A user recently flagged How to represent an "Abhorsien," "Speaker for the Dead," or "Shepherd of Souls" type of theme? Their flag comment was "should probably be historically locked." At first glance that last line makes it look suspiciously like a discussion prompt....

On closer read, though, it looks pretty firmly like a Type I charop question with a bit of polite-but-now-widely-regarded-as-unnecessary fluff for a last line. However, I don't know the system at all, so I'm reluctant to make the call either way without some experts' recommendation(s).

Please, if you care to, make an argument below for whether this question is on- or off-topic. Further, if off-topic: is an historical lock really appropriate, or should it just be closed?


3 Answers 3


Questions asking for appropriate ways to capture the concept of a character aren’t just on topic, they’re a major subject for the site and literally a large part of the point of the site. It isn’t purely objective, clearly, but it’s very much something that we can have expertise in and use our expertise to judge others’ answers on.


Realize that the type 1 you link to was written 5 years ago, when "too localized" was a close reason and attitudes back then were even more restrictive compared to current SE standards. Nothing has changed to make that type of question off topic now, so the use of historical lock not appropriate. Historical locks are for questions that are of good quality, but no longer reflect the current on-topicness of the community.

As the historical lock meta states, these locks should also be reserved for contentious posts. Is the question receiving many up and down votes continuously? Are people constantly VTC or flagging it? A bunch of useless comments from non-new people? No? Then leave it alone. It doesn't merit being historically locked. A single flag should not result in a historical lock.

As for the last sentence, you can edit the fluff out and be done with it. 



  • the question cannot have a "correct" answer

  • the author answered it himself

  • with his own Homebrew

I fail to see how it fits this website, and how it can be of use to any visitor. It would be more appropriate for the author's blog, and should be closed here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ My reading of this is your second bullet point ("the author answered it himself") is independently condemning the question in some way, but answering your own question is OK and even encouraged. Whether that is or isn't what you meant, you might want to revise. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 9:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener The way I see it, a question about character creation is borderline, but acceptable in some situations. A question answered by the author is borderline, but acceptable in some situations. Answering a question by using homemade untested material is borderline, but acceptable in some situations. But all three in the same question? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 5:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's what I mean though - answering your own question isn't borderline. It's officially acceptable, fine, and encouraged where appropriate. In fact, what happened in this question is excellent and something we like to see happen: KRyan asked his question and got someone's answer, went off to look into the matter further, settled on a further solution and came back to share that solution with us in an answer to their own question. That's good! Officially in all ways it's not borderline. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I believe answering your own questions is encouraged when it is useful for future users & when there is one unique answer - the original article is focused on very technical questions. On a question that is already very opinion-based, it feels pointless. The point is that if tomorrow a new user asks "How do I make my character feel like a Super Sayan in DD5?" and a couple days later posts his own absolutely broken Homebrew and accepts it as the "right" answer, ignoring all other answers, there is nothing we can say,as he is just following the example displayed by this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 19:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's a post quality issue. "They answered their own question" is not a problem. "They accepted an answer I personally disagree with them accepting" is also not a problem; askers are free to accept any answer at all, including the worst one or their own (it's why nobody has any control to re-assign the checkmark, not even me). Yes, we would officially prefer that person answer their own question and they can do whatever they like with the checkmark. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ This stuff is why I am suggesting you revise: "the author answered it himself" is not, itself, an issue in any form; by official policy it is a non-issue. If it is an issue, it because of other factors that are themselves an issue. Is the homebrew not properly tested or somehow not meeting our quality expectations? Cover that part instead. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2017 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener By official policy, self-answered questions are not an issue on SE. But on the other hand, by official policy broad questions with a clear answer are also not accepted on SE. By accepting this kind of character creation questions on RPG-SE, we have to accept that not all SE policies will apply the same way. As you say, this is a post-quality issue, and this is the main point of the above answer: this question/blog-post has three of the big "bad quality" indicators, and I'm 100% convinced it would have been closed if done by a new user. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 3:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ As such, I simply think it is a terrible question/answer due to the combination of those three points, and should be closed/removed/transferred. If everybody disagrees I don't mind the downvotes, I just think it is an important point to make (especially considering the only other answer is made again by the originally concerned author/answerer) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 3:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cristol.GdM Two answers. One by KRyan, one by Brian. Brian's has 8 votes. My only recommendation on the question would be some editorial trimming, but as there's been an accepted answer and another answer with some interest I am not sure that's a value added area of effort. What is the purpose is in locking the question? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 20:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ how it can be of use to any visitor. Good thing they got rid of too localized as a close reason. Just because you don't see any use in it doesn't mean others won't. Even if it's just one person. \$\endgroup\$
    – cde
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 4:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast I meant here, sorry. The only other answer is made by the person who did the original question/answer, so there are some objectivity concerns. As for the purpose of locking it, my main concern is that it gives a bad example to new users of what a good/valuable question is. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 7:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cristol.GdM OK, thanks, I can see that view. Norms seem so shift a bit over time. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 11:11

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