Generally, how much LORE can be used for IG knowledge by a PC? I play an Aragenite priest, whose domain is Knowledge. I'm assuming I am well-read in what is considered "general knowledge" and can research quite a bit. But where is the line between research and "metagaming"? I'm assuming using the maps of Layonara is generally acceptable, but of course using other character's builds is not. I should not know that Susie Shoemaker is a 10th level cleric of Ilsare, for example.
Strictly speaking, the Lore skill in NWN is only for identifying unknown/unfamiliar objects. In Layonara, we use it as a general "Knowledge" skill. D&D rules have multiple variants on Knowledge to spread things out a bit, but NWN lacks that, so we get by with this catch-all of the Lore skill.
What it basically means though is a sum total of what one knows within one's sphere of knowledge. It does not indicate one's ability to research or one's ability to find exactly what one wants through research. It is a measure of what one already knows.
The Aragenite example is really no different from anyone else with the same Lore skill in terms of what they know specifically. Aragenite characters would likely have better access to find knowledge that they don't already possess, but individually, they do not necessarily have a greater knowledge than any other person with the same Lore skill.
In your specific example, being well-read in general knowledge will likely be the most common interpretation, unless there's some approved and/or GM-supported specialization in your character's knowledge. He would lack, for example, detailed knowledge of arcane matters, though he may be well-informed on the basics. A Wizard with the same Lore skill would likely have far superior knowledge on Arcane matters but be lacking in a more general knowledge set, and definitely lacking knowledge in things beyond that character's sphere (such as behavior patterns of animals or ideal growing conditions for wheat crops).
All this aside, have care to not assume possession of any particular knowledge through a Lore check without the presence of a GM. To use the arcane example again, you could roll a natural 20 and still not have as much detail as a Wizard with the same Lore skill. Likewise, that same Wizard's knowledge of divine matters would be lacking in comparison to yours. Lore checks can be very much a discretionary thing and often situational in their results.
Ok, what part of LORE (Layonara Online Reference Encyclopedia) can I assume to have general knowledge in. There is a lot of information written up in LORE, but I'm sure not all of it is available to PCs.
I am going to make these assumptions, unless corrected:
1) I can find the current and/or past rulers of cities/kingdoms/baronies...
2) I can find the general attitude of an area towards magic, both divine and arcane.
3) I can find maps that may not be overly detailed, but will show the general locations of places.
4) I can not find information on non-famous PCs... if they don't own a well-known establishment, (ie Cailomel's or Leringard Arms & Equipment),I probably don't know too much about them. On the other hand, if they do own a well-known establishment, but want to keep their private lives more or less secret, I may be able to find information out.
5) I know of rumors that circulate about certain places, even though I may or may not be able to verify if the rumors are true.
I understand this list may not be complete, but just getting a feel for what is available.
My mistake. People often use lore, Lore and LORE (information, the skill and the online encyclopedia) interchangeably.
What gilshem said is essentially correct. A good way to think about it is to consider how much you would know or be able to find out about this world (Earth) without the Internet or mass-media. You would have to rely on what is written in books or told by word-of-mouth by someone who had been there. The flow of information would be slow. The bulk of the information that's available would be weeks or months old at best. Rumors about what's going on would usually take some time to filter into the general consciousness.
As with a lot of things, some common sense regarding the type of information, a character's own history and experiences and so forth should serve as a guide. It would be natural for an Aragenite who has access to a library to spend one's off hours (i.e. time where you are not actively playing the character) in research, assuming that it makes sense to be doing so. The information we provide in LORE is there for players mostly, so the more in-depth information is largely there for flavor and interest and for GMs to use and players to find interesting.
In addition, any rumors and reports we put up on the forums about goings-on somewhere in the world is likely fair game and can be considered at least mostly current (accuracy is never guaranteed, however *winks*). Overall, the things we put up on LORE will generally be things that characters can know about and can easily find out, but that needs to be tempered against a character's history, activities and sphere of knowledge. Your list, while potentially incomplete, has the right sort of intent to it (though I think maybe you mean "may not be able to find out" at the end of #4.
Actually, I meant what I typed at the end of #4.... look at all the celebrities that are the center of attention from tabloids. I am sure the rumor mill was still very active, as it is today. People have always been interested in what "celebrities" are doing.
You may be able to find out about what they do in public, but not in private. I was reacting to the part about keeping their private lives secret.
Unlike the real world, there isn't a network of paparazzi. Rumors about "celebrities" would be local at best, requiring one to be at a locale or have contacts who are. Since this is effectively "stalking" of PCs, you absolutely must coordinate with the applicable player on the information learned about the character unless you directly observe it in-game....but then this has nothing to do with LORE and into an area where you should absolutely not make any assumptions or claims about a PC's activities or private life. Rumors are fine, as long as they're purely IC and they make sense for one's characters...in other words, you're not making up "facts" about another PC just to be a jerk to the PC's player. Aragenites would not generally spread or have much use for rumors, hearsay and especially fabricated lies.
Anyway, tread carefully on #4 and work with the other player(s) so that you don't inadvertently cause problems with your fellow players through such "research".
Of course... anyhow an Aragenite learns not to judge...
"Do not cloud the observation with speculation or supposition as that could lead to distortion.Do not judge what you see - as a single pair of eyes can only see part of the whole picture and your judgment may be faulty. Do not dismiss any information, no matter how small or irrelevant you deem it, because it may be the missing piece of the puzzle of understanding."
It's not judging that is at issue here. It is the stalking issue because that is essentially what you have compared your desire to. What modern day paparazzi and junk reporters do is stalk celebraties as much as possible, including sometimes hacking their equipment and breaking into their homes in order to get this information to 'spread around' or even -just- keep that information on hand. That level of obsession is not as applicable in Layo's present than our Earth present. For one thing, in some areas it's perfectly legal to kill people who have broken into their property, or some WL live in areas not really moderated by 'law' at all. Present day Layonaran paparazzi and junk reporters would do well to be extremely careful if they valued their lives. Most people of the present day (Layonaran) don't have -time- for this kind of obsession except for a few days out of the year when they get to gather and gossip.
The real concern here however is that emulating this behavior because the obsessive-need-to-know can (and has) had very negative effects on our player base before. It has come at various levels of interest and impact from other players and has been a complaint of the affected parties for a very long time. So what Dorganath said stands. You need to work with players completely if you intend to have a character who obesses over WL or any characters. Please, be very careful with how you do this, if you do. Work with those who you are targeting, OOCly. Take their word for it when they express to you that the information you seek is private and not presently something you can discover. With the presence and prevolance of magic and it's even most basic of uses, strict privacy is actually not so strange. Additionally some WL and other players have -reasons- to keep their lives private due to the danger that chases them through their current development.
To quote a movie familiar to many of us (The Princess Bride, 1987):
Inigo Montoya: Who are you?
Man in Black: No one of consequence.
Inigo Montoya: I must know...
Man in Black: Get used to disappointment.
Inigo Montoya: 'kay.~row
Ok, I understand the need/desire for privacy. Also in a magic-rich world such as Layonara, it may be possible to detect/deny scrying/snooping. The desire for information generally does not require that the seeker look to immoral/unwanted means. Also, in general accord with my characters alignment (Neutral Good), I wouldn't want to harm anyone by said knowledge, unless it was information that would help the greater good. (i.e. if I knew George the Baker was a sociopath, I probably would give notice to the proper authorities, but if Anna of Aerindor was promiscuous, it would be nobody's concern except her and her potential partners.)
The key point you, as a player, need to recognize and acknowledge is that you, as a player, have to work cooperatively with other players when seeking to gain information, through surveillance, stalking, rumor, investivation or other active means, on characters belonging to other players.
The simple fact is that this level of attention can make, and has made, other players uncomfortable and even threatened. This type of activity, which is not generally the product of in-game RP, can border on invasive and can make the line between IC and OOC perilously thin.
This is not to say it's not possible for one's character to watch, snoop or scry upon another character, but any instance of this must be done with the other player's knowledge, consent and active participation. I would say also that a GM should be involved, just as one would be involved if an NPC were being investigated in such a way. Never make assumptions when it comes to other characters.
So as I said yesterday, tread very carefully with your #4, and always include the other player if your character's gathering of information on a given PC exceeds what is simply discovered through RP. Failing to do this can lead to other players feel uncomfortable and even threatened. This is something we do not tolerate, and do not allow people to hide behind the RP of their characters as justification for their effects on other players. This particular point in your list really doesn't have to do with LORE; it goes beyond that and into areas where you cannot be given a set of guidelines as to what can and cannot be known or discovered. When it applies to other characters, there is no line you can assume or that we will give you.
The experience needs to be positive and mutually agreed-upon by all involved parties at the player level.
This is the point we're trying to make. Please try to understand and respect that, because what we're reading from you is character motivations, not player behavior. We're trying to impress upon you (and anyone else with similar questions) the importance of your behavior as a player when trying to "investigate" another character. There are lines that should not be crossed. Be sure you, as a player, do not cross them.