In this question about the distribution of saving throws for spells, the question was closed as "too broad."

What is too broad about this question? How should it be workshopped to be re-opened?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I am a bit frustrated since I saw a thread on this at GiTP and cannot for the life of me get the search feature of that forum to get me to the post that had a beautiful analysis of which saves were most, to least, common in descending order. There is an answer out there, about a year old, but I can't find it \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2017 at 0:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Even that hint, that the answer exists and someone out there has already answered it before, I think is very valuable in answering the linked question. \$\endgroup\$
    – user27327
    Apr 20, 2017 at 4:05

3 Answers 3


Well, I always thought a balance question would not be considered too broad. As someone pointed out in the comments, all classes have

one of Dex, Con, and Wis and one of the remaining three

but we can still see that Constitution falls slightly behind. As the answerer said, however, this gets balanced by other saving throws, like poison, which balances things out.

The answerer provides a (paid?) source which I didn't even know about, so I'm guessing not all players in the community have access to such (official) information.

While Miniman points out that

The asker wants someone to go through books with a fine comb, cataloguing abilities. Notably, there's no expertise involved here.

Aren't most rules questions similar to this? I've asked about movement speeds, and answered about comparisons of spells on highly voted questions. It is my opinion that many questions out there could could be answered by just fine combing the books, but as not everyone have all the resources available out there, then we group this information here in short segmented questions.

Anyway, I'm honestly not sure how to improve the question. The help center shows it as on-topic, and not undesired:

  • You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face.
  • Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.
  • avoid asking subjective questions

Maybe the help center should have a note on avoiding list-based questions, or questions that, despite having short answers, require a thorough analysis of a large amount of information. So basically,

Avoid questions whose answers rely on statistics that require a thorough analysis of a large portion of the rules

As a final note, if a question is VTC or downvoted by whatever reason, usually comments show how it can be edited and improved (e.g., split into 2 questions or something). In this case, how could it be improved?

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    \$\begingroup\$ D&D Beyond is eventually going to be a paid service much like the 4e character builder was, but it's currently in open beta and free. \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Apr 15, 2017 at 17:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ The parts of D&D Beyond that are currently available will still be free when they go to a paid model, however it only includes things that are already free (the Basic Rules and the SRD) \$\endgroup\$
    – diego
    Apr 15, 2017 at 19:26

[largely-reproducing my comments on the question itself]

It is not too broad.

At most, it generates discussion of saves across six attributes. Even if one took OP at their fullest and did an analysis of monsters' spells, that would only add a paragraph or two describing that result.

It's just not a good question.

It's worse than a read the book to me question, it's "read all the books for me." Since the downvote-tooltip includes "lack of research effort," go ahead and downvote it. OP knows exactly what would be required to answer all the questions, and there's zero expertise required, plenty of effort required.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As I noted above, this analysis has been done, I just can't find the post on GiTP. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2017 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Heck, I've got a spreadsheet I've built of spells with a lot of metadata which probably answers the question. I just haven't taken the ten minutes to pull it out and write it up. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Apr 20, 2017 at 3:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ To quote Judge Smails ... "well, we're waiting!" 8^D \$\endgroup\$ Apr 20, 2017 at 3:13

This is a very specific type of question. The asker wants someone to go through books with a fine comb, cataloguing abilities. Notably, there's no expertise involved here. Just a bunch of work that the OP doesn't want to do, and is hoping someone else will do for them.

Perhaps more importantly, it's not a type of question we see a whole lot of. And normally, when we see them, they're in the form of a list question. For example, the 2 questions mentioned in this meta.

So what does all this have to do with it being closed? Well, when users see a question that they think has problems, they tend to either downvote, close vote, or both. In this case, the resemblance to a list question has, I think, influenced people towards voting to close.

In a more general sense, this isn't a type of question we see a lot of, and while I might be wrong (someone please tell me if I am), I don't think we have an established policy towards them. So some users, myself included, aren't going to be sure what to do here, and one of the obvious reactions to a problematic question is the VTC.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I quite disagree with your approach though. Why not favorite the questions and, if they turn out as problematic (long discussions, amassing downvoters, etc), flag it? A question should not be closed simply because it's a rare type, imho \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Apr 15, 2017 at 10:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Lots of work required" is not, however, a close reason, neither is "requires people to go through and study and collate the material." Those are requirements that might deter answering, but they don't make the question inherently a problem for the site. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2017 at 13:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 I don't think this is an approach though. It looks like an analysis of what happened. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 15, 2017 at 18:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Yep, exactly. I'm not recommending anything, just trying to explain what I think happened here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Apr 16, 2017 at 0:03

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