An overwhelming and important mechanic in Crusader Kings 3 is religion and how you can use it to influence your empire. The game’s religious aspects are very important as they will pave the way for you to achieve your objectives in new ways.
There is a lot to know about Religion in CK3 and we have covered that all in this guide.
Crusader Kings 3 Religion
Religion in Crusader Kings 3 has broadly three main branches, Abrahamic, Eastern and Pagan.
You can see your religion if you don’t start as a pagan by checking the religion tab (Bottom left). Your faith, tenets, devotion, fervor and holy sites will be shown here.
Religion is inherited by your character when you play the game, but you can actually reform into a particularly different faith if you so choose.
This will be quite an endeavor as it will be new for everyone and not that easy to preach.
Faith is a further branch of the sect of a certain religion like Catholic and Orthodox Christians and Shia and Sunni Muslims.
Whatever faith that prevails in a particular region, there will be certain doctrines, rules, and religious laws that the practitioners need to abide by.
Such doctrines will make up the entire society, dominant social norms, and how your countrymen live and behave.
For you, Devotion will be extremely important as it will earn you the trust and respect of anyone with Monk Traits.
Whether they are monks or priests or theocratic rulers, the five levels of devotions, namely, Dutiful, faithful, Devoted Servant, Paragon of Virtue and Religion Icon, will determine your Piety hence your influence.
Fervor levels will determine how easy it is for any ruler to create a faith and spread the message to the potentially interested countrymen.
It will also determine how easy it is for the preacher to influence the people to convert to the new faith. Lower fervor levels are favorable for the new faith to prevail and vice versa.
Fervor level will also depend on how often and how serious of an attack you are under from a group of another faith.
Eventually, if the attack is vigorous, the fervor level will decrease overall and your character will end up converting to the religion of the attackers.
Depending on what faith you have adopted, you might also have a head of faith, a formal personality that has been vested by certain powers to exercise that particular faith’s doctrines. This includes granting claims and gold to rulers.
Creating A New Religion
Rather than creating an overall new Religious Family, you can choose to create a new faith within a religious branch. You can choose custom doctrines and tenets.
The process will require a considerable amount of Piety, but you can cut that in half by picking up the Prophet Perk from the Theologian tree.
This will help you create your own religion as the cost will be half already.
Marry someone with a high learning stat and employ them to Patronage spouse job.
Make sure that your priest also has a very high learning stat, build a lot of temples, and make sure your own learning stats are high so you can have enough piety to influence others to convert to your religion. Otherwise, a Sectarian war will be on your head soon.
How people might react to your way of choosing and practicing faith can be anyone of the follows:
Righteous: Most favorable as everyone will have the same faith and beliefs. Everyone will get along very well.
Astray: People will accept your faith on a comparison basis as there will be certain basic similarities like Catholics and Orthodox Christians, so you won’t be experiencing a very aggressive reaction.
Hostiles: There will be concerning differences between you and other sects of the same religion. For instance, Sunni and Shia Muslims. Holy wars might be declared among them. Things might get very chaotic and you might need the help of Holy Orders like Assassins.
Evil: Expect the lowest tolerance here. There will be almost zero level of acceptance by the other groups. There can’t be marriages among them too, and a full out war is expected too.
Therefore you need to keep an eye out for how your faith and religion is taken and absorbed by the nearby communities and neighbors. If there are huge differences of opinions, you might be expecting the least tolerance, which means more trouble.
Holy sites can be extremely important when it comes to unlocking bonuses, taxes, and more power to your army. Those affiliated with the holy site that you control will be loyal and beneficial for you too.
In case you start as a pagan and wish to convert others to your religion, you need to have a hold of at least three holy sites.
The holy sites will be hostile grounds among believers of intolerant faiths like Christians and Muslims.
Also, it’s not always necessary to control a holy site as losing its control may provoke and motivate the oppressed to win it back.
If you choose to create a sect of your own, the basic beliefs will be the same and so you will share the holy sites with similar sectarian groups.
If any person from your faith has control of a holy site, then you as a ruler and your countrymen will benefit from it in the form of monthly piety and learning per level of devotion!
Religion and Manipulation
Your religion will affect your followers, so you need to make the right decision and at the right time while keeping them in mind.
Religion will be very influential in winning the faith and loyalty of your people. These people will obviously be of use then.
In other words, if you do everything right, the followers will follow you blindly even if you set one of your tenets is outrageous.