In the past, the clergy has been setup to mimic Medieval Europe’s church system. I am not 100% sure that is the best solution.
Since the game is likely to be heading in the direction of playing upon a fantasy map, I was thinking that perhaps it also would make sense to remove this aspect to a more generic “religion”.
Altar boy >> REMOVED
Priest >> Cleric
Bishop >> Priest
Archbishop >> Priest
Cardinal >> Elder (also a Priest)
Pope >> High Priest (one per game)
College of Cardinals >> Order of Priests
The roles would largely be the same. There are some differences.
Cleric - Performs marriages
Priest - Can petition the High Priest, and is a member of the Order of Priests.
Elder - Is a member of the Order of Priests, and specifically is able to act as a member of the Board of Elders (to vote on the High Priest, and perform many of the previous College of Cardinals functions).
High Priest - Only one per game, and wields authority similar to the Pope in past games. Controls the ability to manage and enforce parts of the game.
I think this new structure potentially opens the game a little better. I think in time IF there ever is the MMORPG style game, having a more fluid body willl be helpful. For example, perhaps there would be mini “tirbunals” of elders to handle disputes.
Regardless of how we name the titles, the concept will largely be the same. Whereas clergy members were actors largely within a single dynasty, in the new game they will be somewhat outside that. There will be a greater emphasis on loyalties, and being a member of the clergy will mean that characters in the Order or College will have their loyalty not to a nobleman, but to the High Priest/Pope.
What are your thoughts on the name changing? Is it a good or bad idea to become a generic “religion”?