I am asking because I don't understand what has happened to When using the One D&D Playtest are you supposed to be using the 5e rules too?.

The question seems perfectly ok to me and I don't understand the downvotes or the closure reasoning.

It looks to me that we are just being precious about one DND questions ruining the site because they can't be properly answered yet.

In this case a comment said it was because the question was lazy and answerable within the first paragraph of the material, which explains downvotes but not closure.

What it doesn't explain is why an answer saying 'this is in the first paragraph' got downvoted into oblivion.

All One D&D questions I have seen so far (and I don't follow the tag so haven't checked them all) are just full of downvotes that don't seem to follow our usual standards.

Can anyone clarify what is going on?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's worth noting that that particular question was self-answered when posted, therefore we expect the question to be of a good standard and about a real problem they have had and solved that would be useful to others. Not to simply serve as a place to post an answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @linksassin I incorrectly stated that we don't know how the backwards compatibility fully works. So they likely posted the question because they felt it was a problem: people (myself) didn't know the answer \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 11:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Exempt-Medic I don't think it's entirely inaccurate to say we don't know how it fully works. There will likely be further clarifications and caveats moving forward. But just because you made a slight error in a comment on a different question that doesn't make it a good well researched stack question. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 12:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: What did we learn during the D&D Next playtest that should inform how we approach the One D&D playtest? \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 13:12

4 Answers 4


I downvoted some of these because they expect a canonical answer to a question that is by design not supposed to have one.

I think some of these questions are missing the point of a playtest. This is playtest material that is changing the core rules. The playtest rules and the old rules aren’t supposed to fit together neatly. You’re supposed to take the rules we already have, and the new playtest rules, and mash them together as best you can, then provide feedback about what worked and what didn’t. There isn't supposed to be a canonical answer to how these rules interact. You’re supposed to figure out what you think the answer is supposed to be, then report back to Wizards of the Coast with what you found.

So when a question asks,

The playtest rules contradict the core rules, what do?

The answer is:

Pick a ruling, playtest it, write down how it worked out, report those findings to Wizards, and let them know you were initially confused by the contradiction and that it needs to be addressed in future playtest materials and the final product.

I downvoted some of these because they are trivial and lack research.

I recently asked, What did we learn during the D&D Next playtest that should inform how we approach the One D&D playtest?. In her answer, doppelgreener writes:

By far our primary issue was “read this text back to me” style questions: someone indicates new material and asks us to explain it. Crucially the question describes no actual problem understanding the text. Such a question is essentially just an invitation to copy+paste/rephrase the material. These questions are answered, frequently self-answered, exactly that way.

Two of the questions we've had so far were obviously this sort of question (the two that were self answered), and I could see on some of the others where someone would downvote for this reason.

As for answers, I actually upvoted most (but not all) of them. The voting pattern on answers seems much less unusual to me than what we saw on the questions, so I don't feel there is much there that needs explaining.


What material it is about for the question is not specified

The question does not point to the document of the playtest that is asked about. If tomorrow the playtest gets a new document, is that included?! under the current wording, that is very ambiguous.

It is a read the book to me question

The question can be answered by just reading the document that forms the basis for it. In contrast to questions that stem from bad formating in a book or the information being on the wrong page, it is in the very first paragraph. Read the book to me questions are quite frowned upon on the stack.

There is no actual problem proposed!

A casual reader of the document should have found the paragraph. It is not in an arcane other document or misaligned from bad formatting or just not reference, it's right there.

It shows we have not learned anything from the DND-Next Playtest

@SeriousBri This meta about One-DnD question might explain some of it. The community doesn't want to encourage multiple questions about the new playtest that will likely be outdated in the next playtest release. This particularly one is low effort as is can be answered from the first paragraph of the playtest material. – linksassin ♦ 2 hours ago

Please read the question that a moderator commented you with.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Ok so this is a bad question, but then when the answer reads the book why is that also downvoted so heavily? Do we downvote answers because we don't like the question? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 14:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also while it may have not proposed a problem it was a question I was genuinely interested in, and could have used to decide if the material was worth my time reading. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 14:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri: I think often, when someone asks a bad question just so they can self-answer it, both the question and answer will tend to get downvoted by the community, presumably because they're both arising from the same motivation and have the same issues. A "read the book to me" self-answer isn't really any more useful to the community than the low-quality question that it's answering. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 14:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri It's one thing if the actual info is misformatted on the same page as you were looking, hidden in a spreadsheet than the rules saying it literally in the very first paragraph \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 15:07

This question is worthy of its downvotes

Others already explained this pretty well.

The answer is probably not

I don't think it is good practice that a vote on an answer depends on whether the person who wrote it is the same as the question's author or not. Here if it wasn't an auto-answer it wouldn't have been downvoted.

Answers should be downvoted when they are bad answers, not when they are good answers to bad questions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The issue here is probably that many people saw it as rep farming, or something like that. Since the person made multiple questions of the sort with self-answers, many people could see it as "reading the rules for bonus points on my question, and double that by auto answering". Which is not how you should use the up/downvotes, but it's hard to remove one's own bias when thinking "does this deserve an upvote or a downvote?". \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 6:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I said the thing, see it as you like but as much as it might be a taboo of some kind on the platform, it had to be said at some point. Not throwing accusations, just saying it's probably how many people saw it, or felt about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 6:38

There are questions that need to be answered

Let's remember the point of the site;

  1. To build a Q&A index
  2. To answer questions that people ask

The first part of the playtest has been released. There has been a lot of questions and debating arising from the rules. Questions I asked were made to answer real questions that real people are asking and debating.

"There's no canonical answer because it's just a playtest"

That doesn't matter for two massive reasons. Firstly, when the rule is released it will be canonical. We need to understand what the rule means now, during the playtest, instead of worry about it at launch. The second reason is because when designers receive feedback they need to understand how players understood the wording of the rule, and how they played with it.

That's the whole point of a playtest.

"The answer is obvious"

These are real questions being debated by real people. High rep, highly experienced users are asking these questions. People in online communities like 4chan or reddit are debating them - there are multiple opinions and viewpoints. It's really jarring when someone says "ugh it's so obvious" then posts something incorrect or was confused about the answer before they read the posted answer!

"We don't know what the rules will look like on release"

That's fine, these are questions for the playtest, not the final release.

"There's only one possible answer"

Is there? At least 3 have been proposed;

  1. One D&D rules modify 5e rules wherever stated, but are otherwise the same.
  2. One D&D rules are completely standalone
  3. The playtest is incomplete and we fundamentally can't be answer questions about it

It only seems obvious in hindsight because you've read the answer and the reasoning behind it. This is something that people are confused about and are debating.

"The question is too simple"

We are fine with "Read Me The Book" kinds of questions elsewhere in the site, why are we only applying this to One D&D? There will be a lot of confusion around One D&D because it's new, it's exciting, it's unstable, it's less accessible than 5e. There will be more "simple" questions just because of that. Go back and look at any questions from a system a week old, they will be simple because people miss things and people misread and people get confused easily.

"You're just rep farming"

I have 1k rep, I'm happy to dump it as soon as I can. A mod can reset my rep. Downvoting everything I post because you don't want me to get rep is super lame. There are way easier ways to rep farm if that's what I cared about. I have tried to set my answers to community wiki to stop rep but this is an exploit apparently.

I will pledge now to dump my rep into bounties as soon as I can, ok? A mod can hold me accountable to that.

"I don't want to answer the question"

I don't agree with the concept of 'rep denial'. Sometimes you might feel as if you are competing with other people, but remember stacks are collaborative, not adversarial. If you leave a question you feel is too boring, too easy, not something interesting, or you don't have energy to answer, that's fine. Let someone else come and answer it. You can go answer a different question and get rep. Your 100k rep is no less impressive because someone else has 100k too.

We shouldn't moderate based on this doctrine of trying to prevent people earning rep. The focus should be building the archive and answering questions, rep was supposed to be a minigame, a side feature to show which users are active. It was not meant to be the primary goal of the site.

Back to basics

The point of the site is the Q&A index and to answer questions. Meta-site motivations like worrying about an answer becoming outdated within the next 2 years or the difficulty of the question or the rep of the asker are in direct contradiction to what our priorities should be.

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    \$\begingroup\$ “We are fine with "Read Me The Book" kinds of questions elsewhere in the site, why are we only applying this to One D&D?” We are not fine with these kinds of questions. Self-answered Q&A's, like any question, are required to demonstrate evidence of a nontrivial problem as well as research effort; we do not accept questions that lack both completely. Your Q&As ran into the problems they did because they had no evidence of any problem nor any research effort. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 10:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ “I will pledge now to dump my rep” Also, your reputation gain is not the issue. All of these questions could be 100% community wiki and they would still represent a failure to uphold our quality bars, and would correctly be closed and downvoted. You do not need to make that pledge to give away your reputation, or any pledge at all—you need to be mindful as any user of this site to uphold our quality bars, which means being mindful which Q&A's you bring to the site. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 10:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ Essentially if you're asking on behalf of others' difficulties then you're required to also articulate those difficulties and help us understand the problem being experienced (by you or another). If you're asking on behalf of a problem you faced and then solved, channel your past self to understand the problem you need to write. But again: if the problem is solved by trivial research, or you cannot evidence any real problem in the question, it is not a problem that should be asked about on this site. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 10:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ “The point of the site is the Q&A index and to answer questions.” This is incorrect, because it is incomplete. We're not here just to ask and answer questions. We're here to solve real, practical problems people are facing. This is a significant line to draw: a lot of questions are not valid because they do not represent any real practical problem, or are declined because they show no evidence of research effort, or fit the many criteria that we have found do not work well in our Q&A engine. You need to ask about real, practical problems. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 10:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ You have some faulty premises. Because this is a playtest, this is a work in progress and needs evaluation, not absolutes. Asking what other people think is "the canonical answer" hurts the process. If there are questions, then the material either isn't written well/clear enough and needs to be reported to WotC. Or hopefully it will make more sense in future revisions. Next, just because high rep people are asking questions doesn't mean any question is valid. Questions should still be of quality and add value. "Simple" questions can have value, but asking for the sake of asking does not. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Commented Aug 29, 2022 at 21:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Your comments create a lot of dissonance when anyone can plainly see that Read Me The Book questions are by far the most popular kind of question on the site. For some reason you also don't address the fact that I went to great lengths to explain that these are real problems. You say rep isn't the problem but I have seen so far 5 comments talking about rep being the problem. I can appreciate that is your opinion, but remember that you are one of thousands of users on the site. I'm talking about the site in general, we are talking about different things. \$\endgroup\$
    – user77842
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 0:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user77842 I suggest you consider that we are, in fact, talking about the same thing. You're struggling with an aspect of the site and I am trying to explain what's going on and where you're mistaken. Anyway — I am not talking about "read the book to me" questions. That's a term that gets used a number of different ways. I am discussing the particular questions you've run into trouble with; you're trying to suggest they're being singled out and should be fine — I am trying to explain they are not fine, they are not being singled out, and here is why. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 9:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ “For some reason you also don't address the fact that I went to great lengths to explain that these are real problems.” — The reason is I'm responding in comments. I can't write an essay and quote everything. I did respond to this actually and I was hoping you'd understand I was speaking to this: it's not enough to argue that these are real problems here; you must make sure that's clear in each question each time and I've spoken about how to do that, as well as advised when the question just should not be asked here (or at least, not by someone who isn't experiencing that problem). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 9:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ “You say rep isn't the problem but I have seen so far 5 comments talking about rep being the problem.” — I can't follow or see every comment or conversation you see. I can however tell you that nobody would be concerned about rep farming if quality bars were met. Getting rep is not a problem; getting lots of rep for lots of quality material is not a problem. Appearing to farm for it with low quality material is the problem that gets people talking. And I can also tell you that regardless of your rep gains, these questions would still get closed. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 9:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Again, please understand I am trying to share my experience with you to help you understand what's going on. I've seen these kinds of situations many, many times. The site is acting the way it is because of principles I'm trying to explain. The root cause is not your rep, the root cause is quality issues you need to pay attention to in each question you ask. If it was your rep, you'd be able to essentially buy permission to ignore our quality bars — and the site would still suffer the quality problem in the end and would have to respond accordingly regardless. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 9:34

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