Dominions 6 – Ultimate Guide to Dominions


The pretenders of Dominions 6 aspire to godhood. Dominion represents this belief in god separately from military control, as a force that extends with varying strength from province to province.

Friendly dominion (i.e. yours) shows up on the map as a white candle in the province. The extent of your dominion is represented by the number of candles: the greater the dominion, the more candles. Dominion is measured by province: you may have high dominion in one province but low dominion in an adjacent one. Each province has this candle symbol, although you can only see it for those provinces where you have some way of getting information. Just like with military reports, you don’t know who believes what in a province unless you have someone close enough to find out.

Be clear on one point: conquering provinces does not expand your dominion. Your armies can march across entire continents without changing the dominion in the provinces they’ve conquered. Dominion is a representation of the religious dominance of a pretender god. So while a military banner denotes one type of control, dominion depicts another.

This section is devoted to the concept of dominion, how it spreads, and what that means for you, the aspiring god of the universe. The take-home points are:

  • Dominion is not related to military control.
  • Your dominion is represented by white candles and its reach can be seen by the yellow border around the provinces that your dominion covers.
  • The initial strength of your pretender’s dominion (set in god creation) is very important.
  • Once that strength is set, you can increase it by building temples.
  • Your god spreads dominion wherever he goes.
  • You can appoint one (and only one) prophet – he spreads dominion, too.
  • Temples spread dominion (except for certain nations who must use blood sacrifice) and building them is important.
  • Priests can raise dominion by preaching, but it is different from the other types of spread.
  • Some nations can sacrifice blood slaves to spread dominion.
  • The level of your dominion scales in a province is related to the strength of your dominion.
  • If you are playing a disciple (team) game, your side only has one overall dominion.
  • In a disciple (team) game, disciples spread dominion like prophets do.
  • You cannot appoint a prophet in a disciple game. The pretenders of disciple nations are treated as prophets of the god nation.

The level of dominion in a given province is very important and has many effects. It is also limited by certain factors.

Maximum Dominion

The maximum dominion you can have in any one of your provinces is equal to the initial dominion score of your pretender, plus one for every (five times the number of players on the team) temples you have, rounded down.

Example: You are playing in a four-player game with two players per team. Your nation has 12 temples and a pretender with an initial dominion score of 3. Your nation can never have more than dominion 4 in any province.

Enemy Dominion

Any dominion that is not yours is enemy dominion, and shows up on the map as a dark candle if you press [Ctrl-3]. You can also see it in the province info box. Only one nation can have dominion in a single province at a given time, so if a province is at -3 dominion to you, it is -3 to everyone except the nation exerting +3 dominion into the province.

Increasing Your Dominion

Dominion doesn’t correspond to military control of a province. Instead, dominion radiates outward from its four sources: your pretender, your capital, your temples, and your prophet (if you have one). In a team game it also radiates from disciples. In a game with Thrones of Ascension, it radiates from those as well. This is why your dominion is almost always high in and immediately adjacent to your home province: every turn, the game checks for dominion spread in your home province. The role-playing reason for this is obvious and requires no explanation.

The chance of your dominion increasing in a province or spreading to an adjacent province partly depends on your god’s initial dominion, which you specified when you created your pretender.

Chance of increasing dominion

  • 50% + (maximum dominion * 5%).

Example: In a game with no teams (just individual players), a certain nation has eight temples and a pretender with an initial dominion of 7. Each turn, each temple has an 80% chance of successfully increasing the god’s dominion. If this nation builds two more temples (to a total of ten), the chance of dominion increase per temple will go up to 90%.

This “temple check” is the fundamental unit of dominion increase in the game. Considered in these terms, your centers of dominion have the following effects:

  • Pretender: one automatic increase plus two temple checks
  • Home province: one temple check
  • Prophet: one temple check
  • Temple: one temple check
  • Disciple: one temple check
  • Throne of Ascension: see below

Thus, having a pretender in a province automatically results in a dominion increase or spread of one, and could result in two more. All other types have the possibility for an increase/spread of one, according to the formula above.

Dominion Over Water

Dominion spread that goes to a random province is less likely to cross water borders. If the random province to which the dominion is to spread is a sea province, and the origin province is not (or vice versa, where the origin province is a sea province and the province to receive the spread is not), there is a 50% chance that another random province is selected. This random province then gets the dominion spread instead.

Appointing a Prophet

One unit can be named as the prophet of your pretender (except in disciple games, as mentioned above). The prophet gains additional abilities as follows:

  • If the unit is already a priest of level 3 or more, it is increased by 1.
  • Otherwise, the unit becomes a level 3 priest, regardless of whether the unit was a priest or not to begin with.
  • The prophet spreads dominion like a temple.
  • The prophet gets +2 to Attack, Defence & Precision skills.
  • The prophet will have his HP, Str and MR influenced by dominion, just like a pretender god.

Thrones of Ascension Provinces that contain Thrones of Ascension only come into play if the “Thrones of Ascension” special victory condition has been selected in game setup (it is the default victory condition). If so, provinces with a throne spread dominion for the owning player as though they were a temple of that nation. A Throne of Ascension can cause anywhere from 1 to 7 temple checks, which varies from throne to throne. The throne must be claimed to spread dominion. A throne can only be claimed by a pretender, prophet, or level 3 priest, and requires the Claim Throne of Ascension order.


The nation of Mictlan in the early and late eras is another exception to the above rules. Mictlan’s home province, prophet, and temples do not spread dominion. Its pretender checks are half as effective as a normal pretender. The only way for Mictlan to spread dominion (aside from the pretender) is to conduct blood sacrifices (see below). Several other nations have also used blood sacrifices at various times in their history, and thus are also able to spread dominion through blood sacrifices. However, their pretenders, prophets, home provinces, and temples function normally; for these nations, blood sacrifices are in addition to normal dominion spread. These are listed at the end of this section.

Blood Sacrifices

To conduct a blood sacrifice, a priest of the appropriate nation can sacrifice a number of blood slaves up to and including his priest level. The province he occupies must contain a temple. For each blood slave thus sacrificed, one temple check (described below) is generated. Thus, blood sacrifices can be a powerful method of spreading dominion.

Dominion Spread

When a “temple check occurs,” the following happens:

If the dominion in the province is neutral, dominion increases to +1 automatically.

If the province contains friendly dominion, the chance for it to increase by one is 30% minus (3% multiplied by the current friendly dominion in that province). Thus, the higher your dominion in a province, the less likely that a random spread will increase it. If the dominion isn’t increased in the current province the dominion spread will go to a random neighboring province.

If the province contains enemy dominion, there is a chance that you will reduce it by one point.

Chance of reducing enemy dominion

  • 50% + (maximum dominion * 5%) – (current enemy dominion in the province * 5%).

Thus, high enemy dominion is harder to reduce via random spread than low enemy dominion. A series of high dominion provinces can act as a “wall of faith” that keeps enemy dominion out.

Each dominion spread in a province with friendly dominion will either increase that dominion level or make a new dominion spread in a random neighboring province instead. So a temple check can spread dominion to provinces far away as long as all provinces in between have friendly dominion.

Preaching the Word of God

This is an order available to priests which enables them to raise the dominion level in their province only. The base chance of this occurring is 30% multiplied by the priest level. If the priest is preaching in a province with an enemy dominion already present, this base chance is reduced. If the dominion in the province is friendly (positive) or neutral (zero), the chance is equal to the base chance, with no subtraction.

If there is a temple in that province, the priest is treated as though he were one-half level higher than his current priest level. Thus, a level 2 priest will be treated as a level 2.5 priest. This is for purposes of preaching and maximum dominion increase (see below).

Chance of successful preaching

  • 30% * (priest level (+1⁄2 for temple)) – (enemy dominion) * 5%

Example: A level 1 priest is preaching in a province that has -4 dominion (that is, an enemy has 4 dominion there). His chance of successfully increasing his dominion (and thus reducing the enemy dominion from -4 to -3) is 10%. If he were preaching in a province with neutral or friendly dominion, he would have a 30% chance of increasing dominion. If there were a friendly temple in the province, his chance would be 25% (in the -4 dominion) and 45% (in neutral or friendly dominion).

Preaching is thus independent of pretender dominion strength, and completely dependent on priest level and enemy dominion in the province being preached in.

Furthermore, preaching in a province can only raise dominion as high as twice the level of the priest doing the preaching. Thus, a level 2 priest can preach in a province, but cannot raise the dominion in that province above 4. If there is a temple in that province, the priest is treated as though he were one-half level higher than his current priest level – so a level 2 priest preaching in a province with a temple could raise the dominion in that province to 5. This increase is in addition to (and independent of) the spread check for the temple, but only affects that province (it cannot spread to an adjacent one).

The chance of reducing enemy dominion when preaching cannot go below 5%, so it is never completely useless to preach in a province with enemy dominion.

Inquisitor Bonus

Inquisitors are more effective at preaching when in an enemy dominion, due to assorted role-playing reasons. Their priest level counts as double for the purposes of preaching. Their chance of increasing dominion through preaching is thus (60% times the priest level) minus (5% times the enemy dominion level). Thus, in the example above, a Marignon inquisitor of level 2 would have a 100% chance of increasing dominion in a province with -4 dominion. In a neutral or friendly dominion province, his chance for success would be the same as any other level 2 priest: 60%.

If the dominion in a province is already as high or higher than twice the level of the priest who is preaching (including temple benefit if applicable) and you try to give a priest in that province a “Preach” order, then a warning box will appear, informing you that “Preaching cannot be used to raise the dominion of this province any higher.” However, when you close this box, the priest in question will still have his orders set to “Preach.” This preaching will have no effect, so you should change it to something useful. If you have a priest preaching in a province for several turns, and when he started doing it he was able to increase your dominion but now he has raised it to a point where he has no further effect, the game will not warn you that your priest has stopped being useful there – you need to keep track of this yourself.


Heretics are units that spread lies or uncomfortable truths detrimental to faith in general. Their presence will have a chance of automatically lower any pretender’s dominion in a province. Heretics are detrimental to your dominion, but if there is enemy dominion in your lands heretics may be sent there to reduce faith in the enemy god. Some heretics are stealthy and can be sent into enemy lands to spread their subversive words.

Chance of reducing dominion

  • Heretic Ability * 20%

Dominion Effects

It’s obvious what benefit you get from militarily controlling a province, but what does having a high dominion do?

Throughout this manual, you’ll run into a number of things that depend on the state of dominion in a given province. For example, units fighting in a province with friendly dominion (whatever the strength) gain +1 morale, while fighting in enemy dominion reduces morale by 1. A pretender (as well as a prophet) gains hit points when in friendly dominion, and suffers a hit point penalty when in enemy dominion (and the magnitude of the bonus or penalty is directly related to the level of dominion). Pretenders and prophets also gain friendly dominion bonuses and suffer enemy dominion penalties to strength and magic resistance.

Effects of dominion scales

OrderIncreases income by 3%, Resources +2%, Recruitment +10%, Unrest reduction +1, 2% fewer random events
TurmoilDecreases income by 3%, Resources -2%, Recruitment -10%, Unrest reduction -1, 2% more random events
ProductivityIncreases income by 3% and resources by 15%
SlothDecreases income by 3% and resources by 15%
Heat/ColdEach step of heat/cold level away from a race’s ideal level decreases tax revenues by 5% and decreases supplies by 10%
GrowthIncreases population growth by 0.2% per month, Increases supplies by 10%, Increases income by 1%
DeathDecreases population growth by 0.2% per month, Decreases supplies by 10%, Decreases income by 1%
Fortune5% more random events, Chance of a random event being good increased by 10%, Chance of national hero +0.5%
Misfortune5% more random events, Chance of a random event being good decreased by 10%, Chance of national hero -0.5%
MagicMakes spells harder to resist (-0.5 MR per scale rounded down, to all units in a province), All spellcasting generates 10%less fatigue per scale, Gives all friendly mages +1 research points per scale, +50 points of starting research per scale
DrainMakes spells easier to resist (+0.5 MR per scale rounded down, to all units in a province), All spellcasting generates 10%more fatigue per scale, Gives all mages -1 research points per scale, -50 points of starting research per scale.

Dominion Scales

When you create your pretender, the dominion scales you choose will spread with your dominion. This does not all occur at once – if you have Order 3, provinces with low friendly dominion may only gain Order 1 or 2. Over time, they will reflect your chosen scales. Each turn a province has your dominion in it there will be a small chance for each scale to tip one step towards your chosen dominion. The chance for this to happen is (5% multiplied by the dominion level in the province) plus (10% multiplied by the difference between the actual scale and your nation’s scale).

Thus, a big difference between your scales and the scales in a province makes the provincial scales react more quickly. Once the difference has become small, the chance of tipping the scales is reduced. Likewise, having a strong dominion in a province makes the provincial scales change faster (but this is only half as important as the difference in scales is).

Effects of Dominion Scales

The table shows the main effect of scales in a province.

The default starting research at neutral Magic/Drain scales is 150 points researched. The default chance of receiving a nation hero is 3% per month.

Scales with extreme values (4 or higher) can also have other often negative effects, these are shown in the extreme scales table.  Most negative scales (e.g. sloth or misfortune) have no additional negative effect, having 5 in a negative scale is usually bad enough.

Scales that are 4 or higher will also start to spread to neighboring provinces, even if they are part of another Pretender’s Dominion.

Extreme dominion scales

Order4+People lack creativity. Magic research -2 (or -4 with order 5).
Productivity4 +People get unruly. Unrest will increase with 1-5/month (or 1-15/month for productivity 5).
Heat4+Decrease population by 0.4% per month (or 1% with heat 5)
Cold4+Decrease population by 0.4% per month (or 1% with cold 5)
Death4+Slowly turns forests & farms into plains and plains into wastelands
Growth4+Slowly turns plains into forests or farms (order scale required for farms) and seas into kelp forests
Growth5Slowly turns farms into forests
Fortune4+Decreases income and resources by 5% (or 15% with fortune 5)
Magic4 +Horrors thrive here and horror marks will start to appear. Unrest will increase with 1-5/month (1-15 for magic 5).

Heat / Cold Scale Variability

The heat scale of a province is affected by the current season and terrain in addition to the dominion that is present.

Summer makes it one step warmer and winter makes it one step colder. Cave and outer planar provinces are not affected by seasons however.

Deep seas are always at neutral temperature and other seas can only get one step of cold or heat, regardless of the dominion or enchantments present.

Extreme Heat / Cold Scales

Extreme heat and cold kills off population, just like a high death scale would. However some nations are able to reduce this effect. E.g. the inhabitants of Abysia like extreme heat and the inhabitants of Niefelheim like extreme cold.

The heat/cold scale in a province with a fort for these nations will count as one or two steps less regarding the population killing effect of the heat/cold scale. So for Niefelheim that reduces the killing effect of the cold scale by 2 there would never be any population deaths in a fortified cold province, but in a warm province the deaths would start already at heat 2 (this would count as heat 4 for population killing purposes).

Pretender and Prophet Hit Points

The hit points of pretenders and prophets are affected by the current dominion in their province. Pretenders and prophets in friendly dominion will have increased hit points, while in enemy dominion their hit points will be reduced.

The greater the dominion, the greater the effect. They also get increased strength and magic resistance.

For each level of friendly dominion in a province, a prophet and/or pretender gains:

  • +1 strength
  • + 1⁄2 magic resistance
  • +10% hit points

For every level of enemy dominion in a province, a prophet and/or pretender loses:

  • –1 strength
  • –1⁄2 magic resistance point
  • –10% hit points.

Hit points cannot be reduced below 10% of the total.

Dominion Victory

The most powerful use of dominion is to win the game! If a pretender has no friendly dominion on the map, he or she is eliminated from the game. This is known as the Tinkerbell Effect: if no one believes in you, you cease to exist.

This is more useful than it seems: for example, if you’re facing down a pretender in his last fortress with a strong defending army, you may not need to storm the fortress at all. Instead, besieging the fortress while reducing the enemy dominion with your pretender can wipe him out without a battle! And you’ll never have to brave those annoying tower archers.

Note that this does not refer to just the dominion in his province – it refers to all of his dominion everywhere. But if you can pin your enemy down and box him in, you can reduce his dominion without necessarily having to fight an apocalyptic battle.

Dominion Strategy

You can now perhaps start to see how this works. In order to spread dominion, you have to build temples, or preach, or both. Because you can only build temples in friendly provinces, and because your priests can’t enter enemy provinces and survive unless they have stealth capability (like the priests of Man), you need to expand your borders through military force in order to spread your religion.

There are many events in history – fantasy history – that are examples of bringing religion to the people at the point of a sword. You almost certainly read about them in fantasy history class.

Special Dominions

Some nations historically had special dominions which had additional effects. These are represented in game terms in the following ways:

Arcoscephale (all eras)

Arcoscephale will scry on all provinces under its dominion. This scrying is very accurate and will also reveal enemy units that are using the glamour ability to hide. The information gained from this will be available to disciple players as well.

Mictlan, Reign of Blood (early era)
Mictlan, Blood and Rain (late era)

May blood sacrifice. Also has dying dominion, meaning it will not spread dominion from temples etc. like other nations.

The dying dominion only affects this nation regardless of being disciple or God.

Yomi (early era)

The dominion of this nation follows some special rules. Oni are wild, ugly, and mischievous demons that thrive when the land is in turmoil. Oni will appear in all temples that are inside Yomi’s dominion. A high Turmoil scale will increase the number of Oni that appear in the temples. The strength of the Yomi dominion itself does not affect this, as long as it is at least 1. The location of the temple determines what type of Oni might appear – mountains or highlands are required to get the most powerful types. Cold or Warm provinces often result in the Ao-oni or Aka-oni that thrive in that type of climate. Temples in temperate provinces without mountains or highlands will only get the least powerful Oni. Disciples to Yomi do not get this dominion feature.

Oni generals also attract Oni if they are in a province with Turmoil scales or Unrest. These Oni are only of the least powerful type. Yomi’s dominion is not required for this.

R’lyeh, Dreamlands (late era)

Spreads insanity to all non-void beings and madmen will emerge to help in the war. Over time the madmen and dreamers will partly cross over into the world of dreams and become insubstantial beings known as void dreamers. Both effects will also happen in lands owned by disciple players and the disciple players will be slightly protected from madness just like humans in R’lyeh. This protection is far from adequate however and being a disciple to a R’lyeh god will not be easy.

Ermor, Ashen Empire (middle era)

The dead will rise to serve Ermor and the living will die so they can rise later on. These effects will also take place for disciple players and the undead will obey the disciples when they appear there. The disciple players start with full population in their realm, but it will die quickly and undead will rise instead. Being a disciple to Ermor will not be easy.

Ermor’s dominion also senses any unburied corpses in the provinces it covers.

Asphodel, Carrion Woods (middle era)

The living will die and be animated by vines and roots to serve in the war against the world. Manikins will rise from the corpses of humans, animals, satyrs, harpies, minotaurs, and other creatures animated by the vines and the malign will of the God of the Vengeful Woods. Disciples will also get this effect and their population will soon be killed. Being a disciple to Asphodel will not be easy.

C’tis, Miasma (middle era)

The dominion of C’tis will cause heavy rain that lasts for months at a time and turn the land into soggy wetlands. Mosquitoes will thrive and so will diseases.

All warm-blooded beings without the swamp survival special ability will be affected by diseases and all enemy provinces under this dominion will have their income severely reduced. Provinces owned by C’tis will have their income slightly increased instead. All provinces (except seas) will slowly turn in swamps or drip caves as appropriate.

Disciples are affected in the same way as enemies, but their sacred troops are immune. Underwater provinces are not affected, so it would be possible to have an underwater disciple without facing a ruined economy and a dying army.

Agartha, Golem Cult (middle era)

Constructs will have increased hit points in this dominion. It will help disciple players as well as enemies should they have any constructs.

Abysia (all eras)
Marverni, Time of Druids (early era)
Sauromatia, Amazon Queens (early era)
Pangaea, Age of Revelry (early era)
Vanheim, Age of Vanir (early era)
Hinnom, Sons of the Fallen (early era)
Berytos, Phoenix Empire (early era)
Xibalba, Vigil of the Sun (early era)
Pyrène, Time of the Akelarre (middle era)
Vanheim, Arrival of Man (middle era)
Nidavangr, Bear, Wolf and Crow (middle era)
Marignon, Conquerors of the Sea (late era)
Midgård, Age of Men (late era)
Gath, Last of the Giants (late era)
Xibalba, Return of the Zotz (late era)

May blood sacrifice to increase dominion. This ability is not transferred to disciple nations. Disciple nations with this ability can still use it. These nations do not have dying dominion. Note that Marverni does not have any blood mages, so it will have a very hard time finding blood slaves.

Phaeacia, Dark Ships (middle era)

All Phaeacia’s commanders can sail (see Sailing ability, p. 59) if both the origin and destination provinces are in friendly dominion. The Dark Vessels ability cannot be transferred to other nations. Disciples do not benefit from the Dark Vessels. If Phaeacia is ruled by a disciple, it can still use its Dark Vessels in all lands under their pretender’s dominion.

Therodos (early era)

Population will die off slowly but surely under the dominion of Therodos. Friendly forts under this dominion will generate ghosts that will help the Pretender God. In disciple game this will also affect the disciples.

Mekone (early era)

The dominion of Mekone is extra efficient at suppressing other faiths. When trying to remove the enemy dominion, the maximum strength of Mekone is counted as one higher than it really is.

Phlegra (middle and late era)

All provinces under the dominion of Phlegra will have their unrest increased every turn. Higher dominion strength in the province yields a greater increase in unrest. In a disciple game this will only have an effect if Phlegra is the Pretender God and then it will affect the disciples as well. Being a disciple of Phlegra will be difficult.

Ubar (early era) Na’Ba (mid era) Ind (middle era) Feminie (late era)

This dominion will hide the province name and ownership from enemies unless they are investigating more closely. Scouts will need to enter the province in order to see through this illusion. Scouts in nearby provinces will see it as an independent owned province with a false name.

Disciples to pretenders with these dominions will also benefit from the effect.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 373 Articles
Being a big gaming fan, I believe that I have a lot to share with other gamers. I got my first official job in the game industry in 2005 and continue to develop there. It's a true blessing when your passion, hobby, and job combine into something one. My favorite console is the Nintendo Switch. I think you can all guess why. Because I just bought a Steam Deck. I love playing on PC, but my main love for me will always be Xbox. Anyway, it's complicated and simple at the same time. After all, I'm back in the days of the ZX Spectrum (1994)…

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