Each character has base attributes which are then impacted by their traits. The total is displayed on the character screen, while the base is visible on mouseover. Base attributes are mostly acquired during childhood through education, but can also be altered by events.
Some events and event chains will only have certain choices open to the player if the qualifying level of an attribute is active. For example, if a vassal demands a title, but their liege rejects it, there will normally result in a lengthy opinion malus; although, if the liege's diplomacy is high enough, they can reject the request politely and avoid upsetting the vassal.
For many applications of attributes, the relevant factor is the state attribute, instead of the character's attribute.
State attribute = Ruler's attribute + (0.5 x Spouse's attribute) + Councilor's attribute
- Under Iqta, nomadic or Tribal governments, only the primary spouse's attributes affect the state attributes. Concubines and secondary wives do not affect them
- If there is a regency, the regent's attributes plus the councilor's are used instead
- If a regent or spouse is also a councilor, they will only count once. Hence, regents and spouses should not become councilors (except secondary wives for Muslims)
- If Conclave DLC is active, the player can increase state attributes by swapping a regent-councilor to the Advisor council slot.
- A courtier's state skill (e.g., for monthly prestige gain) is just their personal skill
- The state attributes are displayed between parenthesis on the character screen.
- Increases realm courtiers' opinion towards the character (councilors and spouses included)
- Used to determine direct vassal limits, along with spouse's diplomacy (vassal bonus= 30% of (ruler's diplomacy + 1/2 of spouse's diplomacy) with the final value rounded down).
- Combined with the learning attribute determines cultural technology points accumulated each month, if the character is not nomadic and of at least duke-rank
- If the character is a chancellor on their liege's council, this attribute is used to determine their ability.
- Increases everyone's opinion toward the character (except direct vassals and courtiers)
- Increases the opinion effectiveness of gifts
- Gives character prestige (+0.01/month per point)
- Affects the character's skill as a commander, while leading battles personally
- Used to determine the character's demesne levy size and speed of demesne levy reinforcement
- Combined with the learning attribute determines military technology points accumulated each month, if the character is not nomadic and of at least duke-rank
- If the character is a marshal on their liege's council, it is used to determine their ability.
- increases the rate at which armies recover morale.
- Combined with the stewardship of a character's spouse is used to determine the ruler's maximum demesne (desmense limit bonus = 15% of (ruler's stewardship + 1/2 of spouse's stewardship)). Note that nomads do not have a demesne limit
- Combined with the learning attribute determines economic technology points accumulated each month, if the character is not nomadic and of at least duke-rank
- Increases the rate of province converting to the character's culture
- If the character is a steward on their liege's council, it is used to determine their ability.
- Increases demesne income (+2% per point).
- If the character is a spymaster on their liege's council, it is used to determine their ability
- It does not give any technology boost.
- Increases plot power (and decreases the power of plots against the player)
- Makes the character's plots less likely to be discovered
- Increases imprisonment chance (and makes the character harder to get imprisoned).
Learning is a measure of a character's knowledge. It is the determining attribute for a Court Chaplain's council jobs. If the The Reaper's Due Expansion is active, the court physician's successes are also affected by this attribute.
- Combined with diplomacy, martial, and stewardship attributes to determine monthly technology points
- If the character is a Court Chaplain on their liege's council, it is used to determine their ability.
- Gives the character piety (or equivalent) (+0.02/month per point).
Characters can strive to improve their base attributes in several ways:
- Education: A skilled guardian will pass on his skills ( Conclave DLC inactive)
- Breeding: A child grown up by high skilled progenitors (or guardian) has a better chance of ending up with higher base attributes (with Conclave Expansion).
- If Way of Life DLC is inactive, the player may attempt to fulfil an ambition goal in order to increase base attributes up to level 8 in a specified skill. The character can choose one ambition at each time
- If Way of Life Expansion is active, focuses incorporate events to improving base attributes as well as adding many other modifiers
- Child education may result in effects on guardians (without the Conclave Expansion)
- Friendship can sometimes result in an attribute boost
- If Monks and Mystics DLC is active, societies can trigger events which grant the character attribute points
- Some religions have passive attribute bonuses and exclusive traits connected to them, e.g., Crusader (+2 martial), Mutazilite (+5 learning), Berserker (+4 martial), Theravada buddhist (+1 learning)
- Many artifacts provide attribute bonuses.
Healthy characters are less likely to fall prey to, and more likely to fully recover from, disease. They are also less likely to die from old age per month than ill characters. High health is key to a long life.
Fertility determines how likely an individual character is to conceive children. it should be noted that both parents' fertility is taken into account. In addition, it appears that having spouses who are also lovers will make it 3 times more likely for pregnancy to occur.
Various traits affect fertility, such as:
- Hedonist (+20%)
- Lustful (+20%)
- Shaktist hindu (+20%)
- Midas touched (+15%)
- Fortune builder (+10%)
- Grey eminence (+10%)
- Strong (+10%)
- Thrifty clerk (+5%)
- Charismatic negotiator (+5%)
- Underhanded rogue (+5%)
- Scholarly theologian (-5%)
- Mastermind theologian (-5%)
- Weak (-5%)
- Chaste (-15%)
- Homosexual (-15%)
- Severely Injured (-25%)
- Inbred (-30%)
- Incapable (-30%)
- Mangled (-50%)
- Celibate (-1000%)
- Eunuch (-5000%)
- Most diseases decrease fertility (and symptoms, if The Reaper's Due DLC is active). For example, Measles (-10%), Leper (-95%), Vomiting (-30%).
A character who is either a Horse or a Cat (only from Lunatic events, not from alternate-start animal cultures) has effectively nonexistent fertility: (-5000%).