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Focus A focus defines the general development objective of a character. If the DLC icon Way of Life.pngWay of Life DLC is active, adults can choose a long-term effort among ten focuses (two for each attribute).

Choose focus screen (v.2.8)

By choosing a focus, a ruler:

Focuses[edit | edit source]

All playable characters can have a focus, if adult (16+ years-old) and not Incapable . Imprisoned characters can only choose Seduction Seduction, Scholarship Scholarship, or Theology Theology. Other restrictions are noted below.

After five years, it is possible to switch to another focus. This can be useful once the player has exhausted the main benefits of a focus, or if they want to collect positive traits and character modifiers from multiple focuses.

AI characters choose their focus based on traits and government type, instead of needs. They rarely change focus after selecting one.

Focus Requirements Modifiers Traits & effects
Rulership focus.png Rulership - +3 stewardship
  • Random events include:
    • Opportunity to build a castle for only 400g (actual cost may vary... might even fail, have a Steward with more than 5 Stewardship to get a better chance of good result)
    • Stressed or Depressed
    • Some other not so important events (A peasant accused of murder, Noble feud between two vassals, A vassal's farm fire, A witch find in demesne, Drunkard vassal, City brigands)
  • On success in events, chance to:
    • Gain Just , Diligent , or Ambitious
    • Lose Arbitrary , Slothful , or Content
    • Level up stewardship education trait
    • Progress toward Administrator (+3 stewardship, +10% movement speed) lifestyle trait
Business focus.png Business - +2 stewardship

+20 republic vassal opinion

  • Occasionally starts a Mint Coin event chain.
  • Occasionally starts a Trading event chain.
    • Establishing a trade route gives a chance to level up stewardship education trait
  • Architect (+2 Stewardship, +1 Martial, -3% Great Construction Build Cost, -5% Great Construction Time) or Gardener (+2 Stewardship, +1 Learning) lifestyle trait
  • Stressed
Seduction focus.png Seduction
  • Not celibate
  • Not monk
  • Not nun
  • Not Indian ascetic
+2 Intrigue

+25% fertility
+10 sex appeal

  • Enables Seduce action to improve opinion, tumble, and/or become lover
  • Additional random events, including one for women to escape from prison
  • On success in events, chance to:
    • Level up intrigue education
    • Gain Lustful or lose Chaste
    • Gain Court Tomcat or Court Vixen (+1 Intrigue, +10 sex appeal)
    • Level up to Aspiring Seducer, then Seducer (further improving sex appeal)
      • Choice to level up to
        • Master seductress or Master seducer (+2 Intrigue, +1 Diplomacy, +50 sex appeal)
        • Hedonist (+2 Diplomacy, +1 intrigue, +20% fertility)
Intrigue focus.png Intrigue - +3 Intrigue
+5% plot power
  • Enables Spy On action, to discover plots or other imprisonment reasons
  • Enables Free from Captivity action
  • On success in events, chance to:
    • Level up intrigue education
    • Gain Deceitful (or lose Honest )
    • Level up to Amateur Schemer, then Schemer
    • Choice between
      • Level up to Master schemer (+3 Intrigue) lifestyle trait
      • Impaler (+2 Intrigue, +1 learning, +10% Morale Offense) lifestyle trait
Hunting focus.png Hunting Not Jain +2 martial

+1 health

  • Enables Go on a Grand Hunt Decision icon hunting.png.
  • Moderate yearly chance to start an Epic Hunt
  • Hunter (+2 Martial, +1 Diplomacy, +20% battlefield Pursuit) lifestyle trait
  • Lose or gain Stressed ( random events that require owning a pet dog)
  • Gain Brawny or lose Frail /Weak
  • Gain Humble
War focus.png War - +3 martial
+10 personal combat skill
  • Lets you challenge characters to duel
    • Valid targets are rivals, foes, excommunicated characters, and decadent characters
    • Lose a duel may result in Wounded or even Maimed
  • By random training events or winning a duel, chance to:
    • Gain Wroth (or lose Patient )
    • Gain Brave (or lose Craven )
    • Gain Brawny (or lose Weak and Frail )
    • Progress toward Duelist lifestyle trait
    • Level up to Warrior (+1 Martial, +10 Personal Combat Skill)
  • Progress toward Strategist lifestyle trait by winning random war game event
  • Random chances to level up martial education
  • Random opportunities to gain leadership traits and/or teach them to your commanders
  • Choice between
    • Duelist (+3 Martial, +30 Personal combat skill) lifestyle trait
    • Strategist (+2 Martial, +1 Stewardship, +20% Defense) lifestyle trait
Carousing focus.png Carousing If Muslim, must be one of:
  • decadent
  • hedonist
  • drunkard
+3 diplomacy
  • Enables Invite to Carousing action, letting you host private parties.
    • Form friendships, sleep with guests
    • Lose Stressed or Depressed
    • Various character modifiers that increase diplomacy or opinion
    • Choice between
      • Hedonist (+2 Diplomacy, +1 Intrigue, +20% Fertility) lifestyle trait
      • Socializer (+3 Diplomacy, +10 Sex appeal opinion) lifestyle trait
      • Game Master (+2 Diplomacy, +1 Martial, +30% battlefield Narrow Flank) lifestyle trait
Family focus.png Family - +2 diplomacy

+1 health
+25% fertility

  • Improve relationship and possibly become lovers:
    • With spouse
  • Improve relationship and possibly create a friendship:
    • With sibling
    • Between two close dynasty members
    • Between two minor children
  • Improve relationship only:
    • With parent
    • With child
  • On success in events, chance to:
    • Level up diplomacy education trait
    • Gain proud (or lose humble )
    • Level up to Family Man/Woman, then Family Patriarch/Matriarch
    • Choice between:
      • Socializer (+3 Diplomacy, +10 Sex appeal opinion) lifestyle trait
      • Game Master (+2 Diplomacy, +1 Martial, +30% battlefield Narrow Flank) lifestyle trait
Scholarship focus.png Scholarship - +3 learning
  • Tech point events are more frequent (e.g. spymaster study technology)
  • Enables decision to Build an observatory Decision icon build observatory.png, which can give:
    • Deceitful , Diligent , Stressed , +1 learning
    • Choice between:
      • Stars: military tech points, Cynical , Zealous , Brave , and Scholar lifestyle trait (+3 Learning)
      • Weird: cultural tech points, Paranoid , Lunatic , and Mystic lifestyle trait (+2 Learning, +1 Stewardship)
Theology focus.png Theology - +2 learning

+20 church opinion
+1 Health

  • Lets Christians and Dharmans Go on a Pilgrimage Decision icon catholic pilgrimage.png:
    • Pilgrim trait
    • 2-3 random events that can give other traits, mostly positive
  • From rare random events:
    • Choice to become Zealous (including a hidden choice by visiting a controlled holy site)
    • Choice to become Cynical
    • Choice to gain Sympathy for the religion group of a random infidel in your realm
    • Choice to gain Theologian lifestyle trait (+2 Learning, +1 Intrigue)
    • Lose Stressed or Depressed
  • Return from religious seclusion to be a better person. Choose between losing any of the following traits: Gluttonous , Slothful , Drunkard , Lustful , Chaste (not for Christians or Dharmans), Syphilitic , Lunatic (with risk of becoming Possessed ), and with supernatural events enabled, even Blinded or Leper . The default choice gives piety and chances of becoming Temperate or Diligent .
    • Seclusion event is 2x more frequent if Zealous , less frequent (x0.25) if Cynical .
    • Seclusion last for one week.

Collectible character modifiers[edit | edit source]

You can only have 1 lifestyle trait, and personality traits often disappear once you have more than 6. Character modifiers, in contrast, can be collected in large numbers.

Many focuses feature a level up mechanic, in which you first gain character modifiers, and then have the opportunity to gain a lifestyle trait.

Focus Long-duration modifiers Opportunities
Rulership focus.png Rulership
  • Levels:
    • Amateur Steward (+1 stewardship)
    • Steward (+2 stewardship)
    • Administrator (+3 stewardship)
  • By becoming Administrator , can also get:
    • Respected Ruler (+10 vassal opinion), with 8 stewardship
    • Legendary Wisdom (+1 monthly prestige), with 12 stewardship
    • Great Raja Dharma (+2 stewardship), if Jain
  • Random
  • It helps to have many direct vassals, because some events have vassal requirements:
    • A drunkard vassal
    • Two vassals who hate each other
    • A burgher and a non-burgher
  • Respected Ruler and Legendary Wisdom do not require continued Rulership focus.
Business focus.png Business
  • Levels:
    • Aspiring Trader (+1 stewardship)
    • Trader (+2 stewardship)
    • Gardener (+2 stewardship, +1 learning)
    • or Architect (+2 stewardship, +1 martial, -3% Great Construction Build Cost, -5% Great Construction Time)
  • Tower:
    • Great Tower (+1 monthly prestige and +5 general opinion)
    • Province modifier leaning_tower (city_tax_modifier = 0.15)
    • Province modifier Quarry decreases construction cost for 80 years
  • Maze:
    • Fountain, Extravagant Fountain (+.5 or +1 monthly prestige)
    • Pavilion (+3 general opinion)
    • Magnificent maze (+1 diplomacy)
    • Aspiring Gardener (+1 stewardship) - can upgrade to Gardener , separate from Level progression
  • Trading:
    • Business Contacts (+10 town opinion)
    • Province modifier Trade Route (increased tax for tribes, cities, and castles)
  • Random
    • With MTTH 2 years, an event chain is picked from among the ones you are eligible for
    • Tower or Maze chains will not be picked if you already have a lifestyle trait
    • Tower or Maze chains will only be picked if you have already Trader from a successful trade mission
    • Tower and Maze chains are mutually exclusive, completing one disables the other
    • Tower is not available to tribal or nomadic rulers
  • Must not be leading troops
Seduction focus.png Seduction
  • Levels:
    • Aspiring Seducer (+15 sex appeal)
    • Seducer (+1 intrigue, +30 sex appeal)
    • Master seducer or Master seductress (+2 intrigue, +1 diplomacy, +50 sex appeal)
  • Random
    • Bodyguard lover (+1 martial and +10% plot discovery chance)
    • Maidservant Lover (+1 intrigue and +10% plot discovery chance)
  • On success, e.g. in targeted seduction:
    • Court Vixen or Court Tomcat (+1 intrigue, +10 sex appeal)
  • For opinion boosts: seduce characters who are lustful and have unattractive genetic traits
  • For tumble attempts: seduce characters with a clear kitchen-meeting strategy
  • To be safe if you leave a note: don't seduce unlanded spouses of rulers
Intrigue focus.png Intrigue
  • Levels:
    • Amateur Schemer (+1 intrigue)
    • Schemer (+2 intrigue)
    • Master schemer (+3 intrigue)
Hunting focus.png Hunting
  • From Going on a Grand Hunt Decision icon hunting.png:
    • ...
  • From epic hunt:
    • The white <animal> eludes me... (+1 martial)
    • Master hunter (+1 martial, +0.1 monthly prestige)
    • Hunter (+2 martial, +1 diplomacy)
  • From pet dog:
    • Pet hunting dog (+1 health, +1 diplomacy)
    • Training your dog removes Frail , adds Diligent , or adds 1 health
    • If lunatic on death of dog, allows constructing Pyramid in capital (-5% revolt risk)
  • Grand hunt:
    • Must be male
    • Must be Christian, Pagan, or Zoroastrian group
    • You can do 2-3 hunts per season.
  • Epic hunt:
    • Random opportunities
    • White [stag, bear, tiger, or lion] depending on location
  • Pet dog:
    • Random
    • Training your dog does not require continued Hunting focus
    • You only train the dog once, so if you want the extra health, become diligent first
War focus.png War
  • Duelist levels:
    • Warrior (+1 martial, +10 personal combat skill)
    • Great Warrior (+2 martial, +20 personal combat skill)
    • Duelist (+3 martial, +30 personal combat skill)
  • Strategist levels: (can get character modifiers after gain the lifestyle trait)
    • Student of Strategy (+1 martial)
    • Adept of Strategy (+1 martial, +1 stewardship)
    • Strategist (+2 martial, +1 stewardship)
  • Chance when you win duels and in random events
  • Must be at peace to duel
  • Can progress toward Strategist through war game random event chain
Carousing focus.png Carousing
  • Carousing levels:
    • Carouser (+1 diplomacy)
    • Dedicated Carouser (+2 diplomacy)
    • Hedonist (+2 diplomacy, +1 intrigue) or Socializer (+3 diplomacy)
  • Gaming levels:
    • Apprentice Boardgamer (+1 diplomacy)
    • Game Master (+2 diplomacy, +1 martial).
  • You level up in carousing each time you host a party
  • To make gaming more likely, invite a Game Master as a guest
  • Must be at peace to carouse
Family focus.png Family
  • Levels: (can get character modifiers after gain the lifestyle trait)
    • Family Man/Woman (+10% fertility)
    • Family Patriarch/Matriarch (+1 diplomacy, +20% fertility, +5 church opinion)
    • Socializer (+3 Diplomacy, +10 Sex appeal opinion) or Game Master (+2 Diplomacy, +1 Martial, +30% battlefield Narrow Flank)

Chance on success in focus events:

  • It helps to have a family large enough that you have a valid target (or pair) for each event:
    • Sibling; parent; child; spouse; 2 minor children; 2 adult relatives
  • Kind helps in many events
  • Seduction level helps in spouse event
Scholarship focus.png Scholarship
  • Studying the Stars (+1 learning) if you cancel the focus
  • Heliocentrist Scholar (+2 learning) or Scholar (+3 learning)
  • Weird Scholar (+1 learning, +1 stewardship) or Mystic (+2 learning, +1 stewardship)

From building an observatory Decision icon build observatory.png

Theology focus.png Theology
  • Levels:
    • Religious Studies (+1 learning)
    • Religious Philosopher (+2 learning)
    • Theologian (+2 learning, +1 intrigue)
  • Christians can also collect the special Pilgrim trait

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Consider your attributes and traits[edit | edit source]

  • Improve low stats first, because ambition events improve your base stats
  • Hone your strengths to get a council position
  • Level up your education (Diplomacy -> Family, Intrigue -> Seduction or Intrigue, Stewardship -> Rulership or Business)

Managing traits[edit | edit source]

Focuses are a fairly easy way to gain positive traits and lose negative or less desirable ones:

  • Lose Arbitrary and gain Diligent , Ambitious and Just from Rulership
  • Gain Greedy from Business
  • Lose Chaste and gain Lustful from Seduction
  • Lose Honest and gain Deceitful from Intrigue
  • Gain Diligent or +1 health and lose Stressed and Depressed from Hunting
  • Gain Brawny and Brave from War
  • Lose Stressed and Depressed from Carousing
  • Gain Diligent , Brave , Cynical , Zealous or Paranoid from Scholarship
  • Gain Pilgrim from Theology

However, some focuses can also cause characters to gain negative traits; remember that gaining a trait which is "opposite" of one which you currently have will remove the current trait as well.

Choose your lifestyle trait carefully[edit | edit source]

  • Master seducer or Master seductress , if you want a very large family. Compared to the level-2 character modifier, it gives +20 sex appeal and a special bedding option.
  • Master schemer , if spying is crucial to your strategy. Compared to the level-2 character modifier, it makes spying significantly faster.
  • Administrator , if your stewardship is 8 or higher, and you want the +10 vassal opinion
  • If Christian and aiming for sainthood, Impaler and Hedonist will disqualify your character!

Consider Business before getting a lifestyle trait[edit | edit source]

The Business focus tower and maze events give great character modifiers, but can only fire if you do not have a lifestyle trait. Note that these event chains can get very expensive if your income is high.

Choose complementary leadership & lifestyle traits[edit | edit source]

  • Administrator stacks with Organizer .
  • Architect stacks with Siege leader .
  • Game master stacks with Narrow flank leader .
  • Most combat specializations go well with Strategist (+20% defense) or Hunter (+20% pursuit).

Change focus depending on your needs[edit | edit source]

  • Troops:
    • War gets you demesne levies.
    • Seduction helps form NAPs, while Carousing helps turn NAPs into alliances
    • Intrigue gets you faction members.
  • Cash:
    • Business lets you invest in potentially lucrative opportunities.
    • War gets you loot if you can raid.
    • Intrigue gets you ransoms.
  • Vassal opinion:
    • Carousing (+100 from friendships)
    • Rulership (+20 from Just , Diligent , respected ruler)
    • Business (+8 from tower and pavilion)
    • War (+10 from Brave , Brawny )
    • Scholarship (+10 from Brave , Diligent , and possibly more)
    • Theology (+5 from Pilgrim for Christians; if Catholic, +20 church opinion can influence clergy to provide liege taxes and levies).
    • Even Intrigue helps, by giving +3 realm opinion per rank of prisoner released for 30 months, or by letting you replace your vassals.

Use a sequence of focuses to improve your health[edit | edit source]

  • Seduction to improve health in many ways
    • Establish affairs with kind/diligent characters: if you are not getting along with your wife, lovers can invite you to a getaway. This gives you +1 health for 1 year, and perhaps more importantly, can remove stressed/depressed. The event will trigger more often if you have many lovers, if your lovers are kind , and if your lovers are diligent .
    • DLC icon Reaper's Due.png: Establish affairs with old/dying characters: can find a Lover's Memento (+0.5 health).
    • Establish rivalries with jealous husbands, if you plan to duel while using the War focus
    • Establish a large family, so your Court Physician can more easily gain the Renowned Physician trait and the "received professional praise" opinion modifier
  • War or Hunting for chance of Brawny trait; Hunting can help lose Frail / Weak
    • More chances if you duel, at the risk of Wounded or Maimed
    • Best in or near the Byzantine empire, where there are many blind characters: they are unlikely to win duels.
  • Scholarship and/or Rulership risks Stressed (additional risk for Depressed for Rulership), but can allow you to pick up Diligent and other great traits.
  • Carousing if you still need to de-stress yourself (or your relatives)
  • Hunting at old age (+1 health while focus is active, +1 health for dog's lifespan, +1 health permanently for training dog while diligent)

Avoid peacetime focuses when war is likely[edit | edit source]

The following focuses are more useful when at peace:

  • Carousing focus: "Invite to Carousing" requires peace.
  • Theology focus: "Go on a Pilgrimage" (Christian/Dharmic) requires peace.
  • Hunting focus: "Hold a Grand Hunt" requires peace. The demesne levy boost is useful before war, but less so during war.
  • War focus: "Challenge to Duel" requires peace.

Furthermore, some focuses are less useful if you plan to lead troops:

  • Business focus: most events won't fire while leading troops
  • Seduction focus: targeted seduction tombola is skipped if leading troops
  • War focus: training events (MTTH) won't fire while leading troops
  • Family focus: events to improve relations won't fire while leading troops

Consider not only whether you plan to initiate a war, but also whether you are likely to be pulled into one:

  • Your factions are likely to rebel
  • Your provinces are likely to revolt, especially with dangerous religious or liberation revolts
  • Your allies are subject to faction rebellion
  • Your allies are likely to go to war and request help. They will request help until combined strength is 1.5 times the enemy's.

See also[edit | edit source]

Personal attributes