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Revision as of 14:37, 11 October 2014 by RedKnight7 (talk | contribs) (Papal influence: Augmented section)
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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:


The Curia controller can excommunicate an enemy. This requires the enemy to be Catholic, and for the Papal States to have an opinion of less then 0 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.

Excommunication Penalties

  • 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.

Crusade Bonuses:

  • National Tax Modifier Bonus : +10%
  • Morale of Armies : +10%
  • National Manpower Modifier : +30%
  • Yearly Prestige : +1
  • Monthly Papal Influence : +2

The Curia

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.

Controlled Cardinals

Cardinals maintain a loyalty to the country that has invested the mostPapal influence.pngpapal 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 Papal influence.png Yearly papal influence
  • +0.1 Prestige.pngYearly prestige
  • +0.2 Legitimacy.pngYearly legitimacy
  • -1.0% Technology cost.pngTechnology cost modifier
  • +0.1% Local missionary strength.png Local missionary strength against heretic religions.

Future Cardinals

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 Cardinal 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 )

Four times out of five, you can identify this initial controller by the fact that one of the investors' points is not a multiple of five. This is the only way this can come about.

The chance of increasing the number of Active Cardinals you have is reduced by the possibility that one of your Active Cardinals died to create the vacancy. For example, if you control all five Future Cardinals but have no Active Cardinals, you have a 100% chance that you will gain an Active Cardinal if an active one dies. And at the other extreme, if you have no Future Cardinals but control all seven active ones, you have a 100% chance of losing a cardinal if one dies. In the middle, such as if you have 3 Future and 4 Active Cardinals, the odds of gaining one are practically cancelled by the odds of losing one, leaving only a net +0.03 cardinals on average:

Number of Future

Cardinals Controlled (to right)

0 1 2 3 4 5
Number of Active

Cardinals Controlled (below)



0% +20% +40% +60% +80% +100%
0 0% n/c +0.20 +0.40 +0.60 +0.80 +1.00
1 -14% -0.14 +0.06 +0.26 +0.46 +0.66 +0.86
2 -29% -0.29 -0.09 +0.11 +0.31 +0.51 +0.71
3 -43% -0.43 -0.23 -0.03 +0.17 +0.37 +0.57
4 -57% -0.57 -0.37 -0.17 +0.03 +0.23 +0.43
5 -71% -0.71 -0.51 -0.31 -0.11 +0.09 +0.29
6 -86% -0.86 -0.66 -0.46 -0.26 -0.06 +0.14
7 -100% -1.00 -0.80 -0.60 -0.40 -0.20 n/c

Long story short: If you have a number of Active Cardinals, you have to struggle to keep it that way. It's easy at first, but harder as the number of actives increases.

Papal influence

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 determine the total yearly gain of papal influence:

  • +5% of a country's total annual base tax (only considering Catholic provinces). To approximate this value if most of a country's provinces are Catholic, multiply their monthly Taxation (see Income in Country page of Ledger) x Religious Unity percent x 0.6 (12 x 0.05).
  • From -0.02 to +0.02 per Papal State opinion point towards you or other country (Modifier ranging from -4 to +4). Typically the player might have +2.20 for +110 opinion (Same Religion +10 and Improve Relation +100); add +1.00 (+50 x 0.02) for an alliance with The Papal State. Other countries may also Improve Relations; check their relations with The Papal States on their Diplomacy screen.
  • From -0.01 to +0.01 per Prestige point (Modifier ranging from -1 to +1)
  • Up to +5 from religious unity (Religious Unity percent x 5)
  • -0.02 per percentage point of Overextension. For example, Overextension of 100% gives -2.00.
  • +2 for current Curia Controller
  • +1 for each controlled cardinal
  • +2 for current Defender of the Faith
  • +1 for The Societas Jesu (the Jesuits, a Spanish or Portuguese Papal Event)
  • +3 for Devout Catholicism (Spanish National Idea)

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 they will then spend their points retaking the cardinal. The race will continue until he dies or enters the curia. While you might win such a race if you have more papal influence than other racing nations, it can be expensive and you will only net one cardinal out of the process.

A more fruitful alternative can be to save up your papal influence and get far enough ahead on a cardinal that it becomes unappealing to 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 for a 45 point lead. After that, the 40 point cardinal will be more attractive to AI countries than the one you control, even for whoever started with 20 points in your cardinal. Now, all the AI nations will compete for the 40 point cardinal and leave your 65 point cardinal alone.

This isn't infallible. If another cardinals moves up or out, everyone that had been investing in him will choose another target. If the initial AI bonus (sponsor) for the new, replacing cardinal is higher than your man's total, the AIs will target your man.

Another approach is to look for a cardinal where a poor country (few influence points per year) has a big lead over everyone else investing in that cardinal - at least 10 points, preferably 20. This suggests other AIs have given up on him. If you get in a race with the poor country, it will not cost you as much. The two of you may come to have quite a lead, shutting out everyone else. It's hard to tell how many influence points other countries accrue; their size is a rough indicator. Hover over your own Papal Influence value to see how it's composed for you.

Also note that AI nations do not save points. If you are in a two-way race with a nation over a cardinal, you may be able to divert them by letting them control the cardinal a while. In the meantime, they will invest in someone else, while you let your points build. Come back in when they are in a close race on another cardinal, or there is a new cardinal that's cheaper for them, and dump your points on the first one. But you risk losing the cardinal if he is anointed in the meantime.

Still, there are events that can gift a country many points. If something weird happens, check the extended log for events for the country that just surged ahead.

If you auto-invest, the computer will keep you more than five points ahead of the second-highest investor (assuming you have the points), so you can never lose the lead. In other words, the computer will keep you 6 to 10 points ahead. For an unusual (glitch?) situation seen when not auto-investing (but instead using popup-and-stop messages when control is lost), see this forum message.