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This question is being handled on mainsite instead:

Following some discussion (in chat, starting here) it was decided this question basically came in two parts: whether D&D Beyond was official, and whether we should handle it as such. The first half is better suited to main site and will be investigated there where more eyes will find it. If the policy position we ought to take from the answers is unclear, we can resume policy discussion here in a new meta question.

This question is being closed to keep the discussion in one place. This closure should not be taken as reflective of the policy nature of this question being off topic.


Comments on this answer (comments now deleted) implied that DnDB is not considered an official rules source. Is that correct?

Is it considered official in the same way as the published PHB, DMG, etc? If not, why?

If it is not considered official, why do we allow its use for citations per this meta post?

Since D&D Beyond hosts multiple types of content answers should be clear what they are referring to and if there is any difference in official status between them:

  1. Source books (PHB, DMG, MM, etc.)
  2. Basic Rules
  3. Unearthed Arcana (School of Invention Wizard eg)
  4. 3rd Party (Blood Hunter eg)
  5. Homebrew (feats eg)
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closed as off-topic by Miniman, doppelgreener Feb 6 '18 at 0:00

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I believe it should be treated as an official source.

Firstly, WOTC considers D&D Beyond to be an official digital toolset for the game (though it's worth reiterating that it isn't made by WOTC directly, but licensed through them):

This morning, Curse launched D&D Beyond—an official digital toolset for Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition.

Secondly, the books on D&D Beyond are considered to be 'digital sourcebooks', which, on their own site, are defined thusly:

A digital sourcebook is a completely digital version of one of the published books, such as the Player's Handbook or adventures like Curse of Strahd. You will get the book re-created in digital format, as well as unlock all of that book's content for use throughout the toolset - both for current tools and anything on the roadmap (such as encounter building/ combat tracking, etc.).

As they are considered a 'completely digital version of one of the published books', I'd say they're as official-source-worthy as said books.

In addition, BadEye (Adam Bradford, D&D Beyond product lead at Curse) also calls D&DB an official source, mentioning that their site is meant to be kept up to date with the rules as new changes come in:

Errata will be incorporated as it comes in. As an official source, it's important that we always stay current.

Ultimately, due to the above, I feel D&D Beyond's version of the content should be considered as official as the books themselves. If there's a discrepancy between their content and the most recent errata/printed version of a book, then the book wins, sure, but I don't think the potential for that kind of mismatch/data entry/out of date error would make the rules from the site overall considered 'unofficial'.

Disclaimer: The above only applies to content on D&DB from the official sourcebooks. D&DB also hosts usermade homebrew and unofficial sources such as the Blood Hunter class from Critical Role/Matthew Mercer- these are usually kept separate in the site's navigation. The SRD & Basic Rules are also hosted there in a combined section, but even the WOTC-hosted PDF/printed versions of the SRD is considered unofficial.

The sword of sharpness deals an extra 14 slashing damage when you roll a 20 on its attack roll. The SRD incorrectly says otherwise. Note that the SRD is not an official rules source for D&D. #DnD

@JeremyECrawford, 9:54 PM - 4 Jan 2018

(On the topic of "what's considered an official sourcebook?", @nitsua60's longstanding question/answer "Where do I find the “official” rules for D&D 5e?" is worth a read as well.)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the SRD considered the same as the basic rules? I thought they were different and that basic rules were considered official. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 3 '18 at 14:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rubiksmoose Good question; Not sure either way for the 'normal' versions, but the linked page says it has all of the basic rules & srd content, and without a distinction of what on that page is from which I'd hesitate to designate that section on D&DB 'official' (in the super technical sense we're discussing, anyways :-P). \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Feb 3 '18 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited my question to include the points you brought up about differences in content. I think your answer still is completely answering the question, but wanted to let you know. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Feb 4 '18 at 23:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've clarified that they've only said the SRD is unofficial. I know of no particular official stance on the basic rules, so until hearing otherwise I'd assume them to be official. \$\endgroup\$ – CTWind Feb 5 '18 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CTWind Beauty. for the first few months that game was out, Basic Rules were cited a lot in answers. They tend to align with PHB, though with the errata publication now being on the web, I am not sure how close the relationship is. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Feb 5 '18 at 18:36

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