I've been playing for a few days, but still I'm not sure who should I give or not give land titles. Should I give it all to my heir so when I die he gets everything? Or should I spread it to people in my family? or maybe to people not in my family? (I've noticed some vassals in my family (with the little blood drop) have like a -50 relationship penalty with me for wanting a duchy or something like that.

In that order, should I give even more titles to vassals that don't like me trying to appease them or is it just worsening the situation (like, will they start hating me again after a while, but now with a bigger army to fight me if they rebel)?

Great game, but so confusing.

4 Answers 4


There is no one-best-recipe.

Your vassals should never have too many titles - in this case they will have power to singlehandedly overthrow you and usurp your title or make you to lower crown authority or taxes or levy size. And be sure - there will be time when they want it.

Also don't give titles to someone who hates you - in this case make them your vassal's vassal - this is a suitable solution for unlanded sons or brothers. It also makes them harder to raise war for your crown, because they should firstly became duchies, and this involves war with their liege, whom they may hate no so strongly.

Give titles to ppl who have Content trait (+50 relations), to someone with same sins and virtues as you, also try to make your king as good as your can - virtuous, kind, just, prestigious, pious.

Look for vassals' background - don't give land title to priests and mayors - they will have "Wrong government type" penalty.

Respect - is everything. You can fight with rebel vasslas, but not with all of them at the same time.

Hope they will be helpful!

  • thanks, good tips. I still have some doubts about this. Should I give titles to my family members like uncles, brothers and half-brothers? For example, in my current game I have an uncle that loved me, so I gave him a county with its contents. Everything was fine, but guess after a while he stopped loving me, eventually he was plotting to murder me (or was it my heiress?) so had to imprison him. But then if I only give things to non-family, doesn't my dynasty suffer?
    – Rodolfo
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 15:01
  • 1
    I treat these relatives like everyone else - sometime give them land, sometime not. It greatly depends on theis personal traits and relations. Your dynasty isn't the most important. The one thing that matters - your personal line of heritage. Take care of the main heir, don't give any real power to it's closest competitors for his title.
    – Alien-47
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 9:04
  • yes, I thought so too, until my last king had only 2 daughters and they died before they could have any kids, so I had to change hereditary rules to elect my brother, or it would have been 'game over'. Funny thing is, when my king was 54 or so, I was still hoping he could have kids if the queen died, but then he got an event that said he felt 'weird sensations' in the last tournament... he turned homosexual :)
    – Rodolfo
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 14:44
  • Homos still can have children) You gain a very little penalty to fertility. But fertility also decreaces with age.
    – Alien-47
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 15:25

I generally give land to members of my dynasty. The more landed members in your dynasty and the higher their prestige the bigger the prestige bonus when you start a new king and the lower the probability that you'll lose(or that titles will pass out of your dynasty.
Generally my recipe is this:

  1. Make sure all male members of dynasty have wives with high fertility. Alliances and titles are less important IMO than additional sons in the dynasty.
  2. Make sure all female members of the dynasty are in matrilineal marriages. For members that aren't in your court recruit a courtier and then bribe your dynasty member to marry him.
  3. Split the land you get evenly between male dynasty members and female members in matrilineal marriages. Even though they might not like you as much because they have indirect claims, they generally won't dislike you at the same time.
  4. For vassals that are not dynasty members, induce them to rebel(levy their troops or make them court jester), or discover their plots with your spymaster. Then you can imprison them without penalty to other vassals. After they're in prison you can seize a title without penalty(Because they're a traitor), then give it to a dynasty member.

Other than that, try to make sure that your king's wife and you have high statesmanship so that you can manage a larger demense. And once you've got some decent troops you can seize a lot of land in holy wars without all the issues seizing claims etc. This is great land for buying off dynasty members that are threatening. Because of the debuff the land takes for a different religion conquer, your member won't be able to levy any troops on the land for 30 years. I once had a rebellion where the vassal could levy no troops at all.

Also ,I've found that you can win holy wars against some of those enemies with large coastlines even if you have fewer troops if you're tricky using ships. Basically, drop your troops in one end of their territory spread them out to the minimum needed to siege as many territories as possible. Hopefully you can win a couple sieges before the enemy 10k army makes it over your way. (You can place a couple ships further down the coast as scouts, or even use a council member.) Once the huge army makes it close, retreat to your ships. Don't fight it! Then use your ships to transport your army to other end of their coastline and start sieging over there. Rather than liberating the territories that you've already won, the enemy tends to walk all the way to where you started your new sieges. Since you used ships you can get there many months before them.

This is even easier if they're in another war, because their massed armies will tend to get distracted by the other enemy, giving you more time for conquering territory.


Do not give duchies to your relatives! This just sets you up for a nasty succession crisis.

You want to give one or two duchies to your successor so that they can start building up prestige. If you are going to do this when they are a child then make sure you betroth them first.

Give your other duchies always to unlanded courtiers from a "nobody" family. Try to pick courtiers with positive traits. Do not pick people that hate you although keep in mind that giving away a duchy will give you an opinion boost. Do not give land to anyone with the ambitious trait.

A rebellion here or there is fine. You can raise levies from your other dukes to crush them.

The more prestige you have, the more your vassals will like you. War is your friend! You get more prestige from fighting in wars that you did not start, so do honor those alliances as much as you can.

  • 1
    I also usually give my heir some landed titles as soon as I'm done educating him and marrying him off. The only drawback is, that in the event he dies, you now have a "uncontrolled land" not belonging to you or your heir. As for giving out excess titles to nobodies, I disagree. I find it's a good idea to keep the power in your dynasty. First of all, as Patrick mentioned, your dynasty as a whole will rack up prestige when they are landed, which will benefit you. Secondly, you will get a "same dynasty" opinion bonus if your vassal is of your blood (+5 I think).
    – Nix
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 17:13
  • Keep in mind, there is such a thing as family members without claims. ;)
    – Nix
    Commented Nov 17, 2012 at 17:15
  • 1
    I tend to give out land to every dynasty member except my heir. An heir with his own land is free to hunt, fight, murder and marry as they like. The AI will do stupid things like get maimed, start sleeping around and making enemies of all your other vassals or marry off their kids to dumb people. Also, it's easier for your spymaster to discover plots in your own court, which is an extra protection for your offspring.
    – Dacio
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 20:43

There's a few things missing from the existing answers:

  • If you're using elective monarchy for succession, try to give all duchies and kingdom titles to dynasty members. There are very few succession crises in elective, dynasty members have an automatic positive opinion modifier. Moreover, keeping all the duchies in the family makes it so that the pool of people eligible for being nominated for heir is dominated by people from your dynasty, which virtually eliminates the risk that someone outside of your dynasty will be elected as your heir (though that's a pretty small risk; your nominee almost always wins).

  • Opinions differ on this but for kingdom titles, if you're an emperor, the most common answer is to try to not give them out at all. Kings make terrible vassals. Either hold on to kingdoms or destroy the titles.

  • Whenever giving out titles to dynasty members, try to find landless individuals that already have male children.

  • This has already been said, but it bears repetition: never ever give out titles to characters with the ambitious trait. Moreover, don't give titles to people whose heir is ambitious either. Ambitious vassals are nothing but trouble.

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