When you’re expanding your empire in Crusader Kings 3, you’re going to need friends to help you out. As the territory grows, you have to have some way to manage it all. That’s where you all but have to hand off some responsibility to vassals. Your vassals in Crusader Kings 3 are going to become integral to managing your sprawling empire, especially in the late game.
As you start having children, keep an eye on what titles you have listed under De Jure claims. Use these De Jure claims to create a new title, which is given to your ruler, and you can then pass it onto an heir to give them a more stable position once your main character dies.
When deciding what titles and claims to give away, make use of the domain screen. Go over to the realm tab, the green crown on the upper right portion of the screen, open it to view your kingdom, and then hit the domain page. It contains a list of all the domains your character has under their name.
Basics of Vassals
Vassals come in a few different types, depending on their power and position. Knowing each of these and what to expect will help you in the long run
- Strong Vassal – Vassals who are equal or close to the Liege in power. Expect them to challenge you politically, or even declare war for independence.
- Powerful Vassal – Politically or militarily powerful Vassals that demand more of their Liege. These will often demand landed titles and council seats.
- Direct Vassal – These are Vassals directly controlled by their Liege. In usual terms, they hold a title beneath yours and are subservient to you. These are the ones that affect Vassal Limit.
Vassal Limits are important, if you go over this, you will incur tax and opinion penalties. Depending on your Vassal types. they will become more and more important as the game goes on. You can only hold so many landed titles before you start to incur penalties all over the place. The kingdoms all have an upper limit on their size to prevent a single person from gaining too much power. And under normal play, you will usually have to hand off duchies and other titles to vassals to keep them happy. You can help offset the need by focusing on Diplomacy and trying to improve your relationship with other characters, but this also has a limit on effectiveness.
The first method for getting more Vassals is to simply ask your friends. Eventually, you will also need more vassals in Crusader Kings 3 to handle land and claims as your empire grows. Your ideal approach is to get on good terms with your neighbors and offer them vassalage through the menu. The more diplomatically skilled your ruler, and the better the relationship with the target, the higher the chance that an offer is accepted. Also, being more powerful militarily can help in this regard, as characters are more likely to accept an offer from someone of both a higher title rank and with a larger army.
The second method relies on using a more aggressive approach. The aggressive approach requires you to go out of your way to invite you and use your Councillor to fabricate claims on your behalf, and that’s just the first part. You will then use the special decision to invite Claimants for the title you just fabricated on to court. It costs 350 prestige to increase the chance of prestigious guests to enter your court.
The goal here is to get members of your court with De Jure claims on nearby Duchies and Kingdoms. You will then need to use any method you can to install them into that position, assuming it’s lower than your own. If you are able to usurp the title of a neighboring Duchy and install that friendly character into it, you’re very likely to gain a new Vassal and some extra territory.
It’s always advisable to have options on the table in case of an emergency. If you’re facing a succession crisis it may be a good idea to have friends you can call on to take some troublesome land off your books.
If you’re in the mood for a more thorough rundown of Vassals in the game, check out this incredible video by Havoc: