I posted an answer to How to balance/time a campaign where a player character is the final boss?. It was deemed off-topic by the mods and users decided to down-vote it, according to the comments because the question was unclear (which in their opinion makes for an unclear answer, regardless of actual content of the answer).

I don't agree with the opinion that you need a clear question to frame-challenge it's very clear premise, but ok. Enough people thought that a frame challenge is off-topic. To quote a mod:

Notably, this answer is not on topic to the question now that it's been clarified.

So I came back and lo and behold, guess what has made the top-voted answer, with no comments on how off-topic it is? Yes, the very same frame-challenge I posted 5 hours earlier. Basically, an answer that says "I did what you ask, RPGs are not made for this, don't do it".

Is it better formatted? Sure. Is it better written? Maybe. Does it have an extra section on mitigation? Sure. But I guess in the 5 hours in between both answers, the same basic frame-challenge content suddenly is on-topic.

There even is an answer that seems to have no experience at all. None. And it does not seem to have gathered significantly more down-votes or "off-topic" comments than all the answers from experience.

So what happened here? Can anyone explain the voting behavior to me? Why is the same frame-challenge to the same question suddenly on-topic 5 hours later?


2 Answers 2


My guess would be temporal shenanigans. The original question that you answered is very different in tone and formatting and details than the one that stands currently. So there's a lot of disconnect between your answer and the current version of the question.

Because you answered it while it was still in "this is my idea; any opinions?" state, your answer doesn't address a lot of the details in the current question. It also doesn't actually answer the question, because even if you frame challenge, you should still answer the actual question. Your answer does not do this, mostly because all the relevant parts hadn't been written at the time you answered. They were added later, in an attempt to make the question on topic.

The new, higher voted answer does answer the original question. It starts off with "you shouldn't do this" (since it's a frame challenge) but it follows up with "but if you really want to..." in order to provide an answer in case the user wants to try it anyway.

I think if you update your answer to go over the details in the new question and give ways to accomplish it properly, it'll also be up-voted. (Although, at this point, you'd be better off leaving it deleted and making a new one I guess)


Three factors I can see:

  1. You answered while it was an unclear question, which drew some of the downvotes (as explained in the comments on your deleted answer). Many people downvote answers on clearly OT questions.

  2. You deleted your answer and never undeleted it, so it didn't get upvotes once the question was reopened.

  3. I downvoted the new similar answer too, as IMO 'don't do that' is a simplistic and non-game-style-respecting frame challenge on this question, so my voting isn't inconsistent :-) The new answer has some "well but if you do" advice which makes it a better frame challenge, and it clearly cites experience as well. Hmm, maybe I should remove my downvote. I still don't like the way it's stated as "don't do this" instead of "the pvp feel isn't for everyone," however, so will let it stand.


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