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Conclave Dev Diary #3 Homeschooling


Today we’re going into the details of some features from the expansion. Just like last week the team has cooperated in writing this diary. First out @The Witch-King and @markuso will give you the details on how we changed the life of children.

In Conclave, we have made a major rework in how young characters develop in terms of upbringing and education. Basically, non-adult characters now go through two phases, younger childhood (0-11) and adolescence (12-15), and for players who own Conclave, new childhood and adolescence events have replaced the old trait related events. Although these effects will primarily be felt when playing as a young ruler, other characters near children and adolescents will also occasionally be presented with various events affecting trait outcomes for the young ones, taking a part in their story and affecting how they develop.

From the age of six, all children will have an Educator. Just as before, you have the option of appointing a guardian to act as Educator for your child, but otherwise the Educator may be a parent, liege or regent. You can also choose a Childhood Focus to guide the direction of the child’s development (see below). Note that the Educator’s traits will now very rarely affect the child’s development - this is a major change to how it worked before. Also, a young character’s attributes now grow randomly with some genetic influence from the parents - but is no longer affected by the Guardian’s or Educator’s stats. The reasoning behind these changes is that a child’s everyday interactions are primarily with nannies and tutors, while the guardianship is more of an honorary function used for diplomacy.


Educating a child left, and choosing focus on the right.

Childhood Focuses
A Childhood Focus will impact the likelihood of certain trait outcomes and with the Heritage or Faith focuses also religion and culture assimilation.

Childhood Traits
The new traits that children receive are different from the regular adult traits. These new traits are defined more as childish personalities and tendencies, and each Childhood Trait has the possibility of maturing into one of several adult traits during adolescence. The Childhood Traits are gained through a set of new events in Conclave.


Childhood Trait: Curious

When a child reaches the respectable age of twelve they are considered an adolescent, this is the start of a new era, Education.

Education Focuses

Focuses are conveniently color coded to resemble their adult counterparts. Focuses cannot be changed once set and will guarantee that the character receives an education trait of that category on reaching adulthood. The tooltip for an Education Focus indicates which traits increase or decrease the chances for a higher level education outcome from that particular Focus. You may still select any Education Focus you want, but some children have more aptitude for war, for example, and will prosper more if you send them down that path.

The childhood and education focuses are set by the liege of an unlanded character and by the child itself if landed. As a liege you can ask a vassal to switch the childhood focus of a child in your care to heritage in order to change their culture and religion.


Diplomatic Education Focus

Now @Groogy will go deeper into a subject we touched upon in the last dev diary and tell you more about how councilors vote.

So today I am going to talk a little about the decision making behind the councillors when they vote on your council. First I will say that the system is fairly automatic except when it comes to voting for laws so you won’t get a thousand of pop-ups during your playthrough just because your liege want to check with you if it’s okay if he presses your claim to some county. In laws you can yourself decide if you want to vote with a “Fo sho” or “Aw hell naw” but when it comes to the everyday matters you choose a position to adopt which will set what kind of attitude you will have on matters. This also makes interaction with the AI on matters more transparent as they play with the same rules as the human and you will be able to easily see why they vote as they do by simply hovering over the voting reason icon in the voting window. The AI will act on the council based on their own agendas and pick positions that suits them.


There are five different positions that a councillor can adopt. Loyalist, Pragmatist, Glory Hound, Zealot and Malcontent. The Loyalist and Malcontent are the polar opposites of each other where the Loyalist will be loyal to the Crown and vote accordingly while the Malcontent will refuse anything their liege proposes. The Glory Hounds concern themselves with the greatness of the realm and wants their King to prove that their Kingdom is the greatest on the surface of the Earth while the Pragmatists are more concerned with stability and low risk. The Zealots main concern of course is that the holy scripture is followed and that the realm does not deviate from the will of God. But as you can see in the picture these various positions are not absolute and some can be swayed if given the right incentive….


@rageair now will present the changes we’ve made to laws and how ambitions have changed.

Greetings, loyal Lords and Ladies of the realm! I’d like to show you how we’ve redone the laws for the upcoming Conclave DLC. We’ve aimed to break down the formerly rather uninteresting laws in order to present you with more choices in how to run your realm. Many laws, i.e. Crown Authority, have been broken down into their constituent parts and in some cases completely reworked. Your council will also have varying opinions about these different laws, some might approve of you Centralizing the realm while others approve your right to revoke titles from Heretics, but it’s going to be a hard to find a council that’ll let you pass any law you want. This means that it’ll be more of a challenge to pass laws than it used to be, but hopefully it’ll also feel more interesting and useful to do so!



The Inheritance screen is mostly the same, except for the obvious facelift. This screenshot is of the Duke of Breizh in 1066 and as you can see it’s possible to see most of the succession laws without having half of them hidden in a scrolling list. We’ve also extended the pretender list to show more characters, which I find especially useful in elective realms. We had some spare room, so we decided to add in a flavorful image and text to represent the realm you’re ruling. There’s a lot of these to discover, so try mixing & matching laws, religions, cultures and capital locations to find some of the more exotic ones!

Realm Laws


The Realm Laws tab contains most of the laws you’ll recognize from pre-Conclave. In this screenshot I’m playing as the nation I run in the Developer Multiplayer; Jardarus. As you can see I’ve not had much time to change my Realm Laws, although my main focus from now will be to outlaw out-of-realm inheritance which is one of the few Crown Laws still in the game (as indicated by the Crown next to the name).

It’s in this screen that you’ll be able to manage the new laws derived from the old Crown Authority laws, such as Controlled Realm Inheritance, Title Revocation and a new Administration law called ‘Late’ which enables the late-game succession forms (i.e. Primogeniture). You’ll also find old friends such as the Centralization and Viceroyalty laws, along with the new addition of Status of Women (which is harder to pass than Imperial government in many cases!). While the early steps of the Status of Women gradually open up job titles for landed women, female dynasty members and nuns, the later stages enable Absolute Cognatic (equal inheritance for men & women) as well as being able to use women as generals in your armies!

As Crown Authority is gone, most laws will be unlocked by a combination of Technology and Council approval.


Obligations replace the old tax/levy laws. Obligations represent a balance in what a certain type of vassal has to provide you, their liege, with. The scale is a range of tax and min/max levy size, with each vassal type preferring one direction over the other (with the exception of Temple vassals, they want to stay in the center!). Vassals always provide you with tax and levies unless you’re at the very edge of the scale, so it’s mostly a matter of your personal preference. I myself like taxing the Bourgeoisie and getting my levies from the Gentry, although they tend to disagree with me...

Absolutism/Empowered Council


There’s two very different ways of ruling your realm - ruling together with your Council (to varying degrees) or with an Iron Fist as an Absolute Ruler. In the screenshot you can see the various Council Laws as they are set for the Holy Roman Empire at the start in 1066. The Holy Roman Empire has a fully empowered Council, which means that the Council gets a say in everything they do. Though if you start as a Muslim ruler at the same date, the situation looks different. They start with no Council Laws enabled, which means that they rule with an Iron Fist and get all the bonuses from doing such (i.e. being able to change laws at a whim, albeit with a longer cooldown), though this is obviously not appreciated by their vassals who will most likely start factions to increase the power the Council gets. Naturally, the most common thing to see is a healthy middle ground - a constant struggle between the Ruler and the Council.

This works differently for Tribal and Nomadic rulers, where Tribal rulers enable Council Laws by increasing Tribal Organization in order to Feudalize, and Nomads always have all of the Council Laws enabled.

For Conclave we’ve decided to remove most of the the largely insignificant old ambitions in favor of new ambitions with a bit more player agency and weight behind them. This means that you won’t be seeing any ‘Get Married for +5 prestige’ ambitions, but rather ambitions that actually alter the flow of gameplay in a significant way!

First off, the ‘Become King’ ambition has been changed slightly. Having the ambition now allows a slight chance of successfully fabricating a claim on a kingdom, and having it also reduces the cost of creating a new kingdom. Now on to the new ambitions!

Ask for Council Position


If you feel like having a say in how the business of the realm is run you can now take the ‘Become Councillor’ ambition, which replaces the old similar ambitions. With this ambition active you’re able to manually ask your liege for a position on the council. As you can see in the screenshot, it’s not always an easy thing to get on the council of your liege - but if you build up enough opinion and/or invite your liege to plenty of private feasts you might just sway the odds in your favor! Vassals with this ambition who have a favor on their liege tend to use it to guarantee themselves a spot on the council!

Ask for Land for an Unlanded Son


If you’ve got plenty of sons but too little land it might be a good idea to ask your benevolent liege for some more! With the ‘Gain Land for Unlanded Son’ ambition it’s possible to ask your liege to give land to a second or third son of yours, increasing the influence of your dynasty in the realm. This is a tall order for just anyone of low status to ask of their liege, but if you’re lucky and/or have friends in high places it might just work out!

Ask Liege for Title


If you’re really brave you might dare to ask your liege directly for land. Now this might not please your liege too much, but if you’re influential enough your liege might just cave to your demands! Just beware so that you’re not impressed by vague promises...

Build a War Chest


If you find yourself lacking money for that war you’d really like to wage, you can choose the ‘Build a War Chest’ ambition in order to prepare! When you choose this ambition your vassals will gain the ability to send you donations in order to fill the War Chest, though they often have ulterior motives for doing so. You might occasionally receive a donation offer from a vassal that you can choose to accept in exchange for a favor - a powerful alternative currency that’s been brought up in another Dev Diary. Though if you’ve got no patience for your vassals you can always choose to ‘Extort your Subjects’!


By choosing to do this morally dubious action you can raise vast amounts of money in a short amount of time, but at the cost of Tyranny and general opinion. You’ll be able to extort the pathetic peasants residing in your demesne provinces, the wealthy characters of your court and the greedy clergymen who do nothing but sit on their riches. You’ll effectively be sacrificing long-term gain for short-term gain, a choice that’ll be yours to make.

Finally, as promised in the last dev diary, @Servancour will present you with a new business opportunity!

Dynamic Mercenaries
Since we enjoyed the Dynamic Mercenaries mechanic added in Horse Lords, we decided to expand upon them further. With Conclave, lords and doges alike will be able to create a Mercenary Band of their own! Unlike nomads however, who sends off their sons to gain fame and prestige, these Mercenary Bands are assembled to increase the wealth of its creator. Whenever the band is hired by anyone else, you will gain a percentage of the band’s income.


Before you can create a band, you need to have an eligible courtier that has a military education available (you can also not already have a band under you service, since you are limited to a single one). The band itself is created through a targeted decision on the character you want to appoint as its captain. Though you’ll have to pay the new captain a small fee of 50 gold before he can get started.


The sizes of the created Mercenary Bands will vary depending on your own levy size. The band will look at your personal demesne and use a percentage of your levies to decide how large the band will be. Thus created bands will come in many different sizes and will be ranging from just a few hundreds all the way up to two or three thousands. Potentially though, they may end up with much more than that. The most common size will probably be in between the nomadic mercenaries and the smaller pre-existing Mercenary Companies. Even if you don’t create a band yourself, these will be good for filling in the gap in situations where you will want to have a few hundreds of additional soldiers to guarantee victory against a slightly weaker or equally strong opponent. Rather than paying a hefty sum for more soldiers than you’ll need.

Maintaining these mercenaries comes at a cost however, so you will not always want to have a band active. When you assemble a band, all of your demesne holding will be affected by the “Maintaining Mercenary Band” holding modifier. This will lower your levy sizes for as long as you control the band. You will be able to dismiss the band whenever you want though to remove the modifier, as long as they aren’t being hired by anyone else.

Finally, all mercenary captains will eventually grow more ambitious when granted the opportunity to lead troops of their own. They will start asking you for more troops to reinforce the band with and possibly even ask for more money! If grown too ambitious, they will even be able break away from your control. To prevent this, you will be able to replace the captain through a targeted decision with a suitable replacement. This will reset the ambitious level of the band and you will be free to continue to enjoy your extra income.

That’s it for today! We hope you’ve all enjoyed this dev diary and we’ll see you on the release a week from now.
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Awesome, I love the new focus system. Seems like the whole thing gives children a great deal more agency when you are them, and also runs counter to the super-humans we were able to craft before. Big fan!

I am also loving the further details on council mechanics, I look forward to making a few rulers dance, haha.

Also, great to hear about the new Mercenary system, should help the periods where all mercenaries are hired. Does the appointed captain get Mercenary Traditions or a similar effect?
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Sounds great, but how does it make the game better optimized?

I don't remember them even saying that this expansion is supposed to make the game more optimized so I don't think it was even their goal.
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How modable is the law screen? Can we add/remove tabs or do we always have four. Are these four types of laws hard-coded as different types of law or they just shown on different pages? For example if I were to move the council vote on war declaration war to the realm tab would it still function?

Is it possible to mod it to have different members of the council be eligible to vote on different issues? For example could I create a law setting where the declare war action consults the Marshal and the Steward, but not the rest of the council?
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Is it possible to turn down a regular favour purchase like the "donation" in the screenshot?

In the previous dev diary thread, it was mentioned that some favours can be refused (at the cost of some tyranny) while others cannot be refused. What kind of favours fall into the latter category?

How are interactions that are not part of the council laws (e.g. marriages) handled during a regency? The same way as they currently are (with the regent having a veto but not the power to initate an offer)?
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Whats the deal with the Feudal/Late/Imperial administration laws we saw in an older screenshot, didn't get talked about in the law section.
Good dev diary by the way!
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Ok, so the guardian/educator has less of an influence but is it still possible to educate your children into a different culture? For example if you want to raise a future cardinal/pope you could have a gregarious diligent Italian guardian. I understand that with the heritage focus you can educate foreign heirs into your own culture but I'm just wondering if it works the other way round.
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The mercenary stuff seems neat on paper, but the horse lord version seemed a bit flawed on the whole "hiring" aspects of the dynamic merc groups. There would be a whole lot of groups with a small amount of men, and it didn't seem worth ever actually hiring any of them. What was the incentive there?

It worked great on the other side because the AI seemed to have no problems wasting their money on them.
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By and large I like what I see. Really like.

But, I'm not sure how I feel about guardians no longer having any real impact on the education of their charges and that guiding the education of a child who (perhaps though no control of your own) became landed is near impossible.

On the other hand, I will no longer have to have those sort of "You pick WHO to educated my heir?!" moments when you see that for some insane reason the AI handed over your next in line to a theologian with terrible traits and stats.
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