There has been renewed interest in my D&D 5e question Can a spell be prepared once and cast multiple times?, which has been marked as a potential duplicate of How does wizard & cleric spell preparation and casting work?.

They do have similar names, but I don't feel that it is a duplicate because the other question is extremely broad, talking about all aspects of spell preparation. In fact, the accepted answer only has two sentences a third of the way into the response that refer to my question about if a spell can be prepared once and cast multiple times. (Or to use another metric, 52 words in a 922 word response).

If someone came to the site wanting to know the answer to the same question as I asked, that's a lot of text they'd have to wade through to get to that answer.

There was a similar situation in Non-duplicate question with answer in another question where a question was marked as duplicate and the OP thought that the duplicate question was too broad, and others agreed. I think that situation was a bit more cut and dry than this one though.

Is a question really a duplicate if the other question is so broad that the answer is such a small fraction of it?


1 Answer 1


I agree that it shouldn't be closed as a duplicate. The purpose of marking duplicate questions is, as you've mentioned, to make it easier to find the answer to a question. This particular attempt doesn't succeed at that.

Yes, it's possible to discover the answer to the new question through a careful reading of the older one, but that's like saying it's possible to find an answer to the new question by searching on google, or by re-reading the rulebook again with an open mind and no assumptions. The purpose of the SE format is to answer readers' questions efficiently and easily, without their having to wade through noise to get at the signal; Saying "The answer is somewhere on this other page about a different topic" is not conducive to that.

(Also, I think the older question was too broad to begin with, and that if it were to be asked today it would be closed.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, the older question was subsequently closed as too broad. Great mods think alike. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 1:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Over on SO, it's common to see similar questions that come at things from a different angle. this and this have similar answers, even though they're different questions. I included links to other answers in my answer (with a mention of why I was linking it), rather than flagging the questions as a duplicate of each other or another question about memory consistency. ("deep" topic for an example, sry, but there are many Qs) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 6:36

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