There are 40 unique Doctrines in Cult of the Lamb, though you cannot unlock them all. You’ll need to be strategic about which ones will best suit the needs of your Cult and which ones to start off with.
Table Of Contents
What Are Doctrines?
In Cult of the Lamb, Doctrines are essentially new rules for your Cult that allow you to utilize new Buildings, Follower Actions, Rituals, and Traits. For example, some Traits will allow your Followers to gain Faith points when certain events happen. You can also unlock new Rituals, such as resurrecting a fallen Follower from the dead. There are five categories of Doctrines—Afterlife, Work and Worship, Possession, Law and Order, and Sustenance. Each category holds different types of benefits for your Cult.
However, out of the 40 possible Doctrines in the game, you will only be able to unlock half of them. In other words, you can only unlock one of the two Doctrine options in each of the 20 sub-categories, and the option you don’t choose will be permanently unavailable.
While you must unlock Doctrines in order within individual categories—such as Afterlife or Work and Worship—you do not need to unlock all five first-tier categories to progress to a higher tier in one category. For example, you can unlock the fourth tier Doctrine in the Afterlife category while your Work and Worship is still on tier one, as long as you’ve already unlocked Afterlife tiers one through three.
How to Declare a Doctrine
To declare a new Doctrine, you must go into your Temple and go to the Altar. Once there, select “Crown.” At the top, underneath where it reads “Crown Offering,” you can choose to declare a new Doctrine. However, you can only do this if you’ve collected at least three Stone Tablet Pieces to complete a Commandment Stone.
How to Get Stone Tablet Pieces
The easiest way to get Stone Tablet Pieces is by leveling up your Followers’ Loyalty. You can do this through performing Sermons and Rituals, completing Quests, giving Blessings, taking Confession, and giving Gifts.
Unfortunately, understanding how Doctrines work is only the tip of the iceberg. Once you start unlocking Doctrines, you’ll need to choose each time between two options. Some categories make for a more difficult decision than others, so you’ll need to be strategic.
The Afterlife Doctrines deal with how your Cult members handle age and death. It is recommended not to start out with this category, as your Cult will be small in the early game. This means that you won’t be dealing with as many deaths as you will later, once your Cult grows.
The following are all the possible Afterlife Doctrines, along with advice on which one to choose at each tier.
|Belief in Sacrifice Trait||Belief in Afterlife Trait|
|+ 20 Faith when another Cult member is sacrificed||Only lose -5 Faith when a Cult member dies instead of -20 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Belief in Afterlife Trait
Considering the cool-down time it will take before you can perform the Sacrifice Ritual again, you will likely have Cult members die faster than you can sacrifice them. This is especially true earlier in the game, before you can reduce the cool-down time. Therefore, reducing the hit to your Faith when your Followers die is the way to go.
|Ritual of Resurrection||Funeral|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple that allows you to bring a dead Follower back to life||Perform a Ritual at your Temple to conduct a funeral for a recently passed Follower, +20 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Ritual of Resurrection
You’ll definitely want to choose the Ritual of Resurrection for this tier. Though it’s nice to get the small Faith boost after a Follower passes, you will get much more out of bringing Followers back to life. This is more useful because Followers will retain the Loyalty level they had when they died, so you can keep building upon this even further and reap the benefits once they’re resurrected.
|Respect Your Elders Trait||Good Die Young Trait|
|Followers receive +5 Faith for every elder Follower in the Cult||+10 Faith if an elder is sacrificed, murdered, or consumed but -20 Faith if an elder dies naturally|
Best Doctrine – Respect Your Elders Trait
Again, the chances that you’ll be able to keep up with sacrificing all your elders before they pass naturally is low, especially once you’ve reached the late game. The Sacrifice Ritual requires a cool-down time, so you cannot Sacrifice whenever you desire. This makes the Respect Your Elders Trait far more viable.
|Return to the Earth||Grieve the Fallen|
|Unlocks the Natural Burial Building, corpses of dead Followers may return to the earth by becoming Fertilizer||Unlocks the Grave Building, +2 Faith when Followers grieve at the Grave|
Best Doctrine – Return to the Earth
Though the Grieve the Fallen option is a nice small bump in Faith, it doesn’t compare to the usefulness of accumulating consistent Fertilizer. Especially during the late game, when you’ll reach the point of using automated Farms, you’ll want to have a consistent supply of Fertilizer. There are numerous alternative ways to increase Faith.
Work and Worship
The Work and Worship Doctrines deal with work. This includes your Followers’ productivity, obedience, and downtime. This is a great category to start off with, because the more productive your Followers are, the quicker you can build up your Cult.
The following are all the possible Work and Worship Doctrines, along with advice on which one to choose at each tier.
Work and Worship I
|Faithful Trait||Industrious Trait|
|Generate Devotion 15% faster||Increase work speed by 15%|
Best Doctrine – Faithful Trait
Both of these options would be great for your Cult. However, generating Devotion faster will ultimately be more useful, as that is how you can continue to unlock stuff throughout the game. If you recruit enough Followers, spend enough time in the dungeons, and consistently send Followers on Missionary trips, you shouldn’t be running into resource shortages. So, speeding up Devotion is your best bet.
Work and Worship II
|Inspire a Follower to significantly increase their Loyalty, replaces the Bless action||Intimidate a Follower to slightly increase their Loyalty and make them work 10% harder for two days, replaces the Bless action|
Best Doctrine – Inspire
Increasing a Follower’s Loyalty as quickly as possible is ultimately what will bring you the greatest benefit. With increasing Loyalty levels, you unlock new Doctrines, and your Followers have a better rate of success on Missionary trips, thus building up all your resources. So, you’ll want to choose Inspire for this one.
Work and Worship III
|The Glory of Construction||Ritual of Enlightenment|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple that will immediately build all structures currently under construction||Perform a Ritual at your Temple that will temporarily increase Devotion generation speed at your Shrine by 20% for three days|
Best Doctrine – Ritual of Enlightenment
Structures don’t take much time to build, so choosing the Ritual to have them all built instantly will only save you a minimal amount of time. On the other hand, increasing Devotion is what will lead to stuff being unlocked, thus further progressing the efficacy of your Cult. Ritual of Enlightenment is undoubtedly the better choice here.
Work and Worship IV
|Glory Through Toil Ritual||Holy Day Ritual|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple which allows your Followers to work through three days and nights without getting tired||Perform a Ritual at your Temple declaring a day of rest, your Followers will not work that day and gain +80 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Holy Day Ritual
For this tier, both options can be good. However, if you have anxiety about your Faith dropping too low, thus causing Dissenters, the Holy Day Ritual will be your saving grace. This is a huge boost in Faith, and we recommend having this one as a fallback in case something goes wrong—especially if it’s your first playthrough.
The Possessions Doctrines deal with how much your Cult members will care about material possessions. This includes Gold, Decorations, and Buildings. We’d recommend unlocking these earlier on, as some of these will help immensely with building up your wealth.
The following are all the possible Possessions Doctrines, along with advice on which one to choose at each tier.
|Extort Tithes||Bribe Follower|
|Collect Gold from a Follower once a day||Bribe a Follower with 3x Gold to increase their Loyalty|
Best Doctrine – Extort Tithes
In this case, you will likely want to opt to collect Gold from a Follower. Though Loyalty levels are generally harder to increase than to get gold, there are many other ways to increase those levels without spending the Gold to do it.
|Belief in Materialism Trait||Belief in False Idols Trait|
|Gain Faith when building better sleeping quarters||Gain more Faith when placing a Decoration Building|
Best Doctrine – Belief in False Idols
Eventually, you will stop building more sleeping quarters, but you’ll likely continue to decorate your Cult far into the late game. By the end, you will place a Decoration far more times than you will build a sleeping quarter. Thus, you will want to choose the Belief in False Idols Trait here.
|Alms for the Poor Ritual||Ritual of Enrichment|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which you distribute Gold to all Followers to increase their Loyalty, +10 Faith||Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which all Followers donate Gold to you|
Best Doctrine – Ritual of Enrichment
Again, there are numerous ways to increase your Followers’ Loyalty without spending Gold. So even though you might be tempted to choose the Alms for the Poor Ritual, you will have a greater ultimate gain from opting for the Ritual of Enrichment. Not to mention, the amount of Gold you receive from this Ritual is significant.
|Sacral Architecture Trait||Devotee Trait|
|When a new Building is constructed, +5 Faith||Gain more Faith when delivering a Sermon|
Best Doctrine – Devotee Trait
Eventually, you will not be constructing Buildings anymore. Thus, it is most beneficial to choose the Devotee Trait since you’ll need to keep your Cult’s Faith up for as long as you play the game.
Law and Order
The Law and Order Doctrines deal with core beliefs for your Cult. This includes crime, marriage, and sin. The Law and Order Doctrines are best to focus on mid-game when you already have a good number of Followers.
The following are all the possible Law and Order Doctrines, along with advice on which one to choose at each tier.
Law and Order I
|Murder Follower||Ascend Follower Ritual|
|Murder and dispose of a Follower, can upset other Followers||Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which you can ascend a Follower’s spirit to a higher plane of existence, all Followers gain Loyalty|
Best Doctrine – Ascend Follower Ritual
Considering there are other ways to kill off your Followers—such as by having them eat the Deadly Dish—murder is an unnecessary action to unlock. Followers with higher Loyalty are invaluable for declaring more Doctrines and having more successful Missionary trips, so you’ll want to choose Ascend Follower Ritual for this one.
Law and Order II
|Ritualistic Pit Fight||Wedding|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which two Followers fight to the death||Perform a Ritual at your Temple so you can marry one of your Followers, +30 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Wedding
Considering that the Pit Fight doesn’t provide you with much aside from losing a Follower, the Wedding is the better choice. There are other ways to take out Followers, even without the Murder action, such as feeding them the Deadly Dish, which has a 75% kill rate. You can also marry as many times as you want, though this will begin to make other Followers you’ve married jealous.
Law and Order III
|Belief in Original Sin Trait||Belief in Absolution Trait|
|All are born guilty, so reduce Faith loss when putting a Follower in jail who is not dissenting||Freedom above all else, any day that begins without anyone in prison +10 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Belief in Absolution Trait
This is another extremely easy choice. You will only ever put Followers in jail when they aren’t dissenting when another Follower claims they’ve caught someone stealing or want to see someone punished. They will then request you put that Follower in prison, so you would do so to complete the quest. This happens rarely, so your best bet is to choose the Belief in Absolution Trait. Most days will pass without someone in prison, except for when you allow dissenting Followers to join your cult.
Law and Order IV
|Loyalty Enforcer||Tax Enforcer|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which you appoint a Follower as a Loyalty Enforcer, tasked with patrolling the Cult and raising the Loyalty of your Followers||Perform a Ritual at your Temple in which you appoint a Follower as your Tax Enforcer, tasked with collecting Gold from other Cult members.|
Best Doctrine – Loyalty Enforcer
The Loyalty levels of your Followers are much more valuable than collecting extra Gold, especially when there are numerous other ways to do so. You can collect Gold through a different Ritual, at the Altar, out in the dungeons, and more. Higher Loyalty levels allow for more Doctrines to be unlocked and for more successful Missionary trips. Thus, you’ll want to appoint the Loyalty Enforcer for this tier.
The Sustenance Doctrines deal with your Followers’ need for Food. This includes their hunger, gathering Food, and how your Farm operates. We recommend starting off with the Sustenance Doctrine, as controlling your Cult’s hunger when you have very limited resources at the beginning can be crucial.
The following are all the possible Sustenance Doctrines, along with advice on which one to choose at each tier.
|Ritual Fast||Feasting Ritual|
|Performs a Ritual at your Temple to declare a fast, Followers will not eat or be hungry for three days||Throw a grand feast for your Followers to refill their hunger and +25 Faith|
Best Doctrine – Ritual Fast
Though the Feasting Ritual is a great fail-safe, you’ll benefit more from the Ritual Fast. The Ritual Fast essentially allows you to freeze time, so it can also function as a bit of a fail-safe, so you can go out scavenging for more food or work on your Farm in the meantime. But the Ritual Fast also allows you to go on longer crusades without worrying about your Followers starving while you’re gone, so you can build up more of your resources at a time.
|+5 Faith whenever Followers consume a meal made from Follower meat||No negative Faith when a Follower eats a meal made from Grass|
Best Doctrine – Grass Eater Trait
Considering you will collect copious amounts of Grass and not much Follower meat, you’ll want to choose the Grass Eater Trait for this tier. While it can be useful to feed Follower meat to your Followers, it won’t happen often, so you can’t rely on this much as a source of Food. Grass, however, is found everywhere, so it’s beneficial to be able to feed this to Followers without negative effects.
|Ritual of the Harvest||Ritual of the Ocean’s Bounty|
|Perform a Ritual at your Temple that causes all Seeds to be immediately ready for harvest||Perform a Ritual at your Temple which for two days will make special Fish more likely to appear while fishing, also catch double Fish|
Best Doctrine – Ritual of the Ocean’s Bounty
Ritual of the Harvest might be useful in the early game, but eventually you will have an automated Farm. Thus, it will be more beneficial in the long run to opt for Ritual of the Ocean’s Bounty. You need rare Fish to complete a quest, and other Fish can be used in recipes for your Cult Followers.
|Substances Encouraged Trait||Belief in Prohibitionism Trait|
|+20 Faith when Brainwashing Ritual is performed||Increase work speed and Devotion generation increased by 10%, but 50% chance of Followers becoming sick after the Brainwashing Ritual|
Best Doctrine – Substances Encouraged Trait
The 10% increase in work speed and Devotion is only a small increase at a very high risk of your Followers becoming sick. Considering there are other ways to increase Devotion and work speed, the risk is not worth it. Thus, you’ll want to choose the Substances Encouraged Trait for this tier.