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Hello fellow King of Dragon Pass fans! This is a compilation of tips and tactics. Sources include my own experiences in Dragon Pass, this forum here on Gog,, GameFAQs, various wikis and many others too numerous to mention. This is just a way of one latecomer to this brilliant game to give sincere thanks to the creators of King of Dragon Pass and share with other gamers.

Second chances to form a tribe are rare. Grab them if they show up.
Winning has nothing to do with conquering neighbours and everything to do with convincing them to let you be their king.
You get to initiate two actions per season (unless you use the season wheel), but things will happen as they happen (e.g. raids or other events).
The Clan has more nobles than true leaders. The Clan screen counts all nobles, but only the dynamic ones appear in dialogues.
People are called by the gods, rather than choosing a patron. Sometimes you just have to wait for a Trickster or Vingan among your leaders.
The manual explains many things. Each management screen also has brief help in the form of the “More Info” button.
Orlanthi Clans become unmanageable when they get too large. Splitting is the time-tested solution to this political problem.
Be sure you’re wealthy enough before trying to start a tribe, it’s not a race. (In the short game, the Ten Year Ring means you need to hold the crown 10 years.)
When creating your tribe, offer gifts first thing, before negotiating. It can soften up a clan for any subsequent demands.
When you are part of a tribe, other clans will hold you to somewhat higher standards of generosity. They expect kings to be more generous still.
Constantly consult your Clan Ring on all matters. They are full of useful information and if you have chosen them wisely will guide you to victory.
Cragspider is centuries old. Think twice about offending her.
If you ever want to stop another clan’s tribute to you, send another Demand Tribute emissary, and demand none.

SACRED TIME - Always have traders be physically present during Sacred Time otherwise the magic available for trade will be reduced.

Oxen for farming are a third of your cattle. It's 2 oxen per hide or 1.6 with Barntar's Ploughing blessing, and 2.5 farmers per hide, and the number doesn't change with Vigor. Mood only depends on having sufficient land, and the annual impact is not huge
After founding your Clan make sure there are plenty of hunters (30+). They also spot raiders and they're useful in battle.
The Clan's farmers both tend the herds and till the soil.
Keep farmers on their farms by not raiding during Sea or Earth Seasons. However trade and diplomatic Missions only require a few footmen.
Barntar's magic can affect how many oxen you need.

Generally, try to not accumulate grudges with other clans. If it sounds like you might have grievously offended a clan, make note of it. Perform the Divination - "Attitude Blessing". If it says they remember several slights, do the Issaries Heroquest for reconciliation - the "Improve your relationship with another clan" option erases any slights they may remember. Which aren't shown except by Divination-Attitude - since it costs a turn, make a list of clans that you seem to have made particularly angry and check them first.
Try to gift goods, not cattle. Cows generate food and more wealth.
It can be useful NOT to call in favours owed. This leaves other clans obligated to you. By the same token, repay favours promptly.
Clans can owe each other more than a single favour.
The fewer feuds you have, the fewer clans spread stories about you and encourage attacks on your missions.
Relationships are complex. Your emissaries may improve another clan’s attitude with gifts, but this may not erase an old grudge. (It is even more complex when there's a tribe.)
Make one of your Clan the first tribal monarch, but don't hold on to the throne if he or she passes away. Your successor from another tribe is going to die or resign in 5 years. Landing two kingships in a row is difficult. If you absolutely need the next king to also be one of yours, your best chance is to have someone else elected first and sabotage their rites.

Send out an emissary to establish a route whenever something that might benefit trade happens. Build up your Issaries temple, trade with neighbours for the Silver Tongue artefact, keep a worshipper of Issaries on the ring and keep investing in Trading during Sacred Time - that also raises trade routes for the following year.
Trade Treasures from neighbouring clans who like you. Treasures that exist in the game are not assigned to specific clans unless you sell one, so you can keep going to the same clan asking to buy a treasure and eventually end up with everything that can be traded for. When they start offering spirit fetches, you're done.
Once you've cleared the supply of unique artefacts to trade, when an artefact is necessary, buy a spirit fetch (they disintegrate when you expend magic, so stocking up is pointless).
Trade magic increases the number of routes you can support.
If there are many bandits, increasing the number of caravan guards may be necessary.

Raiding. Don't raid at all in the first three years. Focus on building the Clan's Weaponthanes and defences. In the beginning, don't raid more than once every 3 years, especially for a peace Clan. Generally your Clan will only want to raid during the Fire Season (and usually the Storm Season). You may or may not be able to raid during the Sea and Earth seasons but this may adversely effect harvests and raiding during Dark Season is almost impossible.
Five footmen and two weaponsthanes for a successful sneaky cattle raid.
Go raiding during Storm Season. Other Clans are prepared for raids during Fire Season, but can by surprised during Storm Season.
Raids can cause counter-raids.
Small unit combat has lots of uncertainty; the initial clash is like rock/scissors/paper that affects the odds of the overall outcome. (As does heroic combat.)
Try not to have too many feuds at once. Feuding clans are a lot more likely to raid. Reduce the likelihood of this by making allies (if possible) with all neighbouring Clans surrounding your tula. End any feuds as soon as possible
Even a Peace Clan has to raid occasionally (to keep up warrior morale and war magic). But not even a War Clan needs to raid each year.
Put most Weaponthanes into patrolling the outer ring, not the inner one, because that's where they'll spot raiders. Make sure to check patrols every fire season, because explorers and traders will take weaponthanes away from patrols and they're not automatically put back.
Thanes all need horses. Lack of horses can constrain recruiting. Raids or trading can get more.
Occasionally attackers may destroy some of your fortifications. It’s possible to miss this in the battle results, so check with your advisers on the War screen (or the Fortify dialogue).
Send a lot of your existing thanes exploring (but not too far), then recruit.

Every few years check if it is worth reorganizing the Clan Ring.
When your Clan finds resources exploring the Clan's Tula (such as green clay, stones for amulets, iron etc) don't sell the raw materials to another clan, go to the Clan Screen and press the "Crafters" button. Reassign some crafters from generic goods production to these new resources to produce special goods.

Successful heroquests give extra magic.
Your founder god choice provides a shrine of the corresponding god and an extra point of magic at Sacred Time if the Clan Chief worships that god.
Keep your Clan magic high, thus allowing your Clan to donate magic, rather than goods and cattle, to cults.
Learn which sacrifices/donations of magic allow you to choose via a slider (four points is a good amount) and which require a flat %. If your magic is high, avoid the latter.
Regarding Ancestors, the big issues are really whether your Clan lives the way they did - eg whether or not your Clan keeps thralls. Although Clans and individuals have a main deity, they worship the entire pantheon. In game terms, the deeds of Ancestors are mostly to establish starting conditions.
As well as costs to perform the required rituals, temples also require worshippers. More are available once you form a tribe.
Trade magic increases the number of routes you can support.
Post edited September 18, 2016 by noncompliantgame
MAP (Exploring)
Don't neglect exploring your own tula (don't move the exploration marker, just pick an explorer and click Explore”). Exploration can find things even in places you've been before.
Learn Vinga's Pathfinder blessing and build a shrine early in the game, since it will make exploration safer.
Clan Ring members have slightly improved odds while exploring (they embody the clan in a way that ordinary clan members do not).
Two ways to reduce the threat of bandits: send out explorers, or succeed at the Issaries the Conciliator Heroquest.

BACKGROUND and HEROQUESTS (Know your history or cheat)
Heroquests re-enact myths. Myths are in the Lore screen. Your choices are critical, but as at any time, just knowing the best action does not guarantee that the quester is able to succeed at it.
Be sure you know the Heroquest (to the secret level if appropriate) before questing (sacrifice for Knowledge). Recreating the myth as precisely as you can is always easier and more likely to succeed.
Approximately ten successful Heroquests in a long game should be enough to win.
Myths always guide Heroquests, but are only ever partial maps to the Otherworld. Review Lore before questing.
If a scene offers you the chance for an emergency heroquest, you will not be penalized if you have already quested this year.
The Humakt Heroquest helps with winning battles early on, and has some good treasures that can turn the tide of battle.

SAGA - Checking the Clan Saga can be a useful reference point for information you have neglected to keep track of and is not available elsewhere.

I may update this at some time.
Few random points...

First and foremost, do not try to "beat" the game, it is meant to be experienced not solved. In other words, power play is considered almost a crime in this game, and you most probably subscribe for royal annoyance if you will come with such mindset.

One cause for the first point, your main enemy, and best friend at times, is Random Number Generator. The game is very random at times, and no choice is fully deterministic (with few notable exemptions, particularly in the end game part). While often times there indeed is a known "best" or "right" option, it only means that is more likely to yield desirable result, in no way granted to. Likewise, even obviously "wrong" choice still can go trough some rare cases, up to yielding best possible outcome. You have to learn to accept and deal with whatever you got.

Higly speculative: I cant know (the only way to be sure would be by reassembling the code) but have reasons to believe, your virtual "dice" is penalised afrer save (re-)load. So if you ever decide to reload save to reply a situation (nearly all of us do sometimes, don't we? ;) ) it might be better to go back to sacred time for a full year .

Possible spoiler: there is an artifact that claims to equalise your luck, unfortunately, as it also cuts your best luck, your explorers will be mostly unable to discover anything... so, my advice would be to avoid it. Sure, it can have its use sometimes.

~ ~ ~

At start of every year, doing your sacred time rituals, you must have at least rough idea what you intend to do that year.

~ ~ ~

Plan your feuds carefully. Analyse the map, nearby clans and their borders. You want most neighbours to be friends and eventually form a tribe, but it can also be beneficial to have an enemy right next to you: to launch easy close raids, to grab their lands incrementally, to capture tralls if you in that, and so on. And once they finally relocate, you have open access to your next victim... and/or desirable friends, eventual tribe members.

You will need (or at least may want) extra land. Starting with most land is viable option but not necessarily best, more lands are harder to patrol and may make your early days harder as they are anyway.

It generally not a great idea to split your tula when you split your clan (you almost inevitably will, possibly even repeatedly in a long game), but sometimes you may consider that.

~ ~ ~


[practical hint, possibly spoilers]

While there lot of fun to be had (you even can have them in your tribe!) they are rather annoying neighbour, to be fair.
And, you have to be careful with them, or else. Yes, it surprisingly easy to trigger a game over event by feuding with them.

So, here is one possible solution to this "problem":

- first, offer friendship to them;
- then, once you're strong and ready, drive them off their land in one, single, overwhelming attack;
= they won't even hate you too much, nothing you couldn't easily fix, and Marsh Ducks remain friendly at all. And you will not be directly neighbours anymore, for a while at any case.
An explanation of the Screens and sub-screens where the Clan Ring gives advice and most major actions and if these actions count as turns.

The Main Screens are in bold type and their sub-screens are in italics

FARMING ---> Slaughter Livestock.
Any action on this screen counts as a turn except Adjust Crops Planted.

RELATIONS ---> Emissary.
"Send" Emmissary is the only action that counts as a turn on this screen.

TRADE ---> Mission.
"Send" Mission is the only action that counts as a turn on this screen.

WAR ---> Weaponsthanes. "Recruit" Weaponsthanes counts as a turn.
---> Cattle Raid. "Send" Cattle Raid counts as a turn.
---> Raid. "Send" Raid counts as a turn.

These two actions take place on the main War screen.
Fortify. Select "Build a" and select "Fortify". "Fortify" counts as a turn.
Patrols. Adjustment of the 2 Sliders for Patrols does NOT count as a turn.

CLAN ---> Farmers. "Recruit" Farmers counts as a turn.
---> Weaponthanes. "Recruit" Weaponthanes counts as turn.
---> Crafters. "Assign" Crafters counts as a turn.
---> Hunters. "Assign" Hunters counts as a turn.
---> Reorganize . "Reorganise" Clan Council counts as a turn.
---> Feast. Give Feast counts as a turn.
---> Gifts. "Distribute" gifts counts as a turn.

MAGIC ---> Sacrifice. "Sacrifice" counts as a turn.
---> Build. "Build" or "Reduce" a Shrine or a Temple counts as a turn.
---> Quest. "Perform" HeroQuest counts as a turn.
Changing the blessing in a shrine/temple does NOT count as a turn.

An explanation of the Screens and sub-screens where the Clan Ring does NOT give advice and some major actions and if they count as turns.

MAP ---> Explore.
"Send" Company to explore is the only action that counts as a turn on this screen. The council are not displayed and therefore can not be accessed for advise. However from time to time you will be encouraged, via advise in other screens, to send Exploration Companies.

BACKGROUND ---> Myths. Learn the Myths of your people and their gods.
---> History. Learn the History of your world.
---> Culture. Describes various aspects of your culture.
No actions on this screen count as turns. While the Clan Council is displayed on the main screen as on the other screens they do not provide advise.

SAGA ---> Each year displays one at a time.
This is a chronicle of your Clan since it arrived in Dragon Pass. The council are not displayed. No actions on this screen count as turns.

Screens Guide Illustrated on attached images.
01. Farming and Relations.
02. Trade and War.
01.jpg (294 Kb)
02.jpg (304 Kb)
Post edited May 04, 2017 by noncompliantgame
Amazing thread! Thank you for all the tips.