D&D 5E Reading is fundamental

So I am a bit humbled.

I was recently in a discussion here on ENWorld talking about the relative merits and weaknesses of 5e.

I noted I though stealth rules were iffy. So I reread them. And honestly they are clearer than I remembered.

Then I was reading about darkvision. And unless I am mistaken, if you are travelling with darkvision alone, you have disadvantage in passive perception. Ouch.

Anyway, happy to learn more. What rules have you been glossing over and misinterpreting?
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
You should post here if you haven't already:

 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
So I am a bit humbled.

I was recently in a discussion here on ENWorld talking about the relative merits and weaknesses of 5e.

I noted I though stealth rules were iffy. So I reread them. And honestly they are clearer than I remembered.

Then I was reading about darkvision. And unless I am mistaken, if you are travelling with darkvision alone, you have disadvantage in passive perception. Ouch.

Anyway, happy to learn more. What rules have you been glossing over and misinterpreting?
Obligatory “no one actually reads the rules” joke.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So I am a bit humbled.

I was recently in a discussion here on ENWorld talking about the relative merits and weaknesses of 5e.

I noted I though stealth rules were iffy. So I reread them. And honestly they are clearer than I remembered.

Then I was reading about darkvision. And unless I am mistaken, if you are travelling with darkvision alone, you have disadvantage in passive perception. Ouch.
You have disadvantage on all visual perception checks, passive or active.
 


I think it's more that people don't remember the finer details of the rules. But in my defense if I had to guess, I dont think I've ever completely read the 5E core rules once, let alone twice.
Well, I know I have glossed over some of dmg.

Going back over phb, I feel a lot better able to dm again.

I admit my typical tact is read, have some beers, play, realize I have anheusers and then reread and correct. I like a strong foundation in raw and rai so we can go double live gonzo at play time and see what is left standing
 

Spells cast in a round, that's my weakness. Or is it crits? Wait, no, no. It's surprise. Er wait, I ignore that one. Maybe... Sneak attacks? I don't remember, but I'm sure there's at least a few I screw up regularly.
 


I admit my typical tact is read, have some beers, play, realize I have anheusers and then reread and correct.
I used to be like this too. And I've told myself many times over the last few years I'm going to re-read the 5E rules but I haven't. My players are OK with me ad-libbing and looking up rules between sessions to correct what we missed. Keeping the game moving is what matters.
 

I used to be like this too. And I've told myself many times over the last few years I'm going to re-read the 5E rules but I haven't. My players are OK with me ad-libbing and looking up rules between sessions to correct what we missed. Keeping the game moving is what matters.
Well, in the end nothing kills the fun quite like: “hold on I need to red this.”

I think it’s better to say this how we are doing it now. I will read about it later.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Don't feel bad. So many people look at "darkvision", assume it's literally "see in the dark with no penalties within X range" like it used to be, and carry on to gripe about all races with it making a mockery of the Gygax-given need to carry torches around (as if infravision and ultravision were really all that much better about this).

And when you point out to someone they are mistaken, they brush it off and say "disadvantage on Perception doesn't matter". I suppose I should find it amusing, really.
 

Well, in the end nothing kills the fun quite like: “hold on I need to red this.”
Every once in a great while I think there are times that warrant a stoppage of game to look up a rule. Only if it really matters though. Such as a player's character may die, or there a disagreement between the player and DM on a rule interpretation that can have a major impact on the outcome of an encounter/game. This happens extremely seldom though in our games. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we've done this. In earlier edition this was easier, took little time because the rules were somewhat better organized, and we poured over the books so much between games so we knew where to look. A good example of how disorganized the 5E core books are IMO is jumping. To fully understand it you need to read the skill, movement, and in some cases the jump spell and the ring of jumping. I think this is one of the reasons 5E rules are so hard to remember or understand fully is they're all over the place. Not to mention the indexes are terrible and you need a microscope to read them.
 


Every once in a great while I think there are times that warrant a stoppage of game to look up a rule. Only if it really matters though. Such as a player's character may die, or there a disagreement between the player and DM on a rule interpretation that can have a major impact on the outcome of an encounter/game. This happens extremely seldom though in our games. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we've done this. In earlier edition this was easier, took little time because the rules were somewhat better organized, and we poured over the books so much between games so we knew where to look. A good example of how disorganized the 5E core books are IMO is jumping. To fully understand it you need to read the skill, movement, and in some cases the jump spell and the ring of jumping. I think this is one of the reasons 5E rules are so hard to remember or understand fully is they're all over the place. Not to mention the indexes are terrible and you need a microscope to read them.
So funny you say this about organization!

I just made a comment in another thread about how actions, reactions and bonus actions is fragmented in presentation.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Reading is important yes. The 5e rules (mostly) make sense...

but WRITING is important too. I would claim that the 5e rules could be written a LOT better. How many powers/spells/ability start with a flavor/description sentence, then give mechanics that don't correspond to said sentence? How many rules are "spread" out all over?

And there are SUPER IMPORTANT rules that are sort of hidden! For example, group stealth checks. They make a huge difference! But they only are mentioned once...
 

Reading is important yes. The 5e rules (mostly) make sense...

but WRITING is important too. I would claim that the 5e rules could be written a LOT better. How many powers/spells/ability start with a flavor/description sentence, then give mechanics that don't correspond to said sentence? How many rules are "spread" out all over?

And there are SUPER IMPORTANT rules that are sort of hidden! For example, group stealth checks. They make a huge difference! But they only are mentioned once...
No. That is sort of what I am coming to grips with. I think the rules work but now remember why I was confused on first reading and at times, beyond.
 

But I thought people wanted writing that was like natural language??
Reading is important yes. The 5e rules (mostly) make sense...

but WRITING is important too. I would claim that the 5e rules could be written a LOT better. How many powers/spells/ability start with a flavor/description sentence, then give mechanics that don't correspond to said sentence? How many rules are "spread" out all over?

And there are SUPER IMPORTANT rules that are sort of hidden! For example, group stealth checks. They make a huge difference! But they only are mentioned once...
 

My first 5e group did not realize that the Warlock got his spells back on a short rest until level 3-4. It was my influence as DM and the one most familiar with 5e rules that kept our Warlock from getting many of the spell slots he was entitled to, but I'm partially blaming this one on WotC. I'll also possibly blame them for the fact that in my sister's girlfriends group she got to level 5 playing a Druid without anyone realizing she could swap spells out on a long rest.

The players handbook has near identical but subtly different sections on spellcasting for each type of spellcaster, and because so much of it is the same I tended to gloss over it all the first time I read through the PHB (particularly by time I had gotten to the Ws), and I think many people do. If the class write-ups clearly highlighted the differences between spellcasting between different casters rather than burying them in long, boring, similar write-up of spellcasting in general for each one there would be less confusion.
 


The players handbook has near identical but subtly different sections on spellcasting for each type of spellcaster, and because so much of it is the same I tended to gloss over it all the first time I read through the PHB (particularly by time I had gotten to the Ws), and I think many people do. If the class write-ups clearly highlighted the differences between spellcasting between different casters rather than burying them in long, boring, similar write-up of spellcasting in general for each one there would be less confusion.
I hate the way the classes are written in 5E. Its such a slog to get through. The spellcasters are the worst. They tried so hard to make all the classes different by giving all the abilities different names and little tweaks but in the end alot of them are very similar. If they just put the similar ones together and let the players pick which ones they want and separated out the ones that are really different for particular classes that chapter could be lots smaller, easier to read and understand. While writing this it occurred to me that it may be time for WotC to realize when writing the core books for future editions that they have people that have been playing the game for decades as well as new players. A page or two of bullet points at the beginning or end of each chapter of what's new or changed could go a long way, at least for me.
 

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