It's time for the second of three dev diaries on the new expansion for Crusader Kings II; the Sword of Islam! Those who watched yesterday's live stream already know a bit of what I'll talk about today. Just like last time, I'll talk about both some unique Sword of Islam features and some free stuff that comes with patch 1.06.
THE SWORD OF ISLAM
Our intention was always that playing a Muslim should feel quite different from playing a Christian ruler. One of the major differences, of course, is the ease with which you can ensure the continuation of your line. Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four women, and bastardy does not carry the same stigma. This means that Muslim dynasties tend to be huge and sprawling; especially the powerful ones. Unfortunately, all these princelings will expect a share of your wealth, and unless you can give them enough land and responsibilities, they will grow decadent, or at least, your dynasty will be perceived as being decadent. Decadent dynasties risk being replaced by more dynamic and righteous ones, and also suffer penalties to troop morale and demesne income. To compensate for these problems, Muslims have an easier time conquering, through special Casus Bellis (more on those next dev diary.)
The way polygamy works is that only your first wife gives you a skill bonus, but you're allowed to marry up to four. They all give you alliances, and they can all provide you with heirs. Rulers are expected to marry a number of wives corresponding to their station, so a Sultan should have four, or he will take a monthly prestige hit, whereas an Emir is only expected to have three wives, etc. Having multiple wives means that you will produce a lot of offspring, many of them half-siblings. Ambitious mothers will tend to favour their own sons, which can lead to all kinds of nasty business through events...
Open Succession Law
Muslims have access to only one succession law: 'open', also known as 'Turkish'. The way it works is that your son with the most titles and vassals inherits. There is no "unlanded sons" Prestige penalty, but there is still pressure on you to land all of your sons, because adult men of your dynasty will accrue Decadence. In the Muslim world, brothers, especially half-brothers, dislike each other (negative opinion modifier.) This means that Muslims tend to suffer frequent succession crises.
Decadence lies at the heart of the Sword of Islam. It's what really separates Muslims from Christians; not that Christians could not be perceived as being individually decadent, but there was not the same type of friction between clans and tribes. Thus, decadence affects the whole dynasty. Dynasties start out with 25% decadence, which has no effect one way or the other. Decadence increases by having indolent, unlanded males of your dynasty kicking about, depending on their rank and the total rank of all titles held by members of your dynasty. Dynasty members who give decadence are listed in a new list in the Religion View (well, they are immoral.) You stop them from gaining decadence primarily by giving them enough land, imprisoning them or simply killing them off. You only lose decadence when dynasty members fight in battles and sieges, or through certain events. The decadence level affects the morale damage your demesne troops take and the tax income from your demesne. At 75% decadence or more, there is a very real risk of a more dynamic tribe riding in from the wastes to depose you and your whole House (this is one serious rebellion...)
THE 1.06 PATCH
On to the 1.06 patch!
Strong and Weak Claims
There is a problem with the old claim system, in that some very remote relative can just declare war to supplant not just a perfectly legitimate ruler, but also the next five people in line to the throne. Therefore, we've reworked the system to differentiate between strong and weak claims. Strong claims work like before, but are only given to the second and third person in line to the throne when a ruler dies. Weak claims are given to children who are further down the line of succession. When a strong claimant dies (and the claim is "pressed"), it is inherited as a weak claim. Weak claims can only be pressed against women (if the claimant is male), regencies, titles currently in a succession crisis and titles that the claimant is second or third in line to inherit.
We've added and changed some things. Chiefly, we've added a plot to gain a claim on the title of a target character. Also, the murder plots have been completely reworked. You no longer get decisions that you can simply execute at various plot power levels. Instead, plotters can randomly find opportunities to strike depending on their contribution to the plot power.
Event Window improvements
We've made some changes to make event windows more appealing. You can now see the icon, with tooltips, of traits being added or removed in an event option. Also, event options that only appear if you have a high enough skill are now properly marked with a coloured border.
I believe that will do for now. Next week I'll talk about the Muslims CBs, vassal treatment, temple holdings and laws, as well as some more patch features. Until then!