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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    As far as people in this thread who don't think we can all agree what the word "murder" means, I don't know whether to feel pity or dread.
    I notice that you did not attempt to define it. Feel free to do so, if it's so obvious (no cheating!)

    And, even with a clear definition, application is always a problem. How many killings have been publicly and loudly debated in the last five years?
    Last edited by smcmike; 2017-08-11 at 02:17 PM.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    I notice that you did not attempt to define it. Feel free to do so, if it's so obvious (no cheating!)

    And, even with a clear definition, application is always a problem. How many killings have been publicly and loudly debated in the last five years?
    Premeditated killing of one human being by another. The hardest part is proving intent.

    Next you're going to want me to define Premeditated. Fair warning: I'm not going to. You already know exactly what that means. You already knew exactly what murder meant, too. I know you did, and you know you did. I don't know why you tried to pull that card in the first place.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    I'm going to jump back to these, because I think Pex is on to something...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    Does Great Weapon Style work on smites?
    Who determines what creatures are summoned?
    Can I identify a spell an enemy is casting? If so, how?
    Can I know the abilities of this creature I'm about to face? If so, how?
    1) GWS and rider damage - definitely open to DM interpretation. Sage Advice has advised, but not officially ruled, as far as I can tell... allowing it to only affect weapon dice de-powers the ability, so power level of the campaign should be considered as part of the ruling. The same DM with different campaigns could easily rule in two different ways.

    2) Summons - another SA advised but not ruled. Honestly, I wish there'd been randomness built into the spells - roll a d20 and see what appears against a chart type thing. As such, I keep the decision as a DM. But I wouldn't have an issue if it was left to player agency - I just think you'd end up with pretty cookie cutter summons based on needs.

    3) There's nothing RAW or RAI concerning spell cast discernment. I remember a pretty detailed discussion back in 2014, using various knowledge rolls with DC equal to 10+spell level, where Arcane was used for Bard, Sorc, 'lock and Wizard spells, Religion for Cleric and Paladin spells and Nature for Druid and Ranger spells... it was inventive, but ultimately, for my table at least, just a hassle. As a DM, I simply inform the players what spell is being cast, if they ask. Since it's not codified either way, I'm not sure if that would be considered a house rule or a ruling...

    4) Critter abilities - I'm AFB, so I don't know if I'm remembering a 3.P rule or if it was carried over to 5th, but I do know that knowledges still provide insight into specific critter types; Arcane for aberations and magical creatures; religion for celestial, fiend and undead; nature for beasts and humanoids... Now, DCs and what information that imparts isn't codified, as far as I know... so that'd be DM fiat...


    Regarding the session 0 communication, that's all well and good - especially if you have a small pool of people who've played together. My current gaming situation is a little different. We use Meetup to generate games. The DM is obviously free to set whatever parameters he wants - so it's not necessarily as codified as an official AL game - though most DMs have taken to using most AL rules, just for simplicity. But not all. But the problem is every session, there's a new body. Someone leaves the group, another takes their place. So, unless you're holding a mini-session 0 every game, not all the new players will get the ground rules.

    I've run a campaign for 5 weeks now. Every week, there's been a new player or two. Every week, it's 20-30 minutes out of the start to run through character gen and get them into the group. When the session is only 4 hours long, that's eating into the established player's time (and mine, but I can't complain). Last night, had a 'new to the table' player complain because my rules were overly harsh (no feats, no multiclass, standard array) - because it's a game for players new to D&D and I'd rather not inundate them with optional rules at the start.

    Sometimes, session 0 just isn't feasible every time the table meets...


    Sorry, ETA...
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Premeditated killing of one human being by another. The hardest part is proving intent.

    Next you're going to want me to define Premeditated. Fair warning: I'm not going to. You already know exactly what that means. You already knew exactly what murder meant, too. I know you did, and you know you did. I don't know why you tried to pull that card in the first place.
    Yeah, that definition is far too broad. It doesn't take into account things like war - which while I personally find horribly distasteful and should always be considered murder, especially for the aggressor - isn't considered such in international law.

    There's quite a few other cases where premeditated taking of another life isn't considered murder: death penalty, stand your ground, etc.

    Kinda proves the point though, doesn't it?
    Last edited by Theodoxus; 2017-08-11 at 02:44 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Premeditated killing of one human being by another. The hardest part is proving intent.

    Next you're going to want me to define Premeditated. Fair warning: I'm not going to. You already know exactly what that means. You already knew exactly what murder meant, too. I know you did, and you know you did. I don't know why you tried to pull that card in the first place.
    This isn't a bad answer, and I'm not trying to trap you, only to demonstrate that your example of a simple rule is not that simple. If I were to break your answer down, I certainly would ask for a definition of premeditation, but I'd also ask if it is the same as intent (it isn't), the definition of intent, the definition of human beings, the definition of killing, and whether there are any exceptions or additions to the above definition (there are several of both). I'd also point out that the precise definition varies to some degree from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and that in my jurisdiction "murder" doesn't require premeditation at all - it's an element for first degree murder, but second degree murder can be committed without it.

    The source of all of this in my jurisdiction is hundreds of years of rulings, with a thin veneer of statute laid on top. And we still debate the application all the time! You think juries never argue about the definition and application of premeditation?
    Last edited by smcmike; 2017-08-11 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    This isn't a bad answer, and I'm not trying to trap you, only to demonstrate that your example of a simple rule is not that simple. If I were to break your answer down, I certainly would ask for a definition of premeditation, but I'd also ask if it is the same as intent (it isn't), the definition of intent, the definition of human beings, the definition of killing, and whether there are any exceptions or additions to the above definition (there are several of both). I'd also point out that the precise definition varies to some degree from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and that in my jurisdiction "murder" doesn't require premeditation at all - it's an element for first degree murder, but second degree murder can be committed without it.

    The source of all of this in my jurisdiction is hundreds of years of rulings, with a thin veneer of statute laid on top. And we still debate the application all the time! You think juries never argue about the definition and application of premeditation?
    And to amplify this, this is with binding rulings from authorities. Applications of rules are hard in all non-trivial cases.

    For reference, here's Florida's statute defining murder: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/...s/0782.04.html It's long and has many subparts--and is incomplete. Most of those terms reference other statutes for their meanings. In application, there are hundreds if not thousands of different decisions that must be weighted and compared to come to a ruling. None of this is easy or self-applying. Different courts differ hugely on very similar facts. Different States differ, and the federal courts differ again. Civil law is even more complex.

    Rules are hard. The law needs clarity because the stakes are so high. In a non-competitive, zero-stakes game, having clear principles and leaving it up to the discretion of the table makes a lot more sense to me both from an effort perspective and from a fun perspective.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by robbie374 View Post
    Personally I find the post-modern view of subjective truth to be prideful and insulting to all artists. If a person creates something with thought and intention and purpose, as most authors do, then the author's intention is the only one that is true and matters: there is no room for individuals to reinterpret someone else's dedicated work to fit their own whims and desires. It is not the postmodern reader who has any expertise to speak of, but the creator only. If the creator is unable to contribute further opinion, such as by death, then an intellectually honest person will strive to follow what words and deeds do exist to construct the clearest possible understanding. Any action to the contrary is base and parasitical. A viewing culture or society that reinterprets is one that is full of itself and ignorant of reality.
    I can see your view point. The bull in wallstreet, which originally signified strength and prosperity, has been twisted with the addition of that girl, making it into a villian.

    On the other hand the pastiche found in postmodern writing can be quite strong. Books like American Psycho borrow writing styles form magizines, commercials, action flicks and other "low literature" in order to create a strong argument about the corruption of society, which values consumerism and possessions so highly.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    The existence of rules lawyers, in real life or in games, doesn't make a law unclear. It just means that people will twist things however they can in order to win. If we're honest with ourselves, we all pretty much understand the law. Lawyers and politicians often twist the law, which is why those professions catch so much heat.

    Regardless, whether perfect rules exist or not is irrelevant. Even if we can't make a rule perfectly clear, we can make it more clear. 3.5e had clearer rules than 5e. And 4e had much clearer rules, in spite of them being too gamey and taking too long.

    This actually ties in nicely to the postmodernism tangent (which I started). The main flaw of postmodernists is their inability to understand relativity. Postmodernism started with the observation that there are an infinite number of ways to interpret a thing. That's true. Anything can be interpreted an infinite number of ways. They then concluded that all interpretations are valid. That conclusion is false.

    And not the normal kind of false, either. That's the kind of false that leads to death. A doctor can diagnose a patient an infinite number of ways, but only some of those diagnoses will save the patient's life.

    Applying this to D&D, we can all think of situations where a rules lawyer tried to interpret a rule in a way that didn't make sense. He argued that his interpretation is valid. He was right, too. But where he was wrong was in thinking that his interpretation was equally valid. We all knew the best interpretation, as did he. He just didn't want to accept it.

    And that's what postmodernism and rules lawyering has in common. It's not an epistemological method. It's a debate tactic used to distract and try to get what you want. And that's all it is.

    5e encourages and enables more rules lawyering with its unclear rules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    The existence of rules lawyers, in real life or in games, doesn't make a law unclear. It just means that people will twist things however they can in order to win. If we're honest with ourselves, we all pretty much understand the law. Lawyers and politicians often twist the law, which is why those professions catch so much heat.

    Lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Regardless, whether perfect rules exist or not is irrelevant. Even if we can't make a rule perfectly clear, we can make it more clear. 3.5e had clearer rules than 5e. And 4e had much clearer rules, in spite of them being too gamey and taking too long.
    I agree. 3.5 had clearer rules than 5e. I think the flexibility provided by 5e is a worthwhile tradeoff for the loss of clarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Applying this to D&D, we can all think of situations where a rules lawyer tried to interpret a rule in a way that didn't make sense. He argued that his interpretation is valid. He was right, too. But where he was wrong was in thinking that his interpretation was equally valid. We all knew the best interpretation, as did he. He just didn't want to accept it.

    And that's what postmodernism and rules lawyering has in common. It's not an epistemological method. It's a debate tactic used to distract and try to get what you want. And that's all it is.

    5e encourages and enables more rules lawyering with its unclear rules.
    That all depends what you mean by "rules lawyering."

    In 3.5, my image of the rules lawyer was the guy who opened the book whenever the DM did something he didn't like. Lawyers love to cite authority, afterall.

    In 5e, the smaller ruleset disempowers this sort of rules lawyer. There is simply less to cite. I can argue what I think a vague rule means, but the DM is left with more flexibility to resolve things. So long as you have a good DM, that's not a problem.

    In some ways, 5e is more like your idea of how the law really should work: you think we all have some idea of what murder means, and should simply get on with it. This is not an argument for precise codification!!!

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    In some ways, 5e is more like your idea of how the law really should work: you think we all have some idea of what murder means, and should simply get on with it. This is not an argument for precise codification!!!
    When I first looked at 5e, that was what I thought too. It wasn't until I had some exposure that I found all of the discrepancies where something doesn't work the way I thought it did, or doesn't work the same way as a similar thing.

    Like I said before, there are reaction attacks and opportunity attacks, reactions that occur before during and after the trigger but don't say which, and bonus actions you may only take after a specific other action. Poison was errata'd such that it only lasts for a single hit, but this errata only went to the DMG. Weapons and weapon attacks are different things, and not all weapon attacks are made with actual weapons. It's not clear whether you can take your hand off of a two-handed weapon to cast a spell with one hand. It's not clear whether a mage slayer needs to be aware of a spell in order to react to it. It's not clear that athletics only applies to strength checks that have to do with climbing, jumping, swimming, and grappling. You can't help with an action you can't perform, unless it's the attack action which apparently is an exception according to sage advice. And on and on.

    Worst of all, the PHB is poorly organized such that it's easy to miss things, and has a ton of variant rules that should have gone in the DMG. All these years later, some people still don't know about the Variant: Skills with Different Abilities in the PHB. This is a DM call, and so many people missed it that we recently had a whole thread proposing the concept. Meanwhile, things that should be in the PHB, like the timing of reactions, are only in the DMG.

    Another one just popped up in a different thread about dominate person vs planar binding. The wording of the latter, "strives to twist your words," confused some people as to how the former works, making them think that all dominate effects produce a knowing and unwilling victim. Spells have always been complex since no two of them work in exactly the same way. 5e does nothing to make them more approachable. Maybe WotC just wanted to sell us spell cards.

    I hope I've made my point clear.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    I really don't like the "official ruling" label for twitter output.
    I don't think WoTC does that. They do seem to hold as official any of that kind of material that gets folded into the SA compendium that is posted on the WoTC site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    I see a lot more than you seen to give me credit for. See my original post, where I directly stated that sage advice is RAI.
    Which SA: that which is later put into the SA compendium, or all of the tweet responses? I agree with you on the latter.

    As to the "relearn the rules" hyperbole. The vast majority of the rules don't have odd quirks of interpretation. Selected cases now and again need a ruling. I once again wish to point out that 'relearn the rules' is either a red herring, or simple hyperbole. (I am not sure which, it might be both.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I don't think WoTC does that. They do seem to hold as official any of that kind of material that gets folded into the SA compendium that is posted on the WoTC site.

    Which SA: that which is later put into the SA compendium, or all of the tweet responses? I agree with you on the latter.

    As to the "relearn the rules" hyperbole. The vast majority of the rules don't have odd quirks of interpretation. Selected cases now and again need a ruling. I once again wish to point out that 'relearn the rules' is either a red herring, or simple hyperbole. (I am not sure which, it might be both.)
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Relearn the rules is not much of an exaggeration. I'm sure we can all think of a few mechanics per class with multiple rulings. Illusions, stealth (skills in general), valid uses of suggestion, great weapon fighting style and smites, assassinate and weapon cantrips, wildshaping into unlisted animals, actions that break invisibility, etc. It affects every class.

    To reiterate, this happened in previous editions. But it happens much more so in 5e.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    That's a case where I disagree with them. They're treating helping with attacks different from how they treat helping with anything else. And that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. It's another 5e inconsistency.

    The text can be interpreted either way. The sages picked one.
    I don't know how to break this to you, but it sounds like you have a personal problem with the rules. You don't know them. At this point, that's something that's on you to solve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    the PHB is poorly organized such that it's easy to miss things, and has a ton of variant rules that should have gone in the DMG. All these years later, some people still don't know about the Variant: Skills with Different Abilities in the PHB. This is a DM call, and so many people missed it that we recently had a whole thread proposing the concept. Meanwhile, things that should be in the PHB, like the timing of reactions, are only in the DMG.
    Obviously some of this is because the book isn't constructed well, physically. But many rules are there, and it reflects a bit on you as well if you're going to complain about the rules without knowing what they are after this many years. There are some things that are left to interpretation and table variation, but you're mixing in things that are just your own misunderstandings and making the issue look worse than it really is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    I think the main point of contention is whether a ruling that contradicts RAI is a house rule, or more accurately a house ruling. Calling it that implies that it isn't the normal ruling, which in turn implies that RAI is the normal ruling.

    But this also hinges on people knowing the RAI. In cases where RAI isn't stated, I think a lot of us tend to assume we know more than we do about WotC's intent.
    This can absolutely be true, but there's actually a lot of questions that come up where we do have RAI answers.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    It's pragmatic. As we all know, keeping up with errata is difficult by itself. Keeping your book updated with errata (choose your method) is more difficult. Keeping up with sage advice is more difficult still. Keeping your book updated with errata and sage advice...well, I'm not sure that there's even one person out there who does this. I think you would need a binder.

    It's more convenient to adopt a RAW-only mindset, or RAW + errata. We either have the book in its original form, or we have some modifications but nothing too crazy. That's doable. Convenience is no minor thing.
    It is not impossible to read the book, a few pages of errata in total, and the officially published Sage Advice. More importantly, if you come across something that's unclear or have a corner-case question, it's perfectly reasonable to check Sage Advice for an answer before you come to the GitP forum to complain about it, internet being internet and all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    This is why I brought up pragmatism in regards to sage advice. We might expect players to keep up with errata, but it is beyond optimistic to expect them to keep up with sage advice. If this was true in previous editions, it is more so now due to the sheer volume of tweets and SA articles.

    It's not a matter of what is best, but what people will actually do. If RAI becomes the gold standard, and sage advice is RAI, then players will end up playing different versions of the game. No two players, let alone tables, will have the exact same understanding of sage advice.

    Which, again, is why I wish 5e's rules had been more consistent and clear in the first place.
    Same as above, really. All I'd ask is for a player to know the rules for their own character.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    The most common example I've seen given: can a familiar Help with the attack action and provide advantage? Try asking a few AL DMs. I've heard yes, yes but a creature will just kill the familiar if it does, and no (which is think is the correct answer for non chain-locks, because familiars can't attack).
    Familiars can take the Help action. That much is obvious. The section that starts "Alternately" and applies to "attack rolls" does not reference the earlier section in using ability checks and working together for advantage on "ability checks." Ability checks and attack rolls are different.

    This is a good spot to say that most of the rules are more self-contained. For any interaction between two abilities, the answer can usually be derived by reading just those two abilities, like Help and Find Familiar. There's some exceptions, but it's usually this simple.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    In 5e, no one knows how the rules work because they depend on the DM. Additionally, players have to remember what's an opportunity attack vs a reaction attack, what's reach vs 5 feet, whether X bonus action can be taken only after Y action, which spells have concentration, and the specific rules on every ability they use. Nothing is written using consistent language. As shown time and again, every ability in 5e has to be analyzed on its own.
    In my experience, that makes questions easier to answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    For proof, just look at the RAW thread. Hundreds of posts in, and it isn't even our first one. People don't agree on or fully understand the rules. I don't think that's an opinion; at this point, it's as close to fact as it can be.
    It's true, but the solution is to spread knowledge, not just throw up my hands and call it impossible.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Similarly, players may take actions on their turn and reactions outside their turn. That's very clear. Some reactions occur during the trigger (protection fighting style, opportunity attacks provoked by movement) and others occur after. That isn't clear at all, because the reactions themselves don't directly say. Most of 5e's mechanics fall in the latter camp.
    Reactions can take place on your own turn. Each reaction that occurs before the trigger or interrupts the triggering event says so. All reactions that can take place after the trigger do (as the word reaction implies and the DMG says outright.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    One more example: recently, I informed another poster that athletics only covers climbing, jumping, swimming, and grappling / pushing. The rules say that, but don't make it clear. He and countless other players didn't even realize it.
    In the incident I recall, the poster simply didn't realize that the rules said that about athletics, but thought it was perfectly clear after reading the rule (to an irritating degree even). The problem was players not reading the rule in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    That's a case where I disagree with them. They're treating helping with attacks different from how they treat helping with anything else. And that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. It's another 5e inconsistency.

    The text can be interpreted either way. The sages picked one.
    They're treating them differently because they are different. It's not a different interpretation. Working Together applies to ability checks. Working together in combat requires taking the Help action. Alternatively, you can use the Help action to give someone advantage on an attack roll. Again, just read the ability to see how it works. It isn't necessary to read the entire book to understand how Helping someone attack works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Another one just popped up in a different thread about dominate person vs planar binding. The wording of the latter, "strives to twist your words," confused some people as to how the former works, making them think that all dominate effects produce a knowing and unwilling victim.
    No, you were the only one confused there. They'd already said Dominate wouldn't be limited by that, but Planar Binding would.
    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Relearn the rules is not much of an exaggeration. I'm sure we can all think of a few mechanics per class with multiple rulings. Illusions, stealth (skills in general), valid uses of suggestion, great weapon fighting style and smites, assassinate and weapon cantrips,
    I'm not sure I want to know what people have a problem with here.
    Last edited by Zalabim; 2017-08-12 at 03:57 AM.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Something that annoys me is stealth errata. Not changes to the rules of stealth but changes between printings of the PHB that are not described in the errata PDF.

    Let's look at the Help action again. The text is divided in two paragraphs. The first paragraph talks about giving advantage on an ability check, then there is the "alternatively" paragraph about giving advantage on an attack roll. The rule that you need to be able to do the task yourself appears in another part of the book, which is about ability checks.

    I am away from it at the moment, but I am pretty sure that, in my copy of the PHB, the first paragraph of the Help action tells you to read that other part of the book. So when the "alternatively" paragraph comes, it is (a tiny bit) clearer that it is its own separate thing. But that's not in the 1st-printing PHB, and the errata PDF makes no mention of the change.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    I'm not going to lie, all of my DMs have had similar understandings of the rules (largely because they're written down and in the end, their main goal is letting everyone have their fun, not quibbling about technicalities like myself and the forums ), and while there are definitely some house rules (crits - first year and a half of 5e, my DMs could not decide how they wanted to do crits), they stay pretty consistent between groups despite the lack of interconnection (consensus on hous-ruled crits has been max damage on original dice, then roll again and add). RAW vs RAI vs Sage Advice have shown me ways of analyzing the text I had never considered (Magic Missile + Twilight Druid b/c you rule damage once for all your missiles, for example) and expanded my homebrewer's arsenal as a result, but sometimes I come into a thread and just shake my head at the ridiculousness of both sides. Debate is one thing; mad ramblings on both sides is another, and believe me, it's happened more than once >.> .
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pex View Post
    I don't need your permission.
    Of course, you can say what you like. The problem with using overstatement is that it doesn't support the case or point you are trying to make, or advocate for. Let us agree to disagree on our perceived severity of what rules ambiguity, and thus the need for a ruling, does for play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    I don't know how to break this to you, but it sounds like you have a personal problem with the rules. You don't know them. At this point, that's something that's on you to solve.
    This is just a way of dismissing an argument so you don't have to address it. Believe me, I know the rules. And that's an important point: disagreeing with sage doesn't mean you don't know the rules. It means you interpreted things differently.

    Again, roll back up to death of the author. You may not like death of the author. But that doesn't mean you get to dismiss everyone who follows it.

    Me personally, I'm not out to stop anyone's fun or rewrite the game. I just want consistency so I don't have to explain the rules to players. The PHB could be half as long and end up with more options and better reader comprehension.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    This is just a way of dismissing an argument so you don't have to address it. Believe me, I know the rules. And that's an important point: disagreeing with sage doesn't mean you don't know the rules. It means you interpreted things differently.

    Again, roll back up to death of the author. You may not like death of the author. But that doesn't mean you get to dismiss everyone who follows it.

    Me personally, I'm not out to stop anyone's fun or rewrite the game. I just want consistency so I don't have to explain the rules to players. The PHB could be half as long and end up with more options and better reader comprehension.
    If you really want consistency, the best thing to do is simply follow Sage Advice, right?

    I do agree with some of your critique. The rules are not as clear as they could or should be in places. Particularly, I don't like the organization of the PHB much.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    This is just a way of dismissing an argument so you don't have to address it.
    It would be a lot easier to just quote the first line of a post and ignore the rest.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Sage Advice is just a House Rule that you copied from a tweet.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    The existence of rules lawyers, in real life or in games, doesn't make a law unclear. It just means that people will twist things however they can in order to win. If we're honest with ourselves, we all pretty much understand the law. Lawyers and politicians often twist the law, which is why those professions catch so much heat.
    Bob Dylan had a neat song lyric about justice being a game ... but I think he meant "the criminal justice system" by that.
    The main flaw of postmodernists is their inability to understand relativity. Postmodernism started with the observation that there are an infinite number of ways to interpret a thing. That's true. Anything can be interpreted an infinite number of ways. They then concluded that all interpretations are valid. That conclusion is false.
    I have a few ideas on who might want to leap on that hand grenade you just tossed there, but I am with you.
    Applying this to D&D, we can all think of situations where a rules lawyer tried to interpret a rule in a way that didn't make sense. He argued that his interpretation is valid. He was right, too. But where he was wrong was in thinking that his interpretation was equally valid. We all knew the best interpretation, as did he. He just didn't want to accept it.
    Yep. Dave Arneson identified rules lawyers as the enemy. Over 40 years ago. I think he was on to something. The enemy of fun.
    And that's what postmodernism and rules lawyering has in common. It's not an epistemological method. It's a debate tactic used to distract and try to get what you want.
    I might sig that.
    5e encourages and enables more rules lawyering with its unclear rules.
    I'll argue that it includes more rulings, and that you can remove rules lawyering at your table by not putting up with it during play. (Both players and DM's get involved in this decision is a good way) Discuss/argue, and resolve rules interpretations before or after play - not during. We figured this out 40 years ago in college, after we'd all taken our turn as the rules lawyer of the moment. And all of us felt that fun suffered for it. So we adopted that convention: any rule you wanted to argue about you presented before, or after, play. During play you got one warning (usually from a peer) and after that you were asked to leave that session. And guess what? We had a lot of fun and the games moved a lot more smoothely.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Sage Advice is just a House Rule that you copied from a tweet.
    Nope, the published ones on the WoTC site are couched as official rulings. A ruling is not a house rule, it's a DM doing what a DM is supposed to do. That's in my sig as well, and it's clearly consistent with what's written in the text of the rules in PHB, MM, and DMG.

    The rulings that come from tweets that don't get folded into the SA at WoTC are basically assistance to GM's and players. Anyone can choose to adopt that ruling, or choose not to, without being accused of homebrew.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2017-08-14 at 09:26 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Sage advice is garbage and any DM that blindly follows it is only making their games worse and less RAW.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Sage advice is garbage and any DM that blindly follows it is only making their games worse and less RAW.
    Are "worse" and "less RAW" the same thing for you?

    Also, I'm realizing that "RAW," as most people use it, actually means "consistent with the Rules As Written", as opposed to refering to the rules themselves. It's a garbage term.
    Last edited by smcmike; 2017-08-14 at 09:55 AM.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhedyn View Post
    Sage advice is garbage and any DM that blindly follows it is only making their games worse and less RAW.
    And ipse dixit is always persuasive. You're stating issues of taste (personal preference) as if they're fact.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    And ipse dixit is always persuasive. You're stating issues of taste (personal preference) as if they're fact.
    I think that's the point, though. Sage advice is rulings. Some people consider those rulings to be above normal rulings, others don't.

    But we have all seen people say "that doesn't work" in response to a thing, then reference SA as the reason. If SA is just rulings, then that shouldn't happen. People should just say they disagree with the ruling. But they don't. Many treat sage advice as if it was RAW, and accuse anyone who doesn't follow it of using house rules.

    Is sage advice above a regular ruling? That's my question. Some people treat it that way, others think sa is garbage.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    I think that's the point, though. Sage advice is rulings. Some people consider those rulings to be above normal rulings, others don't.

    But we have all seen people say "that doesn't work" in response to a thing, then reference SA as the reason. If SA is just rulings, then that shouldn't happen. People should just say they disagree with the ruling. But they don't. Many treat sage advice as if it was RAW, and accuse anyone who doesn't follow it of using house rules.

    Is sage advice above a regular ruling? That's my question. Some people treat it that way, others think sa is garbage.
    And some people believe the earth is flat (no really). Doesn't change the truth.

    What I was objecting to is the lack of any reasoning in declaring something to be garbage. If he had said "I don't like (and so don't use) SA," that would be fine with me. It doesn't really bug me what others do at their tables. What I object to is the flat declaration that anyone who follows SA is making their game worse and that all SA is garbage.

    My position has always been that there are no rules, only rulings--the only thing that matters is what happens at a specific table. Those rulings should (in my opinion) be based in the text and errata, but doing otherwise is up to the table in question. Focusing on RAW (which is a forum-created, non-RAW thing in this edition) is a red herring. It provides no substance except as a club to hit people who disagree. Note that in 5e (unlike 3.5) there is no "primary source" rule nor is there a "text trumps table" rule. DMs (along with their tables) are supposed to use their judgement and make rulings, applying the text, errata, and whatever other sources they decide they want to include to the situation at hand.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    Is sage advice above a regular ruling? That's my question. Some people treat it that way, others think sa is garbage.
    What "regular rulings" are you comparing it to?

    Is it above a ruling of the DM at your table? No, not unless the table has agreed to abide by Sage Advice.

    Does it deserve more weight than the ruling of some anonymous person on Reddit? I think so.

    Is there some other sort of "regular ruling?"

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    What "regular rulings" are you comparing it to?

    Is it above a ruling of the DM at your table? No, not unless the table has agreed to abide by Sage Advice.

    Does it deserve more weight than the ruling of some anonymous person on Reddit? I think so.

    Is there some other sort of "regular ruling?"
    That's the question. In good faith, we have to assume the ruling of some anonymous person on Reddit is the ruling of a DM. Sage advice is at least on par with that. Is it above?

    I think of SA as default rulings. I guarantee no DM will follow every ruling on SA, but most DMs will probably follow most of them. In that regard, SA might be useful on forums to say "many DMs will rule it this way."

    But SA should never be treated as RAW. And yet it is, because it's seen as RAI, and some people think RAI and RAW are the same.
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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    That's the question. In good faith, we have to assume the ruling of some anonymous person on Reddit is the ruling of a DM. Sage advice is at least on par with that. Is it above?
    Yes. Of course, random commenters might make a convincing argument, but the interpretation of the game designers starts with additional weight in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Easy_Lee View Post
    I think of SA as default rulings. I guarantee no DM will follow every ruling on SA, but most DMs will probably follow most of them. In that regard, SA might be useful on forums to say "many DMs will rule it this way."

    But SA should never be treated as RAW. And yet it is, because it's seen as RAI, and some people think RAI and RAW are the same.
    Which is why we should do away with acronyms, and talk about what the books say, what we think that means, and what the designers have said about it.

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    Default Re: House Rules, Rulings, and Sage Advice

    I think of SA as default rulings. I guarantee no DM will follow every ruling on SA, but most DMs will probably follow most of them. In that regard, SA might be useful on forums to say "many DMs will rule it this way."
    That's a sane approach. Sadly, this is the internet ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
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