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So, my most recent Question Are rounds just for combat, or should we be using them at other times in the game? was closed, with the following reason "Closed. This question needs details or clarity. It is not currently accepting answers.", however the community feedback for this in the close notification was "Original close reason(s) were not resolved".

The original close reason was a unilateral close by @ThomasMarkov thinking it was a duplicate of this question, which it wasn't and isn't in my view. I'm asking a much more general question than that specific one, trying to address a class of related problem I want to adjudicate consistently within my game. Just because there are narrower questions, focusing on a specific element of a broader topic, doesn't make a question about the broader topic a duplicate.

I can't really see what is particularly unclear about the question as formulated now either, as I've gotten 4 answers (one of which is a self-answer admittedly).

So, without getting specific feedback about what is unclear in the question I think it should be reopened, or I should be provided specific feedback on what exactly is unclear about my question, because at least 3 other people have found it clear enough to write good and cognisent answers that address the problem I am trying to solve.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I was just about to post a discussion about this question. I voted to reopen as soon as it was closed. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3 at 20:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify the sequence of events a bit: It was initially closed by one user as a duplicate, but reopened by you about 15 minutes later (since you both have a gold-badge in the [dnd-5e] tag). However, the post was closed again (by a set of 5 other users) with the close reason "Needs details or clarity". It then appeared in the Reopen queue, and completed that review with the majority of users voting to leave it closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Feb 3 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Anyway... When the post notice tells you "Original close reason(s) were not resolved", it's not referring to the first time it was closed; it's just referring to the (current) close reason(s). (As an example: If a post is closed because it's requesting game recommendations, then adding details or just fixing spelling/grammar wouldn't be sufficient to reopen it – those edits haven't addressed the actual reasons the post was closed, so the post should remain closed.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Feb 3 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ That said, I'm personally not making any judgments on whether your particular question should remain closed or not; I'll leave that for the community to determine. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Feb 3 at 21:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Actually, looking through the close votes history, we 1 VTC from TM, 1 VTO from me (both unilateral), 3x VTC, with 3 votes for Leave Open from review, 2 x VTC from review, 2 Reopen votes, with 3 Leave Closed & 1 Reopen from review, 1 more reopen, with 1 Leave Closed. So the votes for closeure, or open are somewhat mixed (and made muddier by the fact it's the same people who VTC who are doing the reviews in some cases of the Reopen votes), \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Feb 3 at 21:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ As an aside, I agreed with @illustro reversing my dupe hammer after we talked about it. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 3 at 21:17

3 Answers 3

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Muddled Question

I was one of the close votes, and I voted to close after the discussion in comments (which is now moved to chat) because the whole things seems muddled. I don't understand how the question you are asking in the title:

"Are rounds just for combat, or should we be using them at other times in the game?"

would help you solve the problem you say you are having:

Of particular interest to me, and what spawned the idea for this question as well as the problem it's looking to solve, is the idea of resolving simultaneous effects during longer activities. So for example, a short rest is measured in an hour, a long rest is measured in 8 hours spans of time. Both of these have defined start and end points, and in particular the game specifies a lot of things happen at the end of [insert rest here]. These things happen at the same time and need to have an order resolved for the game to work.

Neither possible answer, yes or no, helps you with that problem. A Yes (i.e., rounds are just for combat) answer just seems to shut your problem down, with no help. A No answer at least starts to lead somewhere if you read the question broadly enough (i.e., rounds are not just for combat, and here is how using rounds for short or long rests helps you...)

And I support reading questions broadly in most cases.

But not here. Because the muddled question also muddles the answers making it difficult to decide whether they're good or bad. They are all (at the time of this writing) "good" in the sense that they answer the yes-no question. They are also fairly trivial in that regard, but they're still good. But they're also "bad" because they don't solve the problem you're trying to address... and most of them say as much. Actually, all of them except your own self-answer say as much.

So it becomes a bit of a fishing trip where you end up getting a yes/no answer that doesn't in any way address your stated issue with simultaneity, but also end up generating disjointed lists of situations where non-combat rounds might be useful.

This strikes me as just an all-around badly phrased question that's trying to do way too much, accomplishes very little, and has extremely questionable criteria for up-voting or accepting answers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ However it strikes you, the people who are answering it we're giving clear answers. They understood the question, and they didn't need any extra information to give helpful answers. Otherwise, I normally agree with you. If it needs clarification, then it needs rephrasing, not closing. \$\endgroup\$
    – bitfed
    Feb 28 at 15:14
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This is a good question with several good answers.

I had originally closed the question as a duplicate of this question: Are there any official rules for or even suggestion of using initiative order outside of combat? The questions are very similar, but illustro points out the substantial distinction in the last paragraph of their question:

While I accept that any time you need to use initiative in the game (chases or combat for example) you need to measure time in rounds, measuring time in rounds does not necessarily require a strict initiative order. For example, solving a complex puzzle with per round effects that repeat on a loop, and demonstrating that loop in rounds, but allowing your players to determine the order of their actions dynamically in each round, without going turn by turn, even allowing for two players actually doing two things at the same time.

To me this is essentially the same question, but about situations where the granular initiative rules are not necessary, but measuring fast-paced, time-dependent events is. Illustro asks for guidance from the rules and/or experience for applying the six-second round structure outside of combat, without the use of a strict initiative order, and then provides a stellar self-answer providing exactly that.

Closure for "needs details" generally applies to questions that need additional details before a good answer can be provided. This is obviously not the case - the question was open long enough to receive three additional high-quality answers. Darth Pseudonym, Non-Human Person, and Austin Hemmelgarn did not need any more details or clarity to provide good responses in addition to the one illustro offered when posting the question. When a question is up for closure review for needs more focus, opinion based, or needs details, and it has already received answers, we should ask ourselves "are the answers the question did receive emblematic of the problem we're closing the question for?". We certainly did not see that this time, and at the time of this revision (four weeks after initial review), the questions has not received any more answers, which is further evidence the question was well scoped.

I saw several comments asking for a specific situation to rule on - requiring that at this point would in some ways invalidate all the existing high quality answers that haven't addressed whatever we try to shoehorn into the question.

Reopen.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the best response imo. The question was already turning up valuable, well articulated answers when it was closed. Those people understood the question and were giving solid answers. Nothing meandering. I would have appreciated being able to read the discussion. I think in this particular case, it was prematurely closed, and I don't think the cause given is justified. \$\endgroup\$
    – bitfed
    Feb 28 at 15:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @bitfed I generally find that asking "are the answers the question did receive emblematic of the problem we're closing the question for?" to be a reliable post-hoc test for questions. I added a note about that, thanks for your comment. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28 at 15:21
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Your question follows a typical pattern that makes reviewers cautious.

It all starts with vonBoomslang's question Can you determine the order of "at the end of a short rest" effects?, where you leave your answer that conflicts with this other answer.

Your question is about a general case, but indisputably tied to this subset of the question, and your self-answer will appear like an isolated response to that initial question where your answer only had a small response.

To reviewers, it will appear as if you are unhappy with that outcome and use your specific question Are rounds just for combat, or should we be using them at other times in the game? to settle that argument after losing it elsewhere, and that is generally an undesired type of dispute — so the eyes on your question will be even more carefully looking to see whether you are addressing an actual problem or whether it is subterfuge to convince people to believe a different argument.

You received several messages inquiring about the practical situation where your question applies, and some of your formulation is ambiguous or very clearly tied to the earlier question.

I hope that addresses some of the "why". As for whether your question should be open or closed, I commented on your question:

I'm not sure that "Are rounds just for combat, or should we be using them at other times in the game?" is the best approach to phrasing a general [case], but the general case about when to use time ordering is one that most GMs face eventually when there are weird interactions

I don't think that you need to rephrase, but that is because I'm aware of the context and read and evaluated the comment-thread below your answer – where, among more discussion, I think these comments encapsulate a second part of what makes your question problematic:

You, the querent, didn't specify a specific problem you are having. You specified a generic class of problems that aren't necessarily that closely related

As far as I'm concerned, we should reopen your question. But this criticism is valid, and closely tied to the observation that maybe your specific problem could be the rejection of your solution to a different question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But the problem is I did specify the specific problem I am having, how to rule the more general class of problems consistently in a way that doesn't slow down the game unnecessarily. I'm not looking to "win" any "arguments" on the other question. I can perfectly well use the alternative ruling I posited in that linked (but not duplicate) question in my games. I'm concerned with the more general class of problems as a whole. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Feb 3 at 23:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @illustro I mean, I agree with Thomas Markov's answer. You asked for feedback - you said you are confused, and I think my answer should help you gain perspective. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Feb 3 at 23:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I totally get that, I just think ascribing intent like this, in a text based medium, is a poor lens through which to do reviewing. Too much contextual communicative information is lost, and it's very easy to misinterpret motives. I'm not saying you are at all, more addressing it for people who do interpret it that way. Thank you for the feedback, I do think if people are using this attitude in reviewing questions though then we have a problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – illustro
    Feb 3 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ The behavior you describe in the third paragraph, about inferring an ulterior motive on the part of the querent, is inappropriate: asking a question specifically about a point in dispute in a broader question is not only acceptable, but encouraged. Coming down more harshly on querents doing so because they have a vested interest in the outcome—considering that self-answers aren’t pinned when accepted—has a chilling effect that we do not want. Please do not do that. To anyone reading, if you engage in this behavior, cease immediately. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 18 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Careful consideration of the context employing the experience of a developed reviewing skillset is what reviewers ought to do. One part of that is fostering an environment where goals are clear and preemptively closing a question is cheap and the prime tool of de-escalation that experienced reviewers use. What reviewers shouldn't do is assume bad faith - every closure is a tool to facilitate discussion - we are workshopping to solve problems, and being meticulous — what you incorrectly call "harsh" is conducive to that common goal. Lashing out at people should never play into that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Feb 20 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu If the judgment isn’t in some way affected by this situation, why is it being mentioned in this answer? The question was asking why this question was closed, and this answer asserts that at least part of the reason it was closed was because of exactly what you’re saying shouldn’t happen: an assumption of, or at least the suspicion of, bad faith. That suspicion shouldn’t enter into things. Yes, at some point something really egregious could go beyond anyone’s capacity for assuming good faith—there is a problem with absolute assumption of good faith—but that’s not what’s described. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 20 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan "If the judgment" has nothing to do with what I addressed, your reading of my answer is alien to me. My intention regarding the word "cautious" is "prudence when facing risk" — we aren't on the same page and are talking past each other. I don't see a desire to discuss, but an appeal to onlookers (or counterargument, readers beware! Akixkisu is spreading dangerous thought?) of a strawman reading that misses the nuance that my answer tries to convey. I will respond to comments that logically follow or ask for clarification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Feb 20 at 23:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I must be honest, I have no idea what you just said. Either the concerns you raise here about suspicions of an ulterior motives influenced the decision to close—in which case that was bad, wrong, and to be avoided in the future—or they did not, in which case they have no relevance to this question, which is about why the closure took place. There really isn’t any room for a third option. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Feb 21 at 2:48

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