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National ideas

This article is accurate for the latest versions of EU3, Napoleon’s Ambition, In Nomine, Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind.

This page is a reference guide for national ideas. This page expands on information in the game manual and provides additional details about the effects of national ideas. Further, this page tracks changes in national ideas in the different EU3 games. The national ideas of the vanilla game were not changed with Napoleon’s Ambition, but five ideas were added. In Nomine introduced additional ideas and modified old ideas. Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind did not add any new national ideas, however, several were modified. See the national idea review for strategy tips on ideas.


National idea mechanics

  • Receiving a national idea is based on the government technology level a nation has.
  • Nations can change national ideas for any slots they have, so long as their stability is at least zero. Changing ideas causes a –3 stability drop.

Table of national ideas

For the secondary effects of a national idea through related events, decisions and missions, see its own page.

Legend: : idea not available; idea available; : idea changed

Naval ideas

Idea           Requirements Primary effects since
  Press gangs  : National ship costs: –50%
  Grand navy  : Naval forcelimit modifier: + 33%
 : Naval forcelimit modifier: +100%
  Seahawks  : Naval tradition: +1% yearly
  Superior seamanship  : Morale of navies: +0.5
 : Morale of navies: +1.0
  Naval glory  : Prestige from naval battles: + 33%
 : Prestige from naval battles: +100%
  Excellent shipwrights Naval technology level ≥ 7  : Leader naval maneuver: +2
  Naval fighting instruction Naval technology level ≥ 30  : Blockade efficiency: +25%
 : Blockade efficiency: +50%
  Naval provisioning Naval technology level ≥ 53  : Naval range: +50%
 : Ships repair in coastal seazones

Land ideas

Idea           Requirements Primary effects since
  Grand army  : Land forcelimit modifier: +33%
  Military drill  : Morale of armies: +0.5
 : Morale of armies: +1.0
  Engineer corps  : Leader siege: +1.0
 : Leader siege: +1.0
      Defensiveness: +25%
  Battlefield commissions  : Army tradition: +1% yearly
  Glorious arms  : Prestige from land battles: + 33%
 : Prestige from land battles: +100%
  National conscripts Land technology level ≥ 7  : National manpower modifier: +50%
  Regimental system Land technology level ≥ 30  : National regiment recruitment time: –40%
 : Land maintenance modifier: –20%
  Esprit de corps Land technology level ≥ 53  : Discipline: +25%

Exploration ideas

Idea           Requirements Primary effects since
  Land of opportunity  : Colonial growth: +33%
  Merchant adventures  : Merchants: +1 yearly
 : Merchant cost: –33%
  Colonial ventures  : Colonists: +1 yearly
  Shrewd commerce practice  : Merchant compete chance: +10%
  Viceroys  : Overseas income: +30%
 : Tariffs: +25%
 : Tariffs: +33%
  Quest for the New World Trade technology level ≥ 7  : Allows recruitment of conquistadors and explorers
 : Allows recruitment of conquistadors and explorers
      Colonial range: +50%
  Scientific revolution Trade technology level ≥ 30  : Technology cost: – 2.5%
 : Technology cost: –10.0%
 : Technology cost: –10.0%
      Papal influence: –5% yearly
  Improved foraging Trade technology level ≥ 53  : Land attrition: –50%

State business ideas

Idea           Requirements Primary effects since
  Vetting  : National spy defense: +20%
 : National spy defense: +30%
  Bureaucracy  : National tax modifier: +5%
 : National tax modifier: +10%
  National bank  : Inflation: –0.1% yearly
  National trade policy  : Trade efficiency: +10%
  Espionage  : Spies: +1 yearly
 : Spies: +1 yearly
      Spy efficiency: +10%
  Bill of Rights Production technology level ≥ 7  : National revolt risk: –1%
 : National revolt risk: –1%
      grants ‘Liberation’ - casus belli
 : National revolt risk: –2%
      grants ‘Liberation’ - casus belli
  Smithian economics Production technology level ≥ 30  : Production efficiency: +10%
 : Production efficiency: +20%
  Liberté, égalité, fraternité Production technology level ≥ 53  : No penalty from other religions
 : Tolerance of heretics: +3
      Tolerance of heathens: +3
      Papal influence: –10% yearly

Culture ideas

Idea           Requirements Primary effects since
  Ecumenism  : Tolerance of heretics: +2
 : Tolerance of heretics: +2
      Papal influence: –2.5% yearly
 : Tolerance of heretics: +4
      Papal influence: –2.5% yearly
  Church attendance duty  : Stability cost modifier: -33%
 : Stability cost modifier: -33%
      Papal influence: +5% yearly
  Divine supremacy  : Missionaries: +1.0 yearly
 : Missionaries: +0.5 yearly
 : Missionaries: +0.5 yearly
      Papal influence: +5.0% yearly
      grants ‘Holy War’ and ‘Religious Liberation’ - casus belli
  Patron of the arts  : Prestige: +2 yearly
 : Cultural tradition: +3% yearly
  Unam Sanctam  : Do not need a casus belli to declare war on heathens
 : Do not need a casus belli to declare war on heretics
 : Papal influence: +5% yearly
      grants ‘Cleansing of Heresy’, ‘Holy War’ and ‘Religious Liberation’ - casus belli
  Humanist tolerance Government technology level ≥ 7  : Tolerance of heathens: +1
 : Tolerance of heathens: +2
 : Tolerance of heathens: +2
      Papal influence: –5% yearly
  Cabinet Government technology level ≥ 30  : Diplomats: +1 yearly
 : Infamy: –1 yearly
  Revolution and counter-revolution Government technology level ≥ 53  : grants ‘Revolutionary war’ - casus belli

Hidden Effects of National Ideas

See also: National Idea review

"Allows" means that an event will never occur without this idea, unless otherwise stated. "Prevents" means that an event will never occur with this idea. "Speeds up" refers to 90-95% normal speed unless otherwise stated. "Slows down" refers to 105-110% normal speed unless otherwise stated.

National Ideas With Hidden Benefits

  • Bureaucracy
    • Significantly speeds up (0.7) all national unification events in EU3/NA (Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Russia, Spain, Ireland, England, the Netherlands).
    • Speeds up the "Aspiration for Liberty" event which causes dissent if you are playing a despotic country after 1700.
    • Allows the "Royal Bureaucracy" event which lets you gain centralization at the cost of stability cost or lose 15% taxes. Only happens if you are already experiencing a revolution.
  • Divine Supremacy
    • Prevents the Protestant Reformation or the Reformed church from being founded in your nation or spreading to your nation.
    • Yes, this can be a problem if you want to convert, but many players seem to find it easier not to have to deal with missionaries and increased stability costs during the Reformation.
  • Engineer Corps
    • Allows the "Italian Engineer available" event, which allows you to gain +1 quality, some minor land investment, and a shift towards defensive in exchange for 50 ducats.
    • Allows a series of events that give free forts (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). The higher your average fort level is, the more valuable this freebie gets.
    • Allows a series of events ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) that makes you chose between losing a fort level or paying 100 ducats. Although this somewhat balances out the effect of the event series above, the constant repair cost are pretty low for higher level forts, making the idea a good bargain.
  • Grand Army
    • Speeds up the "Establish Cantonments" event (if you also have National Conscripts).
    • Allows the "Military Development" event if your monarch is a general, giving you the chance to raise quality by 2, gain 50 ducats and earn some prestige in exchange for +2 revoltrisk for a while.
  • Humanist Tolerance
    • Slows down the "Peasants War" event.
    • Speeds up the Protestant Reformation/Calvinist Reformation events.
    • Allows the "Social Reform" event if you have serfs. This allows you to gain 2 freesubjects and 50 ducats at the cost of +2 revoltrisk for a while.
    • Slows down the "Revolution" event.
  • National Bank
    • Allows the Economic Reform event (for large countries with a treasurer), which gives you either lower interest and 60 ducats or 10% higher taxes for a few years.
    • Allows the Stock Exchange event if you also have Shrewd Commercial Practices or National Trade Policy, are Christian, and are at least somewhat innovative. This event gives you 4% deflation!
    • Prevents one "State Bankruptcy" event (-3 stability +5% inflation) and significantly slows down the other (0.6 without National Banks). With National Banks, you only need fear this devastating event if you have a loan, two gold mines, and are at war.
  • National Conscripts
    • Allows the "Establish Cantonments" event, which increases manpower in your country.
  • National Trade Policy
    • Speeds up the "Decline of the Hanseatic League" event.
    • Speeds up the "Lucrative Trade" event in colonies.
    • Allows the "Monopoly Company Formed" event if you also have Shrewd Commerce Practices. This gives you either 300 gold or 5% higher trade incomes for some time, if you are at least somewhat mercantilist.
    • Allows the "Grant Export Licenses" event if you also have Shrewd Commerce Practices. This gives you +20 relations with a random neighbour and 10% higher taxes for some time.
    • Allows the "Stock Exchange" event (-4% inflation) if you also have the National Bank idea (and are Christian and somewhat innovative).
  • Patron of the arts
    • One of the most underrated ideas if you play as a dove (not a warmongerer).
    • Allows the "Prospering Times" event if you are a large nation with +1 stability or greater and 500 ducats in the bank. This event (which has a mean time of only 240 months before modifiers) gives you a cheap manufactory (500 ducats) or 200 ducats for free.
    • If you are heavily aristocratic, allows the "Build a Great Palace" event which costs 100 ducats but gives you 5 prestige, or takes away 1 prestige.
    • If you are European, have NO BADBOY, and are highly innovative, allows the "Exceptional Court Painter" event which is a province event (so happens often for large countries) and gives +1 stability in exchange for 30 ducats.
    • If you are Christian, allows the "Grand Ball" event in which you spend 30 ducats to gain 2 prestige.
    • If your monarch has 6+ ADM, allows the "Architectural Development" event which gives +2 innovative and 50 ducats in return for +2 revoltrisk for a while.
  • Quest For The New World
    • Allows the "Rush of Colonists" event, which gives you either 3 colonists or 1 colonist and 5% higher overseas income for a year.
    • Prevents the Decline of Empire event that forces you to cut investment in government, the economy or the military. This event happens fairly often if you have a large country and do not own QFTNW or Colonial Ventures.
    • Speeds up the Indian Trade Company event.
    • Allows the "East Indian Trade Route" triggered modifier if you are a Latin country with at least four ports and have discovered the Cape of Good Hope and a few provinces in India/China. This modifier gives you a +2% prestige bonus and 20% higher trade incomes.
  • Shrewd Commerce Practices
    • Allows the "Monopoly Company Formed" and "Grant Export Licenses" events if you also have National Trade Policy.
    • Allows the "Stock Exchange" event in which inflation falls by 4% if you also have the National Bank idea.
  • Smithian Economics
    • Smithian Economics does not directly affect any event, but the extra 10% Production Efficiency gained from this idea indirectly affects several events and makes it easier to achieve them.
    • Higher production efficiency (10%, 20% or 30%) slows down (by up to 0.73) the negative "Battles on Foreign Ground" event if you have the liberalism flag and are at war.
    • Higher production efficiency (10%, 20% or 30%) slows down the "Financial Crisis" event (by up to 1.37) that can occur if your country experiences a Revolution.
    • 20% Production Efficiency will prevent the "Bad Harvest" event which will reduce your treasury and give you the "harvest" flag that can cause other bad events.
    • 20% Production Efficiency will prevent the "Financial Reform" event which gives a tax income boost and government tech at the cost of 2 stability, or higher stability in exchange for less taxes.
    • 20% Production Efficiency will significantly slow down (2.0) the "Financial Crisis" event that can happen if you have a trade advisor after 1700 and either Shrewd Commercial Practices or National Trade Policy.
    • 25% Production Efficiency will prevent the "Plague" event which can occur in grain and fish provinces and reduces the population and/or your treasury.
    • 30% Production Efficiency prevents the "Famine" event which can happen if you have the "Time of Troubles" flag.
    • 35% Production Efficiency will significantly speed up the "Festivities" event (0.67) which can happen if you have ADM 6 and are not at war and provides either +1 taxvalue or +1 stability.
    • 50% Production Efficiency is required for the "New Land Claimed" event which gives +1 tax or +1 manpower in a random province.
    • 50% Production Efficiency significantly speeds up (0.5) the "Exceptional Year" event, which can happen if you have a treasurer advisor before 1550 and gives either 100 ducats or 25% higher taxes for a year.
    • 50% Production Efficiency significantly speeds up (0.5) the "Monopoly Company Formed" event, which can happen if you have Shrewd Commercial Practice AND National Trade Policy and are at least somewhat mercantilist.
    • 50% Production Efficiency allows the "Good Harvest" event in grain provinces, which provides either 100 ducats or 100 government tech.
  • Viceroys
    • Speeds up the Colonial Ventures event (which lets you invest in the navy or disarm) if you also have the Colonial Ventures idea.

National Ideas with Hidden Costs

  • Divine Supremacy
    • Allows Protestant members of the HRE to gain the "Interconfessional Wars" event which marks the beginning of the religious wars in Germany. This event also gives your province the "religious_turmoil" flag, which can cause the "Intolerant Society" or "Tolerant Society" events to happen for you. This also speeds up the "Religious Wars" event which is based on the religious turmoil flag.
    • Speeds up the hated "Papal State" event that fires repeatedly if you conquer Roma and are Catholic.
  • Deus Vult/Unam Sanctum
    • Speeds up the hated "Papal States" event.
  • National Bank
    • Prevents the National Bank event (you cannot choose loan size after you take the idea). This is a known bug and will probably be fixed for v1.2
  • National Trade Policy
    • Allows the "Trading Company Disaster" event which can happen after 1700 if you have a trade advisor. This event costs you 70 ducats or lowers your trade incomes by 5% for a while.
  • Naval Glory
    • Prevents the Colonial Ventures event which gives you the choice of investing in the navy (faster tech but more expensive ships) or disarming (slower tech but better land tech).
  • Shrewd Commerce Practices
    • Speeds up the "Trade Restrictions" event in the American Revolution chain.
    • Speeds up the "Kontor" event that countries in the Hanseatic League receive, and slows it down if you do not possess it.
    • Allows the "Rifts in the Hanseatic League" event.
  • Viceroys
    • Allows one of the "State Bankruptcy" events to happen if you also have 0.15% inflation and 2 gold mines.

National Ideas with Neutral Hidden Effects

  • Church Attendance Duty
    • Oddly enough, speeds up the "Tolerant Society" event if your nation is experiencing religious turmoil.
  • Espionage
    • Speeds up the "Vatican Infiltration" event significantly (0.5) (if you have a spymaster, cardinal, and are Catholic).
  • Grand Army
    • Speeds up "Naval Traditions scorned" and slows down "Land Traditions Scorned."
  • Grand Navy
    • Slows down the "Naval traditions scorned" event and speeds up the "Land traditions scorned" event.
  • Merchant Adventures
    • Speeds up the "Rifts in the Hanseatic League" event, and slows it down if not possessed.
    • Speeds up the "Merchants Harassed" event if you are also a Merchant Republic.

National Ideas With No Hidden Effects

  • Battlefield Commissions
  • Bill of Rights
  • Cabinet
  • Excellent Shipwrights
  • Glorious Arms
  • Military Drill
  • Naval Fighting Instruction
  • Seahawks
  • Scientific Revolution
  • Superior Seamanship