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The 2019 sage advice compendium has released, and it includes a change to what is considered "official rulings."

Previously, Jeremy Crawford had the capacity to make official rulings over twitter. This is no longer the case. As stated in the updated compendium:

Official rulings on how to interpret rules are made here in the Sage Advice Compendium by the game’s lead rules designer, Jeremy Crawford (@JeremyECrawford on Twitter). The public statements of the D&D team, or anyone else at Wizards of the Coast, are not official rulings; they are advice. Jeremy Crawford’s tweets are often a preview of rulings that will appear here.

Commonly Jeremy's tweets were used in answers as official support when no other material was available. I myself reference him frequently when his input was relevant.

With that being said, how should we handle answers which are now supported by unofficial material due to this change?

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Nothing

First, the tweets we often reference to, Crawford, Mike Mearls, etc. are used to support our answer. Usually it goes in a way like this:

  1. A designer has clarified how this certain situation should be handled
  2. A designer has clarified how a thing should work, and my answer is built upon the consequence of the clarification
  3. A designer has clarified how a certain situation should be handled, and since this is similar situation, then the handling should be the same

Even the part of Sage Advice you've quoted says that they are official rulings, not rules. That means you can make your own ruling, but theirs already clarified how they should be/designed to be.

This changes nothing on our side, but now some who read an answer backed by tweets might value them less, or not. If an answer relies solely on designer tweet, personally I still consider the tweet as a good barometer of how things should be.

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It's fine for answers to use them as support, but generally answers shouldn't rely on Crawford tweets alone

Jeremy Crawford explained the change in a tweet on January 30, 2019:

It looks like the Invoke Tweet of Jeremy Crawford feature has been nerfed. Official rulings are now found in the Compendium only, with this account merely providing a "preview" of possible future ones.

Yes, I decided I don't want people feeling they need to dig through my tweets for official answers.

Even if they aren't "official" rulings, Crawford's tweets still often suggest design intent and clarify ambiguities. They can provide useful support for a good answer to a question, as long as the answer doesn't rely solely on the tweet and nothing else. Often, Crawford's tweets merely reiterate what the rules already state, so the answer can elaborate on the tweets by directly citing the relevant rules and explaining how they provide the answer to the question.

Rulings are all interpretations of the rules. Whether or not Wizards of the Coast or Crawford himself considers a ruling "official", they can potentially be used to support a good answer to a rules question - but people shouldn't feel obligated to include them. If someone answers a rules question in a way that's contradicted by a Crawford tweet or even a Sage Advice Compendium answer, that's fine, but you should ideally address their existence and explain why you think they're wrong (or why you think they're not the best way to resolve the situation, or whatever). The best arguments for something often anticipate and address counterarguments.

What should we do about any answers that do rely on tweets alone?

This problem has pretty much the same solutions as with any other answer that's not as good as it could be: downvote it, post a comment suggesting how it can be improved, post a competing answer, and/or (as Medix2 suggested in a comment) put up a bounty to attract better answers.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What would you say should be done if an answer does rely solely on the tweet and nothing else? Should somebody put up a bounty so the question can get different answers? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 14, 2019 at 13:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2: I mean, pretty much the same solutions as with any other not-as-good-as-it-could-be answer: downvote it, post a comment suggesting how it can be improved, posting a competing answer, and/or (as you suggest) putting up a bounty to attract better answers. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 14, 2019 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I strongly disagree with this. Crawford has never said that his Tweets are wrong. He's said the purpose is to prevent people from sifting through Twitter looking for updated rulings or further clarifications. Worse, I think one of the more hostile comments is, "this isn't an official ruling" and nothing more. Downvoting in the absence of a known official ruling or unofficial contradictory ruling is good. Otherwise, downvoting is not productive at best and misleading at worst. We should never downvote the best answer available. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bacon Bits
    Mar 26 at 19:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BaconBits: Okay? I didn't say Crawford's tweets are generally incorrect. They're just not considered "official rulings", whatever that counts for. And my suggestion to "downvote" is just one of many possible recommendations for handling answers that aren't up to par – it's not saying to downvote every answer that cites a Crawford tweet. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 26 at 20:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ "it's not saying to downvote every answer that cites a Crawford tweet." That's misleading. You literally say we should downvote every answer that """only""" cites a Crawford Tweet. I'm saying that's a poor framework. I think we should only downvote such an answer if a better, official answer exists, especially if it challenges it. Yes, a JC Tweet is now """just""" a comment from the lead rules designer and not an official ruling. But for essentially every other game an unchallenged comment from the lead rules designer is an S-tier citation. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bacon Bits
    Mar 27 at 17:54
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Nothing should be done

Answers can use whatever sources or means of support they think is best for their answer. Voters then decide how good the answer is based off of everything in the answer.

Crawford's tweets being demoted from "official" really has no bearing on the ability for someone to cite them. They were never binding rules to begin with and now they are explicitly so.

In the end, good answering practices should always be observed same as we always have. Answers should be well-supported and well-explained. An answer that contains only a tweet without any other kind of discussion or support is (and always has been) generally a poor one.

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