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Tanistry is a rare succession method available only to non-Muslim characters who are also either Celtic-cultured or Holy Fury.pnghave either the Blood of Brian or Blood of Niall 'of the Nine Hostages' bloodlines.

In Tanistry, the heir is chosen from the ruler's dynasty by a realm-wide election. It is safer but harder to control than feudal elective.

Features[edit | edit source]

  • One of the few non-gavelkind succession laws available to tribal rulers (the others being Open, exclusive to Dlc icon sword of islam.pngMuslims and reformed pagans with Holy Fury.png either Agnatic Clans or Enatic Clans doctrines, and Eldership, exclusive to unreformed African, Romuva, and reformed pagans with one of the Ancestor Veneration, Defenders of Dievas, or Totem-Guardians doctrines)
  • When the election goes your way, succession is much smoother.
  • You can nominate the heir with best attributes and traits.
  • You are not limited to your own children, as you can endorse any dynasty member.
  • In case of a tie, your vote is decisive.

Requirements[edit | edit source]

  • Celtic culture / Holy Fury.png'Blood of Brian' or 'Blood of Niall 'of the Nine Hostages' ' bloodline
  • Not Muslim

Opinion[edit | edit source]

A ruler under Tanistry will face the following opinion modifiers:

Character Opinion modifier Reason
Oldest child -20 He would prefer primogeniture.
All other children (pretenders) -10 They would prefer gavelkind.
All other dynasty members +5 Any dynasty member could inherit.
All vassals +5 They have power to choose a ruler to their liking
Character you are voting for +20 Obviously he likes your choice

Mechanic[edit | edit source]

Electors[edit | edit source]

There are usually more electors in Tanistry than in Feudal elective. All vassals at one and two ranks below the ruler are considered electors for Tanistry.


  • For a Kingdom, dukes and counts get to vote, as opposed to just dukes and claimants under Feudal Elective.
  • For an Empire, kings and dukes get to vote (unlike Feudal Elective, electors are de facto vassals). However, note that for emperors who are holding onto kingdom titles (usually at least the one which their capital is de jure part of), there will be two different sets of voters, as counts can vote for the kingdom's heir, while kings vote for the empire's heir and not the kingdom's.

Candidates[edit | edit source]

  • All nominees will be a dynasty member.
  • Electors cannot vote for themselves unless they are of the same dynasty.
  • All dynasty members are eligible, even if they are children and even if they are completely outside the elective title's realm with no claims on any de jure titles.
  • Female children may be nominated under Agnatic-Cognatic law even if they have brothers.
  • Bastards cannot be nominated, even if they are electors.

Vote[edit | edit source]

Voters evaluate candidates as detailed in the Succession voting article. The main differences from other succession laws are:

  • Voters prefer older candidates
  • Voters prefer candidates who are not close relatives of the current ruler

Strategies[edit | edit source]

Since Tanistry has a greater number of electors voting and those electors prefer older, collateral relatives to direct ones, it can be very difficult to pass inheritance to a child or your desired heir. There are several approaches to improving the chances of a decent heir being elected:

  • Very small dynasty. Minimize the number of candidates through controlled breeding or assassinations. Voters will have no choice but to elect your preferred heir, but untimely deaths could mean game over.
  • Entire dynasty in court. Breed a large dynasty, but don't give anyone land. By maintaining tight control over education and marriages, you can ensure there are more good candidates than bad ones.[1] Having everyone in your court also gives you additional options for disqualifying bad candidates if needed, such as investiture or ordering to take the vows.
  • Many dynastic vassals. After a few generations, you are almost guaranteed to have enough good candidates that voters have no reason to elect a bad one. Landed characters will gain prestige, increasing the likelihood of combining titles (cf seniority). However, this approach can be dangerous if a branch of the family comes to have non-Celtic culture, especially with land outside the realm, so restraint in the marriage game is advised.[2] If such a scenario does occur, consider switching to feudal elective, as your dynastic vassals are likely to be electors under that succession law as well.
  • No (voting) Vassal. If your realm is small or if you are using Reign of tyranny strategy, it is possible to be the sole voter. For a duke, all vassals vote. For a king, all vassals of count level and above vote. For an emperor, all vassals of duke level and above vote. Contrary to Feudal elective, with Tanistry, all vassals vote on all titles, with no de jure concerns. For example, a count in France may vote for a candidate as the king of Ireland and another as the king of Scotland, if he is a vassal of the king. He may vote for two different candidates for the two kingdoms. Meanwhile, an Irish duke outside the realm of the king of Ireland and Scotland is not voting. It is thus perhaps necessary to destroy extra titles if you cannot control succession (through limiting voter number or using favors with DLC icon Conclave.pngConclave DLC).

Under Tanistry, remember that since there are two sets of electors (one for kingdoms and one for empires), electors may not choose the same candidate for both, a potential cause of discontent.

References[edit | edit source]