TL;DR version: Get big, gain all breeding bonuses, reform your religion to allow incest and polygamy, then find pure-blooded characters to breed into your royal bloodline, then more incest.
I think there’s a lot of people who play this game for challenges, and when something as rare of a trait as “pure-blooded” exists, there will be an incentive to attempt to achieve it. It isn’t the MOST important factor, but it is a good bonus not only for the small boost, but the most important aspect is allowing you to reduce getting inbred traits to an extreme minimum. After all, what’s better than having extremely good stats and traits on your royal family and conquer the world with them? Your family will be literally the envy of the entire known world!
So below are a few tips and steps that I suggest you take to successfully gain the pure-blooded trait.
Be patient – You aren’t going to get pure-blooded family at the get-go, even starting in 867 with a custom ruler with the pure-blooded trait.
BE PATIENT – Getting a pure-blooded lineage isn’t going to be any fun if your Empire dies or you’re in risk of constant assassinations by your court or foreign powers!
Character finder is your best friend. You can search the entire known world for characters with specific traits.
Have lots of children – You may be enticed to limit the number of children you have prior to Primogeniture post 1200, but that is wrong! The reason are as follows:
It increases your splendor – which is important for getting legacies faster
More alliances – Alliances rely on marriages, and you can’t have marriages if you don’t have children!
More Traits – Let your non-primary heir children marry people with good traits (but keep them inside your dynasty – because otherwise their children don’t benefit from your bloodline) so they can refine and then merge back with your lineage when they’ve become good.
More loyal subjects – The most trusted subjects you can have are your house members, and what house members love you the most? Your children! Not only do they come with a free hook, they also really really like you. So give them your newly conquered kingdom/duchy and they’ll stay loyal to you for the next 2 generations! (also use the hook to activate “force-partition” in their contract if your culture allows for high-partition or higher).
Expand your empire – It won’t do you any good if pure-blooded characters appear in the world but you can’t reach them. Being powerful means you can devote more time and resources into marrying your children for traits rather than for alliances to stay alive.
BE PATIENT – The Earliest I’ve gotten in my playthrough is 1185 where my heir and his wive(s) gave birth to 8/9 (so far) pure-blooded children. Be prepared to play the long game in reaching this goal.
So here are the few milestones to watch for in your playthrough if you wish to get the pure-blooded trait in your lineage.
Strong blood is extremely necessary to get along with the legacies and should be the goal you achieve first.
Legacy: Blood 1, 2 – Very important if you want to maintain your traits to your children
Legacy: Kin 1 – 10% fertility to help your family grow faster
Legacy: Blood 3 – This is to reduce chance of cousin marriages developing inbred traits
General Milestone: Reach Empire title, the only title that is reliably able to allow you to not have your kingdom fracture from a succession
Deviation of lineage: When you have multiple children that you don’t need to secure alliances anymore (become powerful enough), marry them off to Characters with Genius, Beautiful, Herculean, and Fecund (optional). There will be a shortage of them, so traits with reduced levels are okay, but the goal is to have certain children have top-tier traits, their children become cousins to your heir.
For example: Marry non-heir #1 with a Genius, let them do whatever they want, even give them some land so they have a higher fertility, then Marry non-heir #2 with a Beautiful, non-heir #3 with Herculean. Make sure to use matrilineal marriages if needed to get your children to be in your dynasty
Choose the highest quality heir to succeed you as you can only control a limited number of close family member’s marriages, you want the best and refined child to be your heir to improve it.
Merging of lineage:
Once you have children and dynasty members with traits (even lvl 1 traits like quick/hale/comely), they need to be merged, so of course marry your heir to the best of the bunch (either highest tier of one of the traits, or if they possess multiple traits). This could take generations!
The goal here is to be eligible for Strong Blood as soon as possible. You need one of the top-tier traits, and at least one of the other positive traits, and no negative traits (see where the legacies help now?). This is done through a decision.
Somewhere down the line, you’ll be dissatisfied with your religion. Either it’s too primitive, or too restrictive in marriages. You’ll want to dedicate a generation who has good learning skills to reform your religion. You’ll need a few things to prepare for this journey:
Young ruler – a young ruler with good learning skill will allow you to accumulate a few pilgrimages and stock up on piety in order for you to reform your religion. Expand the theologian tree in the learning lifestyle as well as you need the “prophet” to reduce the reformation cost.
$$$ – Build temples in your domain to gain piety is also an alternative, combine with pilgrimages to get stocked up fast.
Military strength – Be wary, deviating from an organized religion like Christianity or Islam will turn you hostile against your old religion, allowing them to dogpile you with great holy wars. As you have JUST reformed your religion the only one who will participate in the great holy wars is yourself.
Depending on what religion and doctrines you reformed from, the cost could be anywhere from 3k – 5k, so make sure to do it as fast as possible and hopefully your ruler doesn’t die too early!
Warning: this isn’t something you HAVE to follow, but I found these religious doctrines to be the most helpful in achieving your overall goal: pure-blooded trait
To all the feminists out there, male rulers produce children faster than female rulers. Female rulers = 1 child per year (approx.) regardless of how many husbands she has, while Male rulers with multiple wives can produce 4 child per year (approx.) That’s important for the simple fact that you want to change generations as soon as possible, as your heir should have better traits than you!
Oh and not to mention it’s easier to control birth if you are male, you can have all your wives be 45 yr old or more and they’ll give you a child chance of 0, while if you’re female dominated then the only thing restricting your chance of having a child is your own age.
Why not equal? Reason is you need one or the other sex to be dominated or else you run into dynastic change problems down the line. Your daughters gain titles but if they weren’t married matrilineally married prior to gaining those titles then both your domain and children fall into other dynasties and do not gain the bonuses from your dynasty anymore!
Fundamentalist – To convert faster. Revoking newly conquered land of foreign religion (which is all since you reformed) then give it to your dynastic members is a win-win.
Lay Clergy – Temples gives much better income compared to castles, even if you don’t want to run the temples yourself you can grant to a low noble and revoke whenever you are below domain limit. This is useful if your succession took away a lot of counties from you new ruler, you can simply revoke your big capital’s temple holdings and now you should be close to domain limit again. Then you can slowly fabricate claim and get those counties back if you like.
Marriage Doctrines: Polygamous, Always allowing divorce, and Unrestricted Marriage
The biggest thing in religious reform are these ones. Allowing siblings to marry will be good for NOT your family, but for your other dynastic members to do so and hopefully they get pure-blooded trait for you.
Polygamous so you can have more children, duh.
Why not concubines? Concubines have a reduced fertility and cannot be swapped around like polygamous wives (for better stats). Plus you can only make a concubine out of prisoners and courtiers.
Crime doctrines: Don’t really matter, but allowing witchcraft may allow you to form a witch coven, which could be nice.
Clergy Doctrines: Doesn’t really matter, but I like having temporal-revocable so I can fire my priest if his stats are too low.
Expand your empire:
Reach Empire rank
Crown authority lvl 3 or 4: 3+ prevents your vassals from eating each other, but 4 prevents your vassals from attacking and expanding for you. Very handy in region clean-up/expansion as their wars don’t eat up your offensive war build-up
Get out of confederate-partition: as soon as possible get out of there and DONT CREATE TITLES UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO TO REDUCE DIRECT VASSALS OR TO REDUCE VASSALS SO THEY DONT DOGPILE YOU. The beauty of getting out of confederate partition is as long as you don’t usurp/create other empire titles, your subjects (unless they control a vast majority of an empire region, in which case you’ve done something terribly wrong).
Be strong enough where not even a crusade will be strong enough to take you (or your religion) on.
Once you have these down, it’s time to seek out pure-blooded characters to marry into your bloodline.
Perfect your lineage – every generation you should seek to refine your 3 big traits: Genius, Beautiful, Herculean. Add fecund and giant if you wish.
Every couple of years look through the character finder and see if you can reach any pure-blooded people.
If they’re single/children, try to marry your MOST FERTILE/BEST TRAITED children to them, preferably also someone who’ll mature with them at the same time. At least bring them to your dynasty. If you can directly marry your heir to them, all the better, as it means you’ll have a chance at having an heir with the pure-blooded trait.
If they’re not single, murder their spouse then try to recruit them to court
If they refuse to come or marry you even after they’re single, conquer towards them.
Your goal is to let pure-bloods thrive in your kingdom as much as possible. Give the male ones some land, and marry all your daughters to them, or if they’re female marry her to your heir EXCLUSIVELY. There is a soft cap on number of children so it’s best to try to let them have the most exclusively. This even affects male rulers apparently…
Pure-blooded heir: Obviously this guy must be your heir and needs to be married to someone with pure-blooded as soon as possible. But if there isn’t any, then you’ll have to resort to marrying him to someone who’s close (not too close, avoid siblings as inbred traits WILL pop up extremely frequently) that has perfect traits (genius+beautiful+herculean) and have children with them and HOPE TO GOD that your children will inherit the pure-blooded trait.
Pure-blooded ruler: Obviously this happens naturally from step 4 as your ruler kicks the bucket and now you’re the pure-blooded heir. So from last step if you haven’t found any pure-blooded characters to marry then look into the following scenarios that will block you from going to step 6:
No children with pure-blooded trait: Go back to step 2
Only male children with pure-blooded: Not all hope is lost! You’re back in step 4 again!
Only female children with pure-blooded: This one is actually the best scenario as you can marry your daughters! this will now increase the chance of getting pure-blooded with 2 parents.
Note: Try to keep your pure-blooded ruler alive as long as possible. Invest into whole-of-body when he gets old so he can have the most chances of breeding with other pure-bloods.
If the above scenarios didn’t happen then you’ve reached the home stretch here! If you had both a boy and girl with pure-blooded, they can now be married off and breed without risking the inbred trait (still possible, but much less likely).
Let them breed, preferably with multiple pure-blooded girls if possible.
Clean up: If you are still missing some traits, let NON-HEIRS breed with characters outside the family to attempt to absorb them into your family. If they still held the pure-blooded trait while acquired new (good) traits, then next generation you can marry your heir to them.
I hope this was useful to you guys, here is a link to some pictures of my playthrough.
Feel free to comment on anything I’ve wrote, especially if there’s something wrong!