Crusader Kings III Offers One of the Most Robust Character Creation Modes to Date in New Update

Crusader Kings III players will have even more to play with as the massive character creation mode update is on the horizon.

November 25, 2020

Crusader Kings III will be getting a brand new update that features tons of new content, features, quality of life changes, and other tweaks to the UI and system. Likely the biggest draw for Crusader Kings III‘s 1.2 update though is its long-awaited character creation mode.

Players can access said feature when first choosing a ruler to start with on the map. You first select the year and then the country of interest; once the current ruler from that place and time appears, you have the option to edit them.

The best part about this feature is that players have complete control over how in-depth they want to delve into the customization. You can choose to either partially modify a character’s traits and physical appearance but leave them essentially as that same ruler, or you can opt to build a new ruler from the ground up and essentially replace the historic character with your own.

Physical looks can be determined by solely altering a ruler’s ethnicity, or the player can choose to significantly change how their character presents themself. Hairstyle/facial hair, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, facial structure, head, neck, and bust size are some of the anatomical features that can be customized to players’ likings. Age, weight, and height can be fully modified as well. Each feature has subcategories with each paired with its own slider, which controls the width, length, and how much or how little a value will be (such as how much or how little a character weighs).

When choosing an ethnicity, the features it defaults to serve as only a base for that character, who then can be modified however else you choose. This opens up some great opportunities to create mixed heritage characters by swapping around traits or to give completely anachronous traits to your character for fun.

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Outside of that, players are also able to change their ruler’s culture, religion, gender, orientation, name, dynasty name, and even modify the coat of arms their realm uses. Not only are these phenomenal options for injecting more diversity into various nations (having a Hindu leader rule an Ireland city-state would be fascinating), it’s more than possible now to create and potentially spread cultures and religions to areas that would have never been introduced historically otherwise (imagine that same Hindu ruler converting Ireland to Hinduism). There’s some serious potential for amazing antics and even more complex politics in the hands of the wildly creative fanbase.

Every option outside of physical appearance (except weight and height), culture, ethnicity, and religion have a certain point cost depending on how advantageous it is. These options include personality traits, physical traits, mental traits, stats, education, whether you start married and/or with children, and more. Positive traits cost more while traits that negatively affect health, personality, status, etc. cost less and can even be worth negative points depending on how detrimental they are. It’s also useful for lowering your point value so you’re able to stack more beneficial options. It’s important to note that this point system is only applicable if you’re planning on keeping achievements — if not then it doesn’t matter and you can make the perfect ruler with maxed out stats.

To show you how radically you can alter physical traits alone between the historical ruler and your custom version, look below. The original ruler of Ghana during 867 AD:

Versus my version of that ruler during the same year. Not only was I able to switch the gender but also the height, build, specialties, personality traits, the coat of arms, age, and even the children themselves:

There’s also a randomizer feature for most of these qualities, which is great for both players who are indecisive and need a decision made quickly made for them. It also helps those who want to challenge themselves by playing as a character with features, culture, and religion completely at odds with each other.

Other than the character creation system are some really interesting changes and additions to Crusader Kings III that add some much-needed improvements, as well as less practical but still enjoyable features. “Attach to Army” allows players to assign their armies to follow ally battalions to their destinations, which is especially useful during bigger wars like Crusades where you are not the primary participant. “Force Realm Priest Endorsement” extends the realm priest endorsement mechanic (normally tied to positive opinion) of the current ruler so that if a player has a strong hook on them then they will passively be forced to endorse said ruler regardless of their personal opinion.

Siberian Paganism has gotten overhauled as well, due to the fact that a previous nation-state located in the Siberian region known in-game as Suomenusko was stretched over several territories where people worshiped many different deities. The update renamed the area Ukonusko and then split it into two separate faiths by adding a new faith, which better reflects the varied beliefs of the Ugrian peoples. The faith is known as Turumic, after their main patron deity Numi-Turum, and though similar to Ukonusko in that it’s a faith closely linked to nature, it’s different by their veneration of hunting.

Some other improvements include a reworked dynasty UI, a reworked battle UI, tribal variant designs, improved player coat of arms design, rally point improvements, the addition of the Kill List from Crusader Kings II, new matrilineal marriage rule options, improved ugly trait system, the ability to name dynasty members in court, and new event content.


Overall update 1.2 for Crusader Kings III adds a wide variety of new content for players to enjoy in an already fantastic turn-based strategy title. The character creation mode is by and far the most significant and in-depth addition to the game; everything from the facial characteristics that are accurate to the various ethnic groups, physical traits, the cultural and religious backgrounds, your skills, and your family can be tweaked and changed around. This easily stands as one of the most comprehensive and robust customization modes out there.

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Allisa James

Senior Weekend Staff Writer for DualShockers. Loves JRPGs, artbooks, and anime.

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