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A bless is a set of enhancements and bonuses that apply to a nation's sacred commanders and units. The effects of a bless can include bonuses to units' attributes, special abilities, physical and elemental damage resistances, and enhancements to weapons. Most bless effects are activated in combat by blessing a unit, but some apply continually.

When creating a pretender, a number of options are available for bless effects. The choice of effects is tied to a pretender's magic paths and is an important part of pretender design. Each magic path above 3 on the pretender grants a number of bless points equal to the corresponding level. Having 3 in all elemental or sorcery paths also enables bless points for those paths. Bless points can then be spent on the effects listed below. Some effects require certain scale choices in addition to magic paths. Some options can be taken multiple times, which causes their effects to stack.

Additionally, the more powerful effects are incarnate only, activating only when the pretender god is present on the tactical map. These effects will be inactive both before the pretender awakens, and while the pretender is dead.

Sacred units can become blessed by a priest, by certain items, or when in a battle with a pretender or disciple in friendly dominion.

Priest Levels

Not all priests are created equal.

holy 11 priests can bless small groups of sacreds (AOE 5) (+5 for every extra level of the caster).

holy 22 priests can bless bigger groups of sacreds (AOE 10, since they get the +5 bonus) at longer range.

holy 33+ priests can cast divine blessing, which blesses all sacred units on the battlefield.

More on priestly spells at Divine Magic.

Indirect Magic Path Bonuses

As well as bless effects, magic paths picked by a pretender can give indirect bonuses to the pretender themselves (though not their units). These can also be important in pretender design. The magic#indirect-magic-path-bonuses page lists the bonuses and discusses when they might be useful.

Bless effects

All bless effects cost one or more points in a specific path of magic chosen by a pretender, and a small number of blesses require points from two paths. The table below lists all the bless effects that are available, what points they cost, and any additional requirements to choose the bless.

Taorec wrote a very detailed overview of all the blesses in Dominions 5, which discusses their uses and weaknesses.


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
fire 11 Superior Morale +1 Morale Yes
fire 11 death 11 Wasteland Survival Wasteland survival trait
fire 22 Minor Fire Resistance Fire Resistance +5
fire 33 Major Fire Resistance Fire Resistance +10
fire 33 Attack Skill +2 attack skill Yes
fire 44 Inspirational Presence +1 Inspirational, +30 leadership Yes
fire 55 Death Explosion On death 10AP fire damage, (4+Size) AOE Yes
fire 55 Heat Aura Heat Aura (3), Fire Resistance +10 Yes
fire 66 Fire Shield Fire Shield (7AP damage) Yes
fire 66 Flaming Weapons 6AP fire damage on all weapons except natural ranged weapons Yes 1
fire 77 Awe Awe+1 Yes


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
air 11 Minor Shock Resistance Shock Resistance +5
air 11 Precision Precision+1 Yes
air 22 Farshot Weapon Range +30% (not for spells or natural weapons) Yes
air 33 Swiftness Swiftness trait (+30% combat speed, +1 defence) Yes
air 33 Major Shock Resistance Shock Resistance +10
air 44 Charged Bodies Charged Bodies trait: 10AN shock damage on first hit (also hits the charged guy)
air 55 Wind Walker Map Movement +6 Yes
air 66 Air Shield Air shield 80 trait (Blocks 80% of all projectiles) Yes
air 77 Thunder Weapons 1AN capped shock damage + 3AN fatigue damage on all weapons except natural ranged weapons. Yes 1


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
water 11 Minor Cold Resistance Cold Resistance +5
water 11 Cold scales1 Winter's Gift Snow Move trait (No movement penalties from cold climate)
water 11 nature 11 Swamp Survival Swamp Survival trait 1
water 22 Water Walking Swimming trait (Can cross rivers in heat dominion)
water 33 Major Cold Resistance Cold Resistance +10
water 33 Defence Skill Defence +2 Yes
water 44 Cold scales1 Frost Weapons 8 cold damage on all weapons except natural ranged weapons. 1, 2
water 55 Chill Aura Chill aura 3, Cold Resistance +10 Yes
water 77 Water Breathing Water breathing trait Yes
water 1010 Magic scales1 Quickness Quickness trait (2 attacks per combat turn, double combat speed, attack+2, defence+2) Yes


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
earth 11 Mountain Survival Mountain Survival trait
earth 22 Reinvigoration Reinvigoration+1 Yes
earth 22 Reconstruction Inanimates don't have 'Never heals' trait
earth 33 Strength of the Earth Strength +2 Yes 1
earth 44 Unbreakable 75% Affliction protection
earth 44 nature 33 Larger +1 Size, +30% HP, +3 Strength, -1 defence, +2 Map Movement 1
earth 55 Fire&Shock Resistance Fire Resistance +10, Shock Resistance +10 Yes
earth 66 Hard Skin Natural protection +5 Yes
earth 88 Fortitude Pierce, slash and blunt resistant traits (50% damage reduction) Yes


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
astral 11 Minor Magic Resistance Magic Resistance+1
astral 11 Arcane Command +10 Magic Leadership Yes
astral 11 death 11 Spirit Sight Spirit Sight trait (can see in darkness, no penalty versus invisible)
astral 33 Major Magic Resistance Magic Resistance+2
astral 33 fire 11 Solar Weapons 3AP damage, triple versus undead/demons, except natural ranged attacks. It is fire damage and affected by corresponding resistances and vulnerabilities. 1
astral 44 Magic Weapons All weapons become magical except natural ranged weapons
astral 44 Far Caster +50% combat spell range
astral 44 Arcane Finesse +1 to magic resistance penetration, applies to spells and some magic natural attacks
astral 66 Twist Fate Twist Fate buff (First successful attack is negated) Yes
astral 77 Misfortune scales1 Fateweaving MR save vs 16 or suffer Cursed Luck debuff when attacking blessed unit Yes 1
astral 99 Luck scales2 Luck Luck trait Yes
astral 1010 Magic scales3 Etherealness Ethereal trait Yes


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
death 11 Undying Undying HP+2 (Additional HP Pool once HP falls below 0, non-undead that end a battle still on the field but with negative HP die after battle) Yes 1
death 11 Undead Command Undead leadership +20 Yes
death 22 Death scales2 Half Dead Sacred units don't need to eat and can resist disease
death 44 Withering Weapons All weapons (except natural ranged ones) cause decay, MR resist 1
death 55 Stygian Flesh +10 Invulnerability Yes
death 66 Reforming Flesh +10% regeneration for undead Yes
death 77 Reanimators 50% to revive a killed enemy as undead minion Yes
death 88 Death Weapons All weapons (except natural ranged ones) deal additional 2AN damage & disease, individually MR resisted Yes 1
death 1010 Fear Fear 5 Yes


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
nature 11 Resilient +1 HP Yes
nature 11 Low Light Vision 50% Darkvision
nature 11 Minor Poison Resistance +5 Poison Resistance
nature 22 Major Poison Resistance +10 Poison Resistance
nature 22 Forest Survival Forest Survival trait
nature 33 Magic scales1 Unaging Sacreds age at 1/4th speed. Retroactive, except for certain commanders hard coded as Old
nature 44 Death scales1 Poison Weapons +5 poison damage on attacks, except natural ranged attacks 1
nature 55 Recuperation Recuperation trait (recover from afflictions) Yes
nature 55 Berserker Berserker +2 Yes
nature 66 Barkskin Barkskin buff (10 natural protection, -5 Fire Resistance) Yes
nature 77 Regeneration Regeneration +10% Yes 1


Main Cost Secondary Cost Required Scale Name Effect Incarnate Repeatable Notes
blood 11 Strong Vitae +1 HP Yes
blood 33 Strength of the Flesh +2 Strength Yes 1
blood 44 Blood Surge Upon killing, sacred gains temporary buff for a few rounds (+3 Att, +3 Str, +1 Def, +1 Reinvig). Does not trigger upon killing inanimates 1, 2
blood 55 Blood Bond 50% of damage taken is transferred to other sacreds within 5 squares Yes 1
blood 66 Unholy Weapons +10 AP damage, only affecting enemy sacreds and gods, on all weapons except natural ranged attacks Yes
blood 88 Blood Vengeance Grants the Blood Vengeance trait. Attackers must make MR save or take equal damage Yes 1

Additional various notes

Weapon-bless-analysis by taorec
Thunder weapons

Thunder weapons can stun for 1 round (-75% defense skill). Good vs size 3+ units and single units (giants & thugs), though larger units have an increased chance to resist based on their HP (stun chance = 5% + [(1 AN + DRN vs resistance) / target HP] %). Countered by any amount of shock resistance.

Strength boosters

Strength booster are often better damage bless effects compared to specific weapon blesses.

Withering Weapons

Withering Weapons is usually not fast enough acting to help in troop engagements, but it can ruin thugs/SCs.

Blood Bond

Blood Bond does not propagate 999 damage effects as they are considered special.

  • A non-undead unit with Undying and a source of regeneration can heal in the after-battle-phase into positive HP-values to survive the battle even after dipping below 0 HP.
  • Undying does not count as max. HP for the purpose of HP regeneration per turn.
  • Undying counts for the size of limb caps.
  • Luck on units with Undying only affects the initial hit bringing the unit to or below 0 HP. [TBD: Interaction with healing above 0 again to be determined.]
  • If diseased and always blessed (Prophet, Flask of Holy Water), will survive on the map with negative hp. Not sure how this interacts with leaving combat or Fires from Afar.
Swamp Survival

Swamp Survival protects agains MA C'tis disease dominion.

Blood Surge

Blood Surge is not a once-per battle effect but activates anew after each kill.

Fate Weaving
Blood Vengeance

Blood Vengeance damage is untyped and tagged as internal, meaning many special types of reduction such as twist fate or mistform don't apply to it. Blood Vengeance gets its own +DRN -DRN roll.

Common Bless Templates

This section lists general bless templates that my be useful for a variety of nations. It is intended as a general starting point, not as a specific guide. See also pretenders.

  • RegenFortyBBond: The combination of Regeneration, Fortitude and Blood Bond turns tanky sacreds into extreme damage sponges. A classic hellbless rush option.
  • Full Resistances: Carrying Fire, Cold, Shock and Poison resist allows sacred troops - which already tend to naturally be superior to normal chaff - to be quite resilient to spells that are typically used kill these. Useful in combination with casting cloud spells in combat. Also useful for making thugs difficult to counter.
  • Max Strength: Makes your sacreds hit like trucks. Can solve some issues that might otherwise be quite a problem. Get at least +6 strength, usually with magic weapons as well.

National bonuses

Some nations have bonus bless points, but they require the pretender to have bless points of that type in the first place (so relevant path at 4+ or all paths of that type at 3+).

Nation Bonuses
EA Abysia fire 22
MA Abysia fire 11
EA Agartha earth 22
MA Agarha earth 11
MA Marignon fire 22astral 22
LA Marignon fire 11astral 11blood 11
EA Mictlan fire 11blood 22
MA Mictlan air 22nature 11
LA Mictlan water 11blood 22
MA Ind astral 11
LA Pythium +10 poison resistance, stacks with regular blesses
blesses.txt · Last modified: 2023/06/14 11:29 by zonk