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Con-Myth: The Portfolio Cloud
creativity
kent_allard_jr
Last year I wrote about divine "portfolios" and how they're a lousy starting-off point when you're designing a divine pantheon. I made the point that "gods can have overlapping portfolios, and the more important ones can have a grab-bag of domains with only obscure connections between them."

Recently I decided to map out some of these "obscure connections" using software called Scrapple. You can see the last draft below (click for a larger version).

In most cases the connections should be obvious; others are more obscure. (For example, the Greeks connected "the sea" and "horses" because crashing waves supposedly resembled galloping horses.) More items and connections can be added to the diagram.

What you might do, when designing a pantheon, is to draw a polygon around a set of connected "portfolios" and then assign them to one god or another. (So for example, you could have a Dwarf god overseeing the Earth, the Underworld, Metals, Blacksmithing, Crafts, the Community and War.) Do that for each of your major deities, and don't worry too much about overlap.

This diagram could also be used in an RPG where each player is a god. As they go up in level they could take over nearby portfolios, making the lesser deities of those areas their "aspects" or followers. Turn your Rudra into a Shiva with a lengthy divine quest-line, in other words.

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"This diagram could also be used in an RPG where each player is a god. As they go up in level they could take over nearby portfolios, making the lesser deities of those areas their "aspects" or followers. Turn your Rudra into a Shiva with a lengthy divine quest-line, in other words."

I like.

It seems that you threw down the words in the cloud before researching the links. It reveals some interesting things about how we perceive modern concepts... For instance, I note that you might have half-expected a link between love, marriage, and fertility and got none -- or the underworld and metals and got none.

While some of these are based on my own conceptions, others come from my own knowledge of mythology. For example, the Greeks called Hades "Pluton" (it's not his "Roman" name), and it means "the rich one."

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