Crusader Kings 3 Dev Diary Schemes, Supporting Characters, Character Traits, Portraits Assassin

As we get closer to 2020, we learn more about Crusader Kings III. Paradox Interactive’s upcoming medieval grand strategy title mixes old and familiar mechanics with new twists. We already know that the game will retain its predecessor’s gigantic world map, so what else can we expect? Well, the latest Crusader Kings III developer diary explains the concepts of schemes and plots, the portrait and DNA system, council members, and your ruler’s court, including wandering guests. Check out the video below:

Crusader Kings III: Schemes, plots, and murder, oh my!

Let’s face it, Crusader Kings wouldn’t be a game with many layers if it weren’t for devious schemes and the machinations of intrigue. Crusader Kings III hopes to capitalize on this concept by making tweaks to the intrigue system. In the past, all you had to do was right-click on a character in order to enact certain sneaky actions. This time around, the process is more involved, tying in with various other commands.

Actions such as “Sway” and “Seduction” — previously quick button-clicks to get the job done — are now part of the schemes system. The former lets you bring someone closer to the fold in a diplomatic way. The latter, meanwhile, is all about getting close, perhaps in a more romantic way.

Crusader Kings 3 Dev Diary Schemes, Supporting Characters, Character Traits, Portraits Scheme And Plots System

Like other schemes such as “Murder,” various factors are taken into account such as the capability of your character, spymaster, number of plotters, or other traits. These will determine how powerful or successful the scheme would be. Should your plot be discovered, characters will reactively adapt to the situation to protect themselves.

Since the medieval world didn’t have the internet and social media, most people won’t be privy when it comes to underhanded dealings. But, should your forces discover someone else’s secretive acts, you’ll gain a “hook” on that character. Your hook (ie. blackmail) would allow you to coerce others to act on your whims more easily.

Crusader Kings 3 - Crusader Kings III - CK3 - Dev Diary Schemes, Supporting Characters, Character Traits, Portraits Clothing

Crusader Kings III’s Councilors

Crusader Kings III retains the five core councilor types from the previous game. Councilor skills and capabilities are more impactful this time around when you assign them to various tasks. Here are some examples:

  • Chancellor – integrate specific titles to become part of your de jure territory
  • Marshal – increase control in a county to subjugate people under your rule
  • Steward – increase economic development
  • Spymaster – can find secrets (related to the schemes system mentioned above)
  • Court Chaplain – fabricate claims on counties

There’s also a special type of Court Chaplain, the Bishop. Bishops can “lease” all religious buildings in your territory, keeping all troop levies and taxes for themselves unless you’ve got high relations with them. They can also interfere with succession laws.

Joining the original five council members is none other than your spouse. Your spouse boosts your ruler’s stats and capabilities. Likewise, character portraits tend to be more vivid this time. According to the developers, it’s a lot easier to spot specific councilor types depending on their clothing alone. Higher-ranked characters will also have finer clothing to represent their status in society.

DNA and dynamic portraits

Crusader Kings 3 - Crusader Kings III - CK3 - Dev Diary Schemes, Supporting Characters, Character Traits, Portraits

In case you haven’t noticed in the previous images, Crusader Kings III will now have 3D character portraits. Likewise, they’re depicted from the waist up. As characters grow older, you’ll notice changes not just to their facial features, but also ones for their bodies. You could roleplay as a plump, old lord, and that’d be readily seen when you check your character.

A DNA system is also in place. Children are expected to look more like their parents, and it’s also possible for them to gain improved traits. For instance, children may end up developing a stronger immune system depending on the genetic traits of their parents.

Friends and wanderers at court

Perhaps another new meaningful change is the courtier system. In the past, random nobodies might suddenly pop up in your court. They automatically become courtiers allowing you to commit to various actions.

In Crusader Kings III, wandering characters will simply count as guests. You can’t order them around, and they’ll only stay for a couple of years. If they do catch your eye, you could recruit them to your court, finally turning them into courtiers. You could also turn them into vassals immediately if you grant them landed titles.

Crusader Kings 3 Dev Diary Schemes, Supporting Characters, Character Traits, Portraits Wandering Guests


Crusader Kings III releases some time in 2020. You can already wishlist the game via Steam.

Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez writes for various websites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella -- Destructoid, Flixist, Daily Esports, PlayStation Enthusiast, and PC Invasion. Jason's Steam library has 1,400+ games at the moment so he definitely has a lot of things to talk about. He's also one of only five games journalists from the Philippines. Just kidding. There are definitely more around, but he doesn't know anyone. Mabuhay!

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