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Sometimes we see questions that have easily findable, non-ambiguous answers. What makes them interesting is being asked on someone else's behalf.

If this were the whole question:

Does the Dueling fighting style add 2 to every damage die you roll?

I would just vote down, and move on.

However, it is asked on someone else's behalf. I do not want to discourage the asker with a downvote, doubting the premise of the question is what made them ask here. In my opinion they deserve an upvote, bringing some misconception to light and giving us an opportunity to disperse it.

So should I downvote the bad question, or upvote the good asker?


This is not the worst question of this type, just the last one I found.

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When someone asks a question they're taking on ownership of it. Functionally it's their question. Consider an extreme case: someone's got dozens of genuinely bad questions. This isn't great for our site. If they say "asking for a friend" on each of them, that doesn't make them less bad.

However I think this particular question's fine and I've upvoted it. It's easy for you to find an unambiguous, clear answer in the books—but you are a D&D 5e expert at this point, having been around it for five years.

D&D is a difficult game for people to learn. When I started it was intimidating: it's made of several big books with passages tucked away in all sorts of places, and I usually didn't know where to find what I wanted to know (or that I even could find it in the books), and I didn't always know how to parse or understand the answers. I found that the more I understood D&D as a whole, the more I understood each part of it, meaning it took a long time before I could really start making sense out of any of it.

In this case it's the kind of question where a newbie wouldn't know how to locate the answer. They also probably wouldn't even know how to parse the passages being quoted correctly without some guidance for us. So it's a good kind of newbie question—it's only people who are already experts who would be expected to know how to find these answers already. (Heck, as a non-5e-expert myself, I'm sure I wouldn't be quite sure which way I'm supposed to interpret that damage rolls passage without Hellsaint explaining.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, in a system where the books were properly organized, cross-referenced, and indexed, I probably would downvote that question because it would show little research effort and not be helpful to most people, who could just as easily look in the books. But WotC put surprisingly little effort into that side of things for 5e. \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Nov 26 '18 at 7:14
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Vote on the question as it’s written.

There are better and worse ways to write a question on someone else’s behalf. If they write it in such a way that you think it deserves a downvote, then that is your judgement of the question. That’s always the right reason to vote.

(Others may have different judgements of course, so you might see people voting on “bad” questions differently. That’s all intended effects of the voting system. It’s also why you can feel safe voting how you like: your vote gets averaged with everyone else’s anyway. This lets us each vote our conscience.)

When someone writes a “bad” question on someone else’s behalf, but in a way that is good, you’ll notice the difference.

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