This question discusses a one page, three score RPG called Space Junk Cyberpunk: How often do I need to sing Happy Birthday to myself to survive Space Junk Cyberpunk? Right now the question has three tags the describe only the game: . Now, we've had a discussion before about system tags being meta tags, here (see also The Death of Meta Tags), and we determined that a system tag is a valid exception to the general rule of avoiding meta tags. But here's the problem: one system tag is a valid exception, while three is almost certainly not. The Space Junk Cyberpunk question linked above has three system tags. All three tags describe something about the system the question is about, not the question itself.

So I think we need a better system, because we're probably looking at invalid meta tags, and having a three tag tax before you even get to describing the question is too great a tag burden. So what is the best way to tag this question?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see the value of the [one-page-rpg] tag. No, not whether or not it's on-topic nor its usage in that question specifically. When would it even matter whether or not the question is about a one page RPG or not? Yes, the format presupposes limited ruleset but hardly describes anything useful for the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – VLAZ
    Sep 16, 2022 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VLAZ for me there's a value in a tag that helps readers/browsers, not just querents/answerers. So if I'm actively working in the OnePageRPG space, it could be very useful to have the tag easily collecting our Q/A about that style of game. (I'm not making an argument about whether this particular tag is good for that purpose. Just reminding people to keep that 90% of site visitors who're just reading in mind.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Sep 16, 2022 at 16:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 Doppel's answer explains this in more detail, but I'm not sure "one page rpg" is even a style of game. She cites two games having only one similarity - one page. If the only thing two games have in common is the page count of their rules, are they really the same style? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2022 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it'd come down to how much the question were about the one-page-ness? I mean, a Potatos question about whether "when Orcs hits 0..." is a typo clearly isn't about its one-page-ness. But one question about how well a one-page cutdown of Amazing Tales captures its ethos, another about whether a one-page cutdown of WEG Star Wars preserves the feel of how force points flow in a session, another about layout choices in a one-page presentation of Great Ork Gods... those, to me, feel like questions about one-page-rpg-ness. (Not that those questions exist!) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Sep 17, 2022 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ tl;dr: I think it probably is a style worth thinking about as such, but maybe that we don't actually have any mainsite questions about that style yet. (Kinda similar to how I feel about the sys-ag tag: there's a difference between questions asked where system isn't specified and questions that are about being detached from system.) \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Sep 17, 2022 at 13:33

3 Answers 3


We should drop [one-page-rpg]; it isn't a useful tag

(This answer has no specific comment on the other two tags, it's just tackling this particular one right now.)

is not a good, useful tag. It's simply a descriptor of publishing format and word count of one specific delivery of a game. I say this as a fan of one-page RPGs. It is a thing several games might coincidentally have in common, and things people might be interested in, but it's not a useful category from the Stack's perspective.

You can't be an expert on “things that happen to be on one page.” Expertise on various RPGs that happen to be one page is non-transferrable — this isn't one common game system. Expertise in Honey Heist does not transfer to Lasers & Feelings or Space Junk Cyberpunk just on account of how they get printed.

This is just the same as how GURPS, AD&D, and Vampire: the Masquerade do not have transferrable expertise just on account of how they might have similar page counts on their primary volume.

It's also not a super meaningful descriptor: if I print Honey Heist out on two pages, it's still the same game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this, but I would point out that it’s conceivable to ask questions about, and to have expertise in, designing one-page RPGs. Doesn’t have to be captured in a tag, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Sep 16, 2022 at 18:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan I agree, that's a genuine distinct problem domain for design. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2022 at 19:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm getting some cognitive dissonance when I hit the phrase "as a fan of one-page RPGs." That you're a fan of one-page RPGs--that you see that category of games (even if fuzzily-defined, because we could print Honey Heist on two pages) as a meaningful one to mention--makes me err on the side of the tag having utility for the browsing public. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Sep 17, 2022 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 I'm a fan of them because I like playing small, simple games that are quickly understood and played. Those are qualities I appreciate that are not limited to one-page RPGs; lady blackbird is many more pages but still has that quality. Actually categorising games with this quality is not a job for the Stack to apply to questions though; it's something for RPGGeek to classify. We don't have [crunchy-rpg] or [atmospheric-rpg] either. Tags are about connecting people with questions they can answer and answers that apply to their situation; not for helping people find games they'd like. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 17, 2022 at 14:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Being quite serious here, if we did have [one-page-rpg], or the other tags I mentioned, it'd come as some kind of layer above tags — where we get to tag the tags themselves so as to classify systems with features in common, like tagging all the WOD games together and the PBTA games together, and tag all the small-form and one-page RPGs together, and so on. We could even have just a [game system] super-tag this way to delineate all the tags that represent game systems. We don't have this structure though. I'd sure like us to have it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 17, 2022 at 14:09

Meta information about a system goes in the tag descriptor, not a separate tag

I think the simplest question which resolves this (to me) is "where have we put this information before?" And for things like it being a one-page game (alongside say genre like fantasy, solarpunk, etc., or year of publishing, or being open source) goes in the tag description. It's useful for someone to get an idea of what the system is (or check that it's the same system, say) but it doesn't usefully describe the question.

Now if someone comes along and asks a (presumably ) question about One Page games in general/specific, tagging that question with it seems warranted. Until then, it needn't exist (assuming we don't have such a question already and not found/tagged it).

As for and [game-name]

In this case I think it's best to consider Three Scores a game engine with a number of implementations/drifts (or drifts of each other). Conceptually similar to say or (which is D&D 3e backbone drifted to form other games). For systems like this, it makes a lot sense to have both. Considering how... let's say close, the drifts are, having the shared engine tag almost makes more sense than the individual implementations, but I don't think having them is any kind of issue either.

I think the tag description and excerpt for needs some help, right now I don't think it's very helpful if you aren't already familiar with what it is, which isn't ideal.

  • \$\begingroup\$ We do have a question about game design for one page, three score RPGs, but it is closed. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2022 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov It would seem I somehow glossed over that fact. I might argue that question isn't really about it being one-page, so I'm not sure it justifies the existence of the tag \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Sep 16, 2022 at 15:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ GURPS is similarily a Game Engine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Sep 17, 2022 at 9:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ as is PBTA (Powered by the Apocalypse) \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Sep 17, 2022 at 10:11

I would like a tag that actually describes this specific grouping of games

doesn't really work — there are many one-pagers with very different mechanics. Lasers & Feelings, Beep, &c. I agree with the preceding posts saying it's a "meta tag."

also doesn't work. Because there's no mechanism by which you can pick up one of these things and know "aha! clearly I need to type the phrase "three-score-rpg" into RPG.SE." A tag that will only get applied post-hoc by one of like 3 knowledgeable users isn't a very good tag, imo.

I also think these games are simple enough that individual game tags are just gonna fade.

So, what does that leave us with? Well, you're specifically discussing a bunch of games with the words "a one page RPG by Oliver Darkshire" on their title page. That's the unifying thing right now, some portion of that is likely to make a good tag on account of how these things do have a lot of similarities in design and presentation, &c.

I don't have a definite solution in mind, but note that the author labels the whole collection "Darkshire's One Page RPGs" ("and Stuff") here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ They can all be found here at Oliver's patreon. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2022 at 20:24

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