Elder Scrolls Online has a bustling online community of roleplayers. I found myself recently playing the game that way for quite a bit, and I've found a great amount of joy getting together with my guildmates and doing stuff while in-character - be it dodging bosses in dungeons or just sitting around in a tavern in Daggerfall.

So far, I've playing with a rather "generic fantasy" character. It worked fine so far, but this last weekend I decided to take the dive and make a proper, more lore-abiding character with proper hooks and ties to that setting.

I had already fired up Word and began typing out the background for my Breton Sorcerer when I came to realization that I actually know very little of that lore.

My first impulse was to come here and ask a couple of lore-related questions in the Elder Scrolls setting, but I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask those questions.

On one hand, ESO is an online videogame. It isn't a traditional tabletop RPG by any means.

On the other hand, it has a vast roleplaying community, a very dense lore, and even an unofficial adaptation for a true tabletop game.

Lore questions about Forgotten Realms, Ravenloft, and other settings appear to be on-topic. We have a few of those around the site already. A few of them follow below.

Now, say, by analogy - Would a question about how common is homosexuality in Tamriel during the ESO timeline, or what is the marriage protocol of the Altmer, for example - while in the scope of either writing a character or a campaign for a RPG on that setting- on topic?

There seems to be a consensus that any form of roleplaying is on-topic, whatever the platform may be. That said, I feel there is a difference between, say - player relationships, which certainly is always on topic, and lore, that may or may not be depending on the context.

I'll wait a few days before going ahead in any direction or dumping the idea to see what the community has to say.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On-topic aside, you'll probably have more luck on Arqade because that's where the interest group would be. \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Mar 2 '20 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ The Science Fiction and Fantasy SE would also be a good source. This SE focuses mostly on roleplaying game mechanics and less so on video game lore, though I don't doubt there are some people on here that could answer. I wouldn't say it is off topic, but I think the specialists that would easily answer it aren't here. \$\endgroup\$ – JRodge01 Mar 2 '20 at 16:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: Arqade accepts video game lore questions as on topic. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 2 '20 at 16:56

I don't think so

While the game is fantasy related, it is not a tabletop role playing game or a freeform roleplaying game. I don't think we can become a repository of all fantasy-related lore and asking these questions on the arqade or another stack would both be more relevant to their stack and give you access to more users who have deeper and direct knowledge.

There may be those of us who do have the knowledge here, but questions about pure videogames don't really belong here, whether they are about lore or game mechanics.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I seem to remember the existence of a Meta answer saying "if another site could answer it better, it should be there" but can't seem to find it at the moment... \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Mar 2 '20 at 16:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ We seem to tackle other things than tabletop, like freeform or LARP. That said, I understand that RP as it is done using ESO and similar as platforms are entirely different beasts. Thanks for your input. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Mar 2 '20 at 16:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @T.Sar I believe LARP remains on-topic because of the similarities between tabletop RPGs and freeform RPGs. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 2 '20 at 16:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch You have a solid point there. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Mar 2 '20 at 16:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 You're thinking of campaign research questions, pt 2 which laid down our real-world research guidelines now also found in our on-topic help. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 2 '20 at 16:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ BESW wrote a clear explanation of our rationale for distinguishing between RPG and non-RPG settings, and why only the former are on-topic, in the top answer to Are 'fluff' setting related questions relevant? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 4 '20 at 16:50

While a general question about the lore might be off-topic, there are questions about off-topic lore that are none-the-less on topic for this stack. For example:

In an [otherwise off-topic lore] context, I want to create a character backstory that has the potential to accomplish [stated goals that most frequently arise in tabletop RPG-specific contexts, e.g. cause low party/player conflict with other similarly well-developed characters that would normally be expected to be at odds]. How best can I accomplish this?

Or if you were a GM running (for example) an Elder Scrolls D&D game, you might ask:

How can I best fit [otherwise off-topic lore] to work best in my (tabletop RPG) context?

It is worth thinking carefully and clearly about what exact question you want answered; different stacks may be better suited to answering subtly different questions, or contexts.

  • \$\begingroup\$ N.b. I don't know that I worded my first example question clearly enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Mar 4 '20 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm... So, for example, would you consider "How one could emulate a character that is a member of the psijic order on Pathfinder 1e" on topic, but not "who is the leader of the psijic order during the second era"? \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Mar 4 '20 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ The first question is definitely on topic. The second question is off topic, at least until an Elder Scrolls tabletop RPG comes out, and even then is still better asked elsewhere. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Mar 4 '20 at 13:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see! Thank you for your input. \$\endgroup\$ – T. Sar Mar 4 '20 at 13:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ If, in fact, the goal is to utilize that lore in a tabletop RPG I agree this is fine. But to twist the question so it 'fits' here dishonestly? Yeah, i'm not okay with that. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 4 '20 at 14:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that it is not ok to dishonestly twist the question purely to fit this stack - and besides, it would be unproductive for the person doing so. They would be better off asking their real question elsewhere. This is why I ended my answer the way I did. That said, in my experience people are often not aware of the specific goals of their 'real' question until after they have probed the issue/asked related questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Mar 4 '20 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've reworded my intro though, to better avoid that implication. \$\endgroup\$ – Isaac Mar 4 '20 at 14:22

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