intentioned users asking questions and getting piled on with downvotes, notifications of technical rule violations, and near-instant closures. I think that users, especially new ones, frequently get a lot more negative-feeling responses than encouraging experiences here. Even if that's unavoidable, to some extent, we can try to make sure it's in service of something valuable when it does happen. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Reposting the question seems unnecessary. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 19:06

I debate that this is an entirely different question than was asked previously.

Any designer reasons that may have been cited for "why cap at +3" are valid responses for "what would change if the number was higher", assuming the designer reason was an intent to further some game design and not "just because".

Any response for "what would change if the number was higher" other than "IDK friend, go for it" is going to, implicitly or explicitly, outline the consequences of it being currently capped at +3.

It just seems like the question was written to find out what happens when the number goes up but remove the idea of designer intent. I guess that's a little daylight between them, but if somebody has solid practical experience in what happens when number goes up, that's probably going to be useful to the original question, unless it was just asking after designer intent for funsies.


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