I'm looking in particular at the close/edit history of How can a wandering, destitute GURPS DFRPG Cleric cast high cost spells?

The original question was asking explicitly if there was a statement from the game designers on the particular topic. It wasn't "why did they do this" or "what were they thinking" or anything like that. It was "is there a statement on the matter?"

Unlike the more general designer intent questions, which are subject to some pretty bad subjective pitfalls, a question about the existence or nonexistence of statements seems (to me) to be pretty straightforward, and subject to objective discernment. Should they really be banned with the same brush?


1 Answer 1


It's kind of the same thing really. Think about it, if you ask this...

Q: Did the designers make a statement about why they did X?

... then is this really an answer you'd be satisfied with?

A: Yes.

I imagine you'd want them to say what the statement is, right? So if the question is only answered by quoting the designers, it's not actually “Did they make a statement?” but instead “What did the designers say about why they did X?”—and that's our designer reasons question.

Back when we were working through designer reasons questions for D&D, we tried a lot of things, and that included formulating the question as “What did the designers say about why they did X?” and even with amendments of “Only actual quotes by the designer are acceptable answers to this question.” It still gave us the same problems we saw as in every other formulation, which is that we wound up with a lot of answers saying “this is what I think the intent was, based on reverse-engineering the end product and not based on any designer stating their intent” and getting deleted.

Since you're dealing with this issue in the scope of GURPS: personally, I'm not supportive of the fact that designer reasons not working out for D&D meant banning them for every other game too. (I've talked about that here, here, and most recently here.) That's something we could look at, but if we do we'd still need to acknowledge that the above formulation is still functionally a designer reasons question.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ +1. designer-reasons isn't off topic even though people faithfully posted designer statements when asked, it's off topic because people can't act right on those questions as proven time and time again. It's not a logical ban it's a practical ban. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 5:14

You must log in to answer this question.

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