The question that triggered this for me was: is there a class/achetype/pestige class/feat that can absorb the lifeforce of its ennemy to fuel it's power ?

Sometimes a querent wants to know how to do X thing in Y system. That's usually fine; there's often not more than three or four ways to do a single thing in even 3.X-level-complicated systems. Sometimes, though, there are a LOT of ways to do something, and without more direction as to what makes one way better than another for the querent, it seems like the question could be Too Broad.

It's often not possible for a querent to realize how broad what they are asking about is, though, without the same knowledge they'd need to answer their own question. For example, there are a LOT of ways to get past a door in 3.x (though not so many that asking how to do so would actually be Too Broad, I think), and it's unreasonable to expect a querent to necessarily realize that. Even if we scope down to just beating a door open via violence, there're still two entirely decoupled ways to handle that mechanically.

How broad is Too Broad with questions like these, and how should we handle them when they show up?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ While this isn't a duplicate of rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1475/… , the two questions definitely have something in common. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Nov 8, 2017 at 9:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @GMJoe The linked one looks to be at the meta level of RPG's (and it was back when game recs were legal) not the in-game level thedarkwanderer is asking about. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 8, 2017 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think, it all depends on how much are you ready to write. Someone might be eager to write a 999-pages mini-handbook on something, while someone else might consider listing 9 classes to be too much content to cover. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2017 at 14:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ We have a hard limit of 30,000 characters to a post, so if someone's going to write more than ~10 pages they're not going to be doing it here. :) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2017 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelspooker Then this is that hard limit of "too broadness". If something requires a text of such a size or bigger, it is too broad, if it can be answered with less amount of chars/pages, it is more or less OK. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2017 at 11:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy That strikes me as a sufficient but not necessary condition for something to be judged too broad. If it requires more than 30,000 characters it's definitely too broad, but something that requires fewer to answer can still be too broad. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2017 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


I think we should explain in comments how broad the question is and give the person that asks the question a certain amount of time to edit their question. For example i just asked a question regarding how to run a game for a single player and after being told it was too broad in the comments i decided to reword the question.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ what do you mean by give them time? Don't they have an unlimited amount of time to do that? I think abandonment deletion of closed questions only takes place after like a year or something. Besides, I don't think we have control over the abandoned question deletion algorithm, but I could be wrong. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2017 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer We have no control over that algorithm that I know of, so that's correct. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2017 at 0:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer If I understand Maiko correctly, I think "time" in this context means "explain to them in a comment, wait for... a hour? Something like that... then cast the vote if nothing has changed." I sometimes find that questions of mine (which sometimes genuinely deserve such votes) are not explained; it's just an anonymous vote with no feedback on why or what I can do to improve, that annoys me enough that I agree with the idea that the feedback should occur before, or at least at the same time as, the vote (which is, without an explanation, otherwise just a punishment). \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Nov 13, 2017 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS You mean downvotes? I'm not sure downvoting these sorts of questions is necessarily warranted anyways. People are free to vote how they want, but I don't see these sorts of questions as inherently poor as a result of the querent; it's true that the breadth often seems easy to discover with a google search (lacks research is a good downvote reason), but I suspect they just seem that way because we already know the right search terms/subject matter in general. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2017 at 22:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I'm wondering, like, after I vote to close how can I explain what the querent needs to do to make the question not too broad without comment answering? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13, 2017 at 22:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I didn't mean downvotes, I was referring to the "vote to close" votes. I agree with your question, that we should do more than simply vote (to close) and leave it. In fact there was an example yesterday; rpg.stackexchange.com/q/109893/35259, I eventually put a reply encouraging the new user to expand on their question, and my the time I committed my comment, it had already been voted to be closed with no comments explaining why. I think this is particularly bad for a new user, since they may not be aware of why their question is closed and are likely to simply give up. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Nov 14, 2017 at 8:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Well, we definitely want to close questions as fast as possible when they should be closed; there shouldn't be any waiting on that. Definitely it's good to explain why, though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14, 2017 at 22:00

We should each make our own decision about if its too broad or not and vote accordingly. Viva democracy.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Democracy works best when the voters are well-informed, and fluent in the discussion of the principles at hand. The purpose of this question is to discuss where the line between too broad and not too broad stands and why, so that we can then apply the results of said discussion to our votes so that they are cast appropriately, rather than merely in accordance with individual whimsy. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2017 at 10:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ The democracy of the USA notwithstanding? Anyway, I disagree, voters who wish to seek information can do so and I am happy for you to do so - I will continue to rely on my gut. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is to say, I am really uncomfortable with the idea that people should have guidelines on how to vote \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:33
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Guidelines can help people figure out how we can best handle a situation. This meta question is asking not just how to handle voting (to which "just use your gut" is a valid response) but for guidance in handling the situation in general, to which "just do whatever" without further explanation is usually not a helpful response. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2017 at 11:31
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ If I read between the lines, I think this is saying that there just isn't a problem. If so, that could be said and supported in text rather than subtext. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 9, 2017 at 16:09

You must log in to answer this question.

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