What is considered canon for Nerath?

The civilized world has been reduced to a series of points of light in a great wilderness of danger and monsters.
The Book-House: Find Nentir Vale products.
Post Reply
User avatar
Knightfall
God Emperor of Kulan
Posts: 4533
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:36 pm
Gender: male
Location: Edmonton, AB
Contact:

What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Knightfall » Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:58 am

Now that 5E has been announced, I'm trying to decide which of the 4E books I own to keep. Since my interest is mainly regarding Nerath and the Nentir Vale, I'm most concerned with setting material that is connected directly to the PoL world. I have both Hammerfast and Vor Rukoth; however, I still don't have Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. I have both H1 Keep on the Shadowfell and H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (as well as E2), and I'm likely to get H3 as well. How closely are the 4E adventures tied to Nerath?

Are all the downloadable, generic DUNGEON Magazine adventures nominally tied to Nerath? I don't have access to DDI, so I'm mainly concerned with the adventures released before the paywall went up.

What about the HS modules?

What is considered canon for the Nerath campaign setting?

KF
Robert Blezard | Knightfall's Almagra and Otherworlds | Knightfall Press | Kulan World Journal | Spelljammer Gone Wild
"I write; therefore, I am!"
Homebrewed Worlds Index
Moderator for World of Kulan. My moderator voice is BROWN-ORANGE.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23716
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:55 pm

Knightfall wrote:I'm trying to decide which of the 4E books I own to keep.
I think the safest way to deal with this is to keep them all and make an assessment after 5e comes out.

I prefer 3e rules to 4e rules, but would be tempted to rule that many of the new elements introduced in 4e are part of the "nature" of the Nentir Vale world and review the most iconic of them to see if they can be retro-converted to my preferred ruleset. That sort of thing would probably be a lot easier if I had access to core material, as well as pure Nentir Vale material.

I know that 4e changes the classes and the available PC races. Things like that are probably not going to obviously look like Nentir Vale/Nerath canon, but when 5e comes along, it might move the goalposts of D&D again. If you sell or trade a lot of your 4e stuff, you might end up not having notes about something that you wish to recreate under 5e rules (or some pre-4e version of D&D).
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Knightfall
God Emperor of Kulan
Posts: 4533
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:36 pm
Gender: male
Location: Edmonton, AB
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Knightfall » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:08 am

Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:I'm trying to decide which of the 4E books I own to keep.
I think the safest way to deal with this is to keep them all and make an assessment after 5e comes out.

I prefer 3e rules to 4e rules, but would be tempted to rule that many of the new elements introduced in 4e are part of the "nature" of the Nentir Vale world and review the most iconic of them to see if they can be retro-converted to my preferred ruleset. That sort of thing would probably be a lot easier if I had access to core material, as well as pure Nentir Vale material.

I know that 4e changes the classes and the available PC races. Things like that are probably not going to obviously look like Nentir Vale/Nerath canon, but when 5e comes along, it might move the goalposts of D&D again. If you sell or trade a lot of your 4e stuff, you might end up not having notes about something that you wish to recreate under 5e rules (or some pre-4e version of D&D).
My reality is that I don't have the space to keep all the 4e books I currently own -- not if I want to hang on to my 3e/OGL collection as well as my other vital D&D game books (BECMI, AD&D, etc). I do agree with you that I should probably wait until there is more information about 5e before making any final decisions.
Robert Blezard | Knightfall's Almagra and Otherworlds | Knightfall Press | Kulan World Journal | Spelljammer Gone Wild
"I write; therefore, I am!"
Homebrewed Worlds Index
Moderator for World of Kulan. My moderator voice is BROWN-ORANGE.

ripvanwormer
Black Dragon
Posts: 3292
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:14 pm
Gender: male

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:13 am

Knightfall wrote:What is considered canon for the Nerath campaign setting?

KF
Generally, anything WotC publishes is considered canon, including subscriber-only content in Dragon and Dungeon Magazine.

But there's no real reason to care about canon in a home game. In a home game, canon is the enemy. You should consider it a moral duty to contradict it, or you will have shamed yourself as a DM.
Are all the downloadable, generic DUNGEON Magazine adventures nominally tied to Nerath?
I think they're considered to essentially be part of the same universe, but they don't necessarily have any effect on what's going on in Nentir Vale or the other known areas.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Havard » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:24 am

Knightfall wrote:setting material that is connected directly to the PoL world.
What makes this a difficult question is that "PoL world" is a contradiction in itself. The idea behind PoL was to avoid creating a world, but instead focusing on smaller locations, so that these could be dropped into any setting. Of course the fans went ahead and made it into a setting anyway. :geek: The Conquest of Nerath book made things even "worse" by publishing the map from the Conquest of Nerath game(which BM linked to above) effectvely killing the PoL concept. But perhaps the seeds to PoL's death were already found in the PHB with the references to Nerath, Arkhosia and the Tiefling realm (forgot the name for one second there), effectively making it difficult to integrate the PoL locations into even the Forgotten Realms, and much moreso Krynn, Greyhawk or Mystara.

Back to your initial question, I do agree that anything from WotC during the 4E era would be considered part of the Nerath setting unless it is specifically tied to another setting (Dark Sun, FR etc). Nerath probably even has an Isle of Dread in it. Maybe even a Neverwinter.

I think it is a little sad that WotC abandoned PoL. If the locations had been truly generic, it would have been much easier to integrate them into the different settings, thus appealing to many of the different existing fan communities. But this seems to go hand in hand with other decisions made during the 4E era that WotC now consider to me mistakes that they made. (see the 5E debate).

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
BotWizo
Wizard
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:36 am
Gender: male
Location: Barbarian Lands - Brun (Iowa - USA)

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by BotWizo » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:40 pm

The tough thing you will find is that the Nentir vale stuff is sprinkled throughout all the print stuff and most if not all of the DDI stuff.

Take the Iron ring; (it is in all of the following at least)
The first starter kit.
DMG1 i am pretty sure (i will check that as well)
Reavers of Harkenwold adventure.
The DM kit (i have to double check tonight)
Threats to the Nentir Vale.

So far this organization and Harkenwold have spanned the entire time 4E has been in print, just sprinkled here and there, so you just about need almost every book.

What makes it tough if you have been playing is you may have already played and removed the iron ring and Wizards produces some content that would have been nice the first time around. In one of my campaigns the River Rats of Fallcrest were wiped out a year and a half before threats to the Nentir vale was published. While nothing really changed it just would have been nice to have the extra content to work with.

There are books that don't have the small amount of setting fluff, but you may want the rules or monsters in those books if you continue to play 4E after 2013.
Game over man... Game over! -- Pvt. Hudson

User avatar
Paladyn
Gnoll
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:09 pm
Gender: male
Location: City by the River
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Paladyn » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:15 pm

There is plenty of information in Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale. Consider it a guide to tha area as seen as through monsters lens. Also tehre is a novel Mark of Neraththat delivers a lot of information, unfortuantely i Do't have it.

Any way, idea of Points of Light is that anything can happen and be in darkness between bastions of civilisation. Don't bother with official explanation. For example, in my recent campaign dwarves are exiles and wanderers. In the climax of March of the Phantom Brigade, Hammerfast was burried under colossoal avalance. It is said that greed and selfishness of dwarves brought such fate upon them. It can be as well as canon, as yours ideas or city described in Hammerfast accessory. It's your game and your world.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23716
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:45 am

Havard wrote:I think it is a little sad that WotC abandoned PoL. If the locations had been truly generic, it would have been much easier to integrate them into the different settings, thus appealing to many of the different existing fan communities. But this seems to go hand in hand with other decisions made during the 4E era that WotC now consider to me mistakes that they made. (see the 5E debate).
The Points of Light thing is certainly an interesting aspect of 4e to bring up.

I don't think that most of the pre-4e worlds fit with the PoL concept very well. Dark Sun could fit to an extent, and the Spellplague blasted Realms fits better than the 3e Realms.

If 4e books attempt to "sell" some locations and adventures as "generic" but they are strongly tied into the Points of Light concept, they are probably going to see out of place anywhere except Nentir Vale.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Havard » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:46 am

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:I think it is a little sad that WotC abandoned PoL. If the locations had been truly generic, it would have been much easier to integrate them into the different settings, thus appealing to many of the different existing fan communities. But this seems to go hand in hand with other decisions made during the 4E era that WotC now consider to me mistakes that they made. (see the 5E debate).
The Points of Light thing is certainly an interesting aspect of 4e to bring up.

I don't think that most of the pre-4e worlds fit with the PoL concept very well. Dark Sun could fit to an extent, and the Spellplague blasted Realms fits better than the 3e Realms.
I think the entire concept of worlds is contradictory to PoL. But if you through a PoL line publish sample locations like a dungeon here and a forest glade there etc etc, these are things that ideally could be incorporated into any setting. The good thing about the Spellplague is that it makes things less defined, giving more power to the individual DMs who might previously have been intimidated by tons of books on events and details. That would also make it easier to incorporate PoL type products into the FR. That doesnt mean that I think the Spellplague was a good idea in general.
If 4e books attempt to "sell" some locations and adventures as "generic" but they are strongly tied into the Points of Light concept, they are probably going to see out of place anywhere except Nentir Vale.
Thing is, I see the Nentir Vale as a Point of Light. The additional books simply provide more adventures for that small piece of land. But there is little stopping me from placing the Nentir Vale in Greyhawk, Mystara, the Forgotten Realms or even Middle Earth. That said, constant references to Dragonborn, Tieflings and specific past civilizations makes that more difficult than it could have been.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23716
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:30 am

Havard wrote:
Big Mac wrote:If 4e books attempt to "sell" some locations and adventures as "generic" but they are strongly tied into the Points of Light concept, they are probably going to see out of place anywhere except Nentir Vale.
Thing is, I see the Nentir Vale as a Point of Light. The additional books simply provide more adventures for that small piece of land. But there is little stopping me from placing the Nentir Vale in Greyhawk, Mystara, the Forgotten Realms or even Middle Earth. That said, constant references to Dragonborn, Tieflings and specific past civilizations makes that more difficult than it could have been.
Here is where I find "generic" locations, pretty much next to useless.

I look for hooks to tie things together. Nentir Vale and Nerath are hooks that can be used to tie different locations together.

A GM always has the right to raid things from any book, but it seems like someone decided that fuzzy settings are better for raiding, when they moved to the 4e-era. I just don't see the logic there. I would rather have detail on Nerath and decide to ignore some of it than have little information on Nerath and need to spend a ton of time doing homebrew work to fix up someone else's planet.

Mind you, I thought that the Points of Light concept was supposed to be about having small areas of good in a mostly hostile world. I didn't think it was about having small areas that are designed in a mostly "handwaved" world. Maybe that is why I don't get it.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Havard » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:27 am

Big Mac wrote:Here is where I find "generic" locations, pretty much next to useless.

I look for hooks to tie things together. Nentir Vale and Nerath are hooks that can be used to tie different locations together.

A GM always has the right to raid things from any book, but it seems like someone decided that fuzzy settings are better for raiding, when they moved to the 4e-era. I just don't see the logic there. I would rather have detail on Nerath and decide to ignore some of it than have little information on Nerath and need to spend a ton of time doing homebrew work to fix up someone else's planet.

Mind you, I thought that the Points of Light concept was supposed to be about having small areas of good in a mostly hostile world. I didn't think it was about having small areas that are designed in a mostly "handwaved" world. Maybe that is why I don't get it.
I dont know if my interpretation is correct, but I think that the idea of "small areas designed in a handwaved world" would make sense from a commercial point of view. Ie you could sell the same books to fans of the FR as to fans of Mystara, Greyhawk or Birthright etc.

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 23716
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: What is considered canon for Nerath?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:15 pm

Havard wrote:I dont know if my interpretation is correct, but I think that the idea of "small areas designed in a handwaved world" would make sense from a commercial point of view. Ie you could sell the same books to fans of the FR as to fans of Mystara, Greyhawk or Birthright etc.
I think you are probably right (at least by the reckoning of the bean counters).

I know that I'd personally prefer to buy a Mystara Campaign Setting book a Greyhawk Campaign Setting book, a Birthright Campaign Setting book and a Nentir Vale Campaign Setting book, than a single campaign setting and a bunch of generic splatbooks. But then I've not yet bought any 4e books, so perhaps I don't need to be factored into the business model (or the 5e business model).

For me, a document (either something like the Nentir Vale Gazetteer or some sort of Web Enhancement that is not behind the DDI paywall) that goes through all the 4e product line and explains what is considered canon for Nerath (and maybe fills in a few gaps) would be something that would really add value to those products.

And if they want to keep things flexible, I don't see why they can't write an article to show how something like Revenge of the Giants can be used as both a way to import the Against the Giants canon into Nerath, as well as a way to update the canon in Greyhawk.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and The Piazza's Google + community and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum. My moderator voice is green.

Post Reply

Return to “Nentir Vale”