Religious Changes

    The time period is too early for monotheistic religions, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, or any variant of Buddhist philosophy. Some of what's below is based on fragmentary evidence or debated among experts, especially when the language is a mystery, or I had no information and went with what sounded reasonable (or interesting), so don't trust this for your doctoral thesis.
    Details of campaign-specific changes & additions follow. The numbers match those in the Basic Rules.

QUICK SCROLL if you know where you want to go:
Religious Symbols and Codes <--- "organized" religions noted and more icons added 3/10/17 & updated 3/15/17
9.2 Religious Interaction
9.3 Religious Operations
9.6 Priesthood Religious Authority & Control Statuses <--- percentage of Faithful needed to build sites updated 3/10/17 Site Balance & Patron Dieties <--- patron of Lower Egypt added 3/10/17
9.6.6 Loss of Faith & Religious Co-Existance <--- all new added 3/10/17 & updated 3/15/17
9.6.8 Powers of the Priesthood

9.0 Religion<--- expanded 3/10/17
    Icons on the map represent not only where a religion is practiced, but also areas that have been strongly influenced by it, such as the southern Greek peninsula by the Minoans and the city of Byblos by the Egyptians. If a smaller religion had as much presence in a region as a larger one, icon preference was given to the smaller.
    A religion is either organized or unorganized. An organized faith has "belief systems and rituals ... systematically arranged and formally established ... a a hierarchical or bureaucratic leadership structure, and a codification of rules and practices." ( - Wikipedia)
    In L38 such religions developed in a small contiguous area (like a river valley or close-proximity islands) permitting sufficient communication (often using a common language) to standardize a belief system. The area would by necessity be (relatively) wealthy to afford diverting resources to priests and temples rather than basic needs like food, clothing and tools.
    Being organized is just one of several criteria for a religion to establish a Priesthood.

    By contrast unorganized is the default for huge tracts of Europe, Africa or Asia wherever an organized religion doesn't exist. Roughly similar local practices in those areas allow them to be grouped under a common name and icon. Any faith with "Pagan" in its name is unorganized and will not have temple sites unless a nation of that faith builds them.
    The map has been populated with historic temples - name provided when known - or where a site very likely existed. The larger the site (meaning that more worshippers are present) the more difficult the job to convert its supporters to another faith. A temple provides a focal point for resistance to the honeyed words of outsiders.

    The following religions are currently in effect, roughly west to east:

Table 9-3 Religious Symbols and Codes
A religion in red is considered "organized" for missionary work purposes.
Religion Name Abbr Symbol Notes
Celtic Pagan CP triple spiral polytheist & animist/shamanist (druidic) mix - Ireland, Britain, western Europe
European Pagan EP battle axe misc polytheist - default European if not CP, NU, GR, etc
Nuragic1 NU nuraghe tower polytheist, "Earth Mother"-centric
Greek (aka Mycenaean) GR spear & shield polytheist (later becomes Olympian pantheon)
Minoan1 MI bull's head polytheist, "Earth Mother"-centric     temple icon:
Hittite HI sword polytheist (the "thousand gods" of the Hittites)     temple icon:
Anatolian/Mountain Pagan AMP misc polytheist, western Anatolia east to Caucasus Mountains then SE to Zagros Mountains
Levant Pantheons LP crossed spears polytheist (fusion of Egyptian, Caananite, Syrian & Mesopotamian pantheons, sometimes renamed, sometimes not)     temple icon:
Egyptian EG Eye of Horus polytheist     temple icon:
African Pagan AFP misc animist/shamanist, Africa except Egypt
Arabian Pagan ARP polytheist (Allah as Creator, but many minor deities)
Mesopotamian ME ziggurat polytheist (different Assyrian, Babylonian & Sumero-Akkadian names for essentially similar pantheons)     temple icon:
Elamo-Dravidian Pagan EDP moon polytheist, "Earth Mother"-centric, Iranian plateau to north/central India, except Oxus Valley Civ and Indus Valley Civ
Asiatic Pagan AP misc animist/shamanist - default Asian if not OV, IV, etc
Oxus Valley Civ1 OV bird-human holding snakes polytheist, "Earth Mother"-centric
no archeological evidence of temples - no sites at campaign start
Indus Valley Civ1 IV Indus glyph polytheist, "Earth Mother"-centric
no archeological evidence of temples - no sites at campaign start
Naga/Python2 NP king cobra ophiolatrist (snake worship), concentrated in southern India & southeast Asia, but enclaves pretty much everywhere     temple icon:
Paleolithic Pagan PP stone blade misc totemist/zoolatrist (animal spirit worship) hunter-gatherers
(Proto- or Archaic)3
DA Yin/Yang balance symbol shamanist with polytheistic aspects - Yu Di (Jade Emperor) & lesser deities,
northern China     temple icon:
Oceanic Pagan OP seafarers' star polytheist with shamanist aspects, East Indies, Philippines, Pacific Islands

    1language not deciphered
    2Naga (various multiheaded snakes and human-snake combinations) are worshipped on the Indian subcontinent and SE Asia, while sacred pythons are worshipped in sub-Saharan Africa. There's also a serpent god Python in Greek mythology. "Naga Pagan" was changed to reflect the Naga and python aspects.
    3currently the Chinese paganism of the Longshan (aka Hongshan) neolithic culture is slowly coalescing into what will (many centuries in the future) become formalized Daoism. Current practice includes ancestor worship, the veneration of the Xian (hermit or holy man) and a belief in sorcery.

9.2 Religious Interaction
    For purposes of diplomacy, garrisons, and maximum status with a region or city whose religion is identical to your own is considered Friendly, even if its patron god/goddess is different that yours. It's still within the same pantheon.
    For purposes of missionary work, diplomacy, garrisons, and maximum status with a region or city whose religion is different than your own, consult the table below. For simplicity, similar types of beliefs have been grouped together where possible.

Table 13-7 Religious Interactions
Their Religion Type >

Your Religion Type

Polytheistic "Earth
    OV IV
Other Polytheistic:

    Levant Pagan (LP) and Egyptian (EG) are mutually Tolerant due to pantheon overlap.
    Levant Pagan (LP) and Mesopotamian (ME) are mutually Tolerant due to pantheon overlap.

9.3 Religious Operations
    Those who have run Lords campaigns already know much of this, but to level the playing field it only seems fair to inform everyone how this works. Religious operations can be conducted by religious points (representing lower-level priests) or by a leader. Leaders from both Priesthoods (Primacies) and nations (kingdoms, city-states, etc) may attempt them.
    For a leader the key stat is charisma. Unlike diplomacy where a leader may have something valuable to offer such as marriage into the royal family, charisma-based actions rely entirely on the gile, wit, charm and appearance of the leader. Thus the die roll for success or failure is known as a "charisma check".
    The process of resolving a leader religious action is:
      > 1. ( Char Stat of Leader +positive modifiers -negative modifiers ) = base value
      > 2. roll a d10
      > 3. if roll is less than or equal to the base value then the the leader has passed the charisma check and the ops is successful. But if roll is higher ("over") than the base value ... failure.

    For example (for simplicity without any modifiers) a leader with an 5 charisma attempts Missionary Work to convert a region whose population believes in a different pantheon. Char 5 = base value of 5. A die roll of 1 to 5 here means success: a "1" would be very slight success - the Newsfax would probably say a small percentage of locals were converted - while a "5" would be a good percentage of locals were converted.
    On the other hand, in this example a die roll greater than 5 means failure. A "6" would be a very minor failure (just 1 over) and the Newsfax would likely say the inhabitants were stubborn. Higher rolls would mean increasing degrees of failure and the Newsfax would probably say the locals were infuriated. A GM die-roll on the Leader Fate table may be required to decide which of various bad consequences resulted.

    The above seems pretty straightforward. What makes it complicated are modifiers. Positive mods add to base value, making a successful less than or equal to result more likely, with the possibility of significant progress. With enough positive modifiers success can often be a sure thing.
    Negative mods subtract from base value, making a less than or equal to roll less likely and probably making the target region or city hostile to your religion. With enough negative modifiers the religious operation has no chance.

    The table below lists the value and circumstance for the most common modifiers in this campaign. (Many of the religious ops have ops-specific modifiers as well.) Unless a leader has a high charisma stat (9 or better) or some positive modifiers, it's much better for that leader to spend a lot of extra APs in one location and have a good chance of success rather than split his/her APs between two religious efforts and fail at each.

Notes in green apply only to a leader from a Priesthood (Primacy).
Value Circumstances
+1 Priesthood (Primacy) has Influence of 7 or more in nation controlling that location
Only a leader from a Priesthood (Primacy) gains benefit.
+1 each additional 5AP leader spends in that location (no bonus for less than 5AP)
No credit for partial multiples. 9AP is worth a +1; 10AP is worth a +2.
+n the charisma stat (rounded down) of each additional leader assisting
The assisting leader(s) must spend as many APs as the main leader - they are assisting for the duration of the negotiations.
+n/-n success (+n), no effect or failure (-n) of offered bribe
+n/-n success (+n), no effect or failure (-n) of Intel SD operation
Intel can support religious actions too.
-1 leader establishing a new Priesthood (Primacy) site
This would be a TS (Temple Shrine) the equivalent of a standard Lords church.
-1 location is a city
City folk are more secular and harder to sway in spiritual matters.
-1 location's language is different than leader's language
-1 Priesthood (Primacy) has Influence of 3 or less in nation controlling that location
Only a leader from a Priesthood (Primacy) is penalized.
-2 leader attempting missionary work and there is no existing conversion percentage
A lot of caution introducing a new belief to avoid being the victim of a mob.
-2 or more leader expanding an existing Priesthood (Primacy) site
The larger and more costly the site, the greater the negative modifier.

    9.3.1. Crush Heresy action is limited to religions as defined in Table 13-7 above, as is the possibility of heresy 1.
    9.3.2. Decrease Influence action is limited to "organized" religions. If a priesthood's Influence in a nation drops below the tithe% the tithe will be reduced to (Influence)%.
    9.3.3. Incite Holy War action is not in effect. The concept didn't exist until world religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, etc) came in contact with each other.
    9.3.4. Incite Religious Minority action is valid for all religions.
    9.3.5. Increase Influence action is limited to priesthoods of "organized" religions. While secular relationships (be it alliance or domination) are measured by Control Status, spiritual relationships are measured by Influence.
    Why does it matter? The greater a priesthood's influence upon a nation's populace 2 the easier (positive modifier) it is for the priesthood to perform religious operations (such as these) or primacy actions (9.6.8 further below). When there are NPN priesthoods the rules will be expanded to include nations' use of Influence upon priesthoods.
    Influence is tracked on a scale of 1 to 9 and is reported in the "Monopolies, Tithes and Trade Cartels" section of the nation's stat sheet even if no tithes are being collected). Influence in a nation may not be higher than the nation's Religious Strength. If a priesthood wants really high Influence they'll need to work at it. If Influence > 9 the populace will obey the High Priest rather than the secular ruler.
    9.3.6. Influence (another) Religion and 9.3.7. Maintain Influence (in another religion) actions are not in effect.
    9.3.8. Lower Religious Strength action is valid for all religions. If the Religious Strength of an "organized religion" nation drops below the Influence of its priesthood, the Influence will slowly (but not immediately) degrade.
    9.3.9. Missionary Work action may be performed by all religions (an "organized" religion is slightly more effective) or by a Priesthood. The results are reported in the Newsfax and the conversion % of a region or city converted will be tracked in the stats database. When the region or city is 50% or more converted its map icon will change to that of the ascendant belief.
    Why does it matter? Regions and cities have a maximum control status (FA, T, EA, etc) if they are a different religion 3 than your nation. You can conduct diplomacy forever and won't raise a region or city of a different religion to a higher status (A or F) until the majority of its population is of your religion.
    9.3.10. Raise Religious Strength action is valid for all religions.
    9.3.11. Reform Religion action is not in effect.

1 from the viewpoint of the established Egyptian Priesthood, the henotheism (and eventual monotheism) of Akhenaten would be heresy.
2 meaning everyone except the national leader (king, queen, First, chief, etc) who being player-run is the only person you can completely trust.
3 see Basic Rules table 2-21 Maximum Region Status by Religion for details and assume the same applies to Cities/Settlements/Villages. The limitation has been mostly ignored until now the GM will be paying attention to it.

9.6 The Primate Religious Authority
    The ancient world did not have "world religions" and thus not traditional Primacies in the Lords sense. However certain pagan "organized" religions (as above) had a patron deity from their pantheon for each significant city, and at least a TS (temple shrine) for rituals and devotions. The total of the priests, guards and servants of all city temples are the religion's "Priesthood" - it would seem logical the High Priests of the cities would keep in contact to resolve issues. This informal network would operate both locally (within each host city) and collectively (asserting priestly authority and maintaining their status) and would be the equivalent of Primacy positions in the campaign. At present they will be run as NPNs.
    To qualify as a Priesthood requires worshippers in more than one city (for the concept of a city-specific patron deity to exist) and archeological evidence of temple(s) in that religion's cities. At campaign start only the Egyptian (EG) and Mesopotamian (ME) religions meet both criteria. Other religions with archeological evidence of temple(s) may develop a Priesthood in the future.

9.6.1 Economic Aspects of the Primacy
    Trade routes must originate at TC (Temple Complex) or TP (Temple Precinct/ Temple Plantation) site, whichever would result in the shortest distance (in sea zones or overland APs) between that Priesthood and its trading partner.
    If a site of TC or TP is co-located in the capital of a trading partner nation, that intra-city trade has a route status is LTR (Land Trade along Road). A capital city would have roads (streets) that are paved (stone, brick or at least crushed rock) facilitating the movement of goods within the city.

9.6.3 Religious Authority Control Statuses
    A Priesthood can increase its power by building Holy Sites in lands that have been partly or fully converted to their faith. There are four levels of control the priests can have in any particular region or city, adapted from traditional Medieval LOTE to names more Ancient-appropriate:
      > a Temple Shrine (ts) is a small building of wood or mudbrick housing shrines to the local patron god(s) and goddess(es), with a living quarters in the back for resident priests. It may be built in a region or city at least 10% of that faith.
      > a Temple Enclosure (te) is a modest collection of stone buildings including a Sanctuary for prayer to the main patron god or goddess, shrines to lesser local deities, living quarters, storage facilities, etc., all enclosed by a defensive wall creating a quiet court-yard for prayer. It may be built in a region or city at least 20% of that faith.
      > a Temple Complex (tc) is a more formalized establishment dedicated to the local patron god or goddess, with multiple temples, shrines, living quarters, hospital, priest training center, storage facilities, etc. If the site is rural, it may also have a collection of tombs and mortuary temples where the spirits of dead kings are honored. Sometimes this is known as a necropolis.
    Both varieties of sites are walled, with a pillared entrance often flanked by multiple immense statues. Between the buildings within are multiple courtyards and gardens. It may only be built in a region or city at least 40% of that faith.
      > a Temple Precinct (tp) is often a significant portion of a city, with multiple Complexes adjacent, often with the great library of the faith and center for theological debates. The sections are enclosed, with multiple grand entranceways. It may only be built in a city at least 80% of that faith.
      > a Temple Plantation (tp) is an expansion of a rural Complex to include large tracts of cropland plus additional living quarters to house and feed the farm workers as well as administration and storage buildings. The Plantation provides the additional food to sustain larger numbers of initiates (nfp) during their training. It can be as large as a Village. It may only be built in a region at least 80% of that faith.

Table 9-5 Religious Authority Control Codes
Control Status Tax Multiple Trade Origin Produce NFP? Build In... Minimum Faithful Build Action Build Cost Medieval Equivalent
Temple Shrine 0.2 No No Both 10%
Establish Temple Shrine
2AP +
Temple Enclosure 0.3 No No Both 20%
Expand (to) Temple Enclosure
3AP + 5gp/1nfp ab
Temple Complex 0.4 Yes No Both 40%
Expand (to) Temple Complex
6AP + 10gp/2nfp mn
Temple Precinct 0.5 Yes Yes City 80%
Expand (to) Temple Precinct
10AP + 30gp/5nfp ca
Temple Plantation 0.5 Yes Yes Region 80%
Expand (to) Temple Plantation
10AP + 30gp/5nfp ca Religious Authority Site Balance
    Although all temples within a religion serve the same pantheon, there is competition for prestige among priests of the various gods. Sites - especially those of deities powerful enough to be patron gods of a city and its region - must be upgraded in a relatively even-handed manner. or the Priesthood position will face schism/civil war as Priests whose sites are ignored revolt.
    Sites in cities must be upgraded according to the following:
      > all cities have a TS before any upgrade to TE
      > all 2GPv+ cities upgrade to TE before any 1GPv upgrade to TE
      > all cities have a TE before any upgrade to TC
      > all 2GPv+ cities upgrade to TC before any 1GPv upgrade to TC
      > all cities have a TC before any upgrade to TP
      > all 2GPv+ cities upgrade to TP before any 1GPv upgrade to TP
    Sites in regions must be upgraded according to the following:
      > all 2GPv+ regions upgrade have a TS before any 1GPv have a TS
      > all cultivated regions have a TS before any non-cultivated have a TS
      > all 2GPv+ regions upgrade to TE before any 1GPv upgrade to TE
      > all cultivated regions upgrade to TE before any non-cultivated upgrade to TE
      > all 2GPv+ regions upgrade to TC before any 1GPv upgrade to TC
      > all cultivated regions upgrade to TC before any non-cultivated upgrade to TC
      > all 2GPv+ regions upgrade to TP before any 1GPv upgrade to TP
      > all cultivated regions upgrade to TP before any non-cultivated upgrade to TP

    The above guideline ensures sites are established or upgraded in the order that gives priority to where the greatest number of believers live, yet all sites eventually "catch up" to provide equal spiritual guidance (and priestly prestige) before the next round of upgrades begins. Regions without a city honor the patron deity of the closest city with a patron deity.
    Temporary exemptions may be made in times of war, raids, plague, etc until the safety of priests and workers is no longer at risk. This allows for continuing growth of sites elsewhere while waiting for the crisis to pass.

Table 9-10 Patron Deities
Cities listed roughly north to south within each pantheon.
The surrounding region has the same patron deity.
Egyptian deity Name Notes
Byblos Ba'alat Gebal also known as Semetic goddess Astarte; equivalent of Inanna/Ishtar
Lower Egypt Wadjat cobra goddess (one of many snake gods)
Memphis Ptah creator of universe, god of craftsmen
Heliopolis Ra sun god, creator of humans; thus
Kings called themselves "sons of Ra"
Herakleoplis Heryshaf god of rivers, waters
Abdyos Sobek god of armies, protector of the Nile
mortuary temples Osiris god of the dead, underworld & afterlife
Thebes Amun god of winds, "King of the Gods"
Mesopotamian deity Name Notes
Assur Ashur god of winds, "King of the Gods"
Eshnunna Tishpak god of sky and storm; also known as Teshub
Kish Zababa god of war, husband of Inanna
Uruk Inanna goddess of love & war, wife of Zababa; also known as Ishtar
Ur Nanna god of the moon; also known as Sin
Lagash Bau goddess of healing, restored humans after the Great Flood

9.6.4 Religious Authority Control Web
    There is no Holy City (hc) from which to trace administrative control. (There is only a collective Priesthood position since a separate position for each deity's temple within the same pantheon would be a nightmare.) Therefore rather than the control web leading back to a central point it is traced to a group of two or more Temple Complexs and/or Temple Precinct/ Temple Plantations within (AR) Action points of each other.
    Each Temple Enclosure must be within (AR) Action points of either a Temple Complex or Temple Precinct/Temple Plantation that is in the control web as described above.
    Each Temple Shrine must be within (AR) Action points of a Temple Enclosure, Temple Complex or or Temple Precinct/ Temple Plantation that is in the control web as described above. Temporal Domains
    L38 Primacies cannot have political statuses in regions or cities; there was no ancient equivalent of the Papal States.

9.6.6 Loss of Faith
    With the passage of time missionary work or other means may decrease the percentage of the Faithful initially necessary for a site to be built. Once the percentage drops below half the original requirement the site degrades one level due to the lack of monetary contributions and volunteer labor required for upkeep.
    For example a Temple Complex was built when 40% of a city's inhabitants were of that faith. Another faith's missionaries reduce that to 19%. This is below half the original requirement and so the site degrades to a Temple Enclosure. Religious Co-Existance within the same region or city is entirely possible. There will be a local majority religion whose icon will be in the region. (If a city exists and has a different majority religion it will have its own icon.) If local minority religions exist in the area the Region Notes or City Notes will have a percentage breakdown such as: 85%ME 15%LP.
    Faiths tolerant of each other may have sites in the same region or city. Sites belonging to a faith without a formal Priesthood position will simply exist on the map as color and as a rallying point against conversion efforts. For example: a city whose population is 75% religion A and 25% religion B could host religion A's Temple Complex and religion B's Temple Shrine. Naturally should the percentages change there will be winners (able to expand their site) and losers (site degrades).
    Faiths hostile to each other are extremely unlikely to have sites in the same city - urban population density lends itself to majority-religion mobs sacking minority-religion sites. A site under construction by a minority congregation would be viewed as an insult. The majority tends to expect the minority to keep to its place and not flaunt its obviously wrong beliefs - perhaps bringing the wrath of the true gods down upon the city!
    A minority faith is more likely to have a rural site where the large area of the countryside may allow such a site to survive unmolested. At least for a while until the first famine sparks a search for scapegoats.

9.6.8 The Powers of the Priesthood
The difference between traditional LOTE and L38 have required changes: Excommunication and Interdict are not in use. They are Medieval concepts. Exact Tithe is in effect. The tithe can be as high as (Influence)% of the nation's revenue so a Priesthood needs to perform one or more successful 9.3.5 Increase Influence prior to this action or it's pointless. For lack of a holy city, a Priesthood leader may perform from their TC or TP; however if they travel to the capital (or homeland if no capital exists) of the nation in question they receive a bonus to their attempt. - building or upgrading Temple sites may also be done by the nation controlling the region or city to Increase Influence with the Priesthood. Bless Holy City is not in use and is replaced by Bless Army1. This is a 0AP action (only takes a few hours) by a Priesthood leader co-located with the army receiving the blessing immediately before the battle. It is not magical; rather it is ritual that convinces warriors if they die their souls will be judged favorably in the afterlife. Kind of like an officer psyching up the troops for a Banzai charge. The army receives a +1 bonus its first round of combat but may take higher losses.
    Note: will not be performed on an army fighting co-religionists!

    1army in the LOTE sense of units assigned to a common Leader #. This could include naval units. Take Indulgences if successful does not have negative consequences - of course you pay High Priests for religious favors! However failure (viewed as excessive greed even for those times) will result in riots and worse.

9.6.9 Bishopric Support
    The Priesthood was one of the few institutions in the ancient world that was literate - "hieroglyphics" means "priestly writing". Scribes may be granted within the limits of and However Bishops are not in effect.

9.7 Religious Orders are not in effect. They are a Medieval concept.

9.8 Sacred Cities are not in effect, since there are no Holy Wars to be triggered.
Neither is 9.10 Holy Wars and Religious Troops in effect for the same reason.

Click to return to top.

Version 1.3 - March 2017