The recent spate of V:tR questions from a new user has brought the mess of WoD tags to my attention. (And I do like cleaning up messy tag clusters.)

  • According to its tag wiki, is only for asking about the setting:

    The [world-of-darkness] tag should be used for questions concerning the setting of White Wolf's supernatural games. For questions concerning the mechanics, use [storyteller-system] for oWoD/cWoD games and [storytelling-system] for nWoD ones.

    It's being habitually put on every question about a White Wolf WoD game, though, which results in tag soup like . Clearly there is a degree of redundancy here that is contrary to the tagging system's purpose.

    To add to the mess, I have no idea where the consensus for using for only setting questions came from. Messier still, it's the synonym for , which people use as a system tag instead of a setting tag.

  • and are supposed to be used for rules questions, but instead we get and (which synonyms to ) used for rules questions. Obviously our stated use for these tags isn't how users actually tag naturally: do we synonym away the "xwod" tags to their respective storytell(er|ing)-system tags, or do we go with the flow (and the SEO) and use the nWoD and WoD tags? (Actually, synonyming them to the systems might be a clever thing: "owod" and "nwod" are easier to remember than whether it's an -ing or an -er for nwod/owod, making proper system-tagging happen more automatically.)

  • Is for only setting Qs too? Or is it a system tag? It doesn't say in its tag wiki, but because it's the complement of (which synonyms to ) it's implied that it's for only setting questions by our tag structure. Unless the tag wiki for is wrong, of course.

  • Do we need to tag a question with when it's already tagged with , or with when it's already tagged with or any of the other oWoD games? Is it redundant, or useful?

  • and don't exist, even as synonyms. I'm surprised they're not being constantly applied by new users to old/classic WoD questions. Should we make them synonyms of… whatever we decide to do with the rest of the tags?

Previous meta discussions

There's an old discussion about needing to split nWoD and oWoD questions, but it doesn't deal with taxonomy beyond "yes we should have separate tags".

There's an old discussion about the tag hierarchy for WoD tags. It mentions that was already intended to be for setting Qs, but doesn't say where or when that was decided. It proposes that be used like we do as a tag for general Qs that aren't specific to any edition or that do meaningfully span editions, but the tag wiki wasn't changed to reflect that consensus (if it was a consensus), and it's not being used that way now anyway. (i.e., not every question also has on it, but that's what we're seeing with WoD questions and ). So, it's not being used according to its tag wiki nor this discussion's answer.

I don't have a useful opinion on this beyond "the status quo is awful", because I'm not a WoD player and don't have the nuanced familiarity with the various names' relationships to devise a "right" hierarchy, and I don't have the familiarity with the WoD community to judge what sorts of tags will align with how the terms are actually used in the wild. I am an editing junkie though, and we should have our tags set up such that anyone with a reasonable comprehension of a question can use the tag wikis as a reference for fixing the tags on a new question from a user uninitiated in the Ways of the Tag.

  • \$\begingroup\$ In all candor, I was the one who came up with the idea of world-of-darkness for setting questions and the er/ing for system ones, and it carried forward largely because I was confident enough to start using it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 22, 2013 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc Cool, that's good to know! And all we have is our own initiative, so there's nothing wrong with that. Detailed usage in the tag wikis is great—we just need to untangle the rest of the tags and see what tagging directives makes sense for the overall cluster. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2013 at 19:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ As someone who has a fair few friends who play (o|n)WoD but who doesn't play myself, I'd submit that I'd have absolutely no idea that Storytell(er|ing) has anything to do with (o|n)WoD. Never seen the use of the phrase cWoD either, but that's more minor. So I support (o|n)WoD being the primary system tags and Storytell(er|ing) being synonyms to the appropriate one. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Apr 22, 2013 at 22:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan "cWoD" is relatively new; it came into use once the 20th anniversary books started coming out. Since there was now new product coming out for the Masquerade setting, they wanted a way to refer to it (and its pre-2005 counterparts) that wasn't "old." Go to the Onyx Path site and that's how you'll see it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 22, 2013 at 22:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would very much like to have this resolved before our anniversary contest starts. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 5:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton I thought it already had? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 14:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope, starts on the 29th. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 22:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Bumping this — if it's still worth doing, no time like the present. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Jun 8, 2014 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc I'm not opposed, but I feel like I personally have even less of a grasp of the WoD line's taxonomy than before, so I don't have the confidence to push ahead with it. (Not sure how to get more attention for this from knowledgeable people though—perhaps implementing it will get their attention, from the errors!) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 8, 2014 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Okay, let me put it this way. One of the ways that Stack Exchange shows subject matter expertise is through tag badges, right? I've got a silver world-of-darkness badge; no one else even has a bronze. If I helped you craft something that I think would be useful, would you feel comfortable implementing that thing? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Jun 8, 2014 at 16:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for bumping this @Jadasc. The Storytelling / Storyteller systems are so ingrained with their respective Classic and New WoD setting that I'd suggest synonymizing them. I also prefer the term Classic WoD over Original/Old, that's wasn't represented as much in the now year old answer but seems like it's had time to catch on. \$\endgroup\$
    – redlamp
    Jun 10, 2014 at 5:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can we get the tag wiki for world-of-darkness updated with whatever the consensus here is? Right now it says to use tags that have zero questions and aren't being used, so it's clearly not in line with what people are actually doing. (ATM, world-of-darkness seems to refer to the classic games primarily in terms of actual usage, while nwod is the new ones.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Jul 3, 2014 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Closing in favor of the newest slobberknocker on this topic! \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 16, 2014 at 2:03

5 Answers 5


For clarity, this is the proposed tag set. There is no real hierarchy so far, so there is no tag nesting. Synonyms are listed under the tag that they resolve to.

This post to be edited as proposed changes are accepted so that it is an actionable & canonical reference.

Usage notes:

  1. We will often see people tag with when they mean nWoD, just like we see people tag with when they mean D&D 4e. That's OK: we just retag as it happens, just like with D&D.

Unresolved issues before this is actionable (i.e. FIXMEs):

This section to be removed upon ratification.

  1. Did I miss any?

  2. Where does a tag fit in here? We don't currently have one, so maybe we won't see people trying to use it and we don't need one. If we do find we need one, does it synonym to by direct acronym meaning, or to since that's how White Wolf uses "WoD" now and what most new users who might tag with will typically mean? Do we need a [wod] tag?

  3. I'm explicitly proposing that we not tag everying with . Yes, that means that we won't have a single tag to find all WoD questions ever, but I think it would be contrary to the tagging mechanics. People can add *world-of-darkness to their Favourite Tags list and it will highlight all three tags. Does this have support? Or does it need further discussion?

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ 2. I think "wod" should map to Classic, as that's the abbreviation that older and returning players are most likely to use. New-world players have stuck to "nwod," which we've got covered. At the risk of a possibly bad analogy, it's like "star trek" and "next-gen." \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 17:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ 1. At the risk of opening a can of worms, perhaps white-wolf should be a synonym for world-of-darkness. I know that many people would identify as "White Wolf gamers" or people who "play White Wolf" when they mean that they are World of Darkness fans. We don't usually use company tags, but maybe one is appropriate here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 17:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc I haven't seen it get used, so I don't think we need to worry. We don't usually need to proactively create tags. We can always do that reactively if it starts happening. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ All right. Upvoted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 17:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1. I think this leaves us without an umbrella term for the rare times that somebody wants to refer to Storyteller/ing generically (i.e., Aberrant + Mage), but I don't think that's a serious flaw in the plan. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 19:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye I think the idea is that people call the system itself "old WoD" even when they aren't referring to the setting at all, so the [classic-world-of-darkness] tag (understood as a system tag) would fit that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 20:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aha, I think you may be right. I don't hear many people refer to Aberrant at all, so I wasn't sure what they call the system. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 20:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BraddSzonye The Aeonverse and Exalted do use their own versions of the Storyteller system, but I think those use-cases are distinct enough that in the few cases they'll cross over, they can use their own tags. (And both of them are getting Onyx Path reboots, too.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think, more to the point, that system questions about Exalted do get given the [exalted] tag rather than [storyteller-system]. Much like we get lots of [dnd-3.5e] questions and almost no [d20] questions. Yes, the more I think of it, the more confident I am that the "system" tags should be classic- and new-world-of-darkness. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ do we need an X-the-Y set of tags? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @BrianBallsun-Stanton We've got them as all X-Y tags already. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 24, 2013 at 2:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I'm confused about the resolution that this answer has come to. Are x-of-y used and required? Or obsolete? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2013 at 2:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc Those were my thoughts, too. So we should put that in the guide above. Probably don't need to list the tags individually, and we don't need to change any of them. We just need that guideline to go into the relevant tag wikis. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 24, 2013 at 5:25
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I was waiting to see if any dissenting opinions came in, but I guess we can go ahead now. First let's rewrite the tag wikis—we should probably put the whole guide on the [world-of-darkness] tag, and the nWoD and cWoD tags should also direct people to more narrow game tags (as IgneusJotunn suggests). Then we can retch the easy ones slowly—anything that needs mass retaining we should get a mod to do, so it doesn't bump all ~100 WoD questions. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2013 at 16:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs The model wrangled here so far would have that tagged just [scion], similar to how we wouldn't put [d20] beside most uses of [dnd-3.5e]. More input is good though! Maybe we should leave the system tags unsynonymised, but just remove them from Qs where it's not really about the more general system directly? That's how we handle [d20]. \$\endgroup\$ May 3, 2013 at 14:28

Okay. Here's some ideas about it.

  • I think that having a is a useful thing, because pan-WoD fandom is a real phenomenon. Allowing people to find all the WoD questions at once seems useful. (Also, because having the single tag allows for the tag-badge to be created more quickly.)
  • I like the idea of making storyteller and storytelling systems synonymous with owod/cwod and nwod, respectively.
  • I am no longer certain that a setting tag is required in light of those things.

So maybe what we need is two tags, world-of-darkness-classic and world-of-darkness-new, that covers the two main branches of the game?

  • \$\begingroup\$ We try to avoid tagging redundancy though—wouldn't this mean that every WoD question would have the [world-of-darkness] tag? It would mean that the HTML title would always be "world of darkness – [question title]" and the other tags wouldn't show up in Google page links. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. It might be good… \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2013 at 19:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another issue: if we syn [nwod] to [storytelling-system], then none of our questions will have the tag [nwod], which may be unfortunate for SEO purposes. It may be "incorrect" but fit community-use better if we actually synonym [storytelling-system] to [nwod]. … Then again, ugh, I don't like using unofficial terminology like that to erase the official system name. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2013 at 19:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now you know how I felt years ago. Add to that the fact that "The World of Darkness" is basically the core sub-game for the nWoD line, so it adds to its own confusion and... yeah. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 22, 2013 at 19:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh yeah, I noticed that it's one of the book titles. What a mess they've made! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2013 at 19:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1: It's unfortunate that there's no single, common name to cover all of the games played with the Storyteller/Storytelling system. I prefer [world-of-darkness] as the generic for the many White Wolf games set in that world, with [xwod] or [world-of-darkness-version] for the specific versions. While Story-mumble is the official system name, it has a few problems from a user interface and Web search point of view. Besides, for the WOD games, calling them that is about as accurate as using Champions and D&D in preference to Hero System and D20 System. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 1:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bradd Good points. Well here's an omen: [classic-world-of-darkness] is exactly 25 characters, which is the tag size limit. That, plus [new-world-of-darkness] might be our two main tags. The tag-completion feature should make people typing [world-of-darkness] notice those more specific tags, reducing how much the top-level tag gets used without us having to kill it. Okay, I like this proposal better now. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 6:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ We'd still have to remove [world-of-darkness] from a lot of questions when people don't use it to mean pan-version fandom, but we already face that with [dungeons-and-dragons] without it being a big problem. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 6:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ All right. So it looks like we designate "nWoD" and "Storytelling System" as synonyms of the to-be-created tag "world-of-darkness-new," set "Storyteller System" as synonymous to the to-be-created tag "world-of-darkness-classic," with the to-be-created synonym "owod" and "cwod" tags, then retag a metric tonne of "world-of-darkness" tagged entries until things look how we want them to look. (And somehow pass the word to the 54 people who follow the world-of-darkness tag itself.) That basically it? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 11:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Or did you want the adjectives leading? Classic- and New- ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does anyone type or say "World of Darkness New" and "World of Darkness Classic"? We should put it in the order people use. If you're worried about tag completion, never fear: starting to type "world" will pop up all tags with that string anywhere in them, not just at the beginning. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 16:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Otherwise, yes. (We can ask a mod to strip the [world-of-darkness] tag off all questions. Then we can re-add it to the rare few that are pan-edition, at our leisure.) \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've made a CW answer to collect the plan in a single clear place. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 17:13

I think that most World of Darkness fans don't make much distinction between the Storyteller and Storytelling systems. I could be wrong but I tend to think in terms of Old/Classic World of Darkness (owod/cwod cause I'm lazy) and New World of Darkness (nwod) lines and I think most fans do so as well. I think the lines better represent the settings and system as a whole. Associating the appropriate system to the related line would be very pratical.

Also to add in extra confusion the forthcoming God Machine Chronicles (best info I can find) will update some of the nWoD rules. It's basically the core blue book 2.0. So we're going to have 2 variants of that system in the next year or so.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh dear. Hm. Looks like it might only be a minor update to the rules. If it's considered a separate system by players, then we'll need a new tag, but if it's widely adopted as "errata" then we won't need a new tag (like we only have [savage-worlds] despite the changes between SW Explorers Edition and SW Deluxe, and first-print 4e versus errata'd 4e is still just [dnd-4e]). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 16:41
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that's a bridge we can cross when we come to it. The God Machine Chronicle and Blood & Smoke: Strix Chronicle may be stealth second editions, but they're also primarily campaign settings for their individual games. I think that vampire-requiem-strix and new-world-of-darkness-gmc would be fine for related questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie The changes are more significant than that, at least as far as we've seen in previews. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 23, 2013 at 16:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jadasc Right then, when we cross that bridge. We'll have to see how the community actually uses it—whether it's a 2nd edition or whether it's just considered a good update (like SWEX and SWD, despite actually being different editions, everyone considers SWD just an update to the system). We'll see what people do. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 17:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've made a CW answer to collect the plan in a single clear place. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 23, 2013 at 17:14

Not sure how to format something as a tag, but here's my take on it.

I would say that rules questions probably only need the most localized version of the rules they're using, and do not need to tag things above it in the hierarchy. If I know an asker is playing Werewolf-The Apocalypse, then also saying it is oWoD or Storyteller-System is redundant. A rules question should probably only be tagged with the specific core book we're using. We should use these they way we use D&D3.5 or D&D 4th ed.

nWod and oWod (or even just WoD) are a good way to refer to groups of books, and such could be used the same way Dungeons and Dragons is used. I could see them being used for setting questions as well, since the overall setting between different books in nWoD is mostly similar. (oWod is less so.) xWoD could still be used for setting and comparison questions, and maybe for some rules questions, though each core book makes its own rules changes. (nWoD is more consistent, oWoD is less consistent.)

WoD should be a synonym of World of Darkness- that's what the acronym means, and anything else is probably going to confuse people.

Storyteller is... a bit abstract at this point. All WoD games, plus Exalted, are storyteller games as far as I can tell. There's no way we could answer a rules or setting question on Storyteller, though we could probably compare them.

I'd suggest keeping the tags higher on the hierarchy for comparison questions, and nWoD can probably be used for setting questions. For most other setting questions, and all rules questions, specific core books should be used.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed, and well articulated. The "only most local tag" does pretty much describe how other tags get used, and is a clear guideline we can use. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 25, 2013 at 16:50

I think I've finally come up with a satisfying reason to keep the general and game-specific tags on entries. The analogy isn't and ; it's and or . The individual subgames are, realistically, the splats of the greater setting; they're not quite classes, but when looking at the game lines as a whole, that's the function they serve. (Sub-splats, like clan or tribe or tradition, would be the equivalent of "builds"; not necessarily deserving of their own tags unless really popular.)

I still endorse the eventual changeover to and , but I think that having them accompany the or is a good idea.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah… And they mix just fine, don't they, unlike dnd-4e and dnd-1e? That's a good rationale, and it goes along with how people tend to naturally tag them. In fact, that's probably why they get multi-tagged that way. \$\endgroup\$ May 24, 2013 at 22:38

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