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Based on this question, and the use of the DMs guild tag it made me wonder if the DMsGuild tag is an equivalent to Homebrew or if it should get both tags (one to identify it from DMsGuild and the other to let everyone know this still qualifies as Homebrew.)

My concern is that the DMs Guild creates a platform for people to publish and monetize their homebrew. It is not vetted, balanced, or managed (other than as a place to sell) by Wizards. The difference between Homebrew and DMs Guild seems to only be that it is sold by Wizards - but is that enough to make it official?

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Homebrew is not an appropriate tag

From the tag wiki:

Homebrew, so called by analogy to home-brewing beer, is the creation of new game material by fans (not the publisher or licensed third party publishers) for an existing game system.

The purpose of seems to be to indicate that the poster is looking to modify the game in some way and requires some assistance from us to do so. It is NOT intended to be a flag that simply points out that some material in the question is 3rd party or unofficial.

The distinction in the tag wiki makes it clear that it the tag is only for content that is not published. Regardless of how you want to define published, we must keep in mind the whole reason we tag something in the first place.

Using as a "3rd party content" tag goes against the purpose of tagging

A tag is a word or phrase that describes the topic of the question. Tags are a means of connecting experts with questions they will be able to answer by sorting questions into specific, well-defined categories.

Tags can also be used to help you identify questions that are interesting or relevant to you.

According to the help center on tags, tags are supposed to deal with the content of the question only to connect question askers to question answerers.

Tags are not intended to be signposts warning people about certain aspects of the question that aren't directly related to the question itself. For example, having a tag saying "this is third party content" doesn't actually help to characterize the question or to help potential answerers find and answer it. That kind of distinction needs to be in the question itself not in a tag.

In fact, we used to have a tag, but it was removed for some of the reasons I have just discussed. See here for more: Should we get rid of [3pp]?

To that end, I wonder even about the usefulness of the in this post. According to it's tag wiki it should be used only for questions about the DM's Guild not material from the DM's Guild. Using it in this way makes it a meta tag which is not acceptable use according to our guidelines.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's fair to differentiate published/unpublished, but it doesn't really go anywhere to help with an answer. The key is that this is something that has had no official review/oversight and may have inherent problems. Or, at least, that's what I think when I see a homebrew/guild tag. We're dealing with something a 3rd party created and may not be clear or balanced (moreso than what WoTC makes that isn't clear or balanced.) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch it is my understanding that it is not the purpose of tags to flag unofficial content only. It seems Homebrew has greater distinction than just published/unpublished. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 12 '18 at 15:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 It isn't homebrew and the homebrew tag doesn't belong. I agree the DMs Guild tag itself on the question might even be dubious: we don't care where stuff got bought from. The other question with the [dms-guild] tag is actually asking about the DMs Guild guidelines themselves around publishing on there. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 16:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch Regarding your issue with DMsGuild being 3rd party content, while a lot of their content is 3rd party WotC does have a lot of their own content on there too. (Granted most of it is for previous editions, but there is some 5e stuff too). \$\endgroup\$ – diego Feb 12 '18 at 19:03
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DMs Guild doesn't look like homebrew to me: it's a shop of published products selling for real money. At that point you're graduating from “homebrew” to “third party publishing”.

DMs Guild is a third-party publishing retail outlet. Its material is third-party published material, and the material's author is a third-party publisher and/or independent author.

Homebrew is stuff like people posting fun junk they came up with for free on a wiki or sharing it around on the internet. Once you've got a PDF you're selling, it's definitely no longer that.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does Wizards review and approve DMs Guild titles? If not, it's purely a place to publish and monetize homebrew, isn't it? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch By that definition, virtually all RPG material is homebrew. Being reviewed and approved isn't a necessary measurement for being a 3pp material. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 15:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean? If it hasn't been created, balanced, and approved by Wizards...isn't that homebrew? Just because they made a platform for people to sell homebrew doesn't make it official. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch No, incorrect. It does not have to be created, balanced, and approved by anybody to be a third-party published material. Consider, for example, that there are third-party publishers who sell material for PbtA games without any review being conducted by anyone involved in PbtA. Third-party publishers for Pathfinder also do not check their work with Paizo, or at least, have zero obligation to do so. Third-party publishing doesn't have to be considered “official” by the first party to count as third-party publishing, either. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 15:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Here's the measure of a third-party publisher: you're (a) a third party (b) publishing (c) material. I don't know where the line gets drawn exactly between “put some junk on dandwiki” and “selling a PDF for $10 on a drivethrurpg network site”, but that second one is definitely on the “not homebrew” side of the line. DMs Guild material is not homebrew. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ okay, fair enough. To be clear then, the only difference between homebrew and 3rd party publishing in terms of content is that it is Published and monetized? \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch The line gets fuzzy. There is non-monetized third-party published content. Like I said, I can't say exactly where the line gets drawn. At some point though you're putting significant publishing quality into a product you're distributing (whether for money or not). It's an “I know it when I see it” situation and stuff being sold on DM's Guild is definitely It. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, the lack of definition for 'published' seems to make the line between homebrew and published very vague. If literally the only difference is that someone is selling it, then that's not a very big difference. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch We're not here to draw a rigorous line on what exactly constitutes third party publishing vs homebrew. DMs Guild is not homebrew though. If DMs Guild is homebrew then DreamScarred Press, Paizo, and other companies of the same ilk are merely engaged in expensive homebrew... and they are not. We call them third-party publishers. So are the people selling products on DM's Guild. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let us continue this discussion in chat. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:55

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