Effects of Decadence
Depending on your decadence level , your realm will receive positive or negative effects. These effects apply to demesne income and troop morale. The standard decadence level is 25%, at which your realm will neither suffer nor gain anything from it. Going below 25% will result in your levies having a higher morale and your Demesne income increasing. Conversely, going above 25% will result in decreased levy morale and decreased demesne income. Both of these effects increase or decrease in correlation with your specific decadence level. If you go above 75% decadence, you may become the target of an invasion by righteous tribes who wish to usurp your titles and end your excessive standard of living.
Decadence is primarily generated by kinsmen with the Decadent trait. They contribute monthly decadence until imprisoned, killed, or straightened up.
The largest factor affecting whether characters become decadent is rank. Courtiers are the most likely to become decadent, while kings and emperors never do.
A number of traits also affect the chance of becoming decadent:
- Much more likely: hedonist, homosexual, gluttonous, slothful
- More likely: some unsuccessful educations , cynical, arbitrary
- Less likely: learning education (especially if successful), chaste, just, faqih
- Much less likely: diligent, temperate, ashari, hafiz
- Never: zealous, mujahid
The safest childhood styles for excess family members are probably:
- duty + stewardship: very high chance of diligent or temperate, good as mayors
- faith + learning: learning education boost, chance of zealous, lower intrigue skill if you have to arrest them
Trait events for rulers
Separately, rulers with certain traits can get events that add or remove 2% decadence directly.
Can add 2% decadence:
- Drunkard , Homosexual , Hedonist , Impaler
- All sins: Lustful , Gluttonous , Greedy , Slothful , Envious , Wroth , Proud
- Most misc negative personality traits: Deceitful , Craven , Content , Arbitrary , Cynical , Paranoid , Cruel
Can remove 2% decadence:
- Genius , Quick , Shrewd
- Celibate , Scholar , Mujahid , Hafiz , Hajjaj
- All virtues
- Most misc positive personality traits
Preventing decadence gain
Control the number of children being born: Remember that not all wives you marry need to bear children. Having "only" 1 or 2 young wives to bear children is usually enough to secure succession. It also reduces intrigue at home, as wives who don't bear children will have a lesser incentive to plot against the children of other wives.
From the Religion tab (F9), you can see the head of your Religion (Sunni/Shi'a Caliph), along with any active Jihads called by your Caliph. Below that is a list of dynasty members who are currently decadent. From here, you can address your decadent dynasty members in a few ways.
Straighten Up Decadent Relatives - Decadent relatives can be "straightened up" via a button in the Religion tab. If they accept, they will immediately lose the Decadent trait. If they refuse, you can either gain a reason to imprison them or, if you have high Diplomacy, Intrigue, or Learning, you can either persuade them further, scare them, or debate them, respectively. Even if they re-gain the trait, you get the option to straighten them up again. Each straightening up attempt costs 100 piety.
Imprisonment - Another slightly more tyrannical approach is simply to purge the decadent members of your dynasty by granting them an indefinite stay in your dungeon. Note that only characters that have Fatwa declared on them can be imprisoned for this reason (with no tyranny penalty). It may be worthwhile to turn off the automatic ending of plots, as this may present opportunities for justly imprisoning decadent dynasty members.
Hajj is the only way to remove the decadent trait from your own character, assuming nobody can ask you to straighten up.
Land Grants to Dynasty Members - The easiest and most beneficial way to not only reduce how much decadence per month you receive, but also one of the few ways you can lower your current decadence. The higher level the title, the more decadence will be removed. Note that it is scaled according to your dynasty's current decadence.
Holy War/Jihad - Calling a Holy War and participating will usually remove large amount of decadence (50-100%) depending on your war contribution. The decadence will only be removed at the end of the war however so plan accordingly.
Crusades - Successfully repelling a crusade will also lower decadence depending on war contribution.
Ramadan - Available through your decisions window, Ramadan is a great event chain to lower your decadence and can reduce decadence by 5 points. However, if your character has sinful traits, it can backfire as you may get events which force decadence to go up.
Furusiayaa Tournament - Available through your decisions window, the Furusiayaa Tournament will lower your decadence by 5 points.
Events from Good Traits - There's also a small chance to lose decadence through various events. As previously mentioned, these generally require good traits to occur.
Sieges and Battles - Decadence gained per month will also go down by a small but noticeable amount whenever you or a dynasty member participates in battles or sieges. As such, you should generally make sure either your character or a dynasty member is leading the army. Decadent dynasty members leading armies may also get them killed.
- Control the number of children born by marrying women who are past child-bearing.
- Give titles to members of your dynasty to avoid gaining the Decadent trait. (Note: Landed characters will marry, outside your control, a number of wives equal to their rank. Landing family members that are not the desired heir, especially with duchies, is generally self-destructive in the long-term.)
- The "Observe Ramadan" and tournament decisions are a great way to reduce decadence.
- Random events will increase decadence. Traits such as Cruel, Cynical, or Arbitrary will increase the chance of these events happening, so any male family members apart from you or your desired heir should be imprisoned at your earliest convenience.
- Characters with the Ashari or Zealous trait will never gain the Decadent trait. Educating male dynasty members to reduce the number of "sinful" traits they have will help as well.
- Try to have your dynasty remain at 0% decadence (or at least under 25%).
- If you can't reach below 25% decadence, stay under 75% decadence.