Recently discussed in the Moldvay question, but this keeps getting hashed out in weird sub-questions so I thought I'd re-ask this more general question somewhere it can be found in the future.

How do we tag questions for the game Dungeons & Dragons, given its long history and many, very different, editions?

Note: If you are not expert on the various D&D editions, refer to


2 Answers 2


The desired hierarchy, initially hashed out in Proposed tag synonyms for [dnd4.0] but having evolved a little, should be and mostly is already:

  • - For general cross-version stuff
    • - The first D&D, aka 0e, brown box/white box from 1974
    • - The first Basic D&D by Holmes from 1977
    • - Moldvay Basic and Cook Expert from 1981
    • - Mentzer Basic 'Red Box' + (expert, companion, master, immortal boxes, and the Rules Cyclopedia combo thereof) from 1983
    • - Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, aka 1e, from 1977
    • - Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition from 1989
    • - Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition from 2000
    • - Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 Edition from 2003
    • - Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition from 2008 (includes Essentials)
    • - Dungeons & Dragons Fifth edition from 2014, also referred to as D&D Next in 2012. We have the tag for questions that were/are specifically about its playtest stage.
    • - Fork of D&D 3.5e by Paizo in 2008
    • - the newer 2019 version thereof
    • And various retroclones.

dnd-basic was being used inconsistently and often redundantly with dnd-bx and no one was using the right Moldvay tag because it was bx-dnd instead of dnd-bx (I synonymed it). I propose that we either a) make dnd-basic just for Holmes or b) make it a collection of all three Basics, though I am unclear what purpose that would serve. or c) remove it in favor of the three specific tags.

In general you shouldn't overtag - for instance shouldn't coexist with more specific version tags, it's a halfway step between [system-agnostic] and a specific version and is for questions that cross more than 2 versions (if you just want to compare 3.0 and 3.5, then just tag with the two of those and call it good) or are general and not version specific, but are D&D domain specific.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So is that a good use of dnd-basic? And should we tag redundantly with dungeons-and-dragons or not? I think some people were in favor of that for SEO if not RPG.SE correctness. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 5, 2013 at 23:40
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, I suspect that [bx-dnd] wasn't getting used because one new player of Moldvay who recently started asking questions here didn't know that it is commonly called BX D&D (and I wasn't aggressively retagging, oops). A set of synonyms could fix that in future, perhaps [moldvay-dnd], [holmes-dnd], [mentzer-dnd]. 'Course, that might get silly if we try to cover Cook and Marsh too… but then again, synonyms are free, right? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2013 at 5:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've added mentzer-dnd but don't see a reason to add other synonyms until someone actually really uses them. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 7, 2013 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ The d20 tag seems to have been used similarly to dungeons-and-dragons in that it's been overtagged on a few questions. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2013 at 6:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've tried asking on SE meta about the SEO value of tagging with those vs not, no one can be bothered to answer us. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 11, 2013 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast: mxy has now updated the answer to account for that, as well as Pathfinder 1e vs. 2e. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Feb 20, 2020 at 3:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Thanks for the poke, goodness. :) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 20, 2020 at 4:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The blue box is basic right? \$\endgroup\$
    – NeutralTax
    Feb 20, 2020 at 12:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are several “blue boxes” including the second printing of dnd-basic (and the anniversary reprint) and the expert box of dnd-becmi. See acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/basic.html for a super in depth identification guide. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 20, 2020 at 13:07

I would also suggest a [3.X] or [3.PF] tag to refer to games or questions that involve a blending of PF rules and 3.5 rules - not an uncommon thing to happen.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Surely it would be simpler to just use the two seperate tags on the same question? Or maybe I'm missing something... \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Jan 8, 2013 at 22:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Well, two separate tags might indicate that the question is valid for either system but has different concerns in both. Mechanically, 3.PF really is its own beast. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2013 at 22:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just tag twice. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 8, 2013 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've noticed awkward double tagging (and low-grade arguments about how to properly tag) on questions like that. I think it's a (minor) problem. However, I don't think making up a "combined versions" tag is a solution because gamers in general haven't yet decided on how to refer to such beasts, and we'd need a new tag for every permutation of two, three, or more combos. (Incidentally, we do have a d20 tag that could serve, but nobody uses it that way. Maybe we should start retagging with it.) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 9, 2013 at 8:35
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ d20 means about 100 games. Most people use it incorrectly out of ignorance to just mean "D&D." Where there is a real case for a "game family" tag that a) applies to more than 2-3 games and b) is coherent enough to be practically used, we'll add it. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jan 10, 2013 at 4:25

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