There’s something about a door or a gateway. Portals represent choices that must be made, promises of discovery, and obstacles that must be overcome.
Very often a portal is a one way trip. Once we’ve made a choice we can’t go back. The door shuts behind us. Some of these doors are literal, but many are metaphorical. Even if a door is two way, we still must choose to open it or not. Once we open it, we can’t go back to the condition of never having crossed that gateway.
Portals offer a way to discovery and revelation while obscuring them at the same time. We can never be sure if a given door leads to adventure, rewards, peril, or a dead end. The only way to find out is to cross the threshold.
Sometimes a portal is held, and it seems to be impossible to overcome that barrier. Often we get wrapped up in thinking that we must get to the other side, and we forget that we have other choices. If w decide that we must get through, then the gateway becomes a challenge.
I like portals, literal and metaphorical. Without them RPG sessions would be boring. No one likes boring. Don’t forget to knock.