D&D 5E New Errata & Advice For D&D Issued

WotC has issued an update to the 'Sage Advice' compilation, including new errata documents and amendments to racial attributes.

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"The PDF contains answers to a collection of new questions. To find the latest answers, search for “[New]” in the PDF.

The compendium includes links to new errata documents for Curse of Strahd, Ghosts of Saltmarsh, Storm King’s Thunder, Tomb of Annihilation, and Volo’s Guide to Monsters."


Racial attributes have been altered (thanks to @dave2008 for pointing that out).

errata.png
 
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AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
So Kobolds do not get a strength penalty anymore? That is kinda ridiculous. Imagine a Kobold with 18/00 (well, I still prefer AD&D stats) in full plate with a giant two handed axe. :D The whole point of playing a Kobold is that they are at the bottom of the food chain, they are weak and hence have to use teamwork and their wits and cleverness to stay alive. To be frank, I was equally not liking how Halflings get no strength penalties either.
And if Orcs had no intelligence penalty... that'd mean Orcs are as smart as humans, and should have long ago conquered half of Faerun. Especially if they had wizards. These changes really play havoc on the lore, too. This whole "everyone is equal" thing, as we have seen in Ray Bradbury's Harrisson Bergeron, does not end well.
If someone needs race ability modifiers for modeling demographic characteristics of whole societies, you will have trouble accepting these optional rules.

It still allows us to still say, “these [fill in the blank] in this region tend to be less [this] and more [that].

I for one am glad the rules are less useful for guiding demographic modeling. I’ll do that myself. It’s the Players Handbook. Not the modeler’s handbook.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
All getting rid of penalties does is make anyone who now doesn't have a bonus inferior to anyone who does. A pointless abilities arms race that ultimately says nothing of value. It's a strange thing, IMO, for anyone to feel strongly about.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Not so strange really, given the tug-o-war between whether D&D has Tolkien-Orcs or Warcraft-Orcs. Looks like officialdom's settled with Warcraft, and some folk simply don't like it, fair enough. I mean, Orcs are a staple in umpteen home-brew settings, mucking with them was bound to stir things up.

Regarding smite, I'm fine with paladins needing weapons. Humanoids are marked by not having natural weapons, and so forge the plethora we see. Paladins are themed around civilization, therefore requiring them to use weapons is fine by me. Likewise, I'm okay with natural weapons working with smites, though I'd treat such a PC a rarity.
 




FitzTheRuke

Legend
How would that be different from an halfling or a gnome doing the very same?

All of them are weird being as strong as everyone else, and all of them used to have strength penalties.

Personally, I don't feel strongly about it either way (I'm happy to keep their smallness as mechanically-free fluff if I have to), but I can't fathom why anyone is offended by ability score penalties, but I can accept that they are.

Ultimately, the game doesn't have to mechanically simulate any reality - it just needs to be fun.
 
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Imagine a Kobold, with STR maxed out, becoming a Level 20 Barbarian.
How would that be different from an halfling or a gnome doing the very same?

Also, the same could happen with the Strength penalty at the start if that's what a player intended to do with their character progression. Assuming standard array, start with a 13 STR (15-2) and then bump STR at each ASI. Three and half ASI and the kobold is at 20 STR. With new rules they get to 20 STR at 12th level instead of 16th. So... not seeing the issue.
 

SuperTD

Explorer
Ah, good to see that WotC noticed their mistake in the 2018 errata regarding the change to a Demilich's hit points. Oh wait, nevermind - they corrected the HP back to what it should be, but also changed its number of hit dice so the average matches the new hit point total. They haven't removed the trait in its stablock that says "So great is a demilich’s will to survive that it always has the maximum number of hit points for its Hit Dice, instead of average hit points." though, so now the hit points are STILL too low - they increased the hit points and hit dice number so the same issue is there!

This never needed errata, it was right the first time. Clearly someone needs to read the monster description, not just the stat block.
 
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Azuresun

Adventurer
So Kobolds do not get a strength penalty anymore? That is kinda ridiculous. Imagine a Kobold with 18/00 (well, I still prefer AD&D stats) in full plate with a giant two handed axe. :D The whole point of playing a Kobold is that they are at the bottom of the food chain, they are weak and hence have to use teamwork and their wits and cleverness to stay alive. To be frank, I was equally not liking how Halflings get no strength penalties either.

It's not like it's any sillier than a Kobold with 16 Strength. All that matters is what shows up in your game, so if you don't want swole kobolds in your game, don't have them. Problem solved, you're welcome, what's for lunch?.
 


Zarithar

Adventurer
On the one hand it's cool because I can officially play my orc wizard without an int penalty - but on the other, the penalties were there for balance reasons. Now there's absolutely no reason NOT to play an orc or a kobold over a vanilla human.
 


Wrathamon

Adventurer
All of them are weird being as strong as everyone else, and all of them used to have strength penalties.

Personally, I don't feel strongly about it either way (I'm happy to keep their smallness as mechanically-free fluff if I have to), but I can't fathom why anyone is offended by ability score penalties, but I can accept that they are.

Ultimately, the game doesn't have to mechanically simulate any reality - it just needs to be fun.
they still cant use heavy weapons ...
 



On the one hand it's cool because I can officially play my orc wizard without an int penalty - but on the other, the penalties were there for balance reasons. Now there's absolutely no reason NOT to play an orc or a kobold over a vanilla human.

Negatives to starting stats are bad, but maybe they should bring back the max stat based on race, at least in an optional system. Kobolds and halflings should not have a negative to their starting strength, but neither should they be able to have a 20 strength without some magic boosting it that high.
 

Paul3

Explorer
I am in that group that dislikes their tinkering with the racial modifiers. I get their thinking behind it and am supportive of issues of representation, but we are talking about creatures that are different species. When we talk about human beings, there is nothing inherently/significantly about our body/brain structure, regardless of whether you are black, brown, white, or green. Saying Vietnamese have less intelligence than Egyptians but more dexterity than Canadians makes little sense as they are all human. In D&D, Chultans should not be significantly different than Waterdavians.

In game like D&D, we are talking about different creatures/beings altogether. It is sort of like saying that we cannot acknowledge that chipmunks are faster than turtles or that chimps are not smarter than robins.

I think having the occasional strong kobold or smart orc can be quite fun, but at my table, I am going to continue with kobolds being GENERALLY weaker than humans and orcs being GENERALLY dumber than humans.
 

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