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Why aren’t 5e books written like MTG with flavor and mechanics separated and a full errata/FAQ?

Content of the article: "Why aren’t 5e books written like MTG with flavor and mechanics separated and a full errata/FAQ?"



It's always bugged me to see the content published and the typing be so loose compared to other products. I know someone on the DnD team has to play MTG or converse with them and MTG is really, really, really strict on wording and mechanics.

So much so that MTG has heavily detailed rules up to 702.56b, most of which don't come up but are handy just in case it really needs to be spelled out. On top of a rulings, example, and errata section for even more clarification.

But if I go to the DnD website or dndbeyond (not Hasbro as far as I know) there's a severe lack of FAQ, at best Crawford's years old advice, and dated PDFs of new things which can't be searched by search engines.



I am so very thankful for this sub and being able to search up rules and having people explain things but the way DnD is handled just feels stuffy. Like they publish a book, let it loose in the wild, and give minimal clarifications or maintenance on it.

Pathfinder, while a different beast due to controlling firms, had a boatload of errata and FAQs on rules. Mostly due to the sheer number of rules because it was a 3.5e revamp but still, nice to have FAQs on things.

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So where is that with 5e and why does support seem so minimal?


One of the examples I was thinking of with stronger typing separating flavor from mechanics and putting in an FAQ would be:

Arcane Ward

Starting at 2nd level, you can weave magic around yourself for protection. When you cast an abjuration spell of 1st level or higher, you can simultaneously use a strand of the spell’s magic to create a magical ward on yourself that lasts until you finish a long rest. The ward has a hit point maximum equal to twice your wizard level + your Intelligence modifier. Whenever you take damage, the ward takes the damage instead. If this damage reduces the ward to 0 hit points, you take any remaining damage.

Protection makes it sound like the wizard doesn't need to make concentration checks for damage, especially when it says "…takes the damage instead." In MTG that's a replacement effect (90% sure on that, please correct me if wrong).

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And from Sage Advice, "In contrast, a feature like the wizard’s Arcane Ward can take damage for you, potentially eliminating the need to make a Constitution saving throw or, at least, lowering the DC of that save."



Which is different than Temp HP and taken from SA again, "When temporary hit points absorb damage for you, you’re still taking damage, just not to your real hit points."

Damage is taken in the following order, "goes through the following game elements in order: (1) any relevant damage immunity, (2) any relevant damage resistance, (3) any temporary hit points, and (4) real hit points." Note that the ward isn't immunity, resistance, temp, or real HP so it doesn't even fit in the damage order of operations.

So the ward absorb doesn't trigger a concentration check but temp HP would. The amount of searching I had to do to find that was tedious and the clarifications from WotC for such things is minimal.

Source: reddit.com

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