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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."


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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

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, given that my thread about why I disliked Halflings got 235 pages and would have continued on for dozens more pages if I hadn't asked for it to be closed down . . .
Since you can just ignore a thread, what do you get out of ruining the enjoyment of others?
People online really like discussing things that aren't worth discussing (at least to the lengths that they are discussed).
You don't get to determine what is worth discussing for others. You can only determine that for yourself. If you determine a thread, even one you began, is not worth it for you to discuss, the solution is for you to exit the thread, not get the thread shut down.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Max, you have made it very clear to me that you are always very careful with your words. Time and Time and Time and Time and Time and Time again.
Yep. And you completely got it wrong..............................again. Nothing in those words meant what you twisted them into. You read too much into my posts to try and find hidden meanings. Stop it. I don't put in hidden meanings.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yes, yes. You and many other younger players have bought a lot of stuff. Far outpacing anyone older. The trajectory is clear, you will give WotC, no matter what they do, your money. Us older people are tightwads that never support any Kickstarters, because, you know, we're so technologically inept and not hip enough. In fact, we might break a hip trying to sit down. ;)

In seriousness Acererak, it is a different world than when they did the study of older people not spending money and younger people unloading their checks. I have no doubt, there are fervent gameplayers like you that do spend a lot of money. You, and others like you, definitely help support the boost in sales WotC has seen. I concede that. I was speaking in generalities. And I am going to speak in them again because we do not have the numbers of who buys what. But I know this, the amount of money most older people (say 40+) have to spend on their hobby exceeds the 20 year old in college, the 25 year old starting their first job and developing romantic relationships, the 30 year old trying to buy their first home, or the 35 year old having their first child. Most 50 year old players I know don't even blink at dropping a hundred dollars because the roof we bought last week was $14,000.

I am not disparaging the effects younger people have on the economy of roleplaying. They have, given their numbers, just as much an effect as older people. But per person, I doubt the average is comparable.

PS - I am open to being wrong on this. No problem with it really. In fact, it would make me have optimism that the hobby won't crash again. But, for that, numbers from a reliable source are the only way to show proof; not sure such numbers exist.
Business decisions aren't made per person. They are made in the aggregate.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The definitional authority is the authority to say what is part of the definition. That is defining truth.

If your paradigm leads to pointing out that only a single version is "true" then you are placing it above other versions that are not true.
Except, as I've noted previously, that's not my paradigm. I'll refer you back to the example regarding the dictionary: if you use a word in a way other than how it's defined, does that mean you've used the word in a manner that could be described as "false"? Are the only "true" words the ones listed there?

A definition, in the context of canon, is a demarcation. It outlines the scope and limit of the conceptual work in question. It's not a value judgment with regards to anything that isn't a part of itself. That's something that you seem to want to be true because it justifies trying to attack the entire concept of canon, which strikes me as backwards: you don't need to get rid of the concept, since it doesn't have the element of object to in the first place.
Understanding is impinged because two conflicting things cannot be true. If I say the Red's best pitcher is a red haired individual, and the Red's best pitcher is a woman, then there is no conflict. Because both can be true. If I say the Red's Best Pitcher is a red-haired individual and that the Red's Best Pitcher is a black-haired individual, then there is conflict, because both things cannot be true. Unless I add clarification that allows it to be true.
Which goes to show that there's more to canon than the defining authority. Since even if the defining authority declares two things to be true which contradict one another, then by itself that's not enough to make the canon understood. Hence, more is necessary.
And I responded to them to explain why I said what I said. And yes, I did admit to cutting some of one of the posts, but you could trivially click on a name and read the entire post to make sure what I cut wasn't vital (it wasn't).

You have complete access to the entire context. And nothing I posted required anything more than what you understood from this thread.
With regard to explaining why you said what you said, that doesn't alter the fact that they pointed out that you misrepresented them. You can't really turn around and then say "no, you're wrong about your own positions; I represented you accordingly." There's no dialogue in that case.

Likewise, having access to the entire context isn't the question; this isn't an issue of access, it's an issue of taking a piece of something and saying "you just need this piece to understand it as well and in the same manner as if you'd partaken of the entire thing." That's self-evidently not the case, since they're different (and, again, the people you quoted said you weren't presenting them correctly).
And yet every discussion of canon is grounded in the idea of truth. Your definitions are grounded in the idea of truth, just in a different phrasing.
No, it's not. The phrasing is grounded in something that's different, and which you're incorrectly conflating with the idea of "truth." If it happens to resemble that, it's because this particular area - as I've noted before - lacks a unified definition and specific verbiage to help make that clear.

As someone who's a fan of canon and has made an effort to understand it better, I'm assuring you that it's not predicated on the idea of "truth." Is there any room for you to be open to changing your mind in that regard?
It doesn't matter if it is a fictional work which can only be understood to be true via an authority, or something in the physical world (much of which can only be understood to be true via an authority who has claimed evidence to support that authority) the idea is still the same. By making "canon" you are making the "real and true version" of a thing. You can say that is because they have defined the boundaries that are understood to be part of the conceptual framework of a fictional universe if it makes you feel better, but it is still claiming a truth.

I can even show you via something like this. Here is the definition of "canon" from the wiki for TinTin
Note how it says that opposite of canon is fanfiction, and presenting fanfiction as "fact" will be considered Vandalism. And here is one for Marvel
I'll point out here that wiki material is written by fans, and is still subject to the same issues of verbiage that I've repeatedly brought up now. That's leaving aside that the word "truth" is never used there; rather, the word "fact" is, which is (once again) not the same thing. They're self-evidently using it as a shorthand for "anything which is not part of the canon," which once again goes to showcase that there's a difference in meaning that's understood.

The nature of canon as a grounded and externalized realm which is nevertheless still imaginary in nature imbues it with a liminal quality; it's between the real and the unreal. Because of this, the presumed understanding of the meanings involved therein are also subject to an altered state (i.e. we don't use "canon" in the same sense as it's used with religious terminology; a difference has been introduced).

In my original post on this subject, I mentioned Joseph Laycock's book Dangerous Games. That was no idle reference, as he talks about this very thing:

"Victor Turner greatly expanded on the idea of liminality, theorizing that special "liminal" modes of interaction allow old patterns of meaning to be dissolved and new ones to be created." (p. 183)​

What's going on here is that you're not recognizing that the liminal nature of these grounded realms of imagination has upended the various meanings associated with them, at least with regard to how they look from the outside. You're seeing a quality that resembles "truth" to you, and apply the typical meaning attached to the idea, not recognizing that it's something else entirely within the context of canon. In that regard you're not alone; as noted, this entire area is one which is poorly understood in terms of being able to precisely articulate it's nature. Even I'm guilty of this, since the above passage makes clearer the point that I was stating earlier: that what you're seeing as "truth" is a misinterpretation of the function of authoritative declaration.

In that regard, role-playing games are actually a fairly good example to draw upon, since they also exist in a liminal state (albeit in subtly different ways to canon), and so also require that various semiotics be altered. "Truth" as you see it, is not with regard to any sort of qualitative state of something being more correct that something else. Rather, it's merely used as a way of recognizing that certain things are a part of something, and others are not.

Much in the same way that it's true that your living room is part of your house, and that your neighbor's living room is not part of your house, no value judgment is being rendered in denoting that. Just like with canon.
You are right. Fanfiction only lacks a "real authority" who legally owns the IP and copyright of the product. That is all it lacks.
It also lacks the ability to completely define itself, since the elements that it borrows from the canon material are defined by the understanding of that material.
Last Command was canon, then it wasn't. Nothing about the work, nothing about the research, nothing about the author's understanding of the material at the time changed. All that changed was a new owner decided they didn't want it to be canon anymore. Last Command holds no qualities today that an internet fanfiction doesn't hold, and if tomorrow Disney announced it is canon again... then it only gained that singular quality of being recognized by the legal IP holder.

If you are asking me "how do I decide if a work offers me greater insight into the world written by the original author", well, one of the things I would look for is the original author. This is not a consideration of canon, because canon is quite often written by people who are not the original author. I've read pokemon fanfiction that deals seriously with the concepts of having living beings fighting and being owned. Those are not "canon" I do think they offer some insight into how a setting like that would truly function, and since it is not how the official version functions, then I can assume that there is a difference between them That is an insight.

How do I find common ground with people who have not read the material I have read? I talk to them about the things we have read together, and then build from there. The same way I would talk to someone who watched the canonical Michael Bay Transformer Movies, but never watched the Canonical cartoon series.

How would someone react to a version that is wildly different from the original? By placing it in its own "canon" from the original work. Just like someone can read Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man (both of which are canonical) deals with them being wildly different takes and worlds. I'm curious, do you think that reading a canon Spider-Man story is a different mode of canon engagement if the Spider-Man is Peter Parker instead of Miles Morales? Both are canon, and engaged in Canon, but are wildly different takes on the character of Spider-Man. As was Miguel O'Hara.

These things are the same within a large enough canonical structure as they are outside of it. So, why is applying the same structures, engagements and logic that I apply to have a dozen different versions of Spider-Man any different than that a 13th version that isn't Marvel Approved?
When you talk to someone else who has some knowledge of a particular series which you're also familiar with, however, some basic understanding is typically already in place. That's not just with regard to basic facts, but also with regard to which facts are already laid down as the basic facts upon which one can rely. That's a function which is served by canon, and it's implicit in what you've said above, as "the things we have read together" makes only passing reference to what those things are, and where their common conceptions come from.

I'll point out again: it's understood that no one puts any emphasis on fanfiction with regards to the shared understanding of a particular work of canon. This isn't any sort of value judgment on fanfiction in and of itself, but because it has nothing to offer when it comes to creating the shared understanding of the elements that it draws upon. Likewise, people who haven't heard of the work that the fanfiction draws upon will (if their interest is great enough) often look beyond the fanfiction to the canon elements in order to develop a greater understanding of the work.

That's not something which works in reverse, you'll notice. Despite what you said about having supposedly reached a greater understanding of Pokemon because you read a pokemon fanfic, that's actually a greater exploration of some of the ideas presented - and, as previously noted, ideas aren't something which can be grounded within a particular canon, apart from any others - in the source material. That's simply because those derivative works lack the ability to provide greater understanding of canon due to their inability to further define it.

None of which says anything about their value as entertainment. They might still be very moving, interesting, or otherwise engrossing. But as a mode of engagement, understanding canon is autotelic by nature, and non-canon things aren't - by definition - a part of that.
Easy, you've misunderstood what I didn't like. I don't like saying it is true, so it is better. Canon material is not better than non-canonical material, by defintion (it can actually be better in terms of quality, but not definitionally). I also believe you can enjoy both.

But you define what is spider-man by what is canon for Spider-Man. You, whether you use the terminology or not, are deciding that one version of events is "true" and the other is not. There is no other way to talk about "defining" something other than seperating what is true about that thing from what is false about that thing. Part of defining an apple is saying that an apple does not have legs. Therefore an apple with legs is false, because definitionally, apples do not have legs. It is the same process for defining anything.
See above for where you've misunderstood what's happening when using canon as a mode of engagement. There is, in fact, another way to talk about defining something other than declaring what's true and what's false; that's required when dealing with a liminal work. The entire point of what's happening is that standard meanings are broken down and repurposed in order to reach an alternative understanding. You're not processing that an alternating process has taken place, and so are misreading what the nature of canon is.

Again, if you feel attacked by the recognition of canon due to a perceived value judgment, this should be a great source of relief to you, since it shows that such a thing isn't there. This means that you can undercut anyone trying to use it that way.
I could quote Max saying multiple times that "Everything is canon, so nothing is canon" but fine.

You say it was fractured, but I say that nothing fractured that was not already fractured. And nothing changed except that the stamp of WoTC approval was removed. That fractures nothing, unless you are concerned about what is "true" about the setting so you can accurately discuss it with others. Which you can still do. I can discuss non-canon work with others, and have done so repeatedly.
When you say "nothing was changed except," you're admitting that something has changed. Likewise, what was fractured by WotC clearly wasn't fractured (at least not in the same manner and/or to the same extent) that it was; ergo, something has changed. You then talk about how "unless you're concerned" with what canon is, but doing that overlooks the fact that some people are concerned with what canon is. Again, it's autotelic in nature; an end unto itself. For the people who are concerned with that mode of engagement, WotC's de-canonizing a large amount of material is a loss of understanding.
No. I want to expand the definition of "canon" to be closer to "continuity". To allow their to be multiple canons for a world without people having to define the "one true canon" of the world.
I don't believe that to be possible, nor desirable. As ridiculous as it might seem, people want to (in general) make imaginary realms more real, which means that they're less labile. Hence, they try to add form and definition to them, which means imposing boundaries and structure. But that requires externalization, since if you have the power to change such an imaginary realm at will, then it loses that grounded quality. In other words, it can't be moved over to a liminal state. Hence, canon is necessary to achieve that.

Even if you were to alter the definition to "continuity," I doubt that much would change. People would still want to know what's part of "the" continuity and what's not, fanfiction wouldn't be considered to be part of it, boundaries would still be inherently recognized, etc. You can see this with how there's still a general sense among people regarding how magic would work if it were real. Things which don't fit the intuited nature of the work in question are discarded. Canon simply moves that up from the realm of intuition with clearer, more precise boundaries.
We already do this. You can already accept that Nolan's Batman films have a different Canon than the Justice League, which has a different Canon than the DC Animated Universe. We already utilize this model within canon works. This is why people started breaking up the various "worlds" of DC and Marvel. All I am saying is extend that. Allow a fanfic to contain its own canon, under the authority of the fanfic author. Then, whether or not a company or IP holder accepts a work isn't a question of truth or falsness, but just a preference for which set of canon they prefer to utilize.
How has what you're talking about not already been achieved via the recognition of different modes of engagement? If we take it as a given that people read fanfiction not because it better informs them about the nature of the property it's based on, but for entertainment, then the entire idea of "truth" (as you call it) is a moot point anyway. You seem to be declaring that the entire idea of declarative boundaries are somehow insidious, but you've offered nothing to support that idea beyond "some people misuse it in arguments." That's not a reason for dumping (or radically changing) the entire concept.
Sure, but this happens all the time anyways. There is no more crucial context being lost in making a fanfic Oliver Twist novel than there is when Jim Butcher releases the 19th novel of the Dresden Files. You can say "no, because I read all 18 previous books" but then... well you just need to read the original Oliver Twist. There is no difference between the two.

And trust me, there has been some major changes in understanding and context from book 1 to book 18. That is natural as the story progresses.
You're making my point for me, here. The fullest understanding of the nineteenth book in a series is based around having read the prior books in said series; likewise, the fullest understanding of a work of fanfiction is based around having partaken of the series that it's based on. Hence, the series it's based on is able to redefine the understanding of the fanfiction (to some degree) and in so doing demonstrates that the fanfiction author is not the sole arbiter of their fanfiction's definition. That's why fanfiction cannot be considered canon.
It is interesting though that you ignored my further point. No one discusses the canon of Junie B. Jones. There is no major in-depth indexing, cataloguing and analysis of the material. And yet, it is a world, with characters, defined by a single author. It matches every single aspect of a single true canon... and yet that mode of engagement doesn't appear to apply to this body of work. And it is quite decently big, 28 books I do believe.

Can you think of why a book series like Harry Potter with only seven books (you can count them as 14 if you want, since they are quite large) has major discussions about canon, but a series longer (or just as long if you want to count them as shorter and reduce them to 14) has no discussions about canon at all? If it was simply a "mode of engagement" then shouldn't it appear in multiple places? I can certainly find discussions of other aspects of modes of engagement, such as technical skill, for many many IPs that have no discussion of Canon at all. Including not only ones like Junie B Jones, but also The Jetsons.
I'm not sure why you're bringing up a point that I've already spoken to, here: specifically, that the length of something isn't a relevant factor. The only reason you see this coming up with regards to particularly large works is because it's difficult to keep a large number of details straight (and/or can be hard to simply keep up on all of the canon material, if the total body of work is particularly vast).

It's telling that you assign Harry Potter the potential quality of being "fourteen" books, however, because that shines a light on the actual issue under discussion: the "vastness" of a particular work of canon isn't with regard to material quantities such as page count, total number of words, episodes, issues, etc. Those are material functions, but canon occupies a liminal space due to being a work of imagination that has been imbued with a realistic quality due to being externally grounded.

What that means is that the area of a potential canon is measured by its concepts, rather than the total amount of physical materials exist for it. "Concepts" here is another lack-of-a-better-term issue, wherein it's meant to cover a large amount of specific materials with regard to the chronology, narrative development, characters and characterizations, etc. of the work. These are, of course, specific in their presentation (as opposed to being ideas, e.g. laser swords vs. lightsabers). Hence, a short series might have a broader canon than a longer series that actually presents very little.
I know tropes are different. My point was that that particular trope came up because a change in an element of the story the read is presumed to be familair with was changed, and that element is now understood in a different way.

This is IDENTICAL to the issue you say Fanfiction has, except that the change was introduced in a cultural shift instead of by a singular authority.
That's not identical, though. Quite the opposite, one is a contextual change with regard to the understanding of a particular convention, and the other is with understanding specific elements which have been derived from a particular canon. Just because they both involve a shift in understanding doesn't mean that what's being understood is the same, or that the shift is identical.
And a canon character can also be changed and understood differently in past works due to a new revelation in the present work. And if the present work was written by a different author, then it is the exact same situation. See Luke Skywalker in the Rise of Skywalker compared to the Return of the Jedi. A character, canonically seen very differently because of a new work by a new author than a previous work made them out to be.

Again, you are not proposing anything that cannot happen within a canonical work as the reason for this difference. The same things can happen to both types of work.
Except you're overlooking that the shift in understanding in this case is because the authority over the canon has elected to present that shift, making it voluntary. This is in contrast to the involuntary shift in understanding that can happen with a work of fanfiction, regardless of the wishes of the author of said fanfiction. You can bet that there was a lot of fanfiction involving Luke Skywalker which was read very differently after the sequel trilogy came out, which present shifts in understanding outside of what those authors intended.
No. Because my readers should know that I am not Oda. If they thought I was, then that is a very different problem.
They do know that, but that doesn't mean that your story would be understood the same way as it was before that particular element of his work (which you used in your fanfiction) was redefined by him.
Don't they? Both take place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. That is as equally large and vague of a setting as Equestria or the Planet Eternia. It is actually even more specific, because I could add "post-apocalyptic" to either of those settings.

We can have multiple hundreds of canonical earths, but only one canon Eternia?
So, to be clear, you're positing that "I am Legend" and "Adventure Time" are part of the same canon? Because with how self-evidently incorrect that is, it seems like a self-defeating argument.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Yep. And you completely got it wrong..............................again. Nothing in those words meant what you twisted them into. You read too much into my posts to try and find hidden meanings. Stop it. I don't put in hidden meanings.

And I notice that you don't actually refer to anything that I said.

What hidden meanings did I read into "safe assumption"? I literally just talked about what the words mean. That isn't a hidden meaning, that is meaning.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And I notice that you don't actually refer to anything that I said.
It was way off from anything I said. Why would I respond to a fictional argument?
What hidden meanings did I read into "safe assumption"? I literally just talked about what the words mean. That isn't a hidden meaning, that is meaning.
Okay. Maybe English is your second language and you don't understand what "safe assumption" means as it's used here in America. "Safe" doesn't have anything to do with danger in that phrase. It has nothing to do with fear. In America it just means that you aren't likely to be wrong if you assume X. That's it. Just "not likely to be wrong."
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Edit: I beginning to think we are just going in circles. And the amount of time being put into these posts is quickly becoming not worth it. Even as I think we might be reaching a better understanding of each others terms, it is just becoming difficult to find the energy to continue.


Except, as I've noted previously, that's not my paradigm. I'll refer you back to the example regarding the dictionary: if you use a word in a way other than how it's defined, does that mean you've used the word in a manner that could be described as "false"? Are the only "true" words the ones listed there?

A definition, in the context of canon, is a demarcation. It outlines the scope and limit of the conceptual work in question. It's not a value judgment with regards to anything that isn't a part of itself. That's something that you seem to want to be true because it justifies trying to attack the entire concept of canon, which strikes me as backwards: you don't need to get rid of the concept, since it doesn't have the element of object to in the first place.

Many people would say that the words in the dictionary are the only "true" words. I recognize that there are other types of dictionaries, and even the dictionary recognizes that there are multiple definitions for a word. I also am aware that there are entire organization devoted to keeping dictionaries "clean" and defining words to prevent the definitions from changing and shifting too much.

And I guess we have some confusion here. Because "canon" in and of itself may not carry judgement. "Canon and there is only one canon for any given IP" does bring with it a value judgement. Because it makes a binary set-up.

Which goes to show that there's more to canon than the defining authority. Since even if the defining authority declares two things to be true which contradict one another, then by itself that's not enough to make the canon understood. Hence, more is necessary.

The element of truth.

No, it's not. The phrasing is grounded in something that's different, and which you're incorrectly conflating with the idea of "truth." If it happens to resemble that, it's because this particular area - as I've noted before - lacks a unified definition and specific verbiage to help make that clear.

As someone who's a fan of canon and has made an effort to understand it better, I'm assuring you that it's not predicated on the idea of "truth." Is there any room for you to be open to changing your mind in that regard?

If you could figure out a way to separate the idea of truth from the idea of defining something, but I can't see a way to do that that doesn't involve simply ignoring the way the two concepts are intertwined.

I'll point out here that wiki material is written by fans, and is still subject to the same issues of verbiage that I've repeatedly brought up now. That's leaving aside that the word "truth" is never used there; rather, the word "fact" is, which is (once again) not the same thing. They're self-evidently using it as a shorthand for "anything which is not part of the canon," which once again goes to showcase that there's a difference in meaning that's understood.

Okay, I've been trying not to seperate the sections, because these responses are already incredibly long. But I need to pull this out.

A fact that is not true, is not a fact. You can't possibly have a fact that if known to be false, because then it is not a fact.

The nature of canon as a grounded and externalized realm which is nevertheless still imaginary in nature imbues it with a liminal quality; it's between the real and the unreal. Because of this, the presumed understanding of the meanings involved therein are also subject to an altered state (i.e. we don't use "canon" in the same sense as it's used with religious terminology; a difference has been introduced).

In my original post on this subject, I mentioned Joseph Laycock's book Dangerous Games. That was no idle reference, as he talks about this very thing:

"Victor Turner greatly expanded on the idea of liminality, theorizing that special "liminal" modes of interaction allow old patterns of meaning to be dissolved and new ones to be created." (p. 183)​

What's going on here is that you're not recognizing that the liminal nature of these grounded realms of imagination has upended the various meanings associated with them, at least with regard to how they look from the outside. You're seeing a quality that resembles "truth" to you, and apply the typical meaning attached to the idea, not recognizing that it's something else entirely within the context of canon. In that regard you're not alone; as noted, this entire area is one which is poorly understood in terms of being able to precisely articulate it's nature. Even I'm guilty of this, since the above passage makes clearer the point that I was stating earlier: that what you're seeing as "truth" is a misinterpretation of the function of authoritative declaration.

In that regard, role-playing games are actually a fairly good example to draw upon, since they also exist in a liminal state (albeit in subtly different ways to canon), and so also require that various semiotics be altered. "Truth" as you see it, is not with regard to any sort of qualitative state of something being more correct that something else. Rather, it's merely used as a way of recognizing that certain things are a part of something, and others are not.

Much in the same way that it's true that your living room is part of your house, and that your neighbor's living room is not part of your house, no value judgment is being rendered in denoting that. Just like with canon.

Do you not imagine that what he was talking about what more like the idea of "true" has been expanded to mean more than simply "true in the real world" to include "true in the fictional world". This idea of a linimal space could be seen as a a space where fictional worlds are regarded as somehow real. This is a change from older models of understanding.

And, again, by stating that there must be only a single canon for any IP, you aren't in a model where my living room and my neighbor's living room aren't being judged, because that neccessarily recognizes that not only do I own a space, but my neighbor owns a space, and there is a third expanse of territory. More accurately, towards your model, there is your living room... and everything else is the same sort of grey blob of "not your living room". Recognizing other living rooms is recognizing that there is multiple canons.

It also lacks the ability to completely define itself, since the elements that it borrows from the canon material are defined by the understanding of that material.

When you talk to someone else who has some knowledge of a particular series which you're also familiar with, however, some basic understanding is typically already in place. That's not just with regard to basic facts, but also with regard to which facts are already laid down as the basic facts upon which one can rely. That's a function which is served by canon, and it's implicit in what you've said above, as "the things we have read together" makes only passing reference to what those things are, and where their common conceptions come from.

I'll point out again: it's understood that no one puts any emphasis on fanfiction with regards to the shared understanding of a particular work of canon. This isn't any sort of value judgment on fanfiction in and of itself, but because it has nothing to offer when it comes to creating the shared understanding of the elements that it draws upon. Likewise, people who haven't heard of the work that the fanfiction draws upon will (if their interest is great enough) often look beyond the fanfiction to the canon elements in order to develop a greater understanding of the work.

That's not something which works in reverse, you'll notice. Despite what you said about having supposedly reached a greater understanding of Pokemon because you read a pokemon fanfic, that's actually a greater exploration of some of the ideas presented - and, as previously noted, ideas aren't something which can be grounded within a particular canon, apart from any others - in the source material. That's simply because those derivative works lack the ability to provide greater understanding of canon due to their inability to further define it.

None of which says anything about their value as entertainment. They might still be very moving, interesting, or otherwise engrossing. But as a mode of engagement, understanding canon is autotelic by nature, and non-canon things aren't - by definition - a part of that.

See above for where you've misunderstood what's happening when using canon as a mode of engagement. There is, in fact, another way to talk about defining something other than declaring what's true and what's false; that's required when dealing with a liminal work. The entire point of what's happening is that standard meanings are broken down and repurposed in order to reach an alternative understanding. You're not processing that an alternating process has taken place, and so are misreading what the nature of canon is.

Again, if you feel attacked by the recognition of canon due to a perceived value judgment, this should be a great source of relief to you, since it shows that such a thing isn't there. This means that you can undercut anyone trying to use it that way.

A greater exploration of ideas in the work isn't a greater understanding of the work? That is something I can't really wrap my head around. Unless you are referring to "a greater understanding of the work" in purely terms of connections and physical objects. Things like "This person is the parent of that other person" or "this is what is in the mountain". It is purely concrete aspects of the work... which again seems like it is trying to deal exclusively in facts.

And if this is how you are talking about canon, as only the concrete elements and which of those elements are locked in place by an outside authority... then I am even more confused about this as a "mode of engagement". You seem to think that fanfiction doesn't have this. That if I speak to another person who has read the same fanfic, I can't have this same understanding of concrete elements... but we can. And there is no guarantee that I can talk to someone who has read a canon work, and I've read a canon work, and that we have read the same canon.

When you say "nothing was changed except," you're admitting that something has changed. Likewise, what was fractured by WotC clearly wasn't fractured (at least not in the same manner and/or to the same extent) that it was; ergo, something has changed. You then talk about how "unless you're concerned" with what canon is, but doing that overlooks the fact that some people are concerned with what canon is. Again, it's autotelic in nature; an end unto itself. For the people who are concerned with that mode of engagement, WotC's de-canonizing a large amount of material is a loss of understanding.

Yes, the only thing impinging your understanding of the Forgotten Realms is that WoTC removed their approval from the material that was written. IF you and your friend wish to discuss the Forgotten Realms based on those materials? You still can, and share that same basic understanding. Each of your tables though, were already breaking canon, unless the two of your tables are playing identical games or you are actively working to have your games match events so that "canon" is maintained between them.

At the table to table level? Nothing has changed. Your ability to discuss with people about the Realms? Hasn't changed. The only change is what Crawford is saying about your game.

I don't believe that to be possible, nor desirable. As ridiculous as it might seem, people want to (in general) make imaginary realms more real, which means that they're less labile. Hence, they try to add form and definition to them, which means imposing boundaries and structure. But that requires externalization, since if you have the power to change such an imaginary realm at will, then it loses that grounded quality. In other words, it can't be moved over to a liminal state. Hence, canon is necessary to achieve that.

Even if you were to alter the definition to "continuity," I doubt that much would change. People would still want to know what's part of "the" continuity and what's not, fanfiction wouldn't be considered to be part of it, boundaries would still be inherently recognized, etc. You can see this with how there's still a general sense among people regarding how magic would work if it were real. Things which don't fit the intuited nature of the work in question are discarded. Canon simply moves that up from the realm of intuition with clearer, more precise boundaries.

How has what you're talking about not already been achieved via the recognition of different modes of engagement? If we take it as a given that people read fanfiction not because it better informs them about the nature of the property it's based on, but for entertainment, then the entire idea of "truth" (as you call it) is a moot point anyway. You seem to be declaring that the entire idea of declarative boundaries are somehow insidious, but you've offered nothing to support that idea beyond "some people misuse it in arguments." That's not a reason for dumping (or radically changing) the entire concept.

"the continuity" with an understanding that there are multiple continuities is different than "there is one canon". If you can't engage in the property in the way you like if it is possible for multiple sets of things to be true, instead of a single set of things.

You're making my point for me, here. The fullest understanding of the nineteenth book in a series is based around having read the prior books in said series; likewise, the fullest understanding of a work of fanfiction is based around having partaken of the series that it's based on. Hence, the series it's based on is able to redefine the understanding of the fanfiction (to some degree) and in so doing demonstrates that the fanfiction author is not the sole arbiter of their fanfiction's definition. That's why fanfiction cannot be considered canon.

But you aren't actually internalizing the point.

I need to read 18 books to be able to understand the 19th. But if I want to read a fanfiction based on book two of the same series, I only need to read books 1 and 2.

Yes, books 3 thru 18 might change things and change the context of how you understand the fanfiction if you have read them... but those same books also changed the context of books 1 and 2. There is no fundamental difference.

I'm not sure why you're bringing up a point that I've already spoken to, here: specifically, that the length of something isn't a relevant factor. The only reason you see this coming up with regards to particularly large works is because it's difficult to keep a large number of details straight (and/or can be hard to simply keep up on all of the canon material, if the total body of work is particularly vast).

It's telling that you assign Harry Potter the potential quality of being "fourteen" books, however, because that shines a light on the actual issue under discussion: the "vastness" of a particular work of canon isn't with regard to material quantities such as page count, total number of words, episodes, issues, etc. Those are material functions, but canon occupies a liminal space due to being a work of imagination that has been imbued with a realistic quality due to being externally grounded.

What that means is that the area of a potential canon is measured by its concepts, rather than the total amount of physical materials exist for it. "Concepts" here is another lack-of-a-better-term issue, wherein it's meant to cover a large amount of specific materials with regard to the chronology, narrative development, characters and characterizations, etc. of the work. These are, of course, specific in their presentation (as opposed to being ideas, e.g. laser swords vs. lightsabers). Hence, a short series might have a broader canon than a longer series that actually presents very little.

I was trying to equate the length of them, because even though they are about the same length, they are treated differently.

And for your concepts, chronology? Narrative Development? Characters and Characterization? All of those exist for both works. But, for some reason the chronology and characters of one work is considered important enough to cause discussions of canon, but not for another work.

It seems that there are two things that give rise to people caring about canon. The importance of the work, it needs to be big enough to be "important" to a section of the adult or teenage community. And there needs to be a contreversy. Something that brings canon into question, that gives rise to this desire to map out the "real" boundaries and make sure that they are held defined.

No one needed to start talking about the Canon of The Hollows series, or of Law and Order. Discussions of canon seem to be limited to spaces where there is debate and boundaries being drawn between fans. Maybe that is because the discussions of canon only happening when there is a debate on canon, but it seems odd to me that an entire mode of engagement only exists when that engagement is in question, and it completely in the background when it is not.

That's not identical, though. Quite the opposite, one is a contextual change with regard to the understanding of a particular convention, and the other is with understanding specific elements which have been derived from a particular canon. Just because they both involve a shift in understanding doesn't mean that what's being understood is the same, or that the shift is identical.

So, again, it seems that you are only talking about concrete elements. Canon is only the concrete elements that can be understood to be part of a work, statements of fact that set up boundaries of what is and what is not.

Except you're overlooking that the shift in understanding in this case is because the authority over the canon has elected to present that shift, making it voluntary. This is in contrast to the involuntary shift in understanding that can happen with a work of fanfiction, regardless of the wishes of the author of said fanfiction. You can bet that there was a lot of fanfiction involving Luke Skywalker which was read very differently after the sequel trilogy came out, which present shifts in understanding outside of what those authors intended.

The change was not voluntary on the part of the former authority though. That's the point. Yes, it was voluntary by the current authority, but they are not the people who created the initial canon. Just as they are not the people who created the fanfiction.

They do know that, but that doesn't mean that your story would be understood the same way as it was before that particular element of his work (which you used in your fanfiction) was redefined by him.

And how is that different than Disney redefining the work of George Lucas? You keep skipping this part, that somehow it isn't the same sort of change if someone buys the IP and changes it compared to it being two authors who never had a financial understanding. Why is one different than the other?



So, to be clear, you're positing that "I am Legend" and "Adventure Time" are part of the same canon? Because with how self-evidently incorrect that is, it seems like a self-defeating argument.

I am saying that they both take place on a post-apocalyptic earth. If you thinks that makes them the same canon, I think that shows the weakness of arguing that setting and canon cannot be separated.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
It was way off from anything I said. Why would I respond to a fictional argument?

Okay. Maybe English is your second language and you don't understand what "safe assumption" means as it's used here in America. "Safe" doesn't have anything to do with danger in that phrase. It has nothing to do with fear. In America it just means that you aren't likely to be wrong if you assume X. That's it. Just "not likely to be wrong."

Huh... a fictional argument?

Like this one?

You, who have always told me how utterly careful and precise your use of language is, are talking about "being led astray" of "safe assumptions". How are we supposed to read that and not feel like there is some sort of fear or danger involved? If I told someone that "I'm safe in my house" I am implying there is a danger. If I talk to someone and I tell them "that is a safe assumption" then I am saying that is an assumption that avoids being wrong. That is what that turn of phrase means.

The language you are using gives this impression that not following canon or thinking you are following canon but not actually following it, carries a danger of being wrong. Which... is sort of the problem with the "there is only a single canon" model.

Funny... I seem to have made a fictional argument that lines up with exactly what you said you meant. A safe assumption means that you are no danger of being wrong. The words are all there. And danger carries an element of "fear" with it. Maybe you are not fully familiar with the idea of connotative meanings, but this is what I am talking about.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Huh... a fictional argument?

Like this one?



Funny... I seem to have made a fictional argument that lines up with exactly what you said you meant. A safe assumption means that you are no danger of being wrong. The words are all there. And danger carries an element of "fear" with it. Maybe you are not fully familiar with the idea of connotative meanings, but this is what I am talking about.
You argued both fear and danger there. Those are wrong. No fear. No danger. None. Nil. Nada. Nyet. Nein!
 




Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Edit: I beginning to think we are just going in circles. And the amount of time being put into these posts is quickly becoming not worth it. Even as I think we might be reaching a better understanding of each others terms, it is just becoming difficult to find the energy to continue.
Well, if we are I think that's a shame. I was hoping to provide some insight (for everyone reading this, I mean) as someone who enjoys canon (and in no way does so because I think it provides any sort of superiority over non-canon works; I read fanfiction too!), and had put a lot of thought into what was being discussed here. But two people who are entrenched in their positions and just continue talking at each other rather than to each other accomplishes nothing.
Many people would say that the words in the dictionary are the only "true" words. I recognize that there are other types of dictionaries, and even the dictionary recognizes that there are multiple definitions for a word. I also am aware that there are entire organization devoted to keeping dictionaries "clean" and defining words to prevent the definitions from changing and shifting too much.

And I guess we have some confusion here. Because "canon" in and of itself may not carry judgement. "Canon and there is only one canon for any given IP" does bring with it a value judgement. Because it makes a binary set-up.
I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone express any idea that the only "true" words are those found in the dictionary. Leaving aside the issue of other languages (since they have their own dictionaries), many won't have older words that have fallen out of the contemporary vernacular, but that doesn't make them any less "true," in the typical understanding of the word. Likewise, while I'm aware that there are "language academies" which act as regulatory agencies for what constitutes proper grammar, that doesn't strike me as them claiming any sort of dominion over what language is "true" and what's not. I don't think that "l33t sp3@k" or whatever the young people use is necessarily "false" language (the only thing I'd call a "false" language is a collection of sounds with no recognized (even by the speaker) meaning behind them, and even then only if they were put forward as actually being a language, which would therefore be disingenuous).

That said, I'm glad we can agree that "canon" doesn't necessarily connote judgment! I believe that's going to be the case however you use the term, I should note, simply because the binary state doesn't connote any sort of value judgment. It's binary, yes, but it's a binary measurement of something other than "does it have value or not?"
The element of truth.
Leaving aside that I think this is a misuse of the word "truth" - "demarcation" would be a better term, unless we're recognizing that the semiotic usage of "truth" has been altered by the liminal state of the imaginary realm - I'm glad we can agree that there's another aspect of canon beyond the recognition of an externalized authority.
If you could figure out a way to separate the idea of truth from the idea of defining something, but I can't see a way to do that that doesn't involve simply ignoring the way the two concepts are intertwined.
I see them as already being separate, however. I'll refer you back to the analogy regarding your living room and your neighbor's living room. The "definition" is a recognition that one is part of your house, and the other is not. That doesn't mean that your neighbor's living room is any less of a living room.
Okay, I've been trying not to seperate the sections, because these responses are already incredibly long. But I need to pull this out.

A fact that is not true, is not a fact. You can't possibly have a fact that if known to be false, because then it is not a fact.
Again, I believe that they were demonstrating an example of how terms - when utilized with regard to a liminal area - are broken down and repurposed. The "fact" that they were referring to was a shorthand for "what's an acknowledged part of the canon." Saying that means it's "true" doesn't make any sense, because this is still a realm of imagination; none of it has actually happened. If someone says "the adventures of Tintin are a true story," they're demonstrably wrong. To then say that aspects of his adventures are "facts" is likewise wrong. So the use of that term can only be understood to make sense if it's understood to be referring to something else.
Do you not imagine that what he was talking about what more like the idea of "true" has been expanded to mean more than simply "true in the real world" to include "true in the fictional world". This idea of a linimal space could be seen as a a space where fictional worlds are regarded as somehow real. This is a change from older models of understanding.
You're overlooking how Turner specified that liminality involves "the old patterns of meaning [being] dissolved" so that new ones can be created. To retain the existing meaning by simply expanding it falls short of that, because it doesn't discard the original meaning in order to repurpose it to suggest something else entirely (which is what's happening). In anything, that would create confusion because it equates two things which are fundamentally different (i.e. reality and an imaginary state, even if grounded) and so causes a loss of understanding rather than any sort of new understanding. It therefore strikes me as more correct to suggest that the liminal state involved with an imaginary work that's been imbued with aspects of realism therefore necessitates that a suspension of implied meanings - i.e. what we think we know - so that we can better understand that on its own terms. Which is what canon is, essentially, supposed to help us accomplish.
And, again, by stating that there must be only a single canon for any IP, you aren't in a model where my living room and my neighbor's living room aren't being judged, because that neccessarily recognizes that not only do I own a space, but my neighbor owns a space, and there is a third expanse of territory. More accurately, towards your model, there is your living room... and everything else is the same sort of grey blob of "not your living room". Recognizing other living rooms is recognizing that there is multiple canons.
But can you recognize that in no such instance is there any aspect of "truth" - let alone a qualitative judgment in value based on that - involved in such a recognition? Because I made that example as a demonstration of an instance of demarcation, which necessarily applies a definition on your part (i.e. "this area ismy living room") and is self-evidently true, but which entails no particular value judgment. Your neighbor's living room is not part of your house (which in this case represents the total canon), but that doesn't make it "false," let alone somehow less than your living room.
A greater exploration of ideas in the work isn't a greater understanding of the work? That is something I can't really wrap my head around. Unless you are referring to "a greater understanding of the work" in purely terms of connections and physical objects. Things like "This person is the parent of that other person" or "this is what is in the mountain". It is purely concrete aspects of the work... which again seems like it is trying to deal exclusively in facts.

And if this is how you are talking about canon, as only the concrete elements and which of those elements are locked in place by an outside authority... then I am even more confused about this as a "mode of engagement". You seem to think that fanfiction doesn't have this. That if I speak to another person who has read the same fanfic, I can't have this same understanding of concrete elements... but we can. And there is no guarantee that I can talk to someone who has read a canon work, and I've read a canon work, and that we have read the same canon.
A greater understanding of the ideas in the work strikes me as being very different from a greater understanding of the work in question. You can watch, say, Star Wars and come away with various ideas that can be examined, discussed, demonstrated, analyzed, etc. in various ways, formats, and mediums - including derivative works - but those ideas are, as previously noted, not under the purview of canon to begin with. To continue with the Star Wars example, you can look at ideas such as the morality involved with rebelling against a tyrannical government, the religious themes involved with trusting in something greater than yourself, themes surrounding family and familial bonds, life after death, questions surrounding when violence is appropriate or not, etc. All of those are ideas, but none of them are something that the Star Wars canon can lay any special claim to. As such, any of those can be explored in a derivative work because, ultimately, that work is exploring things that are beyond the purview of the canon in question; in that case, the canon is simply being utilized as a familiar mechanism to look at something else altogether.

What we look at with regard to canon is the specifics involved, and what they tell us about the imaginary realm. That's important to note: it's the imaginary realm specifically that's being examined and understood, in its aspect as having a grounded nature. That's not an issue of "facts" - unless you're utilizing liminality to suggest that "facts" don't mean the same thing that we make of them in our everyday use of the term - because it's still a work of fiction.

Likewise, fanfiction doesn't possess this because, as noted previously, the fanfiction doesn't have the ability to (fully) define itself, as the canon elements are open to being altered by the governing authority of the canon it's drawing from. The specifics of who a character is, what they've done, what relationships they have and with whom, are potentially open to being canonically altered in a way that changes the understanding that the readership of a fanfiction which borrows those elements makes use of.
Yes, the only thing impinging your understanding of the Forgotten Realms is that WoTC removed their approval from the material that was written. IF you and your friend wish to discuss the Forgotten Realms based on those materials? You still can, and share that same basic understanding. Each of your tables though, were already breaking canon, unless the two of your tables are playing identical games or you are actively working to have your games match events so that "canon" is maintained between them.

At the table to table level? Nothing has changed. Your ability to discuss with people about the Realms? Hasn't changed. The only change is what Crawford is saying about your game.
I'll mention again that the table level is a different mode of engagement. The "impinging of understanding" that I referenced was with regard to the engagement with canon as its own mode, separate from considerations of making use of things in the course of game-play. Remember, engaging with canon is autotelic: it's an end unto itself, because that engagement provides for understanding and examination which is its own source of enjoyment. Being able to examine the boundaries of a fantasy world and ponder what they mean with regard to the nature of that world as its own thing is a joy unto itself (at least for me), and stimulates the imagination further.

In that regard, the nature of the understanding that's shared with others relies on that, as it helps to provide definitions that allow for immediate recognition with others who (for example) weren't part of the mode of engagement relating to a particular tabletop game. If I run into someone at a convention, we can talk about the Dragonlance saga even if that person hasn't played DL1-14 at my table, or read my Dragonlance fanfiction, etc. Canon provides for that shared experience as a mode of engagement.
"the continuity" with an understanding that there are multiple continuities is different than "there is one canon". If you can't engage in the property in the way you like if it is possible for multiple sets of things to be true, instead of a single set of things.
I'm not sure I understand the use of the parsing of terms in this regard. Page 4 of the 5E DMG allows for the idea that your home game takes place in an alternative continuity, which places it beyond the canon in the D&D multiverse. Now, that confuses two different modes of engagement - which is another instance of how understanding of the different methods by which fiction can be interacted with - but doesn't that satisfy what you're looking for? There's a sense of continuity to virtually every narrative, even if it's non-canon in nature.
But you aren't actually internalizing the point.

I need to read 18 books to be able to understand the 19th. But if I want to read a fanfiction based on book two of the same series, I only need to read books 1 and 2.

Yes, books 3 thru 18 might change things and change the context of how you understand the fanfiction if you have read them... but those same books also changed the context of books 1 and 2. There is no fundamental difference.
But in the event that someone does engage with the canon by reading those later books, their understanding of your fanfiction will be changed as a result. Further developments to the characters will necessarily impact their view of how you've used them in your work. Now, the substance of that impact is entirely variable in nature; as noted before, the scope and scale of such things will vary wildly from individual to individual, but the change in understanding is still there, happening without regard for what you as the author have elected to present with regard to what's happening in your story. That's a breach of the externalized authority involved, making it necessarily non-canon by nature.
I was trying to equate the length of them, because even though they are about the same length, they are treated differently.

And for your concepts, chronology? Narrative Development? Characters and Characterization? All of those exist for both works. But, for some reason the chronology and characters of one work is considered important enough to cause discussions of canon, but not for another work.
I think you're putting the cart before the horse, as it were. You raised a question regarding why the length of certain works seemed to have an imprecise relationship with the amount of canon generated and the attention that canon subsequently received. I pointed out that's because the imaginary work doesn't rely on physical factors which are typically used to measure length (e.g. volumes, word count, issues printed, episode produced, etc.). While the intangible factors might be present in both works, the amount generated are not equal, with the canon in one being greater because the specific aspects it encompasses are more than the other, something which isn't an issue of how long a particular work is.
It seems that there are two things that give rise to people caring about canon. The importance of the work, it needs to be big enough to be "important" to a section of the adult or teenage community. And there needs to be a contreversy. Something that brings canon into question, that gives rise to this desire to map out the "real" boundaries and make sure that they are held defined.

No one needed to start talking about the Canon of The Hollows series, or of Law and Order. Discussions of canon seem to be limited to spaces where there is debate and boundaries being drawn between fans. Maybe that is because the discussions of canon only happening when there is a debate on canon, but it seems odd to me that an entire mode of engagement only exists when that engagement is in question, and it completely in the background when it is not.
I think there are some assumptions here which need to be examined more closely. For one thing, the degree to which people care about a particular canon is quite often hard to discern. For one thing, they won't often bring that up unless it's already part of a discussion about that particular work; so it's entirely possible that they care about a particular canon a great deal, but that's simply not what's under discussion. There might be a lot of Bronies here on EN World, for instance, but they're not going to talking about My Little Pony on a D&D-related website.

Which then brings us to the second issue, which is that in order to judge the degree to which canon is cared about by a given community, you typically need to go to hubs of those communities, which are oftentimes difficult to find. I say "difficult" because there's no official designation for which fan-sites, discussion board, Facebook pages, discord servers, etc. are the most authoritative. I suppose you can look at things like the degree of traffic or activity that they receive, but that's quite often going to raise difficulties in parsing what's about "canon" and what's about other aspects of the work in question (i.e. they might have a discussion board and also a fanfiction forum, for instance). For all we know, there's a thriving "Law & Order" community out there having large discussions about the canon of the series right now!
So, again, it seems that you are only talking about concrete elements. Canon is only the concrete elements that can be understood to be part of a work, statements of fact that set up boundaries of what is and what is not.
Again, I'm not sure "fact" is the best way to refer to fiction. That said, I feel confident putting forward that ideas, inspiration, and themes aren't something that any particular canon can lay claim to.
The change was not voluntary on the part of the former authority though. That's the point. Yes, it was voluntary by the current authority, but they are not the people who created the initial canon. Just as they are not the people who created the fanfiction.
I confess I'm not sure what you're pointing out here. The governing authority of a particular canon might change, but the imaginary realm in question is only able to be defined by its own authority. The work of fanfiction never attains that status, since it can always be redefined (at least in part) by an authority beyond that of its creator: the authority that governs the canon which the fanfiction draws from.
And how is that different than Disney redefining the work of George Lucas? You keep skipping this part, that somehow it isn't the same sort of change if someone buys the IP and changes it compared to it being two authors who never had a financial understanding. Why is one different than the other?
Because in the former, the former authority is making a voluntary transfer of governance to the new authority. The new authority may then redefine the canon, but that's not anything unusual; the original authority might have redefined the canon as they added more material to it. In the case of George Lucas, Episode IV: A New Hope told us that Darth Vader was the one who killed Luke's father. In the next episode, our understanding was changed when we found out that he was Luke's father (spoiler alert). Canon doesn't possess any sort of guarantee that a particular definition will be immutable. Rather, it presents us with an an externality that's grounded by the fact that only a single authority (even if it's a corporate entity made up of numerous people), which lessens the labile nature of the imaginary work. Fanfiction doesn't possess this because it's presented as being under the authority of its author, and yet the elements utilized from a particular canon can be redefined by that canon's authority, often (or rather, almost always) without regard for what that does to any particular work of fanfiction.
I am saying that they both take place on a post-apocalyptic earth. If you thinks that makes them the same canon, I think that shows the weakness of arguing that setting and canon cannot be separated.
Quite the contrary, I'm pointing out that it's self-evidently wrong to consider them part of the same canon. They make use of the same idea, and I suppose you could bring up themes that are found in both, but that's all, and those aren't an issue of canon.
 


Faolyn

Hero
What? Nobody said minority here.
Earlier, you said:

And yet they ripped alignment out of the Candle Keep book based on a vocal minority.
Maybe you forgot. So, what evidence do you have that it was a "vocal minority" that caused alignment to be ripped out of Candlekeep and subsequent books?

Edit: I just checked via naughty means (I didn't download anything, though!), and it appears that monsters in Candlekeep don't have alignments, but named individuals and unique creatures do. Which makes perfect sense to me. I'm willing to bet that's what is going to happen in Fizban's as well. (I'm not looking at an official copy of CM, though, so I could be wrong.)
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Earlier, you said:


Maybe you forgot. So, what evidence do you have that it was a "vocal minority" that caused alignment to be ripped out of Candlekeep and subsequent books?
You've crossed some wires. The post you responded to was between myself and @Chaosmancer talking about the hidden canon.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You literally wrote that alignment was removed because of a minority. It doesn't matter if that was in response to a discussion about canon. You still made this claim.
Sure and there's evidence. This site had a poll where 2/3+ of the 100+ voters had uses for alignment. It's not strong evidence, but it is evidence. In my gaming experience with hundreds of players over the years, 99% of them used alignment. Further at gaming conventions I like to walk around and observe groups playing. 100% of them used alignment. That's hundreds more. Now, I suppose I could have hit longer odds than the lottery and somehow only ran into several hundred who used alignment and a small handful that didn't, but I'm just not that lucky. That's more evidence. Plus the game itself still makes alignment the default way to play, and most people play by the rules.
 
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