Guide to being a good ruler
Stop being a jerk of a ruler it really helps. I'm going on over 200 years in my latest game without any rebellion at all and most games I only have one during the Short Reign period if at all.
Raising your heir
Raising your vassals
- Breed rulers with a good diplomacy stat, have them educated by someone with good diplomacy.
- Educate your heir yourself. If you can't give them to someone with only green traits.
- Raise them to have no red traits, make sure they never have Arbitrary (if they do have a feast ever time you can till you can get Just) or Craven.
- Make choices for the green traits Kind, Humble, Charitable and Just.
Keeping down the malus
- Take the time to arrange for your vassals children to be educated by people with the Content trait, and not Ambitious or Envious.
- If a vassal is a different culture educate their children with a character (including yourself) of your culture that has Diligent. Do it early so there is a batter chance they switch over.
- Join the Benedictines or Dominicans and use their special abilities to fix your hier's, vassal's and vassals's children's traits.
- Never never do anything that gets you Tyrant (wrongful imprisonment, execution, banishment, unjust revocations).
- Don't keep your levies raised so long, use mercenaries and Retinues except in major wars for survival.
- If you need levies only raise portions of your vassals and rotate them letting the levies raised to long go away.
- If you fight a war in the east, only raise the vassals in the east. Don't waste time trucking guys from across the map they are just upset before they get to the war.
- Don't give counties and duchies to close relatives, only distant ones without claims to your throne.
- Never give a county or duchy to anyone with Ambitious. Give that guy a barony and put someone else over him, let the ambitious guy be the vassal's problem not yours.
- Once you are an Emperor grant a county on the far side of the map to kings from the other side. That way you can raise all his vassals close to the front and not waste time marching them across the world.
Dealing with upset vassals
- Hold all the counties in all the Duchies you hold.
- Pay attention to your Demesne limit and don't go over it.
- Never hold more than 2 Duchies if your a King.
- If your an Emperor never hold a King title, all the Dukes beneath it will want it.
- As Emporer don't allow the kingdom in which you hold counties to exist as a title.
- If you have a merchant republic under you don't have it in a kingdom you hold if an Emperor (not that you should have a kingdom). The get the -30 wont government, and the -25 wants the kingdom.
Short Reign Period
- Press claims for the worst offenders first.
- Concentrate on fixing what pisses them off. Concentrate on the guys who are on the fence (0) malus. Don't even bother with the guy who is at -90.
- Transfer that Barony or County they want to them.
- Keep your own Dukes and Counts in prison till they are green.
- Hold Feasts and Tournaments.
- Worst case a knife to the back and replacing them with the more compliant son you educated. Do this only if the chances of assassination are high and chance of getting caught are very low. Put your spymaster in the territory before you do it.
- If a vassal who doesn't like you can be rightfully imprisoned do it. Put your marshal in his territory to suppress the revolt first. If he revolts great, its easier to fight one guy than half the kingdom.
- For Dukes of your culture send them a bribe, give them an honorary title.
Running your kingdom
- Give a large title like King if your Emperor to your heir early (after he is educated and married so he wont screw those up). That way when he comes to the throne he already is past the Short Reign malus for all the people under the title.
- Stop being an aggressive jerk. Give it rest till the period is over or close to it.
- Send bribes extensively. They are temporary but can get you past the period.
- Bribe the guys on the edge, not the guy with -90.
- Grant the honorary titles to guys on the edge.
- Give the jerk with -90 Court Jester. If he rebels on his own great. He wont do it often but might plot against you so you can imprison him.
- Last option is assassination of the worst of the worst.
When it all goes wrong
- Keep the crown authority at medium unless you need to change the succession type to primogeniture then put it back at medium.
- Don't raise taxes or the levy amounts for your vassals.
- Succession type effects vassals differentially. Pay attention the the malus from it and decide what to use appropriately.
Or suddenly I remembered my Machiavelli
- Give the problem vassal independance
- Invite claimants to his title to your court and give them a barony
- Decalare war in the name of the claimant when the truce period is over.