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The tag snippet for reads:

For questions specifically about problems inherent to becoming or tutoring a game master (GM). This tag is not for just saying "I am a new GM": see the full tag wiki for important usage notes.

The full tag wiki goes on to provide robust guidance for use of the tag, more robust than most, if not all, of our other tags. It seem we were very intentional about constructing the usage guidance to avoid the problem of just slapping the tag on questions that just happened to involve a new GM when the question didn't substantively relate to problems unique to new GMs.

Unfortunately, it seems we have failed. Reading through the list of open questions tagged , it seems we have done a rather poor job of applying the usage guidance we have for the tag. A large proportion of these questions are problems we have probably all faced in some form another as GMs, and just have the tag because the question author was new to the role.

The volume is not tremendous, but it is certainly non-trivial, so I am putting this here to get some community feedback for cleaning up this tag. I think it will probably be as simple as a standard retagging effort, but I wanted to get some thoughts and see some community support for the idea before undertaking the project. I'll also note that a good chunk of these are not D&D 5e, with a large chunk of those being 4e, 3.5e, and PF1e, and then another large chunk are not in the D&D sphere at all. So a retagging effort will require some coordination between several system experts to make sure it gets done right.

For reference, here are the previous meta discussions we've had concerning :

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a tag that requires some continuous oversight of diligent untagging, so it looks like that might not have been kept up over the past couple of years. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 13, 2022 at 22:43

3 Answers 3

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Realistically this tag needs constant diligence and will need the occasional cleanup

And that's fine.

Possibly just for my amusement, I'll try to go through the mechanisms at play here. Firstly, new GMs are heavily also going to be new contributors/askers, even more so than question askers in general. And new askers bring whatever tag system they're used to (which could just be a best guess), and doesn't strictly have the same goals the stack has. They want their question answered (and quickly, as a rule) far more than categorizing the question for future readers.

The site doesn't push the tag description or excerpt very heavily either, and while we could give it a better warning (ie. in capital letters at the start) I doubt that would have a great effect (certainly no guarantee) and that feels unnecessarily aggressive. Editing tags aren't a great burden, and there's usually other tags to be fixed at the same time.

So yeah, expect the occasional wave of being removed. It is for question inherent to being a new GM, not simply marking the asker as such nor for misunderstandings incidental to a new GM having not internalized the rules fully (experienced GMs can make the same muck up). As ever, a reminder to keep the collective rate of edits to old questions to a reasonable level. New questions (and other edits and changes) deserve the light too :)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, I would not expect new GMs to have the same degree of insight that highly experienced GMs have into "questions specifically about problems inherent to becoming or tutoring a game master (GM)." The tag is as aspirational as it is definitional. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Dec 15, 2022 at 23:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I mean, it's fine, I ain't mad at it or anything. It's useful and I don't believe it should be nuked. But it is never going to be self-applied with the mechanical clockwork precision that is often preferred. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Dec 15, 2022 at 23:34
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I still* think this should be renamed and synonymed to . That would make it clearly right on the right questions and obviously wrong on the wrong questions, making cleanup natural for editors reading new questions that don’t fit the tag—no familiarity with meta needed.

I don’t think it would be a perfect tag, but I think it would be significantly easier for the community to organically maintain it without deliberate effort. It would become self-maintaining. And it’s a much more interesting tag—the sort of tag name people like to follow.

Since it’s easy enough to reverse the renaming and synonym I think it’s worth trying. I don’t think it would hurt, and it might just automagically fix the problem.

* The original lengthy answer and comments on it are under What can/should we do about [new-gm]?

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    \$\begingroup\$ HOLY SMOKES A WILD SSD APPEARED \$\endgroup\$ Dec 30, 2022 at 19:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Roll for initiative! \$\endgroup\$ Jan 2, 2023 at 4:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hope all's well in Seven Land! 😃 \$\endgroup\$ Jan 3, 2023 at 16:12
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Leaving an answer here is a quick FYI, I’m going to start working through the tag slowly, per our usual a-few-questions-a-day protocol.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you planning on sharing any posts here? (Should I bother following this post?) \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2023 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AncientSwordRage I wasn’t, but if you would like me to I can. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 27, 2023 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to follow this and let you decide. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 28, 2023 at 9:33

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