Regarding the Life of Threads

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I agree with Morrus - if the another discussion thread is really very recent, we might merge the two. But in general, do what you want.

I will note that not all recognition of duplication or necromancy are chastisements. If you come in and say, "I am interested in Giant Chickens!" pointing you to a recent thread on Giant Chickens is giving you information. It may get you at much of what you're looking for far more quickly than having the discussion over again. It may be trying to help you to not re-invent the wheel.

And for thread necromancy, I have seen several threads go by where it is not obvious, but there has been some major shift since the old thread died. Like, a person is trying to discuss 5e, and revives a 3e thread on the same general topic - the previous discussion may not apply, and that is good to know before you continue.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Thread necromancy is always thread necromancy.

But unlike "real" necromancy, it's not always bad! In some case it's actually quite justifiable to raise a thread from the dead and keep it going. It's going to be a case by case basis.
 

MarkB

Legend
The problem with thread necromancy is that people don't always realise you've revived an old thread - so they're reading through and responding to some comment made years ago by someone who isn't even on the boards anymore, and then wondering why there's no reply.

If you find an old thread on the subject, it may be better to start a new one, but include a link to the old one in your first post, along with a summary of the point you wish to address.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I think it is nice if there is some acknowledgement on the initiating post, whether it is necromancy or a new post. Something like: "I know this topic has been discussed a lot but I want to discuss this aspect of this topic..." or "Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I have something new to add to this discussion, such as...".

Many people, especially the thread necromancy ones, seem to be random drive by posts on a subject that was discussed a year or more ago and the poster has no idea they're even necro-ing a thread. Likewise if you are posting about a topic that is still very recent (front page or so).

That being said, I think some topics are better off with a fresh, from scratch, take. I would be hesitant to necro a thread from more the five or six month ago, for instance. But that is just me.
 

jgsugden

Legend
While I agree with the idea that commenting that a thread necro is taking place, remember that many people will just click on the thread when they see the topic and will start reading from the start... without noting that it is 2 years old... and may feel like replying to the post noting the lack of a Charm Monster spell (which was posted in 2016) by saying that Charm Monster is in Mordy's. They'll never see your 'This is a thread necro' post at the end of the thread.

It might be interesting if there were a shading system for posts that allowed us to identify older posts by the shade of the post.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
One additional thought:

I despise when people open up a thread for a long time ago where rules have been errata'd or clarified since and call the original poster all sorts of unpleasant named because "that's not how it works".

Sorry, even in a contemporary thread calling someone names is ungood and just to make yourself feel superior. When it's also because you are ignorant of what the situation was back at that time, it really comes across that you were just looking for an argument to feed your own ego.
 



Arise, Dark Thread!

I call on you to grant me your great powers over impermanent death and terrify my enemies with dark and potent words from the distant past.
Being able to easily find things in Google is a huge advantage, so I think thread necromancy is good most of the time. The obvious exceptions are when notable things have changed, like errata or major patches in a video game.

The downsides of thread necromancy are negligible and sometimes even humorous! :ROFLMAO:
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
What I find remarkable about the necro'd threads is how stable the commentariat on this forum is.

Yes, the names change. But not as much as I'd expect!
Depends on the time frame. Sometimes, I see old threads from 15 years ago and am amazed at how many regular posters I remember but haven't posted in years.

Then I get morbid and wonder since I've spent 21 of my 42 years reading this forum, how many of those posters I've interacted with have failed their last saving throw. :(
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Depends on the time frame. Sometimes, I see old threads from 15 years ago and am amazed at how many regular posters I remember but haven't posted in years.

Then I get morbid and wonder since I've spent 21 of my 42 years reading this forum, how many of those posters I've interacted with have failed their last saving throw. :(

Your forum experience could buy you a beer.....
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'll state my preference in case it's helpful to someone who is trying to decide if they should revive an older thread or post a new one on a similar topic.

For me, it's really useful to see a larger array of responses all in one place.

I'll offer an example. Let's say as a DM I want to know people's thoughts on whether a feat is overpowered, and suggested changes to it to make it more balanced.

And let's say over the past year we've seen 10 different arguments for why the feat is not overpowered, 10 different arguments for why the feat is overpower, and 10 different variations on the feat to alter it for different preferences.

If all of that were in one thread, then one of the 10 of a particular category might speak best to my gaming preferences. However, if it's split into two different threads, there is a decent chance (a 50% chance in this rather simplistic example) I will miss out on that.

So, from a utility perspective, it's far better for my needs if it's all to be found in one place.

And I do think that is one of the most powerful things about a message board as opposed to places like Reddit or social media. The ability to refer back and collect opinions on the same topic over a longer period of time is highly powerful for a game discussion where people are coming to look up thoughts about a rule over a period of years. And I think a lot of that powerful utility is lost if that topic is always spread over a half dozen different threads which are much harder to gather and analyze in one place.

So, if you're trying to decide if you should revive an old thread or create a new one on an older topic, for me at least I would encourage you to revive the old one. Future readers may thank you.
I think perhaps the best compromise, and maybe best solution even disregarding compromise, is to link the old thread in the OP of a new thread.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Apparently, I said the exact same thing in this very thread in 2018!

You know what's better?

When you've been on a forum for a long time. And you post a comment in a necro'd forum.

And then you look back, and you realize ... that you took the exact opposite position several years ago.


...um, not that this has ever happened to me. Speaking for, you know, a friend.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
You know what's better?

When you've been on a forum for a long time. And you post a comment in a necro'd forum.

And then you look back, and you realize ... that you took the exact opposite position several years ago.


...um, not that this has ever happened to me. Speaking for, you know, a friend.

I've seen the opposite, too, where I looked at an ancient post on a topic in a necroed thread and went "I didn't think that all the way through, did I?"
 




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