Attributes represent certain statistics that each character has, and determine (among other things) how good a character is at certain actions.
Skills represent a character's expertise across various fields and together with skills determine how good or bad a character is at a given task. Skills cap at 100. Base values cap at 10.
|Skill||Effect per level|
The final value of each skill, including modification by education and other traits, is tested against certain thresholds in the game data. One is used to set the human-readable description of the skill level shown in the tooltip while mousing over one of a character's skills, to give a general assessment of their ability.
Another internal set of thresholds is used to determine outcomes and probabilities of success in various game events based on a character's capability. For example, when a Steward is performing the Increase Development task, the possibility of side effects is checked using these thresholds. If
stewardship > mediocre (8), then positive side effects are possible, while if
stewardship < high (15), then negative side effects are also possible.
Base Skill is the value before any modifiers are applied and its maximum is 10. It is partially determined by both parents of the child, with a bonus applied should the value of the base skill be lower than their parents. From ages 6 to 16 each child may receive between 0 and 4 skill points distributed across their five attributes, but this is affected by the base skills of their parents.
For instance, two parents with a normally impossible 25 in each base skill will have children who always have a base skill of 10 in each attribute by age 16. The base skills of the guardian have no impact on the base skills of their wards and depend solely on the parents' base skills and a random component.
Therefore, general skills of the guardian should not be factored in when choosing one and choices should be made purely on resultant likelihood of obtaining a good Education Trait.
As certain Lifestyles may increase base skill acquisition, this tactic may be used over long time periods to gradually increase the average base skill of your children, but a random component will always play a part.
Dread is a measure of how feared a ruler is by their vassals. A character's dread can range from 0 to 100. Enough dread compared to another character's boldness can make characters either intimidated or terrified, allowing most diplomatic actions to succeed despite negative opinion.
Dread is gained by various actions that inspire fear, such as torturing or executing prisoners. However, it is also possible to lose dread through actions showing compassion or weakness, including releasing prisoners and accepting faction demands. Each character additionally has natural dread which is the value towards which dread will drift over time (either up or down), at a base rate of 0.5 per month. The lifestyle perk Forever Infamous prevents dread from decaying.
Each character has a hidden boldness attribute, which is decided by its traits. A character becomes intimidated by characters whose dread is 20 above their own boldness and terrified by characters whose dread is 45 above their own boldness.
Intimidation and terror
Intimidated characters are less likely to join factions or schemes against the character they're intimidated by, while a terrified character will never join factions or schemes against them. In addition, it affects their acceptance for various character interactions:
The amount of dread gained through actions is modified by the following:
|The Tower of London||+30%|
|First Guile dynasty legacy perk||+20%|
|Dreadful perk in Torturer tree ( Intrigue lifestyle)||+30%|
|Hard Rule perk in Overseer tree ( Martial lifestyle)||+20%|
|Public Display of Ruthlessness modifier ( Host Feast)||+25%|
|Suspicious Reputation modifier ( Learning lifestyle event)||+20%|
|Dangerous to Know modifier ( Learning lifestyle event)||+20%|
|Wind Spirits' Blessing modifier ( Seek Aid of the Spirits decision)||+25%|
The natural dread of a character is modified by the following (default value is 0):
|First Guile dynastic legacy perk||+15|
|Serve the Crown lifestyle perk||+15|
|Greatest of Khans trait||+50|
|Severely Injured trait||-15|
|Brutally Mauled trait||-20|
|Bubonic Plague trait||-30|
|Great Pox trait||-20|
|Lover's Pox trait||-5|
|Small Pox trait||-15|
Health is a measure of how likely a character is to die. Male characters are born with health between (and including) 4.5 and 4.9; female characters are born with health between (and including) 5.0 and 5.4. Once a character reaches the age of 25, they have a 7.5% chance to lose −0.125 health each year. The chance increases by 2.2% each year.
Some traits, tenets and modifiers provide bonuses Disease resistance (health). This means that any health penalties applied to the character are negated by the amount of disease resistance the character has. Note that there is also disease resistance for fertility.
Health boosts and penalties
Health effects have different names depending on the value:
|Displayed as||Range of values|
|Catastrophic Health Penalty||value < −4|
|Critical Health Penalty||−4 ≤ value < −3|
|Severe Health Penalty||−3 ≤ value < −1|
|Major Health Penalty||−1 ≤ value < −0.75|
|Moderate Health Penalty||−0.75 ≤ value < −0.5|
|Minor Health Penalty||−0.5 ≤ value < −0.25|
|Tiny Health Penalty||−0.25 ≤ value < 0|
|Small Health Boost||0 < value < +0.25|
|Medium Health Boost||+0.25 ≤ value < +0.5|
|Significant Health Boost||+0.5 ≤ value < +0.75|
|Huge Health Boost||+0.75 ≤ value < +1|
|Massive Health Boost||+1 ≤ value < +2|
|Godlike Health Boost||+2 ≤ value|
Death is the end of a character's life. For landed characters, it triggers succession for any held titles. There can be multiple causes:
- When health is either Poor, Near Death or Dying, there is a chance at a given interval to die. The lower a character's health, the bigger this chance is.
- Upon success of a murder scheme, the targetted character dies.
- The Attempt Suicide decision has a chance for the character to die.
- Knights may die in battle or in duels, with this chance increasing with low prowess and other factors.
- Characters may die when the holding they are currently residing in is captured in a siege.
- Imprisoned characters may be executed by their jailors.
- Various events may cause death.
- See also: Breeding
Fertility represents a character's chance to have or cause pregnancy. Married couples and heterosexual lovers have a monthly chance to get the woman pregnant based on the average fertility of the two partners.
A character's base fertility is determined by their age:
Traits, such as lustful or melancholic, can affect fertility. Concubines and secondary spouses effectively have half fertility. In addition a mother loses 5% fertility for each childbirth. Fertility is reduced by 15% between non-ruler characters.
Note: you have a maximal number of children : 9 living children plus 2 per additional consort (so 15 with 4 wives). This does not stop event driven pregnancies.
Disease resistance (fertility)
It is possible for fertility penalties to be negated by the Disease resistance (fertility) modifier. Currently, only the Iron Constitution perk in the Whole of Body tree provides some.
- See also: Traits#Coping mechanisms
Stress is a measure of a character's mental health and is gained whenever a character responds to an event or decision in a way that conflicts with their personality traits, someone they're close to dies, the character is imprisoned in a dungeon (note: not house arrest), or is tortured. Serving as a guardian for a ward can also cause stress if the guardian elects to change the child's personality traits. Stress ranges from 0 to 400, with higher levels of stress imposing various penalties and making the character vulnerable to mental break events.
|Personality Trait||Stressful Interaction|
|Ambitious||grant independence, grant titles (at/below domain limit), signing White Peace during offensive wars|
|Arrogant||grant independence, legitimize bastard, signing White Peace during offensive wars|
|Callous||release from prison (w/out demands)|
|Compassionate||kick from court, disinherit, denounce, break up with lover, dismiss concubine, fabricate hook, imprison, move to dungeon, execution, start murder, start abduct|
|Content||claim throne, force onto council|
|Cynical||temporal condemnation, host honored guest, literalist debate|
|Forgiving||disinherit, denounce, imprison (w/reason), move to dungeon, execution devour, execution (w/ reason)|
|Generous||revoke leased title, liege modify vassal contract (w/ tyranny), demand payment|
|Greedy||grant independence, gift, grant titles (at/below domain limit), invite agent to scheme (w/ gift), grant vassal|
|Gregarious||kick from court, failure during Sway schemes|
|Honest||invite agent to scheme, elope, fabricate hook, start murder, start abduct|
|Just||elope, liege modify vassal contract (w/ tyranny), claim throne, fabricate hook, buy claim, imprison (w/out reason), execution (w/out reason), start murder, start abduct, retract vassal (from dejure liege), join independence faction (against dejure liege)|
|Lustful||break up with lover|
|Paranoid||recruit guest, invite agent to scheme, send child to guardian|
|Sadistic||move to house arrest, release from prison (w/out demands)|
|Shy||negotiate alliance, perk alliance, join war, recruit guest, invite to court, host honored guest, befriend, court|
|Stubborn||restore inheritance, forgive|
|Vengeful||restore inheritance, forgive, move to house arrest|
|Zealous||revoke leased title|
A character breaching the threshold of 100, 200, or 300 stress for the first time will immediately suffer a Mental Break. Mental breaks range in severity from level 1 to 3 and grant the option to either lose some stress with a choice of gaining one of two traits (a Coping Mechanism or worse, see table below) or gain additional stress. A level 3 mental break event can sometimes injure or kill the character, cause them to kill another character in their court (including their own heir) gaining the Murderer trait, or force them to abdicate. If a character reaches 400 Stress, it will trigger a level 3 mental break event and they will lose 100 Stress.
Mental break events can only trigger once every 5 years (8 years with the "Mental Resilience" lifestyle perk from the "Whole of Body" lifestyle). If a character does not reduce their stress below 100 before this time is up, they will suffer another mental break. All coping mechanism traits bestow a stacking +20% Stress loss benefit and granting a related stress-reducing decision on a 3-year cooldown, making it easier to de-stress before the next mental break occurs.
Your character's stress level is indicated by a reddish bar to the left of your character's portrait at the lower left corner of the map screen.
|Level||Stress||Fertility||Health penalty||Attempt Suicide decision||Mental break traits|
|0–99||0||None||No mental breaks|
|200–299||−30%||Severe||Coping mechanism, Arbitrary, Witch|
|300–399||−50%||Severe||Wrathful, Lunatic, Melancholic, Murderer, Death, or Abdication|
A character is considered a child if they are below 16 years and an adult once they reach 16 years. A character can die of old age after reaching 60 years. Each starting character will have a number of lifestyle perks unlocked based on its age.
- Once a character reaches the age of 25, they have a 7.5% chance to lose −0.125 health each year. The chance increases by 2.2% each year.
- Once a character reaches the age of 45, they have a 10% chance to lose 1 prowess each year. The chance increases by 1.5% each year. A dynasty can prevent this by completing the Kin legacy.
Characters up to the age of 6 can be given an Education Focus geared towards one of the skills. This will default to one of the two attributes in their Childhood trait, but a parent can choose it manually with the button at the lower left of their portrait. This can only be done once per child, and not be changed later on. When the character becomes an adult, they will gain a corresponding education trait.
Once an Education Focus is selected the game will track a hidden education score. Each year the score has a 60% chance to increase by 2 and a 40% chance to not increase. Once the character reaches the age of 16 they will gain an education trait based on that score.
|Score||Education trait level|
The chance of the child getting a higher tier education is increased by the guardian's relevant skill plus half of their learning skill, as well as the child or guardian having a positive intelligence trait ( Quick/ Shrewd, Intelligent, Genius). The guardian or child having a negative intelligence trait ( Slow, Stupid, Imbecile) will negatively affect their education, as will pushing them to an Education Focus that does not match their Childhood trait.
The guardian's council having a spouse that is focused on patronage, has a high learning education, high learning skill, or scholar trait, will increase the chance of the ward getting a better education.
A child of a culture that discovered the Knighthood innovation, has a Martial education focus, and is of a gender that can be knighted will also be trained as a squire, receiving a Prowess education trait when they come of age in addition to a Martial one. For Prowess, the educator's abilities or any other effects that enhance education are irrelevant; only the child's traits matter. Traits that boost Prowess ( Hale, Robust, Herculean, Strong, Giant) will increase the chance of a high-tier Prowess education, while negative Prowess and other sickly traits ( Delicate, Frail, Feeble, Weak, Dwarf, Spindly, Wheezing, Hunchbacked, Inbred, Bleeder) will diminish it.
If the child has a guardian of a different faith or culture, when given the guardian, it can be specified whether the child should be raised in the parent's or guardian's faith and/or culture. The child also has a chance to copy the guardian's personality traits. If the guardian has the Witch trait or secret, they will have the option to try converting their wards to witchcraft.
A guardian and a ward have +15 opinion towards each other.
With each child's base success chance of an Education Roll at 60%, a child has a 10% of a level one education, 42% of a level two education, 41% of a level three education, and 7% chance of a level four education. There are nine Education Rolls and the child must be successful on almost every Education Roll to achieve the four star education trait!
|Education Trait Level Chances|
However, a child will very rarely have only the base success chance on any given roll. There are many factors that affect success and failure chance, which are explored below. In addition, some benefits confer a flat bonus to the child's education points. The second level perk of the Dynasty Legacy "Kin" states "Dynasty members get better education". In the game code this is achieved by adding one additional education roll when the child comes of age, with success (60%) equaling three points and failure (40%) equaling two points. In essence, a guaranteed 2 bonus points with a chance of 1 additional. Having a child educated by a guardian who has a University building in their realm (and paying gold for the privilege) provides a guaranteed 12(!) points. Thus a university education is a nearly assured four star education trait for just about any child.
The game bases the education success chance on the Success Factor and the Failure Factor.
The Base Success Factor is 60, and increased by positive traits of the child and the guardian, the education matches with childhood trait, and the attributes of the guardian.
The Base Failure Factor is 40, and increased by negative traits of the child/guardian, the education mismatches the childhood trait, and when he doesn't have a guardian.
The outcome will be the formula below.
or a default 60% chance when there's no additional factors involved.
For instance, a child with the "Genius" congenital trait adds 20 to the Success Factor. Under this circumstance, the Genius trait increases the odds of a successful Education Roll from 60% to 66.6%. The example math is provided below.
A guardian with the intelligence trait of Genius provides a Success Factor of 15. If a genius child (20) is being educated by a genius guardian (15) the chances of a successful Education Roll becomes 70.4%, with the example math provided below.
At the age of 3 each child is assigned a Childhood Trait. If the child's Focus does not match the Trait there is a factor of 20 added to the Failure Factor. For instance, if a child has the trait "Bossy" and the focus is Diplomacy, the child would receive the factor of 20 to Failure Factor. In this circumstance, the chance of a successful Education Roll drops to 50%.
The positive Traits a child and guardian can have that increase the Success Factor are provided in the chart below.
|Trait||Child Trait Factor||Guardian Trait Factor|
|Quick / Shrewd||10||5|
|Childhood trait Matching||20||N/A|
The negative Traits a child and guardian can have that increase the Failure Factor are provided in the chart below.
|Trait||Child Trait Factor||Guardian Trait Factor|
|Slow / Dull||10||5|
|Childhood trait Not Matching||20||N/A|
The success of the Education Roll is also determined by the guardian's relevant attribute points. The "Primary Attribute" for a guardian (more important attribute) is the one which matches the focus of the child, and is determined by that value times 0.4. A guardian's Diplomacy attribute is part of the Factor for a child with a diplomacy focus. The "Secondary Attribute" is the guardian's Learning, which is multiplied by 0.2. The formula is shown below.
For instance a child with a focus in Diplomacy has a guardian with a 10 Diplomacy Attribute and a 15 Learning Attribute will provide a Success Factor of +7.
|Guardian Attribute Quick Math|
|Guardian Attribute||Child Focus||Learning Factor|
The Education Roll bonus provided by guardians with congenital traits of Genius, Intelligent and Quick (or the non-congenital Shrewd) are significantly more important than the attributes of the guardian alone. Under these circumstances an "underachieving" Genius guardian can provide equal value with a character with amazing stats.
Therefore the most important factors when choosing a guardian are:
- Someone you trust not to kill your child
- Quick / Shrewd
- Value of Primary Attribute (which matches child's focus)
- Learning Attribute
A Genius guardian with 5 Diplomacy and Learning Attributes will provide a Factor of +18 (15 + 2 + 1) and successful Education Roll chance of 66% on a average child, while a guardian with 30 Diplomacy and 30 Learning Attributes will provide a Factor of +18 (12 + 6) and successful Education Roll chance of 66%.
|Hypothetical Guardian Attributes|
Children undergoing a Martial education can also receive a Prowess education trait when they come of age. To qualify, the child's culture or the educator's culture must have the Knighthood innovation and the child must be of a gender that can become knights. The system that determines which Prowess trait the child gets is completely separate from the other education traits. The perks, spouse or universities don't influence the outcome.
When the child finishes their education, the game creates a temporary score for them, which starts equal to the Martial education level they obtained. Then, the game changes this score depending on the child's physical traits (multiple traits stack):
|Robust, Strong, Giant||+2|
|Delicate, Spindly, Wheezing, Hunchbacked, Inbred, Bleeder||-1|
|Frail, Weak, Dwarf||-2|
Lastly, there's a 25% chance the score increases +2, 25% chance it decreases by -2, and 50% chance it stays unchanged.
The final score is then the child's Prowess education level.
Each character in the game has a hidden "weight" value which ranges from -100 to 100. If your weight is -50 or below, you gain the Malnourished modifier, and the "Gain Weight" decision becomes available to you. If your weight is 50 or above, you gain the Obese modifier, and the "Lose Weight" decision becomes available to you. Being obese or malnourished gives −1 Health.
In addition to a character's current weight, each character also has a hidden "target weight" value, based mostly on traits, which is the weight they are drifting toward. Every year, your real weight will drift closer to your target weight. When you feast, your target weight increases by 7, and when you hunt, your target weight decreases by 4. Afterward, your weight will eventually drift back toward your target weight. The "Lose Weight" decision decreases your target weight, and the "Gain Weight" decision adds to your target weight. Ending those decisions brings your target weight back to what it was before.
Switching to a Martial lifestyle will move your target weight closer to 0 (so that if you are underweight, your target weight will increase somewhat, and if you are overweight, your target weight will decrease somewhat). Being a Novice Hunter, Hunter, or Master Hunter, will also move your target weight closer to 0 by successive amounts.
The following traits and events also affect a character's target weight:
|Effect on target weight||Traits / Events|
|Large increase||Gluttonous, Lazy, Comfort Eater, "Gain weight" decision|
|Moderate increase||Drunkard, Hashishiyah, Gregarious, Greedy, Calm, Trusting, Legendary Reveler|
|Slight increase||Patient, Arrogant, Ambitious, Eager Reveler, Famous Reveler|
|Slight decrease||Shy, Humble, Zealous, Craven, Temperate|
|Moderate decrease||Imprisoned, Diligent, Wrathful, Leper, Impatient, Content, Fickle, Vengeful, Generous|
|Large decrease||Consumption, Cancer, Great pox, Paranoid, Inappetetic, in dungeon, "Lose weight" decision|
NEWBORN_HEALTH_BASE = 4.5,
NEWBORN_HEALTH_SPAN = 0.5,
NEWBORN_HEALTH_FEMALE_BONUS = 0.5.
- Reddit user u/Adhesiveduck https://www.reddit.com/r/CrusaderKings/comments/iu2sed/the_education_system_explained_how_to_choose_a/
- Reddit user u/Stefan_Askanien https://www.reddit.com/r/CrusaderKings/comments/iutm4z/how_weight_is_calculated_and_how_to_fight_obesity/