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


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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
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.

Well, I think it is different with campaigns in D&D.

I think that "canon people" (heh, canonistas) is just a particular manifestation of fandom. People who want to truly bury themselves in a particular fiction, and know everything possible about it.

There are many FR fans, for example, who love knowing everything possible about FR. Heck, one of the long-running GH site is called ... Canonfire! (The exclamation point is from them, not me)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Well, I think it is different with campaigns in D&D.

I think that "canon people" (heh, canonistas) is just a particular manifestation of fandom. People who want to truly bury themselves in a particular fiction, and know everything possible about it.

There are many FR fans, for example, who love knowing everything possible about FR. Heck, one of the long-running GH site is called ... Canonfire! (The exclamation point is from them, not me)
Canon is a tool like any other, and can be fun.

History suggests that a metaplot with canon implications doesn't work out well for RPGs, in the long run.
 


Well, I think it is different with campaigns in D&D.

I think that "canon people" (heh, canonistas) is just a particular manifestation of fandom. People who want to truly bury themselves in a particular fiction, and know everything possible about it.

There are many FR fans, for example, who love knowing everything possible about FR. Heck, one of the long-running GH site is called ... Canonfire! (The exclamation point is from them, not me)
I guess I got to the point where I asked myself "do I want to read volumes of backstory and niggly detail on political machinations between territories, or do I want to, you know, run some friggin adventures?" The backstory can be helpful, as long as it's an inspiration or a hook for a scenario, but I rarely want more than just enough to get things started at the table. I especially think arguing over Canon is a colossal waste of time.
 

TiQuinn

Registered User
I guess I got to the point where I asked myself "do I want to read volumes of backstory and niggly detail on political machinations between territories, or do I want to, you know, run some friggin adventures?" The backstory can be helpful, as long as it's an inspiration or a hook for a scenario, but I rarely want more than just enough to get things started at the table.
I remember having two of the black FR 2e sourcebooks - The Drow of the Underdark and The Harpers - and the two of them showed a slide from lore plus useful information for DMs and players to 100% lore with scant actually usable information for games. And I think this was the same time that TSR was making the most money from their novel line, hence maybe the sourcebooks started being more for the readers of the novels than the people playing the game?
 

I guess I got to the point where I asked myself "do I want to read volumes of backstory and niggly detail on political machinations between territories, or do I want to, you know, run some friggin adventures?" The backstory can be helpful, as long as it's an inspiration or a hook for a scenario, but I rarely want more than just enough to get things started at the table.
Or both. ;) In all seriousness, in my experience, DMs that know their canon, yet are able to succinctly point out what is important, are top notch.
I especially think arguing over Canon is a colossal waste of time.
Agreed. This is especially true across tables.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Metaplot in a setting is the setting's author railroading us.

Or something like that. :)
IMO, it's an issue of fracturing the audience: because eberron has a set, immovable start date, it doesn't matter when a table starts using Eberron material: stuff from 3E, 4E and 5E is working off of the same starting assumptions. Anyone who has been running FR or GH for decades...will have been left behind by the metaplot. There us no way thar a decades long Forgotten Realms campaign will be in the same place where "canon" will be consistent between products and the table.
 

Staffan

Legend
Metaplot in a setting is the setting's author railroading us.

Or something like that. :)

IMO, it's an issue of fracturing the audience: because eberron has a set, immovable start date, it doesn't matter when a table starts using Eberron material: stuff from 3E, 4E and 5E is working off of the same starting assumptions. Anyone who has been running FR or GH for decades...will have been left behind by the metaplot. There us no way thar a decades long Forgotten Realms campaign will be in the same place where "canon" will be consistent between products and the table.
Which makes it ironic that the setting with actual railroads have the least metaplot railroading.
 

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