So I saw this question today: Does Favored by the Gods work with counterspell rolls?

I believe this is obviously a D&D 5e question because:

  • In the question it says "5e"
  • It also mentions specific game features/spell: "Favored by the Gods", "Counterspell", and "Power Word Kill"

If I asked anyone what game this is, they would likely say: "5e, duh". If I pushed them and said "yeah but 5e of what game?" they would tell me "D&D". I think that it's obvious to everyone, even though technically there's no tag.

Another user commented that the question could be about 5e of Vampires or L5R and linked this meta: What to do when an answer guesses the system of a question rather than waiting for the querent to clarify? which says you can't answer questions without a tag. I don't believe D&D 5e was a guess however.

I was also directed to this post: Is '5e' a clear enough statement of game system by a question asker? which is newer and actually about 5e, where the top answers say "yeah just answer it".

These two posts seem to have conflicted policies and I am unsure what I should do in this situation.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The users who originally commented on your answer were not moderators, they were simply politely informing you of site expectations. I however, am (note the diamond) and am going to heavily edit this meta post to no longer be insulting to the users who were trying to help explain site policy to you. As Medix2 correctly states the metas linked have seen their votes changed making the current policy confusing. The mod team is aware and will work to correct this. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Nov 5, 2020 at 5:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't believe there is a question here. In its present form this is more just a rant about a particular situation than it is a problem to solve or a question to answer. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2020 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Thomas I believe the question is: "I am unsure what I should do in this situation" \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2020 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? Re-revisiting the "don't guess the system" policy \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 11, 2020 at 2:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user-024673 The status of the answers has absolutely nothing to do with the status of the question, namely, as the most recent place this discussion took place, and not all that long ago. That means any further discussion on the topic should happen there, and we should redirect users there rather than splitting the discussion up. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 11, 2020 at 4:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Notably there are two topics: whether system tags should be edited when the OP hasn't stated what system they're playing and whether the OP using "5e" is effectively equivalent to them having stated the system they're using. Though if you feel these are clear subsets, with the general policy answering the 5e question, feel free to vote to close that question as well \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2020 at 5:34

1 Answer 1


Whether or not you intended it, your words came across as aggressive and hurtful

Note that I am not saying that others were not also aggressive in their word choice; what they said could come across rudely (text is really difficult sometimes all the time). On top of that, this is, far and away, a hot-button issue on this Stack, and it has, at times, gotten difficult to discuss; I cannot imagine the background/history of this sort of thing has helped anybody to remain calm or seek out and assume best intentions.

Unfortunately, you stepped on an invisible landmine

We have discussed editing in system tags, and/or answers assuming system tags a lot, so much that "a lot" probably isn't giving a big enough picture of just how much it's been discussed.

The most recent major revisit of the topic is this from early March 2020:

That came to a definitive stance in late June of the same year, landing on the policy that to add a system tag (often confusingly and wrongly called "guessing", when it does not actually mean guessing) is typically wrong. Of course, Meta can always bring up individual cases, such as this one; and has done so before; in fact, at least twice.

The confusing, perhaps contradicting, Meta answers have not been addressed

However, during the time between June 2020 and September 2020, competing, incompatible answers to the following question flipped in terms of their order when sorted by score (in fact, there have been a few votes just in the past five days and I wouldn't be surprised if the answers flipped again):

What this change in the score actually means is, at least to me, unclear and has not been officially addressed in any capacity that I am aware of. I completely agree that this leads to a very confusing (if not outright contradictory) set of answers to Meta questions about similar topics; it simply hasn't been addressed (yet).

To quote a recent comment there from a Diamond Moderator:

Note to all users: Recent votes on this meta have made our actual policy unclear. Current enforcement is that the OP must clarify the system and edition explicitly. This is clearly something we need to readdress and will do so soon.

Notably we also have the following question:

This is an older question (September 2018) but it is also extremely similar to the idea of adding a system tag. Instead of being about a user adding a system tag, it is about them assuming a system tag. Thus the re-revisit of the policy that I linked to at the start is, at least to me, similar enough that it can be considered a revisiting of this (at least to some extent).

To that end, the ideas expressed there would be continued now; an answer that assumes the system can be handled by the community, receiving downvotes and delete votes if they find that they are warranted.

That said, strictly speaking, an answer to a question that should have a system tag but does not have one is simply not an answer to that question. Such answers would assume a system which the original question did not have, and thus they are not actually answering the question as it was asked but are instead answering an entirely different question. This is similar to the stance that you should avoid agnostic answers to system-less questions that need system tags.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @user-024673 We aren't staff. Every user you've interacted with on site are volunteers. The "is 5e clear" meta has had votes coming in in the time since it informed practices, and thus is hard to trust as community consensus. We'll be doing a revisit of that meta soon. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Nov 5, 2020 at 12:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user-024673 Votes in general, yes. If the community is split on something (which it is on this topic) we go with majority. Votes over time are a problem (which doesn't come up very often) because they are biased to one side (ie. one side has more incentive to vote over time than the other). Therefore we need a revisit, either to correct practices to new consensus, or have a meta which actually shows of the consensus. (We're on this, there's just some other things we're doing at the same time) \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Nov 9, 2020 at 11:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Revisiting every few months is an untenable solution; that just allows those interested in change to browbeat everyone else into submission. Which is exactly how major policy changes have tended to go on our Meta, and exactly how this is probably going to go sooner or later. I don’t have a good solution; allowing policies to stand indefinitely on the basis of years-old votes doesn’t work either. But I cannot tell you how much I do not want to do this argument again. Sooner or later I won’t, and if it keeps up no one else will either, and the policy will change. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 11, 2020 at 5:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Yes. Though for this case allowing votes over time to dictate isn't workable either, because one side of the argument would be doing that much more than the other. (And that change is not readily conveyed making it confusing at best). This is also not about revisiting the whole policy to push for a change, it is about revisiting what is effectively a subpart of it because we need to. (Either to correct practice on disallowing "5e" as a system nickname, or the one we link to with regards to it). And I hear you, I don't like having to do drag this up again either, but we can't not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Nov 11, 2020 at 13:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @user-024673 I did not say I will "disregard the policy". At the time when the '5e' meta was active the votes were very different. We established a pattern of enforcement and have been consistent with it since then. You recently brought attention to the fact the votes have changed since then and hence we are readdressing the issue. It is disingenuous to imply that moderators are disregarding policies. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Nov 12, 2020 at 3:24

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