Crusader Kings III Update Adds the Ability to Design Your Own Backstabbing Rulers

Nathan Birch
Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III gives you plenty of opportunity to play God by arranging marriages and producing generation after generation of increasingly inbred offspring, but you haven’t had the option to actually go and create rulers from scratch. Well, that changes now, as the latest Crusader Kings III update adds a full ruler creator! Of course the update also includes a variety of smaller features, like a new kill list, and a ton of balance and gameplay tweaks. You can check out a quick trailer for the new ruler creator, below.

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And here’s a more in-depth look at what the ruler creator can do…

Here are your notes for Crusader Kings III update 1.2:

Free Features

  • Added a Ruler Designer where you can customize the ruler you’ll start with before the game starts. This works with achievements – but under certain restrictions.
  • Added a character Kill List to the character window
  • Added the functionality to attach your armies to another allied army located in the same province in order to follow the other army


  • Added a new game rule that controls the AI’s willingness to do Matrilineal marriages.
  • Mercenaries are no longer guaranteed to include cultural men at arms; they’re just likely to
  • Mercenary companies of cultures that have Camel Riders unlocked will no longer include tons of camels for no reason
  • Armored horsemen and war elephants can now appear in mercenary bands, but at lower numbers than other men at arms types
  • Holy Order regiment sizes are now smaller for War Elephants and similar
  • Holy Orders now consolidate their MaA regiments some rather than having a ton of 100-man MaA regiments
  • Cats and dogs now live a bit longer, appear slightly less often, and trigger events less frequently
  • Constructing a brand new Temple now gives your faith some fervor
  • Economically-inclined AI’s now somewhat prefer upgrading Economic buildings
  • Founding a Holy Order now gives fervor to the affected Faith
  • GHW: A successful GHW will now reduce the attacking Faith’s Fervor by 25 (down from 30), an unsuccessful GHW will only reduce Fervor by 15 (down from 30)
  • GHW: Invalidated GHWs now reduce Fervor by much less
  • GHW: The cooldown between Great Holy Wars has been increased to 30 years (up from 5), in practice this means that Fervor for bigger faiths should stay at higher levels for longer
  • GHW: The minimum fervor for launching a Great Holy War has been lowered to 65 (used to be 75), so that the increased cooldown between GHW’s doesn’t mean that too few are launched
  • Successful Holy Wars now affect fervor significantly less (minor Holy Wars reduce by 1, Duchy Holy Wars by 2, Kingdom Holy Wars by 5)
  • Unsuccessful Holy Wars no longer reduce the attacking Faith’s fervor
  • Halved the impact of Fervor on the speed of the Convert Faith of County councilor task, converting a high-fervor faith as a low-fervor one should no longer be impossible (but still hard, of course!)
  • Greedy AI’s are now less inclined to spend gold on their target during non-hostile schemes
  • Having a strong hook on your realm priest will now cause them to pay you maximum contribution as if they endorsed you with 100 opinion.
  • In independence wars, ticking warscore is now given to the revolters if they fully control all the revolters’ domain, while the defender gets ticking warscore as long as they occupy at least one holding from the revolters’ domain
  • It’s no longer possible to send your court chaplain, spouse or concubines to a foreign court as a guardian
  • It’s now easier to divorce openly incestuous spouses
  • Landless religious heads not of your faith will no longer show up in the marriage finder
  • MaA maintenance cost can no longer go below 10%
  • Made hostility due to conflicting wars a lot broader. Now it applies to defensive wars too, and propagates to vassals. In practice this should mean that you’ll never be unable to siege a holding in a realm you’re at war with due to it being occupied by a third party
  • Male/Female Only realm law now consistently blocks the other gender from inheriting claims
  • Only the holder of a holding can cancel construction now. No more canceling your vassals’ constructions to get money
  • Peasant/Populist Revolt leaders can no longer marry
  • The AI should no longer choose to create Cadet Branches should that mean that the player’s children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren would change house
  • The AI should now found more Holy Orders
  • The Arrogant trait now gives -10 Secrecy to owned schemes
  • The Craven trait now gives +10 Secrecy to owned schemes
  • The Crusader trait (Warrior of the Faith) now gives less Same Faith opinion and more Prowess
  • The block on granting de jure vassals independence is now based only on whether their primary title is de jure under a title you hold, rather than *any* title they hold being dejure under a title you hold
  • Great Holy Wars will now fail to launch if total projected attacker strength is less than 33% of projected defender strength
  • The defender in an Undirected Great Holy War (Crusade) can now gain up to 150% warscore from battles.
  • Warscore from battles in Undirected Great Holy Wars (Crusades) has been increased significantly. This should make defending less of a slog, especially in massive crusades (with 100k+ troops on each side) where battles should no longer give miniscule warscore values.
  • The ticking warscore in Undirected Great Holy Wars (Crusades) has been significantly increased. This allows a defender to more easily win if they manage to keep the entire targeted kingdom free from occupations.
  • The first army of the siege controller that has a commander now determines the siege commander
  • The first army to arrive at a siege now controls the siege
  • Third party occupations are now in the owner’s favor for the purpose of ticking warscore. So for instance some Peasant Rebels or warring vassals occupying part of the war goal will now no longer mean that you as the defender stop getting ticking warscore against the realm trying to take that land from you
  • Titles with Male/Female Only/Preference will now get handed out according to Partition if your realm law is Partition and all your Partition Heirs are of the title’s preferred gender
  • You can no longer manually add Gender Law exceptions to your held titles
  • Updated some scheme events’ impact on schemes
  • Vassals will no longer convert their capital when you demand their conversion
  • Buildings now give % modifiers to MaA stats rather than flat mods, this should prevent stat inflation and keep Cultural MaA variants competitive
  • Wandering characters no longer get absurd stats should they have immense amounts of gold to spend
  • Wandering characters of the player’s dynasty no longer spend money on self-improvement, to prevent an exploit where you would load your heir with gold and kick them out of court
  • When Feudalizing, there’s now a random chance for a City and/or a Temple to spawn in each tribal County. Higher development increases this chance.
  • When you push the claim of a foreign ruler in a claimant faction, they now become a vassal of the former holder of the title if that title becomes their new primary title
  • You can now arrange marriages for all of your descendants, not only your direct children
  • Reduced the overall effectiveness of Light Cavalry in the main phase of combat. They were simply too cost-effective for the stats they would bring. Light Cavalry units still excel during the aftermath, as well in their preferred terrain type.
  • Armored Horsemen now have an added penalty to Toughness and Pursuit in Wetlands like other cavalry units.
  • Blocked several uncommon situations where successful Populist Factions could seize all of the counties which belong to a vassal player, causing the player to Game Over immediately and without warning
  • Children can become more inclined to drink later in life if their guardians are a poor influence
  • Courtiers and guests no longer seek out new lovers when they already have a partner
  • Did a pass over character weight values and the traits that affects weight gain/loss
  • Granting a vassal to your liege now creates a two-way truce between you and your former vassal
  • Improved Mongol Empire disintegration
  • Increased the County Opinion bonus for putting down a Peasant or Popular Rebellion by 150%, and also increased the duration by 150%
  • Increased the penalties to the Seduce scheme’s success change when the scheme target is married and loves their spouse
  • Just characters no longer gain Stress when they execute someone if they also have a faith with the Human Sacrifice tenet.
  • Reduced the amount of levies and taxes gained from Tribal Obligations. Vassals now provides 75% levies (down from 100%) and 40% taxes (down from 50%) on the highest level of fame.
  • Reduced the frequency of certain events intended to create friendships, rivalries, disease-outbreaks-by-way-of-corpse etc
  • Significantly slowed down Fabricate Claim task when targeting vassals
  • The Embassies perks now has a maximum number of skill points it can give out
  • The Sound Formation perk now has a maximum number of skill points it can give out
  • Updated and moved the Gold Mines of Mali special buildings to their respective county capital, allowing them to be built by tribals.


  • AI will now consider breaking up with their AI lovers upon marriage
  • AI will now abandon sieges that are blocked by a bigger garrison
  • AI will now not take family members as concubines unless their faith allows for it or under rare circumstances
  • Gave the AI a few lessons on closely following the player’s units and promptly joining battles, and that maybe it shouldn’t take its toys and go elsewhere just because supply is briefly too low
  • Informed the AI that it might be a good idea to not count allied vassals or lieges when deciding whether to declare war or not, what with it being impossible to call them into your wars
  • Naval raiders can now raid along major rivers
  • Now better at picking tasks around the target province
  • Rebalanced AI goals. Effectively this should mean the AI is now more willing to feudalize its holdings or make a holy order
  • Several units can pick the same task as long as they keep under the supply limit
  • Taught the AI how to better balance its budget. It now distributes its money based on its net income rather than first distributing its income then removing military maintenance from its short-term pool of money. This should result in the AI building more buildings. When military maintenance is higher than income, it will now subtract the deficit from its war chest rather than short-term money
  • The AI now tries to quickly get a handful of Men at Arms, then afterwards slowly buys more Men at Arms until it feels like it is spending enough on them, rather than just stopping outright when it hits that minimal amount
  • The AI should be better at recruiting any cultural MaA variants they may have access to, while also recruiting less of the base unit of the same type (e.g. recruiting less Light Footmen if they have a cultural Skirmisher unit).
  • The AI is now going to prefer upgrading Duchy Buildings in its capital before doing so elsewhere in its domain
  • The AI is now more inclined to build buildings in its realm capital rather than evenly throughout its domain
  • To make a holy order it is now enough for the Pope to not simply dislike the AI, rather than needing 60+ opinion. The 60+ opinion requirement still persists for the player since we like to see the player grovel
  • Told the AI that even though a holding is of the wrong type for it to own, it is a good idea to build it so that it has one of each type in the county and can build the type it *really* wants
  • Told the AI that when it has multiple possible CB targets within a realm, it’s probably a good idea to pick the one that’s actually bordering it, rather than sometimes picking one that’s just bordering the sea
  • Generally lowered the AI aggressiveness, this means that they’ll declare fewer wars overall
  • Told the AI to get over its phobia of hostile raiders


  • Player characters now get their weight target checked once a year rather than every three years, which should make things like “Lose Weight” feel more responsive
  • Toggling nudity is now a setting rather than a game rule, so you can toggle it on the fly
  • Reworked the dynasty window to include information about how house and dynasty heads are chosen.
  • Military strength can now also be seen and compared between house heads in the house list of a dynasty
  • The dynasty legacy area uses a more compact way to show which legacy tracks you have unlocked, how many steps are unlocked, and which ones you’ve finished
  • Reworked battle window for looks and functionality
  • The Coat of Arms of all human players are now decorated to make them stand out
  • When raising a rally point that’d result in an army above supply limit, the army will now be raised split into multiple armies and spread out to adjacent provinces. This should make dealing with supply of recently raised armies easier
  • Added the Grant to Low Noble button to the Title View like we have on the Holding View.
  • Added warnings when voting for a candidate that is not part of your dynasty.
  • Added a game concept link to the Special Contract header when modifying a feudal contract
  • Added a reactive advice for when you’ve reached the maximum bonus amount that a perk can give
  • Added a text on the war overview that hostages are going to be released after the war ends
  • Added an AI acceptance modifier for the different ransom interactions to clarify that they want more gold and won’t accept the ransom if it is too small.
  • Added info to the realm map tooltip about expanding and collapsing realms through ctrl-clicking
  • Close claimants subwindow only when closing title window – allow browsing characters for example
  • Close title history subwindow when closing title window
  • ESC now only closes tooltips if you’ve got at least two tooltips open
  • Eliminated the map highlighting flickering when hovering over realm coat of arms
  • Fixed ESC having odd results when you’re in a window that can be closed by ESC, and you’ve got tooltips open. Now it’ll always cause the tooltips to close (unless you’ve got only one tooltip open)
  • Fixed a stray space in the secrecy breakdown
  • Fixed coat of arms that have changed from their default in some cases persisting in new campaigns or other saves if you go into that other campaign without shutting the whole game down
  • Fixed cycling through your armies in a province by clicking on the unit icon not working if there’s a neutral or allied army in the province as well
  • Fixed doctrines like “Teachings of the Prophet” having unnecessary underlining of their name in the faith window
  • Fixed overlapping siege and battle indicators on map
  • Fixed province icons (including army icons) in some rare cases turning invisible. A small drawback of the fix is that the province icons no longer gradually fade out when you open the ESC menu, but instead disappear instantly
  • Fixed the on-map scaffolds shown when constructing buildings not being rotated in the same direction as the holding itself
  • Fixed the war interface claiming you’re rank 0 for participation for all non-GHW wars
  • Improved main menu scaling on wide resolutions
  • Improved show/hide animation behaviour of sidebar windows
  • In wars that don’t give out prestige or similar to war allies, the UI will no longer claim that you didn’t do enough to be rewarded; that UI element will simply not be shown at all
  • Increased doctrine name’s space by 1 pixel, so that Fundamentalist doesn’t get cut off
  • Make sure the list of titles is updated when opening the revoke title window while another one is already open
  • Make sure the raise local raiders can only be clicked when available
  • ‘No Beard’ is now the top option in the barbershop
  • Show why the player can’t raise local raiders in the tooltip if the option is greyed out
  • The call to war button is no longer cut off when involved in multiple wars
  • The intrigue window is no longer empty when opening from an event
  • The revoke title window no longer contains the “show only recent titles” checkbox.
  • The siege notification now says who is besieging you, and the title states the location so that it’s visible even when the notification is collapsed
  • The text area in toasts now provides the full toast text as a tooltip. Especially useful if the effects are too long to fully display
  • Ugly characters now have significantly more varied looks, and look more believably ugly
  • When an event kills you, the “you have died” screen only shows up after you click the event away
  • You can now set your childrens’ education before age 6, it just won’t have any effect before they turn 6
  • You now get a notification in the lower-right corner when a part of your realm gets sieged by someone you’re hostile to
  • You now get a toast when you change your primary title


  • Tribal holdings now look different between the major tribal regions on the map
  • Added another visual level of tribal walls for the lowest possible fort level
  • Ugly characters now look more ugly, to a reasonable extent, by distorting specific facial features more than before
  • Characters young enough to be sitting in the main menu will now sit in front of the others
  • Christian faiths with Vows of Poverty will now see their priests dress no more fancy than a simple monk or nun
  • Moved the Norfolk holding to a more accurate position
  • Reduced the threshold at which a unit gets improved visuals. Now only armies with the lowest Quality will have an unarmored unit, making armored units more common for increased variety.


  • Added more prominent SFX to the Top-bar notifications for Alerts, Reactive Advice and Diplomatic actions.
  • Added war-horns SFX to the 100% Warscore notification to increase the noticeability of it.
  • Fixed so that the hunt event theme SFX only plays during hunts and not during pilgrimages.

Game Content

  • A schemer is no longer safe from discovery until the scheme executes. If a scheme is discovered, there’s now an ongoing chance that the schemer will be exposed and the scheme ended!
  • Added four new murder outcomes
  • Added 2 more child-murder outcomes, you monsters!
  • Added the Turumic faith, a new faith to replace Suomenusko in Siberia
  • Added additional Claim Throne scheme events
  • Added additional Fabricate Hook scheme events
  • Added additional Seduction Scheme events
  • Added two additional game concepts for Hostages and Prisoners of War.
  • Added two more ongoing murder events
  • People will now be a bit miffed if you raid them
  • The Religious Relations task now gives a Same Faith opinion boost in cases where one’s faith has layman clergy and no head of faith
  • Updated Qarmatianism’s tenets and doctrines to better match their historical practices
  • When using Demand Conversion on a vassal ruler, they may now request a favor instead of only accepting cold hard cash
  • You can now become Infirm
  • Added Unimportant tag to some Actions to mark them as less interesting to the player


  • Added a number of additional nicknames to historical characters, such as Yaroslav the Wise or Constantine the Great.
  • Alexios Komnenos had a very diverse personality for a ten year old. He now starts with less personality traits.
  • Extended Insularism a little into the Scottish Highlands in 867
  • Extended the Dutch presence slightly, to include a couple of counties in Flanders and Brabant.
  • Fixed a number of marriage issues in history. There were multiple cases of characters being married to the same character, or characters having several spouses without practicing a polygamous faith.
  • Karen is now a vassal to the Tahirid in 867.
  • Made several improvements to the setup in Denmark, 1066. Two historically important characters are now landed; Asbjörn Jarl Ulfson (brother of king Svend) has been given the county of Lolland-Falster, while Thrugot Ulfsen has been given the duchy of Jylland, making both characters playable. Meanwhile, the county of Skåne is now in the hands of Bishop Egino of Lund, to better simulate the importance of the church.
  • Renamed various titles to more closely match history
  • Roger de Hainaut is now a Theocratic vassal and Prince-Bishops of Chalons in 1066.
  • The Cucumber King is no longer unintentionally a kinslayer, due to a wrongly assigned father.

Phew! That sure is a lot of notes! And that’s not even the end of it – if you really need to know about every minor tweak and bug fix included in Crusader Kings III ver 1.2, you can get the full, unabridged patch notes, right here.

Crusader Kings III is available now on PC.

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