Matter of Balance

Having spent much of the last two decades on D&D message boards, I’ve seen a lot of arguments over specific wordings of abilities, usually when something requires a very particular warping of the English language or ignoring of logic.

Most of the arguments shake out something like this:

“It’s fine.”
Translation: It’s not fine.

“It’s totally balanced.”
Translation: It’s broke A.F.

“That’s what the rules say.”
Translation: There’s no formal rule against it.

“That’s how it works by RAW.”
Translation: This is how it works according to an entirely literal reading of the rules.

“That’s how it works by RAI.”
Translation: That’s how I really, really want it to work

“It’s a game. Why does logic matter?”
Translation: I just found a way to put a square peg in a round hole… sideways.

“It’s easy to work around this.”
Translation: If you have trouble, it’s your fault.

“It’s never caused problems at my game.”
Translation: If you have problems you’re a terrible GM.

“It’s easy to build encounters to overcome this.”
Translation: You’ll be redesigning every single encounter for the rest of the campaign

“You want me to have fun, don’t you?”
Translation: I have no strong argument, and must resort to emotional blackmail