There are two pathways for creating a custom ideology, or “ideoligion”, in Rimworld: fluid and fixed.
The fixed system requires all parameters of the custom ideology to be determined from the beginning, which can take a while, and they can not be changed later.
The fluid system allows for memes and precepts to be added and changed as gameplay progresses within certain constraints.
In this guide we will deal with the tips and tricks for using the fluid system.
The fluid system must be selected on the Ideology page of the startup procedure. Once a game has been started it is not possible to change to, or from, the fluid system.
Next you have to choose a symbolic structure for your custom ideoligion. The choices are: ideological, animist, archist, buddhist origin, abstract theist, christian origin, islamic origin, embodied theist (think pagan polythiesm) and hindu origin.
The menu tells you that this choice only affects symbols not gameplay but this is not altogether true. Some structures include specific rituals, others increase the chance of starting with certain precepts relating to clothing.
Clothing precepts can cause some speedbumps for developing an ideologian for Lost Tribe scenarios because tribals do not start with the complex clothing tech needed for most clothing.
Even the symbol styles themselves have some small impact on gameplay. Styles mostly affect access to the special flooring tiles and different flooring styles require different materials.
Animist flooring is built from wood, which can be hard to come by in certain biomes like the Tundra and Desert. Others require stone or steel. Stonecutting is another tech with which tribals do not start.
After choosing the structure, you will choose a starting meme. You can only choose one, whereas with a fixed custom ideoligion you can choose up to four. However as your gameplay progresses you can add (and subtract) more memes through reformations, more on that later.
Each meme will have various precepts, rituals and roles associated with them. Some disallow some precepts and some can not be had alongside certain other memes. Hover over each meme for more details.
Low impact memes are more flexible than medium impact memes. Unless you have a particular goal requiring a specific meme, it better to start with a low impact one.
Medium impact memes have stronger benefits but also higher restrictions.
After picking a meme, you can then tweak some of the other parameters for your custom ideoligion such as precepts, rituals, buildings and preferred apparel, very much as you would do with a fixed custom ideoligion.
The defaults are shaped by your starting meme and should be fine as they are. You also can add more and you probably should.
Certain precepts like charity are rarely enabled by default but are useful for developing your custom ideologion faster. They can give extra opportunities to earn development points, more on that later.
Following after the section for precepts there are sections for Roles and Rituals. There is not much to do for roles except to edit the clothing associated with them, see more about that below. Rituals are worth taking some time over to edit.
Successful rituals will improve the mood of participants and give development points to put towards reformations. They can also give specific extra rewards, such as attract new animals, colonists, improve relations and others.
You can edit the date when they should be performed or make them available to perform anytime.
Besides editing the rituals to suit your strategy, you should also add some extra ones besides those given by default.
Some rituals require specific buildings to perform. You can add and edit the buildings associated with them in the next section after rituals.
I recommend setting the preferred apparel of your roles and the overall preferred clothing to be the same as each other, especially if you are starting without the complex clothing tech.
Your initial colonists with this religion will start with whatever your preferred apparel is, even if it is something they can not make yet (for example tribals without complex clothing tech). This will let you into role changes early without picking up the mood penalty for not having the right holy clothing.
By default this is blank (and disallowed by Human Primacy meme). You should pick something if you can though. If your start includes any random animals then they will more likely be whatever is venerated. You can choose more than one.
The venerated animal will give a mood buff to the faithful whenever it is seen but there will be strong mood penalties for killing it. For this reason it wants to be an animal you are not planning on eating. Animals that have other uses as pack animals or attack animals are best.
It also helps to pick an animal that is likely to appear in your chosen biome. Picking huskies for a desert start is a bit pointless.
Having completed setting the initial parameters of your custom ideoligion you can now pick your colonists and start the game. From now on your ideoligion can develop through gameplay.
When playing with fluid custom ideoligion certain religious activities will yield development points. These activities include successful rituals and converting pawns to your cult.
When you have accumulated 10 development points you can then carry out your first reformation. A reformation will allow you change one major aspect of your custom ideoligion like its base memes and structures.
Lesser aspects of the custom ideoligion like rituals, buildings and precepts can be changed without this restriction though.
Each successive reformation will cost 2 more development points.
What follows are a few ideas for how to use a fluid ideologion for strategic advantage.
If you are playing a nomadic lifestyle, or just migrating towards the broken spaceship, you will tend to be moving from one biome to another. This can result in having no biome native animals to venerate.
For example maybe you venerated huskies in your starting tundra biome but then ended up in the desert. You could use a reformation to change your venerated animal to something more likely to appear in your new situation, such as a dromedary.
In the early game, when your colony is xenotypically homogenous (unless you did something unusual but fun with your initial xenotypes), you could run with a bigoted precept for the mood bonus for homogenity.
Then as you grow and start picking up more colonists with freaky genes like wasters, highmates and genies you use a reformation to flip your bigotry down a few notches.
The transhumanist meme can yield some nice mood bonuses for using various late game technologies, like age reversal pods, but the lack of these options create mood maluses. This makes the late game easier, at the expense of the early game.
A fluid custom ideoligion however can let you pick up the transhumanist meme only when you actually have the technologies needed to harvest the benefit.
There we go, a fairly thorough guide to the fluid custom ideoligion mechanisms. What were your experiences with the fluid custom ideoligion mechanism?
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