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

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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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Or maybe the country I live in has no real history with slavery and the word "madness" isn't considered problematic by anyone so its removal would do nothing for treating people better. The same applies to many other US specific discussions.
You need to realize that the entire PC discussion about trigger warnings, etc. is very specific to the US and to a lesser extend UK.
Being that dnd was invented in the US, it carries with it certain, often unstated, assumptions that reflect its creators and their cultural context. I would argue that we see this in the frontier aesthetic of early dnd (keep on the borderlands, etc), where the forces of law venture to the edge of “civilization” to defeat the forces of “savage” chaos as embodied by various cave dwelling monsters. The game also encoded other prevailing attitudes of 1970s America. It’s that specific legacy that the game is now trying to move away from, because American culture has changed.

Games produced in other parts of the world would carry with them different cultural assumptions and perspectives, and so the conversations they produce would be different.
 

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Ixal

Adventurer
Ok, so you're Greek? I mean I guess that's all we're getting.

Greece is a country with big problems when it comes to bigotry, even by world standards. But you seemed to be proud of the ignorance you possess here? Am I understanding correctly that you think not knowing this stuff makes you a better person somehow?


Because you're the one who is choosing to attempt to discuss a US game with a bunch of people who are mostly American and British. So if you refuse to understand what's going on with that game, how can you possibly discuss it in any good way?
No I am not, but I am not going to divulge personal information in on an online board.
And again, why does someone in Greek need to know if and why madness is considered taboo in the US?

At least now I know where the stereotype of the self centered American comes from...
 

No I am not, but I am not going to divulge personal information in on an online board.
And again, why does someone in Greek need to know if and why madness is considered taboo in the US?

At least now I know where the stereotype of the self centered American comes from...
From other people assuming British people are Americans? Because, as my profile says, I'm British.

And you're the one who decided to claim you're not American, and make a big fuss by saying only Americans and maybe English-speakers cared about this stuff, which let's be clear is complete nonsense. I'm just trying to work out why you're saying that - i.e. are you living in a country where these issues really aren't a thing, and you thus genuinely believe it? Or are you from a country where these issues are discussed, and you're just pretending they're not as a bizarre rhetorical device? I wouldn't care but you've brought this up and are insisting on arguing it.

You need to know because you want to discuss the issue. It's like someone trying to discuss the British legal system, but absolutely refusing to understand British politics or law.

Again I ask, do you think that your being ignorant on these issues makes you a better person than people who are not and/or better positioned to discuss them? It's a weird thing to ask but that's the vibe I'm getting - "Ignorance is Strength", to quote Orwell.
 

No I am not, but I am not going to divulge personal information in on an online board.

lol

And again, why does someone in Greek need to know if and why madness is considered taboo in the US?

It's not that it's taboo, it's that people are trying to correct the bad portrayals of mental illness because it's constantly misrepresented in media. This goes even beyond the United States.

At least now I know where the stereotype of the self centered American comes from...

I dunno, the person who seems "self-centered" here is you, given that you seem to lack any sort of empathy or desire to understand other people's problems. Really hard to say someone else is being selfish when most of your recent statements start with "Why should I".
 

Ixal

Adventurer
It's not that it's taboo, it's that people are trying to correct the bad portrayals of mental illness because it's constantly misrepresented in media. This goes even beyond the United States.
So get your media under control (and probably your health care system, too) instead of attacking people who live in countries which do not have those same problems for not explaining the background of a problematic word in the US to your exact specifications.
 

which do not have those same problems
Which countries are those, specifically? Because I'm guessing you're going to refuse to name any of them, and if you do name any of them, we'll likely be able to point out that they do, in fact, have some of the same problems, just not with English words necessarily.

Your attack on the US health care system seems like something which would only make sense from a European (or a small number of other countries - but many of them are English-speaking). If you're a European, you definitely live in a country that has these issues.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Non-bad Beholders go back to 2E if not 1E, dude.
2e maybe. I own and-or have read a very high %-age of the 1e material and I don't remember tripping over any non-bad Beholders anywhere.

Can't speak to all of 0e or Basic/BECMI but the stuff I have for those editions (mostly adventure modules) doesn't ping either.
 

So get your media under control (and probably your health care system, too) instead of attacking people who live in countries which do not have those same problems for not explaining the background of a problematic word in the US to your exact specifications.

Uh, portrayal of mental illness is totally a problem elsewhere, too.

And no one is attacking you, you wandered into a thread talking about cultural assumptions that you have no understanding of, we're just trying to explain it to you and you don't seem to want to engage. If you don't like a discussion happening, you don't need to be a part of it.
 

2e maybe. I own and-or have read a very high %-age of the 1e material and I don't remember tripping over any non-bad Beholders anywhere.

Can't speak to all of 0e or Basic/BECMI but the stuff I have for those editions (mostly adventure modules) doesn't ping either.
Waterdeep and the North is the first appearance of Xanathar, and that's 1987 and 1E, so it's late 1E unless anyone can push it back further.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
Uh, portrayal of mental illness is totally a problem elsewhere, too. And no one is attacking you, you wandered into a thread talking about cultural assumptions that you have no understanding of, we're just trying to explain it to you and you don't seem to want to engage. If you don't like a discussion happening, you don't need to be a part of it.
No, I wandered in this thread (at least for this discussion) answering a question about why madness was removed and was instantly jumped by several people for not explaining it to their full satisfaction.
 

guachi

Adventurer
Really hard to make creatures and races feel like anything other than mush if they keep removing attributes and descriptions and make everything feel samey-samey. I haven't bought a WotC D&D book in two years and I don't see a reason to keep buying them.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
Again, why should someone in Greece stay up to date with a taboo word in the USA and know exactly why this is a bad word when the reason for it is entirely specific to the US?

Because that is what people demand here.
So that you don't use bigoted terminology with someone from another country?

I mean, this is the internet, where you can talk to people across the world. I have no idea what country you're from. I don't want to inadvertently say something bigoted to you.

Do you think it's OK to be bigoted if the bigotry isn't common to where you're from?
 

Do you think it's OK to be bigoted if the bigotry isn't common to where you're from?
That does seem to be the gist of what @Ixal is saying. That if he doesn't know something is bigoted, it's totally cool, and he shouldn't have to learn (because people in Greece are anti-Semitic or something, I couldn't really follow that argument).

I mean, I can't say it's an opinion I think many people would subscribe to. Most people would be like "Oh oops sorry!" when being bigoted in another language/culture.
 

Ixal

Adventurer
No. You were jumped on for sounding flippant about it, as if the issue didn't matter.
The issue about madness being a bad word that needs to be replaced does not matter to me and most of the world.
If you want to take that as a sign that Americans are morally superior be my guest. That attitude is nothing new to be honest.
Just realize that in most other countries in the world people look at bewilderment and amusement at the US about what is declared problematic and replaced next and people don't automatically jump to follow the next moral guideline that comes from there.
 

The issue about madness being a bad word that needs to be replaced does not matter to me and most of the world.
If you want to take that as a sign that Americans are morally superior be my guest. That attitude is nothing new to be honest.
Just realize that in most other countries in the world people look at bewilderment and amusement at the US about what is declared problematic and replaced next.

It's not that it's a bad word. We keep telling you this, but you don't care to listen.
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
Or maybe the country I live in has no real history with slavery and the word "madness" isn't considered problematic by anyone so its removal would do nothing for treating people better. The same applies to many other US specific discussions.
Are there any countries that have never had slaves, weren't founded by other countries that had used slavery in their history, or who otherwise treated a group of people in slave-like ways?

And since mental health issues are an issue wherever humans are, and there are taboos about mental health issues across the world as well, I doubt you're going to find many countries where people with mental health issues aren't stigmatized for it in some way.
 


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