CRUSADER KINKS PART I
PC Gamer US Edition|October 2021
Spreading the love throughout Paradox’s medieval soap opera, Crusader Kings III
Rick Lane
THE RULES

1. Ruler can only marry characters with the lustful trait (and if possible should have it themselves).

2. If romantic opportunities arise, they must be pursued.

3. Chaste characters must be expelled from court.

A wise man once said “Make love, not war”. That man would probably have died in a week in Crusader Kings III’s world, but that is not to say he didn’t have a point. All this scheming, fighting, and murder… where is the compassion for one’s fellow man?

I want to spread some love through the world of Crusader Kings, and I’m going to do it by creating the horniest dynasty in all of Christendom. I plan to take the game’s reputation as a dynamic bastard simulator literally, and attempt to conquer the world with the fruit of my loins, pushing the game’s relationship systems to their limits.

Before I start, first I need a ruler and a place for them to rule. I set the game to begin in the fateful year 1066, opting to play as the King of Scotland. This gives me a prestigious enough position so there’s plenty to do, but I’m still small fry compared to states like Byzantium or the Holy Roman Empire.

Rather than use the default ruler for that period in Scotland’s history, I instead create my own, specifically a strapping 27-year-old with a beard you could lose a cat in. I set his sexuality to bisexual, as it increases his romance opportunities, then add the ‘lustful’ trait to his personality. I pick two further personality traits out of a hat, ending up with ‘cynical’ and ‘wrathful’.

LUST IN TRANSLATION

As for more general traits, I select three that will best aid his romantic aspirations, namely Seducer, Schemer, and Legendary Reveller. This results in a high Intrigue Stat, so to balance things out I give him poor Diplomacy and Stewardship, average Learning, and good Martial. Basically, he’s Game of Thrones’ Robert Baratheon, but with the circumspect mind of Varys the Spider.

All I need now is a name. The first name has to be Randy. It has to be. As for Randy’s surname, I let CKIII’s name generator take care of that. After cycling through a bunch of highly Scottish surnames—Abernathy, Arbuthnot, etc, it suggests Cockburn. King Randy Cockburn. You can almost smell the nominative determinism.

King Randy Cockburn begins his reign single and childless. While I reckon he’d personally be fine with that scenario, the game’s rules are not. If Randy dies without an heir, it’s game over. Therefore, my first goal is to find a wife and make some babies. After scrolling through a list of potential suitors, I select Infanta Ximena Gartziez of House Navarra. According to her character page, she’s a glutton and a sadist. But she’s also 21, and hornier than a Triceratops. Come to me, my lusty evil monster wife.

With matrimonial duties arranged, my other task is to select a Lifestyle for Randy. This is made easy thanks to his absurdly high Intrigue stat, for which there are three ‘focus’ trees. One of these focuses is Temptation, which commits your ruler to a life of “seduction, desire, and the gentle art of twisting people around your little finger”. Sold to the drooling ginger man on the throne!

Basic admin done, it’s time to plan the broader objectives for Randy’s reign. There are two goals I’d like to achieve before he dies. First, I’d like to conquer the rest of Scotland, which is currently shared between myself, Norway, and a throng of Scots and Irish nobles. Second, I want to produce as many children as I possibly can. For the sake of my dynasty, of course.

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