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I have thousands of Prestige and no idea what to do with it. I have read that you can spend it on actions, but I can't figure out which actions those are or where I find them.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The main purpose of Prestige is to add to your Dynasty Score: this shows how powerful and successful your dynasty is. If your final Dynasty Score is higher than your buddy's Dynasty Score, you're a better ruler than him. You are usually going to get a lot more Prestige than you can spend over the course of a ruler's life.

That said, there are a few things you can spend Prestige on, though none of them are particularly expensive, unless you're a new ruler of a young dynasty or otherwise poor in prestige:

  1. Creating an Antipope costs 500 prestige.
  2. Marrying one of your kids to someone of lower rank than your kid reduces your kid's prestige; it costs -100 prestige per difference in rank. Marrying a commoner with awesome skills can be worth it, but those skills had better be good!
  3. Fabricating a claim costs around 150 prestige, in addition to the gold required to bribe the locals to "remember" some facts about your claim.
  4. A White Peace (if you're the aggressor) or surrendering a war will cost you some prestige, but you don't need to have prestige in those cases.

Though it's not an action, remember that you get an opinion bonus of +1 per 100 prestige, that applies to everyone. It caps at +20, but it's still quite useful!

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The Holy Roman Emperor takes a -200 prestige hit for marrying a daughter to a duke or below. (I am currently playing Holy Roman Emperor and have six daughters!) – Steven Burnap Feb 27 '13 at 21:29
I stand corrected! From the forums, it looks like patch 1.09 increased the marriage prestige bonus/penalty by a factor of five, so marrying up is very hard (the AI doesn't like losing prestige!), and marrying down is more expensive. – Paul Marshall Feb 28 '13 at 7:07

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