When a comment that is definitely non-constructive offends me, but I am unsure whether it passes muster as patently offensive (i.e. offensive beyond a reasonable doubt), should I flag it as non-constructive or as offensive? (Or, in the new system, I guess, abusive v.s. 'no longer needed')

For example, I got the comment:

Not wishing to be dismissive, but both these versions have been replaced and substantially updated and revised by Fate Core. I would strongly recommend using that in stead of either of these.

On a question, recently, which I found kind of offensive because it seems to be thinking that my favorite system is 'obsolete' or something, and the question it's posted on (differences between 1e and 2e FATE) doesn't even have anything to do with that at all! It's like someone trying to add to every AD&D question on the site cause obviously no one should actually play that system. It's dismissive and offensive, but it's cause of ignorance and ethnocentrism, I think, rather than malice.

How should I flag such comments?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, basically. Ethnocentrism as in the family of statements where, due to believing that one's own cultural frame constitutes the entirety of possible human experience, one inadvertently disrespects another culture by speaking on it authoritatively from a place of ignorance. Or something like that. badwrongfun works, I guess. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 5:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ One thing the comment is missing to be constructive is a hint whether the new editions solve the current questions problem. If they do, it's a fine comment. If they don't, it's pretty much useless. \$\endgroup\$
    – nvoigt
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 11:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nvoigt The current question is "What are the differences between 1st and 2nd edition FATE?" \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 5:51

4 Answers 4


Based on your question on main this seems to be part of a pattern of responses you're seeing criticising your choice of game. It looks like you feel harassed and that's pretty understandable. RPG.SE has a firm goal of not facilitating edition wars or playstyle wars or wars about which games suck and which don't. Not having all the arguments you see in other RPG communities is part of why we have all the comment moderation we have here. (There's some truly exceptionally awful games in our hobby, but calling those out is something we'd do in chat or on meta when it's appropriate, constructive, and rule-abiding — it's not something to do on main site where people should be able to focus on just questions & answers for their games.)

Please flag them as No Longer Needed. That flag reason is also intended to cover stuff that isn't and has never been needed ever, like chatty stuff. If someone's being a huge jerk about it, flag it as Rude. If we dismiss the flag, please re-flag it with a custom reason and tell us it's bagging on your edition and should be deleted. (Ideally we shouldn't be dismissing it in the first place, but we're human and maybe we goofed and read something incorrectly.)

At some point any of the diamond mods might've been dismissing those flags thinking it was helpful messaging. (I'm not sure, I haven't seen one of those yet.) But at this point it looks like an issue us diamond moderators should be acting on.

You know that Stack rule we implement where comments are for requesting clarification or suggesting improvement? That helps make situations like this really black-and-white: it's neither of those things, so we'll remove it if anyone brings it to our attention and says it should be removed.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. "A suggestion you don't like" is not objectively offensive and I would decline an offensive flag against that comment, but would act on a not needed flag. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 0:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wow. I got an answer from every single mod D: There should be a badge for that! Anyways, I'll think on your various similar-but-slightly-different answers and hopefully I can go back to pretending like you are all one monolithic face sometime soon ;) I think it sounds like 'no longer needed' is the right choice here most of the time, but 'rude/abusive' could theoretically be the right choice if it's more like trolling/flame baiting and less like typical well-intentioned unhelpfulness. Thanks for the quick and extraordinarily thorough responses! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 5:57

For my part, edition warring here is something I take a dim view of — someone can blog or tweet about how edition X sucks and that's fine in their own space, but in a RPG community it's quickly toxic.

I would process either rude or no-longer-needed (NLN) flags, unless someone's being really nice about it. Safest is NLN for the variety of mods, but do flag as rude if someone is actively proselytising or crusading at you. We don't need that.


Just to throw a fourth answer in there, I might have flagged that as "not constructive," on the theory that it's a tiny stub of a badly-executed frame challenge in a comment, rather than in an answer post.

As it's not seeking clarification/improvement for the post to which it's attached, it's noise. That's Not Constructive.

If the commenter's point is that the other edition is somehow better for your stated purposes that could make for a good frame-challenging answer. Putting any sort of answer in a comment is harmful to the repository we're creating, and so is Not Constructive. (Destructive, in fact!)

As a side note, I'll throw out there that I am sure I've made mistakes in handling comment flags, in particular. The interface is a little nonintuitive, and I'm often unsure when my action causes you to get a "helpful" or "declined" notice. Sorry! Still learning, here =)


Offensive flags should be used for patently offensive. I don't intend to take the time to find out the rich history behind an offensive flag, if it's clearly offensive I'll uphold the flag but if it's not I'll decline it, because some people like to use offensive flags as part of a turf war with others and I don't think much of that. So offensive = patently offensive; if someone with no context read it they'd think "hey that person's throwing some shade there." If you find it personally offensive for (rich internal life of the mind reasons here) mark it as no longer needed, and I'll process that without comment.

Also - consider some people may be giving helpful suggestions and not "edition warring." There are a variety of philosophies of edition out there in RPGs. Editions of D&D are completely different games. Editions of Call of Cthulhu, 7e excepted, are pretty much the exact same game with new layout and art. Some games are editioned specifically to improve them. Like if someone's trying to play Silhouette v1 and is like "hey there's no weapon table and a skill is missing and and..." it's a helpful legitimate comment to say "they issued a Silhouette v2 that fixes all that." Smaller companies don't always spend infinite time playtesting or bother to put together official errata - they fix problems with a new edition.

The right answer to "what's the difference between SilCore 1 and 2" is indeed "1 is a worse version clearly proofread by cracked out primates." The best answer to "what damage should weapons do" is legitimately "the ones on the weapon table from SilCore 2." I don't know that's the answer to the difference between Fate 1 and 2 but if you're asking the question and prepared to be offended if the answers give you an answer you don't like - you need to chill out. Sometimes, an edition is just a reprint + errata, or with some new rulesystems bolted on, and is indeed a superset of the previous version.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is true, but not directly applicable. The right answer to "what's the difference between SilCore 1 and 1.5" (not that there is such a thing) isn't "Silcore 2 is better". Certainly, it could be true that Silcore 2 is better! But that's not even a valid frame challenge to an edition difference question. Thanks for the clarification on patently offensive v.s. I was offended for whatever reason. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 5:52

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