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I would like to ask a question about how well the 5e Unearthed Arcana rules regarding mass combat actually work in practice. The answer that I'm looking for would describe how playing with the UA mass combat rules fit a certain set of criteria (speed, player engagement, etc.), and would draw from personal experience using those rules.

Would this question be on topic? I feel like it would be similar to questions regarding variant rules (like this or this) and to questions asking whether specific homebrews are balanced (of which there are many). However, I could see it being marked as opinion-based or as a survey question, so I wanted to pre-emptively ask about its topicality here.

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I would venture yes, probably. I think this is new ground on our site (or relatively unexplored ground) and we'd need to experiment and find out what works. If they're not workable we'll find out by trying first like usual. If they're workable only in certain ways, we'll better know from having tried.

Critically: you should definitely specify what you want it to work for. A theoretical rule of “any character who attacks and misses is instantly obliterated by a divine lightning bolt” could be said to “work”, but for what I have no idea (really short and/or peaceful campaigns?). The thing you bring up around mentioning criteria is useful, though criteria like “player engagement” aren't since player engagement isn't a well defined subject.

(This strikes me as having some parallels with homebrew balance evaluation, where the “is it balanced for this purpose” is important.)

I'd suggest saying something like this: “I want to do (specific thing, describe your plans) with my game/character/etc. Unearthed Arcana Rule XYZ purports to do this but does it work well for this purpose? How did it work out when you tried it?” Don't ask us about metrics — we work best when dealing with an actual real scenario you're facing, so describe that scenario to us.

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Establish criteria for experience based answers with playtest rules

If your question specifies asking for an experience based answer, that should tighten the scope to ensure that only answers that meet GS/BS guidelines are in the queue.

A good answer will ...

  1. say this
  2. address that
  3. be based on having tried these rules in play at least 1/2/x times ...

Something like that should keep the "does this work" type questions within bounds.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Thanks for the format upgrade, I should have taken a few more seconds and redone that ... \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 1 '18 at 22:26

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