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 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." "If you’re looking for what’s official...

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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 all that stuff I have been ignoring isn't canon? Oh no!
Yes, it didn't affect you at all
You're losing nothing you cared about
Other people can't say the same
If you love the lore, great. Chris Perkins & Jeremy Crawford likely don't play at your table. If you include some or all of that lore from the past few decades at your table, and your players love it too - great! Keep doing it. No one is going to take your old books away. WotC may put out a future publication that contradicts that old lore, but now you have the freedom it ignore that new lore. Actually you have always had that freedom...
You miss the point

If it's not canon it just gets replaced by a reboot. By that content already on our shelf. It doesn't add new value to the books we own and instead replaces what we own
Because we still have those old books, we have ZERO reasons to buy the new ones

We're being told WizCo no longer gives a flip about us and cares about our money

We'll NEVER see what happens next. If the elves of Silvanesti could have taken back their homeland or what happens to Mina
The story is over
And now, according to WizCo, it never took place at all
 

I mean, yeah, you might as well, not in an insulting way, but because what you want from this RPG doesn't match up with what is beneficial to the owners of the RPG, nor, I suspect to the bulk of the audience of the RPG - most of whom are in the 18-30 range, and may of whom don't know much about previous iterations of various settings.
Guess I'm done with DnD then
I do think there is a bit of a gap in the market, somewhat, for what you want, i.e. setting the owners commit to updating solely in a linear, additive way, which will continue for decades, but equally, that's kind of how all settings work, until it isn't.
That's how the Forgotten Realms worked
And how every other WizCo campaign setting apart from the recent Ravenloft book, and Dark Sun (which didn't erase the novels and changes, but just took place earlier and allowed DMs to advance the timeline)
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
third-party PDF sales site that I'm not sure WotC even links to (does it?)
Narrow reapons: yes, they do, on the website and in Dragon+ every month they have a "Best of the DMsGuild" rundown of what WotC staffers like currently from the fans. They will use their podcasts, Twitter, etc. to promote the DMsGuild. Still relatively obscure, but WotC is happy to promote the scene: it's where they have started farming new talent to hire as contractors and staff.
 

I don't, particularly. There are so many AMAZING settings already released for 5E, with more on the way, that I can't really sympathize too much with someone who's whining because they don't happen to be published by WotC.
Is that the source of the complaint? There's nothing in the article that indicates that, and the author appears to be a journo/blogger, not a frustrated D&D setting writer.

Might be best not to make up motives for people, unless I missed some Twitter drama or something and turns out this is some ae the author has been grinding at length.
 

Narrow reapons3: yes, they do, on the website and in Dragon+ every month they have a "Best of the DMsGuild" rundown of what WptC staffers like currently from the fans. They will use their podcasts, Twitter, etc. to promote the DMsGhild. Still actively obscure, it WotC is happy to promote the scene: it's where they have started farming new talent to hire as contractors and staff.
Yeah that counts, I don't read/watch the WotC D&D "surrounding media" much so I was unaware!
 


I'll explain it like this. Feel free to disagree.

You start reading novels. You enjoy say Star Wars. You want to know what happens to those characters and the universe they inhabit.

You do it over say 20 years. They have children those characters develop. You get attached to it. And then Disney pulls the legends thing. Well you were happy to take my money for 20 years F you.

D&D similar thing. You follow say FR can easily be Dragonlance. Much like legends some if it is good alot of it is bad but things tick over. Unlike a tradional trilogy or whatever there's no real end.

It's a shared universe in book form.

And then they take it away. Which is purely within their rights to do not disputing that.

But then you think do you really want to go and do it all over again. Well no not really why get emotionally involved if (when) it happens again.

Basically it doesn't matter if those new novels are the greatest thing ever you're not interested. From previous experience it's usually worse.

So yeah not gonna waste more time and money repeating it personally what you do is up to you. I checked out of D&D novel in the lead up to 4E and Drizzt was doing those awful Orc King books.

Well I stopped buying them anyway and got some out from the library. Something about Gauntylgrimm however you spell it. Well it made those Orc King books look good.

Doing something new is fine rehash, reboots blech. Soft reboot if you must can work very rarely is it an improvement they just want to milk an existing IP for more money with no vision, no creativity or originality.
Sorry, but I still don't get it.

If a property I like gets rebooted or reset, my first reaction would be more curiosity than anything else. I might be a bit sad, but I've got bigger things to worry about; I'll live.

Like, I'm the type of person who can immerse myself in a fictional world and binge read setting lore and infodump for hours on end if given the chance... but I simultaneously am emotionally detached enough from it that the creators radically changing the lore out-of-universe isn't a bad thing in and of itself.
 


In my table I don't respect the canon at all, being totally free to crazy mash-up, for example Dark Sun with added classes and PC races that they weren't in the 2nd Ed....but... I feel a lot of curiosity about how the metaplot would continue.

And now we could remember a retcon within the 5th Ed with that controversie about the faithless wall. Theorically it was canon within 5th Ed but that is a changed detail now.

I guess here the solution could be WotC saying the multiverse and the parallel worlds are canon in D&D, and then there is a Krynn where Raitslin if the father of a half-irda girl, and other where the age of the mortals didn't start with the chaos war.
 

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