The question at hand: In-universe, why is "Waterdhavian" the adjective form of Waterdeep?

This question seems to be very close to a designer intent question (which are off topic). It does not fit the definition perfectly because it is not asking about the origin of why a rule is a certain way. Instead it is asking why a certain design decision (in this case a name) is a certain way. I'm not sure if the fact that they are asking for an in-universe explanation helps it to be further away from a designer intent-type question or not, but it actually feels like it does for some reason.

Regardless, and, I think, significantly, it seems to be displaying at least one of the same issues that designer reasons displayed. Many of the answers don't seem to be citing any sources and seem to be relying on speculation instead. (Disclaimer: I have since added an, hopefully properly-evidenced, answer to the question.)

So, by my reckoning, at the very least we have an issue with answers. But when we have several answers all displaying the same problem I begin to smell an issue with the question itself.

Is this question on-topic?

If it is on-topic, what, if anything, should we do about the answers currently under the question?

Note: I have since added an answer to the question since I found the answer while looking around for it. I still think the question might be off-topic, but I didn't think it would be improper to give an answer while the community discusses it.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for posting this... I was noticing the same issue with the responses: rather than citing any specific lore/in-universe statements about the name, people were trying to find designer reasons and extrapolate the in-universe logic (or lack thereof) from there. (Or just wholesale speculation.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Aug 16, 2018 at 4:54

1 Answer 1


It is on topic.

The question is not one of designer intent. It's a question about the existence of lore. We don't generally close questions about the existence of lore or a rule even if it's difficult to prove a "no" answer. In this case, not only is there a "yes" answer (making it answerable objectively) but a sufficient correct answer does not require citing a designer's intent (just because a designer is the source of information about the lore doesn't make it merely designer intent--the sources in the top voted answers are a FAQ and sourcebook about the lore that happen to be written by the designer in question, but almost all lore is, uh, written by the person who thought of it).

As for the answers to the question, the system is working as intended: the two answers that are based in evidence from the lore are being up-voted and those that are not have been down-voted to the negative range. Other than the warning note that you left on the question itself discouraging non-evidential answers, there doesn't seem to be a need for any other sort of fix. If the question becomes a problem in the future, it could be protected to discourage lazy answers.


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