Piety is, in practice, a measure of how (dis)pleased the PC's deity is with him/her. Whilst it does in fact represent the PC's standing with all his/her gods — pleasing one will displease the others, and vice versa — usually the PC will only worship one god and thus should only worry about how pleased that god is. The player should still bear in mind that since the deities that the PC rejects will become angrier the more pleased their chosen deity is, attempting to convert an altar can be risky business, as the sacrifice may end up being accepted by a very angry and vengeful deity.
When the PC sacrifices on an altar or reads a religious text such as a tract of order, one of the messages below may be generated as feedback on the PC's piety. In the case of cross-aligned altars, the size of the offering determines whether it checks piety; small offerings will shift the PC's alignment toward that of the altar and trigger a piety message with the altar's god (and possible retribution), while large enough ones will cause the PC's god to take control of the altar, converting it without a piety check. Sacrifices at co-aligned altars always trigger a piety check with the PC's god. Reading a tract may trigger a piety check with both opposing gods, unless the PC is of one of the opposing alignments, in which case the PC's god is not checked. The checks are waived if the PC is at the 'spiritually invincible' or higher state ("... but you seem to be protected by the benevolence of <PC's god>"). PCs who have low piety with all their gods should therefore be very careful when reading tracts. The game starts with the deity of the PC's initial alignment at 'pleased' and both others at 'unconcerned'.
Piety levels (in ascending order)Edit
|"MORTAL, YE HAVE PESTERED ME FOR TOO LONG!"||The lowest level of piety. The deity will summon monsters to attack the PC. Chaotic deities summon greater daemons, neutral ones summon holy slayers, and lawful ones summon solars.|
|"Mortal, ye art a pest."||A bolt of damaging energy hits the PC. Chaotic gods send chilling energy, neutral ones True Matter, and lawful ones flaring fire.|
|"*I* hereby punish thee, puny mortal!"||The PC's equipped items will be destroyed. If wearing no equipment, the PC will be cursed and/or doomed. Nothing happens if the PC is wearing or wielding only artifacts ("You barely notice some thoughts: I can't believe it!").|
|"Take this for yer impunity!"||The PC's entire inventory is cursed. Exploitable with preparation.|
|"Mortal, you are a nuisance!"||Repeated prayers or offerings at this level may trigger divine retribution.|
|You hear <deity> grumbling in anger.|
|For some seconds the ground rumbles.|
|<deity> seems unconcerned.||Tends to be the PC's piety if they convert near the start of the game|
|<deity> seems to be pleased.||Starting piety for all PCs.|
|<deity> seems to be very pleased with you.||This is the minimum piety required for Paladins and Priests to use their class powers. Potions of Water dropped on co-aligned altars at this stage or higher will be blessed.|
|You feel inner peace. (if non-chaotic)|
You burn with the anticipation of power! (if chaotic)
|Upon the first time the PC reaches this piety level, the message "You feel your spirits rise!" or "You feel an inner strength lifting your spirits!" is generated; this is a once-off effect that grants the Lucky intrinsic. If the PC loses the intrinsic, they can gain it again by this effect.|
|You feel spiritually invincible.||If the PC reaches this level for the first time, bypassing the previous level, the message "You feel spiritually elated!" is generated; this has the same effect as "You feel your spirits rise!" above. The piety checks from reading a religious tract are prevented at this stage or higher.|
|<deity> seems to be very close to you.||Whenever the PC sacrifices at this level or above, they will lose the Cursed and Doomed intrinsics (if they have them) and gain Lucky and Fate Smiles (if they don't have these). The message "You feel that a sinister curse is lifted from you" means cursing was removed. "You feel a terrible gloom being lifted from you" indicates either the Doomed status or both were removed.|
|<deity> favors you.||Added as a progress indicator. Doesn't exist prior to v. 1.2.0|
|<deity> favors you greatly.||Added as a progress indicator. Doesn't exist prior to v. 1.2.0|
|<deity> seems to be extremely close to you. (PC not of extreme alignment)|
<deity> seems to be absolutely close to you. (PC of extreme alignment)
|PCs that have reached "absolutely close" can pray for a crowning. PCs that have reached "extremely close" can pray for a precrowning/postcrowning if they have satisfied the level requirement for either.|
Increasing piety Edit
The most obvious way to raise the PC's standing with their chosen god is to sacrifice at an altar dedicated to that god. Sacrificing gold in large amounts is often an easy way to do this, as is sacrificing live creatures (done by pressing 'O' when another character is on an altar rather than the PC). Artifacts can be sacrificed to greatly increase piety (sis can be sacrificed, but don't increase piety as much as other artifacts). Blessed stomafillia herbs and valuable gems can also be used to quickly increase the PC's piety; though as of v. 1.2.0, deities will start to refuse herbs after they are offered a certain number.
Using a holy symbol without any undead in sight will raise piety by a tiny amount and give a message that hints at the PC's piety level.
Also, annoying a deity (see 'Decreasing piety' below) is believed to make the PC's other deities slightly more pleased. This could cause more trouble than it's worth, though.
Using piety Edit
The most obvious 'use' for piety is prayer — each time the PC prays for a favor, their piety will decrease by an amount depending on the service requested and how many times they have previously prayed for that service. Since gods dislike repetitive favors, the piety cost for a particular favor will increase each time it is granted; PCs that pray, e.g., for healing for the tenth time might see their god go from being very happy to angry.
Besides praying, there are other ways to seek divine help which decrease the PC's standing with their god. One of these is using a holy symbol to turn undead.
Decreasing piety Edit
In addition to bothering your god for favors, there are other ways of annoying a deity without any reward.
- Piety will decrease naturally over time. Paladins and Priests wishing to use their class powers should be aware of this.
- Destroying an altar greatly angers the corresponding deity. Kicking the altar may immediately result in divine retribution if the deity was already angry. Destroying the altar greatly reduces piety; this can be enough to bring the PC's deity from being very close to unconcerned.
- Sacrificing a gift granted by a deity, as part of pre-, post- or regular crowning, back to them will cause a huge drop in piety. Greatly displeasing a deity that just crowned the PC is not a good idea under any circumstances.
- Converting an altar will reduce the PC's standing with the deity previously associated with the altar. This can occur unintentionally if the PC repeatedly sacrifices lawful creatures to lawful deities or neutral creatures to neutral deities, or if the PC sacrifices a companion on a non-chaotic altar (this seems to count as a sacrifice to the PC's chaotic deity).
- Reading a tract of chaos while non-chaotic gives a massive drop in piety (same with a tract of order for non-lawful PCs, and a tract of balance for non-neutral ones), alongside the potentially dangerous piety check on the uninvolved god. Thankfully all of them have unusual weight and can be easily spotted amongst other books.