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.
- 1 Character culture
- 2 Province culture
- 3 Culture and conquest
- 4 Character conversion
- 5 Province conversion
- 6 Tactics
- 7 List of Cultures
- 8 Powerful cultures
- 9 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 a "hidden cuckoo 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. 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
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).
One of the benefit of the conquest culture flag is that it increases chances of Province Culture Conversion. While Strong and Weak Claims wars grant the flag, Pagan and Muslim Conquest do not.
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 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|
With The Reaper's Due, Province Depopulation now also reduce the MTTH. The neighbor provinces from which the culture "spreads" now also needs to not be Depopulated to allow the event to fire.
|Depopulation Level||MTTH||Optimal MTTH|
|1||75 years||23.7525 years|
|2||50 years||15.835 years|
|3||25 years||7.9175 years|
As you can see, as long as a character has high stewardship he can convert counties to his culture rather quickly. While controlling depopulation is a little more tricky as it equals managing epidemics spreads, it gives an equally powerful reward. The conquest culture flag, which is conferred upon invading a province with the right CB as seen higher, finally provides a 0.75 modifier, putting the final optimal MTTH to 5.9381 years.
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.
A province that has prosperity level 2 may get an event allowing the ruler to fix its culture for 100% of yearly income. Doing so also converts the province's religion and removes the nomad agitation modifier, if relevant.
The province must be the ruler's crown focus province. The event is more frequent with high stewardship skill and high learning skill.
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. This is prevented if the top liege has Norse culture and hold either an empire or multiple kingdoms (it doesn't matter which ones) or if the province owner's head of religion is of Norse culture.
- 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, unless controlled by a powerful Saxon ruler or if head of religion is a Saxon
- Visigothic splits up into Castillian, Catalan, Occitan, and Andalusian unless controlled by a powerful Visigoth ruler or if head of religion is Visigothic
- Suebi (flips to Portuguese)
- Frankish (flips to French, or Dutch if in de jure Frisia)
- Pictish flips to Scottish unless controlled by a powerful Pictish ruler or if head of religion is 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
Note: the order is the one from 00_cultures.txt
|Culture||Culture Group||Base group ethnicity||Base ethnicity||Notes||Code|
|Lombard||Converts to Italian||lombard|
|Frankish||Converts to French (except in Frisia)||old_frankish|
|Suebi||Converts to Portuguese if in de jure Galicia or Portugal and owner is non-Muslim||suebi|
|English||West Germanic||westerngfx||englishgfx||Created by events if Norman ruler controls Anglo-Saxon province after year 1100.||english|
|Anglo-Saxon||saxongfx||Independent dukes are called petty kings||saxon [sic]|
|Saxon||Converts to German once Widukind rebellion has happened (which won't happen if Saxony remains independent of the Franks).||old_saxon|
|Frisian||Converts to Dutch if in de jure Frisia||frisian|
|Dutch||germangfx||Frankish, Saxon or Frisian provinces in de jure Frisia flip to Dutch||dutch|
|Norman||normangfx||Created by event if Norse ruler controls Frankish, Occitan or Breton province||norman|
|Roman||southerngfx||Dead culture used for history files, has no cultural retinue or special events. Blind characters cannot inherit.||roman|
|Basque||Iberian||occitangfx||occitangfx||Enables Absolute cognatic gender law.||basque|
|Visigothic||Converts to Castillian, Catalan, Occitan or Andalusian depending on de jure kingdom and owner religion||visigothic|
|Armenian||Byzantine||easterngfx||byzantinegfx||Can castrate or blind prisoners via decision. Blind characters cannot inherit.||armenian|
|Irish||Celtic||westerngfx||celticgfx||Enables Tanistry succession law.
Independent dukes are called petty kings.
|Turkish||Altaic||muslimgfx||turkishgfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title. Can always raid for loot.||turkish|
|Pecheneg||Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan. Can always raid for loot.||pecheneg|
|Cuman||cumangfx||Can always raid for loot.||cuman|
|Khazar||turkishgfx||Can always raid for loot.||khazar|
|Bolghar||Can always raid for loot.||bolghar|
|Avar||Can always raid for loot.||avar|
|Karluk||cumangfx||Can always raid for loot.||karluk|
|Kirghiz||Can always raid for loot.||kirghiz|
|Uyghur||Can always raid for loot.||uyghur|
|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.||mongol|
|Bedouin||Arabic||muslimgfx||arabicgfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title.||bedouin_arabic|
|Berber||Uses dynasty name as realm title. Can raid for loot.||maghreb_arabic|
|Levantine||Uses dynasty name as realm title.||levantine_arabic|
|Ilmenian||Converts to Russian if owner is not an unreformed pagan, not East Slavic or Finno Ugric, or is already Russian||ilmenian|
|Pomeranian||West Slavic||easterngfx||westernslavicgfx||pommeranian [sic]|
|Hungarian||Magyar||easterngfx||westernslavicgfx||Invasion culture: can use Tribal Invasion if Pagan. Can always raid for loot.||hungarian|
|Persian||Iranian||muslimgfx||persiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title||persian|
|Ethiopian||East African||muslimgfx||africangfx||Independent dukes are called petty kings.||ethiopian|
|Mandé||West African||africangfx||westafricangfx||manden [sic]|
|Nahua||Mesoamerican||mesoamericangfx||mesoamericangfx||Horde culture: can use Tribal Invasion if not Christian, restricted to Agnatic gender law. Can always raid for loot.||nahuatl|
|Ashkenazi||Israelite||easterngfx||byzantinegfx||No provinces have these cultures, but courtiers with them appear by event.||ashkenazi|
|Bengali||Indo-Aryan||indiangfx||indiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title||bengali|
|Tamil||Dravidian||indiangfx||southindiangfx||Uses dynasty name as realm title||tamil|
|Horse||Horse||horsegfx||horsegfx||Not normally present in the game. Can only be created through the Conclave or The Reaper's Due version of the events where a Lunatic ruler appoints his horse the realm chancellor or Court Physician.||horse|
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|
|East Slavic (group)|