Leaving a Cult

Puckohue
GM
Posts: 1898
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2023 7:17 pm

Leaving a Cult

Post by Puckohue »

A thing that's been on my mind for a while is the current possibility to "cult jump". It doesn't fit well with the supposed spiritual commitment being a member of a cult involves.

My suggestion:
  • Lay members may leave the cult at any time, but if the character joins a hostile cult within a year they will be beset by Spirits of Reprisal.
  • Initiates who leave the cult will be beset by Spirits of Reprisal unless they join an associated cult within a year.
  • Assistant Rune-Lords or Assistant Priests will be beset by Spirits of Reprisal if they leave the cult.
  • God-Talkers, Rune Lords, Priests or higher will be beset by Spirits of Reprisal if they leave the cult and/or if they are convicted of breaking a Major Cult Taboo.
Comments welcome.
Quatlu
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 20, 2023 11:13 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Quatlu »

I think this proposal is an excellent idea! The commitment a player character makes to a specific cult is more than just a casual commitment. It is a major life decision to pledge one's self to a specific belief and the benefits and detriments that go along with that decision. Lay members can change cults pretty easily, as they are just paying lip service and seeing what belonging is all about. Much of the decision to belong also has to do with the other characters who are also members, as well as what the cult membership can do for you. But as you commit to rising in the cult, you are demonstrating your dedication of time, money and effort to the cult and its beliefs. The cults open up their secrets to higher-placed members, and abandoning a cult after you have begun to acclimate to those traditions and learn the inside information should be seen with a jaundiced eye. If you remain a lay member then your commitment is minimal and you are permitted to change without penalty. The higher your level in a cult, the more severe the consequences for cutting them loose and going another way. Thus joining a cult is not a decision to be taken lightly.

I agree with the proposed rule addition.
Quatlu Carasilson
Lt. Warlord
Royal Foot Guards Regiment
Assistant Rune Lord of Orlanth
Aide to Eorl Jenga Aeensdaughter
Colymar Tribe
grumbold99
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri May 19, 2023 11:07 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by grumbold99 »

I agree with the proposed rule change with perhaps a month's grace period for people to consider carefully what they plan on doing longer term. I'm happy with my choices but perhaps others are not and hadn't planned on them being permanent.

However I would suggest that the spirits of reprisal unreasonably disadvantage those who just got poorer random rolls at the start of the character. Anyone who got better than 14, 14 can still cult jump with impunity. I'd propose instead of 2d100 con loss with a death roll of 10+ on 2d6 it's just a straight 11+ on 2d6 irrespective of endurance.

I'm also a little hazy on why the penalty for Assistant Runelord and Assitant Priest is weaker than some of the ranks below them in the cult heirarchy.

The next thing this raises is the question of whether there any process for stepping down the ranks of the priesthood or resigning post and dropping to lay member? People are going to potentially end up in a lot of cults if they e.g. work up issaries to be a trader, orlanth to be in the military and then achieve an impressive battle rating and want to progress lhankor mhy priesthood to teach in the war college.
Grumbold Rahlefson of the Locaem

Scrawny tow-headed beanpole of a lad; usually complaining about the cold, the damp, the pollen or the heat.
Proprietor of Silks and Sapphires. Conspicuously buy your apparel here!
Ten-Thane of the Royal Foot Guard.
Puckohue
GM
Posts: 1898
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2023 7:17 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Puckohue »

grumbold99 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 9:02 pm the penalty for Assistant Runelord and Assitant Priest is weaker than some of the ranks below them in the cult heirarchy.
This is because they're assistants. A God-talker is lower in the cult hierarchy table, but actually higher "spiritually".
grumbold99 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 9:02 pm death roll of 10+ on 2d6
Good point, I agree.
grumbold99 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2024 9:02 pm stepping down the ranks
Yes, there has to be a possibility to step down. I'll think about it, but a quick idea would be to let a character step down one step each Period (3 turns).
Broar
Posts: 240
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2023 12:45 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Broar »

Oh no......but perhaps there could be some exemptions? I was thinking along the lines of Chalana Arroy as with that being such a peaceful and loving cult they surely wouldn't be interested in such things as Spirits of Reprisal and causing injury to a living person!

I would go a little further and suggest that instead of targeting the afore mentioned Spirits of Reprisal against a former member to more reflect the tranquility of the Cult they actually give whoever leaves a small financial award - scaled upon the leaving rank of the individual (I.e. say, an Assistant RuneLord would get more lunars than an Initiate or God Talker) - to show there is no ill feeling and how the calm and harmonious sentiments of Chalana Arroy demonstrate their difference from all those other less peaceful cults who utilise the services of reprisal spirits.
Broar Hofarson (aka Broar Broarson)
A God, Divine Head of Cult Broar the Benevolent
King of the Broos
Past Malani Tribe member (Now Tribe Broar)
Aide to that Dinacoli woman
Orlanth Initiate
Cha 10
Fionn
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2023 9:21 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Fionn »

"A character not doing their cult duties will be demoted one step. Please note that doing your cult duties will override any given orders if needed. "

This is sensible to stop a beginning character being forgetful; but perhaps you could be allowed to ignore cult duties deliberately, and accept the demotion?
Fionn the dagger, Hundred-Thane and scholar.
Puckohue
GM
Posts: 1898
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2023 7:17 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Puckohue »

Fionn wrote: Wed Feb 28, 2024 10:58 am "A character not doing their cult duties will be demoted one step. ..."

...ignore cult duties deliberately, and accept the demotion?
Yes, that's a possible way to get a step down, for God-talkers and Initiates.
Afur
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2023 9:31 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Afur »

And then when you get to Initiate you quit with no penalty?

Is this what is intended?
Afur Brekalisson
First son of a Thane of the Colymar tribe
Hundred-Thane of the Colymar Cavalry
God-Talker of Ernalda, the Earth Mother
Lay Member, Cult of Orlanth
Charisma: 12
Erik
Posts: 231
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2023 6:06 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Erik »

Initiates have to join an associated cult within a year to avoid penalty. Does already being in an associated cult count? Also, how long do they need to stay in the new cult? Can someone join as a lay member and then leave the cult the same month and avoid the spirits of retribution?
Puckohue
GM
Posts: 1898
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2023 7:17 pm

Re: Leaving a Cult

Post by Puckohue »

Maybe "initiate into an associated cult" instead of "join"?

But how to handle the consequences of an Initiate not doing their cult duties? If they are demoted to lay member, they can leave the cult without consequences.

On the other hand, is it possible to avoid doing your cult duties? Cult duties will replace any other given orders if needed.
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