Every so often I becomes suspicious that my wife (or one of my lovers) is cheating on me and I have the option to investigate.

However I don't see any reason why I would want to know if they are cheating on me.

If my wife is fertile it pretty much means that I want kids (if I didn't I would have married someone infertile in the first place). And since my wife has not given birth yet when the event occurs I can't even know if the kid has good traits or not.

It seems that the best option is always to put my fingers in my ears and pretend the kid is mine so that I can expand my dynasty or possibly get a good heir.

Is there any reason I could have to want investigate my wife for infidelity?

3 Answers 3


For single player games there is only one reason to do so.

Bastards who are identified as such are born with the Bastard trait, making them unable to inherit from either parent, and preventing them from passing on either parent's dynasty. (see Bastard).

So, it is a way to control your inheritance. Having many sons in an agnatic-gavelkind realm is bad, but finding out that one is a bastard, you can easily kick him from sucession.

For multiplayer games, there is a second possibility to utilize this. If your bastard-sons real father/mother is your liege, the liege has the possibility to legatimize the child for little cost (20 piety). This would change the childs dynasty from the vassal ones (yours) to the dynasty of your liege, effectively bearing a great danger to your sucession.

  • 1
    Too many sons can also cause trouble in non-gravelkind realms. All the kids end up with claims on your titles (the top 2 strong claims, the other weak claims), unlanded sons give a prestige penalty and those on the runner-up places in the line of inheritance often try to murder their eldest brother.
    – Philipp
    Sep 30, 2019 at 15:32

Yes, genetics.

If your ruler has some great traits like the genius trait, there is a chance it will be passed on to your children at a 15% chance.

If your wife is sleeping with a random character the chance that she is sleeping with someone else with positive traits is significantly smaller, and the chance the offspring is born with the genius trait is much lower (0.5%). Even worse, her lover could have negative traits which the child could inherit.

In addition, if your wife is sleeping with one of her family members the chance of getting a negative trait like inbred or lunatic becomes bigger.

Of course if your ruler is an ugly imbecile with a stutter having your wife cheat on you could be a good thing as there's a chance she'll collect some good DNA to insert into your line of succession.

Check here for more details on how breeding works.

  • In my experience it tends to be my wife that has the good genetic traits (since it is easier to pick a wife than an heir and I have other concerns with heirs). Does my wife sleeping with other people decrease the amount she sleeps with me? And does exposing my wife do anything to increase the number of children I have with her? Sep 30, 2019 at 18:37
  • No, the unfaithful wife does not have an effect on fertility, unless her lover has traits that increase/decrease fertility relatively to yours.
    – Xenox
    Sep 30, 2019 at 20:05
  • @Xenox It kinda does effect fertility, in that any time she's pregnant with someone else's kid, she can't get pregnant with yours.
    – Ryan_L
    Oct 1, 2019 at 2:14
  • If you don't know the father of a child, you could also marry it to its close relative unbeknownst to you, and end up with inbred heirs that way. Oct 19, 2019 at 23:59

Some diseases, especially the Great Pox, are more likely to be spread between lovers. So if her lover has it, she will likely get it soon as well, and then so will you. The Great Pox is also often passed down to any new children.

Also, she will have a +100 opinion bonus with her lover. If he plots to kill you, or any children you have from a previous wife, she will likely join the plot. And wives often have very high plot power.

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