Hmmm...interesting. If any of you users out there are having trouble with figuring out if something is canon or not, you may want to see this page. One man saying that "canon is what you make of it" or something like that... well, doesn't quite make sense. My example: Klickjax the Tunafish Sandwich (not a real person, but a name you can give a character in an RPG) didn't really fight say... Klickjax-hater the Rat (if that rodent existed). Or, say Ukiuklayla, if that is your character's name (say it is) in a game of FR D&D is battling Kyu the Troll. You know this did not happen in the books, which is what Wizards of the Coast acknowledges as "canon." Agame of D&D is not canon. Maybe a pregenerated adventure, but not something a DM makes up. Cell4 01:23, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
- So if Canon is only stuff in print from WotC.....then is all that stuff on the WtoC web site just fluff? Or does web site stuff get to be cannon too. When they make Dragon and Dungeon PDF's are they still cannon? Do novels count as cannon, or only D&D game books? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bloodtide (talk • contribs)
- Don't forget to sign your posts on talk pages with the four tildes (~~~~)! Thanks! Fluff and crunch are not the same thing as canon and non-canon. You can have canon or non-canon fluff, and canon or non-canon crunch too. The sourcebooks are canon. The novels are canon. The website is canon. Stuff like forum posts on the web site is not canon, even if the post was made by a FR author (like Eric L. Boyd). There are some canon forum posts at Candlekeep, found in such collections as "So Sayeth Ed". The computer games are not canon, although certain elements might be, but shouldn't be relied upon. Fw190a8 01:52, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
- To add to that, it shouldn't matter if you make a mistake as to whether your source is canon, because in an ideal world, all statements on the wiki are sourced. See House Dlardrageth for a "well-sourced" article. If someone else notices that a non-canon source has been used, they'll come along and mark it as such. That's the advantage of a wiki! The worst thing you could do (beyond totally vandalizing the place) is making a controversial or non-canonical statement with no reference! Fw190a8 01:56, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
- I'm sorry, is there an actual source that explicitly states that video games are not canon? "Any published source relating to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting" is not limited to sales in paper form, unless stated otherwise. Thanks. Antinate 13:44, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
- Note that there are published novels based on the Baldurs Gate series. They contradict parts of the video games. So now we have conflict, and we must decide which one is official. I'd say preference should generally be given to novels. Normally when we are presented with conflicting facts, we only keep the one that is most accurate. However, I think it would be a real shame to lose all the articles we have on the Baldur's Gate series, even though they are not canon. So I think keeping the articles and listing them as "non canon" is a good idea. SkyeNiTessine (talk · contr) 15:03, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
- It's interesting, but I have never actually seen anything from Wizards of the Coast that explicitly states "video games are not canon". This might exist somewhere, I'm really not sure. It's one of those things that is generally accepted by Realms fans though, for sure. Perhaps the better question might be: "are video games considered canon on this wiki?" and the answer to that is "no!" Some aspects of the games are canon, for sure. In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, the player visits Athkatla. To suggest that Athkatla is non-canon would be silly. However, other aspects are more murky. For example, each player has a slightly different experience in the game as they play through it. Suppose one player goes to location X, then location Y, but another player does this in the opposite order. These two series of events cannot both be canon! There is an interesting discussion on this matter at Candlekeep.com. The bottom line is that canon is what you make of it, but in a practical sense, the wiki must draw the lines in a place that everyone generally agrees upon. Fw190a8 20:20, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I, Hurtzbad, would like to propose we tidy this section up. I've noticed (lurked actually) User:Fw190a8s posts on Candlekeep[] and the resultant flak (pun intended) s/he recieved. Interestingly, if the forum guys had looked here they would find Ulgoth's Beard (or they will when I finish the artical), yes it's a hamlet to the west of Baldur's Gate (city) at the mouth of the River Chionthar.
- I propose the following
- We establish just what is canon in detail and list them (this is easier than you think, just link to edition source books and novels, or even groups of them)
- We establish a protocol for over-rides in canon eg one source says born 1311 and another says born 1312 (again this is easier than you think, later stuff usually will take priority)
- We stick to our guns (And get clear about what is cannon) (what more pun's, sigh)
- This is not a insult to what has gone before, it is ment as an achnologement of how big we have grown and the fact we need to start tiding up. Hurtzbad 08:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
- I agree with Hurtzbad, that a real "ruleset" about canon would be nice. It is also interesting, because in the german wiki we do not have such a detailed rule about these things and I would like to do it the same as here (or similiar). But then there is the thing with the games, sure the story and how the players are going through the game can not be canonical correct ('cause everyone does this in a slightly different way, so it is like in the fiction of Star Wars, where gameplay things are officially not canon, but storyelements are official canon lore). But infos and facts presented in the games (like the mentioned Athkatla), background stories to NPCs which do not contradict other sources, could IMHO considered as canon. Most people know and like the games and I think many of us are considering the NPCs and some events, places and so on as part of the realms. So if someone stumbles over Tiax and reads "not canon", the question is, why should someone like Drizzt be canon and he not? Is he contradicting anything in the Realms, I don't think so and in the end it is like Ed (or someone else) said, canon is what you are considering as DM/Player/Reader canon. A Wiki should stay neutral to such things and only offer (all) informations and let the decission about what counts to the users and visitors. Historicus 10:33, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
- I third this idea. While I understand that it would be nice to just follow WOTC's guidelines the fact is that much of the popular material in the Realms is CRPGs like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Furthermore, WOTC's attitude towards canon has been... inconsistent to say the least. While Ed Greenwood as remarked that only published materials are canon Richard Baker has said otherwise (that fans make their own canon) while I believe official WOTC policy is more of a pick and choose factor.
- Taking the Star Wars example here's a proposed list:
- E-canon: Similar to Star Wars' "G-canon" this would be anything created with Ed's direct assistance, help, input, etc. This would include things like the core setting rulebooks (e.g., the 4E Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide), any books written by Greenwood (e.g., Cormyr: A Novel), or any other such items. This would be the highest level of "canon."
- W-canon: Like "C-canon" from Star Wars this would be any material produced as a part of licensing but not created by universe creator Greenwood himself. So the majority of dungeons, sourcebooks, adventure material, and novels, would all be W-canon. This would also include the presumed "official" material of the Realms games, such as Baldur's Gate, as outlined in the novels, or the presumed ending of Neverwinter Nights (Aribeth's fate included).
- S-canon: Like Star Wars' identically named category this would be any material produced officially as part of licensing, but which either includes variables or otherwise doesn't fit with the rest of the literature. Alternate endings to games, for instance, would be S-canon.
- Go ahead and let me know if you think this works as a proposed method of categorization and how we might implement it. Niirfa-sa 19:13, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
- I think it would be very useful to start Hurtz' proposal ASAP. Although Im not around here much nowadays I'd like to say I think multiple levels is unnecessary and material should simply either be canon or non-canon. Furthermore my understanding as to over-rides was that the most recent ruleset material has precedent (in terms of character/location info) and the more recent a source is (i.e. novels) the more precedent is given (to allow for ret-cons). Johnnyriot999 15:17, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
- I don't particularly care either way. I personally don't think we need this level of micro-management, but since I'll largely ignore it either way and stick to the high level messaging (which is "computer games aren't canon and newer stuff trumps older stuff") then it doesn't impact me. SkyeNiTessine (talk · contr) 19:05, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
- But the question is where is it really officially stated, that computer games aren't canon? That's so far as I know only the assumption of some fans, but others do not share this oppinion. Even the official WOTC staff never said anything clear to this and some of them are rather contradicting each other. If you ask Ed, he said that even novels would be not canonical, Bruce and Co. said otherwise and in some new interview about 4. Ed, someone said that all published works with FR Label on it is considered as canon. So it is still only the assumption of some fans, nothing else. If you don't think of them as canonicel (or pieces of the games being canonical if they don't contradict other sources), then thats your personal canon, not the official one. And I think a Wiki should stay neutral to such matters and not bring in the personal lore of some gamers, fans, readers. It should present all informations as equal, thats what an encyclopaedia is for. But it should also include some contradicting informations but make clear where it came from, so let the reader/user decide which one is more accurate. Don't force the users our/or your picture of the FR with stating that counts, that not, this never happened, that never existed... If it came from an official source with the FR logo on it, then it is counting. If there exist another version to it, then write it in and make clear thats from there and this is from there. A sign "ATTENTION NOT CANONICAL" pisses only some fans of and they are asking, why have I bought it, if it counts for nothing.Historicus 10:25, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
- To be honest, I thought this was already discussed elsewhere (though I don't recall where anymore). The decision was that computer games can't be canon since they have different outcomes based on who plays it. As a glaring example, you call kill Drizzt in one of the games. More commonly though, many of the antagonists in the game can either be killed or just thwarted... well, which one is it? However, the novels about the computer games are canon. For example, the name of the protagonist in the Baldur's Gate story is no longer variable: it's officially set in the Baldur's Gate novel. Also, this answers questions such as whether Jaheira is alive or dead: the answer is she's dead since it occured in the novel. Finally, this covers the concern about Athkatla that someone else had above. If it's a location that appears in a Baldur's Gate novel, then it's canon. It's a very straightforward determination and ruling about what is canon. SkyeNiTessine (talk · contr) 05:07, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
- - It's not that simple.
- While the assumptions as put above do exist, it's not stated very well. Also our current stand is not well defined. example Canon, according to Ed Greenwood, is any published source relating to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting. - first line of Canon artical BUT the second line says it must be for sale in paper form so straight away we need to remove ALL articals that use the WoTC web expansions. Also ALL errata has to be removed. Also all documentation availiable on the WoTC site, etc.
- Retrospective Canon is not addressed. Loudwater had, until FRCG was published, a whole lot of places and history. It's now moved from being on the river Delimbiyr to the river Greyflow. The bridge vanished and suddenly a town with over 1500 yrs history was founded about 200 yrs before 1479 DR (this particular issue is actually the root cause of my proposal)
- I'm saying, lets change our Canon from being exclusive to being inclusive. Let's re-write the rules to include stuff on the fringes, but lets define where the finges are. Some of the stuff in the computer games is addressed no-where else and is useful and logical. Let's add that. Some of the stuff in the computer games is ilogical and goes against what is clearly written else-were. Lets not use that. We already have examples of where even Ed Greenwood or TSR or WoTC have said, opps, sorry about that Let's document that so people can see what happened. Let's document a fantasy land and remember it's just a fantasy. I never want to say, like one of my son's friends said. "That's not historically correct" when discussing Forgotten Realms.
- - Hurtzbad 07:37, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
- It sounds like you want to pick and choose some things from the computer games, but not all of them. That's not a good policy, imo. In your second point about Loudwater, I'm not really sure what you're getting at -- are you saying you'd like to ignore the FRCG? Again, I don't think that picking and choosing only certain things from the FRCG to keep or ignore is a good policy. So in effect, "computer games aren't canon and newer stuff trumps older stuff" still holds true. SkyeNiTessine (talk · contr) 13:23, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
And Philipp Athans said in an interview "If it happened in a novel or in a game product—any part of the FORGOTTEN REALMS canon—it happened. We aren’t going to ask you to buy a copy of The Grand History of the Realms then throw it away. Every detail ever published on this massive setting is still there, is still a part of the history of this living, breathing world." So what? I don't meant that the different outcomings of the game should all be considered as happened (will not be that's right). But some details in the games, like Hurtzbad said, the stuff nowhere else addressed and not illogical to the rules of the setting. For example if there is a temple of Amaunator underneath the Umar Hills as a dragon lair, well why should it not be there? It's a good place, had a nice explanation and contradicts nothing else in the setting (as far as I know). Or the Severed Hand and Kuldahar, well why should such a place not exist somewhere in the Spine of the World? It's even somewhere in the sourcebooks told, that in the north exist many ruins of elves and dwarfes, most never heard of. So here is one of them described in a game, its not contradicting anything else, so what? Even some NSCs like Tiax, Kagain, Khorgan, whats the problem with them? Even if they are not in the novel (don't know that, cause haven't a BG novel) their backgrounds and character stories are no problem with any existing lore, so they may be living there, but never have met Abdallasomething and weren't part of the big Bhaalspawn adventure. So what I think about it is, the novels are what happened, and all details in the games, wich do not contradict them or are not described in them could also be part of the whole FR, it is only the Abdallawhatever had never been there, never met them, thats it. Another example Viconias background story gives some hints, why house Do'urden found it easy to destroy house DeVir. They fell out of Lolths favor because of the doings of Viconia and so every other house in Menzo would have done what Do'urdens did. In the novel they are only destroyed and nothing is told about what happened before, so its not contradicting the other sources and so it could be considered as happened. Historicus 09:01, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Just some thoughts.
The novels and games (at least thinking of the BG series) just aren't part of the same continuity, and I don't think they should be mixed. I don't know about canonicity, but the way the games have been written about so far seems the logical way to do it. (Of course, I'm also in large part responsible for it myself, but I have given it thought before I did anything.) In fact, their assumed non-canonicity is what has helped make some sense of them, setting them apart. The fact is that there are competing and conflicting sources, possibly including other contrasts besides of games versus novels. (Compare the weapons given to Drizzt Do'Urden and Artemis Entreri in the 3rd edition FR book with the novels, for example. Drizzt's do have the same names, but the twinkly one has been reduced to having a +2 bonus from the +5 in 2nd ed, in my theory because he'd otherwise have too expensive gear for an NPC of his level, which obviously is a nonsensical limitation from a story point of view.) But with the computer games the problem is bigger, and doubly so when there are ineptly written novels about the same stories as well. There does not exist a story where, for example, Aerie exists and was just lucky enough to never meet Abduh but Jaheira is (as someone put it) "a simpering ninny" who can't do anything by herself. So for one thing, I strongly resist the idea of mixing the games and novels, thus misrepresenting both. (Though under Bhaalspawn I was able to make statements that were supported by both. But this isn't usually the case other than in very broad outlines.)
Given the above, perhaps we should instead of levels of canonicity (if there are no proper criteria for those to be found) have different kinds of sources separated. That would enable them to be represented next to each other as they have been so far.
The reason different kinds of sources have incompatible details is, of course, that they have different requirements. CRPGs and PnP material are different from each other and both are different from novels. If you look at something like NWN, it should be clear that even if the events and characters on a general level can be accepted alongside the rest of canon, some details can't be. NWN uses slightly different rules and in any case is a computer game, basically resulting in player-controlled characters being much more powerful than their level indicates compared to NPC adversaries. For this reason, all the bosses have ridiculously high levels. Especially towards the end, it's simply unbelievable that such powerful creatures (and ones so much more powerful than those encountered in other contexts) should exist in the Realms without having had a bigger effect on things. BG is sort of in between; only towards the end of Shadows of Amn do the levels of creatures begin to seem implausible, but in Throne of Bhaal we have (literally) small armies of characters way above tenth level and a random minor villain has two 18th-level mages hanging around for protection.
I think the result of this is that whatever material you're drawing on, you need to take into account where it comes from (what kind of source) and how much you'll need to reconsider it to fit it into whatever you're creating. Or, if you just want information, you should be able to see its place in the bigger picture. (So that you don't think Vongoethe must be one of the most significant liches to ever have un-lived because his level in 2nd edition is so ridiculously high.)
Ville V. Kokko 10:53, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
- I completely agree with you. We should continue to document the computer games on this wiki. And we should continue to keep them distinct from the written canon material. We should not mix them, for all the reasons you mention here. We are actually doing a great job of this already, as far as I can tell! SkyeNiTessine (talk · contr) 13:23, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Thoughts to consider
- Ed Greenwood is the primary source.
- TSR, licienced the forgotten realms from Ed and the rights to sub-licience. (often refered to as the original forgotten realms agreement)
So what's this all mean
- Anything Ed says is canon (I'm sure we'll find an exception for this, but this should be correct)
- Anything that Ed is the 'primary author is canon eg FRCS
- Anything that Ed's name is offically on but he's not the primary author is canon, but a little less
- Anything that's published directly by TSR or it's sucessors is canon, but a little less (btw: some of the carton will fit here and some of what we think of as primary canon will drop to here, eg the stuff slade did.)
- Anything that's sub-licienced is canon, but even less (BTW: This means some novel will drop in canon, and all the computer games are here)
- Note: Things that are D&D are NOT canon until they are referenced in forgotten realms. eg some D&D monsters are not canon, because they are never referenced in FR
This probibly means we will have 3 classes of canon, much like the Star wars can has. Level 1 = 1&2, Level 2 = 3&4, Level 3 = 5.
Hurtzbad 11:36, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
- Something other problematic about how every one looks onto games is, what is with written stuff? If you are saying all informations of a PC Game (so the whole game) can't be canon, because it has different outcomings, the player can choose and create a party how he/she likes it, name them, make them a class he/she wants and so on, whats with informations presented in books like City of the Spider Queen, For Duty and Deity, Undermountain, and so on. They are gamestuff, they have different adventurehooks, endings, ways to happen and over all the player chooses everything about the heros in there. So why is this more canonical? If you say every piece in a PC Game can be considered as noncanonical (even if it is not contradicting anything, and only background information about some character nothing else mentioned), but on the other hand considering such informations out of a game book as canonical, wouldn't that be a kind of strange? Because I've never seen in the wiki a noncanonical sign on a page where some informations came out of a gamebook. The thing with levels and some strange effecte in games, I think that counts for nothing, because thats game mechanic and not really part of the story as "history". As far as I know in a(this) wiki such game statistics do not play a role, or am I mistaken? I mean even if in some Rulesbook Drizzt has a +5 and in another book a +2 scimatar, thats not interesting, because they stay frostwhatever and the other sword (I can't hold the names of them in my mind), that are game statistics, so what? The story is relevant, the history told in the mediums is what is presented in the article for Drizzt. Historicus 14:11, 4 September 2008 (UTC)
Games Are Canon, ApparentlyEdit
Thought this might be relevant. Games are officially canon it appears, at least according to WOTC (again, I was the one who proposed "Ed-canon" so they don't have to be as canon as Cormyr: A Novel or the Campaign Setting core rulebooks).
“ PA: I guess you could call this the “not throwing out the baby or the bathwater” rule. If it happened in a novel or in a game product—any part of the FORGOTTEN REALMS canon—it happened. ” — Phil Athans
Source: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20080828a Emphasis mine.Niirfa-sa 21:42, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, they might be canon, but are they canon here.
- This is my point, we need to define what is canon and write some basic rules around that. IMHO, computer games are no less canon than pen&paper adventures. What we need to do is define some things around the adventures.
- The player characters are never-canon.
- Anything that changes during the adventure is not canon, unless it's refered to else where. This means NPC and moster deaths are not canon. They are a possible future. You could refer to them in the notes section at the bottom of the page.
- Boy are the admins going to be suprised when they drop in.
<smiles> Hurtzbad 23:53, 5 September 2008 (UTC)
- The player characters as represented in the game might not be canon, but they are, in a basic sense, very much canon if we're to take Phil Athans' statement at face value. He said "everything that happened" is canon. That means that events that happen in game, as well as the characters that drive them, are canon. This also fits with WOTC's comments that LFR is meant to be a way to drive the setting forward sort of like Living Greyhawk.
- Now I'm not debating that it would be difficult to determine what content in a game is canon. After all, most CRPGs have alternative endings and whatnot. But this is, again, where I think the Star Wars example comes in handy. Knights of the Old Republic (a Star Wars CRPG) has many elements which are not canon and others which definitely are and yet others which are quasi-canon. One might say the player character is "quasi-canon" because of the fact that the player can influence how they appear (though recent developments by Lucas Licensing have further nailed down that character's qualities). However, the events that happen in the game, as well as the other characters and places, are very much canon. The Star Forge is destroyed, Malak defeated, etc, etc. And yet, on the other hand, some things, like the ending in which the Sith Empire emerges victorious, are not canon.
- So you see, it's kind of hard to nail down what is or isn't canon. But I wouldn't throw out the events and the characters since that's clearly not what Phil Athans meant. Once again, another clear reason why we need a better way of categorizing canon. Niirfa-sa 00:10, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Whoah there lil doggyEdit
Seems like there a lot of trains of thought here. This is a very complicated issue with many valid arguments. I'll add my two pence though.
The argument from Historicus about pnp adventures being exactly like CRPGs due to the customisability of the characters involved misses the point pretty much entirely. Player characters are the player's unique creation in both forms of adventuring. They always have been. This is why, in PnP adventures and histories involving those storylines it almost always says "a party of adventurers" defeated the evil thingamy. The few exceptions are the H series of adventures whose pick-up-and-play PCs were declared as the canonical party that defeated the Witch King by R.A. Salvatore in his Bloodstone Lands sourcebook. There's also the Demon Stone game and maybe a couple more. Where your point may be more valid is when we come upon multiple endings, optional NPCs (I picked Tomi Undergallows to sneak attack the Sarrukh. Well I picked Daelan Red Tiger to hack it up, etc.) and subquests, of which both have all three at some point. In the Neverwinter Nights OC you have the option to kill both Obould Many-Arrows and Klauth, the High Captains of Luskan all die and Neverwinter is left in ruins. In Hordes of the Underdark Mephistopheles appears in Waterdeep at the head of an army of ghosts. In Demon Stone, Khelben's tower is levelled by Slaad and a golem (though it would be a fairly easy task for someone with the power and resources of Khelben to rebuild it quickly). All of these events have been refuted by authored works who neither mention them nor show any possibility of even accepting their existence. I was surprised to read in The GHotR that the Wailing Death was mentioned at all (although there was a novel for Neverwinter Nights planned, it was just never finished). It's events that are important, especially big ones, ones that affect the Realms in large ways, otherwise it's just another adventure that may or may not get mentioned (unnamed adventurer finds a cave on her way to vanquish the big bad. Kills, say a Barghest, and gets a magic item that helps her kill said big bad). However, with this in mind it is an absolutely atrocious idea to pick and choose what is and isn't canon from a single source. If it is confirmed by another, then fine, otherwise a source is either canon or it is not. We certainly don't want to confuse this issue any more than it already is.
The events of big PnP adventure storylines have been supported in other official sources (there aren't that many 'big' ones but the H series, FRE series, For Duty and Deity, Into the Dragon's Lair, City of the Spider Queen, The Tearing of the Weave and Expedition to Undermountain). There is no reason I can think of to not allow the small adventures to be included as canon as well. Using this logic, non-'big' computer games could easily be included as canon such as a lot of the old Gold Box games set in Faerûn.
So, on to the levels of canon proposal. Comparing FR to Star Wars is not a good idea. The Star Wars canon system is almost universally accepted by the Expanded Universe community and there are people employed by Lucasarts whose job it is to confirm and deny what is or isn't canon according to the system they have in place. We have no such system as WotC is a firm believer in 'make your own history' mindset. Canon is what happens in a DMs campaign. (In one game I set up, two epic evil NPCs now lord it unchallenged over all of Waterdeep and the Delimbiyr Vale. In that Forgotten Realms (where the date is 1374 DR) that happened, and is as much a part of the city's history books as the reign of Ahghairon.) Without that support though we can't have levels of canon as there would be noone but ourselves to back it up and it'd all be pretty futile (we might as well stop deleting the homebrew characters that pop up here from time to time). I for one think that the entry on Mithral Hall in the Silver Marches sourcebook is utter crap and had no input from Salvatore beyond what was written in the novels. But, it has a lot of other material that can't be ignored so instead of just ignoring the bad information on those pages, we accept it as canon regardless.
Ed-canon is an interesting idea and a similar thing (where all authors, not just Ed) is practiced wherever I've looked. These people are human and may make mistakes that could cause some debate but this is their job, they're more qualified to speak on the subjects at hand than anyone else as they were the ones who came up with whatever the topic is in the first place. It's theirs to comment on, just like my campaign with the evil overlords of Waterdeep, but they get to put it to a much wider audience since it was officially published.
The example of Drizzt's scimitars stats changing is irrelevant. This wiki tries to distance itself from crunch as much as possible. I would like to rewrite most of the the magic item articles to avoid including the names of common magical characteristics found in the rulebooks.
Loudwater though I think may well be typical of the problems 4th edition will throw at us over the years to come. I don't have the FRCG but it sounds like the history of the place has been almost completely rewritten. Just like Gold, Moon and Star Elves now being Eladrin and probably all sorts of stuff I've not heard of yet. We've been over this on the 4e-centric discussion pages and still not reached a concrete conclusion. It seems to me that the most simple thing to do is place both lots of information on the same article. More recent work is generally viewed as the more canonical but we don't want to not have the old information as well. No point in having an encyclopedia of the entirety of the Forgotten Realms if we delete stuff as soon as something that superceeds it comes along. At the same time, the 4e stuff is (unfortunately) just as relevent as the older material and separating the pages would likely make them less accessible to visitors.
Waaay back near the top of this page there was a question about Web Enhancements and whether, since they weren't available in paper form, they were canon. WotC is moving increasingly into internet publishing (just look at Dragon and Dungeon magazines!). If we were to say that WEs were not canon we would likely regret that decision in the not-too-distant future.
So, to summarize (I know I can get a little off the point):
- I disagree with Hurtzbad's proposal. It is too beaurocratic (Sorta ironic, coming from a wiki beaurocrat) and not viable outside of this specific wiki.
- I think articles with a lot of conflicting information should have said info merged but clearly defined as to what info comes from where.
- I think author comments on their works should be considered canon, as should WotC-sponsored PnP adventures, internet articles and Web Enhancements.
- Certain CRPGs should be discussed further when their articles have been written (none of those that I believe are eligible have been started yet).
- Picking and choosing what is canon from a single source is a BAD IDEA. Waaay too confusing for a layman visitor.
- Fluff vs. crunch: policy is to minimize crunch wherever you can (there's no point in changing it to make it more canon)
- Apart from the CRPGs yet to be discussed, CRPGs are to be considered non-canon. They are unreferenced and often too 'realms-shattering' to get away with it.
I'm going to bed now. Very small amounts of sleep tend to make one tired. I don't mind debtating this further but if you want a quick decision with minimal argument the summary is there and pretty much ready to go into the policy section with minor edits.
- Note: above aritical by Hashimashadoo, tired beaurocrates can make mistakes too <smiles> Hurtzbad 05:06, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
- I changed his bullet points to numbers. Hurtzbad 05:06, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Ok, points in order
- Yep agree (It's clear it's a little unworkable, but parts of the idea might work)
- Better sourcing will do that.
- Yep, I also think that almost all starting point area and minor npc details should be minor-canon.
- I agree with you about the endings but what about the beginnings. eg NWN Shadows of the Undrentide. It details Hilltop quite nicely.
- Hurtzbad 05:06, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Just a few things from me. I would like to see a concrete answer from Wizards' licensing team pertaining to what they consider canon. I know in the thread Hurtzbad was referring to about what the sages over at Candlekeep think about our humble wiki, THO (The Hooded Sage), who serves as Ed's voice on those forums, was recommended as a good source to help compile a legitimate list of rules/ideas/etc. for us to use when considering if an article is kosher. If we could get THO/Wizards/even Rich Baker to help us out even a little, I think it would go far to help our little problem.Gabeth 05:39, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
- "The argument from Historicus about pnp adventures being exactly like CRPGs due to the customisability of the characters involved misses the point pretty much entirely." Nope, you missed the point what I wanted to say. I did not say that all stuff in the PC games could be canon. What I wanted to say is, that there is no sense in using some of the background information of a gamebook like the ones for Undermountain in an article to Undermountain and on the other side saying all stuff in PC games is no canon lore, so if someone makes an article using some descriptions for example that there exists this and that temple there, this and that villiage, ruin there. Even if they are not mentioned anywhere, so what? The world is big, and even not every detail of the sourcebooks is mentioned in another sourcebook, so if you say it should only be considered what is twice or more in some books, that would also mean that some other stuff isn't canonicel.
I've allready written that I don't think every outcome/the main/side story of gamestuff (be it in written form, or from a PC game) can be happened, what I mean are some background informations used to describe places, maybe some of the NPCs (their biography) if it is not contradicting anything else, nothing more. For example if there is in For Duty and Deity a description about a place named Silverale Hall in Athkatla, so there could be this thin in Athkatla and if the same is with a place like an Amaunator temple ruin in the Umar Hills mentioned in BG, so it may be there. They are only background of the world itself, nothing more. Whats about the game story and events itself, well thats another question I don't have an answer for. If one of the outcomings is referred elsewhere, than this special outcoming is more likely the one which "really" happened/matters (like the main story of BG in novel and game). If there is no other source for the endings, than every outcoming needs the sign, that it may be not canon because there are others, that's right, I said this before. Historicus 18:59, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Neverwinter Nights Non-Canon?Edit
So according to the articles NWN and its two expansions are non-canon? I'm curious why this is but Baldur's Gate and even the old SSI Gold Box D&D games are considered canon (especially considering the weirdness of Pools of Darkness which has Chaotic Evil demons and powers working for Lawful Evil powers). Besides the player's choices, what exactly makes NWN less canon than BG or SSI D&D games? Fortune Summoners Wiki (talk) 21:46, April 16, 2016 (UTC)
- I think you mis-read. NWN and its sequels are stated to be canon, unless they say anything that contradicts other canon. ~ Lhynard (talk) 21:11, April 16, 2016 (UTC)
- I have no idea, but it should not have that category. Our canon policy is clear and the box at the top of each video game page confirms that they are canon.
- Yeah, my apologies. I did mean the two NWN expansions, Hordes of the Underdark and Undrentide. Those are official expansions so I would imagine they would be just as canon as NWN, especially since they're part of the story. I went ahead and edited the pages, removing the non-canon category. Thank you very much for the confirmation and prompt reply. Fortune Summoners Wiki (talk) 21:55, April 16, 2016 (UTC)
Those categories were added separately in the past, but since then, our canon policy has been softened and made more inclusive. Unfortunately, the categories weren't tied to the banner templates, so they remained. Thanks for cleaning these up. — BadCatMan (talk) 02:32, April 17, 2016 (UTC)
- No problem. I've read some people say it's not canon because it's not mentioned in the Grand History of the Realms or anywhere else in FR lore and it conflicts with the idea the Ancient Baatorians were supposedly evil unlike the game which says they're good. But it could all come down to interpretation too. Fortune Summoners Wiki (talk) 06:24, April 17, 2016 (UTC)
- I think popular fan opinion is that the games are non-canon, owing to deviations from lore or how novelisations of the Baldur's Gate or Pools games set certain game events in stone and discount others. But in piecing together our canon policy, we've found no official pronouncements on canon from authors, designers, or Ed Greenwood that would exclude them, and in fact, they seem to favour being much more inclusive. And many games have crept into sourcebooks and novels anyway. So, it's fairer to say that games are out of continuity: canon, but didn't necessarily happen. — BadCatMan (talk) 06:58, April 17, 2016 (UTC)
Official canon Edit
- If I understood correctly, it seems to be "trying to respect past products unless the information doesn't work for 5e," with canon conflicts being solved by choosing what's "best." While I'm glad they have an internal policy, I think it's a bit too loose to be practical for the wiki. Also, Sernett indirectly called us out for being super unreliable. :( --Ir'revrykal (talk) 08:26, February 17, 2018 (UTC)
- Yeah, and it basically agrees our current approach of documenting and respecting all editions while letting the latest precedence.
- He also confirms the current date is intentionally vague at 149– DR.
- There is a part in the conversation were he says that the wikis are unreliable, because they focus on authors choices (as present in the products) to document stuff. He said earlier that, at least for 5e, they tend to disregard stuff that isn't the best to the current product, so... I understand it as he didn't said that the wikis are unreliable, but that they way wikis document stuff (respecting each product) is unreliable, because the canon can be changed at any moment, and products aren't set in stone. It was not a direct reference to the FRW, also, but... I mean, how many FR Wikis do exists?--Zero (talk) 10:54, February 17, 2018 (UTC)
- There are some core/crunchy D&D wikis, less-developed wikis for other settings, and fan sites that present material to varying degrees of copyright infringement. But yeah, the FRW is the primary D&D-related wiki, and a top Google hit for D&D-related searches.
- Just because 4th edition changed everything, people added swathes of 4e lore to the wiki, and 5th changed some but not all of it back, and we're trying to be even-handed in documenting it all, doesn't make us unreliable. It makes us reliable in our efforts to respectfully and fairly document D&D designers' inconsistency and contrariness. :)
- As you described, I take it Sernett means we don't reliably document 5th-edition lore. Well, of course we don't. We can't and we shouldn't expressly focus on the current edition, for countless reasons of workload and edition-neutrality. One reason relevant to Sernett and WotC is that if people want 5th-edition-specific lore, they should buy 5th-edition books. We purposefully have a more holistic coverage. — BadCatMan (talk) 11:38, February 17, 2018 (UTC)
- I asked Sernett on Twitter. His response:
- "All wikis suffer when there are not enough contributors because then there’s not enough people to arbitrate over facts. However, wikis for fictional universes also often suffer from attempting to make the universe coherent when often the source material wasn’t.
- Sernett also had this to say in response to an assertion that we are not inconsistent like he says:
- "True in many places on the wiki. Yet because the wiki has relatively few contributors and editors not all topics are treated equally. Also, sometimes text in a product is unclear, leaving it open to interpretation. So conclusions can be drawn that are inconsistent with other sources of lore. So a wiki editor might have a couple co-consistent sources for a topic without realizing those sources are inconsistent with a larger body of lore.
- The perils of wiki-based knowledge sourcing is most apparent in low-traffic topics and internet-referential material. Sometimes something that appears on a fan site or a person’s campaign blog gets replicated across multiple fan sites and wikis, which makes it seem true. Sometimes, a topic is so low-traffic, that no one notices errors for ages, and so those too get copied across internet platforms, thus making it seem true. Yet when you look at the original source, you find the truth.
- A good example would be the entry for Renaer Neverember. It once said he was murdered by his father, Lord Neverember. That is patently untrue anywhere except for the campaign website of a fan. That error was so bad I felt it necessary to correct it."
- Anybody know what he's talking about? Cuz I sure don't. -hashtalk 22:55, February 18, 2018 (UTC)
- This last argument actually makes sense. In fact, one example where almost exactly what he described has happened and was kept uncorrected for ages was the Layers of the Abyss page, which was wrought with homebrew material for a long time. Sometimes it is really hard and laborious to weed it out from simply poorly sourced canon material, but I think our recent efforts to find sources for everything are starting to pay out.
- I watched the segment in question live when it aired, and also felt a bit sad that the wiki was called out for being unreliable (well, not this wiki by name, but, as previously argued, this is the largest one). But I agree with BadCatMan that our approach to conflicting canon sources as "some sources say this" and "other sources say that" is a pretty neat edition-agnostic way to reconcile information, especially (but not exclusively) in the aftermath of 4e and the soft reboot of 5e. — Sirwhiteout (talk) 23:42, February 18, 2018 (UTC)
- To the first part, well, fair enough, but it still seems an unnecessary and misdirected complaint: if their own sources are inconsistent (and from five editions, two publishers and countless licensees, ever-changing design teams, and inevitable errors and variations, it's to be expected), we can hardly do any better documenting them than our current approach. Their problems are not ours. We have a consistent approach to an inconsistent body of work. It puts the FRW among the best wikis on the web, and there's not much more we can do. The alternative is to give up, and to leave no reliable and complete archive of Realmslore.
- As for incorrect information leaking in, yeah, it happens, it's inevitable. Sometimes it's something minor like someone misinterpreted the source, as non-native-English editors tend to. Other times, someone plugs in homebrew or fanon, whether their own or something they saw on another website and took it to be true. It mostly took place when the wiki escaped control in the 4e-era orc-horde rush of editing, but we've got a better grip on it now. It's infeasible for us to constantly double-check each other's work, but we do check newbies and anons until they become trusted editors. When we find issues, we tag them, note their problems, and repair them. When we found Larloch rife with homebrew stats and powers, I cleared it out and rewrote it as the first featured article. I don't know where the error Sernett talks about was: the Renaer Neverember, Dagult Neverember, and Blackstaff Tower (novel) pages don't have it in their histories. But it's too common for outsiders to complain about a problem on the wiki, but to do so in another forum where we can't respond, and not say where or what it is. And if we tag a page as problematic, I don't expect anyone to blithely use it or copy it on another site. That's not something we can police.
- Ultimately, the FRW is still more consistent, reliable, accurate, and complete than any other website archiving or documenting Realmslore. Not naming names, but other sites are poorly sourced and mostly comprise copied articles or incomplete lists of references. You go onto forums and search or ask a question, and you get unsourced, incomplete, and, misremembered lore, as well as fanon, homebrew, speculation, and designers' unpublished non-canon work, all jumbled, uncheckable, and without context. The FRW states exactly where everything comes from or warns if it's unsourced, and helps the reader do their own research.
- So, I feel that if the fandom wants a consistent, reliable, and complete archive of Realmslore (and the stats say they do) and the designers want the same (and some products matching recent wiki developments suggest they do) then more of the fandom needs to step up and get involved, fact check, point out and fix errors so they can be fixed, and add what they need and want to see. That's the way a wiki works. This is a wiki that anyone can edit, and anyone should. — BadCatMan (talk) 02:18, February 19, 2018 (UTC)
Living Forgotten Realms ModulesEdit
Wondering what the policy on the canonicity of LFR adventures is. While the early modules seem to fit in well with the 4E setting, the later ones contradict the novel lore (see the EPIC modules in particular).
It appears WotC turned them over to fan-made material some point in 2010 and stopped promoting LFR heavily at that time. Should we consider anything written after that point canon or no?
- LFR stuff is allowed on the wiki where it does not conflict with official lore like the novels. We already have some citation templates for a few LFR publications and some articles have been written referencing them. LFR has its own namespace on this wiki, to keep it separate from the main canon wiki, but it hasn't been touched in years. See Living Forgotten Realms:Main Page and Category:Living Forgotten Realms and you will find pages related to the actual participation in the LFR, I believe. Most of them probably just link to the Main wiki for the lore. You might want to leave a message on User:Zeromaru X's Talk page and ask him about LFR lore that he put on the wiki. When in doubt, make a Forum post about a topic or leave a message on one of the admin's Talk pages. Or here is good too. :) —Moviesign (talk) 03:43, January 6, 2019 (UTC)