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If you have free investiture, you get to elect your own bishops, which is pretty neat. But do their stats really matter?

Usually, I simply go through the list and pick people who have a high opinion of me, and are thus likely to pay tax to me rather than the guy with the funny hat. I also make sure they don't have dope stats that could otherwise benefit my court. But other than that, do their skills really matter?

For example:

  • If they have high stewardship, will they be able to collect more taxes for me?
  • If they have high martial skills, will I be able to draw a larger levy? I guess a decent score here will at least make them better commanders.
  • Is it true that only bishops can be elected court chaplains? In that case, a high learning stat wouldn't be amiss.

I've also noticed that appointing unlanded (non-heir) sons bishops is a neat way to stop them complaining about not having a title.

Also, I've noticed that some times all my appointed bishop heirs are unset, so I have to appoint them all over. Is this a bug, or is there a logical reason for this? I haven't noticed too many bishops dying, and the ruler and the pope are not unchanged.

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2 Answers 2

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As far as I'm aware, the tax income and levy size you get from any vassal are based on their holdings, and modified by your realm's taxation/levy laws and the vassal's opinion of you (for taxes at least - I'm unsure whether opinion influences levy size). Catholic Bishops have the added complication of paying their tax to either you or the Pope, depending on who they have the higher opinion of. I don't think a vassal's statistics influence any of these things.

Pretty sure any male of your court can be appointed to the role of Court Chaplain - on appointment the character's portrait will change to show them wearing religious garb.

You're right that making unlanded son's Bishops counts as giving them land. Be careful with this though, as once made a Bishop your son is not eligible to inherit other titles from you in the usual way. If your main heir has an "unfortunate accident" you may find yourself suddenly lacking an eligible a successor!

For realms smaller than Kingdom, any lord can appoint a successor for any Bishop that is his direct vassal. If no appointment is made, the new Bishop is appointed internally by the Church (or Pope). Larger Catholic realms must opt for one of either Free or Papal Investiture - Free operates as before but angers the Pope, while Papal gives the Pope sole control of Bishop appointments in your Kingdom and grants you the Pope's favour (useful when seeking to excommunicate rivals, divorce wives and so on).

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So what you are saying is that – apart from the cases I mention in my question – the stats don't really matter. Gotcha. As it's always neat to have people with decent stats in my own court, I'm going to start making every loving imbecile a bishop. ;) –  Nix Nov 22 '12 at 15:51

Actually, the stewardship level of a bishop modifies their demense income, which is what you collect taxes on, so yes, stats matter, specifically stewardship.

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That would make sense, but I am unsure if it is the case. Often, I see a dozen churches giving me the exact same tax, regardless of the bishops stewardship. I think it only affects how much they manage to keep for themselves – but I am not sure. –  Nix Aug 14 at 10:42
If you look at a bishopric holding, then down at Demense in the holder income section, if you hover over Demense it says +X%: Stewardship. I have a bishop with 12 stewardship that gets +37% tax income. I also noticed something odd, it seems to be based on "state stewardship" for the bishopric, and this bishop has +12 from "counselors". But there's nobody in their court - bishops are their own councelors, effectively doubling their stats! –  Keith Aug 15 at 2:39

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