Domain Actions

Domain actions are the large-scale activities which heroes engage in. These can take weeks or even months to complete.

  • Heroes may take one character domain action per domain turn.
  • Lieutenants may take up to two domain actions – one character domain action, and one if an action is assigned by their regent.
  • Regents may take three domain actions per domain turn. A regent may also assign one additional action per turn to one of his or her lieutenants.

Domain actions may be split into three types – character, court, and standard. Heroes may only take character domain actions, lieutenants may take any domain action assigned by their regent, and regents may take any domain action they choose.

It is important to note that a domain turn is three months long. Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition does not contain rules for aging, so your character at forty is just as nimble as he was at twenty. That said, old age may play a factor if character actions extend the campaign into the elderly years of the human lifespan (60+). If this becomes a real problem in the campaign, then a new generation of heroes may rise up and take on the mantle form the previous generation. Of course, certain races and blood abilities make aging far less of a concern.

Character Actions


You take part in an adventure. There are monsters to be fought, intrigues to be solved, and treasures to be won – in person. Most regents win renown as adventurers and heroes before they assume the leadership of a realm or organization. Scions must often establish themselves as powerful and capable individuals if they want to deter challenges to their authority and honor. Such adventuring does not cease once a scion claims a domain; if anything, the need for adventuring increases.

PC regents should adventure often – with an eye for quests that further not only their own personal concerns, but those of their domain and its allies. Once a regent sweats blood with an ally, fighting back-to-back against a common foe, he knows the mettle of his friends. Adventuring regents also benefit domestically; when a regent personally leads the party that eliminates a band of monsters and saves a town, word gets around. The regent may see an upswing in loyalty and possibly an short-term increase in regency, taxes, or tithes.

The adventure domain action does not count as a domain action for heroes, provided that the heroes spend no more than one month of the domain turn adventuring.

Arcane Research

You learn spells, perform spell research or create a magical item. Spellcasting regents may learn or research conventional spells, research realm spells, make magical items, or perform other such tasks. The cost to research a new ritual is equal to its listed cost to purchase.

Ply Trade

You spend the month in endeavors designed to bring you personal profit and wealth. Few regents will engage in this action on a regular basis, but non-regent characters do so often. Regents usually have weightier matters competing for their character action each domain turn, but might use Ply Trade to increase their own personal treasuries.

Your ability to find work, negotiate wages, and make a profit is based upon your bonus in any skill of your choice. Highly skilled individuals are rare and can earn an increasingly large salary. The listed incomes are appropriate in provinces of level four. Increase profit by 25% for each level of the province above four. Decrease income by 25% for each level less than four. For example, a character with a +10 skill bonus in Endurance can make 300gp per action in a province 6; their base salary of 200gp (+10 bonus x 20gp/bonus) plus an additional 50% for the province level [+25% x (province(6)- province(4)].

Income from Ply Trade

Skill bonus Example Monthly Income Average
+0 – +3 Unskilled labor 2 gp 2 gp
+4 – +6 Apprentice 2 gp x bonus 6 gp
+7 – +9 Journeyman 5 gp x bonus 75 gp
+10 – +14 Master 20gp x bonus 250 gp
+15 or higher Grandmaster 40gp x bonus 600 gp

Skill Check

This is a sort of catch-all for characters completing domain level skill challenges, as well as characters attempting simple skill challenges that require an extended length of action. The entire party is not required to participate is a domain level skill challenge, but the length of time needed to complete these challenges (often at least one full man/year for heroes) meas that opportunities may come and go before only one or two party members an complete the challenge.


In addition to the standard rules for retraining provided in the Player’s Handbook, characters may additionally retrain using the Training action.


Routine travel is not a domain action. However, if a character spends a significant period of the domain round traveling, then he or she is incapable of performing other character actions (except, perhaps, adventuring). As a rule of thumb, a hero that spends more than one month in travel, or a regent that spends more than one week in travel, is not eligible to perform any other character action. Characters that are traveling with a military unit or that are holding themselves ready to form a Heroes unit should also be considered to be engaged in the Travel character action.

The Standard Travel Rates table presents common rates of travel through good terrain and in good weather. These rates assume that travel takes place on clear roads or plains. Terrain modifiers for movement are available in the Player’s Handbook. Most communications between regents take place through routine messengers. The frequency of such communications depends, in part, by the travel time between the regent’s locations. For example, two realms located 10 provinces apart (1 week travel time) cannot be reasonably expected to carry on communications by messenger that require more than four total exchanges.

Standard Travel Rates

Mode of travel Speed Miles per day Days per province Provinces per week
Entourage 15 ft. 12 3 1/3 2
On foot, slow 20 ft. 16 2 1/2 3
On foot, fast 30 ft. 24 1 1/2 4
Carriage 40 ft. 32 1 1/4 6
Warhorse 50 ft. 40 3/4 8
Light horse 60 ft. 48 2/3 10
River boat 12hrs/day 40 1 8
Sea vessel 24hrs/day 80 2 16

Regents often travel in full entourage. Traveling in entourage costs 0.1 GB x the regent’s court level to cover the costs of taking guards, courtiers, and servants along. The normal dangers of the road (wild animals, highwayman, and solitary monsters) aren’t likely to confront an entourage of 20 to 40 individuals. On the other hand, large groups of people are both obvious and slow. Regents preferring speed or stealth over safety and comfort are likely to travel with a smaller party.

Domain Actions

Birthright - 4th Edition Alexander Cecil