D&D 5E The Debate of "Canon" in D&D 5E

Zardnaar

Legend
Well, other than simply a repeat of Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap), I'm not even sure that I agree with this. There have been so many really good reboots in the past ten or fifteen years - Battlestar Galactica (at least the first three seasons), Doctor Who, Batman, Spider Man, Transformers, and so on.

The problem isn't that it's a "cash grab" or "inferior". The problem is that people have a fixed idea of what that property was in the past, even when that idea only exists in their head, and then pretend than their taste is grounded in objective values like "canon". It's completely intellectually bankrupt. The only reason that reboots are "inferior" is when the person doing the complaining doesn't feel like their tastes are being catered to and their tastes are the only "true" vision of whatever the material is.

We saw this with Star Wars, the rebooted Star Trek Discovery and on and on and on. People figure that they know the "true heart" of something and anyone who disagrees just isn't really a fan. Good grief, that was the heart of much of the edition wars.

It just makes me so happy to see IP holders basically tell these gatekeepers to go pound salt and declare that canon is what the IP holders say it is.

Depends we've also seen multiple franchises crash and burn.

And others like Transformers rapidly become poster child's for diminishing returns.

There's a right way and a wrong way to do reboots it seems.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Depends we've also seen multiple franchises crash and burn.

And others like Transformers rapidly become poster child's for diminishing returns.

There's a right way and a wrong way to do reboots it seems.
Really? Bumblebee made half a billion dollars in the box office. Never minding after that. They're banging out a new Transformers movie next year. That will make seven movies, all of which made bank. How is that even remotely a failure?
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
Does anybody else find the concept of "canonicity" in D&D to be overwhelmingly silly? It's always been the DM's world first.
The whole idea of "canonicity" in general is silly. It only applies to shared worlds, and how can it matter to declare any one version of infinite imaginative versions of something as the correct one?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Really? Bumblebee made half a billion dollars in the box office. Never minding after that. They're banging out a new Transformers movie next year. That will make seven movies, all of which made bank. How is that even remotely a failure?

I said diminishing returns the last few movies made a lot less than the early ones. Mostly because they were crap.

Plenty of reboots and reimagings also fail. Some are immediately obvious why as well.

Often because they assume the brand will carry the product regardless of quality or what the audience actually wants. 4E cough cough. Sorry my bad sore throat.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I'm sorry, but it is possible to just not like new iterations of an existing IP without being a "gatekeeper". I don't believe the creators of the Star Wars sequels weren't true fans; I just mostly don't care for the product they produced. Same thing for all the lore changes in D&D lately. You can write anything you like, and it says nothing intrinsically about how much of a fan you are, but neither does not liking the new direction a story is taking. New and better are unrelated concepts.
 


An official reboot of D&D multiverse is totally possible, and I don't mind if it is done rightly avoiding a "jumping the shark" effect. Maybe Vecna was the responsible, again.

If my memory doesn't fail, in the AD&D Chronomancer sourcebok there was a concept, the time spheres, something the crystal spheres from Spelljammer, but each one is an uchrony or parallel world. Then my idea is something like a demiplane of the time like a patchworld of those alternate timelines. Maybe they are the product of time paradoxes created by the cronomancers or other factions (for example Raitslin, the wizard from Krynn who became a deity causing an apocalypse). When the past is altered the original timeline doesn't disappear totally, but it becomes a new domain of the demiplane of the time. These pocket universe or reality bubles could offer alternate stories, like "What if..?" by Marvel comics or Elsewords by DC.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
issues of what is and is not cannon have been solved by the GLOG:


... that's not the kind of cannons we are talking about?!? What a terrible language. But I will posit this - perhaps we should think more about cannons and less about canons
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
The whole idea of "canonicity" in general is silly. It only applies to shared worlds, and how can it matter to declare any one version of infinite imaginative versions of something as the correct one?
Well, sure it only applies to shared worlds. But what is a published setting but a shared world? It's a publisher sharing that world with its buyers. And they'll face a trade off between wanting to make changes vs wanting to keep the setting familiar for returning customers and for providing new generations of gamers with a similar experience to the ones before (which, if that experience was good, isn't a bad thing).

There's a middle way here between being obsessive about it and using it to exert some continuity control for products that are meant to be compatible or even (semi-)serial. If Drizzt Do'Urden is a Ranger 10, Ranger 16, Fighter 10/Barbarian 1/Ranger 5, or Skirmisher 21 (depending on edition) is chicken feed in significance. Change him from a Drow to a Derro and it's a big deal and fans wouldn't be wrong if they felt irritated by a change of that significance and stopped buying the books.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Tossing in a link to this thread from last summer which seems relevant:

 

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