Fanon Discontinuity/Tabletop Games

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.


    Sometimes, even DMs get railroaded by the publishers who make their cherished games. When the canon plot is going south, nothing works quite as well as taking an entire RPG world off the rails. It's hard to pinpoint what sorts of things people will accept in Tabletop RPGs, but rest assured whenever there's a rules change, someone is going to be unhappy.


    • A number of Warhammer 40,000 fans (who might be considered "extreme purists") simply disregard large portions of Dan Abnett's books as "him getting high on his own popularity".
      • Which is amusing when the Abnett books are strongly embraced as canon, to the point where Games Workshop produced miniatures and rules for Gaunt's Ghosts.
        • Inversely, some fans will take only the Abnett books as canon, especially given his reputation as 'the one good 40k author'.
      • Similarly, most people declare CS Goto (aka CS multilaser) non-canon.
      • Damn near anything written by Matt Ward will fall to this, on account how some fans think of him as a stereotypical over-Promoted Fanboy who loves the Ultramarines so much it borders on fetish. Said fans also tend to hate him more than CS multilazer. Way, way too many things he have done can be listed here such as turning the Ultramsmurfs into SECOND TO THE EMPRAH MUHREENS, ruining literally every codex he has ever written, and every single army he's come into contact with has had its fluff raped, been turned into an unstoppable table-destroying death-army, or, more commonly, both, but one example that stands out is that in the Grey Knights codex. After specifically stating that the Grey Knights' faith is strong enough to protect from corruption, he went and said that they killed the Sisters of Battle and smear their blood all over them so that they could acquire a daemon sword. See here for why this is bullshit. But anyway, the Grey Knights never would do such a thing, and that never happened. Don't make us hurt you.
      • The convoluted attempt to flesh out the Backstory of the Necrons from the third edition of Warhammer 40,000 onward has inspired several fans to develop mental blackouts when the words "C'tan," "Necrontyr," or "Old Ones" appear, in response to the overplayed role the Necrons' equivalent of special characters gained in the process. (A hint as to why: according to fluff, they're utterly unstoppable by any means, their gods can regenerate and soul-transfer despite lacking souls, and they seem to be overtly or secretly behind a staggering lot of history and every last organization in the galaxy, respectively.) Of course, the Necrons themselves faced serious resistance when they were first introduced, as "armies" at first consisted of a small number of boringly unstoppable robots. Indeed, for every new unit or race, there's probably someone in the fandom who thinks it doesn't really count.
        • The Necron are probably mostly hated because of their weird conspiracy theory aspect and the way they've been played up. Otherwise, a totally unstoppable and absolutely badass villain race is nothing out of the ordinary for the setting - Tyranids fit the bill as much as the Necrons. Chaos is presented as the ultimate threat - the Chaos god Tzentch is basically the platonic ideal of The Chessmaster turned into an asshole god, a moment of weakness can allow demonic possession and planetary annihilation, the demonic hordes are without number, and so on. They're not generally thought of as being as dangerous as most characters make them sound.
      • The Tau were considered by some to be a transparent attempt to appeal to fans of Japanese cartoons, without properly making them fit into the "Dark Future" aesthetic. They still are such, according to a large portion of the fanbase.
        • In their newest[when?] Codex and in 5th edition, this attitude has been somewhat rectified with subtle implications hinting at mind-control and forced sterilization.
      • The Blood Angels codex mentions a battle between Blood Angels and Necrons being interrupted by the arrival of Tyranids, both armies cease fighting to defeat the Tyranids and go their separate ways, claiming Dante is loath to turn against an ally. Yeah...
      • Almost anything written by Matt Ward gets this label. A lot of the fluff (espesically the stuff about Kaldor Draigo) in his Codex:Grey Knights has been ignored by the mainstream fandom.
        • This has reached the point that things that were cannon before Matt Ward wrote a codex also get lumped in. Notably the importance of the Ultramarines and the ridiculous Mary Sue status of the Grey Knights, both established pretty much from the start of the lore have detractors that pin both solely on Matt Ward.
          • The Mary Sue status of Grey Knights wasn't controversial prior to Matt Ward though, only because they weren't packing the auto-win rules and the fluff for them was limited to a glimpse of heroic figures fighting in the shadows rather than the nun-killing, pimp-slapping warpgods filled filth printed in the 5th edition codex.
    • The Old World of Darkness game Vampire: The Masquerade had a supplement known as Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, which revealed that Tzimisce vampires were in fact infected with spirit-parasites called "soul-eaters"... except for a secret society known as the "True Black Hand." Fans refuse to acknowledge this one ever existed, and speaking the name in the wrong place can start a Flame War. White Wolf never officially decanonized it, but the book End of Empires wiped out the True Black Hand and later books dismissed the contents of Dirty Secrets as utterly wrong. Given how often the supplements seemed to contradict each other, everyone had at least one they refused to pay attention to, although seldom with the level of consensus of Dirty Secrets.
      • While never Word of God, it was a fairly well-known open secret that Dirty Secrets was created without official approval by a disgruntled writer as a Take That against White Wolf management; and it's status in canon was never full accepted.
      • Another World of Darkness supplement a lot of players prefer to ignore is Mummy: The Resurrection, for the reason that no modernizing can make bandages wrapped around a rotting corpse look good.
        • This is more a disconnect between the illustrations and the text. A lot of the text seems to suggest that Mummies have their own little version of the Masquerade and look just as human as non-Nosferatu Kindred. Meanwhile the art depicts them as desiccated corpses wrapped in bandages.
      • Gypsies is also seen as a dark mark for the period and the pinnacle of the Old World of Darkness's tendency for well-intentioned-but-not-well-thought-out multiculturalism. It was all about secret bloodlines of Roma with powers based on deception and trickery. Oh, and it had a power stat called "Blood Purity."
      • Also in Old World of Darkness, some groups consider Charnel Houses of Europe: the Shoah a dirty word, though whether this is because of its perceived disrespect to the Holocaust or because of its stereotyping of Germans as evil is unclear.
      • Many players were so upset about the Avatar Storm in Mage: The Ascension that they sent writer Jess Henig death threats (even though he was only following the goals already set out by his immediate predecessor, Phil Brucato), and still have flame wars even today. Not only were these ridiculous temper tantrums completely insane from the point of view of any normal human being, but White Wolf had to revise the line because they were losing money [dead link]. But that's gamers for you: damned if you do, damned if you don't. It's just a goddamn game, for chrissakes!
    • As for the New World of Darkness, Changing Breeds seems to be hated for several reasons; poor writing, exploitable mechanics, supporting eco-terrorism, a character Splat that supports playing a kill-happy psychopath, and pandering to furries. Not that the author would tell you.
    • Within the Legend of the Five Rings gaming community, members of the Scorpion clan have mentally written out hundreds of pages of canon material because, as they put it, "First rule of Zombie Shoju: We do not talk about Zombie Shoju."
      • Many "Legend of the Five Rings" fans also refuse to acknowledge that the Canon Storyline even continued beyond Toturi I becoming Emperor. Even those that won't go that far prefer not to talk about Hidden Emperor.
      • A large faction of the CCG players considered the game to have ended after it was picked up by Wizards of the Coast, particularly since their first post-acquisition expansion set, "Scorpion Clan Coup", and in particular the Hidden Emperor arc, was seen to have effectively destroyed the game balance. Re-acquisition of the game by Alderac, and the Retcon and banning of the Hidden Emperor factions with the release of the Four Winds sets, effectively restored continuity.
    • Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition doesn't exist for some gamers, but this was to be expected with something as big as DND - They Changed It, Now It Sucks is in full effect. (Somewhat justified since the changes were massive enough that even most fans of Fourth Edition view it as a very different game.) Then again, for some, neither does 3.5 or 3rd edition exist. For others, it's anything after Gary Gygax stopped working on it directly. A select few ignore anything after 2nd, or even the first edition...simply put, Nostalgia Filter applies heavily when it comes to D&D, and everyone has his/her own preference.
      • Psionics has a similar effect as well. Simply put, only trolls start threads to discuss its pros & cons since neither camp will ever move, or even just agree to disagree.
      • Well, this isn't as big a difference as some other examples, since there isn't actual canon for the D&D game, just the campaign settings.
      • For that matter, there are fans who disregard the existence of any Dungeons & Dragons development past AD&D second edition...
        • There are fans who prefer to pretend that Thief class introduced to the game in Supplement 1: Greyhawk never existed.
          • For a work with no actual narrative to it, simply rules content, The Fiend Folio Tome for AD&D can attract something like Discontinuity sentiments. Or maybe everything in it except the Drow and Githyanki. Almost definitely the Flumph. I believe I read somewhere, that if AD&D had gotten to a second edition with Gygax at the helm, the Folio would have been canon discontinuity.
    • The fact that the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons was "updated" to the metaphysics of 4th Edition. It "helps" that disregarding all 4e materials is easier than trying to do the job of absent continuity editor and straighten every retcon: a lot of it not only fails to fit with the previous lore, but makes little sense internally even if one would drop everything else. And that's before getting into the Time Skip that ensured a number of beloved NPCs were killed off-screen. 4e Realms is a Base Breaker, to put it mildly.
      • Killing off the goddess Mystra and destroying the Weave in the process, despite the fact that her predecessors died twice - the first with "emergency shutdown" to mitigate damage, the second protected the Weave by storing some key part inside her champion - got a lot of fans pissed. That's just the tip of the iceberg. There was wholesale deicide that saw not only Mystra killed but a slew of other deities, some of which were also fan favorites, many by virtue of Idiot Ball.
        • The demihuman pantheons received the worst culling, most notably the Drow pantheon, which got whittled down to Lolth and saw Ensemble Darkhorses Vhaeraun and Eilistraee get killed off in a trilogy of poorly-received novels (the former was killed off-screen, the latter in a way exactly resembling an event which happened earlier and caused the deity in question no more than a momentary inconvenience) - and what became of the latter's followers was rife with Unfortunate Implications surrounding race (again, not consistent even with other 4e lore on the question).
      • Bear in mind that there's still a loud but vocal minority in the FR fandom that consider the first, comparatively less severe deicide that happened between 1E and 2E discontinuity.
      • And then the Forgotten Realms have been updated to 5e, when Ao comes in with the Second Sundering, deities like Mystra and Eilistraee come back to life, and a lot of things go back to how they were before 4e.
    • Quite a lot of Mystara fans prefer to believe that TSR's conversion of their favorite game-world to 2nd Edition AD&D was All Just a Dream.
    • Don't even mention the Champions of Darkness Arthaus supplement on a Ravenloft fan forum, unless you want to kick off a three-day slam fest.
    • Many Greyhawk fans claim that the Greyhawk Wars never happened, or at least happened in a much different way than official TSR canon describes it. Others also declare that the sci-fi elements introduced in modules like Adventure to the Barrier Peaks don't exist and are not part of the setting.
    • There are more than a few gamers that insist that West End Games never lost the Star Wars license.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! duelists would like to remind you that, except for a very few token cards, there were no such sets as Cyberdark Impact or the Gold Series, or deck types such as all incarnations of the Hero cards (Elemental, Destiny, and Evil Hero) or Neo-Spacians.
      • Don't forget the people who completely ignored the banlist.



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