Sometimes, the asker includes misconceptions in their question. The most recent example is here, where OP assumes the Barbarian resistances from rage only work for non-magical effects.

In these questions, we usually get a comment in the question saying "Hey bro, that's not how that rule works" from someone trying to help the asker. Usually these people are told that it should not be done in comments.

So, what should the person trying to help do?

I couldn't find more examples because we can't search for comments. But this happens quite frequently from what I see.

Related: How do we handle it when the asker's problem is just that they're confused? - but there, the misconception is the problem. In this case, it might be a minor detail, like in the middle of a question saying that "flanking is RAW" when it's an optional rule.


1 Answer 1


Correct the misconception(s) in the answers

Unless the misconception makes the question unclear about what the asker is actually asking, usually these questions can be answered. If the misconception is clear, but a fundamental/core problem in the question, an answer substantially dedicated to clarifying that misconception should be fine - then proceed to answer the actual question after having clarified that concept.

If the misconception is minor and you don't think an answer only for that would be enough, answer the question normally and add that as a detail/side note. If you don’t have time, energy or can't provide a full answer to write an answer, wait for someone else to do it. If the someone else doesn't touch the misconception, check the next paragraph.

Finally, if the misconception is minor and there are already other answers that answer the core problem (as in the example question) and you don't want to replicate an answer just to include that detail, I would suggest to add that as a comment to an answer, suggesting them to add that detail.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this approach makes sense, as long as it's clear that there's a misconception/what the misconception is. Though if the misconception isn't clear in the first place, obviously comments are the place to go to have them clarify what they mean. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ One thing possibly worth adding to the penultimate paragraph, or after it, is something to address the “what about if I don’t have time/energy/full answer to write an answer?” objection some people have (the answer to which is “let someone who does have time/energy/knowledge do it”). That protest is one we hear often as the reason for writing a quick comment instead of refraining. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 17:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Reworded that a little to be consistent with my way of writing :P is that fine as it is? \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 18:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Agreed, but when that's the case, we don't usually get "Hey bro, that's not how the rules work" comments, we usually get "Hey bro, what rule is that that you are using?" Recent example: rpg.stackexchange.com/q/124294/43856. (Sometimes we get a mix "Hey bro, this is not how the rules usually work. What rules are you using?" - which seems fine for clarification.) \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 18:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HellSaint That's perfect. I always hope that others will put it in their own words when I make a suggestion! \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't the point of comments to help improve the question? I would think removing errors is just as valid as formatting and phrasing. Also you run the risk that when the OP realises their mistake they completely change the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 11:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Formatting and phrasing are actually edits. Comments in questions usually are for clarifying the question. If the question is clear, but is wrong in its premises (due to a misconception), that's for the answers. If they decide to change completely the question (meaning earlier answers are not valid any more), that's another problem. Check this meta about editing or making a new question \$\endgroup\$
    – HellSaint
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 14:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri having a question with a misconception in it and an aswer that explains that it's a misconception looks like something that could help other people stumbling upon the same misconception. Removing the misconception from the question would make these other people ask again. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Jun 23, 2018 at 18:30

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