Regarding: Steal the Gold: Wait, does it even exist, what is it?

I am sure this is common, but a post I made that started off as a rant/opinion generator, revealed a deeper question I wanted answered, however, it took some time to elicit this, so a lot of comments back and forth. It seems there was interest in the question in each of its various forms. However, to an extent, I feel I had gotten some negative reviews based on assumptions from people who had read the original question (in fact one moderator mxyzplk♦ wrote something to the extent of "oh, good for you, getting revenge for your previous question.") That is probably not the case at this point though.

I am recently trying to ask a question regarding gold in roleplaying game, particularly the Dungeons and Dragons games. I was told that it was too broad in scope of editions of the game. However, I feel the only relevant piece of info is that gold adds abilities to your character sheet you can do in a combat round, so it applies to any edition.

Realizing the converse of that, I realize a question on any edition would actually answer my question on all editions, so I am willing to change it to 5e specific.

There are numerous out-dated comments that make it look worse than it is at this point.

Lastly, I actually have an answer to the question. I believe my answer demonstrates that the question can be answered. Sorry for jeopardy, but is it possible to ask, "what is the question that this answer answers?"

I am not sure what to do at this point, is it just locked for too many comments, or did a moderator lock it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


This is a place to ask a question, not have a discussion.

Over the course of 37 edits (not all yours, but even so), you fundamentally transformed your question several times. Even this meta question's gone through 5 edits.

While a certain amount of refining a question is good, this goes way beyond refining to just pure mutation. No one can answer in a way that's going to be valid for more than 15 minutes. Complaining people are "still focused" on some previous version of a question when it gets changed under them 37 times is... in poor taste.

I'm not going to belabor every single thing wrong with every single version of your post, you can go through the comment history and see them. But what you need to do is stop and compose a question first, and then ask it. If you need to fundamentally change the question, especially after there's answers, you need to ask a new question. But don't do that 10 times either. You consume work and good will from the community every time you thrash and require others to comment, edit, change their answer, get mods involved, etc.

If you need this amount of back and forth and interactivity, you should be using a forum. If you can order your thoughts and ask a clear, well-scoped on topic question that's fine. But it's not reasonable for it to require this amount of community intervention to get it to that place. It's valid to want to gripe about another player stealing loot; do that on reddit. It's valid to want to write an Alexandrian-style screed about dissociated mechanics and gold; do that on a blog.

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    \$\begingroup\$ When I look at samplings of the highly-voted questions on this site, there are endless "moved to chat" and the ends of questions and answers. This question seemed to attract an unusual amount of attention because of the meta-matter of gold in games. It would have been left as a duplicate, then people start saying, "change this and ill vote to re-open," "change this, almost there," "OK it's there!" <locked by sevensideddie>. People choose to participate, everyone could have done something else, it was closed you could have ignored it and moved on. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 3:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ἄρτεμις The question didn't attract unusual attention because of your meta-gold ideas. The question attracted unusual attention because a) it was unfocused and complex, full of assumptions and assertions that rightly belong in answers, not questions, b) it kept changing, c) the question/comments devolved into trying to convince people to accept the question's assumptions and ideas. That sort of situation will encourage people to start trying to help fix the question, but also tends to prevent that help from being effective, drawing it out into a long, fruitless process. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 7:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ May want to link to “What to do when someone answers” - Don't be a chameleon, don't be a vandal on MSO or another post discussing chameleon questions and why they are bad (like Exit strategies for “chameleon questions” on MSE) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 21:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Unwittingly, your comment solved my meta. The first comment I made on this post was asking if it was a duplicate, and it was. To bad I can't mark your comment as the answer! BTW, those people over there seem really nice! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 4:45

Lack of focus is a core problem with the question.

Since you never focused on one edition, and did not clearly elucidate what problem you were trying to solve (per my next to last comment), the question never got itself scoped clearly enough to get an answer because the question cum rant was not focused enough for this format. Dale M tried valiantly to answer part of your question early on, but due to the various efforts to edit the question that answer may or may not be what you are looking for. (I think he came close, but apparently you don't). You made a series of assertions in various edits to the question that were quite frankly wrong. (For example, your assumption/assertion that it didn't matter across editions. That is factually wrong).

Comments to support this response include but are not limited to the following:

  • This cannot be answered for all editions of D&D — the mechanical role of gold is extremely different in each major edition. This does have to be limited to one edition. – SevenSidedDie♦
  • What problem are you actually trying to solve? Answer me that so that I can either help the edit, consider a vote to reopen, or at least try to understand better. There is a difference between editions, and I am not sure you have played enough editions to understand that. Pick an edition and roll with it, otherwise this question contradicts itself. For example, in OD&D, 1 GP = 1 XP. Not so in some other editions. – KorvinStarmast
  • Have you seen the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean?" Gold is like XP or its not. PS. false dichotomy. You presume a step function, an on/off differential that is not necessarily so. – KorvinStarmast

I asked that about Pirates of the Caribbean since in all editions of D&D, to a lesser or greater extent, rules are guidelines that govern a considerable amount of the game outside of the combat mechanics.

As to your jab at my comment regarding the false dichotomy, you did just that. "Gold is like XP or it is not." It is not a strict either or relationship. Each has its own role in the game as a whole. Your attempt to set up a false dichotomy is simply bad reasoning.

I applaud your arriving at the recommended approach of limiting the question to simply one edition of the game. 5e is fine. Suggest that you once again edit the question to get rid of false assumptions and ask only about one edition.

It's OK to try to eat an elephant, but at RPG.SE we have to eat it one slice at a time. That's how this format works.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have seen the movie, but it is not clear what you mean to me. Regarding the dichotomy, that is what I am talking about. Your quote is not in the question currently. I say "Where exactly is the delineation from mechanic and in-game economy?" Which implies a sliding scale... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 2:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Per my deleted comment: It's that whole thing about pirate rules. Rules versus Guidelines. This is a TTRPG, not a set of computer code. D&D and particularly this edition spends some time in explaining the importance of rulings over rules, which was also true in OD&D, 1e, and 2e. You seem to be demanding of the gold's role in the game based on a combat mechanic type rule. That isn't how it fits. It also isn't identical to XP. I really wanted to help you with this question but was unable to keep up with all of the edits due to RL time constraints. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 2:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ And if I tell you 'there isn't an exact delineation' (because that's the fact) then what? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 2:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ Eeck, that could be an answer to the question, given a couple of examples. Regarding your second comment, I could estimate where the delineation lies based on the answers, to be more fair to my players when a Ruling must be made. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 2:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ἄρτεμις I'll look at it again in the morning and see if a fresh face/brain can be of more help. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 4:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I have re-read Dales' answer and it is a good answer indeed, but still missing something: I think the "largely irrelevant" might be overstated. What tripped me up was the last sentence or two, which I took personally, which I now see doesn't need to be taken that way at all--but may have vestiges from the initial question. The answer adds knowledge and good-subjective. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 4:12

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