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Chatoustikmou

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Switching culture on the fly by enacting a decision seems weird. "Hey, I was born French, but I'd rather be Italian !"

Converting a county in India to Norse culture in 4 years seems a bit easy. You've been here 4 years and now everyone's a Norse ? Have you been executing locals by the thousands for 4 years ?

Here are some suggestions on how to balance it better in my opinion.


1. Player character conversion

Do not enable Culture conversion by instant decision, instead make it an event chain spanning a decade to better reflect that it's a process.

Starting the event chain could give you a trait to reflect the process, maybe giving a bonus to opinion of characters of this culture, or to popular opinion to counties of that culture. Let's call that "Sympathy for Culture" for example, with Culture being a variable. It also paves the way to "Antipathy for Culture" in other contexts.


2. The case of the Norse

I find it interesting that the Norse get an "Embrace local traditions" decision, but it's still weird to be able to convert as soon as you've landed.

I'd make this decision start another event chain, that would span longer (two decades instead of one), to offset the fact that it converts all Norse of your Dynasty that are in your realm, not just your character.

This would give the opportunity for more events with Norse flavour.


3. Heirs conversion

It makes sense that children are of the father's culture by default. However, children should sometimes switch culture as they grow up, depending on :
- culture of the mother
- culture of the guardian
- culture of the county they're raised in

You could weigh in via events, but if you don't, your Dynasty should slowly culture convert this way over time.

Children could also have by default the "Sympathy for Culture" trait of their mother's culture. Or they could gain an "Antipathy for Culture" of their bully's culture, if different from their own. Or they could switch to their mother's culture and get an "Antipathy for Culture" of the father's culture, if the father's been beating them up in events.

Those would influence who they see as rivals and friends later in life.


4. County conversion

That's a tough one, because Culture is tied to Innovations, so messing with culture on a larger scale has meaningful impact.

Like character culture conversion, I'd make it possible to culture convert the liege's main holding via an event chain spanning at least a decade.

And then I would introduce the notion of cultural pressure : a county exerts pressure on surrounding counties of the same realm based on development difference, giving it X% chance to culture convert the county.

Stewards action could boost that chance, and give an estimated average time to completion, or a range "from X to Y years".

So you could kickstart Norse culture in India, sure. But you couldn't culture convert whole duchies in your lifetime, and make Norse culture having the fastest growing tech in the mean time.
 
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Chatoustikmou

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5. Culture mix

It's great to be able to form Norman culture as a Norse in Normandy. But as have been said by many, Norse could have landed on the Atlantic coast rather than in Normandy, and then what ? No culture mix ?

Culture mix could be introduced via County conversion. Say as a Norse, you take over Normandy, and culture convert Rouen to Norse culture. Rouen then exerts pressure around it, and when culture conversion of the next county kicks off, it converts both counties to Norman culture, and those then exert pressure to surrounding counties, and so on and so forth.

That could work as well anywhere, with any culture. Some could have their new name hardcoded (or as an option via event), others would need a naming convention, like Franco-Italian.

The culture exerting pressure would be dominant, so first in the naming convention, and the basis for innovations of the new culture : maybe all of the French innovations unlocked, and half of Italian innovations not known to French + all already unlocked culture specific innovations.

The Norse could have, as an advantage, to always be dominant in the culture mix. So Norse would be the dominant parent religion of Norman culture.

A mixed culture County could either, after a cooldown :
- revert back to either of its parent culture
- form a new mixed culture between its dominant parent culture and another culture

For example, a Norman county in India could lead to the emergence of a Norse-Indian county over time.
 
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DSet

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I think (as you suggest in point 4) there should be a way to convert an entire realm, or at least region, to a specific culture if the player wants to. This is for roleplaying/gameplay purposes, not necessarily because it would be realistic - it should be possible to do a roman restoration run with a roman culture "capital region" at the very least. And I like your approach, it makes sense that highly developed counties would exert "cultural pressure" on their surroundings.