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D&D 5E Latest D&D Errata: Drow, Alignment, & More

Sage Advice is a series of articles in which Jeremy Crawford, one of the D&D Studio’s game design architects, talks about the design of the game’s rules and answers questions about them. https://dnd.wizards.com/dndstudioblog/sage-advice-book-updates D&D books occasionally receive corrections and other updates to their rules and story. This Sage Advice installment presents updates to several...

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Sage Advice is a series of articles in which Jeremy Crawford, one of the D&D Studio’s game design architects, talks about the design of the game’s rules and answers questions about them.


D&D books occasionally receive corrections and other updates to their rules and story. This Sage Advice installment presents updates to several books. I then answer a handful of rules questions, focusing on queries related to Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos.


Official errata has been published for the following books:
Here's some of the highlights.
  • Alignment is removed from the Racial Traits section of races.
  • Drow have undergone lore changes which reflect the different types of drow. The 'darkness of the drow' sidebar which portrays them as only evil has been removed.
  • Storm King's Thunder alters references to 'Savage Frontier' and 'barbarians'; Curse of Strahd alters references to the Vistani.
  • The controversial Silvery Barbs spell has been clarified.
As a drow, you are infused with the magic of the Underdark, an underground realm of wonders and horrors rarely seen on the surface above. You are at home in shadows and, thanks to your innate magic, learn to con- jure forth both light and darkness. Your kin tend to have stark white hair and grayish skin of many hues.

The cult of the god Lolth, Queen of Spiders, has cor- rupted some of the oldest drow cities, especially in the worlds of Oerth and Toril. Eberron, Krynn, and other realms have escaped the cult’s influence—for now. Wherever the cult lurks, drow heroes stand on the front lines in the war against it, seeking to sunder Lolth’s web.
 

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You say this now, but people would have had the same opinion of samurai or shaman 10 years ago.

Maybe not yet, but I expect a that those "culture-based named" classes are either going to get renamed or diminished (or both) at some point in the future to make D&D more culturally generic and able to support more diverse settings. You won't see cultural oddities like Maztica paladins, Wa druids or ffolk monks. Maybe not in 2024, but eventually.
I think that will happen where there is another adequate word to represent the concept, but not otherwise (I don't think double-barrelled class names will ever be a major thing, to be clear).

The trouble is, with Druid and Warlock (both of which are about equally culturally-specific, and neither of which is offending anyone but perhaps some neo-pagans who themselves dealing with issues re: being "problematic"), they've evolved into highly-specific concepts that are quite accessible via pop-culture, but which there aren't other words for which are more acceptable. Something like "Greenpriest" is never going to fly.

Paladin likewise. I don't see that going anywhere. It's an increasingly well-established archetype in pop-culture, thanks in part to video games.

I feel like you're looking at this from an approach to progressive-ness which was popular in the '90s and part of the '00s, but which is now passé. Where cultural specificity and authenticity (as channelled by white people, usually) were everything. Where renaming a class for a specific culture was moving things forwards. But that idea is no longer really relevant. So long as the name isn't actively damaging, it's likely to be retained, because these are peculiar D&D concepts. A Paladin isn't just a "Holy Warrior" or whatever. A Druid isn't just a "Nature Cleric". A Warlock isn't just "Bargaining Caster", and none of those names would work. even.

The only way I see this happening is if 7E or whatever decides to go thermonuclear and make the classes basically be Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, with everything else as a variant of them. But that'll be the end of D&D, frankly.

I do think Monk will probably go sooner rather than later, note, because "Martial arts warrior" is a huge archetype, and Monk is a terrible way of approaching it which blocks more concepts than it enables, and the name is part of the problem.

Cynics always boast of their honesty.
Sorry, but that's a very lazy and imho intellectually bankrupt response. You have no apparent valid criticism here, and are merely grousing that you don't like an reasoned assessment of the threats D&D faces. If you think any of those threats aren't real, then please name them, don't just namecall.
 

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Mirtek

Hero
Amen. Now point me to the door to kick in.
You mean knock on politely?

The point is WotC is trying to do better despite some people's vehement objections.
Let me fix that for you: The point is WotC is trying to do whatever is currently expected to earn the most money.

If that means taking out brothels and stop calling beholders evil, they'll do that. If one day it again means "going all Goblin Slayer" on the IP, they'll do that in a heartbeat

It's their current version of Generic Brand Video
 
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Erdric Dragin

Adventurer
I don't understand the stupid spellcasting attack crap.

With the spell slots at least I could have a monster use a stronger form of a spell when it used a higher slot.

How the hell am I supposed to do that now with this "1/day can use this spell" nonsense? Where are the number of slots per spell level? This doesn't make any DMs job easier, just worse.
 

I think that will happen where there is another adequate word to represent the concept, but not otherwise (I don't think double-barrelled class names will ever be a major thing, to be clear).

The trouble is, with Druid and Warlock (both of which are about equally culturally-specific, and neither of which is offending anyone but perhaps some neo-pagans who themselves dealing with issues re: being "problematic"), they've evolved into highly-specific concepts that are quite accessible via pop-culture, but which there aren't other words for which are more acceptable. Something like "Greenpriest" is never going to fly.

Paladin likewise. I don't see that going anywhere. It's an increasingly well-established archetype in pop-culture, thanks in part to video games.

I feel like you're looking at this from an approach to progressive-ness which was popular in the '90s and part of the '00s, but which is now passé. Where cultural specificity and authenticity (as channelled by white people, usually) were everything. Where renaming a class for a specific culture was moving things forwards. But that idea is no longer really relevant. So long as the name isn't actively damaging, it's likely to be retained, because these are peculiar D&D concepts. A Paladin isn't just a "Holy Warrior" or whatever. A Druid isn't just a "Nature Cleric". A Warlock isn't just "Bargaining Caster", and none of those names would work. even.

The only way I see this happening is if 7E or whatever decides to go thermonuclear and make the classes basically be Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric, with everything else as a variant of them. But that'll be the end of D&D, frankly.

I do think Monk will probably go sooner rather than later, note, because "Martial arts warrior" is a huge archetype, and Monk is a terrible way of approaching it which blocks more concepts than it enables, and the name is part of the problem.


Sorry, but that's a very lazy and imho intellectually bankrupt response. You have no apparent valid criticism here, and are merely grousing that you don't like an reasoned assessment of the threats D&D faces. If you think any of those threats aren't real, then please name them, don't just namecall.
Pass.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Cynics always boast of their honesty.
Well, when the culture around you is obsessively positive, obsessed with everything always being photoshoot perfect, and any sign or admission of being less than perfect in any way is seen as a weakness and just cause to infinitely dog pile...being able to say "it's possible things might suck" is a far more honest and healthy approach.
 

Scribe

Legend
Well, when the culture around you is obsessively positive, obsessed with everything always being photoshoot perfect, and any sign or admission of being less than perfect in any way is seen as a weakness and just cause to infinitely dog pile...being able to say "it's possible things might suck" is a far more honest and healthy approach.
If they didnt want me to be pessimistic, why would they continue to disappoint and prove me right? :ROFLMAO:
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
As far as mixing and matching, that's difficult to do as well. Just look at how well Oriental Adventures has aged. I feel sympathy for people that publish this kind of stuff. If I include something and realize that it was mind-numbingly bad I can just blame it on an unreliable narrator.
OA was an attempt to do an entire culture that was basically one culture with bits of other cultures in it (as others have pointed out, the main culture was Japan, with a touch of China and a couple of monsters from other cultures). And OA, IIRC, tended to take entire concepts and use them as-is rather than taking the idea and using that.

Anyway, you actually only need to have a couple of unique cultural bits for each race or society, unless you're planning a game that takes place primarily within that culture. You just need enough to give the players some guidelines and then let them make up the rest of the society themselves as needed.

For instance, I mentioned Celts and Apache. Looking at Apache culture (via Wikipedia and the Mescalero Apache Tribe site; I'm not doing a really deep delve here), you could take bits like matrilocal marriages; rituals held before hunts or battles; viewing certain animals (or monsters) as taboo and thus the people refuse to either hunt them or use their carcasses for anything; and using lots of beads on clothing. From the Celts (again, Wikipedia; I'm lazy), you could take the idea of having an important "intellectual class"; jewelry such as torcs being important; frequent raids on neighbors for resources rather than territory); electing kings from those with royal blood; and the use of hill forts.

You can use these tidbits to make an orc culture: They frequently live in hill forts, and the men go to live with their wife's family. They view hybrid creatures (owlbears, griffons, chimera, manticores, sphinxes, etc.) as being wrong and unnatural. Their leaders are chosen by election from among those of "high blood." They have a philosopher class of druids, bards, and warlocks, who not only do the religious rituals but are also advisors and judges. They like jewelry, which consists of beaded torcs (torcs for orcs!), rings and bracelets. They engage in a lot of low-level warfare amongst each other, but rarely go out of their way to conquer each other.

I don't think that any of these ideas are so unique to either of the cultures that I'm misappropriating them.
 

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