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D&D 5E Beware the Jabberwock! D&D Beyond has a sneak preview of the "The Wild Beyond the Witchlight" monster!

D&D Beyond has uploaded a full preview of the Jabberwock from The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, with complete stat block and full breakdown on how to run the monster in a game.

Beware the Jabberwock! The Burbling Dragon Arrives in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight

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Very interesting monster, especially with its Confusing Burble and regeneration. It looks rather tough for a CR 13 monster! It does, of course, have a vulnerability to vorpal swords, in homage to the original Lewis Carroll poem.
 
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Cant say I understand this, as its noted in the MM specifically "... Feel free to depart from it and change a monster's alignment to suit the needs of your campaign."

Not everyone reads a book of statblocks cover to cover. I'm sure basically everyone hanging around a website like this opining on what they want in statblocks is a sophisticated enough consumer of tabletop content to feel empowered to change little things to make the game their own, but I remember once being a first time DM, having only a small amount of experience playing a different edition of the game, worrying about whether it was okay that I was going to change the alignment of my goblins. It seems ridiculous in retrospect, but having the statblock throw a qualifier like "typically" in there would have genuinely helped me out at the time.

Also if there are going to be some creatures, like the various flavors of fiend, whose alignment is actually set in stone as some sort of intrinsic aspect of their being according to official lore, it seems helpful for statblocks to be able to differentiate "always evil unless you want to mess with the official lore of this creature" from "usually evil, but individuals will vary".
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
And I like it much better that way. It provides guidance on creature alignments without making anyone feel like they have to use a particular alignment for the creature or creating philosophical questions about free will.

Yes, it was already that way in 3e and honestly not complicated, especially since 5e uses natural language, so having "usually" and "typically" in alignment statblocks would have provided guidance while preserving flexibility.
 

Agreed. ;)



Cant say I understand this, as its noted in the MM specifically "... Feel free to depart from it and change a monster's alignment to suit the needs of your campaign."

But hey, its all good. I get Alignment back on Stat Blocks, and folks feel they get the flexibility they were looking for.
I'm willing to bet that significant percentage of the users of the MM haven't read anything outside the stat blocks and (to a lesser extent) the monster description texts. The percentage of those who have read the introduction to actually see those words on alignment is probably relatively small...
 

It‘s pretty sad if people are using the MM without reading the instructions. That being said, if the Jabberwock isn't an anomaly, and they are going to start using qualified alignments in statblocks rather than no alignments, I’ll be very happy. It was that way in 3e—every statblock had “often”, “usually”, or “always”, and if you actually read the instructions it told you what those meant in more detail. 5e was basically keeping the same concept, just simplifying presentation by explaining what‘s going on in the PHB and intro to the MM and then leaving out the qualifying word in each stat block. Apparently that word needs to be there.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It‘s pretty sad if people are using the MM without reading the instructions. That being said, if the Jabberwock isn't an anomaly, and they are going to start using qualified alignments in statblocks rather than no alignments, I’ll be very happy. It was that way in 3e—every statblock had “often”, “usually”, or “always”, and if you actually read the instructions it told you what those meant in more detail. 5e was basically keeping the same concept, just simplifying presentation by explaining what‘s going on in the PHB and intro to the MM and then leaving out the qualifying word in each stat block. Apparently that word needs to be there.

That's the problem with ruleslawyers, they usually cling to one specific sentence (or even part of a sentence), so if you make it too simple (or even, god forbid, in plain english rather than in a specific game jargon(tm)), they immediately either interpret it only in a single way rather than seeing its openness, or criticise it for being unclear when they can't do the former...
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Yes, it was already that way in 3e and honestly not complicated, especially since 5e uses natural language, so having "usually" and "typically" in alignment statblocks would have provided guidance while preserving flexibility.
It makes me wonder if WotC is going to errata the MM and other books in their next printing to include the new alignment qualifiers.
 

Scribe

Hero
It makes me wonder if WotC is going to errata the MM and other books in their next printing to include the new alignment qualifiers.
Last time I flipped through a Volo's at the book store, last weekend, it still had -2 Int for Orcs.

It doesn't seem they are doing any changes unless there is something I missed. Updating these Alignment qualifiers seems extremely unnecessary in regards to any of the older books when the MM practically states 'do what you want'.

Alignment.JPG
 

Azzy

KMF DM
Last time I flipped through a Volo's at the book store, last weekend, it still had -2 Int for Orcs.
The errata for Volo's, however, removes the Int penalty.

It doesn't seem they are doing any changes unless there is something I missed. Updating these Alignment qualifiers seems extremely unnecessary in regards to any of the older books when the MM practically states 'do what you want'.
Apparently it is necessary enough for WotC products going forward. WotC may also want to have their books consistent with the new approach.
 


Last time I flipped through a Volo's at the book store, last weekend, it still had -2 Int for Orcs.

It doesn't seem they are doing any changes unless there is something I missed. Updating these Alignment qualifiers seems extremely unnecessary in regards to any of the older books when the MM practically states 'do what you want'.

View attachment 143686

I don't think they are going to bother to adjust a vast swath of all the stat blocks for just the next reprinting. But I wouldn't be surprised if they repurpose the contents of the monster manual into some sort of other format before 5e runs its course, and in that case I'd expect them to have qualifiers on the alignments, proficiency bonuses listed, and a few other revisions to bring it in line with current style.
 

darjr

I crit!
True story. I was going to run the Tomb for the play tests of what was to become 5e. I said lets roll up magic items before we begin. One player said "I hope I get the Vorpal Sword!".

Bang on. He rolled the ONE number on that version of the table to get it.

First combat, first turn, his PC's very first action? Crit, then a second crit to confirm and off with their head!
 






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