Feudal elective

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Plot succ feudal elective.png Feudal elective is a succession law where the candidate with the most votes from realm de jure vassals gets elected.

Upon death, the candidate with most votes inherits all the titles.


  • When the election goes your way, succession is much smoother.
    • You can nominate the heir with best attributes and traits.
    • You are not limited to your own children. You can pick any claimant, or any dynasty member you make an elector.
    • Vassal opinion is crucial in gathering votes for your dynasty and/or your nominee.
    • In case of a tie, your vote is decisive.
  • Vassals have a huge opinion boost of +20 (+10 with the Conclave Addon), making the realm more stable.
  • Claimant factions can form for any eligible candidate, even if they do not have a claim.
  • If someone outside your dynasty is elected, extra titles (duchies and below) are given to your children.
    • If they have no other titles, it is game over!


A ruler under feudal elective will face the following opinion modifiers:

Character Opinion modifier Reason
Oldest child -30 He would prefer primogeniture.
All other children set to inherit -10 They would prefer gavelkind.
All other dynasty members -5 Someone outside the dynasty might inherit.
All vassals +20 Everyone gets a chance

However, if the ruler owns more than one Elector title (can hold one Empire, Kingdom and Duchy) they get -15.

Candidate heir +50 Obviously he likes your choice

Too many held elector titles[edit]

Additionally there is a malus of -15 (stacking) that applies to all electors when the liege personally holds too many elector titles. It works similarly to the "too many duchies" malus.

Currently it appears that the Malus applies any time you hold more than 1 title of a tier directly below your primary title. For example, if you hold 2+ de jure kingdoms in an empire, 2+ de jure duchies in a kingdom, etc.

If an elector is also Ambitious , this will activate ambition opinion, causing an additional "-25 ambitious".

You can avoid the penalty by destroying duchy titles. Take care, as this may reduce the size of your family's realm should your family lose an election. Destroying duchy titles for a demesne duchy is relatively safe.



  • Valid electors are all holders of de jure vassal titles one tier lower than the elected title. This may include non de facto vassals of your realm, in case you don't control all de jure territories.
  • While in titular realms, all vassal rulers of the appropriate rank may vote.
  • Empires are an exception: both dukes and kings may vote.
  • Each elector gets a single vote regardless of how many electoral titles he holds.
  • The current ruler always gets a vote as well even if he does not hold any elector titles.


Eligible candidates are:

  • The ruler's children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews, nieces, and spouse. They must be either the same dynasty as the ruler, or landed within the realm (a county is sufficient).
  • Rulers with elector-tier titles, if they are either de jure vassals or de facto vassals.
  • Any claim holder on that specific title (broken/removed in 2.4.X?).

Female children may be nominated under Agnatic-Cognatic law even if they have brothers, so there is no effective difference between Agnatic-Cognatic Elective and Absolute Cognatic Elective for succession purposes (however Absolute Cognatic will allow granting landed titles to females, which is prevented by other succession rules).

Bastards cannot be nominated, even if they are electors. Landed rulers of vassal merchant republics, such as the Doge of Amalfi under the Byzantine Empire in 769, or rulers of theocracies cannot be nominated either.

Grandchildren cannot be nominated if their father(?) is alive and eligible. Likewise for nephews/nieces. This rule is enforced even if the character you want to nominate has an elector title.

If you are Caliph or Fylkir, you may only nominate characters who share your religion.


Exact AI logic is unknown, but possibly:

  • Adult are preferred over kids
  • Men are preferred over women
  • Non dynasty voters will favor foreign candidates with claims on the realm.
  • Ruler's children seem to get a bonus
  • Diplomacy and traits of the candidate ("opinion as liege"?)
  • Voters that like you will likely vote for your dynasts.
  • Voters that like you will likely vote for your candidate if they like him too.
  • Ambitious voters will almost always vote for themselves.
  • Voters will more likely vote for someone of the same culture.


Help your candidate[edit]

  • Avoid nominating young children. A brother might be easier to elect than a 2-year-old child.
  • Give an elector-rank title to the best dynastic candidate: If you have a genius kinsman who is only very distantly related to you, giving him a ducal title will make him a valid nominee.
  • Give a voting title to your candidate: They will likely vote for themselves. (Be warned, though, that as an AI ruler he will have many chances to get himself into trouble. For example, he may seduce the wives of other vassals and gain rivals.)
  • Voters from your dynasty: By giving voting titles exclusively to characters from your dynasty, you can ensure that the heir will always be a member of your dynasty. However, your own children will be future claimants, so it is often safer to land distant relatives. Also, members of your own dynasty do not like feudal elective succession, as a non-dynasty member could (theoretically) inherit. You will suffer a -5 opinion penalty with them, effectively cancelling out the +5 bonus for being of the same dynasty, in contrast to the +20 opinion bonus from vassals of other dynasties.

Damage other candidates[edit]

  • Check who is getting votes in the Inheritance tab of the Laws screen (F4).
  • Assassination may be possible, even against likeable candidates, due to the number of potential conspirators in a large realm.
  • Spying with the Intrigue focus gives you many methods of imprisoning them without tyranny. You can then throw them in the obuilette for -20 diplomacy and -2 health. If this isn't enough, for minor tyranny penalties, you can banish them (forcing them to abdicate to their heir) or even execute them.
  • Revoke titles to make them no longer a valid nominee. Imperial administration with duchy viceroys is excellent for this. Catholics can use a vassal pope or antipope to claim vassal titles.
  • Have zero or one vassal electors. By leaving duchies unfounded or destroying them, you can control an election completely, even in a medium-size kingdom. You might also give all duchies to a single "super-duke", but gavelkind makes this situation precarious.

Avoid realm splits[edit]

  • Avoid holding multiple kingdoms or empires: Electors may not choose the same candidate for both, causing grief similar to gavelkind.
  • Spread your culture: You have a better chance of the same candidate winning multiple elections if each set of electors shares your culture.
Feudal electiveTanistrySeniority