Guide: Creating a cadet branch from any dynasty, even when starting as house head


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Sep 21, 2020
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Below is a guide on how to create a cadet branch with any starting character, even when starting as a house head.

If you're like me, and like for your coat of arms (CoA) to represent the various titles you have/had, these steps can be iterated to obtain a CoA with four quarters, representing your starting dynasty and up to three holdings.

First off, your player character needs to satisfy all of the following requirements:​
  • Is an adult​
  • Is NOT 1st/2nd/3rd in line to inherit titles from house head​
  • Does not have living ancestors from current house​
  • Is NOT house head
These requirements will always apply, making most playable starting characters ineligible to create a cadet branch due to them being the head of their house, which their future heirs will inherit as well. You can circumvent this requirement however by following the steps below. Note that non of these steps will result in game over in ironman, because your player heir will at all points be of your starting dynasty.

1. Pick any ruler of the dynasty you want to create a cadet branch for.
2. Get any other character of your house landed (give them land yourself or marry them into a line of succession).
3. Wait until this character creates a cadet branch (let's call this branch A).
4. Get an heir belonging to branch A (e.g. marry your male heir matrilineally to a female of branch A so your future heir will be of that house).
5. Become your heir after succession. You can now play on as branch A, or if you want to create your own, continue to point 6.1 or 6.2.

6.1 If your character is not the house head of branch A, you can create a cadet branch of branch A (if you satisfy the other requirements as well).
6.2 If you want to avoid having the branch A represented on your coat of arms (as is the case after 6.1), you can instead create a cadet branch of the original house. Let the heir of your heir of branch A marry back into the original house as in step 4. Assuming you did not marry the direct heir of the original house (i.e. you married someone that would satisfy the requirements to create a cadet branch themself if they were landed), your future heir will not be the house head of the original house, allowing you to create a cadet branch (if you satisfy the other criteria as well).

7 Repeat as many times as you want by switching houses and marrying back into the house you want to create a cadet branch from, resulting in up to three quarters added to your CoA that represent the desired holdings.

P.S.: For those that don't know, the quarters added are the CoA of your capital at the time of the creation of the cadet branches, so change capitals along the way if you want to represent multiple titles.​