Triggered by this question: https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/67626/how-if-at-all-do-gms-deal-with-secret-actions

It currently has no system tag, which is fine because it's not about a specific system. But it is about a specific category of systems where players keep information hidden from one another. Possibly because the assumption is that the player knows everything the character knows and vice-cersa.

This system is contrasted by other systems, which assume a strong split between player knowledge and character knowledge.

There seems to be some confusion, with people who are used to a system of the former not understanding how to work with the second system (giving us questions like How to do mystery based storytelling in Fate?)

There is also this question: Can I roll for a PC in secret? which is also without a system tag and where only the third answer actually says "depends on the game" (with the first two assuming a game of the first category)

This makes me feel we should have tags to explain the different styles of play, because they invite completely different answers. Except I can't for the life of me think up good names for them.

So I was wondering whether anyone agreed and had a good name for a tag to apply the question(s).


1 Answer 1


Tags are for categorising questions, not necessarily for categorising the game they're playing or a style of play involved. So we don't want a tag that describes a bunch of systems, because that's categorising the wrong thing (the game they're playing or their play style, instead of their problem).

So the kind of tag we need here is something like [secrets] or [information-control] that would describe the problem, not a bunch of game systems. Turns out we already have , which cover both of those, and seems under-used.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Fair points. But I would never think to use "communication" for such a question. Maybe create "secrets" and "information-control" as a synonym and put some description in communication? \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Aug 25, 2015 at 14:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik They overlap, but not in all ways enough to synonym them; e.g., a [secrets] tag used for a question about secret doors would not be [communication], nor would [information-control] on a Q about organising GM's notes. So the non-overlap parts are large enough that synonyms would cause as many mistags as they'd solve. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2015 at 14:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ let's create a secret-informations tag that pops up in the lest whenever you start typing secret and is a synonym to communication. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Aug 25, 2015 at 16:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel Still not a full overlap. Secret information could mean all kinds of things that don't have to do with passing secret information. Generally, there's no point in preemtively creating tags, and it's easy to make bad tags that way. If people aren't finding the tags we already have, then the first step is for regular users to apply the tags to new posts. If that's not working, then maybe consider synonyms. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2015 at 17:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel: secret-information or secret-knowledge sounds like a good tag name for this, but I don't think we need to make it a synonym for anything. The communication tag is IMO too broad and vague to be useful anyway, and should just be removed from the two dupe questions that currently have it and allowed to die off. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2015 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IlmariKaronen Agree that the communication tag is too broad. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 25, 2015 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's no broader than [group-dynamics] or [gm-techniques]. As always, tags aren't made by committee, they're made because someone found them useful and others adopted them. If someone wants to make a tag about handling secret information communication, or keeping secrets, or whatever, put it on a real question and see if other people start using it or not. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 26, 2015 at 18:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree about the communication tag; I've removed it from one of the 2 questions, but because the other has been merged it's no longer editable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Aug 27, 2015 at 19:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ We have lots of tags that categorize the game being played (one for each game) so I'm not clear why an overarching label that would include multiple games would be a bad thing. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2015 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleVermont Because even those don't categorise games, but the question's problem. When the game being played isn't relevant to the problem, we leave the tag off. So that's why: tags about play style aren't warranted unless they're useful for categorising problems. We do have a few (like [sandbox] and [simulation]) because we've had questions about problems with the style itself, so that's the benchmark to follow. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 29, 2015 at 17:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie but in this case, the problem is modified by the play style -- the play style is relevant and important to providing a helpful answer to the question. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2015 at 2:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleVermont Mayhap. The point I'm making in the answer is that the question is holding the wrong end of the stick for judging if a tag is needed, and what the tag should be. We do not tag for systems, playstyle, preferences, etc.; only for problems. So the answer to the question about tagging for a category of system is "do not do that." However, if it is useful to collect together a set of our questions, then maybe a tag is warranted. So, the example posts in the question are not useful to group together, since they're about different kinds of problems. Does that distinction make sense? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 30, 2015 at 2:11

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