In our recent Sage Advice Live, @Dayntee and I addressed some of your burning D&D questions. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons
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Check out the video of that session below! welcome everyone to ask the sage live my name is brandie camel your community lead for dungeons and dragons and i am joined today by the illustrious jeremy crawford a fantastic lead rules designer how are you doing this fine sunday i’m doing great and i’m excited that we get to spend part of our sunday together talking about dungeons and dragons i’ve been i have been awaiting this panel all weekend long and i’m sure many others have as well uh i know that you’re accustomed to doing these ask the stage live uh sessions at conventions and events um and i think this is one of the few times you’ve done one online so let’s walk through what that means um over the past few weeks or actually really over the past week in particular we’ve been gathering the most pressing questions from our fans across a variety of social media media platforms like reddit or discord or twitter and so much more on dungeons and dragons we mostly looked at questions on rules clarifications or tips on playing the game whether you’re a player or a dm so we’ve got a selection of the most frequently asked interesting or fun questions that we could find and we’ve only got a little under an hour so we’re gonna try to get through as many of them as we can does that sound right that sounds perfect and i will do my best to not give an entire lecture on each question i’ll try i’ll try to be fast i’m sure that’s why people have tuned in though because they love to hear your insights on dungeons and dragons so let’s jump right into it because i know we want to get through as many as possible uh our first one comes from our discord server uh bazim gorag the firebringer asks uh if someone is flying in a reverse gravity area and then i cast earthbind which direction do they go that is wow what a great question to start with so the reverse gravity spell and here i’m opening up my players handbook anytime i do uh these ask the sage lives whether in person or now online i always have my books because what i always like to really show not just talk about people have heard me talk about this is look things up because d d is not a memorization challenge no one should ever feel like they’ve got to have this rich expansive game entirely in their head it’s why we have d d beyond which why we have our physical books we can look things up i always share too one reason why i look things up is i’ve worked on multiple versions of all of these things so there’s always the risk if i just go by my memory i’m actually going to be referring to two editions ago a play test version that’s not actually in the book so that’s why less of a problem i have and probably more of a problem for you yes yeah and it is a freaking frequent problem all right so here we have reverse gravity and so what reverse gravity does is it makes it so that everyone in the region of this spell where you’ve decided to just make everything topsy-turvy it makes it so that they fall upward now the earth binds spell says that you descend toward the ground meaning the earth buying spell counteracts reverse gravity and because i know some people are wondering does reverse gravity then cause earth buying to cause you to fall toward the sky but in dnd which is an exceptions-based game meaning the specific exception that one rule makes makes an exception to other rules whether those are general rules or other specific rules essentially specificity wins in dnd and so each of these creates this situation where reverse gravity is creating this exception where suddenly falling is upward but earth bind has a different specificity which it very explicitly says you descend toward the ground and here’s the thing if reverse gravity was going to change how earth bind functions reverse gravity would also have to redefine what ground is but it doesn’t in reverse gravity the ground is still the ground all reverse gravity does is change how falling works but earth bind again very specifically says the flyer descends toward the ground meaning earth mind is a great way to save a friend who might be in jeopardy of falling up into far up into the sky you can try to earthbind them down with that spell fantastic and i love that question in particular because it gives you more of the broader philosophy of you know this is this is how we look at rules the the specific versus general and and how that kind of hashes out and and that that distinction if anyone’s ever wondering why that like why do we design rules like that we do that actually as a mercy to to all of us who play d and d and dm the game because what that means is the words on the page or on your screen if you’re using an online tool you can rely on them we write them to be your buddy to help you out when you’re when you’re playing or dming and we do our best to make it so that the rules aren’t tricking you uh and that you don’t you don’t actually have to come to a person like me that’s our ideal uh to figure out what the heck is going on in this game we want the words to matter and so that’s why for us specificity matters uh the the the words we choose we choose very carefully so that if we’re doing our jobs right and sometimes we we miss the mark and things aren’t as clear as we would want them to be but our goal is a clarity that will make play as smooth as possible awesome well let’s move on to our next question uh this one also came from discord basic braining asks if a fey paladin for example a fairy uses channel divinity that turns a fae such as in uh with ancients and watchers what happens to them do they have to make the save what happens if they fail do they run from themselves i love i love this notion of uh having a big oops as you as you turn yourself and make yourself run away from yourself all right so let’s take a look i opened up to oath of the ancients and i’m looking at turn the faithless uh where you present your holy your holy symbol and each fey or fiend within 30 feet of you that can hear you must make a wisdom saving throw now it’s a great question because you could interpret this as well i’m within 30 feet of myself and i can hear myself so first i’ll tell you intent our intent is that no you are not turning yourself uh and here we are relying on sort of english idiom which is one of the examples i often like to say is if if i walked up to you and i said brandi here is a box of 12 delicious donuts please hand them out to people within 60 feet of you you can see in regular english usage you would understand me to mean you are giving them to other people and and that is sort of what we rely on here now that serves us well most of the time in the rules sort of relying on idiomatic english which is just a fancy way of saying sort of the english we use every day but sometimes there can be some vagueness and so that’s where again in a forum like this i can provide at least some insight into design intent our intent is not that you’re turning yourself and and really any any place in the rules where you encounter a situation like this of it says do x to people within y feet of you we unless it’s a beneficial thing we almost never mean you uh and whereas we view it differently when we’re talking about uh just sort of areas of effect like you cause a big explosion over there uh well if you happen to include yourself in the explosion okay and but with that explosion you’re not actually choosing the people you’re targeting you’re choosing a place and then people within that they are then targeted by that effect that blooms out uh and so if you happen to be in that area of effect well i i don’t know why you decided to drop the fireball on yourself but that that was your choice i mean i’ve definitely been in situations where it’s been warranted yes yeah true sometimes the best way to get as many of those monsters in the explosion as possible is to just drop it on yourself all right our next question comes from reddit uh we we took some questions from the dnd next reddit and this comes from bob splosion if you cast aid which increases your maximum health then suffer an effect that decreases your maximum health does aid eat that health reduction and you get away unscathed or does it bypass it so those two effects it’s basically as long as their durations overlap each other they both apply so aid you know if aid is and this isn’t the actual number in the spell but to actually you know not take time looking up every single thing but if aid will say increases your maximum hit points by five and then another effect reduces your maximum hit points uh by five they would essentially cancel each other out uh if a does five and the other one reduces by three well then your maximum hit points are increased only by two but then this is where it gets interesting when let’s say the the maximum lasts longer than the aid spell the minute the age spell goes away then that maximum reduction hits your regular hit points in full so basically aid counteracts however much aid can while the spell’s duration is active but once the spell goes away then you’re faced with the full reduction what this means by the way is that aid is a very effective way to temporarily counteract a a reduction because it can also go in the other order someone might be subjected to a hit point maximum reduction and then if the group doesn’t have magic that can remove that reduction you at least if somebody has the aid spell prepared you can use that to temporarily counteract some or all of the reduction i would not be me if i did not say so it’s like a band-aid then yes yeah yeah which aid really is i mean aid is an amazing band-aid uh because uh because it’s a hip-point maximum increaser that means you can keep healing back up you know if you lose those extra hit points well then you can heal back up that’s why aid as a increaser of your maximum is actually more effective than something that say gives you temporary hip points because temporary hip points can’t be restored once you lose them they’re gone but aid you can just keep if you have healing you can keep restoring that that extra cushion that that spell gives you awesome our next one comes from discord uh i’m totally going to murder this name so apologize in advance i’m used to seeing these in text and not having to say them out loud so uh aguinmock uh asks what is the decision-making reason for having errata that’s not always being documented in the errata release also referred to as stealth errata so uh it’s never our intention to have uh sort of secret significant changes uh sometimes we’ve actually made a change and it just it accidentally was left off the official change list which is one of the errata docs we publish and if anyone watching has never seen the list of errata documents which is these are public documents that list any substantive change we’ve made to rules or lore in a book that’s already in print you can find those if you search for our sage advice compendium pdf in that pdf we have links to all of the current errata docs now sometimes again we’ll make a change it will accidentally not include it in the in the document there are other times where we will make like typo corrections in a reprint of a book and those don’t go into errata docs because again those documents are really meant to just collect substantive changes things that could affect how your character plays at the table how a monster functions uh or a significant piece of lore so there’s a little bit of a gray area sometimes in the process of fixing like a typo we might reword something else in a sentence really maybe just for like the beauty of the wording you know we’re really just making sort of an editorial call and we might accidentally make a slight substantive change and then only later when a fan points it out to us that hey this seems like a more significant change that maybe maybe belongs in a rada in an errata document we have then actually gone back and added those to the errata documents uh so again we’re never we’re never like sort of uh you know like a rogue doing a stealth check and like all right we’ll see if we can sneak this change in no it’s just it’s usually through our either our vetting process it slipped through or uh it was almost like a sideways change that occurred while we were making some other change on the same page in a particular book which by the way i’ll say one more thing along these lines because a lot of people sometimes wonder too about the timing of errata documents some people would love it if we were issuing changes more often we timed the release of those documents to coincide with the release of new printings of the books that actually contain those changes in them because we want to make sure that whenever we publish these documents there are actually books out in the world that reflect that version of the game we don’t want to be in a situation where the only place you can actually find the official wording of the game is in a pdf somewhere uh for us it it has to exist uh you know in in one of these for for us uh then to release to the world and say okay now this is for real uh because in fact there are books now out in the world where this new wording exists which means sometimes we sit on changes until those new those new printings are are available for people yeah and those new printings can take a while sometimes just depending on especially in the world we live in now with many product delays and shipping delays and things of that nature so yeah yeah well although as people will discover within the next few months there’s actually been a build up of these and so we’re suddenly going to release a whole bunch fairly soon and that’s really because of again uh just the process of printing and getting those updated books out into the world all right folks i’ll have to keep an eye out for that coming up uh our next question comes from twitter um i love this user’s name uh because i’m pretty sure it’s meant to be captain free time and i want to be that captain um so sending has become a bit of a meme in my groups due to how vague familiar is as a requirement could you clarify the intent of the spell is my fifth level dweeb able to prank the prank call the xanathar because they know of them or i’ve researched them a lot or do we need to meet so great question here is where our reliance on idiomatic english which again just means everyday english can create some unintended uh rules interpretation challenges so when we say familiar we mean the usual meaning of the word which is mean which means you know them well you you are you are accustomed to interacting with them which is to say just knowing their name you’re not familiar with them uh you know i uh i i know uh many celebrities names but i have never met them i am not familiar with them i’m aware of their existence which is not the same as being familiar with them now even though i say that and say you know that’s the intent that’s what we mean when we say familiar that is a great example of how if we were writing uh the spell today we would be even more specific because this is a question that has come up a number of times since the player’s handbook was released in 2014 which is always a sign of well we we could have spilled a little more ink to make this the intent super duper clear uh but again intent is we we mean that sort of the usual sense of familiar which is uh you know them uh like for real and not and not you just know of them probably slightly more than acquaintance like yeah yeah exactly uh you know not not just uh you were once at the same party and you caught a glimpse of them across the room like uh i i would hope you had at least one meaty conversation with them or were present for someone else having a an extensive conversation and you might have even made eye contact a number of times that kind of familiarity perfect uh let’s return to discord for a moment nivmixit asks a question on invisibility i actually saw this pop up in a few different places but this was the first one first version of this question i saw the invisible condition has the isolated bullet point attack rolls against the creature have disadvantage and the creature’s attack roles have advantage this means that sea invisibility and other non-site senses don’t stop the advantage on attacks from being invisible is this intended assumed to be ignored or a target for future errata so i love this question it really drills into that specificity i was talking about earlier so before i answer the question i will also point out there are abilities in the game that explicitly say the target of them like the fairy fire spell does this gains no advantage from the invisibility condition meaning the whole thing is shut off for them which would include this second bullet but if you’re in a situation where that bullet is not explicitly shut off and and the questioner is astute in noticing that bullet does not explicitly rely on others being incapable of seeing the invisible person because we know in dnd this you know multiverse of magic there are there are cases where you might actually be able to discern uh an invisible person through some means if the means that you’re using does not explicitly shut off the advantages of the invisible condition you can be in the odd situation of you can see them yet that second bullet still applies if you’re wondering how to rationalize that narratively and by the way this is intentional that’s why we have things in the game that explicitly shut the whole condition off but other places we don’t imagine an invisible person say uh under the effects of the invisibility spell even if by some means you can sort of you can discern them imagine that there still is some strange magical shimmer over them that is affecting your ability to target them effectively if you’ve ever seen uh the old arnold schwarzenegger movie predator there were there were portions in that film where people actually caught a glimpse of the predator so you could actually see them but the predator still was cloaked and had this odd shimmer you know they were sort of semi-transparent imagine that when you’re imagining a situation the odd situation where i can see the invisible person but i haven’t managed to overcome every aspect of the condition so you’re in this kind of in-between state in terms of your perception of them like okay i’m seeing their outline but they still some of the magic of their invisibility is is giving them the benefit of that bullet that gives them advantage on their attack attack roles and others having disadvantage on their attack roles against them uh so yeah there are there are some neat nuances that come out uh and what i encourage dms and players when you encounter things like this and this has always been a factor in dungeons and dragons going all the way back to the 70s where with all these different elements in play they’ll suddenly interact and create these fascinating corner cases and whatnot i as a dm taking my game designer hat off and putting my dungeon master hat on or my player hat on i view these circumstances as an opportunity for creative narrative it’s a chance to decide what is going on in the world that’s creating this fascinating interaction or this corner case and sometimes rationalizing them and coming up with the narrative reason for them can come up with some of the most wonderfully odd moments in the game and and the thing i want to share with everyone watching is we on our design team we consider that oddness to be a feature of dnd and not a bug that’s part of what makes it delightful that things will interact in unexpected ways and create these situations that can be funny whimsical they can also be scary sometimes these interactions will create situations or it’s like oh my goodness what’s going on i you know where the characters might suddenly be questioning reality uh you know why are we perceiving things the way we’re perceiving them uh so i i view these things as uh little little seeds for creative on the spot narration by the dungeon master or by a creative player who’s coming up with why is my magic working this way why is why am i interacting with my environment uh in this particular fashion honestly i feel like those are the greatest gifts as a when i’m in the dm chair is when i get that question huh how does that how does that work out because it gives me an opportunity to be a little creative in the moment and spin a story with my friends and that’s honestly that’s that’s the best feature of dnd as far as i’m concerned so yeah the unexpected uh that uh that unexpected element in d d that come from unexpected interactions but then also the swinginess of the d20 that unexpectedness to me again i’m saying this now as a dungeon master and player not as a game designer is one of the greatest gifts of the game uh because it even when you’re the dm and have carefully planned out a session i always love that moment as a dm where it’s like i did not see that coming and and rather than that being like oh my gosh that’s a what a gift it’s you know just endless delightful surprise so good all right we have a very important question from twitter this comes from phantom p0315 and they would like to know why is there a cat race and yet no dog race exists i’d love i love this question so first off i i might blow some people’s minds with this answer but there is already a race option in the game uh that has canine features oh do you know what it is oh i i’m gonna just blank because i’m on live stream the shifter so the shifter in eberron uh because of the werewolf influence and whatnot and because you as a player largely can influence your specific features and how they manifest you can very easily have dog-like or wolf-like features now i i know what people are really getting at is the the dog version of the tabaxi when and we have heard that feedback uh there is no sort of feline favoritism going on here sometimes when we design things there’s a very organic process that occurs and things will appear in our books based on the need of that book and then it’s only sometimes after the fact we’ll realize oh we created this situation for the game as a whole that was unintended and this the cat versus dog thing is one of those things uh it’s really just sort of an organic development but uh everyone uh take heart if you really want to today play a dog-like or uh wolf-like person i encourage you to check out the shifter uh in eberron rising from the last war perfect uh next question also comes from twitter this is coming from jojo uh do and this seems like a very timely question for a while beyond the witch light do hags in a coven share concentration or does each one get their own similarly if one hag dies do active spells stop so the rules on a hag coven and you’ll notice i’m not looking this up i’m being naughty not following my own advice of looking it up but it turns out hags and i are like this so this one i’m just gonna i’m just gonna go with my my deep connection with hags the coven rules do not actually change how concentration works and so the individual hags continue to have their own concentration and uh no spell in the game ends if its caster dies unless the description of the spell specifically says so or if it’s a spell that is running with concentration uh so you know if the if the soul caster of a spell and it’s a concentration spell perishes then yes the spell ends but otherwise spells with durations like if you cast a spell that lasts for it you know it says a duration one hour and then you croak uh your your spell keeps going for that hour uh because some magic and specifically magic that is not relying on concentration once you basically let the magic loose in the world it just goes until it’s duration runs out with instantaneous magic uh actually there is no magic that lasts there’s a magic event that changes reality in some way and then reality goes back to sort of its only quasi-magical state and i say that because really the d d multiverse is even in an anti-magic field there’s still some like background magic because the entire uh multiverse runs on it whereas concentration spells you can almost imagine a concentration spell as being this spell that feeds on the caster the caster is providing magic fuel for the full duration of the spell and the moment the caster uh perishes uh is incapacitated or takes enough damage that their concentration is broken it’s essentially the fuels the the fuel supply got disrupted and the spell ends got it that’s a lot of great clarity on concentration in particular which i know especially if you’re new to fifth edition you might struggle with that concept so i love i love getting filled in on that um the next one is another one that we grabbed from from discord uh this one is about gates and bags of holding so if i make a gate that leads to the inside of a bag of holding and then throw the bag of holding through the gate what happens uh bag of holding questions these these by the way are a a part of the fine many decades-long tradition of sage advice because for anyone who doesn’t know sage advice uh as a name for the forum where you know questions are asked about d d’s rules sage advice goes all the way back to first edition and uh bag of holding questions are a are a tried and true part of the sage advice tradition now uh i am going to throw a monkey wrench in the whole scenario uh that was proposed and often the bag of holding questions have some key piece that if you just pull it out the whole thing falls apart which i’m going to do here and and what it is is that the gate spell says you conjure a portal linking an unoccupied space you can see within range to a precise location on a different plane of existence the inside of a bag of holding is not a plane of existence it is at most an extra dimensional space which is not the same thing ergo you cannot open a gate into the inside of a bag of holding at least not with the gate spell uh there there might be other magic that allows you to transport yourself into that uh that purse like state but the the gate spell ain’t it excellent uh and yes i i honestly don’t think it would be a sage advice or ask the sage without some kind of bag of holding related questions so i have to get one in there uh the next one comes from twitter uh bob ross and then a whole bunch of numbers i’m not gonna read off sorry but you know who you are asks are the gollum’s blind site derived from divination magic if i were to cast non-detection invisibility on someone could a gollum see them so uh none of any creatures senses are reliant on a particular type of magic unless the description of the creatures says so so uh unless a particular gollum’s write-up says this this vision is the result of divination magic then that that sense is not affected by something that can then foil divination magic so i’m sorry that gollum’s going to be able to see you in most circumstances if you’re within the if you’re within the radius of its blind site ah that makes sense so we have a series of questions that are coming up next and this also comes from nib mix it i grabbed this series because they are questions i saw pop up in a lot of place because it turns out people have a lot of questions about blade singers so the next few are all going to be focused on that topic so get ready if you have questions about blade singers because your questions probably in here uh the first part is asking about the blade singer’s cantrip uh does the blade singers can’t trip in the extra attack proc eldritch knights war magic feature ah right so this is a multi-class question so if anyone’s listening and they’re confused uh why why does the why is there a question about a wizard subclasses feature triggering a feature inside a fighter subclass so this is a this is a question that presumes uh multi-classing is in play and that this character is a wizard blade singer multiclassing into a fighter eldritch knight all right now that i’ve laid that that groundwork for anyone who doesn’t typically multiclass uh the answer is yes uh the cantrip in the blade singer’s extra attack does fulfill the requirement in the eldritch knights feature because the requirement there is simply did you use your action to cast a cantrip and the blade singer ability is when you take the attack action you have the option of uh once you get that extra attack feature of replacing one of your attacks with a cantrip that you cast so you are indeed casting a cantrip as part of your action so that is a a really if you’re multi-classing that is a tasty uh interaction that you can unlock if you decide to combine blade singer with elder tonight it’s definitely quite the investment so it’s good to know how that works yes yeah yeah because you do you have to go pretty deep in both classes to unlock this combination the next blade singer question is can they use their uh the attack action to swing a sword and then cast mending in six seconds no uh and again uh for anyone who’s wondering uh what what is this question actually getting at so the mending spell uh has a casting time of i believe one minute i think that’s why this question is being asked let me confirm yeah one minute uh and the uh the extra attack action of the blade singer lets you replace one of your attacks to cast a can trip but that extra attack feature does not explicitly change the casting times of uh any of your cantrips and so if you started casting this mending well you just started a minute [Laughter] your next nine rounds of combat are going to be riveting yeah as you i’m still casting what are you doing over there i’m still mending just you wait i’m gonna mend this robe by by the time this battle is over perfect uh this is another multi uh multi-class question related to um i suspect probably a very similar build but would a blade singer 6 fighter 11 need to choose which extra attack feature to use or would they get two attacks and a can trip great question so uh you and the multi-class rules touch on this obliquely so the the multi-class rules specified that if you get extra attack from two different sources so in this case you’d be getting it from the fighter and from the blade singer and the wizard specifies that you don’t add all the number of attacks together uh now this question i say that rule addresses this obliquely because this question isn’t about adding the attacks together necessarily but it’s could you know what about this extra exception inside the blade singer what that multi-class rule is getting at is that you essentially have to pick one of your extra attack features to use that’s the intent and this is a great question because the rule doesn’t hit this question head on uh certainly something we could clarify in a future version of that rule is really the intention is all up if you have multiple extra attack features you use only one of them but you choose choose the one you want to use awesome and i believe this is the last in the set of these questions for now uh can a blade singer cast a cantrip and throw a net in the same attack action all right this is getting at the nuances of the net yes if you were looking for crunchy questions today by the way guys we’ve got them so i love it all right our friend the net all right so for those of you who are not up on your net lore the net specifies and this is why this question is here when you use an action bonus action or reaction to attack with a net and this so this would include the attack action you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make now rephrase re-ask the question please so now that we have this established now that we have this established can a blade singer cast a cantrip and throw a net in the same attack action so the blade singer so now we’re going to go over and it’s a good thing i have tasha’s cauldron on my desk too so handy i came prepped i was like what what questions are you going to throw at me i better have my books here so i can i can easily find whatever it is all right here we go extra attack you can cast one of your cantrips in place of one of your attacks they use a part of the attack action so the net says you can make only one attack regardless of the number of attacks you can normally make the blade singer lets you replace one attack with the casting of a cantrip so you can’t do this you can’t do them both with the same action uh because the net rule just said you get just one attack and the blade singer rule is you can replace one attack with the casting of a cantrip meaning so then if you replace that one attack well then you’re not throwing the net if that makes sense uh it’s they they essentially nullify each other uh so short answer is the blade singer cannot using their extra attack feature attack with a net and cast a cantrip as a part of the same action got it let’s move on to another platform and another asker this one came from twitter uh cadoctonian asks how do changes in spell presentation in the wild beyond the witchlight stat blocks interact with other rules can these spells be cast at higher level for example so in it by the way in an upcoming blog post should i should i talk about that actually as a little side thing sure sure let’s do it uh so uh my uh my sage advice column is going to be returning to the wizards website and actually very soon and it’s going to be a part of our dnd studio blog series and we decided we wanted to revive sage advice as a as a written communication and also a way to dive deep into some of the tasty things coming up in our books and in that upcoming blog post i talk about uh how spell casting appears in some of our more recent stat blocks so did that that tease uh that people have uh sage advice columns coming up to look forward to and also that addressed uh this question but i’ll go ahead and answer the question now too so uh any time you have spell casting in a monster that does not use spell slots then they cannot be up cast because up casting which is just sort of our jargon for use a higher spell slot uh to cast the spell requires you to be using spell slots in the first place we we have made a number of changes not only in the wild beyond the witch light but in a number of our upcoming books in how spell casting appears in most monsters really with an eye toward improving the dm’s play experience because one of the things that’s become very clear over the last seven years is many of our spellcasting monsters are simply too complicated at the table and so what we what we are doing and you’re going to see this as an evolution over a number of books over the next year is us coming up with new ways to keep spellcasting monsters and npcs exciting still spellcastery but in a way that is much easier for the dm to manage uh and one of the ways that we’re doing that is we’re making it so that spell casting monsters don’t actually rely on the dm picking the right spells in a wall of spell choices to make that monster be as dangerous as it’s supposed to be because one of the things that we’re addressing in this new approach to spell casting is in a lot of our spell casting monsters if the dm doesn’t pick the most optimal damage spells that are in that spell list most of our spell casting monsters in play will end up with an effective challenge rating that’s way lower than the challenge rating printed in the stat block that’s that challenge rating printed in the stat block basically assumes the dm picked all the right spells we don’t want that to be the case anymore so what you’re going to see more and more is spell casting creatures who have unique actions that spell out a magical attack or saving throw ability spelled out in the stat block so that it is way easier for the dm to have that spell caster basically punch at their cr level because we were finding too many spell casters were punching way below their cr because it was too easy an actual play to miss that in this wall of text hiding down here was cone of cold and the cr assumed you cast cone of cold every round uh and or you know they’re in there i could use many examples of this so what that means then is what we put in the spell casting action which is by the way now an action instead of a trait the spells that go there are almost always utility spells we’re now making sure that the spells that are there it’s obvious that they are not for combat so that they’re not sort of a trap for the dm or if they are for combat we ensure that if the dm decides to cast one of them instead of the built-in actions elsewhere in the stat block the monster cr is still going to roughly come out where it should be in other words we’ve made it so you don’t have to worry about up casting and we also don’t want you to have to worry about um keeping track of slots uh in a monster because a dm is almost always managing multiple monsters at once and this is going to be something as we continue to evolve our our ever living game we’re always looking for ways that we can make our dm’s lives easier keep the game exciting and in many cases scarier because if one of the things you should take away from what i’m saying is we’re simplifying how you play these spell casters to make them scarier because we’re we’re making it so that it’s going to be way easier for the dm to open up one of these stat blocks make some quick choices and have this creature bring the hurt that their cr says they’re supposed to be bringing and so because we also don’t want the gotcha of well the spellcaster will only hit its cr if you not only pick the right spell but have figured out that you should up cast it as designers we do not want dms having to uh worry about gotchas like that but a a monster more and more we want it so that you you open it up and it is going to deliver what its cr promises and and so you’re seeing this most obviously right now in our spellcaster design uh but you’re also going to start seeing it in our non-spellcaster monsters as well where monsters are just gonna start feeling like they got scarier uh and and one of the reasons is we are now requiring a monster to hit its challenge rating in more ways than just sort of one golden path because uh and here this is a look behind the curtain in a lot of our cr calculations thus far in fifth edition we typically only require a monster to sort of hit its cr through sort of one path of behavior the downside of that is that and by the way that’s because cr really is only a measure of how likely is this monster to tpk a party that’s really all it’s for but what we found is by taking the approach that we did of calculating based on the dm making all optimal choices is again it’s way too easy for a creature to unexpectedly for the dm uh sort of again punch below its cr and we were correcting that uh because we again don’t want i talked earlier about delightful surprise which dnd is filled with we prefer the delightful surprise to arise from die rolls or fascinating rules interactions not the kind of surprise that comes from i chose a cr11 creature and it sure is surprising it felt like cr3 that’s not the kind of surprise we want we wanted to be like no the cr-11 feels like cr-11 unless and again dms you still have liberty if you decide to have the spell casting monster cast mending for three rounds that is on you my friends and you still have that liberty perfect uh the next one that we have um comes from discord primordial trees asked a tips and tricks question what tricks do you have for remembering concentration checks on taking damage it seems to be an often forgotten uh rule to remember at my table so when it comes to spell management i is a dm and many of you who’ve watched medium acquisitions incorporated have actually witnessed this i treat each spellcasting player and really the player of any type of character whether they’re a spellcaster or not i treat each player as basically the dm of their character and what i mean by that is it’s actually on the player when i’m the dm to manage their business and that includes if they’re concentrating on something and they take damage checking i once in a while as a gm will remember oh wait they were concentrating on something they need to to make a role if i realized that after the fact and the player didn’t bring it up i will almost never interject and say oh you need to make a retroactive concentration check sometimes i will maybe i’m in a mood and then and i’m going to i’m going to enforce that but if everyone at the table forgot and we realize a few rounds later i will almost never do it retroactively and here’s how i justify it it’s a it’s a random die roll we’re just going to assume they succeeded each time and we’re going to move on with our lives and that to me is sort of the grace we can give ourselves as dungeon masters remembering this is a game run by humans and we’re not always going to remember everything uh even if we stripped this game down to like the simplest game on earth and i’ve witnessed this playing because i play a lot of other tabletop games super simple card games simple board games people occasionally just forget things and the grace we can usually give ourselves is just like let’s just keep moving and and have a good time and again even that forgetting can be an opportunity to come up with some fun narrative rationale for why why it worked out this way uh in the world uh you know maybe the spellcaster’s unusually resilient that day uh or they they meditated particularly well uh during you know the tail end of their long rest and they they’re mentally prepared for all of these challenges that are going to be ahead of them uh in in the coming day so getting back to the question my tip is dms remind your players at the beginning of each session until they really internalize it they are responsible for keeping track of their spell’s durations whether they’re concentrating this also includes if you cast a spell that maybe does something uh to foes at the start of your fo of those foes turns it’s the player’s responsibility to remind me as the dm that you know that that goes on one thing you can do by the way if you have a group that’s notorious for forgetting these things like i’m concentrating on a spell and taking damage is you could uh use a miniature or a token or a card that you lay in front of anyone who’s concentrating and that can be a visual reminder for everyone at the table concentration is in play and we want to remember it because it concentration to me one of the fabulous things about it is it can create narrative tension oh my gosh are they going to be able to keep that spell going and remember that applies to monster spell casters too because if they’re concentrating on something you know it’s like oh my gosh are we going to be able to uh break their concentration and get this horrible spell to stop so try if you have trouble remembering put putting some kind of token or card in front of the the player uh or in front of the dm if a a character they’re controlling is currently concentrating on something excellent tip i think we’re almost out of time but i really wanted to squeeze this last one in because i also saw twitch chat asking a lot about it so this one’s pretty key uh stormbreaker on twitter asks does the harangons rabbit hop cost movement like a long high jump does and people by the way also is another teaser for my upcoming sage advice column i answer a number of hair and gone questions in that but as a preview i’ll answer this question so uh the rabbit hop does not expend movement and you can see our our design intent here if you compare the wording of rabbit hop to the wording of the high jump in the long jump the high jump and the lung jump in the player’s handbook both explicitly state they consume movement whereas rabbit hop does not which is also why we specify in rabbit hop you can’t do it if your speed is zero that’s why we had to put that in because otherwise the otherwise the herring who’s uh petrified could somehow be hopping because the the the purpose of rabbit hop is for this to be extra it is a fabulous trait which is also why it’s limited uh you know i i’ve seen some people noting wow this is amazing which was also feedback we got after the unearthed arcana well that’s why herron guns can use it only a certain number of times per day because it is a potent trait and i think one’s one that uh herring gun players are going to love using absolutely i can’t wait to start i’m rolling up a hair and gone is one of the things that’s next up on my list so that’ll be a ton of fun to play around with uh that is unfortunately the last question that we have time for today man this blew by this was wonderful thank you so much for joining us today those of you in chat thank you for joining us today jeremy and we all appreciate your time we know you’re busy i love i love being here thank you brandi for hosting this and thank you everyone who sent in questions absolutely awesome so thanks again for making the time to join us at d d celebration up next we have the incredible be dave walters and his monster squad of misfits coming together to help a dragon reclaim her horde in the dungeon and the dragon so stay tuned for that that is going to be an absolute unit of a game so enjoy the rest of the show and we will see you next time https://t.co/2lRU2VAs5H
— Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford) October 4, 2021