CK3 Dev Diary #07 - Characters & Portraits

CK3 Dev Diary #07 - Characters & Portraits

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I didn't spot anyone else mentioning this in this thread, but I find the "Empath" descriptor way more jarring than "Atheist". While "Atheist" feel too modern to my ears, "Empath" seems to be straight out of Fantasy or Science Fiction. It is very likely the very first time I have ever seen that word used in a non Fantasy or Science Fiction context.

I can understand the need of having a noun version of the "Empathic" adjective, but I hope that the devs find another word to roughly convey the same meaning ("Listener" maybe?). Having a word that has been co-opted in fiction to mean something else than its original meaning is a good way to confuse players, to say nothing about their immersion. Another example would be using "Necromancy" to refer to a way to do divination instead of a way to control the undead.
 

Varus90

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To add to this, a study of jaw health that included peoples of modern Hunter Gatherer's, discovered that tooth and jaw problems were exceedingly rare in these groups. It was discovered from this study, that chewing tougher foods (especially in youth) resulted in longer jaws; meaning that people whose diets were based on tougher foods did not develop crooked teeth or get impacted molars, because there was space in the jaw for the larger adult teeth (and wisdom teeth) to grow into the jaw. Our modern diet of softer, less chewy foods has resulted in our jaws being shorter and less able to accommodate the full compliment of adult teeth and later the wisdom teeth. Medieval peoples didn't have all that much jaw/tooth problems outside of the odd abscess or injury to the jaw region. We also have evidence (archaeological) of toothpaste use going back as far as the neolithic.
The Egyptians, however, it should be noted (and probably some others like them) often had terrible teeth, due to the fact that they ate bread which had either sand particles or powdered stone from the tools they used to make it mixed in and that gradually wore them away.
 
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BeyondExpectation

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Sure you have people like Joan of Arc who have a very difficult to understand and conflicting personality (simply check how much material that is written about her) but that is perhaps an extreme case that would make many fantasy characters look ordinary.
I don't know why you seem to imply that one needs a "very difficult to understand and conflicting personality" to be a poor fit for three or so Crusader Kings 2 traits. It should be clear that real people's personalities can be much more closely matched by assigning them a very broad number of traits rather than three or thereabouts. Just assigning CK2 traits to myself, I would probably have nine personality ones, and while I could certainly judge some as being more significant than others, cutting it down to three would paint picture of my personality only a small fraction as complete.

Otherwise while people do have different levels of kindness and such it don't mean it is a defining personality trait, like the kind trait would mean the character is very clearly kind.
But at that Point you are devaluating the personality traits which would make them less noticeable.
Two traits would have each trait more valuable than three, and likewise one than two, but having just two (or one) trait is clearly a bad idea. I'm not saying the same is true for three, but it wouldn't be for the reasons you said, but for a completely unrelated reason e.g. Paradox has a trait interactive system that grows exponentially more complex as one adds traits.
 
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BeyondExpectation

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To add to this, a study of jaw health that included peoples of modern Hunter Gatherer's, discovered that tooth and jaw problems were exceedingly rare in these groups. It was discovered from this study, that chewing tougher foods (especially in youth) resulted in longer jaws; meaning that people whose diets were based on tougher foods did not develop crooked teeth or get impacted molars, because there was space in the jaw for the larger adult teeth (and wisdom teeth) to grow into the jaw. Our modern diet of softer, less chewy foods has resulted in our jaws being shorter and less able to accommodate the full compliment of adult teeth and later the wisdom teeth. Medieval peoples didn't have all that much jaw/tooth problems outside of the odd abscess or injury to the jaw region. We also have evidence (archaeological) of toothpaste use going back as far as the neolithic.
Link?
 

Ozajasz

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Will Assyrian and Coptic characters use middle eastern portraits? They're more fitting than the european ones from CK2
 

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Will Assyrian and Coptic characters use middle eastern portraits? They're more fitting than the european ones from CK2
Those ethnic groups used the Greek/Byzantine/Eastern Mediterranean portraits in Crusader Kings II, but I feel like to differentiate them a little from the Greeks, and the Arabians, that there should be another Middle Eastern portrait type that is distinct from the Arabic and Persian ones, and something that is not just the exact same as what the Greeks and Jews get.

Distinct Jewish portraits would be nice, but I think it is understandable enough to have them use the Greek face types, as many Jews look Greek, or Southern Italian, as well. I think of the Greek portraits as good for general purpose Southern/Eastern Mediterranean looks, from Sicilians to Samaritans.

There is arguably a better case for Assyrians (or even Syrians also) and Egyptian Coptic ethnic groups to get their own face types. In my opinion, Coptics look even more distinct from Greeks than Assyrians do, but both should have their own looks.

I am in favor of more distinct face types for different ethnic groups, but I would prefer it to be done gracefully and accurately, rather than to get to a point of making each group look like exaggerated Civilization series styles of caricatures of what each group was meant to look like. Let's move away from just the three or four portrait types to cover the whole Middle East (Greek/Byzantine, Egyptian, Arabic, and Persian are the ones we have seen in Crusader Kings II, and Egyptian is only very recently added), and let us see at least two additional, distinct types of faces, yet more are welcome!
 

Lineana

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Will Assyrian and Coptic characters use middle eastern portraits? They're more fitting than the european ones from CK2
Those ethnic groups used the Greek/Byzantine/Eastern Mediterranean portraits in Crusader Kings II, but I feel like to differentiate them a little from the Greeks, and the Arabians, that there should be another Middle Eastern portrait type that is distinct from the Arabic and Persian ones, and something that is not just the exact same as what the Greeks and Jews get.

Distinct Jewish portraits would be nice, but I think it is understandable enough to have them use the Greek face types, as many Jews look Greek, or Southern Italian, as well. I think of the Greek portraits as good for general purpose Southern/Eastern Mediterranean looks, from Sicilians to Samaritans.

There is arguably a better case for Assyrians (or even Syrians also) and Egyptian Coptic ethnic groups to get their own face types. In my opinion, Coptics look even more distinct from Greeks than Assyrians do, but both should have their own looks.

I am in favor of more distinct face types for different ethnic groups, but I would prefer it to be done gracefully and accurately, rather than to get to a point of making each group look like exaggerated Civilization series styles of caricatures of what each group was meant to look like. Let's move away from just the three or four portrait types to cover the whole Middle East (Greek/Byzantine, Egyptian, Arabic, and Persian are the ones we have seen in Crusader Kings II, and Egyptian is only very recently added), and let us see at least two additional, distinct types of faces, yet more are welcome!
I think in this new character engine the difference between ethnic groups will be more fluent. Depending on the parents the sliders core range will be defined and characters will be able to inherit any look in between two cultures. Which means we can also see characters like 25% culture 1, 25% culture 2, 50% culture 3...
With a slider based character engine i dont think characters will have to roll a dice and only have 1 culture set like they did in crusader kings 2.
 

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I think in this new character engine the difference between ethnic groups will be more fluent. Depending on the parents the sliders core range will be defined and characters will be able to inherit any look in between two cultures. Which means we can also see characters like 25% culture 1, 25% culture 2, 50% culture 3...
With a slider based character engine i dont think characters will have to roll a dice and only have 1 culture set like they did in crusader kings 2.
Ideally culture data is only needed for randomly generated characters and event pregnancies with unknown fathers. Once a family actually exists, their looks will follow whatever their parentage and ancestry is. So if the player keeps marrying into the Byzantines for the prestige, their family will quickly turn Greek looking. If they mostly stick to local lords, their family will stay looking like the local culture.
 

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I don't know why you seem to imply that one needs a "very difficult to understand and conflicting personality" to be a poor fit for three or so Crusader Kings 2 traits. It should be clear that real people's personalities can be much more closely matched by assigning them a very broad number of traits rather than three or thereabouts. Just assigning CK2 traits to myself, I would probably have nine personality ones, and while I could...
Heh, if I were to assign CK2 traits to myself I would get both the kind and the cruel traits, people are weird that way. Also zealous and cynical (more comfortable clarifying this one, but while I care very much about fully grasping all the tenets of my faith and obeying the church closely, I also tend to roll my eyes at a lot of "miracles" and just a lot of things that religious people in general say and how they act. I feel like, as the statement on Lost went, "one among us, but not one of us.") So to me having a ton of traits makes sense. People are complicated that way.

On the otherhand, this CK3 system, if implemented well, looks like it can really enhance the immersion by making it easier to understand how a person comes off, and thus making personalities more atmospheric. Risky, but a tradeoff that could have great value potentially.

Not really agreeing or disagreeing about whether it should be done at all, just wanted to throw that out there. I just hope they do it right if they do it at all. Both systems have their value I think.
 

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I just want to highlight the stellar design philosophy they are going with this one. Great conceptual cohersion, big applause for the art directory, congrats it's great!

I'm this loving low contrast yet still colorfull artstyle. It's easy on the eye, clearly visible, (two most important aspects of any design work imo) while also being colorfull and the drawing style really does have a medieval feel to it. It's great.

One advice tho if any of the designers reading this: Main objects could be bigger, there is just a tad too much negative space.
 
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Denkt

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Heh, if I were to assign CK2 traits to myself I would get both the kind and the cruel traits, people are weird that way. Also zealous and cynical (more comfortable clarifying this one, but while I care very much about fully grasping all the tenets of my faith and obeying the church closely, I also tend to roll my eyes at a lot of "miracles" and just a lot of things that religious people in general say and how they act. I feel like, as the statement on Lost went, "one among us, but not one of us.") So to me having a ton of traits makes sense. People are complicated that way.
Yes and that would not work well with the stress system and I think the traits mean being exceptional kind or cruel rather than being somewhat kind or somewhat cruel.

You can still have conflicts, for example a kind but just character could have conflict that the law say that somebody need to be punished harshly but that would conflict with the kind trait. However if the character decide to be merciful it would conflict with the just trait since the character is no longer following the law.

Also it is interesting with stress that many of the virtues and other good traits in CK2 can probably become negatives in CK3 since you probably will gain stress if you are a just character plotting to murder somebody.
 
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The feature where a character's personality is summed up in two words could have its depth. There could be certain trait-combinations (as a character flag, perhaps) which could have their own (dis)advantages and unique events.

A few examples:

Freethinker
The Freethinker is a rare figure in the medieval world. (S)he realized that the world view offered by the holy scripts of her/his religion and ancient traditions of her/his culture is not enough to explain every aspect of life. In some cases, even mistakes can be found in them. If a man examines the world with clear logic and free mind new conclusions can be found.

Must be: Cynical, Erudite and a smart trait.
Cannot be: -
Advantage: higher Technology spread rate.
Disadvantage: lower Popular Opinion.
Special events:
As a councillor (s)he can give advice to her/his liege. If the advice is taken the liege gets some random Technology points together with a loss of Popular Opinion.
The Free Thinker can approach any other courtier with at least mediocre Learning to spread her/his strange and disturbing ideas. The target courtier could raise her/his Learning together with his/her stress level. If the target is Zealous it could lead to rivalry but if Cynical to friendship.

Magnificent host
The Magnificent host knows that it is better to give than to receive. But to receive is good, too. Life is short and what else a man can do than to enjoy it with her/his friends while (s)he can. (S)he is the best guest and the best host a man can dream of, the centre of every party.

Must be: Gluttonous, Gregarious and Charitable.
Cannot be: Paranoid, Cruel, Envious.
Advantage: higher Popular Opinion.
Disadvantage: higher Court expences.
Special events:
When any kind of social gathering is held (wargames, coronation, feasts etc.) where (s)he is present (s)he can give a random guest a small and cheap gift which raises the target’s opinion of the Magnificent host.

Alabaster statue
The Alabaster statue is a beautiful and inaccessible woman. Every man is fond of her but she is a castle not easy to capture.

Must be: Proud, Chaste and Attractive. Female.
Cannot be: any trait which gives physical unattractiveness (hunchback, harelip etc.).
Advantage: higher Scheme Resistance to Personal Schemes.
Disadvantage: other adult female court members has a slight negative opinion modifier of her.
Special events:
If she gets married or is successfully seduced the husband/seducer gains a significant amount of Prestige.
Any realm character with some poetic talent may write a poem to her. If her answer is favourable the poet gains Prestige but if not the poet may become Depressed.

Reclusive coward
For the Reclusive Coward, the world is a dangerous place. As far as (s)he can (s)he avoids another men’s company. Nothing can be better than being alone in a very safe place.

Must be: Craven, Shy and Paranoid.
Cannot be: Ambitious.
Advantage: higher Plot and Scheme Resistance.
Disadvantage: cannot have any Personal Scheme.
Special events:
When any kind of social gathering is held (wargames, coronation, feasts etc.) where (s)he is present (s)he can have an embarrassing meeting with a random guest who will have a negative opinion of her/him and the Reclusive Coward’s Stress Level is increased, too.

Caregiver
The Caregiver feels it is her/his duty to ease the suffering of the world. There are many men who need assistance or at least solidarity.

Must be: Kind, Humble and Charitable.
Cannot be: Wroth.
Advantage: higher Popular Opinion.
Disadvantage: lower Demesne income.
Special events:
The Caregiver can visit another courtier who feels not good (sick, injured, depressed, very stressed). The visit gives her/him a small amount of Piety, the visited person will be grateful and may lose its Depression or its Stress Level is lowered. The Caregiver also has a chance to catch a contagious disease if it’s possible.
 

Autar

Sergeant
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Why haven't I heard any conjecture on what those images mean?

The top right one looks like leadership traits.
Bottom left is Prowess, aka Personnal Combat Skill
The bottom right one hasn't been confirmed, could be ambition, could be focus.
 

artesox

Second Lieutenant
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I am liking what I have seen so far, its stuff I hadn't thought of before but now that it is on the table it is so cool. Like I could theoretically use the dynasty points to make it so my dynasty has a high chance of being albino, which just sounds cool for a distinct look, or certain personality traits too, making a house full of jealous people sound just fun and chaotic.