Some advice for a lore novice

Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:15 pm

My first encounter with the Elder Scrolls games was with Morrowind back in 2004 or so. I played through the main quest and since then the game has stayed in my memory fondly and with the persistent intent to revisit Vvardenfell some day. Since then I have played some Oblivion and Skyrim. For Morrowind and Skyrim I have very positive memories and feelings; but I came to dislike Oblivion somewhat.

Anyway, I want to do a lore-play of the games. For me that means to engage the games not as a place to rampage and kill and rob and build an uber character, but as a real person (sic) encountering the world and its denizens with interest and sympathy. Interested in what they have to say and why they might be saying it. Reading the books and investigating the social and political and religious myths and ethos of the various people and factions and so forth.

Something like that.

My question to lore buffs is this: is it enough to know the storylines and read the books from Arena and Daggerfall and then begin to actually play in Morrowind?


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Madison Poo
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:29 pm

You can also get the mod called ''Books books books 2'' which puts all the books from all previous ES games in Skyrim to be found around the world.

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rheanna bruining
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:08 pm

Thank you

I will have a look at that and other book mods

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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:11 am

The lore between Daggerfall and Morrowind changed massively. It should be fine if you want to a play someone from High Rock (although you could be [one of] the (one of) only Breton on Vvardenfell with a fantasy English as opposed to French name). Otherwise the Pocket Guides to the Empire give an overview. If you want more detail, it depends where your character is from.

That being said, manual to game didn't come with a reading list as I recall. It's almost implied that your character is an Imperialised "Westerner" (either way, that's what the natives think). And that culture isn't that alien from that of the general target audience of the game. So you could start more or less blind. Just not if you want to play a character informed by other traditions like if you want to play a Crown Redguard.

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Harinder Ghag
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:07 pm

Hello Quirkyusername

Thanks. Could you say something about those massive changes between Daggerfall and Morrowind?

Or perhaps link me to something about it...

I think I would need to have at least read the Arena and Daggerfall canon because my character would know something about the history of tamriel and the empire and the historic events related in those games as well as the general socio-political and religious traditions of tamriel and so forth.

I was thinking of a Breton freeman - Galen Lariat from Shornhelm. Born into an urban merchant family he received a good general education and some arcane training as a preparation for joining the family business which specialises in arcane supplies. However Galen's nature was not suited to the merchant life and he fell out with his father and struck out on his own. He travelled to Cyrodiil and eventually the Imperial city where he got a minor clerical position at the Arcane university. During a night out with friends he was involved in an altercation during which a young imperial from a lesser noble house was killed, by his own blade, and Galen was charged with his murder. In fact the young man was drunk and had pulled his knife on one of Galen's friends. During the ensuing struggle to disarm him the young imperial was inadvertently killed. The young man's family saw to it that Galen was found guilty but the judge at the last moment mitigated the sentence to life imprisonment rather than death. That's how Galen landed up in the Imperial prison.

So my character at the beginning of Morrowind is neither a warrior nor a mage nor a thief. He is just a well educated young Breton with some basic martial and arcane training. So pretty much a blank page upon which to write my story.
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Samantha Mitchell
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:04 pm

I don't where to start on the changes. The form of government and religion in Morrowind was retconned away, although the old versions are still mentioned in Barenziah's biographies. Still, aside from Reachmen, Bretons have had barely any development since Daggerfall, so I think that your idea about your character's background is as close as it's going to get.

As for for his education, I would recommend the 3rd Pocket Guide to the Empire. He wouldn't have read it, because it was written after TESIII (both in and out of universe), but he should be familiar with most of its contents aside the current affairs sections. It probably reflects the common understanding of Tamriel. The 1st Pocket Guide is also worth reading, although that was written at the end of the second era and it shows. It's more colourful than the 3rd, but probably more distant from what your character knows.

Try and find a savant early in the game. They will probably know most things that your character knows. They tend to be in taverns, some paces associated with House Hlaalu, House Redoran, sometimes in Imperial Fort and Ebonheart.

You may be interested in how ESO has portrayed It's all rather gothic. I'd say that Caldera would resemble Shornhelm more than anywhere else on Vvardenfell based on architecture and landscape. If Galen cares about that sort of thing. Maybe check out some of the series of books for some local history.

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James Rhead
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:34 pm

Yes Caldera would be similar to his home city. Given his family background and education Galen is cosmopolitan. He did not feel at all out of place in the Imperial city. Vvardenfell will be very alien and strange to him. But he is intelligent and curious and keen to experience and learn.

The books from Rivenspire will be very useful; thank you.

Are you playing ESO?

And if so how do you find it and the lore?

I may get to it myself later; although I am not mad about MMOs

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Nuno Castro
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:58 pm

I'd say that ESO handles lore that concerns day to day life quite well. There are the books, but it also comes up when you find household objects, loading screen descriptions for specific locations and dialogue from time to time. So in a chest of draws today, I found "an ox horn elaborately inscribed in the Colovian style with an ancient highlands prayer." I recall a loading screen a daedric ruin (either in Morrowind or near its southern border) that said that while the architecture of daedric temples looks sinister to most people, the Dunmer think that it feels safe (that almost come up in TESIII). And the odd reference about the Altmer here and there suggests that aside from they're relatively emotionally repressed (and possibly a bit inbred, but I didn't here that in the Dominion). This contrasts the sociopathic image that Eric of Guis portrays (see 1st Pocket Guide), but it's understandable how the latter stereotype could be a product of a more demonstrative culture, like that of High Rock.

I'm not so keen on the gameplay and one of the problems with playing it for the lore is that the main quests have very linear paths from place to place, which tends to mean that you have wait a long time for Elsweyr, Hammerfell and Skyrim. Although the small starting areas give players a taste of them and there's one port in Hammerfell ready to visit more or less straight away with one of the DLC's. I think that one is a decent inspiration for a Hlaalu character with its houses of "merchant lords". That's the sort of way ESO can inform how one plays other TES games.

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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:21 pm

I wouldn't worry about Arena and Daggerfall's stuff personally. Hop a Slit Strider and Boat to Vivec and take in the Great Library if you want to get a real feel for the foundations of the history of the game.

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Andres Lechuga
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:58 pm

The Imperial Library has a detailed write-up of the if you wish to read up on the story without actually having to play them.

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Shirley BEltran
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:07 pm

Thanks guys.

I think it makes more sense at this point to read up on Arena and Daggerfall and read the books that are in those games (the list is on the Imperial Library)

And start out in Morrowind. I plan to record it all as a Let's Lore-Play.

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Antonio Gigliotta
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Post » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:18 pm

I listened to a podcast that included Michael Kirkbride and he said he was impressed with the lore aspects of ESO

What puts me off are the tourists. I know that sounds bad, but thus far I have never gotten into the chaotic-ness of MMO gameplay

I would prefer an instanced design

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