D&D 5E D&D Beyond Will Delist Two Books On May 17th

D&D Beyond will be permanently removing Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes on May 17th in favor of the upcoming Monsters of the Multiverse book, which largely compiles and updates that material.

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As per the D&D Beyond FAQ for Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse:

Can I still buy Volo’s Guide to Monsters or Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes on D&D Beyond?
Starting on May 16, you can acquire the streamlined and up-to-date creatures and character race options, as well as a plethora of exciting new content, by purchasing Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse. On May 17, Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes will be discontinued from our digital marketplace.

If you already own these two books you will still have access to your purchases and any characters or encounters you built with them. They won’t be removed from your purchased sourcebooks. Therefore, if you want the "fluff" and tables in those two tomes in D&D Beyond, you need to purchase them soon.

This is the first time books have been wholesale delisted from the D&D Beyond Platform rather than updated (much like physical book reprints are with errata and changes).

There’s no word from WotC on whether physical books will be discontinued and be allowed to sell out.
 
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Saracenus

Always In School Gamer
I mean, some might read that as; In WotC official games the old printings of the races are no longer compatible.
And since Adventurers Leagues is run by WotC it could be construed that WotC no longer views the old printings as compatible.
Sure, it could be construed that this was the case, but if you actually play or more importantly have been part of organizing WotC official Organized Play [OP] (RPGA, D&D Encounters, Adventurers League, etc.) you would know this is a false conclusion.

Organized play is its own beast, with rules modified specifically so that you can drop in a play in on an OP table anywhere in the world and your play experience will be a known quantity (as opposed to some random DM offering a D&D play experience at a store or convention who might be using the Rules As Written or some variant with optional/home rules). There is nothing wrong with either style of play, they are just different and adjust your expectations when sitting down at either table.

WotC does not have an official way to play the game and in fact encourage people to play the game the way they want to. The Sage Advice Compendium spells this out in the three different lenses used to interpret rules questions:

Why even have a column like Sage Advice when a DM can just make a ruling?
Rules are a big part of what makes D&D a game, rather than simply improvised storytelling.

The game’s rules are meant to help organize, and even inspire, the action of a D&D campaign. The rules are a tool, and we want our tools to be as effective as possible. No matter how good those tools might be, they need a group of players to bring them to life and a DM to guide their use.

The DM is key. Many unexpected things can happen in a D&D campaign, and no set of rules could reasonably account for every contingency. If the rules tried to do so, the game would become unplayable. An alternative would be for the rules to severely limit what characters can do, which would be counter to the open-endedness of D&D. The direction we chose for the current edition was to lay a foundation of rules that a DM could build on, and we embraced the DM’s role as the bridge between the things the rules address and the things they don’t.

Dealing with those situations is where Sage Advice comes in. This column doesn’t replace a DM’s adjudication. Just as the rules do, the column is meant to give DMs, as well as players, tools for tuning the game according to their tastes. The column should also reveal some perspectives that help you see parts of the game in a new light and that aid you in fine-tuning your D&D experience.

When I answer rules questions, I often come at them from one to three different perspectives.

RAW. “Rules as written”—that’s what RAW stands for. When I dwell on the RAW interpretation of a rule, I’m studying what the text says in context, without regard to the designers’ intent. The text is forced to stand on its own.

Whenever I consider a rule, I start with this perspective; it’s important for me to see what you see, not what I wished we’d published or thought we’d published.
RAI. Some of you are especially interested in knowing the intent behind a rule. That’s where RAI comes in: “rules as intended.” This approach is all about what the designers meant when they wrote something. In a perfect world, RAW and RAI align perfectly, but sometimes the words on the page don’t succeed at communicating the designers’ intent. Or perhaps the words succeed with one group of players but not with another.

When I write about the RAI interpretation of a rule, I’ll be pulling back the curtain and letting you know what the D&D team meant when we wrote a certain rule.

RAF. Regardless of what’s on the page or what the designers intended, D&D is meant to be fun, and the DM is the ringmaster at each game table. The best DMs shape the game on the fly to bring the most delight to their players. Such DMs aim for RAF, “rules as fun.” We expect DMs to depart from the rules when running a particular campaign or when seeking the greatest happiness for a certain group of players. Sometimes my rules answers will include advice on achieving the RAF interpretation of a rule for your group.

I recommend a healthy mix of RAW, RAI, and RAF!

If you are looking for a binary right way/wrong way to play WotC is not there with you. They want as many people to play the game as possible and they want people to feel empowered by the choices they make at the table or when they are designing adventures for a table.

The crazy things is, they are still learning something new about the game and game design all these years since the D&D Next Playtest. 5e D&D has not been static. Look at the early adventure designs when the game was brand new all the way going forward and you will find that choices made back then would not happen today.

Critical Role and the rise of actual play was a surprise to them. The D&D Next/5e rules were not written with that style of play in mind, it was a happy accident that the streamlined rules from the playtest were nearly perfect for that emerging play style. It has influenced rules development and WotC has embraced streaming as a way to reach new and wider audiences.
 
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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
So has anyone updated their copies of VGtM and MToF in DDB?

I’ve been prompted to update them but I’m concerned the update might gut the contents of the books that aren’t in MP:MotMV.

If it’s just updating the lineage features to the new versions, I don’t mind hitting update but if I lose large sections of the books to the point that I’d have to reference my physical copies and the digital versions are essentially useless, I won’t do so…
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
So has anyone updated their copies of VGtM and MToF in DDB?

I’ve been prompted to update them but I’m concerned the update might gut the contents of the books that aren’t in MP:MotMV.

If it’s just updating the lineage features to the new versions, I don’t mind hitting update but if I lose large sections of the books to the point that I’d have to reference my physical copies and the digital versions are essentially useless, I won’t do so…
I think it's the opposite. They are walking back some of the updates they did previously.


With the release of Monsters of the Multiverse, we're straightening out some data - in hindsight, we made a mistake by updating some old monster statblocks, as if they were errata. This happened because of the chronological order of digital book releases being different to the order they were built in.


As standard, our working practice is that any time updated stats are printed in a book for something, we treat it as errata and update the content. Monsters of the Multiverse is the first time that this hasn't happened. The D&D Beyond community were very vocal about not wanting the existing content automatically updated, so we listened.


However, as mentioned above, the order of the books matters. The Wild Beyond the Witchlight and Call of the Netherdeep were digitally released prior to Monsters of the Multiverse, however in terms of build order, they are positioned afterwards.


MONSTER STATBLOCK CHANGES


The following monsters were originally printed in Volo's Guide to Monsters. New versions of their stat blocks were printed in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. As per our standard policy, we treated this as errata.


  • Boggle
  • Darkling
  • Darkling Elder
  • Korred
  • Quickling
  • Redcap

We now know that wasn't the correct decision. As well as restoring these six monsters from Volo's Guide to Monsters, we want to make sure that nobody experiences any edge case situations where they feel that they don't have the version of the statblock that they purchased.


  • Anyone who individually purchased one of the six monsters listed above, is being granted the new monster statblock for free.
  • Anyone who has purchased a book where one of these six monsters is published, will be granted access to both the legacy statblock and the new statblock.

Additionally, the following two monsters were originally printed in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. New versions of their stat blocks were printed in Call of the Netherdeep and now in Monsters of the Multiverse. The primary source for these two monsters is being updated to Monsters of the Multiverse.


  • Sword Wraith Warrior
  • Sword Wraith Commander
 


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