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general:spheres:mysticism

There are some who call us mystics, doomsayers, potbangers. But I tell you this: there is more to faith than ritual. A faith is belief in a cause, or a power, or a future. We look to our lives and we pattern them after our forebears and our peers, in the hope that together we may struggle towards a better world. For us.

Mysticism

Considered by many to be the most 'broken' sphere in IN, Mysticism is nevertheless an excellent source of roleplay as well as income. In it, Houses build up a faith or ideology and attempt to spread that faith across the galaxy. Though establishing a viable Mysticism sphere has a high cost outlay, it has a theoretically infinite profit margin, without limits.

Rulebook

The sphere of Mysticism allows you to create a cult or religious faith, headed by a dynasty member of your House. You may then build religious facilities ranging from lowly Missions right up to Great Temple complexes in order to spread your Faith across the planets and dynasties of the Galaxy. As your Faith gains converts, your influence on the planets concerned will rise, and as dynasty members from your own and other Houses convert to your Faith, so too your status will rise. Mysticism facilities such as shrines and temples will also provide your House with a modest income through contributions from believers.

Creating your Faith

When you start up in the Mysticism sphere, your Faith will need to be defined. Remember that in game terms the Faith need not be 'new' - it may be that a member of your House has recently become Head of Faith of a very old and well-established Faith that has been insignificant up until now. You begin defining your Faith by clicking the 'Mysticism' link from your HQ page in the 'Spheres of Activity' section.

Creation of your Faith is a four-step process. First you must name the Faith and select the Head of Faith from your available dynasty members. At this stage, you should also select the basic theology of your Faith. This dictates whether your faith is monotheistic, believing in only one God or supreme being, or polytheistic, animistic and so on. Having done this, you will go on to select the primary tenets of your Faith (see below). Next you will describe your Faith Hierarchy, before finally entering a brief textual description of your Faith and, if desired, a current message from the Head of Faith. This last item, the message from the Head of Faith, is the only section that you can amend without penalty later, after your Faith has been created. The Faith description and selection of tenets will be set in stone once you confirm the final screen in the creation process. You should bear this in mind and ensure you are happy with your Faith description and the other details.

Important : Please avoid any reference to real-world Faiths or Faith figures in both your Faith name and the description and current message. Such references may cause offence and are strictly forbidden, your Faith will be deleted if you do not follow this guideline.

Tenets of Faith

As mentioned above, you may select up to three tenets of Faith. The tenets you may select from relate both to the fundamental beliefs of your Faith, and to the rituals and methods of worship used. If you feel that more than three tenets from the list given are applicable, just select the three that your Faith identifies with the most.

Faith Hierarchy

The default Hierarchy has only two ranks - 'Initiate' and 'Head of Faith'. The creator of the Faith may rename these as appropriate, and add up to three more intervening ranks for characters of the Faith to aspire to, when the Faith is created. For example, the terms 'Novice' and 'High Priest' may be preferred for the lowest and highest ranks, and add intervening ranks of 'Adept' and 'Priest'. Note that all characters of the rank immediately below the Head of Faith will get to vote on who the next Head of Faith should be, when the current Faith Head dies. This could result in a character from another House assuming the role of Head of Faith! If this happens, the original owner still retains control of the Faith, although can no longer edit the message from the Head of Faith - this privilege passes to the new Head of Faith's House. For this reason the creator of a Faith may wish to set quite strict requirements for the most senior rank below Head of Faith (see below) to ensure that most of the converts at this rank are loyal to that House's chosen successor candidate.

In order to achieve each successive rank, a character of the lower rank must fulfil certain requirements, chosen from the list below :

  • Make Donation A cash donation to the House operating this Faith, from $1000 to $50000
  • Fund Construction of Building(s) May be a mission, shrine, temple or great temple (see below)
  • Sponsor Proselytization Campaign(s) Spend time and money to spread the word on one or more planets
  • Conduct Pilgrimage Travel to sites of significance as a mark of devotion to the Faith
  • Become Hermit Spend a lengthy period away from normal society, in contemplation or meditation

The actions open to a character devoted to a particular Faith can be accessed from the Dynasty page - for each character that has adopted a Faith, a 'Faith Options' link will be available.

As will be immediately apparent, these requirements can result in followers of a Faith from other Houses bringing unexpected benefits to the originating House as they proceed through the Faith Hierarchy. Doing so grants a small status boost with each advancement.

Note that in order to carry out many of the requirements, a character will need to have no other commitments - i.e. not be the head of another sphere, or enrolled in the prizefighting pool, or running for an election and so on. Also, a character who embarks on a proselytization campaign or pilgrimage, or who adopts life as a hermit, will be unavailable for other actions unless recalled via the character 'Faith Options' screen or until the allotted time is completed.

It should also be noted that if a character loyal to a House other than the Faith owner sponsors construction of a Faith-related building, this building will be owned by and under the control of the Faith owner, not the House of the sponsoring character. As soon as the instruction is confirmed, the Faith owner is notified and may view the pending construction from his or her Mysticism Operations screen.

The Faith owner sets the Faith Hierarchy and requirements for a Faith when the Faith is created. These details can be changed at a later date, but this will cost around $5000 for the restructuring, and perhaps more importantly will result in loss of converts throughout the galaxy as a result of the upheaval caused by tampering with the Faiths traditions. For this reason, be very sure when first creating a Faith that you are happy with the rank names and requirements.

Proselytization campaigns

Proselytization campaigns can be of varying levels of intensity - the more intensive the campaign the greater the cost, but the larger the numbers of converts that can potentially be achieved. The charisma and administrative skills of the character directing the campaign will be important when determining overall success of the campaign. If the campaign is going well, you should see a gradual increase in the number of converts on the planet concerned throughout the course of the campaign, although in terms of overall percentages the number of new converts from a single campaign will still be small (< 1%). The list below outlines the costs of the various campaign types:

  • Subtle Costs around $5000
  • Standard Costs around $10000
  • Intensive Costs around $20000

Once your Faith has been created, you can access the details of your Mysticism operations by following the relevant link from your HQ page in the 'Spheres of Activity' section. From this screen, you may build and administer your religious facilities. There are four types of mysticism building:

  • Mission Cost about $2400 to build and $700/month to maintain.
  • Shrine Cost about $4800 to build and $1000/month to maintain.
  • Temple Cost about $9600 to build and $1250/month to maintain.
  • Great Temple Cost about $24000 to build and $1750/month to maintain.

The actual cost to build any facility is influenced by the distance of the site from your homeworld and the competence of your Head of Faith. Maintenance costs are likewise affected by your leader's competence. Also, build and maintenance costs are reduced on poorer planets, and increased on richer worlds, due to differences in labour and materials costs.

Unlike other spheres, the number and type of facilities you may construct in the Mysticism sphere is restricted. There are two principal restrictions to be aware of. Firstly, the influence of your Faith on the planet in question will affect which and how many facilities can be built there, according to the following criteria:

  • Mission May be built anywhere - but only one Mission is allowed per planet. Becomes redundant once you have five other facilities on the planet.
  • Shrine One Shrine may be built per 2% Faith influence on the planet.
  • Temple One Temple may be built per 10% Faith influence on the planet.
  • Great Temple One Great Temple may be built per 25% Faith influence on the planet.

Aside from this limitation, your sphere precedence is also important. Only a House which takes Mysticism as it's Primary Sphere may ever build Great Temples. Only a House with Mysticism as a Seconday Sphere may build Temples. Shrines and Missions are open to all Houses operating within this Sphere.

These restrictions also apply to any characters from other Houses who choose to sponsor construction of buildings - if a planet already has one mission, nobody can build another one for your Faith on that world.

In order to construct a new religious facility, go to your Mysticism Operations screen from your HQ, and click on the 'plus' sign to the right of the 'Mysticism Buildings' heading. This will open up a new row for you to select the planet and facility type, and name your facility to help distinguish it from others of the same type. Submit the new details by clicking on the green tick at the end of this row. Alternatively, you may go to the planet where you want the facility constructed, click on the 'View Facilities' link, and then use the link in the top right hand corner of the screen to build your facility. Once you have ordered the construction of a facility you must wait for it to be completed, which will take some time. To view the facilities you currently have under construction, you can follow links both from the Mysticism Operations screen and any planet's 'View Facilities' screen. This will also tell you how many game days remain before completion of the facility.

From your Mysticism Operations screen you can also upgrade an existing facility to the next largest type (if allowed), by clicking the 'upgrade' icon which appears to the left of each facility's type. You can also dismantle a facility using the red cross icon, should you have no further use for this facility. In this case, you will recoup around one third of the original cost of building the facility, once dismantling is complete.

Effects of Religious Facilities

Each religious facility you build on a planet will add to the chances of converting a small percentage of the population to your Faith. As the influence of your Faith grows, the chances of any character who has that planet as homeworld or who holds the planet's senate seat converting to your Faith will also increase. This chance is greatly increased for Houses that have the Faith in question as their official Faith - although adoption of a Faith as the House official Faith is only permitted if at least one Dynasty member has already converted to that Faith. Each character that converts to your Faith will give you a +1 status boost.

Additionally, your shrines, temples and great temples (but not missions) will generate income in the form of contributions based upon the influence percentage of your Faith on that planet. This income is not taxed, and whilst it will be negligible for the first few shrines you build, once your Faith is influential enough to allow temples, you will start to see increased revenues.

Remember that a mission becomes redundant and no longer contributes to converting the populace once you have five other Mysticism facilities on a planet. At this stage, the larger and more prestigious facilities render the mission useless and it can be dismantled or upgraded to a shrine.

Effects of Character Faith

Should a character adopt a certain Faith, there are several practical implications. Firstly, your House will now be allowed to adopt that Faith as its Official Faith - speeding the conversion of other House members. Secondly, should the character in question be the head of any of your Spheres of Activity, then the influence of his or her Faith versus that of other Faiths on the planets where you operate within that sphere will be important. If another Faith is highly influential on such a planet, then those Houses operating there with a sphere head who is not of that Faith, will suffer from increased maintenance costs - perhaps by as much as 25% in the case of a single rival Faith having a huge influence on a planet. Finally, there are the obvious benefits if the character chooses to advance through the Faith Hierarchy and meets the requirements set for this.

Head of Faith Succession

As mentioned above, should the current Head of Faith pass away for whatever reason, a voting process will be instigated to appoint the new Head of Faith. Eligible to vote - and also to be elected - will be all characters of the rank immediately below that of Head of Faith. Should this rank not have been attained by any character, then the eligible rank will be the next lowest one, and so on. If there are only the default ranks of 'Initiate' and 'Head of Faith' in existence, then any Initiates may vote and be elected as the new Head of the Faith. Alternatively, should one character alone be of the required rank, that character will automatically become the new Head of Faith. Similarly, if a character is promoted to a higher rank than all other candidates through a Faith Action (such as making a donation and so on), any current vote is cancelled and that character immediately becomes the new Head of Faith.

Voting is carried out from the Character Faith Options screen. If a vote is ongoing, a section for registering the vote for each character will appear beneath the standard Faith Actions selection. When registering a vote for a character, you will be able to check the box provided to register this same vote for all of your characters, to save accessing this screen to register a vote for each and every character. In order for a candidate to be elected as the new Head of Faith, that candidate must poll more than half of the total eligible votes. In the case of too few votes being cast to exceed the 50% requirement, or in the event of a tie, no Head of Faith will exist until the situation is resolved. This may be through a change of vote, or through a character being promoted to the eligible rank and casting a deciding vote, or through one of the candidates achieving a higher rank in the Faith than the others through a Faith action, as mentioned previously.

Attainment of the Head of Faith position grants the controlling House a one-off status boost of 10 points, plus allows that player to edit the Message from the Head of Faith on the Faith Summary screen. The Faith Hierarchy, however, can not be changed - that privilege is granted only to the original creator of the Faith.

As seen in the Rulebook

Tips From Other Players

One of the recurring problems with Mysticism seems to be when the Head of Faith changes hands. The starting HoF is also the head of the sphere, and this is not editable once the sphere is opened. This creates problems when the head of faith dies - the head of sphere usually defaults to the original house's house leader. The only way to resolve this is to have the GM manually install the head of mysticism to a different dynasty member or retainer.

It also creates problems when attempting to take over an inactive religion, the GM has to manually install the head of faith as your head of mysticism. In addition, taking over an existing faith does not give you the status or influence benefits that already exist. Those are, in effect, “used up” by the previous House that ran the religion. The only work that counts towards your status/influence is that done during the time your House has the faith's head of Mysticism (not necessarily HoF).

Faith Requirements

There can be up to 5 different tiers in a faith hierarchy - the first having no requirement, and the highest being head of faith, who can only be elected by all members of the second highest level of faith upon the death of the old head. The 3 additional tiers are set by the mysticism head. While these can be anything, some of them are better than others at certain tiers. In total, you should probably have 1 step for money donations, and one or two requirements of either temple/mission construction or proselytization campaigning (if you choose only one, the last can be a hermitage or pilgrimage).

2nd Tier: The first requirement should be a money donation. 5,000-10,000 solars is a good number to place this at. Donations require no commitment on the part of the faith convert, so house members that are senators or heads of spheres can still contribute to the faith. Also, since this will be the most common requirement that other houses will see, you'll get the most benefit out of it. Setting the donation at 5,000 solars is nice, since it's a cost most larger houses are willing to pay. 10,000 solars will be paid less often, but you get more benefit when it does. If you don't want to require a donation, require a proselytization campaign instead. You won't get a benefit from senators and sphere leaders this way, but you also don't have to worry about faith converts spamming unprofitable facilities everywhere.

3rd Tier: The third tier is open game - but if you made the first tier requirement a money donation don't do it again. You don't want your religion to appear to be a Scientology Clone. Most houses that see a progressively higher money requirement to proceed up the religion simply won't pay for it. Requiring one or two Proselytization campaigns, or requiring to sponsor a temple or mission construction is good for this step. Either gives you a benefit, and since the second tier is less common, you don't have to worry about faith converts spamming unprofitable facilities everywhere. Requiring hermitages or pilgrimages are good for this step as well - they don't give you any direct benefit, but they do get converts to be more invested in the religion, and it's a nice RP requirement. Also, all non-committed faith converts will take this step since its free.

4th Tier: Don't do a donation for this step: period. Either step one or two should have a money donation already - the last step to becoming a 4th tier convert should be something more prestigious. Sponsoring a temple or mission, going on a hermitage or pilgrimage, conducting one or two proselytization campaigns are all good requirements here.

List of Faith Tenets

All Life Is Sacred
Tolerance Between Faiths
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Reincarnation
Ancestor Worship
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Human Sacrifice
Animal Sacrifice
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Animal Worship
Polygamy
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Technophobia
Gender Supremacy
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Meditation
Frequent Prayer
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Vow of Silence
The Saviour Will Return!
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The End of the Universe is Nigh!
Self-Flagellation
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Convert Or Die!
Asceticism
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Humanity is Insignificant
Ecstatic Rites
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Mysteries
Astral Worship
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Divine Judgement
Living Prophet
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Unity of Humanity
Musical Tradition
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Nihilism

See Also

general/spheres/mysticism.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/08 09:33 by Agenarchi