Shaken is a status effect for Savage Worlds that creates a lot of confusion. We have 5 questions so far that explicitly cover it in some form, and others that mention it in passing.

I created a tag for it as the use of it in game gets a lot of people confused and I know it would be helpful to be able to search for all the questions covering clarifications as to how and when to use it. However, another user has gone through and removed the tag from all of the questions I added it to.

Based on the answer from @BESW and various comments in chat, I believe there is a strong case for the tag's creation and use. There is precedent with other status effects having tags, e.g. , , and the fact that Shaken is used across a number of systems strengthens the argument for the tag. The fact that the tag use in SE is supposed to be emergent is another strong point.

I feel very strongly this tag is useful, and given that tag use is supposed to be organic and grow naturally, I don't understand why the other user acted in the way they did.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there an advantage to having the tag 'shaken' over searching for the keyword? I am not familiar with the mechanic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Polyducks
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 11:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ It is mentioned in passing in a lot of answers where the question doesn't explicitly cover the mechanic. Having it as a tag would allow you to filter these and find only those questions that explicitly cover an aspect of how to use it \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 11:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you link to a few of these questions? \$\endgroup\$
    – DuckTapeAl
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 6:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DuckTapeAl A number of these answers (thanks to Miniman for the query) fit that bill, and many more are edge cases. Here's a great example of "shaken" having no mechanical meaning at all. This is another. In this answer the "shaken" part is mechanically relevant, but it's a useful aside rather than part of the direct answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 9:41

3 Answers 3


It seems fine to me.

  1. There is utility in having it tagged instead of just letting the full-text search find it, as you've said in a comment:

    It is mentioned in passing in a lot of answers where the question doesn't explicitly cover the mechanic. Having it as a tag would allow you to filter these and find only those questions that explicitly cover an aspect of how to use it – Wibbs

    And tagging is about what's useful and what's inherently the topic of a question.

  2. We have niche tags for other games, especially the 100 lb. gorilla that is D&D. Yesterday I saw created, sighed in a knee-jerk way at its tiniest of niches, and left it to be because it's fine as a tag.

    Savage Worlds might have many fewer questions here than some games, but as a core mechanic that is often the direct subject of questions, a tag for the topic seems fitting even if it couldn't apply to other games. But it will certainly apply to more games than ever will, and to more of our current questions at this moment too.

So I say let the folksonomy bloom. It is better to let the tagging folksonomy grow slightly wild and then occasionally trim it back — with a commensurately better view of what is used how — than to try to keep it bonsai-like and only growing in controlled ways.


I've edited your tag wiki to not be SW-specific. Shaken is used by other games including Pathfinder, Spycraft, and at least two editions of D&D.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Fair comment - I didn't realise it was used in other systems. IMO that strengthens my argument for its creation \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 13:29

Thought I'd chime in as the "other user" here. First of all, Wibbs, I didn't mean to whack at your effort. I'm sorry if it seemed like that.

Tags are a very useful tool in filtering the content that interests you from other stuff that doesn't. Here, in rpg.se, that distinction mostly occurs among game systems and settings, with exceptions being much more general topics like rather than specific.

When a very specific mechanic of a single game happens to get its own tag, nobody follows it, it just sits there. People follow the game/system/setting tag, but see all these very-niche keyword tags so they take example and make more of them. At some point it gets confusing which tag stands for what.

Such tags also squat on a word. Many other games could use the same word for completely different concepts, and it may be impossible to list all of them in a tag wiki properly. Besides, if you list the tag's questions, you may end up with a set of completely unrelated questions, or not find what you are looking for, thinking that it doesn't exist. A good example is the tag that is dominated by the D&D concept of powers, but could well have been used by a number of superhero games out there with wildly different concepts of what "powers" are.

That's why I think such tags are unnecessary at best, and polluting if they happen to get out of hand.

I believe we would have a tidier and more usable tagspace if we clean up such tags. IMO, the best practice would be to mention the related game concept in the title of the question.

If a specific sub-part of a game gathers enough focused attention to warrant its own tag with some followers, then the better approach would be to namespace the tag to the specific game it refers to, so that the collection of questions it represents can show some consistency. So, instead of , and instead of .

Having a more understandable and usable tagspace would make the site better for all of us, don't you think?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What does [dnd-powers] accomplish that searching on [dnd-4e] [powers] doesn't? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 2:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't. It keeps DnD powers from overwhelming the powers tag, because they will be in dnd-powers when all you want is champions-powers. In any case, having a tag like that is totally unnecessary most of the time. I could reverse your question. What does searching [dnd-4e] [powers] accomplish that [dnd-4e] powers doesn't? \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 2:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's no concern about overwhelming the tag: [powers] -[dnd-4e] does that job. The advantage of [dnd-4e] [powers] is getting only 170 results that are directly about 4e powers, instead of the 1,700 results that [dnd-4e] powers returns or the 482 results that [dnd-4e] powers is:question returns that includes posts that happen to mention powers but aren't topically about them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 2:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let me put it this way; if we used tags as keywords that aren't fixed to a defined context, how big do you think a complete tagspace would be? How many tags a properly tagged question would need? \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ That seems to be a hypothetical that is disconnected from any context. We have an existing tag set that isn't unhealthy in that way; questions can have up to 5 tags; we don't seem to be having a problem with lack of space to add relevant tags to questions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 3:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let me put it this way: Shaken is a topic of questions. Tags represent the topics of questions. It seems unsurprising that a [shaken] tag would be made to label the topic of those questions. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 3:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for contributing your side of it. I don't know anything about SW or shaken (or tagging, I sometimes think) but when I saw the five edits by @Wibbs and then your five de-taggings, I sure hoped we'd hear both sets of thinking. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 4:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey, thanks for taking the time to post your reasoning, and I can assure you it didn't come across as whacking :). However, I have to say I disagree with your reasoning pretty much for the same reasons as already commented by SSD \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 9:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wibbs and @nitsua60, good to hear that :) \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 9:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie, then I'd have another question for you. How do we use such a tag across alternative meanings of words? What do we refer to in the tag wiki? \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 10:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are there different meanings involved? The tag wiki currently says “Shaken is a status used by many games to indicate being are rattled, distracted or momentarily shocked.” \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 12, 2016 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ When we have questions that should be tagged [shaken] across systems which use it to mean un-reconcilably different things, this will be one possible solution. I don't see that happening right now, so this seems like a solution without a current problem and the Stack doesn't curate its tags anticipatorily. If you see this as a current problem, please edit your post to point it out more clearly. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BESW that's a valid point that I wasn't yet aware of. So maybe I bring this argument back up if it actually happens. \$\endgroup\$
    – edgerunner
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 20:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, the Stack's policy on curating tags is to let them run wild and free to create an "emergent folksonomy" (discovering what the Stack wants and needs by letting tags be created when any citizen sees a need) until an actual problem occurs, and then to prune for that particular problem. It's kinda parallel to our "actionable solutions to actual problems" approach to Q&A. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 7:57

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