Are there any Black gods (especially good ones) in Pathfinder?


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

251 to 266 of 266 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

And the Black Pharaoh was directly inherited from Lovecraft's work, which means unfortunate racial implications are kind of inevitable.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:
And the Black Pharaoh was directly inherited from Lovecraft's work, which means unfortunate racial implications are kind of inevitable.

I'd have to look back, but I never read the "Black" in that as racial. Pictured him as Egyptian, but evil. :)

Nyarly also appeared in the guise of the "Black Man" of the witch cults, but there he was described as coal black in color, but not African featured.

Edit: Here we go

Nyarlathotep wrote:
And it was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh. The fellahin knelt when they saw him, yet could not say why. He said he had risen up out of the blackness of twenty-seven centuries, and that he had heard messages from places not on this planet.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I know all that. ^_^

I was thinking more of stuff like the trumpeters in "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath". Not necessarily racist, but... potentially problematic?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Paizo most likely wants to avoid the problematic side of Lovecraft's writings, which leaves the Black Pharaoh open to interpretation if he is Egyptian, African etc. Its just an avatar and Nyarlahotep has thousands.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Oh, there's ungodly amounts of pure undiluted racism in Lovecraft. I don't recall the trumpeters specifically, but there was a lot of racist imagery in Dream Quest.

Mostly I was just pointing out that Narly doesn't make a good, evil, example of a black god in the sense we're talking about.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
thejeff wrote:

Oh, there's ungodly amounts of pure undiluted racism in Lovecraft. I don't recall the trumpeters specifically, but there was a lot of racist imagery in Dream Quest.

Mostly I was just pointing out that Narly doesn't make a good, evil, example of a black god in the sense we're talking about.

Yeah I didn't want to open that pandoras box.

Yes I agree Nyarlathotep shouldn't be included in the black god conversation.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

Same. ^_^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Morzadian wrote:
Nyarlathotep has many forms with the black pharaoh being one of them, the 'black pharaoh' is kind of like a polymorphed form than a true representation of a deity.

That's the real issue, though, with this entire line of discussion. Wikipedia includes a good list of (some of) the forms Nyarlathotep has taken in the writings of Lovecraft, which include not only the Black Pharoah, but also "[a] bloated, batlike creature with a single three-lobed burning eye which appears able to kill by fear alone," "a putrid, living fog," and "a bluish, red-veined jellyfish-like creature."

It seems rather odd to try to classify weather by racial type.

But given how easy it is for a divinity-level power to change the appearance of its avatar, and how some deities are explicitly described as doing so, it seems odd to complain that Shelyn ["all who see her see what they envision as the most perfect beauty (meaning she appears different to everyone)"] is not black when that's explicitly how she looks if your crumpet is buttered on that side.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
Nyarlathotep has many forms with the black pharaoh being one of them, the 'black pharaoh' is kind of like a polymorphed form than a true representation of a deity.

That's the real issue, though, with this entire line of discussion. Wikipedia includes a good list of (some of) the forms Nyarlathotep has taken in the writings of Lovecraft, which include not only the Black Pharoah, but also "[a] bloated, batlike creature with a single three-lobed burning eye which appears able to kill by fear alone," "a putrid, living fog," and "a bluish, red-veined jellyfish-like creature."

It seems rather odd to try to classify weather by racial type.

But given how easy it is for a divinity-level power to change the appearance of its avatar, and how some deities are explicitly described as doing so, it seems odd to complain that Shelyn ["all who see her see what they envision as the most perfect beauty (meaning she appears different to everyone)"] is not black when that's explicitly how she looks if your crumpet is buttered on that side.

Except that all the actual art of her isn't black. And overwhelmingly the same for the other gods in PF. A pictures worth a thousand words and all that. Saying "Gods can look like many things and sometimes they'll look black" gives a technical out, but doesn't do a thing for representation, if they're not actually shown that way.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

And when artists do get ethnicity right (like Wayne Reynold's version of Sajan and Seelah), the strengths of their art can be lost, and is often 'westernised' by other artists.

And this is where criticism is needed, lets the artist know they did an unsatisfactory job.

We do it with game design and game design improves, it goes from strength to strength.

Art shouldn't be immune to scrutiny.


thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Morzadian wrote:
Nyarlathotep has many forms with the black pharaoh being one of them, the 'black pharaoh' is kind of like a polymorphed form than a true representation of a deity.

That's the real issue, though, with this entire line of discussion. Wikipedia includes a good list of (some of) the forms Nyarlathotep has taken in the writings of Lovecraft, which include not only the Black Pharoah, but also "[a] bloated, batlike creature with a single three-lobed burning eye which appears able to kill by fear alone," "a putrid, living fog," and "a bluish, red-veined jellyfish-like creature."

It seems rather odd to try to classify weather by racial type.

But given how easy it is for a divinity-level power to change the appearance of its avatar, and how some deities are explicitly described as doing so, it seems odd to complain that Shelyn ["all who see her see what they envision as the most perfect beauty (meaning she appears different to everyone)"] is not black when that's explicitly how she looks if your crumpet is buttered on that side.

Except that all the actual art of her isn't black. And overwhelmingly the same for the other gods in PF. A pictures worth a thousand words and all that. Saying "Gods can look like many things and sometimes they'll look black" gives a technical out, but doesn't do a thing for representation, if they're not actually shown that way.

Ok, honestly, answer me this: How much are ANY of the gods directly depicted in Paizo art? Not statues in a temple or stained glass in a church, those can easily be waived as regional interpretations. How often does a GOD directly and personally get depicted?

I can think of maybe a handful of resources that depict gods. The obvious ones, Inner Sea Gods, the presence in APs, and Gods and Magic, show *maybe* five images of any given deity total (One action shot on the spread of their section in ISG, one after the typical priest and church picture in ISG, one in G&M (which is usually reused as the one in ISG), One in an AP in book 2 or 5, MAYBE one on the Chapter break, and MAYBE one in an additional splat book).

This begs the question, if Iomede, the Chelish born Ascended, whitest of the white gods, is depicted only four times, what chances are that one of those four times will be as the tribal warrioress that the Bonuwat of Sargava know her as (again, pulling directly from the Sargava splat book here)? At what point is it representation and at what point is it pandering?

Do we need art for every depiction of Gozreh in the inner sea (knowing that Gozreh is both depicted as male and female, depending on aspect, that she is revered all across the inner sea, and that she is one of the oldest gods f Golarion still worshiped today)? Do we need art depicting the Halfling depiction of Cayden? What about that art depicting Norgorber, which shouldn't even be able to exist?

What about the fact that there are no gods depicted as Ulfen? The Shoanti also experience a lack of love when it comes to visual representation. What about the Tien interpretations of the Inner Sea gods? If visual representation is a must, then we need to include them too, for fairness.

Now of course we run into a different problem if we start depicting all the gods in all the possible ways they could be depicted: when people see a picture in a book of a god, they will have to double take to figure out who they are looking at. "Is that Mwangi Zon-Kuthon? This is Tein Iomede. I'm pretty sure that was the Ulfen depiction of Irori..." and so on.

I hope by now my point is clear: there are simply too many possible depictions, and far too few artistic opportunities, to display every possible representation of a deity, and so we are left with an "iconic" styling of them.


Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Now of course we run into a different problem if we start depicting all the gods in all the possible ways they could be depicted: when people see a picture in a book of a god, they will have to double take to figure out who they are looking at. "Is that Mwangi Zon-Kuthon? This is Tein Iomede. I'm pretty sure that was the Ulfen depiction of Irori..." and so on.

I hope by now my point is clear: there are simply too many possible depictions, and far too few artistic opportunities, to display every possible representation of a deity, and so we are left with an "iconic" styling of them.

Yup. We're left with the "iconic" default version. Which is white.

Obviously, you're right that you can't show every possible way each god can be depicted. You could, however, depict one as the Chelish see her. One as the Tien see him. One as the Mwangi see her. Etc.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

This would actually be a very cool feature for Inner Sea Races. ^_^


thejeff wrote:
Lord Twitchiopolis wrote:

Now of course we run into a different problem if we start depicting all the gods in all the possible ways they could be depicted: when people see a picture in a book of a god, they will have to double take to figure out who they are looking at. "Is that Mwangi Zon-Kuthon? This is Tein Iomede. I'm pretty sure that was the Ulfen depiction of Irori..." and so on.

I hope by now my point is clear: there are simply too many possible depictions, and far too few artistic opportunities, to display every possible representation of a deity, and so we are left with an "iconic" styling of them.

Yup. We're left with the "iconic" default version. Which is white.

Obviously, you're right that you can't show every possible way each god can be depicted. You could, however, depict one as the Chelish see her. One as the Tien see him. One as the Mwangi see her. Etc.

Again, most of this was covered earlier in the thread. the Inner Sea Gods are depicted in a Inner Sea-centric manner. It makes no sense for the setting to use a less common depiction over the most common depiction in the setting.

The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the Inner Sea, or at the very least the vast majority of areas written for to date (Read Varisia) are white.

When we have a resource on Garund proper, THEN we should see an all or mostly black pantheon.

Kalindlara wrote:
This would actually be a very cool feature for Inner Sea Races. ^_^

I agree wholeheartedly. Obviously they couldn't do too much art....not a full body image for each god. However, a pantheon shot depicting all of them together would be interesting.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I was thinking a little of each.

In the Mwangi section, we see Shelyn or Iomedae through the eyes of the Sargavan converts.

We see the Kellids' Desna, mounted upon her elk.

I've always wanted to know how the elves envision Nethys.

So one-ish for each race, etc. ^_^


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kalindlara wrote:

I was thinking a little of each.

In the Mwangi section, we see Shelyn or Iomedae through the eyes of the Sargavan converts.

We see the Kellids' Desna, mounted upon her elk.

I've always wanted to know how the elves envision Nethys.

So one-ish for each race, etc. ^_^

Hmm. I dunno how much art they would have space for.

That' an ambitious hope, but one I also share.

251 to 266 of 266 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Lost Omens Campaign Setting / General Discussion / Are there any Black gods (especially good ones) in Pathfinder? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.