This is a temporary page, that will eventually be replaced by the introduction to the sourcebook, but this needs to be on the Wiki whilst its some of the documents are here.
Throughout the sourcebook, I make mention to "Confidence levels" - This is a measure of how close to "canon" an article is.
At the time of writing this, Fallout 3 is a month away from release, and from the official Bethesda boards, its clear that different people have different ideas about what Fallout is, and whether one thing or another is canon, a reasonable development, or a contradiction of canon.
I feel that limiting this to just what was in the games will leave a few holes in the document... Some GMs have the skills and time to patch over holes like that, some don't. Some people hate the idea of any addition to canon, some don't. I'm introducing something here that I hope will provide a useful compromise, and hope that anyone else writing sourcebooks, if they choose not to use this idea, use something similar.
Each article, and in some cases parts of an article, have a confidence rating, in most cases this rating described as a colour. The meanings of each colour is described below. Most I have no intention of using, but are included in order to encourage future writers to use a similar scheme in the future.
If you want to stick purely to canon, this is made clear so you can cut all of the non-canon additions immediately before distributing to players. If you like some, but not all additions, you can pick and choose what you like. If you like all, then great.
Green articles are ones that are purely based on canon. No new facts or ideas are introduced. If you are a player in a campaign, you can reasonably assume anything in a green document applies, unless your GM directly contradicts it. An example of a green statement is "Lynette is the First Citizen of Vault City".
Yellow articles are articles that are based on canon, but attempt to extrapolate a few probabilities in order to inject a bit of flavour, substance and to fill some of the gaps. They do not contradict canon in any way. An example of a Yellow statement is "Lynette was interested in politics from an early age" - There is nothing in game that specifically says this, but as she is said in canon to have no time for anything else but her job (and seemingly no other interests), and many (if not the majority of) people at the highest level of politics show interest in it from childhood, it is a reasonable assumption. Consult with your GM before assuming any of these documents are in.
Orange articles are not based on canon. They introduce new ideas and groups, perhaps even people. However, they do not contradict canon, and assume positions that can reasonably be expected to exist. The key example is the "NCR Security Council" introduced in the in-character introduction: Its not mentioned anywhere in game, but the NCR clearly does have a defense establishment, would need to have an equivalent of "Department of State", and intelligence gathering resources... Just as the Real world US government has its National Security Council to unite these resources, its reasonable to expect that the NCR would have a similar organizations. GM's consent should be obtained before using anything rated orange.
Red articles directly contradict canon, or make little to no sense when measured strictly with canon. No red documents are planned for the vault city collection, it is included just in case future writers want to use this category. An example of a red statement is "Lynette's political idol from the old America is Abraham Lincoln" as this would make little sense when compared to her pro-slavery stance. Red documents should only be used if a GM specifically tells you they are in.
Black articles are based on at least one source of canon, but are directly contradicted by another. Again this category is only included in case other writers want to use it in the future. An example of where this may be an issue is the GNN news holodisk found in the Sierra Military Depot; as it is in the game some people may consider it canon; however the Fallout bible series by Chris Avelone catergorise this as non-canon. Black Documents should also only be used if your GM specifically says so.
White articles have no basis in canon at all. They introduce completely new ideas. A White article might be a completely new location that is not referenced in game. Again, this is included for future use, and not the Vault City sourcebook.
Flavour documents are just that, flavour text. They are not intended to be relied upon, but are there just for character and to link the sections. If an article does not have have a confidence ration, assume its flavour text.
What sources are considered canon
I hope that any future sourcebook writers also include what sources they are considering canon/primary sources. For the purposes of this document, Fallout 2 and the Fallout Bibles are the primary sources I'm using since Vault City is only mentioned in these sources. The vault: a fallout wiki of course is being used as a secondary source.