This is a follow-up to this question. I'd highly recommend giving it a read before proceeding.

I'm posting this as a new question because DaleM brought up a good point that, in dramatic fashion, left my question in shambles: it turns out that homebrew questions receiving "significantly more downvotes" is an overstatement. No getting around that. I tried to rephrase the question and it ended up looking really rant-y, so I've attempted to rephrase the question in a way that captures the original intent while (hopefully) leading to an effective outcome.

There's no denying that homebrew questions on this stack are problematic. We've all seen our fair share of messy homebrew, and I want to make it very clear that I don't want to encourage those kinds of questions.

Additionally, Dale M's analysis shows that homebrew-hate is hardly the largest problem that this stack faces. But over the past few months I've seen enough posts from hurt users and a large enough volume of meta questions on the topic that makes it clear that there's room for improvement, regardless of whether this is "the biggest problem".

From what I've seen, RPG stack is somewhat over-exuberant in its response to homebrew questions, even those that fit the guidelines established here. The basic problem here is that the seemingly default response to poorly-balanced homebrew, regardless of whether the question is adherent to official guidelines, is to blow it away downvotes and scorn.

So, should there be additional guidelines for poorly balanced homebrew? Based on the discussion in the previous question, I feel that there's need for additional guidance to accomplish one of the following:

  • Establish or expand requirements for homebrew questions, such that the quality of the questions is improved.
  • Or, while this may be somewhat idealistic, encourage a less acidic response to homebrew questions.

I'm adding my stance in the answers.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Some advice: Focus on guidelines that help us work to resolve issues after they come up, rather than rules which Q&A authors have to pre-emptively follow. History has shown that creating new rules and restrictions on Q's and A's tends to exacerbate existing problems, because now we have all the original problems plus people aren't following the additional rules we created. Only some users will be across our policies, many won't even be across meta, many will be brand new; plan for that. I wrote more on that here. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener very interesting context. Would changing the community wiki answer count as a rule change (discouraged per your post) or simply a modification of loose recommendations? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:43
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Changing our D&D 5e homebrew guidance or the general guidance is ostensibly fine and doesn't inherently constitute creating a new rule; the guidance there is primarily just that—guidance. It's made to link to people who are having some trouble to help them better understand the process and what they can do to succeed. Whether it's a rule or not is more about the change itself: “meet this requirement or else we will refuse your question” would definitely be a rule for example. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the perceived response to homebrew questions from the community exuberant or acidic? Those seem rather opposite to me and that might obfuscate the actual problem you are trying to address. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil I have a fairly good example in the original question \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 2:20
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Your example is not the querent asking about their own work which is counter to some assumptions that seem to made here (at least in wording) and may have other problems which have caused downvotes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 12:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those problems being? If it's guilty of something other than poor balance and style violations then, by all means, let it be known. That question, which fits all the established guidelines (as demonstrated in my previous question), and its response is emblematic of a systemic problem with homebrew-review, as well as some degree of willful ignorance about the problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 14:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I suspect the combination of "My DM is usually very opposed to homebrew" with no shown attempt evaluate it themselves. This makes it sound like "Please validate this thing I found so I can badger my DM with it because strangers on the internet said it was ok". I'm not saying that's what it is, or what folks were downvoting for, but it is my guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


There should be additional guidelines in the community wiki answer for asking homebrew-review questions

In the previous question, MikeQ brought up an excellent point that the best homebrew questions show their work. As such, I think that the community wiki answer for writing good homebrew-review questions should be amended to include a requirement for self-analysis.

This would vastly improve the quality of questions for two reasons:

  1. The homebrew designer would have to analyze their own work, which naturally would produce better-balanced homebrew, as the poster would be forced to consider their work from multiple angles.
  2. It would provide reviewers more information on the designer's intent, such that their responses would be better-informed and therefore naturally less vitriolic.

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