Jeremy Crawford, lead rules designer for D&D, wants to help find all the overlooked rules from the core rulebooks. Come along on a video adventure.
The Player’s Handbook is chock full of overlooked rules, but D&D’s lead rules designer, Jeremy Crawford, and Greg Tito are here with a new segment of Sage Advice to highlight some of the most basic overlooked rules from the corebooks. Today they delve into the beginning of the Player’s Handbook to unearth a few hidden nuggets that return again and again. You can watch the video below:
Now while they don’t unearth anything super game-changing, there are a couple of points they make that help the game run smoother. D&D is full of rules interactions, when a specific power or item calls for something that contradicts with the general rules. In these cases, the specific beats the general–this is the solution hidden at the core of many a rules argument. So important is it, that it gets called out nearly every time an Unearthed Arcana gets released. It helps to parse some of the more complex interactions, like how Power Word Kill doesn’t do damage but does kill you, bypassing effects that drop you to 0 hit points, and so on.
The other big point they talk about is that you’re always supposed to round down. This one seems super obvious, but think about how much time and math you’ll save every time you have to go up against resistance or calculate bonuses based on half your level. It’s simple, but it’s an example of how often rules like this go unnoticed–and that makes sense, how often are any of us reading the books from cover to cover? And with five different editions with similar enough rules, it’s easy to get the occasional rule confused, especially something like surprise.