Looking through the meta, I can only seem to find posts about people dissatisfied with problem player questions, so I'll ask here. I've always understood the tag as the tag you use when someone at the table is being...well, a problem player. "That guy" or meta-gamers or what have you.

While reading this question, I felt as if the question involved a player, but wasn't about them. I went to edit out the tag, but when I actually read the tag, it seemed it had a more broad umbrella than I had thought. It reads:

Participants in an RPG who, for whatever reason, contribute to difficulty running the game.

For the question at hand, it makes sense. A player is contributing to the difficulty of running the game by being creative (MacGyverism, so to speak).

Is this the correct usage of the tag? Or is it as I suspected, where the problem-player is more about misbehaving? How do we use it?


2 Answers 2


The problem player tag is for when, from the perspective of the question, a player is the primary source of problems. If they behaved differently or (often) weren't there at all, things would be much better — or at least, such a thought is easy to read into problem-player situations.

In this case, the classification is "this player is cheesing things." That's enough to justify usage of the tag there. It's probably not worth analysing it too hard.

As for the tag wiki seeming broad, not every RPG has a clear cut GM vs Player distinction:

  • Many RPGs are GMless (Penny for my thoughts)
  • Many assert the GM is just as much a player as anyone else (Fate)
  • Many have GM optional (Great Ork Gods)
  • Many take no stance at all on whether there is or isn't a GM, and let the players form whatever construct they want (Roll for Shoes)

The only thing all games have in common are the players, who we consider the people who are playing the game. So the wiki casts an equally wide net. Who does or doesn't count as a player is up to the question to distinguish to whatever extent matters.


From the perspective of solutions and the expertise required to answer them.

is for questions for which the correct answer is likely to be primarily social in nature, and not depend on the rules-set being used or game being played. A good answer to a question informs the asker how to frame the discussion with the table and what outcomes they can expect.

tags questions where the "problem-player" has greater control over the game than the asker, and is (in the asker's eyes) misusing that power. As above, answers are likely to be social in nature, but for many questions, good answers often require advice on how to give GMing advice, and help a GM to improve, rather than just deal with disconnected expectations.


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