Culture is an abstract representation of the ethnicity and traditions of a province or character. Cultures are divided into culture groups, and cultures are considered closer to others within their group than to cultures outside it.
At game start most realms will be relatively homogenous, with few realms containing more than one culture, and even fewer containing more than one culture group. However as a realm expands it will inevitably encounter other cultures and culture groups, which will give various penalties, both permanent and temporary.
- 1 Character culture
- 2 Province culture
- 3 Culture and conquest
- 4 Character conversion
- 5 Province conversion
- 6 Tactics
- 7 Summary
- 8 List of Cultures
- 9 Powerful cultures
- 10 See also
Every character in the game identifies with a culture, and this affects their relations with other characters in the same realm. Characters have -10 opinion toward realmies of other cultures, and -20 across culture groups (reduced by Tolerance Technology). In addition to affecting opinion, culture directly affects whether vassals will join independence and claimant factions. Cultural differences do not affect opinion between realms, but do reduce willingness to accept offers of vassalization.
Cultures determine generated dynasty names and (along with religion) given names. Some cultures name realms after dynasties. If a dynasty controls multiple realms, only the head of dynasty will do this, with other realms falling back to title names.
Graphical culture represents a character's race and ancestry. It is inherited from a random biological parent and affects portraits. Graphical culture has no direct effect on gameplay, but can help you determine who is secretly a bastard. This can be useful if you have the intrigue focus and hope to revoke a title.
Every county in the game has a culture representing the major culture there. A mismatch between holder culture and province culture increases revolt risk. A ruler who would rather deal with more difficult vassals over peasant rebellions can choose to land vassals who share the conquered territory's culture.
For tribes, a culture mismatch also reduces demesne income and levies. To compensate, tribal rulers can assign their steward to "settle tribe", one of the easier ways to change the culture of a province.
Culture and conquest
Most CBs set a new administration penalty on holdings that change owners, reducing taxes and severely reducing levy reinforcements. The duration of this penalty depends on culture and religion difference. Holdings that do not change owners, but merely have a new liege, do not get this penalty.
Claim wars and invasions can set a hidden conquest culture on a conquered title of county rank or higher. For example, a Norman conquest of England might set England's conquest culture to Norman, reducing native vassals' opinion of Norman lieges (-30 Foreign Conquerer). This penalty can be removed by replacing vassals with new ones who share your culture, or by converting to the native culture (or any other culture).
Every character will be born with the culture of their father if born from a patrilineal marriage or a concubine, or their mother if born from matrilineal marriage or out of wedlock. With very few exceptions, the only way to change this is via the child's guardian.
If a guardian owns land or has the same culture as his liege, he has a decent chance to change his ward's culture.
The mean times to happen are as follows:
|Diligent and Gregarious||30 months|
|Diligent or Gregarious||60 months|
|Diligent and Shy||120 months|
|Slothful and Gregarious|
|Slothful or Shy||240 months|
|Slothful and Shy||480 months|
As you can see, a culture change happens about 50% of the time if the guardian has no traits modifying the chance, as a child generally has a guardian for 10 years. If the guardian is diligent and/or gregarious it becomes far more likely, as the normal distribution is then centered at 2.5 or 5 years, while on the other hand if the guardian is shy and/or slothful it becomes quite unlikely.
So if you want to change the culture of your child, you should assign a guardian of the desired culture, in a court with a ruler of the desired culture, who has the diligent and/or gregarious trait.
Convert to capital culture
When Rajas of India is not enabled, a randomly fired event gives rulers a chance to convert to their capital's culture.
With Rajas of India, rulers have a decision to convert to the culture of their capital province. The decision costs 500 prestige. Vassals cannot use the decision if they have the same culture as their liege.
Every county has a culture from the start of the campaign, but this can be changed over time.
Most events that allow provinces to change culture are fired on a per-character basis, so culture spreads fastest when each of your vassals holds only a single county.
Spread from adjacent province
The most common event can trigger when a character has to have a county in his demesne not of his culture, and it borders at least one other province of the character's culture that is owned by a character (which could be the very same character) of the ruler's culture. Thus it is near impossible to spread any culture to islands with this event, as they cannot possibly border a county of your culture unless it was present at game start.
|Ruler stewardship||MTTH to convert province to adjacent culture|
There are also MTTH bonuses for Altaic cultures, and for conquest cultures set by some CBs. As you can see, as long as a character has high stewardship he can convert counties to his culture rather quickly.
Conversion to conquest culture
Some CBs result in a conquest culture being set on a title. When a province (or its containing duchy, kingdom, or empire) has a conquest culture, an event allows conversion to the conquest culture even if there are no adjacent provinces of the culture.
Conversion to culture of different-religion ruler
The other event that allows the changing of culture does not require connections to the same culture making it the only way to spread new cultures onto islands, islandic cultures onto the mainland, or any culture that does not exist on the map. This event is less common because it targets only the player's capital, meaning that to spread it to an island you must move your capital there, and requires the province to be of a different religion to fire. This means it will be highly unlikely for an AI player of a religion that has high moral authority to receive this event, as they will likely convert their province sooner, making the event unable to fire. So, as a player, you will likely need to make this happen yourself. If the province in question is not of your faith, simply do not send your court chaplain to proselytize; without someone converting, the religion will most likely not change. This is, of course, unless the religion in question has low moral authority, which can cause a heresy to appear. This is your best bet if the province you want to convert is of your own religion; degrade moral authority until heresies begin appearing. Alternatively, your could grant the county to a heathen or heretic and wait until they convert it, then revoke the title and move your capital there.
This event is the only way to see a culture in the British Isles which is not English, Anglo-Saxon, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Breton, Norman (remember that Norman appears if a Norse controls Breton lands, and Cornwall is Breton), Norse, or Norwegian. If done properly, you can see any culture appearing quite literally anywhere, regardless of initial cultural borders.
There are special events allowing some cultures to give rise to new ones, and allowing these new cultures to spread quickly within the old ones.
- Norse splits into several cultures starting in 950, unless in a unified Norse empire
- Norman is formed if a Norse ruler owns a French, Occitan or Breton province.
- English is formed if a Norman ruler owns an Anglo-Saxon province.
- Many cultures only appearing in the 769 Charlemagne start date:
- Saxon (flips to German once integrated into the Frankish empire).
- Visigothic (splits up into Castillian, Catalan and Andalusian)
- Suebi (flips to Portuguese)
- Frankish (flips to French, or Dutch if in de jure Frisia)
- Pictish (flips to Scottish)
- Lombard (flips to Italian)
- Frisian (flips to Dutch)
- Ilmenian, Severian, Volhynian (merge into Russian when ruler is one of: 1) not an unreformed pagan 2) not of East Slavic or Finno-Ugric culture 3) already Russian)
First, if you want to change your child's culture, assign him a guardian of that culture with the diligent and/or the gregarious trait. He'll be very likely to change culture. Conversely, if you want to keep your culture pure, be careful who you assign as his guardian.
Second, assign high-stewardship characters of your culture as counts on the edge of your culture. They'll rapidly change the culture to their own, getting rid of the revolt risk.
Third, try to have a single county per character. As the culture change event fires on a character level, a single character owning more than one county makes it less likely to happen on a per-county level.
Fourth, try to keep your vassals of your culture, as you'll get lower revolt risk and avoid the foreigner opinion penalty.
Finally, prioritize conquering same-culture provinces over provinces of a different culture. Prioritize same culture-group over different culture groups. You'll get less severe penalties that way.
By keeping your realm culturally homogenous you'll have an easier time controlling it. My tips are as follows:
- If you want to culture-change, appoint a Diligent/Gregarious guardian of a different culture
- Assign high-stewardship characters of your culture as counts in different culture provinces bordering your provinces
- Try to keep a single county per character
- Try to keep your vassals of your culture
- When conquering, prioritize same culture, over same culture group, over different culture group
List of Cultures
Note: the order is the one from 00_cultures.txt
|Culture||Culture Group||Base group ethnicity||Base ethnicity||Notes|
|Lombard||Converts to Italian|
|Frankish||Converts to French (except in Frisia)|
|Suebi||converts to Portuguese if in Galicia or Portugal and owner is non-Muslim|
|English||West Germanic||westerngfx||englishgfx||Created by events around 1150 if Norman ruler controls Anglo-Saxon province.|
|Anglo-Saxon||saxongfx||Independent dukes are called petty kings|
|Saxon||Converts to German once Widukind rebellion has happened (which won't happen if Saxony remains independent of the Franks).|
|Frisian||Converts to Dutch if in de jure Frisia|
|Dutch||germangfx||Frankish, Saxon or Frisian provinces in de jure Frisia flip to Dutch|
|Norman||normangfx||Created by event if Norse ruler controls Frankish, Occitan or Breton province|
|Roman||southerngfx||Dead culture used for history files, has no cultural retinue or special events.|
|Basque||Iberian||occitangfx||occitangfx||Enables Absolute cognatic gender law.|
|Visigothic||Converts to Castillian, Catalan, Occitan or Andalusian depending on de jure kingdom and owner religion|
|Armenian||Byzantine||easterngfx||byzantinegfx||Can castrate or blind prisoners via decision.|
|Irish||Celtic||westerngfx||celticgfx||Enables Tanistry succession law. |
Independent dukes are called petty kings.
|Turkish||Altaic||muslimgfx||turkishgfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title|
|Pecheneg||Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan.|
|Mongol||mongolgfx||Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if not Christian.|
|Bedouin||Arabic||muslimgfx||arabicgfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title|
|Ilmenian||Converts to Russian if owner is not an unreformed pagan, not East Slavic or Finno Ugric, or is already Russian|
|Hungarian||Magyar||easterngfx||westernslavicgfx||Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan.|
|Persian||Iranian||muslimgfx||persiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title|
|Ethiopian||East African||muslimgfx||africangfx||Independent dukes are called petty kings.|
|Nahua||Mesoamerican||mesoamericangfx||mesoamericangfx||Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if not Christian.|
|Ashkenazi||Israelite||easterngfx||byzantinegfx||No provinces have these cultures, but courtiers with them appear by event.|
|Bengali||Indo-Aryan||indiangfx||indiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title|
|Tamil||Dravidian||indiangfx||indiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title|
You might want to convert to one of these powerful cultures, especially if you have an empire and most of your vassals will consider you a foreigner no matter what you choose.
|Culture||Succession allowed||Warfare advantages||Other|