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Are character backstories canon?

Mostly what I'm curious about is, is the line for what's canon drawn at stuff mentioned at the table, or is it drawn at stuff that comes up in the campaign? Cuz technically, it wouldn't make any sense for us to know this stuff, but then hardly anything like, what I mentioned, backstories, would ever get to be canon, since they'd most likely never come up in a campaign. Actually, is anything canon? Maybe if everyone says something in a campaign, but it never actually is proven, it's still not canon? Are the dreamweaver visions canon? But then what was the point of them? 

I'm so confuzzled.


  • so characters can say stuff and be completely wrong.   when justins character says that Khn'rell has "wooden teeth", "a hundred wooden teeth" in the silver mines campaign he was clearly wrong

    as for back stories, they are canon unless they are retconned. usually, though, the character backstories aren't impactful to the main storyline, they just explain why a character acts a certain way.
  • I think backstories are canon unless contradicted later in a campaign. As for other canon I think if we see it in campaign or if Rawb says x happened as the GM then it is hard canon. The only thing that can nuke a campaign as canon is if Rawb makes it a story and even then it is still canon that there was story about this. The best way to think of what you should believe/how much weight you should give it is as a set of tiers Rawb says campaign is story > Campaign events > Rawb says as GM > What characters say (including backstories) > Everything else.  
  • The things that the characters say is canon in so far as the character uttered these sentences. And that is as arm's length canon can get, in my opinion. The unreliable narrator is always an easy literary device to fall back on, but it shouldn't be used as a crutch. 

    Overall. Most things in the campaigns are cannon until they aren't. The show is a very involved system of collaborative storytelling. And sometimes some details need to change later, to make the chronology of stories be a bit more cohesive. Because even though Davey Dave Davidson is dead, he wrote a lot of books. Not just boyfriend quest. May his soul rest in peace, poor lad.
  • edited September 2017
    What a character says isn't canon. What a player themself establishes is canon. (Unless Rob immediately retcons it.) A backstory is something that a player is establishing, not what the character is saying.
  • Adding on to what Kirby said. Don't take what people say in their backstories literally. For example to Jax Blartowitz, New Porc City is a bustling city where Porcs are crime solving cops, but for all we know, New Porc City could be like a few huts put together and to a Porc like Jax, that is a bustling city.
  • just assume everything is canon until its no canon. that's what i do.
  • backstories and character conversations are soft canon, in that they are canon unless they fuck up something more important in which case they are not.
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