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I have several related questions concerning the slow spell in D&D 5E. Should I post each one separately, or group them in a single post?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It'll help to know what specifically your questions are, so that the community can better determine whether they're similar/related enough to be a single post or worth asking separately. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Oct 26 at 5:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would recommend including all of your questions in your post here, and we can help you workshop them for the main site. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26 at 6:41
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Your new meta post that includes that info about the specific questions you were planning to ask: I have multiple questions about the Slow spell in D&D 5e. Should this be one post, or two? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Oct 26 at 17:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Copying over my comment on that post: "Rather than making a new Meta post to ask the same thing, I would have instead suggested editing your original post to include the information from this one. ...That said, there are already a few good answers to that post addressing the general case (and noting that the answer can vary depending on how closely related your questions are); such an edit at this point might end up invalidating those answers, so it might be better to leave these Meta posts separate. (I'll leave that for the community to determine.)" \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Oct 26 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I decided to answer this one regardless because we can actually answer this question with general principles—I couldn't find an answer where we did that. Turning into something else wasn't necessary; the querent could ask the follow-up if they needed to (and they did so). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27 at 15:37
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It depends on the questions you have about it. Your questions should focus on one specific problem you're having. That usually means one question per question, but can sometimes closely interrelated questions can be asked together.

Our Q&A system's default is one question per question. We work best when you ask a single, discrete question to which people can give a single well-polished answer. It means respondents can leverage their expertise on that specific issue to write a single, very clear answer they can be confident in. When you ask about multiple different things, respodnents have to provide multiple different answers at once, which gets messy: imagine you ask Question A and Question B together, and one respondent gets the answer to A wrong and B right, and the other gets B wrong and A right. We want to avoid this, so we want A and B to be asked separately.

We bend this rule in a specific circumstance: when those questions really don't make much sense being asked separately. They're interconnected because they're both part of solving the same problem you're having.

So the rule of thumb I'd suggest you consider is: do these questions make any sense being asked separately? If yes, ask them separately. If they make no sense at all separately, ask them together. Focus on individual problems you're having with the thing you're asking about to help guide you.

If you've got a lot of questions about the slow spell, you'll probably wind up asking some separately and some together.

Some examples:

  • “I want to know if [Spell] can stop a Fireball. I also want to know if it can summon a good book for me.” — Two really different problems; ask about them separately. They may be about the same spell, but they're not related at all.
  • “Can [Spell] create a good defense for me? Can it create a wall or a shield or something?” — There's two question marks here, but they're interrelated. The second is kind of asking for elaboration on the first. You can/should ask these together, they don't make any sense being asked separately.

Sometimes the only way you can find out is to just ask, and have people who know more about the subject do community moderation: maybe you asked these questions separately but they should be asked together, and maybe you asked them together but they have to be split out. There's nothing altogether wrong with this happening (provided you're putting in the work to learn and try to do it right the first time), it's just the community doing its work, and we'll sort things out with you through it.

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My rule of thumb is, if I can make the question clearer by rephrasing two or more queries into a single question, then I should do that before posting.

If I can't make it clearer by reducing it to one question, then I feel it would be clearer as two posts.

The alternative to splitting unclearly combined questions is potentially multiple partial answers and/or partial duplication of other questions.

Take for instance, (from doppelgreener's answer ):

Can [Spell] create a good defense for me? Can it create a wall or a shield or something?

This feels better phrased as :

Can [Spell] create a good defense for me, such as a wall or a shield or something?

Makes sense, as walls and shields are examples of defense. It's clear the sort of defense we're talking about.

If the spell was maybe, Intellect Fortress, then a different wording (e.g. "What kind of fortress does Intellect Fortress make?") is clearer. But I find a single focused question is often clearer than multiple (closely) related questions.

Then a good answer will address all the points in the title/body of your post.

On the other hand:

I want to know if [Spell] can stop a Fireball, or summon a good book for me.

Is not clear enough, on a purely surface reading. Why would the spell do one of those things? Stopping Fireballs and Summoning books are not related, or examples of something else mentioned in the question.

Note, however, if the [Spell] is called 'Summon Fireproof Novel' then the above phrasing might make sense, if you can clarify what 'good' means? Even then, I'd prefer phrasing it as "What can the book summoned by 'Summon Fireproof Book' do?" or similar.

Now, maybe you can't think of a good way to phrase your queries into a single (or multiple, but fewer than number of questions) post, I'd still have a go at reducing it to the minimum you can with the above rule of thumb, and we can hash out the details (whether a post needs an edit, and a separate question asked) after you post it.

But if you can make the question clearer by rephrasing two or more queries into a single question, then I feel you should do that before posting.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ While I think "can I theoretically reword them into a single question?" is a good rule of thumb, I don't want to endorse that it should always be done. It's perfectly valid to keep the separate question statements as a way of expressing the querent's issue, and not always an improvement to reword them. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener, I think I can rephrase based on your feedback, thanks \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I dig this reword. +1 \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppel further rewording ^ \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26 at 17:36

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