D&D General WotC: Novels & Non-5E Lore Are Officially Not Canon

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At a media press briefing last week, WotC's Jeremey Crawford clarified what is and is not canon for D&D.

"For many years, we in the Dungeons & Dragons RPG studio have considered things like D&D novels, D&D video games, D&D comic books, as wonderful expressions of D&D storytelling and D&D lore, but they are not canonical for the D&D roleplaying game."


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"If you’re looking for what’s official in the D&D roleplaying game, it’s what appears in the products for the roleplaying game. Basically, our stance is that if it has not appeared in a book since 2014, we don’t consider it canonical for the games."

2014 is the year that D&D 5th Edition launched.

He goes on to say that WotC takes inspiration from past lore and sometimes adds them into official lore.

Over the past five decades of D&D, there have been hundreds of novels, more than five editions of the game, about a hundred video games, and various other items such as comic books, and more. None of this is canon. Crawford explains that this is because they "don’t want DMs to feel that in order to run the game, they need to read a certain set of novels."

He cites the Dragonlance adventures, specifically.
 

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So, in other words, WotC is telling longtime D&D fans they aren't welcome in 5e and that decades of learning lore isn't appreciated, in fact it's scorned?

Retroactively rebooting all of D&D lore, in all settings and core lore effective 7 years ago?

Telling Realms fans that the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide is the only canonical Realms book?

Is WotC actively trying to alienate dedicated longtime fans? The last time I felt WotC was doing this was when 4e came out.
 

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VelvetViolet

Adventurer
There is a canon? I was under the impression that every edition was a complete reboot of what little continuity did exist (and there were huge inconsistencies even within editions). D&D never had any kind of ongoing metaplot like certain other long-running RPGs do.

So saying that novels, video games, and old editions are non-canon is a rather nonsensical statement to make. There was never a cohesive coherent canon to begin with.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
So, in other words, WotC is telling longtime D&D fans they aren't welcome in 5e and that decades of learning lore isn't appreciated, in fact it's scorned?

Retroactively rebooting all of D&D lore, in all settings and core lore effective 7 years ago?

Telling Realms fans that the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide is the only canonical Realms book?

Is WotC actively trying to alienate dedicated longtime fans? The last time I felt WotC was doing this was when 4e came out.
No, they are saying that when they create RPG books full of suggestions and tools they are not scribing Holy Writ that must conform to every detail from 50 years of D&D product. They are making tools for DMs to construct a game.
 

So, in other words, WotC is telling longtime D&D fans they aren't welcome in 5e and that decades of learning lore isn't appreciated, in fact it's scorned?

Retroactively rebooting all of D&D lore, in all settings and core lore effective 7 years ago?

Telling Realms fans that the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide is the only canonical Realms book?

Is WotC actively trying to alienate dedicated longtime fans? The last time I felt WotC was doing this was when 4e came out.
Literally any and every DM can and should 'reboot' whatever they like. This changes nothing in practice. Were they going to reprint all the setting lore from all editions otherwise?
 


VelvetViolet

Adventurer
So, in other words, WotC is telling longtime D&D fans they aren't welcome in 5e and that decades of learning lore isn't appreciated, in fact it's scorned?

Retroactively rebooting all of D&D lore, in all settings and core lore effective 7 years ago?

Telling Realms fans that the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide is the only canonical Realms book?

Is WotC actively trying to alienate dedicated longtime fans? The last time I felt WotC was doing this was when 4e came out.
Have you actually read the lore? The baatezu backstory alone changes several times with every edition!

Literally any and every DM can 'reboot' whatever they like. This changes nothing in practice. Were they going to reprint all the setting lore from all editions otherwise?
What's even the point? You can just check a wiki now.
 

Reynard

Legend
No, they are saying that when they create RPG books full of suggestions and tools they are not scribing Holy Writ that must conform to every detail from 50 years of D&D product. They are making tools for DMs to construct a game.
I don't think that is what @wingsandsword is saying. I think they are fans of the setting and like many fans, they prefer that new material builds on old, rather than replaces or obviates it. I mean, I agree with you. I change stuff all the time. But I don't think it is necessary to ber derisive of people that do care about continuity.
 

I don’t understand why anyone would care.
So, in other words, WotC is telling longtime D&D fans they aren't welcome in 5e and that decades of learning lore isn't appreciated, in fact it's scorned?

Retroactively rebooting all of D&D lore, in all settings and core lore effective 7 years ago?

Telling Realms fans that the Sword Coast Adventurers Guide is the only canonical Realms book?

Is WotC actively trying to alienate dedicated longtime fans? The last time I felt WotC was doing this was when 4e came out.
Hey, we found the one person who cares!
 

TheAlkaizer

Game Designer
The same stance has angried me in other type of medias/products (looking at you Disney). But this is reasonable.

As others have mentioned, in the end, only a fraction of what's in the books goes into our game, and much more comes from other inspiration. It's a joy to dig through older editions for ideas and them having a stance like that absolutely doesn't affect anything. If there's substantial staff changes with an hypothetical 6E in the future, I wouldn't be surprise if they say their edition is what's canon too.
 

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