A Little Confused on Tithing

  1. If you are a 9th Level Cleric, do you make tithes? To whom? The next highest level Cleric closest? What if you are in separate domains with separate rulers?

  2. If you are a 9th Level Fighter, who do your tithes go to? What if you have a 9th Level Cleric within your domain as a vassal? What if there is a higher level Cleric within the same church but in a different domain?

  3. Let’s say you have a 9th Level Fighter who has a PC 9th Level Cleric who runs a vassal domain within your domain, do you tithe the PC Cleric? Does the PC Cleric then tithe someone else? Or, do both domains tithe separately?

  4. Let’s say you are the highest level Cleric in your church, do you stop tithing and just collect tithes?

I am a player in this game. For context, the Fighter involved is a Paladin who invited the Cleric (of the same religion) in to establish a Church in his domain. There is some concern that this amounts to an unfair transfer of money from one PC to another, whereas the Tithing rules in theory may be a “tax” of sorts on a PC who establishes a domain, a cost that disappears from the economy of the game rather than actually funding the religion.

As a payment, tithing represents the nobility’s support of the church infrastructure. The church infrastructure in turn is assumed to absorb the value of the tithing. Failure to pay the tithe results in the church infrastructure going unfulfilled, leading to morale penalties.

A cleric’s role as a noble/land-lord (domain ruler) is entirely separate from tithes. Historically the Catholic Church, and many other churches, had multiple revenue streams. Part of their revenue streams came from tithes and donations, but the other party came from land holdings.

So to answer your questions:

  1. Yes, a cleric makes tithes. His tithes are going to the church infrastructure. They aren’t going to any particular domain.
  2. Your tithes are going to the church infrastructure.
  3. No. No. Yes.
  4. No. You’d still have to pay tithes to maintain the church infrastructure.

You could, if you wanted, model out exactly what the tithing is paying for – it would be a mix of alms for the poor, sacrifices to the gods, consumables such as candles and incense, patronage of religious art work, feasts for the saints, and so on. You could work out the “net revenue” of the church from tithing as 10% of the revenue of the nobility at each tier.

Alex, how does tithing interact with congregant upkeep? Could part of the church infrastructure actually be this upkeep? i.e. the more congregants you have, the more candles, the more alms, the more incense, the more cookies and coffee for receptions, the more sacrifices on behalf of people, etc.

Hmm. That’s disappointing. I assumed tithes with a patriarch in-domain went to the patriarch as an incentive to share domains between the fighter and the cleric.

That wasn’t written into the rules but now that you’ve suggested it, it’s brilliant.

I’d definitely allow revenues from tithing in a domain to be assigned towards the congregant upkeep of the ruler’s congregation (or a vassal or lord’s).

I agree. Was topher.hemming’s idea. He’s one of my players. Thanks for the feedback!

For my campaign:

The tithes go to the central Religious Authority (RA) for the domain. If there is a higher authority, 20% of that goes to the higher authority.

The entirety of the kept tithe must be spent on shrines and altars, clerics to man them, impressive statuary and fancy hats, sacrifices, and similar showy signs of religion. It cannot be spent (directly, at least) on military strength, magical research, adventuring gear, or the like. If it is … the domain suffers as if the domain ruler had not paid the tithe. At which point the domain ruler may have a little chat with the RA.

But I think it’s perfectly reasonable to allow the player to decide what the results of the tithe look like.

(I also allow the tithe gold to count toward the XP threshold - being the RA for a larger kingdom is a good thing.)

I don’t allow the tithe to count toward congregation - that’s double-dipping, since the existence of the tithe already modifies domain Morale, which modifies the percentage of the population contributing divine power.