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I am the ruler of three kingdoms. Some of my vassals have a -20 opinion penalty, because they "desire this and that kingdom". There is an option to destroy a King-level title, however it comes with a -50 opinion modifier for all de jure vassals.

Apparently, I can hold as many kingdoms as I like, and people will hate me for destroying excess kingdoms – so what exactly are the gains from doing so?

A rival king has only a few holdings left. If I take those last holdings, I assume his kingdom will be destroyed. Will that still give a opinion penalty for "not being de jure liege" or something?

  • Kingdoms aren't destroyed if you take the king's holdings; rather, you get the opportunity to usurp the king's title once you have enough counties in the kingdom. I don't think the kingdom title will be destroyed even if you decide not to usurp it; it'll just be a kingdom title with no vassals, i.e. powerless. – PotatoEngineer Nov 10 '13 at 3:34
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    Err, are you sure? I've seen Castille vanish after being eaten up by rival kingdoms/sultanates, and I had the option to recreate it later. Other kingdoms are gone too. Does the AI always usurp and destroy conquered kingdoms? – Nix Nov 10 '13 at 9:59
  • If you take all of the counties in a Kingdom, including vassals, the Kingdom will vanish. If you take all of the King's counties, but he still has count level vassals, he will automatically steal a county from a vassal and remain King. Ditto for empires and duchies (independent and vassalized). – Dacio Jan 7 '16 at 18:07
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The -50 for destroying a kingdom title only lasts for 10 years for the de jure vassals of the destroyed title (or until death of the vassal or liege). The -20 for desires kingdom is permanent for all de jure vassals of your non-primary kingdom titles you own. So a trade-off, in other words.

The other tradeoffs to take into account is that destroying will eventually lead to de jure drift into your primary kingdom, while keeping it results in higher prestige (destroying will cost you 400 immediately and the loss of the 0.8 per month you would have otherwise got for holding that title).

And yes, taking all the territory of a king (dukes and emperors too) with a war claim that is not targeting the kingdom title itself (eg/ kingdom only has one county left, and you declare a war for the county, not the kingdom) will destroy the kingdom title (of course you can recreate it).

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It makes it much easier to control your realm if you only have 1 kingdom or empire title. For one thing, the realm can't be split apart in the future except by an independence war. There are a number of ways your multiple kingdom titles could end up in multiple hands down the line. Unless you're dead set on having them all be agnatic-cognatic primogeniture, or some other simple succession law I highly reccomend destroying non-primary titles. I even destroy my own duchies, so that I only have one. The prestige bonus really isn't that big a deal.

Also, let's say you end up eventually getting a claim on Byzantium through marraige, and you decide to press it. Now no matter what succession law you have (unless elective but that obviously has a whole list of its own reasons why you want just a single top-level title) a potential multiple-heir situation because the Byzantine Empire title gives preference to the "born in the purple" trait for succession.

Say you have Ireland, Scotland, and Wales and you want to change Crown Laws, but you have a vassal who is duke of Dublin, Duke of Deheubarth, and also holds the Isle of Mann. In this case, he will get the bonus for "increased Crown authority" 3 times over (at least that how it used to be, I'm not sure if it's been patched because I learned very quickly after release that a lot of weird/buggy situations would be avoided by only having one kingdom/empire title).

Also this situation applies to changing succession laws. Let's say you didn't pay attention to that fact that your vassal had territory in all 3 dejure kingdoms. Let's say you are switching from gavelkind to primogeniture. You give out gifts to a few of your vassals so that none have them have a negative opinion of you, then you notice that for all 3 kingdoms the option is available so you change the succession law for Scotland successfully but then see that it's greyed out for Ireland and Wales. It turns out that changing the succession law in Scotland upset that vassal enough for him to have a negative opinion of you. So you can't change it for your other kingdoms.

Keep in mind that in you counties whose dejure kingdom titles don't exist, the defacto leige kingdom's crown laws apply (and duchies drift) so if in that example Scotland and Ireland have Papal Investiture, but Wales has Free investiture, you will be able to appoint bishops in Wales even if Scotland is your primary title. Also the Pope will still dislike you for free investiture in this situation.

It's so difficult to keep things uniform across all those titles, so it's much easier to just destroy the non-primary titles.

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    Welcome to Arqade! Great answer, and good point about having different laws. I once had that exact problem with the pope guy, because I had missed that one of my kingdoms had free investiture. – Nix Feb 12 '14 at 12:16
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Affine covered most of the notable reasons but there is another worth mentioning. If you are under gavelkind system and hold (for example) 2 king titles, if you destroy one your kingdom will remain united upon death and transfer to your heir. If you do not destroy one, your kingdom will be split in half and one kingdom will go to the younger son.

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    This also applies to elective, you have to win multiple elections. – SMeznaric Nov 12 '13 at 22:46
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    It's no longer possible to destroy titles that have gavelkind succession. You have to change the succession law first (to elective, as it's easiest) and then destroy the title. – mindcorrosive Nov 22 '13 at 9:22
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I feel like the best thing to do is have as many sons as you can and give them the best title in a kingdom. (i play AGOT mod and i have 2 sons now. i took over dorne and iron islands. my guy is prince of dorne my first son is heir to it and my second son owns pyke and its highlordship.) your sons never get mad at you and your vassals stop desiring it, i think.

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    This is fine until you die and suddenly those sons are your brothers, with claims on all your titles. – Studoku Feb 19 '15 at 23:50
  • Welcome to Arqade, and thanks for chipping in. I never give titles to people who have claims to my titles. They will have a claimant opinion bonus, and you'll see "Bobby Jr for Ireland"-factions popping up all day. Furthermore, in the original question I have three kingdoms, but no empire. If I give away kingdoms, they will become independent and leave my realm. Not cool. – Nix Feb 20 '15 at 10:06
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The biggest issue I encountered with having too many kingdoms is the sheer maintenance of it all. I was the King of England trying to be the emperor of Britannia.

I wanted all my titles to remain under me and my heir but often I'd need to change the succession law in each kingdom just to keep those titles. The reason this was a problem for me was that it is much more difficult to keep multiple groups of vassals happy enough to elect you, and sometimes my heir would not be eligible. This also meant that many of my loyal vassals could not participate in that kingdom election to help me out. This wouldn't be so bad if I was an emperor. But because I wasn't that meant that any vassal that managed to snag the title would instantly become free since we were the same rank. So I always destroyed kingdom titles.

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