I noticed recently that the general Fate tag is being removed from The Dresden Files RPG questions. As the DFRPG is the penultimate example of Fate v3, I sort of disagree with that decision, and wanted to get a general consensus as to when the general game identification tag should be removed from a licensed property.
Tags are first and foremost about organising and collecting together questions and answers that are useful for someone who is interested in only that tag. That gives us an excellent litmus test for whether something should have a more general tag or not:
- If it's useful to someone who follows the fate tag but who doesn't give a monkey's uncle about DFRPG, then it should have the fate tag.
- If it's useful to someone who follows the dresden-files-rpg tag but who doesn't give a flying hoot about Fate generally, then it should have the DFRPG tag.
Some questions will have both tags. Some will only have one or the other. This has almost nothing to do with whether the question just happens to be by someone using DFRPG – it's entirely possible for someone to be asking about DFRPG but the actual meat of the question is about Fate and nothing specific to DFRPG, and therefore not have the DFRPG tag.
This is analogous to tags like gm-techniques or problem-players. Obviously they're using some kind of system, but we do not give it a system tag unless the question is intimately tied to that system and useful to people who follow that system's tag.
Sometimes a topic can't be generalized.
If the subject in question is specific to the property and can't be easily generalized to other games in the system, the general tag should be considered for removal. I don't think this is a hard-and-fast idea, but I think it's a matter of being honest about the scope of the question's topic.
We don't tag 3.5-specific questions with dungeons-and-dragons, and d20 doesn't get added to all d20-System games. I think the same concept should be used with FATE and its subsystems as applicable. The modularity of FATE makes it a bit muddier, but I tried to only hit cases that seemed clear-cut.
Almost universally, games using the FATE engine contain customized elements that don't generalize to the rest of the the FATE experience. DFRPG falls firmly into this category; it's among the crunchiest of all FATE games. I removed fate from questions whose answers were specific to DFRPG and could not easily be generalized beyond that game's setting, context, or unique ruleset variants (some vampire-specific questions and one about whether you should read the books before you play the game, for instance).
If I felt that the answers could reasonably be applied to experiences in non-DFRPG games, I happily left fate in place. But where it felt misleading to say it was a FATE question instead of a DFRPG-specific one, I pulled 'em (for example, a question in which the only DFRPG reference was a DFRPG-specific example of a broader FATE concept being addressed).
I also pulled a couple of dresden-filess off some questions that arose in a DFRPG context but with no need for DFRPG-specific content in the answers. Again, when in doubt I left the existing tags alone, but tagging basic topics universal to FATE with the DFRPG label seemed dishonest about the extent to which DFRPG itself is covered in the site.