How do you get rid of an unwanted heir in Crusader Kings 3? In Crusader Kings 3 nobody is immortal, which means that producing and training up an eligible heir is an important part of building a lasting dynasty. Of course, this method of hereditary rule doesn't necessarily guarantee a successor who's competent, or even likeable from the point of view of a player who's about to step into their shoes for many in-game hours.
Yeah, it's not a great look. Hear me out though. Sometimes your heir is just destined to be a rubbish ruler and you have to get them out of the way. With the medieval laws of CK3, you're forced to pass your hard work down to your descendants and even play as that useless little kid if you're unlucky. Wouldn't it be nice then, if you could kill your offspring to make room for a more appropriate leader? Look, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
So, here's how to disinherit or, yes, even kill your character's child in Crusader Kings 3.
How to disinherit your child in Crusader Kings 3
So, let's not get too ahead of ourselves. Maybe we can solve whatever dynastic or diplomatic issue you have together without bloodshed!
If you're the dynasty head, you can disinherit all your heirs but one, which is often going to be a powerful ability if you have partition succession. Partition succession splits your inheritance amongst your children, so kicking them all out apart from your Player Heir will ensure you specifically keep control of your entire realm.
Of course, this'll annoy them big time and cost you a bunch of renown and prestige. Here's how to disinherit a child of yours:
- Go to your character menu by clicking on yourself in the bottom left of the screen
- Right click the child you want to disinherit
- Go to the 'hostile' subheading - you may have to click the 'more' option to see all choices
- Select 'Disinherit' and your heir will be kicked out of your will
You can also do this with other family members if you're a dynasty head, including siblings. Of course, this isn't universal and under some succession laws you won't simply be able to pick your favourite family member and go from there. It's a special privilege held only by dynasty heads.
How to kill your heirs and children in Crusader Kings 3
So how else can you, ahem, sort out your inheritance?
It's fine. People did all sorts of stuff back in 1066. It's a last resort, but there are a couple of ways to bump off your own heirs and kids.
Get the Sadistic trait
While you do have the freedom to create your own starting ruler, for dynasty-heading characters born in-game traits are unfortunately a matter of random chance. But if your character has the trait 'sadistic' as one of their three personality traits, you can engage in hostile schemes towards your own children. The trait also gives you extra dread, intrigue, and prowess.
The real treat is that you can plot to murder your own child! The trait is shown by a whip icon, and to do the murder you just have to right click on their face and select the option 'Murder (Scheme)' under the 'hostile' subheading. It really is that easy. Of course, you'll need to go through the normal process to successfully pull off a scheme, like having co-conspirators and convincing them to join you. This can be done in the Intrigue tab (F6) by selecting 'Invite' just underneath the kid's portrait.
Once you've got that all sorted, congrats! You killed your own child!
Put the heir in harm's way
Maybe you aren't sadistic. Maybe you just think it's a bit callous to straight-up murder your own offspring. Well, fair enough. How about the cowardly method where you aren't strictly culpable?
Your heirs can die in battle if they're eligible to become knights. This is slightly limiting, as most cultures only allow adult men to become knights; but thanks to that very same patriarchal way of thinking, this is the demographic of heir you'll most often be trying to bump off anyway.
Go to your Military tab (F3) and select 'force' on the heir you want to put into battle. If you don't want to harm your actual useful courtiers and knights, click 'Forbid', because you'll be throwing a lot of lives away with this method.
Declare war on an enemy that's strong enough to beat a small army in battle, but weak enough that they won't completely steamroll you and ruin your economy. Next, raise a tiny army with just the knight you want to die forced into participating. Do this by selecting a rally point (the little coloured flag next to a settlement) and choose 'raise local army'. This'll give you a little mini force to fight your foe with. Yes, we're throwing a hundred lives away to get rid of one, are you happy?
March the army into battle and lose. Remember, this is not a guaranteed method. Your heir might be so useless they can't even die well, and could just end up injured, maimed, or imprisoned, so be wary with this strategy.
If you want to actually win battles, go check out our page on how to raise and replenish levies in CK3, but for your purposes here you'll be fine without a decent army.
Use console commands
You're also able to use console commands to remove the relation between you and your kin. It'll disable achievements and is basically cheating, but if you're really desperate then go for it.
It's a bit of a hassle, but you can open the game in debug mode and input the following console command: remove_relation. Follow this with a space, and then the relation ID characters you want removed. For example, to get rid of a 'child' relation from a character, type 'remove_relation child (character ID)'. The character ID can be found by hovering over a character with debug mode enabled. If only one character ID is used in the console command, it'll default to your player character's relation with the target ID.
After they magically stop being your child, you can do whatever. At this point they are, naturally, out of the line of succession, so you don't need to murder them any more. But, well, if they've annoyed you this much...
That's all for our light and breezy guide on how to kill your kids in Crusader Kings 3! Or disinherit them, I guess. Check out our CK3 beginner guide for some basic info you'll need to start your adventure. Or see our guide to the best starting rulers in CK3 to get your dynasty set up with a strong opening act that hopefully won't produce a bunch of heirs you feel a burning need to bump off.