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Well, it's been two weeks, so it's time for another bi-weekly entry in the saga of The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II (we will ramp up the pace to weekly dev diaries from May 1). Today, I'll talk about what is, perhaps, the core feature of the expansion: raiding. All pagans have the option to raid, but it is especially important for Norse and Tengri rulers, who will start losing Prestige if they have been at peace for too long. Rather than declare a regular war, they can opt for some good old fashioned raiding.


So how does it work? It's easy; you simply raise an army, toggle it to raiding and move it to a suitable county. You cannot raid counties within the same realm as you, nor can you raid brothers of the faith, but everyone else is fair game. All counties now have a wealth bar that shows how much gold you can loot from the province. As long as your raiding army is standing in the province, it will drain the wealth bar. The loot is not taken from the treasury of the local ruler, but rather represents the possessions of the local clergy, burghers, farmers and lesser nobility. However, the top liege of the looted county will lose Prestige and all Holdings in a looted county will have a lower tax income until the bar has (slowly) replenished. Incidentally, all sieges (not just raiding) in a county will damage the wealth, but only raiders will get money from it.


Loot from counties neighboring your own realm goes directly into your treasury, so looting farther afield is normally relatively pointless. However, Norse pagans have the option of raiding all coastal areas, no matter how distant. The problem is that such loot must be carried on ships and when the ships fill up, the raiders must return home and deposit the gold in the treasury. Initially, Norse fleets are also able to navigate many major rivers, like the Volga and the Seine, but when fort levels get too high in the adjacent counties, the rivers will become blocked off, representing fortified bridges and other key fortifications. Using the great eastern rivers and portages, the vikings are able to reach even the Caspian Sea.

The fort level in Holdings has another effect on raiding; it can protect a part of the wealth bar. Unfortunately for the defenders, this protection is of course lost if the raiders actually manage to occupy the local castles, cities and temples. Even worse, when raiders successfully siege down a Holding, there is a chance that some of its buildings are destroyed. In fact, the entire Holding can be razed to the ground, although this is a rare event. The raiders will get much loot from cracking open such golden eggs in addition to draining the wealth bar dry.


The dynamic we have set up basically forces aggressive pagans (especially lower rank ones, like counts) to raid unless they want to live with negative Prestige. On the other hand, the gold and Prestige they get from raiding can be used to declare special wars, which I will talk about in the next developer diary (on April 17)!

A Paradox Development Studio Feature - Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods Highlights from the livestream:

Part 1

Part 2
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Please take my money now. I love you guys honest.
I hope to hear more about the Frille system you've got. I don't suppose it would be available to all Scandinavians regardless of religion? If not it might be modable.
This is more of a request for the patch than for the DLC itself but would it be possible to make it so that when you raise your vassals levies they are commanded by the vassals or characters from their court? It's both tedious and immersion-breaking to have to spend ages after levies are raised assigning command of detachments to members of your court.

Similarly for the Prepare Invasion thing could the bands of adventurers who appear be lead by characters (possibly randomly generated with relatively high martial stats) who will join your court if you succeed so that you can give them land in your newly conquered kingdom.
Less talking, more raiding!
Will Normans be able to raid? King Roger II of Sicily did quite a bit of raiding around the Byzantine Empire in the time of the Second Crusade and really torqued off Manuel Komnmeos. Not that Manuel could really do much about it.

P.S Love your games, after a friend recommend Crusader Kings II and I played it and loved it I picked up EU III and Vicky and love them both too.
I can see razing of holdings becoming very, very expensive.