I've fabricated a claim on a petty kindom, spending all my gold and a little bit more.

Now, I've quickly recovered and I'm no longer <0, but before attacking I'd like to have some spare gold, just in case I need to hire some extra thugs, so I'd wait till I have 450-500.

Problem is, I'm 51, and 10g/months means I'll have to wait ~4 years, and since this claim is not inherited unless pressed into war… what's my life expectancy?

If I instead declare war but just do not attack, it is reasonable to expect him to just sit there and do nothing?

Some facts:

  • I'm cathar, and the rest of Ireland isn't, but so far this hasn't been a problem as long as I've attacked counts without allies
  • he has a couple of allies in Wales, which might or might not join, and that's the main reason why I'd like to have some spare gold
  • he has a single county so if he doesn't manage to get some help, I'm pretty certain I'll just win

2 Answers 2


Maximum life expectancy is up around 80 I believe, but the odds are against you getting there. As you play the game, at certain intervals the game makes a random number and compares it to your health, with a modifier for age, along with any visible effects that alter health. If the random number is greater, you die (of poor health if young, a natural death if old, or whatever disease or injury you currently have). The odds are very good a character in his 50s will pass this check so long as he isn't maimed, weak or diseased. In your 60s the odds start to get a little worse, in your 70s the odds start to get fairly long. On the average, most healthy characters who don't spend much time leading troops die a "natural death" in their mid to late 60s. Assuming you're healthy I'd wait the 4 years and declare war then.

When you declare a war after going a few months without you capturing any holdings the game gives the defender a slow trickle of war score. This appears under the title of "Defender controls [Title]". If you declare a war and do nothing the war will eventually begin to swing in your enemies favor just by virtue of this trickle. Of course, if only want a year of income this bonus will disappear the instant you capture one of his holdings and have no long-term impact. The target may do nothing, then again he may rally his levies and send them to try and begin capturing your holdings, thus preventing you from raising your levies in the first place. Also, he may be use this time to call allies. With them in Wales, this would give him plenty of time for their troops to arrive.


  • As long as you are fighting by way of claim wars, the only risk being Cathar adds is that his potential allies see you as a heretic and thus like you less. If you start Holy Warring, you'll be in for a world of hurt.
  • Wales is enough distance from Ireland that his relation would need to be in fairly good shape to get their aid in war. But it is not unreasonable to think it could happen.
  • Follow-up: I've noticed I have a truce with him, so I would have had to wait anyway.
    – o0'.
    Dec 18, 2014 at 15:07
  • Don't forget stressed, depressed, possessed, lunatic and various specific diseases! If you're over 50 and get a negative health effect without a positive one (e.g. Strong, or certain +Martial traits) to counterbalance it, you will probably die soon. Every health effect will tell you what the bonus or penalty is when you hover over it, so you can gauge the severity. Pneumonic is the worst I see regularly, but several diseases can go epidemic. Be especially careful leading troops as an ill or old leader: safer to reign and let a general take the field.
    – Dacio
    Jun 17, 2015 at 18:32

It varies, and it's difficult to give an exact answer. A character which is fifty years or older is considered "old" and might drop dead any day, but generally you will see rulers living into their sixties or seventies, sometimes even into their eighties ... and very rarely into their nineties. But it depends on the health of the character, and there are several traits that affect this. Base health is 5.


Strong:            +2   health
Martial education: +0.5 health
Weak:              -1   health
Stressed:          -1   health
Wounded:           -1   health
Imprisoned:        -1   health

There are several illnesses that affect your health stat negatively – some of these can be cured, some are permanent.

A healthy character is less likely to become ill, and is also more likely to be cured when they do fall ill. They are also more likely to live longer lives.

Furthermore, there are some other factors, which determines the likelyhood of a character being killed in battle.


Leper:     2.0x more likely to be injured, killed or imprisoned in battle
Possessed: 1.5x more likely to be injured, killed or imprisoned in battle
Drunkard:  1.1x more likely to be injured, killed or imprisoned in battle
Craven:    0.5x less likely to be injured, killed or imprisoned in battle

See full list of traits, and their effecs on health and battle events.

With the new Way of Life DLC, there are also duels. Your character might be a good or bad duelist, depending on his "personal combat score". This is affected by several traits.

Finally, your character may become a target for assassination or imprisonment (if you are a vassal). The likelyhood of a successful assassination/imprisonment against you, depends on your state intrigue, or whether or not you are in hiding.

Long story short. For a long, healthy life, make sure you have good genetical traits to begin with (e.g. "Strong"), and educate him/her in the martial way, preferably with someone with good health traits. Never go on hunts, or lead battles, or fight duels. Make sure you have a good state intrigue, and be good friends with your spymaster and vassals.

  • 2
    Some players have noted that it seems wealthy or landed people live longer, and that some pagan cultures have shorter life span. I've never read anything definite on this, and I don't expect it to be true, so I've left it out, but if anyone know something, please share it.
    – Nix
    Dec 17, 2014 at 11:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .