Advisors, are figures you can hire to give added benefits to your realm. For instance, some advisors increase the amount of infamy you lose per year (diplomats), while others increase your compete chance for merchants or make additional monthly investments to a technology. Advisors have levels ranging from 1 to 6, with a higher number denoting a more powerful or efficient advisor. In addition, some decisions and events require the presence of some particular type of advisor.
When you start a new game, there will be a number of historical advisors to hire to your court. Some may be part of your court already, and others may be available for hire. Up to three advisors may be hired at one time. In Divine Wind and Heir to the Throne, it is possible to use Cultural tradition to recruit an advisor of any type. As the tradition increases, the better the advisors will be.
In Divine Wind, it is not possible to hire multiple advisors of the same type.
It is advisable to check for good advisors at the very beginning of the game, before you unpause. A great advisor can contribute a lot to your country's development.
Cost and Skill
The advisors you can hire to your court are rated on a skill scale from 1 (worst) to 6 (best) stars. The bonuses they provide is scaled linearly, so that an advisor with skill 4 gives twice the bonus of a skill 2 advisor.
The cost to initially hire advisors depends on the number of stars. New advisors (0 years old) cost three times their stars, e.g., a 5-star advisor costs 15 ducats to hire. Hiring cost decreases in a linear way such that at 10 years of age they cost double their star rating, and at 20 years of age they cost their star rating. Their hiring cost will then stay fixed at one times the number of stars, regardless of how much older they are than 20 years. See the inset for a graph.
New advisors cost a one-time fee to recruit, and then a monthly upkeep. The monthly cost is always a tenth of their stars, regardless of age. For example, a 6-star advisor always costs 0.6 ducats/month. Hiring and monthly costs are subject to inflation, but are s not affected by the country you play or game difficulty.
An analysis of a single savegame at endgame (1791) in v. 1.3 found that that advisors' median age was 23.3 years (average age was 25.7 years), and the oldest was 82 (N=116). This observation can be weighed against changing out a great, but aging, advisor for a young one of less stars that's liable to be snapped up. Although only one savegame was analyzed, it dovetails with the facts that advisors reach their lowest hiring price at age 20, and that new games have a large advisor pool which shrinks sharply circa 20–50 years.
Many nations begin the game with advisors that are exclusive to them. This means that during the first year, no other nation can hire any of these exclusive advisors. These advisors remain exclusive to their country for the first year even if that country hires and then sacks/replaces them. In fact, unless a nation begins with a few exclusive advisors, it will not be able to hire any advisors until one year from the start date.
Exactly one year after the start of the game, all advisors not hired by any nation will be put in the collective pool. This makes it a very good idea to pause at exactly this date (October 14, 1400, for a Grand Campaign start), before other nations have a chance to pick them up.
Certain decisions require a nation to employ a certain type of advisor. Unfortunately, sometimes the required advisor is not very skilled and/or the nation has no need for his particular specialty. This is where the first-year exclusivity feature becomes valuable. If a nation wants to enact an advisor-dependent decision, it can hire and then replace this advisor with a better one from the advisor pool or sack him altogether without having to worry about any of the advisors in the pool being hired by another nation during that time.
|Legend:||: not available;||: available;||: properties changed|
|Type||Bonus per level since|
|Alderman||: Production efficiency: +1%|
|Ambassador||: Diplomatic skill: +0.5|
|Army organiser||: Land forcelimit: +4%|
: Land forcelimit: +6%
|Army reformer||: Land technology investment: +3 monthly|
|Artist||: Stability investment: +3 monthly|
|Banker||: Interest: –1%|
|Collector||: Trade efficiency: +1%|
|Colonel||: Mercenary cost: –5%|
: Mercenary cost: –10%
Mercenary maintenance: –5%
: Mercenary maintenance: –5%
|Colonial governor||: Colonist chance: +2%|
: Tariffs: +1%
: Tariffs: +2%
|Commandant||: Discipline: +2%|
|Diplomat||: Infamy: –0.05 yearly|
|Grand Admiral||: Morale of navies: +0.05|
|Grand Captain||: Morale of armies: +0.05|
|Grand marshal||: Legitimacy: +1% yearly|
|High judge||: National revolt risk: –0.5%|
: National revolt risk: –0.3%
|Inquisitor||: National spy defense: +2%|
: National spy defense: +4%
|Lord proprietor||: Colonial growth: +2%|
|Master of mint||: Inflation: –0.02% yearly|
|Master recruiter||: National manpower modifier: +2%|
: National manpower modifier: +4%
|Military engineer||: Fort defense: +10%|
|Natural scientist||: Production technology investment: +3 monthly|
|Naval organiser||: Naval forcelimit: +4%|
: Naval forcelimit: +6%
|Naval reformer||: Naval technology investment: +3 monthly|
|Navigator||: Colonial range: +5%|
|Philosopher||: Prestige: +0.5 yearly|
|Pioneer||: Colonist chance: +2%|
: Colonist chance: +4%
|Privateer||: Blockade efficiency: +10%|
: Blockade efficiency: +20%
|Quartermaster||: Reinforcement speed: +5%|
|Rear Admiral||: Navy tradition: +0.2% yearly|
: Navy tradition: +0.1% yearly
|Sergeant Major General||: Army tradition: +0.2% yearly|
: Army tradition: +0.1% yearly
|Sheriff||: National tax modifier: +1%|
|Spymaster||: Spy efficiency: +2%|
|Statesman||: Government technology investment: +3 monthly|
|Theologian||: Missionary chance: +2.0%|
: Missionary chance: +1.0%
: Missionary chance: +0.5%
|Trader||: Merchant compete chance: +2%|
|Treasurer||: Trade technology investment: +3 monthly|
Only , : Note that having a Colonial Governor prevents nasty Colonial Assemblies from occurring if your stability goes below 0 after there has been a Quest for Independence (which can occur after 1750). For a typical example, see Brazilian Colonial Assembly. There are 10 possible Quests for Independence and concomitant Assemblies, so having a governor or keeping your stability high is important for large world-spanning colonial empires in the end game.