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Open or Turkish succession is a succession law where the most powerful descendant inherits all.


  • Before Holy Fury.pngHoly Fury, available only to Dlc icon sword of islam.pngMuslims, and is generally their only available succession law
    • Muslim Merchant republics use Patrician elective like other merchant republics.
    • Iqta realms can use feudal elective only after passing 'Full council authority" council law, which requires DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave DLC. Once elective succession has been adopted, it will be kept even if the council laws are changed.
    • One of the few non-gavelkind succession laws available to tribal rulers (the others being Tanistry, exclusive to Celtic cultures and Holy Fury.pngholders of certain bloodlines, and Eldership).
    • With Holy Fury.png, available to reformed pagans with the Agnatic Clans or Enatic Clans doctrines.
  • Fratricidal succession wars may result, as most of the potential heirs may already be landed in an attempt to determine the final succession. Potential heirs also have bad relationships with the successor, due to -20 opinion from "title claimant" and -20/-40 from "brother/half-brother".
  • Rulers do not get a Prestige penalty for having unlanded sons.
  • Gender law normally restricted to agnatic . With DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave, Notable status of women and Full status of women permit enactment of respectively agnatic-cognatic and absolute cognatic.
  • All non-inheriting male children receive strong claims on all titles. All female children receive inheritable weak claims.
  • Bastards can inherit, an exception to the normal rule. This results in a game over should it happen to the player, as the child will still be considered "non-dynastic".


Character Opinion modifier Reason
Oldest child -10 Potential title competitors among siblings.


Sons and grandsons are both equal, and have priority over other relatives. Sons of daughters are not eligible at all (if non-dynastic?). However, if the gender law is agnatic-cognatic (requires Conclave DLC and relevant level of "status of women" law), non-dynastic grandsons can inherit if their mothers are in the line of succession.

The following criteria are taken into account to select the heir:

  • the number of titles
  • the rank of titles (e.g. duchy > county > barony)

If no close dynastic relative is landed, then the eldest son will inherit, followed by other sons, the father (in the special case of when the title was given and not inherited from him), then brothers, then uncles. Living sons seem to be preferred over elder-branch grandsons when no descendants are landed.

In case of no dynastic heir, whoever has the most land in the realm will inherit, subject to rank restrictions (e.g. duchy > county > barony).

Muslim Strategies[edit]

  • Land the heir with the best traits.
    • Giving him only a castle or mosque which is de jure part of your demesne counties is safest. As a baron-tier ruler, he won't get himself tangled in wars with other vassals, and he'll accept marriage proposals without the "desires a better non-aggression pact" malus. However, if DLC icon Reaper's Due.pngThe Reaper's Due is active, barons cannot appoint Court Physicians, leaving them vulnerable to disease.
    • Preferably, this heir should have become decadent and accepted "straightening up", thus preventing him from being decadent again.
  • Avoid landing other sons when possible to reduce succession troubles (and to prevent them from fathering lots of grandchildren who may cause even more decadence). However, sons who have become decadent and straightened up can be considered for succession.
  • Control the number of potential heirs by marrying women who are 40 years old. Arrange marriages for sons (a mix of fertile and old women and hit the maximum of 4) before landing them.
Gender Law (Requires DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave DLC or game rules setting)

Adopting agnatic-cognatic allows matrilineal marriage, which is useful if females of your dynasty have desirable genetic traits. However, all grandsons (even non-dynastic ones) stand to inherit if their mothers (your daughters) are in the line of succession. Marrying claimants to female dynasty members matrilineally means that your dynasty stands to inherit land once the claims have been pressed.

For absolute cognatic, note that matrilineal marriages in Islam are monogamous. This, combined with female fertility ending at age 46, means that you have fewer heirs. However, your sons are more likely to have the -20 opinion modifier for full brothers, rather than the -40 one for half-brothers. Also, remember that female rulers can die during childbirth or be incapacitated by a Troubled Pregnancy, potentially causing a regency; the Final Months of a pregnancy will always trigger a regency for female rulers.


Since open succession combined with polygamy typically produces an unusually large number of claimants compared to conventional feudal realms, it is usually fairly easy to find a claimant for any given title whom you can invite to your court, land, and then press the claim for. You can further combine this with the DLC icon Conclave.pngfavor mechanic to rapidly conquer large swathes of Muslim realms, even if you yourself are not a Muslim.

Reformed Pagan Strategies[edit]

  • Unlike Muslims, reformed pagans with Open succession do not have to worry about Icon decadence.pngdecadence.
  • If a reformed pagan is a nomad, Open succession is arguably superior to Nomadic succession as all males (with Agnatic Clans) / females (with Enatic Clans) of the dynasty will be eligible to inherit, while nomadic succession disinherits dynasts of a different culture. If playing as a Khagan, Open succession allows children to inherit instead of losing the Khaganate to a vassal clan.
    • However, as nomads cannot hand out titles to courtiers easily, they have some difficulty in determining the succession.
Gender Law
  • You still have to deal with pregnancies and fertility age and whatnot, but unlike muslim women, pagan women with Enatic Clans can take consorts if you ever feel the need to boost the dynasty numbers.
  • Keep bloodlines in mind. Agnatic Clans disable matrilineal marriages and as such practically remove your access to any bloodlines of other dynasties (well, theoretically, females of your dynasty can still marry matrilinealy in other courts, but since YOU can never initiate a matrilineal marriage or betrothal, good luck having them marry the bloodline holders while you have literally no say in the matter), while Enatic Clans with their non-stop matrilineal marriages both facilitate absorption of patrilineal bloodlines and enable easy inheritance of matrilineal bloodlines. Do, however, keep in mind that variable-nature bloodlines created by your female rulers will be founded as matrilineal bloodlines, which will come back to bite you should you ever want to change religion and go back to agnatic or mixed inheritance. That said, all the patrilineal bloodlines you have had easy time absorbing will be kept without any problems, so as long as you don't plan on creating any bloodlines for a while, temporarily going into religion with Enatic Clans to grab bloodlines can be a viable (although probably needlessly overcomplicated) strategy.