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Since WoTC have officially stated that Jeremy Crawford's twitter posts are no longer official and that published sage advice is still just guidance, I've seen a couple of recent questions pop up utilizing those tweets as assumptions and asking for including their use.

The problem isn't in the citing of a ruling (whether it be by someone from WoTC or someone's DM), but in asking to apply a ruling from one mechanic and the question is asking how to apply it to another mechanic.

Questions that ask directly how a specific ruling applies to that specific mechanic I think are fine. We have the constraints we need to answer.

The problem I'm concerned about here is when a question asks to utilize a ruling in one area and asks how to apply it to something else not covered in that ruling.

Is there a different way we should look at/treat these questions? Are they opinion-based because we don't have knowledge as to why JC/a DM ruled that way and therefore can't apply to other areas?

Some examples:

What truth-detecting magic (excluding Zone of Truth) does a Ring of Mind Shielding protect against?

If you subscribe to JC's ruling, are enemies attacked by a conjured creature considered “targets” of the conjuration spell?

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We should do nothing.

Unclear rules often have multiple valid interpretations. These interpretation are not "house rules" (modifications to the rules) per say, but valid rules in their own rights.

Assuming that one of these rule interpretations is correct, then asking the logical conclusions of this assumption, makes for a perfectly valid question that is on-topic for this site.

The alternative is to ask the question without making the assumption explicit. This results in answers that are useless to the poster.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ FYI: The question has been updated to clarify this isn't about citing Crawford's rulings, but instead about extrapolating them to different situations. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are his tweets any more (or less) valid than anyone else's now? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch They are only as valid as people make them to be as has always been the case. We can't assume any given level of validity to them in general since that will vary by person and table. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose May 5 at 16:44
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It depends on the question

Questions directly related to the ruling

Questions that reference a ruling, whether it be by a DM or by someone from WoTC,and have a question directly associated can very likely be answered. We are given a constraint, the ruling, and we can answer if the question is directly related.

Questions asking to apply that ruling to another area

This one does not seem like something we can answer. Unless the ruling is explicit enough to apply to other areas, we can't know how to extrapolate a ruling on one mechanic and apply it to another.

The problem is that we don't have the basis for why they ruled that way and therefore don't know the reasoning and how it might apply to other mechanics.

The only time we could do this is if the ruling clearly provides the reasoning so that we can apply it to something different. If it's just a one-off "it works/doesn't work", then we are limited to the specific mechanic without a methodology to apply it elsewhere.

For these, we unfortunately should Close as Primarily Opinion-Based

The two examples

In the Ring of Mind Shielding/Zone of Truth question we have a specific ruling that the Ring doesn't apply to the spell. We don't know why it doesn't apply, so it makes it difficult to try and determine how the ring would interact with other spells. In this case, I don't think it's answerable.

In the question about Conjured creatures and targets, again we have a ruling about two specific spells and no explanation of why they ruled that way. It is not possible to generalize that ruling to other areas because we don't know why they ruled that way in the first place and therefore no way to apply that ruling to something else.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is that “extrapolate this ruling to something entirely different” actually a major part of the problem you're trying to deal with in this question? Because the only issue the question seems to be describing is “someone cited JC and asked about a ruling” and appears to be suggesting we might close as Primarily Opinion-Based on this factor alone. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener That was actually my intent with the question. If that wasn't clear, that may be why we're debating. This is purely about when they cite a ruling in one mechanic and ask how to apply it to another. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that's very unclear. Please do update the question to clarify what you're saying there, because right now it's just asking about the validity of citing JC rulings in questions at all. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, that was not my intent! \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for revising. That does explain very well why we were stuck debating! \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 at 17:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener So sorry about that! Wish I had been clearer earlier, but glad we're here now. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 at 17:32
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You provide the questioner with a genuine answer. You may choose to inform them that those are not official rules, merely rulings made by an expert. You use your best judgement to determine the tags used.

As Jeremy Crawford is by this decision treated as any other normal person, Their guidance, reasoning, and advice should be as rigorously treated as any other person's input.

He is an expert, but no authority. Experts tend to give good advice, but we may also judge to rebut it based on good reasoning, see this introduction to expertise.

All of his rulings are his interpretations of rules he may or may not apply these rulings at his table, via extrapolation derived rules are house rules (and may or may not be recommended) by Jeremy Crawford who is a community expert.

There are two layers to this: first, the rulings made by JC, and second, the material that is derived from those rulings independently by questioners who use those rulings as the basis of their questions.

House-rules is for new or modified rules, so any material that handles these rulings as official material (as new rules instead of rulings in the form of mere guidance, because they are not official) and is derivative of these rulings will necessarily be a house rule or homebrew material.

First, you can make a question about these rulings which are questions about rulings, those are not questions of house rules or homebrew, though they may or may not inspire either.

We can deduce that any question based on house rules should be treated as such. If (those house rules) are used as rules, then the extrapolated material of the questioner is homebrew because it creates a sub-system of house rules, and it becomes a question about homebrew material see What distinction is being drawn between house-rules and homebrew? For handling homebrew material we have this thread How can I ask a good homebrew review question?

There is still the issue of quality assurance raised in Homebrew review questions still aren't great in this state of the community thread.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We are talking about "ruling to be true related" questions, not about rulings made by JF. Why is neither applicable in this case? Please provide reasoning. His rulings are unofficial as stated in the question, is there any reason to believe that they should be treated as more than that? \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu May 3 at 1:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ And it's not remotely "homebrew" in the sense that the term is used on RPG.SE. From the tag info for the [homebrew] tag: "Homebrew is distinct from house-rules in that house rules are usually small ad hoc modifications of an existing system, while homebrew for an existing system is the creation of entire new subsystems or of rules content like classes, creatures, spells, equipment, and similar game material." Rules interpretations are basically never going to create "entire new subsystems of rules content"; at most, they are minor modifications to existing rules. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 3 at 2:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ At least one of the questions in the original post - the second one ("Are enemies attacked by a conjured creature considered "targets" of the conjuration spell?") - originally just thought the thing stated in Crawford's tweet was a rule, and was only later edited to ask "Assuming Crawford's tweet were a rule, [what's the answer to this question]?" That led to my misreading of this meta post. I've deleted my answer for now. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 3 at 3:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Here's the other question I was thinking of that also is worded with the assumption that Crawford's tweet about the targets of the dragon's breath spell is a rule/supported by the rules: Can the Dragon's Breath spell damage enemies with no clear path to the caster? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 3 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast In that question, I think we can answer it because JC has made a ruling specifically about that spell. If we assume his ruling is true (as asked), then we can answer based on that. But applying that to another spell or mechanic is where it gets tricky. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch May 3 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ FYI: The question has been updated to clarify this isn't about citing Crawford's rulings, but instead about extrapolating them to different situations. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener May 3 at 14:05

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