Dominions 5

Dominions 5

30 ratings
Joining and Setting Up Multiplayer Games
By sum1won
This is a guide on the non-gameplay elements of multiplayer. It includes: how games usually function, where they can be found, the most common rules and settings, and how to use the primary hosting options.
Welcome to the world of Dominions 5 multiplayer! This guide is organized into several parts.

1.) Necessary background information
2.) How to get set up
3.) Where to go and what to do
4.) Llamaserver
5.) Direct Connect Servers

Most multiplayer games tend to have 12-20 provinces per player, and 6-20 players.

Standard settings vary, but more often than not they are usually normal research, common events, standard gold/resources/magic sites, 1 throne per player, with >50% to win.

Dominions multiplayer games can be distinguished in two ways.

First, they will be either long term, which are played at a rate of about one turn per day, or short term games ("blitzes"), which are played in 2-6 hours in a single day and usually have six or fewer players. Most communities focus on long term games, but some communities do play short-term games as well. Rarely games are hybrid - the first few dozen turns are played as a blitz, and the remainder over a one turn/day pace.

Second, they will be free-for-all or disciple games. Most games are free for all games, with just one winner out of anywhere from 2-70 players, usually around 10. Disciple games are preset teams. One player on a team is a pretender. His god and nation set the scales and bless of everyone on the team. The other players are disciples, who benefit (or suffer) from his scales and bless, but whose gods may be particularly strong as a result. These games are less common, and require a fair amount of coordination, but they do exist.

Nation picking in free-for-all games are usually first-come-first-served, although there are modifications such as randomly assigned nations, or first-come with bans. For disciples, many players prefer a draft solution in selecting nations once everyone has signed up.


2 teams of 6 pick order:
1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1

4 teams of 3 pick order:
1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2, 1, 3, 2, 4, 1

For larger disciple games, I recommend simultaneous drafting. One round per nation pick. Each team sends a list of 5 or so nations they would like, in order of preference, to the arbitrator. Nations are distributed according to preference, ties resolved through dice rolls. Teams that lose a tie receive priority over all other teams in subsequent rounds of the draft. This can cut nation-selection from weeks to a few days.
Pretender Creation
In single player, you can create your pretender as you create a game. In multiplayer, it is necessary to create the pretender beforehand. You can do this by going to the main menu, clicking on "Tools & Manuals," and selecting the appropriate option.

Most Games are free-for-alls. In that case, just click "create a pretender god" and select the appropriate age.

If the game is a disciples game, you will need to know in advance if you are playing as a disciple or a pretender, and select the appropriate option accordingly.

If you are playing a game with a mod-nation or a mod that changes pretender costs, you need to activate the relevant mods before creating the pretender. Please see the section on mods for more information on how to do this.

Once your pretender (or disciple) is created, the file can be found in the NewLords folder. This can be reached by going to "Tools and Manuals" and opening the user data directory. From there, click on "saved games" and then on "newlords." You can also see already created pretenders in the "View Created Pretenders" of the "Tools and Manuals" section, and you have the option of selecting one whenever you start a game.

This section will continue to be updated with resources on pretender design. I recommend that you create a pretender rather than use a randomly generated pretender.

Please note that a password should not be set for llamaserver games, but should be set for direct connect games.

If you want a premade pretender, I have compiled a collection made by various players here:
Move them into your newlords folder to use them. Thanks to Jbereton, Algulod, Drithyl, Trippical, Andre, and Sy for their assistance.
Obtaining Maps and Mods
Most communities use custom maps and mods for at least some games. More than half of all multiplayer games in Dominions 4 used mods, and even more than that used maps that were not included with the game.

When you join a direct-connect server, it will send the relevant maps and mods to you.
However, in order to play on llamaserver, you need to download the maps and mods yourself. They will usually be on the llamaserver game page and sometimes the host will provide them for convenience. Once they have been downloaded, go to your user data directory (accessible from the main menu by clicking on "Tools & Manuals") and put the map or the mod in the correct folder.

Maps will include one .map file and two .tga or rgb files, and should be placed directly in the map subfolder of your user data directory.

Mods will include a .dm file, and will sometimes have a folder with images. Both the folder and the .dm file should be placed in the mod folder. Do not empty the image folder directly into the mod folder; it should become a subfolder of the mod folder.
Finding a Multiplayer Community and (almost) Universal Rules
Before joining a game, you must find a multiplayer community. Llamaserver and similar resources are hosting services, not lobbies. Each multiplayer community has a different culture but most groups tend to treat the following as default rules:

1.) No pre-game alliances, outside of disciple games.
2.) Trades are binding
3.) No other diplomatic agreements are binding, unless the rules specify otherwise. Backstabbing someone and violating a non-aggression pact is allowed.
4.) Game admin's rule is final
5.) Take your turns. If you need to quit and are in a decent position, ask for a sub. If you are in a bad position, go AI. Do not just stop taking your turns. If you need time, ask the admin for an extension.
6.) Admin responsibly.

The easiest place to find a game is here: the Dominions 5 steam forums.

However, here is a non-comprehensive list of other Dominions communities, with links where appropriate, and a little info:

dominions discord[]: This is the (unofficial) Dominions discord. It currently is mostly a place to chat, but people have begun organizing games there.

dom5mods[]: This community dates back to Dominions 3, when a number of modders were banned from the sharpnel forums, then the publisher for dominions. People here mostly use llamaserver

Something Awful: This community is one of the oldest and largest Dominions communities outside of the official forums, with a very active modding and multiplayer scene. People here mostly use a partially automated direct-connect server called They sometimes ban certain nations from games.

Clockwork Forest: This community plays a variety of games, but is focused on Dominions. They use a direct-connect server automated with a discord bot. They are more likely to have games with houserules on certain tactics or strategies.

/domg/ and /v/anheim: This community originated with four-chan. /domg/ is the name of the thread on /vg/, and /v/anheim is the name of the associated steamgroup. Longer games typically use llamaserver, but /v/anheim is one of the primary blitzing communities. Please note that not everyone will be comfortable with the associated culture.

Reddit: The Dominions 4 and Dominions 5 subreddits are relatively new communities. They tend to organize games via their discord []server and use llamaserver.

A number of other communities also have regular games, mostly using llamaserver. Some have dedicated dominions threads or subforums


There are also some communities that have regular multiplayer games in non-english languages, including:

Russian (here[], too[])
Polish Discord[]

If you want your community added or linked, please contact me.

Llamaserver Intro
Llamaserver is a Play-By-Email hosting service maintained by llamabeast, a longstanding member of the Dominions community. It is not a direct connect server. Instead, you email your orders (and pretender!) to the server, and it emails your turns back to you. It has an automated warning and scheduling system.

There were various tricks in dominions 4 available to make Play by Email a little smoother, but they have not yet been migrated.

Here is a java program that will help streamline sending/receiving turns. Although it purportedly is for dom4, it works with dom5 if you select the right executable.

Here is a dominions 4 guide on how to run help automate llamaserver via dropbox, gmail, and ifttt:

Llamaserver: Joining a Game
1.) Go to Game Tools and click "open user directory."
This will open the folder that your data is saved in.

2.) Go to saved games, and then go to new lords.

3.) The .2h files in that are your pretenders. They have the relevant nation names and ages in the file name, as well as a number indicating whether they are the first, second, third, etc. pretender that you created for that nation.

4.) Draft an email to "" using the name of the game, e.g. "steamedhordes0" in the subject line.

5.) Attach the .2h pretender file to the email, and send. You may wish to use a dedicated email for that purpose.
Llamaserver: Taking Turns
1.) Before your first turn, create a folder in "saved games" with the game name, e.g. "SteamedHordes0"
Remember that you can find "saved games" by going to game tools and clicking "open user directory"
2.) When the game starts, and every turn thereafter, you will get an email with a .trn file. Download the .trn file to the folder you just made.
3.) Take your turn, and when your turn is complete, hit "end turn"
4.) Email the .2h file in "SteamedHordes1" to ""

You should receive a confirmation email
If you do not receive a .trn file, go to your game on llamaserver and request a turn resend. You can also request in thread for a resend.

If the resend does not work, make sure you have as a trusted contact/whitelist in your email.

I tried sending in my .2h file, but got an error message!

First, make sure you are in that game. If you are, there may be one of several things wrong, and llama's email should clarify it:

1, you sent the wrong number. If this is the case, llamaserver will tell you that it is for the wrong turn #.
Download the most recently sent .trn file, and use that to take your turn. Send the resulting .2h file.

2, you might be sending your .2h file to the wrong email address. Turns should go to

3, you might be sending a pretender file. Make sure that the .2h file you are sending is from the game folder. That is the folder you put the .trn file you received into before taking your turn.

Note that the methods/tools discussed in the llamaserver intro section can significantly streamline this process.

Llamaserver: Hosting a game
Hosting a game is a different beast from merely playing in one. Llamabeast has requested on his server that those hosting read his FAQs:

1.) create a thread on the relevant forum to assess interest. The thread title should have the game name and era. The Thread body should have listed settings, including map, mods, Thrones/Victory condition, Hall of Fame, sites, indy difficulty, research difficulty, and income modifiers, turn length (26hrs+autohost is standard), and diplomacy rules

If you selected a mod or user-made map, be sure to provide links so that players can download them.

2.) As players join, update the thread body with their names and nations.

3.) Go to llamaserver, and select "Create a Game (Dominions 5). Select a password that you will remember.

4.) Select the appropriate number of players, the correct map and mods, and make sure the other settings are matched.
5.) Hit create game

6.) Once you have enough players. post in the thread to tell players they can upload now - provide a deadline of sorts. (48h is reasonable).

7.) When all players have uploaded, start the game.

You can manage the game by changing or extending the timer, and by replacing players.
Direct Connect: Joining a Game
Joining a direct connect game is very easy.

1.) Click on "Network" in the dominions 5 main menu
2.) Click on "Connect to a Dominions Server"
3.) Enter the appropriate IP, provided by your host
4.) Enter the appropriate port, provided by your host
5.) At this point, you will have joined the server, and it will load the appropriate mods to you. If you have not yet created a pretender god with those mods, you may need to disconnect from the server to do so
6.) Pick your nation and upload an already-created pretender god.
7.) Once other players have uploaded their gods, the game will start, and you can take your turns as needed. As long as the server is active, you can rejoin as needed.
Direct Connect: Hosting a Game
You have two options. Either you can learn to open ports and port-forward, or you can run the game through a service like Hamachi. Once this is taken care of:

1.) Open a separate instance of dominions via the dominions 5.exe. You can get there by right clicking on Dominions 5 in your steam library, selecting "properties" at the bottom of the drop-down menu, clicking on the "local files" tab, and selecting "browse local files." This process is unnecessary if you do not intend to play in the game you are hosting.

2.) In the Dominions Main Menu, click "Network" and then select "Setup a Dominions Server"

3.) Enter a port. This port needs to be accessible.

4.) Enter the game name, select the era, and select the settings. Be sure to set a master-password.

5.) Provide the IP and port to players

6.) Start the game when everyone is ready.

7.) Set a timer if appropriate.

Note: To rehost an incomplete game, go through this process and write in the name of the game you wish to rehost.
Once you have completed a game, I would appreciate it if you submitted it here:

< >
sum1won  [author] Jan 29 @ 6:31pm 
i have no idea what is causing that. sorry. that's weird as hell, though.
DirtyDan Jan 29 @ 12:53pm 
When I host for me, and my friend, I get a "Inifinite nextmissile loop 'Ice Mace'" error.
sum1won  [author] Jan 1 @ 11:40am 
@guldo: The spanish communities I was familiar with do not appear to be active anymore. Removed that reference.

Orvelo: Use the same name as the original game when you rehost

Surrealialis: Yes, it does.

Exanthos: Game settings: Disciples.
Exanthos Dec 22, 2017 @ 12:37pm 
How do you set up a direct connect game with deciple AIs helping players?
Surrealialis Dec 17, 2017 @ 8:06am 
Anybody know if that Java tool works for Dom 5?
Orvelo Dec 10, 2017 @ 3:29am 
I have a question regarding Direct Connect Hosting: How do you load a Save Game and host that?
rodriguezCIA Dec 5, 2017 @ 1:54pm 
dominions 4 instead of dominions 5 in chapter "Llamaserver: Hosting a game"

well done, sir !
GuldoInsecto Dec 1, 2017 @ 5:24pm 
spanish communities? where?
Claire Nov 28, 2017 @ 6:04am 
Thank you
gmsh1964 Nov 27, 2017 @ 8:06pm 
Thank you very much.