The Lifestyles inare fully developed skill trees. In this guide we will take you through the basics of how they work and give a few recommended builds for specific playstyles.
To begin with, there are five primary skills and each one has three Focuses to choose from. Only one focus can be selected at a time and provides immediate and constant benefits separate from the Perks. This Focus can be changed every 5 years free of cost.
- Foreign Affairs - Diplomacy +3
- Majesty - Diplomacy +1, Prestige +1.0/month
- Family - Diplomacy +2, Fertility +20%
- Strategy - Martial +3
- Authority - Martial +1, Dread Gain +20%, Control Growth +0.3/month
- Chivalry - Prowess +3, Attraction Opinion +10, Advantage +5
- Wealth - Monthly Income +10%
- Domain - Stewardship +3
- Duty - Enemy Agent Acceptance -5, Stewardship +1, Courtier and Guest Opinion +20
- Skulduggery - Agent Acceptance +10, Intrigue +3
- Temptation - Fertility +20%, Attraction Opinion +10, Seduction Scheme Power +20%
- Intimidation - Intrigue +2, Natural Dread +30
- Medicine - Learning +1, Health Small Boost
- Scholarship - Learning +3, Development Growth +15%
- Theology - Learning +1, Piety +1.0/month
Your choice here can be changed as you play and your rate of experience gain will remain the same whichever focus you choose within the lifestyle. The exception here being your Education trait which appears when areaches adulthood and gives a percentage boost to that specific lifestyle over the others that can reach as high as 40%.
For this reason it is recommended to have your children's Guardians with the educational trait you're looking to use the most, while you also choose the education focus to the lower left of their character portrait. The secondary advantage of this is that your children will usually choose to pursue that lifestyle themselves, meaning that when you take over as your heir, you already have points available in the lifestyle you want.
Congenital intelligence traits also grant a bonus here, with Genius giving you a 30% bonus to experience gain across all skills. Combine the two trait bonuses and you can improve your experience gain from a base of 25 to a total of 42 per month.
Each time you gain 1,000 experience you gain a point to spend on a perk so to put it in perspective, at base gain it takes 40 months per unlock, while at maximum it takes only 23. That's nearly twice as many perks over your lifetime. The monthly tick isn't the only way to gain experience though…
Depending on your lifestyle focus, you'll trigger various events that can grant extra experience or even a free perk choice. Like most events, they can cost you gold, prestige, your health, or even affect opinions of your vassals. There's far too many to go into but suffice to say, they will help over the longterm.
CK3 Perk Tree
Each skill also has three trees which you can put your points into. While some trees contain some lacklustre perks, be sure to check out the trait you get for finishing one in its entirety, as this can often be a nice little bonus. You'll be able to see what is fully available for each branch in-game and they all have something to offer depending on your playstyle.
Below, we look into some of the perks, with emphasis on either powerful perks worth diving deep for, as well as those easy to get early perks you can combine to become powerful.
Diplomacy is focused on better ways to deal with other realms, winning friends within your own, and pumping that prestige up. The main tree offers more ways to wage war including unlocking Duchy and Forced Vassalage Casus Belli. It also features shorter truces with no prestige penalty for breaking them and alliances without marriage. All these would take you a while to get, but would be ideal for anyone looking to rapidly expand into weaker realms where victories will be easy and cheap.
- Benevolent Intent - Sway Scheme Power +30% is great for getting single target opinion up
- Groomed to Rule - Children gain 1-3 extra skill points
The main tree in Martial is all about. It can massively increase damage and toughness of your Men-at-Arms units along with increasing their rock-paper-scissors effects. The final perk unlock for the tree is Strategist which is frankly superb. It grants Diplomacy +1, Martial +3, Enemy Fatal Casualties +25%, and negates the river crossing penalty and for rulers looking to wage war against similar sized opponents, the whole lot is hugely valuable.
- Bellum Justum - Casus Belli cost -50%
- Stalwart Leader - Prowess +4, and reduces risk of commanding armies
- Chivalric Dominance - This follows on from Stalwart so requires two points total, but gives Knight's +75% effectiveness
For a skill geared towards income, the main tree here feels fairly pointless, with it only really being useful if you are guaranteed peace and good relations. That said, the Architect tree is good for building growth and has an unlock for 100% Levy Replenishment rate which should keep your armies at full readiness. The Administrator tree can also be very useful for ensuring the loyalty of your most powerful vassals with a Vassal +10 opinion, and another +20 for Councillors, and a Domestic Affairs council action bonus of +25%.
- Golden Obligations - Demand payments for Hooks. Dukes will pay 300 gold with no opinion penalty for you to give up your Hook on them.
- Cutting Cornerstones - 5% cost/time reduction for buildings and holdings
Intrigue is all about the plots and the main tree does a good job of offering a lot of bonuses towards both offence and defence. This includes the Abduction scheme and an extra hostile scheme slot to double up your sneakiness. The final trait unlock also adds a success chance +25%, and Intrigue +5.
- Truth is Relative - Fabricate Hooks scheme, and Find Secrets may create a hook
- Like Weeds in a Garden - Fertility +30%
- Dark Insights - Gain +1 Intrigue or Prowess when you torture someone
The learning skill might feel a little worthless until you look at the perks available. Looking at the main tree you'll notice that it's all about your health, which for a game about dynasties and characters is important. In this tree you'll find bonuses to health, germ resistance, stress relief, and while the trait at the end is good it's Know Thy Self which is the real clincher here. It tells you when you are one year from a natural death, giving you time to put your affairs in order or imprison those likely to rebel against your heir.
- Restraint - This costs two points total but allows for Celibacy decision… too many sons are a bad thing early/mid game
- Know Thy Self - This follows on from Restraint but tells you when you're one year from a natural death. Worth getting as you get older
- Pedagogy - Your Wards get additional skills and can become your friends
- Scientific - Cultural Fascination Progress +35%, so if you're the head of your culture you can shave years off technology research
- Planned Cultivation - Follows on from Scientific and increases Development council action efficiency +20%
- Faithful - Clergy Opinion +10, and as the Court Chaplain decides if you get any money from the church at all, you need him to like you
CK3 Perk Reset
Perks can be reset once in a character's life. This causes a great deal of stress to a character but lets you re-pick what you want from that particular lifestyle should the AI have chosen ones you really don't want. Be warned again about the stress though, as it can cripple your playthrough if it gets out of hand and the corresponding events can be harsh and lead to health problems.
If you're looking for more Crusader Kings 3 guides, you might want to check out our, along with our guide on the .
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