Age of Wonders 4 – Realm Guide

Realm

A Ruler may ascend to the Pantheon by conquering a realm, from where they may join future conquests, or oppose them.

There are three types of realms:

  • Story Realms tell the story of the Fourth Age of Wonders and the return of the Godir. The first chapter must be played with a Champion godir and do not allow settings beyond difficulty. There are 5 story realms to unlock and play.
  • Challenge Realms have a predefined set of traits to give a unique realm to be explored and conquered. Additional ones can be unlocked by increasing the Pantheon level.
  • Custom Realms allow manual choosing of the following realm traits.

Geography

The geography trait is the only mandatory realm trait and determines how many landmasses are in the realm, how are they separated from each other, and how are empires distributed on the landmasses.

Geography traitLandmassesEmpires per landmassLandmass separation
Barren OceansSeveral2-3Uninhabitable Desert
CoastOneAll
ContinentsSeveral2-3Ocean
DivideTwoHalfOcean
IslandsMany100%Ocean
LandOneAll
Lava DivideTwoHalfLava
Lava LakesOneAll
Scarred DivideTwoHalfDesolate Ocean

Climate

The climate trait determines which provinces and province features are common, which are rare, and which are absent.

Desert Realm

Common

  • Desert provinces

Rare

  • Forest province features

Absent

  • Arctic provinces
  • Desolate provinces
  • Highlands provinces
  • Temperate provinces
  • Wetlands province features

Endless Fields

Common

  • Temperate provinces
  • Grassland province features
  • Food resource nodes

Absent

  • Desolate provinces

Forming Realm

Common

  • Desolate provinces

Frozen Realm

Common

  • Arctic provinces
  • Highlands provinces

Absent

  • Desert provinces
  • Desolate provinces
  • Temperate provinces
  • Tropical provinces

Highlands

Common

  • Highlands provinces
  • Mountain provinces

Overgrown Realm

Common

  • Forest province features

Rare

  • Arctic provinces
  • Desert provinces

Absent

  • Desolate provinces

Scorched Climate

Common

  • Desolate provinces

Absent

  • Arctic provinces
  • Highlands provinces
  • Temperate provinces

Inhabitants

The inhabitants trait determines the composition of independent armies.

Inhabitants TraitEffects
Astral InvadersMana resource nodes and pickups are defended by Ethereal Astral Sea monsters
Demonic RealmFiend units are common
Dragon TerritoriesDragon infestations are common
Immortal SpiritsEthereal units are common
Lingering CreatorsGiant and Ogre units are common
Low PopulationFree Cities are rare
Magic OriginsMagic origins units are common
MegafaunaAnimal units are common and Marauder animal units gain Empowered Beasts
Peaceful LandsAnimal, Fey and Plant units are common
Rampant FloraPlant units are common
Rampant UndeathUndead units are common
WildlandsAnimal units and infestations are common and Constructed Ancient Wonders are absent

Presence

The presence trait adds powerful developed empires to the realm. Almost all presence traits must be unlocked by reaching the required Pantheon level.

Pretender Kings (Required Pantheon Level 0)

  • Adds 3 empires that start with 3 cities each and at war with each other
  • Whoever forms an alliance with or defeats each empire is Victorious

Domain of the Frost Queen (Required Pantheon Level 4)

  • Adds 1 empire that starts with 3 cities including a large Throne City
  • Empire’s units have Frostling Transformation
  • Whoever defeats defeats the empire is Victorious

Artisan Kings (Required Pantheon Level 8)

  • Adds 2 empires that start with a massive Throne City and a Vassalized Free City

Druidic Alliance (Required Pantheon Level 12)

  • Adds 2 empires with powerful Nature skills and an alliance with each other

The Librarian (Required Pantheon Level 16)

  • Adds 1 empire with powerful Astral skills, 2 cities and accelerated research
  • Whoever defeats defeats the empire is Victorious

Iron Emperor (Required Pantheon Level 20)

  • Adds 1 empire with powerful Materium skills and 2 cities

Archon Prophet (Required Pantheon Level 24)

  • Adds 1 empire that starts with a large Throne City and all Free Cities vassalized
  • Whoever defeats defeats the empire is Victorious

Demon Prince (Required Pantheon Level 28)

  • Adds 1 empire that starts with 3 cities including a large Throne City
  • Empire’s units have Demonkin and Supergrowth
  • Whoever defeats defeats the empire is Victorious

Misc

Each realm can have up to 4 misc traits, which apply a variety of effects that adjust the game rules or otherwise provide twists to the realm.

Environmental Effects

Arctic Blizzards

  • Arctic provinces and affected by Arctic Blizzards
  • All surface combat is affected by Arctic Blizzards
  • Units in these provinces suffer Arctic Blizzards

Crystalline Abundance

  • Mana resource nodes and pickups and abundant

Domain of Mayhem

  • All combat is affected by Domain of Mayhem

Massive Underground

  • The Underground is bigger

Small Underground

  • The Underground is smaller

Volcanic Eruptions

  • Desolate provinces and affected by Volcanic Activity
  • All surface combat is affected by Volcanic Eruptions
  • Units in these provinces suffer Volcanic Heat

Warping Wilds

  • Each strategic turn all unowned surface provinces have a small chance of transforming their province feature to new ones

Wondrous Past

  • Ancient Wonders are abundant

Free City Modifiers

Bannerlords

  • +5 Empire Recruitment Points
  • +25% Rally of the Lieges Chance

City States

  • +5 Free City Starting Population
  • -50% Whispering Stone Strength

Distrusting Locals

  • -3 Whispering Stone Strength

Hostile Houses

  • -10 Starting Allegiance
  • -400 Starting Relations with City States

Might Makes Right

  • +10 Allegiance with all City States per conquered City State
  • +2 Vassal Allegiance when vassalized through conquest
  • -50% Whispering Stone Strength

No Free Cities

  • Free Cities are absent

Ruined Realm

  • Free Cities are rare
  • City Ruins are common

Rule Modifiers

Deathcasting

  • Units grant their owner +10 Combat Casting Points on death

Disdain for Evil

  • All empires gain Grievances against empires with Evil Alignment

Megacities

  • Cannot absorb, migrate or settle new Cities
  • Cities can perform Province Annexation +5 provinces further away

No Respite

  • Empire units suffer No Respite

Regenerating Infestations

  • Infestation emerge in unoccupied provinces every 10 turns

Underground Start

  • Each Throne City is placed Underground

Unlimited Power

  • Can cast multiple combat spells per turn
  • Combat spells cost +200% Mana

Unit Modifiers

Curse of Undeath

  • Marauder and Free City units gain Curse of Undeath

Frostling Influence

  • Independent units gain Frostling Transformation
  • Independent units gain Frost Blades
  • Independent units gain Frost Arrows

Gigantism

  • Marauder units gain Supergrowth

High Maintenance

  • +100% Unity Upkeep
  • -50% Unit Recruitment Cost

Immortals

  • Empire and Free City units gain Immortal
  • Routed units are never lost

Lightless

  • -2 Unit Vision Range

Story

The following traits are only present in certain story realms and cannot be added to custom realms.

Harmonious Lands

  • High tier Ancient Wonders are Absent
  • High tier Infestation Spawners are Absent

Ancient Ruins

  • City Ruins are common

Caldera

  • Center of the map is lava
  • Edge of the map is mountains

Eternal Battleground

  • All empires and free cities are at war with each other

Fractured World

  • Astral Rifts are the only Infestation types present

Forbidden Domain

  • All units are affected by Condemned

Holy Protectors

  • All roaming wildlife is affected by Celestial Enchantments

Custodian’s Dogma

  • Free cities are rare
  • Free cities cannot be negotiated with

Realm Settings

Realm settings determine how each game will play out. It includes the following settings:

  • Player Distance determines the distance between each Throne City. Together with the Players setting it determines the size of the map.
  • Players determines the number of empires in the game. Together with the Player Distance setting it determines the size of the map.
  • Turn System has two settings. When set to Classic Turns, all empires act in order. When set to Simultaneous Turns, all empires act at the same time. Simultaneous Turns are not available if a player controls multiple empires.

Advanced Settings

  • Custom Rulers allows or disallows the AI from using custom empires.
  • Teams enables the team setting for each empire and disables most diplomacy between empires. Empires on the same team will be in a permanent alliance while empires on different team will be in a permanent war.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13573 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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