I just answered a question about resolving attack rolls when you roll a result that's within your weapon's critical threat range, but isn't a natural 20.
KRyan commented to suggest that my answer might be improved by noting that, if you roll an 18 on a d20 and still miss, you might be out of your depth.
- KRyan is 100% correct. The advice he's providing is good advice.
We have pretty good reason to believe that his advice might be useful to the querent. It's noted in the question that this is a group that's "all pretty new to D&D," and there's a mention of making an attack at a -1 or -2 penalty while wielding a rapier in two hands. It seems like there's a pretty good chance that something is going wrong here:
- Maybe the inexperienced DM is running encounters that are too hard
- Maybe the player is making melee attacks with a character that sucks at melee attacks
- Maybe they're doing their attack roll math wrong
Making a note that missing on an 18 is an exceptional outcome could help them figure out that they have a problem, and improve their game.
At the same time, the fact that the querent is apparently fighting MC Hammer at level 2 has nothing to do with their about how to resolve attack rolls.
Should answers include this kind of "By the way..." aside? If not, is there a better way to share this kind of information?
- In this question, I provide details of my character build as necessary context for a question about calculating my caster level. KRyan answers the question, but also tacks on a paragraph of build advice. I don't mind - I'm a charop geek, I love build advice! But it has nothing to do with my question about caster level. (Sorry, don't mean to pick on you KRyan, I'm just scraping my post history for examples and we both post in 3.5 a lot.)
- This answer includes an aside about an example given in the question that isn't really part of answering the core question.
- Can't find a link to an example, but an obvious possible case: If a question includes a straightforward rules error, but the error doesn't impact the answer to the question at all, should answers address the rules error?