To create a new Mystery Cult

Hi all,

Our group thinks of creating a new Mystery Cult on the bases of a temple site in a magical regio they found. In the region there are some remnants of the old cult to Mati-Syra-Zemlya a old earth goddess (ended in the 400 century by the Hun invasion). This remnants are immortal ghost animating there old bodies (called the enigmatics) and is a part of the cult, they are not very communicative and helpful since they are magic and very close to leave to join there goddess in the magic realm. The goddess is a magic being and since there have not been any cult 800 years she have not been transformed into a fairie as I referred in my earlier question to the forum [url]].

They have done some background studies on how the old cult worked (they got the main information after a lengthy quest from Baba Yaga the goddess of death) so they now know how to perform the main rituals and feasts (a spring sacrifice to give the earth fertility and a harvest feast). They also know a bit of the old priesthoods powers and magic, mainly along the lines of fertility and spirit magic that where performed by creating and loosing complicated knots. They have also the opportunity to study the old sacred site and try to get information from the enigmatics. The goddess being of magic and more or less asleep for the last half centenary is not caring that much but could be induced to help a bit given she is wakened, contacted and persuaded.

The lines they want to take their cult is align both to spirit magic and dream magic (sympathizing with the sleeping goddess). They will also copying a lot of the old rituals with blood sacrifices and spirit quests (see my other thread, refereed above).

:exclamation: So now the main issue; How to create this Cult, with the rules given by TMRE this becomes ridiculous. To experiment on a new script the Mystagogue needs realistically Mystery Cult Lore of at least 9!!!!! And these to creat a relative simple script of say +5 to +7. This compared to all other abilities (barring for magic theory that is a special case) where mastery is at 6 and ultimate mastery is around 8. To get to a score of 9 is about 45 seasons of practice and if you are looking at scripts of initiating Major Virtues a Mystery Cult Lore of 12 (and 78 seasons of study) is plausible. :open_mouth:
IMHO this is too much, no ability barring from Magic Theory should go so high even if the goal is to make it very hard to create a complete new cult for a single individual. My main objection is that those rules makes it hard both for established cults to change (and thus create splinters and so, good story material) and prevents a group effort to create a cult (the most plausible way for a new cult in my opinion is a group lead by a charismatic leader that to gather creates the rituals).

So here is my proposed fix for the last part. I would be very happy to get some input on my house rule fix and in that way enable me to improve it.

:arrow: A Mystagogue is able to experiment too create a new script together with a group
:arrow_right: The group, including the Mystagogue can not be larger than the Mystagogue Leadership score
:arrow_right: All members of the group needs a score in the (Mystery Cult) Lore
:arrow_right: Every member in the group in addition to the Mystagogue adds to the * Mystagogue’s (Mystery Cult) Lore; +1 plus there risk bonus (0 to +3) (given a maximum total addition of +4)
:arrow_right: Every member in the group has to perform the same script (including ordeals, quests and sacrifices)
:arrow_right: Every member of the group has to check against the Experiment table according his or hers personal risk modifier
:arrow_right: If anyone in the group gets the result “failed experiment” the whole groups fail
:arrow_right: Finely, the final script while contain the sum of all results of every member of the group’s check on the Experiment table

So this is my proposal for a fix too my second issue.
For the first issue I’m thinking along the line of that a greater spirit sponsor my add it’s own lore to that of the Mystagogue (maybe with a check against twilight in the end as result of exposure from highly mystical source).

/Michael Geller

That seems pessimistic. Assuming the budding cult founder is intelligent and charismatic (+3 in both), and willing to take great risks (+3 risk modifier), a viable minor virtue script (+6, modified to +7 by sympathy bonus for well-selected rites) is quite possible with a score of ~5. Of course, he'll need a bit of luck with the side effects and the roll.

Regarding your house rules...

Final script end up with the sum of all experimentation results for a group... that will be messy. Ending up with four flaws unrelated to each other as side effects is undesirable.

I personally have no problem accepting the fact that the development of an entirely new mystery cult takes 10-15 years of deidicated work. Indeed in some respects that seems generous given the awesome power these cults can offer thier followers.

It is down to the sort of saga you run I guess. If you have a slow paced one with lots of adventure this would be impossible, but if you run a fast paced saga with lots of time between 'adventures' thuis would be entirely possible.

I have more recently fallen into the 'dynastic' story approach in which this kind of development is readily facilitated by the magus willing to devote so much of his lfie to it.

What my main issue is, is that fact that by the standard rules one person create's and design a cult by sitting down and thinking out every minutia of how the cult should think and doing this in 10 years. Then after done this starts to create some rituals to empower his followers.

I like the idea of a group effort where the group together creates their rituals and the cult’s ideological baggage. I'm ok with a charismatic leader and that it should take time but not how it's portrayed now. And I'm not ok with (Mystery Cult) lore of 9 and above.

/Michael Geller