Crusader Kings III – Guide to Vassal, Titles, War, and More

Guide to vassal, titles, war, and more in Crusader Kings III

Guide to Vassal, Titles, War, and More

Dynasty and House

Family is important! The Player Heir will always come from your Dynasty, and most often from your House.

In the future, it won’t hurt to keep an eye on your family — and their Line of Succession. Depending on their Succession Laws, you might end up inheriting Titles (along with land and Vassals) from your relatives.

Land and Titles

Not everyone in your Dynasty will be land owners, but every plot of land on the map has an owner.

Sometimes that owner is you, sometimes it’s one of your Vassals, and sometimes it’s another realm entirely (many of whom also have, or are, Vassals).


Most Titles are structured together in a pyramid-like fashion, using Title Tier:

  • County: Making you a Count or Countess
  • Duchy: Making you a Duke or Duchess Kingdom/making you a King or Queen
  • Empire: Making you an Emperor or Empress

Every Tier belongs to a Title one rank up the chain. Every County is technically part of a Duchy, every Duchy is technically part of a Kingdom, and every Kingdom is technically part of an Empire.

Note: There are many dynamic names for these Titles as well — your current Ruler is in charge of a “Petty Kingdom”, which corresponds to the Duchy tier.

There are also Barons, the minor rulers of single holdings beneath Counts. These Characters are generally quite minor and unplayable. You do have one — the Mayor of Inis.


As a Ruler, you are likely to be the Liege of at least one Vassal. These are Rulers within your Realm, who have sworn fealty to you.

Vassals supply you with money (Taxes) and soldiers (Levies).

It is possible to both be a Liege and a Vassal at once.

  • Open the Realm view on the right side of the screen (highlighted)
  • Inspect the Vassals tab

Here is a list of your current Vassals, along with some additional information about them.

At the top of the list is the Ruler of Ormond, whose land you can see on the map — this is an Earldom (a County-Tier Title) inside your Realm.

Go here for an overview of things, such as your Vassals’ current Opinion of you, whether they are considered a Powerful Vassal or not, and the levels of Taxes and Levies they are currently providing you with.

It’s worthwhile keeping your Vassals happy — this keeps them out of Schemes and Factions against you.

No matter how mighty a Ruler your Character is, if your Realm unites against you, either to Depose you through War or just to Murder you while you sleep, your reign is bound to be cut short.

Some of your Vassals might serve on your Council, making their Opinion extra important, as they will be trusted with Councillor Tasks.

There is a limit to how many Vassals you can comfortably be in charge of before your Realm becomes unwieldy. Going beyond this Vassal Limit affects Taxes and Levies provided to you.

This doesn’t matter for the tutorial, but when you start to build your own kingdom, be mindful of growing too fast.

If you end up exceeding your Vassal Limit, you can grant lower-ranking Titles away to your Vassals. Sometimes you can even Create new higher tier Titles to consolidate the power in an area, and the Titles under it.


War is an essential part of Crusader Kings. There are a lot of concepts to cover, but for now, let’s touch briefly on some of them.

The rest, and the details, we will let you discover as you start playing.

So, the most important things in any war are the Battles, which are fought by Armies. Most of your soldiers will come from Levies, but you can expand your Army by employing Men-at-Arms.

If things get really tough, you can also hire Mercenaries — provided you have the Gold.

When a War starts, you will be able to raise your Armies from this screen via the “Raise All Armies” button.

When the War is over, you will have to disband your soldiers before starting another War.

Rally Points are mustering grounds for the Levies and Men-at-Arms under your command.

How to Start War?

To start a War, you’ll need a legitimate reason, a Casus Belli, against another Ruler.

There are various ways to obtain a Casus Belli: you might have De Jure Titles that make you the Rightful Liege of your target, you might inherit Claims, or you could pursue Holy Wars against nearby-infidels.

Although these are the most common, there are dozens of different types of Casus Bellis for you to discover and use as you play!

The easiest and most straightforward way to acquire Claims is to use Fabricate Claim on County. This is something your Court Chaplain sees to, through one of his Councillor Tasks.

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