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- For the country itself, see the Papal States.
The Papal Controller is a title held by the Catholic nation with most Controlled (loyal) Cardinals in the Curia simultaneously. Do note that as Byzantium, the Papacy can be disabled when the Pentarchy is restored.
The Papal Controller will gain the following bonuses:
- Stability Cost Modifier: -5%
- Diplomats: +1
- Yearly Prestige: +0.25
- Possible Advisors: +2
- Yearly Papal Influence: +2
- Leaders without Upkeep: +1
- Aggressive Expansion Impact: -10%
- Can Excommunicate Catholics
- Can call crusades
- Break royal ties (marriage) without the -1 stability hit.
The Curia controller can excommunicate an enemy. This requires the enemy to be Catholic, and for the Papal States to have an opinion of -50 of the enemy (if the Papal States do not exist this requirement is waived and the Curia Controller can excommunicate any Catholic ruler). Excommunication gives every other Catholic nation a Casus Belli against them and increases yearly decay of prestige.
- Yearly Prestige : -2
- Tolerance of the True Faith : -3
- Monthly Papal Influence : -5
Call a crusade
The Curia controller can also call a crusade against a single target. This target must be a heathen and the Papal States must have an opinion of -50 of the target. Catholic nations that border the crusade target receive a Casus Belli against it, and all Catholic nations at war with the crusade target receive bonuses to manpower, morale, prestige and yearly papal influence while they are at war with them.
- National Tax Modifier Bonus : +10%
- Morale of Armies : +10%
- National Manpower Modifier : +30%
- Yearly Prestige : +1
- Monthly Papal Influence : +2
The Curia is made up of seven Cardinals who, once chosen, remain in the Curia until death. Control of the curia can be obtained by winning a plurality of cardinals.
- If a nation has more cardinals than the current controller, they become the controller
- If a nation has control and another nation ties them in cardinals, control does not change
- If the current controller loses a cardinal and multiple nations now surpass them in cardinals, control passes to whoever among them has the oldest cardinal.
- Cardinals death probability seems to be different from advisor and monarch death probability, as cardinals frequently live to their 70s and 80s.
Cardinals maintain a loyalty to the country that has invested the mostpapal influence in them; a country's loyal cardinals are referred to as Controlled Cardinals. Once a Cardinal enters the Curia, he can no longer be influenced, and remains loyal to the same country.
For each controlled Cardinal you get the following benefits:
- +1 Yearly papal influence
- +0.1 Yearly prestige
- +0.2 Yearly legitimacy
- -1.0% Technology cost modifier
- +0.1% Local missionary strength against heretic religions.
There are also five Future Cardinals, awaiting entry to the Curia once another Cardinal dies. These Cardinals can be swayed towards a country by investing papal influence into them. Cardinals can only be influenced in increments of 5. A list of all influencers displays when hovering over the Future Cardinal's current controller.
When a Cardinal in the Curia dies, a random Future Cardinals is chosen to succeed him. He is replaced by a new, randomly generated Future Cardinal.
Cardinals have a country of origin, and that country gains a starting bonus to influence him. Which nation the Cardinal comes from is related to their annual papal influence gain; the higher the gain, the more likely a nation is to receive initial control of the Cardinal. The formula for how much influence is initially invested in the owned cardinal is as follows:
floor( (Yearly PI gain - Bonus from opinion with the Papal States) * 3 )
Papal influence, used to gain the loyalty of Cardinals, accumulates on a monthly basis.
NB: Papal influence does not determine when a Future Cardinal enters the Curia.
The following modifiers affect the total yearly gain of papal influence:
- +5% of a country's total annual base tax (only considering Catholic provinces)
- +0.05 per courthouse
- From -0.02 to +0.02 per Papal State opinion point towards you (Modifier ranging from -4 to +4)
- From -0.01 to +0.01 per Prestige point (Modifier ranging from -1 to +1)
- Up to +5.00 from religious unity
- +2 for the current Papal Controller
- +2 for the current Defender of the Faith
- +1 for each controlled cardinal
- +0.5 for being at peace
As of version 1.6 cathedrals no longer give a bonus to Papal influence
AI countries will spend their papal influence according to the following algorithm:
- Do not invest further into an already controlled cardinal
- Put all remaining points into whichever cardinal requires the fewest further investment of points to control
It is often a bad idea to get in a "race" with an AI nation where you use your last remaining papal influence points to barely overtake them, as then they will spend their points retaking the cardinal. If you immediately retake the cardinal as soon as you have enough points to do so, that cardinal will then be the cheapest for them to retake, and the race will continue until the cardinal dies or enters the curia. While you might win such a race if you have more papal influence than other racing nations, you will only net one cardinal out of the process.
A more fruitful alternative may be to save up your papal influence and look for a way to get far enough ahead on a cardinal such that it's an unappealing target for the AI. If, say, there is a 40 point and a 20 point cardinal, and you have 65 papal influence, you can put all 65 points into the 20 point cardinal. After that, the 40 point cardinal will be more attractive than the one you control, even for whoever started with 20 points in your cardinal. This will in turn cause all the AI nations to race with each other over the originally 40 point cardinal and leave you and your 65 point cardinal alone. Be careful, though, as the leader of the race may start investing points into the next-best cardinal, which may be yours (especially if they've already partially invested in you).
AI nations do not save points. If you are in a 2-way race with a nation over a cardinal, you can save points while they invest elsewhere by allowing them to take the lead for a while. When you reinvest your points you may have a strong enough lead that they continue to invest elsewhere.