Does the bishop stats really matter?



  • If you have free investiture, you get to elect your own bishops, which is pretty neat. But do their stats really matter?

    Usually, I simply go through the list and pick people who have a high opinion of me, and are thus likely to pay tax to me rather than the guy with the funny hat. I also make sure they don't have dope stats that could otherwise benefit my court. But other than that, do their skills really matter?

    For example:

    • If they have high stewardship, will they be able to collect more taxes for me?
    • If they have high martial skills, will I be able to draw a larger levy? I guess a decent score here will at least make them better commanders.
    • Is it true that only bishops can be elected court chaplains? In that case, a high learning stat wouldn't be amiss.

    I've also noticed that appointing unlanded (non-heir) sons bishops is a neat way to stop them complaining about not having a title.

    Also, I've noticed that some times all my appointed bishop heirs are unset, so I have to appoint them all over. Is this a bug, or is there a logical reason for this? I haven't noticed too many bishops dying, and the ruler and the pope are not unchanged.



  • Martial matters but Stewardship does not matter (much)

    When you hover over the red Levy bar below the picture of their church on the county screen, you will see a percentual malus or bonus for "Owner Martial Skill" which depends on the martial skill of the bishop/baron/burgher of the holding, not their boss. So you should make sure that your lowest-rank vassals have good martial skill.

    But stewardship of bishops (and other vassals on that level) has no direct benefit for you. I happen to have two completely unupgraded churches in my realm, both owned by bishops with 100 opinion. But one has a stewardship of 10(20) and the other a stewardship of 0(0) (my imbecile brother who had to be removed from inheritance). Both have the exact same Base Tax of 8.00 gold. The actual Tax value which arrives at the liege is modified by the stewardship of the liege, not of the vassal: The imbecile is below a count, and that count gets slightly more out of him than I get out of my guy, because the count has slightly better stewardship than me.

    However, better stewardship means that they make more money for themselves, which they might then invest into upgrades for their holding. Unfortunately higher-level upgrades are far outside of the financial capabilities of a bishop, even one with godlike stewardship.

    Other stats don't matter much either

    • Diplomacy might help them a bit to stay out of trouble with other people, but that is rarely a problem for such low-level vassals.
    • Intrigue of your vassals should better be low, so they don't start murdering people you would prefer to keep alive or get other stupid ideas. Low intrigue also makes it easier for you to get them out of the way through murder or imprisonment, should it become necessary.
    • Learning only matters for tech growth and their personal piety. The first only matters for counts and above and you couldn't care less about the latter.

    So the ideal stats for a baron-level vassal is a stupid brute with awesome martial skill and absolutely no other talents.

    Regarding your court chaplain question:

    You can't make a noble or burgher your court chaplain, but unlanded courtiers are just as eligible as bishops. So when you want to keep your option open to make that high-learning guy your chaplain one day, just remember not to accidentally give him a city or castle.

    Screenshot Proof

    Edit: Here is a proof which uses two other bishops I control directly which shows that their stewardship doesn't matter for me. I present to you my trusted bishops Ualan and Orthanach (the latter also happens to be my brother, but that shouldn't matter). As you can see, Ualan has far better stewardship:

    enter image description here

    They own the exact same church, but the one owned by Ualan has a higher income even though his stewardship is lower. I believe this is because his church is in my capital, so he enjoys a better bonus due to church infrastructure technology.

    enter image description here

    According to their demesne screen, Ualan gets more out of his church than Orthanach, despite his worse tech bonus. That's where his stewardship pays off. But, they both pay almost the exact same tax to me (difference below 1% - likely due to rounding). For the record, my church vassal tax is 45% (medium):

    enter image description here

    However, the tax I receive from either is more than what they pay to me, but still almost the same. I presume that this magical money-growth comes from my stewardship bonus, my tech bonus or both:

    enter image description here



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