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Culture in 1066

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.

Most cultures unlock cultural retinues and cultural buildings, resulting in different army composition. Some cultures also unlock special events, decisions, or succession and gender laws. Some cultures also allow raiding, making them a potential menace to neighbours.

Character culture[edit]

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 a "hidden cuckoo bastard". This can be useful if you have the intrigue focus and hope to revoke a title.

Province culture[edit]

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. Feudal and republican rulers get no penalties if they hold tribes in same-culture provinces.

A province with no holdings (i.e., a nomadic province) always has the culture of its owner.

Culture and conquest[edit]

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).

Character conversion[edit]

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.

By education[edit]

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:

Guardian traits
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[edit]

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.

Province conversion[edit]

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[edit]

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.

As long as the preconditions are met, the speed depends primarily upon a single factor: the ruler's stewardship, and the mean time to happen is as follows:

Ruler stewardship MTTH to convert province to adjacent culture
0-1 506.25 years
2 337.5 years
3 225 years
4 150 years
5-8 100 years
9-10 75 years
11-12 56.25 years
13-14 42.1875 years
15+ 31.67 years

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[edit]

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.

Culture flipping[edit]

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 after 1100.
  • Many cultures only appearing in the 769 Charlemagne start date:
    • Saxon (flips to German, once Widukind rebellion has happened).
    • Visigothic (splits up into Castillian, Catalan, Occitan, and Andalusian)
    • Suebi (flips to Portuguese)
    • Frankish (flips to French, or Dutch if in de jure Frisia)
    • Pictish (flips to Scottish, if ruler is not Pictish)
    • 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 a guardian of that culture with the diligent and/or the gregarious trait. The guardian must be a ruler or in a court with the same culture. You can find appropriate guardians by right-clicking any character of the culture, selecting "show character relations", selecting "my culture", and typing "diligent" or "gregarious".

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.

List of Cultures[edit]

Note: the order is the one from 00_cultures.txt

Culture Culture Group Base group ethnicity Base ethnicity Notes
Norse North Germanic westerngfx norsegfx
  • Norse culture splits up by event starting around 950, unless a united Norse empire exists
  • May raise Runestones, even if not Germanic religion.
  • Independent dukes are called petty kings
  • only Norse can raid if religion and government type do not allow to raid.
German Central Germanic westerngfx germangfx
Lombard Converts to Italian
Frankish Converts to French (except in Frisia)
Suebi Converts to Portuguese if in de jure Galicia or Portugal and owner is non-Muslim
English West Germanic westerngfx englishgfx Created by events 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
French Latin westerngfx frankishgfx
Norman normangfx Created by event if Norse ruler controls French, Occitan or Breton province
Italian southerngfx
Occitan occitangfx
Roman southerngfx Dead culture used for history files, has no cultural retinue or special events. Blind characters cannot inherit.
Basque Iberian occitangfx occitangfx Enables Absolute cognatic gender law.
Castillian southerngfx
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. Blind characters cannot inherit.
Greek byzantinegfx
Alan easternslavicgfx
Georgian byzantinegfx
Irish Celtic westerngfx celticgfx Enables Tanistry succession law.

Independent dukes are called petty kings.

Finnish Finno-Ugric easterngfx ugricgfx
Lettigallian Baltic easterngfx ugricgfx
Turkish Altaic muslimgfx turkishgfx Uses dynasty name as realm title. Can always raid for loot.
Pecheneg Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan. Can always raid for loot.
Khazar Can always raid for loot.
Bolghar Can always raid for loot.
Avar Can always raid for loot.
Cuman cumangfx Can always raid for loot.
Karluk Can always raid for loot.
Kirghiz Can always raid for loot.
Uyghur Can always raid for loot.
Mongol mongolgfx Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if not Christian (If Horse Lords DLC is active, non-Nomadic horde culture characters will only be able to use this CB if pagan.), restricted to Agnatic gender law. Can always raid for loot.
Bedouin Arabic muslimgfx arabicgfx Uses dynasty name as realm title
Andalusian andalusiangfx
Russian East Slavic easterngfx easternslavicgfx
Ilmenian Converts to Russian if owner is not an unreformed pagan, not East Slavic or Finno Ugric, or is already Russian
Pomeranian West Slavic easterngfx westernslavicgfx
Croatian South Slavic easterngfx westernslavicgfx
Hungarian Magyar easterngfx westernslavicgfx Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan. Can always raid for loot.
Persian Iranian muslimgfx persiangfx Uses dynasty name as realm title
Ethiopian East African muslimgfx africangfx Independent dukes are called petty kings.
Mandé West African africangfx westafricangfx
Nahua Mesoamerican mesoamericangfx mesoamericangfx Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if not Christian, restricted to Agnatic gender law. Can always raid for loot.
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 southindiangfx Uses dynasty name as realm title

Powerful cultures[edit]

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.

Retinues are listed here if pure retinue flanks are better than the generic Defence retinue for dealing with mixed levies.

Culture Succession allowed Warfare advantages Other
Greek Castration
(to disqualify)
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Blind or castrate prisoners:
    • Blind prisoners to reduce their health and whomp them in duels.
    • Castrate prisoners to prevent them from inheriting titles or having children. This has many uses!
    • Either type of mutilation makes AI unwilling to support them as faction claimants.
  • Pure Pikemen retinues are currently the strongest.
    • Excels at assaulting holdings.
Scottish Tanistry
  • Heavy Infantry defense bonus from cultural building gives you the best feudal levies in the game.
  • Best Heavy Infantry retinues. Not as strong as Pikemen, but act as direct counter.
  • Ireland in 1066 is one of the easiest starts in the game.
  • At earlier dates Ireland is tribal so you can choose between feudalism and merchant republic.
East Slavic (group)
Basque Cognatic
Mongol Agnatic Only
  • Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if pagan.
  • Can always raid for loot.
Altaic (group)
  • Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if pagan.
  • Can always raid for loot.
  • Can always raid for loot.
  • Gets free shipyards by event in 793
  • In early starts, most Germanic pagans are Norse.
  • In early starts, most of Scandinavia is Norse.
  • Runestones (until 1150)

See also[edit]

Personal attributes