This question:

Party betrayal in an evil campaign

was put on hold as too broad.

On the other hand, this one wasn't:

How can I handle players who want to browse shops at random?

In both cases, they both boil down to asking for suggestions as to how to handle something in-game. In both cases, it seems like likely answers are, well, consider trying a, b, and c.

What is the difference?

Perhaps stating the difference would help us advise the betrayer more effectively.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll leave answering to others with greater (read: any) sense of what criteria go into putting questions in hold. But in case it helps, I observe that the first question was asked by a player seeking ideas for in-narrative actions, the second by a DM seeking advice on DM techniques for dealing with a game-management problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – screamline
    Sep 4, 2018 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


One was explicitly asking for ideas for stuff to do, and the entire world of possibilities are valid answers. What might work is unknowable, as the situation and what ideas might work to fool the other players depends on the local group, making the voting system untenable. Experienced-based answers aren't demonstrably useful, nor would any answers be clearly useful to future readers. The question has too many possible valid answers, which is what “too broad” is for.

The other was looking for how to handle a more-or-less common conundrum when GMing, which only has workable solutions as valid answers. The situation's details are going to be common across the majority of play groups, possibly all of them, and doesn't depend on the local group's details. Many GMs will be in identical situations, and the answers will be useful to them.

The second does have the issue that people can and have thrown in ideas off the top of their heads, but “people are answering with untested ideas” is a different problem from “the question is entirely just asking for ideas to consider”, and dealing with those problems is different.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The point in your last para is a pretty good point. While still somewhat subjective as a criteria, "the question is entirely just asking for ideas to consider" seems like a pretty reasonable litmus test. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Sep 6, 2018 at 1:00

One is targeted at DM techniques. The other is targeted at possible RP actions.

Question A (Shops) is about homebrew DM techniques. DM techniques, even for things that don't exist, can be opinions reinforced with experience or examples of similar materials from the in-game rules. It has a foundation to work off of, and few are refutable. Most answers can be applicable to most settings.

Question B (BBEG) revolves around PVP. Player vs. Player interactions are things that are rarely used in tables, and doesn't have much mention in any of the books available to players. On top of this, the offender to the party is described as being an RP-specific player, and the ones he's targeting are less so and focus on stealing/combat. There are plenty of things that can be suggested, but many of them are things that simply won't work for several situations without excessive explanation from the questioner or the questioner's DM. Even with experience from people who have been in a similar circumstance, the events would be very specific and likely non-applicable.

If 100 random answers were given to both Question A and Question B, Question A would have a lot to choose from, but a few would be filtered out due to an odd setting or DM's rulings. Question B would have a lot that would be wasted due to the fact that the answerers don't know what's applicable to the setting, players, or DM's decisions.

That's the main concern. We don't need to know all the variables for Question A for answers to be applicable, but we do for Question B.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Some good points. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jack
    Sep 4, 2018 at 22:30

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