Along with knights in armor or Viking raiders, the royal court is one of the most popular public images of the Middle Ages. We all have in our minds pictures of a royal throne in the center of a tapestry-decorated hall, with peasants and supplicants seeking justice from a mighty ruler or bringing gifts to curry favor with royalty.

The Royal Court is therefore a natural starting point for expansion Crusader Kings III, our strategy role-playing game about the medieval world. This expansion puts players in the seat of majesty, solving the challenges that a king or emperor will face while using the majesty of their court to achieve diplomatic and strategic goals.

First of all, it is important to note that the royal court in the Royal Court is desirable. Only player characters with the rank of King or Emperor can hold court; court is intended as a kind of reward and distinctive attribute of these higher titles. However, lower-ranking characters may pay tribute to their lord at court.

Second, your court is sort of a superbuff to your character and realm. Aside from the obvious role-playing elements of making decisions every time a vassal or courtier asks you for a favor, spending money on your court and decorating it with relics and artifacts will result in bonuses for your character, kingdom, or dynasty.

Decorating the royal court with artifacts fits into two new functions Crusader Kings III for console – Inventory and Inspiration.

Inventory works very similarly to a traditional role-playing game. You have a character model and you can dress it up with weapons, armor, jewelry, etc. to make it more impressive or powerful. So how do you get these special items? You certainly find special people.

Inspiration is when you, as a ruler, hire a craftsman to do something special for you and your castle. It can be a special tapestry, a new weapon, a shiny crown, and so on. Each of them, as mentioned above, can give bonuses to you and your kingdom. But sometimes craftsmen come to you with their own inspiration and ask to hire them. The more impressive your Royal Court is (better food, better housing, better level of people), the higher quality artisan you will attract. They can make better weapons and better jewelry, which will further increase the reputation of your royal court.

In many ways, Royal Court highlights one of its core strengths Crusader Kings III. Even if you choose to play as a particular family’s personal story, all the seemingly minor cosmetic decisions – the choice of scenery, the money invested in your yard, the choice of heirlooms to display – can have ramifications for your realm. It’s like the old children’s song about the horseshoe nail – little things can have big consequences.

In many ways, it boils down to the fact that in Crusader Kings III, gold is not the only currency that matters. You will of course need gold. Soldiers cost money, titles cost money, bribes and ransoms cost money. Gold is certainly important.

But in the Royal Court, gold is an investment in other major currencies, such as “Prestige” or the probability of success in a particular activity. Any gold you spend on increasing your greatness will give you certain benefits as your greatness increases. For example, if you have a court dedicated to fashion (perhaps in Milan), greater grandeur can mean a hefty Prestige bonus. A court that emphasizes good servants can add power to your spy’s schemes. You can even reduce the effects of bad food or unlock special actions for your board with enough greatness.

So, the Royal Court is not just a fun place to play small medieval plays. A carefully managed yard can become a hub of activity from which you plan the long-term theme for your dynasty. It can even serve as a hub for short-term activity if you retool the throne room with artifacts and relics that boost specific skills you need right now.

Royal Court is the first major expansion for Crusader Kings IIIand we hope it will be a challenging and exciting way for you to make your royal family the greatest ever.

Crusader Kings III: Royal Court

Paradox Interactive

There is only one true center of power and prestige: the ruler’s court. Step into your own breathtaking throne room with Crusader Kings: Royal Court and prepare to dazzle your vassals and courtiers with your splendor and treasures on display. Watch visitors show respect or family members squabble as you pass judgment in royal audiences, establishing a vital link between your people and your kingdom. In Crusader Kings: Royal Court, you can commission beautiful works of art from inspired craftsmen. Dazzle your rivals with the grandeur of your court or dazzle them with the relics and heirlooms of your noble house. An advanced culture system allows you to guide your people to new cultural insights as they merge or separate, embrace their heritage, learn languages, or acquire new traditions. The Royal Court on Show ● As a king or emperor, watch your personal throne room come to life with the vast array of drama and intrigue of your court. Enter a fully 3D realized space, available in one of four main cultural visual styles, and fill it with regalia and grandeur. ● Harsh or benevolent, pronounces judgment on those who appeal to arbitration. Hold court and watch your courtiers scheme and compete for your attention. ● Go head-to-head with your biggest rival with the grandeur of your court. Or fail to impress them and suffer the sad diplomatic consequences of bad taste. A true treasure ● Display your exquisitely crafted heirlooms or focus on the history of your noble house with your family heirlooms. A number of new artifacts can be seen in the return series of the inventory system. ● Talented artisans, from jewelers to weavers, can be hired for special projects, adding even more unique items to your domain. ● Order special large artworks or win artifacts in battle. Be careful as they can just as easily lose to a bad matchup or an opponent’s scheme. Culture and People ● A significantly updated Culture system is ready at your fingertips. Major new cultural traditions allow you to significantly change the way you play, from choosing the right perks based on your kingdom’s terrain to giving your troops new bonuses. Define your heritage through Cultural Pillars or have your subjects learn new languages. ● Create a truly dynamic melting pot with the new Hybridisation feature, mixing and matching the defining traits of your people into a unique cultural synthesis. Become a great Bedouin conqueror who blends in with the newly conquered people, or follow an adventurous Norse ruler who has come to adopt the local customs of Sri Lanka. ● Watch your country’s culture evolve with the new Divergence feature, where time subtly transforms a single cultural strand into smaller subcultures. Shape it as you see fit, or plant the seeds of change and watch one monolithic culture grow into a collection of many different people.