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

fearsomepirate

Explorer
The way I view setting material is it's saving work for me. I am most likely not going to change the setting material I am using as printed, because that defeats the point of laziness. But I don't really care about what expanded books I don't have say if I happen to go against them. You might have a bunch of Dragon magazines about Verbobonc that I don't, and they might say the city is completely different than I do, but I don't care.
 

Aldarc

Hero
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.
It bears repeating that both Lost Mines of Phandelver and the Nentir Vale came largely out of the mind of designer Rich Baker, who likely took quite a bit of inspiration for Nentir Vale from the Elsir Vale in his 3.X adventure Red Hand of Doom.

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.
It's actually not a fundamentally bad idea, at least if there is some continued support for past settings. I kinda like @Lanefan's idea. On a metatextual level it could represent the growing macrocosm of the shared D&D universe. When a new edition is born, so too is a new setting.

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.

...

The Canon Club is largely just a cheap way to try to force preferences on other people.
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.
I'm admittedly of a mixed mind about canon, which may play into your point quite handsomely.

IMHO, I don't necessarily think that like or dislike of canon or the changing thereof can be reduced simply to a matter of whether someone likes/dislikes change. It seems like too much of a reductionism that marginalizes some of the complexities of people and their attitudes towards canonicity because people do have emotional relations to canon that amounts to more than like/dislike. I certainly acknowledge that if someone likes the change to setting or dislikes the change to setting then that will undoubtedly factor into their receptivity to the changes.

As a point, I'm not really a big believer of notions of "head canon" and the like because, IMO, "head canon" is about like saying that a single fish represents a school of fish. Again IMO, a big part of what makes "canon" canon is that it represents an agreed upon body of texts, facts, principles, etc. of a group or community. And so an important political - because yes it's political - is the idea that what is being included as canon says a lot about who is being included. Canon is often important because it communicates shared assumptions within a community or even between communities. And as silly as it may sound, people have built their identities in relation to various canons of fandom so when disruption occurs to canon, then a disruption can occur within fandoms.
 

3catcircus

Adventurer
Official canon is always important to me, if it is something that fundamentally changes the setting. Local thieves guild leader is replaced? Not that big a deal. Entire nations and associated maps completely changed? I have a problem with that.
 

Aldarc

Hero
If I strongly prefer the canon setting in my Star Wars game how does that force anything on others?
This is an interesting question with a potentially complex answer, but if I had to boil it down to a simple point? Because canonicity represents authority and the tacit compliance or non-compliance with that authority.
 

jmartkdr2

Explorer
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.
See, they could have done this well if they didn't try to impose the new ideas for the new setting on old settings. In other word, FR gnolls should have been (form an rp perspective) the same as last edition's FR gnolls. The new Nentir Vale cosmology should only apply to that setting, etc. (Heck, I can even see this as an argument for not adding dragonborn to FR.)

A new setting tailored to the edition = good idea. Changing all the existing settings to match each new edition = bad idea.

Tangentaly, I also have really mixed opinion on the spellplauge. It's a cool idea, but a weird thing to add to an existing, already well-liked ttrpg setting.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A new setting tailored to the edition = good idea. Changing all the existing settings to match each new edition = bad idea.
Agreed.

What I'd suggest instead of changing existing settings to match each new edition would be for them to put out a conversion guide* for those who want to update their own existing setting (whatever it may be, homebrew or canned) and leave it at that. The edition's own new setting could then be used as an example of what a converted setting might look and run like.

* - in two versions: one quite brief for those who either just want top-level conversion or who maybe just want to cherry-pick, and another more in-depth for those who want to fully convert a setting.
 

Reynard

Legend
Agreed.

What I'd suggest instead of changing existing settings to match each new edition would be for them to put out a conversion guide* for those who want to update their own existing setting (whatever it may be, homebrew or canned) and leave it at that. The edition's own new setting could then be used as an example of what a converted setting might look and run like.

* - in two versions: one quite brief for those who either just want top-level conversion or who maybe just want to cherry-pick, and another more in-depth for those who want to fully convert a setting.
It's hard to sell books that way. It seems clear from publishing history that the Realms sell, even after a spellplague or two.
 

Hussar

Legend
If I strongly prefer the canon setting in my Star Wars game how does that force anything on others?
Not at all. What you are doing in your home game is 100% between you and your players.

But, are you going on social media to decry the latest change to the canon? To tell all and sundry how the changes have murdered your childhood? That sort of thing? If no, then no worries. If yes, then, yes, you are trying to use canon as a blunt force object to enforce your opinions.

"I LOVE these changes, but, we shouldn't do them because they contradict canon" is a sentence that has NEVER been uttered.
 

MGibster

Adventurer
But, are you going on social media to decry the latest change to the canon? To tell all and sundry how the changes have murdered your childhood? That sort of thing? If no, then no worries. If yes, then, yes, you are trying to use canon as a blunt force object to enforce your opinions.
I generally don't view someone stating their opinion as trying to enforce anything on others. Does this apply to positive opinions as well or only negative?
 

Hussar

Legend
I generally don't view someone stating their opinion as trying to enforce anything on others. Does this apply to positive opinions as well or only negative?
Not particularly. People who like things are generally simply positive - I really like X. You should try X. You don't like X? Why not? People who don't like things are generally negative - I don't like X. How could you like X? X is terrible.

Add canon into the mix, and it becomes, "I don't like the change to X. The change is bad because it is a change." Which, frankly, ends conversation. You can't really argue that it doesn't change X and, since the person isn't arguing against the quality of the change, but, rather that change is, in itself, negative, there's no real way forward. Canon arguments are simply a rhetorical trick for winning.

Where it flies up my nose is that canon arguments are always based on preference. 15 other changes are perfectly acceptable, but, because someone doesn't like THIS change, then change is bad. :erm: It's so hypocritical and completely arguing in bad faith.
 

teitan

Adventurer
Rethinking this one for a minute, forget about Canon, lore and Canon are two different things. It depends on the campaign specifically. Homebrew, I actually tend to stick to a lot of lore, I just make a city and some vague ideas about where demi-humans come from and roll with the lore from there. Demon lords etc. Lore wise I am trying to craft a 1e campaign that sticks pretty close to the default assumptions of AD&D. Humanocentric and the like. Demon lords plaguing people. Not creating a pantheon because essentially a pantheon amounts to no net gain and using Druids as representatives of the old ways. Orcs have pig faces blah blah blah. Then a nice blog laying out the lore and setting for my players. It's gonna be a hoot, if they live.
 

dave2008

Legend
"I LOVE these changes, but, we shouldn't do them because they contradict canon" is a sentence that has NEVER been uttered.
I've definitely encountered that sentiment before. I don't think in D&D, but in literary works like the Cthulhu Mythos and Conan. People can like a change, but not accept it because it is not cannon. I really does happen.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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?
1) in both 3 and 4, Gnolls can reject their demonic influence and be basically normal, if aggressive and preferring insularity, people. In 3.5 they had a whole non-demonic culture in Eberron, and there were occasional Gnoll characters that were just people in books of that era. In 4e they had a while PC race writeup and multiple dragon magazine articles about playing them. Now, they canonically can only be ravening murder-beasts.

2) The Raven Queen was not an interloper in the cycle of death. She did not interfere with it. She was the primary guardian of it. The god of death she killed and replaced was an evil god of necromancy, while she was a neutral deity of death, fate, and winter, more akin to real world deities like The Morrigan or various psychopomps. Now she messes with death in an almost parasitic way, stealing interesting souls and making them play out their tragedies for her entertainment.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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).
As to the rant, I’d point to the Snyder-verse and say, the majority of viewers didn’t exactly love it, and the comics fans were at best split on it. Part of that is simply that Snyder, as Gail Simone put it, “misunderstood the characters on an atomic level.”
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
Yes BUT I'm not against pick the the parts I think for best and discarding others. For example: my take on the Ravens Queen is a combination of both her 4E and 5E lore info. Mostly 4e background on her rise and coming to be. Yet I remove the "stupid" bits like her being nothing more than a "formless" echo

The Silencing of Lolth and City of the Spider Queen happen BEFORE the current time year that 5E "takes place in," BUT in my 5E games it is a current event happening.

So yes to lore but tweaked when needed.
 

dave2008

Legend
1) in both 3 and 4, Gnolls can reject their demonic influence and be basically normal, if aggressive and preferring insularity, people. In 3.5 they had a whole non-demonic culture in Eberron, and there were occasional Gnoll characters that were just people in books of that era. In 4e they had a while PC race writeup and multiple dragon magazine articles about playing them. Now, they canonically can only be ravening murder-beasts.
I don't think that is true. I see it more as they haven't come out with gnoll PCs yet. In 4e they were only demonic influenced murder-beast, until they were not anymore. I don't see anything in the official lore that prevents a PC race in the future. It is basically the same situation as 4e at this point.

Also, Keith is including a gnoll PC race in his upcoming Eberron book on DMsGuild.

2) The Raven Queen was not an interloper in the cycle of death. She did not interfere with it. She was the primary guardian of it. The god of death she killed and replaced was an evil god of necromancy, while she was a neutral deity of death, fate, and winter, more akin to real world deities like The Morrigan or various psychopomps. Now she messes with death in an almost parasitic way, stealing interesting souls and making them play out their tragedies for her entertainment.
Interesting, which book was that idea introduced? I will have to read up on it. That actually makes her a better fit for my home campaign, so I might use that.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don't think that is true. I see it more as they haven't come out with gnoll PCs yet. In 4e they were only demonic influenced murder-beast, until they were not anymore. I don't see anything in the official lore that prevents a PC race in the future. It is basically the same situation as 4e at this point.

Also, Keith is including a gnoll PC race in his upcoming Eberron book on DMsGuild.
Mearls and IIRC Crawford have doubled down on that being what Gnolls are in 5e. Outside of Eberron 3pp material and homebrew, that is their canon.
 

dave2008

Legend
Mearls and IIRC Crawford have doubled down on that being what Gnolls are in 5e. Outside of Eberron 3pp material and homebrew, that is their canon.
Yes, but that doesn't eliminate the possibility of gnoll PCs. It just means that it is not in their plans to make them. There are plenty of ways to make a PC gnoll with the "canon" lore. I do think it is odd they have dug their heels in regarding gnolls, but I don't see that is a forever thing. It is temporary IMO, and it wouldn't change any of the "canon" to make it work.
 

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