JohnB's Games

Role-Playing, my way.

User Tools

Site Tools


Religious Developments

New Version


Religious Developments are different from most other developments – they represent the physical presence of a deity in the land, and they should be used to spread word of the deity and advance their goals withing their community. They aren’t intended to be an easy way to develop a general income to help benefit the PC’s everyday interests.

Like other developments, religious buildings come with the staff required to run them, however, there are conditions attached to the more significant buildings that can create and sell magic items. The priests who are responsible for these establishments will insist that the PC does make a commitment to the deity involved, and that any income earned is used in a way that the deity will approve of. The PC should either be a priest of the deity OR they should have an entourage member who is.

Level Limits

Unlike many other businesses, producing magic items is very level and class dependent. For example a CL1 Adept can Scribe Scrolls, that are only usable by other divinecasters. By CL3, they are able to Craft Wondrous items, and Brew Potions (Yes, I know there are exceptions), but they have a limited number of spells available. By CL5, Crafting Wands is a possibility, and they have more spells available to them. The majority of these casters (in my world) will be Adepts with a limited number of spells.

I like to keep PCs as the stars of the game - for me the PCs should be among the richest and most successful people in their field, and that means there are very few NPC Casters beyond L5 - and they will be Senior Entourage Members or significant NPCs that the DM controls. Which means there are some demographic restrictions as well.


Religious developments must have a religious focus, and any income they generate should be used to develop something that the deity values. Shrines, and other religious developments, dedicated to the same deity are obviously acceptable, but so are economic or social developments that support the deity's Areas of Concern. The Deity Preferences further down the page lists Areas of Concern, Worshippers or Domains, all of which might be used to represents the deity’s interests.

You can see the rationale on this page.

Religious Cooperation

Clerics of different deities will cooperate, so long as their Deities are not in real opposition to each other. For example, a Pharasmin Canon may well conduct the technical aspects of a burial, while a Cleric of Erastil speaks the eulogy and comforts the family members. Or a Cleric of Sarenrae might accompany one of her parishioners when they visit a temple of Abadar to arrange a loan.


religiousShrine *0.50010
ReligiousGreat Shrine *10011
ReligiousGraveyard *10011
Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Entourage Members who are CL3 Divine Casters.
ReligiousHoly House21011
ReligiousHoly Grove21011
Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Entourage Members capable of casting L3 Divine Spells.
ReligiousPriory {★★★}5.53022
ReligiousTemple {★★★}63032
Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Entourage Members capable of casting L4 Divine Spells.
ReligiousAbbey {★★★★}84033
ReligiousMinster {★★★★}8.54043
Cathedrals only available to PCs capable of casting the spell Hallow
ReligiousCathedral {★★★★★}115044

Staff and Bonuses

Many religious buildings have a group of Collegiate Adepts who 'live in' to serve and maintain the building. Collegiate Adepts have the ability to perform rituals that enhance the Caster level of their lead priest - ie the PC Cleric who 'owns' the temple. When casting spells, using scroll and performing other similar tasks, the PC cleric gains the following bonus caster levels so long as they are in their own church and take an hour to prepare. This does not grant any 'extra' spells, just better benefits and a better chance to use higher level scrolls (etc).

  • +1 - Holy House, Holy Grove, Chapel
  • +2 - Priory, Temple
  • +3 - Abbey, Minster
  • +4 - Cathedral

* A Shrine or Great Shrine may be added to any non-religious building as an 'upgrade'. A graveyard can be added to any other religious building (except a shrine or great shrine) as an 'upgrade'. This does not take up an extra development slot but remember the size of the building might increase.

Deity Preferences

Not all faiths provide the same services to their followers. Some like large public buildings - others prefer smaller or more private buildings. Remember that these are general preferences and every faith will have building that fall outside this pattern.

This is brief guidance that defines the norm in Midmarch and the surrounding area., and is generally followed by NPCs. However, if (for example) you are a priest of Erastil and you want to build a Cathedral or even a military base - go for it :) Some of the deities listed as specialist or insular, in the lists below, have other roles in different parts of the world.

Community Deities - have a strong Community Focus/Role, abd prefer Chapels > Temple > Minster > Cathedral.
Insular - Deities without a strong Community Focus prefer Holy Houses > Priory > Abbey. Cathedrals are rare.
Specialist - Specialist deities probably don't have large religious houses, but they may well have shrines attached to other buildings.
Where ever - Some just don't care!!

Deity/StylePreferenceNotesMain InterestsWorshippersDomains
Abadar – Community Temples, Minsters and Cathedrals. Often found in Cities and Towns along trade routes.Cities, Law, Merchants, WealthArchitects, aristocrats, bankers, judges, lawmakers, lawyers, merchantsEarth, Nobility, Protection, Travel
Asmodeus – Community Temples, Minsters and Cathedrals Tyranny, Slavery, Pride, Contracts Slavers, bureaucrats, tyrantsFire, Law, Magic, Trickery
Calistria – Specialist anyOften incorporates prostitution or erotic performers Lust, Revenge, TrickeryElves, hedonists, performers, scorned lovers, thievesCharm, Knowledge, Luck, Trickery
Cayden Cailean – Specialist Shrines or Holy houses Often act as Beer Halls or Taverns.Freedom, Ale, Wine, BraveryBrewers, vintners, barkeeps, innkeepers, good adventurersCharm, Strength, Travel†
Desna – Specialist Roadside shrines Dreams, Luck, Stars, TravelersTravelers, astronomers, gamblers, Varisians, musiciansChaos, Good, Liberation, Luck, Travel
Erastil – Community Any.Mainly found in rural of wilderness areas.Family, Farming, Hunting, TradeFarmers, hunters, tradesmenAnimal, Community, Plant
Gorum – Insular Monastic buildings with fortifications.Strength, Battle, WeaponsSoldiers, mercenaries, brigands, bloodthirsty savages; half-orcs, barbariansDestruction, Glory, Strength, War
Gozreh – Where ever AnyNormally wilderness or ruralNature, Weather, The seaDruids, sailors, woodsmen, farmers Air, Animal, Plant, Water, Weather
Iomedae – Insular Monastic Buildings often associated with sword schools and barracks. Honor, Justice, Rulership, ValorPaladins, knights, warriorsGlory, Sun, War
Irori – Insular Monastic Buildingsoften equipped with a reading rooms and a Gymnasium. Note History, Knowledge, Self-perfectionMonks; dwarves; mystics; ascetics; hermits; historians; martial artists; scholarsHealing, Knowledge, Rune, Strength
Nethys – Specialist Normally shrines Often attached to Magical Lab or wizards guild MagicWizards, Mystic TheurgesDestruction, Knowledge, Magic, Protection, Rune
Pharasma – Insular Monastic Mostly grave yards or Monastic buildings. Birth, Death, Fate, Prophecy, Rebirth
Midwives, pregnant women, morticiansDeath, Healing, Knowledge, Repose, Water
Sarenrae – Specialist Shrine or Holy House Often attached to Herbalist, Apothecary or HospitalSun , Redemption , Honesty , HealingHealers, farmers, redeemed evil-doersFire, Glory, Healing, Sun
Shelyn – Specialist Generally shrines in Galleries, Craft shops, Theatres, Bardic Colleges etc.Cost twice as much as normal because they must be incredibly beautiful.Art, beauty, love, musicArtists, poets, loversAir, Charm, Luck, Protection
Torag – Specialist Community, (Dwarves) Monastic Buildings Often with a forge or smith attached.Forge, protection, strategy Dwarves, CraftersArtifice, Earth, Good, Law, Protection
The GreenShrines, Holy GrovesOften in the wildernessNature


See Residential Classifications for a description of the ★ rating system.

  • Shrine – A small nod to a deity. It normally consists of a small statue, painting or something similar that represents the deity. For Desna it could be a painting or carved butterfly, for Pharasma it might be a spiral – the precise form will vary but so long as it is representative and has been dedicated to the deity, it is a shrine. A shrine that is not in a larger religious building could be tended by a multi-classed Acolyte (Adept1/Expert2?) who can provide very limited spell support. Shrines may be found in villages, as roadside shrines or in non-religious buildings. Depending on the location, the shrine's caretaker will be provided with ★ or ★★ accommodation. Don't take this as absolute
  • Great Shrine - Larger than a normal shrine, a great shrine something that is significant to a deity . It might be a statue with a few huts, a specific room in a large church, or something else that represents the deity's philosophies. Great shrines may be found in Towns, villages or as a roadside shrine. Great Shrines may also be found in Wilderness Areas, built under the Single Site Hamlets rules. Depending on the location, the great shrine's caretaker will be provided with ★ or ★★ accommodation. Most great shrines are tended by an Adept2. Possibly multi classed, possible a chaplain in training.
  • Graveyard - A place to bury the dead, which includes a shrine (probably to Pharasma). It is supported by a Cannon grave digger (Adept2/Commoner1) who conducts simple burials. Graves are often blessed by higher level clerics when they visit. In game terms, Graveyards are great Shrines dedicated to Pharasma, or some other deity associated with death and funerals.
  • Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Entourage Members(1) who are CL3 Divine Casters.
  • Holy House – a Holy House is a great shrine or graveyard with housing attached for a small group of clergymen. It may be found serving a local community, or managing an outlying responsibility for a Priory or temple. A Monastic House is managed by a sub-prior (often an Adept 3) who is supported by a Canon, Acolytes and Novices. A monastic house is generally ★★ accommodation.
  • Holy Grove - Holy Groves are only found in wilderness or hinterland areas, and are always 'away from' centres of civilisation. It should be a journey (of some sort) to find a holy grove. See the Hamlets and Wilderness Pages. This is a refuge in the wild where a nature priest can enjoy shelter and practice their religion. Holy Groves serve primarily as places of worship, but they also act as a community centre and retreat in times of need. While called a Holy Grove, it could take one of many forms - a grove of trees, a stone circle, a natural amphitheatre, a pool or a cave. This counts as a ★★ residential property.
  • Chapel – The first proper place of worship, a chapel offers a large room, complete with a shrine dedicated to the deity and is tended by a Chaplain who leads simple prayer services and can conduct simple ceremonies such as Namings, Marriages and Funerals. Many Villages have a Chapel as their primary place of Worship. However, Chapels are also found in other contexts, and may be constructed as part of larger religious buildings, or aristocratic homes. Many aristocratic homes, military establishments and schools have a chapel for private worship. A Village Chaplain is normally a Cleric3 , while a Temple Chaplain is liable to be a L3 Adept and assisted by a couple of acolytes. Most chaplains are provided with ★★ accommodation.
  • Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Entourage Members who are CL5 Divine Casters.
  • Priory – a small Monastery, containing a chapel, dedicated to a deity and their faith. It is led by a prior (generally a L5 priest) who is supported by a sub-prior and a resident body of Cannons and Acolytes - perhaps a dozen (or more) people all together. A priory provides ★★/★★★ accommodation for its residents.
  • Temple – A temple is the first religious building that has a proper Altar and can conduct full versions of ceremonies. It normally has a L5 Cleric as its priest, who is assisted by a Chaplain, Canons and Acolytes. There is probably a house, that provides ★★/★★★ accommodation, nearby to house them all.
  • Abbey - A large monastery led by an Abbot who is overall head of the priories and monastic houses (dedicated to the same deity) in the region. It is a prestigious building with a good sized private temple and accommodation for a large community of monastics. The Abbot will be supported by both a Prior and a Sub-Prior. An Abbey provides ★★/★★★★ accommodation for its residents.
  • Minster – A very large Temple that is probably run by a High Priest who is most likely a senior Cleric – it may well have a two or three chapels dedicated to different ‘saints’ as well as the main altar. There will be a good number of Chaplains, Cannons and Acolytes. The Minster will have a small cloister garden with a house for the High-Priest as well as a town house or two to accommodate the rest of the staff. A minster provides ★★/★★★★ accommodation for its residents.
  • Developments below this line are only available to PCs or Cohorts who are CL7 Divine Casters
  • Cathedral – A Cathedral is a massive temple, with a good number of chapels for private prayer and meetings, it is the base for a Bishop. The Bishop will have a mansion in the Cathedrals Cloister – and there will be a number of town houses to accommodate the rest of the cathedral’s roster of priests, chaplains and canons. A bishop is the head of his faith in the region and may be selected from the Abbots or High-Priests across the region. A Cathedral provides ★★/★★★★ accommodation for its residents.


See Residential Classifications for a description of the ★ rating system.

Where two different accommodation ratings are shown, the majority of the churchmen get the lower rating. Only a few rooms, reserved for the head of establishment are at the higher rating. Junior churchmen fill any servant roles. A bishop could well have have a residential Mansion or Noble Estate, provided by the church. A primate probably has a small palace, while a Prince Bishop could well have a large palace or a castle. Homes provided by the church will always include a chapel or temple of some sort.

Old Version

Old Version

pathfinder/campaign_systems2/busorgs/religious/start.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/23 22:00 by johnb