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So with the recent publishing of D&D Basic, the raffle to encourage users to post questions and create a knowledge base for the game, we had some questions using the format "I don't understand how X work".

Their quality is questioned but users seem to upvote them.

How does wizard & cleric spell preperation work? for instance has 14 upvotes. I understand upvotes are not a unit to measure the quality of a question but my understanding was that we want to create questions for the upcoming release of the 5th edition and upvotes are a unit of appreciation. If a question is appreciated, I think there's a reason behind it. If the quality is lacking because of the nature of the question, then should we clarify that rules clarification are out of line?

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If this were the case, probably 50% of our 4e questions would be gone. And a goodly chunk of our 3.PF questions (and probably a solid chunk of the rest).

We're here to help people solve their problems. If one of those problems is reading comprehension, then so be it.

The objection to that question was not that it was a "help me understand X" question, it was that it was perceived as lacking specificity.

Since it's been edited and reopened, it's much more specific, it's now directly addressing it's point, explaining the differences between spell preparation and casting between 3.PF and 5e.

Ultimately, explain concept X to me is not an off topic question, provided X is sufficiently narrow. Again, the objection isn't exactly to the question form, just the lack of specificity (and a perceived basicness).

Rules clarifications are by no means off topic. They are squarely on topic. However, we should make sure our questions on 5e are answerable and sufficiently narrow.

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