Education: Guardians, wards, and education traits
All characters in Crusader Kings III are governed by the five major skills (or stats) — Diplomacy, Martial, Stewardship, Intrigue, and Learning. While a few lucky or smart characters can manage to be well-versed in many subjects, a vast majority will just have one skill they specialize in.
Anyway, your character’s development starts out during childhood. You can see a good example of this below with King Philippe of France.
Philippe is still a teenager in the 1066 AD start date, but he has the “Curious” trait obtained when he was still a kid. This gives a bonus to education with a focus on Diplomacy or Learning. However, this nerd’s bookish attitude means he wouldn’t do well with a Martial-focused education (you’ll want the “Rowdy” trait for that).
Note: Children can get an education focus for one of the main skills/stats once they reach six years of age. Now, to ensure that characters get an education (but don’t forget from whence they came; the world’s gonna know their name), you’ll want to select a guardian.
Guardians and wards
More often than not, Crusader Kings III rulers that are already adults can just become the guardians of their own kids, though you can choose someone else to do that for you. If a child has a guardian, they’ll effectively become wards of those characters. You’ll even gain an opinion bonus if your chosen guardian isn’t in your court (i.e., such as a vassal count if you’re a duke) since it implies that you’re entrusting them with your kin.
In Philippe’s case, since he’s a ruler and not yet an adult, he gets to decide who educates him (or any kids who are still in his court). You can do this by right-clicking on his portrait and selecting “Educate Child.” Alternatively, you can right-click on another character in your realm and select “Offer Ward” (a child will go to their court to be educated) or “Offer Guardianship” (one of their children will go to your court to be educated).
Just watch out because, at least in this example, Duke Thibault of Champagne really hates Philippe since he’s got claims on various counties. He might end up trying something “mean” to your poor ruler due to that dislike.
Note 1: It’s also possible to have a ward’s culture change if their guardian is of a different culture.
Note 2: If you have a child under your care, you’ll experience events and decisions that will help nudge the development of your ward.
In Crusader Kings III, characters that reach adulthood (16 years old) gain an education trait. This is tied to a particular stat they’ll be good at, plus XP bonuses for the associated Lifestyle.
Education traits also have levels. For instance, King Garcia — the fella we discussed in our dynasty and houses guide — is a “Naive Appeaser.” That means he’s got a bonus to Diplomacy, but it’s not that good (level 1 trait). He’s like the drunk uncle during family gatherings — he talks to people and makes them laugh, but everyone rolls their eyes afterward.
If you compare him to King Malcolm III of Scotland, you’ll see that the Scottish king has “Charismatic Negotiator” (level 3):
Anyway, it’s time to check out the various Lifestyles, perks, and traits in Crusader Kings III.