Grey Guard and Keeper of Peace Specializations

Hi there!  Because this new expansion is so big, we still have more development journals to bring you before we can announce it (and you can play it 😉 ) . There’ll be a video, name, and full feature list presented at least a month before release.  Today we’ll be discussing the Grey Guard and Keeper of the Peace specializations. As with the previous Shadowborn specialization, they come in adapt and mastery levels and are strongly tied to a particular alignment. You’ll see that some of these news skills connect to new systems which are part of our efforts to diversify world map game play, making race relations and economy more important.


Grey Guard Specialization

Grey Guards seek balance between good and evil to gain military and economic advantage. Their magic is focused on cleansing the essence of unnatural beings, they can absorb it for magical power and manipulate it to heal their armies.  Sample Skills:

Guardian_of_BalanceFlourishing Balance: This empire skill gives benefits to Grey Guards with neutral alignment.   As long as your leader is Neutral, all your cities gain an additional +50 population. (For undead towns this is halved)

Exploit_WeaknessCardinal Culling: Grey Guards are all about maintaining the natural order of things. This spell helps cull enemies on the battle field that show up in large masses of the same type. Target enemy unit and every unit like it has 40% weakness to physical damage and does -5 melee damage until the end of combat.

Absorb_EssenceHealing Essence: Destroys all corpses on the battlefield. All friendly units are instantly healed for 25hp and gain a happiness bonus.  Needless to say Necromancers don’t like this spell.

Purging_BurstPurging Burst: All Fey, Summoned, Undead and creatures of Magical Origin must resist or lose 3 resistance and are dealt 5 fire and 15 spirit damage. If resisted they are dealt 2 fire and 7 spirit damage instead.

Summon_Chthonic_GuardianSummon Chthonic Guardian:  “The gateways between good and evil perk my curiosity. If I could penetrate those barriers I could corrupt the all creation. The All-Father would bow to me. My probes discovered beings there. The most exhausting are incorruptible, known as Cthonic Guardians. They thwart my attempts to disrupt nature’s balancing forces. Armored in etherstone with mighty wings and impenetrable shields, their strength is not attacking, but defending. They fight for all eternity, inspiring others to stand when they should flee. If discovered, I fear this nuisance will foil my plan to contort the natural world.” — “Breaking the Faithful” by Master Dark


The Chthonic Guardian is a tier 4 flying pikeman that specializes in defense. It has a shield and the defender ability, granting it a greater defensive bonus while guarding and once it reaches elite level it gains Instant Wrath, reflecting damage from all sources back on its attackers. It’s signature ability is Rallying Cry, an area of effect ability that boosts the morale of nearby friendly units as well as granting them Vigilance for one turn, allowing to guard and attack in the same turn.



Keeper of Peace Specialization

Keepers of Peace are dedicated to the path of good, they are masters of diplomacy, expert at forming alliances with independent settlements and even those of their enemies. When war becomes inevitable, their magic bolsters their armies giving them strength in the direst of circumstances.  Note we didn’t call this specialization “torchbearers” because we can’t retroactively insert it in the original campaign, and torch bearers aren’t necessarily dedicated to good. Sample Skills:

Rally_of_PopulaceBolster: Your units do not suffer from morale penalties until end of combat. Simple, but very efficient!

BolsterRally Populace: Target enemy city suffers from -500 happiness and betrayals are more likely to occur. As long as this spell is active betrayals can occur even if the owner’s Race Happiness is higher than the other player’s Race Happiness. Independent and Undead Cities can’t be affected.   This is a great way to disable the edge of rival empires!

The City Betrayal Mechanic:  If a city of an enemy empire is unhappy, it may offer to betray its owner to a suitable leader who is at war with the current owner.  Of course that leader does need a positive happiness toward the race of the town in question.  If the town can’t find such a player it might rebel and become independent. The city offers to betray its owner via a quest to the prospective new leader, asking him to send an army to City and relieve them of the vile despot.  When the player attacks the city, the local population aids the player, opening the city gates and spawning militia units behind the walls. If the takeover is successful, the city joins without the need to absorb or any of the negative penalties of capturing a city by force.

Aura_of_LightAura of Inspiration: The target friendly unit gains Inspiring Aura, 2 physical damage, 3 spirit damage and provides every friendly unit in a 1 hex range with 300 happiness.

 Bearer_of_LightBearer of Light: All Diplomatic actions with Independent Cities take 1 less turn.


Spiritual_FreedomSpiritual Freedom: The city is engulfed by the harmless fire of the Torchbearers. All units produced in target friendly city, and all units summoned within that city’s boarders, gain  Meditation and become Dedicated to Good. Researching this Spell will make your Leader and Hero’s Dedicated to Good.   [Meditation is like an advanced Guard mode, allowing units to skip a turn and gain strong offensive buff)


Summon_Arch_GuardianSummon Arch AngelArchAngelr: “Its spear burned with divine fire, shredding the undead hosts that filled us all with dread. My wife smiled. Her face glowed. She announced, ‘The All-Father sends a servant! My prayer is answered.’ Our despair evaporated. We were filled with pure joy. We knew that there were better things from other worlds—things with power that fought for our cause. The Arch Angel smote our foes with brutal determination. We were all inspired to fight. Before ascending to heaven, the angel touched the wounded and they were made whole.”—“Husband to a Saint” by Ugrid Grovle


The Arch Angel is a support angel, as well as healing and resurgence abilities it radiates inspiration, boosting the morale of nearby units. It also has a powerful aura that can blind any unit that strikes it in melee combat.



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Home Forums Dev Journal: Grey Guard and Keeper of Peace Specializations!

This topic contains 157 replies, has 71 voices, and was last updated by  Joni 3 years, 6 months ago.

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    Question: without the “Rally Populace” spell active, how common are betrayals? They seem like they would be a pretty rare event.

    They will only occur when the city happiness is low enough. It’s basically an alternative to normal rebellion. Rally the Populace just makes it more likely to be a betrayal in your favor, as well as helping bringing the happiness low enough for it to be possible.



    Quick question: Somebody brought up a minor discrepancy between the Chthonic Guardian’s description – which mentions impenetrable shields – and its in-game model, which doesn’t have a shield at all. Has this been adressed in the meantime?

    I’m specifically asking because the Guardian might become my new favourite unit, but I’d still really love to have their defensive strength mirrored by an impressive bulwark in the off hand. I am sure these gals could wield their spear single-handedly without any problem 🙂



    I am sure these gals could wield their spear single-handedly without any problem

    Technically speaking, that should be horribly inefficient. The only Spear/Shield combinations that work is a shield strapped to your arm(like the Phalanx), or putting your shield on the floor and have it lean against you(LOOKS like what the Tigran Pike is doing, though I’m not completely sure.)



    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Joni wrote:</div>
    I am sure these gals could wield their spear single-handedly without any problem

    Technically speaking, that should be horribly inefficient. The only Spear/Shield combinations that work is a shield strapped to your arm(like the Phalanx), or putting your shield on the floor and have it lean against you(LOOKS like what the Tigran Pike is doing, though I’m not completely sure.)

    Good point, fair enough. Honestly I wouldn’t mind if their spear was replaced with something more “realistic” – something resembling a pilum perhaps?

    Also, in my eyes it is not just a fluff issue as the Guardians both have the Shield and the Defender ability (with both icons using a shield symbol), so their current appearance is a case of misleading visuals which is not quite ideal.

    Additionally, it would help to visually discern them a tad more from the Arch Angel and the Fallen Angel, which both happen to wield a two handed spear-thing.



    It’s a magical being. Perhaps the spear is weightless.



    And the shield is invisible, making it extra effective since nobody expects it to be there 😀



    And the shield is invisible, making it extra effective since nobody expects it to be there :D

    I was going to say that it was metaphysical, but you beat me to it 😛

    “I am Welcomed in the Home of Ravens and Other Scavengers in the Wake of Warriors, I am Friend to Carrion Crows and Wolves, I am Carry Me, and Kill with Me, and Die with Me Where the Road Ends; I am not the Honeyed Promise of Length of Life in Years to Come, I am the Iron Promise of Never Being a Slave.”



    Oh come on guys! 🙂

    But seriously, judging from the silence of the beta testers, this hasn’t been addressed (yet) or not deemed important enough to be looked at?

    I understand that changing the visuals of a unit takes away some development resources and/or might simply be too late for now, so how about changing a few abilities of the Guardian to match its current look instead? How about a “Parry” ability that would also grant +2 or maybe 3 defense just like “Shielded”, but could not be overridden with Overwhelm and would only be valid for the first incoming attack each round? Alternatively, it could grant a chance to completely evade an incoming (melee) attack – similar to the luck mechanic but not applying to ranged and magic attacks or debuffs.

    This could then also be added to a number of other units wielding two handed weapons to make them more distinct and spice up the unit variety (of course a few balance tweaks would be necessary here and there). I’m thinking about units such as the Human Longswordmen or Orc Greatsword.

    I have no developer knowledge but I assume that implementing a new ability would mean less effort overall and since it could be applied to other units too, the cost-benefit-ratio seems pretty solid at first glance.


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