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Mixed (278 reviews) - 45% of the 278 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 2, 2016

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This content requires the base game Crusader Kings II on Steam in order to play.

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About This Content

Conclave , the latest major expansion for Crusader Kings II, will give your vassals some bite to go along with your bark, as the council that governs your realm will now demand some say in how you rule. Powerful dukes, regardless of competence, will require a seat at the table, and those left on the outside will be more likely to plot against you.

Keep your council happy, and the mighty vassals will resist the pull of faction and civil war. Dismiss their interests, though, and you may find yourself trying to hold together a council at war with itself.

Balance councilor skill and power to keep your dynasty safe and strong. Ignore powerful underlings at your peril, or simply buy their loyalty with favors. Conclave makes the royal council a force unto itself.

Main features:
  • Councils can now vote on changes to realm laws – or you can try to limit their power and influence
  • Revised education system for royal children, with new traits and events designed for childhood
  • New diplomatic system that prioritizes marital alliances and non-aggression pacts, as well as the possibility of coalitions
  • Improved military combat model with a greater emphasis on morale, as well as new rules for mercenary companies

Crusader Kings II appreciates the subtlety of court intrigue. Conclave will give you new avenues to test that skill.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900, 512mb graphics memory required.
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: Direct X-compatible sound card
    • Additional: 3-button mouse and keyboard
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher
    • Peripherals: Mouse, keyboard
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 2.4 GHz or AMD 3500+
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 6750 / NVIDIA GeForce 320 / NVIDIA GeForce 9600 or higher, 1024MB graphics memory required.
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Mixed (278 reviews)
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Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: September 26
Council system is a total failure

the new "favor" function makes you able to use around 80 gold to buy council memeber's unlimited "Yes" vote for 36 months, which makes voting job easier--but--once you limited all the conucil power, problem arises:
NONSTOP "Increase council power faction"--which is a total BS, I end up locking up almost all of my powerful vassals and, when time passes, your powerful vassals die in prison and new powerful vassals inherit---and they form that BS fraction again and again and you beat them up again and again and put them in chains and another new "Increase council power" fractions arises (sometimes if you are in bad luck those stupid succession demands factions will come right after you have just finish dealing with council fractions) and it eventually becomes UNLIMITED CIVIL WARSSSSS. Game balance is totally ruined.

Make those stupid Increasing council demand fraction disappear please. Who would go to war against their liege, from generations to generations, just to install power for those unrelated council memebers????? It makes no sense at all.

I dont mind sharing power with councils BUT THE AI ARE JUST TO STUPID and making all kinds of unreasonable decisions (like voting against me from giving out lands while the reason they said NO is because I am holding too much land, these kind of logics can only be found among GFs or mums, it surprises me crusader kings engineers are one of them too)

1. useless councils making all nonsense decisions and you have to stop them from detroying your kingdom
2. unrelated vassals always want to empower those councils, for no reason at all, even they like you a lot
3. endless civil wars will consume all your fun and will make you very, very stressful, to a point you will give up this game just to post a negative review during midnight.
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5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
Posted: September 30
I was hesitant to buy this until it was on a 66% sale. It was proved well worth it. It feel more like a king with the council telling me no all the time.

There are 3 features worth mentioning.

1. Council has more power. You have to get more than half of the council members to approve your decision in numerous aspects, such as going to war, revoking titles, etc. This means you have to either make your council happy or just assign people who likes you to the council. Powerful vessel who can't get to your council will be unhappy.

The fun part is the fact that you have to consider more than the skills of your council member when assigning them. It also gives meaning to the opinion from your council members. Just like in real life (I guess), kings actually don't just do whatever they want. The powerful people around them will be like, "your majesty, your decision is wise but I am afraid this ♥♥♥♥ is not going to happen without my help." I just feel more like king when my decision was refused.

2. Favour system. If your council members don't like you, you can buy favours from them so they will support you on the vote. They can then use the "favour" some point to force a vote from you, making a law passed against your will. Favours among your vassals can also be used to ask to join factions, making your loyal good friend to turn against you. A little bit annoying but I guess this is acceptable.

3. Education system. You can choose children's education focus. Children will no longer just become their educator's copy, but are likely to turn into the direction (e.g. stewardship focused) you want him to be.

Overall I enjoyed this DLC. I reviewed this only because I think this DLC was not treated fairly because people may not just want the decisions to be objected by their councils.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: October 5
The worst DLC up to date.
Empowering/limiting council works fine and I like new laws screen.
But favor system simply does not work - council interactions should be based on opinion. Played as council member (Buchara) of Bajanids, I can buy favors, change laws as I like and steamrolling factions with 300% strength.
The worst 'feature' is revised education system, which simply looks like dice roll - no influence on children.
And seriously: 'Conclave'? The most misguiding name for this content pack
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
Posted: September 25
Don't be mislead by the negative reviews- this is one of the best DLCs yet. It adds layers of depth, and I honestly could not go back to playing how the game was before.

Council Law Votes: Your council, rather than all your direct vassals, can now vote on law changes. In addition, the laws themselves have been overhauled and allow for much greater customization of your realm. The bad is that your most powerful vassals want to be on the council, and they'll be angry with you if they are not(the council being your marshal, Steward etc. plus 1 or 2 advisor positions if you're a king or above).

However, as long as the council can vote on war declarations, council members cannot join factions unless they're discontent(meaning you either did something they voted against, or a new ruler inherited). This, combined with non-aggression pacts and favors gives you more options than ever to keep your underlings in check, despite what some other people claim.

Education: There are now two distinct points in a child's education- age 6 when they choose a childhood focus, which increases the chance of grant specific childhood traits which then develop into set adult traits(which can be influenced depending on the guardian's own traits), and age 12, when they choose an education focus. The level of the education trait granted at 16 is still somewhat random like before, but it is heavily influeced by which childhood traits they previously had.

I have found that this offers more control and customization over how children grow up, rather that shipping them off to whoever in your realm has the highest education level and hoping they don't get hit with RNG arbitrary, cruel, or slothful events.

Non-Aggression Pacts, Alliances, and Coalitions: You automatically form non-aggression pacts when your close-kin marry with another ruler's close kin. THIS IS VITAL for anyone who thinks vassal management is too hard with Conclave- because if a vassal is in a non-aggression pact with you, they CAN'T JOIN FACTIONS. If you have enough children to keep them in line without using council seats, you could then fire your troublesome councillors and replace them with highly educated Yes-Men, then proceed to pass whatever laws you want. Vassals = Repressed, Monarchy = Absolute, Factions = Defanged. It's not difficult people.

Aliiances can be useful for pulling larger realms into wars you couldn't win on your own(I was able to use this system to survive the Umayyads as Navarra in 867), but it can become a liability if you're the large realm getting pulled into a bunch of petty wars that don't benefit you.
Coalitions are a slight check on aggressive realm expansion, but honestly they don't last long enough to make a difference, unless your realm is on a timer due to Gavelkind succession.

Other things: Tired of half of your offspring being automatically disqualified from rulership, and don't want to go Buddhist or Cathar? There's a new Status of Women law, that when maxed out(requires Tolerance 6) allows for Absolute Cognatic succession, and removes the female heir/ruler opinion modifiers. The lower levels of the law open up the various council positions to women.

Want to change your succession, but your pesky vassals won't stop fighting, and you can't raise crown authority? Now you can just enforce realm peace. This is an essential addition for large realms.

OVERALL: The Clonclave DLC is a necessity for players who find the current state of vassal management overly simplistic, dull, and restrictive.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: October 16
Так, DLC добавляет в игру такую штуку, как Совет, в которую стремятся попасть все могущестенные вассалы. Поподробнее об этом самом совете, и DLC в общем:
1. Новый способ проeбать экономику. Теперь ваши отношения с вассалами ещё хуже, потому что каждый вассал с одним очком дипломатии непременно желает стать канцлером, а каждый вассал с хотя бы одним очком личных боевых навыков желает стать маршалом. Следовательно, все недовольны, никто никому налоги не платит, экономика на нуле, денег на армию нет, всем грустно, все плачут.
2. Новые возможности стать беспомощной тряпкой. Теперь совет будет вами руководить! Во дела! Желаете объявить войну другой стране, и отхватить от неё лакомый кусочек? Желаешь раздать избытки личных владений вассалам? Желаешь отнять владения у неугодного вассала? Желаешь казнить предателя? Нет - вместо тысячи решений проблемы.
3. Ноые поводы для гражданских войн: а вот тут я уже не буду расписывать подробно, ибо температура моей жепы перевалила за температуру Солнца из-за этих бесконечных восстаний.

Очень плохое DLC, смысла в нём нет, ничего интересного или полезного оно не добавляет, Аллаху акбар, ворам свободу.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
421 of 456 people (92%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: February 2
So, like someone else said, I wish I could give this a neutral rating. I have played it all day, primarily from the perspective of a vassal. Here's what I like about it:

New Law System is Good - It gives much more customization to the way you want your realm to function.
Council Dynamics - I like it, it gives more immersion for both realm heads and vassals.
Vassal Options - There are more things to do as a vassal now. You get to do more inside a realm as a vassal than simply join factions.
Battle Loss and Tactical Retreat - This has been needed since day 1 of the game, so it is a very welcome addition.

Some of this came with the patch, regardless of whether you get this DLC. Now, there are a few things I don't like at all.


Education - I liked how the education changes sounded, but as it stands I find it to be terrible. Before, one of my main enjoyments in this game was building a pedigree of increasingly competent, goodly, and well-bred rulers. Being able to directly educate your heir allowed you at least one event per year for that ward to get a new trait or stat increase. It also gave another roleplay feature. Now, the children are all but completely detached. You are lucky if you get more than 1 event per child from day 1 till 16 years. I raised a family of over 120 members today, and this is how it went. Also, kids can develop terrible traits like slow or lose traits like quick when they nearly hit adulthood...which is ridiculous from a real-world view. Their education level is not a function of guardian anymore, but simply an RNG based on childhood personality traits synergizing with educational path. is a completely random grab bag with every single child and you have little influence over it. I don't mind variation, but at least we should be involved with our kids or those directly supervising our kids (the lords, merchants, priests, servents, and all the other supposed groups overseeing their rearing, etc)...basically this has destroyed my enjoyment in dynasty building.
I think the idea has merit, but it was terribly executed here as things stand.

Constant infighting - I don't mind making empires or large kingdoms more difficult to manage. What I do mind is when those realms are in CONSTANT faction rebellions. There should be some kind of cooldown mechanic to limit how regularly factions can attempt to force their demands. When one civil war is over the lands need some time to recover, even if only a few years.

Coalitions - I can only conclude this is broken and will be patched soon. You drop a pin and the whole world gangs up against you. It's ridiculous. I don't mind AE, but there has to be some reasonable limits. At least in EU4 if you ♥♥♥♥ the Ottomans the HRE doesn't join a coalition against you.

Conclusion: Don't buy this yet. Please don't. I have been supporting Paradox since day one on both CK2 and EU4. Their content has been generally great up till these last few months, but both of these recent DLCs have been seriously lacking in both substance, quality, and execution. I want to continue supporting them, but I cannot accept that I paid $16 in good faith for this. Please withhold your purchase until they make the necessary adjustments to return functionality to the game. I will update this review when my opinion has changed.
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242 of 260 people (93%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: February 13
Okay so I've spent about 20+ hours with the new patch and dlc. Whoah does the game feel different, and not in good way. If I had to sum up this dlc I'd say great concepts terrible execution. It's not all bad, but some of the things that are bad are god awful.

The Good --
- New Alliance System: The inclusion of non-aggression pacts is really nice, you can get the marriage you need without a full blown alliance. Alliances are much more stable ie you will automatically call in your allies and vice versa. I like and don't like this because sometime dishonoring an alliance is the logical thing for the ai or human player to do. Takes a bit of the immersion/choice for predicatbility.

- Legal System is now ala carte vs getting this or that crown law. Gives the player more control over what they want their realm to look like.

- Favor System - the concept is great and the execution is pretty good. By helping others you can gain favors to accomplish other tasks, getting a law passed getting a marriage etc. Pretty well done.

The Bad:

- Holy Mother of God the coalition mechanic is broken. An awesome concept with crap execution. Infamy is gained really quickly and anybody and their mother can join a coallition against you. Ck2 had a problem, blobbing was too easy. This solves that problem with an even larger one. This breaks the immersion for me when I see catholics, muslims, and pagans in one big happy coalition. To improve it coalitions should be separate based on religion and be limited by distance ie duke of iceland can't join a coalition against Raja of India. Right now this mechanic is broken, great idea and should be hopefully easy to patch. Right now though yuck, sad this was released in the free patch so I can't turn it off.

- Education System - Let's take a great system and throw it out. Instead of picking the right educator and mentoring your kid it feels pretty much random now. Before you could create progressively better characters with eugenics and mentoring now its a crapshoot. Way less invested in my characters, This really hits rpg ck2 fans bad. Honestly wish we could flip back to the old system or at least mix them together. It's functional but a step backward.

- Council Mechanics - Great Idea, but it turns ck2 into a rebellion simulator. I've crushed 10 increase council power factions in a 100 years. There is no real benefit to giving the council power (there should be some). My current playstyle is keep the council weak, wait till they rebel hire mercs crush them revoke and ransom. Rinse and Repeat. If the council is content this shouldn't be happening. Makes realm management super tedious. I'd rather there be a reason to give them power. Right now it feels like I'm fighting game mechanics than actually using them. I think this was a step in the right direction that fell flat on its face. Hopefully with patching this feature will be strong addition, right now it makes me not want to play ck2.

- Shattered Retreats After defeating an enemy army it will retreat far far away recovering morale. This is huge change from the old ping ponging ck2 strategy. I can see the argument for the change, but the penalty for losing is almost laughable. There needs to be a larger penalty for losing a pivotal battle than suffering 10% casualties then coming back. If you are a smaller power who used to be able to blitz using mercs and good positioning kiss that good bye, larger realms will ground you to dust. Miss the old decisive battles, but if losses are more punishing and retreat distances are lowered it wouldn't be as bad as it currently is.

This dlc had the right vision but was an fail in execution. Conclave does offer the opportunity of greater immersion, but in its current state it is step backward for ck2. There are some good changes but they are overshadowed by how truly awful some of the changes in the dlc and free patch are. My advice is to not purchase it till the super bad stuff has been patched. Once it has been patched these features will add a lot to the game. Right now though the dlc and free patch have curbed my desire to play.

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158 of 171 people (92%) found this review helpful
46 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: April 9
In Conclave, you are no longer king. You are merely president for life (not prime minister). Every one of your vassles that is close to your sovreign territory will now receive a flat -40 opinion modifier unless you give them a seat on the council. To put that in perspective - Thats more than the Infidel and foreigner (other culture group) penalty combined. Once you have devalued your council by playing imbeciles on it to remove the -40, they will then, without fail, start a faction to empower the council. This will happen up to around 50 positive opinion of you. This will keep happening until you eventually cave, after 12 wars and hundreds of thousands of men die. At this point, the council has attached its first string to you. They will then initiate votes to give themselves more power until eventually, the country turns into a constitutional elective monarchy, in which you are no longer even king, you are a member of the council. If you have not comitted suicide yet, you've still got around 500 years of CK2 to play.

tl;dr Sweden thinks we had elective monarchies in 769, otherwise known as the Dark Ages
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124 of 132 people (94%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: April 23
If you are thinking about buying this DLC, prepare yourself for some SERIOUS mental frustration :

  1. Anyone with a piece of land within your borders will be asking to be given a seat in the Council. If ignored or refused, they gain a -40 opinion modifier permanently, until you put them in the Council! Same appplies for kicking anyone out of the council. Say goodbye to meritocratic promotions!

  2. 3 most common plots on the "Factions" page will be: "Empower the council" (all of your council members may join regardless of their opinions about liege, if refused - civil war), "Switch to Elective succesion/monarchy" (everyone joins, opinions be damned, if refused - civil war), "Request to be put in the Council" (if refused - you guessed it - war with the noble who wants the seat)

  3. Alliance mechanic is ludicrously broken and may result in absurd situations where you are allied with both sides of the war and randomly join one of them OR better yet, both sides start beating the crap out of you regardless of alliances.

  4. Good luck passing any changes to any of your domain's laws through the council without having the majority in favor. And if you fail to pass, prepare to wait 5-8 years before you may try again. Democracy, yay!

  5. Women can no longer hold ANY position on the Council without changing to the laws to allow it first. Your dear wife is a genious schemer/brilliant tactician/excellent administrator - STAY IN THE KITCHEN! And you remeber what I wrote about changing the laws, right?

  6. Ah, kids, the joy of life! Now trying to groom an educated and likable successor is a chronic pain in the ♥♥♥. Remember all those cool events during childhood and adolecsence phase which allowed you to influence the development of your child and feel like an actual parent? Well, you will no longer remeber them because they are superseded by a needlessly convoluted system where until your child reaches 16 you will have to change the focus of education 3 times and each focus may bring out 1-3 character points which in turn may grow into 1-3 actual attributes. You think it sounds complicated? Wait till you see it in action in all of it's random glory. Oh, and assigning a guardian/tutor no longer influences anything, apparently.

  7. Everything above will not be happening within just your domain, it will be happening almost EVERYWHERE ON THE MAP. Elective monarchy is the New World Order.

    0 councilors out of 5
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247 of 299 people (83%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Posted: February 2
I really wish I could give this a ~ rating, a neither-yes-or-no.

I've messed around with a few different ruler archetypes and setups, just to see how it goes. I'm going to go over some pros and cons, explaining my personal opinion along with them.


+ Vassals are now more difficult

When it came down to it, ruling an empire used to be far too easy. Send some gifts, or park your diplomat to improve relations with dissidents. Now, they actually come with a larger set of demands that tie in to the new Council system, which I will get in to later in the review. They're harder to please, and I've noticed my general relation floats from about -20 to +20, with notable exceptions like those I've granted titles to, etc. Forging relationships with more powerful vassals is important. Your internal politics -- as top liege -- will now mean a lot more than they used to. Some might call this a needless hindrance, or forced difficulty. I personally enjoy it.

+ The new council is more refined.

Before, your councillors were just tools. Assign the person with the highest corroborating stat, and there you go. Now, it's not so easy. Councillors want a say in how the realm goes. Even when you have absolute decision-making power, they will fight tooth-and-nail, creating factions to lessen your powers in more ways than just a 'Crown Authority' metric. Your stronger vassals will demand a space on your limited dais. It will be a great offense to them when you staff Johnny Lowborn because of his 23 stewardship. If you've mis-managed your vassals, or simply have too many, you're going to have to make some cuts or hastily delegate. They have their desires for the realm, such as seeking glory or just being pragmatic, which will sway their votes if they have power.

+ The laws (and the law screens)

The laws are no longer a huge list. There are a few pages with different types of laws. No longer will your tax/levy obligations clutter up that page. Social and Centralization-related laws are together, and there are some that are new -- like women's rights.


~ The New Education System.

From ages 0 to 6, you can select one of many focuses for your child. These will then generate traits that will ready them for a more narrow education (your standard martial, stewardship, etc.) While this is immersive, and there are several nice events that add some life to what is otherwise a bland portion of the gameplay, there's a lot of micromanaging, and you will be getting alerts for any child in your court. I got tired of clicking the 'Child needs an education!' only to see a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ from my twice-removed cousin.

I also find that children get a lot less traits, regardless of guardian. Childhood traits (Which are generic personality archetypes like playful, affectionate, brooding...) might manifest in to something, or not. There are also events that make no sense. I got one saying my child was turning out content. My non-accepting option was "She should be more charitable!", while you think it would be to instill some ambition.


----- Aggressive Expansion!

This is more fitting for Europa Universalis, and even there it's a detested mechanic. It's a decent idea. People unifying to protect themselves against the Karling menace. In my game, however, Karl's conquest of Saxony lead to a coalition consisting of: Asturias, the Umayyads, all of Ireland, Pictland, and England, Sweden, Norway, the sultanate of Africa, the CALIPH, Lombardy... You get my point? It's not people in the sphere, just 'people', and that's a problem. If they take over Saxony, perhaps the countries surrounding Saxony, or people of the same religion should give a damn? But all that wound up happening was a neutering of the challenge that Francia provides. He was soon crippled by revolts, and couldn't face any exterior opponent without bringing the whole world down on him.

- AI has a bigger proclivity for starting factions than it already did.

Due to the council mechanic, one of the biggest grievances is that the councillors would like more power, as I described earlier. The problem: This isn't limited TO councillors & their vassals. Anybody in your realm can start, or support this faction regardless of how involved they'd be. While it doesn't splinter the nation on its own, the costly war of a liege vs 500% power will then bring the rest of the factions, which will destroy the Byzantines, Francia... Anybody.

All in all, there are good concepts, and there are very, very bad ones. But it's a solid enough DLC that changes some of the game's easier and more redundant mechanics for the better.
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Recently Posted
Pizza the Hutt
Posted: October 16
The council system is great. Once you figure it out, it can actually make things easier to manage. As long as your council is content, nobody on your council can join factions.

Gives you the dilemma between putting someone with great stats, a powerful vassal to keep his hands tied, or a incompetent loyalist yes-man on the council.

If this seems interesting to you don't give in to all the negative reviews. Just get it. Spend some actual quality hours getting used to it and you should be pleasantly surprised, as I was. I'm sure glad I didn't get swayed by the negative reviews. If you're still hesitant, wait til it's on sale like I did.
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Posted: October 15
Conclave gives more frustrations. I like it.
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Posted: October 5
I wasn't sure if this DLC would be worth it because of all the negative reviews, but it sounded interesting to me, so I got it anyway. I'm really glad I did! I really don't get all the negative reviews. I love Conclave. It's given me so many hours of fun. It's in particular good for those who enjoy playing as counts/dukes since it gives them a hand in realm politics but adds features attractive to all kinds of players. Except maybe those who want to rule their realm with complete control/Iron fist.
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Posted: October 1
Conclave is Good, no more than that.
I dont know why players hate sutile and well designed challenge. Conclave DLC is good enough to change gameplay, bring interesting mechanics in the board and keep the player surprised even if some of his mechanics needs a bit more polishing.

Child focus and events were well designed and elegant, but in some way player lost some control of child training way. Yep everyone know that is a bit annoying but is realistic and changelling. My own child hate me A LOT in some of the test games...

Councilor mechanic suffer the same fate, is realistic but players lose some control. I strongly believe that this change is something that the game needs, specially if you plan to choose a Count or Duke. This DLC give you the chance to fight a place within the King or Emperor. I believe that favors are a bit costly.

In simple words the DLC is good, no more than that.
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Posted: September 26
TL;DR Conclave broke my save game.

I was fairly excited to install conclave. I've had a campaign going for about 80 hours of play although most of that time is spent with Steam in offline mode.

I find the increased interaction with the council and the ability to choose a focus for a child's education to be positive changes to the game.

However, Conclave broke my save game and reverted all the changes I've made to laws and inheritance. So, essentially the DLC has caused me to lose a hard won empire!

I recommend the DLC but only for a new save game!
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