In my current game so far I've put down a few civil wars (playing as England currently). At the conclusion of the war, the vassals involved are all imprisoned, and I'm left to figure out what to do with them.

I've recently taken to revoking a title, and then releasing them from prison. In the case of a former Duke who is now demoted to Count, I'll most likely transfer his vassalage to another vassal that has a high opinion of me for obvious reasons (and I hate the colour red and negative signs).

However there are some cases where a Duke has multiple Ducal titles for one reason or another, and obviously revoking one doesn't demote them as previously described; since, as far as I know, I cannot make a Duke the vassal of another Duke, I'm stuck looking at this scowling face all day, to say nothing of future plots and factions this now wholly pissed off duke may start. The only positive benefit is that I gain the opportunity to spread around the Ducal titles and prevent one person from hoarding them all.

From what I can tell, my options are slim if I want to avoid gaining negative opinions of my other vassals. For example, I cannot execute them without gaining everyone's eire, nor can I banish them for the same reason. Alternatively I can release them, but they may already have a significantly negative relationship with me that cannot be resolved by releasing. I suppose I can let them rot in prison for ages, and admittedly I haven't tried that solution yet so I'm uncertain whether there's any negative or positive benefits for that solution.

In short, after successfully crushing a major uprising, what is an effective way of dealing with the imprisoned vassals (or asked another way: is there an effective way of dealing with them that best helps prevent future uprisings and plots)?

  • Quick note, in case there's something obvious I simply haven't seen yet, I've only just begin playing this game, and while I'm familiar with other Paradox games such as EU4, I'm still learning all the details of CK2 Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 18:34
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    Clean them up, give them a makeover, teach them proper etiquette... oh, wait, not that kind of revolting. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:08
  • @TrentHawkins If only it were that easy for some of these revolting l'il bastards. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:10
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    I read this title in Hot Network Questions and for a moment thought it was from workplace.se
    – Nacht
    Commented Feb 27, 2015 at 10:44
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    "I cannot execute them without gaining everyone's eire" If you're playing as England, I'd think you would want to gain everyone's Eire. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eire) Commented May 9, 2017 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


You have two major options here, and one is much easier than the other:

  1. Take a title, release him, let him rebel, imprison him, rinse, repeat. Eventually, you've taken so many titles that he isn't a Super-Duke anymore, and when you finally take his last title, he won't even be a noble anymore. This may take a very long time; probably so long that your Duke dies of old age and you start dealing with his heir instead.
  2. Who said you have to release him? Just let him rot. He can't raise a rebellion if he's in your dungeons. If his problem with you is personal, not political, then stick him in the oubliette so he'll die sooner, and you can deal with his heir instead. (If his major penalties to opinion are things like "Ambitious" or "Greedy vs. Honest", then its' a personal problem and his heir will probably be different – though you should examine the heir to be certain. On the other hand, opinion penalties like "Too many duchies" and "Desires that shiny county you've got" will be inherited by his heir.)

As a side note, if you assign your Spymaster to seek out plots in an unhappy noble's capitol, you'll probably find a plot against you. Then you get the option to arrest that noble, which might or might not work depending on your relative Intrigue skill. If it doesn't work, he'll rebel immediately, and then you can crush him like the bug he is and look at those above options.

  • Very interesting, cool! As it turns out I've been doing #1 in combination with your last paragraph to deal with the super-dukes, and I didn't mind it as it was somewhat fun (and funny) but you're right it can take ages sometimes. #2 is really interesting, I didn't know the "stick him in the oubliette" event comes up after letting them rot in prison for a bit - I obviously never kept them in there that long. Thank you for the advice, that's some good information, I'll give this a shot later. Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 18:55
  • Is the oubliette event still bugged to stick yourself in the oubliette rather than the instigator? Haven't played in a bit.
    – Affine
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:14
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    This post from 5 days ago is still complaining about it, so it looks like it isn't fixed yet. Solution: just leave them in regular gaol rather than putting them in the oubliette. And wait for the bugfix. forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/… Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 19:33
  • Other possibilities: 1. If you've got decent intrigue there's a chance you can assassinate the traitor while he is still imprisoned. As long as your plot is not revealed this will often handle the issue. 2. Execute him. If the rebellious noble in question is the only person with a significantly negative opinion you may be able to execute him without getting anyone else angry enough to do something about it.
    – CrusaderJ
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 20:32
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    Horse-Lords patch has fixed the oubliette; the 'poor treatment' event fires more frequently (once for me already within a few days of imprisonment). But even better, it's added a Diplomacy decision to put someone under house arrest or throw them in the oubliette without waiting for the decision! The only downside is that other vassals tend to ask for clemency more frequently now too, so keeping a full dungeon is likely to get you a negative opinion with some other vassals or courtiers.
    – Dacio
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 21:13

One other option I've discovered is that pressing a vassals claim is an overpowered opinion modifier. As a rule, if any vassal has a claim, you should always be on the lookout for opportunities to press it. But this is great for an unruly vassal especially, because the +opinion bonus you get can be 100-200. I've managed to placate an ambitious, envious, double-desires (county and kingdom) duke by pressing his claim.

In other cases of inviting a claimant to court, the opinion modifier from a successful claim-pressing-war is high enough that I can plot to revoke their gift holding, declare war when they refuse, defeat, imprison and revoke them and still have them love me. This leads to a clean invite-gift-revoke cycle without having to worry about your own chancellor or de-jure wars to expand your own demesne.

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