The information in this revision of the article is accurate as of Patch 5.39.
This page concerns mechanics specific to Pretender Gods. For Pretender Creation Strategy, consult Maerlande Pretender Design or Taorec Bless Strategies.
A Pretender God consists of a chassis which possesses magic paths that may affect Custom Priest Spells and Blesses. It is also the source of a nation's Scales alongside any effects from Thrones.
Every turn a die is rolled to see if the Pretender awakens. If the result of the die roll is less than the current turn, the Pretender awakens. Dice here are exploding.
Pretender Gods may either appear Awake, be taken Dormant, where they will appear between turns 10 and 15, or Imprisoned, appearing between turn 30 and 42. For Trinity Pretenders, all three will awaken at the same time.
The arrival of the first Dormant and first Imprisoned Pretender God is always announced to the world on the exact turn they appear, although which God has awoken is not stated.
In Disciples games, Pretender chassis which act as Prophets awaken after half the normal period of dormancy.
Until a Pretender God awakens, you will not receive the effects of Incarnate blesses, but you will receive the path-related Banishment and Smite spells their magic dictates. This is also true if a Pretender is banished to another Plane.
A Pretender God produces 3 Temple Checks while on the map, and is one of the few ways for nations with Dying Dominion such as EA or LA Mictlan to spread dominion naturally.
Pretender Gods, including each member of a Trinity individually, are always capable of claiming Thrones, and in friendly Dominion will bless Sacred troops and commanders fighting alongside them.
The Hit Points, Strength, and Magic Resistance of a Pretender God depend on the strength of Dominion they are located in. For each friendly or enemy candle they are located in, they gain the following bonuses or penalties:
Pretenders, much like Prophets, carry over their current but not max HP levels from the prior turn. This level of health will not change until they are affected by remote attacks, combat, or the healing and disease-related damage phase near the end of each Turn on the strategic map.
Pretender Gods (as well as prophets and disciples) are always blessed in their own dominion without needing a priest to bless them, including otherwise Innate blessings such as Water Breathing, Recuperation, or Half Dead. Outside their dominion, they lose this benefit, and can't be blessed.
If a pretender dies it is not permanently dead. Instead you can recall it using your priests. To bring back a Pretender God which has died, around 50 priest-level turns must be spent using the Call God command to recall them. The amount of recall points generated is [Holy level + 1d3 -2] according to Loggy's tests. Priests with an Elegist bonus, or working with a claimed Throne of the Pantokrator receive additional priest levels for this purpose.
In Disciples games, the priests of the Pretender God can assist in recalling any dead Disciple God on their team. Any Disciple nation's priests can also help recall the main Pretender God, but not other Disciples than their own nation's.
Death comes with a price though. Unless the god is immortal (and wasn't killed by Soul Slay) or its nation is Ur /Uruk, death can result in the potential loss of one level of a magic path to a limit of 0, biased or the loss of a point of Dominion, to a base level of 1. The chance of losing a magic path is [50% + 10% / level of Nature] (in tests 80% with any nature paths). If the pretender had no magic paths, it will automatically lose one point of dominion strength. Nature magic is the most likely to be lost (~80-90%), death the least likely. There is also about a 20% chance for a pretender to gain either 1 Death, 1 Astral, or 1 Blood magic on recall, in addition to any other effects.
Your Pretender God once recalled will always appear in your capital province. If you own the province the Pretender will spawn inside the fort - even if your capital is under siege. If you have lost your capital province the pretender will spawn outside the walls.
Upon a Pretender God's return, a heal check is rolled against any Afflictions they picked up, including Disease, but not the Cursed status or Horror Marks.
If a Pretender God has been Polymorphed or Transformed into a form which would not allow it to return without dying, such as an Aquatic shape for a land nation, or a non-water breathing shape for an underwater nation, it will return in its original shape.
Trinity chassis suffer these same risks, including permanent dominion loss even from the non-primary Trinity member. Each member requires 25 recall points to bring them back to life, meaning it requires 50% more points to bring all back to life, and only one can be resurrected one at a time.
Beware that non-primary trinities will retain their Twiceborn or Transformed shape; this is especially important to remember, as transforming underwater might lead to a permanent aquatic shape.
Pretenders with the Immortal trait respawn automatically after a while and cannot be recalled. The latter can be a boon on nations with weak priests or a curse on nations with strong priests. If their soul is destroyed, they are treated as normal gods, meaning they may lose paths and must be recalled.
Pretenders of Ur and Uruk will never lose nor gain paths upon death. Combined with their national priests with the Elegist trait these nations can play more aggressively with their pretenders compared to other nations.
Pretender Gods with the Twiceborn status do not suffer any risk to lose magic or dominion score upon their return as Wight Mages. Additionally, if their Twiceborn shape has any attunement bonus (e.g. Asphodel), they may gain magic paths on returning to unlife.
If a solitary Pretender God has any Path above level 4, the Banish and Smite spells for the nation's priests will change. These spells are set at Pretender Creation, and cannot be changed either by empowerment or the loss of magic paths. See MA Ermor and Lemuria do not gain these spells.
For Trinity Pretender Gods, the paths on the first member to spawn dictate whether, and how, Banish and Smite are replaced.
If the first member cannot use certain magical paths, but has access to others, it will replace the listed custom priest spell on the Pretender Creation screen with another, in the same order as a solitary Pretender God.
For the base game's Gods, this means that the Hooded Spirit may not use the Earth or Water Banish and Smite variants.
The Grey Ones may only use the Death, Water, Nature, and Blood priest spells, and using the Death and Water variants requires Death 7 or Water 7 due to how these paths are split and reduced across the trinity.
The Titan of the Crossroads has -1 Death and -2 to all other paths in terms of deciding Custom Priest Spells.
The Morrigna has -1 Death and -2 to all other paths in terms of deciding Custom Priest Spells.
Trinity pretenders give you three chassis instead of one, tripling the number of thrones you can claim and the amount of actions you can take. However, if they are alive and in different provinces, they temporarily lose paths (-1 for each one missing) and don't spread dominion. Twiceborn Wight Mage trinities are unaffected by the malus, however living ones still are. If they die completely, only the dying trinity may lose a path and can be resurrected for half the Call God points (25). Only the primary trinity will be recalled in the original form, the others stay Twiceborn or transformed (if transformed UW, it might become aquatic permanently)
For the purpose of Magic Duel, the base path level shown when empowering is counted, meaning the -2 malus in pretender creation is included for Morrigna and the Titan of Crossroads. The malus from splitting up the pretenders during the game is not counted for the purpose of base paths. Empowering works normally - no paths are deducted – as does path loss from dying.
Each trinity chassis distributes paths differently. For example a 55555555 pretender would be distributed as seen below:
Grey One (size 2, 11) - Excellent rainbow mage, though no ES cross path. Water and Death paths are split (see at right), other paths are assigned fully to one of the trinity. Cheap to Twiceborn, and primary god can also be transformed into a size 5 or 6 chassis before being Twiceborn to get a Tartarian chassis.
Divide the Water and Death paths from pretender creation by two. For fractional results, Deino rounds both up, Enyo rounds Water up and Death down, and Persis rounds Water down and Death up. This means FW, WE, DA, DS, WN, and WB cross-paths are one rank cheaper than FD, ED, WA, and WS, and reaching specific WD on Deino only is two ranks cheaper than on all three.
Hooded Spirit (size 4, 111) – Primary god can turn into Atlantean Wight Mage when Twiceborn. They can unify to teleport other trinity members to their location after normal battle phase. Notable blesses: Cold3 + Chill Aura, 2x Reinvig, F&SR, Recuperation, Regeneration
Titan of Crossroads (size 5, 111) – Twiceborn turns them into size 5 Tartarian Wight Mages, but they lose special abilities. Sample blesses: Far Caster / Finesse / Magic Weapons + 2 MR or Fateweaving, Reforming Flesh, Recuperation, Regeneration
Morrigna (size 6, 111)– Twiceborn turns them into size 5 Tartarian Wight Mages. Notable blesses: Shock Resistance, Wind Walker, Far Caster/ Finesse / Magic Weapons + 2 MR or Fateweaving, Stygian Flesh, Reforming Flesh