This question was asked by a new user today. The terminology is clearly referring to D&D 5e, and they even link a related 5e Q&A.

However, I still proceeded to ask the user that we cannot answer the question without knowing the system, and the question was closed as unclear (as we usually do with questions without system tags) as outlined here (also see this).

On the one hand, it's really obviously D&D 5e, and there's clearly no possible alternative. On the other hand, I can see mxyzplk's point about teaching new users how the site works, and that doing it for them allows them to remain ignorant of the importance of tags.

My question is, at what point is it acceptable, if at all, to assume the system based on overwhelming evidence without it being considered a guess (and likely rolled back)?

I don't want to single anyone out, but I do remember doppelgreener adding a tag to an untagged D&D 5e question once, based on overwhelmingly obvious evidence, but no explicit confirmation from the OP. This implies that there is a sensible cut-off point where it's silly to make them say the words "D&D 5e", when it's obvious.

What is that cut-off point? Or if that's too broad or unanswerable for any reason, is this question over that cut-off point (due to linking to D&D 5e Q&A)?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related (the answer states one should absolutely never guess the system): Revisiting our “never guess the game system” policy \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 17:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Thanks, missed that one. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 If it does turn out that this question would end up being a dupe of the other one, I'd tighten the focus of this question to be about specifically this question, and specifically about the fact that they linked a related 5e Q&A. I'll wait to see if this is considered a dupe of the one you found first though... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ My personal stance is this would've been good enough, but current handling of policy is different. (I've written about that here. I have definitely thrown a [dnd-5e] tag on a question a couple of times on this basis.) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 17:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Part of what makes stack exchange useful is the strong Q&A and tagged format; this makes it easy to search for useful answers. Some users aren't going to be interested in learning the procedures of stack exchange, though, and just want their question answered so they can move on with their lives. I say it's OK to let a user post a question if it does not meet every standard of quality - just ask for clarification, answer it as best we can with the info provided, and move on. Deleting new user questions encourages new users to not ask questions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mad_Joe
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mad_Joe Could you turn that into an answer? (I know meta isn't as strict on "don't answer in comments", but it sounds like you could have a solid answer there...) \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mad_Joe You should post that as an answer, not a comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – JohnP
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mad_Joe Is somebody suggesting deleting (instead of just closing) new user questions? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 17:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Mad_Joe Nobody's going to delete that question. Whether the user is allowed to post it is not in question. This particular question bumps up against a policy that results in temporarily putting a question on hold though. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 17:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 to a new user the distinction isn't obvious. To people used to forums "closed" means "the mods don't want this thing to exist so it's locked". Yes, that's not how SE sites generally work, but this is how most people not used to the format will understand it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic I think that's why the wording was changed to "put on hold" (and "[on hold]" appended to the title), because previously the word "closed" made it seem too final and, as you say, by mod fiat. That said, a new user might still not know that "on hold" is just a temporary state... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Oct 25, 2019 at 17:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I could have sworn we just had this discussion a month or so ago. scratches head \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 15:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kor Maybe you're thinking of 4 months ago? \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Oct 31, 2019 at 19:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara That might be what was in my memory, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2019 at 22:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does this answer your question? What should I do when a question does not specify the game system being used? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2022 at 14:11

4 Answers 4


When there is additional evidence of the system being used already in the question.

As these two answers from experienced, and even venerable, RPGSE members point out, where there is additional contextual information available it's not a foul to add a tag if you recognize a system.

That's when it's OK: when there are other pointers that an expert will recognize.

When it isn't OK ...

... is when there is very little to go on other than a mention of a class or race or spell or question or monster or magic item or tech tree or space ship - with no other contextual clues.

Where expert understanding of a rule set ...

... is in the hands of the answer writer, and they are able to spot sufficient contextual clues which identify the system, and point to adding the tag, let's get off of their backs.

Editorial Opinion

In the Q&A where I linked to doppel's and Seven's answers, while I still encourage all of us to engage with new users to help them become more informed users of the site, allowing the expertise base of the site experts to come to the fore is a feature of any SE site. Part of the reason I wrote that answer was to put forward a PoV to see how popular it is. I don't necessarily believe that it is the best answer.

Another observation from an experienced user

That's not to say our 'don't guess' policy needs to go away. We just need to do a better job of treating every system's community as justly as we can when adjudicating this policy-- we don't treat any other system the way we do 5e with this.
If a ask a question that's obviously about Shadowrun and don't include an edition or system tag I don't get a patronizing formula-comment asking what system I'm playing and what edition as if that question made sense without already knowing I'm playing one of the very few systems where 'edition' is the right term and matters, I get the question closed as unclear and one person asking "Is this Shadowrun?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Those opinions you link are beneath a much higher upvoted opinion saying D&D 5e isn't an unambiguous enough name if it's not a tag. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 16:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I am aware of that. I also think that I am recalling some of the discussion in the comments under various answers in that question. I made an edit to clean that up a bit. My answer got more votes but that does not mean that it was a better idea. Wisdom of the crowds sometimes wanders into "none of us is as misguided as all of us." :-) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I like most of the points you're making, the "Where expert understanding of a rule set, like Pathfinder or FATE ..." section sounds like it is encouraging guessing. If only an expert in the system is able to identify the system by relying on context clues, it seems to suggest a level of confidence less than certainty. I wouldn't feel comfortable encouraging adding a tag just based on such a guess (even if it is an educated one), though it's certainly reasonable to leave a comment asking OP to confirm whether that's the system. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Oct 27, 2019 at 22:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast Perhaps I am not being clear. Let me revise that. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2019 at 11:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I remember at least one question where it turned out the system in question, despite using terms that screamed one system, turned out to be a homebrew blend of multiple systems. That is something nobody (maybe not even the OP) is an expert in, certainly not enough to meet this standard. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 29, 2019 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @sevenbrokenbricks The rare exception we as a community can live with and deal with when they get flagged to close. You cannot make a perfect rule to guarantee perfection, particularly when you entire "workforce" is volunteers. The reflexive response of "Oh, we can write a rule for that" is toxic. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 29, 2019 at 0:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ That observation about patronising formula-comments rather does strike a chord. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Nov 10, 2019 at 12:29

To throw my own answer out there, I'd say that we should revise our definition of system guessing. Whilst there may be plenty of ambiguity between, say, a Pathfinder question and a D&D question, or between different editions of D&D, and that we should still generally ask for clarification from the OP as we've been doing as per our established policy, I feel that there are certain scenarios whereby we can definitively deduce, not guess, the system, and thus should not be considered system guessing, not subject to the same judgement.

I will point out that my answer is solely from a D&D perspective, since D&D 5e is the only game I really know about. But then, editions of D&D is also where we most commonly see this problem.

When the OP has linked to another Q&A with a system that matches our suspicions

Let's get the obvious one out of the way, the one that applies most directly to the question that I raised this meta question about. The OP made reference to another question, which was about D&D 5e and was tagged as such. It stands to reason that if the OP thought it relevant enough to link, there's a good chance they're asking about the same game, especially since they'd have recognised the rules being discussed in the other question.

It's not proof, because there's a chance that the OP is so unaware of the fact that there are other editions of D&D, and so unfamiliar with the rules of the edition that they are playing, that they could mistakenly think that a Q&A about a different edition is relevant to their question when it isn't, but I'd say the chances of that are so small that it's worth assuming it would never happen.

They reference exact text, maybe even with page numbers that match up with text

If the provide a quote, and the wording of the quote matches exactly with the corresponding text of the game/edition that we suspect, then I'd say that's good enough to say with certainty that we know what game they're talking about. I think it would be highly unlikely for two games, even two editions of the same game, to use the exact same text for a specific rule (although this is based on D&D, I must admit), so if we can confirm the exact quote, that should be good enough to say that we know the game/edition the OP is talking about.

I have seen in the past, not only an exact quote, but with a page number that matched up with the page number of the quote that matched up with the OP's quote, and yet, because they didn't explicitly say "D&D 5e" anywhere, was closed as unclear (one such example is this question, not with page numbers exactly, but a year of publication of the UA article in question, see version 1 of the edit history). Obviously this is ridiculous to claim that it's unclear when quotes and page numbers match up, so this is another case where we can safely say we know the game/edition without it being considered a guess.

There may be other criteria, but those are the two that stand out to me currently

There are likely other ways that we can safely deduce the game/edition from the content, but at the same time, we don't want to read into things too much because we think we recognise something. For me to list other ways of deducing a system alongside the two things I mention above, they would need to give me as much confidence and certainty as the things I list above such that I don't feel like I'm just guessing.

We shouldn't get ahead of ourselves and guess whilst hiding behind the excuse of "but it's obvious"

I noticed today a Pathfinder question had been asked about an Oath of Vengeance paladin. It was tagged as a question, but had it not have been, I might have thought "Oath of Vengeance? That's clearly D&D 5e because only D&D 5e has that exact subclass, right?", so we do still need to be careful and check our assumptions.

Making reference to spells and class features and other rules that we may recognise as being specific to D&D, or even a specific version of D&D, should not be considered enough to guess the system unless we know for a fact (as in, do our due diligence to actually research it before making an assumption) that it really is exclusive to the game/edition we suspect. Doing otherwise is guessing.

A final note about teaching the user

I've been fairly sold on the "making the user tell us their game/edition teaches them about the site and the importance of tagging" argument for a while now, but I have been swayed on that position by Cubic's answer (I'll quote the relevant parts here):

[...] new users, who'll simply not know the exact format their question should be in to be acceptable and who'd be much better served by simply being shown what an acceptable submission looks like rather than going through repeated stages of revisions until it is being fixed. Some might argue that this process has some effect of training new users in how to use this site correctly. I'd argue it is not really our place to play pedagogue, and anyone who's sticking around long enough for it to be even worth considering "training" them will pick up on the rules and norms of this community on their own over time.

I'm pretty sold on this argument. A user may come and ask one question, maybe not even ever come back to look at it (or forget how to log in again, so even if they did "look" at it again, they can't interact with it again), and therefore will not care if their question is tagged properly and don't have the interest in learning how our tagging system works because they're not planning on sticking around and becoming part of our community. Those that are interesting in sticking around, they will likely pick it up as they integrate themselves.

It might still be worth leaving a comment after adding such a system tag (again, only if we're truly sure, see above) telling the user that they really should be adding system tags themselves, in which case either they won't care because they'll never come back, or they will care and will learn to do so in their next question (or maybe after a few more reminders if they pick up more slowly than that).

Some might argue that a question asked by a user who does a hit-and-run question without ever coming back has no value, but since others may come by with a similar question in the future, I'd say that such questions do still have value if we can determine what system the OP was asking about and make it explicit in the tags for the benefit of future users.


In short, overall I agree with putting questions on hold and getting the OP to confirm the system if there is any ambiguity. In cases like this, however, where it is a certainty but is not explicitly mentioned by the OP, I think it makes no sense to follow this protocol and we should instead lead by example, adding the appropriate tag and informing the new user that they should do the same in future, assuming they want a future here.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is an example of a matching quote in a question: rpg.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8849. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 21:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Oh, I didn't realise your first comment was requesting anything from me, I thought it was just something additional. To answer your question, I'd say the UA Artificer question should have had the tag added since it quoted text and referenced a year as well (2019) - even if there were other games that used the terms UA, Artificer, etc, the chances of them also releasing these things in the same year? Unlikely. As for the Hexblade question, it's less clear cut; there is a 5.0 included, which I'd say is enough when combined with the game terms used, but it's less-strong-a-case vs. the UA. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Oct 26, 2019 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh no problem, I hadn't meant to request things with the first comment and then later wanted to get your ideas/opinion. Thank you for that! You could add the homunculus question as an example of matching text, though using the original (pre-edit) question of course \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2019 at 18:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ The community seems to have decided that even "I am asking about D&D 5e" is not sufficient to add the tag or leave open; I don't think any of your examples are clearer than that language (the community made up a deliberately poorly-named BS system in order to make that name ambiguous, though they could have instead referred to Chronopia (aka DoD5 or D&D5e by no one ever but you can pretend it fits). Given that we are at a place where literally naming the system isn't good enough, none of this should be either. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 16:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Wait really? Do you have examples where literally naming the system was not enough? It absolutely is to me \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 16:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 Check the Q&A Korvin links, that's what I'm referring to. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 20:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer I really don't think "5e" refers only ever to dnd-5e. Which the most upvoted answer there explains. In fact, Korvin's own answer on that question states that "5e" is not enough. The question you're talking about did not state "I am asking about D&D 5e" it only stated "5e" \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 20:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 That's not my argument. My point is that the name of the system is "5e". D&D 5e also works. These are two commonly used names for the same thing. Neither is entirely unambiguous, but that's not anything to do with their being names. Certainly both are much clearer and less ambiguous than the literal name-- that's Dungeons & Dragons ! \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 21:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Apologies but no. The game is Dungeons and Dragon and it is the fifth edition. It is DnD 5e. And as the answers to Korvin's link explain, there are other system with a fifth edition where 5e would make sense. Something being "5e" does not mean it must be DnD 5e. It is factual that "5e" and "DnD 5e" are not identical nor equivalent terms. There is ambiguity to be had and that's why "5e" is not the same as naming a system. Perhaps I'm just unable to follow your point, apologies then, thanks for the discussion \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 21:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer Just to be clear, my understanding of the community position, and the way I've been handling it is that it is 100% fine to add the tag based on an explicit mention in the body text or comment or chat message. If someone says "I'm playing D&D5e" then definitely go ahead and edit that in. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2019 at 16:47

Nothing is gained by editing in a system tag; Nothing is lost by putting a question on hold

  1. Closing the question prevents answerers from wasting time when the guess is wrong

If a system was guessed incorrectly the answers people make would end up being useless and unhelpful, thus wasting their time. If the question were edited, then time would be wasted by those creating non-applicable answers.

  1. Closing the question does not prevent answerers from drafting answers

I know that when a question is closed and I personally assume the system is 5e-dnd I write up my own answer either in notepad or some other file.

In case 1. an answerer wastes their time because of a guess made by a different person.

In case 2. an answerer is potentially wasting their time because of a guess they themself made.

It is better to let people choose to waste their time than to cause them to waste their time due to an incorrect edit.

  1. If the asker never edits in the edition then they never would've seen the answers anyhow.

If the questions sits there after being closed and a system tag is never added in by the asker, then the asker would never have seen those answers regardless.

  1. A question being closed does not prevent it from getting answered on SE

This one is... Murkier. But if a question has been closed due to not having a system tag for long enough then one could ask a new question similar to the first, but including a system tag.

This gets complicated because it opens up the question of "How long do I have to wait after a question is closed before I can ask it myself?" Which I feel might deserve its own Meta.

Two incredibly small potential issues:

Say a question receives an answer and it is closed and the OP never returns and it gets delted due to inactivity or similar. That answer is now lost (except to 10k+ rep users). In this sort of case I'd suggest somebody open a version of the question with the assumed system tag before it is deleted (assuming this happens). And if that is not possible then In this extremely specific scenario I would suggest the original answerer request a moderator to retrieve their answer to the previously closed and then deleted question if they so wished.

I also must mention the fact that there are users who may see that their questions was put on hold and simply never look at it again. Askers where the question being put on hold prevents them from editing in the system tag for one reason or another. It is unfortunate that what I've described above prevents those questions from being answered in a timely manner. I don't know what I could recommend in this situation to the asker as there is no way to contact them thereafter.

I would hope that the two scenarios above are so incredibly rare that having a policy cover them would cause more harm (by also allowing for errors in adding an edition tag) than it would fix.

Which of the following is better:

  1. A question is closed, the user returns and edits in the appropriate tag, answers are then added.

  2. The question is edited incorrectly, incorrect answers are added, the new user now has to awkwardly inform these well-thought out answers that they are not helpful.

I at least would rather not waste people's time, and having to inform people their hard work was unhelpful is a near definition of wasting somebody's time.

Here are some quotes from various other meta questions that I feel help make my point:

Imagine a new user who posts in the morning and checks back after work. Someone edited it to say [dnd-5e] and asked if that was right, no hold placed. It’s open, so people answer. Now the user comes back and responds. “Correct”: same as with asking & holding. “Wrong”: now there are a bunch of answers for the wrong problem.

It's not that "edit first, then warn" isn't a teachable moment. It's that it's 1) not efficient (rather than everybody putting in minimal effort by immediately closing without argument, somebody has to go through the hassle of conclusively arguing for which system is right and then doing the tag and then also warning the user about the policy and about how they overlooked the policy this time while not confusing them about the policy) and 2) encourages an attitude of "if I do something wrong then they'll fix it for me" rather than "I need to make sure I follow the rules."

[regarding teaching] When I clarify their problem for them and then tell them that I clarified it, they never improve in the future; when I refuse to help until they clarify their problem, they improve and I rarely have to do it again for them.

It's not appropriate to edit based on a guess [...] Why? Because we're also trying to train new users on how to use the site. And worst case, you bait people into bad answers when you guess wrong.

Our current policy is very clear, easy for new users to understand (even if they disagree with it) and relatively simple (if not always painless) to enforce [...]

Any alternative to this policy, however well intentioned (and perhaps both sensible and justifiable in the abstract), will be much less clear, more contentious and harder to enforce.

All of that said the following quote is something I strongly agree with:

We should make it clearer to new askers that mentioning the exact system is going to be a requirement for having their question answered.

[different quote] We tell new users to take the tour, yet the tour doesn't mention the current policy about explicit system specification. This should be changed, or else we're going to keep running into this problem with newer users.

If this were to be upheld (which I think it should be) a significantly helpful change would be to suggest that one of the tags an asker uses be a system tag.

There is discussion of this in the question "Can our tag-prompt nudge toward including system?" but it doesn't seem that anything has happened with since being asked nearly a year and 10 months ago.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "If the asker never edits in the edition then they never would've seen the answers anyhow." I have to take exception to this, one is just browsing a website, the other requires understanding that being put on hold isn't a bad thing, and an action. Both of these are unlikely for new users. Most sites use hold as a way of telling someone off, that we are different isn't obvious to passers by. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Nov 10, 2019 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Ideally a question isn't just out on hold. But the OP is provided with a comment explaining that they should edit in the system tag (and the comment should link the edit section as well as suggest the system it seems to be). I at least don't think of "on hold" as being told off, but certainly would agree if the previous phrasing of "closed" were still in use \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2019 at 16:01

The asker of a question has no ownership of it

I am going to argue that not fixing the question is unreasonable. This goes back to the very nature of Stackexchange: It is a place for questions and answers not for askers and answerers. The asker of a question is not the ultimate determiner for other factors like spelling, grammar and formatting of their question (the same goes for answers, albeit to a lesser extent as questions are more important and there's less worry about things like duplication when it comes to answers); These are all things that can easily be fixed by a diligent editor. In cases where it is obvious, the same is true for the correct tagging of a question. While it is certainly true that guessing a system from incomplete information is counterproductive, as answers will be different for different systems, in many many cases there is absolutely no guessing involved in determining which system a question is referring to; Ask yourself how often you genuinely have to check the tag list to distinguish questions of fairly similar (on a high level) systems like Pathfinder and D&D 5e, let alone completely dissimilar and unique ones. There is obviously care that needs to be taken (for example, for many generic D&D questions it may be unclear whether or not the question is referring to a specific system, and if yes to which) and in this case an editor shouldn't make a judgement, but any attempt to mechanise this judgement into one extreme or the other will lead to absurd results like the current accepted practice of never editing in the correct tags yields.

It is exceedingly unkind to both askers and answerers to put a question on hold due to easily fixable omissions

We have two groups of contributers who are going to be most affected by such a rule - new users, who'll simply not know the exact format their question should be in to be acceptable and who'd be much better served by simply being shown what an acceptable submission looks like rather than going through repeated stages of revisions until it is being fixed. Some might argue that this process has some effect of training new users in how to use this site correctly. I'd argue it is not really our place to play pedagogue, and anyone who's sticking around long enough for it to be even worth considering "training" them will pick up on the rules and norms of this community on their own over time.

On the other hand, we have experienced users who will through queries by new users be exposed to some question they think may be worth clearing up, or perhaps it is even a matter they themselves haven't considered and would welcome being answered, only to be blocked from answering it on an easily fixable technicality in the question that they're not allowed to fix for no good reason. Worse still, now that someone has asked the question in the incorrect format they can't really ask it themselves in the correct format anymore because that'd create duplicates, which is at best frowned upon and normally not allowed at all for very good reasons.

My conclusion and recommendation for policy therefore is:

It is unreasonable to block a question based on technicalities that can be fixed by an editor. Not only should an editor be allowed to fix problems with a question if they are capable of it, they should be be encouraged to do so.

The only really practical alternative to this is that I can see would be to prevent new users from creating questions that aren't tagged with a system, or otherwise make it very hard for them to do so by accident if you still want to allow new users to create system agnostic questions. A mere notification will not achieve this, and I'd personally recommend against this because the ability to fix incomplete questions already exists.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Point of order: “now that someone has asked the question in the incorrect format they can't really ask it themselves in the correct format anymore because that'd create duplicates” is not true. If we don’t know what game a question is about because it doesn’t say, a question that does say what game it’s about can’t be a duplicate of it, by definition. This bears out in practice, not just policy theory, as the kind of duplicate close you’re describing doesn’t happen. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to get this right, you're saying that we should be allowed to "fix the question" by editing in a system tag? Then when should this be the course of action? When one truly believes the system they wish to add is correct? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 21:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 At exactly the same point you'd fix anything else about the question, the second you A) notice something is wrong and B) know how to fix it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 25, 2019 at 21:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie It's not about "closing" duplicates. The duplicates exist regardless. The reason duplicates are being closed in the first place is because they reduce visibility of the "right" questions and answers. An experienced person will know this, so they won't create a question that is a duplicate of one currently pending improvement in the first place. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 25, 2019 at 21:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the improvement is pending… then there’s no reason at all to encourage asking that kind of “duplicate”? After your comment, I think I no longer understand what “worse” problem you’re trying to identify in that half of the paragraph. (Also, quite aside, you seem to be saying that duplicates are bad, which is not correct.) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 25, 2019 at 22:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Improvement "pending" doesn't mean that an improvement is coming. Just that it might. It also might not. You don't know, because you don't know whether or not your variation of "fix your tags yo" (however politely phrased) won't have scared away the person asking the question, or if they're just busy doing something else at the moment - or perhaps they've forgotten they even asked the question. The question, and its answers meanwhile stay in limbo for no reason. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 25, 2019 at 22:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic Wouldn’t it be premature then to even want to post the “duplicate” just so that they could post an answer to it? It seems like that bit is arguing that harm is done to people who want to answer, but what’s the hurry? What harm does having to wait a bit do? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2019 at 4:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie You're still looking at it from the perspective of effectively a power user. The "bit" you're waiting here can easily be several days, which isn't a problem for people who just browse rpg.se regularly and maybe have a list of bookmarked questions they check out every once in a while, but for less regular visitors it is prohibitive. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cubic
    Oct 26, 2019 at 10:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cubic Ah! That is the reasoning absent from the answer. Mind editing that in somehow? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2019 at 15:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ Pretending a question is unclear and then closing duplicates that aren't absolutely does happen. See Medix's answer which clearly implies people think that, at the very least. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 27, 2019 at 16:14

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