D&D 5E How should 5e handle rules problems?

How should 5e deal with any rules problems that emerge?

  • It shouldn't. If you have a problem, fix it.

    Votes: 15 15.2%
  • It shouldn't. 'Problems' can be addressed in 6e.

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • New material should be adjusted to make up for any problems.

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Problems should be collected and fixed in one big revision.

    Votes: 12 12.1%
  • Errata should be issued, rarely, for major problems only.

    Votes: 37 37.4%
  • Errata should be issued whenever needed to fix problems.

    Votes: 31 31.3%

Noir le Lotus

First Post
I really hated some books released by WotC that were full of loopholes, overpowered or untested stuff. So I would really like to see a 5th edition that is well written and fully supported.

but you know what : I don't think I will have it.

The designated goals of D&D Next are compatibility with every D&D edition and modularity. How the hell could it be possible to get things balanced in every possible type of game for such an edition ?

It's impossible to get such a thing, that's why the devs said they want to put back the power in the hand of the GM.

log in or register to remove this ad

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
The designated goals of D&D Next are compatibility with every D&D edition and modularity...

I understand your opinion, and it's as fair as anybody else's, except that this isn't one of the goals they've set for D&D Next.

5E is not going to be compatible with every edition. It will have rules in it that allow it to be played like each edition. In other words, the system can be tweaked by each DM, Player, and Group to have the specific edition feel they want.

One will not, however, be able to just plug 5E into an existing game of another edition. You won't be able to take a 1E character, made with 1E rules, and play it in a 5E game without modification. You will however, be able to play a character with a 1E Feel (or any other edition) that is made using 5E rules.

Last edited:


My thinking is along the lines that if there are problems with the rules, home games should fix them. I rarely consulted any errata on 3.0 or 3.5, felt it was too much of a headache to keep track of. Nowadays, I won't deal with it. If we come across a broken rule that we don't like, we'll houserule it.

My view of errata is split.

For myself I would have a really hard time caring less. I've almost never used errata in an tabletop RPG (aside from correcting a misprint or something).

I'm a table gamer - same group for 20 years pretty much (a couple of people moved in and out). I don't play at cons, I don't play in game shops, I don't do encounters. I play RPGs to hang out with friends.

I also am into rules mastery - I like to learn the rules so well I never need to look things up at a table- 3rd took me about a year, 4th somewhat less time. I don't like errata correcting things I've got down to instinct.

At the table I am the one who really knows the rules. Of our group of 5 right now, 3 people own the rule book of the game we play, 1 has a PDF (legal) and one lets everyone else at the game tell him how to advance mechanically with his character idea. Not one of them has posted in a game message board.. well I think one did about 3 times. They don't look stuff up online. A downloaded character builder that never updates is fine with them (given the game we play doesn't have a lot of rules material in later books). Not a one of them would look for an electronic character building that is online only or from a third part. And if the one on the game's website for sale, if it required constant updates would be something they wouldn't bother with.

A couple of use are major rules mavens, and understand a system well enough to make house rules that create a feel or tone of the game we want. Usually if we see a combo that is abuse we just say "You can't play that combo in my game" - the GM defines what is allowed.

That's me and my table.

As for the other side - I think having errata is fine. Put in a PDF, have in on the site. If you include it in the character building put an option in "I use/don't use errata" same with extra info in books - let the person choose which bits he can use (then preferable have that saved in a files that someone else with the rules can use if he plays in your game).

For support of organized play and Con play, I think the information should be other there - but I don't think it should be assumed to be used at every table.

My thinking is along the lines that if there are problems with the rules, home games should fix them. I rarely consulted any errata on 3.0 or 3.5, felt it was too much of a headache to keep track of. Nowadays, I won't deal with it. If we come across a broken rule that we don't like, we'll houserule it.

The short version of what I said above. :)

Rules are table based - not to have a consistent version across all game play (unlike competitive games where things have to be fair to both sides). One side is the GM and the world, and the other is the players, and they work together not against each other.


Every single item listed as "errata" had best be something where the proof-reader missed something, someone handed them the wrong version, or something similar. Errata implies the publisher saying, "How the heck did that get there? That's not what we meant." End of story. If that happens, post it and put it in the next printing of the book. Hopefully, though, those incidents are vanishingly rare.

It's a completely different matter if the developers change their minds. That's not errata. That's back-door edition creep. The 3.5e polymorph errata is a great example of this. I didn't mind it in the Complete Mage (or wherever it was) as an alternate rule, but don't post it in the PHB errata document. Dragon magazine is also a good place to put these alternate "fixes", especially if they're pretty limited in focus. You don't get take-backs and core 3.5 RAW should mean the version of polymorph in the book.


First Post
Why errata is more complicated in D&D

I love and hate errata. I like to have rules work better in my game, so I like when problem areas in the rules are amended. I hate when errata becomes so extensive as to make books irrelevant. Here are reasons why we should push for as little errata as possible, I think:

1. People want to use their books, and continuous errata makes those books less and less valuable. Of course, if you play the game with computer tools, then things that make computer games better, like patches, help improve it. But as long as this is a game that people and WotC want played at a table with friends, the books matter. The books are where the company makes money, no? Of course, this could be made better by a good set of online and distributed electronic tools for playing the game, but I already think this should come with the game anyway.

2. Despite the strength of Dannager's example of Magic the Gathering, that model doesn't work well with D&D. For Magic, the game is competitive, match-style, and turn-based. The 'tournament' style game that Magic is lends itself to more acceptable errata. D&D is different - people are looking for rules to facilitate a fun game experience and to resolve disputes and conflicts neutrally. So the "lots of minor updates" style of errata is good for Magic, because it is a different kind of game and regularly changes editions so that the rules stay current. It is bad for D&D because people are not really looking for that kind of investment in the rules themselves all the time - I don't want to have to check every two weeks before my game to see what has changed so that I can teach my players the new rules changes.

3. As much as I wish we were beyond sloppy work with multiple fixes, we're not. 4E is the worst offender, not necessarily because it had the most problems, but because it made the most effort to fix them in a timely manner, and that highlighted the kinds of problems regular errata can create. It was terrible overall. To take advantage of the game as it is now, people need to be using the character builder, and taking a long time to investigate the various options. 4E messed up basic stuff, like the math for skill challenges, and when rogues could get extra damage. Fixing it didn't make things seem better - in fact, it was much worse, because people knew they had been sold sub-par rules in the beginning set. I know no one is perfect, but I want the people I pay for a product to be pressed hard to do the best they can, and not have whole rule subsets destroyed by some basic mathematical analysis within the first two weeks. Saying, vehemently, "I want a game that doesn't need fixing" is better than leaving the other options open.

The game is evolving, though, and the more people are able to use good electronic tools, the more liberty designers will have to "fix" after production. But even then - seriously - take the time to get it right.


Super KY
You know, I think you're right.

I'm a fan of errata. I almost always ignore it if it isn't crucial, but I like it anyways. When I played 1e there was about 200 things that were wrong or unbalanced or didn't make sense, and we did a lot of guessing. I'm happier knowing what the correct changes should be. I may ignore that advice - heck, I probably will - but I like having the errata available for me to check at my leisure.

Even more than errata, I appreciate thoughtful, well considered posts by the designers explaining what their intent was when they wrote the rule the way they did. What would they have done differently? What are some consequences that we should bear in mind if we decide to houserule it?

For my home games, this is pretty much always the superior choice. I suppose officially sanctioned games have different needs, though.

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads