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Cult System Redesign

A sketch pad for ideas relating to cult restructuring, from the “[crossfire] [Rebootworld] Priests and prayers and cults” topic discussed on the mailing list. The thread suggested that we group some religions together, along with redoing some related code/formulas.


What people see the religions being after the redesign (if it is ever done).


The “Imperial” religion. Containing several gods. Many existing gods would become branches of this religion: Sorig, Ixalovh, Valkyrie, Gnarg, Gaea. Another 7 new gods would join them to complete the pantheon, including probably: Celi the ruler, Lemia of the dead, Tozi of metal and crafts, the many-named god of change/chaos, a goddess of magic to be named, and Hekanis, god of learning.


The cult of Gaea is pacifist, with a focus on healing, but also fills the traditional role of fertility (blessing crops etc).


A very restricted order of Gaea priests with additional powers and significant influence.


Cult is basically concerned with weather. Priests are expected to know at least the basics of science or magic.


A popular cult with sailors and fishermen, includes some secondary worship and sacrifice to Sorig, seen as Ixalovh's husband.

Mysteries of the Depths

Restricted, initiation-based cult concerned with the darker and more chaotic side of Ixalovh.


Popular cult with soldiers, akin to Roman Mithraism. Frowns on magic.

Order of the Pure Warrior

Initiation-based core of the Valkyrie cult; priests are forbidden magic entirely, but get great protection from it.


Priests of Lemia aren't very popular, but are respected; they are responsible for funerals, ancestor worship, etc, and disposing of ghosts/undead. Some of 1.x Devourers roles goes to Lemia.


All Imperial devouts worship Celi. There is, however, a restricted Order of Celi, in which magistrates are expected to be initiated.


The Loki/Set slot in the Imperial pantheon; his cult is forbidden and actively persecuted, yet very resilient, especially amongst the criminal.


Akin to Lovecraftian cultists, those people worship the Devourers, entities said to be roaming the Emptiness consuming entire worlds and their gods.


The church of Valriel is pseudo-monotheistic, similar to medieval Christianity, Islam, or Zoroastrianism. It's the official religion of the kingdom of Navar, which comes originally from a different, medieval world.


An underground cult, akin to medieval Satanism, preaching rebellion against Valriel, rule of the mighty, self-interest, disregard for law and common morals; but also a few positive aspects like change and critical thought. Some cultists see themselves as evil, others as “necessary evil”, others as rebels and free-thinkers.

Other orders

Like a medieval religion, the cult of Valriel should have a few “legal”, recognized orders. TBD.


Religion of Dwarves. Essentially monotheistic but deceased Dwarven heroes are considered immortal in spirit. Loosely based on Dwarven Creation Tale but different ending. Details TBD much later when Dwarves are given more attention.


Religion of Elves. Polytheistic, Tolkien-like. Humans generally think of Lythander as a god and some even spare “him” some minor worship, but in the Elven language, it's a plural word akin to Middle-Earth “Valar”. May have sub-cults… TBD much later when Elves are given more attention.

Code changes

  1. Conversion happens in a special player changer, not the altar. This way you can have an altar for a restricted-access religion in a public temple.
  2. Currently we register in the archetype that two religions are enemies. Need to also register “branching” and affinity. A religion should be able to have more than one enemy religion (pretty much everyone is opposite Devourers).
  3. Converting to a branch religion of your current religion incurs no punishment.
    1. Benefits and restrictions of the new one override the old one, but in most cases, the new benefits should be a superset, so that it looks like they accumulate.
    2. New repelled and denied paths may mean the character becomes unable to cast some already acquired prayers or spell, though.
  4. Praying in the altar of a different religion gets normal benefits if:
    1. It's a branch of your current religion;
    2. Your current religion is a branch of the one the altar belongs to;
    3. The two religions are “allied” (eg Ixalovh and Sorig).
  5. Praying in the altar of a different religion causes punishment (possibly from both gods) if the religions are enemies. Enmity should follow up branches, so for example even a branch of Devourers would still be taboo for Imperial priests.
  6. Otherwise, praying on a “stranger” altar has no effect. (But whether “no effect” means “same as praying without an altar” or “same as not praying” remains to be defined.)

Other changes

These changes are planned to the content as part of the reboot, and they're just noted here to clarify and complement the above.

Prayer lists and learning

Prayer lists will be restricted to specific religions, similar (but not quite) to how 1.x spells have different skills.

Two religions may have the exact same prayer, with the same or different names.

There will be no more prayerbooks; prayers will be learned in the temple (since that's the only way to enforce the restriction above without requiring superfluous code changes).

Scrolls, wands and rods that cast prayers will be given different names and faces. Possibly re-use “prayerbook” to be the equivalent of a scroll. These should also be more rare; possibly sold or given at the temple.

As a side effect, making prayer scrolls will require a different base “material” (a blank prayerbook rather than a blank scroll).

Prejudice, bigotry, etc

Some places may have detectors that cause a character to be treated better or worse based on religion. In the long term, ideally that would be replaced by a reputation system, but until such a time, detectors will do.

ideas/cult_system_restructuring.txt · Last modified: 2018/03/23 19:30 by karl