That's a different problem (imo the issue is that "friends" (10+) relations get upset).
At least from what I gathered you wanted to know if traits do anything. (Executing dishonorable targets has lesser penalties.)
Relations do quite a bit in the game. The challenge - to me - is a combination of things.
- Players do not have detailed insight into the formula. (F.e. how much is the vote on this war affected by the relations between the kings... or between sponsor and voter?)
- Relations are one of many factors and...
- Relations are often not the most significant factor (with NPCs trying to be "rational") - still tipping the scales when things get close, but not easy to recognize across the board.
So in some sense, it's a balance matter.
In any case, tis is going off-topic