Crusader Kings 2 enablers thread - come and convince us to tackle this behemoth


You don’t want to avoid getting out of gavelkind. If you son is really useless, there are ways to get rid of him. I haven’t played vanilla in years, but I think you can make him a bishop, or make him a general - decent change of dying if he has low military - or you could well walk on the dark side an arrange an ‘accident.’) Better yet, get rid of your vassal so you can control your entire realm (since at this point it’s small) and nominate whoever you want. That said, the rule of thumb in CK2 is the better the heir the more likely they are to die ;)

Vassal opinion does matter a great deal in who they support. If they have positive relations they will usually back your nominee (a little more difficult if your nominee is female however.)

Factions only really matter if the strength of their armies is equal to or greater than yours. Since it’s early you won’t have the funds for mercenaries yet, but even if you can afford mercs for only a few months that’s usually enough to defeat the rebels in open combat. Just be sure you have enough forces to siege down his home province (shouldn’t take that much since no improvements to garrisons yet.)


The immediate goal as a duke would be to earn a second duchy.

One Dukedom I’ve enjoyed playing is Duke of Toulouse in Charlemange start. There are immediate claims you can press to complete the Duchy of Toulouse and then expand from there. You are on the front line for the Umyyad jihad into Europe that makes the game challenging (yes, the AI can and will struggle against the Umayyads). The goal of becoming King of Acquitaine is achievable, and from there, an opportunity arises to form up the French Empire. Or build a power base to the south and holy war against the Umayyads if the opportunity arises. Better yet, the game can swing multiple ways depending on what happens with the Karlings in West and Middle Francia. It is a hot area, but not quite as difficult as I experienced playing Asturias which was an uphill slog that was ultimately satisfying. By that point though, I had a good understanding of how CK2 worked.


Elected monarchy is ok. If both your vassals vote for themselves, and you vote for your son, then your vote always wins. The problem is if you annoy your vassals so much that they despise you and then they vote for the same person.

The chancellor improving relations is one option to convince a vassal to think like you. If you intrigue is high, spy on them or wrangle some way to implicate them in a crime against the state and keep them in prison.

I don’t mind Elective, it is better than Gavelkind. Practically anything is better than Gavelkind. Especially because you can vote for which of your heirs you get to control and give the lions share of land to when death comes knocking.

If you set your marshall to train troops, then your military size will increase that can buy a small buffer and dissuade the counts from making demands in the faction.


The single most important thing for me to be able to engage with Crusader Kings was that it’s perfectly OK to let things go. It’s fine to not understand how battles work. It’s fine to only pay attention to a handful of characters. It’s fine to not know what’s happening a couple of countries away. Just poke at it, make a few interesting decisions, respond to the alerts. Watch a video or something when you are particularly interested in how something works.


Yep, that’s my advice for EU4 as well. In games as deep as this, no amount of YouTube tutorials are going to prevent you from not understanding various things in the game, and that’s perfectly okay. Especially in a RPG sort of environment like CK2, that can be part of the fun. History is full of inept and clueless nobility – just like you!

I honestly have found these games are easier to learn by just playing and using the prompts/tooltips. If you get stuck or are utterly baffled by something, hit pause and look up a video on that particular subject.


I really like county level starts, even for learning the game, but I’m pretty choosy. A count under a strong duke in a kingdom with powerful neighbors can be difficult and have only advanced-level paths to power. It can also be very slow going at the beginning.

Many Irish counties are good choices, however. They are independent, the kingdom is unformed, and your neighbors are relatively weak. That makes for a much more engaging and direct type of start, and works really well for learning the game too. Other counties that fit that type of a mold can be great fun for learning the game.


Fair enough. I was about to post that starting as a 2-county count is probably a good way to get things going from a low level, but iirc there are very few of them. It really has to do with the strength of your duke and your neighbors. Because I think you’re really only going to win by hiring mercs before your target, and it can be slow to get that much money from one county.

And especially if you’re new, I wouldn’t recommend trying to look for a good one-county count because you won’t really know what you’re looking for and the map is so damn big.

Disclaimer: I’ve been out of the CK2 game for years; last DLC for me was Old God’s, I think.


Honestly one of my most fun was starting in Navarre. Nice duchy, lots of room for expansion, a king who will be very motivated to assist in you expanding east into Barcelona and Valencia, it’s a good place to be.


For anyone inspired by this thread to jump back in or try CK2 for the first time, there’s a big sale at the paradox site. Most DLC except for the most recent is 75% off.


Do you get steam keys when buying the dlc’s from the Paradox store?


Yes, unless something changed very recently.


Can confirm. Bought two expansions and received steam keys for both.


Enablers, is there any point to arranging marriages for your vassals, courtiers or brothers not in line to inherit titles? The last one makes sense in case your heir meets an untimely end. Does marrying your brothers to women with weak claims give your dynasty a shot at pressing those claims?



Well… it all depends doesn’t it.

So here’s the things with subordinates, you can press their claims too. Some courtier has a claim to a province on the Breton coast? You can press it on their behalf. If you play your cards right, it’s a way to expand your realm. If you are a Duke, for example, and a count below you had a county claim? Well pressing that can certainly help you.

Just be aware that if you make them too strong, then they may break free. Also that a courtier may not have a claim that puts them under you. If your the duke of Naples, and you press a courtier claim in the duke of Tuscany, well, they go away.

It may still be worth it though! It may allow you to create a friendly ally, after all they owe their position to you. It may simply be an excuse to depose or weaken a rival. I mean consider the time period, we have records of Byzantine emperors being installed by the neighboring Islamic empire. And visa versa. No territory changing hands, simply trying to change the leadership of an erstwhile rival.


If they’re in your realm, you can arrange a matrimonial marriage into your family to either pass an inheritable claim and war then, or dow immediately and hope their familial offspring is a little on your side (if they’re close and 2 ranks lower, you can probably get them to accept vassalage). FYI, wars for claims of your family always join under you (I think? I’m out of practice) if they’re smaller, the others don’t.
For the most part, it’s not a big deal, but I enjoy spending too much time doing it. I suppose it always gives me a few opportunities, but if you don’t like it, don’t bother. Maybe do it when there’s a chance to inherit a big realm, but the AI isn’t keen on letting you if the claimant (current or potential) is on their realm.


One problem with marrying your courtiers is that they’re eager to leave. Even when you marry a girl matrilineally she might want to live with her new count husband.


Since I always find myself in the quest for breeding the kwisatz haderach (and having people with good stats on the council), I tend to spend a lot of time arranging marriages for anyone I can. Completely optional though. Just be sure they don’t end up doing something really stupid (for instance, I’ve seen vassals arrange matrilineal marriages with rival realms.)


In addition to eugenics (marrying people into the court/landless family), I also marry shit courtiers out to clear out my court. Family members always get an appropriate eugenics marriage if possible though if they aren’t needed for something more important (alliance or NAP).

Weak/strong and inheritable/non-inheritable are different conditions. You can have a strong non-inheritable and a inheritable weak. In other words, yes, as long as you pay attention (and you may need to manufacture the conditions for a weak claim to be usable, i.e. stabbing).


Haha. I love to do this too. If someone hates me on the court, I try to marry them to the worst possible spouse as far away as possible from my homeland. “You think you’re unhappy now? Ha! I’ll show you what real unhappiness is like!”

It seems to have gotten harder to do this in later versions of the game, but it’s oddly satisfying when you can pull it off.


I came across this Pagan LP by Enigmaticrose4 and after getting through the first episode of it I’d say it looks like a good starting point for people like me. It also has all DLCs enabled so I’m hoping it will cover options that are usually omitted from beginner guides.