CK3 Dev Diary #73 - Serving On Her Majesty's Court

Greetings!

In the update that will launch alongside the Royal Court expansion, we will introduce Court Positions - which can be seen as an evolution of CK2’s Minor Titles with a number of new improvements. While the old feature from CK2 had all sorts of various honorary titles, we wanted to focus on the most important positions at your court. Jobs that are relevant directly to you as a ruler, or that of your court.

Court Positions include a number of different positions, such as a Court Tutor, or Seneschal. Most positions imply that the appointed character has an actual job at your court and provides you with their services. That doesn’t mean we haven’t added any of the classical honorary positions though. Expect to also be able to appoint a Master of the Hunt, Master of the Horse, or (if you are playing as England) a Keeper of the Swans.

Each position will provide you with a set of bonuses, mostly in the form of various modifiers, but certain positions have more interesting benefits as well. For example, a Court Tutor increases the chances for children at your court to receive a better education trait.

Not all characters are equally fit to serve in any given position. Their skills and traits have a significant impact on how good they are at their job. This is reflected in their Aptitude. A position uses one or several skills, such as Learning for a Court Physician, which is the main factor for what Aptitude a character will have. Each position also has a number of traits that may increase (or even decrease!) their Aptitude further. Aptitude is measured on a scale in five steps, ranging from ‘terrible’ to ‘excellent’. The higher the Aptitude is, the greater the benefit. Let’s look at the Seneschal as an example. A character with the lowest Aptitude will only grant you a Control Growth bonus of +0.1, while a character with the highest possible Aptitude will give you +0.5.

01_aptitude.jpg

[Image showing the Aptitude for a court position]

Unlike CK2, hiring a character for a position is actually going to cost you, as each Court Position has an associated salary that you will be paying for out of your own pocket. While the salary for any given position won’t be very expensive, they will stack up. You’ll have to make a decision on how much gold you are willing to spend on all of your appointed positions, and if the characters you have available are skilled enough to warrant the salary.

As you may remember from Summer Teaser #3, we’ve gone through several old events to make sure that if you have someone appointed in a relevant position, they can appear to provide extra options or affect an outcome to be more favourable. Additionally, some positions may appear in events related to schemes. We’ve also added Cultural Traditions that increase the Aptitude of specific positions for characters of that culture, or even unlock a position you normally wouldn’t have access to! The goal is to make sure that Court Positions feel like an integral part of the game, and to have them feel as immersive as possible.

Before we wrap up, let’s take a look at a few examples of what some of the different Court Positions can do for you.

The Court Physician has been updated to be a fully fledged Court Position and make use of the new system. As you’d expect, the appointed character will take care of the sick people within your court. Court Physicians have a lower salary than most, so you should in practice always be able to afford one. If you have the Royal Court expansion, having a Court Physician also provides you with a small bonus to your grandeur. A skilled physician was often seen as very prestigious after all.

02_court_physician.jpg

[Image of the Court Physician Court Position]​

Next is the Bodyguard. You can hire up to two Bodyguards at the same time. Bodyguards don’t provide any passive modifiers like most other positions, but do have two fairly powerful bonuses. They have a chance to prevent assassination attempts on you, and they reduce the risks of participating in battles, as long as both of you partake in the same battle. So make sure that your Bodyguards have been appointed as your knights to make the most use of them. But beware! Bodyguards are very powerful agents should they join a scheme against you. Keep an eye on their opinion to avoid any backstabbing shenanigans!

03_bodyguard.jpg

[Image of the Bodyguard Court Position]

Another interesting position is the Food Taster. Any self-respecting (and perhaps paranoid) ruler should have one. A Food Taster not only gives you some protection against hostile schemes, they may even prevent a poison-related murder attempt against you! By, of course, eating your food and dying in your place… Just like a Bodyguard, a Food Taster is also a powerful agent should they join in on a scheme against you.

04_food_taster.jpg

[Image of the Food Taster Court Position]

Let’s take a look at the Court Gardener. This court position is unlocked by a cultural tradition - Garden Architects. Gardeners provide a passive opinion bonus for your courtiers and guests (who doesn’t appreciate a well tended garden?), and depending on their skill, a significant bonus to the Development Growth in your realm capital.

05_court_gardener.jpg

[Image of the Court Gardener Court Position]

And for reference, this is what the tradition looks like:

06_garden_architects.jpg

[Image of the Garden Architects tradition]

Finally, we couldn’t show off Court Positions without showing the Court Jester, complete with a jester’s outfit!

07_court_jester.jpg

[Image of the Court Jester Court Positions]

08_jester_clothing.png

[Image of the Court Jester's clothing]

That’s it for today!
 
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Empocariam

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how do you make it fun for the player when their ruler is a 6 year old is unable to do much. just turning on speed 5 till you are an adult isn't that fun.
Some ideas for what I think a "Regency DLC" would need.
  1. Divorce the hard limit for adulthood and set an "expected" adulthood age that is variable by culture.
  2. Implement culturally flavored "coming-of-age" ceremonies (combined/alongside coronations if implemented), that the player can choose to initiate, suffering penalties for both failing and/or taking too long. Some might be as simple as "Announce to the council you are an adult without tripping over yourself" and some might be more complicated like High Prowess duels or liturgical recitations.
  3. More childhood events, with a focus on preparing for said "coming-of-age" ceremonies, where the player actually earns their education trait (erring on the side of the player being more likely to get a good trait, to make up for having a few less years of agency..)
  4. A ramp up of tension between what your regent "advises" you to do, and when you start demanding your own decisions be heard. I can imagine this working as some version of the "Dread" or "Stress" mechanic where you try and gain more "Autonomy" as you age based on events or schemes.
 
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BrotherJonathan

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Glad that court positions are back and being made more meaningful, rather than just "spend a small amount of cash for a small Opinion boost". I especially like the new Bodyguard position.
 
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Weyird

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I don't think a court physician should have a low salary just so you'll always be able to afford one. Please make it at least in the range of the others.

Also, I love how the positions affect assassination chances! Are there new events for when they are involved in a murder plot? Like, will we see some new murder events like stumbling through a poisonous bush that your gardener said was safe? Or your bodyguard saying, "quick, hide follow me into that room, an assassin is looking for you" only to turn on you with sword drawn?
I really want more varied assassination events. I think I've read them all by now.
 
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boorkie

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Will there be a Ambassador/Diplomat position? i feel like that is something that is missing. who has the ability to go to another court similar to how the spymaster concentrate on one court with "find secrets" it should be possible to target courts/rulers that you wish to form relations with. instead of "sway scheme" being the only way.

Maybe a requirement of who can hold the ambassador position? like close family, or noble/strong vassal. with some cool events that could result in better or worse relations, War / Alliances? ( maybe diplomacy tree could have some influence on this)

Isn't that chancellor's job? Ambassador might be a term more suitable for EU than CK timeframe
 
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Blodhevn

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Isn't that chancellor's job? Ambassador might be a term more suitable for EU than CK timeframe
maybe. but the chancellor doesnt have anything like what i suggested. he can get prestige per month & work on truces etc. The chancellor gives a 0.5 Independent Ruler Opinion per Councilor Skill. Would like something more directed and interactive. its more like a stat check.
 
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monkey1998

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Will there be a Ambassador/Diplomat position? i feel like that is something that is missing. who has the ability to go to another court similar to how the spymaster concentrate on one court with "find secrets" it should be possible to target courts/rulers that you wish to form relations with. instead of "sway scheme" being the only way.

Maybe a requirement of who can hold the ambassador position? like close family, or noble/strong vassal. with some cool events that could result in better or worse relations, War / Alliances? ( maybe diplomacy tree could have some influence on this)
This is basically the chancellor position
 
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explosiveboom3

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Will there be a Ambassador/Diplomat position? i feel like that is something that is missing. who has the ability to go to another court similar to how the spymaster concentrate on one court with "find secrets" it should be possible to target courts/rulers that you wish to form relations with. instead of "sway scheme" being the only way.

Maybe a requirement of who can hold the ambassador position? like close family, or noble/strong vassal. with some cool events that could result in better or worse relations, War / Alliances? ( maybe diplomacy tree could have some influence on this)
This. An expanded diplomacy system may not come with this specific dlc but I’m hoping that it will come eventually. Expanded marriages, ambassadors, more plots that don’t leave us with just cheesing the murder and abduct button etc. Would really bring this game a step above CK2.
 
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Blodhevn

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This. An expanded diplomacy system may not come with this specific dlc but I’m hoping that it will come eventually. Expanded marriages, ambassadors, more plots that don’t leave us with just cheesing the murder and abduct button etc. Would really bring this game a step above CK2.
yeah. maybe they could find a way to "preach" the faith as well in this way? to find common ground. especially for religions viewed as "astray" would be really cool if you could by-pass some religion or opinion malus with a bethrothal through these events if you and the ruler happen to have a fitting marriage resulting in an alliance.

i dont like to conquer and "release" just to convert people.
 
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Do we expect bodyguards with excellent aptitude will have a greater chance of preventing assassination attempts and battle deaths and captures? The screenshot we saw didn’t quantify the chances.
 
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Miroku20X6

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"basically" except the chancellor is just a passive opinion boost & prestige. there is no interactions or events. you cannot decide who you want to attempt to form relations with.
Which would maybe be a problem without the sway/befriend/seduce/romance options. With those options exist, I don’t think another way to individually target players is needed.
 

Liamjm

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Are these historically accurate jesters or stereotypical ones? Actual court jesters were less street clowns and more professional comedians, and the only person legally allowed to insult any noble without consequence, effectively giving them free speech. It's a prestigious position that kept you around the king and people of power; they'd even be expected to deliver bad news in a comedic way. They'd often end up being one of the kings closest friends. It was a well-respected position that one would be proud to have.
 
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What I like:

- confirmation that there are cultural selections that can open new duchy buildings and that these duchy buildings can have gameplay effects in the form of minor titles
- the return of minor titles in a more substantive form

What I don't like:

- the lack of clarity if whether minor titles come with new events (and I don't just mean: your bodyguard jumped in front of the assassin! Your foodtaster died because poison!). If they don't they're just silent stat increases.
 

PDXOxycoon

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Sorry if this has already been asked, but, for modding purposes, will it be possible to make certain characters start with a given court position at game start?
There are effects you can use to appoint court positions, so if you have specific characters in mind to have as liege and employee, this is possible to do.
 
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lll Sir Haze lll

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yeah. maybe they could find a way to "preach" the faith as well in this way?
Yes, doing missionary work through diplomatic means and not by sword would be nice.

Maybe tie it into the theology lifestyle tree to give it something interesting to do.

Could also be nice once/if we get something like tributaries. Help convert a realm and you get a choice whether you want an alliance or make them your tributary.