Regarding the recent question "How do I quickly find the official errata for any book?".

It was closed by several heavy users as a duplicate of "How do you tell if a D&D book is 3.0 or 3.5?".

The questions are not the same, but the latter question happens to have a very long answer that contains the answer to the first question, among other things.

To make things worse, this answer is the third answer from the top, and finding the information that the poster asked requires thoroughly looking at the footnotes to the long lists in this answer. Basically, without @HeyICanChan's comment pointing out the specific answer, the answer is really hard to find, and Comments are just not persistent enough to contain such important additional information.

To sum it up:

  1. Are answers to unrelated questions, that happen to answer a new, different question a reason to VTC as duplicate?
  2. Does this change if the answer is not the top-voted or accepted answer?
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Seems like two things: (1) "Duplicate" may also mean "has been answered elsewhere", like how "[t]he Too Broad Close vote includes excluding "good answers [that] would be too long for this format.'" (2) There may be an onus on the "original" question to (be) broaden(ed) so as to include the slight differences of (potential) duplicates. This idea guided the construction of one of my questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Two of the close votes on that one were to mark it as too broad. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 16:13
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I didn't know what to do with that question. It felt weird and self-serving to provide the same information again. It felt weird not touching it all and watching answers develop. And it felt weird marking it as a duplicate. I went with the last as path of least resistance. Thanks for taking this to Meta. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 18:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: If an answer to question A can be found in question B, should we close A as duplicate of B? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 21:12

3 Answers 3


This is not a duplicate

The dead giveaway on this one is that one of the comments contains the actual answer. Trying to find it in the "duplicate" requires going to the third answer on a question that doesn't look like it's related in any way whatsoever, and carefully reading it to find a link buried in the middle of a paragraph, then editing the link because nobody who marked it as a duplicate bothered to fix the link so that it'd actually work. (I've since made those updates.)

People were very, very overzealous on this one.

A duplicate is something where the questions are basically the same, not where they're hardly related at all and one of the answers happens to contain a link buried somewhere that leads to an answer.


First: I agree it's not a duplicate. Second: That was closed as duplicate by either 2 or 3 users; two close votes (including my own) were simply to close that question as too broad.

Closing as a duplicate generally means either the questions are the same, or that they're close enough and there's already a clear answer in one. That answer doesn't have to be the accepted or most upvoted one, but it had better be obvious where the answer can be found. None of this is the case here; they're very different questions and the answer can't be readily found in the other question.

This question is far too broad though.

This question does need to get closed and improved. It's asking what D&D 3e or 3.5e material has any errata from any source, including someone saying something at a convention, or an arbitrary magazine releasing an update.

An answer that hopes to be remotely useful needs to list not just what has errata, but also provide a link to the errata, instructions on locating it, or the errata itself. (Because, y'know, reading only "Complete Warrior received errata." isn't very helpful — you also need to know what that errata is.)

That amounts to an answer that might be as big as this one or bigger, and might still be incomplete.

That question needs to be closed, and improved somehow to ask something more reasonable. Maybe it should turn from a "give me the fish" question into a "teach me how to fish" question: how do I find out if something has errata, and how do I find that errata?

Incidentally, that's also why it got closed as a duplicate:

Voting to close as a duplicate. This answer lists how to find the updated material and errata, although links need updating due to Wizards of the Coast renaming efforts. – Hey I Can Chan 21 hours ago

Although I agree that how to find errata is far too buried in that answer for this to be clear enough to count as a duplicate.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In particular to your amendment of "an answer that hopes to be remotely useful", I actually amn't asking for that. Then how would an answer be useful? It would tell me which sources that I need to double-check because I forgot to (double-)check if the sources-that-I-checked(-but-didn't-double-check) have errata (or are unupdated 3e). \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 5:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NiteCyper Telling you which sources you need to check is providing instructions on finding the errata. Your problem in that question is, and I quote: "Why I want to know is because I'm writing an answer when I realize that I should make clear that I've checked if there are errata or an update that affects each entry" - If there's multiple errata sources, or a fairly obscure errata source, how does merely knowing errata exist help you unless what and how to get to it is also listed? Assuming no sources is perfectly fine for you though, it'd be practically useless for someone like me. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 5:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ "If there's multiple errata sources, or a fairly obscure errata source, how [that] merely knowing errata exist help[s] [me] unless it is also listed" is because I don't yet feel that it is difficult enough for me to find errata on my own such that I require others' assistance to do so, especially since I already do possess most 3.5e errata. How that it helps others who might want to know about said errata is that...it tells them that there are errata for the listed sources. I never asked how to find those errata. At that point, you'd close-vote it as too narrow, yet the reality should... \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...counter the "too broad" designation and possibly balance it out. \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd consider it either too broad or a really poor question, since apparently I can get away with just listing every book that has errata, which is almost all of them bar the magazines. So you get a copy+paste of the book list. ("Too narrow" is not a close vote reason.) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ "[A]lmost all of them"? You're implying 50% or more? \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NiteCyper Based on the scope of what you consider to be errata for the purposes of that question (any time anyone said anything to clarify or correct anything via any medium, in a series of books notorious for their ambiguous writing), yes. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not just anyone, and I was originally going to say "strong Word of God" but decided that people would use good judgment to determine whether or not a statement made (by "gods") was sufficiently unequivocal to warrant being included in answer. I don't expect anyone to go that far (as to attempt to log every possible Word of God). If it really seems that way, I'll cut that part, but I leave that part in because I don't think it am just I who would be interested in such things. Though, I can see now how what I've clarified that I'm looking for in an answer...is complicated by that. \$\endgroup\$
    – NiteCyper
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, when I said "anyone" I meant "developers". People with the authority to clarify it, employees, etc. Clear? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 6:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ The current version of the question seems fine. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 2:11

Are answers to unrelated questions, that happen to answer a new, different question a reason to VTC as duplicate?

I don't believe so. Questions are there to be answered, that is why there is a 1:n on Q to A. In addition our site traffic is supposed to come primarily from search engines and therefore we should have many questions, especially if they ask for different things in a suitably different way.

I think that answers the second question as well. Well written answers can apply to multiple questions.

On the subject of the original question

D&D 3.5 and 3.0 are kind of special in that if a 3.0 has an associated 3.5 version, the 3.5 version IS the errata to the 3.0 book (in that you can basically throw your 3.0 version of that book away). What makes it slightly more complicated is that parts of 3.5 books can replace parts of 3.0 books. Such as the Shifter (3.0) being replaced by the master of many forms (3.5).

Therefore the question was a kind of unintentional duplicate, it was requesting the same information (with a different reason and wording), but the information did already exist on the site and a question did ask for it.

I think a better question might have been "Which 3.0 books and classes have not been updated/replaced by 3.5?" if you were looking for valid 3.0 sources.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While some 3.5 books update earlier ones, they aren’t really errata, and more importantly they aren’t the only errata. The two questions are not very related at all. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 2:13

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