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D&D General Do you care about lore?

teitan

Legend
It's a tool I can choose to ignore. I love the story of D&D and the lore but I also like creating my own and never once felt beholden to the lore, which might explain why I am so perplexed by some of the recent conversations around monsters and such. D&D has always been a don't like it? Change it! game.
 

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JEB

Hero
I like lore, and I think well-kept continuity can be one of the great strengths of a long-running fictional world.

However, I also expect fictional worlds to evolve over time. So I'm fine with changes and even retcons, so long as:
1) they remain compatible with what came before.
2) they improve on the original (or at least aren't a downgrade).
3) they're respectful to the original, and they don't seem like they're taking potshots at it.

For example, if they make Lady Estrella a cruel demon, when previously she'd been portrayed as an kind angel, that's fine... so long as they didn't do it in a way that makes it impossible to square with past events; the change makes things interesting; and the change doesn't look to be the whim of a new writer who simply hated the old version.

Often I can live with changes and retcons that break those standards, but I'm certainly going to question them.

Mind, I will still give even total reboots a fair chance, if they seem good on their own merits. (Though they obviously don't benefit from any goodwill the original incarnation built up.)
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Sort of....?
I'll use what inspires me, ignore stuff as I please, and not fret about stuff I've never read.

I treat company supplied lore & cannon - be it found in the books, adventures, novels, articles, etc - merely as accounts of how things are in someone else's campaign.

I also CANNOT run a game that is faithful to the cannon as provided by TSR/WoTC/Paizo/etc. Because as soon as we start playing, that alters the world. NPCs are interacted with (sometimes killed), places are invented, random places on the map are detailed as needed, events large & small unique to my table happen.... And then along comes the company after the fact & supplies some detail for some place, region, NPC, or event - that doesn't jive at all with how plays developed in our game.
 

akr71

Hero
Only in that its there to fill in the broad strokes for me when I need it to. I usually ignore it and make up my own stuff, but being able to mine existing lore for names of city/state leaders or history of a region is occasionally useful.
 

opacitizen

Explorer
If some people would rather stay in 1990, hey, that's their choice. But don't go complaining that the rest of the world isn't staying there with you. That's not how it works.
I hope you're not complaining about people complaining about people. (Because it appears so.) 🙃
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Depends on the lore. As Keith Baker said recently about Sharn, “I don’t care or need to know how many people are canonically in Sharn, I know that it’s big and it’s crowded.”

Likewise, I don’t care if the Raven Queen is a god in every setting where she appears. I care that her basic nature is the same, as an entity that abhors interference in the cycle of death, who stands guard over it, and who is associated with fate, death, and winter. Thus, my annoyance with Modrenkeinen’s.

I don’t care that Dwarves find work energizing of whatever, that fits their established nature. I care that they are also so hardline fundamentalists with a deficit of empathy that they caused the duergar to become villainous by rejecting them when they escaped slavery. I care that supposedly Good Moradin supported that decision. It changes the basic nature of these beings.
 

Yes--probably more than I should heh. Lore will draw me to a setting. I get invested. It's the same fascination with any fantasy series. When we read fantasy novels or watch a show, we learn how that world works. Sure, authors can surprise us with revelations and twist, but suddenly saying, "Jk, it's Y, when hitherto it's been X. Why? Cuz I said so" can be jarring and upsetting. Same thing with D&D (for me). I saw the board game comparison above, and I've said before that if lore really doesn't matter (in the official material, not what gamers choose to do), then maybe we shouldn't even have established settings, and D&D should just be a pamphlet with rules, species to choose from, and some creatures to fight.

One of the things I love about FR in particular is the amount of lore. While it's off-putting to some, I love it. This has been my biggest beef with 5e--I swear they change things on a dime, with no regard to established lore, and just treat it willy-nilly. I don't think the "make it your own" approach they're taking with 5e should be at the expense of what makes the settings what they are--after all, DMs and players have always been able to do so. I don't see it as an impediment to creativity. I'm not saying the settings shouldn't progress, but I do want them to adhere to the lore (and yes, I'm aware discontinuities are nothing new), and in some cases, they can draw on established lore to help shape where they're going (not going to get into specifics here, as this isn't the thread for it). And yes, I'm aware that real world history is contradictory, and we often don't know "the truth", but if someone finds historical evidence that changes previously held understandings, than that is typically explained, rather than handwaving and saying, "it's this way now."

Sure, if I don't like something, I'll ignore or change it (when they offed Eilistraee and Vhaeraun in 4e, for example, I kept them around). If I were homebrewing, I would establish lore for that world. Look how much Matt Mercer has put in to creating Exandria.

Tl'dr, yes, lore matters to me, but it looks like I'm in the minority.
 
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Lore definition?

If you mean lore, as in, here is the world, then yes. It is the literal framework of how the game should run. In fact, the rules should be grafted to the lore. Imagine if a show or author didn't care about their world building lore? Imagine Tolkien's world without meticulous care for lore? Or Martin's? (According to lore, dragons are extinct and there was once a bloodline could ride them. - Nah! Let's just pretend in the middle of the story it's not like that.) So, if you mean lore, as in the construct of the world, then it is a silly question. It has to matter. It's why a halfling is small. It's why dwarves have beards. It's why metallic dragons align towards good.

And before any begins a diatribe, yes there are exceptions. Always has been, and always will. But consistency and group thought are needed to make a TTRPG work.

I disagree with @Reynard that you wouldn't notice. Sure, if they altered a town a little, you wouldn't notice. Or if this one unknown god became a player in the deific world. But, if the lore changed, I believe you would notice right away.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ravenloft should support running D&D in a horror genre, not create a horror setting/game using a variant of the D&D rules.
This is, I think, an extremely important point. While stuff like Supernatural Gifts in Theros are great, and can help make the game your own, all the optional rules and features in the game don’t change the core engine of the game. None change the accuracy math, or replace ability scores, or anything structural like that.

I think that does two things, both of which are part of why 5e is so successful;
  • The structure of the game is the same, in any setting, unless the DM really gets wild, and oftentimes even then.
  • You have a great deal of room, and examples of how to change the game without breaking it, to make your D&D using 5e. Nothing official in 5e is broken. Even the coffeelock isn’t going to one-shot a deadly encounter, or anything like that. This means you can trust the optional rules and features and mechanics, which, IMO, emboldens DMs to make their own changes.
 


Sithlord

Adventurer
I love lore for settings. I think the problem is the they should never update the timeline. Everything from this date forward is subject to change by individual campaigns and player choices imho.
 

I don't care about lore, at least not in the way some people do. D&D settings are laboursaving tools, but (as DM) the world is mine. I change whatever I like to suit the story I want to tell, and if there are conflicting versions choose whatever I like best. I also like ambiguity. I think it adds verisimilitude. In the real world no scholar knows what the true version of events was, I like to have the same uncertainty in my fantasy worlds.

Another thing I have noticed as DM, if anything is guaranteed to make players glaze over it's talking too much about lore (something I have used to comic effect roleplaying Professor Skant in RotFM).
 
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Reynard

Legend
Lore definition?

If you mean lore, as in, here is the world, then yes. It is the literal framework of how the game should run. In fact, the rules should be grafted to the lore. Imagine if a show or author didn't care about their world building lore? Imagine Tolkien's world without meticulous care for lore? Or Martin's? (According to lore, dragons are extinct and there was once a bloodline could ride them. - Nah! Let's just pretend in the middle of the story it's not like that.) So, if you mean lore, as in the construct of the world, then it is a silly question. It has to matter. It's why a halfling is small. It's why dwarves have beards. It's why metallic dragons align towards good.

And before any begins a diatribe, yes there are exceptions. Always has been, and always will. But consistency and group thought are needed to make a TTRPG work.

I disagree with @Reynard that you wouldn't notice. Sure, if they altered a town a little, you wouldn't notice. Or if this one unknown god became a player in the deific world. But, if the lore changed, I believe you would notice right away.
I was pretty clear in what I was talking about in the OP. I meant lore as in the details. I don't think the details are fundamental to TTRPG play. You can enjoy a game with no particularly detailed lore, because the game is what's in front of the players, not necessarily what's under that.
 

The lore makes the game into DnD
You can take the rules and make other games. Pathfinder and Star Wars and Esper Genesis. They ain't DnD
While the lore should change and evolve over time, it should be iterative and evolve the lore and not toss out the old
Otherwise it ain't really DnD anymore. It's just a very similar knockoff

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This conversation comes up all the time on Chans and forums. Bout Star Wars or Star Trek or comics
It always goes down the same. One group doesn't care about lore one way or another. Another group cares about the lore

Choosing to changing something you don't care about that someone else is attached is telling that person you don't care about them and their feelings opinions don't matter
 

Undrave

Hero
Depends on the lore, the canon, the setting, and the campaign world. If I enjoy it, I'm upset when it changes; if I don't enjoy it and it's changed to something I enjoy, I'm glad for the change; if I don't enjoy it and it's changed to something else I don't enjoy, I'm slightly upset as it could have been made into something I enjoy. And this only applies to settings I like. Al-Qadim, Dark Sun, Mystara, Ravenloft, and Spelljammer. Beyond those, I don't really care.
This.

As time goes on I see 'canon' is being held aloft by general geeks as some sort of precious thing to protect at all cost and I disagree with that. Canon should matter only in so far as it serves a purpose. Canon for the sake of canon is boring and stifling. And just because something is canon doesn't mean I automatically respect it and consider it above other pieces of the franchise that are not (or no longer) canon. I don't care what Disney says, I still like the Ewoks movies.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Choosing to changing something you don't care about that someone else is attached is telling that person you don't care about them and their feelings opinions don't matter
It isn't just that (although, full transparency, I don't actually care about their feelings or opinions that much). It's that I feel trying to build decades-long consistent lore is actively detrimental to the development of new, exciting stories. I don't see a win-win position here that can be staked out by the IP developer.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Fun to read, but everyone that I ever have much repeat play with (outside of some AL exceptions) runs homebrew. Lore ultimately ends up feeling like it is in the way whenever I have tried to run an AP or even just run a campaign of my own in like FR.

So changes in cannon, usually don't bother me.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
What is lore?
Oh Realms, don't hurt me
Don't hurt me
No more

Elminster, don't hurt me, don't hurt me
No more
What is lore?
Yeah

No, I don't know nothin' 'bout Szass Tam
I tried to learn the lore, but I just don't give a damn
So is Spellplague right and sundering is wrong?
Gimme a sign

What is lore?
Oh Realms, don't hurt me
Don't hurt me
No more

What is lore?
Elmisnter, don't hurt me
Don't hurt me
No more

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh, oh

MisguidedThisAzurevasesponge-max-1mb.gif
 

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