Religious skills allow characters to invoke and influence spiritual forces. In the Empire, religious power comes from following the Way, the official faith of the Empire. Characters who practice these skills are often referred to as priests.
Every religious skill requires a dose of liao to use. Liao is provided to everyone with a congregation, which is a personal resource. Unlike a magician, a priest does not receive any innate power to use their religious skills. If you intend to make use of your ceremonies, it is well worth considering choosing a congregation for your character's personal resource.
A starting congregation resource produces five doses of liao per event, and also allows a character to participate in the business of the Imperial Synod - the political body that guides the Empire on spiritual matters.
|The Seven Virtues
The dedication skill is a prerequisite for every other religious skill. By taking the dedication skill, you can also choose to begin play dedicated to one of the Seven Virtues. Priests who are not dedicated to one of the Seven Virtues are called "Priests of the Way". They can still use all the religious skills but their ability to use the anointing, consecration, and hallow skills are significantly limited.
Some religious skills place auras on people, places, or objects. These ceremonies create roleplaying effects that can affect how someone plays their character. The auras a priest can choose from are determined by their dedication. For example, if they are dedicated to Ambition they can only use their skills to create auras of Ambition.
Using a religious skill is usually referred to as "performing a ceremony."
Performing a Ceremony
|† Dedication is a prerequisite for all other religious skills.
- Requires a dose of liao and at least ten seconds of appropriate roleplaying.
- May require the presence of a referee.
- The target must usually be close enough to touch and present throughout.
- It should be obvious to everyone nearby that you are performing a ritual.
- Priests can cooperate to create more powerful effects.
- The ceremony fails if you or your target are hit or attack another character during the performance
While there are some exceptions, performing a ceremony requires a dose of liao and ten seconds of appropriate roleplaying. Some ceremonies also require the presence of a referee. Individual skills may call out exceptions to these rules (such as the ability to perform a quick Insight).
The target of a religious skill must usually be close enough to touch, and present throughout.
If you are using a skill that creates an aura, you need to specify which aura you are creating. For example, there are four personal auras that a priest dedicated to Ambition can create with anointing. They must tell the target of the anointing which aura they have imbued.
Priests who are not dedicated to a virtue cannot produce auras, but can use their skills to remove them (and they have some special benefits when it comes to cooperating with other priests).
- Characters with the same virtue may cooperate to perform a ceremony with a higher strength
- Characters with different virtues may cooperate if they are part of the same sect
- Every participant must have the appropriate skill
- Requires one dose of liao for each participant
Characters with the appropriate skills can cooperate to perform a ceremony with a higher strength. Strength means different things for different skills. For example, strength determines how hard auras, such as those created by anointing, hallow, or consecration are to remove or replace.
All characters collaborating to perform a ceremony must have the appropriate skill and either all be part of the same sect (a sect ceremony), or all be dedicated to the same virtue (a virtue ceremony). Characters who are devotees of the Way can assist any virtue ceremony; they cannot assist a sect ceremony unless they are a member of the sect.
Each participant can use one dose of liao.
Only the insight skill provides no benefit for cooperation.
- The strength of a ceremony is the amount of liao used to perform it
- A stronger aura is harder to destroy, you must create an effect of equal strength to replace or remove it
Several skills talk about the strength of the ceremony. The strength of a ceremony affects how difficult it is to remove or how effective it is in removing a spiritual effect. For example, an aura created with strength 3 can only be removed by performing a new ceremony with equal or greater strength. A powerful spirit that is possessing a character may require an exorcism of strength 5 or more to remove it.
The strength of a ceremony equals the amount of liao used to perform it, (plus any special bonuses). Under normal circumstances, a priest can spend only one dose of liao. There are magic items, potions, and even ritual enchantments that can allow a priest to use additional liao and thus create an effect with a higher strength.