Talk:Lords Lite: The Religion Original

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Contents

Introduction

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.

Formation of a Primate Religious Authority

In normal times, there can be only one single Religious Authority for any religion. If one does not exist, one can be formed after a nation of that religion has achieved a Religious Strength of 8 or higher. That country can then form a Primate Religious Authority which can be either (a) be run as a separate nation or (b) become an integral part of the sponsoring country either as rulers or as a subservient ministry. See Found Religious Primacy.

If run as a separate nation then the Primacy is created using the rules below. If it remains an integral part of the nation then the ruler becomes a ‘god-emperor’ or a ‘priest-king’ utilizing their Religious Operations as the primate of the new religion; their capital becomes a Holy City.

When a nation founds a Religious Primacy it adopts the nature and characteristics of its founder as follows:

  1. The Economic and Society type of the founder. Where more than one founder exists, the most common type.
  2. Government types are restricted to Constitutional Monarchy, Theocracy or Dictatorship.
  3. Language type of the founding nation (or most populous member of the founding group).
  4. Religion of the founding group (obviously) with a Religious Strength of the founder(s) plus one (1).
  5. QRs are set at the level of the founder (or average thereof) plus one (1). This represents the order attracting the best and brightest warriors.
  6. The Primacy gets the Tech Level of the founder(s) and an appropriate number of Tech Points. If the founders are of different Tech Levels then the Primacy receives that of the majority (if there is an equal split then the size of the nations in question and the amount of investment determines which is inherited).
  7. Tax status is set to "Census" (if in use in the campaign).

To found a Religious Primacy, the King (or equivalent) Leader of the founding nation must pay the foundation costs in GP and NFP.

The founding nation(s) specify where the initial Holy City (the equivalent of the Primacy’s Capital) is to be established. At foundation the Primacy is limited only to the Holy City. Control Status elsewhere must be built up subsequently.

During the turn of foundation (only!), capabilities can be purchased by the founding nation(s) from the following table:

Table 9-1. Religious Primacy Establishment Costs

Site or Capability Cost in GP and NFP
Holy City Included in Foundation Cost
BL level 100
Infra level 100
Espionage OC / OB 50
Religious OC / OB 50
Troops As per Culture costs

During creation, there are limits set on the number of capabilities that can be provided to the Primacy. These are:

Site or Capability Maximum Value or No.
Max BL 2
Max Infra 2
Holy City (gratis) 1

Should a Nation wish to keep founding costs to a minimum, it can grant the Primacy the following on a one for one basis (that is, these ratings are not halved in transfer, as would normally be the case):

  • Bureaucratic Level
  • Infrastructure
  • Espionage Operations Capacity and Bonus
  • Religious Operations Bonus and Capacity

These are transferred from the donor to the Primacy, reducing the donor's relevant stats by the amount donated.

All Primacy start with an Influence of five (5) in any nation contributing to its foundation.

Table 9-2. Religious Powers Summary

Action or Benefit Primate Religious Order God Emperor National Religion
Bishopric Support yes no no no
Excommunicate yes no yes no
Influence yes no no no
Religious Sites yes order sites only no no
Religious Interdict yes no yes no
Religious Operations yes yes yes yes
Can Exact Tithe yes no no no

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
AST.JPG ST Shinto
ADA.JPG DA Daoist
AZO.JPG ZO Zoroastrian

Religious Operations

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

Notes

  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.

The Primate Religious Authority

A Primate Religious Authority, such as the Roman Catholic Church, can build an ecclesiastical empire that can span the world, if need be. As the spiritual Leader of a religion, the Holy Primate presides over the righteousness of truth. As a result, the Primate has certain powers attendant with their unique position. They can build Holy Sites to increase the faith of their flock (and thus fill their own collection plates).

In the following sections "the Holy Primate" refers to the person, or office, heading the Primate Religious Authority and the Church refers to the hierarchy and body of the Authority itself.

Economic Aspects of the Primacy

A Primacy composed solely of Religious Control Statuses (that is, no friendly, pacified or other regular control statuses) always gains the benefit of a Census, without having to pay for it. If, however, regular control statuses are acquired by the Primacy, then they must pay for those regions and cities to be counted in a Census.

The tax rate of a Primacy, even with a census in effect, may be affected by a shortfall of Infrastructure if it grows too large. If regular control statuses are maintained, then the tax rate may also be driven down by famine.

For purposes of trade, a Primate must use either regular control statuses or the Holy City. Cathedrals and lesser holy sites cannot be used for tracing trade.

Example: The Roman Pope controls the city of Rome. The Kingdom of Sicily controls the province of Latium. As Rome is not a port, the Kingdom of Sicily's control of Latium blocks all other trade routes besides a Pope to Sicily route.

Primacies may open land trade if they can trace a contiguous series of controlled regions (At (ch) status or better) back to the Holy City. Viable To Cities and From Cities must likewise be controlled (At (ch) status or better) and be connected to the Holy City via contiguous controlled regions ((ch) or better status).

Note that Primacies compete for port space with Open Nations.

Primacy Construction

The Primacies Holy City acts as his Homeland/Capital for the construction of units, megalithic constructs, city levels and fortresses. Often, this is the only place he is allowed to build a unit, or construct.

However, if the Primacy controls a region or city at Friendly status and that region or city is within the Homeland Build Zone, he may build mobile units there. A Friendly region or city outside the HBZ may have a city constructed, or projects started, or fortifications established.

With the expressed cooperation of a co-religionist Nation, the Primacy can also construct (or aid in the construction) of cities, colonies, megalithic constructions and fortresses in build locations appropriate to the Nation and within (Primacy HBZ Range) AP’s of the Holy City.

A Primacy may construct Public Works points in any region or city where the Primacy has a status of Monastery or better. This may be done without the permission of an owning Nation.

Religious Authority Control Statuses

The Holy Primate can increase its power by building Holy Sites in lands that have been fully converted to their faith. There are five levels of control that the Church can have in any particular region or city:

A Primate can build the following kinds of Holy Sites:

  • A Church (ch)
  • An Abbey (ab)
  • A Monastery (mn)
  • A Cathedral (ca)
  • A Holy City (hc).

A Church (ch) is a single temple or rectory, serving a small portion of the population and gathering only the most minimal collection of funds that might go to the primate. Yet, from this humble beginning, all the lavish structure of organized religion does grow.

An Abbey (ab) is a modest collection of chapels and hospitals where priests and monks administer good deeds upon the local populace. It provides a small portion of region or city revenues (GP and PWB) to the Holy Primate. An Abbey can be built (Found Abbey) upon a Church by either the Primate’s Religious Actions or actions of a Leader of the Primacy.

A Monastery (mn) is a more formalized establishment, brought about by the canonization of its patron saint or the legends of a founding spirit or holy man. The monks who live in a Monastery are well received by the surrounding populace and thus gain a greater share of the Regional or City revenues for the Holy Primate. Small portions of the Church's own clerical staff is required to administer the goings-on of Monasteries. A Primacy Leader performing a successful Canonize Monastery action can build a Monastery upon an Abbey.

A Cathedral (ca) is a bulwark of the Church, established when a particular part of the living Church has become so important as to warrant its own Archbishop. As a regional draw, a Cathedral brings forth much city output in the Holy Primate’s treasury. From Cathedrals, young men and women are trained in the seminary to become priests and priestesses. To keep things in order, more clerks from the Holy City are needed in the offices of the Cathedral. A Church Leader performing a successful Consecrate Cathedral action can raise a Cathedral from a Monastery.

The Holy City (hc) is the center of the whole Church. To here, pilgrims arrive to hear the sacred whispers of the Holy Primate. In this place, Church doctrine and law is formulated. Effectively, this is the Homeland and Capital of a Primate Religious Authority. The Church can only have one Holy City installation at any time. If a Holy City is destroyed, a new Holy City can be elevated from a Cathedral with the work of the Holy Primate himself. This is the Bless Holy City action. But it is easier for the Church that a new Holy City should be built upon the ruins of the old.

Table 9-5. Religious Authority Control Statuses

Control Status Control Code Taxation Multiple Count Control? NFP? Build in Cost
Church ch 0.10 Yes No Both 2gp
Abbey ab 0.20 Yes No Both 5gp/1nfp
Monastery mn 0.30 Yes No Both 10gp/2nfp
Cathedral ca 0.40 Yes Yes City 30gp/5nfp
Holy City hc 0.50 Yes Yes City 100gp/10nfp

Religious Authority Control Web

The Church traces a chain of administrative control through its Holy Sites. If any Holy Site is isolated from the others, it will degrade one level, eventually to be rendered useless. Action Range is the critical stat in maintaining control over a Religious Empire.

  • Each Cathedral must be within (AR) Action Points of the Holy City - or another Cathedral or regions or cities controlled at Tributary or better by the Primacy able to trace an unbroken line of control to the Holy City.
  • Each Monastery must be within (AR) Action Points of the Holy City - or a Cathedral or regions or cities controlled at Tributary or better by the Primacy able to trace a n unbroken line of control to the Holy City.
  • Each Abbey must be within (AR) Action Points of the Holy City - or a Cathedral, Monastery, or a region or city controlled by the Primacy at Tributary or better able to trace an unbroken line of control to the Holy City.
  • Each Church must be within (AR) Action Points of the Holy City - or a Cathedral, Monastery, Abbey or a region or city controlled by the Primacy at Tributary or better that can trace an unbroken line of control to the Holy City.

When tracing the Action Range, you count regions as if you were moving a primate Leader through them in regular movement. Mountains and hostile terrain hinder, therefore, and roads and seas benefit.

When counting this movement, all regions of your Religion count as Controlled. All regions that are not of your Religion count as Uncontrolled.

If, in tracing Action Range, there are insufficient Action Points to pay the terrain cost of a given region Action Range cannot be traced into that region. You do not have to pay an extra 1 AP to enter a City in a region.

Example: A Hindu Primate with an Action Range of Two has a Cathedral in Maghada and a Church in Sikkim (both regions are Hindu). The Action Point cost is four (2 for the type two mountains + 2 for the wilderness region). The CA is unable to trace the control web into Sikkim. The CH will degrade.

A Primate Leader, however, may move out of the Control Web of the Primate (on any number of missions) and will not revolt, unless provoked by a hostile power. Once that Leader creates a Control Status, however, it must be within the Control Range (as noted above) of the Primate, or they will be checked for revolt.

A Religious Leader that revolts will then establish his or her own heretical or schismatic version of the parent religion.

Religious Control Status Increase Limits

A given Holy Site can only increase one level of control in a turn. A Church can, therefore, only become an Abbey. An Abbey can only become a Monastery. A Monastery can only become a Cathedral. And a Cathedral can become a Holy City.

A Primate may, however, degrade any control status to any lower level at their whim. It would not be a good idea, however, to degrade your Holy City…

Loss of Faith

If a region or city containing a Control Status is converted (presumably by hostile armies or missionaries) to another religion, the Control Status is reduced by three (3) levels. If the Status drops below Church (ch), then the Control Status is lost.

Movement of Religious Leaders

Leaders from Religious Primacies treat regions in which they have a control status (CH or better) and any regions that are the same religion as the Primacy as controlled for movement purposes.

The Powers of a Holy Primate

Due to their special nature, Holy Primates can perform special actions affecting member nations and increasing holy coffers. When determining the success of these various actions, the most important Leader rating is Charisma.

Multiple Leaders can combine their efforts, with one Leader acting as the principal and contributing his full Charisma and any additional Leaders contributing one-half of their Charisma.

Table 9-6. Religious Actions Summary

Action Code Cost Primacy Religious Order
Excommunication EXC 1 Holy Primate AP yes no
Interdict Nation IN 5 Holy Primate AP yes no
Exact Tithe EXT 5 Primacy Leader AP yes no
Establish Church EC 2 Primacy Leader AP or 1 Religious Operation, and 2 GP. yes no
Found Abbey FAB 3 Primacy Leader AP or 1 Religious Operation, and 5 GP and 1 NFP. yes no
Canonize Monastery CMN 6 Primacy Leader AP and 2 NFP and 10 GP yes no
Consecrate Cathedral CCA 10 Primacy Leader actions and 5 NFP and 30 GP yes no
Bless Holy City BHC 20 Holy Primate actions and 10 NFP and 100 GP yes no
Take Indulgences TI 5 Holy Primate actions yes no
Preach PR 6 Primacy Leader actions yes yes
Seize Site SS 5 Primacy Leader actions yes yes, but only from another Order

Excommunication

Code EXC

Cost 1 Holy Primate Action

Results This power causes the Excommunicated player to be considered of a Hostile religion by their populace (assuming that the populace is not already Heretical). This results in, among other things, revolts, insurrection, and the defection of Armies and Leaders. It is a power best used sparingly, and only in extreme circumstances. The misuse, or overuse, of this power will dull its effects. Any individual Leader may also be excommunicated at the will of the Primate. Those who practice heresies are considered automatically Excommunicated. The Excommunication may also be lifted or annulled by the will of the Primate.

Interdict Nation

Code IN

Cost 5 Holy Primate Actions

Results A more widespread form of Excommunication, Interdict may be laid upon any region or group of regions of the same religion as the Primate. Its effects are to cause all other nations of the same religion to cease trade with the Interdicted region(s) and for any Armies of those regions to be treated as of a Hostile religion. The use of Interdict should be even less frequent than Excommunication, for it tends to cause entire nations to be lost to the control and influence of the Primate. If a nation of the same religion continues to trade with an Interdicted area, then there is cause for the Primate to take action against that nation. All Leaders and inhabitants of an Interdicted region(s) are considered to be Excommunicated. The Interdict may be lifted or annulled at the will of the Primate.

Exact Tithe

Code EXT

Cost 5 Leader Actions per Nation

Results One of the powers of the Primate is the ability to levy a tithe upon the nations of its Religion to further finance the operations of the Church. The tithe can be as high as (Influence)% of the nation’s revenue. Exacting a Tithe is not always successful and depends on the Leader’s Charisma, the Church’s Influence, the Target Nation’s Religion Strength and of course, the percentage of tithe desired.

At whatever level of tithe the Holy Primate has successfully exacted on any or all nations at any particular turn, that amount is then deducted from the target nation or nation’s National Revenue the following turn. Tithe to a Primate at less than 4% has no effect on your national treasury. The national tax rate is reduced 1% for every percentage point over 4% tithe to the Primate.

Note, however, that the abuse of this power is a good way of turning the nobility, and, through them, the local clergy of the nation, against the Primate.

The Tithe is set and then automatically collected on a per turn basis. Once a Tithe has been set and successfully exacted, it will continue for following turns until the Primate either revokes the Tithe, or the Nation refuses to pay. The GP from Tithing appears in the Primacie’s Saved Gold each turn.

The Tithe can be enacted by the Primate awhilst at the Holy City.

Establish Church

Code EC

Cost: 2 Leader or 1 Religious Action(s) and 2 GP per attempt.

Results A Church can be formed in a region or city within the Church’s Action Range from any of the Church’s Abbeys, Monasteries, Cathedrals or the Holy City. The target region or city must adhere to the religion of the Holy Primate or the Church will not be built. This effort may also fail for any number of other reasons. If the effort fails, the GP expended to attempt the action is lost.

An Establish Church action can be aided by the Support Diplomacy intel action.

Found Abbey

Code FAB

Cost: 3 Leader or 1 Religious Action(s) and 5 GP and 1 NFP per attempt.

Results An Abbey can be formed in a region or city within the Church’s Action Range from any of the Church’s Monasteries, Cathedrals or the Holy City. The target region or city must adhere to the religion of the Holy Primate or the Holy Site will not be built. This effort may also fail for any number of other reasons. If the effort fails, the GP expended to attempt the action is lost.

A Found Abbey action can be aided by the Support Diplomacy intel action.

Canonize Monastery

Code CMN

Cost: 6 Leader Actions and 2 NFP and 10 GP per attempt.

Results A Monastery can be upgraded from an Abbey so long as the Holy Site is within (Action Range) regions of an existing Cathedral or the Holy City of the Church. If this effort fails, and indeed it may, then the NFP and GP spent on the attempt are lost.

A Canonize Monastery action can be aided by the Support Diplomacy intel action.

Consecrate Cathedral

Code CCA

Cost: 10 Leader Actions and 5 NFP and 30 GP per attempt.

Results A Cathedral can be established from a Monastery in a city so long as the Holy Site is within the Church’s Action Range from the Holy City or another Cathedral. If this attempt fails the Primate is liable to have a fit and send some folks off to see if there is really an afterlife.

A Consecrate Cathedral action can be aided by the Support Diplomacy intel action.

Bless Holy City

Code BHC

Cost: 20 Holy Primate Actions and 10 NFP and 100 GP per attempt.

Results A Holy City can be established from a Cathedral so long as the Holy Site is within the Church’s Action Range from another Cathedral. Getting a new Holy City blessed can only be attempted by the Holy Primate himself. This Action can be attempted even if the Church already owns a Holy City but may then inevitably result in the rise of a schism.

The action may fail, and if it does, well, you know what will happen...

If successful, and no schism results, the old Holy City will be downgraded to a Cathedral.

A Bless Holy City action can be aided by the Support Diplomacy intel action.

Preach

Code PH

Cost 6 or more Leader actions.

Results A Primate or Lieutenant Leader may attempt to act as a Religious Operations point (allowing the conduct of an Operation) or as a Religious Bonus point (to an operation launched either by another Leader, or by a regular Religious Op Point) by successfully executing a Preach action.

If the Leader fails to perform the Preach action, then the subsequent Intel Op or Bonus is lost.

Example: John the Barber, a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Leader, is assigned to run a Raise Religious Strength action in an attempt to rouse the lackadaisical citizens of Levant to some marginal level of interest in the faith. This order would be written as PH+15(RRS).

Take Indulgences

Code TI

Cost 6 or more Holy Primate actions.

Results The sale of Dispensations (Indulgences) was an accepted and common means by which certain rich sinners could assuage their worries and the Church could acquire funds to do “good” works. The Primate of a given religion may favor or disfavor Dispensations as it pleases, but when they are favored, the Church may gain — at its discretion — up to an extra one-third of its base income per turn from such activities. Be aware that such greed will inevitably provoke a counter-reaction from within the Church in the form of heretical sects devoted to the ‘purification’ of the Church values and hierarchy.

If Dispensations are used for more than one turn in a row, then the Religious Strength of the Primate may be reduced and the chances of the development of a Heresy are improved.

Example The Abbot of Kyoto, the Religious Primate of the Korean and Japanese Buddhists, is currently making 120gp from his network of monasteries and from various lords who are paying him off. He decides that the Avatar of Mercy needs a new temple-palace on the seashore near Ise, so he orders that various dispensations and favors be granted in return for good heavy gold. The Abbot can get up to (120 / 3 = 40)GP each turn in this manner.

Seize Site

Code SS

Cost 5 or more Primacy Leader actions.

Results This action can be directed against a Religious Site (either one controlled by a Primacy or a Religious Order) of the same religion as the Primacy attempting the seizure. It is generally used as a weapon during a schismatic conflict, or in reining in an out-of-control religious order. If successful, the site is transferred to control of the seizing Primacy, while possibly being reduced one or more levels of control.

The chances of success are improved by spending more time, or gold, in support of the seizure, and are resisted by the level of the site (a Cathedral would be very hard to seize, for example) and the presence of any ‘defending’ Leader.

Bishopric Support

Since the Primate Religious Authority was often one of the few institutions in the Medieval World that was literate, many early nations relied upon the support of the Church hierarchy to provide them with literate and learned bureaucrats. The Primate, thus, may provide such nations as it deems worthy with a boost to their BL and Infrastructure, based upon the current BL and Infrastructure of the Church.

BL and Infra points may be granted to nations of the same religion as the Church on a one-to-one basis from the current BL or Infra of the Church. This does not reduce the BL or Infra of the Church, it just makes the couriers and scribes work harder.

What the Church receives in return for this is a matter left to the players involved. The Church still pays the support cost of the BL and Infrastructure. The nations receiving the BL and Infrastructure also pay for the support of the points granted them. Thus, since the points are doing double duty, they are paid twice.

Once BL or Infra are lent to a Nation, they remain until the Primate specifically revokes the grant. Note that while BL and Infra are lent to a Nation, they increase the appropriate ratings, which will have the (intended) side effect of making “native” BL and Infra increases more difficult! This is a trade-off that each player must judge for themselves.

BL Grant Limits

This increase, however, cannot be more than one third of the Influence of the Primacy in the nation (rounded up) or do more than double the ‘native’ BL of the nation in question. If the receiving Nation has no BL, then only one (1) point may be granted them. The granted BL may not increase the receiving Nations’ BL past the limit imposed by the receiving nation’s Government Type and tech level.

Example: The Catholic Church has a BL of 3. It could then grant an additional BL point each to three Catholic nations or three points to one Catholic nation. If, however, one of the nations had a BL of only 1, then only one BL point could be allocated to it.

Infrastructure Grant Limits

The Church may grant Infrastructure points in the same manner as BL, except that the amount that can be granted cannot be more than one third of the Influence of the Primacy in the nation (rounded up) or be more than one-half (rounded up, with a minimum of 1) of the total Infrastructure possessed by the receiving Nation. The grant of Infra cannot increase the receiving Nation’s Infra past the limits imposed by its Tech Level and Government Type.

Bishops

When a BL point is granted to a nation, it creates a special Leader type for the receiving Nation. It does not create a regular Lieutenant; instead a Bishop (B) is created. This is a new Leader (and not one of the Primacies existing Lieutenants). This Bishop remains as a National Leader while the associated BL are lent. If the Primate revokes the grant of BL, the Bishops go away.

If a Bishop is killed or dies of old age, a new one is automatically generated to replace him.

Catholic Restrictions on Usury

At 1000 AD there existed a strong Catholic Christian conviction against the lending of money at interest (usury) and, as a result, what banks existed were run by Jews or other non-Christians. The Roman Catholic Church, however, eventually relented and rescinded the religious laws prohibiting such endeavors. In Lords of the Earth terms, this means that the only banking system available to the Catholic nations is the Jewish one until such time as the Roman Catholic Pope decides to revoke proscription against Usury.

The Roman Catholic Church, of course, could lend its own moneys to whomever it pleased and at whatever rate of interest it desired — but this comes under the purview of Players as Bankers.

Islamic Restrictions on Usury

There exists a strong Islamic conviction against the lending of money at interest (usury) and, as a result, what banks exist are run by Jews or other non-Moslems. Islamic nations cannot lend money to earn interest but can lend it for an equal return. The only means of borrowing money within Islamic nations is if the money is borrowed from Jewish bankers.

Expropriation & Looting of Primate Sites

Only a Primate Religious Authority can build abbeys, monasteries and so on and gain benefit from them. However, the normal ruler of the Nation in which the Holy Sites are built can loot or confiscate the Sites if he feels strong enough (or the Church is weak enough) to do so.

In this event religious location are converted as per the following table. Location Value (LV) is equal to GP + PWB.

Table 9-7. Looting Religious Locations

Location GP Yield =
Churches LV × 1
Abbeys LV × 2
Monasteries LV × 3
Cathedrals LV × 5
Holy Cities LV × 10

The expropriation of the Holy City has the same effects (to the Religious Primacy) as Destruction of the Capital and Capturing the Treasury. This, however, is very dangerous to the Nation undertaking the foul act.

A nation may also Raid a holy site, which gains them some proportion of the Looting yield, but does not destroy the site.

Religious Orders

The Medieval and Renaissance periods are replete with examples of groups spawned from religious primates or sponsored by individual nations. Best known amongst these are the military religious orders arising from the Christian crusades of the 12th century - the Knights of the Temple of Solomon (the Templars) and the Knights of the Hospital of Saint John (Hospitallers).

It is these varieties of bodies that are encompassed by the Religious Order nation type.

Whilst players may be more familiar with the likes of the Templars, this nation type can also include similar groups across the globe e.g. Shaolin monks of Buddhist (and Kung Fu) fame or the warrior monks of pre-Tokugawa Japan. Though different in many ways, such groups shared similarities that allows Lords of the Earth to include them.

Founding Religious Orders

In contrast to the other nation types represented in the Base Rulebook, Religious Orders (or ROs) are treated as a special case. Drawing on historical precedent, these positions are not generally available as start-up positions. Rather, they have to be founded, during the course of play, by existing nations or players.

Every Open Nation, Primate or group of such nations has the ability to found one or several Religious Orders. In effect, the ROs are spawned from existing positions. How strong, widespread or influential the Order is depends on the resources committed to its creation.

However, the nation(s) founding the RO in turn receive some benefits from this:

  1. They receive a measure of Influence in the Order.
  2. They are more resistant to efforts by the Order to increase its Status with the “parent” nation(s).
  3. They can impose a “tithe” upon the Order. This tithe cannot exceed 50% of income paid to any combination of founding tithers.

When a nation founds a Religious Order it adopts the nature and characteristics of its founder as follows:

  1. The Economic and Society type of the founder. Where more than one founder exists, the most common type.
  2. Government types are restricted to Constitutional Monarchy, Theocracy or Dictatorship.
  3. Language type of the founding nation (or most populous member of the founding group).
  4. Religion of the founding group (obviously) with a Religious Strength of the founder(s) plus one (1).
  5. QRs are set at the level of the founder (or average thereof) plus one (1). This represents the order attracting the best and brightest warriors.
  6. The Order gets the Tech Level of the founder(s) and an appropriate number of Tech Points. If the founders are of different Tech Levels then the Order receives that of the majority (if there is an equal split then the size of the nations in question and the amount of investment determines which is inherited).
  7. Tax status is set to "Census" (if in use in the campaign).

To found a Religious Order, the King (or equivalent) Leader of the founding nation must successfully complete a Found Religious Order action, including paying the foundation costs in GP and NFP.

The founding nation(s) specify where the initial Order Fortress (the equivalent of the Order’s Capital) is to be established. At foundation the Order is limited only to the Order Fortress. Control Status elsewhere must be built up subsequently.

During the turn of foundation (only!), capabilities can be purchased by the founding nation(s) from the following table:

Table 9-8. Religious Order Establishment Costs

Site or Capability Cost in GP and NFP
Order Fortress Included in Foundation Cost
BL level 100
Infra level 100
Espionage OC / OB 50
Religious OC / OB 50
Troops As per Culture costs

During creation, there are limits set on the number of capabilities that can be provided to the Order. These are:

Site or Capability Maximum Value or No.
Max BL 2
Max Infra 2
Order Fortress (gratis) 1

Should a Nation wish to keep founding costs to a minimum, it can grant the Religious Order the following on a one for one basis (that is, these ratings are not halved in transfer, as would normally be the case):

  • Bureaucratic Level
  • Infrastructure
  • Espionage Operations Capacity and Bonus
  • Religious Operations Bonus and Capacity

These are transferred from the donor to the RO, reducing the donor's relevant stats by the amount donated.

All Religious Orders start with a Status of five (5) in any nation contributing to its foundation.

Religious Order Sites

Religious Orders operate much like Primacies inasmuch as their presence is felt through a network of sites. Each of these sites provides the order with GP and NFP depending upon its size:

Table 9-9. Religious Order Statuses

Status Code Tax Control? NFP? Build Cost
Order House oh 0.1 Yes No both 5gp
Order Preceptory op 0.2 Yes No both 10gp/1nfp
Order Oratory oo 0.3 Yes Yes both 15gp/2nfp
Order Estate oe 0.4 Yes Yes both 30gp/5nfp
Order Fortress of 0.5 Yes Yes both 100gp/10nfp
  • Certain sites have a pre-requisite Status level before they can be founded (see individual founding order descriptions). Should the required Status no longer be in effect, the site will degrade a level each turn until it is of a size compatible with the existing Status.
  • The Order automatically has a High Status in the nation hosting the Fortress.
  • A status can only be increased one level per turn.
  • Each Order can have only one Order Fortress at any time.
  • Religious Orders are not affected by Agro Point production / consumption unless they control statuses that require Agro to support them.

Order House: a small presence in the locale, being a city building or small land fief in a region.

Order Preceptory: a modest collection of order locations in either city or region. Exemption from some local taxes.

Order Oratory: a major order location from which the local order hierarchy administers nearby possessions.

Order Estate: a significant grant of land, property rights or exemption from taxation makes these locations focal points for the order. Serve as centres for the recruitment, induction and training of order members.

Order Fortress: the location of the order's nerve-centre from where the Order is administered. It is here that the order's University and government functions are situated.

Note! Use of the term "fortress" is for convenience of identity. It does not confer upon the location of the OF that of a Fortress in game terms.

Religious Order Control Status

Again, like Primacies, the Order traces control of its sites through a web:

  • Each Estate must be within (AR) Action Points of the Order Fortress - or another Estate or regions or cities controlled at Tributary or better by the Order able to trace an unbroken line of control to the Order Fortress.
  • Each Oratory must be within (AR) Action Points of the Order Fortress - or an Estate or regions or cities controlled at Tributary or better by the Order able to trace an unbroken line of control to the Order Fortress.
  • Each Preceptory must be within (AR) Action Points of the Order Fortress - or an Estate, Oratory, or a region or city controlled by the Order at Tributary or better able to trace an unbroken line of control to the Order Fortress.
  • Each House must be within (AR) Action Points of the Order Fortress - or an Estate, Oratory, Preceptory or a region or city controlled by the Order at Tributary or better that can trace an unbroken line of control to the Order Fortress.

If, in tracing Action Range, there are insufficient Action Points to pay the terrain cost of a given region Action Range cannot be traced into that region, but no further. You do not have to pay an extra 1 AP to enter a City in the region.

Example: A Christian Order with an Action Range of Two has an Estate in Thessaly and a House in Epirus. The Action Point cost is five (1 base +2 for the type two mountains + 2 for Epirus itself. The OE is unable to trace the control web into Epirus from its location in Thessaly, so the OH will degrade.

Note that Religious Orders are as susceptible to a reduced tax rate due to insufficient Infrastructure to cover their Size as any other nation. In addition, any Infra shortfall can impact upon the orders' sites, degrading them to lower levels until sufficient Infra exists to cover Size.

Religious Order Leaders are not susceptible to revolt Checks if beyond the Command Control Range of the Order Fortress. Furthermore, like Primate Leaders, Order Leaders treat regions of their own religion as “controlled” for movement purposes.

Religious Order Status

So far, Orders have appeared almost identical to Primacies. However, here the similarities end…

For Primacies, an important element of their activities is the establishment and maintenance of Influence in adherent nations. As their deity's divinely appointed representatives on earth, they can (and do) operate with near-impunity across all nations of their religion.

But for Religious Orders, being a creation of man, the ambition is not for Influence but rather for Status.

Status is the mechanism by which many of a Religious Orders’ activities are moderated. Status is rated on a numerical scale of 1 to 10 and it plays a significant role in a wide range of actions (e.g. the establishment of order sites, effectiveness of certain Leader action, etc). For Religious Orders, a priority will be the establishment and maintenance of high levels of status across the lands of their faith.

Through having a high Status in a nation, the influence of the order is stronger. This can allow it greater freedom of action. It can attract more members. It can counteract the efforts of kings and religious Leaders to influence or control them.

For those kings and religious Leaders, an Order’s high status in your lands can have benefits. With a high status, the Order generates additional troops at no build or support costs. Order Leaders can fight alongside your own commanders. You can borrow money from the Order (hence circumventing the usual strictures against usury).

A low Order status in your lands limits these benefits – but it also prevents the Order exploiting its Status for nefarious ends.

Religious Orders will start with varying levels of Status in all nations sharing their religion. Status will be higher in those nations founding the Order, lower in others. Over time, as a consequence of player activity, these Status levels will rise and fall.

The Religious Order will know its Status Level in each nation via a running record maintained in the Player Notes section of the stat sheet. Other nations will have a less precise idea. In their case, the status enjoyed by the Order in their lands will be graded as one of Low, Medium or High. Players desiring more precise information regarding the actual Status level can make use of several game mechanisms to discover this.

Increasing / Decreasing Status

The level of Status enjoyed by a Religious Order in any nation can be the result of conscious action or happenstance. It can be increased or decreased through direct player action, or consequent to certain activities or events taking place outside the nation. This is, in effect, to account for the effect on the Order's reputation as a dependable and upstanding defender of its faith. Of course, as in history, it may not remain so forever….

Rather than list all the factors considered in adjudging the Status level (where would be the mystery/fun/unease of that?), the brief list below will serve as a guide to the kind of events that can affect the Status. A + or - sign next to the event or action indicates whether it can increase Status, decrease it or work either way:

  • King grants formal Status in his nation (+)
  • King withdraws recognition of Order (-)
  • Number and type of Religious Order sites in a nation (+)
  • Order pays Tithe to the nation (+)
  • “Blown” espionage actions by Nation against Order (+)
  • “Blown” espionage actions by Order against Nation (-)
  • Order rescues royal hostage/prisoner (+)
  • Order converts unbeliever city/region on its own (+)
  • Army led by Order Leader wins victory (+)
  • Army led by Order Leader defeated (-)
  • As the result of a Quest (see below) (+)
  • Execution of specific Leader orders (+ / -)
  • Takes up arms against co-religionists (-)
  • Imperial Size matches or exceeds any Primate of that religion (-)

The Importance Of Status

As Nations exploit individual Leader abilities to further their ends, Primates use Influence and Charisma, a Religious Order is largely driven by the quality of its Leaders and the standing or reputation it has in the many lands sharing its faith. Status effects the ability to establish sites, which in turn affects the prosperity of the Religious Order and its ability to raise valuable troops. It modifies the effectiveness of other activities undertaken by the Order. It can even affect the speed at which Order Leaders make their way through co-religionist lands.

From the Order's perspective, the higher the Status the better. Consider high Status as the Order having the ear of the King, his sympathies and a ready ear open to them. A low Status meaning the opposite i.e. the King is not enamoured of the Order or is suspicious of them and their motives (surely not!).

An important consideration here is the relationship between a Religious Order and its faith's Primate. As Religious Orders are nominally subservient to the Primate, the Primate starts with a healthy level of Influence in the Order. However, over time, as the Order increases its Status with the Primacy, the latter's Influence will drop by the same amount.

Example: The Roman Catholic primacy has established the Knights Templar in conjunction with the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Both the primacy and the nation begin with a high level of status. Time passes… the Kingdom is destroyed and the Papacy is split, then reformed. In all this time, the Knights grow richer and richer, increasing their Status in many lands. Eventually, the Influence of the Roman Pope over the Order is reduced to zero…

In effect, what this does is represent the fact that, over time, a successful Religious Order may increasingly become a law unto itself. This is, of course, a double-edged sword.

Because Status levels can seesaw up and down due to a variety of direct and indirect effects, there is no need for the Religious Order to execute any kind of Maintain Status action.

Religious Order Actions

Religious Orders can conduct all the normal Leader, Espionage and many Religious actions (see Table 9-6). In addition, to reflect the special nature of such entities, several supplementary actions are made available to them.

The ruler of a Religious Order is called a Prelate.

Note that some of these actions (e.g. Reduce Status) are also available to non-RO Leaders attempting to act against an Order. Where available, these are indicated in the respective entry:

Found Religious Order

Code FRO

BAC 6+ King (or Primacy) AP, 50 GP, 10 NFP

Stat Charisma

Results This action must be successfully completed by a King (or Primate) intending to create a Religious Order. A specific city or region for the Order Fortress must be designated as part of this action, which is created if this is successful.

Found Order House

Code FOH

BAC 2 Leader AP or 1 ROC, 5 GP per attempt

Stat Charisma

Results Must be founded within (AR) Action Points of a higher status Religious Order site. Must be founded in city or region of same religion as the Order. Can be founded regardless of the Order's Status in the host nation. Can co-exist with all other RO statuses except an Order Fortress. Can co-exist with all Primate sites.

Found Order Preceptory

Code FOP

BAC 3 Leader AP or 1 ROC, 10 GP and 1 NFP per attempt

Stat Charisma

Results Must be founded within (AR) Action Points of a higher status Religious Order site. Must be founded in city or region containing an Order House. Can be founded regardless of the Order's Status in the host nation. Can co-exist with all other RO statuses except an Order Fortress. Can co-exist with all Primate sites.

Found Order Oratory

Code FOO

BAC 6 Leader AP, 2 NFP and 15 GP per attempt

Stat Charisma

Results Must be founded within (AR) Action Points of a higher status Religious Order site. Must be founded in city or region containing an Order Preceptory. Requires a Medium or High Status in the host nation. Can co-exist with all other Order statuses except an Order Fortress or Estate. Can co-exist with all Primate sites.

Found Order Estate

Code FOE

BAC 10 Leader AP, 30gp and 5 NFP per attempt

Stat Charisma

Results Must be founded within (AR) Action Points of the Order Fortress or another Order Estate. Must be founded in a region or city containing an Order Oratory. Requires a Medium or High Status in the host nation. Can co-exist with all other RO statuses except an Order Fortress or Estate. Can co-exist with all Primate sites.

Move Order Fortress

Code MOF

BAC 10 Leader AP + cost of movement to new site, 20NFP + 50GP

Stat Charisma (modified by Administration)

Results In the event it is deemed opportune to move the Order's headquarters (or it is forced to flee…), the Order Fortress may be transferred to another location. It must be re-established at an Order Estate. The erstwhile Order Fortress is then reduced to an Order Estate.

Note that if moving the Order Fortress entails crossing a Sea Zone, then shipping with sufficient Cargo Capacity must be available to move the uprooted fortress. The Cargo Capacity required is:

Cargo = (BL + Infra) × 10

Furthermore, if the Treasury (i.e. Saved GP) is to be similarly moved, each 50GP requires 1 Cargo Capacity. When moving the Fortress, it does so at Infantry speed (all those wagons and carts prevent a lightning flit).

If the Order Fortress is destroyed then this counts as the The Destruction of the Capital and does not require a Move Order Fortress action. On the same turn that the Order Fortress is destroyed, a new Order Fortress is declared in the most appropriate Order Estate. All remaining BL and Infra points are moved to this new location. You may include a conditional order with your turn(s) indicating the location of the ‘backup’ Order Fortress or the GM will choose the new location for you.

Increase Order Status

Code IOS

BAC 4 Leader AP+, or 1 Intel action

Stat Charisma

Results Acts very much in the manner of Diplomacy (DP) actions. In this case, the Orders’ current Status in the nation is the main determinant, modified by the conducting Leaders’ Diplomacy and Charisma skills are taken into account. These can act to either increase or decrease the chance of success. This order is also available to non-Order Leaders attempting to encourage the Orders' activities in their lands.

Decrease Order Status

Code DOS

BAC 4 Leader AP+, or 1 Intel action

Stat Charisma

Results The converse of the Increase Order Status order. This order is also available to non-Order Leaders attempting to discourage or restrict the Orders' activities in their lands.

Embark on Quest

Code EQ

BAC Variable

Stat Varies

Results Whilst not strictly historical, this action allows Order Leaders to embark upon various adventures from which, if they survive, the Order will reap tangible benefit. This benefit will vary according to the nature of the quest, the result and who undertakes it.

Concocted in the spirit of King Arthur's' search for the Holy Grail, or Knights Templar attempting to locate the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, the scope of this order is left deliberately vague to encourage (it is hoped) Religious Order players to come up with some novel suggestions.

By way of a guide though, here's a few ideas and their potential benefits:

Table 9-10. Example Religious Order Quests

Nature of Quest Benefits
Search for ancient knowledge Extra TP
Search for True Cross Increases RS
Retrieve mystical object Creates a TC (Pilgrimage Site) where brought back to
Rescue royal prisoner +Status in nation
Discover new lands +Nav rating

A successful quest will also result in a variable increase in the Order's status in all nations of its religion. Similarly, the higher-ranked the Leader undertaking the quest, the greater the Status increase. Should the Leader be wounded on the quest, but still reach home alive, the Status increase will also be greater (the Leader becomes the hero of the age).

An Order Leader who successfully completes a quest derives further benefits from his actions:

  • Any time after completing the quest the Leader finds himself in an army's command structure, the opposing army suffers a negative combat modifier (or negative morale modifier if alternate combat rules are in use). His very presence strikes fear and awe into the hearts of his foes…
  • His heightened reputation increases his effectiveness at carrying out Religious Order Activities.

Note! To derive any increase in Status from successfully completing a quest, the RO player must first publicly declare to his co-religionists - at least - that he's going on the quest. However the precise nature of the quest and/or any specific location(s) involved may only be known to the player and GM.

Summon Order Aid

Code SOA

BAC 3 AP

Stat Diplomacy

Results This action is available to non-RO Kings (and primates) attempting to gain the active support of the Order in pursuit of national aims. Most commonly, this will take the form of trying to rally military support from the Order.

The success of this Order primarily depends on the Status the Order has in that nation. The higher the Status, the better the chance of support. If successful, it provides extra troops to the king equal to:

Units = (Order troops in nation) + (2 × Status level)

This represents the Orders' existing troops based in the nation plus additional forces called up from the ranks of the Orders' administrators etc. on the initiative of a local Order Leader. These troops are summoned to serve the Order which is then bound to use them in support of the Open Nation. They remain in service until the the event which precipitated the call for Order Aid is moot.

The units raised are a mix of the prevailing types appropriate to that Culture (as per the usual local Native Army breakdown). These units do require support costs to be paid by the Order.

Note If the war is being conducted against co-religionists, there’s an excellent chance the Religious Order will refuse to become involved. If it does, its Status in the nation against which war is being waged is reduced.

This order is also used should the King want to take a loan from the RO (see Religious Orders as Bankers below).

Renegotiate Tithe

Code RNT

BAC 6 Prelate AP

Stat Diplomacy

Results When a Religious Order is first founded, the “sponsoring” nations and/or Primacy can impose a per-turn tithe upon the Order. This is set at a maximum of 50% of income in total i.e. several nations banding together to found an RO can, between them, not exert more than half the Order's income.

Over time though, if set at higher levels (anything above, say 10%), this would fast become a real millstone around an ambitious Order’s neck. This order allows the Order to attempt to renegotiate the terms of the tithe paid. The key to success here is high Status. The higher the Status the order has with the tithing nation, the more likely it is to reduce this tithe out of respect/admiration/sympathy/political pressure.

The level of any tithe will reduce by a variable amount based upon the level of success the order enjoys. If the Order player wishes to keep his hosts sweet, they can stipulate a minimum level of tithe they are willing to maintain.

Religious Order Leaders

Due to the fact that such Orders usually attract the best and brightest (well, the most confident and determined) Leaders to its ranks, Religious Order Leaders will have higher than average Combat, Diplomacy and Charisma Skill ratings.

In all other respects, they are treated and classed as other Leaders e.g. as Kings, Princes, Lieutenants etc. The players are, of course, allowed to provide any titles or names to these Leaders, the more grandiose or high-blown the better.

Religious Orders and War

The raison d'être of many historical religious orders was a religiously driven military requirement. Whether (ostensibly) to protect pilgrims or defend temples and shrines from bandits, many historical Orders had their foundation in such a need.

Therefore, in reflection of this, Religious Orders in Lords of the Earth are subject to some restrictions limiting the carefree use of military force in pursuit of their ambitions.

RO military action can be broadly divided into two types:

  • Action against co-religionists
  • Action against other religions (including heretical branches of its own religion)

Should the RO initiate military action against any co-religionist, it suffers a loss of Status throughout all nations of that religion. Status in the nation with which it goes to war is completely lost. Similarly, should any of the Order’s forces be recruited under a Summon Order Aid action, any action against co-religionists will similarly see a drop in Status all round, though Status in the target nation will not be completely lost (unless low to begin with).

On the other hand, any military action against members, forces or peoples of another religion (including heretical branches of its religion) is bread and butter for a Religious Order. Crushing the unbeliever and bringing your faith to them at the point of a sword is all in a day's work - and reaps Status rewards.

Crusades

These are a special military case. Because of their religious genesis, Religious Orders must rally to the support of a Primate issuing a call for a Holy War. Their support is not dependent upon a successful primate Influence check. The Religious Order must then move heaven and earth to rally as many forces for the Holy War as it can. If it doesn’t, or shows signs of being less than enthusiastic, there will be a loss of Status all round.

Should the Holy War call be made by national kings sharing the Order's religion (as opposed to the Primate), a single Summon Order Aid action must be executed. The result of the call applies to all Orders of that Religion.

The troops raised by a Religious Order when answering the call for a Holy War are calculated on a nation-by-nation basis as per the formula in Summon Order Aid above.

Religious Orders and Trade

As per their historical counterparts, Religious Orderss are able to conduct trade.

For Land Trade to operate, a valid land route must be traceable from the Order's Fortress to the Capital/Homeland of the trade partner. In respect of this, contiguous controlled regions encompass any wherein the RO has a site of at least Preceptory or above in status.

For Sea Trade to operate, the RO must fulfil the usual route requirements. At a minimum, they must have an Oratory in the base Port City. Note too that Religious Order merchant shipping needs to share the available Basing Capacity of the port city.

Religious Orders as Bankers

While the Catholic ban on usury during Medieval times is well known, so to is the fact that certain Religious Orders found ways round these restrictions, turning a fine profit on their way to becoming financial juggernauts.

And so Religious Orders are given a modicum of freedom to loan money to co-religionists. In order to do this the borrower must execute a Summon Order Aid order. If successful, the maximum loan the local Order Leaders can grant is:

Loan GP = (Status level) × 5

The level of success of the Action will dictate the actual amount loaned.

Religious Orders are free to set the “rent” (interest) rate on the loan up to a maximum of 20% (anything higher and the obvious increase in wealth would make the Primate uncomfortable). The term of the loan is also negotiable between the RO and the borrower.

Failure to repay the loan in full by the time due will result in the Religious Order becoming very annoyed. It could cause disquiet amongst your nobles and/or people. Furthermore, it will prevent the nation from calling on such financial resources until the Order has indicated a willingness to let them do so. Generally speaking, no further loans will be extended until the original capital has been repaid and / or a period of 15 years has elapsed.

The successful granting of a loan will increase the Religious Order’s Status in the borrower by one level per 25GP borrowed to a maximum of +5 levels.

At any one time, an RO can only have a total value of loans outstanding equal to its Base Revenue.

Order Support

A Religious Order can lend support to the nations of the same religion with which it enjoys positive Status in much the same way as a Primacy. The Head of the order may provide such nations as it deems worthy with a boost to their BL and Infrastructure, based upon the current BL and Infrastructure of the Religious Order.

BL and Infra points may be granted to nations of the same religion as the Religious Order on a one-to-one basis from the current BL or Infra of the Religious Order. This does not reduce the BL or Infra of the Religious Order, it just makes the couriers and scribes work harder.

What the Religious Order receives in return for this is a matter left to the players involved. The Order still pays the support cost of the BL and Infrastructure. The nations receiving the BL and Infrastructure also pay for the support of the points granted them. Thus, since the points are doing double duty, they are paid twice.

Once BL or Infra are lent to a Nation, they remain until the Head of the Order specifically revokes the grant. Note that while BL and Infra are lent to a Nation, they increase the appropriate ratings, which will have the (intended) side effect of making “native” BL and Infra increases more difficult! This is a trade-off that each player must judge for themselves.

Order BL Grant Limits

This increase, however, cannot be more than one third of the Status of the Order in the nation (rounded up) or more than double the ‘native’ BL of the nation in question. If the receiving Nation has no BL, then only one (1) point may be granted them. The granted BL may not increase the receiving Nations’ BL past the limit imposed by the receiving nation’s government type and Tech Level (see Government Type).

Order Infrastructure Grant Limits

The Religious Order may grant Infrastructure points in the same manner as BL, except that the amount that can be granted cannot be more than one third of the Status of the Order in the nation (rounded up) or more than one-half (rounded up, with a minimum of 1) of the total Infrastructure possessed by the receiving Nation. The grant of Infra cannot increase the receiving Nation’s Infra past the limits imposed by its Tech Level and Government type.

Sacred Cities And Their Effects

Sacred Cities are cities that are considered sacred to one or more organized religions. There are four primary Sacred Cities as of 1000 AD but others can be made sacrosanct during the course of play. A Sacred City can also lose its status due to abuse and neglect.

These sacred locations are not necessarily the (hc) location for a religious Primacy. See Religious Authority Control Statuses.

The initial Sacred Cities are Rome (Latium), Jerusalem (Levant), Alexandria (Egypt) and Mecca (Madina). Potential Sacred Cities that may ‘generate’ themselves during the course of play are Lhasa (Tibet), Benares (Uttar Pradesh), Kyoto (Yamato), An’Najaf, Baghdad (Mesopotamia), Qum (Media), Antioch (Aleppo), Constantinople (Constantinople), Santiago de Compostela (Galacia), Polonarva, Angkor (Khemer), Ribat and Canterbury (Sussex).

A Sacred City maintains its special status even if it is not controlled by a Religious Primacy.

Capture of a Sacred City by a Hostile Religion is fuel for a Holy War. The 'Incite Holy War' Action need not be used for nations to call for a Holy War in this instance. If the nations do not act upon the capture of a Sacred City, a Holy War may be sparked anyway and a new player will control the Crusading troops. Destruction of a Sacred City may also spark a Holy War.

Jerusalem is a special Sacred City. It is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims (as well as the heretical offshoots of these religions). Rome is sacred only to Roman Catholics. Alexandria is sacred only to Coptic Christians. Mecca is sacred only to Moslems (both Shi’a and Sunni).

Heresy And Schisms

Just like regular nations, religions can undergo civil war and revolution. Heresies are a rebellion of a group of regions or nations caused by the indifference or abuses of the primate. If they are not crushed in a turn or two, the Heresy will become a separate religion. A Heresy also happens if a part of the religion is isolated from the rest by long distances of land or sea for about 50 years.

A Schism is different. This is when a group of kings or cardinals challenge the primate’s power by electing an anti-primate (an anti-Pope for the Catholics). A Schism is resolved if one side wins over the other. If the Schism lasts over 50 years, the weaker party becomes a Heresy.

Holy Wars And Religious Troops

Crusaders are known more often than not simply as “religious troops”. Crusaders can actually be composed of, or for that matter, be converted to, any of the unit types. They are more commonly found as Infantry or Cavalry.

Your basic crusader army will consist of both army regulars and others who have taken up arms solely for the purpose of the crusade. Thus, when they are finished crusading, they will likely drift home to their families and the commitments they left behind.

Crusaders are “created” at the time a Holy War erupts. The number and composition of Crusader troops that are raised is dependent upon how long your nation has been at peace, and the “popular” perception of the validity of the need for a general call to arms (i.e., GM’s discretion and the Religious Strength of the nation at the time of the Crusade).

When Crusader troops are used to garrison a province, they become regular troops in number equal to the Garrison Value of the province.

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Lords of the Earth 6th Edition, version 6.0 © 2008 Thomas Harlan (Original)
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