Age of Mythology


Mad Scientist
Sep 21, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
Age of Mythology

NOTE: This mod is still in a "beta" stage. All of the game systems are functional, although there are still many placeholders and the balance is very tentative. Feedback would be very appreciated.


Inspired by the real-time strategy game of the same name, and by mythology in general, the first (chronologically) content mod in the Ages of Man triad is the Age of Mythology mod. This mod is designed to make the first few eras of the game more interesting, by adding a wide variety of content to the Ancient, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance eras, with very little that persists into later eras. Unlike the Empires and Ascension content mods, the Mythology mod's content is very different from the vanilla game and is intended to significantly alter the eras it modifies without entirely overwhelming the previous content; knowing the intricacies of the Focus and Favor systems can make a large difference in your chances of success. In the vanilla game these early eras are generally a period of building up an empire, existing only to set the stage for the pivotal period of the game, while this mod attempts to turn these eras into an important experience in their own right.

The Age of Mythology mod centers around assembling a personal pantheon of deities, each of whom gives you a number of bonuses. You begin the game with a single central deity, and as time goes on you can add an assortment of minor gods to follow; each god provides a variety of bonuses related to its specialty, bonuses that increase over time as you gain favor with the gods. Various religious events can also help shape the development of your pantheon, and through them boost your empire. These bonuses come at a cost, however; simply being in the Mythological Age adds penalties to nearly every aspect of your society (food, production, gold, science, culture...), and as time goes on the penalties will become more and more severe to offset your growing religious bonuses. Eventually, the drawbacks of the divinely inspired lifestyle will easily outweigh its benefits, and each player will choose to undertake an Enlightenment, a period in which their empire will sever its relationships with the old gods to enter a more productive phase.

The primary component of this system is Favor, a new Culture-like pseudo-yield produced through a variety of mechanisms. Favor is used locally to automatically upgrade religious buildings within each city, as well as providing a global effect of unlocking new minor deities for your entire empire. Nearly all content in this mod is dependent on the amount of Favor you have generated, with much less importance placed on individual technologies. Every Pantheon has its own inherent biases towards or against the various methods of Favor generation; taking actions related to your Pantheon's Favor biases can allow you to unlock extremely powerful units and effects earlier than would be possible through normal research, while playing against those biases could cripple you in the long term.

As with all other Content mods in the series, the Age of Mythology mod requires the Base mod for mechanical reasons. While some parts of its balance will assume the presence of the Age of Empires mod as well, this is not strictly necessary; the Mythology mod can be paired with many other balance mods if the user prefers. The only noticeable problem will be in the year numbering scheme, the mechanism for which assumes the presence of the Empire mod. This will be fixed eventually, but as it's purely an aesthetic change it is a low priority.
As there are no alterations to map resources, there are no compatibility issues with any existing map scripts or scenarios. However, unlike the Ascension mod (which added techs at the end of the tree), the Mythology mod adds technologies to the early eras, forcing a recalculation of the X-values for technologies on the entire tech tree grid as well as alteration of many contemporary techs' placement. While most of this change is handled through a simple SQL addition designed not to interfere with other mods' technology changes, any mod that adds or moves technologies within the first four eras has some potential for incompatibility.

The Mythology mod will be technically compatible with the Ascension mod in the long term, although the two will be mutually exclusive in practice; an Ascension game requires a competitive environment during and after the space race, which often requires beginning a game in the Renaissance, Industrial, or Nuclear Eras. Conversely, a Mythology game provides many additional avenues to early dominance, and it should not be uncommon for the game to be effectively won by the time the Mythological Age draws to a close in the late Medieval. In practice, therefore, there is little reason to use both mods in the same game. However, note that the Mythology mod does not alter many of the barriers in the existing game, such as the lack of worldwide travel before Astronomy; on most map types, it will simply be impossible to win a game outright during this period, and so depending on difficulty level, the dominant civilizations on other continents might remain competitive beyond the mythological period.

Known Issues
* Do not start a Mythology game later than the Ancient Era. While the game will let you do so, you will not have accumulated any of the Favor that you would have earned in the bypassed eras, which could cripple your game's balance as those bonuses are needed to offset the growing inherent Mythology penalties.
* No units have custom 3D artwork. The Hero units use slightly larger single-model versions of existing units.
* The "High" Events (very rare Events limited to one appearance per game) are still being fleshed out. The number and rarities of these will be a big part of how Pantheons are balanced against each other.
* Currently, the game does not force you to pick a new minor god once you have the correct amount of Favor. Keep an eye on the total at the top of the screen; it'll replace the numbers with "MINOR GOD AVAILABLE" if you have enough Favor.
* The Mythology and Ascension mods are unfortunately not compatible at present. The game has a "soft" cap on unit promotions, only allowing 200 types. Vanilla Civ5, the Base mod, and using either Mythology or Ascension will put you just below this number, and using both would go ~20 over the limit. You'll know this has happened if you see new units (like a Warrior) begin with a bunch of free promotions. Note that many DLCs also add promotions, which could make this problem even worse. I'm working on improving this, but it'll be a while before the issue is resolved.

A Focus is a specialty of a deity. A divine being might be the God of Thunder, or the Goddess of the Hunt, but the abilities bestowed to that deity's followers will depend on translating his or her portfolio to 21 pre-made Foci such as "Air" or "Animals". Major Gods all have two Foci apiece, with one taking precedence over the other, while Minor Gods each possess a single Focus. No two deities within a single pantheon can share the same Focus. While in mythology there were often multiple gods of War, Death, Fertility, or various elements within a single pantheon, this mod does not allow that. Each pantheon lacks four Foci, although no single Focus appears in fewer than five out of the seven Pantheons.

Foci are limited to regions on the Mandala, an alignment grid with two axes: Lawful versus Chaotic, and Material versus Ephemeral. (The Mandala is described in more detail in a later post.) Two of the groups of 4 are "diagonal" Foci affiliated with nonzero values on both axes, and the Balance Focus has no affiliation, but the remaining 12 Foci are explicitly aligned with individual axes.

The Foci are sorted into six groups. Within each focus, the effects listed are cumulative; that is, a city with a Cathedral will generally get the effects labeled 1, 2, and 3, although in a few cases it should be obvious that an effect replaces the one before it (mainly with new unit promotion effects, or the ones that explicitly say "increase to +2").

Group 1: the Elemental Foci
Water (Chaotic, Material)
Level 1: +1G per Lake, +1F per Oasis, Naval units trained here get +10% to combat and +1 movement
Level 2: +1G per Whale or Pearls, +1F per Fish, city can have trade routes over water
Level 3: +1P per Flood Plain, +0.1 Influence per turn with Maritime CSs, Myth: Scylla
Level 4: +1P per River tile (replaces the Flood Plain boost at 3), +0.5 Influence per turn with Maritime CSs, Myth: Water Elemental
Fire (Chaotic, Ephemeral)
Level 1: Units trained here get +10% when attacking, doubled against cities, and all hurried production costs 1% less
Level 2: The above bonus increases to +20%, and all hurried production costs another 1% less
Level 3: The above bonus increases to +25% and the unit has a 10% chance of a Critical Hit dealing +5 damage, and all hurried production costs another 1% less
Level 4: Your units deal +1 damage in all combats, Myth: Fire Elemental, and all hurried production costs another 2% less
Earth (Lawful, Material)
Level 1: +2 City Defense, +1P per Stone, Myth: Gargoyle
Level 2: another +1 City Defense, +1G per Stone, +1C per Marble, Myth: Medusa
Level 3: Units trained here get +10% to defense, doubled vs ranged attacks, +1P per Marble, +1G per Gems, Myth: Basilisk
Level 4: another +2 City Defense, All cities get +25% Defense from buildings, +1C per Gems, Myth: Earth Elemental
Air (Lawful, Ephemeral)
Level 1: Ranged units trained here get +20% when attacking (archers, siege, or naval only), +10% Great People production, Myth: Pegasus
Level 2: The cost of gaining a plot through culture or buying it through gold decrease by 25%, Myth: Thunderbird
Level 3: Ranged units trained here also get +1 Range, another +10% Great People production, Myth: Lightning Bolt
Level 4: All units you own gain Cover I, another +10% Great People production in all cities, Myth: Air Elemental
All very combat-oriented. With the sole exception of the Norse gods' lack of Air deities, every pantheon has these four, and they're fairly commonly used for Major gods. Note that all of the promotions listed in these Foci do NOT apply to Myth units, so they're best used to boost mundane units. The Water Focus' appeal really depends on your proximity to water; the Scylla, for instance, is a naval unit and so can only be built in coastal cities, and the yields of water resources can only be boosted if/when you place a Fishing Boat.

Group 2: the Yield Foci
Fertility (Material)
Level 1: +1 Food, +1 per Wheat, Banana
Level 2: another +2 Food, +1 per Fish, Cow
Level 3: +1 Happiness, +1 Food per Deer, Sheep
Level 4: another +2 Food, +5% to Food in all cities, Myth: Ao Ao
Beauty (Ephemeral)
Level 1: +1 Happiness, +5% to Wonder production
Level 2: another +1 Happiness, another +10% to Wonder production
Level 3: another +1 Happiness, another +10% to Wonder production
Level 4: another +1 Happiness, another +15% to Wonder production, Myth: Unicorn
Crafts (Lawful)
Level 1: +1 to Production, +1 per Iron, Stone
Level 2: another +2 Production, +1 per Marble, Gold
Level 3: +1 Happiness, +1 Production per Silver, Ivory
Level 4: another +2 Production, +1 Production per Engineer, Myth: Colossus
Wealth (Chaotic)
Level 1: +1 to Gold, +1 per Gold, Gems
Level 2: another +2 Gold, +1 per Silver, Pearls
Level 3: +1 Happiness, +1 Gold per Spices, Silk
Level 4: another +2 Gold, +1 Gold per Merchant, Myth: Kitsune
These four Foci all build up your cities' critical yields, so they're very powerful in combination with other Foci and are nearly always useful. However, their positions on the Mandala makes it very difficult to unlock more than one of these in a single game, and they don't unlock any low-level Myth units.

Group 3: the Important Stuff Foci
Death (Ephemeral)
Level 1: Non-Myth melee units trained here heal 1 damage when attacking, and when units die nearby a Skeleton might spawn in this city. Myth: Zombie Horde
Level 2: The above units can now occasionally spawn as Zombies instead, and the chance increases. Myth: Mummy
Level 3: The above units can now occasionally spawn as Shades instead, and the chance increases. 5% Food Storage, Myth: Vampire Master
Level 4: The above units will now never spawn as Skeletons (only Zombies and Shades), and the chance of spawning as undead increases by ~10% in all cities you own. 10% Food Storage, Myth: Phoenix
Note that the game will find the city of yours nearest to the battle site; only the level of the building in that city determines which unit (if any) you spawn, except for the small Basilica global bonus. If the city has no Death buildings at all (i.e. a newly founded border city), you will still have a small chance of getting a free Skeleton. Note that of the spawned units, only Skeletons are maintenance-free.
Healing (Material)
Level 1: Units in this city heal +1 when resting, 5% Food Storage
Level 2: Units trained here gain Faster Healing (the Immortal ability), 10% Food Storage
Level 3: Units trained here gain Medic, units adjacent to this city heal one point per turn, 15% Food Storage
Level 4: All of your units gain March, units adjacent to this city heal 2 points per turn, units resting inside this city heal fully, 20% Food Storage
Knowledge (Lawful)
Level 1: +1 Research, Units trained here get Sentry (+1 visibility)
Level 2: another +1 Research, Units trained here get Knowledge Focus (+2 visibility, +10% in friendly territory)
Level 3: another +1 Research, warns if any other civ is within 5 turns of completing a Wonder
Level 4: another +1 Research, Tech stealing (max chance: 5%), warns if any other civ is within 10 turns of completing a Wonder, Myth: Oracle
War (Chaotic)
Level 1: +1 City Defense, +10% Military Production, +5 XP for land and sea units
Level 2: another +1 City Defense, another +10% Military Production, units trained here start with Teamwork
Level 3: another +1 City Defense, another +10% Military Production, +0.1 Influence per turn with Militaristic CSs
Level 4: another +2 City Defense, +0.5 Influence per turn with Militaristic CSs, all units gain the ability to move after attacking and generate +25% XP
A lot of combat utility, other than Knowledge, and in general these are all good things to have. These are very common; outside of the elemental Foci in Group 1, War and Death are the only Foci to appear in all seven Pantheons, and the other two are each in six.

Group 4: the Somewhat More Unusual Stuff Foci
Animals (Chaotic, Material):
Level 1: Myth: Nemean Lion, Fenris Wolf, +1 Food per Cow or Fish
Level 2: Myth: Manticore, Scarab, +1 Production per Deer or Sheep
Level 3: Myth: Hydra, Griffon, +1 Gold per Ivory or Whales
Level 4: Myth: Dragon, Chimaera
Plants (Lawful, Material):
Level 1: +1P per Forest, +1F per Wheat, +1G per Wine, +1 Culture per Spices
Level 2: +1F per Flood Plain, +1F per Banana, +1P per Cotton, +1 Culture per Incense, Myth: Dryad
Level 3: +1G per Jungle, Units trained here start with Woodsman (double movement in forests or jungle), Myth: Treant
Level 4: +1G per Forest, +1F per Jungle, +1P per Flood Plain, Myth: Nature Elemental.
Travel (Chaotic, Ephemeral):
Level 1: +1% to all trade route income, Units that start the turn in this city get 1 extra movement point for this turn.
Level 2: another +1% to all trade route income, Units that start the turn in this city get the Airlift promotion (temporary paradrop)
Level 3: another +1% to all trade route income, Units trained here gain Paradrop
Level 4: another +2% to all trade route income, Friendly units within your territory gain +1 movement, Myth: Cadejo
Art (Lawful, Ephemeral)
Level 1: +1 Culture, +1 per Dye or Silk
Level 2: another +2 Culture, +1 per Ivory or Stone
Level 3: +1 Happiness, +1 Culture per Gold or Marble, +0.1 Influence per turn with Cultural CSs
Level 4: another +2 Culture, +0.5 Influence per turn with Cultural CSs, all cities within your empire generate +25% Culture
Now we're getting into less obvious territory. Each of these are still very useful effects, but the appeal of each depends heavily on your other Foci, your military style, and your choice of civilizations. While Art might seem strange to have so low, Culture is just not as high a priority in these early eras as most Policy effects are far less powerful than these religious bonuses. Like the elemental Foci, these Foci favor diagonal orientations.

Group 5: the "What the heck does THAT do?" Foci
Justice (Lawful)
Level 1: +1% Golden Age length, Enemies that attack units trained here take 1 extra damage at the start of each combat, and if a unit with this promotion is killed within its own territory in combat by a non-Barbarian unit, the killer pays the unit's owner gold, with amount depending on the value of the unit.
Level 2: +1 Happiness, Hero units near this city gain +1 XP per turn for having a Church of Justice.
Level 3: another +1% Golden Age length, All Hero units you own gain +1 XP per turn (replacing the level 2 effect, and stacking with itself) for having a Cathedral of Justice.
Level 4: another +1 Happiness, all Heroes get an additional +1 XP per turn, the minimum number of Minor Heroes within your empire increases by 1, Myth: Nemesis
Seasons (Material)
Level 1: +1% Golden Age length, and gain two +1 yield bonuses based on season: Production (Spring, Summer), Food (Summer, Fall), Gold (Fall, Winter), or Research (Winter, Spring). The "season" advances by one each turn.
Level 2: another +1% Golden Age length, increase seasonal yields to +2
Level 3: another +1% Golden Age length, increase seasonal yields to +3
Level 4: another +1% Golden Age length, increase seasonal yields to +5, and the two out-of-season yields gain +1 in all cities as well (+2 in your capital)
Darkness (Ephemeral)
Level 1: +10% Production when constructing Myth units, enemy units near this city get -1 to visibility (does not stack with any other vision reduction)
Level 2: Myth units trained here get +25% to combat, Myth: Shade
Level 3: another +10% Production when constructing Myth units, and enemy units near this city get -1 to Range as well. Myth: Rakshasa
Level 4: Enemy units anywhere within your territory get -3 to visibility as well, Myth: Balrog
Storms (Chaotic)
Level 1: +1 City Defense, Enemy units take 0-1 damage each turn they're within 2 hexes of one of your cities
Level 2: another +1 City Defense, Damage increases to 0-2, with adjacent units being more likely to take higher amounts..
Level 3: another +1 City Defense, Damage increases to 0-3 over a 3-hex area, with adjacent units being more likely to take higher amounts.
Level 4: another +2 City Defense, Damage increases to 0-3 over a 4-hex area, and all cities' Storms damage gets a slight increase. Myth: Tiamat
Note: when multiple cities' radii overlap, only the highest applicable damage (AFTER the randomization) will apply. A unit can't take damage from two Storms cities at once.
These are the "finesse" Foci. Each has significant effects and can be immensely powerful if used correctly, but they're all very unpredictable. They also are unusual in several other ways; the Myth units from the Darkness focus, as well as Nemesis, have anti-Myth bonuses designed to reduce your dependence on Heroes, and Justice boosts Heroes directly, so these are an excellent countermeasure against foes who depend heavily on their own Myth units.

Group 6: the Neutral Focus
Balance (N/A)
Level 1: Units trained here adjust their strength by up to +/-10% based on the opposing unit. This city gains +1 Food or Production, whichever is lower.
Level 2: Units trained here adjust their strength by up to +/-20% based on the opposing unit. This city sorts Food, Production, and Gold, adding 2 to the lowest and 1 to the middle.
Level 3: Units trained here adjust their strength by up to +/-30% based on the opposing unit. This city sorts Food, Production, Gold, and Culture, adding 3 to the lowest, 2 to the second-lowest, and 1 to the second-highest.
Level 4: Units with any of the above three promotions will no longer adjust their strength downward when fighting weaker enemies. The yield amounts increase to 4/3/2/1.
Balance is just strange. It's great for a civ that starts off a bit behind the rest (often meaning the player, on high difficulties), and has the potential to be the most powerful Focus in the right hands, but it's a lot harder to plan around. Since the promotion is only given to mundane units, it also acts as a de facto anti-Myth ability, as the powerful Myth units will far exceed the strength of the countering mundane units with this promotion.

The idea is that the first two groups of four are the universally useful brute force stuff, and these reward you for going far from (0,0) on the grid (i.e., picking all Chaos gods and Chaos choices in events, that sort of thing, which really limits the kinds of gods you can add down the road). But the Greeks are REALLY heavily invested into this group of foci, which is why they're the perfect starter pantheon, and the Norse and Aztec aren't too far behind.

The second two groups of four are all pretty useful stuff, even if a couple of them are a bit specialized. These reward you for staying a bit closer to the center, but even far away you'll be able to get a few of these. Egyptian and Shinto pantheons really focus on these ones.

The last two groups (4+1) are the really weird stuff, although Storms and Justice are among the most common Foci for major gods. These really reward you for staying close to (0,0), by mixing lawful choices with chaotic ones and so on. The more "finesse"-style Pantheons emphasize these, with the Hindu and Sumerian pantheons having several major gods emphasizing Foci in the last two groups, while the more straightforward Greeks only have access to two of the five.

This mod contains seven Pantheons, each containing 13 deities (4 Major gods and 9 Minor gods). Each Pantheon has several aspects that make it unique: the combinations of Foci in the major gods, the four missing Foci (because with 4 Majors and 9 Minors you'll only have 17 out of the 21 Foci), and most importantly, the Favor generation methods each Pantheon favors. The combination of these factors is designed to provide a somewhat unique experience for each of the 28 choices of central deity.

Regardless of their names, Pantheons are not restricted to any specific Civilizations. While certain aspects of each Pantheon are designed to mesh well with the related civilizations, most combinations are fully viable. The AI defaults to "historical biases", where most civilizations have a 50% chance of selecting the pantheon most closely linked to them historically, but this bias does not apply to the player, and can be disabled in the Advanced Setup menu if you choose.

DISCLAIMER: Several of these pantheons are components of modern religions. If anyone is a follower of one of these religions and is offended by my choices of foci, my selection of "major" deities, or the inherent oversimplification involved in adapting a complex set of religious beliefs to a crude game system, then this might not be the right mod for you. I accept criticism and suggestions, but many aspects of these (especially the Major gods and which Pantheons were used) were chosen more for balance reasons than for any attempt at historical accuracy.

Major gods: Zeus (Air/Justice), Poseidon (Water/Earth), Hades (Death/Wealth), Hephaestus (Crafts/Fire)
Minor gods: Hera (Fertility), Aphrodite (Beauty), Athena (Knowledge), Ares (War), Artemis (Animals), Dionysus (Plants), Hermes (Travel), Apollo (Art), Demeter (Seasons)
Missing: Healing, Darkness, Storms, Balance
Favor: Balanced (Gain x2 Favor from Priests, Buildings, and Battles)
Other: Greek followers have eight High Events that add Major Heroes, far more than any other Pantheon.
Difficulty: EASY. The Olympian gods form the baseline against which all others are balanced. They have plenty of raw power, thanks to a full complement of elemental and yield-based Foci, and only miss out on a few of the more unusual Foci. As the only Pantheon with the Balanced Favor generation, they have the most consistent progression and support any playstyle reasonably well.
The Greek Pantheon is a safe choice for beginners, as all of the Major gods have easy-to-understand abilities and most players will already be familiar with the gods involved. However, the missing Foci are the ones near the center of the Mandala, which means that Greek gods tend to maintain their alignment and have fewer minor god choices at each opportunity.

Major gods: Ra (Animals/Plants), Isis (Healing/Fertility), Osiris (Justice/Water), and Set (Travel/Storms)
Minor gods: Bast (Fire), Geb (Earth), Horus (Air), Ptah (Crafts), Anubis (Death), Thoth (Knowledge), Sekhmet (War), Hathor (Art), Nephthys (Darkness)
Missing: Beauty, Wealth, Seasons, Balance
Primary Favor method: Buildings generate x3 Favor
Secondary Favor method: Battles generate x2 Favor
Other: Egyptian followers have four High Events that add Major Heroes, and gain a fourth Pantheon unit (the Pharaoh).
Difficulty: MODERATE. The Egyptians are a bit more specialized than most Pantheons, with each Major god having a different playstyle. The Pantheon is biased towards the use of Myth units, especially for followers of Ra. Its main weakness is typically Happiness; with no Beauty god, and with low Priest favor, you won't be gaining nearly as much Happiness as other players.
The Egyptian Pantheon is often an excellent choice for players who prefer a "Builder" gameplay style, as it favors vertical growth and development over expansion or battle.

Major gods: Odin (Knowledge/Travel), Thor (Storms/Healing), Loki (Fire/Darkness), Frigg (Earth/Balance)
Minor gods: Njord (Water), Freyja (Fertility), Baldr (Beauty), Heimdall (Wealth), Hel (Death), Tyr (War), Skadi (Animals), Bragi (Art), Forseti (Justice)
Missing: Air, Crafts, Plants, Seasons
Primary Favor method: Battles generate x3 Favor
Secondary Favor method: Priests generate x2 Favor
Other: Norse non-Myth units deal +1 damage to enemy Myth units, and the Norse gain a fourth Pantheon unit, the Hersir.
Difficulty: MODERATE. The Norse gods are all excellent choices for early warfare, both offensively and defensively, but they lack many of the empire-building Foci common to other Pantheons.
The Norse Pantheon is best for an aggressive military playstyle, especially one focusing on powerful mundane units instead of Myth forces. Thor and Loki are biased towards offensive warfare, while Frigg is for defensive players and Odin's a more balanced choice.

Major gods: Anu (Darkness/Justice), Enki (Crafts/Water), Enlil (Storms/Air), Inanna (Beauty/War)
Minor gods: Shamash (Fire), Kishar (Earth), Ninhursag (Fertility), Utu (Death), Ninurta (Healing), Nanna (Knowledge), Ningal (Plants), Ninlil (Travel), Erishkagal (Seasons)
Missing: Wealth, Animals, Art, Balance
Primary Favor method: Priests generate x3 Favor
Secondary Favor method: Buildings generate x2 Favor
Other: Sumerian followers have four High Events that add Major Heroes, with their heroes being stronger than those of most other Pantheons.
Difficulty: MODERATE. Many of the Sumerian major deities' foci are mirror images of gods in other Pantheons, but there are some interesting combinations and the missing Foci are in the less harmful areas. While it is a slow starter thanks to the low Battle Favor rating, it will have the highest Favor generation of any Pantheon once your empire is fully developed. While lacking many of the most useful Myth units, the Sumerians are exceptionally strong on defense and rely heavily on Heroes. One other interesting aspect is that most major Sumerian gods are "inverted" with the more powerful Foci as the secondary ability, which means many of those will be off-limits during a game; while this hurts raw power, a Sumerian player will have many choices when adding a minor god and are not as limited by alignment choices as the other Pantheons.
The Sumerian Pantheon is designed to be good for (relatively) peaceful expansive empires, but can adjust to a wide variety of playstyles depending on god choices.

Major gods: Shakti (Fertility/Justice), Brahma (Balance/Crafts), Vishnu (Seasons/Travel), Shiva (Death/Healing)
Minor gods: Varuna (Water), Agni (Fire), Prithvi (Earth), Vayu (Air), Parvati (Beauty), Lakshmi (Wealth), Saraswati (Knowledge), Kali (War), Ganesha (Art)
Missing: Animals, Plants, Darkness, Storms
Primary Favor method: Priests generate x3 Favor
Secondary Favor Method: Battles generate x2 Favor
Other: Hindu followers have a single Major Hero, the Avatar. This unit is stronger than any other Major Hero, cannot be permanently killed, and gains additional abilities through a number of High Events.
Difficulty: HARD. The Hindu gods are very limited in their choices of Myth units and emphasize the powerful yield-based Foci over the combat-related elemental Foci. This makes the Hindu Pantheon a poor choice for expansion or warmongers initially, but in the long term can be excellent for these roles with the right selection of minor gods.
The Hindu Pantheon has excellent potential for vertical development in a small number of cities, but requires skill in micromanagement.

Major gods: Huitzolopochtli (War/Fire), Tlaloc (Fertility/Storms), Tezcatlipoca (Darkness/Death), Quetzalcoatl (Art/Air)
Minor gods: Chalchiuhtlicue (Water), Coatlicue (Earth), Xochiquetzal (Beauty), Yacatecutli (Wealth), Tlazolteotl (Healing), Camaxtli (Animals), Xochipilli (Plants), Xipe Totec (Seasons), Ometeotl (Balance)
Missing: Crafts, Knowledge, Travel, Justice
Primary Favor method: Battles generate x3 Favor
Secondary Favor method: Buildings generate x2 Favor
Other: Aztec non-Myth units that kill Myth units can gain a series of anti-Myth bonuses, ranging from a weak +10% bonus to the full Hero status (+50%).
Difficulty: HARD. While the Aztec gods are unmatched for military power, many of the combinations are unorthodox and the missing Foci include some of the more generally useful choices for infrastructure. Like the Sumerians, many Aztec major gods are "inverted" with the more generally useful Focus as the secondary, which makes things a bit harder for new players.
The Aztec Pantheon is designed for aggressive military players, with a small bias towards Myth units, but is not easy to play. This pantheon can, however, adapt to a wide variety of alternate strategies depending on your major god choice.

Major gods: Amaterasu (Fire/Balance), Sarutahiko (Earth/Travel), Inari (Wealth/Animals), Hachiman (Plants/War)
Minor gods: Ryujin (Water), Raijin (Air), Izanami (Death), Izanagi (Healing), Omoikane (Knowledge), Uzume (Art), Kotoamatzukami (Seasons), Tsukuyomi (Darkness), Susano'o (Storms)
Missing: Fertility, Beauty, Crafts, Justice
Primary Favor method: Buildings generate x3 Favor
Secondary favor method: Priests generate x2 Favor
Other: Shinto non-Myth units take 1 less damage from enemy Myth units, and the three Shinto Pantheon units all possess anti-Myth bonuses.
Difficulty: HARD. The banned Foci include most of the yield boosters, the Secondaries include some of the most generally useful ones, and the Major gods' Primaries are in some of the more exotic Foci. Like the Sumerians, the Shinto are a slow starter due to the low Battle Favor rating, but have plenty of strong, consistent Favor generation in the long term.
The Shinto Pantheon is capable of supporting most playstyles, depending on your choice of deity, but this pantheon is very difficult to make the most of and is best suited for a defensive "builder" style.

Note: when a pantheon is listed as x3 for its Primary Favor method and x2 for its Secondary method, the third, unlisted method still generates Favor at x1. Additionally, there are several additional types of Favor generation, like the Favor from Great Improvements, that do not vary with Pantheon.


Obviously, a lot of the above will depend on exactly which primary deity you select. If you want all-out offensive war, the best choice is clearly Huitzilopochtli (War/Fire) in the Aztec pantheon (x3 Battle Favor), although Loki and Thor do pretty well in that area as well depending on your personal style. But within that same Aztec set is Quetzalcoatl (Art/Air), who because of his focus in Art and the Aztecs' x2 in Building Favor makes an excellent choice for players aiming towards a Cultural victory.

Generally speaking, each Pantheon was designed to have at least one obvious choice for warmongers (usually including Fire or War as a focus), one "peaceful" (or at least defense-oriented) choice for builders, and so on. The exact manner in which these gods can fill these roles will vary significantly, and the minor gods you add can support a wide variety of additional strategies.

Each Pantheon also unlocks several unique Myth units, available to all gods within that Pantheon once you reach certain technologies. Power-wise these fall between the tiers of the Focus-bestowed Myth units, and are similarly limited in number. These units greatly reduce the necessity to take Myth-heavy Foci to field powerful units; no matter what Foci you select or how much Favor you generate, you'll have access to several Myth unit types to reinforce your army before reaching the final level 4 Myth units most Foci provide. Additionally, some pantheons will depend on these extra units to fill the gaps left by their missing Foci, whether it's scout units for those lacking Air, Knowledge, or Travel, anti-Myth units for people lacking Darkness, Justice, or Balance.

The new Yield in this mod is Favor. Favor measures your basic relationship with your deity, and is generated in four distinct ways which depend heavily on your choice of Pantheon. Favor is similar to Culture, in that it has two distinct effects: a local effect of upgrading the religious buildings in your individual cities, and an empire-wide effect of unlocking new minor deities for your pantheons.

There are four tiers of religious building: the Shrine, Church, Cathedral, and Basilica. It requires 100 Favor to gain a Shrine, an additional 200 (for a total of 300) to upgrade a Shrine to a Church, an additional 300 (total 600) to upgrade a Church to a Cathedral, and an additional 400 (total 1000) to upgrade a Cathedral to a Basilica. These numbers are adjusted for game speed, with slower speeds requiring larger Favor thresholds.
Your capital will always start with a Shrine in both of your main god's foci, and a corresponding amount of Favor invested in each (100 on standard speed); at later techs new cities will begin to automatically start with Shrines as well. When you add a new Minor God, you will receive a free Shrine of the appropriate Focus in one of your cities, with the city chosen being the one with the fewest religious buildings (with older cities favored over newer ones in case of a tie).

The four methods of Favor generation are:

Base Favor: All religious buildings gain a small amount of local Favor every turn, regardless of what else you do.
This value is dependent only on your technology level, starts at +1, and increases are given as the "Growth" values in the Technologies table below. At Mysticism, the buildings of your central deity's Primary focus will improve to +2 Favor every turn (+3 in the Capital), in addition to all other forms of Favor generation. These values will change at a number of later technologies, peaking during the late Medieval period before tapering off somewhat at later technologies; several existing non-religious technologies can alter these growth rates.
This form of Favor adds nothing to your empire-wide unlocking of new minor dieties; it ONLY boosts the religious building growth rates within cities. While the amounts added are significant, you'll still need to use the other methods of Favor generation as much as possible.

Battle Favor: All combats generate an amount of Favor for both combatants, in addition to any standard effects. Battle Favor comes in bursts, and is the best choice for "jump-starting" a new city's temples, but is very inconsistent in practice; a single fight will generally give you 10-20 Favor, which can quickly upgrade buildings or unlock new gods, but you gain nothing during peacetime.
The amount of favor generated is defined as follows:
> 2 points of favor are generated per point of damage dealt by your unit/city
> 1 point of favor is gained per damage TAKEN by your unit/city
In other words, the bloodier the battle is, the more BOTH sides benefit. Obviously, a bit less favor is gained from ranged combat as the attacker won't take any damage, but ranged units won't waste as many turns resting so it generally balances.
> If your unit kills the opponent, you gains 4 additional Favor; if the killed entity is a city, this increases to +10.
> If your unit dies, you lose 2 Favor; if the "killed" entity is a city, this increases to -5.
Note that units inside a city that are auto-destroyed when it's captured do NOT count towards favor.
> All of the above are added together. If one of the two units involved was a Myth unit or a Hero, multiply the above by 1.5; if BOTH are Myth units or Heroes, multiply by 2.0 instead.
> If your opponent is a Barbarian or City-State, you only gain half the usual Favor.
> This number is then multiplied by x1, x2, or x3 depending on your Pantheon. The Aztec and Norse pantheons generate the most Favor from battles, while the Shinto and Sumerian pantheons generate the least.
> Battle Favor is divided amongst your cities based on the inverse of the distance the fight occurred from each (plus 1, to prevent division-by-zero errors). If you have two cities, one 4 hexes away from the battle site and one at a distance of 9, then 2/3rds of the Favor will apply to the nearer city and 1/3rd to the farther. As a result, your small border cities generally acquire Battle Favor the fastest.
> Within each city, every focus you've unlocked gets an equal share of the resulting Favor, regardless of whether it's a Primary, Secondary, or Minor focus. A Focus is considered to be unlocked even if you have not yet acquired a Shrine in that city.
> Nuclear weapons generate no Favor.
> Other than Hero or Myth status, no promotions or abilities increase or decrease the amount of Favor generated.
> Combat damage dealt or prevented through Unit special abilities (such as Damage Reduction, Trample, Critical Strike, or the Fire 4 effect) do not affect the amount of generated Favor.
> Damage dealt or healed at the start of a turn through Building abilities (Storms or Healing temples) or persistent Unit abilities (Poisoned, Diseased) generate no Favor.

Building Favor: Many buildings generate a constant flow of Favor each turn. The amount might not be large compared to other methods, but it is consistent and requires no ongoing labor disruption, making it a valuable source of Favor for all players.
> As long as the mythological period is still in effect, the following changes to existing Buildings and Improvements are made:
Monument: instead of 2 Culture, it generates 1 Culture and 1 Favor. As these are the only altered building in the Ancient Era, monuments will be critical to your early Favor generation.
Temple: adds 1 less Culture and adds 2 Favor. If you're not using my other mods to rebalance buildings, then the Temple will go from +3 Culture to +2 Culture and +2 Favor. If you ARE using the Empire mod, then it will generate +1 Happiness and 2 Favor.
Monastery: adds 2 less Culture and adds 2 Favor. If you're using the Empire mod, then this will be a bit awkward, since it'll now subtract 2 Culture, as the base rate was dropped to zero to balance the +1 Happiness. However, since you can't build this without a Wine or Incense present, each of which adds +2, you'll never actually lose Culture.
Colosseum: adds 1 less Happiness and adds 2 Favor. Note that if you're not using the Empire mod, the Colosseum goes from 2 Happiness to 1 Happiness and 2 Favor. The Empire mod increases the base Colosseum happiness to 3, and the Theocracy policy adds another +1 as well.
Palace: adds 1 less Culture and adds 1 Favor. (Plus the usual other stuff.) If you're not using my other content mods, the Palace would go from 1 Culture to 0 Culture and 1 Favor. This might be a problem, so a +1 Culture bonus for the Palace is included in the Base mod for now, along with the general policy cost curve change.
> Several early World Wonders and National Wonders now also produce Building Favor at the cost of up to half their Culture. This list includes the Heroic Epic, Circus Maximus, National Epic, Stonehenge, Great Lighthouse, Pyramids, Colossus, Angkor Wat, Hagia Sophia, Taj Mahal, Sistine Chapel , Oracle, and Notre Dame.
> All of the above Favor modifiers are multiplied by x1, x2, or x3 depending on Pantheon. The Egyptian and Shinto pantheons generate the most Favor from buildings, while the Hindu and Norse generate the least.
> Favor generated this way improves all religious buildings within that city. The fraction allocated to each Focus will depend on its current Growth rate from technologies, so the Primary will get the largest share, followed by the Secondary, with each Minor focus unlocked getting the smallest shares.

Priest Favor: All religious buildings have a slot for a Priest specialist. The amount of Favor generated is larger than the other methods, but requires allocating a tile worker to the Priest slot, giving it a high ongoing opportunity cost.
> Each Priest adds +1 to Happiness, and generates 3 Favor, 1 Food, and 1 Culture. Because I've reduced the base Happiness you get and increased the rate at which population adds Unhappiness, you'll need to use these often, which will invariably slow down your cities' production. That's why they add a bit of Food; I wanted them to be a bit more growth-neutral than the more tangibly useful specialists.
> Except for Basilicae and the new National Wonders, every new religious building has a single Priest slot. Note that higher-rank buildings replace lower-rank ones, so you won't have both a Shrine and a Church within the same Focus providing multiple Priest slots. It'll still mean your cities will have far more Priest slots than any other specialist type.
> The amount of Favor generated is multiplied by x1, x2, or x3 depending on Pantheon. The Hindu and Sumerian pantheons generate the most Favor from Priests, while the Egyptian and Aztec pantheons generate the least.
> The Favor generated is purely used for the growth of that particular Focus' buildings, in that city. This means that Priest favor is the slowest to get started, because you can't generate it until you have at least a Shrine in that particular focus, but once you get past that hurdle it's the fastest to generate. Since it's not shared with other Foci, it's very tunable.
> To make Priests more desirable, their yields improve through several National Wonders; the National Epic, for instance, makes all Priests generate +1 Gold, in addition to its other effects. By the end of the Mythological Age, then, Priests would be your most desirable specialists even if they didn't add Happiness.

Great Person Improvements: the Academy, Manufactory, Customs House, Landmark, and Citadel each generate 1 less of their primary Yield (except for the Citadel) and add 2 Favor (again, except the Citadel, which only adds 1). This Favor is not multiplied by any Pantheon-specific multipliers, and is the same for all players. The Favor generated this way is split evenly between all Foci within all cities, does not depend on which city works the tile in question, and does not even depend on whether the tile is worked at all. Although you will never NOT work one of these, other than the Citadel; their yields, even with the -1, will never be lower than normal tiles. While I could figure out which city, if any, is actually working the tile, I didn't want to penalize the AI, as a Great Improvement could easily be swapped back and forth between two or more cities by a smart player.

It is impossible to naturally lose Favor, either Player or City, although each has caps and some Event options cost Favor. Player Favor is explicitly capped at 200 per population in your empire; you won't be able to unlock minor goods far too early, no matter how many ancient-era battles you get into. City Favor (the Favor applied to a specific Focus within a specific city) is also capped at the amount needed to progress one level beyond the current maximum; if your cities are currently limited to Churches (level 2, 300 Favor) in a Focus, then you can acquire up to 600 Favor in that Focus, as that would be the amount necessary to upgrade to a Cathedral. This extra stored favor will often be enough to immediately trigger an upgrade upon unlocking the next tier of buildings. Between the free Shrines you start with (or gain when a new god is added), the free Shrines in new cities, the Base Growth method, and the downgrades at the end of the Mythological Age, your Player Favor will almost never equal the sum of your City Favors. Note that the distribution of new Favor does not depend on which Foci are capped within a city; any Favor allocated to a Focus at its cap is lost.

EXAMPLE: I follow Inanna, the Sumerian goddess of Beauty and War. When someone says "make love, not war", my answer is "why not both?" The Sumerian Pantheon generates x3 Favor from Priests (meaning 9 per Priest), x2 from Buildings (2 per Monument, and Palace, 4 per Temple and Colosseum, and so on), and only x1 from Battles. I'm in the Medieval Era, which is pretty much the peak of the Mythological content; I've taken Monotheism and Theology, but nothing beyond that yet.
That means my Primary Focus, Beauty, caps at level 3 (3 in the capital) with a Growth rate of +6 (+8 in the capital).
My Secondary Focus, War, caps at level 2 (3 in the capital) with a Growth rate of +4 (+6 in the capital).
All Minor Foci cap at level 2 (2 in the capital) with a Growth rate of +3 (+5 in the capital). I currently follow three minor gods and am working towards unlocking a fourth.

In my capital, my Cathedral of Beauty earns 8 Favor each turn towards upgrading to a Basilica (even though it can't actually upgrade to one until I take the Conversion tech), my Church of War earns 6 Favor towards upgrading to a Cathedral (and it CAN upgrade once it gets enough Favor), and my other religions have one Church, one Shrine, and one with nothing; each of these three gain 5 Favor towards upgrading every turn, although the Church won't be able to upgrade until I take Heresy. Since you only need 100 Favor to create a Shrine, that last Focus won't take long to upgrade at all, especially if I'm in a war.
Next we go to Priest Favor. My Cathedral has a Priest slot, which I've filled, so that's another 9 Favor towards upgrading that Cathedral to a Basilica, but none of that helps the other Foci. The Church of War has a slot that I've filled, so it gets 9 as well; it'll upgrade faster than the Cathedral as a result. Of the remaining three Foci, I can't put priests into the one without a Shrine, but the other two each have a Priest slot that I haven't filled at the moment; once my Cathedral upgrades it'll free up one Priest (as Basilicae have no Priest slots) who can then be used in another Shrine. (In other words, you can shift which buildings upgrade quickly by changing which Priest slots are used, especially if you follow a Priest-heavy Pantheon. Basilicae have no Priest slots because they have no use for more Favor.)
Then we have Building Favor. In my capital, I might have 17 Favor per turn being generated by all of my buildings and Great Improvements, but this will be split between the Foci. 4.5 will go to my Primary, 3.5 to my Secondary, and 3.0 to each of the three Minors. This is noticeably less than the base growth rate, but remember that Base Favor doesn't count towards unlocking new gods and such, while the other three varieties of favor DO count on that global scheme and so are inherently more valuable.
Finally, consider Battle Favor. In a typical melee-on-melee fight, I'll generate ~20 Favor as each unit takes ~4-8 damage and I might kill the opposing unit in the process. This will be split between my various cities based on distance, so only 2 of it might go to my capital, with more going to my fringe cities. Those 2 points would be split evenly between the five Foci I've unlocked, for 0.4 per focus per fight in the capital. Obviously, this is not a large amount, but if I'm in a late-game war then there might be five or ten fights happening in a single turn, and I DID pick a Pantheon with the lowest Battle Favor generation; a Norse or Aztec god would get three times that amount per fight, to where even small skirmishes generate significant bursts of Favor. Also, note the geographic part; while Priest and Building Favor are usually largest in your core, developed cities that have population to spare, Battle Favor mostly generates near your smaller border towns, so this is a quick way to build up the Shrines in newly-founded cities; if 10 out of the 20 Favor points are going to a new town, and I have three Minor gods, then that's 2 City Favor per Focus per fight; again, the Norse or Aztec would get three times that much, so the amounts add up quickly.

This mod adds 15 new technologies to the early eras. Each generally modifies two statistics: level caps and growth rates. The level cap is simply the maximum level, from 1 to 4, that you can have for a religious building; if a city is at the cap it will continue to accrue a limited amount of Favor, but will not upgrade into a higher form of building unless the cap is raised. The level cap is often 1 higher in your capital, depending on which technologies you've gained; if a tech says Capital then it only boosts the level by 1 within the capital, and if it says Non-Capital then everything other than the capital increases by 1.
The growth rate is simply a constant amount of Favor that each religious building gets each turn; each Focus' buildings evolve separately from the others. Like the maximum level, this Base Favor rate will almost always be higher in the capital.

Agriculture: Primary, Secondary, and Minor maximum level equal 1, and all three Growth values start at 1.*
* - While normal cities start at level 0 (no bonus) and have to grow to level 1 (Shrine), your capital begins the game with Shrines in both your Primary and Secondary Foci. Similarly, whenever you add a Minor God, one city gains a free Shrine; the city chosen will be the one with the fewest total religious buildings. Note that religious buildings can continue to accumulate Favor once they reach a new level, up to the amount needed for the next building in the chain, so adding a technology that increases maximum levels will often result in an immediate upgrade of your buildings, at least within your capital.

Mysticism: Primary Growth +1, and all three Growth rates increase by 1 in your capital.
Spirituality: Primary Capital +1, Primary Growth +1, the Pyramids were moved here, and the level 1.5 Pantheon units unlock..
Mythology: Secondary Capital +1, Secondary Growth +1. I've also moved the Heroic Epic here (which now gives you at least 1 Minor Hero unit at all times, in addition to its old effect).
Shamanism: Minor Capital +1, Minor Growth +1, and unlocks the Oral Tradition national wonder (adds up to 1% tech steal chance, all non-Myth units trained in this city get +10% vs. Myth units, destroyed at Enlightenment)

Polytheism: Secondary Non-Capital +1, Secondary Growth +1, the Oracle was moved here.
Priesthood: Primary Non-Capital +1, Primary Growth +1, the Temple was moved here, and the minimum Primary level is now 1.
Hierarchy: Primary Capital +1, Primary Growth +1, the Hanging Gardens was moved here, and the level 2.5 Pantheon units unlock.
Rituals: Minor Non-Capital +1, Minor Growth +1, and the National Epic was moved here.
Philosophy: All three Growth rates increase by 1 in your capital.

Monotheism: Primary Non-Capital +1, Primary Growth +1. I've also moved the Hagia Sophia here.
Theology: Secondary Capital +1, Secondary Growth +1, and the minimum Secondary level is now 1.
Conversion: Primary Capital +1, Primary Growth +1, the Garden was moved here, and unlocks the State Religion national wonder (+1 Happiness per 2 Policies, this city generates +25% Great People while all other cities get -25%, destroyed at Enlightenment).
Chivalry: Secondary Non-Capital +1, Secondary Growth +1.
Machinery: Secondary Growth -1.
Physics: Primary Growth -1.
Heresy: Minor Capital +1, Minor Growth +1, the level 3.5 Pantheon units unlock, and this unlocks the Crusade national wonder (makes your units better against Myth units and adds a combat bonus in foreign lands; destroyed at Enlightenment)
Apostasy: Secondary Capital +1, Secondary Growth +1, and this tech adds the Inquisition national wonder (gives normal units an extra bonus against enemy Myth units; unlike the others, this is NOT removed at the Enlightenment).
Education: All three Growth rates decrease by 1 in your capital.

Iconoclasm: All three Growth rates increase by 1, Minor minimum level is now 1, Notre Dame was moved here
Steel: Minor Growth -1.
Reformation: Minor Capital -1, and the Enlightenment Project unlocks; this project is what ends the Mythological Era, removing all of the inherent penalties but destroying all of your religious buildings and mythological units.
Deism: Minor Non-Capital -1. I've also moved the Sistine Chapel here.
Chemistry: Primary Growth -1.
Metallurgy: Secondary Growth -1.
Archaeology: Minor Growth -1.
Scientific Theory: All three Growth rates decrease by 1 in your capital.

Screenshots are below.
The goal of this layout is to make a natural progression, with religion becoming more and more important as time goes on. By the time you get to the Medieval, a major part of your empire's bonuses and powerful units will come from the god you worship. But then things start to get difficult; the push to go monotheistic adds a little bit of power through your major god, but once you enter the Renaissance, even religious techs reduce the minor gods to the point that they're far less useful. Favor rates start to slow down, penalties against your religion start to build up, and Myth units begin to be overshadowed by gunpowder weapons. Eventually, you'll hit a point where there's no real choice but to end the Mythological age, sever your connection with your god, and move on to eras dominated by a more mundane industrial lifestyle.


Unlike the Ascension mod, most Units in the Mythology mod do not unlock at specific technologies. Instead, most unlock through specific Focus-related buildings, or are awarded through Events. The list of unlocked units is far too large to be posted here, but the new characteristics not found in the core game are listed below. This mod adds two basic categories of Unit: Myth units and Hero units.

Myth Units are an entirely new combat class, containing mythological equivalents of every other combat class. Myth units are very strong, with high Strength ratings or movement abilities and an array of powerful, often unique special attacks and defenses. To make up for this, Myth units gain no XP from military buildings, do not benefit from promotions awarded by Buildings, Wonders, or Policies (with a few notable exceptions, such as the temples of the Darkness Focus), and will disappear at the end of the Mythological Age. Every Myth unit has at least one ability unavailable to their mundane counterparts, whether it's flight, regeneration, or something more exotic. All Myth units are limited in number; the most powerful Myth units are limited to 1 per empire, but even their weaker counterparts cannot be built more than a half-dozen or so times.
Myth units are built normally in cities, except that they can never be purchased or rushed. Some can be awarded through specific Events as well, which can exceed the per-empire cap.

These units unlock through three distinct methods.
> Most Myth units unlock through specific Focus buildings, so a Shrine of Animals will unlock the ability to produce Nemean Lions and Fenris Wolves, while the Church of Animals upgrades this to produce Manticores and Scarabs, a Cathedral of Animals unlocks Hydras and Griffons, and so on. Each of these levels is exclusive; as your religious buildings upgrade, each city will lose the ability to produce the weaker, cheaper Myth units as it unlocks the more powerful units. Note that the units too weak to be produced in your capital city will usually be available in at least one of your smaller towns, and any Focus that provides Myth units at a given level will also provide even better Myth units at all higher levels.
> Each Pantheon also unlocks three to four distinct Myth units at certain technologies. These Myth units are available to all gods within a Pantheon and do not depend on the level of the religious buildings in each city. Power-wise, they fall between the four Focus tiers (and so, their tiers are referred to as 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5), making them generally worse than the units you gain from your Primary and Secondary Foci but better than the ones gained from any minor gods.
Note that while most Pantheons have three unique Pantheon Myth units, the Norse and Egyptian pantheons add a fourth Pantheon unit primarily designed to kill Myth units (the Hersir and Pharaoh, respectively), to make up for their lack of other powerful anti-Myth bonuses. While unlocked in similar ways, these extra units are not treated as Myth units.
> Finally, Myth units can occasionally be awarded through Events, depending on your choice of action. While some events will depend on your pantheon, deity, or alignment choices, many creatures will be available through these events that would otherwise be unavailable to you. Most Events cannot award the top tiers of Myth units, but many Events provide multiple weaker units or allow you to purchase a strong Myth unit by sacrificing something of comparable value.

Myth units possess a variety of abilities not selectable by mundane units. These include:
Regeneration: The unit heals some or all of its damage each turn, regardless of its actions.
Trample: When attacking, each enemy unit adjacent to the defending unit takes 1 damage, but for each unit hurt this way the trampling unit's strength is reduced by 10%. Note that this could cause the unit to die in a fight that pre-combat estimates said was survivable.
Healing Aura:: When attacking, each friendly unit adjacent to the attacking unit heals 1 damage, but for each unit healed this way the attacking unit's strength is reduced by 10%.
Teamwork: This unit gains +20% when adjacent to friendly units.
Loner: This unit gains +20% when NOT adjacent to friendly units.
Damage Reduction: This unit takes 1 less damage in every combat. Technically, it heals 1 damage at the end of any combat where it took damage. So a unit at 1 HP that takes a 1-point attack will still die, even though this would normally be offset by the healing.
Stun: When a unit is damaged by this unit, it gains the "Stunned" effect. At the start of its next turn, the stunned unit loses all movement points and the effect is removed.
Venom: When a unit is damaged by this unit, it gains the "Poisoned" effect. At the start of each turn, a poisoned unit takes 1 damage, and has a 50% chance of curing the poison. Note that the chance to cure comes AFTER the damage is dealt; all Poisoned units will take at least 1 damage from the effect.
Disease: When a unit is damaged by this unit, it gains the "Diseased" effect. At the start of each turn, a diseased unit has a 1 in 3 chance of taking 1 damage, and a 1 in 6 chance of curing the disease. These outcomes are exclusive. As long as the disease persists, the unit's self-healing is reduced by 1 point.
Spawn: When this unit kills a non-Myth unit, the owner has a chance (based on the relative strengths of the units) of gaining a new unit of a certain type, weaker than the original. As in, when a Zombie Horde kills a Swordsman, the Zombie Horde's owner has a good chance of getting a free Zombie; the Zombie is somewhat weaker than the original Horde and lacks the Spawn ability. A Vampire Master fighting the same Swordsman would have a considerably lower chance of spawning a new Vampire.
Note that many of these are also given to various mundane units in the Ascension mod, which takes place long after the Mythological Age ends.

Some Myth units will also begin with promotions available to mundane units through other religious buildings, most of which normally do not affect Myth units. There are dozens of custom abilities given to Myth units, making them invaluable parts of your army. Several Myth units (such as the Unicorn, Nemesis, and all of the Darkness units) gain additional bonuses when fighting other Myth units; this allows them to fill the same "counter-Myth" role as Hero units, as well as being much harder to kill when attacked by an opponent's Myth forces. Finally, a small number of units (such as the Phoenix) have unique abilities not indicated by promotions. See the units' help text for more information. If Firaxis ever removes the limitation on number of promotions, I'll create custom promotions to control these abilities.

Hero Units are the counterpart to Myth units. Unlike the Myth units, all Heroes are part of one of the existing combat classes (Melee, Archer, Naval, etc.) except that they are stronger than their mundane counterparts, require no maintenance, and require no strategic resources. More importantly, every Hero also gets a significant bonus against all Myth units; they're effectively the counter to the enemy's heavier Myth forces. Heroes cannot be trained, and do not generate Great General points. Only the Justice Focus explicitly improves Hero units, but they gain most abilities granted to mundane units of their types as well. That is, if you have a Wonder or Policy that gives all Archer units an attack bonus, then this bonus will apply to any archer Heroes as well.
Hero units are divided into two groups: Minor and Major Heroes.

Minor Heroes are generic, unnamed units designed to counteract your enemies' early Myth units. There are four types, corresponding to the four mundane unit chains of the early eras (swords, spears, archers, horsemen), and it is possible to have multiple Minor Heroes of each type. Once you build the Heroic Epic you will always have at least one Minor Hero, with a randomly selected one appearing in your capital if your existing Minor Heroes all die, and one moderately common (and repeatable) Event awards you your choice of Minor Hero. Minor Heroes begin at level 2 (with 10 XP, regardless of whether your cities have Barracks or not), have the same base strength as comparable mundane units, but begin with three promotions: either Drill I or Shock I, a single randomly selected mundane promotion requiring either of those two, and the Hero promotion to fight Myth units.
The Egyptian and Sumerian Pantheons also give extra bonuses to newly-created Minor Heroes, making them a more important part of those Pantheons' warfare.

There are 4 Minor Heroes, not Pantheon-specific or alignment-dependent: a Swordsman, a Horseman, an archery-type unit that falls between the Archer and Crossbowman in power, and a spear-type unit that falls between the Spearman and Pikeman in power. While they cannot upgrade like their normal counterparts would, their extra abilities will keep them useful well into the Medieval Era.

Major Heroes are one-of-a-kind named units, unique to a Pantheon; only four Pantheons have any of these. With the sole exception of the Hindu Avatar unit, they are ONLY obtainable through the rare "High" Events (the rarity of which depends on your Alignment, and each of which can only occur once per game). You can not have more than one Major Hero of each type, ever.
These units are noticeably stronger than their mundane counterparts, with base strengths substantially above the baseline for their unit types. They start at level 3 (with 30 XP), and begin with Drill 1 or Shock 1, two other predetermined promotions, and the Hero promotion.

Hero units cannot upgrade to more technologically advanced units, so eventually they won't be worth keeping around. In the later eras, you will unlock promotions, Projects, and Wonders that will allow your mundane units to fight Myth units more effectively, greatly reducing the need for Heroes. By the time you start the Enlightenment, most Myth units will be noticeably weaker than their mundane counterparts, and once you reach the technology for rifles even the strongest Myth units become obsolete. But in the early eras, they can completely dominate the military game.

The number of Major Heroes you get, and their exact power levels, will depend on your choice of Pantheon. The Greek Pantheon gets eight Major Heroes, each of which is somewhat stronger than a mundane unit, while Sumerians have four Major Heroes, each of which is significantly more powerful than its Greek counterparts but which have other drawbacks. The Norse Heroes are similar to the Greeks in power, while the Hindu Avatar is by far the most powerful Major Hero in the game, not only in terms of raw strength but in its special abilities (respawns in your capital when killed, starts with extra promotions depending on your choice of deity). The Aztec, Shinto, and Egyptian Pantheons have no Major Heroes, making up for this lack in other ways.

Once the player completes the Enlightenment, all Myth units and Heroes will begin to spontaneously disband, awarding the player Gold and Research based on the value (including experience) of the unit. When the Enlightenment process completes, any remaining units of these types will disband; additionally, any promotions awarded through religious buildings will also be removed from units, and certain religious National Wonders will be destroyed. Note that a promotion will be removed even if those promotions were selected through mundane means. That is, if you worshiped a God of Healing (whose Church effect includes giving newly-trained units the Medic promotion), any units with Medic will lose that promotion even if they selected it through Experience.
In the long term the solution is to create custom promotions that give the same effects, so that it'd be easier to strip the religious promotions without harming the ones gained normally. But until the developers raise the promotion limit, that's not possible. I'll try to make the logic that strips the promotions more intelligent, but there's not a lot to work with.
Most persistent Event effects also disappear at the Enlightenment, although not all. A player who has come to depend on these religious bonuses might have a hard time during the transition period, but overall it should be a relief to return to a more mundane game environment.


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Beyond the specifics mentioned above, this mod has a few notable mechanisms to discuss.

The Start:
At the start of each game, you select the central deity of your personal pantheon. No other civilizations will be allowed to follow your primary deity, although those that pick another Major god within the same Pantheon will still be able to add your deity as a Minor god (and vice versa); a major god added this way gains only that god's primary Focus. Note that the player always picks first, and so will have all 28 choices. Unless you disable the Historical Bias flag in the setup screen, the AIs have a 50% chance of choosing a random major god within the pantheon historically linked to their civilization. This choice of central deity has a number of effects; each Pantheon has a different set of Favor multipliers, different High Events, unique Pantheon-specific Myth units and anti-Myth bonuses, and your particular choice of central god not only determines your two strongest Foci (with no two gods using the same two Foci), it also determines which seven Foci you can never gain (four banned Foci per Pantheon, plus the three Secondary Foci for the major gods you didn't select.) This results in a wide variety of play experiences, with multiple deity options that fit any player's personality.

Additionally, civilizations in the Mythological Age suffer significant penalties to Production, Gold, and Research, and Food production. The penalties increase with Era, and these all combine to make cities develop more slowly. Culture also suffers indirectly as most of the early Culture-generating Buildings have been altered to generate Favor instead (mentioned earlier). Happiness is similarly reduced; in the Ancient Era each population adds 6% more unhappiness, and later Eras either increase this by an additional 6% (Classical and Renaissance) or reduce the Happiness generated by each luxury good by 1 (Medieval and post-Renaissance). While this Happiness reduction sounds crippling, remember that Priest specialists (one of the best ways to generate Favor) also add +1 Happiness to your empire; using a Priest means one less worked tile, which compounds the yield penalties mentioned above, although they generate a small amount of Food and Culture to help offset this. I'm still trying to get the AI to use Priests, but the goal is to have about half of your Priest slots be filled at all times.

Periodically throughout the Mythological Age, Events will occur. Unlike the non-interactive Events in the Empire mod, these will always allow you to choose one of four resolutions, each with its own effects. Each choice is tied to one of the four directions on the Mandala; in addition to any tangible effects of these Events, you will move one space on the Mandala in the appropriate direction.

For example, an Event might tell you that a group of wild Manticores is rampaging through your countryside, terrorizing the villagers. Your options would consist of:
1> Kill the creatures, to protect your peasantry. (Get a free Hero unit, and +1 Lawful)
2> Encourage the creatures, to keep your soldiers on their toes. (All soldiers gain 5 XP, and +1 Chaotic)
3> Capture them and attempt to breed them for your own use. (Get two free Manticores, and +1 Material)
4> Ignore them, because you have more important universal truths to ponder. (Research boost, and +1 Ephemeral)

Events like this might trigger brief Golden Ages, provide Gold, add custom promotions to units, provide free units, and so on. The intent is that these should come up randomly, averaging about once every ~10 turns or so, but never within less than 5 turns of each other, on Standard speed. Exact numbers are subject to playtesting. Many of the more valuable options will have a cost, like losing 100 Favor to gain a very powerful Myth unit, having a grassland turn to desert to gain a free tech, or sacrificing a randomly selected military unit to gain a permanent +2 Happiness in your empire.

Most Events are tied inherently to a specific alignment; players in the appropriate area of the Mandala will see those Events more often than someone who is on the opposite side, and vice versa for Events with the opposite alignment. An Event will explicitly say which alignments, if any, it is tied to, which will help the player decide whether it's time to move to a new area of the grid. Events are also divided into three categories based on rarity and power: Low, Medium, and High.
Low Events are fairly common, with an average of a 2% chance of triggering each turn and no event can trigger more than once every 20 turns. There are 5 of these; their effects are fairly small and simple, and provide instantaneous rewards such as food, gold, or free low-level units. Low Events will be the main source of Alignment changes, as each choice will adjust your position on the Mandala.
Medium Events are less common, averaging a 1% chance per turn, and no one event can trigger more than once every 40 turns. There are 8 of these, with significantly stronger effects than the Low Events. Many of the effects are persistent until the Enlightenment, and can include more powerful units such as Minor Heroes or mid-tier Myth units.
High Events are rare; while these average the same 1% chance per turn as the Medium Events, these can never repeat within a single game and will not trigger until you reach the Classical Era. Two High Events are common to all pantheons and provide powerful bonuses; each Pantheon then adds 4-8 custom Events, generally providing Major Heroes and high-end Myth units.

The Enlightenment:
Upon researching the Reformation Technology, a player can begin the Enlightenment (a Project). Upon its completion, several effects occur:
> Religious buildings begin to downgrade, at the rate of 100 local Favor lost per Focus per turn. It is remotely possible that you could gain more than 100 Favor in a turn and hold off this downgrade indefinitely, but it's extremely unlikely, especially as non-Priest Favor will be split between many Foci. Generally speaking, it'll take about a dozen or so turns to completely degrade to zero on Standard speed.
As each building downgrades you will lose some of the effects you've been depending on, but to compensate you will be awarded a small amount of Culture and Golden Age progress per building lost.
> Mythological units and Hero units will also begin to disappear, spontaneously removing themselves from your control. As each disbands you will gain some Gold and Research per unit lost, depending on its value and experience. Once all religious buildings are gone, any remaining Myth and Hero units will disappear, the Mythology penalties mentioned above will vanish, and many Favor-generating Buildings (such as the Temple) will return to their original effects.

Between the culture, research etc., you should find yourself advancing quickly as the Mythological Age ends, possibly gaining a tech or two, a couple policies, and a Golden Age within just a few short turns. Because of the penalties inherent to remaining in the Mythological Age, it's really in your best interests to do this once you get to the point where you have Musketmen and such. While you can choose to delay this process indefinitely, there's little benefit in doing so as mundane yields will quickly outpace those provided by the gods, and rifles will easily destroy the strongest Dragons.

The Mandala:
The Mandala is the "alignment" game board on which the entire Mythology system is based. All Deities, Events, and Foci are measured along two axes: Lawful-vs-Chaotic, and Material-vs-Ephemeral. There is no Good-vs-Evil axis. No one Focus is inherently good or evil across all pantheons; a god of Death might be a tormentor in one pantheon but a honorable judge in another, and while Fire gods were often malicious, the Sun gods that shared the same specialty were often benevolent creators or protectors.
Lawful beliefs represent both the laws of man and the laws of nature; predictable, orderly foci follow this axis.
Chaotic beliefs do not inherently imply destruction; chaos also means freedom from the rigid laws of man, and the flexibility for nature to find new paths.
Material beliefs focus on the power of the mundane world, whether it's the raw strength of nature or the fertility of your citizens.
Ephemeral beliefs concentrate on the hidden world of thought and magic, including the afterlife, as well as the less visible natural forces.

The Mandala is available through a new popup; this window can be in triggered multiple ways, including clicking on the Favor meter on the top of the screen or through a pulldown in the upper-right corner menu. Besides showing your deity, the available minor deities, and so on, this screen also shows you the current Favor values in each of your cities, as well as a comparison of the Favor generated by each major empire. This is the primary interface for the Mythology mod, so you should check this window periodically.
NOTE: The values displayed in the Mandala update often, but it's possible that the values seen when you enter the screen will be slightly outdated if you've avoided any of the update triggers. Clicking any of the buttons in this window or on any Foci will refresh the display.

Your initial position on this grid will depend on your Major god's particular Foci, with his Primary Focus counting more than his Secondary. This Alignment can shift in several ways during the game; every time you add a new Minor god, your position on the grid will shift slightly, and your choices during the random Events will each move you one space on the grid as well.
Your current position on the Alignment grid defines which Minor gods are available to be added to your Pantheon at the present time; add too many Chaotic gods and make mostly Chaotic choices, and your only options will be Chaos-oriented gods. The powerful Foci with the most straightforward effects (the first two groups) require traveling well away from the center of the Mandala, while staying near the center tends to give a wider variety of interesting choices. There is really no wrong choice; nearly any path will result in a viable pool of half a dozen minor gods over a typical game, with varying benefits. It's often simply a question of personal taste or the needs of the moment.
A player who accumulates enough empire-wide Favor to add a new god may choose to do so at any time; you are not required to pick a minor god at the earliest possible moment, and it is possible that due to your choices on various events that your current position would allow no new gods at that moment. The AI will add a new minor god at the earliest possible opportunity, however; if there are no valid choices at its current position, it will attempt to move towards the nearest location that does allow for a new minor god.

Attached are two screenshots of the Mandala. (These were made using a simple plotting program, the final versions will be much more interesting to look at.) A more resolved version of the second plot (the one with the names of Foci available at each point) is included in the Player Pack, to help players get an idea of the best directions to go, but it should give a rough idea of where the best areas are.

Generally speaking, there are nine "optimal" regions on the grid, places where the highest number of choices are generally available. These fall into three groups: the origin ([0,0] and the 12 points within 2 spaces of it), the four distant axes ([0,5] to [0,8] and the similar analogues on the other axes), and four small diagonal clusters ([3,4], [4,4], [4,3] and their mirrors). The number of choices at each location will heavily depend on your particular Pantheon and the choices you've made so far; eventually, the mod will give recommendations at each Event and Minor god choice designating which options take you towards the nearest concentration of Foci, as these are the choices the AI prefers to make.

To read this plot, the important thing to note is that the first two groups are Foci that are OUTSIDE certain red and blue lines (the thickest ones), while the remaining groups are all unlocked INSIDE the appropriate lines. So if you go to the intersection of points at (0,+4.5), the blue lines heading slightly downwards to either side are the boundary of the Fertility focus; anywhere above those two lines is a point where you can add a Fertility god. Similarly, if you go to the intersection at (+1.5,+1.5) and look at the two thick reddish-orange lines heading away from that point, the Water focus will be available anywhere outward of those two lines. In-game, clicking on a Focus highlights the part of the mandala that allows that particular choice, so it'll be easier to see once you get into the game.


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How hard would it be to mod in additional Pantheons, if one wanted to? Theoretically, and not looking at balance, atm.
Glad you asked. The answer is "almost no work, as long as you don't care about the balance." As long as you didn't intend to add any entirely new Foci to the existing 21, there's really not much to it:

1> Pick your 13 deities and assign them 17 Foci. This was actually the hardest part; I'd examined several other pantheons and tried to see how they'd allocate, and invariably the biggest problem was in just finding 13 deities that didn't overlap too much. I went through half a dozen Native American pantheons; Inuit, Navajo, and Sioux came closest to working for the North American tribes, and while I could have added the Maya, they felt too similar to some of the others. I also examined a few others like Yoruba (Nigeria), and few had nearly enough material to work with. I was really tempted to just make up a generic Native American-inspired pantheon with purely animal totems, but the Shinto okami ended up working well at that sort of thing anyway.

2A> Add one entry in the Pantheons table. This one only has the Favor generation multipliers, the text keys, and the icon definition.
2B> Add 13 entries in the Deities table. It's pretty short, mainly just a few text keys, an icon definition, a boolean flag for whether this is a major god or not, and one or two Focus names.

3> Fill out a bunch of text keys; I think it's 4 for the Pantheon, and 3 for each deity, but I might be off on that one. Most of those are really optional; you don't HAVE to write out a long civilopedia entry for each god if you don't feel like it.

4> Add the appropriate 14 icons, one per deity and one for the pantheon (preferably a group picture of some kind if you can manage it, or something distinctly related to them, like a picture of Mount Olympus for the Greeks); I'm still working out how many sizes of icon you'd need, but figure 256, 64, and 45 at the absolute minimum. I might also need an 80 for the four major gods, but I haven't finalized the interface yet.

That's it.

There MIGHT be something in the Lua code I've written for picking deities that hard-codes the total number to 7, but I can fix that easily enough. Beyond that though, it's all automatic; all the data structures store is which Foci are available to you and which you've unlocked already, and that's all set at the start of the game. There are currently no god-specific abilities of any kind; everything's filtered through the 21 Foci, with the level 4 building (which is only buildable in your capital and only if the god in question is your central deity) generally being something thematically linked to that god. After all, if Odin is the only god who can ever reach level 4 in the Knowledge domain (he is), then there's really no reason not to make the Basilica of Knowledge have an effect related to him.


Now, that's all if you want to ignore balance. So here's the balance parts you're ignoring.

The reason I made seven pantheons is that there are only ten combinations of three whole numbers (integers greater than 0) that add to 6. (4,1,1) has three permutations, (3,2,1) has six, and (2,2,2) has one. Those numbers are the Favor multipliers (3/2/1 for six pantheons, and 2/2/2 for the Greeks). I felt the 4/1/1 combinations would be too crippling to the AIs, so that left seven unique combinations, meaning any new pantheon would necessarily duplicate the balance of an existing pantheon, unless I wanted to get into fractions. (Note: Originally there was no 2/2/2, which is why the original concept in the other thread listed six pantheons; when I moved the Greeks there, that left a gap, and after a bit of shuffling the Shinto fit into the open slot nicely.)

Second, there's the question of overlap on Foci. There are 21 Foci, and their distribution has a few rules I followed when setting this up:
1> Every pantheon has gods for the four elements. It's hard not to do this anyway, but trust me, the math works better if you guarantee it.
2> No pantheon can include two gods with the same Focus. Not debateable, it just won't work if you do this.
3> Every pantheon has four Foci that none of its gods can ever reach. (That's just a simple consequence of the math, 21-17 = 4.) This combination of four should not be the same as for any other pantheon, and no more than three pantheons drop any one Focus. (It's generally 1-2 missing each one.)
4> The Secondary foci for your pantheon's major gods will be off-limits unless you select that god, so in effect there are seven off-limits foci in every game, but which seven they are will be different for every god.
5> No two major gods have the exact same combination of Primary and Secondary, although a few are inverses of each other (where one god is Death/Darkness and another is Darkness/Death). It's better if you can come up with really unique combinations, like Beauty/War for Inanna; most of the obvious common combos are already taken by the first few pantheons on my list.
6> Every focus has at least one god with it as a Primary, but no more than two, with the sole exception of Death, which has three. (Seriously, nearly every pantheon has its god of death as a major entity. It was hard to avoid; some pantheons had up to a dozen distinct gods for the afterlife.)
7> Every pantheon should have at least one god that favors a warmongering playstyle (meaning foci like War and Fire) and one that favors a more peaceful builder philosophy (like Fertility and Crafts).
8> Unless you can't avoid it, you shouldn't give a major god two Foci from the same group. I've violated this a few times (Poseidon is Water/Earth, Ra is Animals/Plants) but it's a good rule because it prevents certain categories from being locked out too easily.
9> Unless you can't avoid it, you shouldn't give a major god two Foci that are oriented along the same axis. (This causes them to start so far from 0,0 that there's really only one optima they can move towards.) So if your Primary is a Chaotic focus, then the Secondary shouldn't also be chaotic. This is part of why the four elements are so important: they're diagonal movers and place you about halfway between the axial optima and the diagonal ones, but it's best to use perpendicular ones, like a Chaotic primary and a Material secondary.

Beyond that, I try to balance things, keeping roughly comparable numbers within each group of 4 for which foci get banned and which are primaries or secondaries. That is, there aren't substantially more or less pantheons with Plants gods than with Animals gods; for every one that drops one, there's a pantheon that drops the other. I managed this all in Excel, of course.
Sounds interesting, i've always loved playing AoM!

This is one area I could really use some suggestions in. I've got a large list of possible Myth units from Greek, Egyptian, and Norse lore, but not nearly as much for the others. Each Myth unit should involve one ability that normal units can't match; Medusae causing the attacked unit to miss a turn, a Hydra gaining a free promotion every time it fights instead of accruing XP, a Phoenix that respawns in your capital whenever it dies, a flying Dragon unit that can move across all terrain freely, and so on.

For the hindu pantheon, i'd suggest the erawan elephant (It was indra's mount, had lots of heads. Erawan is the thai name though, not sure if it's the same in hindu), nagas (giant sepents), garudas, and maybe vetalas.

heroes shouldn't be difficult though, there's a huge range to choose from in the Ramayana: Hanuman, Rama, Thotsakan (again, Thai name), etc.
So let me say something before the first version of this mod comes out (aiming for Friday): there are a few areas I REALLY need feedback in, and it'd be better if I could get some of these answered BEFORE I give you the mod.

1> How many combats do you have in an average turn in the Ancient, Classical, and Medieval Eras? I don't mean how many combats per turn you're in a war, I mean how many PERIOD over the course of the first ~200 game turns. Any barbarian fights, any fights against other empires, and so on.
See, my big concern about Battle Favor is the balance; if I make the numbers too large then it really, really encourages Aztec or Norse followers to stay in a perma-war environment and just rack up the points. On the other hand, if I make them too small then it's too hard to "jump-start" the system and get to Shrines in your fringe cities.

2> How many cities do you generally have at the end of each of the first three Eras?
Again, Battle Favor. If you have too many, then the Favor is split too many ways. Obviously this balance will change because of what I'm going to do to Happiness, Production, etc., but I'd like to get this ballparked.

3> How many minor gods would you WANT to add to a pantheon in a typical game?
And no, "as many as possible" is not an acceptable answer. If the number's too high, then there's really no distinctiveness any more, no real difference between one game and the next, but if the number's too low then you'll feel too constrained. Initially I'm aiming for ~4, but that can be tweaked.

4> Should any of the major Civ5 balance points be removed for this mod?
Realize that Civil Service, the tech that adds +1 to freshwater farms, doesn't come until you're more than halfway through this mod, and Astronomy is entirely after the end of this process. Some types of Improvement (like Lumbermills) don't unlock until you're well into the religious techs. In a typical game you go through the Ancient and Classical techs very quickly, but this mod will double the amount of time spent in those eras.
So all of your mythological gameplay will occur during a period where you're limited to your own continent and where non-resource tile yields are very weak. I'm actually using that as a reason to make Priests attractive; like the Empaths, Priests add to food as well as Happiness, so they aren't a huge resource drain. But it'd have a significant impact on the game.
I can very easily shift things around, such that some of these Improvement effects are moved to much earlier techs. But these sorts of changes would have far-reaching implications, so it's not something I'd consider lightly. For instance, if you can reach other continents well before the Renaissance, then it makes a BIG difference in your ability to trade for luxuries, make Research Agreements, and so on.

I live in a city called: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

I live in a city called: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula, but everyone just uses two of the words in the middle of that name and calls it L.A.
1. Not really sure, I sometimes wipe out the rest of my continent (if non-tsl or pangea) in the classical/medieval era. I don't really think that's a normal strategy, though. Of course, on the other hand, sometimes I play peaceful until the industrial.
2. A lot. I cram most of my cities in the earlier eras, so that they're well-built in later ones, unless I need a new resource.
3. I think that'd require actually playing to decide.
4. Not yet, see how that turns out.
1. Not really sure, I sometimes wipe out the rest of my continent (if non-tsl or pangea) in the classical/medieval era. I don't really think that's a normal strategy, though. Of course, on the other hand, sometimes I play peaceful until the industrial.

That does seem to be part of the problem. If you play on, say, Small Continents, then it's far tougher to have an early war, and you could easily get to the Industrial without having a single fight after a few early Barbarian skirmishes. That sort of thing could be crippling if you rely on battle-generated Favor to advance.

I'm trying to get an estimate of specific numbers, though, so the next time you play, just keep a running tally. Also try to keep track of how many points of damage each unit took during a typical fight.

2. A lot. I cram most of my cities in the earlier eras, so that they're well-built in later ones, unless I need a new resource.

I'm hoping that the changes I'll make to the Happiness system will mitigate that; I'm trying to make it VERY difficult to expand that quickly. If this causes you to only have 2 cities instead of 3 at the end of the Ancient, then there's less need for me to also add on a large penalty to research or growth; the Happiness would have done most of the work of slowing the game down for me. My goal is to make it take about twice as long to get through the first few Eras, and adding 14 techs will already have a big impact on that, but I also need to slow down how quickly your cities can grow or expand. On a Standard speed and a Small map, I generally take ~50 turns to get through the Ancient, ~50 to get through the Classical, and ~100 to get through the Medieval; I'm trying to bump those up to more like 100/150/150.

3. I think that'd require actually playing to decide.

Probably, but what I'm really getting at is this: if the Mythology mod has you being penalized in half a dozen ways compared to vanilla (Happiness penalties, research penalties, production penalties, gold penalties, growth penalties, culture penalties, and even military penalties), and you won't be able to quickly reach the techs and Wonders that would normally allow you to offset these, then how many of them should you be able to neutralize through your choices of gods? All of them, most of them, or only a small number of them?

Take happiness as an example. Everyone's starting off in a pretty deep hole, happiness-wise; you'll have less overall happiness, population will make you unhappy faster than before, and luxuries won't help very much. Sure, you can use Priest specialists to make up part of the difference, but every Citizen used as a Priest is one that's not working a tile. But then you add Aphrodite to your pantheon, and every city gets an extra point of Happiness or two. Suddenly, you're no longer fighting uphill against that penalty; there are still a half-dozen other penalties to deal with, but it's one fewer thing to worry about.

Same for other areas. If I give everyone a -25% research penalty, then this really cripples your technology gain unless/until you add a god of Knowledge. Do that, and now you're back at the baseline for research, or even ahead of the curve. If I give everyone a -25% production penalty, and a god of War gives you +25% military production with a level 2 building, then the penalty is effectively removed when building units. And so on.

So I guess the question is, should you ever be able to add so many minor gods to your pantheon that all of the penalties of being a religious civ are offset by god-given bonuses? To where the Enlightenment is something you just don't want to ever do? And how unique should a single game really be; should it be like the vanilla game, where you can follow the same basic playstyle regardless of which civ you play, or should it be more restrictive to where your choices of gods make two games very different?

And yes, I know that you can't definitively answer this until you actually play the mod. But I want people to be aware of the issue BEFORE they start playing, to have an idea in mind about what the pace should be, and to have an opinion about how pervasive the god bonuses should really be. Nearly everything in this mod is being build blindly; it's not like the AC mod where I had existing benchmarks for costs and strengths to go by. This mod is full of entirely new systems and I'm having to guess at balance; while I think I can do that fairly well by now, it's still likely to have major balance issues once I'm done.
1. between none and 20, i'm guessing, i don't go to war unless i'm DoWed on.
2. between 3 and 4
3. 9 sounds good (Why is Hephaestus a major god though?)
4. Nope

I live in a city called: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula, but everyone just uses two of the words in the middle of that name and calls it L.A.

Everyone just calls my city krung thep, but the official name is krung thep mahanakhon, foreigners call it bangkok.
1. between none and 20, i'm guessing, i don't go to war unless i'm DoWed on.

Just to be clear, I need exact numbers for as many games as possible. If the answer is "none, I didn't have any early wars and didn't see a single Barbarian in this game" then that's fine, but I need the actual numbers for exactly how many fights you had and how many turns it took to get out of those three eras. And yes, it'll depend on which civ you picked, what map type, and so on, but I'm trying to get the standard deviation of the range of values.

3. 9 sounds good (Why is Hephaestus a major god though?)

Not "how many should be in the full Pantheon", I'm asking "how many should you unlock the bonuses from in a single game by adding them to your PERSONAL pantheon". You will NOT get the bonuses from every god in the Pantheon, you'll only get bonuses from the small pool of gods you specifically unlock, and that'll be less than half of them. It's really not mathematically feasible to unlock more than 6ish, so the question is whether I should aim for 3, 4, 5, or 6.
As for Hephaestus, it's not a simple answer. In this specific case, you have to look at the rules I specified a few posts up for how pantheons are arranged. Specifically:
> Each Pantheon needed to have the same number of options for Major gods (I went with 4, although if it hadn't worked out I could have lowered this to 3)
> Each Pantheon needed to have at least one major god whose foci are combat-oriented and one whose foci are aimed towards "builder" playstyles. If I can cover other niches, even better, but those two are pretty essential.
> Each Major God had to be one that could be assigned two distinct Foci
> Each Pantheon needed to include gods, major or minor, for the four elemental Foci.

So look at the Greeks. Obviously, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon are the major gods, there's really no question. But none of those are particularly combat-heavy combinations. And the pantheon has to have a god of Fire; while I COULD have given that to Apollo as a sun god and had Heph be Crafts only, that wouldn't really leave anyone with the Art focus. And what other god in the Greek pantheon can be given two distinct specialties? The only ones even remotely close to that would be Apollo, Athena, and Hera. So I could make Apollo be Art/Fire, but that's an awkward choice and isn't really combat-oriented enough, or I could try to work something out with Athena, but beyond wisdom/knowledge, what would her other focus be? Her other specialty was war, which'd fit a niche I need, but I can't take that from Ares. So I'd either have to rework the system to add a second War-type Focus (which'd require removing something like Darkness or Storms, which wouldn't work well with the other pantheons), or screw the arrangement up even further. And Hera could mix Fertility with something else, but what other focus could she have that wouldn't cause even worse problems?
What really decided it was my desire to make the Greeks the "beginner" pantheon, which meant giving their major gods most of the foci from the first two groups, all the straightforward elemental and yield stuff. So I wanted Crafts or Fertility to be represented in the major gods, as well as Fire, and that really narrowed it to Heph.
On the "second War-type Focus" part, I'd actually originally had Honor as a focus instead of Darkness, to act as a second War-type option. But most pantheons had more Death gods than War gods, so I really had no choice in the end.

This sort of thing came up a lot; a lot of gods who ended up in the "major" category did so because of the fact that they'd mix several distinct specialties, instead of focusing on a single area like War. Look at the others:

Egypt was fine, since there's really no question that Ra, Isis, Osiris, and Set are the main four, and they're all multidimensional enough to be good choices. It required a little rearrangement; Osiris really should be Justice/Death, but I couldn't do that because Anubis needed to be Death. And Ra is a sun god, which'd normally imply something like Fire, but I needed that one for Bast and so I focused on Ra's "creator of all life" bit and made him Animals/Plants.

Norse had Odin, Loki, and Thor as clear choices. Frigg was the top among the female gods, but her inclusion was more because I needed a more defense-oriented choice, someone with enough range that I could justify a good 2-focus combination in the right areas. None of the other possibilities in Norse mythology really had that.

It's the same issue with the Sumerians. Anu, Enki, and Enlil were clearly the biggest gods, but it got fuzzy after that with another 4-5 possible major gods. I wanted a war-oriented god who had some other distinct specialty as well; Inanna fit perfectly, especially since it was hard to find any other major gods that would justify a Beauty focus in any way. The only other possibility for a major god was Utu, but he mixed all of the most common specialties (Sun god, justice, and death), so no matter what I did with him he'd overlap with the other pantheons.

The Aztecs were about the same; Quetzalcoatl probably wouldn't justify being a major god, except that everyone's heard of him because of the whole bit with the Spaniards, and it allowed me to add an Art-focused major god (and in a combat-oriented pantheon, to boot). I'll admit, I had a bit of fun picking from the minor Aztec choices; seriously, how can you NOT include a pantheon that has:
> A goddess of beauty/sexuality who is also explicitly the patron of female prostitutes
> A god of agriculture and feasting who's also the patron of homosexuals and male prostitutes
> A "healing" goddess of purification from filth, disease, or excess. (Think about that combination for a minute, in the context of the previous two entries. Yep, STDs, and she was the patron of adulterers.)
The Aztecs sounded like a fun bunch, other than that whole sacrifice thing. In the seven pantheons I wanted a range of philosophies, really, ranging from the aloof, eternal types to the more "worldly" gods, and the Aztecs really anchor one end of that spectrum.

The Shinto were just tough to work out. You could have made a lot of arguments for who was "major", but a few of the choices gave combinations I really wanted. Inari, for instance, is the kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry, and worldly success. That would justify a HUGE range of possible combinations, but the kicker is that many modern corporations in Japan focus on that "industry and worldly success" part and have shrines to her as their patron. So I made her Wealth/Animals.
A similar issue led to Hachiman's status; he was the kami of archery and war, which'd be pretty straightforward, but he was also worshipped by peasants as a god of agriculture and fishing. Since he's so widely worshipped, there was really no question of adding him. So I made him Plants/War; I really needed at least one major god with Plants as his primary focus, and the only other option for that was to flip Ra.
I'd also considered Uzume, but there were just too many overlapping foci.

Then there's the Hindu. If you're measuring "major" by number of followers, then you shouldn't have Brahma (and maybe Shakti?) on the list, but I wasn't going to split up the trimurti and it'd be hard to figure out who else to elevate. Again, I had to take some liberties with everyone's specialties and exactly which minor gods were included, but this was more about making a balanced game design than adhering to the actual mythologies.

Point is, it took a lot of shuffling around to get a 7-pantheon set that filled all of the niches I needed and didn't overlap or conflict too much. So if you see a god whose listed foci don't really match what you'd expect, or whose major/minor status seems odd, understand that it's not because I didn't know what I was doing. I'm not saying that these can't be adjusted, but there are a LOT of intricacies to changing the balance.
Just to be clear, I need exact numbers for as many games as possible.
I can't give you details unfortunately. I don't remember any, sorry..

Not "how many should be in the full Pantheon", I'm asking "how many should you unlock the bonuses from in a single game by adding them to your PERSONAL pantheon". You will NOT get the bonuses from every god in the Pantheon

Oh, in that case 4 is a good number, that'll give you 5 foci to choose from, and that's probably plenty.

Point is, it took a lot of shuffling around to get a 7-pantheon set that filled all of the niches I needed and didn't overlap or conflict too much. So if you see a god whose listed foci don't really match what you'd expect, or whose major/minor status seems odd, understand that it's not because I didn't know what I was doing. I'm not saying that these can't be adjusted, but there are a LOT of intricacies to changing the balance.
I'm not criticizing the decision to make Hephaestus a major god, I was simply wondering why did you chose him, which you've answered fully in your last post. I do understand that you need four major gods and of course for the Greeks the last would be a rather difficult pick.
Thoughts so far:

I really like the Foci system in general, but I worry about the math involved for the player. For example, the event system could be a lot of fun, but if I need to calculate the Material vs. Chaos vs. Ephemeral to play the focus I want to, the cool options matter less, and the resultant directional yield is all that I care about. If this turns into a scenario where having for option boxes listing "+1 Chaos, +1 Justice, +1 Material, +1 Ephemeral" gives the same results, then it could be more frustrating than fun.

Perhaps a system where if you fall out of the Mandala range for a certain god, favor accrues 50% slower?
I can't give you details unfortunately. I don't remember any, sorry..

I didn't mean that you should try to remember from old games. I'm asking that in your NEXT game, you write this stuff down, so that I can get some actual numbers to balance with.

Oh, in that case 4 is a good number, that'll give you 5 foci to choose from, and that's probably plenty.

Remember, your central deity adds two Foci. So four minors mean you'll have six types of bonus stacking together. Now, some of those might be things like Animals, which unlock lots of Myth units, or Storms, which damage anyone who attacks your empire, but most Foci are either yield-boosting or unit-boosting, so there's a practical limit to how many of them I want you to have.

I'm not criticizing the decision to make Hephaestus a major god, I was simply wondering why did you chose him, which you've answered fully in your last post.

I know, I just figured I should explain the logic I used. Now that it's posted, new folks will be able to understand why things are arranged the way they are.

Like I said, I COULD have used Apollo as the fourth god, or tried to shoehorn Athena or Hera into a workable combination. Heph just worked the best as the fourth god, in terms of playstyles, and based on comments in the last thread he seemed like he'd be a popular choice.

I'd actually expect more criticism about the choices in things like the Aztec pantheon, but everyone's just more familiar with the Greeks I suppose.
I really like the Foci system in general, but I worry about the math involved for the player

Generally speaking, the player shouldn't need to worry about the math. It's intended to be organic; if you started with a more Chaotic god, like say, Loki, then most of the minor gods you'll be offered will be Chaos-oriented gods. If you pick Chaotic choices for events, then this'll get even more pronounced, until the ONLY gods you're offered are Chaos gods; while these will include some very powerful options, you'll run out of choices a bit faster. Whereas, if you go against type and pick Lawful choices, then you can get to the point where you're offered a wider variety of choices, but have fewer of the brute-force Chaos foci available. And maybe you pick Material or Ephemeral choices instead, and get into an area where you're being offered most of the Chaos and most of the Ephemeral choices; it really just depends on what playstyle you want to use.

If this turns into a scenario where having for option boxes listing "+1 Chaos, +1 Justice, +1 Material, +1 Ephemeral" gives the same results, then it could be more frustrating than fun.

Funny you say that; I haven't coded in any actual events so far. Right now, there's only one event, and that's ALL it does: four options, where one option gives +1 Law, one option gives +1 Chaos, and so on. I'm trying to test the mechanism before I write up a bunch of events with additional effects. I've also got it triggering every turn at the moment, but that'll obviously change.

Perhaps a system where if you fall out of the Mandala range for a certain god, favor accrues 50% slower?

Maybe I wasn't clear on how this works. Once you choose to add a god, it's done; your position on the grid has no impact on his effects, or how fast Favor accrues for his temples. All it does is control which gods you'll be able to pick from the NEXT time you add a god, or possibly control which heroes you get when you gain a new hero (still working on that one). So you could pick a Chaos god at the start, and spend the next few hundred turns picking Lawful choices, and it wouldn't change the effectiveness of the chaotic gods' shrines or how fast they accrue Favor. Now, at one point I was looking at having promotions that made units stronger or weaker based on how far you are away from the civ you're fighting, but that will probably never happen. (Too hard to teach the AI.)

The point of the Mandala is just supposed to be that your choices of minor gods are always going to be somewhat limited, but exactly HOW they're limited can change over the course of a game based on your actions. I didn't want all twelve gods to be selectable at any one time, because that'd just be hopelessly confusing for players, as well as making things less fun (since you'd just always take whatever you thought the best combo would be). So let's say on turn 126 you gained enough Favor to add a second Minor god (having added a first one on turn 53); the game offers you a choice of Crafts, Plants, Art, Justice, and Balance. You pick Art. Then, 70 turns later you build up enough Favor to take another one, after taking some Ephemeral choices on events. But this time Crafts and Plants are no longer on the list, while Darkness and Beauty are now available. Still plenty of choices, but your options have shifted a bit based on your actions.

In the original AoM game, each time you wanted to add a minor god you were offered two choices, but there were actually three choices at each level, with one of the three banned based on your primary god. So Zeus might be offered Athena and Apollo as options for his first minor god, while Hades would pick between Athena and Hephaestus and Poseidon would pick between Apollo and Hephaestus. (Those weren't the actual choices, I just don't feel like looking it up.) To me, this was too absolute; Heph should never be COMPLETELY off-limits to Zeus followers, but it shouldn't be possible to have all three be available at any one time. And then, the AoM game did this three times, with the sets of three being separate. So if your Zeus-following empire picked Athena over Apollo, you could never go back and add Apollo as well; your next choice would always be between Hera and Dionysus. I wanted to change that as well.

I'm not saying that it might not be too complex a mechanism. Just that I don't want something nearly as absolute as the game I'm basing this on, and that means I need some other way of driving the selection process.

How are you planning on graphically representing all this? God headshots?

Also, thanks for the clear up on the Mandala thing! What it sounded like was that I could accidentally cripple myself by moving out of the mandala zone of my current gods. Sounds much better with that explanation.

By the way, I would love if after the Enlightenment, new religions became available like Christianity, Islam, etc. and a second system took hold. Obviously this would all be part of your Age of Man mod and not this sucker. Looking forward to this!
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