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CKIII Dev Diary #27 - Cultures & Cultural Innovations

Greetings, dear friends, and welcome to the cultural dev diary! Today, we’re going to be going over some familiar mechanics from CK2, and, relatedly, our decidedly less familiar all-new tech system!

Cultures & Culture Groups
The basic structure of the cultural system will be fairly recognisable to many of you. Every county and character on the map has a culture, representing (usually) the majority demographic for that county or the preferred customs of that character. Most cultures are based around a language, but some focus more on dialect or specific bodies of tradition, and a few are even primarily just regional.

Every culture, in turn, belongs to a culture group. These are gatherings of several cultures that, whilst distinct from one another, are nevertheless closely related. Most often this is down to a shared root culture, but in a few cases cultures have entered the same group merely by cohabiting for a long period of time.

Characters who come from completely different cultures like each other less, with characters who come from different cultures within the same group taking a reduced penalty. Like CK2, this only matters within your realm, so you won’t get grumpy at your neighbour for being different unless you’re occasionally required to talk to the lad.

Cultural preferences carry over to the peasantry: if the lord who directly holds a particular county doesn’t share that county’s culture, then that county will take a hit to popular opinion (with the hit being smaller if they’re at least part of the same culture group).

Of course, as this is only the direct holder of a county, having a good friend who understands the local customs in charge of all these strange foreign peasants can be an excellent way to stave off peasant revolts...

But what about...
… Melting pots and culture splits? Still got ‘em! We’ve even got some fancy new scripted effects to make it easier than ever to add your own.

Culture conversion is also more easily accessible: per the council task dev diary, this is now a council task, performed by your steward. You can attempt to culture convert any county in your sub-realm, though without an excellent steward or certain types of faith, it’ll likely take a while. People seldom change their culture quickly or willingly.

Show us the good stuff!
Ahhhhhh, you want to see some maps? See how granular we’re getting with our cultural setup this time around? Well, maps I’ve got! How many new cultures can you pick out?

001.png


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003.png


004.png


Cultural & Technology
In CK3, cultures mean a lot more than just a few points of opinion here and there. Cultures are now an integral part of our reworked system for technology, with eras, explicit innovations, and mechanics for tussling over the cultural heart of your people.

Innovations
Innovations are the very heart of CK3’s technological system. Each one represents a thorough proliferation of an idea, a legal practice, or a specific technology, taken to heart by any given culture, or still weird and foreign no matter its advantages. As the game progresses, cultures will slowly become more and more accustomed to the various innovations, until each innovation is thoroughly embraced and ubiquitous amongst the people of that culture. At that point, an innovation is considered “unlocked”, and its unique benefits are accessible to characters and counties of the unlocking culture.

005.png


Benefits for each innovation vary tremendously between them. Some unlock new and better forms of succession law, some give bonuses to growth or income, some allow access to specific Men-at-Arms, or even grant entirely new CBs. We have innovations for everything from battlements to bombards, from coinage to cranes, and wootz steel to wierdijks!

Innovations broadly fall into one of three categories: military, civic, and special (a.k.a, "Cultural and Regional"), each grouped together in the interface.

Military and civic innovations typically cover what you might expect (martial and non-martial matters, respectively). All cultures can, eventually, acquire all military and civic innovations.

Special innovations behave a bit differently. A few are unlocked via special decisions and can only be acquired by taking those decisions, whilst some are cultural, requiring you to belong to a specific culture or culture group, but most are regional innovations.

006.png


Regional innovations require you to either have at least a certain number of counties within a specific area to unlock, or else to have a certain percentage of your culture’s total counties within that area. They represent concepts and technologies that were specific to certain areas historically, rather than spreading across large areas of the globe, but which could very easily have been developed by any culture moving into that area.

Needless to say, innovations, the bonuses they provide, and the mechanics they unlock are all fully scriptable and can be modded with ease.

But how do I *unlock* an innovation?
All innovations have a small chance to progress towards being unlocked per month, affected by a few factors, with the most telling one being average development of the sum counties a culture holds. A culture that spreads recklessly will have naturally slower growth than one that exists in concentrated pockets of high development.

The major ways generation progress towards unlocking innovations are setting fascinations and exposure. Each of these affect only a single innovation at a time, though both happen simultaneously.

Exposure is a natural process, occurring when your culture has counties that border another culture with a specific innovation. The more you have in common (culture group, religion, and so on) with that other culture, and the more of its counties your culture borders, the faster you’ll unlock that innovation.

007.png


Fascination, by contrast, is an entirely character-driven process, reflecting the drive of powerful leaders to introduce new concepts and technologies (be they original or imported) to their people. Where exposure is selected randomly from suitable innovations, fascination is deliberately selected by a specific character.

Who gets to pick? Why, the cultural head.

008.png


Any culture with at least one landed ruler somewhere has a cultural head, who then has complete control over which fascination is selected from available innovations. The cultural head always shares the culture they are the head of, and is the character with the most counties of that culture within their sub-realm in the world.

As you can imagine, the size of the culture makes a difference in how easy it is to become (and stay) cultural head: there are many more Andalusian counties than there are, say, Cornish ones.

An important factor in unlocking innovations via fascination is the learning skill of the cultural head. An unlearned cultural head doesn’t do much to bring new ideas and technologies to their people, but an erudite scholar knows who to invite to court, how to phrase ideas in a way the peasants will accept, and how to get the nobility to see the benefit of embracing a foreign concept!

Eras
You might be thinking that this sounds a little bit disorganised. What stops me, say, unlocking bombards in the 900s and blowing my enemies away with oversized canons for the next five hundred years?

The answer to that is eras.

009.png


In CK3, all innovations are organised into one of four eras, before being categorised into military, civic, or special. In order to begin unlocking innovations from an era, you need to have actually reached that era.

If an innovation belongs to the Tribal Era, no problem. All cultures start with the tribal era reached, and many primarily-feudal cultures will start with most (if not all) of its innovations unlocked, especially in 1066.

For the eras beyond that (the Early Medieval, High Medieval, and Late Medieval), you need to meet two criteria. The date must be at least an appropriate minimum year (e.g., the high medieval period cannot start before 1050 AD), and you must have at least 50% of the preceding era’s innovations unlocked. Further, if your cultural head is tribal, you will be unable to progress to the next era until you obtain a non-tribal cultural head. Cultures that have just left the Tribal Era will unlock innovations faster for a time, allowing them to catch up a little as medieval social and legal structures begin sweeping their lands.

Eras therefore let us gate technologies and features in stages, so that cultures which thrived in later centuries can still use their special bonuses, units, and features, but don’t get them too anachronistically.

Aaaand that about wraps it up for cultures and technology! I’ll be around the thread to answer questions for the next couple of hours, but otherwise, we’ll see you next week!
 

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Masternachos

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Is it possible to go backwards in regards to eras?
I only ask because it would be SO satisfying to raze an enemy so hard they actually fall back to an earlier societal level.
 
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Varren

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Hmm.. I like this but one thought... How does charachter culture shift works now? will I get alot of free stuff by
shifting to my "forced-cuncubine"´s alot more advanced culture? Or will I be restricted from changing culture at all when I am in a far-behind one? I don't know what one I would prefer, one sounds gamey and one sounds dull. The middle option where I can change but need to personally catch up with all new ideas would be cool but probably very heavy, if each charachter needs to personally grasp all cultural ideas.

To be honest, changing culture by decision is, and always has been, incredibly silly. That would be like me moving to Beijing and instantly becoming fluent in Mandarin.
 
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Xain

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I was wondering, if Sicilian is a melting pot culture, what will it be made of?
 
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even if he were non-playable you could still interact with him via various unsavory game mechanics. they will never touch this in any game they make.
Ah yes. Temptation mechanics ...
 

诸葛孔博

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How many sets of unique cultural models are in the first release?except Europe, Islam and nomads
 
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Saxony & Saxon culture refer to Lower Saxony (technically the territory is larger) as is appropriate for the games timeframe. Modern day State of Saxony was predominantly Slavic in both 867 and 1066 and only shifted slowly to German through the Ostsiedlung.

Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't the princely Electorate of Saxony (via the earlier Ascanian Duchy of Saxony) a descendant from the culturally Saxon stem duchy of Saxony...

Maybe limiting the Saxon culture to the "Old Saxony" as per the screenshot made sense for the 867 start date, but early 10th century they have not just reached the Elbe frontier, but also crossed it.

Of course it would be lovely to confirm the date of the screenshot, I just assumed it was 1066 based on how Spain looked like...But even in the earlier start date, the border between the Saxons and Slavs should be further to the east I recon.
 
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@Wokeg

I noticed in a recent video of CK3 that the religion screen has a sub-heading named 'Bastardry' - this isn't a word; the correct name is Bastardy, without an r.

This should be updated.

hsIPUib.jpg
 
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Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but wasn't the princely Electorate of Saxony (via the earlier Ascanian Duchy of Saxony) a descendant from the culturally Saxon stem duchy of Saxony...

Maybe limiting the Saxon culture to the "Old Saxony" as per the screenshot made sense for the 867 start date, but early 10th century they have not just reached the Elbe frontier, but also crossed it.

Of course it would be lovely to confirm the date of the screenshot, I just assumed it was 1066 based on how Spain looked like...But even in the earlier start date, the border between the Saxons and Slavs should be further to the east I recon.

Technically yes and no.

The eu4 electorate and from then on till i think kingdom of Saxony formed out of the Magriavate of Meissen that inherited the titles of the Duchy (electorate) of Saxe-Wittenberg.

Vs something like the duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg.

None of these really represent Ancient Kingdom of Saxony and the subsequent Stem Duchy. They were the last remaining parts, i believe held by the house of ascanian.

This in contrast to Brunswick-Luneberg which is the house of welf, holds a lot of the eastphalian lands and is today part of lower saxony. And the region of westphalia, another saxon region. But they got deposed.
 
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Farfour

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While the culture system certainly seems interesting I cannot ignore the glaring and quite frankly offensive mistake this Dev Diary as shown.
The proud County of Devon is not, will not and has never been Cornish!
Devon likely wouldn't be Cornish by 867 since Wessex already conquered Devon during the collapse of Dumnonia and Cornwall probably lost its independence in 838 after Hingston Down, but surely you realize Devon literally means territory of the Dumnonii, right? "Has never been Cornish" is more than wrong.

EDIT: (Evidence suggests Cornish under-kings continued to rule until the drowning of King Dungarth.)
EDIT2: (We really need some system of overlords and under-kings in Britain, they were kind of a major part of its early medieval politics)
 
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A bit late to the party but I felt I had to comment on this as language and culture are topics very close to my heart and I'm very excited to read about this new approach in CK3! I really like the tie in with technology, it makes both culture and technology more interesting and it also gives a good additional motivation for playing tall rather than just colonizing everything. I'm really looking forward to seeing myself how exactly it is all implemented!

However, I do want to add my voice to the chorus of complaints about the culture map of the low countries shown here. I know that language =/= culture and that usually the place where you draw borders is very much up to debate, but even with all that in mind I cannot find any argument to support the mess that is shown here. Dutch language and culture descends from Frankish and was at the time contrasted to Frisian, Saxon, and French culture. It could in this timeframe either be represented as being the same culture as (High) Franconian, or as separate from it with a border running southeast of Cleves and Loon. Right now north of the Rhine the two are represented as separate while south of it they are united, which just doesn't make sense. If you want to have a separate Dutch culture the duchy of Brabant and most of the duchy of Flanders should be part of it as they were the cultural heartland of medieval Dutch culture. North of the Rhine, only Utrecht, Cleves, and the more important parts of Guelders (Arnhem and Nijmegen) could be said to be Dutch in 867, though I think by 1066 Zeeland and Holland (though not West-Friesland) had also become Dutch already. The other parts were in this timeframe still firmly Saxon (the rest of Guelders, Overijssel, Drenthe, and the city of Groningen though not the land surrounding it) or Frisian (the rest).

I'm glad to read that the orange colour does not indicate Dutch being in the English culture group though, it was and is culturally and linguistically much closer to Germany (Dutch people would call themselves Germans up until the seventeenth century). Frisian could be argued to be either in the English or the German culture group depending on whether historical relations or current ties are considered more important.
 
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Shadeseraph

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This looks really interesting, and looks like a great improvement over CK2 technology mechanics overall!

A few nitpicks on implementation, based on what has been shared here:

1 - not a fan of the "head of the culture" mechanic - it feels forced and gamist.
While I understand the idea of it, I feel that a better approach would have been a weighted average between lords of those cultures based on the influence of each lord would have been better, with the ability to influence other lords to also pursue the same technological innovation. You might have most people not care about technological advances, and instead a "fascinated" lord might try to convince other lords of the same culture and get them also (somewhat) fascinated. In that way, you could even have two different characters that got fascinated with different stuff and are trying to make it trendy among their peers...

2 - I'm not fond of "time" locked technologies - ideally the requirements should be enough to make them fit in the overall picture. I can live with that, though.
 
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Denkt

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Compared to Imperator: Rome in which you either are advanced or not advanced, I think CK3 system is far superior since it can represent various technological advantages of different regions, like here is a video to get some idea:
In fact I think Imperator: Rome should more or less copy the CK3 technology idea since it simply make alot more sense than abstract tech levels and paid inventions.
 
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Brods

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Will there still be only two tiers of culture (culture-group and culture)? Is this modable?
Still only 2 unfortunately, So Czechs will in other words be as distant to Bavarians as to Tibetans..
 
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es333

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Still only 2 unfortunately, So Czechs will in other words be as distant to Bavarians as to Tibetans..

That's a stretch. Both the Czech and Bavarians will be Catholic thus being a part of the same "world". Similarity between groups isn't jsut about culture in CK.
 
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