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Assume two 1st level Rogues, Alice and Beatrice.

Alice gained 3 levels of Rogue and on her 4th level of Rogue, instead of an ability score increase she picked up the Martial Adept feat. She later gained 3 levels in Fighter, and chose the Battle Master archetype.

Beatrice gained 3 levels of Fighter, and chose the Battle Master archetype. She then gained 4 levels of Rogue, and instead of an ability score increase she picked up the Martial Adept feat.

Alice and Beatrice each now total four Rogue levels and three Fighter levels, obtained via different paths. Is the superiority dice gained from the Martial Adept the same dice for both Alice and Beatrice?

(The text above was posted as an example in another question that was closed as too broad. After talking to a moderator, it was decided the best thing would be to post the example as a separate question.)

The Martial Adept feat says:

[...] If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6. [...]

The already have implies that you need to have superiority dice when you acquire the feat, otherwise it is a d6. Beatrice is safe. RAW, she already has superiority dice when she gets the feat.

Is Alice stuck with a d6 superiority die for the rest of her career?

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This was errata'd in 2016 to read...

Martial Adept (p. 168). The superiority die is added to any others you have, no matter when you gain them.

It was pretty black-and-white (or black-and-yellow, in the case of our color scheme here) - the order didn't matter.


Unfortunately, in the 2018 errata (which they stealth-swapped the file at the 2016 link), they've changed the text again. It's once again ambiguous because they removed the "no matter when you gain them" bit.

Martial Adept (p. 168). The first sentence of the second benefit has been changed to “You gain one superiority die, which is a d6 (this die is added to any superiority dice you have from another source).”

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My eyes might play tricks on me, but I don't see the citation you provided in errata. This is everything it has under Martial Adept: The first sentence of the second benefith has been changed to "You gain one superiority die which is a d6 (this die is added to any superiority dice you have from another source)." But it doesn't clarify, if it is still d6 or >=d8. \$\endgroup\$ – AntiDrondert Dec 28 '18 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AntiDrondert It seems they eratta'd the errata... and stealth swapped the file. The link points to a 2016 URL path, but the file is now 2018 for the 10th printing. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Dec 28 '18 at 13:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, for some reason the 2018 errata article originally pointed to 2016 URLs, meaning the original 2016 errata got replaced. They eventually fixed the links there, but the original 2016 errata doesn't seem to have been put back up. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Dec 29 '18 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ The new wording doesn't seem to be ambiguous. "you gain d6 superiority hit die, which is a d6." It does not scale. It is similar to how you can gain different kind of hit dice when you multiclass. \$\endgroup\$ – Vylix Dec 29 '18 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've done some digging, and it looks like the 2015 post-errata phrasing of the feat is identical to the current phrasing. I think people were just misinterpreting how the 2015-2017 errata previously paraphrased the change (or perhaps it's misleadingly paraphrased), and now the 2018 errata PDF quotes the exact wording of the change instead so it's unambiguous what it says. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 9:39
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As of the first errata, it doesn't scale regardless of when you get it.

As you point out, in the original printing of the PHB, the second bullet point of the Martial Adept feat read (PHB, p. 168):

If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6.

However, the very first errata in 2015 corrected the Martial Adept feat to read as it does now (emphasis mine):

You gain one superiority die, which is a d6 (this die is added to any superiority dice you have from another source).

However, that errata document (and every other one up through 2017 or so) incorrectly (or unclearly) summarized the change as follows:

The superiority die is added to any others you have, no matter when you gain them.

Many people (including, apparently, Mike Mearls) seem to have mistakenly understood this to mean that the Martial Adept die does scale with the Battle Master's superiority dice regardless of when they get the feat vs. the subclass. However, what the revised wording of the feat actually means is exactly the opposite - that this superiority die is separate from and in addition to any existing superiority dice. It's a flat d6, and does not scale with the Battle Master's superiority dice.

Some people (including me!) were confused when the 2018 PHB errata quoted the new text, thinking it was an abrupt new change (though it's not marked as "[NEW]" in the errata document). However, the only new thing in that regard is that the 2018 errata consistently includes direct quotes of the new/current wording, rather than paraphrasing it as previous errata PDFs did (which can potentially lead to confusion, as in this case).

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