So, there is an user that is posting a series of questions that seems to be bent on creating some Rudeberg machine out of unseen servants, alarms and a familiar.

The questions:

Not only the point of the questions is hard to understand but also they seem to be just cogs in some bigger plot. To me it seems like a XY issue: they are asking about the viability of parts of his implementation, instead of disclosing what they really want to do.

It seems it is not only me that share this opinion:

You've asked a string of questions that amount to asking how you can kitbash a Turing machine out of D&D spells. However, this looks like a classic case of the XY Problem: asking for help with X while failing to disclose what actual problem Y you're trying to solve with all this Rube Goldbergery. This is a dysfunctional approach for RPG.se questions. I urge you to carefully consider your end goal and ask about solving that instead of whether further spell-programming ideas work. – SevenSidedDie♦ yesterday

They insistently comment on the answers and in the questions trying to push a point:

(Answer) (...) Alarm reacts to creatures; Unseen servant doesn't create a creature, so it can't trigger Alarm. Note that this has nothing to do with size.

(Comment) Oh. Dammit. Right. Creature. Forgot about that. But...... If an Unseen Servant is holding an insect, then maybe... - GaelL

(Comment) Unseen servants can't attack, they can't grapple tiny insects. @GaelL – Mindwin

(Comment) @Mindwin Including unconscious ones ? – Gael L

(Comment) @GaelL you are going so far with this that you are losing sight of what is happening. So, your US finishes a task. Then you command it to move up to 15 feet and pick up a unconscious but living insect. Then you use ANOTHER command to make it move up to 15 foot and trigger the alarm. Just to let you know that it finished a task, and you just issued two commands after that. So I beseech you, what is the point in doing all this? – Mindwin

Finally, really seems there is a hidden goal behind all this automation shenanigans:

@Mindwin Ah, friend, do not be sorry for giving accurate information ! After all, the reason I'm verifying all of my ideas is that I want to challenge by possible bias. There are several things I thought possible ut that weren't, and knowing it enabled me to think of other feasible ways to achieve my goals. (...) source

Is there anything actionable here, or should we (I) just disengage and let it die down?


2 Answers 2


I see no reason to take extra moderation actions to guide him when his response to SevenSidedDie's clear rebuke was:

Sorry for that. I'm a bit of a goof-head sometimes (but I have other qualities). Next time I have a goal in mind, I'll ask for the goal itself instead of each step separately. I'll make further efforts to respect how the website works. Good day !

Especially given that the user has stopped creating sub-questions.

(And by "extra" moderation, I mean over and above what's already happening around those questions.)


If you believe his Q's suffer from the XY problem, you are free to downvote (if it warrants it), VTC (if it warrants it), or flag (if it warrants it).

As SSD did, you could have engaged him in the comments by pointing out what he was doing. Rather, you engaged him by answering his follow-up Q's in the comments, which encourages his behavior to keep doing what he's doing, since he was getting the results he was looking for.

Finally, unless you have gotten into an argument with him, there is no need to disengage. There was an actionable thing (pointing out what he was doing), but it was already done.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ +1 if you don't approve, stop answering. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 7, 2017 at 18:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .