clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Crusader Kings 3 now lets you make your own terrible kings

Ruler Designer lets you create your own queens and kings

A child in a crib, from the initial announcement trailer of Crusader Kings 3. Image: Paradox Interactive
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Crusader Kings 3 is a fantastic game because, despite the big map and zoomed-out perspective, it’s about people. Paradox Interactive created a strategy role-playing game that hews a little closer to The Sims than Civilization.

The most interesting upcoming feature coming to Crusader Kings 3 is the Ruler Designer, which allows players to create a new head of state instead of assuming an existing role. Ruler Designer was in Crusader Kings 2, but was not in the third game at launch. Now, it’s live as part of patch 1.2.

There are two benefits to going with your own ruler, instead of a pre-set historical figure.

  1. You get to customize every aspect of their appearance, from jaw width and eye size to body mass and weight.
  2. You get access to all traits when setting up your character, which can set up a story before the game even starts.

For instance, I can create a young woman and then decide that she was the leader of a peasant revolt, then assign that trait to her. That gives her a comfortable boost in popular opinion, but other lords and ladies look down on her. I can go ahead and make her a master of tactics and a fearsome berserker, which is presumably how she took the throne via revolt.

On the other hand, if I want to go for a more challenging run, I can create a young man who beat the odds and survived medieval pneumonia, and now has to use his vast intellect to assume control over an entire nation. I can give him some social traits to round that out, like the ability to journal his feelings out, and being really great at parties.

It’s really varied, and players can go ahead and create whatever kind of ruler they want. Paradox has already included the ability for players to change their game rules and have a totally equal world, despite it being 1066, so it’s great to be able to start rulers off that can thrive in these new worlds. I can even set up my character’s starting family by marking them as married and assigning them a number of sons or daughters. (You don’t get to customize the spouse and kids, unfortunately, but they’re generated with your pre-set Faith and Culture.)

Eventually, my starting characters will die and their descendants will take the wheel, but I’m still eager to start off with a totally original character I’ve devised myself, and not a pre-generated one. It’s easier to get into the story that way. I can even go ahead and pick some of the more interesting and occult traits, like Witch, and go hard on starting a coven from day one.

This isn’t a massive game-changer, but it does make getting into Crusader Kings 3 a lot easier. The amount of strategy and info on hand can be overwhelming, especially since it’s nestled into so many menus. Starting with your own ruler, made from scratch, negates some of that. I don’t care about the Petty King of Ireland, but I do care about my original character.

Ruler Designer will come to the game in Patch 1.2. The game’s most recent dev diary shows off some neat additions to the game, like a fix that makes “ugly” characters look more unappealing, and a list that allows you to contemplate all of your past murders. There are also more murder events that pop up when you go about dispatching your enemies, and you can get your physician to murder people via sub-optimal care. For Crusader Kings 3 players who find themselves embroiled in war, armies can now attach to allies, and the battle interface has been cleaned up to show more information.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon