I'm confused on how exactly is gavelkind succession supposed to work. All I've read (e.g. Crusader Kings 2 Succession Laws – Explained says that the highest titles I have will be split between my heirs. But that's not what I'm seeing.

Currently, I'm the king of Bohemia, Germany, Bavaria, Italy, Sicily, Norway and Lithuania and all of them are Agnatic-Cognatic Gavelkind. I'm also vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor and I have two sons (both are young and neither of them is a bishop). If I make Germany my primary title, the game warns me that I will lose one Duchy and one County (both de facto belong to the Kingdom of Germany) to my second son on succession. If I change my primary title to Italy, the warning goes away.

Because of this, it seems to me the explanations I've read are wrong: According to them, I (as the first son) should keep the primary title (say, King of Germany) and my second son should get at least some of my other kingdoms.

Did I misunderstand the articles I've read? Are they wrong? Or is my game bugged?

  • Do you suggest that it seems your game will give all titles to your eldest son if your primary title is Italy? That's not how I understand gavelkind either. (PS: Why on Earth would you keep such a vast realm under gavelkind? Just for the extra challenge?)
    – Nix
    Commented Aug 28, 2012 at 22:02
  • Because the extra 30 % of demesne size can be very useful and because changing the laws in such a big realm can be difficult, since the vassals seem to be fighting quite often.
    – svick
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 0:18
  • And yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying, all of the titles will go to the eldest son.
    – svick
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 0:19
  • 1
    Sadly I think each separate realm is handled independently. I would love that it was like in Spain where each child got it's own Kingdom. Here I think they look at Germany and give the oldest one the Kingdom, Half the duchies etc. Then they look at Italy and give the oldest one the kingdom, half the duchies etc.
    – Ingó Vals
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 12:17
  • @IngóVals Yeah, I have played some more, and I think you're right.
    – svick
    Commented Sep 7, 2012 at 12:18

1 Answer 1


Answering as best I can without knowing the full mechanics of succession and exactly how its applied to empires.

In General…

Each kingdom can have it's own succession laws, even if you control more than one - so you can have gavelkind in one kingdom you own and primogeniture for another. A difference in succession laws can mean that kingdoms end up with different heirs, so realms can fracture. What that happens, a game will continue with the heir of the primary title, with whatever other titles he (or she) ends up with.

Because of the above, succession for each kingdom is evaluated independently. The upshot of this is if your ruler has multiple kingdom titles but no Empire title, and all kingdoms have gavelkind succession, you will not lose control any of those kingdoms - since for each kingdom, the title of King will go to the primary heir. However if your ruler had any empire titles (e.g. you managed to become head of the HRE), I think his succession would be handled for the empire as a whole, and the kingdoms owned by the Emperor would go to different sons (or at least I'm pretty sure the de jure kingdoms would - I'm not 100% sure about this part).

In Your Specific Case…

In your case where you are vassal of the HRE, your position is less clear cut. Your kingdoms that are de jure part of the HRE should be bound by HRE succession laws - I'm not sure whether your other kingdoms will be similarly restricted so it might be worth checking. However since you say you have Agnatic-Cognatic Gavelkind in each kingdom, and you don't hold the HRE title yourself, each kingdom's succession should be evaluated independently with the result that each kingdom title goes to your primary heir, while vassals within those kingdoms will be distributed amongst all heirs as you'd expect.

As to why you get the succession warning when Germany is your primary title but not for Italy - I don't know for sure, but perhaps the game only warns you of titles you'll lose within your primary kingdom?

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