D&D General A LA CARTE Errata

GreyLord

Legend
People can take the rules and bend them. Use errata or not. Hold true to Sage advice as if it were sacrosanct or an ad-lib. No one ever seems to debate this. Yet...

There is always debate.

The primary reason is D&D is a group game. And groups need to agree. So when you keep changing things, it has a tendency to make disagreements at the table. Not arguments, but disagreements. Things like, let's use ASIs or I am playing a yuan-ti. This causes consternation within the players and/or DM.

The secondary reason is the larger gaming culture. People like it when a culture is built. That is what D&D has done. But when you consistently change things, you are bound to upset part of the culture. Are the changes New Coke or getting rid of cocaine as an ingredient? Only time will tell.

PS - And for anyone that is about to pull up to the keyboard and use the "The DM has the final say" argument. Please... for the love of god... just don't.

I think they changed the cocaine thing because laws forced them to, otherwise we may still have the Coke in Coke today!

Could you imagine that! That might actually be a killer Coke (in some cases, quite literally) to drink. For giving one pep, the old recipe may actually be the BEST!

On the otherhand, no one need talk about New Coke...
 

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Oofta

Legend
...
PS - And for anyone that is about to pull up to the keyboard and use the "The DM has the final say" argument. Please... for the love of god... just don't.

So I shouldn't quote the intro to the DMG that says "You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game."? Good to know. ;)
 

Oofta

Legend
I think the elephant in the room is that the proponents of "the caster can include himself in the cube" conveniently assume that by doing this the caster will not suffer the effects of the spell himself, something that there is no reason to suppose.
An evoker can exclude themselves with sculpt spells ability. But if you aren't an evoker and cast fireball that includes you in the area of effect you're going to get burned.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Just out of curiosity...
By exact RAW, assuming a caster decides to include themself in the AoE of thunderwave and take the damage. If the caster fails their save, how to adjudicate the "pushed away" effect of the spell? How should a GM rule pushing oneself 10 feet away from oneself?
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
I think the elephant in the room is that the proponents of "the caster can include himself in the cube" conveniently assume that by doing this the caster will not suffer the effects of the spell himself, something that there is no reason to suppose.
The caster of a spell with a cubic area of effect may of course exclude themselves from the effect. It’s in the 5e definition of a cubic area (see also cone and line). Do you think you hit yourself with lightning bolt every time you cast it? It has a range of self, but crucially, it’s a line, so you can exclude yourself from the effect. I want to hear your argument for this one.

This is not fireball. Fireball has an area of effect with no such language.

In any case, this edge case isn’t really such a big deal in my book. I’ve never seen a wizard take this spell; the smart wizard generally stays out of melee and just misty steps out of it if they get cornered.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
The caster of a spell with a cubic area of effect may of course exclude themselves from the effect. It’s in the 5e definition of a cubic area (see also cone and line). Do you think you hit yourself with lightning bolt every time you cast it? It has a range of self, but crucially, it’s a line, so you can exclude yourself from the effect. I want to hear your argument for this one.

You're not following the discussion properly. Of course, the caster can exclude himself from the area, but that means that the cube will only affect one side of it. Some people, however, want the area to affect all sides around the caster, and for that the caster has to include himself in the area, in which case I'm just pointing out that he will take damage, something that these people conveniently forget in their argument, that's all.
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
You're not following the discussion properly. Of course, the caster can exclude himself from the area, but that means that the cube will only affect one side of it. Some people, however, want the area to affect all sides around the caster, and for that the caster has to include himself in the area, in which case I'm just pointing out that he will take damage, something that these people conveniently forget in their argument, that's all.
I think I see what you’re saying. That the cube, line, and cone areas of effect allow you to effectively shift their “templates” back one grid space to overlap the caster if you choose. So for thunderwave, you can cast it straight up but shifted down one grid space to include the caster and all neighboring cells, in which case the caster must suffer the effects. And if you don’t want to include the caster, the template must begin at the outer edge of their grid space, which in this case means choosing one direction. I can buy that.
 

cbwjm

Legend
I remember making the same mistake with thunderwave, which had a cool use of the spell when the druid player barrelled into a pack of ghouls in bear form, changed back to their original elf form (which removed the ghoul paralysis) and then thunderwaved hitting all the ghouls surrounding them. It wasn't until much later that I reread the descriptions of the AoE of spells that I realised the mistake and later reading of other spells showed that if it is an effect that surrounds you, they explain the AoE as Self (Xft. radius). It was still cool though and clearly I wasn't going back to retcon it, but I believe I corrected the spell's AoEback to how it was meant to be.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I think I see what you’re saying. That the cube, line, and cone areas of effect allow you to effectively shift their “templates” back one grid space to overlap the caster if you choose. So for thunderwave, you can cast it straight up but shifted down one grid space to include the caster and all neighboring cells, in which case the caster must suffer the effects. And if you don’t want to include the caster, the template must begin at the outer edge of their grid space, which in this case means choosing one direction. I can buy that.

Thanks, I was not sure I was being clear, but you put it in a much more understandable way. :)
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I remember making the same mistake with thunderwave, which had a cool use of the spell when the druid player barrelled into a pack of ghouls in bear form, changed back to their original elf form (which removed the ghoul paralysis) and then thunderwaved hitting all the ghouls surrounding them. It wasn't until much later that I reread the descriptions of the AoE of spells that I realised the mistake and later reading of other spells showed that if it is an effect that surrounds you, they explain the AoE as Self (Xft. radius). It was still cool though and clearly I wasn't going back to retcon it, but I believe I corrected the spell's AoEback to how it was meant to be.

Yes, it's a cool effect, but it becomes way more powerful if you allow it to explode just from the caster, way less collateral damage in particular to other party members, but allowing it to affect every creature surrounding you so that you can get away. And that's my problem with that interpretation, some people will use it for its coolness factor, but also because it's way more powerful. And note that the even cooler thing is that the proper reading still allows this, but you have to take damage yourself, so at least you have a choice, which I think is even better.
 

pogre

Legend
The main reason I do pay attention to rules errata and the like is because I run some Adventure League. Incorporating new interpretations and errata into my game is largely easier. I like running with one set of rules because it is easier.

I do have some houserules, but I apply those to my A.L. games as well. The main ones are:
  • drinking a potion is a bonus action; and
  • the players give each other inspiration, not me.
Oddly, I have never had a player complain about these houserules at an A.L. table. ;)
 

And note that the even cooler thing is that the proper reading still allows this, but you have to take damage yourself, so at least you have a choice, which I think is even better.

I’m no math wizard, but aren’t the faces of a cube technically only on the outside?
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I’m no math wizard, but aren’t the faces of a cube technically only on the outside?
The problem only occurs with people playing on grids, because these optional rules are undercooked and allow one to choose whether to allow one's square in the area. We never had the slightest problem as we mostly do TotM and don't use grids even when we have a map, in which case I completely agree with you, the caster is outside of the cube.
 

So I shouldn't quote the intro to the DMG that says "You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game."? Good to know. ;)
Haha. I know what it says. I was just trying to preemptively avoid the argument. I know at some tables the DM has authority. Others they have little authority. And at most tables, the DM has authority, but acquiesces to the wills of players - especially during things like character creation. And for good reason, they want their players to be invested.
 



I said that placing the origin at your feet and excluding yourself from the effect, thereby using the cube to surround yourself, is a valid placement of the spell (I use here "surround" in the common English sense, not to say "geometrical center in three dimensions").
That is actually a fine idea.
You could also place it at your fingertips from your raised hand and place the cube below that point.

Or as a storm sorceree fly up 10ft and thunderwave the ground below you.
 
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