I was wondering if a Water Elemental can freeze, so I read the stat block (twice), yet apparently I somehow missed (twice!) the part that partially answers my question. Hence, I asked the question Can a Water Elemental freeze? and it could immediately be answered. In retrospect, this makes it a really bad question. What is more: Given the additional information, my actual question should have been "Does a Water Elemental freeze when kept below 0° C?".

What is the appropriate way to go now?

  1. Open a new question, specifying that I am looking for answers that go beyond the feature mentioned in the stat block.

  2. Edit the existing question despite the existing answer.

  3. Forget about it, since the questions are too similar and a more precise answer is unlikely.


1 Answer 1


None of these.

“Does a Water Elemental freeze when kept below 0°C?” is super inadvisable: Dungeons & Dragons is not a physics or chemistry simulator, and you're almost always going to run into trouble when trying to treat it like one. Also, #2 would definitely not be okay—see When a Question Changes Completely, Should it be a New Question? which suggests such a significant change to a new, different question should just be asked as a new question.

It sounds like you have an XY problem

You have an actual scenario you're trying to resolve. It's got something to do with water elementals. It looks like you're either trying to overcome them and finding out your options, or you're trying to use them and you're dissatisfied with a ruling your DM made. In order to figure out this scenario, you're asking us very specific questions about water elementals' interactions with freezing.

Instead of that, you should just ask us directly about the actual problem you're dealing with. What's the actual concrete scenario that you bumped into? What's the actual concrete problem that came out of it that you're trying to address? Instead of asking us questions that might eventually help you solve that problem in that scenario, just tell us directly about that scenario, tell us your problem, and ask us to solve your problem. The entire thing. We're here to do that for you.

Our experience with XY problems is there's always more questions to ask because you don't have the complete solution yet, and they always orbit a context we'd rather solve instead. A physics-in-D&D question is highly liable to get closed as unclear, with people asking you to just directly describe what you're trying to solve as above.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "You have an actual scenario you're trying to resolve." Actually, I don't. I am merely curious whether water elementals behave like normal water when it comes to freezing, and whether frozen water elementals are something that exists in DnD. Are questions that solve no problem off-topic? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2021 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarsPlastic Yes you do. From your first question: "Since it consists of water, it seems plausible that it can freeze. However, when this came up in our game, the DM ruled that freezing the Water Elemental would restrain it, and since it is immune to the Restrained condition, it cannot freeze." You and your DM have a disagreement, spoken or not, about how freezing a water elemental should work. That's your scenario. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2021 at 22:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarsPlastic As for questions without an actual problem being off-topic: technically no, but such questions face a much, much higher quality standard for all the reasons listed here. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2021 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Stop Being Evil The very next sentence says "but I actually liked this ruling and it was fine for our game", already indicating that I had no disagreement with my DM and was asking out of pure curiosity. But the answer linked in your second comment was very helpful, thank you for that. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2021 at 23:17

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