Comments about Canon

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That's hardly as cool as canonical, apocryphal and deuterocanonical...

Well, I can call it a minstrel's story if you prefer.


I don't have a name for those :smiley: Marco's stories, however, I think deserve to be called the Weird News in Greek, whatever that turns out to be (a la the Gospel)...

Evangelien? Actually, that's Latin, Greek is euangelion "good news”, (eu - good / angelion - messenger).

Peculiaris? Meaning both strange and precisely strange to a place?

Since they are 100% part of canon I see no need to have them under any particular name. They are the rants of a certain redcap. If those rants are real or fictional is up to your saga to decide. I never doubted that there is a redcap in the Roman tribunal in 1220 that claims those stories to be true, though, or that an archmaga lives in a (canonically unnamed) city


Ie. fluff.

As I have a tendency to rant and rave and make off the cuff remarks, I can see how my initial post could have been so easily misinterpreted. Actually, perhaps it is the interpretation that is correct and I mangled my intended meaning with a poor choice of words.
What I should have said is more along the lines of David's points #s 2 & 3. I am saying that, when it comes to contradictions, interpretations of meaning, and filling in blank gaps; I myself and many other players that I know of still rely upon "old" cannon. i would further add that; whilst I agree that ArM4 and earlier material is irrelevant when specifically discussing the consistency and development of Fifth; I still assert that "old cannon" (the term I prefer) is indeed relevant when discussing the game as a whole and larger aspects of the setting (such as discussions of possible history or possible interpretations of the code).
However, I would also add that we are all gamer geeks, and Ars gamers especially, have a tendency to define their specific playing style in relevance to "cannon" and like to soapbox about their position. It is our equivalent of "discussing the relative merits of battleaxes and poison daggers". Shop talk.

I like to draw things from the old ancient Basic/Advanced/etc D&D and 1st edition AD&D. My covenant is the “Keep on the Borderlands”. I created stats for an Owlbear and have adapted Caecodaemon & Spiritwrack as maelifica spells.

Naturally. I would further add that this is the very reason that reference to said material still is and always shall be relevant to any and all discussions to nearly any aspect of this game.

And so the moment the 5th ed core book was published, you're saying there was no canon for anything not covered by that core book? Tribunals, mysteries, infernal, fae - no canon, since nothing was published as "5th ed"?

Pfffft. :unamused:

With respect to the typical player, there's a far more important point to consider, one far more common and practical. That is whenever one SG's or Troupe's personal interpretation conflicts with canon, if they are trying to incorporate canon material into their own saga. Creativity is fine until it has a headlong collision with the printed material, and then one or the other must be reconstructed. If that isn't an issue, then fine - but that's the rare creative SG (or insensitive troupe) who can brush that aside so easily.

A troupe without a Realm of Power book can certainly create a workable paradigm for how the Divine or Infernal or Fae operates, but if they then get that book, they must face a choice between their own ideas and those that all future AM material will be based upon. Dealer's choice. :wink:

You do realize you're arguing about something that happened 5 years ago? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. Moreover that is what the Line Editor said at the time, and is saying now.

Though I think if you were to bother to look, you would find that Tribunals, infernal, and fae are all covered in the core book. So were Mysteries, a little (the Outer Mysteries of the Mystery Houses).

Look, go ahead and play with 4th Edition stuff if you want. Just don't claim that Mythic Seas is still "canon" until we get a 5th Edition version of it.

Sorry, that's exactly what I'm going to do. Rather than accept your suggestion that there simply is no canon. (And esp since I find most of your advice and "reasoning" unattractive. Ims.) (Okay, not so sorry.) :laughing:

Maybe I should come clean here: City and Gild is the 5th edition version of Mythic Seas. Well, in the same sense that Lords of Men will replace Ordo Nobilis. I just kept syaing it wasn't Mythic Seas because Mythic Seas was not really much good...

Meh, MS had some good stuff in it, and it was fine for its day. Can't compare then to now, the standard has changed (as have our sensibilities). I still find some good stuff in MS - just have to sift with a bit of discretion. :wink:

I never suggested that, and it's highly disingenuous of you to mischaracterize what I said in order to "prove" me wrong.

"Suggested" it?! You emphasized it, and in quite a huff!

You really are not very self-aware of your posts and your statements, are you? Not just here, but in every one of your recent exchanges, you seem to make statements that you then backpedal rapidly from. Please decide what it is you are saying next time.

OK, so that's personal abuse. Decide if you want to have the authors discuss their thoughts about works with you. If the answer's "Yes", then being on the site needs to be fun for them. Being baited, in thread after thread, is not fun: ergo, you shouldn't do it.

Just to weigh in on Andrew's side: yes, there was no canon beyond the core book at the point that ArM5 was launched. Ask David, who is the arbiter of canon-ness. The canon reset was necessary because it meant that it was possible to get in new authors who didn't need to scour the web for old copies of ArM2 products and read them all to be up to speed to write for the line.

The problem, Cuchulainshound is that you are using canon for something its not designed to be used for. Canon binds authors to consistency. It has no strong role in your home game, and when you imply it does, you are using it for something is not designed for and your argument can just be ignored. If you aren't writing for the line, canon's not really your business.

The bit where you try to argue with David about what canon's for? That just a failure in logic. No, that's not what canon's for. Indeed, David's the authoirtative source of what canon is for. It's not designed to constrain storyguides in their discussions with players about how their games are played. That's simply not part of its function. You think it is, but you are simply wrong, and the people who have built the canon keep telling you that you are wrong, but you don't agree, because you are determined to use it for something its not designed to do.

Now, in your home game, that's your right, but the word "canon" has in this case, a fixed meaning and the canon has a fixed function. You keep telling the people who get to define that meaning ,and who use it for its described function, that they are doing it wrong. At that point your argument fails, from the first principle that its clear you are not using the discussed term to mean what it actually means.

And you are being a jerk about it.

"was no canon [in 2004] for anything not covered by the core book" is not the same statement as "is no canon". It's the latter statement you (Cuchulainshound) falsely accuse me of. There's a stark difference between the past tense and the present tense. You are ignoring it, presumably for rhetorical purposes.

Cuchulainshound, you seem to take this all very personally. I have lurked on this forum since the day this board went online so I have seen your good side and what an asset you can be to the community. I have also seen you repeatedly mock, belittle, and bully those you disagree with. You're not the only person who does it, you're just the only one who's in my face right now.

No one else in my gaming group posts to these forums or reads them any more because of the toxic climate of the "discussion." Think about that for a few minutes, let it sink in, and please make an effort to show your good side. If not for your own sake, then for the good of the community.

Well, you're right in that. I just have a hard time with people jumping around in their position, or their ability to explain their position. Makes any attempt at "discussion" nearly pointless imo, so the only thing left is pointing out the waffling. But that's not what this site is about - so done, with apologies to that point. Sorry guys. :blush:

Sorry, that's just not a tenable position. (I think I see the understandable mistake you're making, and will get to that.) The game isn't a brand new one, at least not in the eyes of most players. The world canon carries over, except where changed or explicitly removed. If a new version comes out and suddenly the Tremere were never vampires, great, big red stamp and official seal, done - but that doesn't mean that their house had lost all its history until True Lineages came out, and similarly with every other House and every other rule and detail.

The fact that there is canon from a previous version doesn't mean that new Authors can't rewrite canon - that's an editorial policy, and that's fine too. Happened with Tremere, happened with a lot of stuff. But they are changing some of it - and to change something there has to be something pre-existing to change.

One operative meaning for the word "canon" is, in the vernacular, "What is accepted, as officially stated" - and when 5th ed came out, 100% of previous canon did not get instantly rejected, since no such was stated by the 5th ed book, or even implied by its presence that it was. It was all laid open for revision, inarguably, but it still existed until so done.

Again, I don't agree, and this is the crux of why I don't. You are limiting the term solely to that of a writer's perspective - understandable, perhaps, but limited. I'm using the term from a player's perspective - and forgive me if that comes as a shock to you.

Canon does echo in any home game where the players enjoy bringing in additional books and look forward to the next one - if canon is disregarded, then pieces of the new books will not fit as seamlessly. We see it here on these boards all the time - "Ims I have always done X, but the new book says Y - is this new?..." - and it's pointed out that Y is consistent with canon because of several reasons and previous examples, not something new. Canon was disregarded, and the saga must now perform narrative gymnastics to either adapt or ignore the canon element.

And if you don't see that as a "strong role" in a home game, if that consideration is not the SG's business at least to some small degree, I don't know what else to say.

With all respect to Mr. C, I never knew he was "the authoritative source" for definitions and usage of words in the English language. News to me (possibly to him, too!) - but I'm glad he's finding time to work with Atlas while not presiding over the OED and MLA. 8)

You are seeing "canon" from the inside, knowing what will be replaced and what will not. You seem to be saying that if it will be replaced, it already no longer exists, and if it won't be replaced it should likewise be equally disregarded because it could be. I'm seeing it from the outside, that there is a set of rules and a fictional world in place, and both continue to exist even while and right up until changes are made to them.

As an editor/writer, your reality may be that there is no canon because anything is now possible, but as a player my equally valid reality is that nothing has changed until it does change. As someone outside your editorial process and foresight, why should I do any different? (So you might want to reconsider some of those comments about "failed logic".)

I'm sure I never implied "constrain", except as anyone constrains themselves by choice between two options - I said it's an important consideration, and that ignoring canon leads to problems when canon material then collides with that house-interpretation.

To say that a sand castle doesn't exist because the tide has changed is a failure of logic. They exist exactly until the tide sweeps them away, or a new one is built in its place. And since none can say how high the tide will reach until it turns again (none but the tide-makers), there is no reason to ignore the existing sand castles until then, or to assume they even will be replaced.

You, the editors, may have a plan for what "is" canon and what "will be" canon and what no longer, and in that sense previous canon becomes a tabla rasa for all new authors, and in that sense all "canon" becomes meaningless with a new edition - but that's not how it works for players. And to say otherwise is, in your own words, simply wrong.

Apology accepted. The ability to graciously apologize is a mark of good character IMO. :slight_smile:

In our new spirit of amity, let me proceed to shock the world by agreeing with Cuchulainshound. :open_mouth: Well, up to a point. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think there is a difference between what is accepted and what is officially stated. And what I think Cuchulainshound is arguing is that what's accepted by the majority of the community is that 4th edition sourcebooks and maybe even 4th edition rules still have force. I don't want to put words in his mouth but it seems to me that he's basically using "canon" to mean "mainstream acceptance."

Now, for me to argue that 4th edition books aren't accepted in the mainstream would be to deny an evident reality. So I don't do that. I just argue that "canon" does not mean "mainstream acceptance."

Mainstream acceptance is more important than canon, and if we all quit saying "canon" and talked instead about what's in the mainstream that would probably be a good idea.

Frankly I do not remember how the "retcon" was announced. I think it was on the Berk List but I don't know. The way I found out about it was through either playtesting or writing, probably the former.

In any case, the editorial policy is now clear. Isn't it?

I am still having a hard time with this phrasing -- to say there is "no canon" does not seem to make sense. There was canon in the 5th edition book and there have been a couple of dozen 5th edition supplements by now. By "no canon" do mean, "nothing from 4th ed. (or previously) is canon?"

If you've read this far and are wondering how I can claim to be agreeing with you, here it comes: your reality that nothing has changed until it does change is perfectly valid. In fact I would argue that "your" reality matters a lot more than what the Line Editor decrees.

I also agree that canon has influence over what Storyguides feel they can and should do, that it affects player/storyguide dynamics in a gaming group, and that whipsaw changes from one edition to the next can lead the players and storyguides to argue and to do a lot of extra work to resolve the argument. These in my opinion are more discussions of what makes a sensible editorial policy than a discussion of what the word "canon" means.

That doesn't matter: players don't decide canon.

No, it simple doesn't.

No, canon is what David says canon is. He says it starts from scratch, therefore it starts from scratch. Words do not have the meanings you want them to have, simply because you want them to have those meanings.

The House lost all of its history, in canon, when ArM5 came out. You saying it didn't in no way changes the fact that, yes actually, it did. Canon means somethign other than what you say it means. Canon is not the cumulative trivia of all editions. Canon is a continuity tool for authors.

No. ArM5 blanked the slate. No amount of semantics changes that. There is no canon from the previous version: things which were canonical before ArM5 ceased to be canonical on the moment of its release (well, onthe moment of the release of the Authors' Guidelines for the new edition, which said 4th wasn't canonical).

Yes, it did.

The evidential standard you are presenting is not a valid one. Cano is what David says it is. You wanting a "venacular" canon, where you get to say what it is, because it suits your argument, in no way changes what canon actually is.

Again, I don't agree,
I know, but your opinion doesn;t matter. You might as well not agree with the definition of the word "bridge" or "book".

It doesn't come as a shock to me. You are just being silly in suggesting that it would. All it does is once again point out that you are, Humpty-Dumpty like demanding that words mean what you want them to mean, rather than what they actually do mean.

So? That's irrelevant.

Again, that's irrelevant. Canon is not meant to guide players. That's simply not what it is for. That you choose to use it that way is your own lookout.

Then you don't know what else to say.

David defines what's canon in this game. You really do need to deal with that, if you are going to keep having these debates, because otherwise you are just petulantly pointing at a blue balloon and saying you can call it red if you want to.

No, I'm not: you are fundamentally misunderstanding how the authors work if you feel that to be the case.

No, I'm not, you're saying that. I couldn't be saying that because I don't agree with your replacement idea, remember? I think everything is up fro grabs until defined in the 5th edition. Nothing not mentioned in the 5th edition is canon. So, for example, Quendalon ceased to be canon when 5th came out, and entered canon when HoH:MC was released.

That's not canon, though. That's not what the word means. You wanting it to mean that doesn't actually make it mean that.

No, because it's not an euqally valid reality: it's you using a technical term for something else, and then saying that your use of the term's equally valid to the actual use. This makes as much sense as you saying that In your view, this webpage is a book, and that I'd be wrong to tell you that, no, actually, it's not.

Also, I have no idea what you mean by "editoral foresight".

Why shouldn't you call it canon? Clarity? A desire to demonstrate that you perpetuate these threads out of a desire to communicate with others rather than simply abuse Andrew?

It leads to problems if you decide it leads to problems. You can just ignore the new material. Canon is not binding on you in any sense.

See, this is just false, because bno-one plays a canon saga, and therefore -every- SG is one of the rare creatiuves in your example above. Yuor described model does not represent what people really do.

To say that the sand castle you built yesterday is the -same- sand castle as you built today is sheer foolishness.

...but we can say that: the tide came all the way in and washed away every single sandcastle, everywhere.

I am not and have never been an editor.

If there is such a plan, I've not heard of it, and I'm the most published author in the current canon, so I think someone might mention it to me if such a thing existed. Your understand of the process is not correct.

Canon is not -for- players, though. You insisting it is doens't make it so.

[quote And to say otherwise is, in your own words, simply wrong.[/quote]
Your opinion in this seem unshakably inaccurate, and so I'll leave things there. The basis of linguistic communication is that words have shared meanings, and you are refusing to accept the shared meaning for the central word in this discussion, so there's no point. You may as well just call it a teacup and have done.