CK3 Dev Diary #19: Factions and Civil Wars

CK3 Dev Diary #19: Factions and Civil Wars

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BrotherJonathan

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This looks like a major improvements over the faction system in CKII. Revolts will actually have personality and be a threat, rather than just annoying "whack-a-mole" events that inevitably pop up every few years.
 
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Caeserion

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Lets say I am a vassal and my liege has a hook on me for some reason or the other. If he tries to use it to stop me from supporting a faction can I choose to ignore the hook under great penalty? I think it would be a fun story to say that you decided the good of the realm was worth the personal cost to you. The excesses of your liege became too much to ignore and you could no longer sit by and decided to do something about it even if it ruined you.
 

Baron von Shoes

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So, I noticed something, one of populist revolts says "Kurdish Apostalic" does that mean that there are more branches of religions than CK2?
Tune in next week to find out ;)

A few things.
So how does a vassal or vassals leaving a faction with over 80% military affect growing discontent?

If a claimant is placed on the throne, will members of the faction that placed them there like the ruler more and be liked by them more? I think that'd be a good idea.

Can people not of the populist faction's religion/ethnicity join it and then become part of the new realm? Eg. can Matilda of Tuscany join the Juterbog revolt and if she does will her part of Italy become part of the new realm? Also, can the player become the new ruler of the new state (if they have sufficient martial) and how is the new ruler decided?

Finally (I think I'm forgetting something) you wrote counties join factions based on disliking their holder (rather than the realm head). If you're the realm head it seems you then have no control over these rebellions happening because they are caused by your vassals being unlikable screw ups, so will you as a realm head have any ability to deal with growing discontent with your vassals by their counties or no? ie. to prevent these rebellions before they happen.

Edit: Remembered what I forgot. If unlawful imprisonment can force a faction to go to war immediately, surely that's a very powerful tool of the player (or ai) because you can use it to destroy otherwise too powerful factions before they get too big for you to deal with. It seems to be a very good thing rather than a bad thing.

Further edit: Can you join rebellions that are ongoing in your realm? Both when they begin if you're not in the faction or/and after some time has passed.
If a vassal leaving a faction drops it below 80% military power, discontent will stop growing and begin shrinking instead.

Claimants and the faction members who put them on the throne gain mutual opinion bonuses of each other. In addition, all of the faction members will gain a favor hook on their new liege, which the AI often uses to reduce their feudal obligations if possible.

As the ruler of a realm, you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your vassals. If one of your vassals abuses their power and greatly upsets the populace, you face the decision of either being forced to revoke their titles to place someone more competent in charge, or dealing with the inevitable fallout when the populace revolts.

Imprisonment as a way to force an early revolt can be a powerful tool, absolutely. Unjust imprisonments will cause you to gain Tyranny however, so make sure the trade-off is worth it before you do!

You can not join a faction after the rebellion has already begun.

Lets say I am a vassal and my liege has a hook on me for some reason or the other. If he tries to use it to stop me from supporting a faction can I choose to ignore the hook under great penalty? I think it would be a fun story to say that you decided the good of the realm was worth the personal cost to you. The excesses of your liege became too much to ignore and you could no longer sit by and decided to do something about it even if it ruined you.
Currently no, you can not ignore the hook just because you really don't want to have it. In general you really want to avoid people getting hooks on you, especially if they are your liege.

It would be pretty simple to mod in a decision that lets you remove a hook in exchange for substantial prestige penalties or something, though.
 
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Axis89

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Nationalism as a concept didn't really exist yet in our time period, and the Populist Faction is somewhat different in that regard. It's not necessarily about unifying all [culture] peoples into a single realm, but rather about a group of disgruntled peasants being unhappy with foreign or infidel rulership and deciding to do something about it. They don't particularly care about making a single unified realm for all [culture] or [religion] peoples, they just want to change their own situation.

We initially toyed with letting landed characters become leaders of the Populist Faction (and the eventual rulers of the splinter-realm) but that ended up causing a myriad of problems as landed characters make/break alliances, join/leave factions, gain/lose hooks, and ultimately create way more edge cases than we could reasonably account for. However, if an existing unlanded claimant is floating around in the character pool somewhere (for example, a displaced King of Castille if the Umayyads manage to subjugate all of Spain) they will become the Populist Leader instead of having the game generate a new one.



I completely understand what you're saying, but unfortunately the realities of our warfare system require all parties in competing wars to be hostile to each other. Otherwise you can end up in the extremely frustrating situation where as Asturias you have occupied half of the Umayyad's territory, the Catholic rebellion has occupied the other half, and neither of you can earn enough war score to actually win the war.



Absolutely!
The part were you said that if half of Iberia was occupied by Castille and the other by Catholic rebels would create a warscore problem a.k.a stalemate, how about making an event where the Catholic Rebels, and the Castillian leadership see eye to eye "We have a common enemy" and then also understands that "We also share the same faith" so we have to agree on something. The event could present you with two options A: We the Castillians have agreed with the rebels who share our faith to join forces, but we have to concede strict religious laws, and promise X religous acts for the next 10 years.
Or B: We disagree on the way forward, and the meeting ended in hostilities, we are now at war with the Catholic rebels..

These two options could make a dynamic change in how wars operate in certain instances. Option A gives you all catholic rebel occupation score and baronies/provinces, but for a price(The price can rise if the warscore of that said rebel group have a huge participation, raising their demands to concede to your rule). If not, conflict, making division a scary prospect and an oppurtunity to the enemies friends(Other Muslim nations maybe see a chance to save their Iberian muslim brothers. And vice versa for other religions etc)
 

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This looks nice, but I am kinda worried we don't see a larger improvement over what was already there in CK2. The CK2 factions were single-issue rebels that sometimes had no real coherence, and their function was awkwardly given to conclave's councils. Instead, the factions from CK2+ mod (and HIP, AGoT and others) were far more interesting as they were not just simple rebels and they had actual functions.

I was hoping for things like -

- Factions that are based on positions rather than single-issue rebellions. Like the prosperity faction of CK2+ which wants rulers to focus on development of trade and infrastructure (i.e. buildings) or capture trade routes. Or the militarist faction, which wants to launch a large war of conquest. Or the zealot faction. And probably a few more.
- The same factions mentioned above should have the ability to be pleased or annoyed based on player action. If pleased they would reward you, if annoyed their members would start joining actual rebel factions.
- If possible, factions should sometimes give out quests like societies do in CK2. After all, PDS wants to make CK3 more RPG-ish and this would be a perfect opportunity.
- Happy, pleased factions contributing money and resources to liege in times of dangerous invasions, and their members who are also on the council would support your vote. Each faction could also have its own unique reward if they are satisfied for a long time - like a special conquest CB, or a truckload of money, or bonus papal influence and clergy relations and so on.
- Inter-faction management. Like faction members electing their leader instead of basing it on a "first come first serve" where whoever forms faction first becomes leader. Or faction members contributing money to the leader. Or the leader gaining the power to kick out a member from their own faction at the cost of influence and such. This is actually one scenario where mana points would work.
- Debate events and such within factions, where factions can change their claimant/target.
- Factions that have actual influence in councils and their decisions.
- Traits, claims, opinions, attributes etc. being taken into account when deciding which AI character joins which faction. Greedy, kind and diligent would likely go for prosperity faction. Martial education warlords would likely go for militarist faction. Zealots and theologians would probably go for the religious faction and so on.

...And if possible, inter-faction wars.

Now those would look like a real faction rework. And would be very enjoyable to play with. :)

Also, what about two Clergy themed factions? Keeping the clergy on their side was very important for a lot of medieval rulers, including outside Abrahamic religions. They could be -

A) Clergy faction - If your clergy hates you enough, the landed clergy characters could have their own faction where they rebel for concessions that would vary. They could ask for Papal/Ecclesial primacy, reduction of clerical taxes/levy duty, or forcing the ruler to pay to churches/mosques/temples, forced abdication of a heretic/heathen lord and so on.

B) Heresy/Heathen county faction - Just like peasant rebellions, these would build up in heretic/heathen counties (rather than characters) and seek to rebel with much more powerful forces on their side, with a chance that sympathetic same-faith lords in the realm could join them. Like an upgraded version of CK2's religious revolts, working like small but dangerous wars.
 
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gtigers55

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Really like the changes to factions and rebellions! Seems like it should make the game a bit more difficult to maintain stability.
 

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As the ruler of a realm, you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your vassals. If one of your vassals abuses their power and greatly upsets the populace, you face the decision of either being forced to revoke their titles to place someone more competent in charge, or dealing with the inevitable fallout when the populace revolts.
I'm confused. I thought the peasants of one of your vassals would declare their revolt against your vassal? So why would I really care about them? Or do they declare against the top liege?
 

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This probably has been asked, but how does the system work with external enemies during civil wars? Can you declare war on factions; does everyone turn hostile towards outsiders, etc.?
 

masrokstheworld

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You could already marry family to vassals and keep them out of factions with a non-aggression pact in CK2, actually
Yes, you're right thank you, the thing we can't do in ck2 is ally our vassals I believe. Makes me wonder what advantages you get by allying your vassals in ck3 (unless they just mean non-aggression pacts in this dev diary), could add a lot to the game, or nothing noticeable. There was one ck2 mod on the steam workshop where the only way to get your vassals to join you in your wars was if you allied them, which I felt added a lot to the game (although I don't know how historically accurate it is).

Not asking for that same system in ck3 but I really hope that it's difficult to keep a empire together. What the devs have said about the clan government is really promising (vassals will demand marriages into your house) but I just hope there is a good system for the feudal government type (especially because of HRE and ERE).
 
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This looks nice, but I am kinda worried we don't see a larger improvement over what was already there in CK2.
This... isn't a bad summary overall, tbh.
 

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This probably has been asked, but how does the system work with external enemies during civil wars? Can you declare war on factions
Not having rebels in a civil war become their own independent country probably happens precisely to prevent that. So you'd still have to declare war on their nominal liege
 
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The way the Populist rebellion works sounds a lot like a suggestion I made a while ago on how to improve rebellions and factions in CK2. I'm really happy with how that turned out in CK3. Sounds like a way better system.

Also:
That is all for this week, but I have an extra special treat in store you next time when we finally begin diving into how religion works in Crusader Kings III!
yaaay~
 

Baron von Shoes

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I'm confused. I thought the peasants of one of your vassals would declare their revolt against your vassal? So why would I really care about them? Or do they declare against the top liege?
Ah, populist revolts always declare against the top liege. I thought you were talking about them (but I guess you meant the actual peasants).

Peasant rabble declares only against the holder, but if they win your vassal (and indirectly you) will receive reduced tax and levies for a period of time. So you could be charitable and help them out, but there's no real reason you need to.
 
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The Shacks

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Nice slight change and upgrade from CK2, looking forward to it. Just hope realm management is a little more challenging for us players with thousands of hours clocked up. Not sure when it was but you guys seemed to neuter internal strife within realms a good few patches ago. Vassals in Ck3 need to play the marriage game better. I need to be somewhat alarmed when I notice a powerful duke gathering a powerblovk in my realm via marriages.

EDIT: I would also have liked (as others have mentioned) to have seen HIP/CK2+/Stellaris style factions as well as single issue rebellion factions. Prospertiy factions and tradition factions (hate foreign religion/culture advisors/royalty etc.) would add some spice and make your court feel alive with people with positions and politikical opinions.
 

Masternachos

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Could a successful Populist rebellion in a neighboring realm affect the same population in my own realm?
Like say Poland has been split between myself (a ruler of German culture) and another ruler of German culture. A Polish Populist revolt occurs and succeeds in my neighboring realm--do the Polish counties/subjects in my realm now become inspired by seeing a revolt can succeed and become more likely to form a faction/revolt? And would it be possible for the new independent Polish realm to somehow aid the rebels?
 

Bearnest

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Could a successful Populist rebellion in a neighboring realm affect the same population in my own realm?
Like say Poland has been split between myself (a ruler of German culture) and another ruler of German culture. A Polish Populist revolt occurs and succeeds in my neighboring realm--do the Polish counties/subjects in my realm now become inspired by seeing a revolt can succeed and become more likely to form a faction/revolt? And would it be possible for the new independent Polish realm to somehow aid the rebels?
What's this, 1848? :D
Joking aside, Populist revolts are tied to county discontent, so if you keep your peasants happy, you shouldn't have to worry much.
Populist and Peasant Factions are special in that they are not created by unhappy vassals. Instead, they are created by unhappy counties.
Much like vassals, counties have an opinion of their holder which is influenced by culture, religion, events, and war. When the opinion of a county drops too low, they will join one of these two factions
 

Pyoro

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Cross-country rebellions or factions would be interesting but that probably went the same way as being a vassal of multiple people.
 

GingerContingent

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Stronger Factions acquire Discontent rapidly in an attempt to seize the moment, while weaker Factions hem and haw a little in the hopes that more supporters will join their cause.
I like this idea, obviously stronger factions will want to strike while the iron is hot and weaker ones might only go for it when they figure it's time to s*** or get off the pot, as it were. I do think, however, that having a bar showing you basically exactly when they'll trigger (assuming their relative power doesn't change) feels a little unrealistic, as some others have pointed out.

I would suggest this: once the Discontent bar passes some threshold, say 50%, they gain a small chance to send the ultimatum early. Maybe 5% at first and then building up to like 20% as the bar fills the rest of the way. If they do fire early, however, they have some penalty to represent the fact that they're not quite ready - perhaps some of the members are dragging their feet a bit, or haven't fully sorted out their logistics. This could be a smaller initial number of levies raised, or it takes longer to raise them, or something else.

The goal would be to still give the chance for a "surprise coup" style ultimatum if it fires early but still preserves the idea that once the bar has been filled, the vassals have gotten all their ducks in a row and are making no secret of their intentions to the monarch.

Unlike in CK2, when a civil war is declared faction members do not form a new temporary realm.
Great change. This always felt so weird to me when looking at the map, and it was very frustrating being spammed with marriage requests from "kings" or "emperors" who were really just upjumped dukes in the middle of a squabble over crown authority.

A victorious Faction will enforce their ultimatum with some additional concessions thrown in, while a victorious liege will imprison all faction members and gain title revocation reasons against them.
I like the additional concessions thrown in if the vassals are forced to fight as opposed to the ruler appeasing them. It does make me wish similar mechanics were implemented in external wars - if someone declares war on you and is soundly beaten, I've always felt you should be able to extract some sort of extra concessions from them, be it gold, a hook, or maybe even holdings if you are the de jure ruler of lands they own.

As a result, Independence Factions tend to be ‘clumpy’, forming distinct regional blocs within a realm.
Fantastic! It seems this will be true for Populist revolts as well and feels way more historical than CK2's independence factions.

they are created by unhappy counties.
This is a great change. Revolt risk in CK2 is one of my least favorite mechanics so I like implementing a direct opinion score for the populace. It will also allow a kind and benevolent ruler (of the right culture and religion of course) to truly be beloved by the people and not just popular with the elite.

Is there any kind of bonus for ruling over a county that absolutely loves you? If feels like there should be productivity bonuses for counties in your domain with sky-high opinion scores.

Populist Factions are the more dangerous type of county faction and form when counties wish to be governed by a ruler of their own culture and/or religion. While Populist Factions are created by and primarily consist of counties, sympathetic vassals in your realm may also pledge loyalty to their cause.
Oh man I cannot wait to help support cultural revolts from within the HRE.

Every time the Rabble’s forces occupy a county, all of that county’s levies will immediately join them.
This is a great mechanic. A single band of marauding peasants isn't much to worry about, but once it starts to cascade, you've got a serious problem on your hands.

Adding to this, any vassals you have a hook on will be unable to join a Faction against you, whether that hook is due to them owing you a favor or due to blackmail.
Love the way hooks are implemented across the board. As long as they aren't too easy to come by (which it doesn't seem like from the impression I've gotten) they feel really powerful and fun for roleplay. It is often frustrating how little I feel like I can influence my vassals to stay out of factions, so I appreciate the ability to hold a favor (or misdeed) over their heads to keep them in line.

Vassals who are happy enough will never join any kind of faction,
Having vassals with high opinion in factions supporting another claimant is one of my least favorite things in CK2. My typical vassal management strategy is to have fewer, more powerful vassals who I work hard to keep on-side, so it's very frustrating and frankly RP-breaking when a duke I've made bribed, made my seneschal, and sent my chancellor to improve relations with still joins a faction supporting a rival claimant.
 

vyshan

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This looks nice, but I am kinda worried we don't see a larger improvement over what was already there in CK2. The CK2 factions were single-issue rebels that sometimes had no real coherence, and their function was awkwardly given to conclave's councils. Instead, the factions from CK2+ mod (and HIP, AGoT and others) were far more interesting as they were not just simple rebels and they had actual functions.

I was hoping for things like -

- Factions that are based on positions rather than single-issue rebellions. Like the prosperity faction of CK2+ which wants rulers to focus on development of trade and infrastructure (i.e. buildings) or capture trade routes. Or the militarist faction, which wants to launch a large war of conquest. Or the zealot faction. And probably a few more.
- The same factions mentioned above should have the ability to be pleased or annoyed based on player action. If pleased they would reward you, if annoyed their members would start joining actual rebel factions.
- Happy, pleased factions contributing money and resources to liege in times of dangerous invasions, and their members who are also on the council would support your vote. Each faction could also have its own unique reward if they are satisfied for a long time - like a special conquest CB, or a truckload of money, or bonus papal influence and clergy relations and so on.
- Inter-faction management. Like faction members electing their leader instead of basing it on a "first come first serve" where whoever forms faction first becomes leader. Or faction members contributing money to the leader. Or the leader gaining the power to kick out a member from their own faction at the cost of influence and such. This is actually one scenario where mana points would work.
- Debate events and such within factions, where factions can change their claimant/target.
- Factions that have actual influence in councils and their decisions.
- Traits, claims, opinions, attributes etc. being taken into account when deciding which AI character joins which faction. Greedy, kind and diligent would likely go for prosperity faction. Martial education warlords would likely go for militarist faction. Zealots and theologians would probably go for the religious faction and so on.

...And if possible, inter-faction wars.

Now those would look like a real faction rework. And would be very enjoyable to play with. :)

Also, what about two Clergy themed factions? Keeping the clergy on their side was very important for a lot of medieval rulers, including outside Abrahamic religions. They could be -

A) Clergy faction - If your clergy hates you enough, the landed clergy characters could have their own faction where they rebel for concessions that would vary. They could ask for Papal/Ecclesial primacy, reduction of clerical taxes/levy duty, or forcing the ruler to pay to churches/mosques/temples, forced abdication of a heretic/heathen lord and so on.

B) Heresy/Heathen county faction - Just like peasant rebellions, these would build up in heretic/heathen counties (rather than characters) and seek to rebel with much more powerful forces on their side, with a chance that sympathetic same-faith lords in the realm could join them. Like an upgraded version of CK2's religious revolts, working like small but dangerous wars.
Yea the same. I was hoping for factions like that. One of the things I really like about HIP and CK2+ is that the factions feel more organic about what should be the policy for the kingdom and that some factions can serve the ruler while others may oppose them.