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I've noticed that we tend to add the tag (for questions, anyway) to any question that also has the tag of a specific adventure, such as or .

I just made such an edit to add this tag to a question about , and then wondered what value me doing that actually added to the question. I think it was the right thing to do, but I couldn't tell you why besides "that's what I've seen on other questions".

Is a meta-tag, or am I just not using it right, or is there more value to such tagging/edits such as mine that I'm not seeing?

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is not only used on questions with tags for the specific adventure; see Where is Sturnheim?, for example.

One example, though, isn't much of an argument, so let's take a look at 160+ other open questions about published adventures outside of D&D 5e. (D&D 5e being the place where we've most-commonly seen individual adventures' tags.) Given that many questions, I think the correct frame to approach the tag is not "do we need it?" but rather "is it doing harm?"

The harms of a meta tag include:

  • acting as a "tag-tax," crowding out other, useful tags
  • communicating "secret information" that wouldn't be obvious to newcomers, causing friction with established users
  • placing restrictions on an answer, rather than describing the content of the question

I don't see any of those happening here, personally. I took a quick look at the list linked above, and very few (maybe a dozen) of them even have 5 tags on them. We haven't seen metas trying to clarify what is meant by . And we (or I, at least) haven't been having to clean up lots of back-and-forth comment chains where the tag is causing friction between questions and answers.

(Though I'd be glad to learn if I'm wrong, so that we can do something about it. Speak up if you see evidence contrary to what I'm describing!)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm definitely seeing "tag-tax", in that it seems to be accompanying every specific-adventure question (as I mentioned in my question; e.g. my linked edit), although I must admit that I've seen that it's the first to go if other, more useful tags could take its place (can't remember an example, unfortunately). I suppose overall, I'm not seeing it as causing a problem; this was more just my own reflection after reflexively making that edit because I saw an [out-of-the-abyss] question without a [published-adventures] tag. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 7 at 20:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am of the view that this is a case of "we don't need to try and fix something that isn't broken" but your answer covers most of what I was thinkiing. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 8 at 16:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another possible example of the "tag-tax" problem: this question. It could have the [wizard] tag, or maybe [spells] (maybe these aren't the best examples of relevant tags), but instead it has [published-adventures], which tells us nothing about the question that the [lost-mines-of-phandelver] tag doesn't already tell us. (Again, just to remind you that, from your answer, "tag-tax" is the only one of your listed problems I am seeing, but I wonder if it's enough of a problem by itself to rethink how and when we apply this tag?) \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Oct 23 at 8:59

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