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 also cannot be changed. 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 a land route at 0.1 per difference in development level between these two counties. Development growth can be most significantly increased via the steward's Increase Development in County task in the council:
- +0.10 Monthly Development Growth Councilor Base + +0.175 Monthly Development Growth per Councilor Skill
However, when performing this task an existing development penalty decreasing monthly development growth from it is also applied. The maximum penalty is reached at 10 development, but each era has a civic innovation that will raise the development level at which it is reached: 20, 35, 55, and finally 90. The steward's culture must know these innovations for them to apply, your character's culture and the culture of the county are irrelevant (may not be working as intended as there is currently also a UI bug).
The penalty always applies if there is existing development (>0) and is calculated as follows:
- - [ ( +0.10 Monthly Development Growth Councilor Base + +0.175 Monthly Development Growth per Councilor Skill) * Development level/100 * 9.13 * Innovation development ]
The maximum penalty is 87.5% of the Increase Development in County bonus, so:
- - [ ( +0.10 Monthly Development Growth Councilor Base + +0.175 Monthly Development Growth per Councilor Skill) * 0.875
Innovation development applies only if your steward's culture knows the following civic innovations:
- Public Works = 0.5
- Communal Government = 0.2856
- Urbanization = 0.1818
- Renaissance Thought = 0.1111
Development can also be increased by +0.3 monthly in your realm capital through the centralization perk in the stewardship lifestyle or by certain special buildings, but it is still a fairly slow process. Development growth receives positive modifiers from economic buildings, civic innovations (one every era for +10% Development Growth), the 3rd erudition legacy (+20% Development Growth).Terrain can provide a positive or negative modifier, same as event modifiers such as corruption. Modifiers are applied additively after the penalty has been subtracted.
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.