D&D 3.5e and Pathfinder are somewhat-special among the systems we run into in that their mechanics are spread across many texts, as opposed to being defined in one place. Of course, SRDs help with this, but are somewhat-necessarily limited in what they cover; people who are new to 3.5e and/or Pathfinder, though, may not appreciate this all that well.

Practically speaking, this means that "read the book to me" turns into "read which book to me, again?" as the answer may not be in the PHB or even the SRD, but in some splatbook a novice player may never have heard of...so what should we do with questions where the answer at first appears to be simply "read the PHB/SRD/DMG" but, upon a second look, isn't?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, omitted that in my haste, fixed, thx :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Feb 7, 2015 at 6:10
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ What main-site event(s) prompted you to ask this? Can you please roll them into your question? \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Feb 7, 2015 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW The question in question: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/56413/… \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2015 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


The problem with "read the book to me" questions is not that they are off-topic, because they are on-topic. That is not the issue with them at all. The issue with "read the book to me" questions is that they lack any indication of research effort. That makes them poor, incomplete questions that are hard to answer, which we're encouraged to downvote. A good question about this kind of thing will indicate why reading the books does not solve the problem — perhaps, because which book to read is unclear. It can be that simple, but we're not mind readers.

Including everything relevant to a question makes it a better, more answerable question. That includes research effort and in what ways the research wasn't fruitful.


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