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Thread: Succession survival guide

  1. #1
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    Succession survival guide

    For new players who need to deal with succession crises (e.g. huge vassal revolt risk, vassals declaring war one by one) or anybody who could use some help in getting this stuff in order. I worked out this methodology in a game played as a large kingdom (not empire, not multiple kingdoms but comparable in size to a small empire by end game).

    1. When your king is replaced by his successor, you don't want to unpause, even for a second, no matter what you were doing (unless in the rare case you are marrying or betrothing your heir because this can actually make AI turn down the proposal even though it said that "yes" was the expected response).

    2. While paused, check out the vassal revolt risk icon at the top of your screen (the clenched golden fist), see which vassals are likely to cause trouble. At this point don't panic, a lot of the high percentage may be due to obvious factors that you will be correcting in a short while––in fact before you unpause. Actually, few of these vassals will remain a risk when you're unpausing if you follow the steps below.

    3. The above-mentioned most important and obvious factors are your demesne limit (top right corner of your screen; this is the number of counties or baronies you hold personally) and the number of ducal titles you hold if you're a king or emperor (this can't be above 2 or you face opinion penalties; just click the face of your character and you'll get his character sheet, on which you can see the list of his titles).

    4. Check out your advisors (crown icon in the top left), make sure your Steward and Chancellor are people with the highest stats available. But don't fire a powerful vassal if he's already your Councillor and isn't really bad! Fired councillors have a negative opinion modifier (they dislike you for firing them), so hold on for a while, you can replace them when the times are calmer. Having a good chancellor and a good diplomacy stat on your ruler and his wife helps. Chancellor helps diplomacy, i.e. people's opinions of you, Steward helps your demesne limit.

    5. Before you give anybody any land, you first need to plan give away the excess duchies and the demesne holdings, if you have any. The excess holdings hurt your income anyway, so it's no use clinging to them. But don't give them away to just about anybody and don't make a random decision about which titles (counties, baronies) you want to give away. We will be dealing with the demesne give-away in a separate mini-guide below. You will need to keep some structure. First of all, basically make a (mental or paper) list of which vassal desires which barony, county or duchy and how bad his opinion of you is. You don't want to be giving them more than necessary. Sometimes just going down to two duchies (if you're a king) and to your demesne limit (for counties and baronies) and using honorary titles and/or cash gifts may be enough.

    6. Here's the miniguide to giving away titles (this may seem complicated but don't be scared!):

    (i) first of all, if you have the "wrong holding type" problem (icon representing a gate with bars), give those holdings away first (this is typically cities and bishoprics if you are a castle vassal, i.e. normal feudal noble) because they don't give you normal income, even if you aren't above your demesne limit;

    (ii) if you are a king or emperor, you want to give duchies out first (until you have only 2) before giving actual land (baronies or counties) away if you don't have any counties in the respective duchy or if you're prepared to part with the county or counties that you do have there; this is because you need to go down to 2 duchies as a king anyway;

    (iii) normally you want to give away baronies before you start giving counties because baronies provide income from only themselves, while counties are essentially baronies ("capital baronies", "county seats") that collect some taxes from the other baronies (typically the bishopric and the city but some counties have several baronies while some have only one, the capital);

    (iv) if you have a vassal who desires the specific holding that you hold (which gives you a negative opinion bonus for each such holding, typically -25), give it to him; you will not only lose that negative modifier but also gain a positive one for granting him a barony, county or duchy (increasing with the rank of the title) -- you normally don't need to give them all the titles they desire, one should be enough;

    (v) check out which counties or baronies are more valuable (you want to keep them), i.e. better upgraded or better located strategically or bring you more cash: for a county this typically relates to the number of baronies that exists under it (and counties with cities that have ports are likely to be richer), for a duchy to the number of counties under it but also check how many baronies those counties have, but also check out tax income and levy size on the province information tab;

    (vi) don't appease counts if you're going to give the respective whole duchy (to which they belong) away, don't appease barons if you're going to give the whole county (to which they belong) away (if you ever actually want to appease barons at all, which is rare unless you're small; barons don't rebel against powerful kings even if the revolt risk if 80% or something); their new liege will be your vassal instead and will have to deal with their loyalty, not you;

    (vii) don't give land to people with the ambitious trait unless you give them a lot of titles in one go and have a very good reason to give them that land (the penalty to opinion for ambitious is -50, which is very big, but if you give a duchy to a courtier for +140 to opinion, this is not overwhelming), and when you have the option, prefer people with high stewardship (they will earn more and thus pay more taxes);

    (viii) don't really try to appease people who have the ambitious trait or who hate you beyond any help unless you're ready to shower them with gifts, or else they will just have more power (including levies they can call and land you need to siege before they give up) when they do rebel and they most likely will rebel if they're at 10% risk or above, let alone >30%;

    (ix) remember that people with >10% revolt risk will actually rebel sooner or later before their rebellion risk gets down to 0%, so if you know you won't be able to appease someone, don't invest land or cash you need;

    (x) if you are at or below your demesne limit, giving honorary titles (the boost is small, -10 for most titles and -15 for the better ones) should take priority before giving land;

    (xi) giving cash (the Send Gift diplomatic option) is still preferable rather than giving land in many circumstances, depending on the power of the character (if you can appease a duke with a 20 gold gift, it's better than giving him any land but some powerful vassals would require >400 gold for a gift and that's normally not preferable, you'd normally prefer to give a barony or county in such a case);

    (xii) if a potentially troublesome vassal would make a good councillor (isn't much worse than the best available candidate) or you desperately need that vassal's revolt risk to be eliminated, you can appoint him to the council; this is better than giving him valuable land;

    (xiii) remember to interrupt your donation spree if your intended recipients are already appeased (or would likely become appeased by an honorary title or comfortably small cash gift, depending on your economic power); remember that for each duchy or county or holding above the limit that you dispose of, all your vassals will hate you less (effectively improving their opinion of you by 10 per each such title until you're down to your limit);

    (xiv) if all you need is just to dispose of the surplus titles to get back down to your demesne limit then give everything to your heir, for example because your vassals don't want (m)any specific titles and/or they hate you only moderately, i.e. the negative opinion isn't all that horrible, then you will normally prefer to give the surplus demesne land to your heir (unless your heir is unmarried/not betrothed to a suitable candidate yet, so you need to keep him in your court to control him, but betrothing that kid to an available rich heiress (female ruler, young enough) and giving him land when he's already betrothed will generally make sure he keeps his fiancée and marry her when the time comes, it's only that you won't be able to change to a "better" one if a "better" one comes up, or choose the new one if the old one dies; but with betrothal or marriage you need to be careful with unpausing the game);

    (xv) I would almost forget, but don't try to appease people who are weaker than their title would suggest, e.g. dukes of 1 county (and 1 vassal or none) aren't more powerful than counts having 2-3 counties and those big counts are more dangerous than the small dukes and should get priority. Unless you have a good reason to be appeasing them (e.g. they have a duchy that has two counties under it, of which they have 1 and you have 1, so give it to them if you're above the demesne limit, this may be worth it);

    (xvi) Try not to butcher up your demesne. Avoid having counties in the duchies that belong to your duke vassals, or baronies that belong to your vassal counts unless they're safe and won't rebel. Try to preserve the structure of de iure duchies if you do need to give counties away. For example, if you're the King and you have Duchies A, B, C and D, you're better off giving full duchies A and B (and keeping full C and D) rather than a half of each. (This was a simplification that can be disproved if we get into detail. Just don't get into situations where your new duke will desire your counties.)

    7. Short recap of appeasing is as follows: you need to give excess duchies and excess or wrong type holdings anyway, so do that; you don't want to give more necessary, you want to give honorary titles rather than cash and cash rather than land; and if you only really need to get down to your demesne limit so that your vassals start to like you (e.g. because you were at full demesne limit when your king died but your heir was a duke and had several holdings, so you're above the limit now but otherwise they don't hate you), then you prefer to give all the surplus land to your heir (he will have his own reservoir when he succeeds in turn, and he will be getting prestige from all the holdings), provided that you've already chosen his wife. And if you aren't favouring your dynasty members, you want vassals with high stewardship, especially if they will have their own vassals under them. And you want to give a council seat to your vassals if they are actually qualified (before you give them land or cash). And you don't want to give anything to people who are guaranteed to rebel (or to close relatives of such people) or ambitious people.

    8. Check the vassal revolt risk (golden fist) icon again. See the troublemakers. Here's the procedure for the remaining troublemakers:

    (i) If they are powerful and especially at 10% or below, you want to give them an honorary title if you haven't yet.

    (ii) If they already have honorary titles but haven't been given gifts yet and the cost of the gifts isn't prohibitive, then give them gifts (this tends to be cheaper than war anyway but not always).

    (iii) If they still have not been pacified, see if you can appoint them to the council for any slot where you don't particularly mind them being (a replaced courtier won't rebel).

    (iv) For any troublemakers that still remain, choose the one to appease with your chancellor's diplomatic efforts (usually a combination of how high his revolt risk is and how powerful he is), the chancellor produces a +25 opinion boost when successful, and he can actually produce that bonus with himself if he happens to be that rebelling vassal you want to appease! (I've actually done this successfully.);

    (v) Also, one more thing, actually: if you ask a vassal to educate a child (Educate Child diplomatic option) from your court, you will get a whole +20 opinion from that vassal (this stacks for two children, I think). This is really powerful but you need to make sure the vassal is a capable guardian (good traits, good Learning stat, good other stats, appropriate culture).

    9. This may not be immediately obvious but opinion bonuses are personal, which means they are more useful on more powerful vassals. For example, one duke who holds a whole six duchies, will be appeased by honorary titles, council appointment and Educate Child (or even land donation) equally as well as a duke with 1 duchy. He will only be more expensive to Send a Gift to. If you have the big vassals on your side, then you may actually not need to appease small vassals that just happen to be ambitious malcontents with poor stats or otherwise incompentent/dangerous people.

    10. Put your court chaplain in Rome to work on religious relationship with the Pope. You don't want to get excommunicated. Getting excommunicated means a lot of trouble because everybody has a Casus Belli against you and can declare war on you freely (perhaps existing truce will prevent this). If the Pope has a really bad opinion of you, I'd put your chancellor at Rome too, for a tandem.

    11. Remember to pay proportionally more attention to more powerful vassals and especially keep the most powerful vassals (e.g. dukes of several duchies or even kings if you're the emperor) on your side and with a good enough opinion. His levies can help you crush the smaller vassals when they rebel (and the better his opinion of you, the more levies you will get).

    12. Don't have Feudal Taxes or Feudal Levies or Royal Authority any higher than you really need (or want) if successions are problematic. Or reduce them with old rulers, wait 10 years after succession to get them back.

    13. Any vassals that rebel will be treated as traitors. This allows you to take one of their titles away without any bad reactions from other vassals (but you still get negative reactions if you exceed your demesne limit or get too many duchies as a king/emperor!) and reassign it. You can keep it in your demesne (if you don't exceed the limit) or give it to somebody else. Or if you have one barony in your demesne, you can give that barony away and keep the county you've just taken from a traitor. Nobody will rebel while you're paused, so you're safe if you pause immediately. If you confiscate a ducal title, remember not to have more than 2 if your vassals are still likely to rebel.

    14. If your rebelling vassal becomes attacked by someone else (e.g. holy war by a Muslim ruler or normal war by a claimant), you should probably offer white peace as soon as you're able, in order to avoid your vassal concluding peace with the new attacker and ceding land or becoming his vassal. You may want to take white peace if you have several rebels. Prolonged civil war isn't good for you. Sieges take long and your soldiers die. You can try to arrest that rebellious vassal later (he will only go to your prison if he surrenders to you; also, you will get +50 prestige bonus only when he surrenders, but when he white-peaces, then he loses 100 prestige but you gain 0).

    This sounds complicated, I know. But just print this sheet and go through one succession, you will get the gist of it. Also, if you send me a save game from the moment your old ruler has just died, I can go through that save and tell you exactly what I did (i.e. which title to whom, how much gold etc.).

    Please let me know if I'm wrong anywhere or if you think important details are missing or something is redundant. If needed, I will make a PDF version.

    EDIT: Azaz's post below made me recall one other thing I wanted to mention but I thought it might be too advanced. Basically, sometimes dukes desire the control of a county (or counts the control of a barony) that somebody else holds directly of you. For example, if you're the King of Poland (England) and have a Duke of Silesia (Lancaster) and a Count of Cieszyn (Earl of Lancaster) as your vassals, the Duke of Silesia will want control of the Count of Cieszyn. This is similar to giving a county away, except when you give a way a vassal, you don't lose as much (in taxes or levies) as when you give away a county from your demesne.

    Also, if you're unsure whether simply getting rid of excess land (above your demesne limit) will be enough to make vassals stop being angry, you can make counts (barons if you have any baronies) first until you are down to the limit. If the big vassals still don't like you, transfer the vassalage of those smaller, new vassals, to the bigger ones.

    For example, as that King of Poland, if you have Cieszyn (County) in your demesne and are one county above the demesne limit and the Duke of Silesia desires it and is likely to rebel, you can create a count of Cieszyn. The Duke of Silesia will like you slightly better because you now don't have an oversized demesne. But if he's still likely to rebel, you can transfer to him the vassalage of the new Count of Cieszyn. Then the Count of Cieszyn will become the vassal of the Duke of Silesia, who remains your vassal. The county doesn't leave your kingdom, there's only a middleman now.

    Also, in some situations giving a holding away to someone else stops people from liking you less because they desire it. They dislike the new holder instead.

    And if you, say, have a duchy that has 3 counts in it, and each count desires a duchy, and you give the duchy to one of them, you don't have to worry about the other two. They will become his vassals (most likely), and he will have to deal with them.

    Edit (thanks to Paul Drye): Releasing a prisoner grants you a minor opinion boost with every vassal (+10 for being merciful). This does not stack.

    Edit (thanks to Bylandt): If you need a place-holder, you can grant a title to a very old courtier who has a wife past child-bearing age (if she's 45 and he's 85, this is better than if she's 75 because she won't likely die sooner than he dies, in which case he could remarry and actually still have a son--I once made an 84 year old bachelor a duke and he still started a dynasty there).

    Edit: Sometimes your ruler or his heir is married to a female vassal, holding land. You can give land to that female as a place-holder, although sometimes she may have a different succession law (e.g. gavelkind, so the titles will be split among the sons) or elective (strange things can happen). This is the safest with primogeniture. If her heir is your heir or your heir's heir (by which I mean heir apparent, eldest son, not a temporary heir presumptive like a brother or cousin), then the inheritance will eventually be joined. Rarely, but sometimes it actually can be useful (normally there's a male to give a title to).
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 12-03-2012 at 16:11.

  2. #2
    Since I absolutely love to mess with my vassals, if anyone says "Desires a county", I give that county away.

    To some other duke. Let them sort it out on their own.

    Other than that, I think I'll have to copy your guide because wall of text.

  3. #3
    Sergeant Jayteeboy's Avatar
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    Nice work mate,Thankyou for this ;-)

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    Major Paul Drye's Avatar
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    You missed one useful one that's as easy as can be: release a prisoner from the dungeon. This gives you +10 to every person in your kingdom, and even if the previous king just released someone your bonus rest to zero on succession.

    I stockpile prisoners just so I can slowly trickle them out the first few years of a reign, a new one every time the bonus from the old one wears off.
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  5. #5
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    Good tips, Newbie, but I hope you don't mind if I make a few comments. The best medicine is prevention, of course. It helps if you're in a primogeniture situation so you can prepare the ground for your heir to follow.

    First, claims. These typically last two generations, so anyone who is the grandchild of a titleholder can claim that title. This is irrespective of succession laws or legitimacy/illegitimacy. E.g., you are the King of France. Your succession law is agnatic primogeniture, so only legitimate boys will inherit, but keep the following in mind:

    (1) Bastards can not inherit, but bastards and the children of bastards can press their claims. So be wary of that distant queen who is happy to take the son 'from the wrong side of the sheets' off your hands.

    (2) Daughters cannot inherit under agnatic succession, but they and their children can press their claims regardless of the form of succession. Having a kaiser for a son-in-law is nice, but his own children with your daughter may show up for a visit, with a 15k doomstack. Consider marrying your daughters matrilineally to a newly minted (i.e., random) landless fellow with good stewardship and military stats; patrilineally (i.e., normally) with a noble in your realm; or to someone who will have a claim anyway.

    (3) Keep the treasury rather full when your character reaches middle age. Great endeavors in war or building projects are a young persons's game. As of 1.03, you can only bribe a character once, so use that +20 relations wisely. Counts like 20g while Dukes expect about 500+. Minor titles are good for permanent but small boosts in relations.

    (4) The Pope is always a "friend with benefits."

    (5) You can 'request' that your vassal send his children to be fostered at any court in the realm. Foster his children yourself for that mentor bonus or if you are old send them to your heir.

    (6) A new feature it seems is that when you get someone to stop backing a plot, they get a +20 relations bonus with you. So don't squash plots immediately. Wait just a little bit to see if any more would-be traitors join on.

    (7) Your overall strategy is different if you are ruling a 'core' realm like France or the HRE vs a more peripheral one like Leon or Sicily. In the former, change should come very slow. Wait for your opportunities to marry a duke's heiress. Claims on vassals' titles means free revocation. In the latter, you will be racking up lots of Muslim or Pagan provinces early on, which means you get to decide which estate (church, town, castle) gets to predominate and who you put in power. These new provinces have no tax income and no levies to speak of for a couple of decades so use that to your advantage. Consider giving these newly conquered provinces to prince-bishops or lord mayors.

    (8) Rules of thumb for marriage based on birth order and gender simplified (assuming primogeniture):

    (A) First born son (or daughter if she is of age and no son has yet sprung from your loins): marry your heir apparent to an outsider, someone who will give his children a claim or an inheritance. This may be hard to do in the case of a matrilineal marriage, as the AI keeps their boy heirs close at home. In general, you want to marry your heir to the eldest heir of a title that interests you. Accidents do happen of course, but if you plan to scheme for a violent takeover against the nice ruler who gives your son his daughter's hand in marriage, by all means do so.

    (B) Which brings me to the next point. Daughters should marry close at home. You will get a marital alliance if you are independent and the boy's family is independent or if you are both vassals of the same liege, but once death has parted them, that option is off the table, so think a generation or two ahead. I once made this mistake playing as Sicily. Out of the blue, my own grandson who was King of France decided to launch a full-blown invasion, sweeping away my vassals in Barcelona and then landing a 12k doomstack in Palermo. So be careful lest you ragequit because of the same mistake.

    (C) Bastards are a tricky subject, legitimized or not. A career in the church might not be a bad turn and if you keep them at home you can keep them unmarried. A better option perhaps is a matrilineal marriage with a girl (or boy) of your dynasty. Your bastards to repeat get the same claims as legitimate children. Which by the way is a good strategy if you intend to be a bastard yourself and press claims on unsuspecting rulers. In 1066, the King of Navarra has two bastards, a boy and a girl, both of whom he is more than happy to marry off to whoever wants them.

    (D) Younger son and daughters should marry locally, among your vassals and courtiers, but there are exceptions. Once the heir's future is secure, start looking around for suitable mates for your younger children. Remember that accidents do happen, so any of your children might be the next ruler. All sons will eventually demand land--even if you have a demesne of one, so have something at hand for the occasion. It is better to say you're not ready (even if they never will be).

    (9) Finally, a word on what I lovingly call "cadet farming" and what medieval folk called appanages. If you have younger siblings or younger children, consider giving them your excess and less valuable baronies or counties (if you don't have any baronies), or press the claims of your cousins on their maternal grandfather's titles. Creating cadet lines is insurance for the future, but make sure they don't get too powerful or they might want to take over the whole realm! If you want to be really tricky give them their own counties then grant the duchy they are in to an archbishop. So you have a distant cousin quietly making more of your dynasty while he is not your vassal and won't bother you. Under primogeniture, they might be helpful in the future in case you don't have an heir, while their descendants are good marriage partners for your daughters who don't expect to inherit. "Father, I want to marry." "Well, there is your second cousin who is to inherit the Barony of Stick-in-Mud."
    Last edited by RedRooster81; 12-03-2012 at 05:56.

  6. #6
    You missed one useful one that's as easy as can be: release a prisoner from the dungeon. This gives you +10 to every person in your kingdom
    Wat? Even if release some unknown guy without a title my duke gets +10 ?! O_o not only him but whole realm?

  7. #7
    Modding Paladin RedRooster81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6112 View Post
    Wat? Even if release some unknown guy without a title my duke gets +10 ?! O_o not only him but whole realm?
    Yep. And landless beggar will do. So forego the 10 gold for ransoming a baron and get +10 relations for 'merciful' instead.

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    Bylandt Bylandt's Avatar
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    Some good tips. Thank you.

    Here's one of mine: always have a few "barren" couples in your court. Take an unmarried, old nobody (a non-noble; check his family tree and see if there are no relatives) from your court and marry him to a woman courtier who is 50 or older. Since both are courtiers they can't refuse. And they can't have children. When the moment of succession comes and you need to get rid of surplus holdings or duchies: give them to these guys. They don't have heirs and can't get any either. When they die (or you murder them) everything comes back to you later.

    This also works at other moments. Like when you conquer a province with a different religion: give it to the barren couple and you will get your county back later when the penalties have worn off and the province has most likely been converted through the work of their own court chaplain.

    I love the many possibilities this game offers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Drye View Post
    You missed one useful one that's as easy as can be: release a prisoner from the dungeon. This gives you +10 to every person in your kingdom, and even if the previous king just released someone your bonus rest to zero on succession.

    I stockpile prisoners just so I can slowly trickle them out the first few years of a reign, a new one every time the bonus from the old one wears off.
    True, releasing a prisoner is worth +10, although it doesn't stack, as you point out. I'll add it right away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRooster81 View Post
    Good tips, Newbie, but I hope you don't mind if I make a few comments. The best medicine is prevention, of course. It helps if you're in a primogeniture situation so you can prepare the ground for your heir to follow.
    Thanks, RedRooster. I didn't want to cover marriages but it's useful.

    Regarding the exceptions when junior sons could marry other than locally: if your younger son will be accepted for marriage by a queen, go for it, similarly with big duchesses etc. (or any title abroad if you'd otherwise be keeping your younger son as a courtier and your elder son is already married); also, if you have high royal authority and your son has a duchy in your kingdom, the offspring will generally remain your vassals, adding the land inherited from the mother (and count for count, although a count grandson could still take land over to a different liege when his mother the foreign duchess dies).

    Daughters are basically for alliances, the way I see it, unless I just roleplay, which I actually prefer to do.

    The problem with cadets is that they can call on alliances when rebelling against you. So one rebellious duke can bring in three others if they're all related, even if the other three would normally not rebel but just like that other vassal more than you and aren't afraid of the consequences. This is why it's good to avoid having too powerful dukes or to keep the actually powerful ones appeased.

    So you have a distant cousin quietly making more of your dynasty while he is not your vassal and won't bother you. Under primogeniture, they might be helpful in the future in case you don't have an heir, while their descendants are good marriage partners for your daughters who don't expect to inherit. "Father, I want to marry." "Well, there is your second cousin who is to inherit the Barony of Stick-in-Mud."
    For a late game second son (let alone cousin), marrying the baroness of Stick-in-Mud isn't really out of the question either. Though I sometimes prefer to marry them to someone from the Imperial Byzantine family (or some other extremely successful dynasty) for the huge prestige (e.g. +300 for family and +60 for princess rank).

    Quote Originally Posted by Bylandt View Post
    Some good tips. Thank you.

    Here's one of mine: always have a few "barren" couples in your court. Take an unmarried, old nobody (a non-noble; check his family tree and see if there are no relatives) from your court and marry him to a woman courtier who is 50 or older. Since both are courtiers they can't refuse. And they can't have children. When the moment of succession comes and you need to get rid of surplus holdings or duchies: give them to these guys. They don't have heirs and can't get any either. When they die (or you murder them) everything comes back to you later.
    That's true, although you shouldn't give them overly powerful or important titles because it's not 100% sure. I've seen a guy found a dynasty when he was 84 years old or so.

    Oh, by the way, you can give land to mothers or wives of your heirs and their heirs (I mean sons, not temporary heirs presumptive like brothers or cousins), they will eventually be inherited by the heir or his heir.
    Last edited by NewbieOne; 12-03-2012 at 16:08.

  11. #11
    Good guide! one thing i'd like to add is that crusading buddies get a relationship boost with each other. If after a succession you manage, for instance, duke to JUST not rebel. Go on a trip together to the sunny middle east.
    The other advantage is that the pope (and bishops) love you as well making it harder for the pope to excommunicate you and adding a income bonus from your bishops.

    If you win the crusade you also get a nice prestige boost which will help your relationships even further.

    One last thing, maybe it has been said in the WOT, but if it's likely that relationship will further deteriorate later on, it maybe wiser to just let them rebel and take their titles.

  12. #12
    Second Lieutenant Sheytan's Avatar
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    Good guide, something to add, sending your court chaplain to Rome could have a negative result. I found that by putting the count chancillor in Rome I could increase my diplomatic standing with the pope with no negative results, only boosts if sucessful.
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  13. #13
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    You should add these tips to the crusader kings 2 wiki. Eventually these ideas will be buried on the forum.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheytan View Post
    Good guide, something to add, sending your court chaplain to Rome could have a negative result. I found that by putting the count chancillor in Rome I could increase my diplomatic standing with the pope with no negative results, only boosts if sucessful.
    That's true, religious relations can take a hit (-25, I believe). I still tend to take the risk because the +50 gain if both the chancellor and the chaplain work out well is significant. You may also need your chancellor elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by nomore View Post
    Good guide! one thing i'd like to add is that crusading buddies get a relationship boost with each other. If after a succession you manage, for instance, duke to JUST not rebel. Go on a trip together to the sunny middle east.
    The other advantage is that the pope (and bishops) love you as well making it harder for the pope to excommunicate you and adding a income bonus from your bishops.
    Thanks and yes, that's true. However, it must be noted that you need a crusade for that, not a mere holy war (had plenty of those, never gained the Crusader trait). However, if you are low on cash, the Pope will send cash (200) even in a plain holy war.

    One last thing, maybe it has been said in the WOT, but if it's likely that relationship will further deteriorate later on, it maybe wiser to just let them rebel and take their titles.
    That depends actually. I think it can go both ways, or at least I've seen it go both ways. Perhaps it deteriorates with claimants while improving with everybody else. Sometimes it may be easier to let them rebel first but generally if you can avoid civil war without exorbitant costs (e.g. 400 per gift for a duke you can safely crash with just neighbouring levies), avoid it. Especially when you have external enemies. Sometimes those people also start plotting, in which case you earn a Righteous Imprisonment cause, and you can help your imprisonment success rate by putting your marshal in the vassal's capital province with the mission to quell revolts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Puritan View Post
    You should add these tips to the crusader kings 2 wiki. Eventually these ideas will be buried on the forum.
    Thanks, I'm gonna take a look like that.

    By the way, great idea with culture spread via ports. It would be great to feel the atmosphere of the Mediterranean and especially Levantine trade.

  15. #15
    Nice guide, but I have to point out that the best way to prevent a succession is long before a ruler dies. You might want to include these factors in your post.

    1) Make sure all your vassals are of your religion. Being of your religion reduces the revolt risk of that vassal by 25%, that means an opinion of -25 with a vassal is a 0% revolt risk instead of 25%. Vassals with different religions not only miss this 25% bonus, they also get -30 to their opinion if they are infidels and -35 if they are heretics. Being of the same religion vs having a heretic vassal is 60% (!!) difference in revolt risk.

    2) Make sure all your vassal are of your culture. Being of the same culture reduces revolt risk by 15%, and stacks with the religion bonus. In addition, being of a different culture within the same culture group reduces opinion by 10 (castillian and portugese for example) and being of a different culture group (castillian and russian) reduces opinion by 20. Being of the same culture vs being of a different culture group is a 35% difference in revolt risk.

    3) Being the de jure liege of a vassal reduces the revolt risk by 20%. So create all the kingdoms you can. And yes, this bonus stacks too.

    4) The 3 percentage modifiers (25% same religion, 15% same culture, 20% de jure liege) do not apply to vassals that have a claim in the succession or on a certain kingdom etc. This makes primogeniture succession so tricky and is the biggest disadvantage to that succession law. Because with the death of your ruler, under primogeniture succession law, all your children and their children get a claim on the titles inherited by the oldest child. This is in addition to the opinion modifier that all claimants get (between -20 for a claimant and -50 for a pretender).

    5) For big empires: if a vassals capital (thats where he is reigning) is to far away from your capital, these vassals get an increased revolt risk, with the percentage chance scaling with the distance. The solution to this is handing out far away counties to vassals who have their capital next to yours and NOT creating new vassals for the far away counties.

  16. #16
    Nice work and good tips!

    Imho, I feel that half the problems presented here during succession can be resolved if the game can let players decide betrothals for their grandchildren.

    Personally I do follow most the tips outlined here (eg give honorary titles etc) upon succession, but my biggest gripe is that I need to get the correct betrothal for my new heir apparent. The moment that is done, I can hand out the 3-4 duchies that my heir apparent always get, and then all my revolt risk will be gone.

    Unfortunately, I can never get the desired betrothal when my heir is still a duke/prince, as his children (my grandchildren) are still considered a duke's children and therefore considered too lowly to marry princesses or duchesses from other realms. As a result, I always have to spend around 10 risky days where I'm above the demense limit while betrothal is being accepted, when such risks are actually totally avoidable if I had been able to arrange the correct betrothals beforehand.

    An alternative is allow for a 15 days no-revolt grace period after succession that can allow the player to arrange whatever betrothals and allocate whatever land there is. If after that, revolts still occur, then it would be more fair to say that these revolts occur for a valid reason. My point is, I really don't see why the player should be penalised with totally avoidable revolts upon succession simply because of a limit game mechanic.

  17. #17
    Corporal Duragas's Avatar
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    Nice collection of tips.

    What i also do is to mobilze my whole army in this time of crisis; maybe even recruit some mercenaries if dangerous rebellion-candidates remain. That's also a roleplaying-feature: Red alert once our precious king is dead and chaos is threatening the country.

    I give them order to come together in two or more safe places while game is still paused. After game is unpaused I place big stacks in the counties of the most upset wannebe-rebels. Let's see if they dare to oppose me now. Of course they will - and get slaughtered at once - no need to pursue them this way.

  18. #18
    Sorry for "necroing" this post, but why this isn't in the Crusader Kings II - FAQ forum?
    This post gave me a lot of help!
    Thanks for the tips!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedRooster81 View Post
    (9) Finally, a word on what I lovingly call "cadet farming" and what medieval folk called appanages. If you have younger siblings or younger children, consider giving them your excess and less valuable baronies or counties (if you don't have any baronies), or press the claims of your cousins on their maternal grandfather's titles. Creating cadet lines is insurance for the future, but make sure they don't get too powerful or they might want to take over the whole realm! If you want to be really tricky give them their own counties then grant the duchy they are in to an archbishop. So you have a distant cousin quietly making more of your dynasty while he is not your vassal and won't bother you. Under primogeniture, they might be helpful in the future in case you don't have an heir, while their descendants are good marriage partners for your daughters who don't expect to inherit. "Father, I want to marry." "Well, there is your second cousin who is to inherit the Barony of Stick-in-Mud."
    Ooooh yes this is an excellent tip!

    In my latest game, I had one king who was exceptionally successful in conquering other kingdoms, but I made the mistake of making one of assigning the "lesser" spanish kingdom away to a younger son whom I believed was a harmless guy (Honest + Content traits), by nominating him as heir under elective law. My groomed eldest son was in line for the other two kingdoms (elective Ireland + primogeniture Scotland). I even gave him Scotland a few years early, so he could gather prestige and reduce the "short reign" malus at least with his Scottish vassals.

    However the succession was HORRIBLE: Upon death of the king, it all went as planned, but the elder son died within a month of taking the Irish throne. Likely due to a murder plot from his younger brother, but I never found out. And his underage son died not a year later, which resulted in his Honest + Content uncle inheriting Scotland. The bastard. My primary title at this point was Ireland, and I had had so little standing with my vassals that they had defied my wishes for the heir and all voted for some duke. I would have lost the game at that point, *IF* that particular duke had not actually been a scion of a long neglected cadet branch of my royal dynasty! Without any of my doing, the Irish vassals saved my butt. (I never thought about nominating him instead of another boy heir.) Because a week after the death of the boy king at the hand of his uncle, the English king declared war for the Irish kingdom (my last kingdom) on behalf of his own younger brother (who had inherited the claim from his mother, who was of my dynasty). I had no way to win that war so I had to surrender my last royal crown to the Norman king's brother.

    But the powerbase inherited from the cadet branch helped me survive the tough time under the Norman king. His brother, the king of England, soon died, and I was able to wrest the crown back while the English were having a rough succession themselves.

    Cadet branches can really save your ass! I would recommend keeping one around in each of your kingdoms. Just in case. The more distant, the better, because they don't get to farm claims if they're not close.

  20. #20
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    In my current Croatia game my king died and before I unpaused I already had two vassals at around -90 relations.. I did everything to get their opinion of me up but the max I could do was get them up to around -50. I've saved and reloaded several times and they either call in all of the other vassals or get eaten by the surrounding Muslim countries before I get them back. I'm halfway through the game and it looks like my only option is to cheat. Any advice?
    Yeezy Yeezy how you do it hyah

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