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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
205 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  11:32:18  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Building an alternative canon was the aspect I argued against in the first thread. Forgotten Realms fandom is fundamentally fragmented (not a bad thing, mind), with people who like the setting before, after, and both sides of the Spellplague and the Second Sundering, and people who like, dislike or say "meh" to things from all over the place. Every fan, reader, player, and DM has their own unique conception of the Realms. More, the very point of a campaign setting is for fans, players, and DMs to use and change to their own purposes. Even the gaps and discrepancies and for filling in. There shouldn't be a singled fixed version of it. (Well, except the official canon and licensed version of it, as detailed by the Forgotten Realms Wiki. :) But even that is just to have everyone on the same page.)

So a project like this, melding those different conceptions together, will inevitably produce discrepancies and differences in tone. I could write a great version of Osse, but it won't look anything like the other ones around. There will be new things in the Candlekanon that fans like and don't like and say "meh" too. In the end, a Candlekanon group will encounter the exact same problems that designers at TSR and Wizards of the Coast did in trying to maintain a shared setting and advancing timeline, produce similar concepts, and suffer the same criticisms. You can steal the crown, only to discover that it's cursed.

Looking at specific points. Stage 1: The distant past isn't actually very useful to gameplay and storytelling in a modern era. Only one legend in a hundred might be useful. Ultimately, the ancient past is just a curiosity for certain fans. And the histories should be contradictory, because they're little known and told by different people. If the early Forgotten Realms sourcebooks were told by unreliable narrators, then we should accept unreliable histories. More generally, breaking it into phases, focusing work on only certain aspects or eras, doesn't seem like it would work, as some people won't be interested in a set topic or era and would prefer to work on something different. Letting people work on whatever interests them is the best way to generate activity, as we find at the Forgotten Realms Wiki.

Hence why I've been proposing not to have single, consistent alternative canon, but rather to have a place to host, archive, share, and collaborate on homebrew development, fanon, designers' unpublished works, people's PCs and campaign diaries, for anyone else to use or ignore or adapt. Not everyone can host a website, so a fanon wiki that anyone can edit will aid all kinds of fans. There'll be a lot of different versions and continuities, but that just means its working, that is, all representing the fandom's interests.

I feel the Forgotten Realms fandom has found itself in the position of other fandoms with highly fragmented and contradictory canons and continuities, like Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek. There is no longer a canon. The Spellplague and the unSundering killed it. The chains of canon are broken and fans are free to seize what they want and do with it what they will. :D

Hyperbole aside, if the main goal is really just to resolve discrepancies and fill in the setting, then the existing canon still offers plenty of material to work with and explore. I've found that documenting the lore for the Forgotten Realms Wiki, by doing the deep research, taking all the lore, putting it together, laying it out, cross-checking, and seeing where discrepancies truly lie, resolves so many issues that previously seemed insurmountable. These issues all come down to a simple footnote, briefly addressing the problem, offering a basic solution, and letting the readers decide for themselves and be inspired to a potential fix that works for them. I resolved and clarified the tangled mess of the eastern religions (namely Padhran religion and the Path of Enlightenment) in this way. The nation of Vesperin came out of nowhere in 4th edition, but has some clear context when put beside some forgotten politics from The City of Ravens Bluff.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Bureaucrat of the Forgotten Realms Wiki
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

823 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  12:16:29  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

I feel the Forgotten Realms fandom has found itself in the position of other fandoms with highly fragmented and contradictory canons and continuities, like Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek. There is no longer a canon. The Spellplague and the unSundering killed it. The chains of canon are broken and fans are free to seize what they want and do with it what they will. :D


I fear that you are correct. I had hoped something like the Candlekanon might save it, that some type of compromise could reknit together what was broken. Yet, if people are not willing to compromise, and meet somewhere in-between... then basically, what we will be left with is what you describe: just a place people can post all their homebrew lore because canon no longer matters. This makes the Realms, officially as a shared setting, dead.

In my home Realms I abandoned canon after 4th Edition--I went with an alternative (much worse version) of the Spellplague. I wanted to incorporate themes from WFRP into my Realms. I used to be such a stickler for canon, obsessing over every detail, attempting to make sure my Realms aligned with the official Realms as closely as possible. 4th Edition broke me of that, and honestly it was a good thing. It freed me. Yet, it also disconnected me from the shared setting. Aside from a place like Candlekeep, what the lore said did not matter anymore. If I did not like something, I changed it. My Realms ceased to look anything like the published Realms, and was more a homebrew setting with echoes of the Realms thrown in.

I had hoped, with this proposal, that we could find a way to bring back the old school feeling of the Realms. A place where the lore was shared by everyone, a place where canon mattered. I was also hoping to have people feel a sense of connection to the setting, a sense of accomplishment, once all their lore sleuthing paid off and they found something they created accepted and embraced by the larger community and accepted into an alternate canon. This would create some sense of ownership and investment in the setting--people would care about the lore (for more than a place to drop their nuclear RSE bombs), and a place like Candlekeep would grow as a result.

I suppose as time passes the FRW will become the place people go to learn everything they need to know about the Realms. The source material will become harder and harder to find. The FRW will basically become the equivalent of the FRCS and all the sourcebooks combined--future users will not use it the way that I do, as a place to cross reference material in sourcebooks. It will be the only place they will be able to find a canon version of the Realms.

The CKW will be a place where people chunk their homebrew lore, hoping that someone will actually read it and find it useful. (Most of it will suck as homebrew lore tends too.)

Eventually, both Wiki's will die off as participation in them wanes, as interest in the setting fades as no future material gets published. People move on to other settings that are supported.

This is entirely the reason I came up with the idea in the first place--to avoid this fate. I had hoped that, by encouraging and embracing an alternate canon, one that could build some support behind it, that the setting could continue to evolve and grow even if WotC ceases to support it properly. I believed--and still believe--that it is the best way to keep the Realms alive. However, if people cannot unite behind that idea, and overcome their edition differences--then we are left right where you stated. The canon for the Realms is dead. People no longer have a 'shared setting.' The lore no longer matters because the canon no longer matters.
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Palant
Acolyte

1 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  12:32:36  Show Profile Send Palant a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If i can say- i am totally newbie in FR (but played in some Golden Box, BG1-2, etc) and now i am running campaigns - Storm King Thunder and Hoard of Dragon Queen. And personally I prefer not looking at 1479 (I really not like 4e, but I liked Shadowbane for example), and telling tales about 1490 to my players.
Now i creating for my self some pedia in OneNote and take info from 2nd,3rd sourcebooks as basis.

sorry for my bad english
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Adhriva
Learned Scribe

USA
112 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  13:54:03  Show Profile  Visit Adhriva's Homepage  Send Adhriva an AOL message  Send Adhriva a Yahoo! Message Send Adhriva a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It strikes me that one of the reasons people are interested in having a fanon is because Wizards isn't, and appears to not be interested in, publishing further canon lore. As such, I don't believe we have to worry about it being overwritten - especially not anytime soon. If it does happen down the road, I doubt it would be too hard to move some elements into the alternative history tab if they cannot be updated for whatever reason. Although, if for 6e they do go back to updating lore, I suspect they'll at least jump 5 years to a decade into the future.

Professional illustrator and comic book artist.

Edited by - Adhriva on 10 Jul 2017 14:04:20
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30015 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  14:22:06  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

It does not include everyone if they prefer the current published era of the Realms and your project is to get rid of that.


You talk about "including everyone" but then you actively ignore everyone who will refuse to work on the project if it does not conform to your ultimatums. You reach out your hand to a handful of people while ignoring a crowd of others.


No, I'm saying that you include everyone by not telling people they're not welcome. When you say "We'll do this earlier time, and anyone who wants later stuff that is canon -- stuff that I don't like -- has to work it in however they can."

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick



What exactly are you expecting? Something akin to what KanzenAU assumed--that the main purpose of the Candlekanon is to 'fill in the gaps'? That once we have established lore and other things all set up, that we will change the Candlekanon if WotC publishes anything that contradicts it?


Yes. I'm saying that you start by including all published canon, and that -- since there's basically nothing coming out from WotC, aside from dribs and drabs on the Sword Coast, that you build from that point into whatever direction the community as a whole wants.

I'm saying to do what WotC has done in the past: go forward from everything that already exists.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I cannot imagine why anyone would support that project. All the effort someone would put into getting something accepted into the Candlekanon, the lore research, the writing, the editing, having to get it voted on... only to have WotC randomly invalidate their work in the official lore, and thus have it stripped from the Candlekanon. That. Is. Awful.



And it's a risk people take with any fan-created material, for any fandom. It's certainly not new or unique to the Realms.

But it's still better than looking at people that might want to participate and telling them that no, since they want to do something 1490ish, they're not welcome in your variant 1380s.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30015 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  14:24:58  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


I fear that you are correct. I had hoped something like the Candlekanon might save it, that some type of compromise could reknit together what was broken. Yet, if people are not willing to compromise, and meet somewhere in-between...



com·pro·mise
noun
1.
an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
"an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both"
synonyms: agreement, understanding, settlement, terms, deal, trade-off, bargain; More
verb
1.
settle a dispute by mutual concession.

You're not budging from your stance of not including stuff you don't like, and thus excluding those who do. I'm saying to include everything canon, regardless of personal feelings. I'm compromising on my dislike of the 4E Realms so that more people will be included.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!

Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 10 Jul 2017 14:30:57
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BadCatMan
Learned Scribe

Australia
205 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  14:29:58  Show Profile Send BadCatMan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

I suppose as time passes the FRW will become the place people go to learn everything they need to know about the Realms. The source material will become harder and harder to find. The FRW will basically become the equivalent of the FRCS and all the sourcebooks combined--future users will not use it the way that I do, as a place to cross reference material in sourcebooks. It will be the only place they will be able to find a canon version of the Realms.


Oh, I hope so. :D What the wiki does (unintentionally) is catch, pin down, complete, and arrange the canon version of the Realms, and that inevitably defines it, for people who don't or can't go to the sourcebooks, or makes a first impression for those who do. It rebuilds a setting that's become very scattered and changing as 5th and future editions make their own version, though we try not to put our own spin on the setting. But the FRW is already the place to go to for setting lore: it's the first result in Google for any Realms topic (unless it's big enough for Wikipedia), we're one of the top-rated wikis, and we get ~1250 hits just on the Main Page and ~97,000 total views each day.

Even though our coverage of the central parts of the Realms is fairly shabby, it's a starting point directing people to the right books. I suspect the topics we've worked up and featured have inspired their inclusion in later adventures: Earthfast felt long forgotten, then a year after we featured it, it was used for the "Boltsmelter's Book" adventure. So a good wiki has an effect on its setting. For example, Wookieepedia is a vital resource for Star Wars writers, and I envision the FRW being the same for FR designers. The wiki preserves Realmslore, along with its theme, flavour, and spirit, and I think will preserve the setting for the future. After all, its first motto was Alaundo's "Wherefore guard the word written and heed words unwritten—and set them down ere they fade." from the Old Grey Box. (Maybe we should go back to it?)

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

This is entirely the reason I came up with the idea in the first place--to avoid this fate. I had hoped that, by encouraging and embracing an alternate canon, one that could build some support behind it, that the setting could continue to evolve and grow even if WotC ceases to support it properly. I believed--and still believe--that it is the best way to keep the Realms alive. However, if people cannot unite behind that idea, and overcome their edition differences--then we are left right where you stated. The canon for the Realms is dead. People no longer have a 'shared setting.' The lore no longer matters because the canon no longer matters.


The Realms aren't dead, just resting. :) I believe there is a benefit in letting the field lie fallow for a while, to borrow a farming analogy. Everything since the dying days of 3.5 edition, the Spellplague, and the unSundering feels to me like a shortage of ideas, a struggle to get anything out while meeting odd directives, and just plain writer's block. Even this DM's Guild feels like a scheme to get fans to write stuff for them, for cheap. The Realms has been going hard for a long time, it's bound to struggle after a bit. It's happened to many franchises.

(But, TBH, I don't know the current state of the Realms, bar what I see come onto the wiki. I'm still playing 3.5 in 1376 and stopped paying attention to new lore after 4th edition. I came late to the setting, and didn't much attention to new stuff in 3.5. I look backward in time and find much that is new to me.)

So, just pausing and resting for a few years, giving everyone involved a breather and chance for inspiration, should be a good thing. Maybe it will revert to Ed Greenwood. Maybe it will be revived in a few years with new blood and fresh ideas. Fans who produce good, popular homebrew setting development could well be headhunted for that, and a fanon wiki would be a good place to showcase such skills and put oneself out there.

I think the fanon wiki is a good idea and you have some great ideas for it. But the setting and fandom may just be too fragmented for any one vision of it: one can't please all of the people all of the time. WotC couldn't, and any effort to follow in their footsteps will run into the same problems. You needn't have such a limiting implementation and can't make the disliked bits go away.

Although here's one crazy idea (something I proposed before 4th edition): jump forward a generation to say 1521 DR, the Year of the Moon Harp Restored, with a soft reboot and a clean slate. Close all ongoing plotlines and leave all the chaos of the Spellplague and the Second Sundering in the past, hazy and mysterious, only alluded to, a past catastrophe the setting is moving on from. The Realms always felt like a hopeful rebirth after a past apocalypse to me, whether it be Netheril's collapse, Myth Drannor's fall, the Time of Troubles, or the Spellplague. There's no need to obsess on the past, instead, look to the future. That way, no one loses their 4e and 5e developments, nor their 1e, 2e, and 3e history, and anyone's game can stitch up with it. No RSEs, there's never been a need for them. Then build a new Realms of 1521 DR, like the classic Realms in style and theme and shape, but with new characters to meet, new plots just beginning, old and new places to visit, with no requirement to know what went before. It's like a new Old Grey Box. :D

In any case, just put out the ideas. The good ones will be taken up, used, worked into other projects. Instead of trying to plan it and control it from the top down, let it evolve organically from the bottom up and from one project to the next, smoothing over inconsistencies as they arise. This is how wikis grow and it's how Ed Greenwood's own Forgotten Realms grew. All you need to do is set down the spirit and scope, and let the setting do its thing.

BadCatMan, B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Scientific technical editor
Head DM of the Realms of Adventure play-by-post community
Bureaucrat of the Forgotten Realms Wiki

Edited by - BadCatMan on 10 Jul 2017 14:34:25
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13601 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  15:22:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, wait...

So instead of 'fixing the broken parts' of canon, we are just going to ignore and over-write aspects of the canon?

Not sure if I'm onboard with that. I was only planning on doing small entries anyway, but EVERYTHING I write is built upon CANON. The house may have fallen down in a storm, but the foundation is still there.

You will never, EVER get a 'consensus' on which parts to keep, and which to throw away. We've had that problem around here for years. This is why I cleave to canon, and work around the inconsistencies (and stuff I out-right hate). Its the only way to create material that will be acceptable by EVERYONE.

Unless, of course, they are already doing their own homebrew thing, in which case, they don't need us.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

823 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  20:44:19  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Adhriva

It strikes me that one of the reasons people are interested in having a fanon is because Wizards isn't, and appears to not be interested in, publishing further canon lore. As such, I don't believe we have to worry about it being overwritten - especially not anytime soon. If it does happen down the road, I doubt it would be too hard to move some elements into the alternative history tab if they cannot be updated for whatever reason. Although, if for 6e they do go back to updating lore, I suspect they'll at least jump 5 years to a decade into the future.


The issue is not that they go backward in time and overwrite something that has been written. The issue is that they move forward and contradict something that has been written. Let me give an example:

Let us say someone has written a fanon short story that indirectly involves a minor Cormyrian noble family. One of the nobles of that family, who happens to be a canon NPC, dies in the story. A future WotC author writes a story in Cormyr. They use said NPC, but not only is the NPC at a different place at the same time the story is written, he lives well into the future beyond where he should have died. This is a contradiction.

So, now at this point, we have to make a decision. Are we going to remove someone's submission to conform to the new canon? Or are we going to ignore the canon in favor of the previously accepted submission? We are forced to make this decision because we must decide whether or not we are staying with the canon Realms or we are deviating from it.

If we choose to stick to canon, this is what we are telling everyone who submits their material become part of the Candlekanon: You have to do a lot of lore research to make sure that your material is canonically consistent with the Candlekanon. You have to subject your material to editorial review by your peers. You have to put your material up for a vote, knowing that it might be rejected. However, you do all of this, people really like what you've created, and it gets accepted into the Candekanon. In fact, people like your writing so much that you have written other stories, based off your original. Because the original story was removed from the Candlekanon, all of your subsequent stories also have to be removed. All of your work has now been removed from the Candlekanon. Why? Because a WotC author decided to use the same minor NPC around the same in setting time that you used him.

This is the equivalent of having a future Realms author modify something about an NPC or object that appeared in a Drizzt novel, and because these things are no longer compatible, every single Drizzt novel gets stripped from canon.

However, if we do not stick with the canon, over time we end up in the exact same place we are today, with the exact same arguments. And those arguments would be just as valid then as they are now.

At some point, the only way a project like a Candlekanon works, is if it removes itself from the canon timeline and events. It does not really matter where along the timeline this happens, as the end results will be the same.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30015 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  21:08:15  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick



The issue is not that they go backward in time and overwrite something that has been written. The issue is that they move forward and contradict something that has been written.


At the same time, they could release a product that includes a timeline, or even a passing reference to earlier events, and invalidates fanlore written for an earlier era.

The only way this won't happen is if the setting you're writing fanlore for is not being supported at all, and has no material at all coming out for it. Birthright would be a good place to do something like this, if you're not wanting anything to ever be overwritten.

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

At some point, the only way a project like a Candlekanon works, is if it removes itself from the canon timeline and events. It does not really matter where along the timeline this happens, as the end results will be the same.



If it doesn't matter where it happens, then go forward with the most recently published material included, so one person can detail Corm Orp in 1493 (for example) while another decides to explore the post-1375 Wyvernspur family history.

By going with the latest published lore, you include people that like or want to keep all the published canon material, and others have the option of filling in the many, many blank spots created by the timejump. Considering how much of an open slate that era is, people can do almost whatever they want, there.

This approach is the best of both worlds. There's open space for the people that don't want to deal with the Spellplague, but those who like canon aren't forced to rewrite it.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

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I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

823 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  21:26:37  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

No, I'm saying that you include everyone by not telling people they're not welcome. When you say "We'll do this earlier time, and anyone who wants later stuff that is canon -- stuff that I don't like -- has to work it in however they can."


First of all, I never said that. That is not a quote from me. You are putting words into my mouth. ...and my second point also applies to this quote...

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

com·pro·mise
noun
1.
an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.
"an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both"
synonyms: agreement, understanding, settlement, terms, deal, trade-off, bargain; More
verb
1.
settle a dispute by mutual concession.

You're not budging from your stance of not including stuff you don't like, and thus excluding those who do. I'm saying to include everything canon, regardless of personal feelings. I'm compromising on my dislike of the 4E Realms so that more people will be included.


Second of all, if things were being done to my personal taste, I would demand that every major (and numerous minor) RSE's be stripped from the canon. I am more open to 90% of the lore of 4th Edition than I am to a lot of the RSE nonsense that happened in 3rd Edition. I actively hate the Time of Troubles with a passion.

I was often alone, screaming at the wind, for YEARS while other fans of the setting were dancing in their 'rule of kewl' nonsense throughout 3rd Edition especially. I warned everyone where it would lead, and then when they finally jumped the shark with the Spellplague--that is only when the crocodile tears started to fall.

So, no, what I am proposing is not to my personal tastes. I actively want to incorporate a lot of the 4th Edition elements, because I personally like them as lore elements. As I stated, repeatedly, but you actively ignore in favor of putting words into my mouth, the issue with the 4th edition stuff is the time jump.

I mean, to be clear, in my home Realms I did the time jump. I also made the Spellplague much worse. Mystra did not die, and is a bloated insane monstrosity who has been corrupted by Moander. People who use the Weave become corrupted over time in both body and mind. ...so yeah. Not afraid of the 4th edition lore. My biggest complaint was that it did not make sense, and that if the goal was to make the Realms into a darker 'points of light' setting it did not achieve it.

Of course, by that point, I was used to WotC actively destroying the Realms. Because I already hated 90% of what they had already done.

So, let's not pretend that we are somehow in the same boat, with you on one side and me on the other. You act as if I have some hostile intent.

Let me ask you, Wooly, if we went with the ultimatum you have delivered, how many hours are you going to spend contributing? Because you are going to have to spend a lot of hours every week working to backfill literally DECADES of work that becomes invalidated with a time jump. Why the hell would you want to put us through that, especially if you do not plan on contributing a significant amount to actually fix the problem YOU PERSONALLY lobbied to create?

I would have treated all of the 4th Edition stuff exactly the way I treated all of the 2nd and 3rd Edition stuff. There is no reason to treat it any different. We would not be having this conversation if not for the time jump.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Yes. I'm saying that you start by including all published canon, and that -- since there's basically nothing coming out from WotC, aside from dribs and drabs on the Sword Coast, that you build from that point into whatever direction the community as a whole wants.

I'm saying to do what WotC has done in the past: go forward from everything that already exists.


Everything that I wrote to Adhriva applies here directly. Except you are asking for something different from Adhriva. Where Adhriva is saying we should remain with the canon no matter what, you are saying we should accept all established canon and then deviate.

These two points of view are not compatible. Either we stick with the canon, forever, or we deviate from it. If we deviate from it then if at some point WotC decides to release future material for whatever reason, we end up in exactly the same position we are in today--just in the future. Every argument you have made applies in the future just as much as it applies today.

Now, I think we are all in agreement that WotC is unlikely to produce any sufficient amount of Realmslore in the future. That the setting, at least when it comes to published Realmslore, it is likely dead or near enough to it. However, none of us have a crystal ball. We cannot predict the future with 100% accuracy, only look at existing trends and the facts laid out before us today, and then make a judgment call. What happens if we are wrong? What happens if WotC decides, to all of our shock, to start publishing Realmslore again?

More likely, what happens if WotC decides that, at the start of 6th Edition of D&D, that they are just going to reboot the Realms entirely back to 1357 DR? Oh, and they would also retcon everything in the reboot as well to fit with the new official D&D lore the way they have always done with the setting for edition changes. What then, Wooly? What about the new fans, coming into the setting through the official channels? Every argument you have made still applies.

We are not the official Realms. We should not attempt to portray ourselves as the official Realms. Either we, as a community, embrace an unofficial canon or we stay with the canon. There is no middle ground there, unfortunately. There is no way to split that baby in half. Either we are chained to whatever WotC does or we are not, and if we are not chained to them, then it does not matter what date the unofficial canon gets set at, because the end result is always the same. You are only advocating delaying this end result toward some arbitrary point in the future.
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Aldrick
Senior Scribe

823 Posts

Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  21:52:44  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

At the same time, they could release a product that includes a timeline, or even a passing reference to earlier events, and invalidates fanlore written for an earlier era.

The only way this won't happen is if the setting you're writing fanlore for is not being supported at all, and has no material at all coming out for it. Birthright would be a good place to do something like this, if you're not wanting anything to ever be overwritten.


...or we could just ignore whatever WotC proposes, and move forward with our unofficial canon. If WotC proposes something interesting then we could find a way to incorporate it.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

If it doesn't matter where it happens, then go forward with the most recently published material included, so one person can detail Corm Orp in 1493 (for example) while another decides to explore the post-1375 Wyvernspur family history.

By going with the latest published lore, you include people that like or want to keep all the published canon material, and others have the option of filling in the many, many blank spots created by the timejump. Considering how much of an open slate that era is, people can do almost whatever they want, there.

This approach is the best of both worlds. There's open space for the people that don't want to deal with the Spellplague, but those who like canon aren't forced to rewrite it.


That is not the best of both worlds.

1. It shackles us to all of the established canon lore. The Time of Troubles, the Spellplague, the un-Sundering, all of it.

2. It REQUIRES us to fill in the time jump material and invalidates 75% or more of the previously pre-4th Edition canon by outdating it.

3. It does not actually solve any of the issues you raise, which are legitimate issues, it merely pushes them forward in time.

I want to be clear here. I think KanzenAU really summed up the difference of opinion perfectly by getting to the root of the disagreement.

Approach One: Let's fill in some lore gaps, but make everything stick to the official canon.

Approach Two: Let's create an unofficial canon, fix the Realmslore problems that exist, decouple ourselves from WotC, so that when they finally stop publishing Realms material future fans still have a living shared setting that they can enjoy.

I am squarely in camp two. That was the proposal, from the beginning. That we create an unofficial canon that is decoupled from the official Realmslore. That we do not present ourselves as offering official Realmslore. That we use the Realms as it was presented to us and as it was intended. Not only does that allow us to avoid all of the potential C&D issues that Candlekeep worried about with the CKC, it allows us to fix numerous issues with the Realms canon that have cropped up over the years. We cannot all agree on those issues, so we should vote on it, and things that get majority support from the community get added to the unofficial canon. ...which is obviously separate from the official canon run by WotC.
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Aldrick
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Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  22:24:28  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

Oh, I hope so. :D What the wiki does (unintentionally) is catch, pin down, complete, and arrange the canon version of the Realms, and that inevitably defines it, for people who don't or can't go to the sourcebooks, or makes a first impression for those who do. It rebuilds a setting that's become very scattered and changing as 5th and future editions make their own version, though we try not to put our own spin on the setting. But the FRW is already the place to go to for setting lore: it's the first result in Google for any Realms topic (unless it's big enough for Wikipedia), we're one of the top-rated wikis, and we get ~1250 hits just on the Main Page and ~97,000 total views each day.

Even though our coverage of the central parts of the Realms is fairly shabby, it's a starting point directing people to the right books. I suspect the topics we've worked up and featured have inspired their inclusion in later adventures: Earthfast felt long forgotten, then a year after we featured it, it was used for the "Boltsmelter's Book" adventure. So a good wiki has an effect on its setting. For example, Wookieepedia is a vital resource for Star Wars writers, and I envision the FRW being the same for FR designers. The wiki preserves Realmslore, along with its theme, flavour, and spirit, and I think will preserve the setting for the future. After all, its first motto was Alaundo's "Wherefore guard the word written and heed words unwritten—and set them down ere they fade." from the Old Grey Box. (Maybe we should go back to it?)


And this is exactly why I love the FRW. It is an invaluable resource to me, and it makes all of the Realms work that I do so much easier. It is the reason I have defended the FRW whenever I've seen people trying to knock it here on these forums.

The only thing that has kept me from becoming an active contributor is my personal lack of hardcore Wiki skills, and the fact that I have not really kept up with a lot of the canon changes post-4th Edition.

My concern has always been posting a stubby article that features out-of-date canon information.

However, you are correct in that eventually the FRW will become the one stop source for all Realmslore. People will eventually stop turning to the official source material, in large part because it will become accessible to fewer and fewer people.


quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

The Realms aren't dead, just resting. :)

When I was little my mother told me the same thing when I saw my aunt laying in a coffin at the funeral home. It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.

quote:
Originally posted by BadCatMan

Although here's one crazy idea (something I proposed before 4th edition): jump forward a generation to say 1521 DR, the Year of the Moon Harp Restored, with a soft reboot and a clean slate. Close all ongoing plotlines and leave all the chaos of the Spellplague and the Second Sundering in the past, hazy and mysterious, only alluded to, a past catastrophe the setting is moving on from. The Realms always felt like a hopeful rebirth after a past apocalypse to me, whether it be Netheril's collapse, Myth Drannor's fall, the Time of Troubles, or the Spellplague. There's no need to obsess on the past, instead, look to the future. That way, no one loses their 4e and 5e developments, nor their 1e, 2e, and 3e history, and anyone's game can stitch up with it. No RSEs, there's never been a need for them. Then build a new Realms of 1521 DR, like the classic Realms in style and theme and shape, but with new characters to meet, new plots just beginning, old and new places to visit, with no requirement to know what went before. It's like a new Old Grey Box. :D

In any case, just put out the ideas. The good ones will be taken up, used, worked into other projects. Instead of trying to plan it and control it from the top down, let it evolve organically from the bottom up and from one project to the next, smoothing over inconsistencies as they arise. This is how wikis grow and it's how Ed Greenwood's own Forgotten Realms grew. All you need to do is set down the spirit and scope, and let the setting do its thing.


I did not think of this but this is also a potential compromise. This still has all the problems of the time jump involved, but if we do another larger time jump into the future and then demand everything prior be canon, we are equally freed from the shackles of WotC canon.

Let's say set the future Realms at around 2495 DR or something. Something really absurd. This is more than a thousand years in the future from the current Realms. We could call it a "soft reboot" of the setting. We have carte blanche to change whatever we want--even entire nations. However, it would in no way impact the previous canon. That would all be "history."

This also solves the issue of how we handle canon conflicts with future publications. We could simply say that if you are publishing around the canon date, that your stuff is subjected to being altered or removed to fit WotC's canon.

This is another potential compromise. I still do not like the time jump, but I do also think it is a fair compromise since it is far enough in the future that people who dislike anything published in the past never have to touch it. It also allows people to make their own stamp on the Realms.

This compromise solves all of the issues that I have, aside for the one about the time jump.

Thank you, BadCatMan! This is exactly the type of thing I was hoping to get from the people who opposed the compromise--an alternative compromise. Something else that could potentially be suitable and fair to everyone.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  22:28:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


Thank you, BadCatMan! This is exactly the type of thing I was hoping to get from the people who opposed the compromise--an alternative compromise. Something else that could potentially be suitable and fair to everyone.



What compromise? You have offered nothing approaching a compromise between "leave out everything recent" and "include all eras and thus all fans."

And in recognition of that, I'm done. If you're going to leave out published canon, you're leaving out people that support it. I will not support anything that is not inclusive, and you're not budging on your refusal to support everything, so we're wasting our time discussing it.

I will not oppose your efforts. Nor will I support them in any way.

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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  22:42:18  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I decided to stay out of this discussion for a little while, but I'll chime in because of BadCatMan's proposal.

The large time jump (1521, to stick with the example), has potential. It would allow for that "clean slate" approach. But, obviously, certain things in Stage I (how magic functions, gods, etc), would still have to be worked out, so we know where we're going. My worry would be that we would still have to explain certain things, even if we are "starting fresh". For example, we start with Cormyr in the year 1521. Maybe a new family is in power. How did they get there, and how long have they been in power? What is the political state of Cormyr at this time? Because of the time jump, there would be things we would have to hash out (a little "mini history" if you will). I say "worry" because we could run into conflict there as well. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, however. It has merit.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Aldrick
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Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  22:51:37  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


Thank you, BadCatMan! This is exactly the type of thing I was hoping to get from the people who opposed the compromise--an alternative compromise. Something else that could potentially be suitable and fair to everyone.



What compromise? You have offered nothing approaching a compromise between "leave out everything recent" and "include all eras and thus all fans."

And in recognition of that, I'm done. If you're going to leave out published canon, you're leaving out people that support it. I will not support anything that is not inclusive, and you're not budging on your refusal to support everything, so we're wasting our time discussing it.

I will not oppose your efforts. Nor will I support them in any way.


What are you talking about? Are you deliberately misreading everything that I write?

What BadCatMan proposed: Accept ALL canon (current and future), and just move the Candlekanon timeline forward far enough that WotC will never publish anything that will contradict it. This way people can play in whatever era they want, it is backward compatible with the FRW, and people who hate or dislike something about the Realms can choose to ignore it since the Candlekanon will be far beyond all the RSE nonsense.

Obviously, there are still pro's and con's to the idea. The time jump is the major con, but if we are trying to include all the canon it is unavoidable. The other major con is that anyone writing in the current era that WotC is publishing in risks the potentially having their Candlekanon invalidated. However, that chance as we all recognize is slim, and with a clear warning the issue is solved. Another major con is the fact that it does not give us the ability to fix and clean up stuff in the history that does not make sense.

However, it is a compromise. People can focus on whatever era that they want--1E, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, the ancient past, or CE (Candlekanon Edition).

It solves the problem you raised about new players being introduced to the setting. It literally solves every objection you raised. It also solves every issue that Adhriva and KanzenAU had with the proposal.
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Aldrick
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Posted - 10 Jul 2017 :  23:25:09  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I decided to stay out of this discussion for a little while, but I'll chime in because of BadCatMan's proposal.

The large time jump (1521, to stick with the example), has potential. It would allow for that "clean slate" approach. But, obviously, certain things in Stage I (how magic functions, gods, etc), would still have to be worked out, so we know where we're going. My worry would be that we would still have to explain certain things, even if we are "starting fresh". For example, we start with Cormyr in the year 1521. Maybe a new family is in power. How did they get there, and how long have they been in power? What is the political state of Cormyr at this time? Because of the time jump, there would be things we would have to hash out (a little "mini history" if you will). I say "worry" because we could run into conflict there as well. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, however. It has merit.


That is true. My thinking is that we do a longer time jump than simply a hundred years. A really big jump. This way we know WotC will never "catch up."

We could solve this problem by having a "cut-off event" in between the Candlekanon and the official timeline. So, if it is a really big time jump, we can have this event occur something like 300ish year in the future. Then another 500ish years or so after that the "official" Candlekanon starts.

Of course, at that point, the past would be presented like, "In the time before the Wailing Years it is said that the gods walked the land among the mortals!" The stuff of canon would be legends and myth to the people in the Candlekanon.

To handle the many canon inconstancies with the things like the planes, we could just go with the standard, "this is what the ancients believed to be true!" Declare them all true, and then decide what the people of the Candlekanon era believe to be the "real" truth.

The advantages of doing this is that it does not shackle us to anything WotC puts out. People who do not like something can just have characters that believe "the legends" are just mythological gobbledygook, the ramblings of madmen, and silly tales for children. This is largely how the really ancient past is treated in the setting already. Prior to the release of Netheril: Empire of Magic and Returned Netheril with the Shades, no one really knew a lot about it. It was ancient, mysterious, wondrous, and interesting. "Ha! They claim they had flying cities. How can anyone believe such nonsense?"

As for how we might handle something like Cormyr's royal line... the easiest way to handle that is to say that something like a revolt, a war, or something resulted in the sacking of the royal palace in <insert date>, destroying or looting all the records. Thus, there are no reliable sources that can tell us about the royal line prior to <insert date>.

History and stuff gets lost to people all the time. I mean, look at how much history was lost in the Middle Ages in Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Some stuff might survive, of course, in the libraries of nobles, in the tombs of the dead, or in the library vaults of a place like Candlekeep. That is why such-and-such noble family hires to PC's to find "the proof" that their line is the rightful heir to the throne.

We could even write the Candlekanon with an unreliable narrator similar to how the Volo's Guides were handled. Although, instead of a single character, it would be the "sages" of Candlekeep trying to piece together threads of history.
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CorellonsDevout
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  00:06:02  Show Profile  Send CorellonsDevout an AOL message Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I decided to stay out of this discussion for a little while, but I'll chime in because of BadCatMan's proposal.

The large time jump (1521, to stick with the example), has potential. It would allow for that "clean slate" approach. But, obviously, certain things in Stage I (how magic functions, gods, etc), would still have to be worked out, so we know where we're going. My worry would be that we would still have to explain certain things, even if we are "starting fresh". For example, we start with Cormyr in the year 1521. Maybe a new family is in power. How did they get there, and how long have they been in power? What is the political state of Cormyr at this time? Because of the time jump, there would be things we would have to hash out (a little "mini history" if you will). I say "worry" because we could run into conflict there as well. I'm not entirely opposed to the idea, however. It has merit.


That is true. My thinking is that we do a longer time jump than simply a hundred years. A really big jump. This way we know WotC will never "catch up."

We could solve this problem by having a "cut-off event" in between the Candlekanon and the official timeline. So, if it is a really big time jump, we can have this event occur something like 300ish year in the future. Then another 500ish years or so after that the "official" Candlekanon starts.

Of course, at that point, the past would be presented like, "In the time before the Wailing Years it is said that the gods walked the land among the mortals!" The stuff of canon would be legends and myth to the people in the Candlekanon.

To handle the many canon inconstancies with the things like the planes, we could just go with the standard, "this is what the ancients believed to be true!" Declare them all true, and then decide what the people of the Candlekanon era believe to be the "real" truth.



All right, so we would leave the past alone, so to speak, but decide how we want things to be in the "current" timeline? For example, whether the planes are modeled after the World Tree or the Great Wheel (or something else entirely. That way people won't argue over which one they like better. I think the two cosmology theories could actually be blended together, but that's just me). And this would be the "real" truth (though I personally think with things like cosmology, some amount of actual truth is allowed. In previous editions, we were given the information of the planes, so even if your average Faerunian didn't know, players and readers did). I only say this because, even if certain events in the past are now regarded as legends, I still think it's important to have solid base to work with. Not just with the cosmology, but other aspects. Not arguing against the idea, as making things legendary/myth/etc could help smooth out the inconsistencies without actually touching them, but just trying to provide some perspective. Even by starting fresh, you need something to work off of. Sorry if I am misunderstanding again.

I would say the cut off period could be from the mid-1600s to 17-something. The book Dawnbringer actually went all the way to 1500, though it was written during 4e, and we don't really know what took place between that gap. But, if WotC does start releasing more material, it's feasible within the next edition or so, they could get up to 1500. So you're right, a cushion would be best (and 1600-1700 is a conservative cut-off period, as you suggested 300 years. Hopefully WotC doesn't do another major timejump). Then the actual timeline for the Candlekanon could be in the 2000s somewhere.

Sweet water and light laughter

Edited by - CorellonsDevout on 11 Jul 2017 00:23:43
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  01:03:59  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick


Thank you, BadCatMan! This is exactly the type of thing I was hoping to get from the people who opposed the compromise--an alternative compromise. Something else that could potentially be suitable and fair to everyone.



What compromise? You have offered nothing approaching a compromise between "leave out everything recent" and "include all eras and thus all fans."

And in recognition of that, I'm done. If you're going to leave out published canon, you're leaving out people that support it. I will not support anything that is not inclusive, and you're not budging on your refusal to support everything, so we're wasting our time discussing it.

I will not oppose your efforts. Nor will I support them in any way.


What are you talking about? Are you deliberately misreading everything that I write?

What BadCatMan proposed: Accept ALL canon (current and future), and just move the Candlekanon timeline forward far enough that WotC will never publish anything that will contradict it. This way people can play in whatever era they want, it is backward compatible with the FRW, and people who hate or dislike something about the Realms can choose to ignore it since the Candlekanon will be far beyond all the RSE nonsense.

Obviously, there are still pro's and con's to the idea. The time jump is the major con, but if we are trying to include all the canon it is unavoidable. The other major con is that anyone writing in the current era that WotC is publishing in risks the potentially having their Candlekanon invalidated. However, that chance as we all recognize is slim, and with a clear warning the issue is solved. Another major con is the fact that it does not give us the ability to fix and clean up stuff in the history that does not make sense.

However, it is a compromise. People can focus on whatever era that they want--1E, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, the ancient past, or CE (Candlekanon Edition).

It solves the problem you raised about new players being introduced to the setting. It literally solves every objection you raised. It also solves every issue that Adhriva and KanzenAU had with the proposal.



I wasn't talking about BadCatMan's proposal. I was talking about your "people who opposed the compromise" line. You yourself offered no compromise for people to oppose.

The only issue I have with BadCatMan's proposal is that it's another timejump. I get the reasoning, but I can't say that I like venturing into entirely uncharted territory. But that's not a dealbreaker for me.

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Aldrick
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  01:48:20  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I wasn't talking about BadCatMan's proposal. I was talking about your "people who opposed the compromise" line. You yourself offered no compromise for people to oppose.

The only issue I have with BadCatMan's proposal is that it's another timejump. I get the reasoning, but I can't say that I like venturing into entirely uncharted territory. But that's not a dealbreaker for me.


LOL. My OP was the compromise, from my point of view. My preference is to just ignore all the RSE stuff altogether. Failing that at least find a way to iron it out. I was willing to ignore the RSE stuff, but not the time jump. It would have been too much to ask for people who hated the already existing canon.

BadCatMan proposed a reversal of the compromise. Accept the time jump and the canon, but jump far enough ahead that the RSE stuff no longer matters except in a historical sense.

There are pro's and con's of both suggestions. The obvious downside, as I have been saying for many posts now, is the time jump. It invalidates all of the older lore, making it just historical in nature. We would have to rewrite all of that stuff.

On the positive side of the ledger, BadCatMan's proposal accomplishes what WotC was setting out to do with both 4th and 5th Edition. Moving the timeline forward in the first place was an attempt to do a "soft reboot" of the Realms. The un-Sundering was another attempt to "reboot" the setting, trying to move it back toward a more classical Realms style and feel.

By moving the setting forward even further into the future, we not only insulate ourselves from contradicting anything in canon (we will be so far in the future that WotC will not catch us), but it also gives us complete freedom to work without being constrained to WotC's vision of the Realms.

One of the downsides is that we cannot go back in time and correct past canon issues--like the lore of the giants. However, if we write the Candlekanon in a similar way to the Volo's Guides--with an unreliable narrator--these issues can be more easily be smoothed over.

I mean, with an unreliable narrator we can smooth a lot of the stuff over rather easily. It also makes it easier for people to add "alternative takes" to the Candlekanon. "So-and-so's histories claim Noble X fought War Y for Z reason, but according to this source Noble X fought that war because of..."

It allows things to be a bit messier, gives us more flexibility, solves a lot of issues people might have--with things like the Cosmology, for example.
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Aldrick
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  02:02:58  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

All right, so we would leave the past alone, so to speak, but decide how we want things to be in the "current" timeline?


Yes, this solves the issue KanzenAU, Wooly, and Adhriva had with the suggested compromise in my OP. We will simply declare everything published by WotC canon now or in the future.

We then move the timeline forward to give a significant enough buffer space between the published Realms and some vague Dawn Cataclysm-like event. Then throw another time jump in there to get us a significant distance away from that.

This makes all published material history. This also makes everything we do backward compatible with the FR Wiki, because it will not do anything to contradict canon.

We place the vague the Dawn Cataclysm-like event in there to give us a point for our "modern" history.

For conceptual purposes, the Candlekanon would be to the official Realms what they are to the histories of Netheril, Jhaamdath, and Imaskar. These are historical periods of the ancient past that people know existed, that you might stumble upon from time to time (well prior to the point they started returning, lol), but they had no real impact on the modern world. They just helped shape the foundations of it.

If we are moving the time line forward, it does not really matter how far we move it forward. All of the previously established canon will be invalidated anyway, so we have to rewrite it. All the NPC's are dead, organizations have changed or been destroyed, new organizations and power groups have formed, etc. Basically, it matter little if we are jumping ahead 100+ years or 1000+ years. The only difference is whether or not we are being locked into WotC's canon or not. If we jump far enough ahead of them, then we do not have to worry about anything we write being contradicted.

Canon stuff goes on the FR Wiki. People who want to post homebrew stuff, fill in the gaps of their favourite era, or contribute to the Candlekanon post on the CK Wiki.

If someone does not want to play in the Candlekanon era, that is fine, the CK Wiki is still a useful resource to them for ideas and inspiration. People may set their Realms during the time of Netheril, for example, and add fan lore for that era. People may want to ignore the Spellplague and other such events, and post their lore for that era. People may want to play in the 4E / 5E era, and post their lore for that era. The Candlekanon would just be advancing the timeline forward to a different era and creating a new living canon.

It is what they attempted with 4th Edition with the time jump, and then what they attempted again with 5th Edition with the un-Sundering. They attempted to do a "soft reboot" of the Realms twice. It did not go over well. The only way to really do it properly is to get a long enough historical gap from the current era (much more than 100 years).

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

For example, whether the planes are modeled after the World Tree or the Great Wheel (or something else entirely. That way people won't argue over which one they like better. I think the two cosmology theories could actually be blended together, but that's just me). And this would be the "real" truth (though I personally think with things like cosmology, some amount of actual truth is allowed. In previous editions, we were given the information of the planes, so even if your average Faerunian didn't know, players and readers did). I only say this because, even if certain events in the past are now regarded as legends, I still think it's important to have solid base to work with. Not just with the cosmology, but other aspects. Not arguing against the idea, as making things legendary/myth/etc could help smooth out the inconsistencies without actually touching them, but just trying to provide some perspective. Even by starting fresh, you need something to work off of. Sorry if I am misunderstanding again.


I think this stuff can be solved by saying what WotC says is canon, is canon. However, we can use the whole 'the planes are shaped by belief' bit to sort of smooth over differences in the Candlekanon. So, if the planes for some reason end up different, it is because belief in the cosmos changed.

Then we quietly walk away, pretending it all makes sense, lol.

I mean, the obvious problem with the Cosmology is the numerous retcons between editions. There are only two ways to fix that: the 'alternative explanations for the same thing' method or another retcon.

The use of an unreliable narrator will help, I think. People can still propose alternate ideas, theories, and what not.

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

I would say the cut off period could be from the mid-1600s to 17-something. The book Dawnbringer actually went all the way to 1500, though it was written during 4e, and we don't really know what took place between that gap. But, if WotC does start releasing more material, it's feasible within the next edition or so, they could get up to 1500. So you're right, a cushion would be best (and 1600-1700 is a conservative cut-off period, as you suggested 300 years. Hopefully WotC doesn't do another major timejump). Then the actual timeline for the Candlekanon could be in the 2000s somewhere.


It is going to have to be somewhere in the 2000s, I believe. We need to make sure we have plenty of buffer space in case WotC does another time jump--just like you said, or writes more stuff in the distant future from the established canon.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  02:13:51  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would argue that the timejump doesn't invalidate anything -- all the prior lore is still valid. I will agree that the timejump was not a good thing, though, because it basically took out of play everything that we liked...

That said, the fact that it is a blank slate means it's a wonderful area to play in. It's almost certain that the lost century will never be filled in, and there are a lot of mysteries whose solutions lie unrevealed in that timeframe. Given that the timejump is right after the era a lot of people prefer, the lost century is, I think, the perfect playground for those who would participate but who dislike the 4E era.

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Aldrick
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  03:17:36  Show Profile Send Aldrick a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I would argue that the timejump doesn't invalidate anything -- all the prior lore is still valid. I will agree that the timejump was not a good thing, though, because it basically took out of play everything that we liked...


Invalidate is not the best word, true. A better way of looking at it is that the time jump makes all of the worldbuilding done prior less relevant.

For example, open the 2E Sourcebook for Cormyr. A lot of that information was already starting to fall out of date in the 3E Era after the death of Azoun IV. Throw a time jump in there and suddenly around 75%-90% of the sourcebook is no longer useful to gameplay. Every NPC is dead. There have been changes to the Nobility. A lot of the lore is no longer relevant, even the historical lore that is useful for the color and flavor of Cormyr changes because the kingdom has changed.

Basically, if you were setting a campaign in Cormyr, and you wanted a sourcebook like Cormyr, you would look at the canon lore, ask yourself what has changed, and then work to fill in the gaps. By filling in the gaps you are basically writing an entirely new sourcebook for Cormyr.

That was my objection to the time jump. I also felt that there would be much stronger pushback against incorporating 4th Edition elements into the canon, even through alternative means. When I posted my OP, I honestly expected some people to start posting about how 'if you even dare so much include a single Dragonborn in the Candlekanon then I am out!'

I expected more pushback from that end than the 4th Edition end.

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That said, the fact that it is a blank slate means it's a wonderful area to play in. It's almost certain that the lost century will never be filled in, and there are a lot of mysteries whose solutions lie unrevealed in that timeframe. Given that the timejump is right after the era a lot of people prefer, the lost century is, I think, the perfect playground for those who would participate but who dislike the 4E era.


I do not like the idea of setting stuff in the time gap. The primary reason is that you have the WotC canon limiting what you can do in the future. You cannot make significant changes to the setting if you have to constantly keep in mind the changes of 4th Edition. For example, you cannot have a situation in the time gap that dethrones Szass Tam in Thay and restores the Zulkir's to power. Doing so would invalidate published lore.

However, if we take BadCatMan's suggestion, jump ahead of the established lore, and create a large enough buffer, we get the benefit that you outline 'the blank slate' while also not being restricted by anything WotC decides.

It is a bit like arguing over who controlled Imaskar when it fell. Does it matter, really, in the end if it still falls?

The canon published Realms becomes to the Candlekanon Era what Netheril, Jhaamdath, and Imaskar were to the 1350's-1380's era. They are relevant in that they helped shape the current state of the world, but whatever WotC does in them does not really "break" anything people put effort into publishing for the future era.

It is also, as you stated, a blank slate. People are free to do what they want, and people who want to fill in the gaps of the past can still do so even if they are not interested in the Candlekanon Era. Though, of course, anything that "fills in the gaps" could potentially be overwritten by future published canon--as unlikely as that is at this point.

People can then set their Realms in whatever era they like most, and of course, this will also help the FRW further build up its contributors and the canon lore it displays. As BadCatMan acknowledges, at some point in the future, it will be the only way most people will get access to any Realmslore as getting the hands on the sourcebooks becomes more and more difficult. So, there is a real and genuine need of Realms fans with wiki skills to help keep the FRW updated.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  04:47:25  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Playing in the lost century isn't about making changes to the setting. Playing in the lost century is about providing explanations for known but unexplained changes, and working with that which is unknown -- like my earlier example of the Wyvernspur family, or maybe detail yet another Alias clone (several remain undescribed), or focus on the plots of a mage who was formerly a Manshoon clone...

Yes, there are some hard limits, but saying those limits curtail doing anything is like like saying nothing can happen in a football field because it has a fence around it.

Heck, playing in the then-modern Realms, I detailed four Lords of Waterdeep and named a fifth, all of my own creation, simply because there was room to do so -- at no point have all of the Lords been named.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 11 Jul 2017 04:50:48
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KanzenAU
Senior Scribe

Australia
721 Posts

Posted - 11 Jul 2017 :  04:56:17  Show Profile Send KanzenAU a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aldrick
As BadCatMan acknowledges, at some point in the future, it will be the only way most people will get access to any Realmslore as getting the hands on the sourcebooks becomes more and more difficult. So, there is a real and genuine need of Realms fans with wiki skills to help keep the FRW updated.


Getting hands on old sourcebooks is getting easier, actually. I now have a whole library of sourcebooks thanks to Drivethrurpg and its sidearms like the DM's Guild.

And I agree with Wooly with what he posted above. There's a whole century to fill in with endless possibilities. We know the situation in 1372, and we know the situation in 1479, and we know the Spellplague happened - past that there's a whole century's worth of events that could happen! Whole states could be made and unmade in that amount of time. Think of all the history Europe packs into a medieval century.

Regional maps for Waterdeep, Triboar, Ardeep Forest, and Cormyr on DM's Guild, plus a campaign sized map for the North
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