How can I ensure that my children are receiving an education befitting their noble birth? I've ended up trying a number of different things, from educating them myself, (which is only allowed sometimes, apparently) to giving them to a learned scholar, to giving them to someone with balanced, moderately high stats.

I haven't noticed much of a difference, except that when self-educated I get to choose certain traits, but that might be the low sample size inherent in having only a generation or two of gameplay.

Is there some sort of formula that can help me determine the appropriate guardians for my spawn?


3 Answers 3


Educating the child yourself gives you the power to choose between certain traits and chances to get some traits, so it's often the best in the case of your heir.

Most importantly the child has highly increased chances to get the education trait that the guardian has, and in the case of NPC guardians, the personality traits as well. If you want your child to have high intrigue, you should search for an Elusive Shadow to educate them. Or if you want your child to have high stewardship, find someone with Midas Touched.

Also remember to pay attention to the guardian's culture and religion or your child might become a supporter of the wrong religion.

The wiki summarizes these to the following four points:

  • Avoid guardians of other religions/cultures, unless you actually want to switch religion/culture.
  • Look for guardians with balanced attributes: it will increase the overall chances of gaining attributes each year.
  • Look for guardians with Tier 4 or Tier 3 education traits: with such tutor, the child has 70% of getting a Tier 4 or Tier 3 education in the same attribute.
  • Educate heir yourself: gives some relatively good control over the choice of personality traits awarded via events. It's possible to assign another tutor for the last year or so, if you hope for another education trait than yours.

3ventic and Jupotter already made good answers, so I will just try to elaborate on some things not already mentioned.

  • A guardian will try to give the child the same traits they themselves possess, and discourage traits that oppose their own. For example, a kind guardian is unlikely to pass the cruel trait to a child. Use this to minimize bad traits in your realm.
  • Greagarious mentors are more likely to influence the child. This includes culture, so use this if the child has the wrong culture. Shy has the opposite effect.
  • A guardian with good base stats is generally a better teacher. As a bonus, they often also have good personal traits and a good education trait.
  • You generally want courtiers/vassals with varied skills (for appointed members of court, future guardians, generals). Look at the childs base stats. If he has a good starting score in Stewardship, maybe try to assign him to a mentor with a level 3 or 4 in this. Remember, that one day he himself might become a good guardian, so a good education is vital.

Educating your heir
Most of the time, you want to educate your heir, so you can pick some good traits. However, if you've got a rubbish education and garbage stats, you might instead opt for a better suited mentor. Look for people who have a good education, good stats and good traits. Some traits give an opinion bonus to all future vassals. They generally like people who are dilligent, kind, just, brave etc., so look for mentors with those skills, and avoid people with negative opinion traits (e.g. cruel, slothful).

Educating your non-heir offspring
People see it as an honour to be allowed to mentor people in direct line to the throne. If you let a vassal mentor your child, they will get a +20 opinion modifier to you. If you have a surplus of children, this is one way to boost peoples opinion of you. Generally I like to educate my sons, in case accidents happen to my immediate heir (they seem to be slightly prone to this for some weird reason!), but it's up to you. Some players even deliberately give children with strong claims rubbish educations, so they end up being a weaker threat to your favourite heir.

Educating your future vassals
If you want to succeed in CK, you need vassals that don't plot and rebel against you. The great thing about mentoring, is that the child gets a whooping +25 opinion bonus to their guardian. If you're a king, it would be smart to educate the heirs of your most powerful duke yourself – it's not always possible, but it's easy brownie points. In that case, you don't always want to choose the "best" traits, but the traits that most suit your own.

For example, if you have the arbitrary trait, you don't want to teach him to be just, because that will give him a -10 opinion to you.

Also, try to avoid giving your vassals dope stats in intrigue, as that just makes them more capable of plotting against you. Your spymaster shouldn't have any titles or claims that matter in your grand scheme.

IMPORTANT: You never want a direct vassal to be ambitious, because although it gives the character some kickass stats, it may also give them a -50 opinion to their liege (that's you!), if they have some kind of claim (de jure or otherwise) to your titles, plus they are more likely to plot against you. Try to match them with a content mentor instead (+50 opinion to liege). Ideally, the only ambitious character in your realm are you and your heir apparent. Everybody else should be super content and chill with you being the boss. I simply don't let ambitious people mentor anyone, and never if the child has any kind of claim.

  • Ambitious opinion penalty only comes into play if they want something from you (e.g. a claim - du jure as well as normal). For example, if you only have one kingdom, its perfectly fine to have ambitious vassals who don't have a claim on your titles. Contrarily, if you had more than one kingdom, then ambitious vassals in your non-primary kingdoms would have the ambitious penalty due to "desires the kingdom of X".
    – Affine
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 16:06
  • 1
    That is incorrect. Ambitious characters always have a -50 opinion penalty. A vassal doesn't need to be ambitious for the "desires title X" penalty to kick in. They don't even need an actual claim.
    – Nix
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 20:06
  • That's exactly what I'm disputing. Ambitious only have a -50 if they want something from you - whether that's a du jure claim, actual claim, or a "desires title X" (which as you note, everyone gets).
    – Affine
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 23:10
  • For example, you can boot up Matilda in the 1066 start date, look at "your" opinion (or at least the computer's calculation of it) of the Kaiser. Then when you give yourself ambitious with give_trait ambitious, note that the opinion doesn't change. Then if you give the Kaiser the kingdoms of Germany and Italy with give_title k_germany 1316 and give_title k_italy 1316, only then does the ambitious penalty show.
    – Affine
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 23:14
  • Though this is a bit nitpicky (you don't want ambitious vassals regardless), I want to make sure the answer is fully correct.
    – Affine
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 23:16

The best way to ensure that your children will receive a good education is to educate them yourself. For each time you receive an education event, if they are under an NPC guardian, they will take a random choice in those given, which often have 50% chance to give the child a bad trait.

But there are limits to education. First, only children between 6-16 can be educated. Also, an adult can only have up to two wards at a time. Finally, their parents may not want you to take the child if he lives in a foreign court (for example, your wife is also a ruler).

Another things to look at are education trait. Each character can have only one, there is one for each stat and they have 4 level. For example, Indulgent wastrel (stewardhip 1) or grey eminence (diplomacy 4) are education trait. They are determined by the guardian of the child when he turns 16, and can not go higher than their's. It is a good tactic to change a child's guardian a few weeks before his 16 birthday to one with a trait you want and high stats.

  • 1) Educating yourself doesn't ensure a good education, it only gives you a choice of traits. 2) I don't think the choice the NPC guardian makes are totally random. They will choose traits they have themselves, and not choose traits that are opposite their own. Otherwise good answer!
    – Nix
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 14:27

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