Everything was perfect. I have a good and young ruler, who has passed on some good genes to his sons. I also had a lot of spare lands, so I could make my heir a duke and doubly count when he came of age.

My mistake was to marry him off to some scheming wench. I knew it would end like this, but her stats were just too great to resist!

Anyway, a few years down the road, and my trusty spy master lets me know that my beloved son is looking to usurp me. Not cool! I demand that he end the plot, and decide to see how this develops.

Shortly thereafter, he suddenly dies (not by my hand — likely the wife is the culprit). My second eldest son becomes my new heir and favourite, however all the titles are inherited by my clubfooted grand daughter aged two. Curses!

Now, what I really wanted, was to imprison and disown my traitorous son followed by swift justice of the axe. Not sure what my other vassals would think of that idea, but I had a just reason for imprisonment at least.

Option number two, is to start plotting for my dearly beloved grand daughters untimely demise, but I'm not sure how that would work out either.

The situation is this. I'm young (40ish) and well-liked. I have a new heir, but I'd prefer to keep my lands for myself and give him the ones of the previous heir — one duchy and two counties currently held by my grand daughter. The duchy can be revoked free of charge, as I hold a claim to it. She has no siblings. I am da King. I have limited crown authority, but can bump it up to medium if it suits me.

So my questions to you are as follows:

  1. Is it possible to disown a son, considering I have just cause for imprisonment? An execution would of course settle the deal, but my other vassals would probably find me "cruel".
  2. Is it possible to plot against a character which is not yet of age? What would happen if she suddenly died with no heir? Would all her titles be returned to the king or duke (i.e. me)?

I had savegames before and after, so I decided to test a few things.

  • I could imprison my quisling of a son. I could also seize all his titles and banish him from my lands, but he would remain an heir, even if he wasn't officially a prince. I guess I could have let him rot in jail, as it seems prisoners often die in custody, but it would be a risky bet.
  • After the unfortunate death of my old heir, it seems some strange rules apply regarding the remaining titles. The dukal title I could simply revoke for free (although at a opinion penalty from the duchess). Should she die today, one of the counties would be inherited by her younger sister, and the other would be inherited by me.

I found this to be an interesting development: Turns out my new heirs wife suddenly died. Who did he marry, other than the same scheming hag who presumably killed off his brother, and made an attempt at me? By a suspicious coincidence, I died not very long after. Such is the effects of the deceitful and ambitious traits combined with a really dope intrigue stat. ;)

  • 2
    As a hindsight, YOU(Ruler) should have married that deceitful wench. She could have taken you places with her plots!! Even if it meant killing off your wife.
    – Samyam
    Jan 27, 2013 at 17:54
  • 4
    Actually, after the unfortunate death of my heir, she married the new heir, and I mysteriously died shortly after. So she did become queen after all, and a very excellent spy master.
    – Nix
    Jan 27, 2013 at 18:22

5 Answers 5


On your first question: disinheriting your heir is not possible unless you have elective succession. Then you change for example choose to elect your second or third son. Most of the time your vassals will elect the person you elect. Off course there is a chance they will elect someone else, so it's tricky.

On your second question: yes, it is possible. I have done it before (horrible me) when I was in kinda the same situation as you. My heir died relatively young and so his only son became my heir, but had really bad traits. So I plotted against my grandchild (who was about 4 years old) and managed to successfully kill him. There is a catch however, which happened to me. The plot was successful but the truth came out that I did it, so I got the Dishonorable trait and, even worse, the Kinslayer trait which gave me massive relationship penalty to my family and vassals. So yes, it's definitely possible but there are some serious risks.

  • Thanks @Jelle, that's what I thought. I just thought it would be neat if there were an option to disown him, considering I have a legitimate reason to cast him in the dungeon to begin with. Vassals always get so stuck up when you let heads roll in public places. I find the situation unfortunate, but also very interesting, because there are several ways to go about it, none of them being "right" or "wrong". :)
    – Nix
    Nov 8, 2012 at 20:24
  • When you get caught murdering too much, don't forget you can buy a Papal Indulgence (may require Sons of Abraham DLC).
    – Dacio
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:52
  • Also, if you have Legacy of Rome DLC and are playing as Byzantine culture, blinding your current heir will disinherit him and not give you the kinslayer trait.
    – NSNoob
    Sep 24, 2016 at 10:58

I haven't tried to plot against a child, but I have tried to assassinate a child. After about 10 failures at a supposed ~50% success rate, I have the sneaking suspicion that CK2 doesn't condone the intentional deaths of children. Also, I am a horrible, horrible person.

(The other theory is that the game lied; perhaps it told me the success chances against the child, but actually rolled against the guardian or some other adult in the area. I also did some save-scumming; if CK2 saves the random seed, then I may have just been failing the same 3-4 assassination attempts in a row due to loading the "same" random numbers.)

  • Interesting! It would be nice to hear what results other players have experienced. As horrible as it is, it should be possible to assassinate children, if that's the kind of person you are.
    – Nix
    Nov 6, 2012 at 9:07
  • 2
    No, it will definitely allow the assassination of a child. I've successfully killed my sons.
    – user43548
    Mar 9, 2013 at 2:12

it IS possible to kill your children, but when cought you will know why it's a bad idea to try and do this.

however, sometimes the future of the realm is more important then honourable family relations.

This is why i love elective succession to much, the ability to pick your heir without having to kill anyone. (hint: if you dont have dukes, you are the only elector!)


You could

  • of course just change to elective rule, so you can always appoint the best candidate available to be your successor
  • send your spymaster to "build spy network" in the province the grand daughter is in and then assassinate her
  • go there and scheme to uncover plot options, which may or may not include arranging an "accident" for your grand daughter

The last option is probably the best if you wanna stick with primogeniture, and especially if you are popular with your vassals. Vassals who like you will be a lot more likely to join your plots. Just go the intrigue tab. If the right plot is there, choose that and then just use the arrow to add immoral people to join the plot. Then you just have to wait until it unfolds itself. It`s funny at times too and includes things like exploding mud traps, falling into outhouses and highwaymen robberies.

This stuff gets a lot more effective if your ruler has a high intrigue stat of course, so if he stinks at it you get fewer plot options and a higher chance of getting caught.


Well, personally I am a big fan of assassinations. so I would just kill him off.

However it is worth mentioning that the higher he is, the tougher it gets. first heir is harder to kill than some peasant courtier. so if you think you might have to kill off multiple targets, start from the weakest ones. and yes, it involves lots of saving/loading. there is just one exception: if you are depressed and absolutely loaded, you can really do a lot without saving and loading. I remember this one time as an emperor of Britannia, Hispania, Wendish and king of some more (including half of Africa), when I have killed off about 20 Byzantine rulers, heirs, etc etc. cannot remember if I have done it to inherit that empire, or out of pure revenge and for fun. revenge is more likely, but both possible. Then it was time for selective culling of offspring to get a great heir for my depressed ruler. After that, massive arrests wherever possible (with or without reason, from my experience if you have army standing on vassal's land the chance of arrest is bigger), revokings (opinion hit was not important), and what I got was a massively oversized demesne. In the past I have had some issues with annoying dukes, so I've destroyed any duchies I could, and everyone hated my guts.

Then I've committed suicide (you need depressed for that). I was thinking for ages about this decision, as there were still so many other things I could have achieved before doing it. well, mostly so many people to kill, as I was already so hated I could not hope to rule for long. things happen, you know. I think I have also been excommunicated somewhere along the way (just pay and they'll love you again).

So a great heir took over. He was tutored by myself, best of few brothers - others being priests, dead or lower in succession, had great wife (quite likely a genius with some claims, chosen by me of course). he gave out lot of land to newly invited courtiers (mostly holy men - maybe I was rich, but nobles are too expensive to justify, and piety does not matter if you're about to die anyway) and got grateful vassals (helps in first few years of reign). grateful hand picked vassals. and he lived happily ever after. you would not believe what kind of boost something like that can give you early in the reign. I play dirty (and for fun, so not on hardest difficulty possible), so possibly had more cash and happier vassals than you might. but basic idea still applies, regardless of difficulty. and you might be able to pull off the same thing when excommunicated instead of depressed - surrendering in excommunication war is just as good as suicide. have not tried it myself yet, but it should work.

As for second question - yes. But it makes you an evil person. as for titles - just try and find out. That is really messed up, read up on bloodlines and type of succession. try saving and killing off a few dozen people just to see what happens. plots are my favourite but take time, assassinations are quick and expensive.

Oh, and next time - if you don't have a great wife, consider marrying that scheming one, and clean up known plots as often as needed. You know how.

  • There's no quick assassination option anymore, it's all plots now. Feb 18, 2015 at 23:55
  • that kinda explains it... i have updated game to newest version and assassinatins, one of my favourite features, was missing - that will make my power gaming when drunk a lot less satisfying... is paradox trying to make it a bit more humane or what? and it was a great lifesaver sometimes...
    – paul
    Feb 19, 2015 at 17:48
  • They thought it was too easy. When plots were added, they realised assassination should use the plot mechanic, and so they switched it in the next version. Feb 19, 2015 at 18:11
  • Also as a feudal catholic, it's impossible to plot to kill your heir.
    – Dacio
    Aug 10, 2015 at 18:53

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