Thursday, 28 Sep 2023

Crusader Kings 3 lays out the schemes behind its new scheming

Crusader Kings 3 is coming next year, and before Paradox Interactive clocks out for the holidays, developers shared this update on what they’re doing with the grand strategy game. Specifically, how CK3 will enable your scheming, murdering and other palace intrigues.

I like the way Petter Vilberg chuckles when he says “Once the target knows that there’s a scheme against them, they will be taking every possible measure to protect their life.” So you better keep it on the DL. That means recruiting loyal, tight-lipped agents and having a Varys-level spymaster running the plot for you.

For those who are lovers, not fighters, there will be, ahem, “seduction” schemes, which should be self-explanatory. Overall, what you get up to in Crusader Kings 3 will follow you around. Content designer Ewan Cowhig Croft explains that whenever a character “does something they shouldn’t,” that creates a Secret. That is a vulnerability that can be used against them, either as exposure or blackmail — a “hook” that makes someone ignore or even assist aims they’d otherwise oppose. Spymasters will be the unit tasked with rooting those out to your advantage.

Regarding councillors (explained in greater detail earlier this month) they get some new activities. My favorites are the marshals’ new job, which is to go crack skulls at the county level and get those peasants in line. If that doesn’t work, the court chaplain can cook up some shit against the counties with a new, deliberate “fabricate claim” action; this sort of thing was random in previous Crusader Kings. Bishops, an uber court chaplain, can emerge as powerful allies, and also monstrously problematic adversaries. Fortunately, Paradox Interactive has a few suggestions for how you can beat the bishop.

Overall, this is a very mustache-twirling, chortle-inducing look at what Paradox is planning for its dedicated community.

Crusader Kings 3 was announced in October at PDXCon, and it will launch sometime next year on PC, via Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC. Paradox Interactive is promising “stranger than fiction stories” that “leap off the screen as characters plot against you,” once it arrives.

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