Each faction starts with a set of family members composed of that faction's leader, his spouse, their children, including a faction heir, any of their spouses and any grandchildren. Only the male members of the family are controllable, once they reach the age of maturity, 16 years old. They govern settlements when stationed in a city and when fielded upon the world map, command armies. Male family members are added to the family by births between married family members, as well as adoption and marriage. Family members eventually die, either naturally through old age or by death in battle, assassination or due to natural disasters. In the absence of generals commanding field armies, captains are the commanders by default. Admirals fulfill a similar function for fleets. Neither are family members, but appear in the list of forces when displayed. However, if a captain is victorious in a battle in which the odds are against him, the player may have the option of adopting the captain.
Julii family member with several traits and his retinue Family members can acquire traits depending on their actions in battle or when governing a city. These can have both positive and negative effects on their command, management, and influence, which in turn affect their battlefield performance and how well a province they govern operates. Some of these traits are hereditary, and can be inherited by the children of a family member. Family members can also acquire ancillaries by the same actions. These are members of a general's retinue, but can only number up to eight. These ancillary characters can be traded between two family members if they are in the same army or city.