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There are three different kinds of buildings you can build to provinces in Dominions 3. The Fortresses can be built by all commanders and they take a number of turn to be completed. Mages can build Laboratories where arcane research, rituals and forging takes place. Building one takes 1 turn of time. Priests can build Temples which spread your Dominion. This action takes 1 turn of time.

Only one fortress, one laboratory, and one temple can be present in each province at any one time. If you dislike the existing fortress, you must tear it down before replacing it.


A fortress acts as a sort of garrison hub in the province where it is built, and has several uses:

  • Supply depot - Total food supply is increased in the province per the fort's Supply Storage value. During a siege, this supply value also indicates the amount of food available to defenders before they start to starve.
  • Administration center - A percentage of Resources are gathered from neighboring provinces under friendly control equal to the fort's Administration Value (ie. an Admin of 50 gathers 50% of available production resources from each neighboring province for use at the fort). Note: it is thus possible to drain a province of all it's resources (ie. you will no longer be able to train any new troops there) if there are enough neighboring forts gathering resources. In addition, gold revenue in the province is increased by the Admin value as well.
  • Recruitment center - Friendly fortresses are the only places where you are allowed to recruit your national troop types. Without a fort, only independent troop types can be recruited in a province.
  • Military Defense - Forts can provide temporary safety for friendly troops if the rest of the province is overrun by enemies. Inside the safety of the walls, defenders can hold out under siege until the gates are breached or the food supply runs out. For an opponent to complete his conquest of the province, he must capture the fortress. To do this, he must besiege the fortress until the defenses are breached, and then storm it to kill all the defenders. Fortifications with higher defense values require more time and a larger besieging force to breach. In the meantime, any mage commanders inside the fort can still research, cast rituals and even summon magical allies. Defenders use up supplies each turn and start to starve if/when supplies run out.

Note that the only units and commanders considered "outside" a friendly fort are those set to Patrol Province or Blood Hunt. Only stealthy units can enter a friendly fort under enemy siege, while both stealthy and flying units can freely leave while under siege.

Commanders can build new fortresses in friendly provinces. The exact type of fortresses built is determined by the terrain in the province and your nation. Different nations sometimes have quite different preferences for which type of fort gets built where. The following table lists stats for the different fortress types. "Terrain Type" represents a generalization only, as each nation has slightly different preferences as to which fort to build on which terrain:

Fortress Comparison
Fortress Type Terrain Type Defense Value Administration Supply Storage Build Time Cost
Fortified City Farmland 250 50 1000 5 1200
Forest Fortress Forest 300 15 200 4 1000
Forest Ramparts Forest 150 10 100 3 800
Motte-and-Bailey Forest/Farmland 200 20 100 3 800
Simple Hillfort Forest 150 5 100 3 800
Citadel Plains 600 40 100 4 1000
Ramparts Plains 100 15 150 3 800
Swamp Fort Swamp 100 0 100 3 800
Hillfort Mountain 200 5 100 3 800
Hill Fortress Mountain 600 10 150 5 1200
Peg Castle Mountain 700 20 150 4 1000
Mountain Citadel Mountain 800 20 200 5 1200
Fortification Waste/Plains 300 20 250 4 1000
Fortress Waste/Plains 400 25 300 4 1000
Kelp Fortress Sea 100 10 25 3 800
Kelp Citadel Sea 300 40 150 4 1000
Cave Castle Cave/Capital 600 30 150 6 1400
Swamp City Swamp/Capital 400 50 1000 5 1200
Mountain City Mountain/Capital 700 30 750 6 1400
Tel City ??? 500 40 750 6 1400
Great City Farmland/Capital 200 60 1250 6 1400
Dark Citadel Sea/Capital 600 20 150 5 1200


Laboratories are centers for research, ritual casting and forging. They are also required in order to recruit mages. Sometimes labs can be discovered as special sites, but mostly a lab must be built by a mage set to Construct Building > Lab. The mage does not actually build the lab but rather supervises the construction.

Once built, if a commander possessing any magical paths enters the lab he can perform magical activities there. All research, spell casting, alchemy and forging requires an acting mage in a lab.

Laboratories, being home to arcane experiments, are somewhat prone to destruction by fire (ie. this can manifest itself as a random event affected by luck/misfortune).


The temples are the centers of your religious authority. In the temples masses and ceremonies are conducted. From the temples your dominion is spread and in the temples priests are trained. Priests and sacred troops can only be recruited in a province with a temple.

Obtaining temples[edit]

Each nation's capitol automatically starts with a temple. Temples can be built by any commander with Holy magic knowledge (ie. mostly priests and Prophets) using the Construct Building order. Temples cannot be captured - they are automatically destroyed when a province containing an enemy temple is conquered. Some random events can also destroy temples or build new ones.

Effects of temples[edit]

Temples automatically trigger something called a Temple Check each turn. If your dominion is powerful enough, this alone can act to spread dominion for most nations. The total number of friendly temples also increases the effectiveness of preaching (every 5 temples raises the Pretender's current dominion by 1). Blood sacrifice can only be performed in temples. Temples allow the recruitment of any priests or sacred troops available in that province's recruitment list.