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Old June 28th, 2015, 08:13 PM
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Traveller canon discussions often start with the oldest publications as sources. Perhaps it would be best if I used this moment to repost this...

Don's 'What is Traveller Canon' Hermeneutic

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 Rob, Hans Rancke, Jim Kundert, and Andrea Vallance review it before giving it to Marc for review, because I trust their knowledge of things I've forgotten. And all of us will often post items here on CotI because there are a bunch of great folks here to catch items.

So, bearing all of that in mind, here's some simple facts about Traveller 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 (aka the Lorenverse) 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 the Galaxiad notes (if applicable), Mongoose books, (if possible), then GURPS Traveller (including IW), then TNE (because I have to, not because I want to), then Mega, then Classic 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 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 ships work, but 99-ton jump anythings simply never work.
2. Almost all Aslan art has the hands and paws wrong. I've repeatedly had this explained to me, but I still don't picture it properly.
3. There are only six major races, and they are all identified. Don't add another one.
4. DGP's pre-Ancient Primordials/Sparklers. Come on, Joe Fugate only briefly mentioned them in his goodbye. The Kebkh are in the OTU. So are the Primordials, to a reduced extent, via the Knightfall adventure, but even some of that material is not canonical.
5. Light sabers, ala Star Wars. This might be proof that Traveller and Star Wars have different physics foundations. And if you want them in your OTU, Marc will NOT send the Canon Police to visit you.
6. Simultaneous FTL communication is never possible. No combination of psionics, science or magic can produce this in the OTU.

And the final, absolute rule: Canon is for authors. Referees and players are creating their own games, so they can do as they will, including violating any and all of the six items above.

Marc Miller's reviewed this several times and actually did approve it. This probably opens more questions than it answers. A discussion last year brought a few additions to the NOT CANON list. Careful readers will note slight changes since the last time I posted this...
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Last edited by robject; December 28th, 2015 at 02:56 PM.. Reason: Added mention of Knightfall in connection with the Primordials.
 

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