Author Archives: Narvek

Dev Journal: Frostling Queens and Royal Guards

In this concluding journal about the Frostling race units we show you the mighty Ice Queen and her Royal Guard

Frostlings are a proud and sturdy race, which have been moving towards a matriarchal society since the Frost Witches first befriended them. Their Kings today are always chosen by the High Queen and it is she who ultimately rules all the Frostling clans in the Kingdom together with her chosen husband. It is quite common for a High Queen to go through multiple Kings during her reign. The clans have a high degree of independence, but the situations where a clan goes against the explicit wishes of its High Queen are rare and usually fuelled by powerful Frostling women.


Concept Art for The Royal Guard and Queen

The Ice Queen (not to be confused with the High Queen!) is the prime example of how the Frost Witch blood improves the race as a whole. Talented women with a large amount of the magical blood streaming through their veins can become Ice Queens, who really allow the Frostlings to shine on the battlefield by bringing the full power of the icy North to bear.

Men with a lot of Frost Witch blood can become Royal Guards. They are highly trained men that use the magic in their bodies to a dangerous degree, transforming themselves into beings of ice in order to better protect the all-important Ice Queen and other Frostling women.

Most Frostling Lords and Ladies tend to have quite a bit of Frost Witch blood in their veins as well, making them taller and subtly different in appearance from standard Frostlings. It also grants them higher immunity to the cold. In courtly circles it is a matter of pride to show this off by foregoing the normal heavy thick furs and dress in light ‘summer’ clothes.

The Royal Guard: Changed to a high degree by the frost magic blood of their ancestors these men live to guard the Frostling women. Pikemen first and foremost, they strike first and deal more damage to and have higher defense against mounted units and flyers. Their active ability is Pledge of Protection, which can only target Frostling women, gives the Guard +2 defense and redirects any damage done to his charge to the Royal Guard, mitigated by 35%. Their Frost Weapons Inflict Frostbite and being made of ice gives them Arctic Concealment. As a last line of defense, once they succumb to their wounds the magic in their frozen bodies causes them to explode and deal damage to all enemies around them.

Frostlings05The Frostling army in game

The Ice Queen: The ultimate Frostling support unit, the Ice Queen is a formidable opponent, especially for races not suited to the cold. Riding a chariot drawn by polar bears, she brings her Dome of Frost wherever she goes. All units which aren’t Frostlings or have 100% Frost Protection and who stand next to her suffer -1 defense, -1 resistance and get a bit of frost damage each turn. The Ice Queen can cast an Ice Nova, which deals frost damage to all enemy units next to her with a chance to Inflict Freezing Cold. It also breaks the guard stance of all enemy units within a 3 hex radius. So you can see why you’d want to protect her!

Frostling_QueenA Queen riding her Chariot

Even on the strategic map the Ice Queen supports her race with her Arctic Nova ability which spreads the Arctic clime in an area around her, but which costs her her life.

I hope you enjoy these last Frostling units and look forward to using them, I do! Of course, what is stated here is work-in-progress and things may still change depending on balance testing and feedback, so let us know what you think!

Be sure to check back next week, when we’ll have a Christmas-themed surprise for you!

Dev Journal: The Frostling Army Core

Today we reveal three new Frostling units, the Raider, Harpoon Thrower and the Mammoth Rider

As we saw in the previous development journal Frostling blood has mixed with the enigmatic and feylike Frost Witches. This has changed some of them to better resist the cold and be larger in stature and stronger in power.

Today however, we’ll take a look at the main Frostling army – the footsoldiers, archers and cavalry – who have stayed quite similar to ages past, wearing thick fur to protect themselves against the biting cold and relying on their experience in hunting and their magical weapons to deal damage.



The Harpoon Thrower: Accustomed to life in the Nordic tundra’s and ice floes, the Harpoon Thrower is primarily a hunter. During times of war however Frostling Queens and their Kings are happy to employ them as archers. Their Throw Harpoon ability, apart from dealing frost and physical damage, has a chance to immobilize the target for two turns. Unique among archers, the Harpoon Thrower can use its Harpoon as a makeshift Polearm, to stave of cavalry charges and deal extra damage to all kinds of mounts, as well as to drag down flying units.


The Raider: Raiders are somewhat hunched over diminutive warriors not to be underestimated because of their size. They are perfectly adjusted to terrorize and plunder the softer races living in warmer climes. Like all Frostlings they have Fast Embark to surprise enemies from the water. If you think to hide behind walls or hastily made barriers think again! Their Frost Axes have the Demolisher ability, which allows them to deal 4 extra damage versus obstacles and machines, and they also have Improved Wall Climbing which means they don’t suffer any penalties when scaling a wall. Imbued with the cold energy of the Icy North their Frost Weapons deal frost damage in addition to physical damage.

After a successful forage the Raiders quickly vanish into their icy domain, aided by their Arctic Concealment.


The Mammoth Rider: Lords of the Battlefield, Mammoth Riders tower atop their huge beasts, surveying their surroundings and forcing breaches in the enemy’s defenses. The massive beasts can take a lot of punishment and deal severe damage. With their massive tusks the Mammoths can easily destroy walls, and their big bulk enables them to perform an especially powerful Devastating Charge. If you manage to keep them alive long enough they learn the rampaging Killing Momentum ability, giving them back 1 action point and allowing them to move 1 additional hex after killing an enemy.



Soon we’ll be looking at the higher level Frostling Units!


Development Journal: Mystical City Upgrades

Hi again! In today’s expansion development journal we’ll be talking about a new type of city upgrades that we have in the works. These Mystical upgrades unlock unique new and powerful improvements to your town, making a city’s location matter more than ever.

DJ-SS17City with Sunken City upgraded with Sanctuary of the Deep,  unlocking Mermaid

The goal with this new feature is to make cities a lot more unique. We got some feedback that right now city upgrades could use more diversity. The class structures vary per class of course, and the tier 3 unit building is different for each race. Then there’s the Harbor which you can only build if the city is located next to water. But you wanted more, and we heartily agree!

Something that may give each city a unique focus, or role. Something that can influence your choice of where to found your next city.

This is how the Mystical City Upgrades were born: These city upgrades depend on the presence of particular Treasure Sites in the city’s domain. When these Sites are explored and made part of the city’s domain, they unlock a new Mystical Upgrade in the production list. These upgrades usually greatly improve a particular type of unit (Pikemen, Infantry, Cavalry, etc.) produced in that city, enabling you to specialize the city according to the unit type boosted by the upgrade. Other Mystical Upgrades unlock an entirely new unit or have effects on the city’s defenses. We think this will lead to more variety in the citybuilding part of the game as some upgrades may fit your playstyle, race or class more than others.



Stables of Vigor

Requires Spring of Life. Produce d Calvary Units have Free Movement, Fast Healing and High Morale

Flowrock Citadel

Requires Flowrock Quarry. Produced Machine units have +10 HP and this city’s walls regenerate 20 HP at the start of each combat round.

Arcane Catalyst

Requires the Wizard Tower Ruins. Units summoned within this city’s domain gain an additional medal rank and are Supercharged. When a Supercharged unit dies in combat, it spawns a random lesser elemental unit under control of the dead creature’s controller that lasts until the end of combat.

Sanctuary of the Deep

Requires Sunken City. Unlocks the production of Mermaids in this city (yes, that’s a new unit!).

We have 12 new city upgrades linked to 12 Treasure sites in total so there’s plenty for you to discover out there!.

Racial Upgrades

Think this is all? We are also adding more Racial Diversity to cities, by adding a unique racial defensive Structure for each race. Here are some examples:

Blood Pavilion

Race: Orcs.  Performs a dark ritual to curse and hurt the enemy. Deals 14 physical damage and has a chance to inflict Bleeding Wounds to a random enemy unit each combat round.

Bell Tower

Race: Humans. Bell rings, causing the town’s citizens to fire a hail of arrows at the invading force, dealing physical damage to a random enemy unit + surrounding hexes.

Firestorm Pillar

Race: Draconians. Creates a pillar of fire which obliterates enemy units. Deals 4 physical and 8 fire damage to all enemy units in a 1 hex radius around a random enemy unit each combat round.

Fire Pillar In Action

As always, let us know what you think on the forums!


Expansion Dev Journal – Seals of Power Victory Condition

Hello everyone! As the first post-release Development Journal, we’re going to talk a bit about the creation of the Seals of Power, which is a new Victory Condition for both random maps and standalone or campaign scenarios. As with other upcoming new features, we can’t give an exact date of when they will be implemented. Note that some new Dev Journal features presented will be part of  expansions, while others will be included in patches / free updates.

So back to this new feature! When cleared, these legendary Seals of Power allow you to accumulate Seal Charges. The first player to be fully charged wins the game!

They can be pre-placed on maps, and in the Random Map Generator settings you will get the option to either play with or without Seals of Power. Since this represents a whole new way of winning the game it will add a whole new element to the gameplay experience and it can spice up the end-game.



** AoW3 Campaign Spoiler ***

As you might have learned from playing the campaign or reading the timeline (, Merlin destroyed the last Shadowgate, banishing the old Wizard Kings.The Shadowborn on the other hand want to open new Shadowgates for their trapped masters, but where it used to be relatively easy to create and open such a gate anywhere (once the Shadow Demons had shown everyone how), it now has become all but impossible (Carishar made a valiant effort at the location of the old Shadowgate, but he failed because of Laryssa and Edward).

The reason for that is the Seals of Power: Merlin and his helpers built them all over Athla, to protect the world from invasions from other worlds. When players accumulate enough Seal charges they gather the power to break a Seal. Breaking a Seal releases such a huge (but temporary) power surge in the Leader breaking it that no one can stand against them: they become as demi-gods for a while, capable of vanquishing any foe. In gameplay terms: all other players lose (except allies of course).

**** End Spoiler *****



Seals need to be discovered and are usually placed quite some hexes away from your starting position. Seals are usually heavily defended by elemental guardians. We have expanded on the concept of the original 4 elementals to include more variants (so yes, there will be new units associated with this feature!). Once a player defeats these guardians on a new TC map, he will own the Seal and begin to accumulate charges. Other players are notified that someone is beginning to break the Seal, and its location will be revealed.

Players will need at least one unit on the Seal at all times to keep ownership of it, as the Seal’s magic actively resists anyone leeching charges from it. The Seals of Power, even after being conquered and owned, are still dangerous however! Periodically a Seal will spawn a new army of elemental guardians to attack the player occupying it. So players will need to keep strong armies on the Seals in order to keep control over them.

Usually there are multiple Seals on the map, and we’ve found that contesting over seals is most interesting when there are less Seals than there are players. If you manage to grab two Seals you will accumulate charges twice as fast, but the other players are likely to try and take them from you. You can track everyone’s progress in a new Overview, which appears on any map that has the Seals of Power victory condition enabled. There are more things in the works, like new, unique rewards for taking a Seal for the first time, and empire-wide bonuses for occupying them. Seals become highly contested areas, with alliances likely to form to stop players from winning.  Of course the current victory condition of killing a leader and taking the throne city are still in place, so watch your back!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this mechanic! At the moment we’re still heavily testing and balancing the Seals as well as adding the required content and code. Remember, these are Development Journals, and things that are still in the development stage can still change. We have lots of new and completely different things in the works too, so check back for upcoming development journals!

If you have any questions or remarks please let us know on comments / forums below!

Advanced Level Editing and Scripting Guide

Hello everyone! It’s about time we get into advanced level editing, and explain the script commands we used in the campaign and stand-alone scenarios.


In the document we prepared for you today (see below) all Age of Wonders 3 script calls with explanation are listed, as well as a few examples of creating some events step-by-step with screenshots.

Like how this…

Map Edit 05

,..leads to this


The script documentation still very much needs to be considered ‘raw material’. As such, it may contain errors, it will definitely not explain everything you want to know and it will not warn you about everything that can go wrong if you use a script in a specific way. I wish you all good luck with making your own stories and adventures!

Download the 60+ pages Scripting Guide here!

Download the Mirror Pact Example Map here so you can see scripting in action.

If you have questions, feel free to post them on our Level Editing forums!

For a video showcasing basic editing like placing units/structures, painting terrain etc look here.



All about The Age of Wonders III Level Editor

While most of you have probably just begun delving into the depths of AoW3; we’re already getting questions about the editing tools. Designer Narvek  has prepared this tutorial video, showing the core features.  The Editor allows you to create your own worlds and paint terrain features with ease.  Place armies, cities, and resource structures with the click of a button. Create your own heroes, and set default diplomatic states between sides.  Tech savvy editors can script interactive events such as quests and create entire campaigns, including story scenes with custom art and voice tracks – just like the campaigns shipped with the game!

The  Level Editor Tutorial Video. AoW3_LevelEditor_StructuresEditor Screenshot: Placing structures and setting their properties.

  AoW3_LevelEditor_UnitsEditor Screenshot: Placing Units

Campaign_Ingame_MapPlayers can create their add their own campaign maps.  We have a layered PSD template of the campaign map here (50MB).


You can create your own story sequences, using your own art and voice files for narration.

The Level Editor is accessible from the Launcher (the Misc. Tab). Note that the Level Editor is offered for free as a courtesy to fans. It is not tech-supported, not localized and its system specs might differ from the main game (like you’ll need a higher resolution than the minimum spec.) Scripting Guide coming soon!  We’re looking into setting up a platform for people to share their maps. Maybe @ AoW community @ Heaven Games wants to make space available too?  🙂

Dev Journal: Adventure Sets

Time for another development journal! This one will focus on Adventure Sets. Adventure Sets are used to regulate the type of ‘adventure’ the different kinds of structures offer. In this journal we’ll go into the technical framework behind the systems and show a little of how they function. Modders take note: you can create adventure sets in the level editor and link them to structures to make them function in new and exciting ways. As always these journals are about the current state of the development process, not the finished project. So expect things to change and to be rougher around the edges than they will be in the finished game. – Godewijn, Designer

Adventure Set Scope

In Age of Wonders 3 you’ll explore a world map filled with all manner of interesting objects.
Structures are a big part of this. Among the different kinds of structures that exist in the world we have treasure sites (explore these for items and other rewards), gold mines and similar sites (provide resources every turn) and sites like brigand camps (they spawn Brigands).

Brigand camp with a stack of newly spawned brigands.

Adventure sets give these structures their flavor in a number of different ways.

Guard Units: Very important for any structure are their units. Do they stand on top of the site or hide within? Units that stand on top we call Defenders: they’re visible and can be attacked by as many stacks as can surround them. They’re pretty vulnerable and guard structures like Watch Towers and Mana Nodes.
Units that do not we call Inhabitants: they’re not visible and can only ever be attacked by the one stack that ‘enters’ the structure. They guard structures like Tombs and Dungeons.

You can set what unit set they should be from (only Goblins for example), and what their strength should be (weak, normal, strong, random, disabled). You can even scale up or down what weak, normal etc. means and whether the units should be chosen randomly or if the most expensive unit that can be included with those settings should be included.

The guard unit settings of an adventure set.

Combat Properties: These set the structure’s magical flavor (if any). Global tactical combat enchantments can be an integral part of the structure in question. They can be disjuncted by strong enough Heroes or Leaders during the combat, if so desired. Think of enchantments like Suffocating Fumes and Wind Ward. The latter can be found on Air Nodes for example.

Rewards Link: Links to a different set that regulates the rewards of the structure. Basically what you find when a structure is captured for the first time. They can be units, items, gold, mana, knowledge and more. Expect even common Gold Mines to have a few gold pieces worth of nuggets lying around.

Spawn Units: It is possible for structures to spawn units and you can set those here.
Of course you can link the set of units that will be spawned (only animals for example, or only undead, or only bandits) and when the units should be spawned, but that’s not all.
Spawned units spawn with a behavior attached to them and you can set that here: Do they behave like animals? Do they raid everything they come across and attack mindlessly? Are they brigands who like to prey on the weak and occupy your gold mines?
This last option really brings the world to life!

The spawn settings of an adventure set

Adventure sets also link to the actual tactical map(s) that will be fought on.

In the Level Editor

In our level editor you can see all existing adventure sets and duplicate them to modify them or create new ones from scratch. Similarly you can create reward sets and link those in the adventure set. The adventure set will then need to be linked in the structure you’ve placed on the map and you’re done: a customized structures that does what you want it to!

As will hopefully be clear, using these adventure sets it is possible to make a lot of different flavors for structures. This is something we enjoy and hope you will also like. We also look forward to see the ones you create yourselves!

In other Dev Journals we’ll explore the different kinds of structures we’ve created so far, and how they work and look.

I’ll leave you with the complete list of settings as I think some of you will appreciate that:

A structure’s complete adventure set.

Dev Journal: Unit Types and the Character Sheet

Welcome to a new development journal! This time we shall tell you a bit about the basic characteristics of units and how this information is presented in the unit panel. Clear representation might not be the most thrilling of subjects to read about, but it is highly important: you want to be able to see exactly what is going on and not be surprised by unknowable things or being fed vague descriptions instead of clear numbers. While the unit panel isn’t completely finished yet we still wanted to show you so bear with me and get an inside look at the inner workings of units!

Unit Character Sheet

The fantasy units in Age of Wonders, ranging from basic military units to the most exotic hellspawn, feature a wide variety of different characteristics and the unit’s character sheet is where you’ll find all of it in detail (of course there are other quick ways of getting vital unit info too, like popups). You view the Character sheet from the army panel, from a city’s production list and of course when clicking a unit’s portrait in Tactical Combat.

Inspired by pen and paper RPG character sheets, we aim to make this as user friendly as possible while allowing us to present the units visually together with their lore.

The Phantasmal Warrior’s unit panel. Note! Work in Progress, don’t plan strategies yet.

The Phantasmal Warrior’s unit panel. Note! Work in Progress, don’t plan strategies yet.

The information present on the unit panel:

  • Name: ‘Phantasm Warrior’ in this case.
  • Owner shield: The coat of arms of the side owning the unit.
  • Upkeep: This unit has an upkeep of 16 gold. You will have to pay this every turn.
  • XP and Medals: This unit is freshly summoned and as such has 0 XP and no medal. It needs 30 XP to get the first (iron) medal. The bar features a gauge indicating how you are to the next one.
  • Morale – The unit has normal morale in this case. The face will change to happy (high morale) or unhappy (low morale) depending on the morale. There are 7 different morale states. Units can get higher morale in numerous ways, for example by winning battles.
  • Alignment: (not pictured) Some units have a fixed alignment, which is displayed next to the morale mask (mirror from the upkeep position).
  • Core Stats – Hitpoints, movepoints, defense and resistance. Note that a unit’s strength is now tied to its attack abilities.
  • Active abilities – Abilities that the unit can activate. For example a melee strike or a stunning touch attack. Since strength depends on the specific attack ability a unit can have a strength 12 melee strike attack but a strength 15 stunning touch attack. There are 5 different damage channels; this Phantasm Warrior deals both physical and shock (lightning) damage in melee, but physical protection will not help against its stunning touch.
  • Passive abilities – A unit’s passive abilities, like true sight and shield.
  • Unit figures and formation – You can see the unit up close. Shows the amount of figures and the formation they’re in as well. Units are animated and Clicking in the 3D viewer allows you to rotate the view a bit. The background corresponds to the unit’s actual surroundings.
  • Lore – Below the units there is a smoothly scrolling description of the unit. This time, Ray has written the text ‘in character’, as if some scribe of the Blessed Continent itself had written it.

Tooltips pop up detailing or explaining certain aspects when you hover your mouse over it. For example hovering over the True Sight ability would read: “The unit is capable of seeing concealed or invisible units.”

Unit Types

Units can belong to a Type, which indicates their general role during combat. Note that there is plenty of variety within each type!:

  • Irregular: These units are often skirmishers fit for hit and run tactics like the Orc Javelin Throwers, or provide a versatile role like the Human Civic Guard. They have both melee attacks and one-shot ranged attacks and are usually highly mobile. The cheapest unit any race can build is an Irregular.
  • Infantry: These units focus on melee and are good at it. Usually armored and/or shielded, they can take some punishment. Pending race, some carry double handed great swords or axes, others carry shield plus weapon.
  • Pikemen: They usually have less defense than the Infantry units but make up for that with their aggressive abilities: First Strike as well as a Polearm weapon that gives a bonus versus Mounted units.
  • Ranged: Includes archers, crossbow men, and even flame throwers from the draconian race. Very weak melee, their main use is to shoot from a distance. Very useful on city walls.
  • Cavalry: Mounted units who can move far. Useful for scouting the world map as well as performing deadly charges in combat (especially devastating when flanking). The races are equipped with a variety of mounts and mounted weaponry.
  • Caster/Support: Units who have magical or priestly abilities (touch attacks, cast attacks, fire and frost bolts etc). Although weaker in melee and lacking in hitpoints, they are quite versatile and can turn the tide of the battle with their abilities.
  • Misc: Monsters, siege engines etc

Types are displayed in the unit panel as well as on the unit’s flag.

Next time we’ll go in more detail about how the unit panel shows buffs and debuffs in tactical combat, and how certain class skills unlock new abilities for your units.

As always we would really appreciate your feedback. We do have our own plans to further improve the order and sorting of the ability list to help readability, but every bit helps. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Dev Journal: Hero Mounts

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second development journal for Age of Wonders III.

Before telling you about the brand new mount system in Age of Wonders III, let me make a quick introduction. My name is Godewijn and I am a designer for Triumph Studios for a little over a year now, and as such I am one of the ‘new people’ that joined this project.

Unlike what you might expect from someone who didn’t work on the prequels, I’m sometimes actually a bit more conservative than some of the longtime Age of Wonders developers. Reason for that is probably that I have been a huge fan of the series since the first Age of Wonders and (when time allows it) I still play Shadow Magic regularly with a friend.

You can imagine it was a dream come true to be able to work on the third installment! – Godewijn, Designer

The Hellhound is one of the fearsome mounts in Age of Wonders III

I should mention everything you see and read in these dev journals is work-in-progress. As we are still in the middle of development on Age of Wonders III a lot of things can change, both gameplay- and graphics-wise.

So let’s talk about those mounts!

Default Hero Mount Variations

As in previous games your heroes and leader will ride a mount. The default mount they get is based on their race. For example at the start you won’t have High Elves riding boars through the woods since boars are the preferred mount of Dwarves and the Elves prefer Unicorns.

These are the default mounts per race:
High Elves – Unicorn
Dwarves – Boar
Humans – Brown horse
Draconians – Raptor
Orcs – Black horse
Goblins – Warg

Default mounts don’t give your units special abilities and are purely cosmetic. This changes once you progress in the game and get access to special mounts.

Acquiring Special Mounts for your Hero

Unlike the default mounts, the special mounts are more than something purely visual. They have the ability to add bonuses to your hero or leader. The Nightmare mount for example will bestow Floating (faster movement) and the Bleak Warg will provide Arctic Walking.

Some of these special mounts are creatures like Fell Horses, Nightmares, Blight Tusk Boars, Bleak Wargs, Hell Hounds, Unicorn Sires and Red Raptors. You can swap them by using your inventory, as mounts are considered a special kind of item.

Leader with a Gryphon egg and mount ‘item’ equipped (Ice Wyvern).

We are thinking of adding more, like Dread Spider mounts, which would give your hero/leader the ability to climb walls with ease. At the same time we are careful with adding abilities to mounts so they don’t make other items worthless or become imbalanced.

So how can players obtain those mounts in the game? Well, you can obtain them as quest rewards or rewards for exploring structures.

Hatching Eggs

For the really special mounts you will need to start looking for eggs. Just like Daenerys Targaryen (the mother of dragons) in Game of Thrones, you will be able to find eggs and hatch them. This way you can get some awesome mounts. Maybe you’ll find a Gold Wyvern egg in an area fiercely guarded by Gold Wyverns.

Artwork of the various Wyverns

Eggs will be used only for the strongest of player mounts: Gold, Fire, Ice, Obsidian and Bone Wyverns and the Gryphon.
Once you find an egg you need to carry it with you for a certain amount of rounds before it gets hatched (no worries – your hero won’t need to sit on the egg). The mount resulting from that can be equipped as any mount and gives the hero/leader flying and increased vision on the World Map. Maybe even something extra as well.

Leader on a special mount (Red Raptor) attacking a hero on a Hell Hound (this is Work-In-Progress).

This is just one example of us trying to add flavor and improve on the earlier games. Is it needed? Perhaps not. Is it fun? We think so!

But it’s even more important what you think! Let us know in the attached forum thread. We’re looking forward to it!