The world of Crusader Kings III is made up of characters, and knowing how the character traits system works will be key to your victory.
Your character in Crusader Kings III is your window into a medieval world. The game doesn’t just simulate events on the scale of countries, it goes granular into the dynasties and characters that make up this medieval strategy sandbox.
Your character is your tool, your playing piece as you plot and scheme your way to whatever goal you’ve set for yourself. As you play Crusader Kings III you’ll be spending a lot of time with your character, their descendants, and other characters. Knowing how the character traits system works, and its effects, is key to understanding how your dynasty will evolve and how other characters will interact with your legacy.
We’ve put together a little guide on the different kinds of character traits, what they can affect, and other options you may need to take into account when playing the latest strategy simulation RPG from Paradox Interactive. So pour a mug of mead and let’s get comfortable with characters.
Character Traits and their Effects
Much like life, in Crusader Kings 3 character traits are often determined by events beyond your direct control. Their circumstances of birth, how they grew up, their parents, can all be melded together into a melange of traits which define the character. These personality traits are often set in stone for Crusader Kings III characters and determine who they like, who they hate, and what actions they appreciate.
In addition to personality traits, other traits can be picked up through a character’s life. They can become renowned as great battlemasters causing fear to course through their foes. They can study and learn earning traits that give them insight into religion. They can even have hidden traits, ones that must remain secret from the world otherwise they can become a tool for blackmailers and extortionists.
Overall it’s the traits system which gives you an overview of how a character will behave and their likes and dislikes throughout the game. Many traits will have unintended consequences and effects, when creating your dynasty it’s important to keep an eye on the legacy you will leave to your offspring, and to make sure they receive the education you deem correct for their future.
Character Stress and Health
Keeping an eye on your character’s stress and health is critical in Crusader Kings III. Personality traits determine the actions they appreciate and loathe, choosing to make them perform actions they dislike will see their stress levels rise. This can lead to your character being overwhelmed by stress, with coping mechanisms coming into play that help them manage it. Some of these can have negative consequences, especially for those surrounding your character, as they may become surly, argumentative, or outright hostile.
Prolonged exposure to stress can see your character become gravely ill, losing their grip on reality as their mental health takes a dive. This often only has one end, a sad one for your once proud character.
In addition to stress there are several indicators that can give you an overview of how close your character is to shuffling off this mortal coil. Keep an eye on their health, as you may leave unfinished business if your character becomes too ill too soon.
The Lifestyle system is where your character can truly become your own. You may have stepped into the shoes of an existing ruler, but by working through Crusader Kings III’s lifestyles, you can customise them through an RPG-style skill tree system.
The way it works is this; each of the five skills, Diplomacy, Martial, Stewardship, Intrigue, and Learning, have three separate focuses you can choose from. These focuses allow you to choose an area your character will specialise in, letting you proceed down a skill tree to unlock new abilities and traits.
The way to unlock options on these skill trees is via lifestyle experience, a type of experience you earn as you play as your character. The rate which you learn will depend on your personality traits and their education.
If you want your character to become a theologian or a scholar, it’s here in the Learning skill section that you would spend your lifestyle experience to make your character specialise in the relevant skill tree.
This means you can customise your character according to your goals, your playstyle, or how you feel they would act according to their personality traits.
With such a deep and rewarding system for characters, you’ll be able to make sure no two games of Crusader Kings III are the same. Crusader Kings III is currently available for pre-purchase ahead of its September 1st launch on Steam PC. You’ll get your hands on pre-purchase rewards such as Holy Roman Empire outfits for commoners, warriors, and rulers.