Suggestions for tweaking religion

The Pixie

Oct 28, 2016
Long time since I last posted here, but I have been playing a lot! I had some thoughts about tweaking religion. Doubt I will ever get around to actually creating a mod, so I thought I would throw this out there and I see what people think.

Where I am coming from here is that I do not like the religious victory. When playing, I generally do not bother with Holy Sites, and just check if another civ is getting close to victory occasionally. To some degree these changes makes a religious victory harder to achieve, but at the same time it gives you other reasons to develop religion.

[Slightly worried I may be betraying my ignorance of the existing mechanisms...]

The Old Ways

Once you have a pantheon, builders can spend a charge to create a "Henge" tile improvement. [Possibly limited to one per city?]

A Henge may be "Sacred", depending on placement and pantheon. A Sacred Henge gives +2 faith.

Dance of the Aurora: on tundra tile
Desert Folklore: on desert tile
Divine Spark: none
Earth Goddess: on tile with Charming or Breathtaking Appeal
Fertility Rites: none
Fire Goddess: on tile adjacent to Geothermal Fissures or on Volcanic Soil.
God of Craftsmen: on tile adjacent to mines over improved Strategic resources.
God of Healing: none
God of the Forge: none
God of the Open: on tile adjacent to Pasture
God of the Sea: on coastal tile
God of War: none district.
Goddess of Festivals: on tile adjacent to Wine, Incense, Cocoa, Tobacco, Coffee, or Tea (plantation optional)
Goddess of the Harvest: none
Goddess of the Hunt: on tile adjacent to camp
Initiation Rites: none
Lady of the Reeds and Marshes: on marsh tile
Monument to the Gods: none
Oral Tradition: tile adjacent to Bananas, Citrus, Cotton, Dyes, Silk, Spices, orr Sugar (plantation optional)
Religious Idols: tile adjacent to mine over Luxury and Bonus resources
River Goddess: on tile adjcanet to river
Religious Settlements: none
Sacred Path: on rain forest tile
Stone Circles: on tile adjacent to Quarry

A city with a henge can produce the Shaman unit using production, or buy with money or faith.

A Shaman can engage in theological combat, but is at -10 for every tile away from the nearest henge of his home city. [Or any city of that pantheon?] However, if the nearest henge is sacred, they get a +15 bonus.

Once you found a religion or enter the Renaissance era, you can no longer build Henges or Shamans, and Sacred Henges no longer generate faith.

A city that has a religion cannot build Shamans, and builders cannot build Henges on its tiles.

A Henge can be removed by a builder like other improvements. It can also be pillaged for 10 faith, but can be repaired by a builder (even when new Henges cannot be built).

Every Henge will generate +2 tourism once the conservation civic is discovered.

Holy City Conquest

The city where a religion was founded is that religion's Holy City. The religion "belongs" to the empire that owns that city. This means you can get a religion by capturing someone else's holy city! Conversely, if you have a holy city, protect it well.

This could mean a player could have more than one religion; not sure how the game engine would handle that.


An apostle can spend three charges to cause a schism when in a city that is not a holy city.[Does this need more requirements to make it more difficult, such as expending so much faith/era?]

This creates a separate religion in that city - all followers of the apostle's original religion in the city will be converted to the new religion. If there is a holy site there, it will now produce missionaries, etc. of the new religion, as per usual rules. This city will be the Holy City of the new religion.

The new religion will have all the same bonuses and attributes as the original, but perhaps a modified symbol?

It can be subject to Schisms itself.

All Inquisitor units of the original religion have a +10 bonus against all religious units of the new religion (and any religions that branch from it).

Settlers of faith

A missionary or apostle on the same tile as a settler can spend a charge to convert the settler to that religion. When the settler founds a city, it will have the religion from the start. [Or is there already a mechanism for this?]

Religious Pressure

+10 pressure from a city with religion on a city without. [Already a thing?]

King's Ear

A missionary or apostle on a tile of a capital city of another empire can expend a charge to reduce grievances held by the city's empire against the unit's empire by 15 points if the capital city has the same religion, or 5 points otherwise.

Religious trade routes

A trade route from a city with a holy site to another city with a holy site (whether your empire, another empire or city state) is a religious trade route if they share the same religion.

If to a city in your own empire, you get one gold per era extra.

If to a city outside your empire, you get one gold per era extra, and you can create a Mission in the destination city. Further, the other empire gets the same bonuses; extra gold, and can create a Mission in your city.


If you have a trade route from a city with a holy site to another city in another empire, you can send a missionary/apostle to the destination city, and use them to create a Mission (like an embassy it has no physical presence, it is just part of the city; missionary/apostle must be on a tile owned by the city; building the Mission consumes all remaining charges). [Maybe you need to be on decent terms with the empire to do this]

Trade routes to a city with a mission have double the religious bonus in that direction; the empire the trader belongs to gets +2 gold per era instead of 1, the empire of the destination city just gets 1 per era.

You can create religious units in the Holy Site of a city with a Mission - despite it being in another empire/city state - as long as you have a religious trade route to the city.

If you have several trade routes to this city, you could be making a lot of money. It is now very important that you keep your religion dominant there and you do not go to war with that empire.
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