Re: How many Sartarites are cult initiates?

From: David Scott <sciencefish_at_PpGGd4DK_tzc81CIxg8ztyD-849O_QmS2zcYNOH3BKbMTFPlBmFAnWqHiavt2Dis>
Date: Thu, 09 Aug 2012 00:14:51 +0100

On 7 Aug 2012, at 23:23, roko_joko <> wrote:

> Questions about cult initiates as they're defined in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes. It's clear that they spend 30%+ of their time on religion, and that they're a less restrictive category than god-talker, priest, or devotee. But how many adults are cult initiates? The cult numbers in S:KoH Book 2 imply that most adults are initiates, but I don't trust those numbers because they don't count children comprehensibly, they don't seem to count the "Orlanthi 85%" as 85%, and the concept of cult initiates seems to be that they're a minority, not everybody.

According S:KoH, a clan averages 900 members. Of these half are children, leaving 450, split equally between men and women. Later it says all orlanthi undergo a formal initiation to become adults. So everyone is a "Lay" member of the religion. They spend 10% of their time on religious activities.

If I apply the 85% "rule to initiates, I get 382 initiates and 68 who remain lay members. That seems too high for me. The orlanthi all doesn't fit here.

If I apply Jeff's overwhelming majority the 95% "rule to initiates, I get 428 initiates and 22 who remain lay members. That seems much better. As 1 in 12 are over 60, there are about 2 of them - "Never did me any harm not being an initiate, nor me". (With hindsight 99% is not unreasonable).

> Each answer to the "how many" question leads to other questions.
> If a majority of adults are cult initiates, why are a minority of them not? (One answer could be that most cottars and stickpickers are lay members, and vice versa. That would imply some interesting things about Sartarite society.)

I think, the remaining lay members have the wrong runes, like darkness, stasis and fate, or lean towards secularism as they are slightly odd.

> If almost all adults are cult initiates:
> * What do they do with the 20% of their time taken up by cult activities and rituals, beyond holy and sacred days? (One answer could be that they spend a few hours a day doing cult magic as part of their job, but more individually than communally.)

Lay members spend 10% time & resources 10% on communal worship: twenty-eight Holy Days and the fourteen Sacred Days = 42 out of 294 days is about 14%, so they don't participate in the whole event and leave early, saving 4%.

Initiates spend 30% time including communal worship: so they have 16% more days they use = another 46 days, so Orlanth initiates can spend Storm Season flying around being windy, Ernalda initiates can spend earth season polishing seeds, patting animals and doing mysterious (to men) womens' things.

> * What's the point of defining lay membership?

It's a natural step in adult life, it's colour for the background and it allows players to hang around and figure out what they want to do. There's a section on becoming an initiate in the game.

> If only a minority of adults are cult initiates, I ask the following questions. I ask them twice each, once for the <10% urban population and once for the rural population.
> * How many are cult initiates?

As before Jeff's overwhelming majority.

> * How much overlap is there between cult initiates and thanes? And carls, for that matter.

Thanes, and carls are social ranks, so don't make a difference.

> * What percentage of cult initiates initiate to Orlanth or Ernalda, versus minor gods?

All the numbers are in the sartar book. Each cult has it's numbers. Add up the Sartar tribes population, half it to remove the children and work out the percentage from there. Look at the "how many cultists..." sidebar. I suspect Jeff has a large handwritten table somewhere...

> * How does all of this relate to the idea of the Orlanthi 85%?

I don't think the Orlanthi 85% has much relevance now that we have better information. It was a useful tool while it lasted.


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