Been playing as Brabant latey, trying to form the Netherlands (just shy of a core right now). It's currently ~1500 and through many bloody wars across Europe, I've finally become the Holy Roman Emperor. I've vassalized four of the six electors, so it's fairly garaunteed I'll continue to be the Emperor for as long as I like. I've managed to pass the first two reforms, since the previous emperors were never able to pass anything. One day I'd like to unite the Empire, but that's a while off, yet.
I have been doing alright collecting imperial authority by restoring princes that Switzerland, Bavaria, and Austria gobble up. But the Protestant Reformation finally kicked off and heretical princes are killing any gains I make in collecting authority. Should I switch over to Protestant myself (I've always been Catholic so far, so this would be a new experience for me)? I believe forcing HRE states to convert to the emperor's religion will give authority. Or should I stay Catholic, and let the reformation saturate Europe and then go back to collecting authority? I'm on the far side of Innovative right now due to events, so converting to a new religion will take a long time (0.10 priests per year, and that's with Judea conquered).
Any other tips or nice strategies for collecting imperial authority? None of the member states ever call me into a war to protect them, and I've only had one defensive war against a foreign power.
Thanks in advance!