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One criteria i've seen for whether a tag is worth having is whether someone could be an expert in that topic. I find it difficult to believe someone could be an expert in all [published-adventures] but fairly easy to see people being experts in specific adventures. I myself have a ton of experience with Tales From the Yawning Portal and Tomb of Annihilation, but little to no experience with Hoard of the Dragon Queen, for instance. So while I'd be interested in answering questions about the campaigns I know well, I have no ability to answer questions about others.

So what I'm asking, is why do we use [published-adventures] instead of more specific tags for individual adventures?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I think in the past we've discussed the merits of tags for individual products/books/titles smaller than a whole game, but I can't find it now. Does anyone recall where that was? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Oct 1 '17 at 2:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, do we also follow the no-tags-in-titles guidance, here? For instance: In Out of the Abyss, is there an alternative to rolling foraging checks every day? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Oct 6 '17 at 8:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @daze413 I think leaving that sort of title alone will be fine. Part of the problem with many tags-in-titles is that it looks crappy on the search-engine (google) side of things, as the most-common tag on a question is prepended to post titles as a search result. So "in D&D5 how do I foo my baz?" shows up in search as "[dnd-5e] in D&D5 how do I foo my baz?" Silly result. But I imagine these tags won't (generally) be the most-common tag, so results will be like "[published-adv] in ToA how do I foo acererak?" rather than "[toa] in ToA how do I foo acererak?" (btw: do not foo acererak.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Oct 6 '17 at 18:54
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I don't think there's any particular reason we don't already do that other than we hadn't felt a need for it and nobody had gotten around to tagging for them. There weren't a lot of specific named adventures people needed help with in D&D 3.x and 4e, so was doing us just fine.

Recently there's a more pressing reason to actually do so: D&D 5e's now drawing a lot of questions about specific named adventure paths, and it's probably pretty helpful to tag the major ones by name, not least of which because it'll help people ignore adventures they don't want to see spoilers for. (I got to thinking about that a couple of days ago, so it's nice I wasn't the only one.)

We've also had the tag limit increased to 35 characters (from just 25) so now tags like or are also feasible. Might've been part of why we hadn't tagged for these beforehand; the titles were all too long to tag for.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1. Most adventures don't get enough questions to keep a tag. If there's a bunch about one, tag away - that's why our tagging is emergent and not preplanned. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Sep 30 '17 at 22:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ How to handle people who, say, want to find (questions about) published adventures, including ones we give their own tag? We usually don’t “nest” tags here but it is tempting in this case to use both published-adventures and horde-of-the-dragon-queen or whatever. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 4 '17 at 15:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan In a sense we often do "nest" tags; [dungeons-and-dragons] is specifically restricted to questions that span editions, but a question about the difficulty of scribing scrolls in 5e can be tagged [dnd-5e] [difficulty-class] [scrolls] [magic], for example, even though [difficulty-class] questions are pretty much going to be a subset of DND questions. (Though now I want to see if there are any that aren't...) \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Oct 4 '17 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec That’s combining tags but they aren’t really nested. In this situation, horde-of-the-dragon-queen should be “within” published-adventures such that every HotDQ question should also be a publish-adventures question. But SE frowns on defining tags that way (after all, you only get 5). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 4 '17 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Stack Exchange's solution to that is probably "follow the tags representing the published adventures you want to find." \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 4 '17 at 17:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec Most d20 systems use the difficulty class term, so M&M3rd and Star Wars Saga could have that tag too. \$\endgroup\$ – Weckar E. Oct 5 '17 at 1:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ As for 'nesting', is there such a thing as a one-way tag synonym for that? \$\endgroup\$ – Weckar E. Oct 5 '17 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener I'm not comfortable with that, because I might very well be looking for a technique for successfully running published adventures, which can be found in the answer to a question that happened to be about a specific one (as most questions are). \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Oct 5 '17 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I started writing a longer comment, then realized I actually have a different answer in mind. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Oct 5 '17 at 5:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SirTechSpec That sort of (at least superficially) resembles the arguments about using broader/other system tags to describe things not found in the question, just because a solution somewhere inside the answers can be applied to another system, which you might have seen. We don't do that since tags aren't for describing what a question's solutions could be relevant to; they're for describing the content of the question, so they're just not meant to solve that use case. There's lots of questions tagged for particular kinds of things that contain useful advice for other kinds of things. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Oct 5 '17 at 9:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Right, but... there's a difference between "this DND answer might also apply to GURPS" and "this isn't really a HotDQ-specific question at all, it's a question about how to run published adventures." In my mind the taxonomy of tagging on this site generally has 2+ axes, context (GURPS, roll20, PBTA, etc.) and issue (psionics, optimization, new-players, etc.) Someone who's interested in new-players issues can follow that tag and see questions about new GURPS players even if they don't follow [GURPS]. My contention is that published-adventures is/should be more about issue than context. \$\endgroup\$ – SirTechSpec Oct 5 '17 at 18:01
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As Doppelgreener said, it's probably just that no one has done it yet, but there are enough questions about specific popular adventures that it could be a useful grouping.

I could imagine redefining the tag wiki for [published-adventures] to say "don't just slap it on any question in which there is a published adventure, any more than you'd put [wizard] on every question where someone mentions wizards. Instead, reserve this tag for questions that are specifically about buying, running, playing, or writing published adventures. For questions that are strictly about the content of a single module like this one, use the more specific tag instead. For more general questions where the particular module provides context that may or may not be necessary to answering the question, use both."

Obviously the wording would be more polished, but I think that preserves the usefulness of the broader tag without making it redundant or strictly a superset of the individual adventure tags.

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