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@Magician posted a question here : What are the stand-out features of D&D 5e?

Asking what stands out for D&D 5e. It was closed as being too opinion based, with the stated logic in the comments being that it's attracting bad answers and maybe can be reopened in a couple months. However, the question only has 3 answers. One of which has 14 up votes, one of which has -3 votes and one of which has 1 upvote.

How can this be said to be attracting bad answers? How can 14 upvotes be a "bad answer"???

This is just really insulting.

Based on the logic of the comments, and based on this article here, this question can never be re-opened because the rules might change in 12 months.

It seems like people have opinions about what experience people should have without having any experience with the system themselves!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Wax eagle's answer being described as a "bad answer" isn't saying anything much about him. There isn't insult here to be made. Don't take it personally. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 8 '14 at 6:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Johnathanhobbs Sure, it just says something insulting about the 14 people who voted for it. People who don't have expertise on the topic at hand, should not be deciding the fate of questions regarding that topic. It's starting to get a bit obnoxious. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 6:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Y'know the mods have expertise on how SE questions work and on recognising when they're going bad, regardless of the subject matter? \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 8 '14 at 6:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs In this case, they are completely clueless. They have no idea what rules are in the 5e, what rules were in the playtest, what rules were known before they were published or any relevant information at all. But sure, Tell us that you know best... \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 6:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey man, now it's becoming actually insulting - your condescension in that statement is out of line. I'm just gonna let the mods explain. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 8 '14 at 6:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs Which rule was new in the finally released PDF, that wasn't a known rule for months before the release that would have any impact on this question? Just name it, and I'll eat my hat. This site is punishing people for having knowledge. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 6:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is this question about whether moderators can trump community approval/opinion, or is it about how the site is dealing with Basic-vs-playtest material? Right now it looks like both, and I think it'll be hard to get good answers for either while they're conflated. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Jul 8 '14 at 11:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ On the latter point at least, that question specified NOT playtest. Thus and et cetera. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 8 '14 at 13:14
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Quite easily actually.

I'll be the first to call this sort of reasoning out. Upvotes do not a good answer make (nor a good question tbh). Whether or not something is popular should not determine whether or not it gets moderated. If the question is deserving we can let the answers lay. if we look at the answers on this question alone, my answer mostly has the advantage of having been first, your answer is actually far more detailed and probably answers the question more directly. Votes aren't the only nor really the best judge of quality.

That said, on this particular question, I think our moderators have made a mistake. We've known about most of what makes 5e special for close to a year now. Advantage/Disadvantage has been a part of the system since the first moments of the playtest. Bounded Accuracy has been in conceptual development for a while. The emphasis on the 3 pillars has been a design goal from day one. The only truly new standout feature in the basic rules is Inspiration which is covered in a couple of the answers.

That said, I don't think any of the answers are truly bad. One could argue that the answer at -3 was bad..though mostly it lacks sufficient details to be a good answer. Of the remaning 3 answers, one is pretty general, not calling out anything specific. Another is my answers which addresses some key areas of import (new things since 4e really, things that stand out to a reader, which I think was the intent to the question). Finally there is your answer, which is quite detailed, clearly informed by hours of play and probably the best of the bunch.

I disagree with the evaluation that this question was attracting bad answers. It's attracted 4 answers, only one of which could be classified as bad and then only if you're a bit more expansive of the definition of bad than I'm generally willing to go.

Are the answers incomplete? perhaps? We'll know a lot more when the full system is released by the end of the year. However, as with the playtest, we should be able to answer these completely with the information we currently have available.

Some of the comments are asking about whether or not it's too early to create definitive answers on this when we haven't had time to play this. I'd have to say as GMNoob points out, several people on this site have been actively involved in the playtest. GMNoob has been playing for close to a year, another of our members is DMing the current season of Encounters which uses the playtest and I've run several games of the Next playtest. While there are some changes, D&D Basic is not significantly different than the last playtest packet released. The core mechanics and design ideals are there, advantage/disadvantage and bounded accuracy are at the forefront of this. The only truly new element in this playtest packet was the Inspiration mechanic which 2/4 of the answers here cover. While we may not have experience playing with the mechanic directly, I don't think it's out of line to project how it's going to work at our own tables.

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  1. The question specifies Basic/Starter only and specifically says not to cite the playtest as it's not relevant. Therefore no, no one has "been playing this for months," that's not possible. Sure, there's only "some" changes, but just assuming those changes aren't significant is poor judgement.

  2. The question isn't a simple rules question, it is about what kinds of playstyles the game most effectively supports. A Bad Subjective answer to this is to read the rules, guess, and post. A Good Subjective answer to this is to have played and tried more than one or two things and have the experience and wisdom to know what playstyles it supports effectively. No one has had the opportunity to do this yet. The first answer that can cite "I tried X and Y and Z in Basic and here's what it supports best and why" is the first legal answer.

Therefore since the enthusiasm for 5e is clearly trumping the sense of site voters, this has been mod-closed. The answers are not "bad" in the sense that they are incoherent junk from mouth-breathers, they are "bad" in the sense that they are not licit answers by the site's rules - it's not possible IMO at this time to have a Good Subjective answer to the question as posed. Everyone's really eager to show off their playtest and/or rules reading skills but this kind of question demands a more experiential, considered answer.

The "highly voted" answer we're talking about says out loud "From a (admitedly rapid, though complete) perusal of the Basic rules, the things that stood out to me (as someone who has only played 4e)..." It admits to no playing of 5e and being based on a single reading. With no disrespect intended to @waxeagle, that is the classic definition of a Bad Subjective answer. We may as well post the same question about 4e and get the answers of "Well I read through it, haven't played it, but in play it will totally be like WoW." No one liked that when it happened, hence our site rules that focus on how to answer subjective questions. They're not just for when they're "on our side."

For those new to our site, please read Good Subjective, Bad Subjective and note how it draws a line between expertise and speculation using the Back It Up! principle. All site answers to subjective questions should meet this bar.

Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is the article about Inspiration from July 2013. There is NO difference between the contents of that article and the D&D 5e Basic rules. wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4ll/20130722 \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ And if the question was about one specific mechanic, I would yield the point. It's not. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 8 '14 at 13:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ None of the mechanics mentioned in the answers changed from the playtest to the final rules either. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ And the "highly rated" answer didn't play with any of them. GS - BS. Read my answer again and meditate upon its truths. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 8 '14 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ He did play with them, because there was no change from the playtest... NO CHANGE.. The assumption that the playtest material is not relevant is a WRONG assumption. They are the SAME relevant rules. I understand that you don't want people to answer questions that they have knowledge in until some undetermined point in time, in which they will have the same knowledge, but it's not helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 14:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ In which year of the living rule system will you allow us to answer this question? Every year the rules will change. And every few months new rules will be suggested. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 14:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ I've edited the question. The original version's writing did actually seem to rule out the entire playtest as irrelevant - including any experience from it. Mxyzplk's interpretation that answers must come entirely and only from Basic/Starter set material was pretty reasonable. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Jul 9 '14 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, as long as that's what Bryan wants. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Jul 9 '14 at 2:05
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How can a highly-upvoted answer be a "bad" answer? When a question is primarily a matter of opinion. Bad answers getting highly upvoted is exactly why we have strict rules for recommendation questions and why most other SEs ban them outright.

Is this question primarily opinion-based? Maybe, maybe not, and that's for mods and community to hash out.

But as to your core question: easily. Upvoted answers can easily be bad answers, and many site policies and features are designed to avoid letting such things go unchecked.

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The Question

The first problem is in the question. There's some misinterpretation going on with the line about not quoting playtest material, taking it to be more exclusionary than it's meant to be.

The way I read it, playtest experience is perfectly valid, so long as the thing the answer is talking about made it to the starter set or base rules PDF. But then we get...

The "Good" Answer Isn't That Good

The highly rated "good" answer says this:

Bounded accuracy. Everything from recommended DCs (admittedly absent from the Basic rules from what I saw, we'll know more about this in the starter, but they were listed in the playtest as 10, 15, 20 for easy, medium, and hard, and I don't expect this to change)

There is no source cited, and it explicitly says that it's not in the base rules and that the person writing the answer doesn't know if it's in the Starter Set. The question explicitly asks for things in one of those two places.

Good answers don't ignore the question's requirements like that. If the rule is in the Starter Set then this can be changed to be a good answer, but right now it's objectively not answering the question.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The rule is actual in the basic rules pdf on page 58 \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 19:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob Then the answer is wrong right now. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Jul 8 '14 at 20:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's been corrected. \$\endgroup\$ – GMNoob Jul 8 '14 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob Those are typical DCs as an example of the concept for players, not recommended DCs for DMs. The Starter does say more about setting DCs for checks, and has the 10–15–20 Easy-Medium-Hard trio (with none other mentioned). The correction may be premature or incorrect, and we won't know until the DMG. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 9 '14 at 5:50

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