CK2 Dev Diary #41: Secret Religious Cults

Hi folks!

This week is a big deal for me and for everyone else who has worked on Crusader Kings II over the years, because the game is just about to turn five years old! It was released on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2012. (So, if you’re running low on ideas for a gift to that special someone tomorrow, what could be more romantic than a copy of Crusader Kings II? Just saying.)

Five years on, we are still cranking out expansions and updates, all thanks to you folks! I have to say, the lifespan of this game has been pretty amazing compared to all the previous games I’ve worked on. I loved them all, of course - those games we no longer actively support - from Europa Universalis to Victoria II, but it’s been fantastic to be allowed to keep building on a game for so long, unlocking so much of its potential. CK2 is also special to me because I owned the vision and have done so much work on it personally. Stay tuned for a special anniversary dev diary tomorrow, where I will talk about the history and development of the game at length.

Of more immediate interest, we have essentially finished work on the upcoming expansion, Monks and Mystics, and it’s shaped up very well! You might already know, or suspect, that most of the new Societies will be part of the paid expansion, but there is one type of Society that actually comes with the free update; Secret Religious Cults (yes, this means that the Society framework itself is also free, so that modders can go nuts even without the expansion.) These Societies consist of followers who falsely profess faith in one religion while secretly belonging to another.

secret_cult_screen_01.jpg


Almost all of the main (non-heretic) religions have a corresponding “Secret Cult”. The membership consists of characters who fake belief in another religion in order to avoid persecution. Rulers can join any of these cults if the religion exists within diplomatic distance, and at the highest rank, the ruler can finally overtly embrace the religion and convert. Meanwhile, you get missions and powers to induce Sympathy for your real religion in other characters in the realm as well as the population in the counties. With careful groundwork, you can stage an extremely powerful religious revolt; as long as your subversive activities go unnoticed by your liege…

secret_cult_screen_02.jpg


secret_cult_screen_03.jpg


Next week we’ll start going over the patch notes, and don’t miss our anniversary stream later today or the special dev diary tomorrow!
 

big_feef

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Nice!
 

Battle bunny

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Cool! This is going to be a very nice set of changes if they're executed properly. Will the "Secretly Sunni" and similar traits of AI character be visible to the player? Hope not... It'd be kind of lame if I knew what characters I need to watch out for as secret heretics. (For that matter, if they aren't - how are the same trait bonuses distributed? Do the societies function as hiveminds where everyone automatically knows of others with no opportunity for misunderstandings or two closet heretics not knowing about each other?)
 

Doomdark

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Cool! This is going to be a very nice set of changes if they're executed properly. Will the "Secretly Sunni" and similar traits of AI character be visible to the player? Hope not... It'd be kind of lame if I knew what characters I need to watch out for as secret heretics. (For that matter, if they aren't - how are the same trait bonuses distributed? Do the societies function as hiveminds where everyone automatically knows of others with no opportunity for misunderstandings or two closet heretics not knowing about each other?)

You only see these things if you're in the same Society (and yes, there can also be hidden opinion bonuses.) The members of a Society know about the other members.
 

Asiak

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Amazing hidden religions is one of those little complexities this game has so needed that I have been so hyped for.

Almost all of the main (non-heretic) religions have a corresponding “Secret Cult”.

But how does this work just the one secret cult aimed at one specific religion for the main religions? It sort of implies that each religion is only allowed to be secretly one other religion or will the cults be more customizable?

Will a Christian be able to be a secret Jew or a secret Muslim or just a secret Jew is what I'm asking?

And will there be characters like perhaps the Duke of Semien who start as secretly other faiths?
 

Doomdark

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Will a Christian be able to be a secret Jew or a secret Muslim or just a secret Jew is what I'm asking?

And will there be characters like perhaps the Duke of Semien who start as secretly other faiths?

You can be a member of any supported secret cult as long as that religion exists within diplomatic range. I don't think any characters start out as members though.
 

orochi2k

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So, can we spread secret Aztec religion while waiting for the dooms to come? :eek:
Maybe those Vikings shall have the options to go secret Aztec after they found the new world.
 

spendabuck

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Are you able to have access to some of the (smaller) events/decisions for the religion you secretly profess? For example, will I be able to celebrate Passover as a secret Jew?

Also, while I know you said most religions are included, I just want to make sure; can you secretly be pagan?

One more question; will there be a decision to publically join the religion your secretly profess, converting you to it?
 

KIMON

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Many thanks for the news . Not sure if the question has been replied elsewhere but this expansion/update will be compatible with our present campaigns? in other
words we will have to start new game if we want to have the full benefits of the expansion? thanks in advance for the reply!
 

Silversweeeper

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How do characters get the secret religion traits, aside from by joining the society? Is it an option on conversion? Does it spread via education if the educator has a secret religion? Can you approach others and convert them in secret (obviously risking exposure if they don't convert)? Will the AI be smart enough not to start following a different religion if they are closely related to a rel head (as it presumably is in their interest to not change religion in that case)?
 

Silversweeeper

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Many thanks for the news . Not sure if the question has been replied elsewhere but this expansion/update will be compatible with our present campaigns? in other
words we will have to start new game if we want to have the full benefits of the expansion? thanks in advance for the reply!

The standard response will presumably be valid: It is best to finish your current game on the current patch (before release or using the Steam betas), as major patches/DLCs almost always cause some issues when using an old save.
 

riadach

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You can be a member of any supported secret cult as long as that religion exists within diplomatic range. I don't think any characters start out as members though.
Will there be changes to the holy war system to accomodate this? For example, will non-Pagans be able to convert to their attackers religion at the end of holy wars in order to retain their lands under him?
 

sreckom92

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Great, now we have Secret Catholics, Secret Jews, Secret Muslims....

Secret Bears are no longer that special anymore.