Elective gavelkind

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Elective gavelkind succession screen

Elective gavelkind combines features of both Gavelkind and Tanistry. It is the only succession type available for unreformed pagan tribal rulers.


Like Gavelkind, it allows for +30% demesne limit, removes the prestige penalty for having unlanded sons, and prevents destroying titles. Primary titles will be given to the primary heir while excess titles will be divided evenly between the junior heirs.

Like Tanistry, all significant title holders within the realm vote for candidates from among the ruling dynasty. If the chosen successor is not one of the ruler's sons, all of the ruler's sons will be considered junior heirs.

In addition Elective Gavelkind has several unique features for junior heirs.
First, on succession in kingdoms and empires, new kingdoms might be created for junior heirs. The outgoing ruler must control 51% of the de jure kingdom and meet any other specific requirements for creating that kingdom. Since many kingdoms have additional AI requirements, mostly related to culture, this means player realms are more vulnerable to split than AI realms!

Second, junior heirs always get the choice to become independent peacefully. While this does not cause a war, the primary heir receives claims on their primary titles. These claims are not inheritable, but they are strong, allowing them to be pressed simultaneously. Junior heirs controlled by AI choose whether to become independent based on whether they are ambitious  / content  and based on their opinion of their new liege.

If used by a player-controlled realm, the player will play as their elected successor in the primary title.


A ruler under Elective Gavelkind succession will face the following opinion modifiers:

Character Opinion modifier Reason
Children +15 Will get something out of the succession
All other dynasty members +5 Primary heir can move between branches of the dynasty.


See the pages for Gavelkind and Tanistry for specifics and examples.


See also: Gavelkind#Strategies

In an empire, consider granting kingdoms to collateral relatives. This is often better than allowing the kingdoms to be distributed among junior heirs, who will have the option of independence, and the inclination to press faction claims if they remain vassals.

The family focus can improve relations among your children, making it less likely that junior heirs will choose independence.

Elective gavelkindPatrician electivePapal successionInvestiture