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Thaif

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Now that we have the mighty morphing Tengri and the Fetishist fun times, we are left with two very bland religions in comparison; Totemist and Animist.

It's a shame that Totemist and Animist are in the game because they kind of have to be for the sake of accuracy and as such have been left quite bland and baseline.
Now that the Converter religions have been given a great spit and polish, maybe it's also time to give the same care to these two.

It's a difficult one to nail down as the very nature of animist beliefs are varying, but metaphysically they tend to boil down to some basic consepts; Everything is spirits, Ancestor Worship and shamanistic tradition.
Looking at it historically the Animist religion could easily "borrow" the Syncretic Faith mechanic from Tengri or Cult mechanic from Fetishist.
Personally I'd say the syncretic faith mechanic would be the better one as it would quite well simulate the actual gradual shift when the populace slowly or suddenly(as was sadly often the case) incorporates new beliefs, yet still follows their old traditions.
Whether the Animist religion would have similar control over the syncretic faith mechanic as Tengri is something of a toss up. If they did it would be very easy to implement, and if not it would take some work.
The Cult mechanic would just be the same mechanic but with different cults. Fairly straightforward.


It's another though one; as much as the image of the totempole is ingrained in popular culture it's not the culmination of the religion but rather one corner of it.
Again we can come close to representing the way the religion operated by borrowing mechanics; This time it's a toss up between the Personal Diety mechanic from Hindu and Norse and the Church Aspects from Protestant.
Why these two? Well, in totemistic practice the totem was as much a part of you as it was part of the group(as far as I understood, you can and should correct me if I'm wrong).
As such a certain Totem would be preferred by a larger group or tribe. This is neatly represented by the Personal Diety mechanic, but would of course be called something else. It's not a great representation but close enough to work.
The Church Aspects mechanic would on the other hand be a kind of "record" of the groups or tribes legacy and heritage. This is an allusion to the way totempoles were used to convey or preserve knowledge and stories, as well as being a sacred object.
This would take much more work and I'm personally dubious as to how accurate this method would be but it would add some flavor and mechanics.

The reason I suggest borrowing mechanics rather than making new ones is that it's much easier for the development side to give existing mechanics a new coat of paint rather than making new ones from scratch. Other reason is that the Converter religions already borrow a lot of mechanics that were previously confined to one religion so now I have some precedent to lean on.
 
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Philadelphus

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Regarding Totemist and the record thing you mentioned, here's a random idea I had: every time your ruler dies you get to pick a "legacy" from a list (yes, this is more "new mechanics" than borrowing old ones, sorry). Each legacy provides a small bonus and you can have up to 5 of them. After that, taking a new legacy will remove the oldest one, so it's kind of a rotating selection that combines Hindu personal deities and Protestant state church aspects. This way you could, over time, construct a real legacy for your tribe that would most likely be different from anyone else's (especially if the number of legacies is large).

Just off the top of my head, here are a few legacy ideas. All numbers subject to balancing of course.

Legacy of...
  • Stability: -10% stability cost modifier
  • Raiding: +1 land leader maneuver (or +10% movement speed)
  • Prosperity: +10% production efficiency (or +0.1 goods produced)
  • Commerce: +10% trade efficiency
  • Bravery: +0.5 yearly prestige
  • Siege warfare: +10% siege ability
  • Fortification: +10% fort defense
  • Peace: +1 diplomatic reputation
  • Tolerance: +1 tolerance of heathens (or +1 accepted cultures)
  • Guerilla warfare: +10% infantry combat ability (or +2.5% discipline)
  • Diplomacy: +1 diplomatic relations slot (or +1 diplomat)
  • Settlement: +1 colonist
  • Innovation: +5% institution spread
  • (with Common Sense) Development: -5% development cost
  • (with Conquest of Paradise) Migration: -25% migration cool-down time
Just some thoughts I had.
 
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Choatic Neutral

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What if Totemists could actually build Totems?

Think like Stonehenge or the Easter Island Heads.

Giant projects with game long bonuses.

It would create a province modifier, so even after conversion the bonus stays.
 
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Thaif

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@Philadelphus
I really like your idea about essentially combining the Personal Deity and Church Aspects. It fits well and is unique to the religion. Sadly it's going to require more work than simply borrowing existing mechanics, but these are suggestions after all...
 
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Philadelphus

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@Thaif
Thanks! Yeah, I know it'd be more work, but I figured I'd just throw it out there. If it doesn't make it in, no biggie, and Paradox seems to be going around slowly revamping religions, so you never know.

@Choatic Neutral
That's a really cool idea, and I like it. Perhaps it could work something like merchant republics and trade posts: pay X amount of money/monarch power to get a province modifier in a province, which could provide either province-specific or country-wide effects. That could be done using established mechanics a lot easier, too, without having to code a new sytem. Perhaps put a limit on it like with the trade posts (which are 1/node); maybe something like 1 per 10 core provinces, to keep them from being too common (but still allowing a player to expand and build more).

Plus, if they're a permanent province modifier, you could go to war to capture them, perhaps with a special CB or mission creating a claim.
 
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TheRedComrade

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This would be great! I think Totemist and Animist are the only religions without a unique religious system other than Shinto and Confucian
 

Canute VII

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@Choatic Neutral
That's a really cool idea, and I like it. Perhaps it could work something like merchant republics and trade posts: pay X amount of money/monarch power to get a province modifier in a province, which could provide either province-specific or country-wide effects. That could be done using established mechanics a lot easier, too, without having to code a new sytem. Perhaps put a limit on it like with the trade posts (which are 1/node); maybe something like 1 per 10 core provinces, to keep them from being too common (but still allowing a player to expand and build more).

Plus, if they're a permanent province modifier, you could go to war to capture them, perhaps with a special CB or mission creating a claim.
That could be interesting. However, the province modifier should go, once the province is cored by a nation of a different religion.
 

TheDungen

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Regarding Totemist and the record thing you mentioned, here's a random idea I had: every time your ruler dies you get to pick a "legacy" from a list (yes, this is more "new mechanics" than borrowing old ones, sorry). Each legacy provides a small bonus and you can have up to 5 of them. After that, taking a new legacy will remove the oldest one, so it's kind of a rotating selection that combines Hindu personal deities and Protestant state church aspects. This way you could, over time, construct a real legacy for your tribe that would most likely be different from anyone else's (especially if the number of legacies is large).

Just off the top of my head, here are a few legacy ideas. All numbers subject to balancing of course.

Legacy of...
  • Stability: -10% stability cost modifier
  • Raiding: +1 land leader maneuver (or +10% movement speed)
  • Prosperity: +10% production efficiency (or +0.1 goods produced)
  • Commerce: +10% trade efficiency
  • Bravery: +0.5 yearly prestige
  • Siege warfare: +10% siege ability
  • Fortification: +10% fort defense
  • Peace: +1 diplomatic reputation
  • Tolerance: +1 tolerance of heathens (or +1 accepted cultures)
  • Guerilla warfare: +10% infantry combat ability (or +2.5% discipline)
  • Diplomacy: +1 diplomatic relations slot (or +1 diplomat)
  • Settlement: +1 colonist
  • Innovation: +5% institution spread
  • (with Common Sense) Development: -5% development cost
  • (with Conquest of Paradise) Migration: -25% migration cool-down time
Just some thoughts I had.
Nice but it would be even better of the legacies were actually based on what your ruler did. Or maybe his personality traits.
 
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I dislike the idea of reusing mechanics. It's bad enough that Cults are slightly altered personal dieties, although I'd rather see mechanics reused than Animists and Totemists having no mechanics at all.

Philadelphus' idea seems like the best option.
 
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Troy003

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What if Totemists could actually build Totems?

Think like Stonehenge or the Easter Island Heads.

Giant projects with game long bonuses.

It would create a province modifier, so even after conversion the bonus stays.

I like this idea most of all for totemists, not because it is necessarily historically accurate I just like the feel of it, but instead I would like to be able to get a special structure list added on to the existing one whereby a follower of the totemist religion can make "totems", which are structures that take up a building slot and provide varying bonuses.
First you would make the "totem pole", which provides no bonuses at the cost of 50 ducats. Then you can "carve" the pole up to 6 times, without using anymore building slots, and each carving would add a new bonus that the totem provides for that province (note: the same carving can be used multiple times, even all 6 times if you want, but only 1 totem pole can be built per province). Each carving would cost 25 gold, and would be finished in a month's time. I also want to make a note that the totem pole would be indestructible unless the province religion is not totemist or unless the owner's official religion is totemist, and if the official religion of the controlling nation is not totemist or if totemist is not a syncratic faith, then the totem does not apply any of the beneficial modifiers.

The provincial bonuses would run somewhere along the lines of the following-
1) +12.5% tax income
2) +2.5% goods produced
3) +12.5% manpower
4) +1 supply limit for allies, -1 supply limit for enemies
5) +2.5 trade power
6) -0.5% missionary strength vs totemist, +0.5% vs heathens of totemist
7) +1 year of separatism if conquered
8) +7.5% hostile core creation cost
9) -0.5 unrest
10) +5% local defensiveness

As a last note, if the player who made the totem pole wants to change the bonuses of the totem pole, they must first demolish the entire totem and restart from scratch.
 
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TheDungen

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How about this for totemist. whenever a character dies you get to chose one of this ruler traits to replace the oldest trait on the totempole, you get bonuses for all traits on the pole but they are either weaker versions or limited to relatively few traits on the pole.

I seem to recall ancestor worship being a thing amongst many north american tribes.
 
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Philadelphus

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@Troy003: Interesting idea, and I like the idea of actually building totems (leaving aside its historical accuracy, about which I don't know enough to comment). One suggestion would be not to allow stacking the same type of bonus, because it create difficult-to-fix balance problems. You have to balance everything so that a min-maxer with 6 of the same bonus isn't completely overpowered, but that makes the base bonus only ⅙ as strong, leaving a non-min-maxer wondering why they should bother taking it. I thought about this for my suggestion of legacies, and decided just to make the bonuses non-stackable. This encourages (well, forces) people to diversify and take multiple different types of things, rather than picking one thing and stacking it until it becomes useful.

This also fits with Paradox's model of stacking: while you can stack plenty of bonuses, those individual bonuses never come from the exact same area, e.g., you can get build cost reduction from Hinduism, the Economic idea group, and the Architectural Visionary ruler personality, but there aren't two stackable mechanisms within Hinduism that give build cost reduction. Or discipline: while you can get it from multiple different idea groups (plus other ways), no idea group, by itself, gives you discipline twice.

Just a suggestion! :)
 
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Thaif

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Totems were somewhat rare even in the areas, north-west America I think, that they were used. Still, it'd be a unique mechanic if a bit pop-cultural for my taste. The idea for using the ruler trait of a dead chief to build a totem with is a neat one and ties well to the theme.
Perhaps 3 or 4 "legacies" could be used before a replacement would have to be made. Some of the ruler traits are way powerful though(like Bold Fighter or Tactical Genius) so either some of them would have alternate effects when applied to the "legacies" or all of them would.

People seem to be more interested on the Totemist side than Animist. I guess the imagery is more invoking.
 
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TheDungen

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Totems were somewhat rare even in the areas, north-west America I think, they were used. Still, it'd be a unique mechanic if a bit pop-cultural for my taste. The idea for using the ruler trait of a dead chief to build a totem with is neat one and ties well to the theme.
Perhaps 3 or 4 "legacies" could be used before a replacement would have to be made. Some of the ruler traits are way powerful though(like Bold Fighter or Tactical Genius) so either some of them would have alternate effect when applied to the "legacies" or all of them would.

People seem to be more interested on the Totemist side than Animist. I guess the imagery is more invoking.
Partly I would say it's because animist is more non specific.
 
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Philadelphus

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Totems were somewhat rare even in the areas, north-west America I think, they were used. Still, it'd be a unique mechanic if a bit pop-cultural for my taste. The idea for using the ruler trait of a dead chief to build a totem with is neat one and ties well to the theme.
...

People seem to be more interested on the Totemist side than Animist. I guess the imagery is more invoking.
Interesting, thanks for the information! I definitely don't know much about totems, so it's probably more than a little pop cultural. ;)
Regarding ruler personalities, just keep in mind not everyone has Rights of Man (I can't afford it right now :().

I'm going to think about animism, but the problem is that "animism" is incredibly generic, and it varies widely over the parts of the earth it's used to cover. Totemist at least provides a kind of focus.
 
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Thaif

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Animism is the original religion, as it is the first metaphysical and societal religion humans developed. It is a very broad description though as I think in the game it's used more in the anthropological sense than anything else. So about as bland as you can get.
I understand that it's a fast way out of the problem of defining a religion that's not really a religion in the same vein as the more institutionalized and codified ones like Christianity or Islam(that both have extensive written dogma).

Perhaps there could be some difference to the Animists based on their location, as people would often venerate what they saw as beneficial and relevant to their struggles. People in the Siberian tundra might have similarities to the amazon natives, but their environments are in many ways opposite.
We already have the new region implementation, but that would be ridiculous to make and update so perhaps a continent based system(the game has 8 continental areas) that is also influenced by the climate and/or terrain(there are about 4 climates Tropical, Temperate, Arid and Arctic and 16 Terrain types).
Culture groups might also be a source for this, but again that would be quite an undertaking; there are about 60-70 culture groups.

I'm just throwing some ideas out to see if people get any ideas or get creative based on any of this. It would be shame if Animist was just a necessary token and empty design space.
 

Troy003

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@Troy003: Interesting idea, and I like the idea of actually building totems (leaving aside its historical accuracy, about which I don't know enough to comment). One suggestion would be not to allow stacking the same type of bonus, because it create difficult-to-fix balance problems. You have to balance everything so that a min-maxer with 6 of the same bonus isn't completely overpowered, but that makes the base bonus only ⅙ as strong, leaving a non-min-maxer wondering why they should bother taking it. I thought about this for my suggestion of legacies, and decided just to make the bonuses non-stackable. This encourages (well, forces) people to diversify and take multiple different types of things, rather than picking one thing and stacking it until it becomes useful.

This also fits with Paradox's model of stacking: while you can stack plenty of bonuses, those individual bonuses never come from the exact same area, e.g., you can get build cost reduction from Hinduism, the Economic idea group, and the Architectural Visionary ruler personality, but there aren't two stackable mechanisms within Hinduism that give build cost reduction. Or discipline: while you can get it from multiple different idea groups (plus other ways), no idea group, by itself, gives you discipline twice.

Just a suggestion! :)
I get that stacking bonuses can lead to a few balance issues, but I figured that this would be the unique feature of totemists - buildings. So instead of the piety mechanic of islam, the papacy mechanic of catholics, the syncratic faith of tengri, or all the other mechanics that already exist, I figured that we could add a unique set of buildings just for totemists. With that in mind I tried to make the bonuses so that if you were to reform your government as a native or if you created a custom nation using a non-primitive tech group and chose totemist, you would have a building that has the potential to be greater than the non-primitive tier 1 structures, but not as effective as the non-primitive tier 2 structures. At the same time the various bonuses you can acquire are not necessarily available from other buildings and allow for flexibility when you only have 1 or 2 building slots.
 

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I'm for natives getting stacking totems from leader traits.

Since to be totemist requiring you to start custom or primitive, it's balanced by the fact you have to earn your slightly OP-ness.
Just like the other new world religions.
If you earn it then you deserve space marines/von hapburg/make it rain/Mohammad prophet level zeal religion.

Animist can be a copy paste of tengri.
Easy way to reform into another religion.
 
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Thaif

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Making Animist have syncretic mechanic is literally copypasting one line of code( can_have_secondary_religion = yes )from Tengri to Animist. They will share the same secondary religion bonuses, but Animist modifiers being what they are(+ 1 Tolerance of the True Faith and -1 National Unrest) it's a change for the better.
 
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Regarding Totemist and the record thing you mentioned, here's a random idea I had: every time your ruler dies you get to pick a "legacy" from a list (yes, this is more "new mechanics" than borrowing old ones, sorry). Each legacy provides a small bonus and you can have up to 5 of them. After that, taking a new legacy will remove the oldest one, so it's kind of a rotating selection that combines Hindu personal deities and Protestant state church aspects. This way you could, over time, construct a real legacy for your tribe that would most likely be different from anyone else's (especially if the number of legacies is large).

Just off the top of my head, here are a few legacy ideas. All numbers subject to balancing of course.

Legacy of...
  • Stability: -10% stability cost modifier
  • Raiding: +1 land leader maneuver (or +10% movement speed)
  • Prosperity: +10% production efficiency (or +0.1 goods produced)
  • Commerce: +10% trade efficiency
  • Bravery: +0.5 yearly prestige
  • Siege warfare: +10% siege ability
  • Fortification: +10% fort defense
  • Peace: +1 diplomatic reputation
  • Tolerance: +1 tolerance of heathens (or +1 accepted cultures)
  • Guerilla warfare: +10% infantry combat ability (or +2.5% discipline)
  • Diplomacy: +1 diplomatic relations slot (or +1 diplomat)
  • Settlement: +1 colonist
  • Innovation: +5% institution spread
  • (with Common Sense) Development: -5% development cost
  • (with Conquest of Paradise) Migration: -25% migration cool-down time
Just some thoughts I had.
Great idea and it seems easy enough to implement as well.