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Forum:Religion portal ownership

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Is there a specific maintainer for Portal:Religion? Lord Gadigan added very extensive suggested revisions to Portal talk:Religion/Pantheons that could use some commentary. Fleanetha, it looks like you've done the most recent maintenance on it?

If the portal doesn't have a maintainer, we should likely initiate a small project to encompass, discuss, and execute Lord Gadigan's suggestions together.

The discussion makes me think the way we organize deities on the Religion portal isn't consistent with how we categorize them. For instance, we have an "Inner Sea Region" subsection of "Major Deities" on Portal:Religion/Pantheons, and an "Inner Sea Region" subsection in the Core Deities section of {{Deities navbox}}, but none of those deities are categorized as being part of an Inner Sea region pantheon or as Core deities, nor do I understand how we organize deities within the Category:Deities tree. (For instance, what separates a major deity from a minor deity or demigod? Core deities and other gods also don't seem to map to the category tree—which might be intentional, but if so, I don't understand why.)

Brandingopportunity, I know you've done a lot of work with the deity articles regarding Inner Sea Gods; any ideas on how we can better organize the portal or categories?

Thanks to Lord Gadigan for bringing this up.

Digging in a bit more (and to relatively briefly summarize one of the wide-reaching changes, as it's already a tough thread to navigate):

I feel like there should be more of a differention paid to which deities on the list are full-on Gods (Unstatted, 5 Domains), which are Demigods (CR 25-30, 4 domains), which are Quasi-Deities (CR below 25, or grants fewer than 4 domains), and which don't have a known status yet.
  — Lord Gadigan

Lord Gadigan's source for these distinctions (edited with corrections from further downthread) is the Ask James Jacobs messageboards thread, specifically a post from 2014 about demigods and "quasi-deities":

A quasi-deity is someone who has the power to grant spells, but has one or more of the following:
  1. Grants fewer than 4 domains, AND/OR..
  2. Is CR 25 or lower. This one means that for most PCs, who at 20th level and tier 10 are essentially CR 24, getting into demigod level requires something more than simply maxing out your level and tiers.

If you DO grant 4 domains AND you're CR 26 or higher, you're a demigod.

  — James Jacobs

(He defines quasi-deities in more detail—and seems to contradict the domains requirement—in a newer post, and further muddies it by saying demigods can also be quasi-deities or CR 26+ in another post.)

I'm not sure I buy into using these mythic-specific guidelines for organizing divine entities, if only because I still can't find where these guidelines originate except in messageboards posts by James Jacobs, and those posts either describe something fluid and unspecific or contradictory and inconsistent. (In particular, this post about how Aroden fits into this scheme suggests these guidelines have canon ramifications, but it isn't backed by anything published, including the Aroden article in PF100 which apparently contradicts it regarding whether Aroden took the Test of the Starstone.)

If we modify the portal for this scheme, it would make even more sense to revise the Category:Deities subcategory structure to match. I'm also curious to know what problems with the current categorization scheme that the new one would solve. Would it simply entail adding a Category:Quasi-deities subcategory under Category:Deities by power level?

Some quick thoughts as don't have too much time. Good to bring this to the Forum as there is a lot of scattered stuff. Yoda and I have already made some comments pertinent to this debate here, especially about structure:

Portal talk:Religion

plus my comments at the bottom of:

Portal talk:Religion/Pantheons

and I'll quickly note from there that the page is very well used and, on the whole, is maintained and accurate (if not perfect Lord Gadigan!) so we do need some care in changing stuff. We may want to bring all the comments to one place. There may be more useful historical stuff in the forum or elsewhere to locate??

Some other random thoughts:

  • There is a brief discussion of CR in canon here: Lords of Chaos p. 8
  • I am unconcerned about an entity appearing more than once in the list. Irori is a major god in Avistan and Tian Xia as well as a member of the Vudran pantheon. It would make no sense to delete him from any of these lists because he was already in another. Actually it would be confusing.
  • On updatedness, well I have yet to finish reading Bestiary 4, so Bestiary 5 info being missing is simply a case that none of the current editors has got there yet, so thanks to Lord Gadigan for updating it. Certainly I do try to remember to add to this list if new material is published, but only when I get to it. Others do too.
  • Today's inconsistencies are as nothing to the past! Plus, as Paizo releases ever more material, previous decisions, reorgs become outdated. I think the advent of ISG, though, does give us a sensible point to rethink cats, cat structures, portals, pantheons, etc., etc. I think this should be part of the ISGII and many of these activities are already posted there as to dos. Getting the portal and the cat structure to be the same also seems eminently sensible, regardless of the extra usefulness of generating autolists. It is just finding time.
  • I have to say I am a little wary of the CR crunch metric being the main way we organize gods too - let's really think that one through. Clearly, it is difficult to get a full canon definition here and the list of inconsistent web articles really does not fill me with confidence. Again, as we now have the ISG I feel that should be our No. 1 guide to structure. Discuss!
  • I think we also need to be clear what the portal does / subportals do, as any attempt to make one list showing pantheons and deity power fails as we have seen - we perhaps need one view for each classification. Maybe that's a useful first step - a separate pantheon view and power listing, though the power deity section on the portal does cover this without listing everything out again. We already have a problem with the look and feel with one subportal dominating all the others.
  • Are there other deity portals for different systems / games / real life from which we can take guidance / advice?
  • Finally, I claim no parts of the wiki as my own bar my sandboxes and home page - does anyone? Promoting someone to curate parts of the wiki though has been mentioned numerous times in the past but has never really landed / been made official. The best we have is de facto leaders in some areas.

Sorry to be brief but I wanted to throw some comments out.

The definition of what qualifies as a full-on god, demigod, and (I believe) quasi-deity will appear in canon in Inner Sea Faiths.

Awesome, thanks User:Yoda8myhead!

  • On updatedness, well I have yet to finish reading Bestiary 4, so Bestiary 5 info being missing is simply a case that none of the current editors has got there yet, so thanks to Lord Gadigan for updating it. Certainly I do try to remember to add to this list if new material is published, but only when I get to it. Others do too.

Another thing to note: the Bestiary volumes are written from a setting-neutral viewpoint, and beyond the mechanical details like CR and alignment, the Bestiaries are a low-tier canon resource. Sahkils and sahkil tormentors very quickly showed up in Dance of the Damned; even then, none of the named sahkil tormentors listed in B5 have shown up in a Tier 1 or 2 resource. So perhaps we should tread carefully when adding named divine entities who have only been mentioned in a Bestiary volume (like the sahkil tormentors, who are listed in a sidebar and aren't statted) to the portal?

  • Are there other deity portals for different systems / games / real life from which we can take guidance / advice?

I believe our portal was derived from Portal:Deities on the Forgotten Realms Wiki, and it hasn't fundamentally changed compared to ours.

A quick survey of similar wikis:

  • Wikipedia's religion portals rather interestingly use <categorytree> tags to embed the expandable category tree itself on the page, such as:

It's rather slick as it's maintenance-free if the categories are consistently applied, but it doesn't provide redlinks for non-existent articles and gets unwieldy as you start expanding categories.
  • Our Portuguese cousins over at Golarion Insider appear to simply use an older version of our portal.
  • Lore:Gods on UESP uses a sortable table with each pantheon in a column, along with summaries of each deity alphabetically indexed on subpages (Lore:Gods:A, :B, :C, etc.).

Several wikis don't take a portal approach:

  • d20pfsrd lists its 3PP gods in a table along with its alignment, domains, favored weapon, etc.
  • UESP's main competitor, Elder Scrolls wikia, consolidates them into a long list article—not a good fit for our style. It does have a well-groomed navbox for deities with similar organization by pantheon, however.
  • WoWpedia handles it in a similar fashion to the Elder Scrolls wikia.
  • WoWwiki scatters things across several pages for the different types of gods. The closest page to an overview is Religion, which is a list article effectively covering different pantheons.
  • Finally, I claim no parts of the wiki as my own bar my sandboxes and home page - does anyone? Promoting someone to curate parts of the wiki though has been mentioned numerous times in the past but has never really landed / been made official. The best we have is de facto leaders in some areas.

I figured as much but wasn't confident, particularly regarding the portals. There's been some informal discussion, like Forum:Portals for Adoption, but no official policy on it.

On the rest of the points I'm in agreement, particularly regarding Portal:Religion updates being a good fit for the ISGII (and it sounds like the ISGII could encompass Inner Sea Faiths updates as well), and noting that the Religion portal is traditionally among our top 5 or so highest trafficked pages according to the server logs.

Thanks for the thoughts Oznogon.

I am also finding I am coming back to this a lot in my thoughts - sad but true. Bearing in mind what I have already said about the value of one place where we can see all gods listed, that monotonous wall of text is a bit off-putting as the list of gods has expanded - how many gods are there now? We have a number of ways of classifying gods in addition to power level and pantheon, which we mustn't forget, and I have always liked yoda's idea of adding art, especially as we have so much now. In my mind, I am currently picturing a number of portals each with copious art to help the reader / make it look more attractive. For instance:

  • Adding the holy/unholy symbol in small version next to the gods' names (we have most of these and could with some help scrounge the ones we don't have under CUP for a worthy cause like ours - it has been known in the past)
  • A 3 x 3 matrix with well-chosen, alignment-based art and all the gods listed in it based on alignment. In my mind I have a very faded out art work with the list over the art rather than the art being to one side. I do not know if this is possible but is very common in other media.
  • The pantheons could also have the same treatment with art similarly used.
  • By domain could be very interesting too treated this way.
  • This would mean we would almost have mini sub portals 'exploding' out of a master portal into an enlarged view. Again common on some websites but unsure if this is doable in Media Wiki, but simply opening a new page is.

Etc etc you get the idea but art art art I think must have a role to play in any new portal structure.

Going point-by-point through Lord Gadigan's suggestions:

Many deities Lord Gadigan considers demigods based on James Jacobs's definition are explicitly not listed in the demigods section of Inner Sea Gods, but rather under the "Other Deities" section.

Vritra -> In the pantheon section, but an Asura Rana demigod

Despite this, ISG p186 includes Vritra as a popular deity of the Vudran pantheon, which is part of the reason why a purely mechanical or dogmatic definition of deities might be difficult to manage on the portal level as we can't provide that context.

Alseta, Brigh, Hanspur, Kitumu, Naderi -> Demigods, go down in the Demigod section

I don't think any of these have a stat block, and as far as I can tell are described as at least minor deities in ISG. Brigh in particular is complicated by having a herald, and an article in an AP that describes her as a minor goddess, not a demigod, in literally its first words and reconfirmed throughout. Brigh is only ever described as a demigod in JJ's messageboard posts, and as part of an unconfirmed, unreliable-narrator theory in her AP article about her possibly having ascended from mortality to a demigod.

Azghat -> Not even deities; this is the Runelords being worshipped. They seem like they belong down with Razmir in the 'Other Faiths' section

RotR and Inner Sea Races describe them as gods via Shoanti legends and belong in that context, even if the truth is muddled.

Child-goddess, Namzaruuum, White Feather -> Unconfirmed divine status, possibly full-gods, possibly demigods, possibly quasi-deities, possibly not even divine

City of Strangers includes an NPC who has cleric levels of the child-goddess, which on Golarion (per JJ) is impossible if the child-goddess isn't a deity. Occult Mysteries describes Namzaruum as a Ninshaburian hero-god, and his article needs updating; since I agree that we should add the Iblydan hero-gods, we should keep Namzaruum. White Feather is the most questionable, but again is venerated as a deity by some within the setting and arguably belongs in that context.

Rheth, Roidira -> Unconfirmed divine status, possibly full-gods, possibly demigods

Rheth is described as a glacier god of druids in The Varnhold Vanishing. Roidira is never described as a deity and might be worth removing from the portal.

Shimye-Magalla -> Amalgam of two existing deities, possibly should go in some section somewhere with the Godclaw

Why associate it with the Godclaw? It's a Bonuwat aspect of Gozreh and Desna.

Walkena -> Quasi-deity

Per Undead Unleashed, Walkena is one of the few such entities with a stat block (CR 16) that has the mythic Divine Source ability and, along with the Iron Gods, are the best cases for a separate category of divine entities beneath demigods in power.

Estig/Erastil, Ioz'Om/Gozreh, Syriss/Shelyn, Tourithia/Gozreh -> Redirects from giant versions of their names. Might not go here? Might go here? Already in the 'major deities' category. Just here because of the name-redirect?

I'd prefer to keep these, and any other aspects of gods, for discovery purposes.

Gozreh, Gorum, Nethys, Norgorber, Robagug -> Already in the major deities section. Yes, some giants worship them, but so do a lot of other things. I lean toward removing them since Calistria isn't in the elf section.

I'd rather add Calistria to the elf section (and consistently expand racial pantheons to match the source material) than remove.

Gnome Deity-

The only entry here is a demigod

Depending on the JJ post, Nivi Rhombodazzle could even be a quasi-deity. Faiths of Purity calls her a godling of Torag, a term expanded upon in Mythic Origins as being distinctly (though not explicitly) in quasi-deity territory.

On the other hand, she's in the same class as Abadar, Erastil, and Shelyn in providing the recovery inquisition in Champions of Purity, and provides four domains which (again, depending on the JJ post) could make her a demigod.

Morlock Ancestor Gods -> Links to the page on morlocks instead of a page on the ancestor gods. Probably goes down in the Spirit Worship section.

Probably doesn't belong on the portal without more context on the Morlock article.

Shumbauth -> Quite possibly a Veiled Master instead of a god, probably goes in some other category

In Turn of the Torrent p72, the skum worship it as a god, suggesting it should be listed on the portal. Everything else about it (being an aboleth, or a mother of oblivion, or a spawn of Rovagug) is unconfirmed.

Ghlaunder, Kurgess -> Got converted into full-deities at some point along the line, belong up in the section above instead of the demigod section

Both are in the Other Deities section of ISG, not the Demigods section. Then again, so are several deities that grant four domains instead of five, and ISG p177 calls both Ghlaunder and Kurgess demigods.

Iron Gods of Numeria-

They're quasi-deities during the AP, but Unity/Casandalee may become a full demigod at the end of it?

As the fates of Unity and Cassandalee depend on the PCs' actions, I'm not sure if (or how) that should factor into their categorization.

Protean Lords-

Speakers of the Depths are possibly a full deity and not a Demigod

They're described as demigods on Artifacts & Legends p47, creator gods in The End of Eternity p61, a plane worshiped as a deity in The Great Beyond, A Guide to the Multiverse p44, and conjoined gods in The Inner Sea World Guide p245. I think it's safe to say we can't really classify them.

Dead Deities-
  • I feel like on some level it'd be more useful to put the ones here that go in categories (i.e. Demon Lord) as secondary entries under their categories (i.e. 'Dead Demon Lords') instead of grouped here (particularly if we get around to putting in all the ones Nocticula killed to make The Midnight Isles). I'm not entirely convinced that's the right choice, though, and maybe they should just all stay here.

I wouldn't mind seeing them in both sections, but I think we should at least keep a dead deities section considering how central dead deities are to the setting.

Arazni -> Undead and still doing stuff, currently a quasi-deity

She's in the Dead Deities section of ISG, and arguably is not the same divine entity now that she was before. Also, we consider named undead who were previously living mortals as deceased, and I'm not sure why we wouldn't do the same for deities.

Azhia -> On the verge of death and imprisioned, but not actually dead


Azulos, Drulaema, Horeksim, Lyutheria, Ortaro, Roshmolem, Yrsinius -> I'm just going to assume these are okay for now. I'm seeing some names of some Horsemen I know are dead there and then some others I don't recognize.

Drulaema is described in Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Book of the Damned Volume 3, p44, and Horeksim on p45. The rest are in ISG p193.

Eternal Emperor -> Not confirmed as dead, Not confirmed as an actual deity either, Possibly a giant idol, Possibly a spirit, Possibly a deity

Worshiped as a deity, so worth including somewhere in the list. But I agree, it's not dead and arguably has not yet actually lived as a deity.

Lissala -> Not dead, already in a section above

Agreed that she's not dead. Listed as a forgotten deity in ISG p192.

Peacock Spirit -> I don't think we have enough info here to call it as dead or anything else in particular

Listed as a dead deity in ISG p193.

Shrine of the Failed -> They never became deities, but I agree this is a good place to put the entry

I disagree and think the shrine shouldn't be listed with deities. If it belongs anywhere, it should be part of a new section of ascended deities along with Test of the Starstone, and even then the Test article is plenty of context.

  • The Axiomite Godmind feels like it should be on here with the other uncategorized deities of unclear divine status

Aside from the name, I'm not sure what makes the Godmind a deity instead of an organization. Almost a sort of meta-divinity, as it rules on divine planes, but not itself a divine entity. If we add the Godmind, I'd lean toward adding other powers who have sway over deities, like the jyoti.

In addition to Lord Gadigan's suggestions, I'd also pare down the Philosophies section to remove purely functional secular philosophies (like Communism and Democracy) except where they intersect with religion (like Laws of Man and Prophecies of Kalistrade). Philosophies of government in particular could move to the Geography portal.

Also, if we do add a Deities by power subcat for quasi-deities and list them on the portal, we should also add godlings and proto-gods.

Re: Art, we can't crop the CUP package art which would make it difficult to wrangle as they're different shapes and sizes. But we have Hugo's excellent holy symbols for the core deities that we could reshape.