"These questions", asked by different people, are Can sub-races breed and produce half-subraces? and Which are races, and which are species?, closed as "opinion based" and "unclear what you're asking".

Honestly, I have no idea, how can it be "unclear".

In every particular setting there are finite number of species (which are traditionally called "races"). Some of them can naturally interbreed, others can not. In the end of the day, the questions are:

  • What species are able to create hybrid offspring?
  • Would be that offspring infertile?

I agree that you can ask this only in context of a particular setting. If the setting wasn't explicitly specified though, the question can be answered like "this setting has various interbreeds, and this one has only half-orcs and half-elves". So these questions are answerable.

However, the only related question that wasn't closed was How could I play a Half-Dwarf Half-Elf?, and the answer was "use the 'Creating a Race' chapter of DMG, page 285", so it actually didn't answer were there dwarf-elf hybrids in the world or not.

Racial traits are base properties of a setting. If you play, let's say, a faerunian setting, you can't just "make up" such important details. There are different species. Some of them are intelligent, others are not. Some of them can interbreed, others can not. There are official sources, describing how are the things going in the world, for this particular setting. I don't understand how can it be "opinion based".

Answers can vary between editions, I thought, so I've asked What D&D editions describe any hybrids of non-human races? This one was closed as "too broad".

How can we improve these questions to make them answerable? Or would it be better to ask another one?

  • \$\begingroup\$ One more datum to (possibly) consider, from the author of your second example: I quickly came to agree that it isn't a good question. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Jul 14, 2017 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast edited, thank you \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 that's why I'm asking "how to improve it" \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 14, 2017 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Often when people work on "saving" a question they wind up replacing it with a totally different one that's just thematically similar. That's a bit like if an emergency room surgeon just shot his patient, threw the corpse away, got another perfectly healthy person to lie down in the same bed, then declared "ta-da! He's cured!". At that point all that's really saved is the question ID; the question itself was disposed of. Be mindful that if whilst improving the question you find you're just replacing it wholesale, you might as well just ask a new question at that point, which is fine. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2017 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener what is your suggestion, related to these two questions? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 15, 2017 at 18:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the setting isn't specified in the question, the question is unanswerable: GMs can just make up homebrew settings, and even the number of published D&D settings is so great that no-one is an expert on them all. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Jul 28, 2017 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


Detail the problem and request a family-friendly solution

To salvage such questions, they should include a description of the problem that needs solving. Idle curiosity is fine to a point, but when it's idle curiosity about breeding, folks' buttons get pushed, especially if indulging that curiosity requires an answer that delves into topics unsuitable for nonadults.

  • In the case of this question, comments encouraged the asker to edit into the question the problem that needs solving. At the time of this answer, the asker hasn't.
  • On the other hand, this question demands research across multiple editions of so as to compile breeding information, but how that information will be used remains a mystery. At the time of this answer, there's no problem except that the asker doesn't have the information.

Both questions would benefit from a description of the problem, starting with explaining how the question applies to a campaign the asker's involved in or planning.

Also, I've asked a breeding question myself and emphasized that answers be kept family-friendly, and that's not because I'm a prude or anything but because I want answers to take the question seriously. Such an inclusion in any breeding question is probably a good idea if only so the asker isn't perceived as possessing unusual predilections (not that there's anything wrong with that—this is the Internet, after all).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it wrong intent to make your campaign in the faerunian setting, not faerun-ish? Why do we need a particular problem in order to clarify base setting features, like species? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 14, 2017 at 17:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor I'm not sure how I implied that at all, but of course it's not wrong to do whatever you want in your own campaign! I also doubt anyone has an issue with a question about changing Faerûnian ecology. However, questions about sex—and that is what all 3 questions linked to in this answer are about—must clear a higher bar due to their very nature. That's not my judgment, by the way, but my experience with the site. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 14, 2017 at 17:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor That's the first time Faerûn has been mentioned in connection with any of these questions. Do you see how that just highlights that there is information missing about the goal/problem? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 15, 2017 at 2:52

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