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I have been wondering for a moment, because in a lot of answers there are links to very interesting external resources, for example when speaking of d&d 3.5

Sites with a lot of online material (those are easily found via a quick research anyway)

Specific topics about specific questions (that are highly relevant but quite harder to find)

And the list goes on. As far as I saw there are not so much questions around there that ask for a polite RTFM answer, but anyway... I discovered most of those links in various answers where they where given as external references and kind of regretted I did not get to read them before because they are very handy.

So I am wondering if we have such a list somewhere, and if this is not the case if you think it would be appropriated to have one, for example as a community wiki post so that everyone would be able to add content, and finally, since we are only speaking about d&d 3.5 there, what about editing the dnd-3.5e tag wiki to add these references there?

Edit: I am not suggesting to have some "Must read before posting" topic or whatever like those you can see on the forums, but rather that for people searching such resources as well as for people who often reply to questions, there would be a place where all links to relevant external context would be gathered, making things more easy. Once again I don't feel like there would be so much question showing lack of research effort to justify bothering, so that would more be for us to use. As for maintenance it is more or less like any other question where external links can become dead. Still there is the wayback machine who can resurrect a lot of dead sites, so I would not even bother so much..

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  • \$\begingroup\$ most D&D sites that aren't the SRD are pirate sites. They sport material under copyright and naming them would both bring to C&D letters and to us looking like pirates ourselves. Let's pay attention to what we link \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel Sep 23 '14 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel At least one of the sites linked in the question is definitely illegal, but I can't edit it out. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Sep 23 '14 at 22:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman I have no clue about this. Tell me which one and I will make the edit myself. \$\endgroup\$ – Epeedefeu Sep 24 '14 at 8:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ dndtools is definitely illegal, I don't know about the others. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Sep 24 '14 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ such a shame! That site is definitely the most useful of all. Removed. \$\endgroup\$ – Epeedefeu Sep 29 '14 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah. The reason that it's illegal and the reason that it's so useful are exactly the same. It's a shame Wizards never provided an official alternative, as searching 50 books is pretty nightmarish. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Sep 30 '14 at 11:10
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It's useful, but not appropriate for a question and we haven't ever mustered enough content/submitters for a blog. I think the best place for these is the tag wiki. As long as we don't go overboard and keep it to a small list of definitive sources - a SRD link and publisher's website link in the game system tag wiki, for example. But not a laundry list of links.

Unfortunately that leaves some stuff out due to the tagging scheme - you don't want to put a link to tiers and charop handbook-of-handbooks in the optimization tag wiki, because those are for one game system only and the optimization tag is general. Ideally those would be found by going and looking at highly rated questions in your chosen domain.

I specifically don't want it to become an ideological war of people putting in biased links to try to win an argument outside the scope of site voting - e.g. Oberoni Fallacy link in the optimization tag - so don't do that, and expect to get edits reverted and warnings from mods if you do.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah; our definitive list of quality resources is what gets used in our answers organically. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 23 '14 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie That is right, but for example when trying to optimize my swashbuckler I won't necessarily read the question about Monk Prestige Class and find the Prestige Class Index that was linked in one of the answers. But I understand the reasons of mxyzplk \$\endgroup\$ – Epeedefeu Sep 24 '14 at 8:12
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These things tend to be unweildy, hart to maintain and generally not a fit for our format.

So here's the thing. We don't have a way to pin things to the top. So a resource list like this isn't going to be very visible except via search. It's also not going to stay up to date. Sure someone might maintain it for a while, but generally websites will need to be pruned or added and there won't be anyone around to do it.

There's also no real way to vet what should be on the list. Sure a small group of people could curate it, but that's not the best thing in the world, again low visibility and remembering to update can be hard.

Lastly, it doesn't really fit our format here. There's not "best" answer when there is one single list of things. And single source per post doesn't work very well when there are multiple useful sources of information (again there are issues curating too).

So, ultimately, this format of question is not useful for this site. It'd be great on a blog. Not so much here.

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I actually think this would be a great subject for the blog that was talked about at one point but that we didn't have enough submissions to do. It'd definitely be useful to people, it's something that could be done in a blog post, and there's people willing to write it (myself, probably you as well :) ).

I'm not sure its a great fit for a question, though.

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