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What exactly is "lore friendly"?


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#1
Glitchfinder

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We've all been there. Looking at an interesting mod that adds something new. We read the description, the title, whatever might make or break the download. And somewhere along the lines, the author mentioned it was "lore friendly". Now, this isn't a discussion on the merits of the term for any one particular mod, or a group of mods, or anything of the sort. It's intended to be a discussion of what the term means for the community as a whole, and whether anyone thinks it's being misinterpreted or abused to get more views and/or downloads.

Please note that everything beyond this point in the post is simply my opinion on the subject, and should be merited as such, rather than as a statement of fact.

For me, I think lore friendly describes a mod that works in the context of the game it was made for. In that respect, I think that it also does NOT describe a mod that works in the context of another game in the series, but doesn't work in the current game's context due to changes in mechanics, plot, setting, or one of many other variables, some of which are quite subtle. I think it also does not describe a mod that adds something that never worked in the setting of the game the mod is for.

Now, here are some examples of what I mean. If someone created a mod that added creeper to Skyrim (from Morrowind, just in case any of you never actually played that one), I would say that is not lore friendly. If asked why, I would say that, despite it being from an Elder Scrolls game, Creeper would have died of old age long before Skyrim took place, due to the sheer difference in time between the game settings. However, I would say that adding the Mark and Recall spells from Morrowind would be lore friendly, as long as they were inserted so that you can learn them in a similar fashion to other spells in the game. In other words, adding them and dumping the books under a bridge somewhere would not be lore friendly, but adding them and adding a minor quest to earn them would be. I also think that many replacers, mostly the ones intended to upgrade the texture resolutions, are lore friendly. However, others, even those intended for higher resolutions, are not. The difference in this case would be providing a scenario that allows immersion. If you changed it so that all of the cities looked like they were built from scratch a day ago, that would not be lore friendly, because they are hundreds of years old, and should show the wear and tear of those hundreds of years of existence. Finally, I think it should be taken for granted that, given what I've said already, I believe that adding a weapon, armor, or anything of a similar nature from another franchise altogether, be it Star Wars, Bleach, MLP, or Rugrats, would not qualify as lore friendly.

That said, I have seen all of these examples called lore friendly, and far more. I have never actually commented on a mod to say as much, since I knew full well that I would be downvoted to the point where my comment was automatically hidden. I know that's a stupid fear, but it doesn't help the fact that I dislike downvotes.

Now that I've voiced my (possibly unpopular) opinion, what do you, the community of Skyrim, think on the subject? Do you agree with what you see being called lore friendly on a daily basis? Do you disagree? Have you seen one that has made you want to comment just to tell them that their description is an outright lie?

I would like to stress that this is not a finger pointing thread. If you have issue with a specific mod being called lore friendly, take it up with the author, through private messages, rather than venting in a public forum. I would also encourage you to refrain from indirectly pointing a finger at any one mod. This thread is to discuss the topic as a whole, and not to weigh the merits of individual examples. Personally, I would love for this thread to end up as a sort of guideline for authors to determine if their mod can actually be called lore friendly, from the community's opinion as a whole.

Anyway, enough from me. Discuss, discuss, discuss!

#2
gasti89

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I think people often make confusion between "lore friendly" and "non-game breaking". The 2 concepts are both very important, but they're quite different and they don't necessarily come together.

Lore friendly: something that is already a part of the lore of the whole TES games, also regarding history. Putting a character from another game is lore unfriendly, but putting (for example) a portal to Oblivion, adding a small story to it (like a Deadre prince survived to the Oblivion events) could be lore friendly. Adding a feature that was implemented in other TES games (and missing in Skyrim) could be lore friendly. Imho a lore friendly mod doesn't have to necessarily look ONLY at the Skyrim lore.

Non-game breaking: this concept is way bigger. I don't want to point to any released mod, but since you mentioned Star Wars, let's make an example. Putting light sabres in the game would be absolutely lore unfriendly. But (as it is with the mod), let's call them "Magicka sabres", let's give them a more medieval hilt, let's make an enchantment to make them work, let's give the blade a less "laser" look and a more "magic" look. This imho could be non-game breaking. We already have magic dwemer robots, why don't use magic swords?

I agree with the fact that the word "lore friendly" is being abused, but there are lots of "non-game breaking" mods that aren't lore friendly.

This is my 2 cents ;)

#3
lnodiv

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Creeper is actually in Skyrim.

Creeper in Morrowind = Clavicus Vile's dog, or at least it's heavily hinted as such in Oblivion.

#4
Lanceor

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I think "It's not lore friendly" is simply the new buzzword for "this mod sucks as it doesn't match my tastes".

There are some mods that deal with the history or story behind certain characters or events - these are the only types of mod where "lore-friendliness" is really relevant. In most other cases, the complaint is due to the mod not conforming to the complainer's vision of what the Elder Scrolls world should be like.

Since it's a fictional universe, there's no absolute rule for what can or cannot exist in that universe. Blasters and light sabers might be a bit harder to believe than crossbows or steel swords, but in a universe where gods can bend reality and history, there's no reason why sci-fi weapons, or anything else for that matter, absolutely can't exist.

#5
Trapiki

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Lore Friendly to me means something that fits into the game without looking out of place. Like an armor or weapon set that is believable in that particular universe at that period of time. I don't think it should have a sort of "backstory" of how it fits into the game, it should just feel natural, like it's always been there in the first place. To me that is being Lore friendly.
Adding a latex body suit or a light sabre aren't lore friendly, the people of that era don't have the materials or means to create those things! That said, people can make the game what they like, and if they want some crazy crashed future spaceman, that's all up to them.

#6
EnaiSiaion

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Lore friendly to me means Bethesda could conceivably release your mod as official DLC (quality notwithstanding) on other days than April Fool's. :)

#7
VileTouch

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i remember a certain oblivion mod that added a big library to the arcane university, with every book ever printed since the days of morrowind (i think it was origins of the mages guild) anyway, it was a great place to spend hours upon hours reading on everything regarding TES lore and what would fit believably into the story and setting of the game. (no dinosaurs or plasma rifles of any kind for instance) but even a simple katana would be hard to justify, then again it all depends on how the author makes everything fit and feel natural... for instance an alien ship wreck would be totally feasible, even though it departs completely from EVERYTHING in TES lore

#8
bben46

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To me, Lore is what you as the player want it to be in YOUR game. NOT as some 'lore monger' demands it to be in everybody's game.

As the so called 'Lore' changes at Bethesda's whim, Almost anything can be lore. Many players have their own concept of what is or is not lore - which is not a problem until they demand that everyone else recognize their concept of lore as the gospel and not to be disagreed with.

I believe I could put light sabers and blasters into Skyrim or Oblivion and make them Lore - based on my presentation of how they came to be in the game. (Marketing)

Example - long lost Dwemer or Ayleid artifacts powered by some form of magic - in Oblivion powered by Welkynd stones, Varla Stones or Soul Gems. In Skyrim, there are no Welkynd or Varla Stones. But soul gems are more powerful and useful than in Oblivion so they could be used as the power source. (Is their really that much difference between a blaster and a staff of fireballs?) :tongue:

#9
hfreeman

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When it comes to the Elder Scrolls Lore, a 'lore-friendly' mod would add something one would expect to find in a medieval time period (as this is when the games seem to be set). So a magic sword that has a medieval design would be lore-friendly, for example, as would be a new village built with the original Skyrim models. I don't think people need to necessarily add a back story to their mod to make it lore-friendly, however a back story can often make a mod more interesting.

#10
EnaiSiaion

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Under that definition, dwemer are not lore friendly. :tongue:




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