How do you deal with canon?

Discuss the World of Warcraft campaign setting, as it relates to pen & paper RPGs, here.
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Zeromaru X
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How do you deal with canon?

Post by Zeromaru X » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:45 pm

I'm planning to start my first Warcraft campaign soon (using 5e rules Arrius has shared with us here :mrgreen: ). However, much like with the Forgotten Realms, I feel overwhelmed by the loads of canon that Warcraft has.

So, how do you deal with this? It's recommendable to deviate from canon, and how much do you do it?

Any help would be appreciated :)

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Re: How do you deal with canon?

Post by night_druid » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:03 pm

I'd just say its a parallel universe and WoW canon may or may not apply. I'd personally ditch the whole Cataclysm, myself, and go in a totally different direction. Go with whatever you want; after all, Warlords firmly established the existence of parallel worlds.
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talsine
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Re: How do you deal with canon?

Post by talsine » Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:08 am

Pick a starting point, and ignore everything that happens after it.
If someone at the table knows more about the setting, make sure they understand what you are and are not using, and be firm when they try and say "but that's not what happened in" and just tell them thats how it is in this game.

Mostly, just make sure that your players understand that your game is not the official cannon and that not everything will be 100% the same.

Also, good luck, WoW is a tricky settings, i've never found a system that maps to it very well, and I'm too lazy to homebrew enough to make GURPS or Savage Worlds work

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Re: How do you deal with canon?

Post by agathokles » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:42 am

There are several options:
  • You can choose an area and/or time frame where few canon events happen (e.g., in the future or past).
  • You can limit the canon story only to some elements (e.g., only using the events of the original war game).
  • You can settle for an alternate history where some events do not take place.
  • You can play in a "small scale", so that the majority of canon events (except of course the world-shaking ones) do not affect your game.
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Big Mac
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Re: How do you deal with canon?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:34 am

talsine wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:08 am
Pick a starting point, and ignore everything that happens after it.
I think that is a good idea.

I wrote a topic, a few years back, called MMO patch releases as inspiration for tabletop plot arcs, where I was trying to examine the progression of WoW patches for inspiration for an adventure path.

I think you could look at WoW the same way, but go for the starting point (patch 1.1) as the version of Azeroth used in your game. That would allow you to ignore Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor.

And if you go for patch 1.1, you can still research patch names like "Assault on Blackwing Lair" as inspiration for plots in your game.
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Re: How do you deal with canon?

Post by night_druid » Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:36 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:34 am
talsine wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 3:08 am
Pick a starting point, and ignore everything that happens after it.
I think that is a good idea.
I say take whatever you want and use it, regardless of a starting point :) For example, here's a head-canon I've been mulling about for a while.

The Wrathgate was an utter disaster for the Horde. Sarfang jr was not the only son or daughter slain there; a number of chiefs saw their offspring killed or maimed there or the subsequent Battle for Undercity. And a whole lot of them blamed Thrall. Even following the downfall of the Lich King, the Horde teetered on unraveling as the various chiefs had no confidence with Thrall and many threatened to leave. So Thrall had no choice but to step down, allowing the chiefs to pick his successor, Garrosh.

Prior to taking over the mantle of Warchief, Garrosh had been leading expeditions all across Azeroth looking for weapons of war. In that time, he found a titan device. A device used to forge new worlds. In his haste, he activated the device, hoping to recreate or repair Draenor. While it worked, it also caused widespread destruction across Azeroth (aka The Cataclysm). So thus, the Cataclysm was Garrosh's fault. BUT, he did create a new Draenor, although one that was different from the previous version, as it was created from his memory of Draenor, thus explaining why new Draenor's continents don't line up with old Draenor's continents.

Garrosh's time as Warchief was spent spent acquiring resources and taking said resources to new Draenor. And when he was ready, Garrosh left Azeroth altogether, taking with him a large number of old guard orcs, trolls, and even tauren and goblins. As he had little love for Silvanas or the Foresaken (and Blood Elves), he mostly left them behind. He also heavily raided Alliance/neutral areas for slaves.

The "Iron Horde" is Garrosh's ideal horde, lead not by the Warlords from Warcraft 2, but their children and grand-children. They frequently raided Azeroth for slaves and resources, along with Outland, and thus resulting in war between them and the Alliance/Horde of Azeroth. Eventually the Iron Horde is broken, but both Horde and Alliance leave outposts on New Draenor to take advantage of the resources there, as they had in Outland.

Anyways, just my idea on how to handle Cata/Mists/WOD without having to use time-travel and alternate worlds and such.
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