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Olden Weiss

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Odd title, I know, but it's Crusader Kings. I think most of us are used to these discussions by now.

I've been reading a bit about genetic traits and the capability for dynasties in CK3 to use inbreeding to stack genetic traits faster. I've seen some people in discussions here or there say that inbreeding should never be a positive, that it should yield deformity. That it shouldn't be possible to stack the Beautiful trait through inbreeding, for example. Now I haven't heard this so much here, but I'm posting it here because I feel of all the venues for CK3 discussion, this one is the most legitimate. Most everyone here actually has a heartfelt interest in history and historical accuracy, so I respect the folks here more than I do Reddit or Steam.

I'd like to lead off by saying that to my knowledge, the Habsburg Dynasty is the only go-to example of this. There are articles all over the internet about "the cost of royal inbreeding", and Charles II of Spain is the image that's always used to advertise the point. I'm sure most all of us have seen it by now.

However, a user posted this image in another thread recently:

1596345356036.png

This is the one that got me thinking. Immediately, what I see is that Charles II's features are by far the most exaggerated. I'd also like to note that not all of the inbred figures in his line are deformed in quite this way. Take his half-brother, Juan Jose.

1596345569674.png

Juan Jose was born to the same Philip VI who was the result of three generations of inbreeding. Is the introduction of Mariana of Austria's genes truly what tipped Charles II over? This is particularly odd, considering we don't definitively see the chin anywhere in her side of the tree.

This brings me to my next point: The jaw itself. From what I can gather, the Habsburg Jaw is essentially an extreme case of mesiocculusion, more commonly known as an underbite, perhaps coupled with a long chin. (I know, technically prognathism is its own trait, but we're speaking of Charles II specifically here.) The interesting point is that I see shades of this as far back as Charles V of the HRE, who was not inbred. It appears again with great strength in Phillip II, and it can be assumed that some element of it appeared in between, either not portrayed by artists in these portraits, or made discreet thanks to facial hair.

In fact, here's a portrait of Charles V ("Kaiser Karl", so I assume that's who I'm looking at) that I take particular note of.

1596347058905.png

Clearly, this trait was present long, long before Charles II.

There are many modern examples of traits similar to those found in the dynasty as well, none of which stem from inbreeding. If these people have any ties to the Habsburgs, they're quite distant ties.

1596346282491.png

In addition, we can view this another way: Many figures have been portrayed in a not-so-flattering light. I submit that to my knowledge, none of these had an excessive amount of inbreeding in their past.

1596347325779.png

Finally, I would raise my trump card. I'll note that to my knowledge, there's no way to accurately recreate Cleopatra VII's appearance, as her remains have never been found. Allegedly some scientists figure she looked like this...

1596351641607.png

Though this is based primarily on a statue and some coinage, and does things I'm not certain were accurate. For instance, I've read accounts that she had fair skin, while this rendering gives her features more indicative of modern Egypt than ancient Greco-Egypt. That said, there are some written accounts we can go on.

Julius Caesar, who actually lived in her time and met her, said of her that, "... she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at the time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most stunning." He stated that she looked "wonderfully stunning" even while wearing mourning garments.

Plutarch, who lived about a century later, wrote, "For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. "

Plutarch's account is the least flattering I'm aware of with regards to her looks specifically, and it never states that she was particularly unattractive. His account merely supposes that she was said to be neither particularly attractive or unattractive. At the very least, she was attractive enough that her wit and charm made her seem beautiful to those she interacted with. In fact, we find him comparing her specifically to Antony's wife Octavia, who was at the time younger and arguably more beautiful.

The point I'm making here one that I'm sure many of you have already picked up on. By this time, the Ptolemaic line was so muddled and mangled with direct sibling incest that the entire lineage, paternal and maternal, had one pair of great-grandparents. At this point, eight generations of brother-to-sister marriages had culminated in Cleopatra VII. Compare this to four generations of marrying nieces or cousins in the Habsburg line. Why, then, was Cleopatra's face not a mangled mess?

Now to my closing argument...

I believe inbreeding does not automatically spawn deformity. I believe that the tragedy of Charles II has less to do with inbreeding and more to do with the fact that Charles V's jaw was inbred in the family line. In other words, I don't believe it's nonsensical in the least to allow positive physical traits to breed into characters in CK3, nor do I think inbreeding should necessitate DNA results that give us particularly gnarled characters. In fact, by my theory, exactly what the game is doing is how it should be done: Inbreed a negative trait, get uglier and uglier characters. In theory, inbreed a positive trait, get prettier characters.

Obviously there are genetic disadvantages to inbreeding that have been scientifically proven, but these are unseen. Lower immune systems, weaker fertility (though Cleopatra VII did have three siblings, interestingly enough), increased risk of certain diseases or disorders... However all these are modeled through the Inbred trait which, as I understand, makes a return in CK3.

In short, my friends, I'm quite happy with how CK3 seems to be handling this infamous phenomenon. I submit that if one wishes to make a Habsburg, one must actively try to do so.
 

Atimo3

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Juan Jose was born to the same Philip VI who was the result of three generations of inbreeding. Is the introduction of Mariana of Austria's genes truly what tipped Charles II over?

Yes, there is this thing called coefficient of inbreeding, it gets worse and worse the more inbreeding goes on. But it also "resets" every time new blood is introduced in the genepool. Juan José de Austria's mother was María Calderón, a commoner completely unrelated to the king. So for all practical purposes Juan José wasn't inbred at all.
 

Ezumiyr

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Keep in mind that portraits and roman-era sculptures aren't supposed to be accurate, even if they are done in a very realistic way.
 

ShadyGuy_SuspiciousGoal

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Problem with inbreeding is that there are a lot of genes in the normal person that carry bad traits that are not expressed due to being recessive. Now inbreeding increase the chance of recessive genes expression and that leads to many many bad traits surfacing in an inbred line. But it is still chance based and is kinda a bell curve, so between extremely bad individuals you still have perfectly normal individuals.

I believe that inbreeding is a way to eliminate bad traits from a line too. Breeders use this to reduce the amount of bad recessive genes in the population by isolating the expressed bad ones and hence reduce their recessive gene's percentage over time. (Don't quote me on this learned this in highschool long ago not sure if true).
 

Marijn

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What a great post, OP. This is peak Paradox Forum.

I think the latest science is that a little bit of inbreeding is OK, but you shouldn't overdo it. Some things: Juan Jose's portrait might be more flattering than reality, depending on who commissioned it. Also, when we're talking attractiveness, throughout history and different cultures there are very differnet opinions on what should get the attractive trait. At one point pale chubby women with small breasts were the super models of their time. And well, Cleopatra and Ceasar, don't underestimate what an exotic look did (and still does).
 

Olden Weiss

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Yes, there is this thing called coefficient of inbreeding, it gets worse and worse the more inbreeding goes on. But it also "resets" every time new blood is introduced in the genepool. Juan José de Austria's mother was María Calderón, a commoner completely unrelated to the king. So for all practical purposes Juan José wasn't inbred at all.
One generation is all it takes? There's something I was completely unaware of. Genetics are a strange thing.


Keep in mind that portraits and roman-era sculptures aren't supposed to be accurate, even if they are done in a very realistic way.
Very true. This is why I was sure to bring accounts into play. Honestly, I trust those a bit more than the artwork.
 
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Dayvit78

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I'm not sure how it will work in the game's DNA. For example, a long chin + a long chin =? a longer chin? Or just the same long chin? In other words, how would features get exagerated? Assuming there are 50 types of chins, will the game generate a 51st type of chin randomly? If chin length is a number, is there are defined range or is it normalistic with a very small chance of being far outside the average?

These are the questions we must be asking. lol.
 

ShadyGuy_SuspiciousGoal

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I'm not sure how it will work in the game's DNA. For example, a long chin + a long chin =? a longer chin? Or just the same long chin? In other words, how would features get exagerated? Assuming there are 50 types of chins, will the game generate a 51st type of chin randomly? If chin length is a number, is there are defined range or is it normalistic with a very small chance of being far outside the average?

These are the questions we must be asking. lol.
Edit: false info. See my other comment Here

From what I gather from the last appearance diary, it should be like this: suppose chin is controlled by 2 genes A and B. A gene have at least two version: dominant and recessive (for example A is dominant and a is recessive). Let's say each dominant copy give us slightly longer chin.
So dad: AaBb and mom: AaBb (2 copies of dominant gene each, so both have average chin) will have children with these probability:
Genotype Count Percent
AaBb (2 copies, normal chin)425
AABb (3 copies, longer chin)212.5
AaBB (3 copies, longer chin)212.5
Aabb (1 copies, shorter chin)212.5
aaBb (1 copies, shorter chin)212.5
AABB (4 copies, longest chin possible)16.3
AAbb (2 copies, normal chin again)16.3
aaBB (2 copies, normal chin again)16.3
aabb (0 copies, shortest chin possible)16.3

So in total:
  • Longest chin chance: 6.3%
  • Longer chin chance: 25%
  • Normal chin chance: 37.5%
  • Shorter chin chance: 25%
  • Shortest chin chance: 6.3%
And this is just for 2 genes, they can have as many gene for each trait as they want. As you can see children will tend to look like their parents.
 
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Olden Weiss

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I'm not sure how it will work in the game's DNA. For example, a long chin + a long chin =? a longer chin? Or just the same long chin? In other words, how would features get exagerated? Assuming there are 50 types of chins, will the game generate a 51st type of chin randomly? If chin length is a number, is there are defined range or is it normalistic with a very small chance of being far outside the average?

These are the questions we must be asking. lol.
All I know is, I'm sure at least one of us will try to recreate the Habsburgs. A worthy quest if ever there was one.
 

pengoyo

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Inbreeding increases the chances of there being problems (genetic deases and/or deformities), but it's not 100%. So producing one example of an attractive inbred person doesn't prove inbreeding being problematic wrong, as it's a probabilistic thing.

So an inbred person should definitely have a chance of being attractive. But inbreeding leading to a higher chance of being attractive doesn't make sense. Especially since on aspect of attractiveness is symmetry. And inbred people often have bad immune systems. And being healthy is one of the factors that lead to having symmetrical features.

One generation is all it takes? There's something I was completely unaware of. Genetics are a strange thing.
Note if they were to be bred back in with the main inbreeding line, they would not offer the same "reset" to their children who would be somewhat inbred, so it's not a complete reset.

I believe that inbreeding is a way to eliminate bad traits from a line too. Breeders use this to reduce the amount of bad recessive genes in the population by isolating the expressed bad ones and hence reduce their recessive gene's percentage over time. (Don't quote me on this learned this in highschool long ago not sure if true).
This is a possibility, but requires a lot of different couples with a lot of offspring and careful breeding of the following generations. It's not feasible in humans.

If you combine inbreeding with outbreeding over a really long time span you can also get this effect. You can see this in a lot of plants which will often inadvertently mate with themselves (a whole other level of inbreeding). These plants will often have lower level of bad recessive genes and so are less affected by inbreeding.
 

pengoyo

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From what I gather from the last appearance diary, it should be like this: suppose chin is controlled by 2 genes A and B. A gene have at least two version: dominant and recessive (for example A is dominant and a is recessive). Let's say each dominant copy give us slightly longer chin.
So dad: AaBb and mom: AaBb (2 copies of dominant gene each, so both have average chin) will have children with these probability:
Genotype Count Percent
AaBb (2 copies, normal chin)425
AABb (3 copies, longer chin)212.5
AaBB (3 copies, longer chin)212.5
Aabb (1 copies, shorter chin)212.5
aaBb (1 copies, shorter chin)212.5
AABB (4 copies, longest chin possible)16.3
AAbb (2 copies, normal chin again)16.3
aaBB (2 copies, normal chin again)16.3
aabb (0 copies, shortest chin possible)16.3

So in total:
  • Longest chin chance: 6.3%
  • Longer chin chance: 25%
  • Normal chin chance: 37.5%
  • Shorter chin chance: 25%
  • Shortest chin chance: 6.3%
And this is just for 2 genes, they can have as many gene for each trait as they want. As you can see children will tend to look like their parents.
The dominant/recessive system in CK3 is not related to how it works in people. For every gene in CK3 you will always have one dominant and one recessive version. You get one copy from you dad and one from your mom and in CK3 they randomly choose one of these copies to be dominant and one to be recessive. So just because a gene was dominant (or recessive) in one person in CK3 doesn't mean it will be dominant (or recessive) in their children. It's really just a clever system for allowing traits to skip a generation or two rather than an accurate genetic system.
 

Olden Weiss

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The dominant/recessive system in CK3 is not related to how it works in people. For every gene in CK3 you will always have one dominant and one recessive version. You get one copy from you dad and one from your mom and in CK3 they randomly choose one of these copies to be dominant and one to be recessive. So just because a gene was dominant (or recessive) in one person in CK3 doesn't mean it will be dominant (or recessive) in their children. It's really just a clever system for allowing traits to skip a generation or two rather than an accurate genetic system.
Indeed, I wager modelling a proper system - if even possible - for this many tens of thousands of characters might not agree with my CPU...
 
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DreadLindwyrm

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One generation is all it takes? There's something I was completely unaware of. Genetics are a strange thing.
Think of it this way.

If you managed to inbreed a line so that they were 100% genetically identical, and then cross in an unrelated line, you've gone from 100% identical to 50% identical, which is a great relief on the genetics of that particular individual.
But immediately breeding 50% guy back to the 100% identical line would be a mistake, as there's still a good chance to have problematic double genes come back up (about 50% per locus). For a multi-locus genetic fault it will provide a lot more relief than a single-locus fault.
 

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I'm not sure how it will work in the game's DNA. For example, a long chin + a long chin =? a longer chin? Or just the same long chin? In other words, how would features get exagerated? Assuming there are 50 types of chins, will the game generate a 51st type of chin randomly? If chin length is a number, is there are defined range or is it normalistic with a very small chance of being far outside the average?

These are the questions we must be asking. lol.
Achievment Idea:
Chin-a: Get an Hapsburg in the Throne of China.
 

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In short, my friends, I'm quite happy with how CK3 seems to be handling this infamous phenomenon. I submit that if one wishes to make a Habsburg, one must actively try to do so.
I asked the devs some time ago and they said that we will not have Habsburg-chin-like features at launch.

So we will have to wait for a while until they release a DLC to get to breed a majestic jawline into our dinasties.
 

Drakken

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Finally, I would raise my trump card. I'll note that to my knowledge, there's no way to accurately recreate Cleopatra VII's appearance, as her remains have never been found. Allegedly some scientists figure she looked like this...



Though this is based primarily on a statue and some coinage, and does things I'm not certain were accurate. For instance, I've read accounts that she had fair skin, while this rendering gives her features more indicative of modern Egypt than ancient Greco-Egypt. That said, there are some written accounts we can go on.

Julius Caesar, who actually lived in her time and met her, said of her that, "... she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at the time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most stunning." He stated that she looked "wonderfully stunning" even while wearing mourning garments.

Plutarch, who lived about a century later, wrote, "For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. "

Plutarch's account is the least flattering I'm aware of with regards to her looks specifically, and it never states that she was particularly unattractive. His account merely supposes that she was said to be neither particularly attractive or unattractive. At the very least, she was attractive enough that her wit and charm made her seem beautiful to those she interacted with. In fact, we find him comparing her specifically to Antony's wife Octavia, who was at the time younger and arguably more beautiful.

The point I'm making here one that I'm sure many of you have already picked up on. By this time, the Ptolemaic line was so muddled and mangled with direct sibling incest that the entire lineage, paternal and maternal, had one pair of great-grandparents. At this point, eight generations of brother-to-sister marriages had culminated in Cleopatra VII. Compare this to four generations of marrying nieces or cousins in the Habsburg line. Why, then, was Cleopatra's face not a mangled mess?
I would like to point out that Cleopatra’s father and mother were the product of their father Ptolemy IX Lathyos’ union with a Greek mistress when he was in exile on Cyprus. The only child he had with his sister Cleopatra IV (before being forced to divorce) was Berenike III.

So, the famed Ptolemaic inbreeding was reset with her grandfather and was recent. Furthermore, only the King would marry their sister (and sometimes just for the show); siblings would to go marry into other Hellenistic dynasties.
 
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sstabeler

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The issue with inbreeding is that it means that the genetics of the bloodline become increasingly 'fixed' due to decreasing variation in genetics among the members of the bloodline. However, the issue is that the same reduction in genetic variation can also breed out desirable traits as well. Not to mention that as the bloodline gets closer and closer to being genetically identical, it's harder and harder to breed out traits in the first place, since the chances of neither parent having a genetic difference in the relevant trait increase.
 
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ShadyGuy_SuspiciousGoal

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The issue with inbreeding is that it means that the genetics of the bloodline become increasingly 'fixed' due to decreasing variation in genetics among the members of the bloodline. However, the issue is that the same reduction in genetic variation can also breed out desirable traits as well. Not to mention that as the bloodline gets closer and closer to being genetically identical, it's harder and harder to breed out traits in the first place, since the chances of neither parent having a genetic difference in the relevant trait increase.
Must...keep...the...bloodline...pure...

All jokes aside that's precisely why inbreeding is so prevalent in this game. Purely because of min/maxing. Nothing to do with our messed up sexual fantasies.

The dominant/recessive system in CK3 is not related to how it works in people. For every gene in CK3 you will always have one dominant and one recessive version. You get one copy from you dad and one from your mom and in CK3 they randomly choose one of these copies to be dominant and one to be recessive. So just because a gene was dominant (or recessive) in one person in CK3 doesn't mean it will be dominant (or recessive) in their children. It's really just a clever system for allowing traits to skip a generation or two rather than an accurate genetic system.
You're right! I didn't catch the part where they would just automatically assign dominant/recessive for the gene based on chance. But that's weird, is he talking about trait genes, or appearance genes? Because if that's true where will the appearance diversity be? That system works for traits since it is very clear-cut, either you have a trait or not. But for appearance you have a slider for each little thing like he mentioned in the post, and so you need to store a specific values for that slider somewhere, and somehow determine that value for the new character using values from mom and dad.
 
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