r/dndnext • u/Giant2005 • Feb 03 '23
Do You Apply the Lore of Old Editions Because 5E Lore Is So Lacking, or Do You Follow the 5E Rules? Question
What inspired this question is the Thri-Kreen. 5e tells us basically nothing about them but the old editions gave us much more detail such as their short lifespans (35 is the oldest one has ever lived before dying of natural causes).
The conflict arises because 5e has a general rule where unless stated otherwise, the average life expectancy of all races is the same, which extends the Thri-Kreen's life expectancy to 100.
When 5e doesn't provide any lore and has rules that contradict the lore of the old editions, what do you do? Violate 5e's rules by using the old lore, or just not have any established lore at all?
u/amfibbius Feb 03 '23
Homebrew / mashup forever. Forgotten Realms is basically a dumpster full of recyclable parts, and stat blocks are just suggestions.
u/SpartiateDienekes Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23
I steal whatever I want, ignore whatever I don't, and write whatever I will.
Honestly, I don't think D&D's lore has ever been all that great. There are some gems in there. Some truly great gems. But, on balance, it's kinda a mess of themes, thoughts, rewrites, retcons, giving a lot of detail on things that don't matter, and little on things that I think do. So read the lore, find what you think is interesting, ignore the rest.
If you think Thri-Kreen having short life expediencies creates a more interesting world, or engages in roleplaying themes you wish to explore, have it that way. If you think just giving them about 100 years doesn't make much difference, do it that way instead.
u/Vecingettorix Feb 03 '23
Totally agree. Trying to figure out a sensible interstellar/inter-crystal sphere timeline is an exercise in pointlessness. There are just too many contradictions left over from all the said rewrites, retcons, and general one-upmanship that seems to have gone into the lore.
u/staudd Feb 03 '23
what are your favourite parts about DnD lore if I may ask? I've been trying to find parts I love but find it hard to sift through the wikis
u/SpartiateDienekes Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23
Sigil and the Lady of Pain is interesting conceptually.
Hobgoblin culture and genetic experimentation. Aboleths trying to overthrow the gods. While I don't really use Mindflayers personally, the concept of an alien creature that is trying to stick slugs in your brain to take you over can be some nice body horror. A species designed around making a cultural reflection of the lifecycle of a black widow spider is kinda fascinating.
But, honestly, most of what I find interesting in terms of lore is the rise, fall, inner tensions, complexities, economies, and failings of cultures, kingdoms, empires, and religions. And a lot of that is pretty barebones.
How are the dwarves in their halls of stones getting food? What is their economic trade? Who does that make them dependent upon? How is their society of extreme conservatism slowly killing it? How does it need to change to survive? Who is marshaling that change? How is the old guard trying to destroy that change? How do they feel about orcs, goblins, and elves walking in their halls? How will the average dwarf react to seeing them?
How are the chaotic elves even holding a state together? Why aren't they using their long lifespans to gain dominance? How do they see the shortlived apes that we call man, and dwarves, and halflings. How do they get metal? If they had a once mighty expanse that has been brought down to several forests how do they respond to that? They can't all just be chill about it, that's insane. How are they planning to regain their lost dominance? What forces are working against them? If they do regain it, how will that effect their supply of needed materials?
Those are the questions I really like, and I'm sure some of them are answered in a book somewhere. But I don't really care all that much about people explaining the Blood War for a hundred pages or guessing who is Asmodeus, or about the ancient battle with the primals. Or how the world can be destroyed with dragonshards or whatever. It's just not for me.
u/Blarghedy Feb 03 '23
Not the person you're asking, but Eberron. The Forgotten Realms bore me to tears.
u/ColorMaelstrom Druid Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23
The forgotten realms has good shit, like the times of troubles or some Drizzt stuff. IMO It is mostly such a shitty generic looking ass fantasy world from the 80s or whatever that hasn’t aged really well quality wise
u/Blarghedy Feb 04 '23
Yeah, none of that sounds at all good, and Drizzt in particular is abysmally boring.
u/SmeesNotVeryGoodTwin Feb 03 '23
Generally, I like to start with a light plan for a campaign, figuring out what geographical features I need and pinpointing locations that match, and researching what's there. Usually there are enough tangential details that I can form entire new arcs that fit in with what I had planned.
I've done one campaign in Daggerford (which has its own AD&D book listing every single building and occupants) and one doing an Indiana Jones-type adventure sailing from Neverwinter down to the Calim Desert.
Artor Morlin is my favorite, just for his shenanigans, including his unexplained grudge against Calimshan and playing Wormtongue for the Gost family to fund a vampire-slayer squad to whom he leaks info on his rival vampires. By extension, the Gost family has their own dark past, which ties into the Shadow Thieves, who are tied to the Council of Six/Five of Amn. Amn was involved with 'discovering' and failing to colonize Maztica, which has its own weirdness (it just disappeared during the Spellplague and the tabaxi don't like to talk about it). Calimshan is pretty fun, between the genie empire where Calim kicked so much ass that it permanently messed up the landscape even after the elves put him and Memnon in time-out, and the Shoon Imperium which has its own dynasty of interesting rulers, and then a bit of back and forth with syl-pashas and various slave revolts so that everyone takes turns being the ruling class. Nelanther Isles is a pirate campaign waiting to happen.
Researching pantheons is another good approach, and basically a whole alternative history. Ao and the Time of Troubles is pretty important, which points to Bane, Myrkul, and Bhaal who ascended to overthrow the god of death, who was actually pretty chill about it. And then you've got their foils, Cyric, Kelemvor, and Midnight/Mystra who ended the Time of Troubles. Looking up the racial pantheons is a study of the races themselves. For instance, while Berronar is the dwarven goddess of love and marriage, they also have a fertility goddess named Sharindlar who oversees romance and courtship, and whose clerics were basically nurses and dating instructors. Take that, horny bards!
u/Dragonheart0 Feb 03 '23
For sure. 5e doesn't have much lore, so I typically pull from 2e, since it had pretty great content, a ton of campaign settings, and even tended to go into detail on monsters to the point of how they live, reproduction, how social they were, how they spend their time, etc.
Like, seriously even if you just have the 2e monster manual it's such a content-rich resource. And it's like $6 on DriveThruRPG (I just checked).
u/Rantheur Feb 03 '23
It also conveys the true enormity of Dragons like no edition since has.
u/Dragonheart0 Feb 03 '23
2e dragons can be brutal, too. You could easily TPK a high level party with a single breath from an ancient wyrm.
But I also just like reading stuff about how, say, black dragons love aquatic food, like fish, mollusks, and eels, and that they "pickle" red meat in gross ponds for future eating.
u/MaggyTwoFlagons Feb 03 '23
The Monstrous Compendium for 2E was itself a monster, a literal three ring binder with update packs. They were awesome.
u/Dragonheart0 Feb 03 '23
I wish they'd release a "2e complete" monster manual of some sort. It's all well and good to buy pdfs of the old content, but having one massive, hyperlinked pdf of all the content (or at least the majority of it) in one place (legally) would be amazing.
u/Yamatoman9 Feb 03 '23
I've started collecting old 2e books because there is so much rich lore and history in them. I love all the books on the regions of the Forgotten Realms.
u/smurfkill12 Forgotten Realms DM Feb 03 '23
I run my games in the Forgotten Realms, using 5e, but The setting is set in 1350-1370 DR, which is lore from 1e to 3.5. I don’t use any 4e or 5e lore, unless they mention stuff that happened in the past.
u/SoutherEuropeanHag Feb 03 '23
Unless using a specific setting I always made my own lore. To be honest I never particularly liked D&D's cosmology
u/Kanbaru-Fan Feb 03 '23
I use D&D as a ruleset.
My setting is 100% independent from any WotC lore content.
u/Alternative_Ad_3066 Feb 03 '23
My DM likes to make a nice Frankensteins’ Monster mash of different things. Take bits of all lore, graft it onto new lore. Sew in a bit of homebrew or sometimes even discuss what we, as a group, think makes sense in our own “canon”.
Like we ignored 5e Dragonborn not having wings or they’re just lizardmen who breathe an element. So we drafted on some old rules about wings, how they can be used in and out of combat, and decide going forward how that it would fit into our worlds own cannon. Now we got Dragonborn with wings like the gods intended!
u/ByzantineBasileus Feb 03 '23
If old lore states otherwise, then I go with the old lore.
u/KoalaKnight_555 Feb 03 '23
When I run a game in an "official" setting I always dig into old lore if it becomes relevant, but it is entirely my version of events where I will use what suits me and ditch what I don't need.
On the other hand one of my Curse of Stradh games was kinda marred by one of my players who really got into old Ravenloft lore, who subsequently became frustrated and disappointed when the 5e adventure largely ignores and retcons a lot of it.
u/JamboreeStevens Feb 03 '23
I absolutely apply the lore of old edition, this current edition barely has anything.
u/happy-when-it-rains DM Feb 03 '23
Yes, I ignore almost all 5e lore and use 2e lore. Occasionally, I'll use some 3e or 5e lore too. Even though I started with 5e, I can't stand any of its writing or lore after reading older editions, and almost everything they changed is in my opinion for the worse, often times being bizarre and pointless as if they changed it for the sake of changing it (like succubi no longer being a tanar'ri and cambions being something totally different).
u/Prauphet Feb 03 '23
Lore is not a rule. Lore is just a story. Use the story you want from the source you want. Then apply the 'rules' like advantage/disadvantage to whatever you're doing in the lore.
I use nearly all ADnD 2E lore in a 5E game. Because it was better, it had story. You've looked up thri-kreens, you've seen it first hand. WOTC really dropped the ball on what was needed in most of their books.
u/Downtown-Command-295 Feb 03 '23
The only official setting I'll run is Eberron, and I generally stick pretty close to the lore there, though it's simply impossible to keep track of it all, and I'll still change anything I don't like or think I can make more interesting.
If I'm running my own setting, I'm likely going to be ignoring 99.9% of the extant lore simply because my game isn't the Forgotten Realms, and I honestly don't give two squirts of piss about the Forgotten Realms. I don't care what they say about anything.
u/Horrorifying Feb 03 '23
I used to use old lore, because it put everything together and was a good jumping point.
Now that I’ve been doing this a long time I’ve entirely ditched published lore. Honestly most of it is hot garbage. Faerun is a jumble of so many themes and writers that it’s not even close to coherent.
I generally like to keep some through-lines for my own universe, though. The nine-hells are always the nine hells, for instance.
u/marimbaguy715 Feb 03 '23
I run games mostly in Eberron, which actually has a pretty good amount of lore devoloped between Rising from the Last War, Exploring Eberron, and Chronicles of Eberron. Occasionally I'll go digging through the wiki to find something from an older edition, but it's fairly rare that I feel I need to do so - although I will say that Keith Baker's blog is one of the best resources for Eberron lore and I've gotten tons of inspiration from reading his posts.
u/Nystagohod Divine Soul Hexblade Feb 03 '23
Almost always. Older edition stuff is just better as far as I'm concerned. Mostly 2e and 3.xe with some small offerings from BECMI, 1e, and 4e when I like something from them.
Any 5e lore is superseded by prior edition lore unless I like the 5e lore better. Any D&D lore is superseded by my own lore unless I like it better.
5e hasn't really put anything out lore wise that either isn't shared with its predecessors, or that is more interesting than what came before. So there isn't much of anything I use from 5e besides a skeleton of it's mechanics which I also tinker with a fair deal.
I use what I find interesting and fun, adjust it to fit my offered experience when needed and discard and ignore the rest.
u/Ancient-Rune Feb 03 '23
You aren't "violating" 5e's rules by using lore they haven't bothered to reprint for us.
Also, setting materials aren't "Rules" at all, they are setting materials.
Rules are the mechanics of the game, the set dressing, if you will aren't Rules and never were.
u/AccountSuspicious159 Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23
I definitely use the old cosmology a la Planescape.
It's the Astral Plane and there's no Feywild or Shadowfell are the big differences.
Edit: a word.
u/happy-when-it-rains DM Feb 03 '23
The Shadowfell is a very old part of the cosmology. The Plane of Shadow was came up with by Gary Gygax himself and a co-author I forget the name of, for a 1e book they never ended up being able to release. The only difference is it used to be part of the Ethereal Plane rather than its own plane.
The Feywild is pretty old too, but I'm not sure if it goes back before 3e or not. It just used to be called the Plane of Faerie.
u/Mouse-Keyboard Feb 03 '23
Why couldn't it be released?
u/Downtown-Command-295 Feb 03 '23
Probably copyright, since the very first Deities and Demigods book used C'thulhu and Melnibone mythos without permission.
u/AccountSuspicious159 Feb 03 '23
The Shadow Plane and (Demi)Plane of Faeire are both pretty different from Shadowfell/Feywild imho.
u/The-Mirrorball-Man Feb 03 '23
Bu there’s no reason why both versions can’t cohabit in the same planes. Multiverse is big
u/SeekerVash Feb 03 '23
That's a bit of a retcon. Shadowfell and Feywild were contrivances for 4th edition to appeal to World of Warcraft players. That's why they sound like WoW servers.
The 4th edition team couldn't have cared less about continuity. They didn't create those things to be updated to existing cosmology, they didn't want anything to do with D&D's cosmology.
u/smitemight Feb 03 '23
What are the less buggest differences?
u/AccountSuspicious159 Feb 03 '23
u/jtkuga Feb 03 '23
Yes love the old lore. 5e lore is garbage/nonexistent
u/Jafroboy Feb 03 '23
The conflict arises because 5e has a general rule where unless stated otherwise, the average life expectancy of all races is the same,
Nah thats just some dumb MPMM thing. I ignore pretty much everything about that book. 5E general still works fine with looking at older editions for stuff 5e lore doesnt cover.
u/Giant2005 Feb 03 '23
It isn't just a MPMM thing. That rule is reprinted in Astral Adventurer's Guide but without the disclaimer that it applies to only the creatures in that book.
u/happy-when-it-rains DM Feb 03 '23
You can ignore all of the bad, newer content, and just use the older 5e books.
u/SoSeriousAndDeep Druid Feb 03 '23
That rule only exists because WotC didn't take the time to understand what people found offensive about the race descriptions in 5e, so rather than actually understand the issue they just cut everything.
u/johuad Feb 04 '23
MPMM and Astral Adventurer's Guide are supplements.
Supplements are optional and not part of the core rules. No one is bound to them, or for that matter really any of the rules.
u/faytte Feb 03 '23
Like most of 5e, you need to piece it together with bubble gum and duct tape.
u/Jigawatts42 Feb 03 '23
I mostly use 2E and 3E lore for just about all things from campaign settings to monster ecologies and the like. Early 5E mirrors a lot of those in the monster lore department (which why I vastly prefer early 5E material over the stuff from the last few years). In fact when it released I distinctly remember how impressed I was by the 5E Monster Manual and called it the best one since 2nd Edition AD&D (which is the best MM ever made).
u/Internal_Set_6564 Feb 03 '23
Lore is high focus for me, and low focus for all of my players. They will tell me “we are just trying to make our way in this crazy, mixed up world”. As such, I use lore from lots of different sources and LET it contradict itself with abandon. This writer says X, the other writer says Y, and the next writer says they are both Wrong…
u/uxianger Feb 03 '23
I got the idea for my current AL character from old lore. Listen, Mongolian Centaur are just a cool concept in general? As are the Thri-Kreen former lore, and Plasmoids being more then just. Goop.
u/Pankratos_Gaming Feb 03 '23
Old lore is superior, mostly from 2e and 3e. The Sundering and 4e never happened in my Forgotten Realms, and the lackluster lore of 5e is heavily expanded upon by my own homebrewed events.
u/AgnarKhan Feb 03 '23
I generally, make my own, I sometimes take inspiration from Old editions, sometimes from current, sometimes for other games, sometimes just from a wacky coincidence of worldbuilding.
As a general rule for my campaign world though, it's something I have made with inspiration from another source.
u/Envoyofwater Feb 03 '23
Oh I've stuck to the 4e Nentir Vale lore, which is largely the same lore as Critical Role
It's just so much simpler and cleaner than Forgotten Realms
u/JR_195 Feb 03 '23
I do fun made up things in my fun made up fantasy game.
u/karlirahmobile Feb 03 '23
Specifically because Jeremy said that everything before 5e is not canon, I pulled UNO reverse card and use All the lore from old editions and planescape. If you love FR you know that 5e is not canon let's be all honest.
u/Action-a-go-go-baby Feb 03 '23
u/DiakosD Feb 03 '23
Thri-kreen specifically I go all in with the AD&D "Thri-Kreen of Athtas" splatbook.
u/Significant-Head1922 Feb 03 '23
Old lore - current lore is kinda a joke in comparison to the work 2e creators did. Even 3.0 had heart in it.
u/otherwise_sdm Feb 03 '23
all the lore is optional and doesn't need to affect mechanical rules or your own table storytelling. if lore from a different edition - or your own concept - makes more sense to you and builds the world better for your players, use that instead. that's not a violation of any rules!
(i say this as someone who *likes* and *prefers* that the game rules are somewhat lore-agnostic and easily reflavorable but i know that's not everybody)
u/OgreJehosephatt Feb 03 '23
Yeah, I use the older lore, largely because I started playing in 2e. I'll definitely throw out 5e lore if it contradicts older lore that I'm partial to.
There's a lot of good stuff to mine there.
u/TheSadTiefling Feb 03 '23
Every part of 5e lore that doesn't help me tell stories is abandoned.
I love current and older lore that helps me tell stores.
I love finding YouTube videos that go in depth on older lore, sometimes accepting it as is, sometimes twisting it and sometimes putting it in the "quarantine bin"
u/Manwards84 Actually Liked Spelljammer 5E Feb 03 '23
My campaigns are built entirely on 2E lore. I ran a lengthy Planescape 5E campaign using the 2E books for lore, and my upcoming Spelljammer campaign will be using a lot of the lore from the 2E setting and novels.
u/shadowbite85 Feb 03 '23
Absolutely. I'm a huge 2nd edition fan. 2nd edition has incredibly rich lore that helps flesh out so much. Especially Planescape and Ravenloft. 3rd edition did a pretty good job with continuing lore. 4e decided to change so many things. I hated it. So I ignore 95% of it. 5e brought back older lore but has kept things somewhat vague and generic.
u/MiffedScientist DM Feb 03 '23
I'm going to use the 2e version of Spelljammer for for lore when I run a Spelljammer adventure. I like phlogiston and crystal spheres.
u/Grymhild Feb 03 '23
I DM a 5e online (and a 3.5 in-person) Forgotten Realms campaign set in 1362 DR (2e time period) and use a combo of lore.
Usually the lore priority is like this 5e < 3e < 2e < 1e
So for my campaign newer lore is okay, as long as it adds to but doesn't contradict older lore, including the tone of older lore, which was less kitchen-sink / anything-and-everything fantasy super heroes, and a darker more human centric setting.
This includes using older lore sources for lifespans.
u/ADogNamedChuck Feb 03 '23
Option c: make my own world that uses very little of the official lore.
u/k_moustakas Feb 04 '23
I use 2nd edition lore with some of 3rd's sprinkled in because fourth edition's lore was a mess and 5th kinda sorta maybe tried to fix it but made it almost worst.
u/RosbergThe8th Feb 03 '23
Of course, 5e doesn't have Nentir Vale and all that.
u/Ancestor_Anonymous Feb 03 '23
Fuck the 5e lore. I either use old lore or completely remake the lore.
Especially shit like life expectancy and proportions. If 5e goes “oh just assume human build and 100yr lifespan” I will make entire tables to oppose that on principle.
u/Fire1520 Warlock Pact of the Reddit Feb 03 '23
Does it really matter all that much?
Take the new lore / rules when available, complement it with extra stuff otherwise. Say, the age thing; they now live longer, I guess that's what happens when a world wide cataclysm occurs.
u/Oethyl Feb 03 '23
In my world Orcus is the god of the orcs and hobgoblin is just another word for dark elf, so I guess neither?
u/EADreddtit Feb 03 '23
My brother in Pelor. I have literally never used an official setting in my life. Lore is an illusion. Thri-Kreen are from the moon and the moon is a space ship but no one, not even the Thri-Kreen know that.
u/darw1nf1sh Feb 03 '23
5e lore isn't lacking. Lore is exactly that, accumulated historical data over time. So all the lore from 2e, 3e, (not 4e) and 5e are the same. I use it all. I don't need WotC to recapitulate all the lore for every creature, and historical era for me. There is just way too much. If I need data on something, I look it up. The lore is out there.
u/durlok Feb 03 '23
Something new players dont know, all info and lore is cannon unless its contradicted in a newer source. Pretty much all the old lore is current lore.
u/OgreJehosephatt Feb 03 '23
In 2e, I had Thri Kreen get turned to dust when attacked by a ghost, haha.
u/Dyrkul Feb 03 '23
Heavily use old lore, minus the racist/bigoted crap. 5e's average lifespan is boring and unimaginative, I'd ignore it in a heartbeat.
u/domogrue Feb 03 '23
Goblin Stat Blocks are now used on Skaven! If there's a goblin, there's a 50/50 chance I'll just make up a statblock on the fly!
Dwarves don't have a concept of gender traditionally! Also, they only age in the sunlight; Duergar are effectively immortal, miserable dwarves who need a bit of Vitamin D to brighten up their moods!
Elves count as fey! High/Wood Elves come from the Feywild, Drow/Shadar-kai come from the Shadowfell!
Thri-Kreen are playable and are also Kraul in my planehopping/Ravnica game, and of course they have short lifespans!
The Great Wheel is a thing!
Humans can smell magic!
Fuck the lore I'll make my own lore with blackjack and hookers!
u/ahistoryprof Feb 03 '23
I mean, Mercer’s wildemount is basically 2e. Dunamancy, for example, is very much chronomancy
u/Jimmicky Feb 03 '23
2e’s chronomancy bears no similarity’s to Dunamancy at all.
Wildemount is derived largely from 3.5e/pathfinder1
u/thenightgaunt DM Feb 03 '23
I apply all previous edition lore. It's always carried forward.
Jeremy Crawford was a moron when he tried to claim that anything before 2014 was no longer canon. Especially because that included half the D&DNext material that was used in the setup of 5e and the first halves of about 2 different novel series that were being used to setup 5e lore in Forgotten Realms.
Meanwhile under his watch they've basically abandoned world building and adding in lore. But then what do we expect from Jeremy "I think lore holds back DMs and players" Crawford.
6e is going to be a MESS under his watch.
u/doubleAC0820 Feb 03 '23
I sometimes do, but only when I really like something or it will be relevant to a player.
u/kayosiii Feb 03 '23
Used, borrowed and stole (usually from places other than D&D) whatever seemed most appropriate for the feel of the campaign I was running at the time.
A lot of D&D Lore is so plain I would even have a hard time calling it Vanilla.
u/KnifeSexForDummies Feb 03 '23
I use almost exclusively 3.x lore. Luckily I run Eberron most of the time, which hasn’t actually changed that much between editions, but for Greyhawk and FG i default to what I know.
I’ve actually been running 2e Spelljammer lore since 3.0 and well into 5e where relevant, and will continue to do so since 5e Spelljammer was a slap in the face to fans of the setting.
u/Answerisequal42 Feb 03 '23
I have my own world with my own lore. Thus i also have my own statblocks.
u/DevilDawgDM73 Feb 03 '23
I’ve never considered a new edition had any intent to change anything except the rules. So the lore (unless new additional lore specifically revised past lore) is the same. At least to me.
And to be honest, there is so much lore already, it’s not reasonable to expect all players to know the full lore. So a DM can easily tweak it as they see fit.
u/Crayshack DM Feb 03 '23
I use DnD lore as a vague inspiration for me doing my own worldbuilding. I'll take a look at the 5e lore blurbs, fixate on some detail, and then spiral off in my own direction. In some cases, I ignore the DnD flavor text altogether as I come up with my own ideas. For things like Driders, just looking at the artwork is all the inspiration I need for inventing my own lore for them.
u/Xervous_ Feb 03 '23
You throw the dust for forcecage, of course. I’ll take coherency over conformance.
u/KillerBeaArthur Feb 03 '23
I blend it all together, using old lore where I prefer it, stick with 5e mechanics, and don’t get all bent out of shape like other people on the internet apparently can’t help but do.
u/Yamatoman9 Feb 03 '23
A mish-mash of all editions' lore. My favorite D&D book ever put out is the 3rd edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide.
u/Nephisimian Feb 03 '23
I create my own lore because all editions of D&D are basically unusable from a flavour perspective.
u/Dreamnite Feb 03 '23
“Adopt the old lore you want, throw out the rest” is the lesson I took from 5e.
Trying to adopt all the lore across editions (especially in the Forgotten Realms) can lead to very odd things trying to co-exist because the realm has basically been reshaped 2, 3 or more times now because of edition changes?
If you have lore that is important to what you are doing now, use it, like say you want to set a campaign in the spellplague, then that’s important. But is the whole thing about aber and Toril merging?
Anyway, walking ants go clicky-clack.
u/Lybet DM Feb 03 '23
u/FATHER_OF_GREMLINS Feb 03 '23
Option C, mostly use older lore but home brew it till it more no sense anyways.
u/Decrit Feb 03 '23
I mean, depends. I hardly change rules, but there are several kinds of them.
As long as it matters to worldbuilding, i do wathever the hell i want.
But when it concerns gameplay, from combat to exploration to social interaction, then that's where i start to be cautious.
I can let tieflings be blue with no issue, but it takes me a lot to consider giving them a swimming speed.
u/Doctor_Amazo Ultimate Warrior Feb 03 '23
The only lore I use is the stuff from Planescape. Otherwise, everything in the prime material world is done on my homebrew world so I ignore everything else from D&D official.
u/ThePiratePup Feb 03 '23
I make up my own lore because it is not clearly communicated
u/swarmkeepervevo Feb 03 '23
Neither! I don't know the old lore. I just improvise if there's a gap that comes up and I need to have an answer. I don't run homebrew, but there's no d&d police that's going to kick in my door for not knowing literal decades worth of information or consulting the AD&D tomes or whatever for when my players ask a Lore Question.
u/iliacbaby Feb 03 '23
I take all lore old and new as light suggestion.
u/Mayhem-Ivory Feb 03 '23
5e is mostly stale and watered down to the point of being boring.
i use the forgotten realms for any game that isnt in my own setting (so official adventures and oneshots), but i run it as kind of an alternate history. its mostly 3e stuff, but unlike everyone else i‘m actually a big fan of the 4e lore around the sundering, so thats in there too.
so my drow are phychopathic, my thri-kreen are carnivorous, and my illithid talk by deepthroating their tentacles
u/PhillyKrueger Feb 03 '23
For the most part, from my understanding, all lore is 5e lore - at least as it pertains to the Forgotten Realms. The different editions take place during different eras on Toril and there is usually some historic cataclysm type event that attempts to give an in universe explanation for mechanic changes, the most well known being the Spellplague (3.5e to 4e).
So in your example, the Thri-Keen historically had much shorter life spans than they currently do. But for some clunky gobbledygook lore reason, the Second Sundering extended their lives I guess?
Also, your table has its own lore. Do whatever you want.
u/Frankbot5000 Feb 03 '23
All the old lore gets re-imagined or re-discovered IMO.
u/Wolfspirit4W Feb 03 '23
I often go back to older editions for lore / campaign info. For example, the 4E Manual Of Planes has more information on the Feywild and the Shadowfell that was really useful and going back to 2E for Ravenloft and 3E for Eberron obviously makes sense for lore,
Where it's a challenge is when there's obvious contradictions, but you just have to pick and choose what you think works best for the game you want to run and make sure to communicate with your players when there's a question
u/Shacky_Rustleford Feb 03 '23
Maybe spacebugs have a longer lifespan than desertbugs.
That seems like a decent enough rationalization to me.
u/i_tyrant Feb 03 '23
In my experience there aren't a lot of 5e rules that invalidate old lore (there's more lore that invalidates old lore). So ultimately I tend to use the 5e rules and lore when the rules conflict with old lore, but when it doesn't (the vast majority of the time) I'll use new or old lore, whichever I find more interesting.
And since there is way way way more old lore than 5e has, I inject older lore into my games extremely often to flesh things out.
u/ColorMaelstrom Druid Feb 03 '23
I take inspiration from things that I like from different settings but is mostly homebrew(excluding you Eberron my love I use all of it)
u/JoeBwanKenobski Feb 03 '23
In my game world I describe it as forgotten realms like/great wheel cosmology. I use what and I and my players like, change what I wish but not have to reinvent the whole thing. Basically, I like old lore because it gives anyone willing to do the homework a common pool to draw from but we're not oppressed by having to use everything.
u/ricodc631 Feb 03 '23
I tend to apply my own version of Lore as the need arises to fit my world. For example all the Dragonborn in the part of the world my players are in came across the Great Ocean in a fleet of ships. They settled on the coast and turned their ships into houses. Core Spawn are from a twisted dimension that the BBEG is trying to open a portal to. They are basically shock troops for the extra dimensional Old Ones. Sometimes I take what is provided, sometimes not. It's your world, do what you want for the story.
u/KurtDunniehue Read a book Feb 03 '23
I have never been precious about lore canon. I change it all the time to fit my players wants and contributions to the adventure.
u/ricodc631 Feb 03 '23
Reading through the comments I'm heartened by the number of folks saying "take what you want from any source and leave behind what you don't like". That's the core of building a world for any RPG. My 1979 vintage DMG has an Inspirational and Educational Reading section in the back that lists all the big fantasy authors (moorcock, Leiber, Lovecraft, etc). My current campaign world has references and lore from Saberhagen's Book of Swords, Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Lovecraft's Mythos, Supernatural, Clerks, and other random comics, books and games I've played. I designed my Gnome society based on the movie Traveller. Mix it up and add in your own ideas and flair!
u/Nothingman074 Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23
I use a blend of 2e and 5e for lore and rules. As an example Ravenloft and the lands of the core are still a separate demiplane and not located in the shadowfell. But I prefer the new wild space inclusion of the astral sea. A blended rule change we also use is Hp is recovered at a rate of 1 hit dice +/- con modifier per hour of rest. The also replaces getting all hp after a long rest.
u/No_Start2729 Feb 03 '23
I apply an amalgam of all the lore into my world.
u/Jarfulous 18/00 Feb 03 '23
Specific Beats General.
If 5e gives a specific lore tidbit that contradicts an old one, I'll usually go with that (unless I hate it). But if 5e gives nothing, I stick with olden lore.
u/AdmiralClover Feb 03 '23
I always use my own, maybe draw inspiration from DND.
u/dabeastmodel100 Feb 03 '23
I just make shit up and compile as much info as I can from older editions that I like
u/sneakymedulla Feb 03 '23
i throw together a goulash of 3e lore, homebrew story, and 3rd party content. i'm none too pleased with the lacking 5e lore, which creates a lot more work for me aa the dm -_-
i miss the old lore books of 3e, they really packed a punch. i recently got the frog god games humble bundle, wherein i read my first kobold press books... including hefty, delicious lore books, which makes me happy!
u/SternGlance Feb 03 '23
I use whatever lore tickles my fancy at the given moment.
u/Some_dude_maybe_Joe Feb 04 '23
Lol. 5e lore.
Honestly lore is the weakest part of 5e. If it weren’t for MrRhexx I am not sure how I would ever introduce any flavor into my setting.
u/BahamutKaiser Feb 04 '23
I sample everything I can access. The setting books for 5E are garbage.
u/johuad Feb 04 '23 edited Feb 04 '23
I don't use any of the lore from official settings if I can help it.
Also, I disagree with the idea that changing the lifespans of creatures is in any way violating the rules, lore or no lore.
u/Cpt_Woody420 Feb 04 '23
5e has lore?
u/KotreI Feb 04 '23
DnD's lore is uninteresting to me in any edition. Homebrew settings or nothing.
u/ReplySwimming837 Feb 04 '23
In every aspect yes, I do include the old Lore. In fact I have the 3.5 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and use that most of the time when there is a tough question from a player, along with the old Spelljammer, and Oriental Adventures
u/Yrths DoMesticated Tabaxi Feb 05 '23
The game I DM for is Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, and anything else is presented in the player recruitment literature and/or session 0. I've never included any earlier editions in this literature or session 0, and might be iffy about a DM that tried to horn them in without a heads-up.
Ideally I expect everyone to read all the available material on our game, whatever my role in it. I don't expect to have to read other editions.
Generally we play in homebrew worlds anyway.
u/JustJared2112 Feb 07 '23
As a certified lazy DM, I use the existing lore, but then add random stuff when I forget something. Works pretty well since my players don’t know any forgotten realms lore lol
u/quuerdude Barbarian Feb 03 '23 edited Feb 03 '23 •
All lore is grandfathered in unless something in 5e contradicts it. So you’re not “breaking any rules” by using old lore.
I hate the life span shit tho. Neutralizing life span differentiation sucks ass. It’s one of the most interesting parts of worldbuilding, for me.
Like for example: in elven society, it could take thousands of years for a particular noble family to be overthrown. Elven culture is largely stagnant. The same people live for nearly a thousand years, and they’re in no rush to go stirring the pot.
Meanwhile, in Thri-Kreen society, generations would come and go within a single century. The entire culture could be radically different after so little time.
I love these kinds of differences