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Magic

Magic is a key component of Dominions. It is one of the main articles of differentiation between nations, and is crucial to success beyond the early game. It is powerful, varied, and pervasive.

Classifications / Overview

Dominions 5 and its predecessors have eight paths of magic, subdivided into the four Elemental paths (the first four) and the four paths of Sorcery (the last four):

Mages will have certain levels of skill in one or more paths; for instance, a Marignon Witch Hunter has Fire 2 Astral 1, while a lich has Death 4. To cast a spell, a mage must have sufficient skill in all of its required paths to cast it. Thus the Marignon Witch Hunter could cast Fireball (requiring Fire 2), but not Astral Fires (requiring Fire 1 Astral 3).

Each path contains many spells, divided into seven schools of magic:

Each school has nine levels; mages set to research will allocate their research points to the schools you choose, and eventually unlock higher levels of magic.

For instance, the spell Blade Wind is an Evocation 4 spell that requires Earth 3 to cast. Once your nation has reached Evocation 4 research, any mage with at least 3 levels in the Earth path can cast Blade Wind.

There are also Holy spells, which have their own path (Priest levels) and school (the Divine school), and are exceptions to most general rules.

Gems are the magical currency required for performing rituals and forging magic items. They can also be used to perform more potent combat magic, as well as reduce spellcasting fatigue in combat and cast spells with a higher path requirement than a mage might normally be able to. In practice, they are a critical resource for leveraging research into actual progress in a game.

Strategy

Magic is the heart of Dominions 5, and the player who uses their nation's mages most effectively has a large advantage. Mages are required to research higher-level spells and to cast spells in combat, so mage count determines both a nation's current and future power. Typically in any successful Dominions game a player will:

  • Recruit a great many mages, typically one per fort per turn if gold allows
  • Identify key schools to research that contain strong spells of your nation's paths (Fire nations like Summon Fire Elemental at Conjuration 5 for example)
  • Use these recruitable mages in combat to win battles; an army without magical support will generally be crushed by one with it
  • Search for sites to increase gem income
  • Forge booster items which increase mages' levels in their paths, unlocking access to more powerful items and spells
  • Use these boosted mages to cast the most powerful rituals and battlefield spells

Since a nation's pretender will likely be a very powerful mage in its own right, a high-path pretender can often cast spells unavailable to a nation's mages. (Consider that the strongest spells require 6 to 9 levels in a path, but no nation can reasonably recruit mages with more than 4 in a path, and most nations don't even have these). Typically the most powerful spells and the most versatile booster items are cast and forged by pretenders, with a few exceptions.

Additionally, empowerment is an option to increase a single mage's paths, however due to its high gem cost it is generally an inferior option to forging or trading for booster items.

Example: MA Agartha
When designing a pretender, it is sometimes useful to ask yourself "What rituals would I like to cast, given the opportunity, but I can't with my national mages alone?" For instance, MA Agartha might want to cast Earth Blood Deep Well, requiring earth 66, but its national mages only have earth 44 access. There are three reasonably accessible booster items that boost Earth:

  1. Earth Boots (requires earth 22),
  2. Blood Stone (requires earth 22blood 33)
  3. Staff of the Elements (requires air 44earth 44 or fire 44water 44).

Agartha can forge Earth Boots, but has no native Blood or Air, and no way to get to fire 44water 44.

In order to cast Earth Blood Deep Well, an Agartha player can either take a pretender with earth 55 or better (who will wear Earth Boots to get to earth 66), or one capable of forging a Blood Stone or a Staff of the Elements (which can take one of its earth 44 national mages up to earth 66 along with Earth Boots). Alternatively they can take the long route of blood hunting in order to empower an earth 22 to earth 22blood 33 and forge a Blood Stone.

Magic Paths

An individual mage's access to magic depends on his paths. He will have one or more paths each at a given level, and all spells require a certain level in at least one path.

Having a path which exceeds the one required by the spell will decrease the fatigue necessary to cast a spell in combat, and may cause other aspects of the spell to increase, depending on the spell in question.

Indirect Magic Path Bonuses

Indirect Magic represents the arcane knowledge a mage possesses about any magic path in which he has skill, which lets him gain side effects just from being knowledgeable in that type of magic. Each path has a small effect on the stats of the unit in addition to access to magic.

Fire Resistance +5 at fire 33 and +2 for every additional level, Leadership +5, Magic Leadership +5, Reduced Max Age
Shock Resistance +5 at air 33 and +2 for every additional level, Magic Leadership +5
Cold Resistance +5 at water 33 and +2 for every additional level, Magic Leadership +5
Protection +3 at earth 33 and +1 for every additional level, Magic Leadership +5
Magic Leadership +10
Undead Leadership +30, +1 to existing fear (pretender gains fear 5 if they have death 55)
Poison Resistance +5 at nature 33 and +2 for every additional level, Magic Leadership +5, Supply Bonus +10, Increased Max Age
Undead Leadership +5, Magic Leadership +5

For example, a pretender with earth 44death 55 will gain +4 Protection, +20 Magic Leadership, +5 Fear, and +150 Undead Leadership (in addition to whatever bless effects they have).

Some of these matter more than others. Of particular note, the undead provided by death magic is a key component of undead armies, and the protection provided by earth magic can be used to create an awake expander.

Max age changes are done in 50% increments of the default max age, and depend on the type of creature: undead are affected by Death magic, inanimate creatures by Earth magic, demons by Blood magic and all others by Nature magic, in that order of priority. If your age is affected by Nature magic, every point in Fire magic reduces your max age by 5%.

Distribution

A breakdown of the magical paths available to each nation, and the number of nations with access in a magical path (in parenthesis a number of nations with a maximum access of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

These lists do not account for summonable units, event units, heroes, or levels that a Mage has a less-than-10% chance of having.

Early Ages

  • Fire access: 20/33 (2x fire 44, 7x fire 33, 6x fire 22, 5x fire 11)
  • Air access: 22/33 (4x air 44, 6x air 33, 5x air 22, 7x air 11)
  • Water access: 23/33 (4x water 44, 6x water 33, 6x water 22, 7x water 11)
  • Earth access: 28/33 (3x earth 44, 9x earth 33, 8x earth 22, 8x earth 11)
  • Astral access: 18/33 (1x astral 44, 2x astral 33, 6x astral 22, 9x astral 11)
  • Death access: 19/33 (5x death 44, 4x death 33, 5x death 22, 5x death 11)
  • Nature access: 24/33 (5x nature 44, 2x nature 33, 13x nature 22, 4x nature 11)
  • Blood access: 12/33 (1x blood 44, 5x blood 33, 4x blood 22, 2x blood 11)
Nation Total
Arcoscephale2322204015
Ermor 3111231012
Ulm 111201208
Marverni 001330209
Sauromatia 0010142210
T'ien Ch'i 2232212014
Machaka 3003033012
Mictlan 2020202311
Abysia 400110028
Caelum 141102009
C'tis 001014208
Pangaea 0022004210
Agartha 2024020010
Tir na n'Og 0421003010
Fomoria 0411031010
Vanheim 1403010211
Helheim 1303040112
Niefelheim 0140132314
Rus 3301102010
Kailasa 0044202012
Lanka 0300022310
Yomi 3103041012
Hinnom 3203312317
Ur 0233124015
Berytos 3332100315
Xibalba 2102042415
Mekone 3223000010
Ubar 4302100111
Atlantis 2034100010
R'lyeh 0041421012
Pelagia 0141202010
Oceania 0132004010
Therodos 1233014014

Middle Ages

  • Fire access: 24/35 (3x fire 44, 4x fire 33, 9x fire 22, 8x fire 11)
  • Air access: 21/35 (6x air 44, 3x air 33, 5x air 22, 7x air 11)
  • Water access: 27/35 (1x water 55, 2x water 44, 7x water 33, 8x water 22, 9x water 11)
  • Earth access: 29/35 (1x earth 44, 8x earth 33, 12x earth 22, 8x earth 11)
  • Astral access: 22/35 (5x astral 44, 6x astral 33, 8x astral 22, 3x astral 11)
  • Death access: 17/35 (2x death 44, 5x death 33, 7x death 22, 3x death 11)
  • Nature access: 23/35 (4x nature 44, 6x nature 33, 7x nature 22, 6x nature 11)
  • Blood access: 7/35 (1x blood 44, 2x blood 33, 4x blood 22)
Nation Total
Arcoscephale2022401011
Ermor 2111240011
Sceleria 011033008
Pythium 1320400010
Man 1312004011
Eriu 0421003010
Ulm 100200003
Marignon 410130009
Mictlan 2220303012
T'ien Ch'i 2232202013
Machaka 3003023011
Agartha 101402008
Abysia 3001300411
Caelum 1430110010
C'tis 002013309
Pangaea 0013004210
Asphodel 0012034010
Vanheim 1403010211
Jotunheim 0130233314
Vanarus 2321022214
Bandar Log 001140309
Shinuyama 3023032013
Ashdod 3003340013
Uruk 0113402011
Nazca 2202221011
Xibalba 0143022214
Phlegra 4223021014
Phaeacia 2431200012
Ind 2012322315
Na'Ba 4402101012
Atlantis 2052200011
R'lyeh 0031411010
Pelagia 1242202013
Oceania 0132004010
Ys 1432201013

Late Ages

  • Fire access: 17/26 (4x fire 33, 9x fire 22, 4x fire 11)
  • Air access: 16/26 (4x air 33, 6x air 22, 6x air 11)
  • Water access: 19/26 (4x water 44, 3x water 33, 8x water 22, 4x water 11)
  • Earth access: 21/26 (1x earth 44, 3x earth 33, 9x earth 22, 8x earth 11)
  • Astral access: 24/26 (1x astral 44, 5x astral 33, 14x astral 22, 4x astral 11)
  • Death access: 19/26 (2x death 44, 5x death 33, 7x death 22, 5x death 11)
  • Nature access: 17/26 (2x nature 33, 9x nature 22, 6x nature 11)
  • Blood access: 12/26 (1x blood 44, 3x blood 33, 5x blood 22, 3x blood 11)
Nation Total
Arcoscephale2022322013
Pythium 2121223114
Lemuria 011034009
Man 130221009
Ulm 110221119
Marignon 3221201314
Mictlan 2040202313
T'ien Ch'i 0222222012
Jomon 2232202013
Agartha 2023130011
Abysia 3001320413
Caelum 1312030010
C'tis 200114109
Pangaea 011210308
Midgård 030121119
Utgård 0020332313
Bogarus 2201310211
Patala 0044202012
Gath 2002222212
Ragha 3320220214
Xibalba 0143032215
Phlegra 3213200011
Vaettiheim 002012229
Atlantis 1141230012
R'lyeh 0031411010
Erytheia 2232201012
magic.txt · Last modified: 2021/04/28 21:00 by fenrir