• Clan Leaders in Crusader Kings 3 have more flexibility and freedom compared to Feudal Leaders.
  • Maximizing the use of Traditions can provide bonuses to Opinions, Taxes, and Levies for Clan Rulers.
  • Utilizing the Jizya Tenet and marrying off children to Vassals can consolidate Clan power and secure alliances.

Despite the Feudal Government being the more common system of governance in Crusader Kings 3, history states there are factions in the game’s starting date within the 9th to 10th Century where groups are still organized into Tribes and Clans. Compared to the more nomadic Tribes with a more freeform system of governance, Clan Rulers represent a middle ground between the flexibility of Tribes and the politicking of Feudal nations. However, players who want to skip complex interactions between rulers, councils, and policies of Feudal Governments may opt to have Clan Governments for their specific playthrough.


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Known for having a more flexible take on politics compared to Feudal governance, Clan Leaders can enjoy a wide range of freedoms that allow them to expand their holding, freedoms that being a Feudal Leader may not necessarily let them enjoy. However, from the perspective of a new player, just how should they use their Clan Leader to maximize their Crusader Kings 3 playthrough?

8 Supercharge Opinion Bonuses With The Right Traditions

Capitalize On Opinion Bonuses By Stacking Specific Tradition Effects

A War in Crusader Kings 3


Boost Opinion bonuses with the right Traditions, with +10 House Opinion (Tribal Unity), +5 General Opinion (Charitable), and more frequent +35 Opinion Bonus via Feasts (Frequent Festivities, Musical Theorists)


Get massive bonuses to Opinions at the onset, with more Opinion Bonus out of frequent Feasts

Building upon how Crusader Kings 3 gameplay as a Clan is modified based on Opinions towards its ruler and their immediate family, players can maximize their opportunities as a Clan Ruler with the right Traditions. Depending on the Traditions chosen, they may provide flat bonuses to specific Opinion modifiers, allowing players to benefit from more Taxes and Levies. Here are the most practical Traditions players should get:

  • Tribal Unity: Available to a Clan Government at the onset, this Tradition gives +10% House Opinion, although this does have a -5 Liege Opinion debuff.
  • Charitable: If a player dominates a Culture with at least five Counts with the Generous Trait, they can unlock this Tradition. While this comes with -3% Monthly Income, it comes with +5 General Opinion boost as well as +20% Opinion whenever they use Send Gift.
  • Musical Theorists: Should players employ a Court Musician for their Feasts, these events provide +35 Opinion Bonuses. This is maximized with Frequent Festivities that provide -50 Hold Feast Activity Cooldown, allowing players to spam Feasts to stack Opinion Bonuses.
  • Mystical Ancestors: Although difficult to acquire as its requirement involves having descended from a Culture that already has the tradition, being able to secure this Tradition can give a +10 Dynasty Opinion.

7 Taxes May Help Determine Vassal Opinion

The Right Tax Decrees Can Help Improve Vassal Opinions Towards Liege

A discussion among Vassals in Crusader Kings 3


Carefully consider which Tax Decree works for each Vassal, and change them accordingly once every 5 years


Selecting the right Tax Decree on certain Tax Jurisdictions can capitalize on Vassal Traits and other properties to improve their Opinion towards the Liege

When Clan Rulers get Vassals in their Crusader Kings 3 gameplay, they acquire Taxes and Levies from them based on modifiers set by Tax Jurisdictions. On top of Tax Collector Aptitude that indicates overall Taxes and Levies acquired, the Tax Decree assigned on Tax Jurisdictions can further affect other properties of Vassals assigned there.

With the right adjustment of Taxes and Levies, players may get bonuses such as cheaper Men-at-Arms or faster Development Growth as well as Opinion Bonuses. On top of Basic Taxes are the following Decrees that affect Opinion:

Tax Decree

Tax, Levy Effect

Liege Effect Per Vassal

Vassal Effect

Iqta Grant

-20% Taxes and Levies

+1% Men-at-Arms Damage

+15 Opinion of Liege, -10% Men-at-Arms Recruitment and Maintenance Cost


-30% Taxes and Levies

+0.1 Monthly Prestige

+30 Opinion of Liege, +10% Development Growth

6 Conquest Casus Belli Can Jumpstart Eras Of Expansion

Get Tribal Without Any Of The Innovation Risks

Leading war as a Clan in Crusader Kings 3


Clans can pull off wars with a Conquest Casus Belli similar to Tribal Governments


Unlike Tribal Governments, Conquest CBs for Clans don’t come with the restrictions towards tech. A Clan with a powerful-enough army can attack other areas into submission

Relationships with Vassals are important in Crusader Kings 3, not only to avoid rebellions while co-managing territories, but also to have aid in wartime. This is especially true in the case of Clan Rulers, as their Clan Government can pull off wars more easily with Conquest Casus Belli instead of having to wait for valid claims or fabricating them.


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Depending on the Vassal’s Opinion of their Liege and modifiers such as contracts, players may find it much easier to source Men-at-Arms as well as earn more Taxes and Levies from these subordinates. With the right momentum, players may be able to pull off wars consistently in periods of expansion similar to Tribal Governments. However, unlike Tribal Governments, Clans can enjoy Conquest CBs without being restricted in terms of their potential innovations.

5 Some Faith Traits, Virtues Can Increase Opinion

Keep Traits That The Clan Religion Considers As Virtues To Get Opinion Boosts

A religious leader in Crusader Kings 3


When optimizing Traits for a character, select those that not only give flat Opinion bonuses but also those that the Religion considers as Virtues


Choosing Virtue Traits will give players +10 Same Faith Opinion buffed further by a multiplier

Religion plays a big role in a player’s success in Crusader Kings 3, especially with the game’s setting occuring at a time when Faith can determine the basis of rulers and wars. In the case of Clan Rulers that rely heavily on Opinion, it may be an optimal strategy to keep Vassals and Court Members of the same Religion, especially if they possess Traits that the Religion considers as a Virtue.

At its core, a Virtue Trait provides a character with +10 Same Faith Opinion and +1 Monthly Piety plus bonuses depending on the multiplier set by their Religion. This can be bolstered further by Opinion buffs for shared Traits, and if the Trait itself provides Opinion boosts such as Brave (+10 Attraction Opinion, +10 Glory Hound Vassal Opinion), Content (+10 Parochial Vassal Opinion, +10 Opinion of Vassals, +20 Opinion of Liege), or even Forgiving (+15 Prisoner Opinion, +15 Minority Vassal Opinion).

4 Abuse The Jizya Tenet To Integrate Religions But Still Get Taxes

The Jizya Tenet For Islam Doesn’t Force Vassals To Convert But Still Secures Taxes

A Clan Leader and their vassals meeting with another leader in Crusader Kings 3


Subject Vassals of different religions under Jizya Contract, making them pay +50% Taxes, +20% Domain Taxes in exchange for Liege not being able to Demand Conversion, Revoke TItle, Convert Faith in the Realm as well as -25% Levy Reinforcement, -75% Levies, -0.2 Monthly Prestige


+20 Opinion from the Vassal in question seems like a fair trade-off, considering other factors could override Levy penalties

Aside from trading, taxation is one of the most important sources of profit in the economy of Crusader Kings 3. As with other government leaders, Vassals do regularly pay taxes to their Lieges in exchange for protection and fair treatment. However, for Clans who are also practicing Muslims, they may be able to use the Jizya Tenet to their economic advantage. In the game, the Jizya Tenet allows players to take in Vassals who don’t practice the same religion in exchange for a heftier Tax, although with a Levy penalty.


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Doing so can vastly increase the player’s profit from said Vassal, although the freedom to practice another Faith extends to the player’s inability to reinforce any form of conversion. However, what players should be after with the Jizya Tenet is the +20 Opinion they can get from Vassals, allowing players to safely integrate a non-practicing Vassal into their alliances.

3 Keep Clan Power Within The Dynasty

Choose Court Members Within The Same Faith And The Same Family

Some characters in Crusader Kings 3


Have Vassals, Court Members within the Dynasty


Different family relations give Opinion bonuses

Considering how players will likely power-game their way into creating an “ideal” family in Crusader Kings 3, this step becomes all the more important when a Clan’s strength is determined by how optimal its Dynasty’s members are. In turn, securing better control over the Clan has to do with assigning Vassals within the same family. Based on the ties they have with the player’s Clan Ruler, the latter receives Opinion bonuses.

For instance, a Clan Ruler and their child will get +50 Opinion with each other. Spouses and siblings interchange with +25 Opinion, including half-siblings and secondary spouses. Lastly, members of the same Dynasty have +5 Opinion with each other. Keep in mind that secret relations don’t give bonuses, although the bonuses stack if the aforementioned members have multiple relationships.

2 Polygamy Consolidates Clan Power In The Future

Children Can Become The Key To Forming Alliances

A wedding in Crusader Kings 3


Vassal Daughters can be married off to the player or their sons, while daughters can be married to a Vassal’s sons


Marrying off children to Vassals guarantees Clan Alliances, which in turn can help secure Vassal loyalty and avoid penalties

Given the relevance of family in a Clan Leader’s gameplay in Crusader Kings 3, Polygamy may unlock the secret behind the consolidation of a player’s power. Should a Clan Leader adopt the Polygamy Doctrine (if their Faith allows it), then the relative strength of their title dictates how many spouses are expected of them. A title tier of Duke expects two spouses, a King should have around three, while an Emperor must have four.

Even having one other spouse as a Duke can give players room for leverage based on the number of children they have. In a male-focused succession, daughters don’t inherit titles so they’re best married off to sons of Vassals to secure alliances. Likewise, daughters of Vassals can be married off to the player directly or their sons, maintaining a more prosperous relationship.

1 Bound By Faith Is The Most Ideal Tradition For Religion Plays

Enforcing Succession Within The Same Religion Can Become A Tactical Play Against Heirs

A court in Crusader Kings 3


Enforce the “Bound By Faith” Ritual Tradition to ensure that only heirs who share the same Faith can inherit from the Liege


Forcing inheritance from within the same Faith allows players to marry off unwanted heirs to Jizya Vassals and form alliances without risking claims

Succession can become a complex matter in Crusader Kings 3, especially when this means players have to worry not just about expanding their kingdom but ensuring their dynasty continues to grow with the right heir. Ordinarily, the many variables surrounding succession can result in rather drastic measures, such as forcibly going celibate or orchestrating an heir’s transfer to a Holy Order to guarantee someone else’s succession. With Islam, Kinslaying being an accepted practice means players don’t necessarily lose Devotion or become Kinslayers when executing an unwanted heir.

To avoid these unnecessary hiccups, players may make Succession more targeted with “Bound By Faith.” This Ritual Tradition ensures that only heirs of the same Faith as the liege will get to be inheritors. This immediately incentivizes the solution of marrying heirs to Jizya Vassals as a way of disqualify their bid for the throne while still keeping the family line intact.


Crusader Kings 3
September 1, 2020
RPG , Grand Strategy


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