Today, I started wondering why in 5e, the DMG calculates encounter difficulty as "adjusted XP" which is adjusted by the total number of enemies in the encounter, but doesn't award the adjusted value as XP to the players. Turns out we have a question for that already, from 2014: Why don't players get extra xp for large encounters?

The question doesn't use the DMG terminology of "adjusted XP" and "total XP value", so thought I should create a duplicate to point towards it for improved searchability. However, the 2014 question is asking for reasons behind rules without requesting designer citations, so if asked today, it would be closed as opinion based guessing question. None of the answers cite designer reasons.

Should I or should I not create the signpost dupe?


2 Answers 2


Ask a new question using the DMG terminology, and make sure it follows current policies by requesting designer citations.

Then flag the old one for closure (either as opinion-based or as a duplicate of the new one, whichever feels better to you) because we open and close questions based on current policy no matter the policy when they were originally asked.

(And if there are any existing answers that you think would transfer over, maybe consider leaving a comment on them pointing the author to your new question?)


That's not a duplicate

It's fine to ask about rules without asking for designer citations. We require designer citations for questions about designer intent, not as a blanket requirement for all questions about how or why rules work.

Asking what purpose a rule serves is not inherently a designer intent question-- what the designers thought it did may well not be what it actually does after all-- and is a question about how that rule relates to the rest of the system. It's answered by things like 'this is what breaks if that rule isn't there' or 'that rule mirrors this other rule and reinforces the idea that X mechanical construct should be the baseline' or 'that rule's important for X, Y, Z reasons'.

The specific question linked isn't very high quality, and it's phrasing is very imprecise as to what's being asked about, so I don't really mind it being closed, but that category of question ought not be conflated with designer intent questions, which are fundamentally different in how we approach them. I think we shoehorn users away from asking about rules from a game design perspective into asking about them from either a 'what do they say' or 'what reasons did they say it for' perspective even when doing so disguises or subverts the real question sometimes, and that's something we should avoid.


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