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I really enjoy the diplomacy, marriage, and plot options in Crusader Kings 2. I'm after options and ideas on ways to expand my realm in this game without war. Examples from games you've played would be awesome if you have them. I find it more fun to scheme sometimes as war can be a bit straight forward (it also wrecks havock in my levies for some time - somehow I always get called to war right after a personal war of expansion).

Oh, it wouldbe helpful to list which DLC you need if applicable.

  • You'd probably be interested in the Advanced Marriage Guide which covers many ways you can be a dynasty diplomat. – Dacio Jun 17 '15 at 18:47
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One strategy is to find an unlanded noble who is in line to inherit a title outside your realm, invite them to court, and then grant them a title within your realm that is of equal or higher rank than the one they're set to inherit (i.e. if he's inheriting a county you can't just give him a barony). If the other realm has crown laws set to medium or lower, then the title will fall into your kingdom when they inherit.

  • Does it depend on how high my crown laws are? – Edward Sep 27 '14 at 2:59
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    It does not depend on your crown authority, only theirs. Also, the rank of title given is not relevant. If your vassal inherits a title from outside your kingdom it can cause the vassal to become independent if the inherited title is equal in rank to that of your own. Inheritance cannot lose you a vassal otherwise. – CrusaderJ Nov 20 '14 at 19:39
  • @CrusaderJ equal or higher? Your comment seems to disagree with this answer on this aspect. – o0'. Dec 14 '14 at 21:03
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    If one of your vassals inherits a title that is equal to or higher than your own, they will become independent, because you can't have a vassal whose rank equals your own. If one of your vassals inherits a title of a lower rank than your own, those added titles are added to your realm. Say you are a King and your vassal is a Baron and he inherits a Duchy from another land. He will remain your vassal, become a Duke and the inherited Duchy becomes a part of the Kingdom. Vassals cannot change loyalty as a result of inheritance, except if the inheritance makes them independent. – CrusaderJ Dec 14 '14 at 23:08
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    If you claim it for them through war, and they're already your vassal, they'll stay as your vassal as long as the new title is of lower rank than your own. You can totally absorb kingdoms as an emperor this way. – ivanatpr Dec 25 '14 at 0:05

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