A Count is a character who controls at least one County. It is the second title rank available and the lowest rank that is playable. On the map, the territory of a County will contain multiple Baronies and cannot be altered. Each County belongs to a De Jure Duchy, which can also not change. Each County also has a Culture and Faith.
County Culture and Faith
Each County has a Culture and Faith, which represents the religion and culture of its general populace. Characters who hold Counties of other Cultures and Faiths will likely have to deal with popular revolts, as the peasants don't take kindly to being ruled by a foreigner or heretic/heathen. A County's Culture and Faith can be converted to your own by assigning the relevant Councilor Task. Note that the conversion has to be completed in one sitting; progress will be lost if the councilor assigned to the conversion task is reassigned to another task or County.
Control represents the power a landed Count has over their County and ranges from 0 to 100. It is decreased during sieges and when Baronies are forcefully seized. Control increases at a rate of 0.1 per month and can be increased faster with the Marshal Task Increase Control in County. Every point of Control below 100 reduces a County's Taxes by -1% and Levies by -0.5%. Thus, monitoring the realm's Control is one way of ensuring a good supply of Taxes and Levies. In addition, keeping high Control in the player character's own Domain counties should be a priority, before increasing the Control of vassal counties.
Counties with 100 Control provide +10% additional Levies and Taxes if the title holder has the Absolute Control perk.
Development is the measurement of technological advancement and general infrastructure in a county and ranges from 0 to 100. In short, higher development provinces are desirable as they increase taxes and levies, contribute to faster innovation growth, and allow larger armies to move through the area without using their supplies.
Each point of development increases a county's supply limit by +150. If the county is ruled by a feudal or clan ruler, each point of development also provides +0.5% taxes and levies; counties under tribal government are not affected by development, except for supply limit calculations.
Development radiates outwards from high-development counties to all other counties connected by land route at 0.1 per difference in development level between these two counties. Development growth can be increased via a steward's Increase Development task or specific buildings, but it is still a fairly slow process.
Based on its culture, each county will have a development cap after which growth from Increase Development task will slow down. The cap starts at 10 development, but each era has an innovation that will raise it. The average development of counties following a culture will affect that culture's adoption rate of innovations by 0.02 per average level.
Popular Opinion represents the sentiment of the populace towards the County's Ruler. It is decreased by -10 when the Ruler belongs to a different Culture Group and by a varying amount if the Ruler adheres to a different Faith, encouraging the use of Vassals of the local Culture Group and Faith (or conversions). If Popular Opinion is negative, Populist or Peasant Factions can form in the County. Offensive wars also give gradual malus.
Corruption includes various negative modifiers that can appear for 10 years in a County if Control falls below 35% or the title holder is in Debt for more than 3 months. They can also be added for 5 years by the Collect Taxes councilor action if the Steward has low skill (Stewardship). A county can have up to 3 Corruption modifiers at the same time. Corruption modifiers can be removed by the Marshal task "Increase Control"; one Corruption modifier can be removed by this task immediately if Control is at 100, at the cost of -25 Control.