I occasionally add fitting but missing tags to posts, for example if the question is about a monster and is missing the tag, I add , or if it is about the action economy, but has no such tag, I might add . I typically do this when not all five slots on the question have been taken yet, and there is "white space" to add something without needing to boot something else out that the author (or other community members) added.

Since I'm curious about portals, in the sense of "connections between times, places and worlds" I sometimes browse questions about portals if there is nothing else new or interesting going on. This is actually not that easy, because there are a lot of false positives:

  • Tales from the Yawning Portal is a collection of adventures for 5e, and often pops up

  • Adventures that involve the eponymous Yawning Portal, such as Waterdeep: Dragon Heist also come up

  • A website called "Obsidian Portal" also tends to feature in the results

These one can exclude by query language such as "-obsidian", which is a bit laborious, but feasible.

  • In 4th, there is a number of teleportation spells that function by means of creating a portal to step through. Sometimes the qeustions are about the actual portal, but a lot of the time, these are just questions about teleportation that the portal aspect is not important for.

  • There are of course also mundane portals, doorways, that show up

These latter cases are not so easy to exclude, because they do not share a common element.

Because of all of this, I find the tag especially useful, because it can help to find questions that are not primarily about teleportation, or any of these other things, but about the concept of a gateway to a different reality or place. And if I find a question that would benefit from it and has open space, or if I answer such a question, I tag it.

When I was new to the site, I used to tag a lot of questions in one day for another tag (glyph of warding, which was later decided to be replaced with , because individual spells normally do not have their own tags) flooding the "front page" with questions related to that. I was told that was bad practice and one should not do it.

I'm not doing that here. This typically is pretty low volume, I might create one or two such tags in a week, and certainly less than one a week on average. Is this a problem?


2 Answers 2


There is something to be said about how you've framed the inquiry here. I'm sure the strike has something to do with the lack of engagement on your question, but the way you've framed it is doing you no favors for encouraging constructive engagement. In particular, your question is focused on a particular behavior you have been engaging in, and asks very pointedly:

You got a problem with me? (paraphrased)

This is a decidedly poor way to start a meta discussion (believe me, I've tried), and in my experience, solution focused inquiries lead to better discussions.

That said, "is Groody's behavior a problem" is not a question I am interested in answering, but the motive here is clear enough: you think is a useful tag and that something should be done about it.

You've made a good case for why it is a helpful tag. I had originally thought would be sufficient, but in many games, there are mechanics unique to portals that make them quite different from other forms of teleportation. So I am generally in favor of a retagging project. I've come up with this search as a decent starting place:

portal is:question -[portals] closed:0 -[tales-from-the-yawning-portal] -[published-adventures]

At time of writing this gives 120 questions that are probably about portals, that haven't been tagged yet, and are not about the Yawning Portal tavern. I am not sure of the best way to approach this as a retagging project. 120 questions is a lot of questions- five questions per day for three and half weeks is a long time to read about portals. Given the volume, I would probably prefer to see a list of candidate questions compiled first, then executed all at once, or in a couple batches spaced out by a week or more each. I think one to three large disruptions of the front page spread out over several weeks is favorable to consistent minor disruptions over several weeks. But that's just my opinion, and is obviously subject to change.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the question could be paraphrased to "You've got a problem with me doing this?", hopefully not as "You've got a problem with me?", which is an ad hominem way to start a fight. I'll compile a list of candidates when I have some time - I do not think there are actually that many in that list of 120, based on what I've seen probably no more than 30ish or so. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 14, 2023 at 6:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dump it all at once is a much better strategy than slowly adding it everyday. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 16:49

Working answer to review questions for tagging

It might be useful to tag some of the untagged "Yawning Portal" and "Obsidian Portal" questions too; I did not alter tags during this survey (neither for the questions that I think are a good match to add the portal tag), to keep the list of 120 questions stable for the preparation period.

From going over the long list, some general observations and suggestions:

  • The spell gate is literally about creating a portal and calling a powerful creature through it. It might be an idea to tag questions about gate with , similar to gyph of warding's
  • It might be useful to tag some of the questions that lack Yawning portal tags, at least those that are about the published compilation. Likewise for Obsidian Portal.

I'm not sure what common procedure is. I will let this hang around here for a week or two for feedback (site is pretty slow right now due to the strike).

Update July 28: I had no further feedback. If there are no objections, I will move ahead and tag all the ones in good matches in one single batch and leave the others alone. Feedback on tagging all the gate ones (another batch), or tagging all the missing ones (to differentiate those about the book from those that just deal with the inn) in another batch welcome.

Update, July 30: Exectued the good matches tag. Will do the yawning portal one, too, which seems obvious, but not tag everything gate with portal for now.

Update September 26. Tagged the good ones from the maybe list. I think this wraps this up.

Good matches to add the tag

  1. How many creatures can step through a Teleportation Circle before it closes? Is about how many people can use a portal before closing, so specific about a portal's effect
  2. Permanently hiding items/objects Interaction of portals and dead magic zones (Note from Thomas: this is not a question about portals. Solutions may include portals, but this is not asking about portals.)
  3. Can a Bag of Holding destroy a Sphere of Annihilation? About the portal of bag of holding, and its interaction with rules about portals in Sphere of Annihilation (Note from Thomas: This question is not about portals, it is about a bag of holding. A question needs to do more than mention a bag of holding to be about portals.)
  4. Can Bag of Holding + Portable Hole Turn Enemies Inside-Out? About the effect of large creatures being pulled through a portal from their insides -- probably portals would be a better match here to tag than teleportation
  5. Does the interior of a portable hole rotate to adhere to the hole's orientation? Question about positioning of the portal of a portable hole, and its effects
  6. How invulnerable can you make a gate door? All about how to secure an actual planar portal

Questionable, could possibly add tag.

Additional takes on if they should should not be tagged especially welcome.

  1. How do I prepare a permanent magic circle for the Linked Portal ritual? Asks about setting up a permanent circle for Portal-type teleportation spells
  2. What happens when a Scrying target teleports away, or moves through a portal? Asks if there is a difference between teleporting and using a portal (but already has 5 tags)
  3. Order of Combat Operations (Warlock's Curse) Is about pushing someone through a magical portal, but main focus is on action economy and if you can retry that
  4. When was the Hither-Thither Staff introduced in D&D? Could consider tagging as the staff is a portal magic item, like a glyph of warding is a spell trap, but the question itself is not about the portals. Already discussed with Thomas and decided to not tag to avoid needless controversy.
  5. Would a constrained portable door magic item be game-breaking? Is about an item using portals (pretty cool idea actually), but gist is more about the balance effect of affording teleportation, not about the portal itself
  6. What options are available to a Portable Hole owner? About when the portal of a portable hole opens. I think would be OK to tag, done.
  7. How to increase the chance of a spell's success against a foe that can save vs spells most of the time Using a portal to get rid of an otherwise impervious opponent (as one of the options)
  8. Permanently hiding items/objects I'm unsure -- primarily about Numenera (which I have no experience with), but mentions something that effectively works as a portal
  9. Are there any other ways to travel between the layers of the Nine Hells besides the River Styx? Is about access to the hells, but portals are one of the options
  10. How to introduce a new setting to existing characters? Is about narration, not portals specifically, although most of the options listed are portals
  11. How do we transition from D&D 4e's world to D&D 5e's world? Similar, about how to transition narratively between settings (here of different editions), portals being one way
  12. Is the negative energy plane underneath Golarion? About digging a physical hole that somehow acts as a portal between planes, tagged.
  13. Can a teleportation circle be made in the air? Probably not, but maybe -- about Planar Portal spell, and if Teleportation Circle as the target of a portal can be in mid-air
  14. What defenses are there against being summoned by the Gate spell? Text of Gate mentioning portal.
  15. How exploitable/balanced is this homebrew spell: Spell Permanency? Does have explicit rules text about portals, but already has 5 tags, and is not centrally about portals, so probably not good to replace exsiting tags
  16. Is there any way to follow a banished creature to the demiplane? Only mentions portal as part of the gate spell, but the question is about placement, not the portal
  17. How do nested planes/pockets work? Outpockets in a way are like portals, so might be useful to tag, done.
  18. Managing a Medieval Low Orbit Ion Cannon It is about a portal-powered cannon, but the portal is not central to it. I think this is likely a no, too. There might be other useful tags, like magic-item or balance to be better adds instead.
  19. Do you die on another plane if you reached that plane via Astral Projection? Core is behavior of the spell, and that is directly tied to using a portal, or not to reach another plane. I think this would be a fit, but it already has 5 perfectly reasonable tags, so I'd leave it alone.
  20. By RAW, does Astral Projection allow you to keep your astral body when you leave the Astral Plane? Very similar, but this one does have free tag space, so I would add it. Done.
  21. Can an army of psionic characters create a crystal sphere in the astral plane? Portals feature as one of several alternatives in a question that is mostly about psionics - I think likely not tag, but am not quite sure.
  22. After I finish casting Teleportation Circle, can I prevent the portal from immediately opening? Might be fit but has already 5 well-considered tags

Togehter found 27 that maybe could be considered out of the 120. I think it likely will turn out to be more around a dozen to a score when we are done reviewing here.

No action

These are all questions that mention the Yawning Portal, Obsidian Portal, are about mundane doorways, or have portals feature either in rules text of a spell like teleportation circle or gate, but not being the gist of the question, or in some backstory or exposition.

I thought it might be useful to group these, to highlight some of the themes:

Yawning Portal

Obsidian Portal

Mundane Portals

Ravenlofts powers to block exit

The nine hells and devils

Spell rules text (e.g. gate, teleportation circle, astral projection) without focus on portals

Time dilation

Explicitly excludes portals

Faking portals

Side mentions in backstory or exposition

Need help making a Headquarters via Equipment Advantage as portable pocket dimension? Question is not about the portal, a side mention in an ability


  • \$\begingroup\$ Done with reveiwing all 120. Please comment, if interesed, its a Wiki, so you can easily add / change. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 16, 2023 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Gonna add some notes to these. Yeah, it’s late. I removed the tag from several of the questions you tagged. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 10:41
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ You seem to think that if a portal is a potential solution or mentioned as one in the question, the question should be tagged. This is incorrect. Questions should be tagged if they are actually about portals. As an example, you mentioned a question about hiding something permanently as a good candidate. A solution involving a portal was mentioned in the question as an example of the sort of solution the question was looking for. But other than this example, the question has nothing to do with portals. Questions like this should not be tagged. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkovisonStrike Please feel free to adjust. I asked repeatedly for feedback before tagging, waited for like two weeks, asked again if objections to proceed: nothing. While I can understand that reacting to a change made is simpler, it still is a bit disappointing. Also had 0 feedback on the maybe questions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 16:20
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I’m sure engagement will rebound when the strike ends. You should be neither surprised nor disappointed that engagement has been minimal. I’ve only broken the strike to engage here in order to offload work finding and fixing things from my future self. Just have a bit off patience; the strike will end soon enough and this is a low stakes problem. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkovisonStrike OK, will do. Will also check if there is any update on the strike. Last I saw was some grandiose announcment on AI (essentially using a chat interface to help find the right Qs) from the CEO. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 30, 2023 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I honestly forgot about this. Looks Naut has gone back over your most recent work, removing the tag a few times. I agree with his decisions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 16:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov, I am not trying to create a tagging war here, so if you both think different about it, I'll just let it be like that. Thanks for taking the effort to take a look at it \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 26, 2023 at 17:05

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