When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

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When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Graybeard » April 15th, 2010, 6:58 pm

Lillith just asked a very interesting question in the "Stone Man Pass" thread, and I'd love to see a good discussion here of the basic issue it raises. Simply put, our knowledge of "canon" in the Poe-verse is rather complete in some areas, and much less so in others. How do we conduct the game when playing it requires plunging head-on into one of those white spots?

The particular issue in this case has to do with just what the Ensigerum's core "beliefs" are. I won't duplicate here the reasoning that I use in the followup post in that thread (in a nutshell, we know they have some, and they don't think highly of the mainstream Veracian church, but that's about all we know), but it's a very interesting question that we could debate out-of-character for a long time if we wanted to, without coming to an answer. A related question is: what happens if we do plunge ahead based on some informed guesses on the way things work in the Poe-verse, but they turn out to be completely wrong? If the NPC that Lillith asked gives an answer grossly incompatible with the Poe-verse, it's not the end of the world, but it would be nice to handle things consistently if possible.

Any thoughts on what to do about situations like this? With some likelihood that Errant Story may reveal things about the dwarves, Northern Confederacy, Exitialis, etc., in the near future, they're going to happen again.
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Re: When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Kincaide » April 15th, 2010, 7:11 pm

I've already tried to be pretty careful about this. Any assertions I've made about the NC could easily be chalked up to things distinct to a small and local population. Other things (Like treating the dwarven ruins almost like unexploded ordinance the the Farrelian airship guild) seem like common sense to me, given the limited information surrounding such things. If anyone thinks any of my ideas are not true to the ES universe then feel free to let me know and I'll try to fix it.
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Re: When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Drannin » April 15th, 2010, 9:29 pm

It's a bit of a cop-out, but the easiest path is just to assume that the information sources are unreliable. Lies, misinformation, that sort of thing. Thus, when canon gives the real explanation, characters can come across the truth and perhaps learn that they were deceived for someone else's purposes. Hell, why not make lack of information a plot-point?

It's a bit ret-conny for my taste, but when all else fails...
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Re: When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Graybeard » April 15th, 2010, 11:21 pm

Drannin wrote:It's a bit of a cop-out, but the easiest path is just to assume that the information sources are unreliable. Lies, misinformation, that sort of thing. Thus, when canon gives the real explanation, characters can come across the truth and perhaps learn that they were deceived for someone else's purposes. Hell, why not make lack of information a plot-point?

It's a bit ret-conny for my taste, but when all else fails...

"Information sources" may be unreliable, but some kind of ground truth exists. In the exchange between Lillith and Kim, an imprecise answer is not only possible but reasonable given Kim's background, and I'll post one later tonight or tomorrow morning. However, for Kim not to have a good answer is one thing; for me not to is something else, if I am to handle Kim (who's an NPC and won't be a permanent member of the party) in a way that's most responsive to the players. I'm really posing this more on my own behalf than on hers.

K, I don't think anything you've done with Rhett poses a problem, certainly not yet. We know the Northern Confederacy is more technological (at least when it comes to weaponry) than points south; Poe said so once, lost in the old forum but accessible in the HKV. How technological they are probably doesn't matter much. But if the exposition of their technology suddenly started to poke at the question of whether there are any dwarves left, and if so, where they went, then we'd get rapidly into the incomplete-canon problem. Follow my reasoning?
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Re: When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Graybeard » September 10th, 2010, 11:04 am

This has reappeared as an issue, as a result of Poe's recent description (In the Chronicles of Heretic Knowledge) of how the Gewehr got to be a criminal element. However, I vote that for purposes of Errant Road, we continue to let the Gewehr function as it has been: legitimate power in the part of Farrel they control, mercenary/assassin syndicate elsewhere. That isn't too badly out of whack with the way Poe says they got to be where they are today ... and there's real-world precedent for a legitimate government in one place being considered criminal or subversive when they do stuff outside their normal sphere of influence. Isn't there? :|
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Re: When our knowledge of "canon" is incomplete

Postby Sareth » September 10th, 2010, 2:34 pm

I'm game.

I would suggest we could, over time, suggest that the previous statements are, in fact, a question of point-of-view. The Gewehr would likely not think of themselves as a band of stalwarts that had to go bad, but in fact as still legitimate and above board, simply with somewhat expanded definitions.
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