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This question: Is Tiamat's cold breath supposed to be a Dex save? seems to include a spoiler about the weapons of a boss within the title (I haven't finished the adventure including the boss so I don't know the extent of the spoiler). This old meta discusses how to deal with spoilers: Should we worry about spoilers?, but doesn't specify how to make a good title to avoid spoilers.

My suggestions for the aforementioned question would be: "Is this boss monster's breath weapon supposed to be a Dex save?", but I am not sure if it is making the question too vague or hard to find for those who need it.

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It's not a spoiler

It is widely known that Tiamat has a stat block. The question if a specific stat block is correct is ok, and should not be a spoiler in itself.

The question does not specify which campaign, and Tiamat is the end boss in about half a dozen published campaigns, and her stat-block is used for her Krynn-Alter-Ego in at least 2 Dragonlance adventures if my memory serves me right.

The specific question in question offers a very specific question that is not campaign-dependent: How does the Bigby's/arcane hand spell interact with Tiamat's breath weapons?

If anything, the title is misleading and should be re-worded as "How does [Spell X] interact with Tiamat's breath weapons?"

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's a good edit of the question, but I would still argue that the title (as previously stated) included two (albeit very minor) spoilers: 1. Tiamat has a cold breath weapon, and 2. this weapon calls for a Dex save. In the question body you can have as many spoilers as you want in my view (if you are clear about it), but in the question title I would propose being very restrictive. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 11, 2023 at 9:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FerventHippo: I'd say it's not really a spoiler that a dragon has a breath weapon associated with its color – and in particular, Tiamat is pretty widely known to be a dragon with multiple heads of different colors as well. I haven't finished the main D&D 5e adventure she appears in, but I already knew that she had a Cold Breath breath weapon, since one of her heads is white. (For comparison: It's not really much more of a spoiler than saying that a powerful wizard can cast high-level spells.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...That said, the body of the question does contain more specific details about her abilities that one might consider a spoiler. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast someone might choose to not prep for a battle against Tiamat with CON save boosts if they know that the ice breath instead calls for a DEX save. I'd call that a spoiler (again a minor one). I'm fine with the body of the question including spoilers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 15, 2023 at 16:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @FerventHippo: Fair enough. I was mostly commenting on the idea of "Tiamat has a cold breath weapon" being considered a spoiler. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented May 15, 2023 at 16:32
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What exactly would be the spoiler?

Dragons had a dangerous breath since folklore tales were told.

The idea that there are different colors of dragons and they all come with their own alignment and breath weapon was codified for D&D at some point in the early 70s.

Tiamat was first introduced in 1975 in Greyhawk and later in the Monster Manual I in 1977.

The multi-headed dragon form was inspiration for multiple pictures of cover art.

Spoiler: Tiamats white head breathes ice

is like saying

Spoiler: it's not a moon, it's a space station

on a Star Wars RPG.

Technically, that is correct. But come on, we don't need to be overprotective. The Titanic will sink. Achilles will take an arrow to the knee (sorry: heel). And white dragon heads breath ice.

Fun fact: I sat in the 2004 movie Troy and next to me was a girl who was seriously mortified that Achilles died after having been hit in the heel by an arrow. I will not add spoiler tags when I talk about someone's Achilles heel, even if it would cost me that moment where I reealized there are actually people out there not even knowing the most basic famous hero stories. We cannot cater to the lowest common denominator.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It seems to be generally agreed that Tiamat possessing a cold breath weapon is common knowledge, but the fact that it requires a Dex save is a mechanical spoiler in my opinion. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2023 at 17:13
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I think coming up with a detailed spoiler policy for a forum like this will be very difficult and possibly counter-productive. (I am willing to be proven wrong, but will be swayed by evidence of successful spoiler policies in other stacks rather than theoretical discussions.)

However, I think it's useful to distinguish between two categories:

Specific Content Spoilers: Here, I am thinking of the details of a particular adventure module, or RPG-related novel, movie, etc, that could only be gained by reading or playing through it.

Lore "Spoilers": Here, I am thinking of basic accumulated background knowledge, especially background knowledge from basic resources-- rulebooks like the DMG, the Monster Manual(s), or equivalents. I have a hard time thinking of these as true spoilers.

In this sense, Tiamat having cold breath isn't a spoiler. The specific details of an encounter with Tiamat in a published module, even something as old as the original Dragonlance modules arguably could be.

There are still probably edge cases here, but this is at least a useful clarification when we talk about this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It appears to be common knowledge that Tiamat has a cold breath weapon, but I would call the specific save for that attack a "Specific Content Spoiler" according to your definitions, especially if it is surprising as in this case. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 21, 2023 at 17:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ See how useful the distinction is? You convinced me! \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented May 22, 2023 at 1:38

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