Okay, I have found your Meta site and as directed am writing directly to you concerning the question you put on hold.

I am VERY displeased with your interference with my question and seem to think you just have some personal issue with me and completely unbeknownst to me. You said we could talk here and then if not resolved I would be directed to your superiors.

I will let you know that I have read and re-read the Help section on asking questions and all of the other "Rules" for the site. I will contest that there was nothing wrong with my posting of my question and the body that included the points that reference WHY the question was asked. The research that I provided only reinforced the ambiguity of the mechanic. It in no way "answered" or was not valid towards the question...it in fact is the EXACT reason for the question.

I spent 3 hours formulating my question with exact details needed and spent another 30 minutes on the phone with an official Wizards of the Coast representative discussing the question which was confirmed by him as ambiguous and could very well be a topic to be directed towards the designers.

I will also contest that this is not a subjective question as it stands for now...someone out there may very well have a concise answer...but then again they may not...that is not for me to contemplate; I'm looking for a direct answer not a discussion (as per the site rules).

I can't even begin to find words for the amount of comments that woke up to this morning. I'm pretty sure that can't be appropriate for this site or proper behavior for a moderator to allow. You have now singled me out and created a nightmare of embarrassment for a new member...NOT COOL! Your hack job of an edit is absolutely absurd and completely destroys my original question...again not something your supposed to do I believe.

I am HIGHLY displeased and will probably follow up with your supervisors.

So I'll await your response.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Troll Bourne, I edited your question to include a link back to the original question (or what I think it to be). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 17:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi Troll Bourne, sorry if you feel embarrassed or bullied. Speaking as a regular site member: you're not being singled out, though I guess it could feel that personal if you just notice it happening to yourself. We're not trying to create a nightmare for you, nor do I think the moderators are trying to do that. The number of comments you received is relatively ordinary — if it looks otherwise it's because we delete them once they're resolved. We have some stuff to sort out with your question, but we're not trying to make it a bad time for you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ For those who are missing the context: Is a Bonus Action an Action? (edit: 10k+ only after sockpuppet account deletion) and Can a creature use its "free" interaction with an object during a bonus action? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Well folks, sorry for the furor. This account has been destroyed because it's a sockpuppet for a previously banned user, which explains how this "escalated so quickly." You're welcome to keep at it but there may not be a point to further engagement on this Q. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 15:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it was questionable action from a previously banned user; I feel it doesn't need to be engaged in or drawn out further and is best put to rest and moved past. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk That's a weird and sort of unfortunate surprise, but makes a lot of sense out of how things went this way so suddenly. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk through natural aging, will this automatically convert to [closed] then get deleted by dint of its downvotes? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 22:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe, not sure if meta is different. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 3:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk looks like site metas are different. (Also, the presence of the upvoted answers prevents roomba-ing, per this one.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 4:51

4 Answers 4


Just to add some information to help you understand what's going on.

RPG.SE and the whole Stack Exchange network are a Question and Answer site. We have a decent amount of rules and processes in place to keep it that way. We are NOT a chat room or message board or a subreddit. We are a place where people go to get to information they need to solve their problems.

The core question, which it seems that Seven has edited the question down to, seems to be a good, legitimate question. If you want to post an answer to your own question, have at it, that's perfectly fine on this site. However, when a question is worded poorly the community's job is to make it work better so that future readers can get at the solution.

We close questions to prevent others from saying "Well this question was allowed." We have to enforce certain rules on the site, or risk it being over ran by garbage questions and driving away the experts. If you are unwilling to use the system as it's laid out before you, then RPG.SE and the Stack Exchange network might not be suited for you.

Also, a question being closed isn't a death sentence. It's a mark that the question wasn't up to snuff. You can edit the question and get it re-opened if the community thinks it's a a viable question.

I hope you find this informative. There is no personal attack here, we just have somewhat strict expectations for questions.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, questions are not solely for the benefit of the original asker, but are meant to serve as a resource for the community members at rpgs.se and anyone who searches for a similar question on the internet at large. All the mechanics of user edits for other users and flagging and putting questions on hold support this ultimate goal of creating a place with real questions and real answers. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. +1 for future readers. Questions aren't just for personal edification but for the benefit of all users of the site, which is why we try to keep the signal-to-noise ratio low. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you guys are responding to...because that has nothing to do with the issue. The issue is with Seven period. \$\endgroup\$
    – user33129
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TrollBourne They are responding to what they witnessed and engaged in. Whatever interaction you had privately with SSD was not in a vacuum--there were many other citizens interacting with your questions and comments and their perspective(s) are useful, too. Even if you feel they're not useful, they exist for posterity. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ He told me to go to Meta to resolve the issue...I took that to mean that he and I and only he and I would resolve this issue between us....everyone else commenting on an issue that is only between the two of us is doing nothing but escalate the issue. I was obviously misled when he told me we could chat this out here between the two of us. \$\endgroup\$
    – user33129
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 1:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no private messaging on SE for the purposes of transparency. All discussion is conducted in public, except for certain moderation activity, and even that is always visible to mods and CMs. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 2:46

No inappropriate moderation activity was conducted on you.

I'm sorry that your first experience on the site was confusing. You seem to have run up against several different issues, which have convinced you you're being "picked on by a mod" while in reality it's just a variety of community members and several mods working to curate questions, answers, and comments as usual. Let me explain to you what has transpired from the point of view of an experienced site member.

The Timeline

You had a couple initial questions go by fine.

Then you asked Can a creature use its "free" interaction with an object during a bonus action?.

You clearly had some investment in how the answer to this turned out. LegendaryDude answered it, you disagreed, and this led to a lengthy comment thread turned argument that drew flags. There were several flags from site users about wanting to edit in the example to the question but reluctance due to you showing hostility about doing so. You took exception to LegendaryDude's comments and sent us flags about them being hostile, both before and after he really tried to build bridges with you, e.g. " @TrollBourne Neither did I say your question is dumb nor imply it. I am genuinely trying to help you, and genuinely am not sure where the miscommunication has occurred. I sincerely hope you re-read what I have written in that light."

I then moved the comment thread on LD's answer to chat, as it was turning into lengthy back and forth which is not what comments are for on this site; see Why are site comments being deleted?.

You threw more flags about the comment deletion, and SSD provided a link to Meta you had trouble using. You self-posted an answer which wasn't well received and got downvoted. This led to another comment argument on that answer, which SSD deleted, as we do.

So far we're at 35 deleted comments and 8 flags on one question. This is unusual and draws additional attention from site power users and moderators.

Meanwhile you had answers on a couple other questions downvoted - Can the Portent ability of a Diviner Wizard negate a critical hit?, another I'm having trouble finding - and started posting complaining comments about the downvotes. You also started sending mod flags for a variety of reasons, including trying to PM us I guess and also complaining about other questions on the site that are perfectly on topic.

Then you asked your second question, which I have to admit I didn't find extremely coherent in its initial formulation either.


People tried to help via comments and suggested edits and the question was placed on hold, which is routine for questions that need some workshopping before people try to answer them. But then comments and edits escalated to arguments and flagging. That question is now up to 6 flags and 30 or so comments. Again, a big warning flag to site regulars.

Now we're at the point where you are refusing to take any guidance on how we like to conduct our Q&A here.

"Ladifas, Hey I Can Chan, Nitsua60, and friends...As I appreciate your input to instruct me in the ways of formulating a question, I am a college graduate and think I can word a question in exactly the manner that I would want it to be portrayed. "

"SevenSidedDie...I've got some major problems with you my friend and the next few comments are for you."

And so you've decided you're being "singled out." Your further commenting has come very close to our site "Be Nice" behavior guideline and from my viewpoint seems to be more like escalating and lashing out than "appreciating input."

So what to do?

First, take a moment to calm down. No one's out to get you. In fact, ironically, much of this is being caused by people trying to help you. They may not be trying to help you in the exact way you want, but that's frequently the price of getting help from others.

While you're welcome to write whatever question you want, it'll get closed if site members don't think it's a good question. Answers people don't agree with will get downvoted. Downvotes don't have to be explained. And too chatty comments or comment arguing will be deleted/put to chat, per that other linked meta post. That's just the way the site works. People suggest edits that you are free to accept or revert, but they're just trying to help you get your question reopened as clear and answerable within our site guidelines.

Something like a half dozen site users have tried to help you by trying to explain how to get your questions on track and why your answers got downvoted - commenting, editing, answering, etc. You've interpreted this as being dogpiled on while they intend it as help. You've also misinterpreted the collective editing, closing, flagging, and deleting action of SSD, me, and other site users as being "SSD singling you out." It's not. At most, it's site moderators reacting to an extremely unusual amount of flags and arguments, which is well within your power to quell.

If you don't understand why something is happening or why the site works a certain way, feel free to ask. We understand that this site is a lot more focused than reddit or forums or whatever and that can mean some behaviors seem unexpected here.

But getting wound up about it to the point of being disruptive and hostile isn't a good answer.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I will be talking to your supervisors as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – user33129
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your not going to glibly gloss over your part in it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user33129
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:21
  • 21
    \$\begingroup\$ If by "glibly gloss over" you mean "say what I did publicly here and explain why to you," sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:37

We have a help centre topic on what to do when we disagree with a question being put on hold: What if I disagree with the closure of a question? How can I reopen it?

Basically, the advice it gives can be summarised as “address the concerns brought up by the community, in an effort to change their minds about the hold/closure.”

The response to the community's concerns (less the mods' concerns) about the question appears to have been (paraphrasing) “the feedback is appreciated, but it's exactly how I want it phrased.” That's fine, but it does leave little room for any steps towards convincing fellow users to cast reopen votes. The response to mods' concerns about the question amounted to (paraphrasing) “I disagree with that assessment.” That's also fine, but it's not much more effective.

The experience of interacting with this account has mostly shown

  • Repeated statements of lack of ability, interest, and time to learn how the site works or how to even operate its interface
  • Insistence on knowing what is and isn't appropriate for the site better than its experienced users, despite the preceding lacks
  • Suggestions that sufficient D&D expertise should make up for any lack of understanding of the site or its rules or guidelines
  • A generally inflexible and argumentative approach to disagreements, small or large

To be fair, how the site works can be unintuitive. It tends to vary individually — some new users find it intuitive and get the hang of it very quickly, others find it highly unintuitive and find it takes much more effort to get the hang of it.

In sum, there is an apparently deliberate lack of effort or concern for doing any work to understand how to be a productive member of the site, which obviously hampers using it. This has resulted in the community attempting to compensate for that seeming lack of effort, with users and mods putting in significant effort to educate, negotiate, and otherwise find positive outcomes and get a new user successfully on board with how the site functions.

Addressing this appearance of deliberate neglect of the basics and details of having an account on this site would go a long way to positively integrating into the community. As a helpful side effect of working to gain understanding of how anything here works, it will be easier to work with other community members to get questions such as that one reopened.

You can reach the SE staff by using the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page on the site. This bypasses the elected moderators, contacting the staff Community Managers directly. For convenience, here's the link directly: Contact Us.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If it comes back and you need a reference at any time - I'd be happy to give my opinion on this. I read every comment/edit in question, and you are 100% right, not to mention your post here also being highly accurate. You were respectful (unlike the OP), gave clear answers and indicated how to improve. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Sh4d0wsPlyr No worries! The CMs have full access to existing and removed comments on the site, so they don't have to rely on secondary reports. Thanks though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 17:58

I debated tossing in my 2 cents on this, but I think they might be helpful given that I am relatively new to the site (about 3 months). In addition, I wished to build a little on SSD's answer that the way the site 'works' can be a little unintuitive.

For the record, I have little understanding of the moderator duties and things like that. I'm aware of up votes, down votes, close votes, etc. but with regards to 'knowing' exactly what constitutes a 'bad' question is a definitely a little more vague and will vary from user to user. I can say that a little trial and error on my part helped me to figure it out as well as getting called out once or twice for some mistakes that I made.

However, there is one thing that is consistent about whether something's a good question or a bad question and it's does the audience agree that it's a good question. Obviously, if you post something that gets 10 up votes, it's probably a good question. If something gets 10 upvotes and 10 downvotes, although this nets a score of 0, I would likely still say that it's a good question because apparently the answer isn't obvious to everyone so it may have been worth asking.

But, if you post something and it garners 10 down votes and no up votes, then it's probably a bad question and requires introspection on the asker to improve upon. And indeed they should rely upon comments to guide them towards improving their question. And this is the clutch on the whole thing; I didn't see any effort to improve your questions. I feel like you wanted to 'win' up votes by trying to find minutia in the rules that weren't really problems, but more like 'gotcha' questions. But in general, these aren't problems that come up around the table and that was what stood out to me when you couldn't provide an actual example of your problem. This told me that although you found some minutia in the rules that might be a contradiction, it wasn't a real problem.

In summary, I felt you you were looking for problems that didn't exist.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Check @mxyzplk's comment on the question from a little bit before your post... the whole debacle was some pretty petty trolling by a previously banned user. :( \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 17:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well that whole post was a waste of time. Ah well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 17:08
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical I don't think it a waste--I think a new(ish) user's impressions and experience are usually really useful to add into the mix, and think that holds in this case. As I said to the troll, this meta doesn't exist solely for him, it's for posterity and broader site communication/education. Thanks for taking the time! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 17:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude To be unwarrantedly fair to Troll Borne/Enchanted Hobbit, they seemed to be less petty trolling, and more just attempting to use the site for its intended purpose again despite their previous suspension, while continuing to not understand why their original approach to the site inevitably leads to trouble. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 18:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Indeed. Having stumbling upon this controversy a few months on as an outsider to RPG.SE, it definitely sounds like this user was primarily cranky they were unable to hijack the site's philosophy to fit their preferences. \$\endgroup\$
    – hBy2Py
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:35