Crusader Kings 3 Succession Guide – What Each Law Means

Crusader Kings 3 has changed a lot from the last title which released all the way back in 2012. One of the biggest departures is succession laws. No longer can you rush to Primogeniture, ensuring a single heir rule for years to come. No, Paradox has locked it behind a Late Medieval technology which means everyone is going to have to get used to the starting partition laws that split up your empire upon your death.

But what are the actual differences between the partition laws and the single heir laws? We break them down in this CK3 guide.

A reminder: Bad succession doesn’t mean failure. You set your own goals in Crusader Kings 3 and that doesn’t have to mean world domination.

Common Succession Laws

There are two types of succession laws available to “all” civilizations and I say “all” because you need to meet certain requirements to unlock each. One your main ruler dies you’ll either have a primary, but multiple heirs, or a single heir.

Confederate Partition

This is the starting succession law for most tribal nations. After you die, all of your titles will be divided equally between your children. The system will even make new titles for younger heirs if not enough titles exist. The player heir (i.e. the character you’ll play) is always given the primary title, realm capital, and direct De Jure titles associated with them.

Younger siblings are given titles of equal standing if any are available. If they are not, they’ll be given out the next available title.

For example, if you’re king, your primary heir will become king. Since there’s only one title of that level available, the rest of your children will be given duchy titles. If you haven’t yet founded a kingdom, your realm will be splintered into many different duchies instead.

Effects:

  • Direct Vassal Opinion: +5
  • House Opinion: +5
  • Eligible Child Opinion: +10

Partition

The only difference between Partition and Confederate Partition is new titles will not be created. In theory, this can help keep the current power balance in check.

Effects:

  • Direct Vassal Opinion: +5
  • Player Heir Opinion: +10
  • Eligible Child Opinion: +5

Requirements:

  • Limited Crown Authority
  • No Powerful Vassals with a negative opinion of you
  • Hereditary Rule innovation unlocked
  • Feudal or Clan government

High Partition

Again, High Partition is based off of Confederate Partition. Rather than splintering every single one of your titles and holdings, however, it gives most of them to your primary heir. In a High Partition succession the player heir will always inherit at least half of the recently deceased’s titles.

Effects:

  • Direct Vassal Opinion: +5
  • Player Heir Opinion: +5

Requirements:

  • Limited Crown Authority
  • No Powerful Vassals with a negative opinion of you
  • Hereditary Rule innovation unlocked
  • Feudal or Clan government

Primogeniture

The next three succession laws are much more straightforward with all of your titles going to a single person. Primogeniture is the first of them in which your eldest child inherits everything.

Effects:

  • Player Heir Opinion: +20
  • Eligible Child Opinion: -5

Requirements:

  • High Crown Authority
  • No Powerful Vassals with a negative opinion of you
  • Primogeniture innovation unlocked
  • Feudal or Clan government

Ultimogeniture

If age is a concern, you can also opt into giving everything you have to your youngest child.

Effects:

  • Player Heir Opinion: +20
  • Eligible Child Opinion: -5

Requirements:

  • High Crown Authority
  • No Powerful Vassals with a negative opinion of you
  • Primogeniture innovation unlocked
  • Feudal or Clan government

House Seniority

If you don’t like any of your children, you can also choose to give all of your titles to the eldest house member. This makes your children dislike you but can keep the house as a whole happier.

Effects:

  • Direct Vassal Opinions: -5
  • House Opinion: +5
  • Eligible Child Opinion: -15

Requirements:

  • High Crown Authority
  • No Powerful Vassals with a negative opinion of you
  • Primogeniture innovation unlocked
  • Feudal or Clan government

Less Common Succession Laws

There are also some laws which are exclusive to certain nations or titles. Papal Succession, for example, is an election by the College of Cardinals.

Feudal Elective

Some nations like Sweden have the ability to enable a more representative kingdom in which vassals can help choose the next ruler. For most of these, everyone with a title one step below you can cast a vote from a pool of characters that includes themselves and any of your children. This obviously gives you some more control over the other tribal inheritance options, but still leaves you open to a lot of risk. They could just vote for someone outside of your dynasty after all.

We’ll be adding more to this section as we uncover more succession types as we play!

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Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games.
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