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Author Topic: Religion: Have dwarves pray to god's whose spheres are relevant to the dwarves  (Read 3354 times)

Orange-of-Cthulhu

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In polytheism, nearly everybody would pray to a bunch of gods, depending on what was going on in our life. Say in Norse religion, you wouldn't "follow" some god and like pray to Thor all the time for all purposes.

In Norse religion you'd pray to Thor for Thor-stuff and to Odin for Odin-stuff and to Frey for Frey-stuff, but it wouldn't make sense to like "follow" one of them. You wouldn't pray to Thor to like cure your cow, because Thor doesn't do that sort of thing - Frey does though.

I propose thar for praying purposes it is made less important which god a dwarf is following and more important what happens to the dwarf.

Mechanic:

Create lists of connections of the existing game events with the spheres of gods.

Example: "had to drink vomit" relates to spheres misery, muck.

A game event happening to a dwarf then triggers a need to pray to a god related to a sphere connected to the event / a god with spheres opposed to the event.

So dwarves drank vomit and then they want to pray either to the god of misery or the god of happiness about that. But they're not going to pray to a god of minerals after you drank vomit, because the god of minerals doesn't give a shit about what you drink.

Is a temple for a god of the sphere not available, the dwarf isn't able to process the event properly, he's got to go instead to the all-purpose temple and do the praying, and you get bad thought/memory like "Wasn't able to pray properly about drinking vomit."

Example 2: A dwarf becomes a parent > family or longevity or pregnancy - to say "thanks" or to pray for luck for the child/the new family.

Example 3: Caverns are breached > a bunch of dwarves want to pray to caverns, mountaint, minerals to deal with it

And so on so all the spheres get events and all the mayor events are assigned.

Result:

It would depend on how the fort plays out whch gods that were popular. It would also change with time.

Like if you invaded or do raids or conquests, gods with spheres war, courage, fortresses etc get a rush of popularity as an aftermath. So you could see like "whoa look they're all down there in that temple after the raid."

When you open caves, gods with spheres caverns, earth, minerals etc get a rush.

The point of this:

-To make some temples important or not important to build, depending on what happens. You should get screwed over to the degree if you haven't got the relevant temple, making it for instance important to build a cavern-temple before breaching the caves or a war-temple before you raid your neighbors.

-To create change in which temples are used the most. IMO it would be satisfying to see a rush to the god of war after an invasion.

-It would reduce randomness of religion where dwarves meditate about stuff that isn't related to what happens in the fort. By defiinition what they pray to/meditate about is random and not related to the fort.

- It would be cool to have to prepare for stuff. Like before you breach the caverns experienced players would build a temple to a cavern-god in order to prepare for the rush to that god. Or you'd build a war-god temple before you start raiding, so you're not caught pants down and war-minded dwarves not having a place to pray to the war god.

-You'd see what you were doing reflected in more stuff in the game. Like if you were constantly raiding, the dwarves would meditate about raids more than they meditated about minerals or murder.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 12:04:42 pm by Orange-of-Cthulhu »
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Orange-of-Cthulhu

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Expansion:

When the game assigns a dwarf the need to pray the game first checks the file of the dwarf for big events like "becoming a parent", "being forced to drink vomit", "being exposed to the rain" and if there is an event within a year of game.

In the case there is such a event, the spheres of the event determines the god to be prayed to.

In the case of no big events, the dwarf's job description and the highest skill determines the sphere to be prayed to.

A cheesemaker prays to food, animals, agriculture.

A bookkeeper prays to order, writing.

A jeweler prays to jewels, wealth.

etc.
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Resmisal

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This is, minus the many spaces between the lines, (close to) exactly what I had envisioned for my thread!; to be exact, my thread was about the number of temples, choosing between a one-temple society in a world which has only one deity and many helpers or former helpers, and a fortress that has to make space for many temples for many gods and goddesses, but I digress.
What do you think about restricting the number of generated mythological figures to the number of industries, buildings, structures and zones? Historically, invisible powers that be were envisioned to have many roles - "spheres" - who very often too had epithets so as to stop a "people with a thousand gods" (Johannes Lehmann on Hittites) from becoming too encumbered with worship. I should note that ancient peoples like the Greek, the West's favored example, had deities for everything (including misery) and others like the Mesopotamians appeased unloving "demons" to make them stop doing what they were often named after.
To make a long post short: there are no good or bad spheres, only the mental necessities of your dwarves.
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Orange-of-Cthulhu

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This is, minus the many spaces between the lines, (close to) exactly what I had envisioned for my thread!; to be exact, my thread was about the number of temples, choosing between a one-temple society in a world which has only one deity and many helpers or former helpers, and a fortress that has to make space for many temples for many gods and goddesses, but I digress.
What do you think about restricting the number of generated mythological figures to the number of industries, buildings, structures and zones? Historically, invisible powers that be were envisioned to have many roles - "spheres" - who very often too had epithets so as to stop a "people with a thousand gods" (Johannes Lehmann on Hittites) from becoming too encumbered with worship. I should note that ancient peoples like the Greek, the West's favored example, had deities for everything (including misery) and others like the Mesopotamians appeased unloving "demons" to make them stop doing what they were often named after.
To make a long post short: there are no good or bad spheres, only the mental necessities of your dwarves.

I guess the game should have a god for each sphere that needs taking care of.

Like you have the list of spheres the dwarves will pray to, and the the game assigns or creates a god for each sphere.

Like if there was no god for fertility, dwarves would not be able to pray if they get a "gave birth" event and then they'd be condemned to depression. So I think all the bases should be covered.

It also makes sense - I don't think a polytheistic religiion would like "forget" to make a god of war so they had nobody to pray to before going to war.

It means you get a shitload of temples, which I am cool with - it's a lot of buildings the player could choose to create or not, so you'd have a little moment of planning if you do murder or minerals first, which I think would be good.

I guess it could be toned down a bit, so that it worked to just build an altar to murder, and there could be many altars inside a temple?

There could be 3 tiers, with the all-purpose temple being the least efficient, in the middle a dedicated altar inside the all-purpose temple and the best is a fullblown temple of murder.

Abour the "negative" spheres like murder: You can see it that if a dwarf is "meditating about murder", it's not like he's planning murders of thinking about how great murder are, but more that he thinks about how sad they are and how to avoud them.

And a dwarf praying to a god of murder would be praying like "please keep the murders our of my way and only let people I don't know get murdered" or he'd try to appease the god.

Many religions have gods of death, and people would pray to them - you'd try to convince the god of death that it would be a good idea to spare your child.

Because the death god is grim and not a nice person, but they have power over death so you gotta talk to them about death stuff.

In Norse mythology and also Greek mythoogy, there's many stories about heroes bargaining with the god of death, usually trying to pay a hefty price to get somebody back.

All that to say that I agree with you, there's no good or bad spheres, they're all needed.
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jipehog

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Mechanic:

Interesting idea. Few thoughts on implementation:

* I like the idea of specific events triggering rituals like birth of a child, however, if the list will include mundane stuff like 'drinking vomit' then I fear that the need to pray might overwhelm the dwarf schedule. For mundane things, it might be better to rely on the existing recent thought\stress mechanic to choose from when the dwarf choose to pray.
* I also love the idea of mayor events. Religion is not just about supernatural and myth around them, it is about people and not just as individuals but as a group. So while Individual mental state matters, I would love to see some "social cohesion" events that bring people together not as individuals who just happen to find some time on their busy schedule to notice that half the fort got slaughtered but as group coming together remembering the dead and celebrating the living. (There is a similar suggestion for holidays, which would allow to celebrate  things like plentiful harvest or finding adamantine for example, or just give people a break todo whatever)

* Dwarfs are not monolith, some are committed believers others are unreligious, I hope this will not handicap the believers.
* This sort of ritualism was very common in ancient times, one would make offering to various gods like Christian offer various prayers to specific saints, but often there was a head of the pantheon and or people who choose to follow/devote themselves to a certain path (which is how currently this work).  I think this needs to be represented or deities will become a matter of fashion and forgotten. Which is not necessarily true, we tend to remember life changing experiences, if you believe Thor saved you and is responsible for the life you have you wont replace him over some fun nights at the Tavern

* What happens if the dwarf need to pray in sphere for which there are several known gods/sects that consider it their domain, how will Dwarf choose which one to pray to?
** Personally, I would like to see some sort of pantheon used, where different civilization worship different gods (at least by name) something that that people can fight about.

It means you get a shitload of temples, which I am cool with - it's a lot of buildings the player could choose to create or not, so you'd have a little moment of planning if you do murder or minerals first, which I think would be good.

I guess it could be toned down a bit, so that it worked to just build an altar to murder, and there could be many altars inside a temple?

Not sure one need to make a strict tier system (Even in the "monothestic" bible there are examples of many deities worship in the house of god, although they had a chosen god) Although dedicated temples should offer other benefits through its assigned personnel.

Also @Resmisal suggested an interesting idea of a less formal system where people used their surrounding for prayers. One way such setting might work if farmers instead of going to temple of AGRICULTURE, would make some offering (on an altar?) in the fields on their way to work (which makes sense thematically and efficiency wise) while the temple could be used to as gathering spot to celebrate harvest holiday or for pilgrims to come to see some artifact etc.  However, the suggestion is very vague and it is unclear how one would go about implementing it and its effects.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 10:28:39 am by jipehog »
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Orange-of-Cthulhu

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Frequency of praying should be kept as it is IMO.

I think the system for that should be kept, whatever it is.

The change I propose is just that when the game reaches the point where it tells a dwarf to pray - then you replace the current system where the dwarf just heads of to a temple with the system I proposed.

Off course it means some dwarves would sometimes "miss" praying about big stuff like giving birth, but I think this is fine.

It's no good to force them to pray after big events as it would likely grind forts to standstills.

--
I'm kinda thinking to just get rid of the thing where a dwarf follows a particular deity.

It doesn't really make sense to me in a polytheistic contect to like "believe" in Thor but not in Odin. I mean, all the gods go together.

I think though that some people could think that a particular god didn't like them personally, so if you think that Thor thinks you're a useless moron but Odin thinks you're a great guy, then you'd pray more to Odin because you expect him to help you out.

--
About temples - it would be awesome to be able to break that up. In polytheistic religions, religions stuff could take place in many places. Like you'd go to a lake or bog and pray to one god and to another on top of a hill and so on. There could be restrictions of acceptable locations for worship.

But IDk if gamewise it's too complicated to change it so that if you're praying to a water-god then the dwarves head for any source of water instead of a temple.

It could work like

An temple-zone is dedicated to a god.

The gods sphere's determines the best locations for the temple. You CAN put the temple anywhere but if you put it in the right place, you get a huge value bonus to the temple for free, just because of the location. So you could get away with just placing an altar if it's in the right place.

For instance if god that has a sphere of fishing, fish, water and you have 1 square of the temple zone to border to a square of water the temple value skyrockets just because of the presence of water.

If a god has the sphere STORM one square must be outside for the bonus to happen.

If there is a god for fish and storms, you could get cumulative bonuses for putting the temple outside next to water.

Note though that a lot of the abstract spheres like justice, gambling, deformity aren't tied in to any place in particular, so for gods that only had such spheres it would remain as now.
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thunktone

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There could be 3 tiers, with the all-purpose temple being the least efficient, in the middle a dedicated altar inside the all-purpose temple and the best is a fullblown temple of murder.

How are these tiers different from the value levels in the current game? Temples don't have to be a room with a door, so you can already put shrines in the same room as a larger temple. Up to the player if they want to have a pantheon (all gods) temple with shrines to individual deities, or perhaps a big temple to their civilisation's god of wealth and trade with shrines to similar gods worshipped by immigrants.

Also @Resmisal suggested an interesting idea of a less formal system where people used their surrounding for prayers. One way such setting might work if farmers instead of going to temple of AGRICULTURE, would make some offering (on an altar?) in the fields on their way to work (which makes sense thematically and efficiency wise) while the temple could be used to as gathering spot to celebrate harvest holiday or for pilgrims to come to see some artifact etc.  However, the suggestion is very vague and it is unclear how one would go about implementing it and its effects.

Makes me think of some Catholic countries. They have churches and cathedrals, but also many little shrines and chapels.

I'd love to see my herbalists wasailing around the apple trees in the winter, or the farmers that just planted a field saying a little prayer together. I'd like worshippers of less popular gods to say a quick prayer together sometimes when they recognise each other in the corridor or dining hall, or make a little shrine in their room for private worship. Even if there is a temple, some dwarfs might prefer to worship privately. Some cultures might respect that while others consider it deviant.

There could be a more mundane strange-mood-lite for a devout dwarf that can't get enough signatures on their build-me-a-temple petition. They could grab a couple of cheap and plentiful materials they don't think the fort would miss. Maybe a piece of leather and some pig tail thread to sew an image of their god for their home-shrine, or to lay out on the floor when they pray. Then a dwarf that's uncomfortable with other culures could kick dirt on it or shout at the first dwarf, potentially starting a fist fight or a vengeance scheme. On rarer occasions they could have a full on strange mood and create something way beyond their talents, potentially convincing witnesses that their god has turned its attention on the fort and needs to be respected, perhaps even worshipped.

My current fort's civilisation has a god of death and murder with several rival religions devoted to him. I imagine one faith wants to appease the god, another wants to divine information about murder from him and another wants his help in disposing of people they dislike. The guard's barracks and the dungeon are both part of a temple to one of these religions. I suppose this sort of thing could apply to spheres that seem positive too. Two cults of the goddess of jewels might argue over whether she should be asked to guide them to more, or ease their temptations. One cult to the god of agriculture might pray for bountiful harvests while another wants to curse their enemy's harvest and a third doesn't see why she couldn't do both if they just burn enough cave wheat. Of course they could just argue over whether the festival to their god should be in the winter, spring or autumn.

I'm kinda thinking to just get rid of the thing where a dwarf follows a particular deity.

It doesn't really make sense to me in a polytheistic contect to like "believe" in Thor but not in Odin. I mean, all the gods go together.

I don't see very many dwarfs who only follow one deity. I think religions that follow more than one should be in the game though, I haven't seen that.

About temples - it would be awesome to be able to break that up. In polytheistic religions, religions stuff could take place in many places. Like you'd go to a lake or bog and pray to one god and to another on top of a hill and so on. There could be restrictions of acceptable locations for worship.
You can force this a bit in the current game. Any zone can be a servicable shrine. You can build a temple there later, or move worship into the fort.

One change I'd really like to see is to show the spheres of gods and religions on the embark screen. If six of my dwarfs belong to the same religion then they're off to set up a religious community. But I find it a little gutting if they turn out to worship an ocean god and I sent them to the mountains, or they worship a mountain god and I sent them to the plains.
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impala

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I'll just leave this here.
https://imgur.com/a/QTIjECR
« Last Edit: January 24, 2023, 04:25:49 pm by impala »
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jipehog

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The change I propose is just that when the game reaches the point where it tells a dwarf to pray - then you replace the current system where the dwarf just heads of to a temple with the system I proposed.

The thought system does very similar thing. iirc Dwarves react to events e.g. drinking nasty water leave a negative memory, while becoming a parent a positive one. Repeated exposure to negative experience/memories will causing an emotional stress reaction and leave a long term memory. This seems both realistic and practical (avoid mundane short term experience overwhelming more important stuff) and can be used to achieve what you want.

How is the list part of your suggestion would differ? Is there an event you can think of that is not or shouldn't generate thoughts as well? if not then maybe use the thought system (which also have indication in game) for your suggestion.

Off course it means some dwarves would sometimes "miss" praying about big stuff like giving birth, but I think this is fine.

It's no good to force them to pray after big events as it would likely grind forts to standstills.

I think that DF would really benefit from group events (loyalty cascade excluded) to make the fort feel more like a community. Certainly such events would be disruptive to productivity, an important consideration when choosing whether to enact these. However, since its not what you had in mind, this pitch seems like another suggestion material.

I'm kinda thinking to just get rid of the thing where a dwarf follows a particular deity.

It doesn't really make sense to me in a polytheistic contect to like "believe" in Thor but not in Odin. I mean, all the gods go together.

It is called Monolatry, it doesn't deny the existence of other deities or their validity. There are plenty of RL examples of that in ancient times with people regarding a specific deity as stronger/supreme, and individuals who choose to dedicated themselves to the worship of a particular god (oracles, priests, shamans, etc). This already present in DF setting, Necromancers are a prime example of someone devoting themselves to the god for greater rewards, the elves do not worship deities but the force of nature, while dwarves as mountain dwelling industrious type have an affinity to deities of these sphere rather than trees.

Also mind the information gap. I don't know the interplay between gods in DF universe, and people within will now even less. It is unclear to what extent deities can be directly observed, experienced or sensed. The extent/limit of their power or their interest in the life of mortals (for all you know they like mice more than humans)* It is plausible that in DF world for most faith will be no different than what it was in RL, and likely that they would pick a team, often a local one, for their favorite.  Also this is great recepy for world map !!FUN!!

About temples - it would be awesome to be able to break that up. In polytheistic religions, religions stuff could take place in many places. Like you'd go to a lake or bog and pray to one god and to another on top of a hill and so on. There could be restrictions of acceptable locations for worship.
You can force this a bit in the current game. Any zone can be a servicable shrine. You can build a temple there later, or move worship into the fort.
I don't like it. It sound great in theory, could be even implemented in adventure mode, but in fortress mode I would prefer more control over where my dwarves go as already too much time is spent on micro managing outside workforce to make sure no one important\valuable get killed.

Also it would be nice if it can be some sort of building because I don't want zone spam.
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SixOfSpades

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There could be 3 tiers, with the all-purpose temple being the least efficient, in the middle a dedicated altar inside the all-purpose temple and the best is a fullblown temple of murder.
That's a good system, but it needs clarity on one important point: Would the altar in the Unitarian temple be dedicated to a deity, or to a sphere? Each has its own possibilities.
An altar in the general temple could be "claimed" by travelers of other civilizations, such as merchants, bards, scholars, etc., who sanctify it in the name of one of their own gods. If this god is considered desirable (its spheres fill a "gap" that your dwarf-civ's gods do not cover), the altar can be moved to a new Temple dedicated to that foreign deity, who will now be unofficially "adopted" into your pantheon (at least locally).
Alternatively, an altar in the general temple could be claimed by your own dwarves, for use in meditating upon a given sphere that is not currently associated with any member of your civ's pantheon. By moving this now-dedicated altar into an existing Temple to one of your gods, the sphere in question would gradually come to be associated with that deity, to the point that future depictions of said deity (at least locally) will include that particular sphere among their domains.


It doesn't really make sense to me in a polytheistic contect to like "believe" in Thor but not in Odin. I mean, all the gods go together.
Yeah, this has always bugged me. Not only is it not realistic, it also reeks of placeholder. I'd much rather see a dwarf's religious beliefs get moved further down in their thoughts & preferences screen, e.g.,: "She is a faithful worshiper of [the god of death], after seeing Tirist Pagepaddled's dead body in 512. She is a casual worshiper of [the god of jewels], after becoming a Gem Cutter in 509." etc. Each dwarf would be born with an amalgam of their parents' beliefs, but their own faith would begin to be shaped by their own life experiences, and then affected more strongly after reaching adulthood & moving out of the family home.


Quote
Frequency of praying should be kept as it is IMO. . . . The change I propose is just that when the game reaches the point where it tells a dwarf to pray . . .
I don't think the game should "tell" anyone to pray--rather, I think it should be time-based, like Eat or Drink only much more flexible. That is, each dwarf keeps track of how long it's been since he's prayed to each god, and the higher that "counter" goes, the more urgently he feels the desire to pray. More devout beliefs would have their counters rise faster than dubious ones, with the result that some dwarves might worship Deity X far more often than Deity Y. There should also be different manners of prayer, requiring different amounts of time, so each dwarf can balance their religious needs with their other commitments:
Attending an important ceremony at a temple would reset their prayer counter to 0. Actually participating in said ceremony might even make it go negative.
Individual prayer at a temple would lower their counter by a healthy amount, while praying at a personal/family shrine (or a place attuned to that deity, like a farm plot for the god of agriculture) would drop it by slightly less.
Tossing off a quick prayer just before Eat/Drink/Sleep would only lower the counter a little bit . . . enough to appease them for the moment, but an overworked dwarf kept on a steady "diet" of nothing but mealtime prayers would soon begin to get stressed over "not being able to pray to X for too long".
Incorporating a prayer into each job, however, might be very effective, and perfectly realistic: You could work your Armorsmith like a slave, banging out mail shirts for months on end, barely giving her a moment to herself, and yet her relationship with Azmol is better than ever, because every type of task that a dwarf can perform has been changed to lower the prayer counters for each sphere that would appropriately be associated with that task. So this whole time your Armorsmith has been stuck at the magma forge, she's been worshipping Azmol [the god of fire, metals, and war] more ardently than any High Priest, and she's also satisfied with her prayers to the god of fortresses, and the goddess of volcanoes. But she's also bitter that she hasn't been given any time to appease all of her other gods, the deities of fertility, generosity, caverns, etc.
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SixOfSpades

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. . . that foreign deity, who will now be unofficially "adopted" into your pantheon . . .
 . . . the sphere in question would gradually come to be associated with that deity . . .
As far as roleplaying goes, this is nothing but a bonus. Being able to essentially edit your civilization's pantheon is a great way to customize each game to the whims of the player, and yet also limiting such edits to be subject to the whims of your own dwarves and your fort's visitors is a very realistic & organic way of going about it. But where actual gameplay is concerned, this raises an important question: What benefit is there to be gained by adding a new god, or giving an existing god a new sphere? In the game's current implementation, religion is nothing but a hindrance, an addiction that dwarves must satisfy or they (and by extension, the player) will be penalized. Expanding the pantheon does nothing but add to the addictions.

Religion is fun, and flavorful, and realistic, yes. But what do the dwarves get out of it? I don't want to make this thread go off on a tangent about what might happen in the whole Magic arc, but I hope we can agree that religion should be good for something.

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jipehog

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It doesn't really make sense to me in a polytheistic contect to like "believe" in Thor but not in Odin. I mean, all the gods go together.
Yeah, this has always bugged me. Not only is it not realistic, it also reeks of placeholder. I'd much rather see a dwarf's religious beliefs get moved further down in their thoughts & preferences screen, e.g.,: "She is a faithful worshiper of [the god of death], after seeing Tirist Pagepaddled's dead body in 512. She is a casual worshiper of [the god of jewels], after becoming a Gem Cutter in 509." etc. Each dwarf would be born with an amalgam of their parents' beliefs, but their own faith would begin to be shaped by their own life experiences, and then affected more strongly after reaching adulthood & moving out of the family home.

Sound like skill levels for beliefs, it is a nice starting point maybe even a sufficient one, few thoughts:

* Maybe also include dwarves personality traits in the equation, so like in real life if two dwarfs will be subject to the same environmental factors the end result may still differ.
* I see beliefs and faith/worship as separate things. Just as Dwarf belief in craftsmanship doesn't make him a legendary craftsmen, so does faith/worship require commitment and observance. One can't simply become a Necromancer by hulling bodies all day, any more than one can become legendary metalsmith by looking at an artifact
* Perhaps events/experience should affect ones affinity toward certain sphere, not sure what the right way to gain "worship XP".
* not sure how to handle conflicting spheres, one can't be both high priest of life and death.

* As noted before some experience are life changing, not sure how to model it, not sure the thoughts & preferences mechanic (as I understand it) offers the tools for it.
* I hope that some sort holidays mechanic comes through. I can say from personal experience that holidays+kids make you more religious observant (though I do not believe in gods or religious at all)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2023, 04:31:47 pm by jipehog »
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A_Curious_Cat

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“Do ut des”.  “I give so that you might give”.
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SixOfSpades

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What benefit is there to be gained by adding a new god, or giving an existing god a new sphere?
. . . religion should be good for something.
The more I think about the idea of dwarves praying while they work, the more I like it, largely because it provides an answer to the "problem" of religion I mentioned above. Earlier, I suggested that we go through every type of labor/job that dwarves can perform, and decide which spheres are associated with each one. Then, every time Urist does that job, he is also internally saying a prayer to any god(s) holding those particular spheres, which seems a very understandable & realistic thing to do. Not only does this mitigate (or potentially even supersede) Urist's psychological need to go offer formal prayers in an actual temple hallowed to said god(s), but there's a benefit as well: As Urist's prayers increase his affinity to [deity], the deity pays Urist back by increasing the rate of EXP gain on skills related to the spheres in question.
For example, let's consider Dodok the Ranger, who's been assigned to train some dogs to hunt. Train Hunting Animal is naturally associated with the spheres of Animals, Hunting, & Discipline, and Dodok's pantheon does have a nature-themed god whose spheres include Hunting & Animals, and also an authoritarian god holding the sphere of Discipline. For every Train Hunting Animal job that Dodok performs, he petitions both of these deities for success in his task (the nature god getting twice the attention of the authoritarian), and as a reward, both gods grant Dodok a little bit more work experience than he would have earned if those gods didn't exist. If the nature god only held the Animals sphere (and no one had Hunting), then Dodok would receive only 2/3rds of the EXP boost that he enjoys from having all three job-related spheres attached to a receptive deity.
After he finishes up training the hunting dogs, Dodok moves on to his side gig as a Leatherworker, cranking out a bunch of new shoes, a job associated with the spheres of Animals and Crafts. Dodok is still in the nature-god's good graces, so his recent affinity with the Animals sphere helps him gain Leatherworker experience a little bit faster as he cobbles the shoes. But as this is the only Crafts-related job that Dodok has done for a while, the civilization's crafter-god has no reason to help out--at least, not until after Dodok has made his 1st pair of shoes, and muttered an appealing prayer to the crafter-god as well as the nature god.

More pious dwarves have the potential to gain skill faster, giving them a slight edge. More "atheist" dwarves, on the other hand, must level up through experience alone--but then again, they waste less time in temples, so it balances out. This dynamic allows players to see a more diverse population without any dwarves being penalized (much) for being "sub-optimal". Meanwhile, the gods trade worship for increased insight into the spheres that they control, a mutually beneficial relationship. Do ut des.


Sound like skill levels for beliefs . . .
Yes, exactly, and those levels should "rust" as well. Urist's faith could "level up" either through life events (fighting an enemy--War, falling in love--Love, suffering a grievous injury--Deformity, etc.), or through the simple job-related prayers I described above (especially if the job results in producing a masterwork or reaching Legendary status). On the other hand, Urist's level of belief could fall either through the simple passage of time, where she prays to Deity X regularly but gets no perceived benefit from it ("What have you done for me lately?"), or through events (was tired of eating the same old food all the time--Food, was forced to suffer the tragedy of art defacement--Art, etc.). But if Urist just leads a pretty humdrum life, praying in church every now & then in exchange for being slightly better at professions that she never really comes to excel in, then her levels of faith should remain largely constant.


* What happens if the dwarf need to pray in sphere for which there are several known gods/sects that consider it their domain, how will Dwarf choose which one to pray to?
I think though that some people could think that a particular god didn't like them personally, so if you think that Thor thinks you're a useless moron but Odin thinks you're a great guy, then you'd pray more to Odin because you expect him to help you out.
* Maybe also include dwarves personality traits in the equation, so like in real life if two dwarfs will be subject to the same environmental factors the end result may still differ.
Yes, I definitely want to bring personalities into this, for the gods as well as the individual dwarves. It's high time that the gods had procedurally-generated character traits of their own as well--ideally (although not necessarily) related to their spheres. One factor in my "pray-to-play" plan, that I consider a flaw, is that it can tend to homogenize the dwarves: The game already has the feedback loop of "the more you do a task, the more you maximize your efficiency by doing only that task", it didn't need a "the more you do a task, the more you focus your religious beliefs on just the god(s) associated with that task" stacked on top of it. It's enough to see entire guilds wherein every member works and dresses the same, they don't all need to worship the same way too. That's where I think personality should come in: Dwarves who feel an affinity or kinship with certain gods should want to pray to them, whether they "need" that god's spheres or not. And conversely, gods should value the worship of mortals with similar values more than the worship of people whose personality traits are contrary to their own. So individual dwarves would have some gods that they regard as "friends", and other gods that they see more as "co-workers" . . . and they could have varying levels of faith in gods of both types. Gods, meanwhile, might actually reject the worship of dwarves whose personalities are too unlike their own--their prayers don't "taste" that good, so it's not worth the bother of granting them any divine favor. Also, note that belief in a god should not always mean serving that god. It'd be very interesting if, sometimes, dwarves with the right personality traits could develop grudges against certain deities, if they felt that the god had ignored or betrayed them. Shades of Conan's prayer to Crom--"And if you do not listen, then to hell with you!"


One change I'd really like to see is to show the spheres of gods and religions on the embark screen. If six of my dwarfs belong to the same religion then they're off to set up a religious community.
True. As of v47.05 (don't know about v50.05), it's impossible to know the faiths of your starting seven until you actually arrive at the site. The first thing I do with every new world I generate is crack open the new world_history.txt & check out every dwarf civ's pantheon--and before I embark for real, I like to savescum a couple of "test runs" in order to make sure that my chosen civ doesn't have something stupid, such as a deity of pregnancy who is commonly depicted as a skeletal male dwarf.
But on the bright side, one of the confirmed future improvements is Embark Scenarios, wherein the player will be able to choose options like "Military Outpost", "Trade Hub", "Penal Colony", and notably "Religious Monastery". I assume that under this scenario at least, the starting 7 (if not all the rest of the migrants as well) will show a marked lean toward the worship of one particular god, whose spheres will also be plainly marked in the Embark screen, the better to help the player choose a fitting site.


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* not sure how to handle conflicting spheres, one can't be both high priest of life and death.
Why not? That's kind of what necromancers already are, the game even explicitly states that they discover the secrets of "life and death". But yes, I too am of the opinion that certain spheres are (and should be) in direct conflict with one another . . . which is why, in a past thread, I suggested adding the spheres of Cycles, Opposites, and Twins, each of which would provide a different way of reconciling seemingly-contradictory spheres (as would the already-existing Balance).
But that's how I would handle gods with opposing spheres, dwarves are something else. Dwarves can obviously believe in all the gods in their pantheon at once, and can almost certainly worship them nearly simultaneously as well. Why, then, could a single dwarf not be a priest of two faiths? Sure, it'd definitely be awkward, but is there anything actually stopping them? Since appointing Priests is done manually, I say it should be left up to the individual player: If he thinks it'd make a cool story to have a dwarf driven to distraction by being a servant to two masters (especially if those masters have mutually exclusive demands), then let him.
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jipehog

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Dwarves can obviously believe in all the gods in their pantheon at once, and can almost certainly worship them nearly simultaneously as well. Why, then, could a single dwarf not be a priest of two faiths?

Disagree. Some beliefs are mutually exclusive, and trying to hold two conflicting beliefs will result in mental discomfort known as cognitive dissonance. Can you believe in all religions/ideologies/world views at the same time? can you be both pro and anti abortion; democrat and republican; Christian and Muslim or whatever best suits you and its opposite.

The game already handles this for deity sphere assignments, where each sphere has a 'Precluded' list. There is no 'life' sphere so the example should have been DEATH and LONGEVITY, or CONSOLATION and MISERY, etc.

I agree about the player choice part. Since anyone can be assigned to any task regardless of their suitability, a feeble pacifist can be made a soldier for example, then it should be possible to assign anyone to any priest job. The question is how we determine suitability, which could be matter of affinity and personal traits for exmaple.

Btw science as we understand it today, is essentially the scientific method, but earlier it was more broadly an attempt to understand nature of our world. Naturally that would be more broadly defined in world of gods and magic. And in my mind Necromancer and priest should be in the same category as scholars.

see entire guilds wherein every member works and dresses the same
I am not familiar with this, is there any guild group mechanics?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2023, 12:09:35 am by jipehog »
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