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This article was written on 22 Jan 2013, and is filled under Advice/Tools.

From the Archives: Errata Isn’t in My Vocabulary

Errata anyone?

Note: This post originally appeared here. I still believe it to be true. I prefer to avoid using errata if possible.

Every couple months, RPG companies come out with their latest batch of errata for their games. For those who don’t know what errata is, it’s all the changes they’ve made to the game, since they realized how screwed up some rule was that they didn’t fix in the initial playtesting. As the years go on, the errata piles up, until players and DMs alike aren’t even reading the rulebooks anymore, just the errata.

I’ve seen some games that you could simply download all the errata from their website, and by piecing it together, you could easily learn how to play the game and run it. It can get pretty bad.

So why is it that errata isn’t in my vocabulary? Because I don’t have the time during a game to look up a rule, then look through a stack of errata to make sure that’s the current way the rules are interpreted. When the PHBs and DMGs come out and have a section on how the rules have been changed, I’ll follow those, but only because they’re in an actual book.

I don’t use errata because my players aren’t the type to try to break the game. They don’t go looking for those game-breaking rules in the rulebook. And really, are there any game-breaking rules in the game, or are they really just game-bending.

I don’t really care about balance at all. If the players are having a good time, and I’m able to tell a story, I’m happy. I’ll start reading the errata when I find a rule in the book that doesn’t allow me to tell my story the way I want, and they’ve released a fix for that.

Keep rolling 20′s!

2 Comments

  1. Tom Coenen
    January 22, 2013

    I use errata for another reason:
    My group is currently playing D&D 4E and playing it without errata is possible.
    However, skill difficulties, monster HP, monster attack and defenses without errata would result in an frustrating game for my group.

  2. Mark
    January 25, 2013

    I can definitely understand that. I found, once I had run 4e long enough that it didn’t require any book handling to run skill checks, as I intuitively knew how tough a monster should be. Also, I did tend to use the online monster builder, which was up to date with all errata.

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