I seem to have been pulled in an edit war (or at least skirmish) on my question, and would like to understand the basic principles which may or may not be broken by it.
My question is interested in a strictly literal reading of the rules, and evaluation of the consequences thereof (specifically, the whether one build includes advantages over another under a literal reading of game mechanics related to them, which seems to produce a result contrary to rules as intended). My question includes a paragraph that states as much, a bit concisely:
I would like to understand the benefits of these drives in the rules as written, without resorting to rulings, hacks, fiat or the like. (If the rules are faulty, applying changes will be the next phase of tackling this issue.)
This seems to very closely match the principles of when a certain tag should be used:
- Are investigating, as a priority, literal interpretations of the rules, even if they lead to absurd situations.
- Are not usefully answered solely by homebrew or house rules, or speculation of intent.
when their [rules'] written form is interpreted as strictly as possible, without reference to explanations or considerations outside of the rules texts
Similarly, I've been shown another highly supported answer on when to use it, and it includes characterisations such as these (not quoting the whole answer, obviously):
- The rules are the only authoritative source of information. Authorial intent is not significant to a RAW study, nor is the experience of an individual in using the rules.
- The rules are a shared objective experience. As each reader learns to recognise and account for her own observational biases, their understandings of the rules will become increasingly alike.
- Justification is irrelevant. RAW is a tool for describing what the rules say. Its users may try to explain why the rules say certain things but this is not the goal or purpose of RAW.
- Value judgements are irrelevant. RAW describes the rules, but offers no comment on their quality.
These all seem in line with the way what my question is like, what I'm asking etc. Obviously my note on the matter isn't as long and elaborate and omnienumerative as a metadiscussion. But it's still that sort of question - one not asking about rulings, not asking about interpreting things based on authorial intent, not seeking bending mechanics to the narrative. Because it's a question that seeks out the literal reading of the rules and the effects thereof.
And yet it gets edited to remove that specification, even though (the irony) that is contrary to my authorial intent and I have said as much.
Thus I have to ask: if all those are not criteria for a question being rules-literalist, then what are the criteria thereof? Asking around in chat so far only gave either vague answers, or answers that turned rules literalists into a caricature. If all those criteria are inaccurate, then perhaps the people who often use the RAW tag should edit their wiki? If they're not inaccurate, well, I'd like a confirmation from the experts of the tag. I would like to understand the general criteria and thus become able to apply them correctly to classify both this question and any subsequent ones (since apparently tag wiki criteria were deemed subordinate to other criteria).
Related tangent: Are Tag Criteria Descriptive or Prescriptive?