Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

In Cult of the Lamb, you will be managing a cult (as the game’s title suggests). One of the categories of things you’re in charge of is called Doctrines — these are basically the rules by which your cult lives. These will oftentimes grant perks, but those perks generally come at a cost. But we’ll talk more about that as we get into the meat of this guide.

Basically, you manage your Doctrine at your temple. When you preach a sermon or perform a Ritual, you leech Devotion from your followers, which levels up your temple.

You’ll also be collecting Commandment Stone tablets, and when you collect three of them, you can return to your temple to unlock one new Devotion. A decision wheel pops up that allows you to select a category for the new Doctrine, then you’ll make a choice within that category where you choose between two opposing Doctrines to determine which one becomes law. Every category has four tiers of choices, so you can choose up to 20 Doctrines. Plus, there are more Doctrines that you unlock via story progress.

So I’m going to walk you through every Doctrine in the game, and I’ll explain the benefits of each one.

First Doctrine

Cult of the Lamb - Bonfire Ritual

Bonfire Ritual

Dance around the flame to increase the Cult’s faith (+30 Faith).

How to unlock: This will be the first Doctrine you unlock, which you’ll do by completing the Doctrines tutorial. The game is going to ask you to go into the dungeons and come back with fragments of a Commandment Stone. As long as you make it far enough into the dungeon (you don’t have to defeat the boss; you just have to reach a room that contains three stone fragments), you can return to your camp with the Commandment Stone. You will have a new option in your temple called “Crown,” which allows you to spend those Tablet Fragments on an upgrade. By default, the first upgrade is the Bonfire Ritual, which will in turn unlock the “Rituals” option in your Temple.

Earning Commandment Stone fragments

Cult of the Lamb - Commandment Stone

You will earn a fragment every time one of your followers levels up. You will also earn them at key story points in the game (like beating a boss for the first time), and occasionally you will find them lying about inside a dungeon. When you collect three fragments, they will combine to form a Commandment Stone. Once you have a Commandment Stone, you can go to your Temple and use the “Crown” option to spend your Commandment Stone and pass a new Doctrine.


Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

After you’ve established the first Doctrine, you will get to choose another one every time you collect three Commandment Stone fragments. Basically, you get to choose from one of five categories:

  • Afterlife
  • Work & Worship
  • Possessions
  • Law & Order
  • Sustenance

Once you choose your category, you will have to make a choice between two usually contradictory Doctrines to determine the one that gets passed. Once you pass a Doctrine, the opposing Doctrine gets crossed out, and you will no longer be able to pass it for the duration of the game (in that particular save file, I mean — obviously, you can start a new save and start over if you want to).

I created multiple save files so I could test out both sides of this Doctrine tree, and what I found is that a lot of times one side is a short-term gain while the other side is a long-term gain. You can, of course, choose whatever you want, but I’ll give some recommendations for each choice you’ll be presented with. These are just my opinions based on my own playstyle, so feel free to choose whatever you want.

Afterlife – I

Cult of the Lamb - Afterlife

Belief in Sacrifice Trait

All cult members will gain the Belief in Sacrifice Trait. +20 Faith when another member is sacrificed.

Belief in Afterlife Trait

All cult members will gain the Belief in Afterlife Trait. Only lose -5 Faith when a follower dies instead of -20.

Now, it seems like a no-brainer to go with Belief in Sacrifice, because sacrificing your Followers is a super good way to quell rebellions. However, the sacrifice ritual has a pretty lengthy cooldown, and once your cult grows above 10 or so, you’re going to start seeing elderly members dying off at a pretty good pace. In the long run, Belief in Afterlife seems like the better choice to me.

Afterlife – II

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Ritual of Resurrection

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. Gain 20 faith.

Okay, so this is a personal preference, but I had a few cultists in my first save file that I got really attached to. So I definitely liked having the option to resurrect them after they died. It’s also a good way of preventing your cult from shrinking too much once a batch of Followers starts aging.

If you go with the Funeral option, note that you must have recently put a corpse into a Burial Pit in order to use this Ritual (I assume this works for Graves too, but I wasn’t able to test it since I chose Graves and Funerals in opposite save files). You can’t perform a Funeral for any cultist that you sacrificed, cannibalized, or turned into compost.

Afterlife – III

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Respect Your Elders Trait

All cult members will gain the Respect Your Elders Trait. Followers receive +5 Faith for every elderly Follower in the cult.

Good Die Young Trait

All cult members will gain the Good Die Young Trait. Gain 10 Faith if an elder is sacrificed, murdered or consumed, but lose 20 Faith if an elder dies naturally.

While the Good Die Young Trait is kind of neat if you’re willing to micromanage your elderly cult members, it gets really difficult to keep all of your elders alive, or to sacrifice/murder them in time. I did experiment with this trait, but it ended up being super stressful. I very much prefer Respect Your Elders.

Afterlife – IV

Cult of the Lamb - Graveyard

Return to the Earth

Unlocks the Natural Burial building. The corpses of Dead followers may return to the earth by becoming fertiliser.

Grieve the Fallen

Unlocks the Grave building. Gain 2 Faith when followers grieve at the Grave.

I’ve tried both options, and I’m kind of on the fence here. I think Return the the Earth is maybe has a slight advantage for me just because Graves take up a lot of space. Oh, and a single Grave holds a single body, and a single Natural Burial building can only compost one body at a time. You can make multiples of both, but the Natural Burial building takes up four times the space. Note that the Grave is just an upgrade to the Burial Pit, so you’ll build the Burial Pit first, then upgrade it to a Grave.

Work & Worshop – I

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Faithful Trait

All Cult members will gain the Faithful Trait. Generate Devotion 15% faster.

Industrious Trait

All Cult members will gain the Industrious Trait and increase work speed by 15%.

So, my cultists don’t seem to work very much in general. This persisted across two save files. When their not working, they are worshipping and generating Devotion. I tend to find it far more valuable to have them generating Devotion faster than working faster. This swings my preference heavily toward Faithful Trait.

Work & Worship – II

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine


Inspire a Follower to significantly increase their Loyalty. Replaces the Bless action.


Intimidate a Follower to slightly increase their Loyalty as well as make them work 10% harder for 2 days. Replaces the Bless action.

Maybe I just play the game too nicely, but I definitely prefer Inspire to Intimidate. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, my cultists don’t work a lot, so getting them to work harder doesn’t do a lot for me. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Work & Worship – III

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

The Glory of Construction

Perform a Ritual at your temple that will immediately build all structures currently under construction.

Ritual of Enlightenment

Perform a Ritual at your temple that will temporarily increase devotion generation speed at your shrine by 20% for 3 days.

As you probably guessed, I roll with Ritual of Enlightenment because Devotion is more valuable to me than construction speed. I also don’t generally have a lot of unfinished construction in my world, so I never end up using the Construction Ritual.

Work & Worship – IV

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Glory Through Toil Ritual

Perform a Ritual at your temple which allows your Followers to work through 3 days and nights without getting tired.

Holy Day Ritual

Perform a Ritual at your temple declaring a day of rest. Your followers will not work that day and gain +80 Faith.

Okay, so my cultists hardly ever work, so the +80 Faith bonus of the Holy Day Ritual is super hard to pass up here.

Possessions – I

Cult of the Lamb - Bribe Follower

Extort Tithes

Unlocks the Extort Tithes Follower Action. Collect a gold coin from a Follower once a day.

Bribe Follower

Unlocks the Bribe Follower Follower Action. Bribe a Follower with 3 gold coins to increase their Loyalty.

In the beginning of the game, it seems like it makes sense to chose Extort Tithes, because money is hard to come by and it feels like you need a little bit of if for everything. However, you will eventually overcome this hurdle, and bribing your Followers will feel like more hassle than it’s worth. You will also start dealing with a lot of dissenting Followers who can start turning the whole flock against you. So if you’re shooting for a good long-term strategy, I would recommend Bribe Follower.

Possessions – II

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Belief in Materialism Trait

All Cult members will gain the Materialistic Trait. Gain Faith when building better sleeping quarters.

Belief in False Idols Trait

All Cult members will get the False Idols Trait. Gain more Faith when placing a decoration building.

I tend to play Cult of the Lamb super pragmatically, which means I upgrade my sleeping quarters long before I ever start decorating. For my playstyle, Belief in Materialism just feels like a no-brainer.

Possessions – III

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Alms for the Poor Ritual

Perform a Ritual at your temple in which you distribute gold coins to all Followers to increase their Loyalty. You will also gain +10 Faith.

Ritual of Enrichment

Perform a Ritual at your temple in which all followers donate gold coins to you.

This is another one that I’m on the fence about. I’m leaning slightly toward Alms for the Poor, because gold coins tend to be easier to farm than Loyalty, though I do admit that harvesting a whole sweep of coins from your followers with a simple Ritual isn’t exactly a bad thing.

Possessions – IV

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Sacral Architecture Trait

All Cult members will gain the Sacral Architecture Trait. When a new building is constructed, gain +5 Faith.

Devotee Trait

All Cult members will gain the Devotee Trait. Gain more Faith when delivering a Sermon.

Okay, I play the game pretty lean (as I’ve been saying), so I don’t build new buildings all that often. I do give Sermons every single day, though, so for me, Devotee Trait is the obvious choice here.

Law & Order – I

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Murder Follower

Unlocks the Murder Follower Action. A simple solution to many problems, but some Followers may find this upsetting… if they’re awake to witness it.

Ascend Follower Ritual

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.

These two options are fairly similar, though Murder Follower has more negative consequences than Ascend Follower. There is one benefit to Murder Follower, though — it doesn’t have a cooldown, while the Ascend Follower Ritual does. I still recommend Ascend Follower here, unless you want to do a whole lot of murderin’.

Law & Order – II

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Ritualistic Fight Pit

Perform a Ritual at your temple in which two Followers fight to the death — unless you’re feeling merciful…


Perform a Ritual at your temple so you can marry one of your Followers. Gain 30 Faith.

While the Ritualistic Fight Pit is good fun, the Wedding Ritual is far more useful. Plus, there’s a hidden benefit to performing your first wedding: You’ll unlock the Lovers II Tarot Card (you can also get the card from the fighting pit, but only if you spare the loser instead of letting them die).

Law & Order – III

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Belief in Original Sin Trait

All are born guilty. Reduced Faith loss when putting a Follower in jail who is not dissenting.

Belief in Absolution Trait

Freedom above all else. Every day that begins without anyone in prison, gain +10 Faith.

I don’t have to give my recommendation here, do I? Unless you really love jailing your cultists for no reason, it’s much smarter to go with Belief in Absolution.

Law & Order – IV

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Loyalty Enforcer

Perform a Ritual at your temple in which you appoint a Follower as your Loyalty Enforcer, tasked with patrolling the Cult and raising the Loyalty of your Followers.

Tax Enforcer

Perform a Ritual at your temple in which you appoint a Follower as your Tax Enforcer, tasked with collecting gold coins from other Cult members.

While both of these Doctrines are valuable, I tend to find Loyalty to be harder to earn than money, so Loyalty Enforcer wins out for me on this one.

Sustenance – I

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Ritual Fast

Perform a Ritual at your temple to declare a fast. Followers will not eat or be hungry for 3 days.

Feasting Ritual

Unlock the Feasting Ritual. Throw a grand feast for your Followers to refill their hunger and gain 25+ Faith!

I’m going to be honest: Both of these are great options. The Feasting Ritual is great if you end up getting quests where your Followers want you to take in starving folks, but the three-day lack of hunger drain for the Ritual Fast is really good (the Ritual Fast comes with a -30 Faith penalty, though).

Sustenance – II

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Cannibal Trait

All Cult members will gain the Cannibal Trait. +5 Faith when easting meal made from Follower meat.

Grass Eater Trait

All Cult members will gain the Grass Eater Trait. No negative Faith when a Follower eats a meal made from grass.

Grass is everywhere, and I tend to have tons of it, so removing the Faith penalty from grass-based meals is actually a pretty great perk. Also, I tend to turn my dead cultists into fertilizer, so I actually don’t have a lot of cannibalism going on in my cult in general. I suggest Grass Eater.

Sustenance – III

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Ritual of the Harvest

Perform a Ritual at your temple that causes all seeds to be immediately ready to harvest.

Ritual of the Ocean’s Bounty

Perform a Ritual at your temple which for 2 days will make special fish more likely to appear while fishing. You will also catch double fish.

Honestly, I’m not super impressed with either of these, because my crops grow fast enough as is and I don’t do a lot of fishing. Even so, I do think Ritual of the Ocean’s Bounty is the slightly better option here, since getting those rare fish can be difficult otherwise.

Sustenance – IV

Cult of the Lamb - Doctrine

Substances Encouraged Trait

All Cult members will gain the Substances Encouraged Trait. Gain 20 Faith when Brainwashing Ritual is performed.

Belief in Prohibitionism Trait

All Cult members will gain the Prohibitionist Trait. Increase work speed and devotion generation increased by 10%, but 50% chance of Followers becoming sick after the Brainwashing Ritual.

Come on. Don’t be lame. If you’ve gone through the trouble to unlock the Brainwashing Ritual (see the Additional Doctrines section for more info), then you really need to roll with Substances Encouraged here.

Additional Doctrines

You will unlock more Doctrines by completing certain story events. Here’s a list:

Read Mind

Cult of the Lamb - Read Mind

Interact with Followers to read their thoughts, as well as see how hungry, tired or sick they are.

How to unlock: This one seems to be unlocked by progressing through the first dungeon (Darkwood) and beating three dungeon bosses (Valefar, Amdusias, and Barbatos).

Brainwashing Ritual

Cult of the Lamb - Brainwashing

Perform a Ritual at your temple that brainwashes all your Followers. Faith will be locked at full for 2 days.

How to unlock: In the Anura dungeon, you have a chance of running into a mushroom cult. Talk to them and you’ll unlock Spore Grotto.

Meet Sozo in the back of Spore Grotto. He will ask you to bring him 10 Menticide Mushrooms (you can find these in dungeons occasionally, but you can also grow them yourself). When give Sozo the mushrooms, you’ll get a reward, and then they’ll ask you to bring them 20 more mushrooms. When you do that, you will unlock the Brainwashing Ritual Doctrine.

Sacrifice of the Flesh

Cult of the Lamb - Sacrifice

Sacrifice a Follower to grow your strength and unlock new abilities and weapons. Higher level Followers will be more valuable when sacrificed.

How to unlock: Beat the first boss in the Anura dungeon.

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