Forums: Helping Hand > Prospoal: Adding "Physiology" as a new section to the standardized section organization scheme.

Use the following template for a nicely presented post:

{{Forum post|Write your message here!|~~~~}}

Dear Forgotten Realms community - I know I am rather new to this community of yours, but I am extremely passionate and eager about helping to fill out any missing information possible. However, I have been noticing a discrepenacy on a number of creature pages lately. Whenever people have information regarding the functions and systems of a creature's body they tend to either put it under "Ecology," "Description," and even "Abilities." Ecology is the one I have most often seen used for this information, but I feel that none of these truly do to justice to the information. Ecology is defined as the "The branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundingsit seeks to understand the vital connections between plants and animals and the world around them." This definition makes it clear that Ecology is meant to be the counterpart of the "Society" section, and not a place for detailing how a creature's body works. Therefore, I am proposing that we add "Physiology" as a brand new section to the standard organization scheme for such information.
SunderedShor (talk) 18:09, April 30, 2020 (UTC)
Interesting idea. I generally put all biological info within the Ecology section. So like information on diet, physiology, reproduction, that kind of thing
Regis87 (talk) 18:22, April 30, 2020 (UTC)
I like this idea as I have occasionally struggled with finding the correct header for certain biological information.
Ruf (talk) 18:29, April 30, 2020 (UTC)

Using the Ecology section to put together both a creature's physiology and actual ecology has kind of become our usual approach in more recent articles. I also agree that it could use a better name.

I would argue in favor of keeping the number of major sections small, so how about if we gave the main section―the one currently named Ecology―a more generic name that properly reflects this, such as "Biology", while making Physiology and Ecology subsections?

On the other hand, this approach requires that we also be careful not to nest a huge hierarchy of subsections in articles. That would make the table of contents look very messy.

Sirwhiteout (talk) 18:34, April 30, 2020 (UTC)

When needed, we can add non-TOC subsections to the Ecology section, example:


I'd like to keep Ecology as a main section, as it keeps with Monster Manual tradition.

Regis87 (talk) 18:48, April 30, 2020 (UTC)
I would also have to agree that the Ecology section probably should not be replaced wholesale.
SunderedShor (talk) 19:02, April 30, 2020 (UTC)

I agree that Ecology is a terrible header name in most cases.

It was meant, in part, to mirror the Society section that sentients get. However, this left no place to discuss the biological aspects of sentients, which the Monster Manuals clump into the Ecology sections.

I do not think that the fact that it's what's used in the Monster Manuals should have any bearing on this at all. We are a lore wiki, not a crunch wiki. We aren't here to rewrite the sourcebooks; we are here to create an encyclopedia of lore. The sourcebooks do a lot of things in a dumb way. We should be better than that.

I would vote to use Physiology, but I'd be okay with Biology also. I actually cannot see any reason to have even an Ecology sub-section in most cases for a creature article. That belongs more in an article for a region. Creatures do not have an ecology so much as they participate in the ecology of an area.

I think that we could probably do a bot-replace of Ecology with Biology and be okay in 90% of the cases.

In the 10% of cases where the content actually had to do with the relationship of the creature and its environment, it could probably just be moved to the Behavior and Society sections.

I see no problem with having an Abilities section also. Abilities, after all, especially in a fantasy world, have little connection to biology often. They are often innate supernatural powers.

~ Lhynard (talk) 22:37, April 30, 2020 (UTC)

I'd be okay with switching the heading, but I'd much prefer "Biology" to "Physiology". The latter is a bit more specific in scope than what the relevant section refers to.

Using the bots for the chore sound wonderful, by the way.

SilverTiger (talk) 00:41, May 1, 2020 (UTC)
I guess changing Ecology to Biology makes sense. It was really a 2e thing. Agreed on the Abilities section. I add it whenever I can. It's where i put magical or psionic abilities as well as immunities.
Regis87 (talk) 01:18, May 1, 2020 (UTC)

I have to say it sounds interesting.... but you might be over-complicating it. Is there anyway you can pick a max of 2-5 monsters to try this on first. One monster that is easy to fill in the new categories and one that might be the hardest to fill the information in. This way you get a sense of the effort, see how it reads on the screen and get a chance to have feedback with materials before making it a full blown thing... Just my 2 cents...
Gothrog (talk) 00:20, May 3, 2020 (UTC)

Given recent edits and discussions, I am reviving this thread so we can have something of a resolution and a working standard for new and existing articles.

But first, a suggestion for what to call this new section:

We are trying to find a term that defines the internal mechanisms of creatures, as well as their interaction with their surroundings. There is a name for this kind of study: Cybernetics.

That would be my suggestion for a name to replace the Ecology section with, but it might be confusing to readers, since the word has taken a more technological meaning in pop culture.

If people strongly oppose to that (which I am assuming will be the case), I am in favor of replacing the Ecology section with Biology, since that makes a lot more sense for the sort of content that goes in there and is fine in most cases. In addition, I propose that "Uses", which tends to be used as a separate section when used, be made into a subsection of Biology.

The Biology section should contain only information that would not fit in other sections, such as Abilities or Combat. If a creature's nature is inherently magical and no biological reasoning applies to it, then that name would be a poor fit, but still better than Ecology or Physiology (in either case, Cybernetics would work fine… doesn't hurt to try).

That said, here is a proposal for the standard sections of creature articles (Appendix omitted):

==Personality (use for a sapient being)==
==Behavior (use for creatures with animal intelligence)==
==Society (use for sapients)==
==Notable <plural creature name>==

(In the unlikely case that people actually like Cybernetics as a section title, it would then replace Biology)


Sirwhiteout (talk) 02:04, September 25, 2020 (UTC)

Yeah, I think "cybernetics" would be too confusing in this modern world. I vote to accept the standard sections list as you have it above, and I fully agree with your other suggestions also.
~ Lhynard (talk) 16:49, September 25, 2020 (UTC)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.