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D&D 5E 5e isn't a Golden Age of D&D Lorewise, it's Silver at best.

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
They don't specify any edition, just novels and video games. And since there were no explicitly 5E video games or novels when the DMG came out, that means earlier-edition video games and novels were assumed to be part of official Realms canon. If they only meant 5E at that time, they would have said so. As they did in 2021.
There were no new movies or shows or games when Disney decided to axe all the canon for Star Wars, either. Same thing with the MCU when they stated that their canon would only be a handful of things and what they write until they decide to include other stuff.

Sure, you can -infer- that they were referring to previously published materials as opposed to materials going forward, because those materials existed and they didn't specify...

But. In light of the article you posted, which is easily read as a clarification of canonicity and explanation of why the old stuff isn't all automatically canon for 5e, it seems they meant 5e material exclusively.

You can read it as a retcon or as a clarification. Considering that as a retcon they're waffling based on what they do before -and- after the Perkins article, clarification is more in line with their actions and better highlights their intentions.

Which is: Pick and choose what you want, 'cause that's what we'll be doing, too.

Like... which of the following is more logically consistent:

"The material in games and novels (from any edition before 5e) is canon (for 5e)." Blanket statement of canonicity.
"The material in games and novels before 5e is not canon because we don't want a massive barrier for new DMs and Players." Denial of first statement.
"Hey, check out these specific old games and materials which contain canon for 5e materials." Action contrary to denial.

Or

"The material in games and novels (going forward) is canon (for 5e)." Blanket statement of canonicity.
"The material in games and novels before 5e is not canon because we don't want a massive barrier for new DMs and Players." Clarification.
"Hey, check out these specific old games and materials which contain canon for 5e materials." Expansion of canonicity.
 
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HaroldTheHobbit

Adventurer
I wouldn't even rate 5e as silver, lore wise. I really like my D&D with settings filled to the brim with canon lore, that I can mix, match and mold to my own flavor. Yesteryear, lore was selling, now it doesn't. Fine. It's not like there's a lack of lore over the editions that I can keep scooping from. But I personally would be happier if 5e had kept the heavy lore tradition with lots of novels etc.
 

Hussar

Legend
I really gotta ask though. How much lore is needed? Forgotten Realms has THREE HUNDRED novels. Dozens of video games. Dozens of modules - and if you include Living FR and organized play, probably hundreds of modules. More than a hundred official published setting books. That's not counting Dragon, Dungeon, WotC website, Candlekeep forums, and the bajillion 3rd party stuff on DM's Guild.

Good grief, how could you possibly even begin to scratch the surface of that? We're looking at tens of thousands of pages of material here spread out over decades, none of it cross referenced and most of it without even the beginnings of an index.

And people want MORE material? Are you serious?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I really gotta ask though. How much lore is needed? Forgotten Realms has THREE HUNDRED novels. Dozens of video games. Dozens of modules - and if you include Living FR and organized play, probably hundreds of modules. More than a hundred official published setting books. That's not counting Dragon, Dungeon, WotC website, Candlekeep forums, and the bajillion 3rd party stuff on DM's Guild.

Good grief, how could you possibly even begin to scratch the surface of that? We're looking at tens of thousands of pages of material here spread out over decades, none of it cross referenced and most of it without even the beginnings of an index.

And people want MORE material? Are you serious?

Some people like it. My ideal fluff is no metaplot but something like the 3.0 frcs book and maybe some regional supplements.

5E Eberron for example is a decent one.
 

I really gotta ask though. How much lore is needed? Forgotten Realms has THREE HUNDRED novels. Dozens of video games. Dozens of modules - and if you include Living FR and organized play, probably hundreds of modules. More than a hundred official published setting books. That's not counting Dragon, Dungeon, WotC website, Candlekeep forums, and the bajillion 3rd party stuff on DM's Guild.

Good grief, how could you possibly even begin to scratch the surface of that? We're looking at tens of thousands of pages of material here spread out over decades, none of it cross referenced and most of it without even the beginnings of an index.

And people want MORE material? Are you serious?

A minimium the lore news an update, too much of it isn 't current.

Hell it doesn't even have a detailed proper map of post Sundering Faerun.
 

Well, I'm not going to go full-press defending myself here, but there is a chicken and an egg problem here: do I like what WotC puts out because they are making what I like, or do I a priori like things put out by WotC because I am an unreflexive fanboy? I don't characteristically tend to on things I don't like, which is why I just stopped playing D&D entirely when 4E was the thing on offer and Pathfinder just doubled down on what I was tired of in 3E.

Recently, Acquisitions Incorporated, the Stranger Thigns tie in box set, the Rick & Morty box set, miniatures, and anything by Beadle & Grimm really don't float my boat at all, but genuinely I do like pretty much every other 5E product. The worst Adventure they put out, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, and the messiah, Dragon Jeist, both gave me and my folks a lot of enjoyment. SCAG isn’t an all-encompassing 2E style experience...but it has proven useful at the table.
I mean, I like you dude and you have a lot of interesting info, so I don't want to be too harsh, but if we're looking at this neutrally, you just named:

A) Three products that are licences of non-WotC IPs.

B) Beadle and Grimm, who aren't WotC.

C) Minis, which are not made by WotC, but rather Wizkids.

Like, that's exactly what I'd expect a WotC hyper-fan to name as the "things they disliked", because they're non-WotC to a very significant degree. They're all benefiting companies who aren't WotC. So from a neutral perspective, I feel like this strongly reinforces the point I am making. No hate, because again, I like you and value your input when it's not just defending stuff, but you see the pattern right?

And yes chicken and egg is an issue - it could be that WotC and you are just on exactly the same wavelength. The de facto impact is the same. I actually assume your views are genuine, not fake or something, but they're so consistently "Everything WotC does is great!" that it can be hard to engage with. And I was dealing with a claim that I'm mindless critical of everything WotC does (not from you, but you did give it a thumbs up), which is frankly laughable. The difference is that I can cite extensive praise and criticism of WotC and their products. 5E is honestly both an edition damaged by the fact that it was an "apology edition", and a brilliantly streamlined take on D&D that was accessible enough (in the more rules-savvy climate of the 2010s and 2020s, which videogames created) to go huge. WotC have put out tons of good products, and further, almost uniquely in TT RPG history, recognised they were going in the wrong direction, and changed direction!

That itself is fascinating - I cannot think of another company which managed that within an edition. Usually you see the precise opposite - a TT RPG company decides on a direction that's not necessarily popular with their playerbase, doubles-down on it, and then is all "surprised Pikachu" when it doesn't work out (c.f. the "Revised" edition of the oWoD, for example, which was itself kind of a weird apology edition, but that wasn't something a game succeeding as had as the 2E oWoD needed - at all!).
 

What false dichotomy? If you look at all the documentation produced for FR over the years, it's easily hundreds of pages. Throw in the canon novels and it's thousands. Most people I've played with don't care. Give them a map, a few sentences about the different regions and they're good to go. As long as they know the difference between the flaming fist and the red wizards, it's all good. The wiki entry for just the harper organization is over 3,000 words. If I paste the entry into a word document (to get word count), it's 7 pages of dense text. It's too much lore for most people, all they care about it is that the harpers are the good guys.

I made no comment about how much documentation is enough, just that too much is not needed for most people who only care about high level stuff. Some people love thousands of words describing every major organization but in my experience they're the minority. That's all. 🤷‍♂️
See you're still pushing false dichotomy.

Nobody is asking for FR-wiki-levels (or 2E FR for that matter) of ultra-detail in WotC setting products. For example, with VRGtR, I was suggesting 33% more setting info, which is what, a few dozen pages split among dozens of domains.

You're pushing an idea that people either are happy with very lightly sketched settings (why even pay for that?) or they want 3000+ words on the Harpers. It's absolutely bananas. There's no either/or. What people want, I'd suggest, is something more like the 5E Eberron take in terms of level of detail. What's unfortunate lately is that WotC are moving away from that. I can't even make 3PP comparisons because 3PP publishers just don't go as light as WotC are going.

Personally I think the reason WotC are going this way is part of the movement to make D&D into a lifestyle brand rather than a TT RPG, primarily, but I guess we'll see. WotC want people to buy things not because they're useful to them, but because they're "D&D fans" or "D&D collectors". This is a fundamental transition. People are IP fans or collectors behave very differently from people who are TT RPG DMs or players. Actual DMs/players only buy material that is useful to them. But fans and collectors don't follow that - collectors just buy pretty much everything. Fans buy stuff in a different way that tends to place far less value on real utility to them, and far more on, well, branding, "cool factor", and what's new and hot and so on.

The US in particular is increasingly a nation of fans/collectors, especially the nerdier side of things, as the US has far more disposable wealth floating around than other nations, so it kind of makes sense for WotC to try to transition to being a lifestyle brand with "fans" rather than have D&D as a TT RPG with what might be better called "users", because they can wring a lot more money out of fans.

This is why WotC are going this way but 3PPs and other RPG companies are not - they still need people to buy the actual products on their merit, because they can't rely on collectors/IP fans the same way. But you can see the influence increasingly on Kickstarters and so on. Kickstarters for TT RPG products associated with a nerd-popular IP which has a lot of fans/collectors go insanely huge, no matter unlikely it seems that many people actually want to play, say, a Blade Runner RPG.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
because you're not actually arguing it, you're just asserting it, and you're asserting something a fanboy would inevitably assert, whilst having a long history of being completely uncritical of WotC. So I'm unable to discern whether you actually mean this, or whether this is a knee-jerk reaction to criticism of a WotC product.

Mod Note:
This is from a couple of days ago, but shouldn't be allowed to slide.

You are making this discussion personal. You appear to be trying to make a personal assessment about a poster, assert that as meaningful truth, and dismiss their input with it. Pretty standard ad hominem, logically fallacious stuff.

We have a couple of reports of you doing this in different threads. It is probably time for you to consider that before you get invested in other discussions. Please do not make a habit of this.
 
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Oofta

Legend
See you're still pushing false dichotomy.

Nobody is asking for FR-wiki-levels (or 2E FR for that matter) of ultra-detail in WotC setting products. For example, with VRGtR, I was suggesting 33% more setting info, which is what, a few dozen pages split among dozens of domains.

You're pushing an idea that people either are happy with very lightly sketched settings (why even pay for that?) or they want 3000+ words on the Harpers. It's absolutely bananas. There's no either/or. What people want, I'd suggest, is something more like the 5E Eberron take in terms of level of detail. What's unfortunate lately is that WotC are moving away from that. I can't even make 3PP comparisons because 3PP publishers just don't go as light as WotC are going.

Personally I think the reason WotC are going this way is part of the movement to make D&D into a lifestyle brand rather than a TT RPG, primarily, but I guess we'll see. WotC want people to buy things not because they're useful to them, but because they're "D&D fans" or "D&D collectors". This is a fundamental transition. People are IP fans or collectors behave very differently from people who are TT RPG DMs or players. Actual DMs/players only buy material that is useful to them. But fans and collectors don't follow that - collectors just buy pretty much everything. Fans buy stuff in a different way that tends to place far less value on real utility to them, and far more on, well, branding, "cool factor", and what's new and hot and so on.

The US in particular is increasingly a nation of fans/collectors, especially the nerdier side of things, as the US has far more disposable wealth floating around than other nations, so it kind of makes sense for WotC to try to transition to being a lifestyle brand with "fans" rather than have D&D as a TT RPG with what might be better called "users", because they can wring a lot more money out of fans.

This is why WotC are going this way but 3PPs and other RPG companies are not - they still need people to buy the actual products on their merit, because they can't rely on collectors/IP fans the same way. But you can see the influence increasingly on Kickstarters and so on. Kickstarters for TT RPG products associated with a nerd-popular IP which has a lot of fans/collectors go insanely huge, no matter unlikely it seems that many people actually want to play, say, a Blade Runner RPG.
Most people don't give a furry rat's derriere about detailed lore. ;) Most people only need a 10,000 foot view of a campaign world and will never read more than a sentence or three. Meanwhile there are already thousands of pages of information available at the click of a button for those who do want that kind of detail.

I don't see any significant demand for detailed lore. Many want to fill in the blanks themselves, most just don't care. I'm not making any judgement call on what "enough" is, because I'm in the "I want to fill in the blanks myself" crowd. I'm just pointing out the reality that in my experience most people don't care and for those that do there's a ton of existing lore a few clicks away.
 


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