Just as it says on the tin:

This comment was left in response to a question closing.

The "Don't Ask" section of the Help Center doesn't explicitly state that design intent questions are off limits (only that open-ended "hypothetical" are not allowed). Should questions like this not be more explicitly called out as not to be asked on that list?

I think it's a fair question, and recommend that we add designer intent questions to that list of "Don't Ask About" part of the Tour.
Can we?
Should we?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Following this discussion, there has (finally) come a declaration from the mods regarding designer-reasons questions being allowed – see the latest Meta post: Are questions about rule intent on-topic? [2022] \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jul 29, 2022 at 0:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast thank you 😊 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 29, 2022 at 2:18

1 Answer 1


I don't think we should. There's a few reasons.

We're still in a mess with designer reasons: lots of people are over-sensitive to determining a question is designer reasons, but really the only thing that wasn't working is “explain to me their thought process behind why they did that.” The mod team has had to reopen a lot of questions incorrectly caught under a designer reasons crosshair. I'd rather this be carefully filtered after posting.

Second, designer reasons only demonstrably failed for D&D and similar. There's some history for designer reasons questions working fine for Fate, but those work specifically because the authors write in enormous volumes and detail about their thought processes and philosophies, often within the pages of the very same books, or within their personal blogs. Other games are yet unknown on that front. D&D doesn't tend to have anything like this happening except on very rare occasions. This has made me disinclined to make blanket statements about designer reasons never being on topic for any system or question, just treating things as they come.

Third, we don't list everything we do/don't accept in the tour. It isn't exhaustive, it just hits the most common/important things. We have multiple different help pages and topics covered in questions to avoid asking and the meta. We ought to handle things case by case and let people know what's off topic.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Which begs the question of why designer reasons questions have been blanket banned if they're only an issue with a subset of systems \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 9:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Given how its only tangentially related to the question, I wonder whether it might be worth splitting off into its own question \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 21:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some of our best PBTA questions on the site (imo) are "designer reasons" in all but name. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex P
    Commented Dec 21, 2018 at 18:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexP That discussion is being held at this meta. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 22, 2018 at 5:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've given this time to gestate, and we apparently have no other angles to take; so accepted, and I think it's a solid answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 18:46

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