20
\$\begingroup\$

The D&D 5e core books were updated with a new printing as of November 2018 (alongside the release of the Core Rules Gift Set), as can be seen from a number of new questions and updated answers referencing these changes.

Some examples of the new questions:

Most of these changes are noted in the 2018 PHB errata PDF. However, frustratingly, not all of the changes are noted there. (For instance, the phrasing of the fighter's Action Surge feature was simplified, and the description of the clone spell added a significant word.)

While some of these changes have been noticed by keen-eyed readers, I have not been able to find a single place documenting all these otherwise undocumented changes to the PHB.

As such, I hope the community here is able to document all these changes in a single Q&A, hopefully serving as a valuable resource to anyone looking for a proper accounting of the changes made in the November 2018 printing of the books - since the 2018 PHB errata fails to do a sufficient job of this.

As of the November 2018 core book updates, what changes were made in the latest printings of the PHB that aren't noted in the errata document?

Given the specific focus of the question (it's not an unrestricted list, and has clear correct answers), hopefully it should not be too broad to be answerable here.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Semi-related: Where are errata posted/published? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 5:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ And this is the way to phrase your legwork question asking for a list of things, so it doesn't get downvoted into oblivion. Pay attention list-makers. \$\endgroup\$ – Akixkisu Jun 27 at 6:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Might this be a good candidate for a Community Wiki answer? I don't think we have many, and I recall it being contentious on the Meta site, but it seems worth asking. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Jun 27 at 11:00
18
\$\begingroup\$

There are a few changes - some minor, some more significant - in the latest printing of the PHB that are not noted in the 2018 errata PDF:

  1. Action Surge
  2. Climbing, Swimming and Crawling rules
  3. Clone

Action Surge

The fighter's Action Surge feature previously read (emphasis mine):

On your turn, you can take one additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

The bolded phrase was removed in the latest printing as of November 2018, and the Action Surge feature description now reads:

Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take one additional action.

This change is confirmed in the January 2019 edition of the Sage Advice Compendium:

Does the fighter’s Action Surge feature let you take an extra bonus action, in addition to an extra action?

Action Surge gives you an extra action, not an extra bonus action. (Recent printings of the Player’s Handbook no longer include the wording that provoked this question.)

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford also confirmed the change in the November 27, 2018 edition of Dragon+ (in which he discussed the errata), describing it as "unhelpful helper text" that caused people to interpret it as saying the opposite of what it actually meant. (Thanks to CTWind's answer here for the timestamped link!)

Climbing, Swimming and Crawling rules

The rules on Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling (PHB, p. 162) originally said:

While climbing or swimming, each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain), unless a creature has a climbing or swimming speed. At the DM's option, [...]

As this question by Daniel Zastoupil and its answers note, there was technically some ambiguity about whether this meant having a climb/swim speed was sufficient to ignore the extra movement costs, or whether the creature needed to use those speeds in order to not have to spend extra movement.

However, as of November 2018, the rules on Climbing, Swimming, and Crawling now state (emphasis mine):

Each foot of movement costs 1 extra foot (2 extra feet in difficult terrain) when you’re climbing, swimming, or crawling. You ignore this extra cost if you have a climbing speed and use it to climb or a swimming speed and use it to swim. At the DM’s option, [...]

This change to the PHB (and basic rules) is not mentioned in the errata.

Clone

The first sentence of the clone spell description (PHB, p. 222) originally read (emphasis mine):

This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living creature as a safeguard against death.

However, as of November 2018, the clone description now begins (emphasis mine):

This spell grows an inert duplicate of a living, Medium creature as a safeguard against death.

The fact that it simply says "Medium" instead of "Medium or smaller" means that it's now impossible to use the spell to clone any Small creature. This seems like an oversight (presumably the intent was to prevent cloning Large or bigger monsters with it), in which case a future errata may fix it accordingly.

This added size specification is not mentioned in the errata PDF.


Special mentions

There are 2 "non-changes" in the 2018 PHB errata that actually misleadingly seemed like a change at first:

  1. Deflect Missiles initially looked like it was changed (but it wasn't); the errata document notes a different phrasing from before but doesn't mark the supposed change as "[NEW]". However, the listed phrasing is slightly inaccurate, leading to some confusion.
  2. Martial Adept also seemed like it changed (but it didn't actually), only because many people misinterpreted an earlier errata's paraphrasing of the change - or because the errata's paraphrasing itself was misleading/inaccurate.

Deflect Missiles

The last sentence of the monk's Deflect Missiles feature (PHB, p. 78) originally read:

You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack.

The first PHB errata in 2015 summarized the change as follows (and the same summary remained unchanged through the 2017 errata):

Deflect Missiles (p. 78). The range of the monk’s ranged attack is 20/60 feet.

Instead of summarizing the change, the 2018 errata states the exact phrasing to be used - which oddly leaves out the information about the range of this attack that was added in previous errata:

Deflect Missiles (p. 78). The final sentence now ends as follows: “... regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack.”

This leaves out the information about range added in previous errata.

However, the last sentence of the monk's Deflect Missiles feature actually currently reads (emphasis mine):

You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

This wording is seemingly unchanged from when the range of the attack was initially added in the 2015 errata. It appears that the 2018 errata simply incorrectly quotes the end of the final sentence of the feature, matching the version in the first printing of the PHB rather than the latest printing.

Martial Adept

The Martial Adept feat (PHB, p. 168) originally read, in the first printing of the PHB:

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

(Thanks to Mindwin's question here for the quote.)

Naturally, people interpreted this as meaning that the feat was better for Battle Master fighters (PHB, p. 73-74) than for others, since Battle Masters gained an extra superiority die of the same size as their existing superiority dice (all of which scale with their level).

The very first errata to the PHB (in 2015) summarized its change to the feat as follows (and this summary remained unchanged through the 2017 errata):

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

Some people took this to mean that the superiority die from Martial Adept still scaled with a Battle Master's regular superiority dice, with the only perceived change being that the superiority die scaled with Battle Master levels whether they were taken before or after taking the feat.

However, the wording of the feat in all printings since that 2015 errata is actually identical to the current (2018) version of the Martial Adept feat (this Reddit thread shows the same wording as below); the 2018 errata simply includes an exact quote of the change now.

The relevant portion of the Martial Adept feat now says (emphasis mine):

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

What this actually means is that Martial Adept's additional superiority die doesn't scale with Battle Master levels; the character with the feat simply has a separate d6 superiority die. (Battle Masters with the feat can expend either their regular superiority dice or their extra superiority die from the feat to use their maneuvers.)

It's arguable whether people were just misinterpreting how the errata previously paraphrased the change or whether the 2015-2017 errata misleadingly paraphrased it. (Mike Mearls' incorrect tweet supporting the misconception certainly didn't help.) Either way, it's now clear because the errata PDF quotes the exact wording of the change instead.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ If anyone knows of any undocumented changes I missed, feel free to let me know in a comment. :) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 at 12:33
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure if I'm using this correctly, but this answer may be appropriate for community wiki. I recall seeing a similar list answer like this being made into a wiki, but that was in meta. \$\endgroup\$ – Pyrotechnical Jun 27 at 12:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.