It is unclear to me when someone needs to provide playtesting for homebrew suggestions and when they don't.

As an example, in this answer, MattDM provides a really good answer for the first half, suggests in-book tools for making adjustment, but then at the end makes a homebrew suggestion that wasn't tested by them.

In fact, they specifically state (emphasis mine)

So, another approach would be to beef up that feature — perhaps make the save DC just "damage taken" rather than "5 + damage taken". But this is a less predictable than the raw HP approach, so I don't suggest it without some playtesting and tweaking.

In this case, they called themselves out that their idea is untested and likely needs work. This alone seems to imply it needs testing and would fall under our bad subjective policy for suggesting untested homebrew and is idea generation.

But I also could easily be too critical of a good answer and I'm trying to understand where we draw the line. By understanding when we require more, it will help in evaluating future answers and build a stronger repository of useful information for stackizens.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Is homebrew an acceptable answer to a question? \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Mar 18 '19 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for raising this. As noted in our comments conversation, my intent in raising that was to look at the published monster's hit points and how they were balanced against the CR in light of that feature. It wasn't really to provide a ready-to-use homebrew solution (which is why I added the part emphasized above). \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Mar 18 '19 at 19:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mattdm No worries - and thanks for being open to this issue. I felt weird about calling you out, but I'm calling myself out, too :) It seems like your answer could be just as good without that, though so I'm not sure what it adds besides a reason for me to make a meta of concern. :P \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 18 '19 at 19:10

As always, it's a continuum.

If someone produces an entire piece of content from whole cloth - e.g. a new character class, feat, spell, monster - we really think they should playtest that before claiming it will do what they think it will. Real game designers know all too well that the thing they write down off top of their head may or may not meet its design intent in real play.

However, on the other end of the continuum is exercise of the existing rules. "I want my monster to be able to heal quickly but without the weird can't die thing that regeneration gives you!" "Well, use the feral template, it gives fast healing." That's a simple application of existing work that pure reason is enough to support. You don't need to playtest that (though if you have, I'll more readily upvote you).

Then there's items in the middle. The question you link to was, in addition to a bunch of strongly supported items, proposing a slight modification of an existing mechanic for that monster. I put a "citation needed" post notice and the poster added citations, so I removed it and called it good and upvoted it.

The more basic and common sense a change is - "add more hit points to increase monster suitability" - the less ad hoc proof of that you need. Once you get into the middle of the continuum, you may get a better balance of upvotes to downvotes if you show experience with something that is more of a stretch. If you are just spewing out a new character class with no testing and claiming it creates a better play experience than an existing one, you are completely talking out of your ear and should be downvoted and citation-noticed and may be deleted as "not an answer".

  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair enough, and it may just be my own inexperience with homebrewing that's showing and my concern that any homebrew idea (especially if they say someone should test it) isn't good to suggest without saying how it's worked in their experience. But I will try and keep a more open mind about this. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 19 '19 at 13:27

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