By choosing a focus, a ruler:
- Gets an immediate boost to the corresponding attribute;
- Unlocks related events, diplomatic actions or decisions;
- May eventually receive a lifestyle trait;
- Gets additional random events to improve the corresponding attribute if it is below 8.
- 1 Focuses
- 2 Collectible character modifiers
- 3 Strategies
- 3.1 Consider your attributes and traits
- 3.2 Managing traits
- 3.3 Choose your lifestyle trait carefully
- 3.4 Consider Business before getting a lifestyle trait
- 3.5 Choose complementary leadership & lifestyle traits
- 3.6 Change focus depending on your needs
- 3.7 Use a sequence of focuses to improve your health
- 3.8 Avoid peacetime focuses when war is likely
- 4 See also
All playable characters can have a focus, if adult (16+ years-old) and not Incapable . Imprisoned characters can only choose Seduction, Scholarship, or 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.
|Focus||Requirements||Modifiers||Traits & effects|
|Business||-|| +2 stewardship
+20 republic vassal opinion
|| +2 intrigue
|Intrigue||-|| +3 intrigue
+5% plot power
|Hunting||Not Jain|| +2 martial
|War||-|| +3 martial
+10 personal combat skill
|Carousing||If Muslim, must be one of:
|Family||-|| +2 diplomacy
|Theology||-|| +2 learning
+20 church opinion
Collectible character modifiers
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.
Chance on success in focus events:
Consider your attributes and traits
- 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)
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
- 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
Consider Business before getting a lifestyle trait
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
- 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
- Troops: War gets you demesne levies. Seduction helps form NAPs and Carousing helps turn NAPs into alliances. Intrigue gets you faction members.
- Cash: Business lets you invest in potentially lucrative opportunities. War gets you loot. 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). Even Intrigue helps, by giving +3 realm opinion per rank of prisoner released for 30 months, or by letting you replace your vassals.
- 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 .
- Establish affairs with old/dying characters: can find a Lover's Memento (+0.5 health), if you have The Reaper's Due
- 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
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.