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I love Dungeon World and I'm happy to answer questions about it, but there have been a lot of questions asked recently by a new user which all amount to the same problem of differentiating the rules from the fiction. (Does a shield protect the PC, even if it's not hit?, Should I tell the players the exact stats of monsters they fight?, Are HP part of the fiction, or part of the meta?)

I can't help but feel like these questions are mostly theoretical rather than practical problems and will attract very similar if not the same answers to only superficially different questions.

How should this be handled, does it even need handling at all?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not the same, but related: Non-duplicate question with answer in another question \$\endgroup\$ – Mourdos Oct 7 '14 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Mourdos I did notice that, but it didn't really answer my question. \$\endgroup\$ – Aiken Oct 7 '14 at 10:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think an number of principles apply though. We are a site based around questions, not a site based around answers. It can be a very fine distinction. \$\endgroup\$ – Mourdos Oct 7 '14 at 10:49
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A major part of how Stack Exchange derives traffic is from people searching for questions finding us via a search engine. In addition, the site is about answering questions and getting those answers. How does a person who is looking for something to do with shields know that their answer is in a question about showing the exact stats of a monster? Would we even show up in the search results?

The question that you should ask is 'Is this a duplicate?'
As BESW commented: If the answers to two different questions are identical, then the questions should be examined closely to see if their not-duplicate-ness is purely superficial.

If they are not duplicates then answer their question, citing the old answer if you want. We don't have a close reason for 'Answered by another question' and we shouldn't.

Specifics:
As for the situation where this is one user whose questions are based on not getting the difference between the narrative and the mechanics, try emphasising those points in the answer. If he has been confused by it, chances are others might be as well, now or in the future.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is true, if the answers to two different questions are identical, then the questions should be examined closely to see if their not-duplicate-ness is purely superficial. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 7 '14 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, I'll include that to keep it visible. \$\endgroup\$ – Mourdos Oct 7 '14 at 10:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. It's a common criterion when evaluating duplicates (though not by itself sufficient), and shouldn't be discounted. \$\endgroup\$ – BESW Oct 7 '14 at 10:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ We had this exact problem a couple of weeks ago, where a question was marked as a duplicate because the answer was buried in the middle of a paragraph on the third answer of another question. I think you summed up how they should be evaluated pretty well. Might be worth linking to that other question as an example case. \$\endgroup\$ – Tridus Oct 9 '14 at 11:47

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