Retiring a character

From Crusader Kings II Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Retiring a character is the tactic of causing the player's character to die, in order to immediately play as the character's heir. This may be considered gamey and does not work in real life.

Suicide decision[edit]

A suicide decision is available to adults with certain traits. It is accessed by right-clicking the player character's portrait.

Without DLC icon Reaper's Due.pngThe Reaper's Due, it requires being Depressed , and immediately kills the character.

With The Reaper's Due, it requires being Depressed or Incapable (characters who are Immortal have a different version that requires being Depressed or over 100 years old). Begins an event tree, letting you choose among several methods which have different chances of success depending on your character.

Suicide by poison, hanging, or falling will lower general opinion by -50 (inherited by your heir as -25). However, if you have a rival, you can aim for an honorable death in a duel (which you secretly intend to lose). Likewise, Incapable characters can receive assistance to disguise their suicide as an unsolved murder.

You may be able to gain the Depressed trait by:

Failed hunt[edit]

A failed hunt or a boring book (from the 'bored' event chain) can give the depressed trait.

Death of a loved wife[edit]

This technique can be used if your character is male, with the kind or charitable trait, and none of (kinslayer , celibate , or eunuch ).

Marry a woman who your character likes (50+ opinion):

  • Hover over characters in your "marriage ties" list to see your opinion of them
  • Any woman of your religion who has 20+ diplomacy and no incompatible traits
  • Note that "foreigner" (different culture) penalties are waived between spouses
  • Or, seduce a woman to make her your lover (+40 opinion)

Assassinate her. Alternatively, you may be able to execute her for little tyranny if she has no landed relatives or can be excommunicated.

Do not remarry. 64 days after her death, you will receive an event that lets you choose between lustful /incapable or depressed.

Death of a friend or lover[edit]

With The Reaper's Due, a set of "mourning events" can occur after the death of a lover, friend, or rival. The lover and friend versions each have an option with a 50% chance to become depressed. It is only possible to get a mourning event once every 10 years.

Encouraging plots against your character[edit]

If you believe there is a plot against you, either:

  • Fire your spymaster.
  • Anger your spymaster, hoping that he joins the plot.
  • Try to discover the plot, then appoint a plotter or conspirator as your spymaster.

Do things that make AI plots likely:

  • If you have a lover, get them married to a someone who hates you.
  • Anger your heir, your heir's spouse, and your heir's parents.
  • Gain rivals:

Tyranny is a quick way to make all your courtiers hate you. Unfortunately, it also makes your vassals hate you, which is dangerous as it encourages factions and the opinion malus from vassals is partially inherited. A safer method is to anger your high-intrigue courtiers by repeatedly granting and revoking an honorary title.


Lead troops through a province that is suffering an epidemic disease.

With The Reaper's Due, an alternative is to lead troops aboard ships to get Scurvy , though it often takes several years. It is possible to get Scurvy while you already have another disease.

Fire your Court Physician, or anger them to make successful treatment less likely (perhaps by repeatedly revoking and re-granting the title of physician).

DLC icon Way of Life.pngFocuses[edit]

With Way of Life:

  • With the Carousing focus, invite known cannibals to your parties, or at least potential cannibals.
  • With the War focus, duel characters who are your rivals, Cruel , Impaler , or (characters of another religion who are in any Holy Fury.pngWarrior Lodge). The War focus also prepares you to lead troops effectively in battle, which is something you may be more inclined to do if you want your character to die!

Retiring your character for your new heir[edit]

  • When your heir is something like 10-12 (this is assuming you want succession as they turn 16), look for characters with the strongest Personal Combat Skill you can find and antagonize them through the various tools at your disposal (Antagonize, Plot to kill, Cuckoldry etc) until you make them a Rival; avoid characters that have traits that make them turn down Duels, such as Craven. With two 12+ attributes, you can also educate children to be Ambitious and they'll instantly become Rivals (gift them equipment and make them Commanders to improve their PCS)
  • Make sure you can switch Focus when your heir is ready to take your place, so that you can can switch to War Focus to Duel people. Basically, don't switch Focus when your heir is 14 if you want him to succeed you upon turning 16)
  • Assuming you have at least two 12+ attributes and own Conclave, 1 or 2 years before your heir is ready, look for whatever brat in your realm has just turned 14 (or is about to) and educate them. You want to make them Diligent through the personal sacrifice guardianship event so that you gain Stressed. Your heir is usually a good candidate because Diligent is a fantastic trait and it will also improve their chance of getting a better education
  • About a year before your heir is ready, look for a province ravaged by a disease. Lead troops there until you get sick, and if it doesn't happen when your heir is about to reach adulthood move from there to the sea (if available) for a good chance of getting Scurvy
  • At the same time, find a garbage Court Physician and move him to your court. You want a character with low Learning, Learning Education lower than 3, no traits such as Scholar or Renowned Physician, and traits like Lunatic, Stressed, Drunkard, Blind etc.
  • If you manage to get sick, immediately pause the game, fire your competent Court Physician and hire the garbage one. Award them and Revoke whatever honorary title you have available until their opinion of you goes to -100. This and the above traits will make sure you get the Ill-Treatment modifier
  • If you still couldn't manage to die at that point, switch to War Focus and Duel your stash of Rivals, and if you don't mind the risks, lead troops into impossible battles


When a vassal rebels against failed imprisonment or title revocation, they use a CB that forces abdication. You can use this to your advantage and surrender intentionally. It is best if you initiate the war with justification, so your heir does not have negative "inherited opinion" from vassals.


Forced rebellions use an Overthrow ruler CB. Upon surrender, your current character will abdicate all titles to their heir (heirs?) and become a courtier.

Abdication does not transfer wealth or artifacts. It is recommended to gift most of your wealth and artifacts before surrendering. If your heir is your firstborn, the simplified form of primogeniture used by courtiers should transfer the remaining goods eventually.

Horse Lords.pngNomadic[edit]

Khans refusing absorption do not use the Overthrow Ruler CB, but instead the Install Self as Khagan CB. Losing this war results in being executed, which has the advantage of transferring wealth and artifacts correctly. However, you will be demoted to king tier, so this is only recommended if you have the power to reinstate your clan as rulers of the khaganate.

See also[edit]