Merchant republics, trading cities and additions to "Trade league dispute" CB

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Second Lieutenant
Jun 23, 2020
I have made a similar thread in general forums before and after some consideration and feedback I would make these suggestions:

Merchant republics are suffering from some problems now and while I think the government reforms and the changes to trade company regions helped them a lot they still remain quite outdated, unchanged and overall unappealing in terms of relative power.

Especially what should be their main advantage, trade leagues and trading cities, are often more of a frustration than help. Trade league leader should at least be able to maintain the trade league they have built and rein in any leaving members. There is no better way to fix this than by giving them that ability in their unique CB that only merchant republics get as well as making so trading cities can be interacted with more directly, it would change nothing else in the game but only the issues of instability trade leagues have.

Merchant Republic factions:

Merchant republic factions are currently quite outdated and while I think merchant republics shouldn't get estates, there are two easy solutions to make them competitive and interactive:

1. Dominant faction should give +1 MP point in their appropriate type

This would still be inferior to current estates, as they can get +3 MP instead but that comes with its drawbacks so this is fair I think. It would also make it so that if you do force a faction to dominance it would be an investment and a general diversion of state administration.

2. Faction interface should get a button called "Call Council"

This would be substitute to diets and could have missions similar to their appropriate type. Overall merchant republics would still lack the privileges and other bonuses of estates so I think it would also be decently balanced. It might be possible to add these to other factions in other types of governments but I think merchant republics in particular represent a type of government that would have their factions more similar to estates. At the very least, I don't think these should be available to republics that have both estates and factions. I don't think it's republics in general but merchant republics in particular that are suffering.

Trading cities:

I consider and I think developers intended trade cities be an inherent part of merchant republics and trade leagues, in this view I have 2 more suggestion to make to add to stability and maintenance. Now I am in the opinion that trade cities need not be direct subjects but they should at least be similar to tributaries in existing the subjects panel and having interactions. This should also prevent them from becoming tributaries easily in Asia, which currently means you can't establish trading cities in vicinity of Black Sea or near Ming, which is completely silly.

In light of how outpost cities of merchant republics functioned, I think trade cities should have two functions to be added.

1. Trading cities should call their trade league leader as war leader when attacked

Trading cities are clients of trade league leader and the league overall and should defer the military matters to league leader. This should allow better control of their wars and defence, right now they are prone to being occupied and immediately accepting peace treaties, establishing a trade city essentially seems to be giving away territory unless it's already surrounded by your own territory.

2. If a trading city gets annexed, trade league leader should get a liberation CB against the state that annexed the trading city.

Trading cities often make alliances and get involved in wars, I am in the opinion this should stay and differentiates them from regular vassals. However if they lose and get annexed it should be possible to release them. When released they should once again turn into trading cities and join the trade league

Moreover, if they were on subject panel, aside from declining becoming tributaries, they could have appropriate interactions. Such as drafting war fleets, granting more trade power or diverting trade. This way, especially in terms of fleets, merchant republics could have disproportionately big navies to their size with help of their trading cities contributing to it in a war of defence.

Trade league dispute CB:

1. Allow trade league dispute CB to be used against members leaving the trade league

This to me seems self-evident, if a trade league member leaves the league, it should be possible for the trade league leader to force repercussions for unilateral action. Perhaps add an option to ask to leave trade league to avoid CB.

2. Trade league dispute CB should have an option to add an OPM into trade league

This is mainly meant to be in tandem with previous change but also to add option to enlarge the trade league when possible at the end of military action and to use trade leagues for a way to extend trade flows in a diplomatic (albeit enforced militarily). Considering OPMs usually disappear in first few decades, this would generally only be used to maintain an existing trade league. This can be considered similar to transferring trade power or diverting trade but making more sense within trade leagues.

These two changes should allow trade league leader to maintain their trade leagues and expand them, considering that trade league members are completely independent states overall these changes shouldn't be too different than allowing establishing more stable and unified alliance and trade power exchange. Gameplay-wise this should allow merchant republics to retain what's supposed to be their main appeal.
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Second Lieutenant
Jun 23, 2020
I am going to bump this in light of dev diary of February 2nd, 2020. Since Paradox is adding merchant republic functions to plutocracy this patch, I think it would be a good idea for Paradox to consider these simple fixes and adjustments to make trade leagues and trading cities more sensible and functional. @Johan is very vocal about the fact that merchant republic factions and thus merchant republics in general are somewhat lacking so perhaps this is the right patch to remedy that a bit at the very least.
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