Instead of having a technology tree system to progress in strategy games like Civilization and Age of Empires, Cult Game has a Theology system, where certain theologies, or perks, can be researched using theological power. Theological power is one of the most prominent resources throughout the game that automatically generates some amount each day/turn and also can be created through actions like praying.
Theology is different from other tech tree/skill tree systems in that by having researched certain theologies together, the player discovers new combined theologies with advanced perk bonuses and lore. For example, if a player decides they want their god to have authority over fire and then researches the theology to have authority over light, the player discovers the hidden sun god theology for their religion, upgrading all of their knights of ember to paladins of the sun. Also, most theologies are available to research from the start of the game, so the depth-heavy idea of skill trees has been rejected for a more breadth-heavy approach.
The following are the types of theologies that can be researched:
1 - Authorities
Authorities are the areas over which your diety claims dominion. Authorities are generally costly theologies to skill into, but they grant very unique perks that greatly shape the play-style of each religion. There exist tons of unique combination authorities that grant very interesting bonuses, so authorities are a very rewarding theology to experiment with researching. Not including sun, some include miasma, the two-faced, the singing blades, protection, and sacrifice.
2 - Dogma
Dogma are religious commands that you speak into being. Dogma includes very general perks from the writing of sacred scripture to the creation of holidays. Most normal perks and progression can be done in the dogma section of theology. There exists some combo theologies in Dogma, but they also combo with other non-dogma theology.
3 - Virtues and Vices
These are theologies that by taking them either as a virtue or a vice, you will receive positive and negative benefits in either direction. For example, a player can declare kindness as a virtue to increase their religion's appeal with the common men and society. However, by making kindness a vice, they push their religion further from the mainstream, making it a target of criticism, and also attract those few interested in the strange and occult to their religion. These changes can be seen in the day-to-day events of who visits you, how people react to you and your followers in public and your interactions with the local government.
4 - Structure and Form
A structure and form of a religion is the way it is organized. At any given point, a player's religion may only have 1 structure and form. Each structure and form has specific pros and cons that a player may use to their advantage in their strategy. For example, syndicates are particularly weak at gaining theological power and proving themselves as a religious institution but are very good at isinuating themselves into positions of power and doing business related to making deals and handling money.
I look forward to continuing my work on this little passion project of mine. Please feel free to ask any questions or make any suggestions and I will personally answer and reply!