The Budding Bureaucracy of Crown Authority
That's what the description of it says - that raising crown authority usurps the control of the state from the aristocracy to bureaucrats under the authority of the monarch.
But we don't ever see it in game. I have suggestions as to that affect:
- Your councilors gain a staff, allowing them to undertake multiple missions simultaneously in different Counties. Medium CA gives two envoys, High CA gives three envoys, and Abs CA gives four envoys. Later in the game, when you would have higher CA and you win four or five Counties in a big war against (for example) a Muslim power, your government feels weak when you can only deploy your Chaplain to convert the heathens one County at a time. As your CA rises, why do your powers stay the same? Shouldn't they grow with your regime?
- A Duchy/County management box, appearing at Med CA, allowing you to customize how heavy the laws fall on that Duchy/County. When you click on the County, you see a status box open on the bottom left - you could add a new button adjacent to the "Raise Levies" buttons opening a new box on the screen listing the owner of that County, their feelings towards you, the feelings of the peasants, some other information, and then at the bottom, a cluster of checkable boxes where you could select alternative laws for this County to follow. If you have Medium Church Taxes, you can check that this County only pays Small Church Taxes. The purpose of this is, in a Kingdom where you have higher CA but less ability to enforce the rules (distant armies), you can say that this Duchy/County is more-or-less exempt, just as a means of keeping the peace. De Facto rulers without a De Jure claim are pretty well handicapped in this regard, and if there was a way my ruler could tell those vassals, "Yes, I know you're unhappy, here, have a discount on taxes and levies so long as you don't revolt," then that would be pretty sweet.
- A new option under Papal Investiture, "Ethnic Homogeneity," which would apply to how your regime responds to character ethnicity. Just like Papal Investiture, there are two options: Homogeneity and Heterogeneity. The way it would work is this: Homo Ethnicity would give a bonus (+20) to loyalty in Vassals who're the same race as their Liege. Vassals of a different ethnicity receive a penalty (-10). The idea is, your regime values ethnicity and prefers to rule by it, giving the ruler a sizable bonus for following it, making the extra legwork of filling your Irish government with more Irish worth it.
- Hetero Ethnicity instead would transfer the emphasis from race to government. Are you a loyal citizen? The regime doesn't care what you look like, so long as you pay your taxes. Having a diverse and tolerant government gives every vassal who is different from their liege's race a cultural bonus (+5), and removes entirely the stigma of being the "wrong" race.
- Not to add a third bullet-point to this topic, but it just makes sense that as Crown Authority rises and the monarch usurps more control of the state, and as the Empire becomes further flung, the regime will have come to discover that it is no longer practical to exclude based on race. That maybe smaller countries can get away with it, but once you have colonies and remote provinces seized by inheritance and via Crusade - you need to open your doors a bit. This is one of those things that only larger powers come to discover, and a concept they intuitively grasp in their pursuit to hold their power, that after a threshold, discrimination stops paying off when you can't make it work. And that's a concept only a High CA monarch would grasp.
I like your ideas, specially because it gives more options at later stages of the game as a Emperor or King. The game doesn't scale too well in this aspect... I had tons of fun playing as counts and dukes, but once I get the crowd it becomes... slow and boring, it's all about fighting rebels, fighting revolting dukes and so on. I think that the Emperor/King need some extra layer, challenge or different mechanism and this is gold!
Bureaucracy is really part of the developing power of Kings. Just see what Frederick II of HRE did in Sicily.
for the love of god fund it
Thankyou Armored Fist, I appreciate your positive feedback.
I just had another thought, an idea to toss into the bucket of raised Crown Authority:
A Proviso in the Deliverance of Counties and Duchies within the Realm of the King. When marrying family members off, you can now (thankfully) check a box to separate normal marriage candidates and matrimonial marriage candidates. Thank you Paradox, that was an amazing improvement.
I would like a similar box to be created when granting Landed Titles. I don't know what you'd call it, something along the lines of "Provisional."
- If you are the King
- If you have higher Crown Authority
- You can grant a vassal a Landed Title with a special string attached: you can, for any reason, revoke their title without a Prestige or Tyrant penalty. The duration of this "string" lasts to the grave of the recipient of the Landed Title. Once their heir inherits it, it belongs to them, the string disappears (like the way Truces work).
So you conquer a new region and hand out "Provisional" Counties. All these new vassals understand their status and, depending on their personality traits, respond positively or negatively to basically being on probation. If they screw up, or if they revolt, or if you find someone better to give those Landed Titles to, you can take those Titles back without penalty.
Basically - this new concept makes some Tyrant actions the new normal. This radicalizes every character in your court. And as you incrementally boost your Crown Authority, more Tyrant actions become tolerated within your realm. Because isn't that what makes being an Absolute Monarch so awesome - that you can lock people up and take their stuff away without taking hits?
And establishing Provisional Governors would be an effective and helpful tool for a Monarch to take control of newly conquered lands.
Now, like Matrimonial marriages, not every Courtier will go for this. Those characters with an aversion to being put on Probation would not agree to this scheme. So in the same way choosing the marry Matrimonially limits your choices to (usually) less-than-desirable candidates, doing this works the same way. You can't put your Steward on probation, but you can always find a Courtier somewhere "ambitious" enough to get something for nothing.
Last edited by Etrs; 27-04-2012 at 22:29.
Re-reading my words, I had a thought that a monarch could, conceivably, only allow a Vassal to rule for a number of years, and then before they died, revoked the Title and handed it off to someone else. This would be a juggling act which, while unwieldy, would ensure the Monarch constantly had a rug to yank out from under all of his Vassals. And I like that idea, that an enterprising player who paid attention and focused on detail would be rewarded with tighter control of the distribution of State Properties.
Originally Posted by Etrs
Vassals who'd had their Titles revoked would themselves carry a grudge against the Monarch (not as strong as having a Title revoked in the traditional sense, more akin to the bitterness of being fired from the Council). But this would prevent Vassals from incurring a long-term positive "Long Reign" bonus modifier towards the Monarch - because the Monarch never lets them rule long enough for the Vassal to like them.
And that's what I like - I don't want any suggestion to flip over the table and change the entire game - I want to offer suggestions that incorporate and use existing systems in the game. I'm playing and just noticing some sharp edges that can be rounded off, and the late-game acquisition and management of distant lands is extremely difficult under the current system.
By juggling Counties and Duchies in this manner, it carries its own set of consequences unique to the action of juggling. Doing it prevents a "Long Reign" bonus from forming in the minds of your Vassals. But doing it allows a Monarch to more easily handling rebellions by being able to revoke titles without taking a Prestige and Tyrant hit.