- The Empire, a noble and ancient kingdom of human Knights In Shining Armour who worship the Highfather
- The Legions of the Damned, a group of Exclusively Evil demons who try to free their god Bethrezen from hell
- The Mountain Clans, a collection of Dwarvish Clans who worship Wotan
- The Undead Hordes, a horde of the undead created by Mortis to attack the dwarves in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Wotan for throwing her lover's heart into the sun, which she lost her flesh retrieving
- The Elven Alliance, a collection of elves who begin to organize after events in the second game's first two Expansion Packs bring their old god and Mortis' lover back to life.
All units travel in parties which the player hires in cities. Each party consists of at least one unit, and at least one of these units is a leader unit, hired on their own at considerable more expense than other units, though they're usually more powerful anyways. All leader units have a leadership stat that determines how many other units can travel in their party.
The first game is Disciples: Sacred Lands. It featured the "First Great War", where the first four main factions of the game duke it out.
Disciples II: Dark Prophecy is a turn-based strategy game developed by Strategy First. It takes place a decade after the first, and, depending on the campaign you choose, follows the Empire's rebellion and the discovery of an heir to the Empire, or it follows the aftermath of the Legions' attempt to free their god, or it follows the Undead's attempt to resurrect Mortis' old lover, or it follows the Clans' attempts to rebuild and keep it together. It has three Expansion Packs, the first two of which, named Servants of the Dark and Guardians of the Light, mainly add new campaigns and units, and the third of which, Rise of the Elves, made the elves playable and added a campaign for them.
Disciples III: Renaissance was developed by an altogether different company than the original and released almost a decade after its predecessor. It increased the number of RPG Elements, changed the battle system to a hex-based grid where some tiles can't be passed through and others convey bonuses, and whether it's good or not divides the fanbase. There was a campaign for the three races featured that made it into the game; the Empire, the Damned, and the Elves. The campaign centers around Inoel, an angel sent on an important mission by the Highfather. An expansion pack bringing back the Undead called "Resurrection" was recently released. Another release was announce called "Rebirth" which said to combine both the Renaissance and the Resurrection into one package, aside with the return of the Mountain Clans.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.
- Altum Videtur: The Legion's spells, and a lot of their unit's chatter, is in Latin.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Both used and subverted. Each party can only have so many units in it, which is decided by the party leader's "Leadership" trait (which upgrades rarely), but there's no limit on parties except for money.
- The Legions get hit with this hardest, since they have more large units (Their Support and Archery lines, and their special units) than other races.
- Backstory: Apparently created for Disciples II's last expansion, and rarely referenced in the game. Can really only be found on the internet. Specifically, here.
- Base Breaker: Veterans of first and second part became angry when the third part appeared, what with all the similarities to a certain rivaling game...
- Boring but Practical: The Legion's melee line, which lacks the awesome potential of the Empire and Undead lines, but has a nice 50% daily regeneration effect on their best fighters. Also, the Legion's Counselor leader; he's nothing special, but he's the only traditional archer the Legions have got, since their Archery line consists of sturdier, but slower and large-sized Gargoyles.
- Came Back Wrong: Solionelle, AKA, Mortis.
- Combat Tentacles: The Beast, Tiamat, and Kraken units.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Highfather of the Empire.
- Demonic Possession: The basic front-line infantry for the Legions of the Damned is a human possessed by a demon.
- Dem Bones: Some neutral units and of course many of the Undead Hordes' units. Every Undead cutscene only shows skeletons.
- Difficult but Awesome: The Mountain Clans, being slower and having some very unusual unit development (for example, their Mage line units don't fight, but their other three lines can all develop to hit the entire enemy party, like Mages) are harder to work with than other races, until you get used to them. Once you do, they can be a serious force to contend with.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Very usual in the 2nd and 3rd of the game. All 5 faction has its align element as well. In using highly advance spells, the player requires 2 to 3 elements other than the element his faction based.
- The Empire is align with the wind element or light.
- The Legion is align with the fire element.
- The Elven Alliance is alliance primary align with the earth element but can be either in fire or wind.
- The Mountain Clans is align with the water or ice element.
- And lastly the Undead Hordes is align with the Death element.
- Evil Versus Evil: Almost everywhere. The Demons and Undead regularly fight each other, the campaigns sometimes give them civil wars, and many neutral or evil factions of the "Good Races" will fight eachother of the Demons/Undead constantly.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: Heard very frequently as part of overworld music tracks
- Giant Spider: There's one monster like this in the first and second games, and two monsters in the second.
- Grimdark: This series does a very good job of bringing the mood of a dark world. The soundtrack (and the sound effect in general) is especially awesome in this regard.
- Healing Potion: Several, of varying strengths.
- The Horde: Undead Hordes plus neutral factions Greenskins and Barbarians.
- Jack of All Stats: The Empire, which is the most straight-forward race. They possess what is possibly the strongest melee line, a solid archery line and an average mage line, but most of all have Healers. The Elven Alliance arguably also qualify, but switch the melee and archery line around in terms of strength.
- Jerkass Woobie: Bethrezen, really. He was imprisoned for something that was entirely not his fault.
- Mortis as well; sacrifices herself to try and save her lover's remains, plows her way through practically every other race in the world to take her revenge, fights a second world war in order to bring him back, and when she finally succeeds, he decides he doesn't like what she's become and rejects her.
- Lethal Joke Character: The Undead Horde's Nosferatu, who at first seems like a joke since his attack deals a mere 10 damage. Level him up enough, however, and he turns out to be a mage who can easily stand in the front row and is nearly impossible to kill, since his attacks also drain life. If only he had the overflow version like Elder Vampires...
- Level Editor
- Lightning Bruiser: The Capital Guardians are universally Nigh Invulnerable and hit for hard damage, though they can never leave the Capital. It takes a lot of effort to kill them.
- Lizard Folk: One of two "Marshdweller" monsters.
- Love Makes You Evil: Mortis' Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Wotan for his attack on Gallean.
- Mighty Glacier: The Mountain Clans are all about this trope; their units are always tougher in damage and HP than equivalent ones of other races, but they're also slower.
- Nightmare Face: High-level demons qualify. Also, the Wight.
- No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted in all games.
- The Medic: Imperial healer units.
- Our Elves Are Better: Mostly Wood Elves in earlier series (with occasional High Elves), though from the second game's last expansion, High Elves begin to show up just as often.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Mermaids are pretty much just monsters who swim around and eat people.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Both vampires and elder vampires have very pale skin, the elder vampire also possessing glowing red eyes. Vampires can, however, be exposed to sunlight with no ill effects. They can drain life.
- Based from the notes they are humans who reject the words of the highfather but didn't worship demons either thus turning into these.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Undead Hordes are created by Mortis for exactly this purpose.
- RPG Elements: All units get Experience Points and level up, and the leaders are able to select equipment to boost their stats or give them abilities, and will be able to choose new skills after leveling.
- The Corruption: Watch how the cultist, the basic mages in the Legion slowly turn into a Demonlogist to a Modeus.
- The Legions of Hell: As a major playable faction.
- Vendor Trash: In the form of ancient relics, precious gems, and jewelry.
Sacred Lands contains examples of
- No Canon for the Wicked: Although, seeing as the ending of the Legions has Bethrezen breaking free and all non-demons being made into slaves or corpses, you can sort of see why the sequels didn't canonize it.
Dark Prophecy contains examples of
- Aggressive Negotiations: In the Rise of the Elves expansion, this has a tendency to happen whenever the elves and humans try to sit across the table from eachother and make peace.
- Big Bad: Uther and Demon Uther for the Legions of the Damned and Empire respectively, as well as Niddhogg for the Mountain Clans and pretty much the elves for The Undead Hordes and vice versa
- Came Back Wrong: Gymner Cloudkeeper. His dad doesn't... take it well.
- Combat Medic: Elder Vampires distribute drained life points among the injured allies.
- Demonic Possession: Bethrezen does this to Uther. Or tries to at least; turns out Uther only got part of Bethrezen's evil and power crammed into him, but not Bethrezen himself
- Enemy Civil War: Demon Legions divide between loyal to Bethrezen and loyal to Uther, Undead Hordes fight the ones who breaks from Mortis influence under leadership of Bone Lord.
- The Narrator actually brings up the Enemy Civil War in the epilogue of the Legion's Dark Prophecy campaign; that it served to keep many innocents out of harm's way.
- Expansion Pack: Three. Two of them, Servants of the Dark and Guardians of the Light, add campaigns for half the original four races (the evil and good races respectively), some units, and some missions, while the third, Rise of the Elves, adds a fifth race (elves)
- The first two are actually one expansion, Gallean's Return, which was released in two seperate packs at first.
- Game Breaker: The Death unit, which is immune to physical damage yet boasts high damage and archer-speed, almost ensuring an enemy mage will never live long enough to kill them. They were nerfed for the expansion, dropping their speed down to mage-level.
- Game Breaking Bug: In addition to the regular elf campaign, the Rise of the Elves expansion gives them a bonus campaign. One mission requires you to protect a diplomat. He then turns on you, requiring you to kill him. Problem is, the programmers forgot to disable the Escort Mission at this point, leaving you to lose by killing him or lose by letting him kill all your men.
- Magnificent Bastard: Arguably, Uther.
- One-Woman Wail: Mortis is still crying, and you can hear it as part of the background noise for the undead.
- Only Sane Man: Morok is the only person to see through Uther's deception, but it's dismissed as paranoia when it's first brought up.
- Villain Protagonist: The player during the Undead and Legion's campaign in any of the games and during the Elven campaign in Rise of the Elves.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Uther does this to you towards the end of the Empire and Legion campaigns
Renaissance contains examples of
- Apocalypse Maiden: Inoel
- Back Stab: Ferre kills Haar-huus this way after the latter exhausts himself after defeating Bethrezen's Avatar.
- Corrupt Church: The Imperial Inquisition.
- Development Hell: The game was a long time in the making. When it was first released, it was in Russian and an Obvious Beta. It took over half a year for an English version to come out.
- Lava Adds Awesome: Seems to be the entire design philosophy behind the reworked Demons, the omnious latin and gothic feel having been entirely replaced with lava effects and spikes.
- Geo Effects: Certain hexes of the map will double the strength of one of the three types of attacks.
- Healing Spring: The world map's fountains function like this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the ending of the Renaissance portrays Lambert, several human soldiers and elves to save their world from the total destruction. All is save as it was said.
- Jerkass Gods: The revelations in this game reveal that all of the gods except, oddly enough, the Satan expy Bethrezen are Jerkass Gods what with them wanting to destroy the world and start over.
- Redemption Equals Death: Haar-huus
- Start of Darkness: During Haar-huus' campaign you play through his transformation from noble Elven warrior to demonic servant thousands of years ago.
- You Shall Not Pass: Lambert make his last stand as he try to prevent the demons from passing to the gate where Inoelle just left.