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https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/8163/can-a-dd-character-be-launched-into-space

I don't see it as meeting any of the criteria given in What is a locked post?

I have no quarrel with the diamond mods unilaterally closing it, but it seems very extreme to lock it whilst the community was well on its way to reopening it. If there are problems with the question, lets solve them together. For me, that question is very similar to "What happens when you cast fireball in a 5' corridor?" Unluckily for me, StackExchange wasn't around in 1980 when I could have used some help with that question!

Would it be possible for a mod to unlock the question long enough to edit it, or comment upon it directing people to this meta question for further discussion?

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I think both mxyzplk and C. Ross are being pretty damn arrogant to be saying that the question is clearly in the wrong, and in this case I consider both of them to be clearly in the wrong. They're coming at this from a very narrow minded point of view, and this is the exact point of view that's preventing the growth of the site. Everything is D&D3.x and D&D4e focused for the most part, with little about other systems. People have complained about this, and we've been discussing what we could do to expand the appeal to the site. Not looking at questions from a d20 lens, and considering them from other points of view would go a long way to doing this.

You two should do what's good for the site, admit you were wrong and unlock it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry that you disagree. Please review the FAQ. There several sections that clearly outline rules that make this question out of bounds. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross May 29 '11 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed with @CRoss. If you want a general purpose forum, use one. This has specifically focused bounds, that's not a bug, it's a feature. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 29 '11 at 21:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ As I said, in an AD&D style, physics is valid discussion for mechanics. You're flat out wrong about this because you're thinking about it from a narrow minded d20 point of view. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 23:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Heh, yeah, because all the questions and answers I contribute to this site are d20 oriented, or super rules oriented in general. This is why it's hard to take your critique seriously, because that is a claim that's totally ignorant of our history here. Go click on my name, see my history, and then come back and tell me more about my provincial d20 rules-lawyering. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 30 '11 at 16:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ The funny thing with people like you is you think you're stepping in uncharted territory when in fact you're still within your own little world. I checked the questions you posted, they're very much stemming from a d20 attitude, as even if you tag it as system-agnostic, it's still only a question someone coming from a d20 background would ask. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 30 '11 at 22:39
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It's closed because it's obviously off topic, and it's locked because we mods have other things to do on a Friday night than keep patrolling to reclose. I understand everyone's feeling fun and silly and all but the question is completely inappropriate. It's a great thing to yuk about in chat.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, I asked it, so I guess I felt the need to ask it. As I stated in my question, I have no argument with closing the question. However, I feel the mods should feel comfortable with the community overriding their judgement on occasion. There were at least 3 reopen votes on that question. If the mods and the community disagree - there should be a discussion. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Ludwig May 28 '11 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Discuss away. But the tools exist for when the community's not acting right, and this is a clearcut case of that from our perspective. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 28 '11 at 3:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree completely: I didn't like that question. That said, I'd prefer you'd allowed the community to open/close. I'd have voted to close it like a shot. (It's no great disaster if it reopens briefly and then everyone closed it again.) \$\endgroup\$ – Graham May 28 '11 at 12:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to have to side with Pat and Graham on this one. I haven't been here very long (just over a month), but seeing this kind of behavior from the mods is a bit off-putting. Just because you have the power to close a question as off-topic does not mean you should do it instantly. The question was open for 5 minutes, and was closed right then. It was locked, because the comments said "Aw, that was sad." like twice? There was no flaming going on, and I don't see any of the criteria as being met to warrant locking the question. Other than "Because I don't want to deal with you, go away." \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 28 '11 at 18:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I get that the mod's jobs are to keep rpg.se on topic and from becoming another Yahoo! Answers but with an RPG flavor. BUT, that said, it is off-putting to see mods close something just because they can. When there was a post just a few days ago about how the question numbers are slipping to "worrying" actions like these are just going to exacerbate that. Instead of encouraging questions about RPGs new potential members will see something like that and just go elsewhere. I don't want to point fingers as I don' think blame lays on any 1 person, but the community should have a say. \$\endgroup\$ – Sorcerer Blob May 29 '11 at 3:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ There was no salvegeable merit in the question, and appeal to "the community!" doesn't help that. Spend your effort on useful things please. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 29 '11 at 4:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm just saying that actions like closing a question without even letting votes accrue to close or allowing the person positing the question reword it is wrong. If the mods are genuinely concerned about the worrying moniker then they would avoid actions like that. It IS off-putting and is a site killer. I've seen many sites die or dwindle to nothing simply because the community sees certain actions as an abuse. The community should have the final say in questionable scenarios such as these seeing as mods, AND rpg.se, are here to serve the community. \$\endgroup\$ – Sorcerer Blob May 29 '11 at 15:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just don't see the merit in the argument. Mods have closed questions before and will again. I don't see anyone with one single thing to say about any part of this question that's good or on topic. So we're big meanies for closing it up front, as opposed to when it's got an extra 30 joke comments attached to it? I reject claims of mods overstepping their authority when we closed an indefensible question. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 29 '11 at 15:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ And frankly making a big thing over a question like this - when it's clearly in the wrong - may degrade our ability to take people seriously if they complain about mod action in a place where it actually maybe wasn't warranted. "Sure they're complaining about this, but then again they complained when we closed that total joke question too, so whatever." \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 29 '11 at 15:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mxy - I have no argument with the closure, only the locking. Locking prevents me from fixing the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Ludwig May 29 '11 at 16:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 it's only off topic if you're stuck in a d20/3.x mentality. If you're looking at it from a AD&D mentality, it's completely valid because physics is how some questions were solved. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 18:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @migo: then perhaps you could turn it into a valid question by asking it in the context of a AD&D game (rather than a hypothetical scenario)? I mean... The whole argument here is that interesting "what ifs" are just that - fun little questions that don't actually benefit anyone. If you've actually encountered this... \$\endgroup\$ – Shog9 May 29 '11 at 22:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Shog9 that's being silly, it doesn't have to be something that has been encountered, it could also be the premise for running into a goblin floating through space when you're on a Spelljamming ship, and then wonder why it's there. RPGing is flexible, this isn't just living forgotten realms. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 23:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @migo: is that the premise? Could it be? See here... \$\endgroup\$ – Shog9 May 29 '11 at 23:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ It could be the premise, people here could stand to use their brains and interpret questions in a way that could be useful to RPGs, after all it is a hobby that relies on using your imagination. Hell, there was this thing when I asked the question about Larry Elmore's art. People just couldn't make the connection even though it was right there. I don't mind clarifying a question so everyone gets it, but having the mods lock the question and prevent editing it or even commenting is plain wrong. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 23:54
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It's off topic, and the mods agree. You know us, we don't overrule on a light basis, but this question is beyond any semblance of being on topic.

The core of the question is a physics question, or a physics joke depending on how we look at it. It requires no RPG expertise nor experience to answer. It requires significant physics and math experience. It is also not likely to add value to any RPG game, in fact it was tagged .

I think this would have been great on a forum, or in chat somewhere (even in our chat), but that doesn't make it right for our site.

RPG.SE is not a forum, it's a Q&A. That requires real questions and real answers, not discussion starters, flame wars, and jokes.


For reference please see the FAQ. I'll quote and highlight some relevant sections.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

  • every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”
  • your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”
  • there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”
  • we are being asked an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”
  • it is a rant disguised as a question: “______ sucks, am I right?”

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about -------”, then you should not be asking here. (You are more than welcome to have such discussions in our real time web chat.) However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ------ to me”, then you are probably OK.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I feel it would add value to my game. As soon as I read the answer which led to this question, I asked myself "Is this accurate?" and "How can I use this in my game to be awesome?" The question asked could have been better. However, by locking it, you've denied me and everyone else a chance to fix it. You've also put a line in the sand saying that all such questions are not welcome here. As a long time user of this site, I respect you both, but I feel that decision should be made by more than just you two, so that is why I opened this meta post. If noone agrees with me, no harm. \$\endgroup\$ – Pat Ludwig May 28 '11 at 3:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @pat I dunno, it seems a bit .. beyond the pale to me, fwiw. \$\endgroup\$ – Jeff Atwood May 28 '11 at 8:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree. It is a fun question, and I think it could have been modified to be more on topic, and add value. Instead now we would have to ask another question, and fear that it is going to be closed and locked without discussion and without meeting the reasons why a post should be locked. It's become not so much an "on topic" question, but "why did the mods prevent further discussion on the topic when it certainly seems like no harm was being done to the site?" \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 28 '11 at 18:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Cthos because four people had already voted to re-open, as is. It really comes down to that. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross May 28 '11 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @C. Ross: Which means that at least 4 people had shown interest in keeping the question alive. You killed it without so much as "Please rephrase this so that it will pertain more to the site", and then locked it so that no one could. I really fail to see how that counts as "Flaming". The closest it comes to is "A question that gets opened and closed repeatedly many times without achieving community consensus on whether it should stay open or closed.", but it hadn't even been reopened yet. I just fear that kind of knee-jerk reaction might contribute to a view of the site as unwelcoming. \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 28 '11 at 19:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ I should make my opinion on the matter clear though, I don't necessarily think that the question was even valid, I just think that moderator privileges were used too quickly because "we mods have other things to do on a Friday night than keep patrolling to reclose" - @mxyzpik. I think you can trust the community a little bit more than throwing away the key instantly. \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 28 '11 at 19:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cthos pardon me for not being more clear. I thought the question was so blatantly off topic as to not need a reason why it was closed. As for locking it, I did comment saying I didn't want it re-opened till the mods had a chance to confer. We conferred, decided it added no value (in fact might be harmful), and left it locked. \$\endgroup\$ – C. Ross May 29 '11 at 11:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @C. Ross: While I respect your ability to do that, you've left yourselves open to the following: Why is it harmful? Could the question have been made so that it was on-topic and not harmful by the community if it were left unlocked? Would the site have suffered irreparable harm had the question been closed but left unlocked so it could be made to have value? Saying "People voted to reopen it, can't have that" is not, IMO, a valid reason for the above. \$\endgroup\$ – Cthos May 29 '11 at 14:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1 to this one as well, RPGs aren't a physics free zone. I find the assertion to be pretty ridiculous. Hell, look at GURPS Vehicles. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ RPGs may not be a physics free zone, but silly physics joke/problems are OT for a RPG stack exchange. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 29 '11 at 19:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not up to you to decide if something is silly. That's really overstepping your bounds. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 29 '11 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nope, judging the appropriateness of content for the site is part of our job. We've posed this issue to the larger group of other SE mods and they also agree, in fact noting that we should have just deleted the question instead of leaving it up but locked. I understand that you don't agree, and that's certainly your right. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica May 30 '11 at 16:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ You're being very selective there, I know for a fact that some mods from other communities feel it shouldn't have been locked at all and the opportunity to comment and edit it should have remained. That's always the best call unless some spam bot is posting links for where to buy a fake rolex. \$\endgroup\$ – migo May 30 '11 at 22:45

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