In Europa Universalis IV, there are basically five major types of governments, monarchies, republics, theocracy, steppe horde (cossacks DLC) and tribal. Here’s a map of every nation’s government types in the beginning of the game. Ruler’s abilities play a very important role in advancing technologies, idea groups and raising development. Well, it is possible to hire advisors to modify the ruler’s ability, but for small and less developed nations, it is hard to hire one without draining the national income.
There are 7^3 abilities combinations, or 343 types of rulers
Except for republics, rulers’ abilities are determined in the first day of birth and stay constant for the rest of their lives. The administrative, diplomatic and military abilities are rated from 0 being the lowest and 6 being the highest. Hence there are 7x7x7 types of combination. Statistically speaking, the chance of receiving a 0,0,0 heir is the same as receiving a 6,6,6, or a 4,3,4 heir.
In the same time, there are only one type of combination that has totally 18 or 0 monarch points. Well, within the addition of three integers ranging from 0 to 6, only 6+6+6 can get 18 and 0+0+0 can get 0 . In the chart below, it lists the possible combinations of monarch points, from 0 to 18. Unsurprisingly, the most frequent type (9) are in the middle and the extremely low (like 0-3) or high (15-18) stats are considered as rare, less than 10% of the rulers actually fit into them, statistically. It is truly a normal distribution.
Monarchy: unstable stat in unstable amount of time
In monarchy, the ruler will spend their life time ruling the nation, it can be a few months, a few years, or even 60 years. Their total stat can be a 0, or a 18, or anything in between. These irregular time in power can be great if ruler’s ability is above average, or devastating if ruler’s ability is bad.
And all EU4 players know how inefficient rulers live shorter than efficient rulers. This is a gamble that every EU4 players played. After death, monarch will take away one stability too (two if died in battle/siege).
It is very similar for tribal as the chief will rule for the rest of his life.
Republic: relatively stable stats but unstable in timing
In every reelection, republic can reelect their ruler to +1 stat in admin, diplo and mil but minus 10 republic tradition for return; or, choose a 4/1/1, 1/4/1 or 1/1/4 new ruler with full republic. Comparing to the randomness of stat in monarchy, republics are only having a total 6, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 monarch points after reelections. It ensured the quality of monarch points because they will have 9 monarch points after their first reelection, and that is the average point for EU4 rulers, statistically. In the same time, as republic tradition is decreasing after every reelection, it is better to choose a newer, less experienced candidate to be a ruler to restore the republic tradition. But hey, at least you won’t be facing a 0,0,0 and ask him to die asap, right?
For therocracy, it is similar to republic when choosing heir with random stats.
Overall, EU4 is a “gambling” game. There are dices in battles to determine victory, and there are unpredictable deaths and ruler stats. Sometimes, players do get below average rulers in a period of time and rely on their skills to overcome such disadvantages. Perhaps it is simulating probalility, or “luck” in history.
PS: the reason why I choose cat as featured image because they are the true ruler of the human race.