Dr. Popularity

or how to stop worrying and raise taxes.
by Merepatra
Images by Lord Matt

What affects Popularity?

The things that affect your popularity can be divided into two types. Scripted Events which are set into the scenario by the designer and cannot be avoided, though their effects can be minimised, and Non Scripted, which are those things that you can choose to use or not yourself (if the required buildings/goods are enabled in the scenario).

Scripted Events

Positive –

+8 per month for 3 months

+2 per month for 12 months

Travelling Fair
+16 per month for 3 months

Negative –


Immediate negative effect of -20. Then -6 maximum per month for up to 6 months. If you have apothecaries this can be reduced significantly. As they travel through your plagued area the negative number will reduce; with enough apothecaries I have had a city “plague free” i.e. no negative popularity effect remaining, after 2 months.

Wolf Attack
Immediate negative effect of -20. Then -3 per month for 3 months or until all wolves are killed.

-2 per month until fire is completely out.

-5 per month until bandits withdraw or are all killed.

Non Scripted

Double Rations +8, Extra Rations +4, Normal Rations 0, Half Rations -4, No Rations -8.
2 types of food eaten +1, 3 types of food eaten +2, 4 types of food eaten +3

Below is a table showing tax rates, the popularity effect of that rate and also how much gold you receive/pay per peasant per month at that rate.

Tax Rate
Popularity EffectGold per person per month
Generous Bribe+7-1.0
Large Bribe+5-0.8
Small Bribe+3-0.6
No Tax+10.0
Low Tax-20.6
Average Tax-40.8
High Tax-61.0
Mean Tax-81.2
Downright Cruel-161.6


This is based on the % of people in your city who are blessed. Less than 25% there is no effect, from 25-49% you get +1, from 50-74% +2, from 75-99% +3, 100% gets +4. Once you get over a certain population and % of people blessed (I still haven’t been able to determine the formula for this) then you will start getting people asking you for first a church and then later a cathedral. Not meeting these requests will incur a -2 penalty.

If you have more peasants than you have housing available for then you get a crowding penalty. This is -2 for up to 7 people, -4 for 8-15 people, -6 for 16-23 people and so on with an increase of -2 for every 8 people.

Ale Coverage

To get 1 Ale Coverage popularity point you need to supply each peasant with 2.3 flagons of ale per year, for 2 popularity points they want 4.6 flagons, for 3 points 6.9 flagons and for the maximum of 4 points they want 9.2 flagons. 1 Barrel of ale = 160 flagons of ale. Each Inn uses 276 flagons (1.725 barrels) of ale per year.

This means you need 1 Inn per 30 peasants to get the maximum +4 points, up to 40 peasants and 1 Inn you will get +3, up to 60 peasants and 1 Inn you will get +2 and up to 120 peasants and 1 Inn you will get +1.

If you have 2 Inns you get the points for double the number of peasants, eg up to 60 peasants at +4, for 3 Inns up to 90 peasants at +4 etc.

Fear Factor

Each increase in your Fear Factor Pleasant raises your Popularity Rating by 1, each increase in your Fear Factor Cruel decreases your Popularity Rating by 1, to a maximum of 5 in each direction. The number of Good/Bad things needed to change your Fear Factor rating depends on population. For up to 15 people 1 Good Thing is sufficient to change the Fear Factor rating by 1, with another 1 needed for each rating change in the factor up to the maximum of Pleasant 5. From 16 to 31 people you will require 2 Good Things for each rating change, from 32 to 47 you will require 3 and so on, in increments of 16 people. The same applies to Bad Things. If you have a mix of Good and Bad Things then the difference between the amounts of each is what is counted.

How to be the most popular Lord in the Kingdom