Have you ever wanted to live like a king in the medieval era? Realistically, the experience is far from ideal. After all, you have to contend with constant wars, outbreaks of disease, unsatisfied peasants, and rebelling and power-tripping lords. It’s not some fairy tale where you’ll gallop to save a princess imprisoned in a castle by your rival. Oh, it’s much darker than that.
Crusader Kings III lets you deal with the issues hounding medieval nobles in the bygone era. As a member of the upper class in either the year 866 or 1066, you have to manage politics, international diplomacy, war, subterfuge, economic matters, and religion. The game already offers a lot to bite into if you want to play as a historical and traditional noble, but what if you don’t want to be anything but conventional?
Let’s say you want your noble dynasty to be dreaded and be known as a group of evil masterminds. If this is something you’re on board with, here are a few nefarious things you can do:
Go full “CK3 Game of Thrones” and live like a Lannister
As of today, there’s still no CK3 Game of Thrones mod yet (and we’re sure it’ll come in the future), although you can create a character patterned after someone like Danaerys or Ned Stark. However, some of the rather risque themes in the TV series happened in the high courts of the medieval era, which is why they’re present in Crusader Kings 3.
Yes, you can live like Cersei and Jaime Lannister, or intermarry within the family like the Targaryens. After all, the Habsburgs did it; you can do the same in the game.
Assassinations in CK3 are quite challenging to pull off, but are effective in dealing with:
- The issue of inheritance. If a family member is the heir to a throne and you’re second, you can solve the problem by having an assassin plant a dagger behind his back.
- Rebelling vassals. Let’s say you have a local lord always stirring up problems and is gathering allies to rebel sometime in the future. By poisoning their wine, you’ve salted the ground where the seeds of rebellion were sowed.
You can assassinate anyone in the game, from the Byzantine Emperor to the child of a lowly commoner. Most of it is done for a reason, but if you’re evil enough, do it to whoever you want.
Turn prisoners into concubines/consorts
Depending on your character’s religious doctrines, you can take concubines so you can raise more potential heirs. Such occurrences were common when the Vikings rampaged around northern Europe. If you’re playing as one, you can take one step further by turning captured lady prisoners into concubines. This is a huge power-trip move and is evil, especially if you’re doing this to your rival’s spouse. After all, how can they defend their lands if they can’t even protect their families?
Imagine being a non-Christian ruler and the pope just launched a crusade against you. Thousands of zealous knights, nobles, and soldiers swarmed into your lands, screaming “DEUS VULT”. Fortunately, you’ve prepared well: the other kingdoms following your faith came to your aid, and after a few battles, you’ve successfully repulsed the threat.
After mopping up the last holdouts, you’re faced with another burden/benefit: what’ll you do with the captured prisoners? Let’s say they range from gifted members of nobles’ entourage, the nobles themselves, and on rare occasions, a member of a royal family. Though you can always turn in a quick profit via ransoming them, you can increase your character’s dread by executing them all without regard. That’ll teach them to keep away from your lands.
Form your own cult
Speaking of religions, you can make your own. If your ruler has enough piety and won countless holy wars, you’ll have enough piety to create a cult with your preferred set of tenets. You could even go as far as making it the dominant religion of the known world.
For example, you can reform the Christian religion to allow lady rulers and bishops, turn to pacifism, and allow witchcraft. Though the possibilities are limited to the choices available, you’ll have a lot of options.
Perform sacrifices to the gods
If you’re a Norse ruler, you can perform a ritualistic sacrifice to the Norse pantheon. There’s a tenet wherein you’ll earn piety for every prisoner you execute, which is useful for increasing character piety. So yes, you can make Thor and Odin proud by performing the blood eagle on King Aelle and if you’re that ambitious, on Alfred himself.
Be a human breeder
In a way, Crusader Kings 3 is like a breeding simulator. In 400-600 years, depending on which era you’ll start, you’ll have to spend a lot of time finding spouses for your kids and family members. The ideal spouse shouldn’t only have good stats and have positive traits like “genius”, “herculean”, and “beautiful” without negative characteristics whatsoever. If it fits your fancy, you could also add giantism, dwarfism, and even albinism to the gene pool or create a dynasty full of degenerate characters.
Turn the tides of history
Many events changed the course of history in medieval times that defined the state of the world. In Crusader Kings 3, you have the option to reverse these. Some of the most notable choices include:
- The formation of England. What if Ragnar Lodbrok’s sons captured the entirety of the isles and took out Alfred?
- Harold Godwinson. If he defeated Duke William at Hastings, we might all be speaking Old English today.
- The Byzantines. What if Romanos IV wasn’t betrayed at Manzikert? What would happen if the Eastern Empire managed to reclaim the lands lost to the barbarians and Arabs?
Moreover, you may also turn venerable characters into ones that historians would look at with disdain. There are simply too many possibilities in Crusader Kings III. Depending on your dynasty of choice, you can either become a world power or be a forgotten story in history.
In your opinion, what are some of the evilest things you can do in CK3? If you’ve played the game, what are some of the things you’ve done? We’d like to read your thoughts down in the comments!