Dominions 6 – Ultimate Guide to Magic 


If the combat system is the heart of Dominions 6, the magic system is the soul. Everything is affected by magic in some way.

The most powerful spells can summon awesome monsters or change the face of the entire world. Magic can also be used to craft artifacts for use by heroes.

Some basic points to remember are:

  • Spells are either rituals, which are cast outside of combat, or battle magic, which is used in tactical battles
  • Magic depends both on the path and the school of magic
  • The path skill of a given mage is generally fixed and doesn’t change easily
  • School is a group of spells which can be learned through research
  • Research is performed in laboratories
  • Magic gems and blood slaves are needed for many spells
  • These gems are produced by magic sites, including those in a nation’s home province
  • Gems and blood slaves are items which can be carried by commanders or stored in a nation’s pool
  • Laboratories also provide access to a nation’s pool of magic gems, blood slaves and items
  • The Construction school allows for the building of magical items and artifacts
  • There are also Divine spells, which are special battle magic spells that can be cast by priests

The Paths of Magical Power

There are nine paths of magical power. The first four are the elemental paths of Fire, Air, Water and Earth. The next four are the sorcery paths of Astral, Nature, Death and Glamour. Finally there is the magic path of Blood, that path is slightly different from the other ones and is part of neither elemental nor sorcery magic.

There are eight types of magical gems which correspond to the one path of magic each. There are no Blood gems – Blood magic requires blood slaves, which can only be obtained through blood hunting. The symbols shown are used to represent magic paths, and will appear in spell descriptions as requirements for casting the spell.

Paths define the essential branches of magic. A fire mage can eventually learn all of the Fire spells in all the schools of magic for which he has the requisite magical ability, once his nation has researched them. But he cannot learn Nature or Earth spells, for instance, unless he first gains those path skills. While there are magic items that can increase a mage’s skill level in paths he already possesses, a mage can only acquire new paths through Empowerment (see below).

The Schools of Magical Research

There are also seven schools of magical research: Conjuration, Alteration, Evocation, Construction, Enchantment, Thaumaturgy, and Blood Magic. Note that the school of Blood Magic is not the same as the path of Blood Magic (although the two are related).

Schools define the areas of study needed to master the spells within each path of magic. For example, Conjuration is the school of magic that deals largely with summoning creatures from outside the world. Any nation can research the Conjuration school, and its mages would be able to use any spell in that school a) up to the current research level, and b) which required a magic path those mages possessed.

In order for a mage to cast a spell (a) you must have researched the school up to the level required by the spell, and (b) the mage must have proficiency in the magical path(s) required by a spell, and (c) the mage must have any magical gems or blood slaves required for the spell..

While each school has many different spells, the general characteristics of each school are as follows.


Summons powers and beings from other worlds. Many spells in this school will bring you additional units.


Changes the physical world. Alteration spells can give units increased strength, resistance to fire, and the like. They can also change the weather.


Projects arcane power into the physical world. If you want to cast spells that are traditionally associated with magic, like fireballs and lightning bolts, this is the school for you. Lots of battle magic.


The level of your construction research determines which magic items you are allowed to craft. Some construction spells also allow you to make magic units.


Grants magical properties to men, items or the land. You can cover entire provinces with protective domes, or grant long-lasting increased health to your subjects.


Manipulates the arcane world in ways traditionally associated with sorcery. You might call forth the souls of victims a soldier has killed and send them after him, or create a window in space to observe distant lands.

Blood Magic

All spells that use blood magic have to be unlocked by researching this school. If your nation has any blood mages, you will want to do some research here.


  • You are playing Asphodel, Carrion Woods and select a Freak Lord pretender. You take advantage of the 10-point cost for new paths and choose Fire 2, Air 2, Water 3, Earth 4, and Blood 1. Your pretender will gain +20 Leadership and +20 Magic Leadership (for Fire 2), +20 Magic Leadership (for Air 2), +5 Cold Resistance and +30 Magic Leadership (for Water 3), +3 Protection, Blunt Resistance and +40 Magic Leadership (for Earth 4) and +10 Undead Leadership and +10 Magic Leadership for Blood 1.

Refer to the spell charts in the Appendix for a thumbnail description of each spell in the game.

Access to Magic Spells

Each spell has a path requirement, listed as a number of symbols. In order to cast a spell, a mage must meet all the path requirements for the spell, and his nation must have researched to the appropriate level in the school which contains the spell in question.

Spells that are a higher level in a school don’t necessarily require more path skill to cast: Will o’ the Wisp is a level 5 Conjuration spell, but only requires Fire-1. This is one reason it is important to become familiar with which spells exist in which school, so you can plan your research.

Note that while the schools generally categorize spells, they don’t do so rigorously – Acashic Knowledge is a Conjuration spell which has nothing to do with summoning. Instead, it searches provinces for sources of magic gems.

Combined Paths

Some spells require knowledge of multiple paths to cast them. A spell with multiple paths in its requirements necessitates that the mage have the requisite level in each path to cast the spell. When calculating bonuses for extra skill levels (see Fatigue below) only the first magic path listed in the skill description is considered. Dual path spells and rituals use magic gems of the primary path.


A mage may permanently increase his skill in any path of magic by using Empowerment. This costs a lot of magic gems. For the first skill level in that magic path, the cost is 50 magic gems of that type. For subsequent increases the cost depends on the current skill in the magic path and is 15 x [target level]. This is the only way to gain skill in a path a unit doesn’t have. Magic items which increase magic skill only work if the user’s skill in that path is at least 1. This is also true of battlefield spells which confer a path bonus, like Power of the Spheres.

Indirect Magic

Indirect magic represents the general arcane knowledge that a mage possesses about any magic path in which he has skill. This knowledge allows him to gain side benefits just from being knowledgeable in that type of magic. The more skill a mage has in a path, the more benefit he gains. See the Indirect Magic bonuses table to see what effects are gained from which paths.

The more powerful Indirect magic bonuses usually have a minimum skill level requirement of 3 or 4. At the first level usually only increased leadership (Show as Ldr in the table) is gained. All the abilities gained on level 1 scales depending on level (including shorter/longer lifespan).

The False Damage Regen gained from glamour will heal 1 point of false damage per combat round. A unit can receive false damage when attacked by illusions and certain glamour spells.

Indirect Magic bonuses

PathLevel 1+Level 3+Level 4+
FireLdr +10/level, Magic Ldr +10/level, Shorter lifeFire Res +5Fire Res +5
AirMagic Ldr +10/levelShock Res +5Shock Res +5
WaterMagic Ldr +10/levelCold Res +5Cold Res +5
EarthMagic Ldr +10/levelNatural Protection +3Affliction Resistance +1
AstralMagic Ldr +20/levelMagic Resistance +1
DeathUndead Ldr +50/levelRarely dies of old ageMorale +10
NatureMagic Ldr +10/level, Supplies +10/level, Longer lifePoison Res +5Poison Res +5
GlamourMagic Ldr +10/levelFalse Damage RegenTrue Sight
BloodUndead Ldr +10/level, Magic Ldr +10/levelHP +5HP +5

Indirect magic applies to all units with any magic skill, including pretenders, within the level activation requirements described above.

Types of Spells

Spells are divided into two basic categories: Rituals and Battle Magic. The spell lists in the Appendix are also divided in this way.

Battle Magic

Battle magic can only be cast during a tactical battle. These spells have battle effects like inflicting damage, granting increased protection, reducing fatigue, or some similar effect which only makes sense in the context of the battle mechanics.

Battle magic can be scripted into a mage’s list of battle actions using Set battle orders. If a battle spell requires gems, that mage must have those gems in his inventory before the battle begins.

Some battle spells affect the whole battlefield and are termed battle enchantments. Some of these last the length of the battle. A battle enchantment is dispelled if its caster dies.

All battle enchantments and temporary magic effects are dispelled if the battle lasts until sunset (see Long Lasting Battles and Twilight page <<Long Lasting Battles and Twilight).


Spells have to be prepared for a while before they can be cast. During this preparation time, the caster can be interrupted if he is damaged.

The preparation time is about half of the time required to cast the spell. The other half of the time is spent recovering after the spell has been cast. The casting time for most spells is about one combat round, but battle enchantments and spells that cost magic gems often take longer.

The chance of being interrupted when damaged while casting a spell is expressed as a percentage of your full hit points caused by the damage, plus 25%. Thus, a strike that inflicted half of a spell caster’s full hit points in damage would have a 75% chance of interrupting the spell being cast.

Units with the “combat caster” ability (such as the paladin) are half as likely to be interrupted as a normal unit.

Mindless units are also half as likely to be interrupted as a normal unit would be.

Some monsters are innate spell casters. These monsters do not require any preparation time for their spells and do not care about different casting times.

Battle Magic Mechanics

The method for resolving battle magic is very similar to that for missile weapons. Mages have a Precision attribute just like archers do. Spells have a Precision rating, also. For the purposes of calculation these two are added together.

Some spells (like Acid Bolt) are armor-piercing. This means Protection against them only counts for half, just like armor-piercing missiles. Some other spells (like Orb

Lightning) are armor-negating. This means they completely bypass Protection, and the target’s only defense is the die roll.

In some cases, instead of Protection, though, some spells check a target’s Magic Resistance. It actually is protection. Protection from magic! Magic Resistance is most often binary in nature, it either protects the target or it does not, with nothing in-between. Against some spells a successful resistance check merely means crippling injuries rather than instant death.

Some spells (mostly Astral) require the caster to defeat the target’s Magic Resistance before the spell can take effect. If a spell description states that “Magic resistance negates” then the following check is made:

  • Caster’s Penetration roll: 11 + DRN + (additional skill in spell path) / 2
  • Target’s MR roll: Magic Resistance + DRN + (skill in spell path) / 2

The caster wins ties. Note that not all targets will have any magic skill, much less skill in that spell’s path, so often the target will simply add Magic Resistance and the DRN.

If a spell description states that “Magic resistance negates easily” then the caster suffers a –4 modifier to his or her penetration roll. This is the same as “easy to resist.” “Hard to resist” gives a +4 to penetration roll.

Some battle enchantments have effects that continuously affect units on the battlefield and require a magic resistance check to resist. These follow the same rules as above and can take advantage of skillful casters and penetration boosting magic items.


Just like attacking in combat, casting spells in battle costs fatigue. Each spell has a listed fatigue cost which a caster incurs when casting that spell. For each skill level in the required path that the mage exceeds the minimum, he incurs 1 / (1 + (mage skill – minimum skill) of the listed spell fatigue. In other words, having an extra skill level means the mage suffers only ½ fatigue, two extra skill levels means he suffers only 1/3 as much, three extra is ¼, and so forth.

Spell casters also incur fatigue equal to their base Encumbrance value + 2x Encumbrance value of any armor worn for each spell cast. This is not subject to reduction by skill bonuses. It is harder to make magical gestures in heavy armor. Everyone knows this from armor class days.

Fatigue is very important for spell casters. It is often the limiting factor in combat, and higher-skill mages thus have an advantage in that they incur less fatigue. Spells that reduce fatigue, like Reinvigoration or Relief, can be very useful as well.


Rituals are spells which have an effect on the world map, and take an entire month (game turn) to cast. Thus, mages which are to cast a ritual have to be given that order as part of the turn. If a ritual requires gems, the mage may only use gems from a laboratory and rituals can only be cast in provinces with labs (assuming the national pool has enough gems of the required type). The gems will be withdrawn from the national inventory automatically.

Some rituals affect the entire province that they are cast in. Some of these (but not all) last longer than one turn. These are termed local enchantments.

An example of such a spell is Dome of Air. Once the Dome of Air is cast, it persists in that province until dispelled. The spell is dispelled if the caster dies. Most local enchantments are also dispelled if the province they affect is conquered by an enemy.

Some local enchantments have a limited duration and extra gems have to be put into the enchantment during its creation to make it last longer than a single turn. Most enchantments with limited duration last 1 month per 1 extra gem, but some can last as long as 3 months per 1 extra gem.

Rituals can be automated to be recast each month by the same mage using the [Shift]+[m] shortcut when selected and in a laboratory province. The mage will cast the spell as long as he has enough gems.

If you tried to cast a spell and it didn’t get cast, the most likely problem is that you didn’t have enough gems of the correct type.

Global Enchantments

Global enchantments are rituals. These are very powerful spells that affect the entire world of Dominions 6. They often cost a lot of gems and have severe effects. Only a certain number of such spells can be in effect at any one time. This can be 3, 5, 7, or 9 and can be changed in Game Setup.You can find out which global enchantments are in effect at any point of a game by clicking on the Global Enchantments button in the main screen, or just hitting F6.

When casting a global enchantment, you have the option of adding more gems to the spell than are required. This is because the more gems you use to cast a spell, the harder it is to dispel it.

The maximum number of gems a mage can use to cast a ritual is his or her path level x 100. So a skillful mage casting a simple global enchantment can put very many extra gems into it if he or she wants.

Just like local enchantments, global enchantments are dependent on their caster. If the caster dies, the global is dispelled. This can be because he died of old age, or because some clever enemy realized it was easier to assassinate him than to try to dispel the massive global spell he had put 200 extra gems into. Extra gems don’t protect mages against assassination. Immortal units will also lose their enchantments if they die and have to wait for their bodies to reform.

Some global enchantments are tied to a specific province, e.g. Stellar Focus focuses the stellar energies into a single land where the power is then collected. If this specific country is conquered by the enemy the global enchantment will be dispelled. By pressing F6 you can see the origin listed for any global enchantments that are tied to a specific province.

Dispelling Global Enchantments

Global enchantments can be dispelled in two ways. The first is by casting one of the different dispel rituals. The most commonly used one is an Enchantment-5 spell that is

Astral-3 (that’s a spell that requires a skill of 3 in the Astral path, and is level 5 in the Enchantment school of magic) and is called Dispel. The other way is to cast another global enchantment when the maximum allowable number of global spells is already active. The next one will replace one of the existing ones if it is successful in overcoming it. The enchantment it will attempt to replace is random, so casting a global enchantment to dispel a specific enemy global is unlikely to select exactly that spell. However, it’s better than nothing.

The exception to this is if you try to cast a global enchantment that is already in effect by another nation. In this case, your version will try to replace the enemy version instead of trying to replace a random existing global.

To reiterate: when a global enchantment is cast, the following cases are applied in order:

  • If there is already a global of the same name active, the new global attempts to replace it according to the dispel mechanics
  • If there are fewer than five (usually) active enchantments and there is not already an instance of this spell active, the newly cast global immediately fills one of the empty slots
  • If there are already the maximum number of global spells active, the newly cast global attempts to replace a randomly chosen spell. This can be a spell cast by the same nation casting the new global. You can accidentally dispel your own spells. These are unruly magicks.

Spells cast by multiple mages are cast in a random order. This is true for all mages, not just those of a given nation. What happens at any given time depends on how many global spells are active, and which ones they are. There may only be two globals active at the beginning of a turn, but by the time a mage casts his own, several other mages may have filled up the remaining slots.

Dispel Mechanics

Whenever Dispel is cast or a global tries to replace another for whatever reason, the two spells are compared. The total number of extra gems and the levels of the casters above their spells’ requirements are compared according to the following formula:

  • +1 for each extra gem (above the requirement for casting)
  • +5 for each level of skill by the casting mage in the spell’s path above the casting requirement

A DRN (two open-ended dice) is added to each side. The side with the higher number wins.

Protection vs Global Enchantments

Most globals that affect units can be protected against with the use of Enchanted Domes (e.g. Dome of Solid Air). They protect in the same way as against local rituals with the exception of strikeback (trap) domes. Any strikeback against the caster will not take effect against the caster of the global enchantment. Thus the Dome of Flaming Death will have no effect against global enchantments.

Many global enchantments only take effect inside their own dominion, or has its effects increased inside its dominion.

Protecting against these enchantments can be done by pushing away the enemy dominion from your provinces.


The Astral and Blood paths of magic contain a special type of spell called communion that allows mages to increase their magic skill temporarily while in combat and to distribute the fatigue from their spellcasting among other friendly mages. It requires two mages to cast one spell each, one casting the master spell and the other the slave spell.

The Astral spells are called Communion Master and Communion slave, while the Blood spells are called Sabbath Master and Sabbath Slave, and function almost identically except for the name and the fact that the Blood spells cost blood slaves to cast. For the purposes of this section they will simply be referred to as communions. A valid communion cannot exist without both the spells Communion Master and Communion Slave (or Sabbath Master and Sabbath Slave) in effect.

Communions give the communion master(s) increased level in all paths of magic in which they already have at least 1 skill. They also allow the fatigue from spellcasting to be distributed among all the communion slaves in that communion.

Level Bonus

A communion master gains n extra levels in each of his or her known magic paths for every ‘2 to the power of n’ slaves in the communion. This is true for each communion master in the communion. E.g. a master with 2 slaves gain +1 to his magic, a master with 4 slaves gain +2 to his magic.

Fatigue Distribution

The amount of fatigue assigned to each participant in the communion is the cost of the spell cast by the master divided by the number of participants in the communion. This is further modified depending on the skill level of the communion slaves:

  • Slave level = master level -> no modification
  • Slave level > master level -> fatigue / 2
  • Slave level < master level / 2 -> fatigue * 4
  • Slave level < master level -> fatigue * 2

Definition of Participant

The communion master casting the spell in question, plus all friendly communion slaves on the battlefield, are considered participants in the communion for the purpose of any single spell cast. Note that skill levels gained from the communion (and all other means) are included when calculating fatigue cost of a spell.

The skill bonus gained by each master drops as soon as the number of slaves in the communion drops below the threshold for that bonus. The communion ends as soon as there are either no masters or no slaves in the communion.

Slaves cannot perform any actions on their own while part of the communion. However, they do benefit from any self-buffs (single target range 0 spells) cast by the communion master(s).

If the communion breaks because all the communion masters are dead or have fled the battlefield, the communion slaves suffer a backlash that affects all slaves by stunning them for approximately one round, and inflicts 3d50 fatigue damage per slave.

Some magic items (e.g. Crystal Matrix, Slave Matrix, Slave’s Heart and Master’s Athame) allow their bearers to participate automatically in a communion with having to cast the spell. The bearers must be mages (at least 1 skill in a magic path other than Holy). They do not, however, have to have Astral or Blood skill.

Communal Chants

Spellsingers of MA Man have access to the communion spells Chorus Master and Chorus Slave. They work similar to regular communions, but can only be cast by Spellsingers. If a Chorus Slave loses consciousness, she leaves the communion and thus will not take damage when more spells are cast by the masters.

Different Communions

There can be one communion of each type (communion / sabbath / chorus) active at the same time. They have their own separate masters, slaves and bonuses. Thus a blood mage sabbath master will not be able make use of astral mages that have cast the communion slave spell.

There are also some minor differences in how the different types of communions work.


  • 25% longer casting time for spells


  • Only half as much fatigue on caster, but 20% extra fatigue on slaves.


  • 25% longer casting time for spells. Slaves drop out when losing consciousness.

Magic Gems

Gems represent the physical manifestation of the magical essence of the paths of arcane power. They are generated by magic sites, and the owner of the site has these gems added automatically to his magic resource treasury (accessible with the [F7] key) each turn, as long as there is a connection through friendly territory to a province with a laboratory.

Managing Your Magic Resources

The magic resource treasury lists all the gems your nation currently has, as well as the rate at which it is acquiring new ones. To the right, the “pool” button allows you to collect all gems from commanders stationed in a province with a laboratory. This is especially effective for blood hunters, who will often need to transfer slaves from their inventory to the national pool.

Clicking the choice at the bottom of this screen opens a new window that allows you to transfer gems between commanders by clicking on the number of gems they have.

The other more commonly used way to transfer gems to a commander, is to click on his gem inventory when inspecting his stats.

Using Magic Gems in Combat

Mages can use magic gems in combat for two purposes: to temporarily raise their skill level, and to reduce fatigue. This represents the release of the distilled magical power of the gems themselves.

Because it takes a skilled caster to keep things from getting out of control, a mage can only use as many gems as his current skill level in that path each turn.

By using a magic gem, a caster gains one skill level in that magic path. This can be used both to allow a mage to cast a spell for which he would not normally have the skill, or to reduce the fatigue of a spell, or both. However, a mage may never increase his skill level by more than one by using gems, or gain skill in a path in which he or she did not already have at least one skill level.

The player may script spells for which a mage does not have the requisite skill and place the necessary gems in his inventory. He may also simply include extra gems in the mages inventory and the computer will use them to reduce fatigue for spells he already has the skill for, if necessary.

However, the specific use of gems in this manner is controlled by the computer. Checking the box “conservative gem use” will ensure that the mage uses his gems as sparingly as possible and for scripted spells only. This can be useful if you want to save gems for later battles. Otherwise there is no opportunity for the player to intervene.

Some spells increase a caster’s skill in a magic path for the duration of the combat. The difference between these spells, and using gems to increase magic skill, is that using gems only lasts for that one spell in that one combat round.


The research bars in the Arcane Laboratory (accessible with the [F5] key) determine how far research has progressed in the current level of each school of magic. The research speed shown below is equal to the total of the research abilities of all commanders given orders to research in that turn. In order to have research as an available command, that commander must be in a province with a friendly laboratory, because that is where the magic books are.

Normally only commanders with magic skill can conduct research. The number of research points for a specific mage is indicated next to the pile-of-magic-books symbol. The higher a mage’s magic skills, the more research points he or she will have.

Magical research points are affected by Magic/Drain scales. Magic scales give mages extra vigor to study the tomes of arcana all night. Drain scales make them sleepy.

A few nations have special commander units that can research even if they lack magic skills. Examples of this are the philosophers of Arcoscephale and Therodoros and units with the Divine Insights special ability such as the Monks of Man and the Cloistered Ladies of Feminie. Commanders with Divine Insights contribute a few research points but there can only be a number of them at work in a single lab equal to the dominion strength in the province.

Any divinely inspired researchers over that limit do not contribute anything. Philosophers get a research bonus from Sloth scales, because the general lying about and thinking that is prevalent under such scales agrees with the philosophers’ lifestyle. Philosophers are not affected by Magic or Drain scales, because their understanding is not magical, but more fundamental.

  • Research ability: (5 + (2x magic levels of mage) +/- research bonus/penalty.

Research ability can never go below 1.

The affliction Dementia reduces the research ability by half.

Legendary Spells

Level 9 of all magic schools except construction consists of legendary spells. When you research this level you will get to choose a single spell to research. The other legendary spells can be researched as well, but since it is done one at a time it will be very expensive to research all the level 9 spells of a magic school. The legendary spell level usually consists of spells that are very powerful or more cost effective than the lesser ones.

Divine spells replacing Banishment (and the modifications to the base spell)

PathBanishment NameSpecial Effect
FireAshes to AshesCauses burning as a secondary effect
AirWind of MemoriesIncreased range, much increased area of effect, lower damage
WaterPurifying WaterIncreased area of effect, slightly lower damage. Secondary effect causes additional armor-piercingdamage (will mostly harm unarmored targets).
EarthPull from the GraveCauses Earth Grip as a secondary effect
AstralStellar DecreeIncrease range and area of effect, but slightly lower damage. Secondary effect stuns undead withtheir minds intact.
DeathDecree of theUnderworldSecondary effect causes bewilderment of undead with their minds intact.
NatureFinal RestReduced area of effect, easily resisted but kills targets.
GlamourReturn of the PastIncreased range and area of effect, slightly lower damage, Extra secondary damage that only affectsnon-mindless undead
BloodnoneThere is no Blood Magic spell of Banishment.

Magic Items

The Construction school of magic allows you to construct magic items which can be given to commanders to use. This is done by giving the order “Forge Item” to a mage in a laboratory. He then uses whatever magic gems are required to create the item.

The items at research level 9 are called artifacts and are unique, only one of each can exist in the game at a time. The remainder of the magic items available for forging can be created without restriction, as long as the creating nation has researched the appropriate level in the Construction school, and the crafting mage has the requisite skill and gems.

The unique artifacts will start to yearn to be forged once their creation seems within reach. An artifact that is yearning for its creation can be forged at half the usual cost. The artifact may start yearning once at least one of these events has occurred.

  • At least one nation has researched construction level 9
  • The global enchantment Forge of the Ancients has been cast
  • The Throne of Creation has been claimed
  • The Throne of the Artificer has been claimed

Each of these events will increase the yearning rate by 50%. So if only one event has occurred, there will be 50% chance per month for an artifact to start yearning.

A mage can be set to repeatedly forge the same item every turn by selecting him and using the key combination [shift] + [o].

Some items are restricted to certain nations and cannot be forged by most nations (e.g. Black Halberd for MA Ulm).

These items don’t show up in the forge unless your nation is able to forge them. Restricted items that you can forge are shown with a dark blue background in the forge.

There are also some items that are discounted for certain nations (e.g. Blacksteel Sword for MA Ulm). These items are shown with a gray background in the forge.

Divine Magic

Divine spells are a special category of magic, which does not depend on research or magic paths. Instead, it depends on the Holy skill of the caster, and is thus only available to priests or other units with at least one level of Holy skill. All common divine spells are available to all nations at the start of the game, and units can cast all spells for which they have the appropriate skill level. All divine magic consists of battlefield spells.

Some divine spells are dependent on the magic skills of the pretender god. The spells Banishment and Smite have alternative versions that replace the original spells if the pretender is particularly skilled in one magic path. The highest magic skill of the pretender determines what the Banishment and Smite replacements are. In case of a tie, the order below determines which spells are known.

From the tomes of the lore of Dominions

Xibalba is a vast realm of dark caverns beneath the forests of Mictlan. According to legend, the sun and the moon passed through the labyrinthine caverns on their daily journey to the eastern horizon. On this journey they were guarded by the bat people, Zotz, that dwelled in the dark reaches of the Xibalban underworld. Being almost blind, they would not see and not covet the splendor of the sun. No one has seen the sun or moon pass through Xibalba for ages, but the Zotz keep their vigil and traditions alive. Lately, the bat people have lost purpose and the priestly rulers of Xibalba look to the surface world to once more bask in the splendor of the sun and moon. The Zotz are led by priest kings from various cities, and only the priesthood represents centralized power. They still train the sacred Sun Guides that were once tasked with guarding the celestial entities through the dark world of Xibalba. The Zotz have contact with surface dwellers, primarily those of Mictlan, and have adopted some of their technology and practices. The Zotz have an affinity for blood hunting and black magic. Despite being guides of the sun, their skill in solar magic is limited. The Zotz are numerous and live in great swarming cave colonies. Numbers—rather than strength—allow them to win battles.

If a pretender’s magic does not reach the threshold (lvl 4 or higher) in any path, priests of that nation retain Banishment and Smite spells as normal.

Example: The priests of a pretender with 6 Air, 4 Earth, and 6 Death would know Wind of Memories and Heavenly Strike instead of Banishment and Smite.

Divine spells replacing Smite (and the modifications to the base spell)

PathSmite NameSpecial Effect
FireHeavenly Fire10 armor-negating fire damage is a secondary effect.
AirHeavenly StrikeRange 50. 5 armor-negating shock damage
WaterWatery DeathSlightly shorter range. 10 armor-negating drowning damage is a secondary effect.
EarthWord of StoneSlightly shorter range. Petrification is a secondary effect.
AstralWord of PowerRange 100. Secondary effect can paralyze non-mindless units.
DeathSyllable of DeathSlightly shorter range. Secondary effect can kill living beings or exhaust them.
NatureWord of ThornsReduces damage. Entanglement and bleeding as secondary effect.
GlamourWord of BewildermentConfusion as secondary effect.
BloodClaim LifeCan only target living beings. Increased damage. Gives Chest Wound affliction as a secondaryeffect.


Magic gems can be converted from one type to another through alchemy. This can be done by any commander with magical skill by selecting the “Alchemy” order in the Orders list. This brings up the Alchemy screen, which allows gems to be converted from one type to another.

In general, alchemy can only convert gems into Astral gems, or convert Astral gems into gems of any other type. Either way, the rate is 2:1 old:new gems. It is possible to convert gems into Astral gems first and then into a different type in a single turn. In that case, the rate is effectively 4:1 old:new, so this can get very expensive. A commander can only perform alchemy if he or she is in a province with a friendly laboratory.

Alchemy is also possible through magic. There are ritual spells which allow for this conversion. As would be expected, they are Earth and Fire spells of the Alteration school. These convert gems to gold, rather than gems to pearls.

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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