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

At a media press briefing last week, WotC's Jeremey Crawford clarified what is and is 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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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Obviously canon is a construct of fiction, the shared canon had value, a shared language and experience. It also made the storyline more immersive, compelling, and successful as well as consistant. That is now ashes.
Which novel's events do we know haven't happened?

We know that the novels events are a possible interpretation of how events played out, but at the moment, it appears that the novelists were all rolling 20s.
 



GreyLord

Legend
So...if they release a 5e version of War of the Lance...I'm sure there will be many who would want to buy it.

Should they be forced to follow the events of the Novels...or release it in line with modern ideas and revise as such so players can use such things as the 5e core rules (dragonborn, Tieflings, and others) in such a book or not?

If it is dragonlance, I imagine releasing an adventure (next year as the year of the Lance?) would be focused on the most popular era of Dragonlance (War of the Lance) and having characters that could make a difference in accordance with 5e rules would probably be important, but may not correlate with an effective portrayal is stuck with AD&D restrictions.

Releasing a War of the Lance super adventure would be awesome! But I expect that to be effective and appeal to modern gamers (and there are a LOT of new gamers), there would, of necessity, need to be several changes made.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
the shared canon had value, a shared language and experience. It also made the storyline more immersive, compelling, and successful as well as consistant
1) I dont for how long you've been on forum about D&D, but one thing's sure: there's no such things as a shared experience by most tables, yet alone to build a specific canon on said experience. Every day there's hundred of posts being made about a thousand little differences in how we play and how we understand this thing called D&D.

2) Having a backlog of 40 years of lore and NPC is often pointed as the MAJOR turn-off for most newcomers whishing to use a specific setting.

3) What you call ''canon'' never made the game more successful: it made it intimidating for newcomers and used as a cudgel by gatekeepers. And it sure as hell did not make the D&D lore consistent.
 
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Can we draw the conversion back to WotC's declarion of war against FR fans?

You mean the part where things being declared not-canon is 'gatekeeping out old-school fans'. Sure.

I've been a fan of Forgotten Realms since I first picked up the Gray Box and a copy of Spellfire, back in the early 90s. It was my setting of choice for a long time, but as time carried on, it got to be...a bit much. The Spellplague and the hand-wavey way they undid it were kinda the final straw for me. On the occasions I still run the setting, I wipe the board clean except for the Gray Box for this exact reason.

Speaking as an old-school fan, I could literally not be happier with this announcement. Honestly, it just vindicates choices that most of us were already making at our tables, but maybe it means that some people will be able to get into a setting without wading through a whole lot of baggage.

Existing lore absolutely still has a place. It's an entertaining read. It serves as an example of play, or a slice of the world for someone who's interested in seeing it. No one is taking that from you, or telling you that you cannot incorporate it in your own game, just as some of us deliberately erase it. But maybe this will prevent even a handful of 'well ackshually...' statements getting thrown at DMs by overzealous fans because they didn't realize that the god of horse troughs was killed during the Time of Troubles. You know...gatekeeping.
 


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