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A recent question asking about a homebrew/3rd-party class has been asked, and neither the 3rd-party or homebrew tags fit (based on their tag descriptions).

It feels weird to me not to have a tag, as it reads like something I just haven't heard of, rather than something separate from the base game. Do we have a solution for this?

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    \$\begingroup\$ related: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7169/… \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jan 14 at 15:18
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  • \$\begingroup\$ You indicate that you were confused briefly about the source of the question and presumably, upon reading the question, the source was made clear. You then ask for a solution, but to what exactly? Could you maybe elaborate a bit more on that? \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 14 at 15:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose Even reading it now it can seem, to someone unfamiliar with the rules, that the class is part of the base rules (and not supplementary), especially if they only read the title on the question list. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 14 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron sure that makes sense, but is that an issue? What harm does that misunderstanding do to us? (just trying to understand what issue you are seeing, not trying to argue). \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 14 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose I think maybe I just want transparency. The question body is probably the right place for it (as your answer states) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 14 at 15:55
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We have no tag for content that asks about published 3rd party content and we don't need one

I really don't see the problem that you are. We don't tag every question based on where in the rules it is found or what adventure it is found in (though we do have some adventure-specific tags I see these as exceptions and not something to try to emulate). Tags are for indicating the content of the question, not its source (with a few exceptions, system tags being one).

3rd party content is just content that WotC has not published. That, to me is not a useful distinction that needs to be made. As long as the author has clearly stated where the content came from in the question, then the question is answerable and no further tagging seems to be needed.

In fact, we had a tag for 3rd party content in the past and it was eliminated. Of course that doesn't have to be the final word on the issue, I just don't see the addition of a 3rd-party tag adding anything to our ability to link questions with expert answerers.

Do people consider themselves to be experts in 3rd party published content to the extent that they would browse that tag? Would people browsing the site find the tag useful for finding information about an issue they have? Does it improve searchability at all? To me, the answers to all those questions is "no" and thus I don't see a tag as value added here.

If the information is needed, put it in the question body

If a reader/editor thought there was sufficient cause for confusion about whether the content was published by WotC or not, they could always put the information about that in the question body itself.

For example, the question you indicate in your question has been edited to say "Protean Scribe (from Mythical Classes by LPJ Design)" which should be a strong and clear signal that this is a 3rd party source.

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There's no tag for this.

We don't have a third party tag. As Rubiksmoose points out it was burninatedtwice. Some notable publishers (like ) might have dedicated tags about their material, but this is rare. This content is neither of these things so it has no particular tag.

You mention in comments you were surprised to see it mentioned because it was content you weren't aware of, but that's not necessarily a problem, and it's not something our tags will resolve if it is. I think editing the body to mention the publisher was a fine way to get the disclosure you're after.

Some things to consider:

  • To someone who only owns one book, any mention of new material in a WotC-published book might sound new and surprising, but we're not tagging each book.
  • To a lot of players, third-party or homebrew content isn't something that needs to be delineated far away from the first-party content. It's all just content, some of which they haven't seen/used yet.
  • “Homebrew content that is published” is just content. Depending on where, how, by who, and how official the stamp on it looks, people sorta-arbitrarily categorise it into first-party, third-party, or homebrew, mainly for reasons attached to stigma around the quality average for each category.

This last point lead to a lot of debates when Critical Role's Blood Hunter came out apparently matching all three categories, despite them being theoretically mutually exclusive. Thankfully our tagging infrastructure kinda just sidesteps this epistemological debate though.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 especially for "homebrew is just content". I didn't want to get into this in my answer, but I also feel like 3rd party content gets treated unfairly differently here as well ("this is homebrew so it probably has issues") and I think a tag, all other issues aside, would likely make this worse or more obvious by branding it. I think we work best when we just assume that content is content and answer as best we can regardless of the source. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jan 14 at 16:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ It helps that several people who have worked for Dreamscarred Press also are or have been active here (including myself). But the tag mostly makes sense for questions that are like “what is my best option for doing this thing, in a game that allows this DSP content?” which is a thing we’ve seen from time to time. Then the tag is kind of like a system tag, or a system-extension tag. Individual elements from DSP content might get tagged that way, but it’s probably not entirely right. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 14 at 17:17
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We can and should tag 3pp material as a content; Homebrew is not necessary.

There are many cases (Pathfinder's Path of War and Spheres of Power are just two examples in my wheelhouse) where a 3rd party drastically changes the content of its source. The change is often so great that it changes who is qualified to answer the question. While some material might just be a new spell that neatly fits the mold, far more common are additional class/job/etc roles which can drastically affect game balance and, more importantly, the number of people who have actually interacted with the content to provide accurate answers.

I agree that the // tags don't need to exist, but individual publisher tags need to for the same reason we have game system tags. They change the answer base and let answerers know where to look for the content, for reference purposes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don’t disagree that some tags for major game-changer rules supplements could use tags. I’d focus on that rather than publishers though: the old 3PP tag failed (as I recall) because it was both used too much where it didn’t matter and not used enough where it did matter, and I suspect publisher tags would also. (Just imagine how often a [paizo] tag would get added uselessly to Pathfinder questions). I think tags like [path-of-war] work better for that than publisher tags. The tags [path-of-war] and [spheres-of-power] seem to have been working well, for example. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 3 at 15:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not (and wouldn't) saying we should have 3PP; I do think most 3rd party publishers should have their own tag. Otherwise, why even label it Pathfinder? A different publisher subsets their own rules and mechanics on top of the exising ones, just how Pathfinder 1e did to D&D 3.5. They're really not just more content, but more ways of doing content. The also frequently have different wording than on-brand content. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Sep 3 at 19:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I still think publisher tags to represent content—instead of content tags for that content directly—would get over and under used, failing in the same way that [3pp] did. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Sep 3 at 19:20

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