Health is an attribute that affects life expectancy. Healthy characters are less likely to fall prey to diseases and more likely to fully recover from them (as well as respond well to treatment by a court physician). They are also less likely to die in any month. High health is key to a long life.
Base health is hidden and can only be observed with the
charinfo console command. Traits and event modifiers that affect health are visible.
Strong and weakEdit
The traits Strong , Brawny , Weak , and Frail are more important than their tooltips suggest. They not only affect health directly, but also affect:
- Likelihood of "general illness" (Ill without , random symptom with ) 
- Severity of diseases ( mild / normal / serious / bedridden)
- Likelihood to fully recover from many diseases
- Likelihood of successful treatment by a Court Physician ( )
- Likelihood of pregnancy complications
To improve basic vitality:
- Breeding and Selecting your heir for Strong
- With Way of Life:
- Lose Weak or Frail through Hunting focus (grand hunt or training dog) or War focus (duels and other successes)
- Gain Brawny through Hunting focus (grand hunt) or War focus (duels and other successes)
- With Conclave:
- Educate children toward Brawny with Struggle focus. Become Brave in order to educate Rowdy adolescents yourself.
- Educate children away from Frail . Always send Idolizer adolescents to a Kind educator, ideally yourself.
Stressed and depressedEdit
The traits Stressed and Depressed each reduce health by 1. They also increase the likelihood of "general illness". If you find your character stressed or depressed, there are several ways to make recovery more likely.
Content vassals on the councilEdit
Content rulers can soothe other members of the same court. Content rulers on your council become members of your court, letting them target you or your courtiers who are depressed. 
In addition to being on your council, the vassal must be: playable tier (count+ or patrician), at peace, accessible, and not leading troops.
- More likely if the content character is also Diligent or Patient . Much more likely with both.
- Remove other stressed/depressed adults from your court. This ensures the content characters heal you rather than healing someone else.
- Usually possible with some combination of marriage and title grants.
- With The Reaper's Due, you can ask characters to leave your court.
- With Conclave, the Humility childhood focus can lead to Content in several ways, and well-chosen guardians can almost guarantee diligent/patient.
- Carousing focus. Each party you host has a 30% chance to remove stressed/depressed, not only from you but also from guests. As long as you are at peace, you can hold 3 parties every 2 years.
- Theology focus. A mystical experience can leave you feeling energized. More likely if Zealous and after exhausting other theology focus pulse events. 
- Hunting focus. Your hunting dog can make you happier. Does not require continued hunting focus once you have a dog.
- Seduction focus. Each lover may randomly offer you a chance to get away from an unhappy marriage.
- Your spouse must have a negative opinion of you. This can be arranged by legitimizing bastards, or by granting and revoking honorary titles.
- It is best if you have multiple lovers, and if the lovers are also Kind or Diligent .
- These conditions also allow your spouse to plot against your life, if they are not Honest or Kind . If your spouse plots against you, remove them from your court with arrest. If they land in the dungeon, their plot will end entirely, and you can choose whether to keep them alive in house arrest or not, and throw them in the oubliette. If they flee, at least they can no longer make any personal attempts on your life, and you can usually keep plot power below 50% by asking conspirators to stop.
Being your spouse's lover can trigger an event removing stressed or depressed. You must both be free and not leading troops. The Family focus can help you become your spouse's lover, and also halves the event's MTTH.
Great works and private conversationsEdit
If you are an independent ruler and your character is stressed, consider building a Great work with a feature that enables Private Conversations. If you have a Lover in the same realm (or better yet, a Lover-Spouse!), then you can invite them to a Private Conversation and receive a 30% chance to lose your stress each time. Private Conversations are on a 6 month cooldown, so you can try to lose stress twice per year in this manner.
If you do not have a Lover, then you can also attempt to Seduce characters using the Private Conversation mechanic -- even your spouse! Consider constructing the Magnificent Gardens and add the Vineyard feature to it, as this unlocks both Private Conversation and Send Alcohol Gift mechanics, letting you gift a bottle of fine wine to your lover to accompany your tryst! This can be a very reliable method of de-stressing your character, but sadly if you are a vassal then you cannot make use of Great Works.
Less stressful lifestyleEdit
- Ditch extra jobs. Not being on a council and not leading troops brings the MTTH of event 6041 down to 56 years. This can only remove stressed, not depressed.
When a rival dies, an event may trigger which - among gaining a new friend, a new rival, or losing a rivalry and gaining the Kind trait - gives you the option to remove your stressed trait.
Some pets obtained through events provide a health boost:
- Pet Cat (+1 health, +1 intrigue): During an epidemic, peasants may suspect cats as the cause. You can spend money to investigate the cats and to keep some cats for observation. You can then choose to keep one as a pet. Note that refusing to expel cats from your realm may increase revolt risk in your capital; this is mitigated by having 15+ diplomacy or 15+ intrigue. A pet cat may also be obtained by a random event where "a small kitty demands your attention", or from Shieldmaiden events.
- Hunting dog (+1 health, +1 martial): A gift while you have the Hunting focus.
- If you have both a pet cat and a hunting dog, you will see them fight. You may give one of them away, or keep both in the hope that they will get along. If you choose to keep both, there is a 50% chance that one will kill or chase away the other, forcing you to accept either a 75% chance of depressed or also getting rid of the remaining pet.
- Pet Owl (+1 health, +1 learning): A pet owl can be obtained through the "Worship the ancestors" pagan decision, as a possible outcome of wishing for wisdom.
- Pet Rat (+1 health): Imprisoned children may befriend a rat.
- Pet Hedgehog (+0.5 health): Characters following Mazdan religions may get a hedgehog through an event.
Taking it easyEdit
Your court physician may recommend that you take it easy, for +1 health but -1 to all skills.
- You are not slothful
- You are not tribal or nomadic
- You are stressed , diligent , wroth , or have total health below 5 for any reason
- Your court physician is either a character who was generated to be a court physician, or has the Renowned Physician trait.
The event is more likely to fire if you are diligent, if you are stressed, and if your court physician has a learning skill of 16+.
Choosing to take it easy removes the diligent trait if you have it, but does not prevent you from regaining the trait.
- Some pagans: Ancestor Worship — Making a sacrifice can increase your health in several ways
- Buddhists and Jains can select a sect that improves health
- Bön pagans and Khurmazta both have a patron deity that provides a health boost
- Taoists following the "Quanzhen School of Complete Perfection" receive a health boost
- With Monks and Mystics, the leader of the demon worshippers may "absorb lifeforce", sacrificing their child in order to gain +1 to +3 health for 10 years.
Diseases and InfectionsEdit
Strategic placement of your capital and/or character can help you avoid contracting epidemic diseases. A good Court Physician who has high opinion of you can help you recover from diseases.
Note that getting Infection from being Wounded is particularly dangerous as your Court Physician cannot treat this symptom; you may have to find other ways to make up for the health loss.
Gaining the Fat or Malnourished trait indicates that a character is about halfway to developing health problems.
The following table lists the most common factors that affect weight on an ongoing basis. Characters wishing to maintain a healthy weight should aim to have some balancing factors, which increase weight when it is low and decrease weight when it is high. Alternatively, characters can try to maintain a roughly equal mix of fattening and thinning factors, hoping that they cancel out to near zero.
These tend to increase weight
These tend to decrease weight
These tend to make weight normal
|Traits||Gluttonous *, Gregarious , Pregnant , Sturdy , Hedonist , Decadent , Drunkard , Eunuch , Cannibal||Temperate *, Shy , Harelip , Inbred , Scholar , Mystic||Diligent , Renowned Physician , Duelist , Hunter , Falconer , Adventurer , Varangian , Berserker , Viking , Pirate , Ravager , Shieldmaiden , Crusader |
|Focus||Family, Carousing||Scholarship, Theology||War, Hunting|
|Government||Merchant republic, Feudal||Tribal, Nomadic|
|Society||Monastic orders||Warrior lodges, Hermetics|
|Other||Well-fed modifier, feasting, married with children||Most diseases, most traveling, food shortage during seclusion||Hard diet modifier (powerful effect), leading armies while at war|
*The ongoing effects of Gluttonous or Temperate are magnified if the character is also Stressed , Depressed , Wroth , Slothful , In hiding , or in seclusion.
- health_events.txt, event 6063
- Event 3380 in traits_effects_events.txt. It is part of the on_five_year_pulse group, so it's hard to estimate a MTTH. A character with fewer personality traits might be more likely to trigger it?
- lovers_events.txt, event 64130
- rip_epidemic_events.txt event RIP.13001 series
- pet_events.txt event 77861 series
- Gaining the Fat trait can happen whenever physique_variable is over 6 (HFP.20605), but most often happens when it crosses 15 or so (weight_flavor_conditions_effect). physique_variable over 20 may show a warning with options (HFP.20647). physique_variable over 30 will result in health deterioration, both guaranteed/silent (HFP.20604 line 1561) and random/announced along with the obese modifier (HFP.20661).
- Factors from HFP.20604, a five-year-pulse event. Childhood- and imprisonment-related factors are omitted for simplicity. The half-balancing effects of strong/brawny/weak/frail are omitted due to being hard to explain, and those traits having much more important effects on health in other ways.
- Only the Christian trait Crusader has the full balancing effect