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.

Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 12.13.01 AM.png


"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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DND_Reborn

Legend
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.
Racial caps always made more sense to me in earlier editions, but with how ability scores are in 5E it doesn't quite work. :(
 

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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.

PCs are exceptional. If a player wants to play the really strong kobold or really smart orc, I have no problem with that. Especially since, if using standard array or point buy, that’s going to be their choice at ASI time to invest in those stats - whether using the Tasha’s rules or not. IMO, capping stats based on race seems to chip away at that PC exceptionalism that a player might want. And for what gain? Keeping a Kobold PC STR mod at +4 instead of +5?

The NPC/monster kobolds and orcs they meet in the campaign world will generally fit the MM stats though.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
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.

The problem is that there is no longer no reason to not play an orc or a kobold?

Okay... how is that a problem? How is opening up more options bad? People might actually use those races? How terrible?



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.

First off, this change is for PCs, not the general population of those races.

Secondly, let us not compare chimps to robins. How about we compare.... Chimps to Bonobos. Why do I say that? Because Gnomes and Halflings did not have a strength penalty.

Oh, you might be part of the camp that claims that they should have had a penalty this whole time, but the hard truth is, they were designed without that penalty. They did not have it. So, Kobolds had no reason to have it.

And for orcs, they have been depicted in such a wide range of ways, over multiple media franchises, that I really do not know if keeping to the trope of making them somehow stupid as any real place. Tolkien Orcs were not stupid. Warcraft orcs are not stupid. Eberron Orcs are not stupid. Exandrian Orcs are not stupid. Heck, even the Forgotten Realms orcs are not stupid. The slice of fantasy where "orc = dum" is true is not nearly as large as it once was, and mechanically enforcing that did not make a whit of difference. People just played Half-Orcs instead.


And, if we want to talk about the racial modifiers being swappable.... again, this is beyond a minor point. Using point buy, an Elf with a +2 dex could get a 16, and a human with a +1 could.... get a 16. Take Variant human, take a feat with a +1 Dex attached, and you have the same +2 Dex as that elf. So, are elves truly defined by the dexterous nature? When the most commonly used human can be built to match an elf in dex? Or a Dwarf in Con? Or an Aasimar in Charisma? These "big differences" like between a chimpmunk and a tortoise simply do not exist.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I would favor racial caps. You want to play a FANTASY race, you take the good with the bad. Yes PCs are exceptional . That is why they get to have class levels.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Gnomes and Halflings did not have a strength penalty. Oh, you might be part of the camp that claims that they should have had a penalty this whole time, but the hard truth is, they were designed without that penalty. They did not have it. So, Kobolds had no reason to have it.

Well, to be fair, Kobolds are even smaller than Gnomes and Halflings. As an aside, I remember an article early in 4e where a designer (I forget who) saying that they made halflings taller than they were in previous editions because they (had a three-year old child, I think?) couldn't imagine anyone that small being very effective in a fight. (Or something to that effect). I remember at the time thinking, "Who cares? It's fantasy!"

And for orcs, they have been depicted in such a wide range of ways... The slice of fantasy where "orc = dum" is true is not nearly as large as it once was, and mechanically enforcing that did not make a whit of difference.

I'm not sure that a -2 to Int makes someone dumb. Similar to your point below, you can still get a 16 (maybe not with point-buy or an array). It's just suggesting that, on average, most are a little slower than other types.

And, if we want to talk about the racial modifiers being swappable.... again, this is beyond a minor point. Using point buy, an Elf with a +2 dex could get a 16, and a human with a +1 could.... get a 16. Take Variant human, take a feat with a +1 Dex attached, and you have the same +2 Dex as that elf. So, are elves truly defined by the dexterous nature? When the most commonly used human can be built to match an elf in dex? Or a Dwarf in Con? Or an Aasimar in Charisma? These "big differences" like between a chimpmunk and a tortoise simply do not exist.

When 5e was first released, I didn't like that Humans got +1 in everything. To me, human average was always modeled by 10's in all stats (well, 10.5 really) so this was "saying" that all humans are now slightly above average and other races are worse, except where they're better. Weird.

... At this point I just don't think ability scores mean a whole lot. They're a mechanical gamist thing that tells you a little bit about your character relative to others, but not much. A halfling with an 18 strength is NOT as strong as a goliath with an 18 strength, regardless of the matching scores. The same thing goes for the other abilities. It's not like in the world of the game, there's any way to really judge these things, after all.

(Just like the real world. It's not too hard to judge real people's strength, I suppose, but wisdom? Charisma? We can -sort of- tell if someone is good or bad at these things, but certainly not on a scale of 1 to 20. Even IQ has been proven to be a terribly inaccurate way to measure intelligence.)

In the end, I think that Ability Scores are just a game mechanic that say only a little about your character. High strength means you're strong. How strong? Who knows? Low Intelligence means you're not very bright. How dumb? Who knows? I mean, low charisma can mean anything from ugly to rude to weak-willed. (Not all of those things happen at once.)

That reminds me - As charisma morphed away from being more about your looks (as it was early on) to more about your personality (as it became, even though it was always both), one hold-out that always bothered me was when orcs had a negative to charisma (because they were uncouth and ugly?) but the side-effect was that they weren't very intimidating! I mean, should there be anything MORE intimidating than an orc barbarian? But nooooo... they were wishy-washy because charisma represented too many things.
 

Azuresun

Adventurer
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.

I think the problem is the word "race", since people seem to immediately associate it with "ethnicity". Sci-fi settings where the different species are called species don't seem to have this problem. At least I've never seen anyone describing it as being problematic that Wookies are stronger than Ewoks in the Star Wars RPG's.

When 5e was first released, I didn't like that Humans got +1 in everything. To me, human average was always modeled by 10's in all stats (well, 10.5 really) so this was "saying" that all humans are now slightly above average and other races are worse, except where they're better. Weird.

Or maaaaaybe, 5e isn't a physics / biology simulator and that rule is just there for PC's? Just like how PC and NPC goblins / eladrin / tortles / bugbears / etc bear little resemblance to each other because they're balanced to do different things.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Well, to be fair, Kobolds are even smaller than Gnomes and Halflings. As an aside, I remember an article early in 4e where a designer (I forget who) saying that they made halflings taller than they were in previous editions because they (had a three-year old child, I think?) couldn't imagine anyone that small being very effective in a fight. (Or something to that effect). I remember at the time thinking, "Who cares? It's fantasy!"

I'm not sure that really makes a difference. They are all small creatures. And the shortest Kobold is 2'3", which is six inches shorter and 10 lbs lighter than the halfling, who is 2'9" at the shortest. But, the halflings gets no penalty despite being a foot and two inches shorter and 80 lbs lighter than the Tiefling.

And those are all the shortest and smallest possible numbers.

So, is that minor six inch difference really enough to incur a -2 penalty to strength, when a difference over double that size did not? I know there are thresholds, but what makes that fluff small size a threshold, but the actual mechanical small size not?



I'm not sure that a -2 to Int makes someone dumb. Similar to your point below, you can still get a 16 (maybe not with point-buy or an array). It's just suggesting that, on average, most are a little slower than other types.

However you want to phrase it, it has no basis in a lot of fantasy. There was no basis for it in some of the old source material, nor the modern source material. So if it was purely traditional for only select settings... that can be a setting rule or a houserule.



When 5e was first released, I didn't like that Humans got +1 in everything. To me, human average was always modeled by 10's in all stats (well, 10.5 really) so this was "saying" that all humans are now slightly above average and other races are worse, except where they're better. Weird.

... At this point I just don't think ability scores mean a whole lot. They're a mechanical gamist thing that tells you a little bit about your character relative to others, but not much. A halfling with an 18 strength is NOT as strong as a goliath with an 18 strength, regardless of the matching scores. The same thing goes for the other abilities. It's not like in the world of the game, there's any way to really judge these things, after all.

(Just like the real world. It's not too hard to judge real people's strength, I suppose, but wisdom? Charisma? We can -sort of- tell if someone is good or bad at these things, but certainly not on a scale of 1 to 20. Even IQ has been proven to be a terribly inaccurate way to measure intelligence.)

In the end, I think that Ability Scores are just a game mechanic that say only a little about your character. High strength means you're strong. How strong? Who knows? Low Intelligence means you're not very bright. How dumb? Who knows? I mean, low charisma can mean anything from ugly to rude to weak-willed. (Not all of those things happen at once.)

That reminds me - As charisma morphed away from being more about your looks (as it was early on) to more about your personality (as it became, even though it was always both), one hold-out that always bothered me was when orcs had a negative to charisma (because they were uncouth and ugly?) but the side-effect was that they weren't very intimidating! I mean, should there be anything MORE intimidating than an orc barbarian? But nooooo... they were wishy-washy because charisma represented too many things.


And here we find ourselves agreeing, but while I get the feeling you see this as a problem, I really don't.

Even with a strength of 8, in terms of lifting lbs of weight, a character is immensely strong compared to an average person. The can casually lift 120 lbs and just truck it. They can lift 240 over their head with little effort. That is an entire average person.

And yet, in the mechanics of the game, they are weak. They deal damage with a negative mod. They actually could potentially deal 0 damage by punching someone.

So, by one metric, they are stronger than most people I know. By another, they are laughably weak. And this is all because the scores are all relative and a game mechanic. The "weak man" in the party could have a 12 strength, which is still above average per the game, but is no where near what a "strong" individual needs to actually be for them to be mechanically a strength based character.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
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.
You know....rules as written....every basic kobold in the world has STR 7 (-2) unless you decide to change the stats in the monster manual. You don't have to penalize the 4 or 5 kobold PCs that might come along in a 20 years campaign with a -2 STR penalty to set a kobolds are small and weak feel.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
Or maaaaaybe, 5e isn't a physics / biology simulator and that rule is just there for PC's? Just like how PC and NPC goblins / eladrin / tortles / bugbears / etc bear little resemblance to each other because they're balanced to do different things.

Isn't that what I went on to say in the rest of the post that you only quoted part of? Maybe I rambled a bit too much to be clear.
 
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FitzTheRuke

Legend
And here we find ourselves agreeing, but while I get the feeling you see this as a problem, I really don't.

No, we just plain agree. I was just going over the thought-processes that got me there. The thing is, the game really tried to model things differently "back in the day" and now does things differently again. That's all fine, but it takes some of us (we're a neuro-diverse group, after all) a bit of effort to grok the changes. In addition, a lot of the changes have happened gradually, with it being hard to pinpoint where it exactly changed. Heck, some stuff was there back at the beginning, but very few fully understood it (see arguments about what exactly hit points represent - a good example of how the game has never really tried to model any reality, even when it thinks it does).

I don't think it's a problem at all. It's a game. It's a game I really like to play.
 

Paul3

Explorer
You know....rules as written....every basic kobold in the world has STR 7 (-2) unless you decide to change the stats in the monster manual. You don't have to penalize the 4 or 5 kobold PCs that might come along in a 20 years campaign with a -2 STR penalty to set a kobolds are small and weak feel.
Taking a -2 does not necessarily put them at 7. If you have them at 13 and take the -2 penalty, that 11 is still well above average for a kobold. Modifiers don't prevent extremes, they just pull them a little closer to what is typical.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Taking a -2 does not necessarily put them at 7. If you have them at 13 and take the -2 penalty, that 11 is still well above average for a kobold. Modifiers don't prevent extremes, they just pull them a little closer to what is typical.
1. Open Monster Manual.
2. Turn to the entry for kobold.
3 . See that they are listed as STR 7.
4. Reread my post with better context.

As I said....STR 20 Player Character kobold have nothing to do with the world's average kobolds. Eliminating or keeping a -2 STR penalty does not affect the MM description and stat writeup.
 

1. Open Monster Manual.
2. Turn to the entry for kobold.
3 . See that they are listed as STR 7.
4. Reread my post with better context.

As I said....STR 20 Player Character kobold have nothing to do with the world's average kobolds. Eliminating or keeping a -2 STR penalty does not affect the MM description and stat writeup.

But that makes the ones in the MM even worse than the ones in the PHB. Standard, normal stats are 10 and 11, the scores that give neither a plus or a minus. Say a PC kobold has a standard of 10 or 11, then -2 makes their Str an 8 or 9. So a PC kobold is stronger than a MM kobold to start with. That makes the generic MM kobold either a -3 or -4 to Str, depending on whether you choose 10 or 11 as the base.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
But that makes the ones in the MM even worse than the ones in the PHB. Standard, normal stats are 10 and 11, the scores that give neither a plus or a minus. Say a PC kobold has a standard of 10 or 11, then -2 makes their Str an 8 or 9. So a PC kobold is stronger than a MM kobold to start with. That makes the generic MM kobold either a -3 or -4 to Str, depending on whether you choose 10 or 11 as the base.
Why would you use the MM entry to create a PC kobold? That's not how it works.

Yes, the MM kobold is going to be weaker than a PC...who is arguing they aren't? That's exactly the point I'm making.

A MM kobold has a STR7. It doesn't change (unless the GM wants it to). A PC kobold can have a STR from 1 to 20 depending on how the player builds them through their career.

Whether or not the rules say PC kobolds start with a -2 STR doesn't affect the other 99% of the worlds kobolds average STR, which is still 7 unless the GM changes it.

I've said this three times now, it's not a hard concept.
 

Remathilis

Legend
But that makes the ones in the MM even worse than the ones in the PHB. Standard, normal stats are 10 and 11, the scores that give neither a plus or a minus. Say a PC kobold has a standard of 10 or 11, then -2 makes their Str an 8 or 9. So a PC kobold is stronger than a MM kobold to start with. That makes the generic MM kobold either a -3 or -4 to Str, depending on whether you choose 10 or 11 as the base.
Now take that in reverse...

Aaracroka have a 14 dex in the mm. That means PCs should have a +4 dex, +1 Wis mod.
Centaurs have 18 str, 14 dex and 14 Con. PCs should have +8/+4/+4.
Duergar have 14 str and Con. PCs should have +4 str on top of dwarf bonuses.
Kenku have 16 dex; PCs should get +6 dex.
Lizardfolk have a 15 str, PCs should get +4 str.
Minotaurs have 18 str and 16 Con and Wis, pcs should get +8/+6/+6...

Otherwise, you'll have inferior PCs compared to the Monster Manual...
 

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