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Religion

Some folks, say super alliens, Clark Kent like I think, well these guys they call the Great Old Ones. Believe it or not, you have to accept it, because you will need the favour they can grant you. Favour is something like energy which allows you to cast certain spells.
There are four Great Old Ones: the Mighty (engineering), the Wise (science), the Merciful (medical) and the Fierce (weaponry) and each of them has his own type of favour, with it's own way's to obtain it.
The exact formula for engineering favour is unknown, but it depends on the amount of energy you have and the amount of engineering modules you have operational.
Science, medical and weaponry favour are easier. You get 1 for each accessed starnet (science), cured plague (medical) and enemy alien race (weaponry). Besides this, adventures have also a 50% of having some favour as part of the loot. Also combats will provide you with some favour (weaponry favour). You'll get 1 for each techlevel you shot of from your opponent.

Also denouncing a prophet (which you can do as soon as you have 15 favour) gives you 15 favour. Do not however denounce at will. The 15 favour you get costs the prophet the same amount. What you can do is make contact with the Prophet and he may allow you to denounce. Don't forget to place a post in the SST because the Chosens of that Prophet might attack you not knowing you denounced with permission. It is also possible to "trade" favour. There is an opposite spell to denounce, called praise. It costs 15 favour and gives the Prophet 15. You can arrange somebody to "pay" for your denounce. Also in this situations, you should post in the SST that you arranged a favourtrade.

Prophets have Chosens and some of the Prophets grant young ships temporarily chosenhood. Being Chosen, lets you cast your spells from the Prophets favourpool if you don't have sufficient favour. This way you can cast enlightment straight away. It also enables you to commune with the prophet as officer action. Communing gives you an amount of favour equal to your officer skill. Another advantage is that it allows you to go to Olympus. This legendary home of the Old Ones has a double hiring hall and 18 of the 32 tradegoods can be sold on Olympus.

 

Politics

TBG has two sort of political system. One is between alliances, and alliances affecting all players. The other is a political system build in the game by the designers. The last one I find not very interesting in the beginning, however one position is of interest. The Tribune of the People (other positions are a public chosen President and 4 ministers, chosen by the president). The Tribune is the spokesman of all ships younger than 100 turns and only these ships have a vote. Most Tribunes have the policy to help and assist fellow young captains in several ways. For example by monitoring the availability of the needed modules in the shops, and requesting them to be restocked by the president, if the supplies fall low.
The other political system is the interaction between alliances and individual players. Joining an alliance provides you with some (probably more powerful) friends, but may also provide you with some enemies. Sometimes it even comes to all-out war between two alliances, but most of the times, individual ships will be marked as enemy of an alliance. However the United Police Force (UPF) influences the gameplay for players by actively hunting smugglers, though they won't attack on sight or might even not be paired, they will ask you to scrap the contraband or risk being shot or hunted. I think the galaxy is quite large and the UPF only a handful of ships so I am willing to take the risk in turn for the higher profit. Besides, the UPF ships are that large and contraband buying systems that crowded, that a small ship will have a very small risk of getting paired with a UPF ship.

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