Lords46: Rules: Religion

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The effects of Religion on the players in Lords of the Earth are threefold: it affects diplomacy, it affects conquest, and it may cause players to take actions they might not otherwise consider.

There are roughly 23 initial religions (not counting heretical versions) in Lords of the Earth and the possibility for more exists. The Religions break down into a number of major divisions, namely:

Christianity Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Coptic (or Monophysite), Nestorian, Keltic and Heretic versions of each.
Islam Sunni, Shiite and Heretic versions of each.
Pagan European, Asian, Oceanic, and African
Amerind North, Meso-American, and Southern
Oriental Mahayana, Therevada and Lamaist Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Daoism and Shinto Sects, and Zoroastrianism
Judaism Orthodox and Heretic

National Religious Strength

Each religion is classified by the strength of its conviction within each Nation, which represents the health and fervor of that religion, as well as its resistance to outside conversion. Each religion is defined in each nation with a Strength rating, which ranges from 1 (weakest) to 10 (strongest). This rating may be affected by player actions with them either attempting to increase or reduce the rating.

Religious type and Religious strength also have a slight influence on the accumulation of Tech Points.

Religion And The Nation

Every Nation in Lords of the Earth has the potential ability to perform Clerical actions as a part of their national policy. Some nations either are or directly control the Primate Authority of a given religion and therefore have greater abilities than more secular nations.

Primate Religious Authorities that have an Imperial Size greater than 1 or Secular Nations that have a Primate Authority as a subservient minister have a much greater chance of dynastic failure than a normal nation.

In the case of Dynastic Failure, there is a 50% chance that the Primate Authority and the Secular Empire will split apart. A schism or heresy may even occur. Most nations, which are usually secular in nature, can use their National Religion as part of their national policy.

Religious Interactions

The interaction of the various religions is shown on the Religious Interactions Table. To use the table find your religion in the left-hand column, and then read across to the intersection of your religion’s row and the column of the religion with which yours is interacting. The result will either be an “H” or a “t”.

An “H” represents a Hostile reaction against your religion by the other faith. If your forces occupy a region of a Hostile faith, you will require a double-sized garrison to maintain control. If you attempt diplomacy with a region of a Hostile faith, the status will never get any better than Economic Ally and, at its worst, could conceivably result in their declaration of war against you!

A “T” represents a Tolerant reaction to your faith by members of the other faith.

The Effects Of Religious Interaction

Religious Interaction has some effect on some actions in Lords of the Earth.

In Diplomacy, regions of a different religion are a little harder to convince.

Missionary activities such as Religious Missionary Work and Leader Religious Conversion are affected by religious interaction. It is twice as hard to convert a region of a hostile religion than it is to convert one that is tolerant.

The Garrison required to pacify certain regions are twice as much as it would be normally if the region religion is hostile. You will need to convert the region to your religion in order to have a regular garrison in the region. If the region terrain and religion are hostile then yes, a quadruple multiplied garrison will have to stay.

Table 9-3. Religious Symbols and Codes

Symbol Code Religion
ARC.JPG RC Roman Catholic
AEO.JPG EO Eastern Orthodox
ACP.JPG CP Monophysite (Coptic) Christian
ANC.JPG NC Nestorian Christian
AKC.JPG KC Keltic Christian
AHC.JPG HC Heretic Christian
AJD1.JPG JD Judaic
ASH.JPG SH Shiite Islam
ASN.JPG SN Sunni Islam
AHI.JPG HI Heretical Islam
ABH.JPG BH Mahayana Buddhism
ATB.JPG TB Theravada Buddhism
ALB.JPG LB Lamaist Buddhism
AHN.JPG HN Hinduism
AJN.JPG JN Jainism
AOP.JPG OP Oceanic Pagan
AEP.JPG EP European Pagan
AAP.JPG AP Asiatic Pagan
AAF.JPG AF African Pagan
ANA.JPG NA North Amerind
AMA.JPG MA Mesoamerind
ASA.JPG SA Southamerind
AZO.JPG ZO Zoroastrian

Religious Operations - removed

There are three ratings that govern the execution of Religious Operations. These are the Religious Operations Capacity (ROC), the Religious Operation Bonus (ROB) and the national Action Range (AR). The uses of these are similar to that of the Intel Operations.

A nation can expend a point of ROC and certain amounts of ROB to try and achieve success in some religious endeavor. Religious Strength is an important factor in the execution of these actions, a nation should have a RS of at least 5 to consider success in many of these actions.

Religious Primates and Religious Orders can also use Religious Operations (and Religious Bonus Points) to assist in the establishment of their respective sites. (See the Powers of a Holy Primate, and Religious Order Actions).

The national Action Range also limits the locales in which Religious Operations may be attempted. A religious action can only be attempted in a region that is within (Action Range) regions or Sea Zones of a province or Holy Site controlled (at Tributary or better status) by the nation attempting the action.

What follows are the list of actions and a brief definition of each:

Table 9-4. Summary of Religious Operations

Action Code Attempted by…
Crush Heresy ch Primacy, Religious Order, Nation#1
Destroy Influence di Religious Order, Nation
Incite Holy War iw Primacy, Nation#2
Increase Influence ii Primacy
Influence Religion ir Primacy, Nation#1
Maintain Influence mi Primacy
Lower Religious Strength ls Primacy, Religious Order, Nation
Missionary Work mw Primacy, Religious Order, Nation
Raise Religious Strength rs Primacy, Religious Order, Nation
Reform Religion rr Primacy, Nation#1


  1. Can only be attempted by a Nation whose religion does not have a Primacy.
  2. Can only be attempted by a coalition of at least three Nations of the same religion, with the same Holy War target.

Crush Heresy

Code CH

Target a heresy

Results If this operation is run the same or subsequent turn as a heresy is created, then there is a good chance that the heresy can be suppressed. Note that if this fails, the heresy that was attacked will become a hostile religion.

Destroy Influence

Code DI

Target a nation’s populace

Results If this action succeeds, the influence of a Religious Authority in a given nation will be decreased.

Incite Holy War

Code IW

Target hostile religion

Results Of course, a reason must exist for a Holy War, or no one will come. Heretics, pagan invasions, infidels on the rampage and Attila the Hun are all good excuses. Crusades against tree rot or against the wearing of hats indoors are not likely to stir up any support.

In addition to random events (which may provoke a Crusade) and the Sacred Cities rule, each religion’s Primate may call a Crusade of his own volition.

On a solely Primate initiated Crusade, however, each nation of that religion must choose whether it will go on Crusade. If they do, then they receive a certain number of “religious troops” that must be used for Crusading purposes.

Further any three (or more) monarchs of the religion that rule nations with a Religious Strength of 8 or more call may for a Crusade, even if the Primate does not. And, like all other Primate powers, if it is misused then its effects will dwindle away.

Increase Influence

Code II

Target a nation’s populace

Results This is one of the actions that can be used to increase a Primate’s religious influence in another country. Like infiltration in Intel, increased influence will have to be maintained. A nation must be of the same religion as the Primate Authority or at least have a majority of its populace the same religion.

Influence Religion

Code IR

Target Another Nation's Religion or Your Own

Results The purpose of influencing another religion is to draw the two religions closer together, perhaps becoming the same religion again. A “related” religion is one that has sprung from the same theological roots. For example: all Christian religions are “related”. A special case: Hinduism and Buddhism are related. If the other, related religion is Hostile, a certain level of influence will make it Tolerant.

If the other, related religion is Tolerant, a certain level of influence will make it the same religion, or a blend of the two.

And no, it's not easy and has rarely, if ever, been done.

You must maintain the influence to keep it current. For every turn the influence is not maintained, the influence is halved. This is not an easy thing to do.

If you are Influencing your own Nation’s religion, then you are attempting to strengthen its influence and sophistication within itself. An example of this is the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church, where the Papacy attempted to clean up the excesses and moral and theological laxity which had led to the Protestant Reformation.

Maintain Influence

Code MI

Target Influenced Religion

Results This action is the one that supports the Influence Religion operation. After another religion has been influenced, that influence must be maintained and this command is it. The operation automatically succeeds when used.

Lower Religious Strength

Code LS

Target a nation

Results This is the method to decrease either your or another nation’s Religious Strength. When attempting to reduce your own nation’s religious strength, the higher your religious strength is, the harder it will be to reduce it. However, when acting against another nation, it will be easier if your religious strength is higher.

Missionary Work

Code MW

Target region or Leader

Results Results This operation is used to:

  • Attempt to incrementally convert a city or region of an organized religion (South and Meso Amerind Pagan religions are considered organized for this purpose).
  • To entirely convert a city or region of an unorganized Pagan religion.
  • Attempt to convert the King of a Nation of an unorganized Pagan Religion. The innate difficulty is reduced if a significant proportion of the Nation’s population already belongs to the target religion, or if the King is married to or the son of a Princess of the target religion. Note that if performed by a Preach action, failure may result in the martyrdom of the Leader.

Raise Religious Strength

Code RS

Target a nation

Results This is the method to increase the Religious Strength of a nation. If you are attempting it upon your own nation, then the higher the religious strength is the easier it is to increase it.

Reform Religion

Code RR

Target own religion

Results If successful, this operation will reform a religion as to make it more applicable to the appropriate era. This will increase influence of all subject nations and will prevent heresies for some time. Reform Religion is a very difficult operation to execute.

Other Methods To Convert Regions

Colonial Conversion

When a colony is placed in a region of a different religion (and it is not destroyed by revolt), then the religion of the region splits, becoming two. The colonizers will become the dominant religion in the region as the natives become a religious ‘minority’. In time, the native (non-colony) religion will be slowly converted to that of the colony.

Military Conversion

At times, conversion by the sword seems prudent. You must beat a local partisan army and have enough troops to garrison the region. Once done, the region will be under a Military Conversion pacification and the region will accept your religion once it is assimilated (that is, turn friendly status). If at any time the MC pacified region revolts or is conquered by someone else, then the MC is ruined as the converts repudiate their enforced religion.

See also Military Conversion.

Religious Conversion

In order to convert a region to your religion by peaceful means you must convert a full 100% of the population or your efforts will eventually fail. This is handled by the Religious Conversion Leader action. If you have managed to convert more than 50% of a region to your religion, you can perform Cause Unrest action or an Incite Rebellion action to whip up the majority religion to overthrow the minority elite’s and turn that region to your religion.

If you are unable to convert regions to your religion, you could:

  • Ask someone of your religion who could to do it
  • Perform the MC action
  • Depopulate the region and resettle it with people of your religion
  • Use Colonial Conversion.

Conversion Of Nations

Pagan Nations

Pagans can convert to a world religion (Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism & Buddhism) at will so long as the Pagan nation has had exposure to the chosen religion. Upon conversion, all controlled regions except the homeland and all Leaders must pass a revolt check. Those who pass will convert along with the royal family and the government. Regions that fail the revolt check will go neutral. Leaders that revolt may form their nations (as per Civil War Rules). Pagans who convert to a world religion will increase their RS by one.

A nation can convert to a religion of tolerant status if agents of the tolerant religion have converted the royal family and the homeland (if applicable). Again, the Revolt Check procedure described above must be followed. Nations who convert to a tolerant religion will have their RS subtracted by one.

A nation whose RS is 3 or lower can convert to a hostile religion. Two rounds of revolts must be endured though. If they somehow survive through all this their RS will drop by one.

New nations that convert into the jurisdiction of a Primate Religious Authority will have a base influence of 2.

Non-Pagan Nations

A Nation already possessing an “organized” religion cannot convert to another, new religion by fiat. Instead, each region must be converted via Missionary Work or Military Conversion.

Attempts by a King to declare a new religion will be met with revolt, murder and mutiny. It is very like the local clergy (of the current religion) will declare the King excommunicate, provoking revolt checks all ‘round. This should be very ugly.

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