A new user recently left this answer to How did towns mundanely protect themselves against Dragons or bring them to the ground?. The answer is currently deleted so is only visible to 10k users. However I would like to discuss what led to its deletion and whether it should actually remain deleted.
The sequence of events till now is:
- A new user posts their answer to the question.
- A few clarifying comments are left pointing out issues or oversights in the post but none worthy of deletion.
- Post is deleted by community review.
- User reposts answer as they don't know how else to handle it. (Note: new user)
- Repost gets flagged for mod attention.
- I delete the repost and undelete the original while trying to seek clarification on why it was deleted in the first place.
- I posted in chat seeking understanding of why the post was deleted.
- Some further comments were left explaining the issues with the answer.
- The answer was deleted again. 2/3 deletion voters being the same users that deleted it in the first place.
The answer itself is too long to reproduce here entirely. It answers the question with mechanical analysis of a battle between an Adult Red Dragon and a fictional town. Most of the relevant issue is related to a table of numbers that appears unsupported. The section of the answer is shown below.
The makeup of a town is highly variable, and there's no standard. But I'll talk about several common types of people in the towns. I'll spare you the math but I ran the odds vs an adult red dragon to see their hit chances with/without hiding, and how many hits it would take for them to kill a dragon.
Keep in mind, the goal is NOT to kill the dragon - if the dragon is taken to bloody (50%) or even 75% hp, it's going to have to seriously think twice about attacking the town.
I've also multiplied each "person count" by 10, because a town will have quite a few people, and I wanted to make sure it was obvious that we aren't talking about 1 knight fighting a dragon here.
People x10 Weapon Stealth* Rounds to bloody** Commoner sling 28% 21 Guard short bow 36% 8 Thug heavy crossbow 28% 6 Archer longbow 58% 1 Knight heavy crossbow 28% 6 Veteran heavy crossbow 36% 5
*Stealth is the best odds to hide, assuming they can get advantage on stealth and impose disadvantage on the dragon's passive perception (e.g. by being both far away and hiding behind an object). Also remember to think about when the DM would rule that they simply cannot be detected by the dragon - e.g. breaking line of sight plus the sounds of battle are too much for the dragon to use hearing, plus they are too far for blindsight.
** The number of rounds it takes 10 people to reduce the dragon to 50% hp, if they can hide a proportion of rounds based on the Stealth column. The people need to be in range for this total number of rounds.
I do not believe this answer should be deleted. Yes, it needs to support how it generated the numbers in the table but that advise should be left as a comment not simply deleting the answer. The question asks how a town could defend itself against a dragon, this answer attempts to run the numbers to show that the battle isn't quite as one sided as it appears.
I fail to see how this qualifies for any of our deletion reasons. From the deleted answer help article:
Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:
- commentary on the question or other answers
- asking another, different question
- “thanks!” or “me too!” responses
- exact duplicates of other answers
- barely more than a link to an external site
- not even a partial answer to the actual question
The answer clearly meets none of the condition above. Furthermore as a post by a new users we should be giving the benefit of the doubt and trying to workshop it into a better answer rather than deleting it and potentially driving a new user away.
Does the community believe this answer deserves to be deleted? If so on what grounds?
I would like to undelete the answer again and provide guidance for improvement; however, I understand that my opinion does not out-weigh that of the community. Therefore, I won't take any further actions until this meta has been resolved.
The answer has since been un-deleted and significantly improved via edits. However this meta remains as a valid discussion of the events that lead to its deletion and whether that was the correct action to take.