Help with tags?



I use TAGs is quite loosely. As well as for items, I use them for:
Character background (Veteran. Grizzled. Bad leg. Grumpy. Gun-nut)
Special abilities/traits/feats (Leaper: you can leap Near with 2+ rolls)
Enemy behaviour (Stealth. Stalker. Pouncer. Territorial)
even Map properties (Dark. Icy. Stalactites. Narrow).

The way to use them is diverse. A player’s background might make some hard or easy:
PC: “I want to see what i can discern from looking at the enemy army force”
GM: “As a VETERAN, that is EASY for you” (even if he fails, i will tell him something because he is a veteran)

PC: “I want try to calm the crying child down so she stops crying and gives away our position!”
GM: “lol with your GRUMPY demeanour that is definitely HARD”

Same with items:
PC: “I hack at the thing’s tentacle, to free Leonardo!”
GM: “Axe is good at CHOPPING. That is defo EASY!” (or double/max damage. Does not have to be hard/easy, can be whatever feel’s right in the moment)

Special abilities/traits/curse/etc are TAGs with very specific mechanics (like in MAGIC like others have mentioned). For example, a player has chose a weird race or is blessed/cursed with huge kangaroo-like legs (STRONG LEGS: Leap high + NEAR with 2+ roll). It may start as a more loosely defined TAG, and then as we play the game and they experiment with using it, a specific mechanic emerges.

Behaviour and map properties allow me to quickly describe and have simple mechanics for a space without over prepping. I might have specific mechanics for the tags, or improvise them on the spot.
Saber Tooth Tiger (Stealth. Stalker. Pouncer. Territorial) - This alone tells me it will stealth, pounce on a target, do big damage/maybe try to drag them in the brush, then try to stealth again. If they leave it’s area it may leave them alone.
If i want to be specific i could say POUNCE = (dex save) ultimate damage and target pinned to ground. If PC saves, tiger tries to claw them: weapon damage attack.

The CAVE tags (Dark. Icy. Stalactites. Narrow) are so self-explanatory I won’t bother.

Main thing is TAGS are super versatile. They allow for distinction between different players/items/abilities/places/WHATEVER, without getting bogged down in mechanics. But they can still have mechanics if they need them. :smiley:
They are GREAT. The background ones especially to help players role play.


THIS! Is a fantastic reply! Thank you so much! :smiley:


Thanks for this. I see people talking about the usefulness of TAGs and often forget what that means, and I guess its because it doesn’t mean just one thing. I do something very similar already on the GM side of things with descriptors of NPCs or places, TAGs that imply mechanics so intuitively that no explanation is needed. For things like characters and weapons I kinda just do that in my head and skip the step of giving it a label