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Jasband
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PostSubject: Conversion   Sun May 19, 2013 2:13 pm

CONVERSION


The Second God Wars are a conflict of faith as much as a clash of arms. The Warlord who wields the Word as well as the Sword will emerge victorious.

Missionaries are Agents who have devoted themselves to spreading their faith in foreign regions. While a single Missionary can convert a few people on his own, he's more effective when working with his brothers.

There are five stages to the conversion of a territory, collectively called the Belief Index. The Belief Index states how much sway all the faiths in a region hold:

  1. Level 1 - Limited: A religion may have a few followers in the region, but overall, it doesn't have any significance.
  2. Level 2 - Recognized: A religion has enough followers to be counted as one of the region's recognized faiths.
  3. Level 3 - Significant: A religion is starting to gain more followers than its competitors, but a majority has not yet been achieved.
  4. Level 4 - Major: A religion has claimed the hearts of a majority of the region's people. They become more susceptible to its influence.
  5. Level 5 - Established: A religion has become the dominant faith in the region. The region's people are willing to serve with all their hearts.


Note that the levels of the Belief Index are to be used in the following syntax: "Religion is a [level name] faith in [region name]". For example, "Zarosianism has achieved Recognized status in Varrock." Alternatively, the level number itself may be used; "Zarosianism is now a Level 5 religion in Varrock."

The rate at which a region is converted depends on many factors, including but not limited to:

  • Number of Missionaries actively converting the people.
  • Proximity of the region to its owning faction's capital.
  • The owning faction's buildings, technologies, or bonuses that reduce your Missionaries' effectiveness.
  • "Random" events, such as your Missionaries establishing a secret church that manages to remain undiscovered.
  • The owning faction's military presence in the region.
  • The owning faction's domestic policy and political response to the conversion of their regions.
  • The Ideology adopted by a player faction at the beginning of the game; for instance, in some regions, more peaceful, tolerant religions may be welcomed, while in others, the people are looking for war-loving, destructive faiths.

When you send Missionaries to convert a region, you won't be notified of every little shift and change in the Belief Index. You will, however, know when your faith moves up or down a level. As one religion moves up, any other religions in the region will usually move down, but there are exceptions; a region can, for example, have two Established religions.

At Level 4 or 5 in the Belief Index, you may attempt the manipulation of the region's population. Depending on how tight the grip of their master is, they may or may not be able to fulfill your desires. At Level 5, you may attempt to spark a rebellion that will, hopefully, inspire the people to abandon their master and join your faction. See more in Regional Politics.

Your influence over the people is not limited to persuading them to rebel; you could convince them to try to gather resources for you, pay you Gold, and other things of that nature. Know that such gifts must travel in Caravans, like all resource transfers, and are susceptible to interception.

Conversion also has an effect on the political machinations of a Settled or Advanced region. Read more about this in Diplomacy.


Last edited by Jasband on Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:48 am; edited 4 times in total
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Jasband
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:00 pm

This is an early rough draft of how Conversion will work. Comment and critique!
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:17 am

So then how will Gamemaster William and Secretary Gamemaster Siroki most likely handle this when it comes to exactly how long?

I understand, of course, that there are a lot of factors; but will it go up by, like, 10-percentages over time as long as one of those factors are met? Or should we assign a range of numbers that each of those factors could add to gaining the next level of conversion?

I'm liking what I'm seeing, tho~
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Lord William

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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:49 am

Well, here's the deal... It actually requires many more conditions than just "established" to get a rebellion to your side. The first thing that one needs to look at is the religion itself. Does it promote peace? Does it demand you to follow a set ruler? Can one not abide the religion's philosophy without being part of the main religious body, the empire that is the source of the religion?

These are some very key things. If a peace-promoting religion that is free to be followed by anyone, regardless of their nationality, becomes an established religion in, say, Varrock countryside, so what? They'll probably like you a bit more, but why would they rebel against the state of Varrock if they're being treated well and don't have any reason to?

With that said, it also depends on the conditions of the particular region. If the Varrock countryside was being oppressed by a corrupt king, of course they'll rebel. They'll most likely rebel even without religion. Religion will be a fine tool in controlling populations and ensuring loyalty, but in matters like this, it's more or less just a catalyst, not the cause. I'm not saying religion will be useless, it's much more likely that a rebelling mob that wants better treatment joins up with you if they follow your religion, instead of starting to rule themselves.

And of course, it's not as easy as to just "Oh, your religion became established! Now the people of Varrock countryside rebelled and joined up with you!" If you want a rebellion, you'll need to work for it. Religion as the main cause will be probably the hardest one to initiate, and establishing your beliefs is just the first step.

I'm also interested in the actual formula of how we should treat conversion, btw.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:32 am

William, Conversion is a gameplay mechanic that can be best utilized by the player factions. While I'm fine with NPC States having their own minor religions, and perhaps their own Missionaries to spread it, all of the player faction religions are manipulative in this setting, because the religion is tied to the faction that claims to follow it. If there are Saradominists, for instance, who are not yet part of the Saradominist faction, they won't stay that way for long. This actually brings me to another point - what about regions that are traditionally considered devout to one god, like Saradomin - but it can easily be handled in the lore (e.g., once the Kingdom of Gielinor was established, all religious buildings and texts were destroyed). That way, we have a clean slate.

I don't intend the rebellion to be as simple as "K, your religion is level 5, go tell peasants to GET MAD SON". Note that I said "you may ATTEMPT to spark a rebellion", meaning that it isn't going to be so easy. I plan to cover rebellions a bit more extensively when I go back and edit Diplomacy, because Conversion isn't the only thing that can cause them. I may have to create a separate section for "Regional Politics", where rebellions and Settled/Advanced regions' nobles and rulers are explained.

Rebellions can certainly occur without you establishing your religion, yes, but the key thing is to make the region join you afterwards. If the people in the Varrock countryside are pissed at their king and they manage to rebel themselves, there's little reason for them to join you unless you bribe them or they've heard that you're a pretty cool dude. If they rebel in the name of your religion, though, there's absolutely no reason for them not to join you if they succeed. Once again, major religion = major faction. It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

As for the formulas, well, William knows that I wanted to avoid maths in this mechanic. You guys (GMs) are gonna have enough calculations to perform each season. The reason why I said "you won't be notified of every little shift and change in the Belief Index" is because I intended the shifts to be based on your discretion, so long as the following things remain true:

1. Upward shifts happen faster if there are more Missionaries present.
2. Downward shifts occur for religions that are logically in contention with one that's moving up (for instance, if Saradominism becomes level 3 in a region, Zamorakianism should fall a level).
3. Only one religion is level 4 at any time. Note that, like I said, there can be 2 Established religions, so long as one of them is already at level 5 before the second one gets to level 4.

This is all still very WIP, so don't take anything here as final.

And derp, I forgot to tell people how they can deal with Missionaries in their lands. Gonna have to fix that.
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Lord William

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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:05 pm

NPCs don't have religions, no. In fact, most of them are very neutral in relation to religions. However, there're some factions that are very hostile towards players if they attempt to convert their people. What won't be in the game are factions that are already following a set religion, making it extremely easy for one player, or extremely difficult for a group of players to convert them.

And it does actually depend on the religion. Like in the current God Wars 4, Nardan take on the Menaphite religion wouldn't make a good "Join us and free yourselves from oppression! Folow our holy leader! Yada-yada-yada" base for conversion. On the other hand, the strict doctrines and fanatical zeal spread by the GW4 Zarosianism is a good religion to base uprisings and following on. Of course, it'll make conversion slower, but once the established status has been achieved, the leader could basically just command the people to join him.

Don't worry, I'm letting everyone define their religion (within reason) at the start of the game. Each religion is different, and it will be taken into account when we judge the religious conversion.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:26 am

See, I don't know if I want it to work that way. Weren't you the one who said that fluff is fluff and should not affect gameplay? I agree with that sentiment. If I decide to treat my followers with compassion and respect, while my enemy decides to enslave and manipulate them, Missionaries from both our religions should convert at roughly same rate. Why? Because they're smart enough to detect the reception of the people in the region they're in, and can adjust their sermons accordingly. While my Missionaries might work very well in a region that had just suffered under a tyrant, my enemy's Missionaries would be stupid if they didn't... fudge the truth a bit and try to make the same claims that my Missionaries did. Basically, they aren't quite like God Emissaries in that they have a preset speech and they spout it everywhere they go. The key here is gaining new followers for their Warlords, not changing lives positively.

There's no lack of zealotry by one faction's Missionaries because this is God Wars, and all the factions' Missionaries know what's at stake and what could happen to them if they lose. I understand there could be Faction Traits or techs that alter effectiveness, though, and those are fine.
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Lord William

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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:57 am

And what do you think will happen after the people of Varrock, who joined up with the battalions of Bandos because they thought he was a pacifist, peace-loving and compassionate god that only wants the good of all, learn the truth? And, with the "fluff" being set into the game as a factor for conversion, it ceases to be simple fluff. It becomes a game variable.

And, of course, we're actually moving away from "fluff is fluff and all that matters is numbers" -attitude with city diplomacy anyway, and since this is pretty closely tied to that, I'm pretty sure there's no way we can actually justify that all religions are basically the same.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:59 pm

Are you going to provide scenarios in which the appealing religions - those that advocate peace, prosperity, and justice - actually have less appeal than religions which embrace war, death, and destruction? There's a reason Saradomin is the most popular god among humans in the Fifth Age. I don't want factions with less appealing religions, such as Zamorak and Bandos, to be at a disadvantage because they follow gods who are bigger jerks than the others.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:07 pm

Yes.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:26 pm

Alright then. As for a faction that... personalizes its religion, should we say its interpretation must resemble the ideals of its god to a certain degree? Basically, should we preserve the major differences between the gods? At this point, I'm thinking of specifying such interpretations at the start of the game, along with Faction Trait and the rest.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:46 pm

Yes, no peace-loving Bandosians, for example. And I'll require each and every player to submit a thorough explanation of their faction's interpretation of their religion.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:05 pm

I'll edit that stuff in later tonight. Conversion and politics overall are shaping up to be nice, almost meta-game mechanics!

~ Alright, edited.

Edit: Going back to the rebellion thing for a second, the main reason I wanted Conversion to have a good chance of causing one was to provide a way for people to use Conversion to gain Wild regions, which don't have the noble personalities of towns/cities.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:36 pm

Lord William wrote:
Yes, no peace-loving Bandosians, for example.

Uh, there probably are some Bandosians somewhere who like peace.

Just saying.
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:59 pm

Toa Takanuva wrote:
Lord William wrote:
Yes, no peace-loving Bandosians, for example.
Uh, there probably are some Bandosians somewhere who like peace.

Just saying.
Uh, if they liked peace, why do they follow the GOD OF WAR?
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PostSubject: Re: Conversion   Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:56 am

Limes wrote:
Toa Takanuva wrote:
Lord William wrote:
Yes, no peace-loving Bandosians, for example.
Uh, there probably are some Bandosians somewhere who like peace.

Just saying.
Uh, if they liked peace, why do they follow the GOD OF WAR?
They may not all be worshiping Bandos because he is the God of War. Some may appreciate the honour and glory of battle (not war), and some may train to be the best fighters in order to serve and protect their homeland.

Remember that we have all only recently seen the true intentions of Bandos: continuous war, and we're the World Guardians! Imagine some of the lesser followers, how can we expect them to fully know Bandos' true intention when we only found it out when the emissaries appeared?

So, I would listen to Toa on this one as it applies to all religious factions. We should not make all representatives of a religion have the same viewpoint. It'd be bland, and unrealistic. Can you really say that in the real world, everyone holds the same belief within the same religion? No! So, it shouldn't be so one-sided within the game.
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