I noticed this question :

What are some examples of magic equivalent of a nuke

Which seems to be asking for examples in fiction of things that would be like a magical nuke. I noticed this question was also asked on SFF SE, and it was closed there, but here so far it's remained open, and I can't really think of a good close reason.

Keep in mind that this is not a 'how can I do this' question, which is a different issue. This is specifically a 'give me a list of precedents' question. I don't think we have these too often, but while I don't know exactly what to do with them by looking at the answers they don't seem like the best questions to keep around.


  • $\begingroup$ I have the same problem. It doesn't seem great but it doesn't strike me as outright off topic either. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ @James The part that really confuses me is that I'd say it should fit better on SFF, since it's actually asking about existing fantasy sources, but they've closed it there with what looks like a custom close reason we don't have. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of How to deal with list questions? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 16:01
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this meta question is a dupe. The question on the main site is too broad and unconstrained. Also it's not asking us to build anything, it's asking us to find existing examples of something....feels off topic on that front too $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 16:07

3 Answers 3


Closing a question as Too Broad suggests that it should be tightened with more constraints. But that wouldn't fix this question in my opinion.

I think that the correct close reason would simply be that it is not actually about building a world. Examples may be part of legitimate responses to questions, but questions should not consist of a request for them. It seems like an excellent chat subject either here or on SF&F (as their close reason notes). It shouldn't appear in the main site.


I believe that question is too broad, as well as off topic for Worldbuilding because it asks us to list examples from other universes and explain how they work.

I feel that that user is basically asking us to do his research for him, which is not something to be encouraged.

After all, magic is simply .. made up. You can invent any spell, and make it "devastating" as you wish.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the first two paragraphs, but I don't see how the third applies in this case. The asker wasn't asking answerers to make anything up, just list examples. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 17:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh - I meant that the OP could easily make something up himself $\endgroup$
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 17:24

I think it's quite acceptable. The person asking the question wants to merge real science with fantasy, and is having trouble finding a plausible/believable example. If anyone could think of a suitable example, it would be very beneficial to the building of the asker's world. I don't think it's off-topic, because it really would help in world-building. Destruction on such a massive scale, but without the current technologies, and using magic, which would probably mean no radiation nonsense after the blast.


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