Oberoni Fallacy

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The Oberoni Fallacy (also called the Rule 0 Fallacy) is the erroneous argument that the rules of a game aren't flawed because they can be ignored, or one or more "house rules" can be made as exceptions. Not to be confused with the Stormwind fallacy.

The argument is logically unsound, because it supposes something isn't broken if it can be fixed. If the rule is not broken, it shouldn't need to be fixed.

The original post[edit]

The Oberoni Fallacy is named after user "Oberoni" who made the following post to the Wizards D&D forum on July 23, 2002:

This my my take on the issue.

Let's say Bob the board member makes the assertion: "There is an inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X."

Several correct replies can be given:

  • "I agree, there is an inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X."
  • "I agree, and it is easily solvable by changing the following part of Rule X."
  • "I disagree, you've merely misinterpreted part of Rule X. If you reread this part of Rule X, you will see there is no inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue."

Okay, I hope you're with me so far. There is, however, an incorrect reply:

  • "There is no inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue with Rule X, because you can always Rule 0 the inconsistency/loophole/mechanics issue."

Now, this incorrect reply does not in truth agree with or dispute the original statement in any way, shape, or form.

It actually contradicts itself--the first part of the statement says there is no problem, while the last part proposes a generic fix to the "non-problem."

It doesn't follow the rules of debate and discussion, and thus should never be used.

Simple enough.