Religion plays an important part in the Medieval: Total War grand campaign.
Each faction is associated to a culture, which is tied a major religion. There are four cultures, Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim, and Pagan. Cultures are used by the game to restrict buildings and unit types, denote graphical depictions of buildings, and mark the religious effects and game capabilities that faction will see. While each culture is associated with a religion, not every religion has a culture.
In the main campaign, there are 3 main religions, Catholicism, Islam, and Orthodox Christianity. Non-playable factions like the Golden Horde and rebels can also be Pagan. Jews and Heretics can also appear in provinces, but have a minor effect on the game. In the Viking Invasion campaign, all factions are Catholic, except for the Pagan Vikings, and they can be converted under the right circumstances.
- Catholic - The majority of the factions in the main campaign are Catholic. Catholic factions are bound to some extent by the whim of the Pope.
- Islamic - There are 3 Islamic factions in the main campaign, the Almohads, the Egyptians, and the Turks.
- Orthodox - There are 2 Orthodox factions in the main campaign, the Byzantines, and the Novgorod/Russians. Orthodox factions are not bound by Papal interference, but they also are not protected by it with respect to the Catholic factions. Orthodox leaders and provinces are immune to the effects of Inquisitors.
- Pagan - Still worshiping the old ways, Pagans are not common, but still play an important part in the campaign. In the main campaign, the Golden Horde are Pagan, while in the Viking Invasion campaign, the Vikings are Pagan.
- Jewish - Some provinces have a small percentage of Jews in the population, typically in regions that historically had a presence.
- Heretic - Heretics appear as the results of events and in regions where authority of the Catholic Church is taken less than seriously.
A record is kept of the percentages of each religion in a province. This percentage changes from year to year based on several different conversion elements.
Religious buildings will convert the populace to their religion. In the main campaign, Churches, Mosques, and Monasteries convert at a 10% rate to their respective religion, while Cathedrals and Grand Mosques convert at a 15% rate. In the Viking Invasion campaign, Abbeys, Catholic Shrines/Chapels/Churches, and Pagan Shrines/Sacrificial Shrines convert at a 10% rate, while the Cathedral converts at a 15% rate.
The building conversion factor is set in the campaign's build_prod.txt file, column 22 - Faith Propagation. (need to verify what the "faith propogation" values actually are, and what affect they have on neighboring provinces).
Religious agents will preach their religion and work to convert the province.
- Bishops: 2% Catholic conversion
- Cardinals: 5% Catholic conversion
- Priests: 2% Orthodox conversion
- Orthodox Bishops: 5% Orthodox conversion
- Alims: 2% Muslim conversion
- Imams: 5% Muslim conversion
Conversion rates are set in the Faith column of the unit_prod.txt file for the campaign. (are the conversion factors affected by valour, and by how much?)
The culture of the faction that currently owns the province will seep into the population.
The effects of religious buildings in bordering provinces will leak across the border. Religions present in a province can also seep into neighboring provinces.
Need more info on how Jewish and Heretic percentages get in the mix, and how they are set at the start. Events apparently trigger higher rates in some provinces.
Zeal is the measure of religious fervor in a province. The higher the zeal, the more enthusiasm for the majority religion (or is this religion of controlling faction?). Zeal affects the probability of successful Inquisitions, and also determines the magnetism of Crusades and Jihads on normal army stacks in the province. Inquisitors and Grand Inquisitors will raise zeal in Catholic provinces, while Imams will raise zeal in Muslim provinces. Various events will affect the zeal in some provinces throughout the game.
Piety is the measure of the religious observance in a general/governor/King. A high piety general will be less vulnerable to Inquisitions. A high piety value in a governor can be detrimental to the happiness of his province, if the province is not converted yet.
Inquisitors are not responsible for converting unbelievers, but instead to keep wayward Catholics in line. They do not have a conversion factor, but instead raise the zeal in a province by 2%.
Inquisitors can perform Inquisitions on any Catholic general. This will either lead to his death by burning at the stake, or redemption and new vices or virtues. The chances of success depend on the number of stars the Inquisitor has, the number of stars the general has, the general's piety, and the zeal of the province. The presence of Bishops and Cardinals in a province decrease the chance of a successful Inquisition.
Grand Inquisitors are uber-Inquisitors. They raise zeal by 5%, and have a much better chance of success when performing Inquisitions.
The Pope is the leader of the Papal faction. He appears on the campaign map like other faction leaders, and can therefore be approached diplomatically as usual, and can be killed in battle, by assassination, or even by an Inquisition. The Papacy does not have a royal family, if the Pope is killed another one will be named.
The Papacy is an unplayable faction in the main campaign. The game can be modded to make them playable, but the player will not be able to control the special functions of the Pope.
The Pope does not want to see Catholic factions fighting each other when there are factions of other religions ready to be defeated. When war breaks out between two Catholic factions, one of them will be warned to cease hostilities or face excommunication. Usually, the larger faction will be the one that is warned. The faction that receives the warning then has 2 years to break off the conflict, and must maintain the cease fire for 10 years. This means that all troops must be removed from enemy provinces, so all sieges must be resolved or abandoned.
A faction can only be warned once, and the warning only applies to hostilities against one other faction. A common loophole around the warning feature is to start a war with a unrelated faction, get the warning and back off, then start a war with the intended faction without fear of papal meddling for 10 years.
Failure to heed a Papal warning will lead to excommunication. Also, any act of war on the Papacy will lead to instant excommunication. The excommunication state of a faction can be determined by looking at the piety levels of all unit generals or the faction leader, broken crosses will replace normal crosses showing the level.
Once excommunicated, a Catholic faction will not be able to launch crusades. An excommunicated faction also becomes fair game for other Catholic factions, as the Pope will not warn for launching a war against those ejected from the church. The Pope will even grant the ability to launch crusades at the excommunicated faction.
There are other effects to excommunication. Need to verify any influence loss and the effects of excommunication on provincial happiness and general loyalty.
There are only two ways a faction can be recommunicated. Either the Pope or the faction leader must die. This can be from old age, combat, assassination, or Inquisition. Starting a war when either the faction leader or Pope are at an advanced age can shorten the effects of the inevitable excommunication.
If eliminated, the Papal faction will always reemerge in a few years, with an increasingly stronger and stronger force. The reemergence will be in any land that the Papal faction controlled. Remember, you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him!
Instead of killing off the pope, the best way to contain him is to back him and his high upkeep army into a stripped down province with no income, and saddle him with bankruptcy for the rest of the game. If he can be forced onto one of the small Mediterrainian islands, even better, but usually the Papal States will do. Then at the end of the game, when all other factions are gone, he can be finally eliminated for the victory.
Crusades are a special ability of the Catholic factions. Crusades are used to capture provinces of non-Catholic (or excommunicated) factions.
Who can crusade
Not all Catholic factions can crusade, this ability is limited to the English, French, Holy Roman Empire, Italian, Spanish, Aragonese, and Sicilian factions. Building a crusade marker requires a Chapter House, and only these factions are allowed to build one. It is fairly easy to mod in the other Catholic factions for this ability.
The Papal faction must still be active, and the faction desiring to crusade cannot be excommunicated. A faction can only have one crusade active at any time, but can have multiple crusade markers built.
Building a crusade
Once the faction has a province with a Chapter House, they can build a crusade marker. They take 4 turns to build. Once built, the marker will sit in the province until it is dropped onto a suitable target province. This will activate the crusade, and crusade-specific units will appear in the marker. Additional units can be manually added to the crusade, they cannot be removed but cost no upkeep while the crusade is active.
Marching to the target
Once the crusade is launched, it will need to be moved towards it's target province, either by land or by sea. In each province along the way, it will have an effect based on the religion and zeal of the province.
When the crusade moves into the province of another faction, the faction will have the choice of allowing the crusade passage, or refusing. Refusal will lead to a state of war between the two factions. If the faction allows the crusade and the marker moves into the province, the crusade will suck up resources. If the faction is not Catholic, the crusade will decrease the income of the province as the troops live off the land. If the faction is Catholic and the zeal of the province is high, troops stationed in the province will join in the crusade. Low zeal provinces will cause troops within the crusade to desert and go home.
A crusade succeeds by capturing the target province. The faction leader will gain 1 point of influence, and the crusade marker dissolves into several unit stacks.
A crusade can fail two ways. The crusade marker can be defeated before capturing the target province, or by the destruction of the Chapter House where it was built. If the Chapter House is destroyed (usually through enemy action, but sometimes through the building destroy option), all crusade markers built from that Chapter House are destroyed and count as failed crusades (even the inactive ones). A failed crusade can be very costly to a faction. The faction leader will lose 2 influence points for each failed crusade, and the ripple effects from this can lead to rebellions and civil war.
Jihads are the Muslim counterpart to the Catholic Crusade. The Jihad is a way to reclaim a province that was once (even for only a year) owned by a Muslim faction.
Who can Jihad
Any Muslim faction can build jihads. Since there is no central authority figure in the Islamic world, there are no restrictions on a faction's ability to build jihads. Unlike crusades, a faction can have more than one jihad active at a time, which can be exploited with jihad spam.
Once a faction builds a Ribat, they can build jihad markers. These take 2 years to build. Once built, the marker will sit in the province until it is dropped onto a suitable target province. This will activate the jihad, and jihad-specific units will appear in the marker. Additional units can be manually added to the jihad, they cannot be removed but cost no upkeep while the jihad is active. The mechanics of moving the jihad are the same as crusades.
A jihad succeeds by capturing the target province. The faction leader will gain 1 point of influence, and the jihad marker dissolves into several unit stacks.
A jihad can fail two ways. The jihad marker can be defeated before capturing the target province, or by the destruction of the Ribat where it was built. If the Ribat is destroyed (usually through enemy action, but sometimes through the building destroy option), all jihad markers built from that Ribat are destroyed and count as failed jihads (even the inactive ones). A failed jihad can be very costly to a faction. The faction leader will lose 2 influence points for each failed jihad, and the ripple effects from this can lead to rebellions and civil war.
Religion in the Viking Invasion Campaign
Religion does not have as important a role in the Viking Invasion campaign. There are only two religions, Catholic and Pagan, all of the factions except the Vikings are Catholic, and the lands of the British Isles are all Catholic. Bishops are the only religious agent available, and there are no crusades or jihads. The main factor of religion in the campaign is the conversion of the Vikings, which eliminates their raiding ability and tames them to some extent.
Are the conversion numbers from the unit_prod file just straight percentages?