I think it is a double edged sword for D&D and the errata that is out there. On one hand, I like that WotC is taking feedback from folks, and continually evaluating some abilities and powers to limit the cheese-factor. On the other hand, at times I get miffed I’ve got books that have been practically gutted with rule changes that have occurred over the years (I’m looking at you PHB). Still, I think WotC has to be commended for trying to address issues with 4E. In a way it puts the burden on the players and whether they want to keep up with the rules. If a DM decides to let things slide, they can. If the DM wants the most up to date incarnation of every build, treasure, and monster, that is an option also.
I’ve spoke before how 4E errata are not that overwhelming but I might have to retract that now. I think for many core player classes there has been a huge change with how many powers and abilities work. If you were running straight out of the original 4E core books, you’d have to give many things a look to make sure they weren’t changed too drastically. Even with the new essentials books, it looks like some things are modified a bit.
I’ve been doing this a while, but I keep everything in a notebook with page protectors. I keep everything sectioned with sticky tabs as dividers. So I can have all the errata for the PHB, PHB2, and PHB3 split for easy reference. Fortunately WotC allows this to be done with printed PDFs as everything is split into major sections depending on the sourcebook, and individual changes are listed page-wise for each book.
I turn around and go back to my original books and highlight any sections or key points in the text to reflect rule updates. So if something in my rule book is highlighted, I can then open my errata notebook, flip to the relevant section, and find the page number entry with the specific rule change. Since a lot of changes deal with character powers and abilities, I typically only need to keep this in mind when PCs are made or when they level up. So it is pretty manageable.
I chide WotC a lot, but I will admit that it is nice they offer errata to folks that don’t have a current DDI subscription. Granted with the compendium and character builder, it has to have these features (I’d be really upset if they weren’t regularly updated). However, it’s nice to give people an offline, hardcopy means of keeping their books updated, even without having access to DDI.
(Oh and WotC, can you please update your errata for skill check values to reflect the new target numbers in the essentials rule book? I think they are still listed as the DMG2 values. kthnxbai…)