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Thread: Incredibly confused about inheritance and succession

  1. #1

    Incredibly confused about inheritance and succession

    Just reread my post, and holy cow it's long. I'd just like to state in advance that I've read the manual, I've read all of Meneth's excellent guide and I have performed many forum searches, and I am still unable to answer the questions below. I do promise I've tried to avoid creating yet another plea for help on the forums, but it's come to the point where these issues mean the game is no longer fun for me. My lack of understanding means that even though others say CKII is a logical game with strict laws and rules regarding succession etc. it nevertheless appears, to me, to be very random. So thanks in advance for reading and answering (I hope!)

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    Can anyone tell me what determines who my heir is?[/B] Not the heir to the kingdom, or the heir to my duchies or whatnot, but the next character I will play as when my current one dies. As far as I can tell, it's completely random! Most often it's my firstborn son, but often I'll have a natural-born son and my heir is my brother or my uncle. Why??

    I guess another question related to this would be: Do succession laws in a kingdom have any effect on who my heir is? I've seen mention in other threads of elective succession being a good way to go because you can choose to have your more skilled son inherit the kingdom over the drunken, slothful imbecile who is currently your heir. But as far as my gameplay experience goes, choosing that better son does nothing other than move the inheritance of the kingdom away from your failure of an 'heir', and you will then lose it when you die and the kingdom is passed on to someone else.

    Please help me, I'm so confused!


    A few other random questions that I've been saving up for the last few weeks and that are now boiling over in frustration onto this forum post (sorry!):

    1. Primogeniture laws, as I understand them, pass a kingdom on to your oldest eligible 'heir'. Can anyone explain to me the following situation: I take over the Kingdom of England as the King of Norway; England has primogeniture succession. But rather than my oldest son becoming heir to England, it turns out my grandson is first in line?? I end up killing him (botching the first few attempts and gaining the 'kinslayer' trait), and when I do my oldest son becomes heir to England? Why?

    2. I've been attempting to gain claims through marriage recently, but this is proving to be an incredibly frustrating process. Obviously if I invite a male with a claim into my court and press it, he gains the lands, so that's a no go. From the guides I've read, you're supposed to marry claims into your kingdom, so I've tried marrying claim-holding women to men of my dynasty, and claim-holding men matrilinearlly women, and waiting for them to have kids so I can press their claims because that is what I understand you are supposed to do. Trouble is, claims are not inherited unless pressed in war, so the kids of the 'claim marriage' don't actually gain claims upon their parent's death, and I'm back where I was before.

    I've also tried pressing the claims before the parents die, with the plan of killing them off (or just waiting for them to cop it naturally) and then having their kid, who is of my dynasty, inherit the claim. The issue here seems to be that no matter what, the child of my dynasty never gets the claim - it always goes to another family member of the original claimant - no matter the succession laws of the realm - and I have to kill off his entire family before the person I want to be heir finally becomes one. I guess my question would be: can anyone give me an overview of precisely how to gain claims through marriage? I think I have succeeded once in about 50 hours of gameplay

    3. Is there some way to get all my armies onto all my ships at once? Playing as Norway, with holdings and vassals spread out across all of Northern Europe, I avoid war as much as possible because it's an absolute pain in the bum to raise levies for any significant war effort. The fastest way I know if is to drag a box across all of my realm, and then tell an army to get into a set of ships; rinse and repeat 30 times, and I can finally start moving ships to where the war is. The required micromanagement makes me want to gouge my eyes out !

    Thanks in everyone!

  2. #2
    Horse Archer

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    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentFrogs View Post
    Just reread my post, and holy cow it's long. I'd just like to state in advance that I've read the manual, I've read all of Meneth's excellent guide and I have performed many forum searches, and I am still unable to answer the questions below. I do promise I've tried to avoid creating yet another plea for help on the forums, but it's come to the point where these issues mean the game is no longer fun for me. My lack of understanding means that even though others say CKII is a logical game with strict laws and rules regarding succession etc. it nevertheless appears, to me, to be very random. So thanks in advance for reading and answering (I hope!)

    -------------------------------------------------

    Can anyone tell me what determines who my heir is?[/B] Not the heir to the kingdom, or the heir to my duchies or whatnot, but the next character I will play as when my current one dies. As far as I can tell, it's completely random! Most often it's my firstborn son, but often I'll have a natural-born son and my heir is my brother or my uncle. Why??

    I guess another question related to this would be: Do succession laws in a kingdom have any effect on who my heir is? I've seen mention in other threads of elective succession being a good way to go because you can choose to have your more skilled son inherit the kingdom over the drunken, slothful imbecile who is currently your heir. But as far as my gameplay experience goes, choosing that better son does nothing other than move the inheritance of the kingdom away from your failure of an 'heir', and you will then lose it when you die and the kingdom is passed on to someone else.
    Elective is nice, but there are drawbacks. You won't always be able to choose an heir. Whether elective is good or not hinges on do you have enough electoral votes to secure a succession. Obviously, it works better if you have a smaller kingdom and control most votes yourself. Then giving a title to your preferred son allows you and himself to vote for him and in theory it should result in him inheriting. But it can not always be controlled so be prepared to lose if something unexpected happens

    A few other random questions that I've been saving up for the last few weeks and that are now boiling over in frustration onto this forum post (sorry!):

    1. Primogeniture laws, as I understand them, pass a kingdom on to your oldest eligible 'heir'. Can anyone explain to me the following situation: I take over the Kingdom of England as the King of Norway; England has primogeniture succession. But rather than my oldest son becoming heir to England, it turns out my grandson is first in line?? I end up killing him (botching the first few attempts and gaining the 'kinslayer' trait), and when I do my oldest son becomes heir to England? Why?
    It is based on de jure laws. So, if you're a king of Norway and become a king of England, you may end up with different succession law for two crowns. In Norway it might be primogeniture and in England elective, gavelkind or seniority. Change the law in England to match Norway and you're good, unless it's elective in both in which case English vassals might choose one and Norwegian another king.
    2. I've been attempting to gain claims through marriage recently, but this is proving to be an incredibly frustrating process. Obviously if I invite a male with a claim into my court and press it, he gains the lands, so that's a no go. From the guides I've read, you're supposed to marry claims into your kingdom, so I've tried marrying claim-holding women to men of my dynasty, and claim-holding men matrilinearlly women, and waiting for them to have kids so I can press their claims because that is what I understand you are supposed to do. Trouble is, claims are not inherited unless pressed in war, so the kids of the 'claim marriage' don't actually gain claims upon their parent's death, and I'm back where I was before.
    Some claims are inheritable without wars. Hover your mouse on the claim in the character sheet and it will tell you. Usually, first generation claims are inheritable, so if you marry a first daughter of a Polish king, your heir should get a claim on the Polish crown. If, on the other hand, someone else marries her and have a daughter, she will have a claim on the polish crown but it is not inheritable, so if you marry her (granddaughter of the Polish king) your heir won't get the claim.

    I've also tried pressing the claims before the parents die, with the plan of killing them off (or just waiting for them to cop it naturally) and then having their kid, who is of my dynasty, inherit the claim. The issue here seems to be that no matter what, the child of my dynasty never gets the claim - it always goes to another family member of the original claimant - no matter the succession laws of the realm - and I have to kill off his entire family before the person I want to be heir finally becomes one. I guess my question would be: can anyone give me an overview of precisely how to gain claims through marriage? I think I have succeeded once in about 50 hours of gameplay
    Not really sure why. Maybe your heir is from an earlier marriage and if that is the case he won't get claim, it doesn't matter if you pressed it in a war. Also, it might be that you surrendered in that war and by doing that you forfeited the claim automatically.

    Keep in mind that claims don't give you an automatic better place in succession line. If you married a polish princess and your heir gets a claim, there's still probably dozens of people before you in the line of succession. Sons and brothers of the Polish king, their sons and brothers and so on... Claim in this case just gives you a casus belli, it doesn't move you up in the succession line. You are in line somewhere, but it is usually so far that you have to kill a dozen people to get there.

    3. Is there some way to get all my armies onto all my ships at once? Playing as Norway, with holdings and vassals spread out across all of Northern Europe, I avoid war as much as possible because it's an absolute pain in the bum to raise levies for any significant war effort. The fastest way I know if is to drag a box across all of my realm, and then tell an army to get into a set of ships; rinse and repeat 30 times, and I can finally start moving ships to where the war is. The required micromanagement makes me want to gouge my eyes out !

    Thanks in everyone!
    No, that's a pain in the butt. What I do is combine my fleets and concentrate my armies in two or three coastal provinces and then pick each one up. It's still a pain either way.

  3. #3
    The next person you play as should be your heir (provided it is the same dynasty). That means that the next person you play as WILL be the same person that is the heir to the kingdom (if you are King, and the heir is in your dynasty). And that depends on what the succesion laws are like.
    So if you have elective law the heir to the kingdom CAN be outside your dynasty. In that case your dynasty will loose the King-title and your next player will be the heir to your second-most powerful title (probably a duke-title). The succesion law for THAT title will then decide who you will play (primo: oldest son, gavelkind: oldest son, seniority: oldest whatever, probably uncle).
    The problem with that is that the succesion laws for the secondary titles is not displayed properly. So if you have several dukedoms (no Kings) you can have different succesion laws if you change between them as primary titles. And I don't know all the rules for when exactly their succesion laws will be overruled by your primary on. It seems as if the Kingdom-laws are independent (England gavelkind law, France primo etc.) but a dukedom/king will overrule all your duke/count laws (so France priomo means all your duke/count titles will also be primo).

  4. #4
    My humble advice is that You ditch any kingdom level games so far and learn first by playing as count. Even on county level I found this fame overwhelming first so I can imagine how a kingdom must feel.

  5. #5
    Thanks so much for the reply Sarmation! That whole thing about other people being in line for the throne first makes perfect sense! And I did not know that some claims are inheritable without wars - that's great to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingCarrot View Post
    The next person you play as should be your heir (provided it is the same dynasty). That means that the next person you play as WILL be the same person that is the heir to the kingdom (if you are King, and the heir is in your dynasty).
    Huh, so I can change who my heir is without killing people off? I'm going to go test that; my previous experience has been that if one of my other sons was nominated by more electors, my primary title passed out of my 'control' (dynasty???) (and no, none of my sons were married matrilinearlly) and my firstborn remained my heir, though he was not the heir to the kingdom anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Echo76 View Post
    My humble advice is that You ditch any kingdom level games so far and learn first by playing as count. Even on county level I found this fame overwhelming first so I can imagine how a kingdom must feel.
    Haha, it's funny you should say that - in my current game I started as a count of Norway, but the sons of the King copped it early on (nothing to to do with me!) and apparently I was 3rd or 4th in the line of succession, so 5 years in I unexpectedly inherited the entire Kingdom!

    But I have never started above a Count before - this is my third start, and like I said above I have about 40 hours of gameplay under my belt - so I'm not exactly a newbie, and at some point I need to learn to control a realm. And most of the above questions have been bugging me when I play at any level, Count or King.

  6. #6
    Can someone else confirm what KingCarrot said above? If my Kingdom (or Duchy, whichever is my primary title) has elective succession laws, if I change the vote so a DIFFERENT member of my dynasty (e.g. second son) is nominated instead, should my 'heir' (i.e. the next character I will play as) also change? I'm having a tough time believing this as it has never worked this way for me in-game. Are there any tricks I should know to get this to work?

  7. #7
    You don't need to marry claimants into your dynasty. Just make them a vassal and they will remain a vassal when you press their claim. I once gave a claimant to Brittany a barony, and after I pressed him claim he remained my vassal, and brought Brittany into my realm. I've done a similar thing with several Irishmen. The only downside is that you need to have the land to give away in the first place.

    However, if you intend to press a claim on a kingdom or empire you will have to do it with yourself or your heir, otherwise it will pass out of your realm (because kings cannot be vassals of kings). The exception to this is if you're an emperor already, although emperors cannot have emperor vassals, so obtaining another empire title would have to be done by yourself or your heir.

    For the record, marrying your son to a princess, playing as your son, having a bunch of children, and then murdering your wife (the princess) is a great way to generate claims on kingdoms.

  8. #8
    Major soturi's Avatar
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    ofc u can skip ur oldest son if u get him out of the success and get another family member to first in success

    or u can make ur 1st son a bishop and he will drop from the line

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tolstak View Post
    You don't need to marry claimants into your dynasty. Just make them a vassal and they will remain a vassal when you press their claim. I once gave a claimant to Brittany a barony, and after I pressed him claim he remained my vassal, and brought Brittany into my realm. I've done a similar thing with several Irishmen. The only downside is that you need to have the land to give away in the first place.

    However, if you intend to press a claim on a kingdom or empire you will have to do it with yourself or your heir, otherwise it will pass out of your realm (because kings cannot be vassals of kings). The exception to this is if you're an emperor already, although emperors cannot have emperor vassals, so obtaining another empire title would have to be done by yourself or your heir.

    For the record, marrying your son to a princess, playing as your son, having a bunch of children, and then murdering your wife (the princess) is a great way to generate claims on kingdoms.
    Awesome, thanks so much for the advice.

    Another quick question: I've just discovered that many of direct vassals are paying no tax to me. Does anyone know why this would be? I have excellent relations with them, and I have moderate tax laws on all holding types.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Echo76 View Post
    My humble advice is that You ditch any kingdom level games so far and learn first by playing as count. Even on county level I found this fame overwhelming first so I can imagine how a kingdom must feel.
    I second that. I always start as count now, but I manage to build huge empires from scratch. It is much more fun to develop a mere count to a kingdom that holds half of Europe. And it is even easier when you want to learn how the game works, as you are able to learn it step by step.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentFrogs View Post
    Awesome, thanks so much for the advice.

    Another quick question: I've just discovered that many of direct vassals are paying no tax to me. Does anyone know why this would be? I have excellent relations with them, and I have moderate tax laws on all holding types.
    Clergy vassals only pay tax to you when they like you more than the pope. Other than that, it might be that your feudal taxes are at 0, which is standard at game start, so they won't pay anything.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Conch View Post
    Clergy vassals only pay tax to you when they like you more than the pope. Other than that, it might be that your feudal taxes are at 0, which is standard at game start, so they won't pay anything.
    But shouldn't my vassal cities and castles at least be paying me something, even if my feudal tax is at 0?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentFrogs View Post
    But shouldn't my vassal cities and castles at least be paying me something, even if my feudal tax is at 0?
    Vassal castles are Barons and Counts and Dukes (and maybe Kings if you're an Emperor). That are feudal vassals. When you tax them at 0 they will pay you 0.

    Cities will always pay you if you are their direct liege. So, most of the time, this only counts for the cities in the counties you control directly. Maybe you have some Doge as Vassal (which is a mayor who you made a duke), then he would also pay you the city taxes for the income of the duchy, but most of the time this won't be the case, at least until you decide to create a doge yourself.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Conch View Post
    Vassal castles are Barons and Counts and Dukes (and maybe Kings if you're an Emperor). That are feudal vassals. When you tax them at 0 they will pay you 0.

    Cities will always pay you if you are their direct liege. So, most of the time, this only counts for the cities in the counties you control directly. Maybe you have some Doge as Vassal (which is a mayor who you made a duke), then he would also pay you the city taxes for the income of the duchy, but most of the time this won't be the case, at least until you decide to create a doge yourself.
    Okay, I'm still not quite understanding so I'm uploading a couple of screenshots here. In this one, the county is paying NO taxes, despite my being their direct liege:



    Yet in this one, they are:



    This game is so confusing sometimes

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conch View Post
    Obviously if I invite a male with a claim into my court and press it, he gains the lands, so that's a no go.
    This isn't strictly true, or bad. If you are a count, it doesn't work. But if you are a duke or higher this is a fantastic way to grow. However, the male with the claim MUST be a vassal of yours BEFORE you end the war. Just simply give him a county right before you end the war, after peace he'll have the county you gave him and the county that you went to war for on his claim, and he'll still be your vassal.

  16. #16
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    Not sure what the no taxes thing is, hover over the tax box and see what it says. Several things impact this. For instance, if the count likes you or not. I'm curious if you would also get that condition if they were bankrupt - for instance if you raised their levies and they couldn't pay for them and ran out of cash - not sure on that though. Also, sometimes you have to wait a month for the money to start rolling in.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by oddible View Post
    Not sure what the no taxes thing is, hover over the tax box and see what it says. Several things impact this. For instance, if the count likes you or not. I'm curious if you would also get that condition if they were bankrupt - for instance if you raised their levies and they couldn't pay for them and ran out of cash - not sure on that though. Also, sometimes you have to wait a month for the money to start rolling in.
    So i discovered that it was in the fact that feudal levies were set at zero - the counties that were paying me tax, their bishoprics and cities were my direct vassals. The ones that were not - the count controlled the cities and bishoprics.

    I am never including lower titles when I give away a county ever again

    I'm still quite confused though. When I first created an antipope, I was rolling in cash with an income of 40/month. All of a sudden that changed to 10/month, for no reason - bishops still love me, I still have an antipope etc. I will always wonder where that money went!

  18. #18
    Is the mayor of the town on the 2nd screenshot a direct vassal of you?

    Edit: got ninja'd

  19. #19
    Field Marshal Nick B II's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DifferentFrogs View Post
    Okay, I'm still not quite understanding so I'm uploading a couple of screenshots here. In this one, the county is paying NO taxes, despite my being their direct liege:
    There are two possibilities.

    1) You've modded the map. Now Zhmud and Memel are in different de jure Kingdoms, and different tax laws apply.

    2) One of the two is a Prince-Bishopric. If that's the case, and the Prince-Bishop of Memel likes the Pope more then you, you get no tax money regardless of your tax laws.

    Nick

    EDIT:
    Apparently there was a third possibility.

    Be forewarned that if you don't give a Count all his Baronies he will hate you. Moreover if you have 30 Counties, with 90 Baronies, you probably have to have 80 Baron-level characters in your realm. Odds are somebody will hate you Plotting will be ridiculous, and whining will be non-stop.

    And by "plotting" I mean assassinating your entire family.

    Just give up the money, or stop making Counts and start making Lord Mayors.
    Last edited by Nick B II; 04-03-2012 at 20:24.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick B II View Post
    Just give up the money, or stop making Counts and start making Lord Mayors.
    That would be awesome, but it's tough to do - I'd have to revoke titles left and right and everyone would hate me. I'll bear this in mind for future counties though.

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