The Sage Advice Compendium states:

Official rulings on how to interpret rules are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium. A Dungeon Master adjudicates the game and determines whether to use an official ruling in play. The DM always has the final say on rules questions.
The public statements of the D&D team, or anyone else at Wizards of the Coast, are not official rulings; they are advice. The tweets of Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford), the game’s principal rules designer, are sometimes a preview of rulings that appear here.

Compiled Answers

Sage Advice answers that are relevant to the current state of the rules are compiled here

I always thought that only the answers published in the SAC are official. However, the SAC also states that it compiles "Sage Advice" answers. It is not clear to me entirely if "public statements" intended to include other official Sage Advice columns or not.

The Sage Advice column is also providing Sage Advice answers, even if they are not yet included in the SAC. Technically, this is also a "public statement" of "the D&D team", but they clearly read a lot more official when it comes to the company's take on the rules, than a tweet JC might make, and I am not sure if what they mean are just individual statements made by members of the D&D design team in some other public context, like when it points out that rulings given by Jeremy Crawford on twitter (now X) are not official.

In addition, the SAC itself has not been updated in a long time, I think not since version 2.7 came out. The latest version, announced also in Sage Advice, seems to be dated from November, 2020, and there are two later entries in Sage Advice that contain rules content that has not made it into the compendium, the this one and this one. (Even those columns stopped with the one of December 13, 2021). However, the SAC lists a copyright of 2021, not 2020. So I am not sure what came last.

This highly upvoted answer related to the SAC maintains that anything published on Sage Advice counts as official rules clarifications. Do these additional columns contain official rules (or rulings) content?


2 Answers 2


Unambiguously no

Official rulings on how to interpret rules are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium.

There is no confusion here: it's official if it's in the Sage Advice Compendium. If it's anywhere else, it isn't.

The public statements of the D&D team, or anyone else at Wizards of the Coast, are not official rulings; they are advice.

This is a clarification of the thesis statement. Even things said by the team - including Sage Advice answers - are not official rulings.

As to whether they keep it up-to-date - that's up to WotC. In the twilight of D&D 5e, that may not be a priority.

With respect to that other answer, you need to read it again; it doesn't say what you say it says. It says that only the Sage Advice Compendium contains official rulings.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Dale, the other answer says: "Other pages on the Wizards of the Coast website also refer to Sage Advice as "official rules answers" or "official clarifications of D&D rules". It's definitely an official, first-party source." and Sage Advice is the column, not the SAC, so its not clear to me how it does not say Sage Advice is official, can you clarify why you think so? \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2023 at 4:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NobodytheHobgoblin - Maybe answer your own question. It would be good to consider both answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Oct 19, 2023 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Senmurv, I would, but I do not know what the other pages in that quote are. Maybe V2Blast (who wrote that answer) remembers and could lend a helping hand -- if he is right those two added Sage Advice Columns also could count as official SA, even though they never made it into the SAC. I will ask him on the other Q. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2023 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Senmurv I asked him, but in doing so realized he may be one of the community managers affected by the recent big layoff. Which sucks, and not because of this answer, but it may also mean he has more important things to busy himself with right now than RGP.SE \$\endgroup\$ Oct 19, 2023 at 20:28

Sage Advice columns provide official rulings that are collected in the SAC

Sage Advice Columns provides rules guidance, errata and rulings. Rulings answers and links to the errata are collected in the Sage Advice Compendium. When the SAC says:

Official rulings on how to interpret rules are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium.

This does not say "only are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium.".

When it says:

The public statements of the D&D team, or anyone else at Wizards of the Coast, are not official rulings; they are advice.

and mentions "the D&D team, or anyone else at Wizards of the Coast", this can not mean that no other official announcement of the company can provide rules guidance. Clearly the company has the ability to revert any announcements, including those in the SAC, and any such announcement elsewhere would by neccessity have to be in the public form of a statement by the D&D team or other employees. Taken in context of the practice at the time, this sentence means that if team members of the D&D team or other employees make a public statements about the rules, like Jeremy Crawford or Mike Mearls did for a while on twitter, or that happens in discussion in a podcast, that is not official rules guidance.

It also says:

The Sage Advice Compendium collects questions and answers about the rules of Dungeons & Dragons (fifth edition).

if the SAC were the only source for such questions and answers, where could it collect questions and answers from? Instead, it does collect them from the Sage Advice column (as also expressed in its name: it's a Compendium of Sage Advice answers), like this one about Spellcasting:

Does a spell consume its material components? A spell doesn’t consume its material components unless its description says it does. For example, the pearl required by the identify spell isn’t consumed, whereas the diamond required by raise dead is used up when you cast the spell.

which now, verbatim, shows up in the SAC 2.7.

Benefits of ignoring content in Sage Advice columns

There is however a big advantage for users like us to only consider the SAC official guidance: there are cases where the official rules guidance has changed in the SAC and for the same question. Having a versioned document, where you only need to look at the latest version of the document, is much easier to check, than having to go over all the individual columns and announcements that have been made to find the latest incarnation of a ruling. So for everything older than the latest SAC, I think it makes sense to assume that if it does not show up in the SAC, then it is outdated, and only use the SAC.

That said, it looks like Wizards are focusing on material for 6th Edition and have stopped updating Sage Advice (which is only found in the Archives now). The SAC was last been published in 2020 (or 2021, if you go by the copyright notice), so, it is unlikely that we'll get a further update for the SAC that adds the rules guidance that was published on Sage Advice after that version.

The following two Sage Advice columns that contain such rulings advice should be read as official guidance too, even if they are not yet included:

  • The creature evolutions one contains rulings clarifications for the Harengon Rabbit Hop feature

  • The Book Updates contains answer to: Is a spell attack a Spell? When a monster casts a spell without using spell slots, how do I know the spell’s level? Can the silvery barbs spell in Strixhaven affect Legendary Resistance?

There is no benefit of ignoring the rules guidance of these two entries.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't feel like this is answering the question asked. While your answer does explain why you consider it possible that Sage Advice Compendium isn't the only source of official rulings, it doesn't back up the claim that the column is official in any way and seems to just assume it is. The usefulness of some rule has no bearing on whether it's official or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kryomaani
    Oct 20, 2023 at 9:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kryomaani It is answering the question, it just fails to provide any meaningful support for its primary assertion. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2023 at 9:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ -1. Just like with designer intent, what’s official is through the intent of the designers. If there is no direct quote, then it’s speculation, which we don’t do. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 20, 2023 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ To give a more detailed critique here, in the header you claim “Sage advice columns are official rulings” and the only argument provided in support can be summarized as “the sage advice compendium didn’t say the columns were not official”, but you offer no other support that the columns are considered official rulings. The SAC also doesn’t say that my answers on this site are not official rulings, so my outrageous claim that “Thomas Markov’s answers are official rulings” has the same level and kind of support as your answer here. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2023 at 11:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a fan of supplying answers I don't or didn't believe in. I don't think that's helpful just to 'show the other side'. What's helpful are clear and supported answers - and this isn't one of those. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Oct 20, 2023 at 12:19

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