This question, Rogue Holding Bonus Action to disengage once attacked, is an obvious duplicate of this question: Can you ready a bonus action?. At least, the general question being asked is exactly the same - can you ready a bonus action? However, the context in which this recent question is asking about readying bonus actions shows evidence of a fundamental misunderstanding of what those particular actions actually do. That is, the problem here is that if we had just closed this question as a duplicate without answering, they are led to an answer to their question about readying bonus actions, but are left with a misunderstanding of how the other things mentioned in the question work.

For this particular question I chose to write an answer instead of voting to close, linking the question it was a duplicate of and spending most of the answer discussing the confused assumptions the question made; my thinking is that maybe the misunderstanding about other things made for the compelling reason Doppel talks about in her third criterion:

  • There isn't a strong, compelling reason to cover Question A alone, separately from Question B. (If the above bullet points are met, this rarely happens.)

I also don't think "close the question and correct the confusion in a comment" work for this particular question, based on (again) Doppelgreener's guidance here:

If you're substantially solving their problem by correcting them, then post an answer and include the corrections as part of that answer. (Make sure you answer the question independently. Answers that solve just a little part of the problem don't get well received.)

But I'm not sure, hence asking here for guidance. How should we approach questions like this, where the general premise is obviously a duplicate, but the specific context presents significant confusion or incorrect assumptions that the asker would be well-served by having explained?

It should be noted that this meta discussion is highly related to two previous meta discussions, which motivated in part my decision to answer:

Neither of these questions really address the scenario where a duplicate is involved, so I think further discussion here is warranted.


3 Answers 3


I'd suggest to solve their problem

What is the root motivation for answering questions here? I think it is that we want to help the asker first and foremost, and secondly, we want to have an answer that will also be useful to future readers that have the same problem.

What is the reason for closing questions as duplicates? Apparently, to help people find the right answer. By closing questions as duplicates, all questions point to the same question, and all the answers can be on that one question, so the good answers are not scattered around and hard to find. Of course, this only works if these answers can fully answer the question posed.

In this case, pointing to the duplicate may not help the querant answer their question: they are confused about how the rules work, and may not be able to parse the technically correct answer, or understand how and why it applies to their case. So closing the question as a duplicate fails to achieve the fundamental goal of solving their problem.

To cite the last of your linked Q&As:

3. They're confused and it's obvious. They've asked a question, but to really solve their problem requires poking at the confusion underneath.

Answer it. Answer their question at face value, then poke at the confusion underneath: show them what they're confused about and unravel their confusion for them. Solve their problem on every level. That's what we do here: we don't answer questions blindly, we solve problems.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for getting right to the heart of the issue: The site is about helping people with questions and confusion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:44

In support of Groody's already excellent answer, I would add the following argument:

If two questions require significantly different answers to help their two respective querents, then they are functionally not duplicates of each other.

Different levels of expertise, understanding, or especially misunderstanding between the querents can certainly result in questions that seem like duplicates, but functionally are not because of differences in the amount of detail and/or correction necessary to get both querents where they need to be.

This is a judgment call, but as experts I believe it is one we can collectively make. That said, it may be reasonable to link to one answer within another answer.


We have to differentiate between question partially answered by a duplicate and a question that is completely answered by a duplicate.

Let's take a simplistic examples

Existing question

"Is a red die going to be the fastest for movement?" which is answered with a "yes".

Complete overlap

A new question shows up which asks "Which colour die should I roll to move the fastest?"

This is a complete overlap in this case. Closing as a duplicate is appropriate - the new question is fully answered by the existing one.

Partial overlap

A new question shows up which asks "How to move the fastest?"

The existing question only partially answers the new one. There might be other character options that help - when riding a horse you would be faster. Or wearing roller skates. Or choosing the most aerodynamic haircut. Etc. Several of these options probably need to be chosen to get "fastest movement". And a red die is going to be one of the choices.

In this case, the new question should be answered. An answer might as well point to the existing question and say something like: "For a die, choose a red one, see here why <link to question>. You also need to get a horse on roller skates."

Important to note is that a question can be partially answered by multiple other questions, thus closing with more than one duplicate target might cover it completely. Again, this should be done if the collection of targets do completely cover it. Given that

  • The fastest die to use is red.
  • If the fastest mount is a horse on a skateboard.


  • The fastest way to move is a horse on roller skates paired with a red die

Then the two individual answers do not answer the new question fully.

For this specific question, I would say it is a partial overlap. Saying "you cannot hold a bonus action" does solve it but also there is the apparent misunderstanding of what the disengage or dash actions do.

If there is an existing questions that describe disengage and dash, it could be closed as multiple duplicates. But if no such question exists, then it seems fine to answer it. It can become a canonical about these actions.


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