Crusader Kings 2: Tanistry

Previously, as soon as possible, I always switched to Agnatic-Cognatic Primogeniture succession law i.e. all titles go to the eldest son (eldest daughter inherits only if there is no son). However, I ended my latest campaign with Elective Monarchy succession law but I didn't immediately start with that.

An earl by default starts off with Agnatic-Cognatic Gravelkind succession law i.e. titles are divided among all son (to daughters only of there is no son) with the primary title going to the eldest son. There is no way to change this law until you become a duke (or above).

At the outset, I had planned to try Tanistry (only available to Celtic culture):

The ruler and all vassals at one and two ranks below can nominate an heir — the Tanist — from among members of the ruler's dynasty. Vassals will tend to favor older members from other branches of the family, especially claimants.

The applicable opinion bonus/penalty are as follows:

Oldest child -40
Other children -20
Members of dynasty +10
Vassals +5

Getting opinion boost from vassals is always a good thing but to me the greatest benefit of Tanistry is that the ruler will always come from a member of your current ruler's dynasty and thereby ensuring the game doesn't end.

The first problem I encountered, as pointed out by other players, was the quality of the heir nominated. Unlike Elective Monarchy, there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the choice of heir by the electors. Only one thing was certain: they would never nominate the immediate family member of the current ruler (hence the "favor older members from other branches of the family" part). So at times, the nominated heir had poor statistics and traits and its frequency was a little discomforting. Still, I stuck to it and mitigated the risk by making sure each dynasty member was educated by the best guardian at the time.

What finally made this succession law untenable was when I had my second kingdom (Andalusia, in addition to my primary kingdom, Ireland). Since do not have a higher tier title i.e. empire to encapsulate both kingdoms, two separate nominations were needed. Unfortunately, for some unknown reasons, the electors nominate different heirs and so potentially splitting the realm. I'm now speculating that electors within each kingdom will prefer to nominate dynasty member residing within the same kingdom e.g. electors in Ireland nominate someone residing in Ireland and not someone residing in Andalusia.

I couldn't let the realm split and so was looking for alternate succession law and in the end chose Elective Monarchy. I'll talk about this in another post.
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