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The prisoners screen

Alert imprison.png Imprisoned characters are held against their will by a ruler.

Causes of imprisonment[edit | edit source]

Arrest by liege[edit | edit source]

Lieges can attempt to arrest any character they control. This has a variable chance of success depending on respective Intrigue scores, and will incur tyranny if attempted without cause. Unsuccessful imprisonment of an unlanded subject or indirect vassal will cause them to flee the realm and abdicate titles to their heir if applicable, while unsuccessful imprisonment of a direct landed vassal will spark a rebellion with the Overthrow Ruler casus belli.

Valid causes for imprisonment include:

If as a liege, you have a direct vassal whom you consider too powerful or otherwise too threatening to your rule, it can be to your benefit to fail to imprison him (usually after your spymaster has caught him/her plotting against some random NPC). It's usually unlikely he will succeed in his revolt, and the revolt will give you cause for title revocation.

Other causes of imprisonment[edit | edit source]

Effects of imprisonment[edit | edit source]

Characters in prison:

  • require a regent and can have weak claims pressed against them
  • cannot create, join, or continue to be members of factions
  • cannot declare war
  • do not contribute to a dynasty's decadence
  • cannot become pregnant or impregnate women

Characters imprisoned by their liege:

  • cannot refuse title revocation (and the captor does not have to wait for an answer)
  • cannot refuse vassal retraction

Characters imprisoned by their direct vassal:

If a ruler's close relative is imprisoned, that ruler cannot declare war on his relative's captor.

If the leader of a war is imprisoned by the other side, the captor can enforce demands on the prisoner.

If a woman gives birth in prison, the infant remains in prison with her.

Actions available to captors[edit | edit source]

Move prisoner[edit | edit source]

Prisoners are usually held in dungeon cells, but can be moved at any time between:

  • Oubliette: -20 diplomacy, -2 health, no fertility
  • Dungeon Cell: -10 diplomacy, -1 health, no fertility
  • House arrest: -5 diplomacy

Rulers left in dungeon cells will eventually trigger an event requesting nicer conditions. In this event, you can change their conditions or release them for a favor.

Actions that kill prisoners[edit | edit source]

Method Ruler requirements Kinslayer Notes
Action execute.png Execute May add Kinslayer May require a council vote. May incur tyranny or upset characters in the victim's realm. Costs piety if same religion.
Sacrifice Aztec religion
(not reformed to Peaceful)
no Victim must be an adult.
Gain piety based on victim tier, starting at 5 piety. Bonus prestige (double the piety gained) is given if the ruler has the Bloodthirsty Bloodline.
Sacrifice Non-Aztec religion with Holy Fury.png"Bloodthirsty Gods" doctrine no Victim must not follow the same religion.
Gain piety based on victim tier, starting at 5 piety. Bonus prestige (double the piety gained) is given if the ruler has the Bloodthirsty Bloodline.
Does not cause "Executed my child" opinion modifier.
Have Judged by Zun Zunist religion no Victim must be your direct subject in addition to being your prisoner. Usually kills the prisoner, but other outcomes are also possible.
Devour Bear or dragon, or (Cannibal and (Lunatic or Possessed )) May add Kinslayer 40% chance to get sick, 10% chance to gain power. Gaining power requires Supernatural Events to be On or Unrestricted.
Getting sick causes Food Poisoning Food Poisoning (50%), Diarrhea (25%), or Vomiting (25%).
Gaining power absorbs positive congenital traits, many personality traits, and Immortal . Eating a head of religion will remove Zealous and give the Sympathy trait for the religion.Non-inheritable(Shrewd ,Brawny ,etc.) traits cant be obtained this way.
If the eater is not a bear or dragon, he will gain the Crazy Cannibal modifier, which gives -50 general opinion and makes him ineligible for sainthood. He will also become a Lunatic .
Bear or dragon culture must be graphical, and the character's actual culture is irrelevant. Note that being a bear or dragon does not protect from getting sick.
Throw in the Brazen Bull Phalaris bloodline no These "intimidating execution" methods cost tier-scaled piety and if used by a ruler with the Kind trait, they have a 50% chance to lose it. Other rulers have a 25% chance to receive the Cruel trait.

Whenever used by a ruler who has none of the Cruel , Impaler , or Lunatic traits, or on a close relative regardless of traits, there is a 20% chance to get Stressed , an 8% chance to become Depressed , and a 2% chance to become a Lunatic .

Executing any prisoner with these methods grants the character modifier Intimidated Court (National Revolt Risk -5.0%, Plot Power Defence +10.0%) for 1250 days (about 3.5 years). This modifier does not stack.

Executing a vassal ruler additionally intimidates any other vassal or courtier who is at least 5 years old and does not have the Brave trait into submission (+20 opinion) for 4 years. The opinion modifier requires the vassal ruler executed to be your direct vassal, i.e. the vassal of a vassal will not work, but the tier of the vassal is unimportant. The opinion modifier is stackable, and the 4 year duration renews with each vassal burning. The tooltip states, incorrectly, that the opinion modifier is +10.

All three methods allow performing unjustified executions without incurring a tyranny penalty. Prisoners must be at least 13 to be embalmed.

Embalm Prisoner Murder bloodline: Macabre Banquet May add Kinslayer
Burn Prisoner Murder bloodline: Burning
Dragon culture

Execution in festivals[edit | edit source]

Some rulers can also hold festivals that include prisoner sacrifice:

  • Germanic pagans: Blot
  • Most other pagans: Ancestor Worship
  • Rajas of India.pngHindus with Kali as patron goddess: Kali Puja

Actions that release prisoners[edit | edit source]

  • Action banish.png Banish vassal: they are forced to abdicate all titles. Must be your direct vassal.
  • Action banish.png Banish courtier: you seize their wealth, and they move to another court. You must be their liege in addition to their captor (host). Cannot banish your spouse.
  • Action ransom.png Ransom: generally, AI rulers will pay to ransom themselves, spouses, close kin, or courtiers rich enough to reimburse the ransom. They may pay ransom for other dynasty members they like enough (moving these prisoners to house arrest helps). The AI will often refuse to grant ransom to characters who hold claims on their titles. For traitors, counts as punishment. If multiple prisoners have the same liege, ransom offers have to be made consecutively; coupled with the time it takes for the liege to respond, a significant duration may pass before all prisoners are successfully ransomed.
  • Action release.png Release: +3 realm opinion per rank, for 30 months, when releasing a ruler. Does not stack when releasing multiple vassals. 5 piety if prisoner is of same religion.
  • Demand religious conversion.png Demand religious conversion: Must be your courtier or direct vassal. For traitors, does not count as punishment.
  • Force a female prisoner to become a concubine.
  • With Dlc icon legacy of rome.png Legacy of Rome:
  • With DLC icon Reaper's Due.png The Reaper's Due:
    • Torture
    • Mutilate
    • Bad Poetry: Requires Poet .
    • Humiliate: Prisoner gets Publicly Humiliated for 10 years (-25 general opinion, -2 monthly prestige)
    • Recruit courtier: Must be an unmarried capable adult who isn't inheriting titles, and not parent/child/lover/friend of their liege. Opinion difference at least -25. Note that you can send gifts to prisoners to increase their opinion.

Prisoners will also be released if:

  • The captor chooses to sign a peace treaty in a war to which the prisoner contributes warscore (100% for ruler, 50% for spouse or heir, 5% for ruler's other children). Exception if the prisoner is the ruler and the war was caused by an attempt to arrest him, he will then continue in prison after forcing terms.
  • The captor loses all titles and becomes a courtier.
Personal attributes