Part 70: Death: Poor Unfortunate Souls.Death: Poor, Unfortunate Souls
did you know i had the titular line in the pelagia dom5 lp?
Everything dies baby and that's a fact but... wait this is dominions five dying is for suckers and rubes and living units with the undying bless who end the fight in negative hit points. Undying lets your blessed units go into negative HP and survive. The more points you put into it the more negative hp they can have in a 1 to 1 payoff. Living units die if they end the fight in the negatives, but if you have regeneration that will tick them back up into living in the cleanup phase. Dead dudes just keep on keeping on after the fight regardless. It's a good bless and pairs well with regeneration as you can see. Better for undead, but fine for the living too if you have the points to spare.
Another pretty good bless here. Each point of death bless gives your sacred commanders an additional 20 points of undead leadership even if they normally can't lead undead. Also undead leadership is the leadership counted for leading d e m o n s so hell yes. Literally. This can be useful in some nations to cart around undead and demons to where they need to be (though a lot of demon and undead happy nations tend to have plenty of native commanders for that.) It is also said to be the gateway to fabulous, secret powers for Abysia...
For the cost of 2 death bless points and also 2 points of death scales you can make a few Princess Bride jokes. Your sacred units don't need to eat and gain a chunk of disease resistance (but not immunity). This would probably be a little more popular if it didn't requite suicide scales. But as it is the effect is kind of marginal. The supply thing isn't a big deal and the disease thing is okay I suppose if you are worried about your mages rotting away. Having death scales makes your old men mages more likely to take afflictions during the winter though and it doesn't give any resistance to all the other non-disease afflictions. You basically don't count as undead for anything that would be really cool or really bad and that is a shame.
For 4 death bless points death blesses are good again my friends, awooo. Withering weapons is legitimately good for it's price. When a blessed sacred injures another unit that unit must make an MR check of some sort of be afflicted with a sort of decay. For several rounds they age 5 years per turn and take some minor amount of damage (1 or so). Aging at that rate is pretty much a death sentence for conventional troops and the damage over time makes a good thug killer. If you have sacred archers good news it works for (non natural) ranged weapons. If I have 4 death bless points sitting around I love to come back to withering weapons.
Stygian flesh is an incarnate bless that costs 5 death bless points and tests your knowledge of how invulnerability interacts with natural protection. Invulnerability grants your unit a certain value (10 for this bless) of protection against nonmagical attacks. This does not stack with natural protection and the game just picks whichever is higher where relevant I guess. If you have low protection naked mans sacreds this is fine. If you try to combine this bless with barkskin or hard skin or on a nation with units with extant natural protection (lizard men have 5) you aren't getting quite the same value. If you pick Stygian Flesh on your C'tis Sobek god along with Hard Skin you are flushing so many points down the toilet NOT THAT I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT.
Reforming flesh is the Regeneration bless for the undead set. It is 6 death bless points, incarnate, and It grants +10% regeneration but works ONLY on undead units. If you are thinking of combining Half-Dead and Reforming Flesh let me tell you from testing that half dead is not dead enough you need to be totally dead not just mostly dead. Nice try doing something economical and cool. I hope you learned your lesson. There are not a whole lot of nations with undead sacreds worth blessing. MA Ermor maybe but why aren't they banned?
For 7 death bless points and an incarnate god this grants your sacred units the Reanimator trait at 50%. When your sacreds kill another enemy living unit, with weapon or spells, they die, and as if that was not enough they rise again 50% of the time to serve a new master, their slayer as a soulless undead. This is a pretty interesting bless that has the potential to sow a lot of chaos in enemy ranks but in practice takes a bit of time to get rolling to the point where it is anything more than a curiosity. You probably need something else to drag you into the mid or endgame where this matters.
And old classic. The wages of sin are death weapons. For 8 bless points the attacks of your sacreds deal an additional 2 armor negating damage (with an MR check to resist) and also disease the victim (a separate MR check to resist). This is reasonably good and a death sentence for thugs and pretender gods without regeneration or some way to ignore disease if afflicted. That said it is 8 death points on an incarnate god when Withering Weapons is, like, RIGHT over there offering its own perfectly persuasive death sentence from hit solutions. It's an OK bless but I'd be leery about sinking 8 death bless points into it.
For 10 death bless points you can experience palpable disappointment after being familiar with how fear used to work in Dominions 4. Fear is good, don't get me wrong, as a unit ability. It gives morale penalties to enemies nearby the unit, but in dominions 4 it used to stack with itself to infinity and now it is caps out at a mere -5 morale malus. Now that's good, that's fine, that's even balanced for the fear ability but it is in no way worth sacking points into death to get it to 10. The costs just pile up too much. If it was 8 death bless points I'd say go wild. Fear is pretty good just not 10 points good.
Death is a pretty good bless path with some good utilitarian stuff and also a few cute paradigm-changers if you are willing get weird with it. You'll always have something worthwhile to spend death bless points on at the very least.