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Notes (2022)[edit]

I removed the "Scope" section because I think it is, at best, confusing. I've pasted it in here. Rje (talk) 13:29, 14 February 2022 (EST)

Scope of Canon by Publisher[edit]

This is a rough graphical overview of Traveller canon in ASCI chart form:

                      LITERARY TRAVELLER CANON
| Scopes    |<---- Scope of Classic Traveller ---->|<----  Later Trav  ---->| 
| Canon     |         Primary Canon                |       Not Primary      |
| Timeline  |         -5 bya to 1115 TI            |       1116 to 1902+ TI |
| 2010's CE |         Traveller 5 (T5)             |       Galaxiad (1900)  |  
| 2010's CE |         New Traveller (MGT-2)        |                        |       
| 2010's CE |         Mongoose Traveller (MGT-2)   |           |     |      |         
|           |            MGT-2 = New Traveller     |           |     |      |         
| 2000's CE |         Mongoose Traveller (MGT-1)   |   GURPS   | TNE | 1248 |                                      
---------------------------------------------------|           |  T  |  S   |
| 2000's CE |         Traveller D20 (T20)          |           |  N  |  E   |         
---------------------------------------------------|           |  E  |  C   |          
|           |                                                  |     |  O   |        
| 2000's CE |        GURPS: Traveller (GT)                     | TNE |  N   |
| 1990's CE |        Lorenverse / Imperium Eternal             |     |  D   |
|           |---------------------------------------           |     |  A   |
| 1990's CE |   Marc Miller's Traveller (T4)       |           | TNE |  R   |
|           |---------------------------------------           |     |  Y   |
| 1990's CE |   Clay Bush Writing Corpus / HIWG    |           | TNE | HIWG |
---------------------------------------------------|           |------------|
| 1990's CE |               |                 |    |           |            |
| 1980's CE |   Classic     |  MegaTraveller  |    |   GURPS   |  C     GO  |
| 1970's CE |   Traveller   |      (MT)       |    |           |  T     JG  |
|           |   (CT)        -------------------    |           |        PP  | 

That final, open-ended column to the far right, labelled "Later Trav," represents secondary sources, including 1248, HIWG, Paranoia Press, Group One, Judges Guild, et al. Things from which good ideas can come.

Notes (2019)[edit]

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: It's Not Canon! POLL: Do you agree with any of these statements about the OTU? at CotI
  2. EXTERNAL LINK: #2 Canon at Freelance Traveller by Timothy Collinson
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 08:31, 14 March 2019 (EDT)

Notes (2018)[edit]

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: Canon: World Profiles in Publication
  2. EXTERNAL LINK: Sharik's Guide to the Third Imperium, 1115
  3. EXTERNAL LINK: CotI: Canon vs. Fanon & The Wiki...
  4. EXTERNAL LINK: What does Traveller canon mean to you?
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 05:14, 17 November 2018 (EST)

Notes (2017)[edit]

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: Traveller Canon Information
  2. EXTERNAL LINK: Rob's Traveller Regula Fidei
  3. EXTERNAL LINK: RFC: OTU Topical Reference Index
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 18:54, 10 November 2017 (EST)

Notes / CotI Discussion (2016)[edit]

  1. EXTERNAL LINK: Canon vs. Fanon & The Wiki...

Notes (2016)[edit]

Quick notes: Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 17:23, 17 September 2016 (EDT)

Rough Draft Canon Ideas (2016)


Trav Map Wiki TAS Zone Remarks
1. OTU Official or In Review

(actively being revised/ feedback solicited)

Canon Green Zone A sanctioned or accepted group or body of related work. These would be the published, approved-by-Marc works.

CANON: One of the definitions of canon is: a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works. The Traveller canon includes the books published by Game Designers' Workshop, Digest Group Publications, Imperium Games, BITS, Steve Jackson Games, QuikLink Interactive, Avenger Enterprises, ComStar Games, Greylock Publishing, and Mongoose Publishing.

2. Semi-OTU Unreviewed -

(likely to become official)

Deuterocanon Amber Zone (of sacred books or literary works) forming a secondary canon. The Licensed, published, but not all approved, or disapproved, by Marc. Deuterocanonical largely referred to the Digest Group Publications material, but would work for the other works where the canon status is not clear.

DEUTEROCANON: A number of other publishers, including Seeker Gaming Systems, Gamelords, FASA, produced their material under license. This material as is referred to deuterocanonical or second canon. These companies no longer produce for Traveller.

3. Non-OTU Apocryphal

(published but not canonical pending a change in opinion)

Apocrypha Red Zone Writings or reports not considered genuine. Secret, or non-canonical. This would include the unlicensed, published and other material (...not-using the F-word).

APOCRYPHA: Other publishers products, though approved for use with Traveller at one time, have been de-canonized and removed from this list: Judges Guild and Paranoia Press. In keeping with the the use of the term canon for the primary Traveller sources, these articles should be called the apocrypha or hidden canon. Traveller canon excludes articles published in Journal of the Travellers Aid Society, Challenge, and Travellers' Digest magazines, unless the articles have been re-published in another canon source.

4. Non-OTU Unofficial

(fan-produced and not otherwise considered yet)

Non-canon Black Zone (Wilds) Non-Canon articles are those that are not from approved sources, such as fanzines, non-authorized supplements, and user contributions. This does not mean that the content is inferior in any way, in fact the canonical sources sometimes disagree, or postulate technological results that are not keeping with science facts or theories.

Any library article not derived from a canon source is in the non-canon category. This includes work produced by other, licensed, Traveller publishers and fan produced works.

Purpose (2007)[edit]

TJL: The point behind this is for the various writers of new material. Incorporating (only) Canonical material means less review by Marc and playtesters. Using the other materials would require greater review and scrutiny.

  • The categorization of an article as canon or not is usually irrelevant to gamers. Which articles are important to your game should be your decision. Canon is important to authors writing for a publisher to ensure they are within the boundaries set by previous authors.

Challenge Magazine (2013)[edit]

Would like to revise entry to move Challenge Magazine to refer to it as canon. Per Players’ Guide to MegaTraveller:
MegaTraveller books and sourcebooks published by Game Designers’ Workshop are the “official” texts (the canon) for the MegaTraveller science-fiction role-playing game. The canon includes all of the rules, adventures, and sourcebooks published by Game Designers' Workshop, either directly or through Challenge Magazine." - pg. 6. Nathan Brazil (talk) 11:24, 28 April 2013 (EDT)

Or if a strict interpretation is required, from either issue 29 which has the first TNS entry which has Strephon's assassination or Issue 31 which has the first article with the header MegaTraveller.
Nathan Brazil (talk) 11:49, 28 April 2013 (EDT)

In general, the articles in JTAS and Challenge magazine are not considered canon. They were not subjected to the same playtest and review as the canon books. Some of the articles written by the Game Designers' Workshop staff were intended as canon material, and were usually republished later. For example, all of the TAS entities were published in Hard Times. There are a few other examples, but these are the rare exception rather than the general rule. Tjoneslo (talk) 16:59, 28 April 2013 (EDT)

OK then, np. Thought it was an "official" status change since it came from a FFE publication and that doc is also on the MegaTraveller Canon CD-ROM. Might have been an oversight on Mr. Miller's part. Thanks.Nathan Brazil (talk) 17:17, 28 April 2013 (EDT)

My understanding comes from Loren Wiseman, who was for a long time the editor of Challenge and several incarnations of JTAS. It was his assertion that a few articles were canon (e.g. the Jumpspace article in Journal of the Travellers Aid Society No. 24, TNS Entries, and one or two more that elude my memory), but most were not. Tjoneslo (talk) 18:48, 28 April 2013 (EDT)

Imperium Games de-canonized? (2011)[edit]

I seem to remember that when Marc Miller stopped Imperium Games' production of Traveller materials that he announced (on the TML) that he was de-canonizing the stuff they'd already produced. It is listed in this article as material that is part of canon. (I checked the Imperium Games article, and it didn't specify whether IG is considered canon, but it did have a brief, but carefully researched description of who was involved and when the significant events took place. Well done.) An American colloquial saying comes to mind about IG's status as canon or not canon: "Is it is, or is it ain't?" -Laning Polatty 22:13, November 1, 2011 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge the Imperium Games official publications are considered canon. The copyrights on the material either reverted or was assigned back to Marc and there was never any statement from Marc regarding de-canonization of the material. Tjoneslo 19:21, November 3, 2011 (UTC)

Older Materials Notes (2007)[edit]

I have no opinion about Seeker products, and I agree that Judges Guild and Paranoia Press material should be considered non-canon. But FASA and Gamelords material has been used as basis for explicitly canonical material a lot, and it seems a pity to ignore that much excellent and canon-compatible material.
I suggest accepting it as canon (with, perhaps, a caveat explaining its slightly fuzzy status).
- Rancke 12:06, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I will mark it as deuterocanonical or second canon, along with the DGP material. This would put all the "approved for Traveller" material not explicitly de-canonized. So we now have four categories of material: Canon (material produced by GDW), deuterocanonical (material produced by offical licencees), de-canonized (material produced by one-time licencees, but status has been revoked), and non-canon (matierial produced by people with no official licence). Articles from the former two sources are marked as "canon", and the latter two sources are marked as "non-canon".
Question: Do you have an opinon on how we should mark articles which originated as canon, but have been expanded by non-canon sources?
Tjoneslo 13:30, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Split them into two parts, firt listing all canonical information and then the rest. Mark them as both canon and non-canon.
I have another question: Non-canon material is all very well, especially since posting it to the wiki means that the author has given permission for it to be used as background material by writers of canon (it does mean that, right?), but what happens when there are competing versions? I ran straight into the problem today when I saw that Thomas had posted the Whanga landgrab material. As you know, I've written an adventure set on Whanga for JTAS Online, and the two versions are not compatible, to put it mildly. Is it First Come First Served? And if it is, what happens if (as I have a vague hope for) someday A Visit to Whanga gets into print? What happens if someone thinks the posted non-canonical material is silly and decides to do it over? Especially if some think it's silly and some disagree? What if someone spots an undeniable mistake in the posted material (case in point: The Whanga article says that it was granted to the Duke of Regina in 1099 by the Archduke of Deneb. There was no archduke of Deneb in 1099, dukes don't get entire worlds as fiefs (that's archdukes), and any fief granted to the Duke of Regina by the Emperor would have been granted 500 years ago).
Also, I know that JTAS Online articles are specifically not canon, by Loren's own word. Nevertheless, I can't help feeling that they must be somehow 'better' than material that hasn't been selected by a Traveller editor for publication. But I realize that I'm biased.
- Rancke 13:38, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

That is the question. Is a LandGrab article more canon than a JTAS Online article. I don't see that either is inherently better than the other. However in the end it doesn't really matter which is more cannon, as both are non-canon, they should appear under the non-canon heading. We have some other examples of conflicting articles. In this case list both articles with a note at the top that there are two divergent items. The first one there at the top... Problems with articles (cannon or not) should be listed on the talk page, perhaps with a reference on the main page that there are cannonical inconsistancies.

Dcorrin 17:10, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

My (lengthy) opinon on this is as follows: We are going to find more and more of these conflicts as time goes on. Not just non-canon vs. non-canon but all of the perutations of canon, semi-canon, non-canon, alternate canon, etc. As I see it there are three ways to deal with this. First, the editor-of-the-week decides which version is "more canon" and only that version is posted. This is exclusionary and prone to starting flamewars and causing hurt feelings.

Second, we post both (all) versions, either in the same page (as Dan suggested) or on seperate pages. The seperate pages would probably be subpages. For example, there would be "Whanga (world)/Landgrab" and "Whanga (world)/JTAS Online" pages and the root page "Whanga (world)" would be a disambiuation page point to the other two. Or we could use author names, or book names to distinguish sources.

Third, and the option I like best, is to go back to the Traveller wiki's statement of purpose: to be an in-game ship's library. In this case having the meta-information about the source(s) in the article breaks the fourth wall. To fix this, an article would be need to be rewritten to remove or smooth over the inconsistencies between the sources. However, it may not be possible to reconcile different sources of information into a coherent article. And some people may want to reference the original sources in an unedited form, particularly canon references.

My proposed solution is, and it may be too convoluted, is to use the second option above by creating sub-pages for the original sources. The root article would contain as much information as can be resolved between the sources. This may be as little as "this article as several incompatable sources" with a link to their pages.

I'll create a {{conflict}} template with some text to indicated that the article has conflicting sources, to notify the user quickly of the potential issue.

Tjoneslo 18:16, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I think Tjoneslo is on the right track; or as seen from a game perspective it is resolved with two different versions of a similar story.
I am sure history as told by the conquerors (or survivors) would be substantially different than that that would have been written by the defeated (or dead).
... and it lends a little in-game challenge to the use of a database to determine just "what is the truth".

OK, doubling (tripling, quadrupling, etc.) up on conflicting non-canon material is reasonable and fair and I guess we can wait to discuss what to do if one version some day gets published until (and if) that happens. But I still have two questions.

One is the one I already brought up above: What if someone spots an undeniable mistake in some non-canon material? E.g. the Whanga article says that it was granted to the Duke of Regina in 1099 by the Archduke of Deneb. There was no archduke of Deneb in 1099, dukes don't get entire worlds as fiefs (that's archdukes), and any fief granted to the Duke of Regina by the Emperor would have been granted 500 years ago). Another mistake is that BtC states that Whanga was granted to Sternmetal Horizons, not to a group of Maori.

The second question is related: What happens if the "mistake" is purely a matter of opinion. E.g. the Whanga article say the Duke of Regina owned Whanga (never mind how he got it). An entire, Human-prime world is a considerable asset and must represent a decent chunk of a fortune, even for an Imperial duke. And what does he do with it? He donates it to a small obscure ethnic group from Terra that has somehow managed to survive on Terra for 3,000 years in the face of Solomani persecution. Now, a century after the Imperium conquered Terra, they've decided they'd like to go elsewhere and asked the Imperium to help, and a duke from an entirely different domain at the other end of the Imperium has decided to give them an entire world just to themselves. All this based on the fact that 'Whanga' is homonymous with a Maori word. Now, I think all this is extremely implausible. Implausible enough to completely shatter my willing suspension of disbelief (and I would feel the same even if I didn't have another version). But obviously the author thinks it's eminently plausible.

I guess that what's worrying me is that one version of the TU is useful, whether it's canon or non-canon, so a non-canon article about something there's no canon information about is a good thing. But multiple verisons are less useful the more versions there are and less useful the less plausible those versions are. Well, multiple versions may have some advantages, but they certainly require more work of the GMs who will have to read through it all and choose between them.

Or maybe I just need to lighten up a bit...

Rancke 13:40, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I wrote a long response to this, and realised I was answering the wrong question. The tagline of the Traveller wiki (and indeed all wikis) is a database which anyone can edit. The whole point behind creating the Traveller wiki is so you can look at an article, say "that's completely wrong!", and then fix it. The concern is we can't overwrite canon, and shouldn't be changing other people works.
My attempt to resolve this conflict is above. Copy the source article onto its own page so it can be referenced, and edit the base article. The GM/players now have a base article which provides a set of infomation, hopefully which is both canon consistent and plausible. If they are interested, they can research other ways the article has been done (via the source list).
The real truth of the matter is I've been lazy and simply copied a massive number of articles into the wiki without much editorial oversight. All of the canon conflicts coming out of the numerous Traveller writers for the last 20 years are ending up in the wiki.
I think that's answering your real question. The idea and point behind a wiki is to have contributors (i.e. you) examine and improve articles. So if you find issues like this and have the time, please do fix them. Or at least drop a note on the talk page.
Tjoneslo 19:13, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Tjoneslo, I wanted to say something because I felt it needed to be said. Thomas, you do so much work here at the wiki and it wouldn't be around if it wasn't because of your hard work, dedication, and wisdom. Thank you.

  • As usual, you have nailed it one the head: "The tagline of the Traveller wiki (and indeed all wikis) is a database which anyone can edit. The whole point behind creating the Traveller wiki is so you can look at an article, say that's completely wrong!, and then fix it.
  • I am happy to see the wiki contributors add to but not overwrite existing canon. If it's a published cite, it should not be overwritten, perhaps slightly modified or paraphrased, but not outright hacked apart.
  • We can always host disputes on metadata or discussion page if they stray too far from the OTU published canon.
  • I hope that Rob Eaglestone eventually reads this since canon eats at him. And he keeps banging the canon drum.
- Maksim-Smelchak (talk) 10:02, 23 November 2018 (EST)