D&D General Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and Canon: Stare Decisis in D&D


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Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Definitely. I think that WoTC's current more laissez-faire approach is sensible.
And it makes sense for a roleplay game. Only the "core rules" are "canon". Everything else, including movies, books, and indy products, are what happens at someone elses gaming table.

The players at a particular table may or may not wish to include ideas from other gaming tables.
 


Staffan

Legend
Does it bother anyone else that the FR wiki is completely written in past tense?

I actually find the entries difficult to read because of this.
I think the reason is that the past tense is stable. Forgotten Realms has always had an ongoing metaplot (although less so in 5e). For example, let's say we have an article about Cormyr written back in, say, 2003, and it was written in the present tense, it would say that "Cormyr's king is the infant Azoun V, but the real ruler is his aunt Alusair Obaraskyr who's acting as a regent." You'd also have articles about Azoun V and Alusair, saying that they are king and regent, respectively. But then you have the release of 4e, moving the timeline up by about a century, meaning that those things are no longer true about the current Realms. So not only do you need to add the new events to various articles, you also need to rewrite the existing text to past tense because that's, well, in the past. But if you write everything in the past tense, you don't need to worry about that.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So is Elminster dead? If not, then why say “Elminster was an archmage…”

He IS an archmage who is still actively used in FR products and campaigns.
But, there is no chronological reference where Eliminster is real: there is no present to be in present tense, and mixing past and present would make the grammar of their articles more awkward, more so if they had to argue about what is "currently" true.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think the reason is that the past tense is stable. Forgotten Realms has always had an ongoing metaplot (although less so in 5e). For example, let's say we have an article about Cormyr written back in, say, 2003, and it was written in the present tense, it would say that "Cormyr's king is the infant Azoun V, but the real ruler is his aunt Alusair Obaraskyr who's acting as a regent." You'd also have articles about Azoun V and Alusair, saying that they are king and regent, respectively. But then you have the release of 4e, moving the timeline up by about a century, meaning that those things are no longer true about the current Realms. So not only do you need to add the new events to various articles, you also need to rewrite the existing text to past tense because that's, well, in the past. But if you write everything in the past tense, you don't need to worry about that.
Exactly. And consistent usage makes it bit awkward.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I found it odd, at first, but the Wiki does explain why is does so.
I mean, it makes sense:

"The use of past tense neatly avoids all these issues, by setting events in stone as soon as they occur. Therefore, to maintain a consistent writing style, to eliminate chronology errors, and be equally accepting of all editions and appealing to all fans, the Forgotten Realms Wiki adopted this past-tense policy. Instead, the time to which information pertains should be expressed by dates in the article, whether a year, a decade, or a century, as accurately and as appropriately as possible."
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
I mean, it makes sense:

"The use of past tense neatly avoids all these issues, by setting events in stone as soon as they occur. Therefore, to maintain a consistent writing style, to eliminate chronology errors, and be equally accepting of all editions and appealing to all fans, the Forgotten Realms Wiki adopted this past-tense policy. Instead, the time to which information pertains should be expressed by dates in the article, whether a year, a decade, or a century, as accurately and as appropriately as possible."
It makes sense, but I can’t say I enjoy reading it ultimately.
 

I wonder sometimes if those clinging so hard to letter of the law Canon are the same ones who can't actually get an adventure off the ground. Canonistas always struck me as embodiments of Analysis-Paralysis.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

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