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Tyranny is an opinion penalty caused by performing despotic actions without just cause. It discourages rulers from simply imprisoning and killing dissenters.

This opinion modifier is applied to all characters in the subrealm, including indirect vassals and courtiers, who are present at the time of the tyrannical action. New vassals will not have this modifier (unless they were previously witnesses); it is theoretically feasible to simply imprison/banish the entire landed nobility, then invite new courtiers who have no clue what previously happened.

Tyrannical actions

Below is a list of actions that cause tyranny, and the amount given. These are all for actions without cause; if the actions are justified no tyranny is received.

Action Amount Notes
Imprisonment -40 Only -10 if character is insignificant or decadent Decadent.png. Waived for excommunicated Excommunicated.png characters and known plotters. Also waived for characters with certain opinion modifiers, such as Traitor or Takfir (refused to straighten up).
Execution -10 Waived if character is insignificant, or if character is captured due to war. Executing a foreigner upsets members of the foreign realm only.
Banishment action on landed vassal (Forced abdication) -10 Vassal is forced to abdicate titles to their heirs, but keeps their gold.
Banishment of courtier 0 Liege gains courtier's gold. Courtier flees to another court.
Revoke Title -20 from a vassal incurs 20 Tyranny if you do not have a claim on the title
Retract vassal -5 from a direct vassals incurs 5 Tyranny if you do not have a claim for the titles the vassal owns
Taking actions which go against a council vote -10 Council also becomes discontent, allowing councillors to join factions if they were disallowed previously. Requires DLC icon Conclave.png Conclave DLC.

Imprisoning, executing, or banishing characters through events does not invoke tyranny.

Characters are considered insignificant if they have no titles, claims, or titled close relatives.

Stacking and duration

Individual acts of tyranny incur a penalty for 30 years. Each incidence of tyranny is tracked and expires separately. For example, say you imprison a character (-40) in 1100 and execute them in 1103 (-10). Witnesses to both actions will have a -50 opinion penalty until 1130, and then a -10 opinion penalty until 1133.


  • Use tyranny sparingly, only when the benefit is clear and the opinion penalties can be afforded.
    • Or, although very difficult, go on a reign of tyranny, removing or imprisoning all vassals who witnessed it.
  • Use tyranny when nearing death. If a ruler is old or has very low health, tyranny is less problematic. The player only need to hold the realm together until the heir takes over. The heir will only inherit only half of the opinion penalty, and the inherited opinion decays. Should nevertheless be used with care, particularly since the tyrannical ruler may live longer than expected.

See also

  • Title revocation and vassal retraction, which anger direct landed vassals, and at least as of Azure 1.4.4 now also incur tyranny