Dominions 3: The Awakening/Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are blessings?
Blessings are special combat abilities and bonuses granted to sacred units when they are blessed in combat by a priest. They are dependent on the magic paths and levels of the nation's god.
The actual answer is that a weak blessing is a level 4 to level 8 bless and is granted if the god has level 4 or greater in a magic path. Most weak blessings increase the benefit at every other level, meaning additional bonuses at levels 6 and 8. Some weak blessings increase the benefits at every level, but the increase is not as great in effect. A strong blessing is a level 9 or 10 bless, meaning that the pretender god has 9 or 10 levels in that particular kind of magic. A strong blessing has all the benefits of the weak blessing and also adds a more powerful special ability unique to that path of magic.
Q: Can I increase blessings during the game?
No. Blessings are set during pretender god creation and the effects cannot be increased by empowering your god to higher levels in magic paths. Conversely, if your god dies and loses magic levels, blessing effects are not decreased.
Q: Which bless is the strongest?
That depends on several things. Mostly it depends on the intrinsic abilities of the available sacred units. For example, sacred units with high defense will benefit proportionally far more from a high Water blessing because it can increase their defense to levels where they become almost impossible to hit. A sacred unit with very low defense to begin with will not become substantially harder to hit, so it might benefit more from a bless that allows it to do more damage and hit easier (Fire). A sacred unit with a lot of hit points will benefit more from a Nature bless (regeneration) than a weakling with few hit points and so on.
Generally, Fire, Water, Earth and Nature are considered the most powerful blessings while Death and Blood are considered the weakest. The usefulness of Air and Astral blessings is more dependent on the specifics of your sacred units than the FWEN blessings. The most effective bless differs from nation to nation and according to your particular play style.
 Curses and horror marks
Q: My unit has been cursed. What does that mean?
It means that the unit will be twice as likely to get battle afflictions when it suffers damage in combat. Curse is permanent and will stay with the unit for the rest of the game. There is no way to remove it.
Q: How do I avoid getting cursed?
Don't attack provinces with lizards as the independent defenders with your god, especially if the god is a titan, wyrm, or other large monster. Mages capable of casting curse will generally always target the biggest monsters first, so your pretender will get hit first. Generally, you need to be careful and pay attention to what you're doing. That way you can stave it off for some time at least. Unless you get hit by a random event that curses your units.
In multiplayer games, your god WILL get cursed sooner or later if it's a super combatant (SC) and your opponent has access to nature and astral magic on the same mage.
Q: My unit has been horror marked. What does that mean?
It means that the unit is now a magnet for astral creatures called horrors. Horrors summoned into battles will attack the horrormarked units before they consider any other targets. Horrormarked units also have a chance of being attacked by horrors every turn. Such attacks are treated as assassination attempts. Like curses, horror marks cannot be removed.
Q: Do horror marks have different strengths?
Horrormarks have varying strength. Generally when a unit gets its first horror mark, the horror mark will be weak and will only attract weak horrors, most often lesser horrors. Note that 'weak' is a relative term. Lesser horrors are perfectly capable of having most recruitable human-sized commanders for lunch unless the commander is a powerful mage or is properly equipped with magic items. If a unit is hit by a horror in combat, the strength of the horrormark increases. Some items also increases the strength of a horrormark. A stronger horrormark will attract stronger horrors, which typically results in either the unit dying or having its horrormark strengthened if it survives, trapping it in a vicious circle that results in attacks by increasingly stronger horrors.
Q: How do I avoid getting my units horror marked?
The same way you avoid getting them cursed. Pay attention and be careful. Mages with level 2 in Astral magic can cast a spell that horror marks units and they tend to prioritize targets the same way mages casting Curse do. Some items have a chance of inflicting horror marks on their owner, avoid giving them to valuable commanders.
In multiplayer games, your SC is going to get horrormarked sooner or later when you run up against an opponent with access to Astral magic. That's a fact of life in Dom3.
Q: My units have one or more red hearts in their display screens. What does that mean?
Your units have accumulated afflictions. Afflictions are permanent wounds that hamper the unit in some way and there is a wide variety of them, some more severe than others. Each heart indicates one affliction.
Q: How do units get afflictions?
They may get afflictions if they are hit and suffer damage in battle. They may also get afflictions from old age. Accumulation of old age afflictions is checked at the end of each game year (i.e. every 12 turns). Any unit with the affliction ‘Diseased’ has a high chance of getting one or more additional afflictions every turn until it dies. Undead and demons are not affected by disease. Being cursed will double your chances of getting a battle affliction. Having regeneration will reduce your chance of getting a battle affliction by 75%.
Q: How do I tell what afflictions my units have and what the afflictions do?
Right-click on the heart icon. It will tell you what penalty that affliction gives to the unit (e.g. Chest Wound: -1 str, +5 enc)
Q: I want to place all of my units with afflictions in a separate stack. How do I do that quickly?
Click to select any unit in a stack. Press ‘w’ and all afflicted units will be selected. Put them in a separate squad. Remember to check whether the unit you first selected had an affliction or not and put it back if it didn’t.
Q: Can I get rid of afflictions? How?
Yes, but it depends on whether the affliction is a battle affliction or caused by old age. The source of the affliction is not indicated when you look at the affliction.
Units with the special ability ‘Recuperation’ heal afflictions on their own over time. So do creatures with immortality.
Battle afflictions can be healed by units that have the ‘Heal troops’ ability. Units with this ability are Arcoscephale's Priestess, the Faery Queen nature summon, Early Ermor's Bishops and Arch Bishops of the Sacred Shroud, the Mother of Serpents pretender and some national heroes.
The chance to heal a battle affliction differs for each of these units and some afflictions are more difficult to heal than others. Never healing wound is the most difficult. Units with ‘Heal troops’ CANNOT heal afflictions on undead units or old age afflictions.
Old age afflictions and afflictions on undead units can ONLY be healed if you have cast the global enchantment Gift of Health or have forged the Chalice and equipped it on a commander in the same province as the afflicted units. Without Gift of Health or the Chalice, you’re out of luck. You can prevent old age afflictions by forging the magic item Boots of Youth or Elixir of life, which freeze the aging process.
There are also two magic sites that heal afflictions: Healing Spring and Lyfjaberg. It is unknown if they heal old age afflictions as well as battle afflictions, but they probably only affect battle afflictions. Its is also unknown if undead are healed of afflictions, but probably not.
Finally, afflictions caused by items such as Black Heart or Eye of Aiming cannot be healed in any way. They can be healed only if the item is removed, which is very difficult in most cases and involves powerful magic when possible at all.
Q: What is disease?
Disease is an affliction which causes the unit to slowly die and get additional afflictions. Like other afflictions, it can be picked up during battle. It does not affect undead or demons. Units which are suffering from old age will sometimes get disease.
If your troops are starving due to lack of supplies, they will get diseased. Even if they move back to a province with enough supplies, the diseases will remain.
Troops can get diseased if you’re getting events indicating that somebody is hammering the province with disease causing spells or there is a sneaking enemy commander equipped with Bane Venom Charm or possessing the equivalent intrinsic ability in the province.
You may have a magic site in the province that spreads disease. Disease causing sites will cause them even if they are not discovered. There are four sites that spread disease: Inkpot End (always visible), Chillsick Swamp, Leper Fens and Crown of Darkness. Only undead and demonic troops will be safe in that province.
 Combat Actions
Q: Why is my mage ignoring my spell script?
The Dominions 3 spellcasting AI does not blindly follow orders in all cases. If the mage scripted to cast a spell targeting enemies but none are in range, the mage will cast some other spell available to him instead. Sometimes the spellcasting AI will evaluate the threat as too minor to warrant casting scripted spells that cost gems and will opt for something else instead. When the mage runs out of script, the AI will decide what spells to cast, depending on a number of factors. Some spells are considered higher priority if available, so the AI tends to focus on those.
Q: Why isn't my battle-mage attacking?
Mages (that is, any commander with magic) will always cast spells unless scripted otherwise. So what you should do is give the commander a script to cast any possible self-enhancing spells (buffs) such as quickness, mirror image, fire shield etc that are available to him and then set his last order as ‘Attack closest’.
Q: Can I choose what types of forts to build?
No. Each nation has a set of predetermined fort types for different sorts of terrain, so you can only build the specific type of fort for any given terrain. In provinces with multiple terrain types (e.g. forest and mountain), it will be one or the other, probably the fort for the terrain that has a lower terrain type number in the map file.
Q: What does a fort's admin value do?
The admin value does several things. It improves the gold income in the province, providing a percentage bonus equal to half the admin value. It also draws resources from neighbouring provinces, concentrating them in the fort province. Multiple adjacent forts may drain a province of all its resources, so that nothing can be recruited there. Finally, the admin value also increases the supply level in nearby provinces.
Q: I was building a fort and the commander was killed by an invading enemy. I took the province back, why can’t I continue fort construction?
Your enemy tore the half-built fort down to rubble. You have to start over and pay the full cost for the fort again.
Q: I like Dom3, but sometimes I wish X or Y was a little different. Is there any way I can alter the game? (by Sombre)
There sure is. Check the docs subfolder in your Dom3 install - there's a pretty handy modding manual in there that explains step by step how to make game altering mods. You could also drop by the modding forum for more info and mods made by other fans. More specific questions about modding will be addressed in a separate modding FAQ if/when one becomes available. In the meanwhile, welcome to the modding forum.
Q: How do I install maps and mods?
Copy the map graphic file and the .map file into the Dom3\maps folder. For mods, copy the .dm file and any graphics files/directories into the Dom3\mods folder. To use a mod, enable it from the preferences. Enabled mods that have a banner graphic will display the banner graphic in the upper right-hand corner of the Dom3 main menu screen.
Q: If I buy mercenaries in a province and the enemy conquers that province on the turn the mercs were supposed to come there, do I get my money back? Do I get the mercs somewhere else?
No and no. Since mercenary recruitment is the very last action in turn resolution, what happens is that the mercenaries took your coin, went to the province to report to whoever was in charge and take orders from him. In other words, you just paid gold for the mercenaries to work for your enemy for the next three months.
Q: I’m getting these messages about my undead and demonic units being hit by holy fire. What’s going on?
Certain sites have an effect that smites undead and demons with holy fire (a magical, dmg 10 armor negating attack) and each undead unit has a chance of being hit for every turn they stay in that province. Consult the magic site section of the Dom3 DB by Edi to see what those sites are if you wish to know. The sites will hit your units even if they are not yet discovered.
Q: I’m getting these messages about my undead units in being killed by a holy force native to the province. What’s going on?
See previous answer, except demons are unaffected and the sites with the Holy Power attribute are different.
Q: I found a magic site which gives a bonus to a school of magic. Does that mean that I get a discount to spells of that school if I cast them there?
Yes, but it only applies to ritual spells, not spells cast in combat. Unfortunately, any gems used that fall between the discounted and normal prices do not count toward making a global enchantment more difficult to dispel. This is a known bug and has been reported.
Q: Why can’t I build enemy national units from castles I’ve conquered from him?
Because the developers did not want that in the game and to keep all nations unique. You can only recruit your own troops and the native population type independent units in castles.
Q: How how is time counted? (by Jazzepi)
The basic unit of time in Dominions 3 is the turn. A turn is equivalent to one month of the Gregorian solar calendar. There are 12 turns in a year, and 3 in a season.
While there are no smaller units of time in Dominions 3 besides the turn, there are larger units like years and seasons. Each of these years is divided up into four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Each season is divided up into three sections: Early, Normal, Late.
All games begin by default in Normal Spring of the first year (the 2nd month of Spring). Once 11 turns have been taken a regular game enters into Early Spring of the second year. From that point on it takes 12 turns to reach year 3, then another 12 to reach year 4, etc.