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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."


despair.jpg


"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

TheSword

Legend
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.


Well, I guess we'll see when they release actual statblocks, won't we?
So when I posted my quote earlier I never actually said it was back in stat blocks, just that it was being actively referenced and used in creature descriptions. It will be interesting to see how they go with it. Personally I like it being on there. But I think it’s a 50/50 if it happens.
 

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TheSword

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.
I get your meaning but I think the way you said it was a bit harsh.

I think for WOC enjoyment is the primary issue. Of everyone.

As you said, what they aren’t going to do is sacrifice everybody’s enjoyment to stick to Uber-canon that ties their hands creatively and therefore stops them being able to do cool stuff.

I think they genuinely want canon fans to have fun too though. So they will be respectful, they will be inspired by the canon and will throw in the references and stuff from earlier editions that they can. Artus Cimbar and the Ring of Winter being a good example.

I really do think in this instance it’s possible to have the best of both worlds.
 
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pemerton

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.
It's relatable for me. I'm not sure that The Fast and the Furious counts as art for all definitions of that word!, but I quite like the visual spectacle of the one (is it 7?) where they drop from a plane in car-parachutes and (later on) jump a car from spire to spire in Abu Dhabi. And when I've watched this film on TV I've gone to the Wikipedia entries for some of the earlier films to get the plot download that will help make sense of the sequel- based plot elements in the film.
 

pemerton

Legend
The notion of "canon" - and the related notion of "fan fiction" - is kind-of weird. It seems pretty closely related to IP laws - what contrast FR "canon" with FR "fanfic" is whether or not it was licensed by, or published by, TSR/WotC.

Once we ignore IP laws, then how would we tell canon from non-canon?

And that's before we get to stuff like contradictions (whether across multiple authors or by the same author), cross-overs (eg is the excellent X-Men/Teen Titans crossover part of the continuity of the Marvel Universe?), weird stuff that is allowed to happen only because its a peripheral publication (like when, in Supervillain Team-Up, Dr Doom took over the world with his mind control gas), etc.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
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?
I'll note that you're largely looking at this in terms of what makes something a story, which strikes me as somewhat orthogonal to what's being discussed. There are lots of stories which aren't canon, as we've established previously. The presence of narrative elements isn't what we're looking at in terms of what makes something canon (beyond their presence in a conceptual framework). Likewise, there's no qualification of being "equally" vital.

In terms of what makes something canon, I'll note again that this is an area where there isn't a lot of specific terminology nor broad agreement. Having said that, I'll reiterate what I think canon is, which is that it's a particular realm of imagination which is conceptually grounded (i.e. seeming more real due to its externalized state giving it an immutable quality, at least with regards to those engaging with it) where an authority defines what is and is not part of the body of lore. That, you'll notice, relies on more than just the designation of authority: if the definition isn't clear or otherwise understood - particularly where contradictory things are given the same designation, which is often implicit - then the canon is thrown into question.
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.
That's largely because that's what you seem to be focusing on, when in fact I think a far more fruitful line of discussion would be what you mentioned earlier, and yet aren't talking about at all now: that you find the entire concept "insidious." I really think the discussion would be served more about that, as most of your questions make a great deal more sense when viewed in this light, i.e. that you're certain that there's an insidious element there, and are trying to ferret it out.

But let's put that aside for a moment and presume - for the sake of the debate - that there isn't anything to distinguish canon aside from the authoritative declaration involved: what's the problem with that? I ask because I'm not sure why you seem so tightly fixated on that particular aspect of what's canon. We've already established that there's nothing fallacious involved in that, so why do you find that to be of note?
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"
And this is where you lose me. You seem to be under the opinion of "but people can and do use something the wrong way." That's not an indictment of canon in particular, it's simply recognizing that things can be put to use outside of their intended purpose. It's akin to Gary Gygax pointing out how, in the infamous interview that 60 Minutes conducted, that a chair can be used as a blunt instrument, but nobody puts warning labels to that effect on it.

Now, I'll admit that's somewhat hyperbolic here. I'm fully aware that people can and do bring up canon in terms of debates, often about quality, but that's why it's important to remember that those are different modes of engagement, and so the people who do that are wrong. They're making an apples-to-oranges comparison. Tearing down the entire concept of canon - which isn't really something that can be done anyway, since I believe that it's inherently recognized - won't help in that regard. It's not helpful to eschew any distinction that, say, fanfiction is different from the canon fiction (which, again, is why we call it fanfiction in the first place).

The issue, rather, is to point out that canon and quality are entirely orthogonal to each other. Sturgeon's Law applies across the board.
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.
On the contrary, there's absolutely no value judgment involved whatsoever. It's akin to saying that the dictionary carries a value judgment, since it defines what words mean, and so that necessarily carries a value judgment. When an authority exercises their governing prerogatives over an area that's understood to be under their purview, that's legitimate on their part, but it doesn't mean it's necessarily virtuous in what they do (or that it will be widely accepted, for that matter).
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.
You might find it strange, but I'm given to understand that a lot of people find it strange when someone takes pleasure in a mode of engagement which they personally have no use for (or, alternatively, with a particular work of imagination that they don't care for). That's fine, even if "strange" comes very close to sounding like a pejorative; it's something else altogether to cast aspersions in the face of that.
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?
How an authority becomes an authority isn't a question of "seeming right." While you can absolutely query who the authority is over a particular canon (recall the issue involved when it's a corporate entity, causing confusion when a particular individual in that corporation makes a statement which isn't formally echoed by the rest of the corporation nor any of the other staff), asking if a particular manner "seems right" strikes me as trying to grade such things on a moral scale, which doesn't strike me as being particularly helpful in reaching a greater understanding.

Intellectual properties, much like real properties, change hands all the time. As such, the attendant authorities also change, and different authorities will have different ideas over what is canon and what isn't. Whether or not that "seems right" it's the way it is. Much like how someone might not like a particular bit of canon, it's not any less true because of that.
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?
I question how "fuzzy" this really is. While canon determinations aren't synonymous with issues of IP law, the designations seem fairly close for the purpose of where the distinctions are drawn. Thematic elements are just that: based on theme. Particular ideas, unto themselves, are just that: ideas, and can be executed in wildly different manners. None of those alone are enough to be said to belong to only a certain canon.

No one things that the presence of "laser swords" makes something necessarily a part of Star Wars. No one thinks that the use of short-lived clones makes something part of Naruto. Certainly, there's no way to know what the creators are "thinking of" when they make something, which is why canon isn't concerned with what their state of mind was when they created their work.
I find it incredibly odd that you make this assertion... which doesn't address anything in the section you are quoting.
I'm still waiting for you to talk more about what you find "insidious" about canon, you'll recall.
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.
Again, that first requires an understanding of whether or not such works are canon (or, to put it your way, if there's a canon in the first place). The key here is to understand if such works are "fanfiction" - which I'm not sure could necessarily be applied to all non-canon works (e.g. something that is canon and later de-canonized) - or if they're part of the canon body of lore or not. You've noted that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain (though in fact I believe the last few of Doyle's original stories are still under copyright), but introducing that as the standard then requires us to ask if all of those subsequent works by other authors (and writers, producers, etc.) are also.
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.
No, it doesn't. Much like when you said that there's an "insidious" element to it, you're seeing something that isn't there. A work of fanfiction cannot be (fully) understood without referencing the canon is simply a statement of fact: there's no implicit value judgment (i.e. good, bad, better, worse, etc.) involved in that. At most you could say that might be somewhat inconvenient, because someone who isn't familiar with the canon work will have a harder time understanding the aspects of the fanfiction that involve said work, but a measure of difficulty in comprehension isn't a value judgment.
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 find that guessing at people's motivations tends to be a fruitless pursuit. There's no way of determining if you're right, short of the individual(s) under discussion being queried, and even then there's no guarantee that they'll tell you the truth. That's without getting into issues of potential subconscious motivations (or biases) which suggest that even they don't know why they did something. It's a guessing game with no answer.
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?
Because "better" and "worse" are value judgments, which are orthogonal to questions of what's canon or not. Again, there are lots of instances of people not liking a particular revelation in canon, but not denying that they're still canon. (Looking at you, midichlorians.)
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.
On the contrary, it's self-evidently true. Because the canon work is external to the people engaging with it, the definitions involved in shaping the imaginary world make it more concrete by imbuing it with an immutable quality similar to how the real world works, hence making it seem more real. That, in turn, allows for greater insight since it suspends the notion of "it's imaginary, so it can be changed at a whim." Things such as cause-and-effect relationships, internal logic, and self-consistency can therefore be queried, all of which provide greater insight.
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?
It's likewise self-evident that any particular realm of imagination is going to be arbitrary. As noted, part of what makes canon attractive for people who prefer that mode of engagement is that it suspends that aspects, hence the grounded quality it subsequently takes on. With that said, I'm not sure that "arbitrary" is the word you're looking for here, as you seem to be implying some sort of system of merit that you think should determine who is and is not in possession of authority over a given canon? While that's a romantic decision, is that not "insidious" also, since it presumes that someone's work can be snatched away from them just because someone appears out of nowhere and declares that they've worked even harder on something than the creator has, and so they're taking possession of it?

As for Thor, you're asking about issues where there's no particular identifiable authority any more (or if there ever was), but this strikes me as another aspect of your objection to the entire concept of authority, which for the life of me I don't understand. You've mentioned the "arbitrary" nature of people being able to buy and sell intellectual properties, but that doesn't seem arbitrary if the seller is willing to sell, buyer is willing to buy, and both can agree on a price. Rather, and please correct me if I'm wrong here, it seems like you think that the mere existence of an authority - or at least them exercising their governing privileges - is somehow an indictment of everyone who isn't an authority?

Would you say that's the insidiousness you're seeing?
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.
The body of work in question isn't referring to the output of a particular author, however - yet another instance of why greater and more specific terminology is needed - but with regard to what is and isn't part of the collective body of canon.
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.
Again, references to the real world don't strike me as something that can be referred to as "material." A realm of imagination can't claim to encompass the real world (bad things tend to happen when people try to merge the two), and I don't think you're trying to claim otherwise. Rather, you seem to be suggesting that there's some sort of disintegration of authority if canon references the real world at all, which isn't the case: the real world continues to exist independently of any sort of authority over a particular work of imagination. There's no overlap in canonical authority, then.
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.
Because Equestria isn't real. It's found entirely within a particular boundary of imagination. I don't see how the difference between "something found in reality" and "something that's purely imaginary" is a strangely-drawn line. Quite the opposite, I'd say that's perhaps the most readily-apparent line there is.
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?
That's a coincidence of naming, and not an actual reference to the same place. If you have a character named "Luke," that doesn't make it a Star Wars reference. Now if they were named "Luke Skywalker," that would be different. And while I know you're going to jump on the idea that there are characters with the same name found in different works of fiction, that's not the same thing either, since in those cases the names are clearly not meant to indicate that they're the same characters.
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.
I'm not sure what that's meant to indicate: yes, Marvel and DC can both have a Chicago, and they're both possessed of their own canons, since they're referencing the real world. Likewise, fanfiction can reference Equestria, but that doesn't alter its being fanfiction.
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.
Again, I think that this is a bad discussion to have with regard to something where the particulars aren't known. Questions of canonity often (in fact, I'd say they almost always) require some examination of the work in question - at the very least it doesn't hurt - to try and figure out what's canon and what isn't, as the declarations are often implicit. Hence, I'd say that something neither of us are familiar with is a bad example.
So, you are just accepting their authority to declare a public domain character their canon.

Not a position I would take.
Is that because you find it insidious? If so, how?
 

Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
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.
Does this happen a lot, though?

Also, does it really change your experience of watching the movie if you're like "Oh, so that's why everyone else is having some sort of emotional reaction to Vin Diesel talking about family again...because in Wikipedia there was a one-sentence line about some guy dying!" If these are just spectacle movies that are too boring for you to want to have seen in the past or catch up on...who cares? Just watch the pretty cars drive through skyscrapers.

But I guess I'm the outlier here, since now there's three people in the thread talking about doing this thing I find deeply depressing and alienating, and just me acting horrified.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Does this happen a lot, though?

Also, does it really change your experience of watching the movie if you're like "Oh, so that's why everyone else is having some sort of emotional reaction to Vin Diesel talking about family again...because in Wikipedia there was a one-sentence line about some guy dying!" If these are just spectacle movies that are too boring for you to want to have seen in the past or catch up on...who cares? Just watch the pretty cars drive through skyscrapers.

But I guess I'm the outlier here, since now there's three people in the thread talking about doing this thing I find deeply depressing and alienating, and just me acting horrified.
No, it doesn't happen often. I rarely go to see movies in the first place.

I do, however, like to know what's going on when I do. You've got this false dilemma going where either I must be TOTALLY COMMITTED to the movie and willing to go back and watch the entire series... or I'm just there to "watch pretty cars drive through skyscrapers." (Which is a little insulting, frankly.)

There is a point in between those two things, where I am going to a movie because my friends are interested, but I would also like to engage with it as much as I can without committing an absurd amount of time beforehand. Having a rough idea of the back story lets me do that. If I really enjoy the movie, then I can go back and watch the whole series--yes, I will have seen a bunch of spoilers, and that's a shame, but otherwise I would never have seen the series at all.
 

Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
I do, however, like to know what's going on when I do. You've got this false dilemma going where either I must be TOTALLY COMMITTED to the movie and willing to go back and watch the entire series... or I'm just there to "watch pretty cars drive through skyscrapers." (Which is a little insulting, frankly.)
This was a dig at the Fast & Furious movies, the only example I could think of with a big backlog of movies not worth watching, not a dig at you. I assumed your friends weren't dragging you down to the local arthouse cinema to catch the last in Kieslowski's Red, White and Blue trilogy.

EDIT: Apologies to all for artificially keeping this obsolete-as-of-yesterday thread alive with my pearl-clutching about consuming movies via Wikipedia.
 
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pemerton

Legend
Does this happen a lot, though?

Also, does it really change your experience of watching the movie if you're like "Oh, so that's why everyone else is having some sort of emotional reaction to Vin Diesel talking about family again...because in Wikipedia there was a one-sentence line about some guy dying!" If these are just spectacle movies that are too boring for you to want to have seen in the past or catch up on...who cares? Just watch the pretty cars drive through skyscrapers.

But I guess I'm the outlier here, since now there's three people in the thread talking about doing this thing I find deeply depressing and alienating, and just me acting horrified.
This was a dig at the Fast & Furious movies, the only example I could think of with a big backlog of movies not worth watching, not a dig at you. I assumed your friends weren't dragging you down to the local arthouse cinema to catch the last in Kieslowski's Red, White and Blue trilogy.
I generally find, in serial fiction, that it can help to follow what is going on in this episode to know what happened in the previous episode.

In a similar vein, sometimes an episode will contrive to have a particular character narrate a "plot dump" of what happened last week; or comics (Mandrake the Magician comes to mind, but I don't think it's the only example) would have a "the story so far" intro.

The plot summary on Wikipedia serves the same purpose. It's also, as I posted, a version of reading the reviews. Or a textbook summary. Maybe I'm reading an essay in the Atlantic and it makes a witty allusion to a work I'm not familiar with. There's any number of reasons one might want to read a precis of a work, and those reasons predate the existence of Wikipedia. But Wikipedia is often more convenient, these days, then having a shelf full of dictionaries and encyclopaedias of films and literature.

] Apologies to all for artificially keeping this obsolete-as-of-yesterday thread alive with my pearl-clutching about consuming movies via Wikipedia.
Reading a plot summary isn't "consuming a movie". It's acquiring some knowledge about a cultural artefact. I still have a copy of Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide for 1996 on my shelf, and sometimes I use that to get summaries or notes of films whose names I encounter and with which I'm not familiar, or that I want a reminder of.

I'm genuinely surprised by your response to this as a thing: it's literally impossible (given constraints of time and opportunity) for a human being to actually watch, or actually read, every film or book that they encounter and might wish to know a bit about.
 
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Mirtek

Hero
Such as? I haven't found any, other than the occasionally unique individual.
There's a community of orcs (and as time went by a lot of half-orcs) living integrated with the local human population in Thesk.

They started out as auxiliar troops provided by Zhentil Keep to the coalition lead by Azoun of Cormyr to form the crusade to stop the invading Tuigans.

During the war they formed a bond with the human forces from Thesk they fought alongside and at the end of the war they decided to settle in Thesk rather than returning to Zhentil Keep where the local humans treated them much worse the new friends they made during the crusade.
 

Faolyn

Hero
There's a community of orcs (and as time went by a lot of half-orcs) living integrated with the local human population in Thesk.
Thanks.

So Thesk, which is in Kara Tur has almost no information on it (most recently written about in a fan project that got published by WotC), only describes orcs as becoming civilized once they moved in with humans. Which... is maybe not quite as bad as the "domesticated orcs" comment from VGR, but not great. Clearly orcs in the Realms still need a firm human hand to make them fit for decent company.

I'm not sure that this is a ringing endorsement for the idea that the Realms has orcs of all alignment.
 


AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Also, another way one can look at it, is 40+ year old gamers have a lot more spending power than an 18 year old. I know zero young gamers that have 1,000 minis, all the books, and hundreds of novels (and graphic novels). I know many older gamers that do.
Hello there. I'm a younger player. I have every single official D&D 5e book, two of the official box sets (Stranger Things and the Essentials Kit), as well as 5 of Kobold Press's 5e books, 200ish minis (nowhere near 1,000, but still no cheap feat), Four of the D&D board games (Dungeon of the Mad Mage, Princes of the Apocalypse, Legends of Drizzt, and the Wrath of Ashardalon), and hundreds of fantasy and Sci-Fi novels (no graphic novels, but that's largely irrelevant).

I also know plenty other younger players that spend money in similar ways to me. Whenever we get paid (yes, we have jobs), we spend it on D&D stuff.

Furthermore, the vast majority of Critical Role's fanbase is of younger players. Look at any of CR's Kickstarters, or self-published books/games, or any of their other merchandise's sales.

Younger players buy sh*t. We buy a lot of it, too.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
I'll note that you're largely looking at this in terms of what makes something a story, which strikes me as somewhat orthogonal to what's being discussed. There are lots of stories which aren't canon, as we've established previously. The presence of narrative elements isn't what we're looking at in terms of what makes something canon (beyond their presence in a conceptual framework). Likewise, there's no qualification of being "equally" vital.

In terms of what makes something canon, I'll note again that this is an area where there isn't a lot of specific terminology nor broad agreement. Having said that, I'll reiterate what I think canon is, which is that it's a particular realm of imagination which is conceptually grounded (i.e. seeming more real due to its externalized state giving it an immutable quality, at least with regards to those engaging with it) where an authority defines what is and is not part of the body of lore. That, you'll notice, relies on more than just the designation of authority: if the definition isn't clear or otherwise understood - particularly where contradictory things are given the same designation, which is often implicit - then the canon is thrown into question.

I'm looking at it in terms of stories because you can't have a "body of lore" without some sort of story. You can't even have history without some sort of story. Those elements are vital unless we are talking something purely instructional like a "how to build a shelf" guide. And I would say there is likely no body of canonical lore that is largely made up of instructional manuals on how to do something.

But, let me break down your definition again. "which is that it's a particular realm of imagination which is conceptually grounded where an authority defines what is and is not part of the body of lore."

"Particular realm of imagination" = story
"conceptually grounded" = that you don't control
"what is and is not part of the body of lore" = Authority over what is true and what is false.

That's largely because that's what you seem to be focusing on, when in fact I think a far more fruitful line of discussion would be what you mentioned earlier, and yet aren't talking about at all now: that you find the entire concept "insidious." I really think the discussion would be served more about that, as most of your questions make a great deal more sense when viewed in this light, i.e. that you're certain that there's an insidious element there, and are trying to ferret it out.

But let's put that aside for a moment and presume - for the sake of the debate - that there isn't anything to distinguish canon aside from the authoritative declaration involved: what's the problem with that? I ask because I'm not sure why you seem so tightly fixated on that particular aspect of what's canon. We've already established that there's nothing fallacious involved in that, so why do you find that to be of note?

And this is where you lose me. You seem to be under the opinion of "but people can and do use something the wrong way." That's not an indictment of canon in particular, it's simply recognizing that things can be put to use outside of their intended purpose. It's akin to Gary Gygax pointing out how, in the infamous interview that 60 Minutes conducted, that a chair can be used as a blunt instrument, but nobody puts warning labels to that effect on it.

Now, I'll admit that's somewhat hyperbolic here. I'm fully aware that people can and do bring up canon in terms of debates, often about quality, but that's why it's important to remember that those are different modes of engagement, and so the people who do that are wrong. They're making an apples-to-oranges comparison. Tearing down the entire concept of canon - which isn't really something that can be done anyway, since I believe that it's inherently recognized - won't help in that regard. It's not helpful to eschew any distinction that, say, fanfiction is different from the canon fiction (which, again, is why we call it fanfiction in the first place).

The issue, rather, is to point out that canon and quality are entirely orthogonal to each other. Sturgeon's Law applies across the board.

On the contrary, there's absolutely no value judgment involved whatsoever. It's akin to saying that the dictionary carries a value judgment, since it defines what words mean, and so that necessarily carries a value judgment. When an authority exercises their governing prerogatives over an area that's understood to be under their purview, that's legitimate on their part, but it doesn't mean it's necessarily virtuous in what they do (or that it will be widely accepted, for that matter).

I actually have a pretty easy example of this, of why I find it to be insidious and what I think this does. I will also address your point of "people using it wrong doesn't make it wrong" as part of this. Early in the other thread, I saved these two posts. I'm going to cut a lot of the first one to make it easier to highlight the language I'm looking at.

Which is very convenient for them, isn't it? Only Wizards themselves knows what the "real" canon for 5E is.

For those fans who liked the idea of an official canon, and want to know what is actually "true" for 5E
... theoretically you can rely on what's in the core rulebooks. Anything else - be it from 5E, from older editions, or any other source - is a sort of quantum canon, possibly "true" or "false" for any given product, and not to be relied on.

That said, even the core rulebooks are subject to change in future printings (and it's very likely they'll get a major overhaul in 2024). So what is "true" now may not be (and probably won't be) true for the rest of 5E.

I think it's pretty safe to assume that their internal canon consists of all of the 5e books. That way they can be internally consistent with their future 5e product releases. Just go with that and I don't think you'll be led astray.

JEB and Maxperson are both supporters of Canon, and upset about their mode of engagement being interrupted... but look at the language being used here. It is all whether something is "true" or "false". That is the question JEB is focused on "What is true? What is False?" and then Max gives a very odd response. That if you just focused on the core rules, "you can't be led astray".

This implies, heavily, that the fear of not knowing what the true or false lore is is rooted in being wrong. You might be "led astray" and believe things that are not true, so you have to limit yourself to only this that we know is true, because the rest may not be.

And I know you want this to be about what is "grounded", what is immutable... but that isn't the case. Because both these people have been using this lore, and that lore has not changed. Not a single thing has been published that contradicts a single word from the Lore of last week. What has changed is that they are no longer certain it is "true" that they may be "led astray" by false lore.

And, this is consistently the position of everyone who has been upset by the change. You say you don't really care one way or the other, the people who do care? Who are saying they care? This is their position again and again and again. "We need to know what is true. We need to make sure we aren't using the wrong lore"

Which begs the question... wrong in what way? How does it make a difference if the Mayor of Baldur's Gate is a human or a half-elf or a Genasi? What is wrong with any of those options? Only that one is "true" and the others are "false" and they need to make sure they know the "truth". Not even that they are using it. Maxperson has said that he often goes through canon and takes what he wants and doesn't use the rest. This isn't about what he is using... he needs to know the truth. He needs to not be "led astray" by the false lore. To the point that he has started talking in the other thread about the "hidden canon" that WoTC is using, but not telling players about. That there is a secret truth, that only those people "in the know" know about.

And this is what canon does as it is currently understood and defined. This is what the position of "there is only one canon" inevitably seems to lead too. People who vehemently know "The Truth", that have the special status granted by being right. That are secure in that status because it isn't just their opinion that they are right, but that the outside, authoritative agency has said they are right, and that this is truly the truth. And thus, they prove that they are the most diligent and true fans. Because they invested the time in making sure they know the true truth of the work.

That is why I find the model of a single canon insidious, because there is no avoiding this phenomena. If there is only one truth, then there will be people who seek to use that to hold themselves above others. That is why I prefer viewing canon as a multiplicity. There isn't a single truth, there are as many truths as there are versions.






-

How an authority becomes an authority isn't a question of "seeming right." While you can absolutely query who the authority is over a particular canon (recall the issue involved when it's a corporate entity, causing confusion when a particular individual in that corporation makes a statement which isn't formally echoed by the rest of the corporation nor any of the other staff), asking if a particular manner "seems right" strikes me as trying to grade such things on a moral scale, which doesn't strike me as being particularly helpful in reaching a greater understanding.

Intellectual properties, much like real properties, change hands all the time. As such, the attendant authorities also change, and different authorities will have different ideas over what is canon and what isn't. Whether or not that "seems right" it's the way it is. Much like how someone might not like a particular bit of canon, it's not any less true because of that.

However, in practical concerns, this means that you give the ability to define the truth to the person with the largest pocketbook. The "true" version of spider-man isn't the version the most people like, or the version that the most people are aware of, but the version determined by the person who spent the most money.

Yes, IP's change hands all the time, and that is something that will always be the case (well, unless a miracle happens in regards to copyright law) but just because someone can be the official version, doesn't mean we also have to give them the key to being the only "correct" version.

I question how "fuzzy" this really is. While canon determinations aren't synonymous with issues of IP law, the designations seem fairly close for the purpose of where the distinctions are drawn. Thematic elements are just that: based on theme. Particular ideas, unto themselves, are just that: ideas, and can be executed in wildly different manners. None of those alone are enough to be said to belong to only a certain canon.

No one things that the presence of "laser swords" makes something necessarily a part of Star Wars. No one thinks that the use of short-lived clones makes something part of Naruto. Certainly, there's no way to know what the creators are "thinking of" when they make something, which is why canon isn't concerned with what their state of mind was when they created their work.

And yet, you have made that distinction. The state of mind does matter, because it determines which things are derivative and which are canon. But it seems that you are thinking about this in terms of IP law, which starts getting a bit murky in certain areas.

Also, IP law specifically goes against your view of a single canon, because it allows for Public Domain, which is giving the canon authority to multiple people.

Again, that first requires an understanding of whether or not such works are canon (or, to put it your way, if there's a canon in the first place). The key here is to understand if such works are "fanfiction" - which I'm not sure could necessarily be applied to all non-canon works (e.g. something that is canon and later de-canonized) - or if they're part of the canon body of lore or not. You've noted that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain (though in fact I believe the last few of Doyle's original stories are still under copyright), but introducing that as the standard then requires us to ask if all of those subsequent works by other authors (and writers, producers, etc.) are also.

Why? Why can we not simply assume that an enclosed body of work contains within it its own canon? Why do I need to ask if Elementary or BBC's Sherlock are fanfiction, non-canon or canon? Why can they not simply be canon for their own body of work?

No, it doesn't. Much like when you said that there's an "insidious" element to it, you're seeing something that isn't there. A work of fanfiction cannot be (fully) understood without referencing the canon is simply a statement of fact: there's no implicit value judgment (i.e. good, bad, better, worse, etc.) involved in that. At most you could say that might be somewhat inconvenient, because someone who isn't familiar with the canon work will have a harder time understanding the aspects of the fanfiction that involve said work, but a measure of difficulty in comprehension isn't a value judgment.

I fundamentally disagree. It is entirely possible to write a fanfiction that requires no knowledge of the canon to be fully understood. The authors of these works make sure that there is nothing that needs you to know canon to understand. I'd think about "Darth and Droids" or "The DM of the Rings". Neither have any need for you to understand the canon to understand the work itself. Or at least, no more than you would need if you were encountering Star Wars or LoTR for the first time.

I find that guessing at people's motivations tends to be a fruitless pursuit. There's no way of determining if you're right, short of the individual(s) under discussion being queried, and even then there's no guarantee that they'll tell you the truth. That's without getting into issues of potential subconscious motivations (or biases) which suggest that even they don't know why they did something. It's a guessing game with no answer.

I disagree.

Because "better" and "worse" are value judgments, which are orthogonal to questions of what's canon or not. Again, there are lots of instances of people not liking a particular revelation in canon, but not denying that they're still canon. (Looking at you, midichlorians.)

But canon is given more weight simply because it is canon. Even if it is worse. And that lends itself to ignoring anything that isn't canon, because it is only canon that matters.

On the contrary, it's self-evidently true. Because the canon work is external to the people engaging with it, the definitions involved in shaping the imaginary world make it more concrete by imbuing it with an immutable quality similar to how the real world works, hence making it seem more real. That, in turn, allows for greater insight since it suspends the notion of "it's imaginary, so it can be changed at a whim." Things such as cause-and-effect relationships, internal logic, and self-consistency can therefore be queried, all of which provide greater insight.

I can't rewrite "Of Darth and Droids". Control of that story is external to me. Equally external to me as the movie "A New Hope."

This value of externality is not what makes something canon or not. Every piece of literature you ever read, unless you wrote it yourself, is external to you and unalterable by you.

It's likewise self-evident that any particular realm of imagination is going to be arbitrary. As noted, part of what makes canon attractive for people who prefer that mode of engagement is that it suspends that aspects, hence the grounded quality it subsequently takes on. With that said, I'm not sure that "arbitrary" is the word you're looking for here, as you seem to be implying some sort of system of merit that you think should determine who is and is not in possession of authority over a given canon? While that's a romantic decision, is that not "insidious" also, since it presumes that someone's work can be snatched away from them just because someone appears out of nowhere and declares that they've worked even harder on something than the creator has, and so they're taking possession of it?

As for Thor, you're asking about issues where there's no particular identifiable authority any more (or if there ever was), but this strikes me as another aspect of your objection to the entire concept of authority, which for the life of me I don't understand. You've mentioned the "arbitrary" nature of people being able to buy and sell intellectual properties, but that doesn't seem arbitrary if the seller is willing to sell, buyer is willing to buy, and both can agree on a price. Rather, and please correct me if I'm wrong here, it seems like you think that the mere existence of an authority - or at least them exercising their governing privileges - is somehow an indictment of everyone who isn't an authority?

Would you say that's the insidiousness you're seeing?

To a degree. By saying there can only ever be a single true authority over any given space, you necessarily devalue the authority of anyone else who is working in that space and making their own versions.

Every author and creator has authority over their own work. Readers can never change that work, only ever make different versions that are then theirs. Trying to say that there is then only one "true" authority, lessens the others.

Again, references to the real world don't strike me as something that can be referred to as "material." A realm of imagination can't claim to encompass the real world (bad things tend to happen when people try to merge the two), and I don't think you're trying to claim otherwise. Rather, you seem to be suggesting that there's some sort of disintegration of authority if canon references the real world at all, which isn't the case: the real world continues to exist independently of any sort of authority over a particular work of imagination. There's no overlap in canonical authority, then.


Because Equestria isn't real. It's found entirely within a particular boundary of imagination. I don't see how the difference between "something found in reality" and "something that's purely imaginary" is a strangely-drawn line. Quite the opposite, I'd say that's perhaps the most readily-apparent line there is


That's a coincidence of naming, and not an actual reference to the same place. If you have a character named "Luke," that doesn't make it a Star Wars reference. Now if they were named "Luke Skywalker," that would be different. And while I know you're going to jump on the idea that there are characters with the same name found in different works of fiction, that's not the same thing either, since in those cases the names are clearly not meant to indicate that they're the same characters.

You seem to keep missing this point, and I'm not sure how better to explain it.

A setting is a setting. Whether I set my story in New York or Skairn doesn't matter in whether or not it is the setting of the story. Marvel has canon that deals directly with New York. They have declared (canonically) what is true about their version of New York. At the same time, TMNT has canon about New York. And they have declared (canonically) what is true about their versions of New York (they've made a few different ones).

But, you seem to be of the opinion that a setting that is based on the real place of New York is different that a setting that is purely fictional. Because you are saying that there can only be one canonical version of Equestria (which isn't even true)

Why can't there be different canons for different versions of Equestria, just like there is different versions of New York? A consistent definition would say that either you can do that, or that every version of New York that isn't "reality New York" is non-canonical, because there can only be one true version.

I'm not sure what that's meant to indicate: yes, Marvel and DC can both have a Chicago, and they're both possessed of their own canons, since they're referencing the real world. Likewise, fanfiction can reference Equestria, but that doesn't alter its being fanfiction.

So, you want to declare that settings based in the real world are fundamentally different from settings that are not. But, this causes issues.

For example, the Bubble Gum Kingdom from Adventure time seems entirely made-up... but it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that used to be "the real world". It is still Earth and a place on Earth, just a different version. The exact same if we decided to take New York from "I am Legend" which features a post-apocalyptic version of the city. (and has two canon versions)


Again, I think that this is a bad discussion to have with regard to something where the particulars aren't known. Questions of canonity often (in fact, I'd say they almost always) require some examination of the work in question - at the very least it doesn't hurt - to try and figure out what's canon and what isn't, as the declarations are often implicit. Hence, I'd say that something neither of us are familiar with is a bad example.

I'd say I'm familiar enough with it. I know that the two versions are heavily distinct, owned by the same company, and feature many of the same characters and setting. I declare that they are two different canons. Two different versions of the same concept.

You say that one must be canon (and true) and the other non-canon (and false). That you wish to study them to figure out which is which is your own perogative, but I don't see the value in making that determination. What value do you gain from this, except to make sure that you know "the right version" of the story?

Is that because you find it insidious? If so, how?

Because Public Domain characters belong to the public. You might as well say there is a single authority who can decide what constitutes a shirt for all people, and what can be on it. Or who regulates what color a house can be. The public domain is the public's property.
 


JEB

Hero
JEB and Maxperson are both supporters of Canon, and upset about their mode of engagement being interrupted... but look at the language being used here. It is all whether something is "true" or "false". That is the question JEB is focused on "What is true? What is False?" and then Max gives a very odd response. That if you just focused on the core rules, "you can't be led astray".

This implies, heavily, that the fear of not knowing what the true or false lore is is rooted in being wrong. You might be "led astray" and believe things that are not true, so you have to limit yourself to only this that we know is true, because the rest may not be.

And I know you want this to be about what is "grounded", what is immutable... but that isn't the case. Because both these people have been using this lore, and that lore has not changed. Not a single thing has been published that contradicts a single word from the Lore of last week. What has changed is that they are no longer certain it is "true" that they may be "led astray" by false lore.

And, this is consistently the position of everyone who has been upset by the change. You say you don't really care one way or the other, the people who do care? Who are saying they care? This is their position again and again and again. "We need to know what is true. We need to make sure we aren't using the wrong lore"

Which begs the question... wrong in what way? How does it make a difference if the Mayor of Baldur's Gate is a human or a half-elf or a Genasi? What is wrong with any of those options? Only that one is "true" and the others are "false" and they need to make sure they know the "truth". Not even that they are using it. Maxperson has said that he often goes through canon and takes what he wants and doesn't use the rest. This isn't about what he is using... he needs to know the truth. He needs to not be "led astray" by the false lore. To the point that he has started talking in the other thread about the "hidden canon" that WoTC is using, but not telling players about. That there is a secret truth, that only those people "in the know" know about.

And this is what canon does as it is currently understood and defined. This is what the position of "there is only one canon" inevitably seems to lead too. People who vehemently know "The Truth", that have the special status granted by being right. That are secure in that status because it isn't just their opinion that they are right, but that the outside, authoritative agency has said they are right, and that this is truly the truth. And thus, they prove that they are the most diligent and true fans. Because they invested the time in making sure they know the true truth of the work.

That is why I find the model of a single canon insidious, because there is no avoiding this phenomena. If there is only one truth, then there will be people who seek to use that to hold themselves above others. That is why I prefer viewing canon as a multiplicity. There isn't a single truth, there are as many truths as there are versions.
That's at least two posters now in this thread that assumed they knew what's going on inside my head. It's kind of interesting. Wrong, but interesting.

Not that it's any of your business, but for the record:

a) Yes, I do like D&D canon, because I think canon is fun; it helps a fictional setting feel more "real" to me, and also gives me a common starting frame of reference with other fans. However, I can happily play in a "non-canon" game, because the only canon that matters at the table is what that DM decides.

b) I'm not particularly afraid of getting the lore wrong, though it is true that I like to work within it, because it's a fun exercise to me. Of course, I'll also happily subvert lore, and I'm a big fan of "that was just one story; there are many others". (The 5E gnoll backstory is just Yeenoghu-cultist propaganda in my games, for example.) If I do get lore "wrong", then oh well, guess my campaign just diverged, no big deal.

c) No, I don't require canon to remain immutable; I'm quite content with retcons, probably thanks to being raised on superhero comics. Erasing things from canon without an explanation is annoying, because it messes with verisimilitude, but sometimes that's just how it has to be; besides, you can always make up your own answer if you must. Obviously, I'll also be disappointed if a retcon removes something I really liked, but that has nothing to do with accuracy to canon.

d) I've never believed my knowledge of canon held me above others, and I've openly criticized folks in this thread who would use canon as a bludgeon to ruin the fun of other players. If someone can't stand playing in a canon-inaccurate game, find another game, don't try to ruin the fun of other players who don't share your obsession.

The point I'm trying to make with all the above? Don't assume that there's only one way to engage with canon, nor that there's only one outcome to being a fan of canon. Everyone is different.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
JEB and Maxperson are both supporters of Canon, and upset about their mode of engagement being interrupted... but look at the language being used here. It is all whether something is "true" or "false". That is the question JEB is focused on "What is true? What is False?" and then Max gives a very odd response. That if you just focused on the core rules, "you can't be led astray".

This implies, heavily, that the fear of not knowing what the true or false lore is is rooted in being wrong. You might be "led astray" and believe things that are not true, so you have to limit yourself to only this that we know is true, because the rest may not be.

And I know you want this to be about what is "grounded", what is immutable... but that isn't the case. Because both these people have been using this lore, and that lore has not changed. Not a single thing has been published that contradicts a single word from the Lore of last week. What has changed is that they are no longer certain it is "true" that they may be "led astray" by false lore.

And, this is consistently the position of everyone who has been upset by the change. You say you don't really care one way or the other, the people who do care? Who are saying they care? This is their position again and again and again. "We need to know what is true. We need to make sure we aren't using the wrong lore"

Which begs the question... wrong in what way? How does it make a difference if the Mayor of Baldur's Gate is a human or a half-elf or a Genasi? What is wrong with any of those options? Only that one is "true" and the others are "false" and they need to make sure they know the "truth". Not even that they are using it. Maxperson has said that he often goes through canon and takes what he wants and doesn't use the rest. This isn't about what he is using... he needs to know the truth. He needs to not be "led astray" by the false lore. To the point that he has started talking in the other thread about the "hidden canon" that WoTC is using, but not telling players about. That there is a secret truth, that only those people "in the know" know about.

And this is what canon does as it is currently understood and defined. This is what the position of "there is only one canon" inevitably seems to lead too. People who vehemently know "The Truth", that have the special status granted by being right. That are secure in that status because it isn't just their opinion that they are right, but that the outside, authoritative agency has said they are right, and that this is truly the truth. And thus, they prove that they are the most diligent and true fans. Because they invested the time in making sure they know the true truth of the work.

That is why I find the model of a single canon insidious, because there is no avoiding this phenomena. If there is only one truth, then there will be people who seek to use that to hold themselves above others. That is why I prefer viewing canon as a multiplicity. There isn't a single truth, there are as many truths as there are versions.
Dude. You're waaaaaaaaaay overthinking what I said. All that sentence meant was that it was a safe assumption to make. It didn't imply that anything was wrong, or bad, or involved any kind of fear, or...

The above is nothing like what I said or meant.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Sure, but this canon policy won't make folks like that go away. It might just make them more upset and more likely to complain...
But it will give a tool to people arguing against them, that being "the owners of D&D said that wasn't canon anymore".

Sure, they can whine and smack-talk WotC and JC for this, but it won't change the fact that they're wrong.
 

JEB

Hero
But it will give a tool to people arguing against them, that being "the owners of D&D said that wasn't canon anymore".

Sure, they can whine and smack-talk WotC and JC for this, but it won't change the fact that they're wrong.
I think you are underestimating the stubbornness and creativity of the dedicated pedant. Especially since the Chris Perkins refinement of the policy actually leaves a lot of ambiguity as to what is canon in 5E...
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I think you are underestimating the stubbornness and creativity of the dedicated pedant.
I don't think that I've done such a thing. I merely said that this gives an official stance of what argument is or isn't correct. Whether or not the other side accepts it doesn't matter. They're still wrong, and that matters.
Especially since the Chris Perkins refinement of the policy actually leaves a lot of ambiguity as to what is canon in 5E...
I haven't been able to read up on that yet. Care to give an explanation of what your point here is?
 

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