Having read replies to simple questions on this site my immediate reaction was “What a bunch of stuck up losers.”. People genuinely asking for clarification on rulings who may have missed a line, or not understood something in the PHB are routinely being ridiculed for putting in the effort to learn. Are the majority of users on this site just insecure egotists trying to validate themselves by mocking others and flexing their “abundance of free time”?

(TCE p5) Have Fun: You don't need to know every rule to enjoy D&D, and each group has its own style—different ways it likes to tell stories and to use the rules. Embrace what your group enjoys most. In short, follow your bliss!


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    \$\begingroup\$ There's also something called verb tense-- examples from 6 years ago should not be referenced in the present tense. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 8:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ I like the monsters tag on the original question, though. That's a cute touch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 8:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it weird to anyone else that all of the linked questions are from meta? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Citation from Tasha's (a D&D supplement) is irrelevant. It doesn't even fit the main site, as your post didn't have anything to do with something from that volume. On this site we don't actually play RPGs, we ask questions and answer question about RPGs. You should probably cite something from SE or SO if you are going to insert a citation on how you perceive, or suggest, on site behavior 'ought to be' . Suggestion: edit that out. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 19:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ I also like how this assumes that 5e is what the site exists for as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – willuwontu
    Commented Mar 13, 2021 at 17:34

2 Answers 2


The RPG community is not different from all other communities on SE in that regard: experts spend their time answering questions. However, they expect research to be done prior to asking. So you can ask, but only after you tried to answer the question through your own means. For example by looking through the rulebooks index or do a google search.

There are two kinds questions: questions with enough research that are very interesting to experts. Maybe the information is conflicting. Maybe there is no information. Maybe the information is worded ambiguously and interpreted differently by different people with different agendas. On this site it's game rules, on other sites of the SE network it may be help files or government regulations.

We love this kind of questions. We love to show our expertise and help.

But then there is the "noise". Questions that had no prior research, where just blabbered into the internet chat box when the thought came into the mind of the asker. When someone asks "How do I hit the enemy" and when someone comments "did you read the chapter titled "How to hit the enemy" say "no, why?". Those questions show no respect for the time and expertise of the answerer. So sometimes, the people answer in the same way: with no respect back. Is that the nice way? Certainly not. Is it understandable? It sure is to me.

So to make it short: the expertise here is free of charge. If you don't like the underlying expectation of you doing work, too, then that is fine. It's like a sports club. We expect everybody to show up to training, no freebies. If you don't like that, no big deal, just don't participate. But don't expect to be on the team when you don't put in the work.

I have asked a "please browse the book for me" question myself. I got a very nice answer. I was not ridiculed. However, I also described what I tried so far and what my (none) success with that was. How to ask a good question still applies, although it's a different site.

You get what you put in. If you ask a good question, it's very likely you will get a good answer. If you ask a poor question, it is very likely you will get a poor reaction.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's also worth referencing that the questions quoted are old, and I think we're much nicer now. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 10:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AncientSwordRage You would say that, would you? ~ Mandy Rice-Davies~ \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 18:03

I don't want to go out of my way to defend the tone on this site. I think we're generally doing an adequate job of maintaining a respectable atmosphere here, but people have made and always will make mistakes. There is always room for improvement and I respect your decision to bring that up.

However, the examples you bring are poor at demonstrating a continuing tone problem. For starters, they are all Meta posts (posts about the site itself, rather than questions and answers about RPGs). Even in Meta we do require courtesy and politeness towards other people, including those who are not immediate parties in the discussion at hand; however, we have to accept a degree of critique towards other peoples' posts in order to discuss potentially deleterious trends. (Notice that all of you examples concern trends, not individual questions, and each but the first one have more than one example provided)

That is not to say all critique is acceptable, and this is where I think you do have some point. I would certainly not be cool with making a list of "terrible" questions, though I must say I see where the author of said post was coming from. The post was authored in a time when the site was practically flooded with questions about the yet-unreleased DnD 5e, and the concern that it was more about people spinning over-excitedly in hype for the game rather than genuinely try to solve problems was an understandable one. That was a different time, of course, which brings us to the next point...

...all of these posts are old. Two from 2014, one from 2010. That's... ancient history, as far as this site is concerned. I won't hesitate to say that the community had a harsher tone back in those days, nor am I hesitant to say I'm glad it's changed. Several active site users, including moderators, were a fair bit more brusque in their communications than I would like. Nowadays, my feeling is the community as whole as well as the moderation staff holds themselves and each other to a much higher standard of courtesy.

Nevertheless, incidents happen and will continue to happen, and that's where you (points at the camera) can help! Flag posts and comments that are rude, use the "needs moderator attention" reason and a custom message if you notice a pattern that might not be evident from a single message. Remember that posts do not have to be explicitly offensive to be flaggable: in addition to "plain" name calling, low-key things like egregious condescending tone or snarking can be flagged. Contact the moderators for a 1-on-1 discussion in chat if you need to discuss something that cannot be covered by flagging.


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