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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  07:52:38  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, do people distinguish between the two and if so how.

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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11759 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  13:21:19  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Personally, I don't for those two terms, because I see them both as structures created for the purpose of traversing planes usually in the form of some doorway. That being said, I can see an argument for there being another type of term for things that aren't using that terminology for things like the mist of ravenloft, the wood between worlds, etc... where you are just moving along and don't even realize that "hey, I'm somewhere else... oh, shoot, how do I get back".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  14:53:10  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not really.

I use gate most often for common speech and talk, and only use portals for more upper class people.
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6360 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  15:41:51  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting.

So nobody wondered about why the Orcgate is described as being a great big circular, metal ring inscribed with runes (of batrachi origin), but all the portals in perilous gateways and other sources are just doorways of magic (no physical boundaries unless the portal was cast into an actual doorway).

Or why Stardock describes them as "gates and portals" and how Halasters knows the "secrets of gate magic" that the twisted rune wants to discover even though they can and have created portals of their own.


I consider them to be two separate things but just wondered if anyone else did and if anyone had any contributions as to categorising something as a Gate or a Portal.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 13 Jan 2021 15:42:48
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  16:55:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The terms are more or less synonymous, though from what I've seen, gates tend to be to other planes, whilst portals are to other points on the same plane (or to a pocket dimension). I could easily see an argument for the planar openings to require a more obvious doorway; perhaps it acts as a kind of anchor to that other plane, or helps maintain the opening somehow.

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Kentinal
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4686 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  17:19:26  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well it was not a big issue with me either. When this question was poised I did have a few thoughts. They all might not be compatible.

Gates are made with a gate spell and a portal made with a portal spell (Might be a difference of Clerical and Arcane Magic?).

Portals are open all the time and Gates are open or closed and the gate needs to be open to use (some type of Key required).

The terms have been interchangeable in usage, some Perilous Gates in individual descriptions are called portals.

https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Perilous_Gateways offers a list of gates and portals that WotC offered.

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"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6360 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  17:37:29  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm glad someone noticed that gates tend to be to other planes.

I'm wondering about this because Calim appeared with a huge army in calimshan, so did memnon, and so did the atamir of imin (although his was more a retinue of followers).

If portals are not inter planar then it was a gate, and if gates are physical artefact like objects (like the orcgate) then maybe they all used the same gate, and who created it in the first place. I'm guessing it was in the Marching Mountains.


Just some exploratory musings at the moment

One way portals or gates seem an incredibly dangerous idea (you have no idea where it will dump you or if it even works)

If gates are physical artefact like items then do you need another gate at the other end to connect it to somewhere, is there a network of gates that you can dial up like the stargate and just repoint them. Or do you only need a gate at both ends to create a stable two way connection.


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Kentinal
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  18:25:52  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well taking a look at SRD 3.5 and SRD 5.0

They both appear to indicate that the Gate spell makes a vertical Gate to another plane with a front and back.

That Teleportation circle can be made horizontal on the ground to another location on the same plane.

neither actually list portal as a spell.

https://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/gate.htm offers this text
quote:
Travelers need not join hands with you—anyone who chooses to step through the portal is transported. A gate cannot be opened to another point on the same plane; the spell works only for interplanar travel.


So with that research it appears that Gates can be called Gates or Portals.

Also Portals can be vertical or horizontal, however Gates are not horizontal.

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  18:38:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well rules and lore do not always match. The fact that Halaster knows lost gate magic that the twisted rune wants (despite having portals linking their lairs) indicates that the two are different (I shall have to ask Ed).

That a gate spell is always two way is interesting I shall have to look for any instances of planar travel using a gate (or portal if the names are sometimes erroneously used interchangeably) where the traveller coming through might want to return but did not.


If they are separate things then any instances of planar gates might require a physical artefact that can be found and closed or reopened and maybe repurposed.

The gate beneath dragonspear castle seems to be a permanent and long lasting thing (from what I've heard). The gate used by calim, memnon, and the atamir of imin .right still be around waiting to be reopened. I vaguely recall a demon lord was brought to imaskars capital using a gate. The orcgate we know about already.

Halasters connection to imaskar and shoon and living in the calimshan Emirates puts him near dragonspear castle, so plenty of opportunities for gate research.

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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11759 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  18:46:57  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The original "gate" spell didn't require two sides to be established actually if I'm thinking right (in fact, I don't think it even needed one side established as a physical door or anything). Basically, think like the whole way Skeletor would just open a split in the air and step through to the other side. But then at some point, there started to be a version of teleport that worked between planes, so then what's the difference. The problem is that the terms have been so "inter-used" over the years that it starts to lose meaning to my ears. Its kind of like "primordial"... which when I originally heard it, made perfect sense of an elemental being who formed from nothingness, but has been used to mean so many things now that it becomes hard to categorize. In the same way "goblinoid" used to mean one thing to me and included kobolds, orcs, and ogres, but now doesn't, and "fey" to me still means elves, but to others it doesn't.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Kentinal
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4686 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  19:00:32  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison



Just some exploratory musings at the moment

One way portals or gates seem an incredibly dangerous idea (you have no idea where it will dump you or if it even works)

If gates are physical artefact like items then do you need another gate at the other end to connect it to somewhere, is there a network of gates that you can dial up like the stargate and just repoint them. Or do you only need a gate at both ends to create a stable two way connection.





One way portals indeed can be dangerous, unless you know where they go. One example The Menzoberranzan Portal is one way and very safe for followers of Eilistraee and not very good at all for followers of Lolth.

Planer travel with an item is also possible. Clearly a two way gate at safe locations are the best for travel, planner or same plane.

D&D does not lend itself to a stargate type portal as best I can tell, most of the spells descriptions indicate location(s) are determined at creation. In theory a Gate can point to different places and be keyed to key, however only to locations known at the time of casting. If a new location was to be desired it would require casting a new spell to add it.
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Ayrik
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Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  19:55:11  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The terms are roughly interchangeable. Planescape lore only specified one over the other when the distinction was necessary because spell descriptors or planar properties treated the mechanics a little differently. Realmslore tends to use whichever terms sounds more like mystical prose in each situation.

I expect that those who understand and cast such magics will each have their own preferences and exacting terminology. And that they will disdain the ignorant commoners who casually use this preferred terminology incorrectly. Realmslore has many examples of mages naming their magics as they like, especially those who research or "invent" spells which already exist.

One version of the Stargate portal in D&D is Elminster's worldwalk spell.

[/Ayrik]
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
759 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  20:03:28  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote

"Gate" was the standard term in 1E and 2E. Someone more familiar than I with the setting can confirm if Planescape started the "portal" trend towards the end of 2E?

I don't have sources on hand to provide proof, but I have read/heard that WOTC made the design decision in 3E to use the term "portal" over "gate" when discussing magic doorways. Maybe George or Eric can confirm.
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison
So, do people distinguish between the two and if so how.

I feel like "gate" and "portal" are largely interchangeable terms for the most part. As already said, I tend to think of a "gate" as a larger, more stable opening and a "portal" as a smaller, more limited opening. Probably some visual influence from the movie Stargate going on there.



EDIT: Well, yeah, ^ what Ayrik said


AJA
YAFRP

Edited by - AJA on 13 Jan 2021 20:05:31
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bloodtide_the_red
Learned Scribe

USA
299 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2021 :  21:13:56  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Somewhere in Planescape lore I think it says something like a Gate is travel between planes and Portal is travel to and from Sigil.

With five editions you have 'five editions' of lore. And worst starting in 4E you get the crazy idea that "everything in this edition is how everything has always been always."

3E/3.5E is a bit softer where a couple of times they at least add a bit of vague text. So they do mention there are "other" ways to do things like make gates/portals then ONLY the feat. And that "other" strange and unknown magic does exist. This at least could lessen the hostile players that obsess about every letter of text in "THE RULES". The DM could point to "look the Official Rule says right there on that page that there ARE "other" gates that exist OTHER then just what is listed in these couple paragraphs." Then the DM could have a homebrewed Ghost Gate and players would not go insane that the DM was not playing the "official game by the official by the book rules" only!

Gates and Portals in all the lore are both freestanding in space and built into physical frames. You could say Gates are freestanding and Portals are in frames, but that is not supported by the lore. Though the Realms does have a sort of third type: often lore mentions at gate that once long ago was inside a frame (often a stone arch or circle or square) that has long ago crumbled away to dust. BUT the gate is still there and active, now floating in midair.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
6360 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2021 :  17:41:20  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Spoken to the Oracle and the answer is that he does not consider there to be a distinction.

However, found in secrets of the magister that one of the magister was turned into a gate and that a gate was defined as a connection between two portals so heres my thoughts.

You make a portal, it goes somewhere it's one way. If you go through it and make a portal in the same place back to your origin then you have a two way portal.

These portals are ephemeral, magic doorways with no physical indicators unless the caster makes the portal glow or shine or shimmer etc.

A portal can only go to somewhere within range of the casters expertise and only on the same plane. These portals degrade over time and can malfunction but otherwise are the same as all portals we know


However, Halaster knows that if you create a magically enhanced physical gateway (like an arch) with a portal in it then it stabilises the portal and makes it larger than normally possible and allow for it to connect to other portals thus allowing planar travel.



Now outsiders cannot create portals to the material world otherwise every planet would be overrun with fiends. But people from the material plane can create a connection to other planes if they use a gateway. However even on other planes the ruler is not going to want portals appearing everywhere in his domain so he must have a gateway portal already constructed that foolish mortals can connect to and then anyone can march through while the connection is open.

So A gateway allows you to connect to any other gateway portal just like in stargate even if it's on another plane, you just need to know enough about it (location, key, foreword,etc). A gateway also allows you to open a portal to another place on the same plane over a greater distance than normal portals (like a faraway planet full of orcs).
Gateway portals are more stable and dont degrade and can be large enough to fit several people through at the same time.
Not sure about control of gateway portals, I get the feeling it would be more interesting if you could force a gateway portal to remain open from the other side if you wanted (and had your own gateway portal it was connecting to, which would explain why the hellriders rode into avernus to try and close the gate)
Gateway portals can also be redirected to open portals elsewhere or connect to other gateway portals.


I think that would account for various lore canon scenarios without in validating anything.

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Returnip
Learned Scribe

221 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2021 :  10:26:59  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I really need to get my map of all known portals and gates in Faerűn done.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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PattPlays
Senior Scribe

469 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2021 :  20:18:58  Show Profile  Visit PattPlays's Homepage Send PattPlays a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Aw yeah! I always wanted to see the Shadow Path portals in artwork all cinnected to one another and stuff. Man, underdark portals are so cool.. Makes me tempted to resurrect some random thread on Toril bein hollow that I know is around here somewhen..

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Returnip
Learned Scribe

221 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2022 :  22:51:42  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some bad news. The legend I was compiling by meticulously going through all published material (starting with 3rd/3.5 ed) for mentions of portals or gates has disappeared. I will have to start over.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
6657 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2022 :  02:45:46  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Returnip

I have some bad news. The legend I was compiling by meticulously going through all published material (starting with 3rd/3.5 ed) for mentions of portals or gates has disappeared. I will have to start over.



Oh no. That's horrendous. How did that happen?

-- George Krashos

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2022 :  16:38:32  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Returnip

I have some bad news. The legend I was compiling by meticulously going through all published material (starting with 3rd/3.5 ed) for mentions of portals or gates has disappeared. I will have to start over.



Might I suggest you include 2E sources? Secrets of the Magister, pg 127, lists a dozen portals.

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Returnip
Learned Scribe

221 Posts

Posted - 24 Mar 2023 :  21:13:36  Show Profile Send Returnip a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good news! I found a WIP document that has some of my notes. I have to redo some of it, but it's at least something. :)

I'll be starting with 3.x edition and map every portal that is in any of the official published material, including articles and realms lore. Basically anything that comes from "official" sources. Then I'll be asking people to help out with the other editions. My plan is that the map will be layered so that you can choose which editions you want to include. It's gonna be a massive undertaking, but I really want to do it so I think it's going to be fun.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated on the progress. Hopefully it can be made into a graphical tool in html/javascript or something in the future once we have all the information collected.

On the other hand you have different fingers.
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TBeholder
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2404 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2023 :  08:06:19  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If we are to practice necromancy...
Those are subsets of planar connections with peculiar properties. Along with many others, like vortices.
A "portal" (permanent, temporary, or shifting) is terminus of mostly-stable Astral conduit (unless on an Inner plane, in which case nobody is sure how it works) and there are spells dealing specifically with portals (Portal Beacon, Portal Alarm, Warp Sense, Keycloak). They exist in physically defined places like doorways, arcs, etc.
Generally speaking, they are opened from one or both sides by a creature with specific key (even accidentally).
"Gates" are not well defined.
"Gates" as used in the broad sense seem to include portals ("gate key") and certain natural connections between adjacent planes or layers (thus "gate town"; Gate Ward/Gate Seal/Close Gate blocks these).
If under "gates" in the narrow sense we understand equivalents of the gate spell, well, it reacts violently with extradimensional interfaces and spheres of annihilation. Which is kind of noteworthy, and inconvenient. Generally speaking, even if a gate spell was made permanent, it won’t start to open and close automatically, this would need to be separately set up.
What "fissures" are is not clear, but seem to be lesser gates (as in spell).
Astral-specific: "color pools", passable windows to the adjacent planes.
Inner planes specific: vortices. An (para-|quasi-|)elemental vortex sometimes forms naturally from swirling motion of elemental matter; a vortex is directed (i.e. pumps planar matter into one and out of another terminus). Persistence varies wildly. Detected (in 300 miles) with elemental compass. There's at least one spell creating an unstable vortex (Maelstrom from Arabian Adventures - 9-level, specifically Water and outbound, but it’s HUGE).

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Edited by - TBeholder on 25 Mar 2023 08:57:48
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Ayrik
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Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 25 Mar 2023 :  09:17:40  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Other fictions and genres have their own versions of gates, portals, wormholes, tunnels, pools, whatever.

Often one or both ends of the "aperture" can be unstable or temporary. Moving to different locations. Moving to different times. Only appearing (or cycling through a pattern) when certain conditions (alignment of the stars or whatever) are present. Some of these are even somehow intelligent, capable of allowing or denying access, capable of deciding the destination or even overriding the intended destination, capable of extracting some form of payment for their service.

These features seem conspicuously absent from D&D and the Realms. Magic can easily explain all sorts of peculiarities with these systems of travel.

[/Ayrik]
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