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This particular coven operates as a powerful and widespread enterprise focused on accumulating power to direct the world in ways that align with their interests. This group operates similar to HYDRA or COBRA, recruiting members mostly from young people seeking power in society, with the intention of using them to expand the coven's interests. These individuals may rise in the hierarchy due to their successes and eventually become key members and important players. Witches gain more power through a dark ritual, which steals the life force from an unwilling victim and adds it to their own, making their magic stronger. Rituals are performed with a circle of 5, with each witch sharing in the power gained. This means that a young witch will join the coven in the hopes that, one day, she will be promoted high enough to start performing such rituals to eventually become a goddess.

Organizations like this operate like pyramid schemes, with the top echelons of power gaining the most energy from the ritual, and trickles down from there. Lets say the leaders and most advanced members share 60% power boost amongst themselves, the mid-tier level gain 30%, with the lowest getting the smallest 10%. This sharing of power evens out automatically once the ritual is complete, as everyone in the coven is connected through mystical oaths, which eliminates the problem of cheating anyone. However, this creates another issue.

Organizations like this need to grow and reach into different avenues of society to expand their power base. However, the amount of power that each member receives from the split of energy gets smaller as the pool gets bigger. Say the cult starts out with 100 members, with each tier getting the share of power according to their rank. With more people in the pool, that percentage decreases because it needs to be shared among more people. Smart interns who realize this would be less motivated to bring in more members because their share of power, as small as it is, gets smaller. Opportunistic members will then bump off other colleagues to decrease the pool, letting them get stronger.

I need a way to get members to expand the power base of the group instead of only thinking about their individual self-interest. How can I make this possible?

EDIT: My other question was about preventing members who are already apart of the organization from stabbing each other in the back with constant betrayals in order to get to the top. This question is geared towards recruiting new members outside the organizationton to expand its power base. Based on the new parameters, I believe that the question is not a duplicate.

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marked as duplicate by Renan, 011358 smell, Nosajimiki, elemtilas, Arkenstein XII Jul 24 at 23:48

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ Um you seem to say that everyone gets an equal cut due to the oaths that share the power from a ritual yet there is still an inequity in power gained due to rank, please clarify. $\endgroup$ – Ash Jul 24 at 15:11
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    $\begingroup$ You've asked this before. $\endgroup$ – Renan Jul 24 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ This sounds like a standard corporation to me... $\endgroup$ – Harabeck Jul 24 at 19:26
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This really isn't any different from pyramid schemes in the real world. If you're selling, say, shoddy but trendy leggings, it doesn't actually make sense for anyone to shrink their share of the market by recruiting their own competition. People do it because they want to move up the ladder. The secret is in the tiers.

If there are six "levels" in the pyramid, and I'm in the fifth one down, then I'm in the third tier and my share of the power is dismal. But, if there are 30 levels, and I'm in the fifth one down, I'm now in the top tier and I'm in much better shape. So it is in my best interest to recruit as many people as possible in the hope that some of them will also recruit others and so on, thus adding levels to the pyramid below me and moving me into a higher tier.

It's true that my share of the power once I get to the top tier of this 30-level pyramid will be much smaller than the share of power enjoyed by the top tier when the pyramid was smaller. This is why most pyramid schemes eventually fall apart; as the pyramid gets larger the rewards get smaller. Still, once you are in it, your only hope to improve your situation is to recruit more people under you.

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You could make it so that only the top 10% actually get the powers. The goal would be to get the recruits so hyped up that they dedicate their lives towards getting the "ultimate" power. The ones in charge would be able to use the power for shock and awe value the same way a pyramid scheme "manager" uses a rented Mustang or BMW.

There are a lot of things that a cult/coven has to do, so there would be plenty for the novice members to do. This would allow for the higher ups to focus on spells, improving their powers, gaining more world control etc. The biggest goal would be to make sure all the recruits would step on top of each other to get to a higher position. You could do that by making life with the power seem utopic, full of joy and happiness, eternal life, etc.

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Two suggestions:

  1. The only way to move up the heirarchy is to recruit other members. Members are therefore motivated to increase their own power by recruiting others as subordinates.

  2. Only the member/members who bring in the victim and their superiors get a cut of the power--the power doesn't get shared with the other members on the same level. I'm not sure how your victims have their life force harvested--I'm assuming they're kidnapped and someone has to be responsible for bringing them in for the ritual. This would require a more family tree-style power structure, with each descending tier broken into groups.

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