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.
Before patch 2.1.1, decadence was generated by all male dynasty members who do not have enough landed titles.
From patch 2.1.1 onwards, decadence is generated by characters with the Decadent trait. The trait can be gained by any male character who is over the age of sixteen. Characters with the trait will increase their dynasty's decadence by around 2% per month. Lowborn characters neither have nor generate decadence as they do not have a dynasty.
Characters are more likely to gain the Decadent trait if they already have any assortment of the following:
- Sinful traits (such as Envious , Lustful , Wroth , etc.)
- A small amount of land, or no land at all (living at another person's court rather than their own)
- Other negative traits (such as Craven or Cruel )
Some events triggered by bad traits (Cruel , Cynical , Arbitrary etc.) will also increase your decadence.
Characters who are Zealous will never be decadent.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.