Is "official" lore important to you?

Is official lore important to you?

  • Yes, always

    Votes: 22 16.7%
  • Yes, but only in regards to one setting

    Votes: 12 9.1%
  • Not usually, but I have a specific hangup or two

    Votes: 26 19.7%
  • No, never

    Votes: 52 39.4%
  • My opinion is too complex for your silly poll

    Votes: 20 15.2%

  • Total voters
    132

Coroc

Hero
I master a greyhawk campaign atm. To ease my work i use the official NPCs and some major events of the official timeline. But i use only the stuff important to the campaign and as always i mod what does not fit.
But i will e.g. use the dramatic event which leads to the circle of eight becoming the circle of five.
Pls do not spoiler on details of that in possible replies to my post, i do not want any of my players (who do not know anything about greyhawk) to accidently read anything of it.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
In setting yes. I hate retcons and extreme changes when some new writer comes in and thinks new is better.

9/10 times it's usually inferior. If your ideas are that good put them in your own IP vs wrecking someone else's.

I don't mind changes to the mechanics to meet the new editions rules as long as they make an effort for similar effect.

For example defiling in 2E. Not to worried if they don't copy the exact mechanic but it should be discomforting in some way and create ash. Not to worried how big it is or if it's not a circle.
 

Coroc

Hero
..... I’ve had to shut down players in D&D games because I didn’t have Driz’zt in a particular location on certain days and the sort. ....
Lol, you had the biggest fans in your group then. I just try to imagine how that could have gone down at your table:

DM: You have to fight big bad mob boss to resolve the adventure

Player A: OMG we will all die he is far to strong for our group!

Player B: I got the solution! Drizzt should be at Waterdeep within the next three days (i read it in one of the novels), we simply ask him to assist us, he cannot refuse. (If it were 5e: DM give me an inspiration for my kewl idea!)

DM reasons to himself: Oh my, did i ever talk with them about separrating in - and out of character knowledge? Next when they need mounts and have none available, the IRL mechanic will suggest to construct bicycles, and his character totally ought to know how this could be done, since he got metalworking as a profession
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Every once in a while I see people on these forums remark how a change in the lore of a setting between editions or through some product or tie in media bothers them. To me that idea is a little alien, as I am just not a person that cares to much about adherence to continuity (what can I say, I grew up a DC comics fan in the post Crisis on infinite Earths era where there was a Zero Hour or other continuity altering even every summer).

So, simple poll you can expound upon in the thread: do you care about the lore of a setting (or the game as a whole) and think continuity is important?
Not sure how to respond. When I’m running a game, I don’t care that much, but I do care about official lore in its own context. Ie, I care that Gnolls can only be ravening murder-beasts, and that the Raven Queen is an interloper in the cycle of death rather than a guardian of it, etc, in 5e, because it means I cannot use new lore for them in my games because it contradicts what I was using from previous editions.

And because it’s just senseless and obnoxious to change the basic nature of something just to make your own damn mark on the game.
Related rant; people who want to reinvent iconic culturally important characters like Superman or Spider-man or whatever shouldn’t be allowed to make flagship entries in their canon. Let them write a what-if story. OTOH, if they had casted Donald Glover as Peter Parker in the movies that ended up starring Garfield, I’d have been stoked for that. Nothing about “nerdy kid from Queens who is into photography and seems to have crummy luck in relationships and jobs and just wants to do right” speaks to any ethnicity. It doesn’t matter.
 

the Jester

Legend
Opinion too complex.

I care about the lore that has been established in game as a part of my campaign and alterations to that. My game is long-running, with a campaign that, depending on how you look at it, stretches back to 1981. So changing the lore in a way that contradicts established material in my game is bothersome to me, and is significantly more bothersome the more deeply it is integrated into future material.

I don't really care about changing the lore on established settings since I run a homebrew world. But I am huge on continuity, so I find it a bit baffling and depressing when a new release retcons or rewrites established lore. I love expanding the lore, but not advancing the time line. And I hate metaplot imposed on a setting with the fiery passion of a million exploding stars. The setting should serve your campaign, and your campaign shouldn't have to adapt to a changing setting that wasn't created by your game's events.

For example: 3e changed orcs from LE to CE. I have an established culture of orcs imc that leans heavily into the fact that they were lawful in older editions. This is easy to deal with, though; I just split orcs into savage and civilized groups. So, this was a change that was of concern to me, but easily managed.

Compare to the way 4e changed succubi into devils. I have long established a demon princess of succubi (1981!), and she has played a major role in several campaign arcs over the year. So I pretty much didn't use succubi in 4e, and am happier with their change to a sort of universal fiend of seduction in 5e. This was a change that had ramifications for my game, and directly contradicted established lore that pcs had interacted with significantly. No bueno.

Meanwhile, something like the arbitrarily changing map of the FR from 1e to 3e would horrify and offend me- if I played the FR. Instead, I find the change baffling and inexplicable. Someone had used those vast trackless glaciers and deserts in some way that the changes contradicted. This was a pointless change (imho) that only served to contradict some home games' events- in other words, unjustified and unjustifiable.
 

Marandahir

Explorer
Not sure how to respond. When I’m running a game, I don’t care that much, but I do care about official lore in its own context. Ie, I care that Gnolls can only be ravening murder-beasts, and that the Raven Queen is an interloper in the cycle of death rather than a guardian of it, etc, in 5e, because it means I cannot use new lore for them in my games because it contradicts what I was using from previous editions.

And because it’s just senseless and obnoxious to change the basic nature of something just to make your own damn mark on the game.
Related rant; people who want to reinvent iconic culturally important characters like Superman or Spider-man or whatever shouldn’t be allowed to make flagship entries in their canon. Let them write a what-if story. OTOH, if they had casted Donald Glover as Peter Parker in the movies that ended up starring Garfield, I’d have been stoked for that. Nothing about “nerdy kid from Queens who is into photography and seems to have crummy luck in relationships and jobs and just wants to do right” speaks to any ethnicity. It doesn’t matter.
I agree with part one (esp your two examples from 4e->5e), but not the related rant (other than the other hand). These culturally important characters have been reinvented and reworked for new audiences since they were first created. Some elements may remain sacred across all interpretations, but exactly which is a slippery slope leading toward fandom in-fighting.

The important thing is to write a good story with good characters, and to do justice to the target audiences, which may well not be the same as earlier takes - case in point, Miles Morales resonates with a whole different demographic that Peter Parker has failed to in the past. Does that mean we retire Peter and only tell Miles stories? I'm not saying that, just that there's a very good reason to do it.

I guess that's what WotC were trying to do with 5e: there's an audience for 4e-lore lovers like you and me, but we're not necessarily the target audience of Volo's Guide to Monsters or Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, when it comes to those two particular concepts. We ARE the target audience, I would gather, for Exploring Eberron and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (again in reference to Gnolls and the RQ).
 
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I run my games from published adventures and don't feel the need to change them up too badly. However, when I am filling out a location, I will use information from whatever edition I can find. I don't care if that particular tavern was burned to the ground 300 years ago. In my world, it still exists.
 
Too complex, but the poll is not silly. I find official lore interesting but not important. Mostly because the players I play with don't delve into official lore. So, I have taken official maps (even for something as well known as Krynn) and just made up a whole new world. Players never noticed the overlap/stealing.

In fact I am doing it now. I couldn't wait for Theros, so I started a new Greek campaign using Arkadia. Well about 40% of Arkadia, 60% of my own building.

If I had players really invested in published worlds, it would be different. But this gives me all type of freedom so that works.
 

Hussar

Legend
Which means the mistake they're making is in trying to add to (and thus potentially screwing up) an existing setting that already works for people, rather than putting the same time and effort into something completely new.

New edition? New setting. It'd need to be a generic setting, yes, but even if it's generic it's still new. 4e with Nentir Vale is thus far the only one that's got this right.

For 5e, the area around Lost Mine of Phandelver should have been a tease region for a whole new setting, released side-along with the three core books.
LOL. And people absolutely lost their shit over 4e's lore changes. They changed the lore for many of the monsters to fit in the new setting. Changed the cosmology and folks blew their freaking minds. And, with all the screaming over how they are not putting out enough material for the larger Forgotten Realms, only the Sword Coast, could you imagine how much screaming there would be if there were NO Forgotten Realms material? :WOW:

New edition, new setting? Yeah, good luck with that. We saw what happened in 4e.
 

Hussar

Legend
From my point of view, it's usually:

Change I don't like=pointless change, change for change's sake, waste of time.

Change I do like = brilliant designer, kudos, well done.

IOW, official lore is only as important as a measure of how much Person A likes something. It's not important for any actual reason. Just important because "I" happen to like it. And it works as the perfect argument against change.

If I say, "Don't change this because I like the old way", well, that doesn't really carry any water. Why should you really care what I like when you might like the new thing better. After all, I still have the old thing. "Don't change canon because canon is IMPORTANT" carries a lot more weight, even though, in actual fact, it's only a statement of my personal preferences.

The Canon Club is largely just a cheap way to try to force preferences on other people.
 

teitan

Adventurer
Lol, you had the biggest fans in your group then. I just try to imagine how that could have gone down at your table:

DM: You have to fight big bad mob boss to resolve the adventure

Player A: OMG we will all die he is far to strong for our group!

Player B: I got the solution! Drizzt should be at Waterdeep within the next three days (i read it in one of the novels), we simply ask him to assist us, he cannot refuse. (If it were 5e: DM give me an inspiration for my kewl idea!)

DM reasons to himself: Oh my, did i ever talk with them about separrating in - and out of character knowledge? Next when they need mounts and have none available, the IRL mechanic will suggest to construct bicycles, and his character totally ought to know how this could be done, since he got metalworking as a profession
Lmao yeah not quite like that but oy

it was more like with this horrible thing going on why are we doing it alone and Driz’zt etc aren’t helping us?
 

Hussar

Legend
Hussar's First Law Of Canon

The degree to which canon is important is inversely proportional to the degree to which someone dislikes a change.​

In other words, canon is only important when someone doesn't like a change. Otherwise, canon can go jump in the lake. And, if you need evidence, I present for your edification, the three most recent versions of Spider Man on film - the Sam Raimi/Toby MacGuire version, the Sony/Garfield version and the most recent Tom Holland version. The Sam Raimi version is closest to Spider Man canon - it's about as close as you can possibly get and not be hand drawn really. And it was very popular. The Garfield version changed a number of key elements and was pretty roundly disliked and canon was certainly invoked as a reason why the movies failed. Then you have the Tom Holland version which takes canon out behind the woodshed and beats it to death. This is a completely different Spider Man, based on a re-write in the comic books (Ultimate Spider Man) which also had largely abandoned Spider Man canon.

Yet, the Tom Holland movies are pretty well regarded. People really like the movies and they did very well at the box office. If canon was actually important, should this be the biggest failure of the three? Or, could it be that canon isn't really all that important, unless you need it as a bludgeon to beat over the head of other people?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Fair point, but it doesn't explain how I - who knows nothing and cares not about Spiderman canon - also found the Sony-Garfield version to be overall the least appealing of the three attempts. Which is saying something, as I wasn't overly fond of the Raimi-McGuire version either.

Also,. the Tom Holland version had the MCU tie-ins and so forth to support it, which broadened its appeal. As for box office, given as over the last decade MCU could have made a movie about watching an ice cream cone melt in the sun and it would've been a box office smash, saying it did well at the box office isn't saying much. :)

That said, the Holland version makes the Garfield version even more redundant than it already was.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Yes, but I don't actually let it determine anything I want to do. Lore if just tools in my sandbox; if the tools aren't useful, I throw them away. But a lot of lore can be fun and inspiring, so I still find it useful.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
New edition? New setting. It'd need to be a generic setting, yes, but even if it's generic it's still new. 4e with Nentir Vale is thus far the only one that's got this right.
This seems like such a good idea. New edition, new world to explore (and a reason to collect older edition books to get info on other settings.
 
I generally don't care all that much. For RPG purposes, whatever lore there may be is just material I can use or not. So I like to have a good amount of lore to draw from, even if some of it is contradictory. In those cases, I just see it as options I can choose.

In those cases, I definitely have options I prefer, so I suppose it matters a little, in that sense. For an existing setting that I enjoy....let's say Planescape.....I wouldn't want to see them make unnecessary changes if they created a version for 5E.

But if they did, I wouldn't hesitate to ignore what I didn't like and only use what I did.
 

dave2008

Legend
..., I care that Gnolls can only be ravening murder-beasts, and that the Raven Queen is an interloper in the cycle of death rather than a guardian of it, etc, in 5e,..
Two questions:
  1. I thought Gnolls were always ravening murder-beasts. Back in 2e they preferred eating intelligent mammals because the "scream better" and they completely "hunt out" an area (aka massacre everyone) before moving on. I didn't play 3e was it different then. I seem to remember them being demonic in origin in 4e too (yep - just checked the 4e MM). So I guess the change in 3e? I just check the 3.5 MM and it is pretty similar to 2e (including the screaming intelligent creatures as food). So maybe it is in a supplement? I don't know, it seems that generally gnolls have always been ravenous murder-beasts to me.
  2. Wasn't the RQ an interlopper in 4e? She overthrew the original god of death and took his mantel didn't she (in 4e). Though I am not familiar with her 5e lore, so what changed?
 

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