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Sep 28, 2009
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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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Maximum number of merc bands that can be maintained?

You can only have a single band under your control.

Can u post more than 1 commander to the same merc band and control its composition?

No. You appoint the leader of the band itself. He will then get some courtiers to use as commanders and appoint them himself.

If you're strapped for cash and only need a few hundred men to turn the tide, small cheap mercenary bands are pretty useful. It might not make a big difference if you're the Abbasid Empire fighting the Byzantines, but what if you're a count trying to annex your neighbour's county?

I think you're pretty much spot on. The nomadic mercenaries was made smaller to give smaller rulers a chance to use mercenaries as well. Most of the smaller pre-existing companies is about 1600 or so after all.
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This looks amazing! One query regarding the council laws and what they can vote one. Can we add in the ability for them to vote on other things such as targeted decisions and not just the hardcoded diplo actions?
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I would love an option for hereditary council membership. Could be a great source of conflict as your awesome marshal tries to ensure that his Martial 2 son inherits the position.

Currently it's not hereditary as such. But since powerful vassals will often demand to be on the council, it will in practice tend to be populated by the same families over time (unless their fortunes change).

One minor quibble by the way - given the role of the "educator" now, what's the reason for changing the title of that position from "guardian" to "educator"? It seems to me that "guardian" is even more appropriate in the new context.

Educator is a term used to refer to the person in charge of the child's education. It may or may not be a Guardian that is the Educator, this is why the two terms are separated.
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I have a few questions:

1) What if we don't assign a guardian to a child? Or don't assign a childhood and education focus at all? Will they still gain random traits and education once they turn 16, like now?

2) Will you create more types of councillors in the future please? This feature looks awesome and should be really expanded upon.

3) Is the council UI window moddable to be expanded? Game of Thrones sometimes has around 10-12 council members (depending upon who you play) and they cannot fit into just 8 slots.

4) Is it possible to create unique council positions for cultures or religions? For example, the office of Amatya and Rajpurohita was universally among the most important courtly offices in every Indian empire. And ERE can have unique council positions too.

1. A guardian is only needed if you want to send the child to another court (children tend to gain friends and rivals in the court they're living in and you get the opinion bonus) or want a specific character as educator (some events use the educator). If a guardian is not set, the child will get an educator automatically (which can be seen in the interface).
If you don't select a childhood focus, you'll get events randomly. Setting a focus only focuses the events. If you don't set an education focus, you'll end up with a random, bad education. Always set the education focus.

2. Possibly.

3. Yes, the interface can scroll if there are more than 8 members.

4. Yes, any minor title can be made into a voter title.
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I don't know if I understand this correct - will it mean that there both is an educator and a guardian? It seems a little complicated now... What is the feature of the educators with this new DLC - I mean, what do you add to the ward/student? Or are it just some sort of fancy title to hand out to gain some opinion?

They're the same thing, the only difference being that the guardian has been explicitly appointed.
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Since a lot of people have strong (pro and contra) feelings about "Status of women" law and it's description is rather cryptic, it would be great for someone from developers to expand on the topic. Birken?

The Status of Women law is mostly there to allow player to customize their realms more. The AI won't really change it and councilors are mostly against the law (even women councilors might object).
Each step enables more council positions to be held by women and the higher ones enable some succession laws that might be banned by culture/religion.
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What are the benefits of empowering your women gamewise?
I would love to play more female rulers without turning basque but i am curious what the pros/cons for your realm are.

One obvious one is when you have powerful female vassals that expect influence on the council, but your laws don't allow you to appoint them. This won't happen unless you have vassals of other religions/cultures than your own.
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Is there a way to educate children with a chance to give them the Sympaty for [Religion] trait?

There is a childhood focus (Thrift) that has a higher likelihood to lead to the Curious childhood trait, which in turn might mature into a Sympathy for [Religion] if that religion is present in the realm.

So, yes :)
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Any info regarding moddability? @Groogy @Birken @The Witch-King

How will the new system behave if we add new education traits? Can we customise the set of traits assigned to each focus?
Is the transformation from childhood traits to adult traits event-driven?
Can we add new infancy and/or adolescence foci?
Is the ai reasoning for picking education foci exported to the objectives folder, like WoL foci are?

The system is event driven with on action events at certain intervals during different stages of a child's upbgringing.
You can add new traits. Transformation of traits are event driven. You can add new foci as long as you also add corresponding buttons to the interface files (or they won't be accessible by the player). The AI uses the normal ai chance scripts.
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@Birken How do you add interface buttons for FOCI? I have been trying since Way of Life to add buttons to the .gui file for FOCI and the most success I have managed to have was adding a single orange line that manages to trigger the focus assignment. I know it is off topic slightly, but when you comment that it is possible without it being possible through experimenting I do have to ask.

We redid how that interface was implemented to allow for more customization. It's much simpler now.
            guiButtonType =
                name = "button_focus_ch_pride"
                quadTextureSprite = "GFX_focusicon_upbringing_pride"
                position = { x = 255 y = 237 }
                Orientation = "UPPER_LEFT"
            iconType = {
                name ="selected_focus_ch_pride"
                spriteType = "GFX_focusview_selected_focus"
                position = { x = 238 y = 220 }

You basically just add a button and icon like this that corresponds to the id tag of the focus.
It's also easy to move buttons around and change layout from the circular distribution (by just placing them where you want them to be).

Any weird/quirky event chains shipping with this expac?
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It's based on tier.
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Thanks for the answers! One extra question for clairification's sake: currently, the assignation od education traits is hardcoded. From your answer I get that with the DLC it won't be, but assigned via events. Now in thr 2.5 patch but without the DLC, will the education trait assignement will be also moved to an on-action event or still be hardcoded? I ferviently hope it's the later!

The old system remains unchanged.


This also applies to way of life foci too right ? If so, I love you guys :D

Yes, we had no choice but to rewrite it.
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Cool! Can you tell us what the childhood focus with the Roman temple icon is? It's colored like a learning focus -- classical education maybe? Curious about what it's called and what traits it leads to. :)

It's the Heritage focus. It's very useful for getting the child to adopt your culture and religion, but does not increase the likelihood of acquiring any specific traits.
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I don't understand that part. If you got the child of a vassal in your care, you become his liege right? But you still have to ask his parent permission to switch the focus? Or is that specific to the heritage one?

Also, does it mean that if you send your child to a foreign court, it will be his guardian (as his new temporary liege) that will decide his education? Upon which criteria? The child's traits, or the guardian's?

Anyway, this expansion sounds great and I can't wait to go back to CK2 next week after a long pause!

You become host, not liege.
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Currently in CK2, it is very very rare for me to see a female ruler actually initiate a matrilineal marriage themselves. More often than not, they will just enter a regular marriage and lose their land/dynastic holdings to their son of another dynasty.
We have indeed improved this. Noble and powerful women are now much more likely to look for a matrilinear marriage.
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Let's see how this works out then; it IMHO shouldn't become too common either. I guess it depends on personality and characteristics; 2 landed noble women of comparable power, but with a different personality (one may be strong and the other a weak ruler) should IMHO still end up in a different kind of marriage. IMHO every female ruler in a matrilinear marriage would be just as bad as no female ruler in a matrilinear marriage. It occurred, but certainly not always. Again let's see how the changes work out.
One thing I forgot to mention is that the relative tier of the titles are also taken into consideration. When looking for a possible husband, a baroness will not ask for a matrilinear marriage from a duke, but a duchess would ask for one from a count, for example.
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