Disciples is Dominions 5's team game mode. In Disciples games, only one player per team plays the role of a pretender trying to rise to godhood. Others play the part of the "disciples", which have no dominion of their own (and therefore no scales), but otherwise behave independently.
Disciples games differ in a few other ways from the default free-for-all dominion games. For example, no prophet can be appointed since the disciples replace them thematically, and players from the same team have the option to exchange provinces with each other.
When playing a Disciples Game, the most significant difference you might find when setting up is the kind of options you will have for choosing your pretender chassis. The Pretender (i.e., the team leader) may only pick from pretender chassis with a base dominion strength of 3 or higher, while Disciples may only pick from pretender chassis with a base dominion strength of 2 or lower. The Pretender has the usual 425 design points while Disciples have only 300 points to spend on their chassis and its paths. Additionally, only the Pretender decides the bless, dominion strength and scales that will affect the sacreds and dominion of the entire team, as well as the length of imprisonment before Pretenders/Disciples appear. Disciples emerge roughly halfway into their Pretender's dormancy/imprisonment.1)
Team Leaders will generally be either Idols or Titans…
…while Disciples will generally be either Beasts or Mages.
Besides these design quirks, Disciples are mechanically very similar to ordinary pretenders; they are only blessed in friendly dominion and may be recalled by priests in the case of death. They are also always able to claim thrones.
The dominion and bless of a team's Disciples are determined by the Pretender's nation and whatever scales and bless the Pretender have picked. This has some national side effects: