Canon and YGWV

There’s been a few questions about “what is canon,” “are these maps going to get Gregged,” and “why was Andrew using the term Greg Stafford’s Glorantha?” I know issues of canon can be contentious, but my intent is just to lay this out from the publisher’s perspective and not as rules as to what Your Glorantha must be like.

Does Canon Matter?

In truth, canon only matters for official publications – for stuff Moon Design and its licensees (Design Mechanism, etc) publish. For your campaigns, for fanzines, or fan websites, Your Glorantha Will Vary. We strive to ensure that official publications stick to canon so that your Glorantha can vary as much or as little as you want. However, that is a restriction on our interpretations of Glorantha, not yours.

What is Canon?

The core canonical texts for Moon Design Publications and its licensees are:

What about the old Chaosium/Avalon Hill material?

That material is largely (probably 95%) still canonical, although here and there some bits have been supplanted by the Guide to Glorantha. For example, the pseudo-medieval Glorantha West presented in the Genertela boxed set is no longer canonical (ironically, we largely rely on Greg’s older writings on the Gloranthan West). But I still heavily rely on Trollpack, the Prosopaedia, Cults of Prax, and Cults of Terror, as well as on White Bear & Red Moon, and Nomad Gods.

What about the Mongoose Runequest material?

The Mongoose Gloranthan material is not canonical. With the exception of the sterling work that Robin Laws, Lawrence Whitaker and Pete Nash did within the absurd deadlines given by Mongoose for writing these books, we were generally very disappointed with the quality and artistic fidelity that Mongoose took to the source material. Greg and I have not relied on or referred to the Mongoose material at all in creating the Guide or any other work.

Is the Guide going to get Gregged?

No. Greg and everyone at the Moon Design team agree that the Guide to Glorantha must be the foundational document for all future publications. We may find some typo or other screwup that has eluded waves of editors, crowd-sourced review, and so on – but beyond that, the Guide is the final authority.

That being said, parts of the Guide are deliberately written so that more than one interpretation is possible.


Are The Book of Heortling Mythology and Esrolia:Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses considered canonical?

Yes. I didn’t include them in the list because:

  1. Esrolia: The Land of Ten Thousand Goddesses is very incomplete. It is more complete for the God Time and the First Age, less complete for the Second Age, and not at all complete for the Third Age. As a result, elements in it could change.
  2. The Book of Heortling Mythology is a collection of myths. It is not comprehensive – just all the stories we had at that time. Those stories will get contradicted because that is in the nature of myth.