Playing a priest is not like playing any of the other classes, except maybe the infiltrator or Adventurer. Priests offer a whole new perspective on the game, and the class and all other aspects of religion will be discussed on this page.
Tom's Own Words on this class. A sort of FAQ about the Priest Class.
The real blood and soul of a religion lies in its dedicated priests, however. A character class of its own, the priest does not command a unit and can not buy paraphernalia. Yes, that includes the scout.
He does, however, have many special features. For the moment, the fun of discovery shall not be spoiled by listing them. Some are dependant on where he is, or on the presence of temples or shrines, or even on the number of believers in the current region.
In order to become a priest you must be a member of a religion, within your own realm and in the same region as a medium (level 3) sized temple.
Priests have a special skill only available to them and Diplomats/Ambassadors, called "Oratory". This skill indicates how well a priest can convince others and is useful both for converting non-believers into followers, and for influencing followers into doing what the priest would like them to do.
Priest actions can be found under a Religion section of the menu which replaces the Orders section.
Many actions of priests depend on their skill level, but also on the number and/or percentage of followers in the current region and other factors. Many of those actions are hidden until they become available.
So initially, when you switch to priest or start your first religion, it will seem as if there isn't much to do. Don't be fooled by first impressions. More actions will appear over time. Some may even be available only in regions with shrines or temples, or even depending on the faith of the local lord.
Note that priestly actions will never increase your honour or prestige. Priests act differently than other nobles, and preaching to commoners is not seen as a noble action generally. Other non priest-specific actions that you take may increase your honour or prestige however.
- Estimate religions
This takes two hours and provides a scribe report with a breakdown of the religions in the region.
- Look for other priests
This takes one hour and tells you which priests are in the region you're in and the regions neighbouring it.
- Preach - You can preach for anywhere between one and twelve hours to convert peasants to your religion. Temples and shrines can help with this and/or provide a cap on the total percentage of the region which can be converted if there's a temple in the region which is too small. Excessive preaching (more than one preaching from any priest in at least 24 hours) can gradually cause the peasants to get bored of sermons and ignore you. Be warned: if there are a large number of peasants in the region following a faith which your faith views as misguided or evil (or vice versa) they may try and beat you up. If they do you'll either be hidden by followers and lose all your hours or be wounded and lose all your hours.
- Influence followers - With enough followers in a region you can give a sermon lasting one to twelve hours spreading a message aimed at changing the peasants' attitudes. These involve clashes with politics, particularly the last three, and cause you to lose followers as a result. The ways in which you can influence followers are:
- Scare - Causes morale to fall.
- Calm - Causes morale to increase.
- Cause Unrest - Causes realm control to drop.
- Badmouth Realm - Decreases loyalty to the target realm.
- Laud Realm - Increases loyalty to the target realm.
- Build a shrine - Allows you to build a shrine costing increasing hours and gold for each shrine you build. These speed up conversion rates in the region.
- Show spread - Spend three hours producing a scribe note showing details of all your religion's followers and temples and shrines and which regions they're in. For an extra two hours and 5 gold you can turn this into a one off, non shareable (unless you screen capture it) map of the spread of your religion.
- Pray for signs - Listen to followers to pick up rumours about impending groups of monsters or undead forming in the region.
- Persecute heretics - Stir up your followers to kill unbelievers. Peasants on both sides can die in the clashes and this may cause the region lord to dislike you but this is one way of reducing the followers of an opposing religion. Bear in mind that your followers in the region may lose and/or suffer more deaths than the other side.
- Auto da fe - Stir up the faithful to drive out any noble with an estate in the region who is not of your faith. You need a large majority of followers in the region to do this and militia will stand aside to let you do it but troops led by nobles will oppose you. If you succeed the target noble will become an unaligned noble of their realm and lose any landed titles they may have. If you fail then you may be imprisoned. This will always use up all your hours.
- Claim region - If you have a large majority of followers in the region (over 80%?) you can try to takeover the region for your realm and yourself in the name of your religion as long as realm control is at province or below (but you could always influence followers to reduce realm control). If you succeed you become lord of the region. If you fail you can be thrown in the dungeon of the realm the region belongs to. This will also use up all your hours. There are two ways of going about doing this, peacefully and forcefully:
- Peaceful - This involves using persuasion and a show of force to convince the region authorities to yield control to you. It avoids direct military conflict but you could still be betrayed and imprisoned.
- Forceful - This involves a direct battle with the authorities and will cost you gold to organise (71 gold was the cost on one occasion). Militia in the region will not oppose you but ALL troops commanded by nobles of ANY realm will try and stop you as your "army" just looks like a mob of peasants to them. Some of your followers will die in the process and you will certainly lose and probably be imprisoned if there's overwhelming military force in the region.
The basic building blocks of religions are religious orders, which technically work much like Guilds. A religious order is more than a grouping of like-minded nobles, however. It has beliefs, gods, scriptures and much more. Many of these are roleplaying elements and do not possess their own game mechanics.
Instead of guildhouses, religions have temples. In order to join a religion, you must visit one of its temples. Every noble can become a follower (the common term for non-priest members) of a religious order. In fact, religious orders require non-priest followers, especially region lords who can construct new temples.
Unlike guilds, every character can only be a follower of one religious order. That is where the politics start...
Temples and Shrines
Temples work similarly to guildhouses, except that they need to be much larger to be effective, because they do not only serve the members of the religious order, but also the common believers of the faith. A size 3 guildhouse is fairly large. For temples, that's where the real fun starts. Smaller temples offer only a reduced set of options.
Also, temples are required to provide for followers. If you have more followers in a region than the temple can provide for, you will lose followers.
Shrines are small places of worship, often small huts or stone buildings, but they come in many shapes. Shrines serve as centres of worship for the common believers and will strengthen the faith. They can be built in addition to temples, but offer none of their features as they serve only the common believers.
Please also note that unlike guilds, religions have maintenance and upkeep costs every week, rather than every month. If a temple or shrine has no gold to pay for it then it will either be paid for by the global treasury of the religion or collapse - either of these causes followers in that religion to abandon the faith.
|Temple Size:||Build Cost (Varies)||Weekly Maintenance (Varies)||Number of followers|
|1 Small Shack||100||2-4||1,500|
|2 Primitive Temple||100||4-6||4,000|
|3 Small Temple||250||7-9||7,500|
|4 Medium Temple||500||12||12,000|
|5 Large Temple||750-850||20-21||18,000|
|6 Magnificent Temple||1,200-1,300||24?||24,000|
|7 Vast and Splendid Temple Area||1,600-1,800||32?||31,500|
|8 Awe-inspiring Temple District||2,000-2500??||40||40,000??|
|9 Awe-inspiring temple district spanning 1 blocks||3,000??||60?||50,000??|
|10 Awe-inspiring temple district spanning 2 blocks||4,000??||60||60,000|
|11 Awe-inspiring temple district spanning 3 blocks||5050||80?||80,000??|
A religion is only as strong as the people who believe in it. Common believers is where it's at, what it's all about, the core of the matter.
Fortunately, peasants are easily impressed. The pure presence of a temple or a shrine (especially a shrine) will cause them to convert, albeit at a glacial speed (depending on the size of the temple, of course). To really spread a religion, it will have to send out its priests to preach. Faith also spreads on its own. If many people believe in X, they will talk about it and sometimes this will cause others to follow their lead. This is even slower than the effect of temples, but it can cross region borders. Finally, if the local lord is a member of a religious order, members of his household and anyone else who wants to be in good standing with him might convert, causing a localized effect similar to, but smaller, than that of a temple.
Believers can only believe in one faith. Priests of a different religion can preach to them and convert them again. However, peasants tire of it if there are too many priests preaching about too many things all the time.
People always need to believe something. In the absence of player-driven religions, they make up their own local folklore or unspecified pagan gods. In addition, under certain circumstances, they tend to return to these old traditions, so religions must keep an eye on their followers. They might lose them not only to other player religions...
Where guilds do not usually care about other guilds, and are non-exclusive, religions are very different. They care deeply about each other, mostly because they are exclusive clubs - one can not believe in two different religions at the same time.
It is not only player characters who are limited to one religion: common believers also choose one faith to follow. Religions are thus by design always in rivalry over believers (and, to a lesser extend, player character followers).
Religions have official views on other religions. The details are explained in the in-game context help.
Religions also can involve themselves deeply in mundane politics. Priests hold the keys to the hearts of the people, and can help or harm a realm. On the other hand, contributions of the commoners will not normally be sufficient to cover all the upkeep for the temples and shrines. So religions also rely on either enough noble followers who add to the treasury, or official support from one or more realms for their financial survival.
All this is in the realm of player interaction. Due to their special features, there are many things that priests can offer their mundane allies, in return for the needed financial support.
Priests can pledge their oath to a region in return for an income and estate. They can also rule a region, should they have enough support in an election or have good enough connection to be appointed. However they may not hold Government positions.
Failure and Reformation of Religions
In the same fashion as a realm will suffer and eventually fail if there are no members of the realm council, religions must have Elders to govern the religion. Should the religion ever fail to have elders, particular an elder that is an active priest, within a couple of days the religions shrines and temples will be abandoned and consequently destroyed. It is during this failure of the religion that an emergency meeting of the lesser clergy and minor noble laymen will occur and elect a new religious head. (All game mechanics, players do not vote.) This newly elected individual will then be responsible for reforming the religion and it's council of elders. (Make certain that a priest is promoted to Elder, or else the church will continue to fail.)