Black and White
Hints and Tips
These hints and tips came from many people on the bwgame.com discussion boards,
and at the lionhead.co.uk discussion boards, and from the
comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic newsgroup. Thanks in particular to Caton Little,
Debaser, and Ollie from Lionhead. This page is maintained by Lucian Wischik: if
you can contribute any extra hints, please email him. But don't email to ask for
advice, because he won't answer.
Don't micro-manage your villagers
The villagers in B&W are more chilled out than other games. Idle villagers are
not necessarily a bad thing. It's often best just to let them go about their
Once a village has reached a happy balance, with food, wood and expansion
at 30-50%, you can remove all your disciples (except the crafstman) and they'll
manage fine on their own. Food+offspring desire together total 100%.
Expansion+wood desire make 100%. That's why you should keep them all balanced.
Disciples destroy the balance.
If the village is disillusioned, people will sit around. If you keep doing
everything for them, they'll become disillusioned. The nicer you are to them,
lazier they become, and the more micromanagement you have to do. Your job is to
encourage autonomy! Don't given them food; give them fields. (One field per ten
people, roughly). Don't give them wood; give them a forest. (When you've placed
scaffold, give them some wood, but not all! let them cut down trees and collect
If everyone's idle, check that there isn't a resource bottleneck. If there's no
resource bottleneck, then it means they're simply lazy. Let them starve. After
20mins or so they'll get the hint. Warning: letting them starve is an evil act!
Best not to let them become dependent in the first place.
To stop them whining about breeding: take away their excess food and give it to
Starving villagers is Bad, so be careful. Healing villagers is Good.
Building and expansion
Villagers want to expand if there is no space for adults. Also if there is no
space for children. They go through a cycle of having children until full, then
wanting more buildings, then filling them. It doesn't effect your alignment to
ignore the requests.
The villagers will happily build their own buildings; you don't need to do it
them. You need a disciple craftsman. But if you don't want them to, don't make
any craftsmen. Having a good number of disciple builders and a huge supply of
timber (and therefore scaffolds) makes building a fairly painless process
Warning: Do not accidentally barricade your creature in with buildings — it will
destroy them to get out.
Workshops will have only 3 scaffolds out in the world at any one time. You have
to place one, wait a short while, then the new building will be locked in
position, then a new scaffold will begin. You can assemble scaffolds in the yard
itself. This makes it much easier to assemble a wonder-sized scaffold without
accidentally using the partially complete scaffold for something else. The
scaffolds in the yard are in addition to the three in the world.
Resources: forests and food
Planting trees and watering them quickly creates forests. You can get your
creature to do this. When you plant a tree, there should be a puff of green
smoke; this indicates that the tree will grow on its own. If there is no smoke
then the tree might be too close to the village; the only way to make it grow is
with watering. Having a creature water the forests is especially useful, since
takes no mana. Mature trees sometimes drop seedlings. You can force-grow those
seedlings to maturity with a single shower. Also, trees will drop seedlings much
more readily when they're being showered. This makes it fairly easy to maintain
good-sized forest anywhere you like (including the middle of town).
Fisheries are an abundant source of food. If you're playing a map where the food
miracle is not available (or hard to come by), make village near the fish with a
bunch of disciple fishermen and continually swipe food from their supply.
How to impress villagers and influence
Influence is based on the number of non-homeless people in a village, and their
The impressiveness of certain actions depletes when you first do it, and
recharges over time. Two consecutive flocks are a waste of power.
Here's a fun way to impress villagers. (more enjoyable than repeatedly throwing
rocks around!) Have you creature set fire to them, so they're scared. Then get a
storm to put out the fire, so they're impressed.
Worshippers and miracles
To keep worshippers alive you have to feed them and also heal them. Every
you charge takes life from the villagers. Therefore, either heal them or let
go home to rest. Use the S key to see how well they are; if they're all hurt
heal them; if just one is, pick him up and take him home. This micromanagement
intentional; it is the price you pay for using miracles.
There seems to be something like a 1:2 or even 1:1 relationship between food
consumption and prayer-point generation. That is, if your bowl is full,
worshippers will eat at the usual rate but while they're generating prayer
they consume much more. Casting a lot of expensive miracles will cost you a lot
of food. (If anyone can figure out what determines the maximum number of points
that can be stored, please tell!)
Creating a one-shot dispenser — basically a miracle storage device — is a bit
tricky, since they need 6 scaffolds. Some people have had the most success with
them by placing them in built-up areas (where no other buildings are possible).
Place the charged miracle from your hand into a spell dispenser. Then you can
the micracles through the vortex to give yourself a head start. (and villagers,
Keys: R repeat spell. M cast spiral spell. P pause. Alt+1 slow down time. Alt+2
speed up. B,V cycle leashes. L automatically attach leash to creature. TAB move
to next town center.
Tip on doing the heart gesture: the bottom is made of two straight lines meeting
at a definite point; it is not round.
Training your creature
If your creature eats when not hungry, "it will now be more hungry". (i.e. just
like in real life!) If he eats when hungry, "he will eat more of this." Reducing
hunger is in and of itself a reward. Apparently fish is so tasty that he'll
always eat more!
The message "your creature will now it more of this" doesn't tell you what
creature has just eaten! This is intentional micromanagement. If you want to
train your creature, you have to pay attention to him. However, you can see if
he's just eaten a human by popping into the creature cave in your temple and
checking the stats. So long as you remember where he's up to, you'll know if
done it again.
Sometimes, apes will happily eat trees (and like it)... considering how readily
available trees are, perhaps a strictly herbivorous creature would work well!
"Beating the hell out of your creature", past 100%, isn't good. If he's done
something bad, punish him a little bit, but not all the way. Just like in real
When training your creature, you must provide positive reinforcement. If you
ever punish him when he poos in the wrong place, and if you never praise him
he poos in the right place, then he'll get the idea that pooing is always bad.
Result: self-constipating creature! Remember always to reward as well as punish.
You can grab fireballs out of the sky.
To throw someone from a great height — bookmark with the camera zoomed in, then
bookmark with it zoomed out. Pick someone up. Go to first bookmark, then second,
then release. Ouch!