Currently the tag is restricted to questions about D&D 4e, but it seems like it could be expanded to address the usage of game-specific terminology in other games.

There is also the tag, but it refers to cross-game RPG terms rather than terms for a specific RPG:

For questions about RPG-specific terminology and jargon. Use this tag for questions about terminology used across RPGs in general, rather than the in-game meaning of a special game term within a certain game.

This leaves a gap for questions that want to ask about game-specific terms outside of 4e. Based on the following questions, it appears that users have been applying the terminology tag incorrectly when they actually want the meaning of a term within a specific game:

These can be compared to the cases where the tag is clearly appropriate, such as:

So I see four possible ways to address the lack of a tag for game-specific terminology:

  1. Expand the tag to apply to game-specific terms.
  2. Expand the tag to apply outside of 4e
  3. Create a new tag to fill the need
  4. There is no problem. Game-specific terminology is either too niche or too broad to deserve a tag.

The first option seems bad to me because the tag already has wide usage that specifically aligns with its current definition.

I don't know whether the second option would be appropriate.

How should this be addressed, if at all?


1 Answer 1


So, I see the issue you raise. The tag says we shouldn't be asking about in-game terminology, and there's an available tag that appears to cover that territory.

That said though... I have absolutely no idea why the tag description says this. The last sentence was added by @V2Blast relatively recently in March 2019, and I cannot find any meta post or reason why we'd exclude this space from the tag. (For whatever it's worth, V2Blast was not yet a diamond moderator at the time of making this change either.) Maybe V2Blast may recall some incident or reason for making this exclusion in the tag description, but I am not aware of one.

For D&D 4e specifically, isn't being used arbitrarily; it's a specific well-defined game feature that even has its own section in the rules (D&D 4e Player's Handbook, page 55). It's a specific set of tags attached to powers that define things about their type and usage, so that other mechanics can interact with them. A D&D 4e player can point to something and say exactly whether or not it's a keyword and why. This also means the D&D 4e community can achieve consensus on this site in tagging its questions. I added the tag description in January 2019 in response to a meta question asking about its usage: What is the [keywords] tag meant to be used for?

But for games in general, I would in fact say that “is this a game term?” and “what does this term used by the game mean?” are terminology questions. If I showed someone in the real world What is Fortitude? and said “this person is asking about terminology”, it's likely they would find that a completely reasonable thing to say. In fact we're already using it as such, and it intuitively matches—more than a quarter of the tag's contents are questions about game terms:

Tag descriptions are meant to reflect and guide usage. We have used to ask about game-specific terminology just fine and have in fact continued to do that despite the change to the tag description with no actual problems occurring.

So, option 1: change the tag description. The March 2019 update to the tag description in the first place incorrectly narrowed it, so we should fix the error to reflect how we've been using the tag all along. This means that last sentence should be dropped from the tag description, and it should simply say “For questions about RPG-specific terminology and jargon.

Not option 2 or 3: I think the boundaries of “what is a game terminology question rather than a terminology question, and what isn't, and why?” get too fuzzy and will mess with our ability to achieve consensus on tagging. I would not expand [keywords] nor try to create a [game-terminology] tag. We already have an entirely suitable tag available that we have been using, it's just got an incorrect description.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I don't even recall adding that tag description myself... I suspect it may have been based on a conversation in chat or comments about what the tag was for. (Or possibly just based on how it seemed the tag had actually been getting used up to that point?) Alternately, it may just have been how I interpreted "RPG-specific terminology and jargon" at the time... I'd have to search chat to see if I brought it up there. (EDIT: Doesn't look like it, based on a search of TRPG General chat for terminology.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I like your Option 1. The terminology tag isn't broken, so it does not seem to need fixing. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 14:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I went ahead and proposed an edit after your answer reached a score of ten votes without any opposition. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 10:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ On that note, why do we use incomplete sentences to introduce tags? \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 12:40
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu because it's already clear in context, the same way dictionaries don't have to precede each entry with "This word means". We could have [terminology] "The terminology tag is for questions about RPG terminology", or we can just have [terminology] "for questions about RPG terminology". We go for the second since the first is just unnecessary extra words. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener and we could remove the "For questions about" and start with "use this for" and the same context would apply, but with fewer words, or am I missing something? \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 13:34
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu Both of those patterns get used. You asked why we use incomplete sentences, and the answer is there's simply no imperative whatsoever to use complete sentences in a tag summary. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 13:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener if you know when and how we started this practice, then please stop by to leave an answer here, I'm curious. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 13:39

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