Religous Conversion

From Temple Quarter, starting on page 10


Liberty’s religions, whether official or unofficial, need worshippers in order to remain strong. The theory most widely accepted in Liberty is that deities gain divine power from worshippers: the more worshippers, the more powerful the deity. Whether this theory is accurate isn’t altogether certain, but the churches in Liberty all proceed from this assumption. Even if they are incorrect, it doesn’t hurt the church’s political power in the city to have a large and devoted following, speaking in favor of the church and making donations.

Experience Awards for Conversion

As an incentive for clerics, druids, and paladins to convert others, characters of those classes gain experience for successful conversions. A conversion is considered successful if the subject participates in a ceremony of his new religion (though certain extenuating circumstances may apply; see below). A cleric, druid, or paladin gains experience for a successful conversion as though he had defeated the character or creature in question. If the conversion was part of the resolution of an encounter, the character gains a +50% bonus to his share of the experience award for “defeating” the convert.
For example, a 4th-level paladin avoids a battle with a troll by convincing it to convert to the paladin’s faith. The award for defeating a CR 5 creature would ordinarily be 1,600 experience points, but because the paladin also convinced the troll to become lawful good and join his religion, he gains 1,600 experience at the end of the encounter, and another 800 experience when the troll participates in its first ceremony. If the paladin was in a group, his share of the experience would be increased by +50%. So, if he were in the company of three other companions when the troll converted, each character would gain 400 experience, and the paladin would gain an additional 200 experience when the troll participated in a ceremony.

The Conversion Process

Conversion should never come down to a simple die roll; it wouldn’t be fair for clerics with a high Diplomacy score to go about converting a character every minute, and it would be even less fair for an NPC to use a Diplomacy check to convert a PC against the player’s will. Skills such as Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate can get a potential convert to listen to what the character has to say, but the final determination is based on the character’s actions. And, of course, none of these factors amount to anything if the target is unwilling even to consider converting to another religion or alignment.
Convincing another character or creature to change alignment is largely a matter of roleplaying. A character trying to convert someone else has to “sell” the change of faith, by appealing to the subject’s sensibilities, exemplifying the best qualities of the new faith, and just generally helping the subject to leave his old life behind. These factors are referred to as “incentives.”
The conversion attempt culminates in the character inviting the potential convert to attend and participate in a religious ceremony. The character can do so once he has accrued at least one incentive for the subject. To determine whether or not the subject accepts, the character makes a Charisma check, adding his conversion total to the roll. This roll is opposed by the subject’s level check (1d20 + level); the subject gains a +4 bonus if conversion requires a change to an opposed alignment (opposite on the law/chaos or good/evil axis). This bonus increases to +8 if the conversion requires a change to a diametrically opposed alignment (such as chaotic evil to lawful good). True neutral characters are considered “opposed” to all non-neutral alignments (lawful good, lawful evil, chaotic good or chaotic evil).
Some incentives are listed below. Incentives provide a modifier to the character’s Charisma check: –2 (for complete failure), –1 (for partial failure), +0 (for adequate performance), +1 (for good performance), or +2 (for exceptional performance).
• Exemplifying the religion’s tenets, as defined by alignment.
• Taking physical action on the potential convert’s behalf, such as defending him from his enemies, eliminating his enemies, etc.
• Using resources on the potential convert’s behalf, such as casting healing spells, using the charges from magic items, casting protection spells for his benefit, etc.
• Speaking on the potential convert’s behalf, such as defending him against verbal attacks, vouching for his character, recommending him for work, etc.
• Providing for the potential convert’s needs, such as giving him food and water, clothing, money, equipment, etc.
• Providing for the potential convert’s ambitions, such as giving him command of forces, giving him authority over others, giving him magic items, etc.
• Appealing to the potential convert’s conscience, such as making him feel guilty about past activities, warning him of personal ramifications of a failure to convert, etc.
• Appealing to the potential convert’s ego, such as making him feel special, clever, or wise for converting, posing the invitation to convert as a challenge, etc.
• Threatening the potential convert, such giving him a choice between conversion and death (if this method is used by a good-aligned character, reverse the modifiers). If the character’s Charisma check exceeds the subject’s level check, the subject feels mentally and spiritually prepared to participate in the ceremony, and may proceed to indoctrination.


Once the potential convert has agreed to participate in a religious ceremony, it only remains for him to actually attend. This is the final step for the convert: to participate, he must worship the new deity above all others and possibly change his alignment. If he does not do so, he cannot participate in the ceremony, and thus his conversion is not complete.
After the convert has attended and participated in the ceremony, he is officially a part of the church. Now he is like any other worshipper; he may backslide to his old ways and revert to his old alignment. But there are no special rules to cover the possibility—any more than there are rules to cover the possibility of any character reverting to a previous alignment.

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