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Recently on the message boards, there was a thread about whether the Dragonlance Nexus was official or unofficial. Even when I cleared up that the Nexus was once official but, due to our contract with Wizards of the Coast, we are now unofficial, the debate continued!

To me, though, the debate seemed silly. "Official" is just a label. It means it is endorsed by a company (WotC, Sovereign Press, etc.). That’s all it means. There is a reasonable expectation that these companies will produce better products than "mere fans," and this can be true at times.

A site like the Nexus should not be judged on labels such as "official" and "unofficial." It should be judged on the quality of its content.

My friend Static runs a site called Beyond the Moons, which is the official fan Spelljammer site. There was a time when he ran a second site that was all-official. What it turned into was a burden for him, and it didn’t have the magic of Beyond the Moons. Beyond the Moons was, for me, a treat. After years of no new Spelljammer material, here was this site that expanded greatly on the setting. And no, not everything on it is official, but who cares? I like it, and if I ever run a Spelljammer game again, I would use materials from it.

The thread even had a little side-tangent, which is whether I was considered a game designer/comic book writer or a fan. As I’ve searched to figure out the answer, a revelation came to me.

I am Trampas.

What this means is that, like you, I am a complex individual made up of several parts. I’ve designed games, I’ve written comics, and I hope to write a novel someday. At the same time, I’m still the ultra-fan who works with unofficial articles on the Nexus. I’m a husband, father, and son. I have other complexities as well. In essence, I can’t be defined by a single label.

Likewise, I find it a bit odd that people are trying to label the Nexus. Will one word change what the Nexus is? No. That’s all it is – a word. To paraphrase Fizban the Fabulous, "Who cares whether it’s official or not? It doesn’t matter, as long as ya like it, ya doorknob!"

This is the Dragonlance Nexus. It’s as official or unofficial as you want it to be. The site, no matter the label, will remain a site by the fans, for the fans. It will offer all the things it always has, from the useful to the fun.

I hope that you enjoy the Nexus as much as I do.

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About Dragonhelm

Trampas “Dragonhelm” Whiteman is best known for co-creating and administering the Dragonlance Nexus fan site. He is co-author of three Dragonlance books – Holy Orders of the Stars, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, and Races of Ansalon. When not evangelizing Dragonlance and other settings, Trampas is a husband, father, podcaster, and web designer. Trampas also enjoys reading comics, reading fantasy and scifi novels, and playing D&D.
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