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Old October 19th, 2011, 07:28 AM
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Default Canon?

As I'm new here and still have to think what most of the abbreviations you guys use mean I'm asking this obvious question, what is considered Canon? As stated else where I'll be using the 3I setting. I've read quite a few threads and there seems to be some contention over what's canon not only in the fluff but rules as well. So.... what's canon?
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Old October 19th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Its info on 3I background or various rules mechanics (usually that are not completely clear in the rules books) have has been published in an official publication and hence is considered to be true / or how things should be done.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Thanos View Post
As I'm new here and still have to think what most of the abbreviations you guys use mean I'm asking this obvious question, what is considered Canon? As stated else where I'll be using the 3I setting. I've read quite a few threads and there seems to be some contention over what's canon not only in the fluff but rules as well. So.... what's canon?
For the literal definition, Shield is right.

For you, Thanos, remember that your definition is "Whatever Thanos wants it to be." Take as much from the source as you want, tweak to suit and you have your own personal canon. (I've rolled up a bit more than a sector; it will have Vargr in it but MY Vargr will be native to another planet and have no Terran genes whatsoever. Oh, and they'll be much less furry.)
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Old October 19th, 2011, 10:58 AM
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As Hans, or Aramis, or Martin, or Loren & Marc will tell you, "canon is for authors". They're the only ones who have to be spot on in their writings. For the rest of us, it's optional. The 3I history is canon, just divergent in GURPS Trav.
Use what you want from cannon and ignore the rest.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Hyphen View Post
Use what you want from cannon and ignore the rest.
BOOOM! There goes the Canon Cannon. You knew it was coming...

All I can foresee from here is a young boy saying:

"You fought in the Great Canon Wars of '11?!?"

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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:15 PM
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Canon means "List" and refers by conventions of English to lists of approved materials or lists of members. In fandom, it's almost always "the list of approved sources for the official setting"... and

For Traveller authors, designers and playtesters, there are 4 basic grades of canon:
  • 3I setting Canon - stuff that's true across all editions. Not the least of which is MWM's writing standards, which, while not setting materials, are a severe constraint on what is canon.
  • Forbidden Canon - Stuff that's true, but you can't quote it directly. Most specific material is DGP's stuff - it's Copyright by DPG, not MWM, and so Marc can't let you use their text directly, but most of what they wrote Marc has permitted to be presumed true for later works, and their ideas are part of the fabric of the setting.
  • Edition Specific Canon - Stuff that was/is true only for one specific edition. Either it's been changed, overwritten, is irrelevant to the edition's timeframe, or is not part of the official timeline. EG: Anything in GT set after 1115, and quite possibly some of the stuff from 1114 on. EG#2: Virus in a T4 Milieux 0 game - it won't exist for 1000 years. EG#3: Striker implies VERY strongly that the Imperium has an army; MT COACC says it doesn't, but when it needs one, forms one by drafting units from imperial member worlds.
  • Rules Canon - The official rules. They are ALWAYS edition specific, but are a special subset. If you're writing edition specific stuff, you HAVE to take it into account, if nothing else, to explain in the design notes why you've deviated. If writing edition independent stuff, you'll need to account for the differences if you include vehicles or spacecraft.

Canon is a tool. It's also a bit of a straightjacket. You can't have the 3I electing high nobles in the 1100's in the OTU - canon says they are appointed by the Emperor, and most are appointed by either primogeniture or tercogeniture (1st child or 3rd child), based upon the ethnic background of the noble line in question.

Lots of stuff is of dubious authority; a few things are specifically decanonized. The A5:TCS method of calculating naval budgets, for example, has been specifically excluded from figuring the 3I naval budget. When there are conflicts in the canon, people tend to resolve it in various methods. Me, I first look to CT sources and see the nature of the conflict... In some cases, it looks like timeline advancement brought setting changes, as with Subsector Navies in CT vs Reserve Fleets in MT, where it looks like a post-5FW change in organizational structures. In others, it is clear that one is right and another is wrong, as with the MT definition of Small Craft - MT has a logic flaw which is best resolved simply by using the CT definition.

Also note that the Canibilani/Vegibilani and Lesbian Aslan debates, fun as they are, are at best fanon, and at worst, violate Marc's writing guidelines.

Note that only one edition really makes much distinction between rules canon and setting: MGT. MGT makes it clear that the rules canon includes materials not part of the 3I setting canon.
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Last edited by aramis; October 19th, 2011 at 11:20 PM..
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:30 PM
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I wrote up a piece on "What is canon" a while back, and then Marc started sending it out to people in response to questions, so it's at least partially correct:

I'm not speaking for Marc here; I'm drawing from personal experience and observation to infer basic facts to assist. If I do speak for Marc online, I'll preface the post with "Marc is asking..." or "Marc wants...", or something similar. Rob Eaglestone also does this.

That doesn't mean Rob or I have any special status. If I was writing material for the Spinward Marches, I'd probably have Hans review it before giving it to Marc for review, because I trust his knowledge of things I've forgotten.

So, bearing all of that in mind, here's some simple facts about canon:
1. It is, at any given moment, what Marc decides.
2. Marc reserves the right to change his mind.
3. The GURPS Traveller universe (GTU?) and the Official Traveller Universe overlap; exactly where they overlap is questionable, depending on who's asking the questions.
4. The precedent of "mostly recently published source" applies, unless that newer source is wrong about something; it happens.
5. Never, ever assume that current licensees are not canon; rather, current licensees are always canon, unless they print something wrong.
6. Marc decides who is wrong.
7. There's no order to the six rules above.

That's pretty much it. On an average day of research for Marc, I'll start with MGT (if possible), then GT (including IW), then TNE (because I have to, not because I want to), then MT, then CT materials. Within those materials, the primary publisher is the first source, but any licensee could be a secondary source. There are probably *golden* sources, but nothing is perfect.

Oh, and yes, 1248 goes in there somewhere. I wouldn't consider it a primary source, but definitely a secondary source.

Heck, there's even a couple of Judges Guild items Marc mentions from time to time. Admittedly, I haven't dug much out of the JG and Paranoia Press materials for Marc, but I've got them to refer to.

And even HIWG docs and fanzines COULD be a source if it's an idea that Marc likes. For example, I pay very close attention to HIWG docs written by Clay Bush on subjects. And I've got the TML and Xboat archives setup as searchable because they have clues to things I don't remember.

I cannot think of a single source that would be outright rejected with no consideration at all. My own timeline isn't a source; it's a list of sources.

So, the moral is, don't throw rocks at other Traveller settings. We're all in the same tent, even if we imagine we're not.

Some things Marc has repeatedly said are NOT canon:
1. Anything under 100 tons jumping. 101-ton jump torpedoes might work, but 99-ton jump torpedoes simply don't.
2. DGP's Aslan art has the hands/paws wrong. I've repeatedly had this explained to me, but I still don't picture it properly.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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Thanks DonM and Aramis. I was afraid no one understood my question. This was the exact kind of information I was looking for.
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Old October 20th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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Is it time for me to post "In Re Canon" again?
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