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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Mirtek

Hero
Keep in mind that the person you're posing this question to said they regularly read Wikipedia plot summaries of movies so they don't have to watch them.
Is that really so unusual? Lastly a Resident Evil movie was on TV. I was not sure if I was up to date on that series and quickly looked it up and yes, I was indeed missing a movie inbetween the last I've seen and the one I was about to see. Fortunately the Wiki entry on the movie I missed was rather long and detailed, so I had no problem immediately follow the story of The Final Chapter without being confused where all the characters started off and how they got there from me having them last seen standing on some freighter with enemie helicopters approaching at the end of Aferlife. I haven't seen Retribution since then and feel no need to actively seek it out.

If I were to be dragged into the new Fast&Furios movie (it's no number 9 isn't it?) I would certainly not watch movie 2-8. I'd look for a summary that suffienctly prepares me from whaterver I've been missing since I saw my only F&F movie years (or is it decades already?) ago.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Such as? I haven't found any, other than the occasionally unique individual. Even the oft-touted Many Arrows orc kingdom wasn't actually good, just mostly stabile and not prone to random war with other races. And its founder was still evil.
I've already told you multiple times about very large differences. I'm not going to repeat myself. You can do the research.
Well, I guess we'll see when they release actual statblocks, won't we?
Sure. You can continue to hold out hope that they feel the same way about alignment as you do.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I've already told you multiple times about very large differences. I'm not going to repeat myself. You can do the research.
I have, for several different editions. And I've found next to nothing. What I have found is mostly evil creatures who aren't evil because they were raised by good creatures (and good creatures that fell to temptation and evil). Which, disturbing implications aside, strongly indicates that TSR/WotC feel that evil creatures won't turn to non-evil unless something forces them to, and that creatures that are evil are evil "just because".

Edit: I should point out that Obold Many-Arrows, the guy who created a "peaceful orc kingdom," is--according to the FR wiki--still chaotic evil. He didn't even get an alignment change to lawful or even neutral, despite organizing his people into a kingdom.
 
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Staffan

Legend
IT is? Please give me a page and book quote. From Season 1-10 adventure league modules or any of the adventure paths books, which reference the Troubles and has the Troubles center stage as a plot point.
The Time of Troubles definitely happened in the 5e Realms. It is mentioned multiple times in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, and we know this:
  • It happened in 1358 DR.
  • Gods were incarnated as mortals and went to war with one another in attempts to restore their divinity.
  • Magic in general became unpredictable, and divine magic stopped working.
  • Some gods were slain, and some mortals ascended to divinity to replace them.
  • Cyric was a mortal during the Time of Troubles, and ascended as a result of how things got resolved.
  • Helm guarded the celestial stairways during the Time of Troubles, preventing gods from returning to the Planes until the Tablets of Fate had been found.
None of these things is central to much of anything, which makes sense given that the Time of Troubles were over a century ago, and the world has had multiple similar-scale calamities since then. Some things that were previously known about the Time of Troubles that may or may not be canon in 5e:
  • Torm and Bane battled it out in Tantras, and their mutual death lead to large portions of the city becoming wild or dead magic zones.
  • Mystra tried to force her way into the outer planes, but was killed by Helm for doing so, causing a large wild magic zone in the Stonelands in western Cormyr.
  • Bhaal was killed by Cyric using a sword that would eventually turn out to be a shapeshifted Mask.
  • Myrkul tried invading Waterdeep.
  • Kelemvor was a mortal at the time and was killed by Cyric, using the Mask-sword. Later events lead to his ascension as the new god of Death.
  • Waukeen tried a plot where she gave up her divinity but got kidnapped as a result, leading to Lliira filling in for her until things got sorted.
  • Cyric, Kelemvor, and Midnight (the woman who would eventually take Mystra's place), were all part of the same adventuring party for much of the time.
  • The mortal Cyric called out an undead spirit of some sort as not being an actual ghost, because those who saw it didn't suddenly age.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
I have, for several different editions. And I've found next to nothing. What I have found is mostly evil creatures who aren't evil because they were raised by good creatures (and good creatures that fell to temptation and evil). Which, disturbing implications aside, strongly indicates that TSR/WotC feel that evil creatures won't turn to non-evil unless something forces them to, and that creatures that are evil are evil "just because".

Edit: I should point out that Obold Many-Arrows, the guy who created a "peaceful orc kingdom," is--according to the FR wiki--still chaotic evil. He didn't even get an alignment change to lawful or even neutral, despite organizing his people into a kingdom.
It's been a while since I've read the Drizzt novels that dealt with King Obould Many-Arrows. But Obould wasn't good, or even not-evil, and he certainly wasn't peaceful. He was nation-building. His goal was to take the warring tribes of orcs that fought amongst themselves as much as others, and forge them into a united nation on par with the existing nations of humans, elves, and dwarves in the region. The storyline definitely dealt with issues of absolutism in fantasy race and culture, showing orcs as truly having a violent culture, but being just as capable of diversity as any other race. How well it managed that, YMMV.

EDIT: Sorry, on second reading it looks like you take more issue with the chaotic part of Obould's alignment than the evil part. It's probably your point, but it does illustrate how useless alignment is in D&D. I think Obould being characterized as chaotic evil is just fine, despite his nation-building being a more lawful act.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, I posted that just before the WotC blog post came out, and I also linked the blog post on Reddit, and there's a fair bit of discussion going on Twitter right now, so I guess Chris Perkins just had to screw me over.
I've been trying to get my password for GiantITP so I could post about it. I figured that the reason it wasn't being talked about was that no one actually brought it to the attention of the members of those sites. I guess I can stop now. Chris took care of it for me. Bloody dumb how GiantITP does its password resets. It shouldn't take me this long. :p
 

Then why add it back in with the very next book? WotC has a long history with (over)reactions due to vocal minorities.
Not sure I follow you: VRGtR doesn’t seem to have alignment more than Candlekeep mysteries, and the excerpt from Fizban’s seems to be backtracking from the MM, which is the last place dragon alignment was discussed.

To me, it seems that Fizban’s went from “Gold Dragons are Lawful Good” to “Gold dragons are typically Lawful Good” but here are a bunch of ideals, traits and quirks they may have, which may or may not be associated with a particular alignment”.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Not sure I follow you: VRGtR doesn’t seem to have alignment more than Candlekeep mysteries, and the excerpt from Fizban’s seems to be backtracking from the MM, which is the last place dragon alignment was discussed.
Sure it does. They are introducing new dragons which will have alignment and traits. They are also introducing more age categories for MM dragons, which will all have alignment in the stat block.
To me, it seems that Fizban’s went from “Gold Dragons are Lawful Good” to “Gold dragons are typically Lawful Good” but here are a bunch of ideals, traits and quirks they may have, which may or may not be associated with a particular alignment”.
But the gem dragons are not in the MM, so they will have alignment and traits.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
EDIT: Sorry, on second reading it looks like you take more issue with the chaotic part of Obould's alignment than the evil part. It's probably your point, but it does illustrate how useless alignment is in D&D. I think Obould being characterized as chaotic evil is just fine, despite his nation-building being a more lawful act.
Yeah, in his case, the chaotic part is the issue. I could understand him being chaotic if he were the heir to the throne that someone else built, or if he founded a nation of Typical Orcs and ruled it through Typical Orc bullying and violence. But the descriptions I read indicate that he was trying for a real nation and trying to keep disparate groups together, and fears his children will tear it apart. He wants a lasting legacy. That strikes me as not-chaotic.

But if WotC is going to claim that a "typical" orc is chaotic evil but can be of any alignment, then never or almost never show orcs of other alignments--even in a case like this, when NE or LE is more appropriate--then I feel that saying that any race can be any alignment is just a lot of hot air.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
But if WotC is going to claim that a "typical" orc is chaotic evil but can be of any alignment, then never or almost never show orcs of other alignments--even in a case like this, when NE or LE is more appropriate--then I feel that saying that any race can be any alignment is just a lot of hot air.
You mean other than an entire setting(Eberron) and several thousand non-evil orcs in the Forgotten Realms that dwell with humans in a country and share positions of power and authority of course. But you already knew about those since I told you about them multiple times in the other thread.
 

Is that really so unusual? Lastly a Resident Evil movie was on TV. I was not sure if I was up to date on that series and quickly looked it up and yes, I was indeed missing a movie inbetween the last I've seen and the one I was about to see. Fortunately the Wiki entry on the movie I missed was rather long and detailed, so I had no problem immediately follow the story of The Final Chapter without being confused where all the characters started off and how they got there from me having them last seen standing on some freighter with enemie helicopters approaching at the end of Aferlife. I haven't seen Retribution since then and feel no need to actively seek it out.

If I were to be dragged into the new Fast&Furios movie (it's no number 9 isn't it?) I would certainly not watch movie 2-8. I'd look for a summary that suffienctly prepares me from whaterver I've been missing since I saw my only F&F movie years (or is it decades already?) ago.
That seems like a huge huge bummer to me, to be honest. Movies aren’t just a dead-eyed firehose of information. If this stuff isn’t interesting enough to actually consume, why bother skimming it just to stay current? This also implies that the only art worth caring about is the newest.

I don’t want to say what you should or shouldn’t do, but this is totally unrelatable for me, and nothing I’ve heard of before.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
You mean other than an entire setting(Eberron) and several thousand non-evil orcs in the Forgotten Realms that dwell with humans in a country and share positions of power and authority of course. But you already knew about those since I told you about them multiple times in the other thread.
Eberron was specifically written to ignore racial alignment by emphasizing that any (mortal) creature could be any alignment. Going by one of Keith Baker's own blogs, he likely wouldn't have included it at all if he didn't have to (he wrote that "getting rid of alignment was never an option"). I believe I already mentioned all of this to you in the other thread, which means you already knew about it.

But it's telling that your main argument for "of course you can have monsters of any alignment!" is to point to a setting that went out of its way to get rid of racial alignments.

And which Realms orcs are those? I have done numerous searches on non-evil orcs in the Realms and can't find a single thing on it. Unless you meant the odonti. But those are literally a separate subrace of orcs, in the same way that drow are a separate subrace of elves. This not produces the same problem as drow do, but shows that there aren't any groups of nonevil orcs in the Realms, because instead of saying "here's an orc tribe that's neutral or good," they said "here's a completely different breed of orc, and these orcs actually have a fey connection." Which is also yet another example of an evil race only being made not-evil because they were changed by an outside source, not because they came to understand that being evil was wrong.

So if not the odonti, who else? Again, my numerous googles produce nothing--except for questions about if good orcs even exist in the Realms.

And while you're at it, show me the groups of goblinoids, gnolls, giants, ogres, surface elves, dwarfs, merfolk, bullywugs, sahuagin, and so on who are different than the typical alignment.

I also find it amusing that your other argument boils down to "do your own research!" and yet you're mad that I did the research and came to a very different conclusion than you did.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
There are several things to unpack here, the first of which is that I've mentioned previously that canon relies on multiple things, of which the authoritative nature of the external authority is one. And yes, if you don't have that you don't have canon, which is true for any of its components, hence why I mentioned the Anna Karenina principle previously.

I know you mentioned the Anna Karenina Principle. But I think you are overstating your case. Because when you overlap the elements of a story with the elements of a canonical story... there is only one difference.

Can you have canon without a setting? No, but you also can't have a story without a setting.
Can you have canon without characters? No, but you also can't have a story without characters
Can you have canon without continuity? No, but it is incredibly difficult to the point of being nearly impossible to have a story without some sort of continuity.

So, what other components are there that you can remove from "canon" that makes it no longer a canon, but wouldn't make it no longer some type of story? I can't think of any. So, if there is only one element that is different, and removing it makes it no longer canon... where does that leave your principle? Can you give me other elements of canon that are equally vital?

Second, "appeal to authority" is a misnomer, as it connotes that there's some sort of fallacy of logic going on. Even leaving aside that the actual appeal from authority (not "to," notice) isn't necessarily a fallacy in an of itself, there's no particular "appeal" here. The authority is self-evident and an integral component of what makes canon what it is. If your objection to the value of the idea (which seems to be what you're doing here?) is that it involves an authority, I don't see how that undercuts the idea in and of itself. The authority is determinative regarding the canon itself - that doesn't cast aspersions on things that aren't canon.

So... I said an appeal to authority, in that canon is relied upon appealing or referencing an authority figure, and you want to talk to me about a fallacy that is an appeal from authority... which is something a little bit different. You say canon is reliant upon having an authority, and I simply am noting that you seem to mean something very specific by that. It has to be a "big enough" authority in some respects, or a "big enough" property to have that need of canon. And there can only be one authority. You have in fact quite often said that a canon held by an organization presents difficulty, because you don't know if a single individual in that organization has the right to use that authority.

Every part of this discussion seems to hinge on this concept of authority. Who has it, how they use it, ect.

What exactly do you find "insidious" about that? I really think you need to expound on this, as I'm guessing it goes to the heart of why you seem to hold (if I'm understanding you correctly) that there's something about the entire idea of "canon" that's somehow harmful.

And I'll say again that I don't understand what it is that you find insidious about it. I've explained multiple times what the personal appeal of that particular mode of engagement is, that it's separate from other such modes, and that there's no particular indictment involved with preferring one over the other. Presuming that you understand and agree with all of that - and if I'm reading you correctly, you do - then what's the problem?

You are trying to say that there is no indictment involved in preferring one over the other. And yet, we've both also been very careful to not indict the different works... because many people do. By looking to that authority, by making one version of events "the truth" you immediately have created a hierarchy. There isn't just "canon" and "non-canon" there is "true story" and "not-true story"

I agree that there should be no inherent judgement or change in value between a "canon" story and a "non-canon" story. However, that indictment does come up, because there is only one canon, and that canon is true, and that true canon is decided by an outside authority, so it isn't just an opinion, it is a fact of the story. It can sound very reasonable, and yet it is very very easy to twist it into setting one story above another, because it is more true according to an outside authority.

That's why I like the idea of multiple canon's. Why I agree with Chris Perkins when he said in that blog post "The DM or player remains the ultimate arbiter of what’s true in their expressions of D&D." The issue then stops being "canon vs non-canon" but becomes "Canon A vs Canon B" which takes it from "truth vs untruth" and makes it "Truth vs other truth"

I'm having a hard time understanding how that's a "practical" concern. The sum of what you're saying here appears to be grounded in a sense of dissatisfaction that derivative works aren't canon. But given that you don't seem to care for the idea of canon anyway - that is, it's not a mode of engagement you prefer to utilize - then what's the practical nature of this concern? Why is it somehow bad or objectionable that derivative material isn't canon? The only thing I can come up with is that you're of the opinion that there's a value judgment inherent in that, but if that's the case then I disagree strongly.

And yet... there is no way to phrase what is canon without having a value judgement. Canon is the "authoritative version of events in the story" it is "the version that an outside authority says is true". I can't think of a way to give Canon that stamp of authoritative truth that doesn't come saddled with a value judgement, especially since there cannot (according to you) be more than one canon.

And yet, practically, finding the "canonical" version of something like TMNT or Sherlock or any of a dozen other IPs is an effort is deciding which authors wrote the true story and who has the right to determine that. A strange way of even looking at things in this modern landscape.

The same reason that fanfiction can't; it's based on material that's external to them (at least in part) and so is understood within that context. That's not the case when the authority that oversees a particular conceptual framework oversees the entirety of that framework.

But a table controls every single aspect the framework the table is using. Whether or not that was based in something that existed before they started using it or not. For example, Marvel was sold to different companies in 1969, 1974, 1986, 1989, 2009... multiple times to multiple different companies. But, that doesn't mean that Disney no longer has the rights to Marvel's canon, right? Even though they obtained the material later.

Is the difference between a table spending money to buy DnD lore and Disney spending money to buy Marvel only that Disney could spend more money? Canon then becomes something that could be bought. A single person with the will and the money could buy a given property and then change the canon to suit them. Does that seem right to you? That this mode of engagement is entirely up to who has a big enough pocketbook to determine it?

You're conflating being inspired by something with actually making use of a discrete part of an imaginary world. The two are entirely different things. Someone being inspired by the idea of ninjas isn't infringing on any canon if they then go and create an original story which happens to involve ninjas. Someone who wants to write about pollution isn't making use of any particular canon if that's all that drives them to write about a hero whose origin story involves some sort of industrial accident.

At what point does it become discrete enough to count then? Is making a character based off Batman not enough? Does it only count if you are writing a story featuring Batman? What if you are writing a story of a hero inspired to rise to action by Batman?

You said it is different because fanfiction is "derived" from an existing property, but I find that line fuzzy. Does it matter if they are thinking about general ninjas or Naruto ninjas when they are inspired to write their story? Or does it only count if they start taking characters with specific names?

But, I fully still stand by the idea that your issue of things being revealed and changing the context is something that is universal for stories.

Again, I'm not saying that fanfiction can't be poignant or engrossing or valuable in various other modes of engagement. But it necessarily cannot add to the body of canon, which means that it's therefore unable to be used to further understand the canon itself. At most, you can certainly be inspired by fanfiction, but it's ultimately an alternative take that doesn't actually lead to greater understanding of the conceptual framework that canon embodies. The nature of canon is that it alone informs us about the imaginary world, which gives us the grounded nature to envision it better and so understand it more. That's really what canon is all about.

I find it incredibly odd that you make this assertion... which doesn't address anything in the section you are quoting.

You pointed out that a fanfiction that is working with an existing canon can have its interpretation changed by revelations about the source material.

How is this different than Sherlock's drug habit back when he was first written being seen and interpreted incredibly different in a modern version? Do you think that since Sherlock Holmes is public domain that Elementary "doesn't count" so it doesn't matter? There is no canon that "alone" informs us about the world of Sherlock Holmes. Unless you try and say that only Doyle's writing counts as canon, and everything else is derivative and cannot contain its own canon.

If Peter Pan can get an official sequel after almost a hundred years, the issue of "finished" is a lot less definitive than it seems. This is often the case with various canons, but that's less important than noting that this entire issue is simply an example - the most dramatic one, perhaps - of how the derivative work is (at least partially) understood from the context of the canon it draws upon, and therefore doesn't have the authority that a canon work does. It doesn't get to completely define itself, and so can't be understood unto itself without referencing the canon it's drawing from.

See, you did it again. "it doesn't have that authority that a canon work does". A derivative work "can't be understood unto itself without referencing the canon".

You say there is no indictment, no measuring of value, between canon and non-canon works... except that a non-canon work can't be understood without the canon work. The authority lies with the canon work to define the truth. Those are statements of value, statements that raise one work above another.

Personally? I feel this "official sequel" is a marketing ploy. The winner was determined by a contest, and I'd bet the publication date was purposeful to make for a good headline. The vast majority of people have never read the original play, an official sequel to it is as meaningless to them as an official sequel to Beowulf.

I'll note that I didn't say that it was more (or less) interesting; only that it provided greater understanding. Those are two different things; the reveal behind a mystery might be a letdown, but that's still going to provide greater insight into what's happening. While the purpose of canon is to provide greater insight under the presumption that said insight will allow for more enjoyment, that might not always be the case (which, you'll recall, I said previously: there's no guarantee that a particular endeavor will turn out successfully).

Turning this back to DnD for a moment. There is no canon answer to the Mourning in Eberron. There are a few dozen different "maybes" that could be the reason. If I run a game that gives an answer, and it is a good answer that my players like... then what value is there in Baker breaking his intent and giving a canon answer that ends up worse?

You say that canon gives a "greater insight into what is happening" but that isn't true. Canon just gives an OFFICIAL answer to the mystery. An OFFICIAL insight into what they say is happening. Doesn't mean it is greater insight, just means it is the official version of events.

The thing is, I don't believe that it's arbitrary per se: it's that, as we've both noted here, it's very poorly defined. A recurring theme in this discussion has been a lack of proper verbiage for spelling out different conceptual areas. Another has been misunderstandings based on that. This isn't a case of people trying to be shifty about what is and is not canon; it's an issue of trying to articulate something that's largely intuited. Mistakes and misunderstandings are going to happen.

But to a degree, it is arbitrary. Who determines the canon for spider-man? Whoever spent enough money to purchase the rights to Spider-Man. Why do they get to determine it? Because legally they bought it. How is that not arbitrary?

Meanwhile, an author who spends hours and hours writing a spider-man story, but who doesn't own the rights to Spider-Man, has no authority, no canon, in your definitions. Because Spider-man is owned by someone else.

And yet, Marvel also owns canon for Thor... a Norse God who no one ones any rights to. Yet you would say that Thor has a canon, correct? Because he is part of the Marvel Canon. And that matters because Marvel has a canon, even though it holds characters they can't actually control. So, what makes their Thor stories different from Fan Fiction?

I was largely using those as synonyms, if for no other reason than something can be less pleasant to read (and write!) when using the same phrase over and over again. Another aspect of the lack of useful terminology, here.

I don't think that is a lack of useful terminology, and I do think that making those synonyms is a disservice. A world and a body of work can be very different things. There are authors who write in a shared world or setting, that do not have the same body of work, and probably wouldn't want their work understood that way.

I'm not sure what point you're making, here. Yes, different bodies of work (or imaginary worlds, or conceptual frameworks, etc.) can make use of various aspects of the real world. The real world isn't part of an imaginary realm (well, outside of existential takes that are far beyond what we're discussing here!) and so that doesn't seem to imply any sort of shared material insofar as the conceptual frameworks go.

But they are sharing material. They are sharing that reference to Chicago. A story set in the "real world" is still using a setting. Or are you trying to say that "canon" only counts if they are using their own made-up cities? Because Marvel canon uses New York City a lot if you want to try and make that case. In fact, I'd say it would be incredibly difficult to talk about Marvel Canon without mentioning New York, the United States of America, or many other real world locations.

See, these lines seem to again be sort of strangely drawn. Multiple properties can use New York, and we don't need to have a discussion over which one has the true rights to the canonical New York. But two properties that use Equestria, even if they are vastly different places called Equestria, one must be canon and the other most not be.

Is it just because there is a real-life New York? There is a real life Springfield too, still have canon for Simpsons. And if I set a story in Springfield, at want point does it become non-canonical?

This is the point I'm getting at, bodies of work can share settings, without one needing to be canonical and the other non-canonical, because they aren't the same body of work.


Again, I can't really speak to these examples, because I've only seen a little of the original series and none of the new series. Given that understanding a particular canon typically requires having partaken of the series, I'm not really comfortable analyzing any example that uses a body of lore with which I'm unfamiliar. As it was, I still regret having brought up Doctor Who previously; my understanding was that the pre-revival seasons were kept canon with the current one, but I haven't seen any of it, and so I couldn't say anything when particular aspects of the show were then mentioned!

I haven't seen (much) of the show either. Just the first 5 episodes of the new version.

My position though is pretty easy to understand and pretty simple. They are different stories told with the same setting and the same basic characters, with different plots, different themes, different authors and different purposes. They are both She-Ra Canon, just different versions of She-Ra. There is no way I can see to declare one canon and the other non-canon. The framework of a single canon doesn't apply.

To be absolutely clear, I'm not the one who put forward that there is a canon for Peter Pan; that was done by the publishers of Peter Pan in Scarlet when they put forward that it was the "official sequel" to the original story. I suppose one could try to draw a dividing line between what's "official" and what's "canon" - and I won't say that's not necessarily a worthwhile endeavor - but given the imprecision involved in this particular area, I'm hesitant to say that's not what they meant.

So, you are just accepting their authority to declare a public domain character their canon.

Not a position I would take.
 

Dausuul

Legend
That seems like a huge huge bummer to me, to be honest. Movies aren’t just a dead-eyed firehose of information. If this stuff isn’t interesting enough to actually consume, why bother skimming it just to stay current? This also implies that the only art worth caring about is the newest.

I don’t want to say what you should or shouldn’t do, but this is totally unrelatable for me, and nothing I’ve heard of before.
Sometimes friends of mine want to go see a movie, and it's the latest one in a series, which (typically) they have seen and I have not. I don't want to spend 2 hours scratching my head trying to figure out what's going on. But I also don't want to spend 16 hours watching the entire series just so I can hang with my friends for an evening.

This is where I would check Wikipedia to get caught up on the back story.

If it's a TV show or a book series, I'll start at the beginning and Wikipedia won't come into it. But you don't get to choose where you start when you're going to see a movie in a theater. If #9 is what's in theaters, then #9 is what you see.
 


Scribe

Hero
To me, it seems that Fizban’s went from “Gold Dragons are Lawful Good” to “Gold dragons are typically Lawful Good” but here are a bunch of ideals, traits and quirks they may have, which may or may not be associated with a particular alignment”.
Which to me is fantastic, as it provides options for people who like both, with absolutely zero negatives or additional costs.
 

JEB

Legend
The Time of Troubles definitely happened in the 5e Realms.
Assuming, of course, that SCAG (or some other book that mentions the Time of Troubles) is still part of their internal canon. Which seems likely (they have little reason to contradict SCAG as a whole) but officially, we now only know for sure that lore in the 5E core rulebooks is canon.
 

Hussar

Legend
I think the takeaway from Crawford's blog post is a little different from what a lot of people are pointing at. He makes a very clear statement:

"Canon is less about your enjoyment of the game and more about us being internally consistent."

He's stating it up front. Canon fans are not what canon is about. Canon, as far as WotC is concerned, is simply a way to maintain consistency internally. Because, well, being internally consistant makes it a lot easier going forward. Fair enough. But, it's not about whether or not you happen to enjoy the game. For your enjoyment is not the point. IOW, they flat out don't care how much you like something because it's canon. If they want to change it, they will because, again, your enjoyment is not the primary issue.

So, for those folks talking about how they like canon and how canon makes the game more enjoyable for them, well, it's a bit of a tough break because WotC is flat out telling you, up front with no BS, they don't really care. Canon is for internal use. It's not for the fans.
 

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