Community Announcements - BjornB


Hello all, it’s time for another Society reveal: This week we’ll talk about the Hermetic society. Hermeticism is based primarily upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus ("Thrice Great"), who was said to know the three parts of the wisdom of the universe.The three parts are alchemy, astrology, and theurgy.



In game terms, the Hermetics are an open society joinable by members of the abrahamic religions, as well as Zoroastrians and Zun pagans (OK, and Hellenic, should you manage to play as one). Their primary attribute is Learning. Their Powers and Missions tend to involve earlier scientific experimentation combined with mysticism and a dash of Theurgy. They will often reward you with technology points or artifacts.

There is some overlap between the Hermetic society and Way of Life’s Scholarship focus. As a member you will be able to build an observatory, just as characters with the focus can, and once it is built you will be able to interact with it further to observe the skies. Not only that, Hermetic members are encouraged to build a laboratory for additional experimentation.



Other powers and abilities include attempting to divine the future using Scrying, making Horoscopes for your children, experimenting with drugs and medical techniques, and eventually writing your magnum opus - a book of lore and knowledge that you enshrine for the ages.



That’s all for now, but remember to watch the Medieval Monday stream at 1600 CET today, followed by Three Kings at 1700.

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Community Announcements - BjornB


Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a good time during the Holidays. I know I did, but now it’s time to don the crown, strap on the sword and get back to work on Crusader Kings II (and my other game, of course...) Now, what better way to start off the new year than with a bit of harmless witchery? In the terribly long eras before the great thinkers of the Age of Reason would have us replace magic with science, the “occult” was of course seen as a normal part of life, and society lived in fear of curses and evil spells. But… just because you’re superstitious does not mean the witches aren’t out to get you! Just like today, the desperate and the unscrupulous would seek power by any means necessary, including the worship of demons and evil spirits...



This brings us to my favorite Society in the upcoming expansion Monks and Mystics; the Demon Worshippers. These brothers and sisters of the left-hand path come in several varieties: Abrahamics get “Lucifer’s Own”, Tengri pagans get the “Plaguebringers”, the Indian faiths are afflicted with a particularly nasty type of Kali worship, Baltic, Slavic and Finnic pagans get “The Cold Ones” (evil shamans) and Germanic Pagans have those who curry the favor of Hel and of powerful jotuns. Regardless of religious context, they are all united in their self-serving, utterly ruthless quest for power in the world of the living, and care little for their fate in the afterlife. As they advance through the ranks, Demon Worshippers get powers like “Dark Divorce”, “Summon Familiar” and “Tainted Touch” (a health curse.) Through their network of agents, they can also attempt to abduct relatively low ranking characters. Now, a lot of the content for the Demon Worshippers is hard to explain in terms of placebo effects and natural phenomena, so if you don’t care for the supernatural I suggest simply not joining those Societies (because rooting out their covens and persecuting them through your Court Chaplain is reasonably historical and adds flavor to the game.) However, if you really don’t want them around, you can turn them off through a Game Rule.



Next up are the infamous Assassins, a Shiite Muslim Society that - unsurprisingly - specializes in murder. The elusive Assassins consider themselves the true followers of Allah, and will do anything to further the advances of Shia Islam and protect their fellow believers. Consisting of loyal warriors as well as competent spies, wielding manipulation and social skills as expertly as a dagger, they specialize in asymmetrical warfare, striking hard at the heart of their enemies. Their special powers include intimidation and murder. For example, they can get a Favor with someone (if you have the Conclave expansion) by leaving a dagger on their pillow. At higher ranks, they can also mark someone for death, so that lower ranked members will get that murder as a mission. Since this Society is also a political entity and a Holy Order of sorts, the Grandmaster gets the power to raise special troops.



There is more to say about these Societies; their other powers, missions and semi-random events, but I don’t want to spoil it all. Oh, and if you have the Way of Life expansion, you can use “Spy On” to find out if a character is a member of a secret Society like the above...

There won’t be a CK2 stream today, but stay tuned for something next week (and a new dev diary, of course)!

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Dec 23, 2016
Community Announcements - BjornB
Community Announcements - BjornB


Hello again, everyone! Doomdark was going to tell you more about Societies this week, but he’s [S]locked in the dungeon[/s] too busy, so I have [S]seized power[/s] taken on this duty. So let’s talk about Monks.

In Monks and Mystics, we have added 8 Monastic Order Societies. There are two Catholic orders, the Benedictines and the Dominicans, while the Orthodox, Miaphysites, Nestorians, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains each have their own order. Now, while actual Monks and Priests can of course join these Societies and are likely to advance more quickly through the ranks, it’s quite possible for secular characters to join these orders as lay members / patrons and reach the highest ranks.


Life in the Monastic orders is focused on learning, piety, and good deeds. Typically members will be expected to use the Theology focus (if you have the Way of Life expansion), perform Charity, help build new Temples, go on Pilgrimages, and engage in prayer or meditation.


Time spent in self-reflection does have its upsides though; through these acts characters will tend to better themselves, losing negative traits like vices and gaining more godly virtues. Not to mention that time spent reading and then debating the meaning of books is helpful in increasing Learning and Diplomacy skills. At the highest levels, members can also Council other characters in their realm, to encourage them to end their sinful ways.

Dominicans: Religious province conversion significantly faster, and a bonus to the “Hunt Heretics” counciler job.
Benedictines: Can get rid of “Slothful” and gain “Diligent” by donating money.
Hindus: Higher Fertility and Health.
Buddhists: revolt risk reduction.
Jains: opinion bonus with other Jains.
Miaphysites, Orthodox and Nestorians: More income from Temple vassals.
All: Chance of losing many negative traits and gaining positive ones over time.


new dharmic pilgrimage chain
That's all for now, and indeed that'll all the DDs for this year as we'll be on holiday for the next couple of weeks! But we'll be back on the 9th of January to talk about more Societies. And if you need to hear more about MnM, I believe we'll be showing some gameplay in our Three Kings stream in under an hour (1700 CET)

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Community Announcements - BjornB


Hello all, it’s been a while, but it’s my turn to write a Dev Diary again! Today I’m going to tell you about the Treasury system we’re adding in 2.7. This system itself is part of the free patch. However, a lot of the content for it is part of Monks and Mystics.

The Treasury is where characters store their items, such as weapons, artifacts, or holy relics. In many ways items are much like Character Modifiers which you are likely already familiar with, but Character Modifiers are a fairly limited and not entirely clear system. With the new Treasury system we have greater control over how they work and when they are active as well as more UI space to display and explain them. Not only that, this system allows items to be inheritable and stealable.

We hope that seeing your character’s items as physical object rather than just a number on their character sheet will offer greater immersion, especially for player who like to focus on role-playing. Sure, in the past you could find a nice axe to increase your personal combat skill, but it was just another number - now you’ll see a gleaming axe, ready to hew the limbs from your foes!

this is not quite final artwork, but it should be similar to what we end up with

As an example, say your Character has found the Holy Grail - you will now see the Grail in your Treasury with a picture and a description as well as the effects of owning it. Further, if some Norseman comes along and raids your castle, there’s a chance that he’ll make off with your Precious Grail - however, since he’s not a Christian your most holy relic is nothing more than a fancy cup to him.
<inventory pic?>

As mentioned, items are also inheritable, they all go to a character’s primary heir. In the event someone dies without an heir, the items will pass to their liege if they have one, but they have a chance of being lost in the process. If an independant character dies without heirs, their items are lost - although if time permits we have talked about them having a chance to be snapped up by powerful vassals.

For 2.7 we’re converting several character modifiers into items, such as the +1 axe you might find while raiding, the saint’s bones you might find on a pilgrimage, or the trophy you made from the skull of your rival. With Monks and Mystics we’re adding a lot more, such as:
  • Commissioning swords from skilled smiths.
  • Buying fabulous Crown Jewels.
  • Hunting for Holy Artifacts.
As well as the items you can find or make while playing, we have also added a system to place some Artifacts into character’s Treasuries when a new game is started. These are mostly placed at random to keep things interesting, but there are also a few historical artifacts given to famous characters.


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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

What is Crusader Kings II [official site] missing? I’ve been playing again recently, drawn back in by The Reaper’s Due and its perfect simulation of the general snotty sickness of an English winter. I’d never have thought of disease as such an important addition, which is a bit silly really considering the historical impact of the Black Death, and the fact that entire military campaigns could be undone by infection and illness. Disease is important.

So too are religious societies and cults, and that’s what the next expansion, Monks and Mystics, will bring. … [visit site to read more]

Community Announcements - BjornB


Hi everyone!

It’s time to spill the beans on some actual content in the upcoming expansion Monks and Mystics, which we announced last Friday at our Fan Gathering (I hope all the good folks who showed up had a fun time - I sure did!)

The genesis for this expansion came about a long time ago, when I started thinking about secret societies and conspiracies and wrote it down as one of several outlines for a couple of “mini-expansions”. Now, for various reasons we never went ahead with that expansion model and most of the ideas have, by now, been used in bigger expansions. However, the concept of fraternities stuck and the time is now auspicious!

The core feature of Monks and Mystics is something we simply call “Societies”. Societies are groups of like-minded characters who are working together for personal and mutual profit. Some Societies are perfectly legit (that’s the “Monks” part in Monks and Mystics); others are perhaps viewed with some suspicion (e.g. Alchemists) but are hardly criminal. Finally, there is the subversive kind, of which the Demon Worshippers are certainly the worst. (Such shadowy and outright evil cults can be actively combated through a new job that can be given to the Court Chaplain.)

The basic loop goes like this; you put out word that you’d like to join a specific Society. After a while (immediately, for open Societies), you will be approached and offered membership as a novice. At this lowest rank, you usually don’t get many new abilities (but if the Society is secret you can now at least see the leader and the other members.) Now and then, you will be given missions that will further the goals of the Society. If you complete them, it will give you more power within the Society, which should eventually allow you to “level up” in Rank. The new Rank will give you access to at least one new special ability. Using these abilities (they are basically just a special type of Decision) can also increase your power within the Society, and so it goes, all the way up to being the leader of the whole Society.



Of course, members of the same Society tend to like each other, and will sometimes (depending on the nature of the Society) even be obedient towards members of higher rank; or at least not hostile. This creates a whole new way of discouraging factions and pave the way for loyal vassals (or even a loyal Pope!)

That’s all for now. In a later dev diary I will go through the actual Societies and talk about their particular powers and abilities...

Be sure to check out the funny teaser trailer for Monks and Mystics, and remember the Livestreams later today, where Emil and Steven’s quest for the best German cookie continues, followed by the Norman adventures of Chris, David and yours truly (Henrik "Doomdark" Fåhraeus, not BjornB)!



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Community Announcements - BjornB

Let’s Talk About Sects. Monks and Mystics Coming to CK2
Newest Expansion to Crusader Kings Increases Your Faith

STOCKHOLM – 2 December 2016 – The bells of the abbey summon monks to prayer while, a continent away, the faithful are summoned by a muezzin’s call. Religious practice imposes a schedule on the chaos of medieval life, and the routine adds harmony to a divided realm.

Routine and harmony. We can’t have that, can we?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWEMq0JiB0Y

Monks and Mystics is the latest expansion to Crusader Kings II, the hit medieval grand strategy role-playing game from Paradox Development Studio. In Monks and Mystics, the religious aspect of the game is further explored with new mechanics and character associations that can tie a faith closer together or render it asunder.

The major feature of Monks and Mystics is the addition of Societies – secret and otherwise. Characters can join monastic orders, secret cults and Gnostic heresies. As the society gains members, it gains power and prestige for its leaders. Societies open new actions for characters and can lead to new event paths.

Monks and Mystics includes:
Monastic Orders: With lay offices available to non-clerical characters, monastic orders will increase your character’s piety - but they have expectations.
Cults: Gnostic heresies may flourish and its is rumored that the worship of Satan continues in the darkened fringes of the world
Climb the Ranks: Characters work their way up the ladder of Societies, unlocking new abilities and triggering new event chains
Hunt for Heretics: Send your chaplain out to find secret societies that undermine the holy church and your realm. But what if the hunter is guilty himself?
Other New Councillor Actions: Your councillors have a fourth action that will make them more powerful and integral to sound rulership
And much more: Assassins, archaeological expeditions, holy relics, great treasures and more

Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics is coming soon to major digital retailers, including the Paradox Store.
Community Announcements - BjornB


Good afternoon. I’m Magne Skjæran, and you might remember me from my modding and optimization dev diary at the end of summer. My last day at Paradox was a few days after that, but since I had a great time working there this summer, I returned to the CK2 team about a month ago to work on the game part-time.
Today I will be covering a topic that’s been briefly mentioned earlier in the Easing Executions dev diary: quality of life changes in regards to the intrigue screen and plotting.

While the image shown in that dev diary was a mockup, the planned changes have now been implemented. However, the actual art isn’t done yet, so most images in this dev diary are touched up based on mockups rather than showing my programmer art. There is after all a reason I work as a programmer rather than an artist.

So let’s go through all the changes we’ve made to the Intrigue screen in detail:

I’ve numbered the changed aspects.

First, at #1, we’ve got the new decisions menu. It now shows 6 decisions at once rather than the old 4, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.

At #2, you can see that each decision now has a button allowing you to mark it as important or not important, thus allowing you to control which decisions you get alerts for. Marking a decision as important will change the background to gold, enable alerts, and move it to the top of the list. The last bit only happens once you exit and return to the decisions screen, since decisions jumping around when you click on them would be rather annoying.

#3 is a button allowing you to reset the priority settings to default.
What decisions are important is saved across campaigns, so you won’t have to mark decisions as important or not important every single game.

Further, at #4, we have a new tab: My Plots. This mostly just moves the plot functionality out of the way to give more space to the decisions list, but it does have one new addition: you can now clearly see who the target of each backed plot is, shown at #5.

Next, let’s go to the Prisoners screen:

At #1, 2, and 3 you can see the new prisoner mass actions. These allow you to release, ransom, or execute all prisoners currently shown on the screen, except those that have been marked as locked using the button you see at #4.

Further, prisoners can now be filtered by the eight different criteria you see at and below #6. This can then of course be reset back to being unfiltered using the button at #5.
A minor change is that this tab now fits 6 prisoners at once rather than 5.

When using the mass actions you’ll be asked to confirm and told about the ramifications of your actions:

This ensures you’re never caught unawares by tyranny or similar.

Next up, Known Plots:

Here there’s two new additions. At #1, we’ve got a new button that lets you ask the plotter to end their plot, saving you a few clicks.

At #2 we’ve got a new feature: if you know about a plot and you’re in the group of people that’s possible to invite, you can ask to join. The AI will always accept this, while if you’re playing multiplayer the other player can refuse if they want to.

The “auto stop plots” button has also been moved to only show up within this tab.
As to the Threats tab there’s nothing new there except for six threats being shown at once rather than five.

That’s it for the Intrigue screen, but we still have a couple of tidbits related to plotting left.

When invited to a plot you’ll now be able to see who the target is, saving you from having to use the character or title finder in order to figure it out.

Finally, when a plotter tries and fails to kill your spymaster due to them discovering their plot, you now have the option to keep the plot a secret, which is ideal for cases where you would rather join the plot than expose it.

That sums up all the changes we’ve made to make the intrigue aspects of the game simpler to interact with, and providing you the information you need to make decisions. Hopefully you’ve found this dev diary as intriguing to read as it was to write!

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Nov 21, 2016
Community Announcements - BjornB


Hello all! As some of you may know, Paradox spent the last 4 days in Malta and now we are back in Stockholm [S]exhausted[/s] refreshed and re-energised, and ready to get back to work! Speaking of work, the topic of this Diary is the new Council jobs we are adding in the upcoming <Mystery> expansion. These are not quite like earlier jobs the Council could do though, because (with one exception) these are “off-map” jobs - you do not need to place the Councilor in a specific province to perform them.

please excuse the lack of unique art for the new jobs, it will be there

Chancellor - Perform Statecraft. This job increases the speed at which your Threat decays, and can fire events which improve relations with random vassals, neighbours, or your liege if you have one. If you have a specific character you want better relations with, the Improve Diplomatic Relations job will be more useful, but for general improvements Statecraft should be your choice.

Marshal - Organize the Army. This job lowers the upkeep cost of your Retinue (Or Horde), and can fire events to train existing or find new commanders.

Steward - Administer Realm. This job increases the speed of Cultural conversion in your realm’s provinces, and can fire events adding economic bonuses to any province. If you own Reaper’s Due, Prosperity throughout the Realm will also increase faster.

Spymaster - Sabotage. This is the exception I mentioned earlier. For owners of the <Mystery> expansion, the existing Scheme job will become “off-map” (if you don’t own it, Scheme will remain unchanged) and a new Sabotage job will be available for use on specific provinces. These provinces will suffer damage, gain unrest, and may even be made easier to siege due to sabotage and bribery.

Court Chaplain - Hunt Heretics. This job enables the Court Chaplain to hunt for members of shadowy cabals who plot against God and man alike.

And while I’m here and talking about the Council, let me mention something we’ve added for the 2.7 patch. When trying to have my Council agree to a vote with Conclave, it always bugged me that I would need to check in the tooltip of the law who was for and against it, then switch to the Council screen to bribe and cajole people, then check the law screen again to see who I had forgotten about. Instead, now you can ask that the Council considers a vote before you actually vote on it, which allows it to be shown on the Council screen along with icons on each Councilor showing how they will vote.



While it’s not in yet, we hope to add a button right there to start the voting process so that you don’t need to switch back to the laws tab once you have your votes arranged.

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