Most of the books in the Warcraft RPG and World of Warcraft RPG are set in a specific chronological order. In many cases, the exact chronological order is mentioned in each released book's introduction or can be deduced by information within the book. This article discusses the timeline created by the chronological order of the books, along with citations when available. This article is not concerned with the published order of the books, but when they are chronologically set (or the furthest extent of its information).
RPG Book Timeline
- Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game — One year after the Battle of Mount Hyjal, mortal races explore and settle the wild continent of Kalimdor. Increasing encounters with demons and undead suggest that the long years of battle are not over... At the time, Kalimdor is fresh from the Third War and the defeat of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore’s attempt to destroy the orcs in Durotar. The book is set mostly before The Frozen Throne, though briefly mentions the events of Admiral Proudmoore's attacks on the orcs in Kalimdor as an event that has just happened .
- Manual of Monsters covers information concerning the period around the time of The Frozen Throne (especially Appendix II).
- Alliance & Horde Compendium is set not long after the events of The Frozen Throne. The Forsaken have not yet joined the Horde. Malfurion is still in charge of the night elves (not yet in a coma).
- Magic & Mayhem — Written by Han'al, Master Lorekeeper of the Kirin Tor, it contains material set after The Frozen Throne up to the founding of Undercity.
- Lands of Conflict — One year after the defeat of Grand Admiral Daelin Proudmoore. Written by Brann Bronzebeard, it appears to be set after Magic and Mayhem and after the events of The Frozen Throne. Undercity is already established and the Forsaken have begun to join the Horde. It appears to be concurrent with The Sunwell Trilogy. Brann reaches the Hillsbrad Foothills after the Forsaken have taken over Tarren Mill (after the first book), but reaches Quel'Thalas before the blood elves have taken it back (apparently before the third book).
- Shadows & Light covers material from the War of the Ancients up to just after the The Frozen Throne.
- World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game — The events in the World of Warcraft RPG take place after those in Lands of Conflict. It is set about one year after Admiral Proudmoore's death, at the start of the MMORPG.
- More Magic and Mayhem — Four years after Dalaran destroyed, it contains information from across the timeline and mentions information from the period of the MMORPG.
- Lands of Mystery is set more or less directly after Lands of Conflict, around the same year as the World of Warcraft: RPG. Brann's book covers material set before the World of Warcraft MMORPG, the book is set about twenty years since the end of the Second War, 5 years since Arthas killed his father, and about two years after events of The Frozen Throne.
- Alliance Player's Guide appears to take place during World of Warcraft, has material that leads into The Burning Crusade. Varian Wrynn has not yet escaped imprisonment on Alcaz Island.
- Horde Player's Guide appears to take place during World of Warcraft, has material that leads into The Burning Crusade, as well as some references to events leading into Wrath of the Lich King. The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj have not yet been opened, but C'thun is starting to awaken. Rumors of Forsaken beginning to speak to a new faction (blood elves).
- Monster Guide's "present" appears to be set just before the reopening of the Dark Portal and contains info that leads into The Burning Crusade. The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj have not yet opened, though there are rumors of an impending invasion. Blood elves and Forsaken are starting to see eye to eye and may share the same goals.
- Dark Factions is set before TBC before the blood elves joined the Horde. The Gates of Ahn'Qiraj have just been opened and the events of the Naxxrammas patch are beginning. Forsaken and blood elves are almost allied.
- The positions of World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game and Lands of Mystery are unclear. While the corebook is specific that it takes place after Lands of Conflict, it is unclear if Lands of Mystery takes place before or after the corebook or if they overlap.
- The position of Monster Guide is somewhat unclear. It could fit just before Horde Player's Guide, during, or just after. The references are fairly vague. While it talks of a possible impending invasion of the qiraji, there is no mention if C'thun has awakened yet. The discussion of impending invasions of the qiraji occur as early as Lands of Mystery, with no mention of C'thun awakening at those times. Horde Player's Guide is specific that C'thun has just awakened at the time of that book.
- Alliance Player's Guide, Horde Player's Guide, and Dark Factions ("Independent Player's Guide") represent miscellanious notes for a single school book Brann is planning to publish. They may represent notes he had written over the course of a year. The books were written specifically after Lands of Conflict and Lands of Mystery. Brann mentions that he is done covering the lands and wants to return to cover the various cultures. The introduction to each book mentions that he is revisiting many of the places from his previous books to learn more information about the various cultures.
- Alliance Player's Guide is definitely set before Horde Player's Guide. In Horde Player's Guide, Brann states that he already covered the Alliance material in the previous book and is starting on sections covering the Horde (he refers back to Alliance Player's Guide many times throughout the book). In his introductory note in Dark Factions, he mentions having already previously covered material in both Alliance Player's Guide and Horde Player's Guide. He mentions that Dark Factions is his chance to cover the Independent races. So generally speaking, each player's guide takes place chronologically after the previous "player's guide" in the series.
- However, some of the material may have been written around the same time by Brann, and may chronologically overlap. This is, however, not clear in the books.