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Thread: DnD Head Canons

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    The upper planes and many angles are actually very actively involved in the blood war, though they act mostly only to mitigate collateral damage and to protect innocents that would otherwise get involved in the conflict.
    I think that one is canon. It is just not usually counted as being actively involved in the Blood War.

    On a related note, celestial angles totally are a thing. They live in Arcadia and look like this:

    The Wall of the Faithless wasn't created by anyone, it is just the natural endpoint for any souls without divine protection in the Realms. Most gods are extremely frustrated that some souls still end up in it, given that they offer free access to afterlives that are in their opinion obvious paradises.
    Like noob said, it would take much extra work to make the existence of the Wall any palatable.

    The Oard are totally canon and in their original timeline eventually turn into the Illithid. And I don't care how little sense that makes.
    For a less obvious Borg-like creature, I really love the kaortis. They were originally humanoids, most likely elves or humans, who went to explore the Far Realm in some kind of diving gear. Now they are mostly known for wearing armor assembled from bandages made of a resin-like material they secrete. They also make nests out of the stuff, called kaorti cysts. Their bodies are full of little symbiotes they can inject in other humanoids to transform them into kaortis, and they plan mass assimilation. They are also the creators and masters of various aberrations such as skybleeders, rukanyrs and kaortic hulks.

    I can imagine them being lead by a female daelkyr who totally looks like the Borg Queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Oard are the biggest knockoff nobody ever talks about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    Knock off from what? If you mean Star Trek's The Borg then the module was published in 1985 but Star Trek: The Next Generation aired in 1987 and the first Borg episoed was (I think) "Q Who?" in season 2 - so broadcast in 1989. The Borg would be the knock-off here.
    I doubt if any 2nd season episodes had been written before season 1 did well enough to get the seocnd season confirmed.
    Interesting. After seeing the Ood in Doctor Who, who are an obvious plagiary of the illithids, complete with ceremorphosis and elder brain, I am ready to believe this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I think that one is canon. It is just not usually counted as being actively involved in the Blood War.
    *shrugs*

    I've seen it claimed often enough that the angels keep out of the war completely. For my own games, I prefer it this way since it both makes them look less spineless and also because it can provide more adventure hooks.

    On a related note, celestial angles totally are a thing. They live in Arcadia and look like this:
    Ah dangit. Stupid common spelling mistakes....

    Like noob said, it would take much extra work to make the existence of the Wall any palatable.
    Eh, taking away the gods being responsible for it is mostly enough for me. Do mind, that is not the full extent of how it differs in my games. Nobody, especially not demons can take any souls from it, there is nobody trying to protect it, and destroying it is akin to trying to destroy gravity. It's less of a divine construct and more of a force of nature. Beyond that, it remains as a vague bit of cosmic horror that only divine beings can provide an imperfect protection from. Which I quite enjoy.

    Not that it matters, I guess. It's been quite some time since I've last played D&D and anything in the realms. And I never was fully up to stuff on all the lore in the first place.
    For a less obvious Borg-like creature, I really love the kaortis. They were originally humanoids, most likely elves or humans, who went to explore the Far Realm in some kind of diving gear. Now they are mostly known for wearing armor assembled from bandages made of a resin-like material they secrete. They also make nests out of the stuff, called kaorti cysts. Their bodies are full of little symbiotes they can inject in other humanoids to transform them into kaortis, and they plan mass assimilation. They are also the creators and masters of various aberrations such as skybleeders, rukanyrs and kaortic hulks.

    I can imagine them being lead by a female daelkyr who totally looks like the Borg Queen.
    Honestly I am just happy that people remember that module and the Oard at all. I've had a fun time running a modified version of it in Godbound. Mostly cause I'm a huge sucker for the trope of humans turning themselves into some kind of horrible cyber species. These Kaortis sound interesting though, will have to read up on them. They sound very Xenomorph-esque.
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-04-15 at 05:46 AM.

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    The angels are not a unified force. THey do whatever their god commands them to do. I'm sure there are some good gods around who would meddle in the war, but I don't think I've ever seen it written up.

    Celestials, though... it's established canon that Celestia thinks that Hell is of course a terrible place, but also the best bet anyone has to stop the Abyss from destroying the multiverse eventually, so they support hell with resources, at least, but probably not troops. At least not openly. The Eladrin, meanwhile, hate the Abyss too much to help them, what with capturing and torturing all their children, but they are extremely goood at helping mortals topple the lawful evil social structures that hell needs for soul support.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    The angels are not a unified force. THey do whatever their god commands them to do. I'm sure there are some good gods around who would meddle in the war, but I don't think I've ever seen it written up.

    Celestials, though... it's established canon that Celestia thinks that Hell is of course a terrible place, but also the best bet anyone has to stop the Abyss from destroying the multiverse eventually, so they support hell with resources, at least, but probably not troops. At least not openly. The Eladrin, meanwhile, hate the Abyss too much to help them, what with capturing and torturing all their children, but they are extremely goood at helping mortals topple the lawful evil social structures that hell needs for soul support.
    For each LE governor with great skills at organization killed hell becomes better organized.
    Support the devils by killing the skilled lawful evil people!
    Last edited by noob; 2019-04-15 at 08:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Celestials, though... it's established canon that Celestia thinks that Hell is of course a terrible place, but also the best bet anyone has to stop the Abyss from destroying the multiverse eventually, so they support hell with resources, at least, but probably not troops. At least not openly.
    Conversely, the Abyss might be the best bet to stop Hell from ruling the multiverse. So I imagine celestials, including angels, would mostly deal with yugoloths, as these fiends thrive on the Blood War itself.

    And yes, I know that neutral evil can be interpreted as pure evil, and thus the worst of the three. But what is the yugoloths' plan for the multiverse? Nobody knows, and that's what makes it so scary? Meh.

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    For each LE governor with great skills at organization killed hell becomes better organized.
    Support the devils by killing the skilled lawful evil people!
    Except they would die anyway, and pretty fast by devil standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    Knock off from what? If you mean Star Trek's The Borg then the module was published in 1985 but Star Trek: The Next Generation aired in 1987 and the first Borg episoed was (I think) "Q Who?" in season 2 - so broadcast in 1989. The Borg would be the knock-off here.
    Indeed.

    And they took it even further in First Contact. There's a quote in the movie that could be the back cover text for Where Chaos Reigns: "A group of cybernetic creatures, from the future, have traveled back in time to enslave the human race. And you're here to stop them?"

    And nobody can claim coincidence when the 1985 ilustration looks like this:
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    If someone puts a Star Trek creature into D&D, that's not news. D&D shamelessly absorbs everything. But an obscure D&D monster being adapted that straight to Star Trek is something you really wouldn't expect.
    Though in all fairness, they do fit much better in Star Trek than D&D.
    Last edited by Yora; 2019-04-15 at 09:20 AM.
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    I thought the Borg were a ripoff of the Cybermen (first appearance 1966)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    And nobody can claim coincidence when the 1985 ilustration looks like this:
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    Okay, that is actually kind of jaw dropping. They even have those same weird bumps as the Oard.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    the module was published in 1985 but Star Trek: The Next Generation aired in 1987
    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    the 1985 ilustration looks like this
    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Okay, that is actually kind of jaw dropping. They even have those same weird bumps as the Oard.
    If I am following correctly, this is a picture of the Oard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    If I am following correctly, this is a picture of the Oard.
    Is it? Currently away from my books, but I have the module and I don't recall any illustrations that look like this one. The art style isn't even remotely similar. Did they appear outside of the module, in one of the Monster Manuals?
    Last edited by Theoboldi; 2019-04-16 at 04:59 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoboldi View Post
    Is it? Currently away from my books, but I have the module and I don't recall any illustrations that look like this one. The art style isn't even remotely similar. Did they appear outside of the module, in one of the Monster Manuals?
    It is. I thought it was the picture form CM6 but it might be the picture from the original Creature Catalog (AC9 - 1986) as I definitely recognise it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    It is. I thought it was the picture form CM6 but it might be the picture from the original Creature Catalog (AC9 - 1986) as I definitely recognise it.
    Interesting! I was unaware they were mentioned anywhere beyond the module. That had me thinking I was looking at some early Borg concept art for a while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezekielraiden View Post
    You don't win people over by beating them with facts until they surrender; at best all you've got is a conversion under duress, and at worst you've actively made an enemy of your position.

    You don't convince by proving someone wrong. You convince by showing them a better way to be right. The difference may seem subtle or semantic, but I assure you it matters a lot.

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    FWIW, the Borg were originally going to be bugs, not cyborgs. They might have been "inspired" by the oard and/or cybermen later, but their original concept was as an insectoid species. It was dropped due to budget concerns.
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    Feather tokens probably weren’t invented by the Mazticans of the Forgotten Realms, but it does bear a strong similarity to the talismans they make with Pluma magic in 2e, and as such feather tokens are always going to be common in aztec-themed dungeons in any game I run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luccan View Post
    FWIW, the Borg were originally going to be bugs, not cyborgs. They might have been "inspired" by the oard and/or cybermen later, but their original concept was as an insectoid species. It was dropped due to budget concerns.
    Also, ultimately what they really are is zombies, moreso than they're like anything else. In fact, I think Star Trek is actually one to the best implementations out there of the whole "zombie apocalypse" trope

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    Owlbears are natural animals. They are a type of dinosaur.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Âmesang View Post
    From Gygax himself (see his article in POLYHEDRON #21 Nov 1984, p.9, and later mentioned in Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk, p.91) the official worlds connected to Oerth were Earth, Aerth (detailed in the Epic of Ærth sourcebook for Gygax's Dangerous Journeys roleplaying game), Yarth (the Conan/Kull-like setting for Gygax's Sagard the Barbarian choose-your-own-adventure books), and Uerth (a mirror-version of Oerth detailed in Expedition…).
    I imagine the Uerth characters having goatees even if they're children or women, just like the South Park episode with the evil parallel universe

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    *Sigil's national anthem sounds exactly like the old Doors Unlimited jingle

    *Halflings are colloqually known collectively as "the shorty" and are known for their tunnels and pipeweed

    *Older dragons' hoards are mostly in copper because their size rapidly outpaces their wealth and so to sleep on a pile of coins they need to have it changed for smaller denominations. It also makes it harder to steal.

    *A Mirror of Opposition that is left turned on and uncovered will accumulate a pile of dead rats and flies in a semicircle around the front

    *Erandis d'Vol is known as "Randi" to her friends

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    Prices for magic items and other very expensive goods being the same in almost every setting isn't (just) a simplification to avoid putting local price fluctuation mechanics in the DMG. Rather, all of the major metropolises on the various Primes are connected by enough spelljammer routes, portals, teleportation circles, and similar, and the major trading groups (mercanes, the Factions, Prime guilds, etc.) have access to sufficient divinations, to ensure that the multiversal magic item trade has essentially optimal prices.

    For instance, if every magic item merchant in Waterdeep decided to collude to raise prices on, say, cloaks of resistance +4, any high-level adventurer who wanted one could pop on over to Sigil, Union, Dis, the City of Brass, Greyhawk, the Rock of Bral, Sharn.... and pick one up at the standard price; if a new vein of adamantine is found on a particular Prime, planar traders can find out about it and add it to their list of thousands of adamantine sources throughout the multiverse; and so forth.

    In more humorous campaigns, there may be an explicit mercantile council overseeing pricing policies, the Wizardry, Artifice, Logistics, Magic, And Retail Teleportation Company, or WALMART Co.
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    Xagig is not Zagyg's only active evil twin

    *Iuz's good Uerth twin is named Luz and his symbol is a smiley face

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    All of the other alignments are equally close to true neutral
    So, more of a circle surrounding True Neutral, rather than the traditional grid (which put the non-neutral alignments a bit further from true neutral than the part-neutral alignments)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, more of a circle surrounding True Neutral, rather than the traditional grid (which put the non-neutral alignments a bit further from true neutral than the part-neutral alignments)?
    I'd almost go the other way, personally.

    I see the N[G/E] alignments as being focused more on G/E than on L/C, so they're "more Good/Evil" than their mixed counterparts, while the same holds true for the [L/C]N in the other axis. A LG person has to balance L and G when they interact, while a NG person or a LN person only has to care about one axis.

    So topologically I'd go more of a 4-pointed star, if I used alignment as anything fundamental at all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    So, more of a circle surrounding True Neutral, rather than the traditional grid (which put the non-neutral alignments a bit further from true neutral than the part-neutral alignments)?
    Yeah. After all, the whole "great wheel" idea od the outer planes kind of implies it

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'd almost go the other way, personally.

    I see the N[G/E] alignments as being focused more on G/E than on L/C, so they're "more Good/Evil" than their mixed counterparts, while the same holds true for the [L/C]N in the other axis. A LG person has to balance L and G when they interact, while a NG person or a LN person only has to care about one axis.

    So topologically I'd go more of a 4-pointed star, if I used alignment as anything fundamental at all.
    Early D&D had more of a four-pointed star view as well, but the other way around: the "extreme" alignments of LG/CG/LE/CE were viewed as being more devoted to their alignment than the neutrals, because it was viewed less as NG and LN being pure and LG balancing two competing interests and more as LG having taken a stand on both the cosmic struggles of Law vs. Chaos and Good vs. Evil while NG and LN were being wishy-washy on one of the two.

    The vast majority of intelligent monsters fell into the four extreme alignments, to the point that there's not a single NG/NE/LN/CN creature in the AD&D MM, just a few "Neutral with X tendencies" or "Any Chaotic" monsters; the Great Wheel counts the "Lawful/Chaotic with Good/Evil tendencies" planes among the Upper or Lower Planes and only really views Elysium/Hades/Mechanus/Limbo as "neutral" planes, as opposed to having wider bands of neutrality with the "extreme" alignment planes being on their own; and the Holmes B/X and 1e AD&D alignment chart wasn't a grid, but instead looked like this:

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    In fact, didn't OD&D only have 5 alignments? LG, CE, CG, LE and N?

    It explains why even now we still have pages and pages for Devils and Demons, not as much for Yugoloths (or other NE extraplanars). LN has modrons and formians and . . . I don't even know. CN has slaads and . . . I don't even know. NG has animal people, because why the heck not. Dragons also tend to the 4 diagonal alignments (especially the Top Ten in the MM).

    Similarly, it took a long time before NG paladins became options in core. Even the optional paladin rules in 3rd ed went for the diagonals (Paladin of Freedom, Slaughter, Tyranny). Although Blackguards could be NE so there is that. That said, druids broke out of N and branched out into the orthogonals in third (NE, NG, LN and CN) so there is that. Plus the Incarnates, I suppose. What? *I* like them, ok?

    Here's a head canon I haven't tried yet: All 1st generation Gods are alternate reality versions of each other. This does not mean they get along and they were all surprised to see each other as it took the initial creation of the prime material universe for them to appear to each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Particle_Man View Post
    In fact, didn't OD&D only have 5 alignments? LG, CE, CG, LE and N?
    Not exactly. Originally there was just Law, Neutrality, and Chaos, inherited from Chainmail. Gygax, in articles in Strategic Review and Dragon Magazine, added Good and Evil, so you had Good, Evil, Law, Chaos, and Neutrality; he didn't have the combined alignments, but he did lay out planes for those slots in the grid (and interestingly Elysium was originally the CG plane, with "Paradise" taking the NG slot). Holmes Basic D&D switched it up to LG, CG, LE, CE, and N with no neutrals, and BECMI went back to just L/N/C as AD&D codified all nine alignments.

    It explains why even now we still have pages and pages for Devils and Demons, not as much for Yugoloths (or other NE extraplanars). LN has modrons and formians and . . . I don't even know. CN has slaads and . . . I don't even know. NG has animal people, because why the heck not.
    I think the reason yugoloths are less detailed is that (A) demons and devils came in with the AD&D MM but "daemons" (as they were called then) were introduced in adventure modules and the Fiend Folio and (B) devils and demons got plenty of flavor attention in the main books but yugoloths were really only fleshed out in Planescape, so there's less material to draw on and less of a legacy to work with.

    LN has inevitables as of 3e (technically 1e, since the marut showed up then, but it was a one-off monster rather than part of a larger category), CN has nothing else by design, and NG most likely goes with the animal-headed creature theme because the Good exemplar races draw from the good gods in mythology, and Egyptian-/Greek-/Celtic-style "people with animal heads" gods fit in nicely with the archons' Judeo-Christian "wings and glowy lights" aesthetic and the eladrins' "super-elf nature gods" look.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
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    Where are my Like, Love, and Want to Have Your Manchildren (Totally Homo) buttons for this post?
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

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    Millstone85's Avatar

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    LN has inevitables as of 3e (technically 1e, since the marut showed up then, but it was a one-off monster rather than part of a larger category)
    I do not know which version of the marut I like the most.

    3e marut

    I represent the inevitability of death. No, I am not the terminator-looking one with a sword. I am the bulky one with the bird helmet, and I punch liches.

    5e marut

    The monodrones said that you are mocking the steampunk big-eyeball little-wings look. Want to repeat that in front of me?

    Edit: Changed the relative sizes of the monodrone and the marut.
    Last edited by Millstone85; 2019-04-28 at 06:41 AM.

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Oh, one that just came up in my game tonight:

    "Halfling pipe-weed" is marijuana. The reason halflings eat so much despite being Small and typically sedentary is that they all have the munchies all the time.

    (Also halflings are hobbits, not kender.)
    Play your character, not your alignment.

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    Default Re: DnD Head Canons

    Note: The following headcanon is derived from the 5e version of the Great Wheel, which has neither quasi-elemental planes nor Hinterlands.

    The Outlands has elemental gate-towns, eight in number, organized in a circle midway between the Spire and the outer gate-towns. Even closer to the Spire is a triangle of gate-towns leading to the Material, the Feywild and the Shadowfell.

    The "gates" the towns are built around are no mere portals. They are actually bigger on the inside, each containing an entire plane.

    Two suns orbit the Outlands, one made of positive energy and the other of negative energy, bringing day and night. Should you fall from the edge of the Outlands, you would plummet either toward one of the suns, or past them and into the Far Realm.

    In short, the Outlands is the Great Wheel.

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