I flagged What passive scores exist? as a duplicate of How can Investigation be used passively? (as with the Observant feat) based on the titles. However it was pointed out that the primary question of the new Q&A was only a second question of the older one, and was only partially addressed by the answer on the old Q&A.

What's the right way to handle this?

Some non-exhaustive possible options might be:

  1. Just keep the new Q&A closed as a duplicate.
    • This seems unsatisfying to me since the user's question has not fully been addressed by the old Q&A.
  2. Edit the old Q&A to remove the second question (this would also likely necessitate changing the question title and removing the part of the single answer that relates to the second question) and reopen the new Q&A.
    • I think this seems like fairly heavy-handed editing, particularly to the answer.
  3. Keep the new Q&A closed as duplicate, and try to solicit fuller answers on the original Q&A for the second question on it (e.g. via bounty).
    • This feels unsatisfying because the old Q&A already has an accepted answer, and thus would require a user to put a bounty on it. Not to mention that it's then very explicitly making the old Q&A two separate questions.

4 Answers 4


Edit that dirty so-and-so's question to unduplicate the new question.

Hello, it's me, the author of that older question.

I agree with Vylix that this solution is the most beneficial to the site, and I wouldn't mind an edit to focus my question around Investigation, as that was the impetus for asking.

The original question (that I now see isn't as clear as it could be), is "How can each skill be used passively?" Which seems pretty broad when I put it like that.

Narrowing it down to Investigation leaves that more general question open to be answered, which conveniently happened in the other question.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for hopping in and confirming you'd like this to happen :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:51

The questions aren't really duplicates now because the other does not answer this one

Doppelgreener's excellent meta answer on how we determine duplicates here at RPG.se gives three conditions that all must be true to be a dupe. However, currently this question fails the second condition:

Question B has an obvious answer to Question A. Obvious here means I get a straightforward answer without hard searching — a couple of sentences buried in the middle of a post, or an answer which only sort of implies an answer to Question A, doesn't count as obvious.

The question asks the question that the newer question is also asking, but there is not only a lack of an obvious answer, there is no answer to it at all. Thus, according to our policies they are not currently dupes.

What do we do?

We could place new answers on the old question to make them answer the complete question as asked in the older question (and again in the newer one). However, the question already has an accepted answer by OP and has not been active in a while. By accepting the answer, OP has signaled that the part of the question which was not answered was not a core issue for them. And indeed it is even clear from the way they wrote it that the "other skills" part of the question was ancillary.

I would even argue that the additional question makes it confusing and maybe even too broad of a question.

Edit the older question so that they are not duplicates

OP doesn't seem to care about the last part of their question given their acceptance of the current answer. The current answer doesn't even try to touch on it. And the question is likely too broad or confusing with the second part in it. Thus, the easy solution here is to edit the last line out and to edit the title to focus on how passive investigation is used.

No answers would need to be edited and then full focus could be given to the topic of other passive scores in the newer question which could then be reopened as it is not a duplicate (not that it ever technically was). This gives this controversial topic a room to breathe and be debated on its own apart from the baggage of the first part of the other question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The answerer is not active, but the querent is. Before we change their question, I think we need to ask them what they'd like to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I think we can ask the querent but I don't think we need to. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2019 at 16:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, I'm generally not a fan of making changes to questions without querent approval.It's their question, they should be the ones making changes that are impactful (and this is.) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch is it impactful though? It doesn't really seem to affect anything and they already have an answer that solves their issue without addressing it. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2019 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've reached out to the querent and they've provided some direction in the comments section. I asked them to come here to provide a response as well. But I'm still not comfortable changing a question's lead and body just make it fit what we want to fit without their input. If that's what you and others want to do (with or without OPs input), then that's your call to make. I'm choosing not to do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ But it looks like Szega used their hammer to reopen it. I'm not going to close it as a dupe again since we have this going on. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ And they've answered and gotten their approval. All is good and we gave the querent a chance to own their question. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch sure yeah that's fine. My intent was never to convince you that you should do this yourself. I'm aware of and respect your position on this even though my personal preference is different. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2019 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch yup I agree this was a good solution all around. Go team! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 9, 2019 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ No worries - my personal preference is always to go through the OP to make a change. I know others like to show vs tell and make those edits themselves, but my preference is to nudge them to do the work. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 16:50

I've voted for the new question as duplicate. After reevaluation of the old question, I now realize that the old question's main question asks a different thing than the title, so it's not a duplicate. I've now voted to reopen the new question.

The old question has a good answer for the main question. The secondary question, "what other skills could be used this way?", was only answered partially. I feel that removing the secondary question will be the most logical approach. It trims the unnecessary question that will lead to the closing of the question, should it be left as is.

The argument against this approach will be the edit might deviate from the author's intent. However I think this approach benefits the community more, and if the author's disagree with the edit, it can be rolled back. However, doing so will lead to its closure as 'too broad'.

I also don't see how it harms the answer. The answer does not fully address the second question, and removing the secondary question does not make any part of the answer useless.

So, your second option should be used:

  1. Open the new question
  2. Edit the title to reflect the main question on the old question
  3. Remove the secondary question on the old question

It's currently a duplicate. Provide a full answer to the original.

If the old question fully contains what the new question is asking, then the new question is a duplicate.

This sounds like we have incomplete answers on the original question. The best way to fix this is to provide a complete answer to the original, not to remove part of the original question because the answers didn't address it.

The original querent asked about this and it's unfair to remove part of their question because the answers to theirs didn't provide completely answer it.

Is the original too broad?

There are currently three close votes on it as too broad. It may be so, but we need the querent to decide which question they are most interested in: the general question of which skills can be passive or the specific case they mentioned in the body.

If it's the former, it's a dupe. If it's the latter, then we can remove the general question and leave the new one open.

So let's find out!

I have left a comment on the original question asking OP if they'd like to remove their general query. Hopefully the owner of the question can take ownership.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem is that old question asked for two questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vylix
    Apr 9, 2019 at 14:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vylix The earlier question's title is exactly the same as the new question. The body introduced a specific circumstance, but still included the title question within. The only answer didn't address the primary question, but only the specific secondary. I'm not sure if it's too broad or not, but it's unclear which the OP is more interested in. We could just as easily say that the specific case can be removed, leaving the general question in the title and body up and it's still a duplicate. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 9, 2019 at 14:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .