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Like with breeding, much of the code for education is hardcoded, and as such much of this installment will be based on personal experience rather than the game files. I'll go into how education works, and how to get the most out of it.
As always, there's a summary at the end.

Basics of Education

A child's traits and attributes are heavily influenced by what happens before they're of age, and at this time there are two characters that have a strong effect upon the child: the primary parent and the child's guardian. The primary character is decided by what type of marriage the child is a result of; if it is a patrilineal marriage the father is the primary parent, and if it is a matrilineal marriage the mother is the primary parent.

The primary parent will continue to have an effect upon the child until the child gets a guardian, usually at the age of 6. At that point the guardian takes over for near all purposes until the child comes of age at 16.

Base Attributes

One of the things a parent/guardian will affect is base attributes. A child will gain base attributes more quickly in an area the parent/guardian is skilled at than one which he's bad at. Thus children will often end up with a distribution of base attributes quite similar to their parent or guardian.

However, like most things in the game, this seems to work based on mean times to happen, so it is possible, though rare, that a child will get a distribution of base attributes quite different from his/her parent and guardian.

Due to how acquisition of base attributes work, I would recommend assigning a guardian with high attributes to your child.


The other area the parent, and especially the guardian, has a large effect upon is traits. Every year the child will get a trait event where the guardian makes a choice; usually either giving the child a trait outright, or a percentage chance of various traits. What events show up are primarily based upon the current traits of the child; good traits make further good traits rarer, while bad traits make further bad traits rarer. What the guardian chooses (if the guardian is not the player itself) depends heavily upon what traits he has. Some options will be (un)locked based upon his traits, while others are merely made more or less likely. A guardian will generally encourage the child to have traits similar to himself, and discourage traits opposite to him.

A Just guardian for example is therefore very likely to give the child the just trait, while an Arbitrary guardian will almost never do so.
Due to this I would recommend assigning a guardian with traits you find desirable, or putting yourself as your child's guardian, thus getting full control over the event choices.

Education Traits

Every character gets an education trait upon coming of age. For each attribute there are four levels, ranging from mediocre to great. The highest level improves that attribute by a large amount, and is thus highly desirable. What education trait a character gets seems to be semi-random; it seems to be based upon a mix of the guardian's education trait, the child's attributes, and some randomization. A child will very often end up with the same area of education as his guardian, and often at the same level as well.

Therefore you should especially pay attention to what education trait a potential guardian has, and choose one with one suitable for your child.

A Few Things To Watch Out For

Do note that if a child's guardian is of another religion or culture, the child might switch. Thus unless you actually want to switch religion/culture, avoid guardians of other religions/cultures. This happens more often if the guardian is Diligent for both culture and religion, more often for religion if Zealous, and more often for culture if Gregarious. The antitraits have the opposite effect.

If you want to groom your grandson or similar, note down when their 6th birthday will be. Pause on the very day they become 6 years old. You'll thus have an opportunity to ask for guardianship, and are likely to get it. You can thus groom your future heir, or ensure that a potential rival ends up with horrible traits, thus eliminating that threat.


Choose well, and your heir can end up with great attributes and traits. Choose poorly, and he'll likely end up mediocre at best, and succession will often be problematic. My tips are as follows:

  • High attributes are desirable in a guardian
  • Good traits are desirable in a guardian
  • A good education trait is desirable in a guardian
  • Alternatively, put yourself as the guardian, it'll give you a lot of control over his development
  • If you want to be the guardian of someone not in your court, pause on their 6th birthday and ask for guardianship
  • Avoid guardians of another culture and/or religion

Written by Meneth