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Forums: Index > Wiki discussion > Calls for ideas: Fallout canon

As delegated via the prior forum, the wiki is in need of an update to the stances taken on Fallout canon and non-canon. Many users have found a re-reviewing to be a reasonable decision, however, others commented on how such sources as the Fallout Bible, a quite controversial piece of lore in and out of the games, should remain as they are. As such, this user finds that a call for ideas is in order. To determine and delegate on how a re-evaluation of the canon policy and canon as a whole can be made in line with reality.

However, the stance on canon is a very subjective one, and everyone will have their own interpretations of it all. That is why this second forum has been made. Everyone is free to share an opinion and idea if they so wish. To so do, please pitch your suggestions below. Tell us what your suggestion is and why it's a good one. Others can then comment on and discuss your idea.

The goal is to get as much suggestions as we can and to discuss them. You don't have to choose your favourite yet because this is not a vote.

You're allowed to pitch more than one idea. This thread will remain open for 3 months, until 12:00 pm November 29, 2020. After that, I will create a new forum thread where we can vote on the best idea.

- JCB2077 (talk) 11:30, August 29, 2020 (UTC)

Update

As of today, August 29th, 2020, I once more kickstarted the issue and need of resolve for canon restructuring, as I asked Emil Pagliarulo and Jeff Gardiner about the Fallout Bible, while another user, in a similar vein to my follow-up question, asked about the Creation Club and Atomic Shop, during the Bethesda Germany Developer Interviews. As such, their answers, while able to be seen as vague or otherwise unwieldy for an issue of this magnitude, were clear and concise, with little margin of error. That being said, it has re-opened an ancient issue, stemming as far back as late as 2015-2016, and as early as 2002-2003. It is for this reasoning that I shall re-open this forum, as well as collaborating with the most neutral party that can be discerned by the administration and bureaucrats of this fine community: Kate Darrow.

The process will be arduous, and otherwise taxing to fully discern, regulate, and uphold, especially as the answer comes from one man, a very important man to the series as a whole nonetheless, but a single perspective. In this instance, I shall begin reviewing what has already been said, determined, and established, from this forum to those of The Vault, and across Nukapedia. Those who participated in this first forum, as well as any new or old members willing to lend their hands and insert their two cents into this matter, are welcome to communicate and commentate, both on their own ideas, as well as those of others. I shall update this page as it goes, with a slightly longer deadline. JCB2077 (talk) 17:56, August 29, 2020 (UTC)


Ideas

This section is where ideas are able to be posed, evaluated, and discussed. - JCB2077 (talk)

Rename titles

  • Primary - games, Bethesda is the arbiter of what is canon or not, as they own the franchise.
  • Secondary - All supplementary materiel, basically what the term "semi-canon" tries to describe. Game Guides, Developer blogs, Fallout Shelter, and Wasteland Warfare, etc.
  • Non-canon - Anything specifically declared not canon by Bethesda. Such as the case with Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, the Howard quote is referenced. Also games like Van Buren which was never released.

--Ant2242

I'd like to suggest adding a Tertiary canon to this for games like Fallout Shelter where the events of the game are a cartoon, but item descriptions and other written flavor can be taken as canon. I believe some articles already hold up item descriptions from Shelter as references anyway so it'd be a good place to put it. Devastating DaveZIP ZAP RAP 14:33, May 7, 2020 (UTC)
I think it would be best to keep Fallout Shelter as "Secondary" because its a game with a more...meta lore wise.--Ant2242 (talk) 23:57, May 9, 2020 (UTC)

The way I see it, the way is to eliminate the category of semi-canon, which was only ever an invention to fit FOT and FOBOS into the wiki. Even Van Buren was maintained as semi-canon for a while. So like Ant proposes:

  1. Canon or core sources: Games that form the core of the series. Fo1, Fo2, Fo3, FNV, Fo4, F76. Strategy guides too (since they're authorized and proofread).
  2. Supplementary sources: Material that adds to the games, but isn't a game or its companion. That means the Bible (since it was only ever released as a behind the scenes look; doesn't need a separate category, we have direct references published on the BIS website to establish what it was meant to be), JES' Formspring, forum/Twitter/Facebook responses, Modiphius, etc.
  3. Non-canon: Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, Wasteland Warfore, other licensed games? Maybe?

At any rate, we also need to have evidence-based conflict rules. In this case, games released later would take precedence (perhaps noted with a retcon template), as otherwise, we'd have to note that Fallout 2 and Fallout: New Vegas violate Fo1 with their super mutant retcons... :P Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 17:00, May 7, 2020 (UTC)

Wouldn't the strategy guides themselves be a "Secondary" source, as they can be mistaken.--Ant2242 (talk) 23:57, May 9, 2020 (UTC)
As for a "retcon" template I don't know if there is retcon to template. Examples: Cats extinction? Nope, a misinterpretation by fans. APA being pre-war? Nope. X-01 is not APA. et cetera--Ant2242 (talk) 23:59, May 9, 2020 (UTC)
I would agree that strategy guides should not be considered primary sources. The information as it ultimately appears in game, is subject to change after the point at which books can no longer be edited. There are instances were character backgrounds are wrong (or misleading to avoid intentional spoilers) such as Danse in the F4 guide, where he is referred to as a human, not a synth. There are also instances where loot locations, like the Dinner Bell, are not consistent with what we see in game. The information within is valuable, but there are enough discrepancies that it should not be treated with the same degree of authenticity or taken as gospel. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 02:00, May 10, 2020 (UTC)

I'd have to agree with the previous ones put forth above me. Semi-canon is so often misinterpreted, and just a hard non-canon for the actual cases such as FOT or FOBOS would make the most sense, with the events that make it "semi-canon" (the rogue Brotherhood detachment in Chicago, the airships, etc.) being entirely detached from the source material itself. A note somewhere on the page mentioning the similarites would be good though. --DankalorYT 22:43, May 9, 2020 (UTC)


I think Core Canon, Supplementary Canon, Tertiary Canon, and Non-Canon work as titles. Semi-canon is fine to me, but if people want it ditched, that's for the best. But I think they'd work a little bit different than people suggested.

Core canon is the games themselves and what is presented. That's self explanatory. We can cover retcons, but they'd mostly fall under core canon and be a discussion unto themselves.

Supplementary Canon is direct materials commissioned, authorized, or authored by Bethesda themselves. Strategy guides would be this first and foremost, as would Wasteland Warfare and its many splat books. It would would include Shelter, even if it is non-canon mostly. It supplements canon with its descriptions, rather than being tertiary in the sense I explain below. It also can include marketing material, so long as it doesn't contradict the games themselves. As I know for a fact many marketing teams for games rarely actually pay attention to the inner workings of the product and mostly hype up the elements they see as cool or would appeal to the audience.

Tertiary Canon would any exterior source not authorized by Bethesda themselves and thus not fully confirmed, but comes from reputable sources. This would be stuff like JES' Formspring and any and all tweets by developers regarding lore elements and clarification. Given these statements are not directly confirmed by Bethesda and may be overridden by them, it'd best to treat them as simply an additional layer of canon rather than the direct and supplementary material of the above stuff.

Ultimately, finding a way to notify whether a source or bit of information falls under these categories without it being an intrusive mix of footnotes, altered text, and tags might be a bit of a challenge. But I imagine it'll be easier to figure out once the exact nature of it all is decided. Jeet-Maht (talk) 22:46, May 9, 2020 (UTC)

Your definition of "Trinary" canon would fit perfectly in "Secondary" canon, as it is supplementary materiel.--Ant2242 (talk) 09:54, May 10, 2020 (UTC)
Fair enough, but my point is, there should be a differentiation between authorized outside sources and simply developer commentary that may specify intent without necessarily being canon or agreed with by Bethesda as the IP holder. It is tertiary, a third level outside the normal supplemental materials. It is useful for flavor, but might be overridden by future games or other authorized supplementary material. An important distinction to make, I feel. Jeet-Maht (talk) 10:41, May 10, 2020 (UTC)

Largely, I agree with Tag and Ant regarding how information should be sectioned out (regardless of what we call it when it is done). However, I believe there are some considerations that need to be made for other content. In regards to the bible itself, one thing that does need to be kept in mind is that while it a behind the scenes look, often covering dev thoughts on what was done and why, it is also a time capsule. The motivations and understanding expressed within are specific to the games in which devs there to contribute to, so the applicability of the bible to games after the Bethesda era is going to be questionable. This matters in conversations where information from the bible is then brought up in lore conversations regarding much later titles, with different teams of devs who did not contribute any such BTS. The bible cannot and should not be used as an arbitrator of fact in instances where people try to apply it to games released years later. Perhaps contradictions in later games could be noted, but that's about it.

I suppose part of the question should ultimately be to what extent do we want to reconsider controversial subjects in regards to their place in lore? Most of the conversation thus far could be attributed to reevaluating our terminology (canon, semi-canon, and non-canon vs core/primary, secondary, non-canon) but largely not where and when these terms apply. Though these terms may have a few slight differences in connotation, the application is what ought to be focused on if we are going to take the time to discuss potential changes. Otherwise, renamed but functionally identical terms seems like a slight bit of wasted effort.

One such area that I believe should be reconsidered is the non-canon stamp on the Creation Club. While there may have been multiple motivating factors for it (if the town hall records were not lost from a year or so ago when it was discussed on discord, that would be helpful) one of the primary arguments against the canonicity of the CC was the persisting outrage over "paid mods." Removed from the greater controversy of that issue by a few years now, I believe we can actually have a conversation regarding this content which does not elicit a purely emotional response. I understand not considering it a primary source, but if Tag's reasoning behind the acceptance of the strategy guides is applied here, the CC being "authorized and proofread" then it should not be considered non-canon as the CC meets these same standards. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 02:00, May 10, 2020 (UTC)

Doesn't "Creation Club" use "Mods" in its own description?--Ant2242 (talk) 09:54, May 10, 2020 (UTC)
No, the CC uses "content" or "creation" to describe the items sold in the store, similarly to the way it uses content when talking about updates to F76. The FAQ explicitly says the CC does not provide paid mods. If we know the official stance is that the CC content is not paid mods, but we know content is most certainly sold for a cost, then it cannot be simply regarded as mods without using a fan designation to overrule what Bethesda tells us. It also differentiates the content from mods in a few sections, including things such as content having to be pitched, approved, and following through the "full development pipeline" to include QA and compatibility with the base game and all addons. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 19:33, May 10, 2020 (UTC)

Is there a policy where we do or do not describe the canon sex of the Vault Dweller and the Chosen One? Both are male.--Ant2242 (talk) 03:31, May 11, 2020 (UTC)

In gameplay, both can be male or female, even if they're canonically male. I don't see how this is relevant to the topic, though. AllYourFavorites! (talk) 03:48, May 14, 2020 (UTC)

My general thoughts, discarded into an unorganized bullet point list:

  • Fallout 1, 2, 3, New Vegas, 4 and 76 are fully canon, and this shouldn't really be disputed by anyone, since they're the main games in the series.
  • Any unreleased games are non-canon in their entirety.
  • Shelter is an iffy topic because it is largely based more on gameplay and, like Ant said, "meta" content rather than trying to establish new lore. There may be worth in some of its item descriptions, but that's a fairly narrow topic. Colonel Autumn taking up residence in Vault 900 and going on a quest to uncover Rackie Jobinson's history shouldn't be taken seriously, but some of those descriptions have worth (i.e. X-01 being used by presidential bodyguards). I think so long as it's mentioned in prose that it comes from Shelter, it's fine to include in articles. But things like quest pages, weapon pages, all of those should have tags saying that they come from Shelter, and aren't canon.
  • Tactics and BoS being non-canon are fair game, given that quote from Todd himself. Elements of Tactics have been implemented in later games, yes, but unless a future game goes into detail about the Calculator and General Barnaky, I think it's fair to slap it with the full non-canon title, especially since we've never been to verify Ausir's "semi-canon" ruling from Emil (though this stuff is long before my time, correct me if I'm wrong).
  • The Bible: This is the big one I suppose. I agree with Dyre that the Bible is largely a time capsule, but the biggest thing for me is that the author himself has essentially disowned it. Bethesda has used it as a source, sure, but what's the difference between that and pulling elements from Tactics? The exact quote from Avellone is "Fallout Bible is no longer canon." Perhaps a decent compromise would be to follow the example set on the Sino-American War page - mark Bible reference as being from the Bible where they can be plainly seen. Let the reader decide how they feel about it. After all, we're only a wiki, we're not the be-all-end-all of canon like Bethesda can be.

AllYourFavorites! (talk) 03:48, May 14, 2020 (UTC)

I believe the bible should be taken as straight canon for pages largely pertaining to Fallout 1 and 2 because that's what the bible was for. I don't think future games should be upheld to exactly what's in the bible (and marking them as from bible is good enough for me), but to completely throw it away seems wrong imo. Avellone has said he considers it non-canon, but the bible was a collaborative effort and wasn't his single author dictating everything in it. There are quotes from Tim Cain, Chris Taylor, and too many other original devs in there that it's not just Chris' voice on Fallout lore. I think Avellone's opinion is important, but his opinion doesn't override any other dev and what they've said on matters. Devastating DaveZIP ZAP RAP 04:28, May 14, 2020 (UTC)

Dyre Wolf cont'd

I thought I'd separate my response, since TDW posted a very comprehensive point. Rather than respond point by point and get mired in minutiae, I'll try to reply with something as comprehensive.

Abolishing the canon/semi-canon/non-canon division is meant to be less a shift in vocabulary and more of a shift towards a referenced policy that paints an accurate picture of how the franchise is structured.

Primary/core canon sources encompass released video games and their supplementary content, such as strategy guide and other media, like All Roads, unless otherwise stated by the IP holder.
Applies to: Fo1, Fo2, Fo3, FNV, Fo4, F76; neither FOT nor FOBOS are in the core, since they were declared non-canon; FOS and FOSO are incompatible with the core, so they're out as well.

This should be a no-brainer. Fallout is primarily a video game franchise and it was controlled by video game developers since its inception. We have references for FOT and FOBOS being out, and Shelter, while cool, is just completely insane.

Secondary/supplementary canon sources encompass content outside video game sources, such as the Fallout Bible, development documents, developer interviews, presentations, online responses, official merchandise, and so on and so forth.

Supplementary content is essentially any material that expands on what is included in the game and provides additional information not included in the game.

The Fallout Bible needs no special treatment, as while it was supposed to evolve into the definitive Fallout lore resource, it never did grow beyond a look behind the scenes, supplementary content, and developer hijinx - which is what it was released as on BIS' website. It's basically JES' Formspring, except compiled by hand by MCA. :P

Non-canon sources are those outside the main continuity outlined above. These include games that are set in their own continuities, such as Wasteland Warfare or Fallout Shelter, and any unreleased or expunged games that are not part of the main continuity.

This is a catch-all term for everything I'd describe as not part of the Interplay-Bethesda continuity (or IB). Shelter is its own continuity, obviously, and Modiphius titles are in a league of their own.

This is a category that would include Creation Club mods. I actually asked Matt Grandstaff about the canon status of the 10mm pistol back when he was CM for Bethesda, and he pointed out Prey and Doom items. So unless referenced by later titles, we can safely keep CC as non-canon.

Now, what I think is the core of the question: Collision rules.

Part of the review would be defining rules for referencing and resolving conflicts. I propose two simple rules:

  1. Core overrules supplementary.
  2. Later core games overrule earlier core games.

This is mostly the canon status as is and what most articles are written with in mind. It's common sense too: Devs in 1997 didn't plan beyond Fallout 2 in concrete terms and couldn't predict any of the subsequent games in the shape they came out. This also allows us to simply accept that Fallout 2 rewrote super mutants (a big part of Vree's argument is that super mutants will die out and humans can outlive them; from Fo2 onwards they're effectively immortal) and avoid having people use obscure quotes from the Bible or the strat guides to prove that "x-01 couldn't happen".

It also avoids giving Bible a bigger role. It's just another set of developer responses and BtS looks that adds more to Fo1 and Fo2, but since it's both secondary canon and for an older core game, it takes a backseat to everything in case of conflict.

As a final note, strategy guide are in the core category because they're companion books for core games, not because they're simply proofread and authorized. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 14:27, May 14, 2020 (UTC)

Having one of the CMs reach out is a solid enough point. I do hate to see that be a nail in the coffin for the bulk of CC content which is not cross promotional, but it is at least a response not pulled from the "paid mods bad" rationale that drove the conversation for so long.
I would still argue that the strategy guides would best be considered supplementary, not core. The information is static at the time of publishing, and we have seen inclusions of cut, altered, and incorrect information within. The guides are important, sometimes outlining details which could otherwise only be assumed from what we see in game, literally supplementing game play details. But because of inconsistencies with what ultimately is in game, at varying degrees of significance, I do not feel they should be treated as core.
If the strategy guides were core, then any discrepancies between the book and the game it is released alongside, would be considered a stalemate because both are given equal footing. Further, if the guide were to actually release later than the game it exists to supplement, even by a day, then any discrepancies would actually favor the guide over the game; later core overruling earlier core. If, from the outset, the game is given priority over the guide, then the conceit is already that the guides are not on par with the games, and to say otherwise would be to complicate the matter by introducing strata within core, rather than making use of secondary/supplementary. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 19:33, May 25, 2020 (UTC)
Dunno where this goes, here I guess... I strongly disagree with giving the guides equal footing with the games. They are delightfully full of discrepancies and contradictions and we end up deferring to the games anyway. So I disagree with including them in the 'core' category unless you intend to stratify that category and specify that games are "core core" and the guides are "core-lite", in which case you might as well kick them over to the secondary/supplementary category. --L84tea Tea kettle.pngWould you like a cup of tea? 11:11, May 28, 2020 (UTC)

Well, we need to have collision rules within these groups, of course; ultimately, the games are the top level reference and if the guides collide with games, games take precedence. But I'm fine with adding them to supplementary content, just to keep everything clear. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 13:28, May 28, 2020 (UTC)


Here is the gradation I came up with, which has the potential to solve the mess. I intended it to be much more straight forward than some of what was proposed earlier, but ultimately you'll have to judge if I did the job. The convenience of this system is that any title could be applied to entire sources, as well as to their parts; further than that, it does not make the wiki set anything in stone, embracing the uncertainty that a constantly evolving franchise represents.

Primary / core sources = Main game titles - F1 < F2 < F3 < F:NV < F4 < F76. A title includes the game and any guides coming along with it, with games taking precedence, and any new titles taking precedence over the older titles in their turn.
Canon, until disproven = If a relative majority of the details match the in-game canon, and other details are unconfirmed. For instance: Fallout Bible. Note that it must not be marked as simply canon, and waiting its disproval, but exactly how it is in the title (which, however, might change). Case-by-case basis for disproving the parts, which, even once disproved, don't make it non-canon as a whole. If the majority of the details become disproven, the source is moved to the next category.
Non-canon, until proven = Exactly the same but vice versa. (If a relative majority of the details don't match the in-game canon, and other details are unconfirmed. For instance: Creation Club, Atomic Shop. Note that it must not be marked as simply non-canon, and waiting its approval, but exactly how it is in the title (which, however, might change). Case-by-case basis for proving the parts, which, even once proved, don't make it canon as a whole. If the majority of the details become disproven, the source is moved to the former category.)
Non-canon sources = Completely and undeniably non-canon sources - both as a whole and as their parts.

Note: the matching details I refer to must originate in the source, and then be confirmed in one of the games. If a source only includes established in-game canon (without adding onto it any details that were confirmed after the source's release), and everything else is considered contradictory - it would be a non-canon derivative source not worth considering. But I've yet to find one like that.

See for yourselves. And do let me know if you find any loopholes in the system.
- garwert (talk) 22:04, August 30, 2020 (UTC)

Canon fodder

Discussion what is canon is tough, especially with role playing games that have so many variables. A funny example that comes to mind is one of my New Vegas playthroughs, in which I haven't done anything except take pictures of street signs and the like, for years. It is no longer 2281 anymore, but since I never went to Nipton, was it razed in 2281? The NCR and Legion never fought the Second Battle of Hoover Dam. Years later and they are both still hanging out on either side of the river. No one has died, nothing has occurred. But this is silly, simply because taking this stance would mean nothing could be canonical. The way I would like to see the canonicity approached is the reverse, in that we should be flexible. Our primary and secondary sources should enter the Fallout nomenclature together, noting discrepancies on a case by case basis as opposed to dismissing something in its entirety. -(Kdarrow (talk) 02:31, May 7, 2020 (UTC))

Nipton was definitely razed in 2281, since Radio New Vegas references loss of contact with the town. Same as Searchlight etc. I think that we don't need to specify the dates, but simply use common sense - outside contrived situations, like deliberately resting for ten years or doing what you did, you aren't going to wind up defeating the Enclave in 2251 or resolving the Mojave conflict in 2301. :P Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 14:27, May 14, 2020 (UTC)
Yes yes, I was being a silly bean. Besides, I would be too old and frail to kill Lanius with a tire iron if I wait too long! -Kate (Kdarrow (talk) 07:38, May 25, 2020 (UTC))

Atomic Shop canonicty

With the atx shop considered lesser canon (see answer to question is Atomic Shop canon), we can't necessarily determine what is canon. Whilst unweildy maybe a similar tag to the BOS game "The canonicity of this item is not verified" could be used. This would avoid us deciding what should be canon itself. However this might leave some outfits which have appeared prior marked as canon. I believe this could be done on a case by case basis with little hassle. --Todoedits (talk) 20:18, August 29, 2020 (UTC)

Although that is a reasonable course, the problem lies in hundreds, if not potentially thousands, of elements of contents having to be sifted through, and determined as canon and non-canon. This is especially a problem when few elements of it appear in the game itself, yet players of every sort display or wear such content in every way, shape, and form. We can say the Rootin' tootin' cowboy outfit is canon, as it and its hat are worn by two NPCs, making it canon. But for, say, the Tricentennial Paints, Settler and Raider Wastelander packs, the Future-Tec globe, and hundreds upon hundreds of others, it relies on much more creative integrity, as well as the potential dismissal of common sense in places. This is the series to have a TARDIS, a game with pop culture references every minute, Liberty Prime and the Fat Man, a giant sun-space laser, and a flying jet-Constitution, not to mention two decades worth of other references and otherwise impossible/implausible situations come to life, all in the same universe, after all. JCB2077 (talk) 21:18, August 29, 2020 (UTC)
For Atomic Shop content, I would say that it should be used as a secondary source only if it is supported by other existing canon. For example, Tagz used the Chinese Power armor from the Atomic Shop. In that case, we have 2 existing Canon confirmations: the Chinese were suspected to be developing power armor when the bombs dropped, and the Chinese do have two locations in Appalachia. Could the Communist Power Armor seen in 76's Atomic Shop be a representation of this suspected Chinese PA? Certainly. Therefore, the Chinese PA pictured in the Atomic Shop could be added as an image of what Chinese PA might look like, with a disclaimer that this "this image is unverified Atomic Shop content and may not represent the actual appearance."
Let's look at another Atomic Shop item: the Liberty Prime Power Armor. Is it ever mentioned that Liberty Prime PA was being developed? No. Therefore, Liberty Prime should never appear in canon and needs every disclaimer.--Intrepid359 (talk) 18:54, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
There's plenty of things that are never mentioned as being developed, it doesn't mean every instance of them should be removed from canon because the player never hears or sees it before the game it appears in. Riot Armor wasn't a thing until New Vegas, 76 brings it back in a new form via the Atomic Shop. The CC-00 Power Armor was Creation Club only, now appearing as a 76 item obtained in a manner similar to the Atomic Shop, along with a number of Captain Cosmos clothing. Hellfire Power Armor was part of Vault 51, given to ZAX (under the moniker of Future-Tec head Dr. Braun) by the Whitespring Enclave, and so on and so forth. JCB2077 (talk) 18:59, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
I think the problem with this response is it a mix of using both the secondary sources you mentioned above and things which don't need that support. It's less a question of us deciding what is canon but having a consistent response to it. What is suggested by Intrepid above deals with this. I feel as soon as we start to police what is "canon" the wiki stops being accurate.--Todoedits (talk) 19:14, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
The wiki has no intention of policing what is and is not canon. That being said, what Intrepid proposes is the very definition of the wiki policing canon, by giving speculative indicators on what is, is not, and may or may not be X and Y. The purpose of this forum is to create a consistent response, but also an overhaul and reformat of the current canon policies and evaluation, as outlined in the prior vote. JCB2077 (talk) 19:21, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
Just to clarify, this is not my proposal. This came from Tagaziel when he added ATX content as canon. Since he already set the precedent, I'm responding with suggestions on how to keep it from going off the wall, since this curation of canon for the Chinese PA has already been done. My personal opinion is we should not use Atomic Shop content at all. --Intrepid359 (talk) 20:11, August 30, 2020 (UTC)


Post-interview thoughts

I'm really glad those questions about the Bible, Creation Club, and the Atomic Shop were answered in the DE interview because it's likely going to be the answer to our problems. One thing that really interested me, that not a lot of people have brought up, is that Pagliarulo indirectly called Tactics semi-canon. I know a few people on the wiki have had issues with the way Ausir handled canon (I want to avoid stepping on too many toes here because this is largely before my time, but even the word "semi-canon" is a trigger for some) but "semi-canon" would be an accurate way to describe much of this content.

Pagliarulo's direct quote on Tactics, even if it was somewhat off-handed and he stumbled through it, nonetheless showed a clear meaning behind what he was saying: "It's what is in Fallout 1, Fallout 2... even some of like, Fallout Tactics is- there's some stuff from canon from Fallout Tactics as well." Bethesda considers some content from Tactics canonical, but not all. This is just speculation, but I think he's likely referring to things like airships and Chicago that have been further developed in later games. This is the same line of thinking they seem to have for the Bible. They don't consider it wholly canon, but they can pull from it if it makes sense and helps legitimize whatever they're writing. On its own, it may not be canon, but once it's backed up by a canon source, then it becomes canon. It's relatively simple, and Pagliarulo said they make judgement calls on this sort of thing.

Creation Club and Atomic Shop are interesting cases - in both instances, Pagliarulo said that they would not like to restrain themselves to lore, but Creation Club is often vetted more than Atomic Shop, which frequently rides on the "fun factor." Secondary sources would also be a good way to describe this sort of content - I don't mind how we decide to organize the sources, that's what the vote is for. I only care that we look at this objectively and from a fresh perspective with this new interview. AllYourFavorites! (talk) 06:23, August 30, 2020 (UTC)

The reason I'm against "semi-canon" is that it's unclear: A weasel word that doesn't actually say anything. We could write "sorta canon", "maybe canon", "when the mountains crumble into the plains canon" and it would have the exact same meaning: Zilch.
I agree with your idea regarding FOT: On the whole, it's non-canon (as per Todd Howard), except for whenever it's specifically referenced in canon Fallout games (Brotherhood of Steel (Midwest) is an example of how this can be structured).
Second, the Fallout Bible. The whole quote establishes its position as a supplementary source and the primacy of released games in canon. I think the idea of "core" canon and "supplementary" canon is the right way to go, with the "non-canon" category (noting the handful of exceptions in FOT; I don't think it needs a separate category). Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 07:11, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
I thought about this a little more overnight with your response in mind - it's a very good one and I agree with it on the whole. This is just one idea, and I'm flexible with how we phrase it, but essentially it would be a four-tier system. I took some inspiration from other ideas that have been pitched here, but adapted them to the new interview in my explanations:
1. Primary sources (undeniably canon): The mainline games and nothing else - Pagliarulo indicated that this is top-level for Bethesda and we should treat it the same way. This would be 1-3, NV, 4 and 76.
2. Secondary/supplementary sources (canon until proven otherwise): This would include items that are considered canon but are not directly part of the main games - All Roads, Penny Arcade, the upcoming TV show. I would also include Wasteland Warfare and the game guides here. They provide useful information that can be freely referenced. The latter is trickier to place, for the reasons currently listed on the canon page, but I would consider things like location descriptions and faction profiles as reliable. The game guides are prone to mistakes here and there, but those should just be pointed out in a "Notes" section, or something similar. Developer commentary, like Sawyer's Formspring or video interviews including the one with Pagliarulo that we're focusing on, would also fall under this category.
3. Tertiary sources (non-canon until proven otherwise): The big ones here are the Bible and Tactics. Bethesda don't consider them wholly canon, but make judgement calls on what to include from them in newer installments. Essentially, on their own, they are not confirmed to be canon, but some material from them has been "elevated" to canon by being referenced in a canon game. Using the Bible as an example: Salt Lake City being covered in giant mantises is unconfirmed and should be tagged as such, but dates relating to the Sino-American War have been backed up by news reports in FO3 and 4, and can be considered canon. This is somewhat iffier, but Creation Club could go here as well. Obviously, Skyrim and Doom apparel should not be taken too seriously, but like Pagliarulo said, something like the Noir Penthouse, or the Shroud Manor and Louie Trevisani would reasonably fit within lore. I think the way we handle Creation Club now works well - simply tag it as being unconfirmed, since it's been described as "parallel" to regular canon and "blurring the lines."
4. Non-canon sources (undeniably non-canon): Brotherhood of Steel, The Board Game, Van Buren, any other unreleased game.
Criticism or suggested improvements on this model are welcome. AllYourFavorites! (talk) 15:49, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
I fully agree with this. I'd prefer a tiered list of clearly defined roles just like this. "Semi-canon" is a nonsense word that describes nothing and confuses everything.--Intrepid359 (talk) 19:05, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
Although it is somewhat defined, a near-identical list was proposed and evaluated during an earlier iteration of this forum, leading to potentially problematic issues that would render the point of such a list is null and void. As such, further analysis and proposals are needed before one is fully settled. JCB2077 (talk) 19:25, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
The model might be interesting, however the examples do not hold up. I doubt anyone would call Van Buren an 'undeniably non-canon' source, if only for the fact that excerpts from it appeared in F:NV, for example: mention of Twin Mothers. What we need is an undefined group of sources, which could both be canon and non-canon, as evidenced by the in-game lore, and make sure they are updated to reflect the most recent changes. - garwert (talk) 19:54, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
The mention of Twin Mothers in your example would be canon because it appeared in a canon game. The appearance of Twin Mothers in a canon game does not, however, make the entirety of a non-canon game suddenly canon. When we look for canon verification of Twin Mothers, we would go to canon New Vegas, not Van Buren.--Intrepid359 (talk) 20:03, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
Please, do not put words into my mouth. The mention of Twin Mothers in a canon game does not, in fact, make the entirety of a so-called non-canon game canon. What it does do, is raise questions on the status of the game and its tropes. The classification of sources must solely depend on their contents, and not on the way they are commonly considered or presented. A non-canon source would be a source with every detail described on its pages being non-canon. Van Buren would not qualify there, and would instead be a undefined source, as what I suggested in my first post, for the simple reason that it is entirely possible that concepts from VB will be revisited in later titles, possibly unchanged. - Garwert (talk) 20:17, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
Yes, they might revisit it in the future. Or not. We simply can't know. Until they do, it should be treated as non-canon. Bethesda has stated which pre-Bethesda Games they consider to be canon. --Intrepid359 (talk) 22:09, August 30, 2020 (UTC)
That is exactly why my post in "Rename titles" is up now. - Garwert (talk) 22:13, August 30, 2020 (UTC)

New proposals

I've added a proposed page here:

https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/User:Tagaziel/loredraft

Feel free to suggest improvements or edit it directly, I tried to take into account as much of this forum as possible. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 17:26, September 16, 2020 (UTC)

I love this! You put a lot of thought into it, and I think it is both concise and thorough. One suggestion I have is to change the word "ancillary" to distinguish it more from "supplementary." Perhaps, since everything in that section cannot be considered "independent" canon without canon support, it could be called "contingent" or "dependent" or "conditional" canon? Great work! --Intrepid359 (talk) 17:43, September 16, 2020 (UTC)

General comments

General comments not pertaining to one specific idea or commentary can be posted here. - JCB2077 (talk)




Policy vote forum overview
PolicyFallout canon
Proposal discussionCalls for ideas
Proposal voteVote: Fallout canon policy overhaul
Date and result20 October 2020 · 11-5-3
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