Paradox Interactive has posted a new developer diary in the official forum to explain some of the council mechanics in the upcoming Crusader Kings II expansion Conclave. This entry mostly dealt with favors, council infighting and declarations of war and enforcement of peace throughout the realm.
In the expansion, lieges must deal with their vassal lords as potent voices in the royal court, and one of the ways they deal with them is through currying favors. "As a liege (or part of the council), you can call in a favor on a council member to make them vote like you on the council for one year," states the developer, "This can be used to get an ok to revoke that title you want, execute someone you want to see dead and start that war that you’ve longed for, but the killjoys of the council is constantly saying no to, without the hassle of tyranny and factions." If there's no favor owed, the liege can promise a favor in the future to that vassal. Naturally, favors can be bought with cold, hard cash, too.
On voting on issues, councilors can choose to either yay, nay or abstain from a vote. "The characters abstaining from a vote are always swayed by the distribution of diplomacy skill between the yay and nay sayers." Lieges can sway undecided votes with their power and influence, or by promising favors. Likewise, councilors can garner favors by promising to vote in a certain way. Lieges can overrule votes, at the cost of creating discontent among the council, as will breaking a contract before it has expired.
Players can also force acceptance of motions as well. "Say you’ve accepted to support your liege on the council, or you paid the emperor of the HRE a large sum of money and you want your investment to pay off. With a favor in hand you can make them accept a marriage (some limitations apply) and gain that Non-Aggression pact you’ve been longing for." Other actions that can be enforced by favors include Invite to Court, Educate Child and the Embargo interactions.
Wars and in-fighting are now part of the venue of the council. Before the expansion, rulers would use Crown Authority to wage war on other countries, or to enforce peace throughout his own land. Now, the council will vote on whether to go to war, and if the liege overrules a declaration of war, the vassal lords will be upset. Likewise, a vassal lord can press their liege to allow them to go to war against another lord.
The next developer diary will an even closer look at how council members vote, as well as examine the new education system and how feudal lords are more like small business owners in the expansion.