Dominions 4

Dominions 4

63 ratings
How To: Play by Email
By sum1won
This is a step-by-step on the basics of joining, participating in, and creating a multiplayer game on the play-by-email server ""

Full credit to llamabeast for creating the hosting service and for providing explanations of how it works. I used those as the foundation for this guide, after updating them for Dom4.
Uploading Pretenders
-FIRST, find a thread on one of the forums with an open game.
-Post in the game to claim a nation according to the game's rules.

-Go to Game Tools and select "Create Pretender.'
-Choose your settings, etc.
-Once this is done, go to Game Tools and click "open user directory." This will open the folder - your data is saved in. Go to saved games, and then go to new lords.
-Send the most recent .2h file in that folder in an email from the email account you wish to use to "" using the name of the game, e.g. "steamedhordes0" in the subject line.
Taking Turns
-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"
-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.
-Take your turn, and when your turn is complete, hit "end turn"
-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.

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:

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

The steps are as follows:

First, create a thread to assess interest. The thread title should have the game name, era, and "Recruiting"

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 (28hrs+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.

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

Once the game is full, change the title from "Recruiting" to "Full-Upload Pretenders"

Go to llamaserver, and select "Create a Game (Dominions 4). Select a password that you will remember.
Select the appropriate number of players, the correct map and mods, and make sure the other settings are matched.
Hit create game, and post in the thread to tell players they can upload now - provide a deadline of sorts. (48h is reasonable).
When all players have uploaded, start the game.

Once the game is started, be sure to stay on top of any issues. If a player fails to submit their turn 2-3 times in a row, either seek a replacement for them, or, if they are small and it is later in the game, set them to AI. Do not roll back the game just because the player missed a turn. Try to grant extensions as requested, although exercise your discretion RE: reasonability.

If you are losing interest in admining, hand over your admin password to a responsible player in-game.

Note: If hosting a disciples game, a draft solution is suggested in selecting teams/nations.


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
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pitchwife Jan 18, 2018 @ 2:31pm 
Amazing guide, thanks for this! Very clear and easy to follow
waTTe Aug 24, 2017 @ 8:36am 
Thanks for the guide.
Paraquatz [PC] May 26, 2015 @ 8:25am 
Lets see if I can manage this, anyways friendly requests and pokes are highly expected from You guys to make sure i am not that alone in the Universe who play this vintage stuff :) lol All welcome
sum1won  [author] May 16, 2015 @ 2:54pm 
Exanthos, yes it is.
Exanthos May 15, 2015 @ 10:23pm 
Is it the exact same process if you'er playing two games at the same time?
athelasloraiel Jan 5, 2015 @ 1:02pm 
thank you very much!
Klutch Dec 21, 2014 @ 7:28am 
Thanks, I think I might see if I can find a email game looks very simple!
sum1won  [author] Oct 28, 2014 @ 10:19pm 
The three steps are

"Download the .trn file to the folder you just made.
-Take your turn, and when your turn is complete, hit "end turn"
-Email the .2h file in "SteamedHordes1" to ""

The rest is just explanation and troubleshooting.
Krook Oct 28, 2014 @ 6:55am 
all that just for 1 turn lol but thanks
Levvy Dec 18, 2013 @ 5:00am