We've gotten a couple of questions recently that do seem to be okay within our framework, but there's enough softness here that I wanted to bring it up in meta as to whether or not they really do fit.

How to flavor my narration of a fight in a creatively plausible way without affecting mechanics

How can I describe hit point damage without talking about wounds?

Both questions still require our Good Subjective support - and ask for it (which is awesome!), but both questions also seem like they are still primarily opinion-based because everyone can narrate differently and this ends up more like a discussion about different ways of doing something and is more suitable for a forum or chat.

The big difference seems to be that most of our narration questions are about specific instances, but these are more general takes and may even be X-Y problems rather than narration problems.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast A very quick search shows questions more like "Will doing X alter narration positively or negatively", which I think is different from "How can I narrate X". Those aren't "how" questions but "what happens when" questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 5, 2019 at 15:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ You seem to be asking about narration questions in general as though they're a brand new phenomenon appearing in just these two questions for the first-ish time, but narration has quite a long history: 72 questions, 54 open (75%), stretching back to the very beginning of the site. I think that in and of itself already indicates the answer is “absolutely yes, why wouldn't they be?”. Do you really mean to be asking whether this entire thing is on or off topic, or are you just asking about whether these two questions are workable? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2019 at 15:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I think you're right that I'm likely asking about these specific questions. I'll update my question and tag accordingly - but the assumption of "we've allowed these in the past" isn't a good one, either. We've got lots of history of things we've allowed in the past that we don't now. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 5, 2019 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, cool. I am still having a mental block with "questions on how to narrate" as being off topic for TTRPGs, but I can wait and see what others think. First comment be gone. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2019 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast See my edit, I think i'm drilling down to my issue (thanks to doppel and you) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 5, 2019 at 15:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Onward, through the fog! :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2019 at 15:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Its interesting you grouped those 2 questions I see them as about entirely different problems that just both involve narration. The 1st is about players seeking to leverage story agency as mechanical power in an unintended way within 5e. The GM asking reframes it as how can I make this interesting without ludonarrative dissonance, but I'd argue their players are actually looking for the mechanical benefit he first describes more than anything. The 2nd is, in my opinion, purely about the aesthetics of the experience that narration styles can bring. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2019 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaAslanSmith I think the first may have been that, but they didn't it duplicated so they opened up to non-mechanical narration after making a request for a mechanical action. Both seem to be fairly opinion-based requests that polls the community about how they do something. I also think there's an underlying problem to both that isn't being addressed in the actual question - and answering the question doesn't necessarily resolve the problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 5, 2019 at 18:43

2 Answers 2


They are on topic.

All "techniques" questions can be achieved in different ways. The requirement on this site is not that there be Only One Objectively Correct Answer To A Question. The requirement is that Good Subjective can be used to answer it.

These specific questions aside, in general asking things like "how do I narrate hit point damage without talking about wounds" are perfect for this site and a welcome respite from the legal rules wrangling part of the hobby that is completely uninteresting to some gamers.


At face value, they are Primarily Opinion Based

Don't ask about...

  • Brainstorming requests (“give me some cool ideas”)

  • Questions with too many possible answers or that would require a novel-length answer

However, as you point out, they may be X-Y problems.

The first is phrased as a narration problem, but at its heart, it's about players wanting to do things in the mechanics that D&D doesn't support - most of the answers have identified and addressed this (yay us!). My first instinct with this question is that the answer would start with "Play a different game...".

The second is a narration problem, but it's focused specifically on what the RAW hit point mechanic looks like in 'fiction'. How to narrate that is probably too broad but, what the rules mean isn't.

They're fine.


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