City of the Dying Gods
Aspects of A Cult
There are five aspects of a Cult, each reflecting one part of the worshipped God’s existance.
First and most basic is the Divinity itself. Divinity serves as a measure of how powerful a God is, and thus does not directly impact, and is not directly impacted by, the other aspects of the Cult.
The other four aspects all serve to help define areas of the Cult. Belief determines how much the worshippers of the God actually accept its divinity, and how much they believe that divinity to be more important than other Gods’. Doctrine defines the method, structure and nature of the rituals and beliefs of a God, and as such shapes the manifestation of the Cult. Fervor is how willing a God’s followers are to spread the Cult into the outside world. Sacrifice determines how much the followers are willing to give up to provide for the benefit of their Cult and God.
High Belief typically indicates contented followers who realize they have made the best choice. Low Belief leaves followers uncertain and confused, easily led to other practices.
High Doctrine makes a cult hard to understand, to break up and to infiltrate. Low Doctrine makes it easy to introduce new practices, even ones inimical to a God.
High Fervor makes it easier to spread the belief in a God, even at the end of a weapon. Low Fervor indicates no real willingness to add others to the group, possibly because of exclusionary Doctrine, though not necessarily so.
High Sacrifice indicates a willingness to undertake travails, to move readily, to give up goods, blood or life. Low Sacrifice indicates limited openness to giving back to the Cult or God, and an expectation that they will gain more than they give.
The combination of Belief, Fervor and Sacrifice serves as a general indication of how many followers a Cult has, but only general. There are no real numbers. A Cult without these rankings certainly has no followers, however.
Doctrine can serve to indicate the existance of myths, beliefs and holy texts, but does not need to. A Cult without Doctrine certainly lacks such things, however, and a God without a ranking in that field is often somewhat uncertain about its own purpose.