D&D 5E WotC Explains 'Canon' In More Detail

Status
Not open for further replies.
Recently, WotC's Jeremy Crawford indicated that only the D&D 5th Edition books were canonical for the roleplaying game. In a new blog article, Chris Perkins goes into more detail about how that works, and why.

This boils down to a few points:
  • Each edition of D&D has its own canon, as does each video game, novel series, or comic book line.
  • The goal is to ensure players don't feel they have to do research of 50 years of canon in order to play.
  • It's about remaining consistent.

If you’re not sure what else is canonical in fifth edition, let me give you a quick primer. Strahd von Zarovich canonically sleeps in a coffin (as vampires do), Menzoberranzan is canonically a subterranean drow city under Lolth’s sway (as it has always been), and Zariel is canonically the archduke of Avernus (at least for now). Conversely, anything that transpires during an Acquisitions Incorporated live game is not canonical in fifth edition because we treat it the same as any other home game (even when members of the D&D Studio are involved).


canon.png


 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Chaosmancer

Legend
So NPCs work by other means. They don't have classes and their powers are not proof of being clerics. I'm not sure about the "Priests of Orcus," but if they were from 1e and/or 2e, clerics gained level 1-2 spells through their own faith, not from demons or devils which could not grant them.


Nothing says those abilities come from the demons or devils. Their own warped faith could provide it. We do know that 1) clerical spells are granted by gods and 2) demons and devils not specifically gods are not gods, which prevents them from performing #1.

So... divine magic coming from a being is a sign of godhood... unless it isn't? Because NPCs sometimes work differently and sometimes divine magic doesn't come from the gods.

So, it can't be a sign of a divine being at all. I mean, if I can get a divine clerical spell from "my own warped faith" then granting divine clerical spells isn't a sign of anything at all. You've contradicted yourself.

And before we have a discussion about it only applying if they can grant spells of 3rd level or higher... Well, druidic magic is considered divine magic, and therefore comes from the gods (in this 1e and 2e lore that we are discussing) Gar Shatterkeel is a Druid who follows Olhydra, capable of casting 5th level druidic magic. Olhydra is specifically not a god, and so they should not be capable of that level of divine magic.



You mean...

Corellon theg god of Art and Magic?
Garl Glittergold the fod of Trickery and Wiles?
Moradin the god of Creation?
Grolantor the god of War?
And so on.

They are gods followed by a race, but the race is not their portfolio. They are all gods of aspects of the world that are also of a race other than human. That's all. Gnoll, dwarf, elf, giant, etc. are not aspects of the world.

I see, so... Yeenoghu's 3e stats give him domains over Bestiality and Fury. He is known as the Lord of Savagery, the Beast of Butchery, and the Ruler of Ruin. Those sound like domains to me. In fact, they are explicitly listed as domains.

Orcus has Death, and rules over the undead, also Necromancy.

Jubilex and Zuggytmoy have oozes and fungi, and you still haven't told me how that is different from the God Malar and Beasts.

Obox-Ob has Destruction and Entropy.

Fraz-Urblu has Trickery and War, and actually this says that he specifically has Cleric worshippers back in 3e.

So, again, I'm not seeing the difference here. Why is Zuggytmoy's dominion over fungi not adequate to be a goddess but Moradin having creation is?


And yet 0 gods that have races as their aspect.

It is the primary way they are described. Corellon isn't primarily referred to as the God of Magic and Art, he is the God of the Elves. This was even literally part of his portfolio, and all of the most important stories about him revolve around him being the progenitor of the elves.

And yet, creating other races isn't good enough for some of these beings to be considered gods?

No demon lord is in charge of oozes. The oozes of the multiverse don't worship her as their god. She's just an oozy demon that has some power over her local oozes. Same with Orcus and undead. And so on. Malar is also not the god of beasts. He's the Beast Lord as his title, but he's the god of the hunt.

To quote the Demonicon of Iggwilv "However, all of Juiblex's powers seemed minuscule in the face of his most threatening ability; the power to control any ooze from anywhere. Oozes were inherently tenacious creatures, able to exist in some of the most hostile corners of the multiverse, and all Juiblex had to do was focus his power to control them. In a sense, Juiblex's true form was not the one that dwelt in his abyssal layer but the combined volume of every brainless slime, pudding, and jelly in existence."

If you consider "local oozes" any ooze anywhere in the multiverse... then sure, you are right. But, it is funny you say that "oozes don't worship them" because oozes are nearly mindless. They are an aspect of reality, like the sea or the earth. We don't consider whether or not magic worships Corellon, so why make the distinction about oozes which are considered mindless?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
Of course you can ask for it to be removed. But I took you to be asserting that it should be removed because it's unjust, or conduces to injustice. I took you to be drawing a parallel to the replication, in much fantasy fiction, of racism and sexism and associated tropes.
It's just as problematic as if any other group of people were inserted into the group that was punished through the Wall of the Faithless.

Warning: Potentially offensive language below for those that are sensitive to discriminatory language describing LGBTQ+ folks below. This is merely an example to show how utterly wrong @pemerton's argument is by replacing "the Faithless" with LGBTQ+ folks in a fantasy example. I mean no offense by making this, and tried to keep it as unproblematic as possible (while still getting through the point of this absolutely not being an okay thing to have in a fantasy setting).
Imagine a world where it is "canonically" established that there are only two genders, your gender identity must align with your genetic sex, and you must be heterosexual. Any character in the world that doesn't align with these obviously unjust and highly offensive canonical rules, upon death, is endlessly tormented in an LGBTQ+ version of the Wall of the Faithless. The gods get their power from childbirth, so they see any sexual/gender ""deviance"" (I'm stressing the air quotes as much as I possibly can here) as blasphemy, as it uses energy that could have otherwise fed the deities. Furthermore, the Lawful Neutral Goddess of Marriage/Love/Family (a mixture of Hera, Aphrodite, and Eros) is in charge of funneling LGBTQ+ souls into this wall. At first, she was Lawful Good before taking charge of this discrimination system, and tried a tiny bit to ask the Overgod to get rid of it, but after about a day of asking, she gave up and decided to be okay with it (causing her to be "demoted" to Lawful Neutral). None of the other gods in the pantheon, including the canonical "Good" gods, have been stated to object to this system, and even though the lawful and typically benevolent Overgod has the power to completely change this system of punishing LGBTQ+ people and feed the gods through their own energy, for some unknown reason they keep this discriminatory system up and running.

See the issue yet? This is obviously not okay. It's not okay for it to be used for atheists, LGBTQ+ people, or any other group, especially if they have been marginalized past and present. Whether or not one was/is "more discriminated against" than another has absolutely nothing to do with it. That doesn't matter and is horrific to support. "It's okay to have a Wall of the Faithless because there wasn't ever a Holocaust/mass-enslaving/public-lynching against Atheists" (and that's ignoring the Spanish Inquisition and similar examples) is absolutely no means to support the existence Wall of the Faithless. Atheists are still discriminated against in the real world. I was disowned by my father's side of the family when I came out as an atheist in my highly-religious family. In over a dozen nations on Earth, Atheism is punishable by death. Coming out as Atheist is considered political, social, and often career suicide in the US.

Saying "you're not as discriminated against as X-group, so it's okay" is both ignoring the fact that we are discriminated against and the fact that even if that were true, that doesn't freaking matter! Saying "well, you chose to be atheist, so that makes it okay" can be used to argue in-favor of religious discrimination, because religion is a choice.

🤦‍♂️

Seriously, the mental gymnastics required to justify any of this is absolutely astonishing and abhorrent, being both horrifically frightening and mind-shatteringly dense.

Can we stop this now, please? Need I explain further?
 
Last edited:


Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
They're pretty close and some do ascend, but they aren't gods. This has been made clear in edition after edition.
Yep. Completely, absolutely crystal-clear. There's a reason why no one ever gets confused about the difference and asks about it online, only to be confused by the appearance that they're practically the same and the differences are irrelevant and minor.
/s
 

Mirtek

Hero
In over a dozen nations on Earth, Atheism is punishable by death. Coming out as Atheist is considered political, social, and often career suicide in the US.
Those nation also punish being religios by death if you convert to the wrong (in there eyes) one. And the US really needs to get over this. In Europe it's the other way round and you'd be looked at funny if come out as going to church every Sunday.
 

Hussar

Legend
This might have been dropped by the time I respond (I'm five pages back), but I think you are missing some very very obvious parallels here.

The Wall of the Faithless is saying that a good and just being, for the sake of the balance of the world, must horrifically punish and torture people for their beliefs. /snip

Nope. That's your interpretation and is not supported by the text. A good and just being will not grant you a beatific afterlife if you choose not to acknowledge that being as a god. As a consequence of your lack of faith, demons will take you and devour you for eternity. The Wall was created to prevent demons from devouring your soul for all eternity and, eventually, you will be granted oblivion. Additionally, your refusal of faith directly weakens the gods, allowing forces of evil to gain more power.

Let's go with the notion that we actively oppose the Wall and tear it down. What happens then? Well, demons then invade the Fugue Plain, stealing souls for eternal torture that would rightfully have gone on to their just reward. Everyone seems to conveniently forget that the Wall actually serves a purpose and that purpose is not punishment. It's not that the Wall is a prison. It's protecting the souls of the dead on their journey into their afterlife. Those that refuse to have faith in this setting are bound to defend those who do.
 

Scribe

Hero
Viewing people as resources... not the view point typically associated with the forces of good
Maybe the view of 'good' is out of line with how the setting used to (rejoice folks this doesnt even exist in your games as canon anymore!) operate?
 

Hussar

Legend
Who cares if you think my character fits?

And, it actually is problematic in the setting, because while faith matters, so does GOOD. Imagine for a moment a writer took Superman and decided "You know, Superman is working constantly to protect people, but he still has needs. He should impose a tax on people, have them pay for his protection. And if they don't pay he kills them and their relatives by blasting them from space. Yeah, its important that people pay, because the good guys need all the help they can get."

Would you be okay with seeing that, and seeing the author and everyone else still saying Superman is the paragon hero he is supposed to be? Yes, faith is a massively important element to FR, but good people don't torture and destroy people who don't actively support them. And I hold fictional gods to the same standard
That's your takeaway from this? If Superman was actually powered by people's faith in him - as in instead of solar powered, he was powered by people believing that he was Superman, would a group of people who refused to believe in him be viewed as good? Oh, and how are relatives of the Faithless being punished? The only "punished" people in the setting are those that CHOOSE not to believe. And, the alternative to their being put in the Wall is being captured and tortured for eternity by demons.

Or are you claiming that gods shouldn't even have the ability to control who goes to their afterlife?
 

Hussar

Legend
Which is a bit bizarre, because when I search the FR wiki for Gods associated with the portfolio of Death, it is quite a list

AmaunatorBhaalGreat MotherGrolantorJergalKelemvorLaduguerLaogzedLoviatarMemnorMyrkulNullRaven QueenSharTalonaUrogalanVecnaVelsharoonYurtrus

And none of this includes racial gods, like Yurtrus, Sehanine Moonbow. Naralis Analor, Kiaransalee, Valkuana, Dumathoin, Urogalan, Segojan Earthcaller, Urdlen

It seems that if death wasn't working, then a lot of these deities aren't who they claim to be
And, oh look, every single one of those save maybe Amaunator (who is dead and has been for quite a while) is evil or at the very least, not good.
 

lingual

Adventurer
Addition is not change. Change is the issue.

What visible in-fiction effect did the change have?

Addition is not change.

What monsters and how did they disappear? Was this a change or an addition?

It's possible, but I'm not going to go out of my way to include it. If a player wanted to play one, I'd probably look for a way to ADD it to the existing lore, which is not a change to existing lore on Witherbloom.

Context. I'm talking about changes to existing lore, not additions to it.
Addition is change. If you add some sort of superpower to a class (say first level wish spells for bards), that would be an actual change that could affect lore. All Bards are gods basically.

The bladesinger change does not have the same effect. If anything, it made them truer to the lore.
 

pemerton

Legend
Seriously, the mental gymnastics required to justify any of this is absolutely astonishing and abhorrent, being both horrifical frightening and mind-shatteringly dense.
I don't agree that I am mind-shatteringly dense. Nor that I am horrifically frightening.

The relationship between faith, conviction (religious or otherwise), life, freedom and suffering is one of the most basic topics of literary exploration. The Wall of the Faithless seems to me to express the same idea as Casablanca; and when compared to The Quiet American to be (i) crude but (ii) sitting in the same thematic space.

The idea that the FR "faithless" are stand-ins for real-world atheists strikes me as no different from the idea that FR's Orcs can't be a racist trope because they're not humans: it's treating the in-fiction as literal and ignoring the actual trope and theme that are at work.
 

Hussar

Legend
For starters, the actual description of the wall marks it as pretty terrible. It's punishment, after all, and some descriptions say it's a slow, agonizing dissolution. The Neverwinter Nights 2 wiki calls it "suffering and eventual oblivion." Condemning someone to suffer is terrible, especially if it's for something as minor as not believing in a god.
Yup, but, it also serves a purpose. After all, without the Wall, it's now just a lottery system. Do you get to go to your appropriate afterlife? I hope you successfully run the gauntlet of demons lining up to snatch you up for all eternity with no hope for release.

Secondly, saying living people are a "resource" once again paints these gods in a very negative light.
What? In what way is considering people a resource even remotely evil? That would mean that virtually all of human existence is evil. I'm a parent of two. That would make me about as evil as it could possibly be.

Thirdly, you yourself said that you think the gods would rather people go evil then become part of the wall.
Yes, because the alternative is that those souls are fueling the demonic war engine that wants to destroy all of creation. Note, we're not talking evil people who made deals. These are perfectly good individuals who are kidnapped and either spend eternity being devoured by demons or turn into demons themselves.

At least that Banite cultist goes to whatever afterlife Bane has and doesn't become an enemy of all creation.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
I don't agree that I am mind-shatteringly dense. Nor that I am horrifically frightening.
I tend to separate the post from the post-ee. People can say dense and frightening things without themselves being those things. If you took it as me calling you those things, I apologize, as that was not my intention and it may have been unclear.
The relationship between faith, conviction (religious or otherwise), life, freedom and suffering is one of the most basic topics of literary exploration. The Wall of the Faithless seems to me to express the same idea as Casablanca; and when compared to The Quiet American to be (i) crude but (ii) sitting in the same thematic space.
Sorry, but I'm young. These references aren't doing anything for me. I've yet to see Casablanca or The Quiet American, so the comparisons will need further elaboration if you want me to get them.
The idea that the FR "faithless" are stand-ins for real-world atheists strikes me as no different from the idea that FR's Orcs can't be a racist trope because they're not humans: it's treating the in-fiction as literal and ignoring the actual trope and theme that are at work.
I'm not going to bring in the whole Orc discussion again. Atheism (disbelieving in god(s)) is atheism, whether or not it takes place in a fantasy world. For all intents and purposes, they're the same thing.
 

Scribe

Hero
@AcererakTriple6 if you wanted to devise a cosmology and world building where the gods are based on procreation...you could kinda sorta draw a line there, but its not something I would partake in. There is a minefield of tropes you would be stepping on that I dont think you really want to do.

Comparing that to a system of faith, where gods are real, and their power comes from worship or at least acknowledgment as gods? I mean that just is a central component of FR. If you dont like it, fine, but your comparison is way off unless you choose to build on a premise that is already questionable.
 

pemerton

Legend
I have no idea what this means in relation to what I said.
You asked whether the Wall is something that players can affect. A game in which there are fictional elements that (i) the players would like to engage with, and (ii) can't, is a railroad.
 

Scribe

Hero
Atheism (disbelieving in god(s)) is atheism, whether or not it takes place in a fantasy world. For all intents and purposes, they're the same thing.
It is not. Not when we are talking about a Fantasy world where Gods canonically exist, and a Real world, where that is not the case.

It is not the same, and cannot be.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
@AcererakTriple6 if you wanted to devise a cosmology and world building where the gods are based on procreation...you could kinda sorta draw a line there, but its not something I would partake in. There is a minefield of tropes you would be stepping on that I dont think you really want to do.
. . . That was kind of the whole point. To show that such a system would be abhorrent and unacceptable in the modern world. The consequences of making a cosmology and pantheon that depended on energy from procreation and the incentivizing of that would have consequences on LGBTQ+ characters in that world, the same way that the FR gods punish atheism in the FR. Drawing a parallel between those was the whole point of that metaphor, by showing how if one of them wasn't okay, the other wasn't either.
Comparing that to a system of faith, where gods are real, and their power comes from worship or at least acknowledgment as gods? I mean that just is a central component of FR. If you dont like it, fine, but your comparison is way off unless you choose to build on a premise that is already questionable.
A system where deities get their power from procreation instead of worship and then showing some of the consequences of that . . . is somehow "way off" to you? How? I seriously don't understand it. The premise is questionable, that was kind of the freaking point, to show how by the transitive property, the other was also problematic.

What did you think I was trying to do, if not that?
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
It is not. Not when we are talking about a Fantasy world where Gods canonically exist, and a Real world, where that is not the case.

It is not the same, and cannot be.
There's already been a of mine thread that went pretty extensively into this topic:
There's difference "classes" of fantasy atheism, but they're still types of atheism/agnosticism.
 

Scribe

Hero
. . . That was kind of the whole point. To show that such a system would be abhorrent and unacceptable in the modern world. The consequences of making a cosmology and pantheon that depended on energy from procreation and the incentivizing of that would have consequences on LGBTQ+ characters in that world, the same way that the FR gods punish atheism in the FR. Drawing a parallel between those was the whole point of that metaphor, by showing how if one of them wasn't okay, the other wasn't either.

A system where deities get their power from procreation instead of worship and then showing some of the consequences of that . . . is somehow "way off" to you? How? I seriously don't understand it. The premise is questionable, that was kind of the freaking point, to show how by the transitive property, the other was also problematic.

What did you think I was trying to do, if not that?
Its way off because your issue is with Religion, and Gods, and Faith. If you think all that needs to be scrapped, and is abhorrent because of your own personal views that you hold regarding God(s) in reality, thats on you.

For me, its an interesting situation that poses questions which real life does not ask of us, because again, my atheism in reality has already 'solved' the question.
 

Status
Not open for further replies.

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top