CK3 Dev Diary #33 - An Offer You Can’t Refuse

CK3 Dev Diary #33 - An Offer You Can’t Refuse

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Hello everyone and welcome to the 33rd CK3 Dev Diary!

I’m Matthew, one of the Programmers on the CK3 team, and today I am going to talk to you about the overhaul we’ve done to Feudal Contracts since Dev Diary 17.

A quick refresher on what Contracts are: every vassal above baron tier has an individual contract between them and their liege which affects how much the vassal gives to the liege in terms of tax and levies in exchange for the liege’s protection. In the case of Feudal vassals, this contract can be renegotiated.

We were not fully content with the initial implementation of this setup as it did not help facilitate the drama and storytelling of the deals made between a vassal and their liege and the disagreements that could arise from that. This was a view shared among the community as well which reinforced our desire to give this feature another look, so a couple of our designers and I gave it an overhaul.

The Contract
You may have seen screenshots or videos of this system in some of the media released from our press events but I’m gonna take you through the new system step by step, so without further ado here is the new interface you’ll see when you interact with a vassal’s feudal contract.

ContractView.png

[Feudal contract negotiation screen]

As you can see there are a lot more options now to tailor the contract.

Going from top to bottom you can see that we have split the base tax and levy obligations into two separate tracks each now with five options. These are the core base of how much taxes and levies are given to the liege, the lower they are the more your vassal will like you, of course, and the higher they are the less content they will be.
When negotiating a new deal you can only move to adjacent levels of the tax and levy obligations.

Below that we have what we call the “Fine Print” options. These fine options are unlocked via various innovations and provide various modifications to the contract.
The first row being the Special Contract options of Scutage, March, and Palatinate which are available for vassals that are Dukes or Kings.

Scutage.png

[Effects of scutage]

March.png

[Effects of march]

Palatinate.png

[Effects of palatinate]

At the bottom we have the rest of the Fine Print options available, these are things like guaranteeing your vassal a spot on the council or granting them coinage rights. Some options are only shown if the vassal meets specific conditions, for example if the vassal is of a different faith to the liege. In such a case the “Religious Protection” gives them special rights to practice their faith without risk of the liege demanding their conversion or converting the faith of their provinces.

The Negotiation
When negotiating the contract a max of three changes may be made. We experimented with different values and this felt like it wasn’t too limiting whilst also letting you too wildly change your contract in one go.

With the new obligations that can be changed and enacted this allows you to negotiate a more interesting deal. For example, you as the liege may want to increase the amount of taxes your vassal gives you, but just doing that alone will be viewed as unfair by the vassal and increase your tyranny.

NegotiationTyranny.png

[a contract proposal giving tyranny]

So if you don’t want to take that tyranny hit then you need to look at what changes you can propose that the vassal will want, so in exchange for these increased taxes you could guarantee your vassal a spot on the council meaning you can now enact this deal without being viewed as a tyrant.

NegotiationFair.png

[a contract proposal with a fair trade]

Alternatively, if you have a hook on your vassal then you can use that hook to count as one free change in favour of the vassal, so you can use your hook and get those higher taxes without having to give any other concessions and not be viewed as a tyrant. Blackmailing people is surprisingly effective.

NegotiationHook.png

[a contract proposal using a hook to avoid tyranny]

It is worth mentioning that even if you propose a “fair” trade that does not give you tyranny this does not mean that the vassal will be perfectly content. There is an opinion change tied to each obligation and what status it is in, vassals will tend to dislike paying more and like paying less, and this opinion modifier will be present in the vassal’s view of their liege.

The vassal themselves can of course also negotiate the contract, they have the added restriction that they must offer their liege an even trade. So they cannot ask to pay lower taxes without using either a hook or agreeing to give the liege something they would want, be that giving more levies, agreeing to stay with only partition succession, or giving up a benefit they have previously been given such as that guaranteed council spot.

Some vassals start with contracts different to the default, in the Holy Roman Empire all vassals start with low taxes and levies to represent the internal state and the lower amount of control the Emperor was exerting over their vassals at the time.

We really wanted the interface to make this feel like an actual paper contract being signed between the liege and the vassal, thankfully we had this beautiful parchment background and wax seal shader lying around that helped spice it up.

Modding Contracts
All of these different obligations, their effects, how the AI uses them, and how they are shown in the UI is controlled in the script files so you can mod in or change existing obligations to your heart’s content.

Code:
religious_rights = {
    display_mode = checkbox

    is_shown = {

        NOT = {

            scope:vassal.faith = scope:liege.faith

        }

    }

    obligation_levels = {

        religious_rights_none = {

            default = yes

            

            ai_liege_desire = @ai_standard_liege_desire

            ai_vassal_desire = 0

        }

        religious_rights_protected = {

            is_valid = {

                NOT = {

                    scope:vassal.faith = scope:liege.faith

                }

            }

            parent = religious_rights_none

            

            vassal_opinion = 5

            

            vassal_modifier = {

                county_opinion_add = 5

            }

            

            flag = religiously_protected

            

            ai_liege_desire = 0

            ai_vassal_desire = 10

        }

    }
}
Here we have the script database entry for the religious protection obligation type, it demonstrates the various options and should be fairly self explanatory in its naming of the options.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this dev diary and are excited for the new Feudal Contracts and the more options and interactions they can provide between vassals and lieges!

We look forward to seeing you next week, in the meanwhile if you want to chat more then I highly recommend joining our CK Discord Server as well!

Pets of the Dev Team
On the Crusader Kings 3 team we are of course very big fans of animals and pets of all kinds. So I thought to cap off this dev diary, and give you all some much needed cuteness overload during these difficult times in the world, I'd collect a bunch of pictures of all our wonderful pets, fluffy or otherwise!

Pet17.JPG

Pet1.png
Pet2.png
Pet3.png
Pet4.png
Pet5.png
Pet6.png
Pet7.png
Pet8.png
Pet9.png
Pet10.png
Pet11.png
Pet12.png
Pet13.png
Pet14.png
Pet15.png

Pet16.JPG
 
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So maybe post launch can we get a contract copy and paste button?

Or like a contract template button of some kind.
 
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This looks so good!
Quick question, are the special contracts considered even, in the advantage of the liege, or in the advantage of the vassal?
 
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Love the new system, love de modding potential, love those pets
 
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When a vassal dies, does their same contract get passed to their heir?
 
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This is such an amazing addition to the game, thank you so much for listening to the community and re-designing the feudal contract mechanic!
 
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Looks great.
Will it be possible for situations where traits/schemes of a vassal will drive negotiation?
Like a greedy vassal or one working on a large project will be happy to give up levies for less taxes
While a martial/war focused vassal who doesnt pay attention to their finances will be ok giving up taxes but resent and reject any touching their levies or etc?

I really like the sound of the religious protection, is there a cultural version too?
Maybe one for when youre negotiating with a traitor from another realm or a formerly independent state that lets them keep using the laws of the realm they're coming from/used to be, rather than your realms laws?

Could there be more clauses on duties and rights of vassals, If this is ticked you have to fight autonomously in my wars, if this is ticked I cant use your levies in aggressive wars only defensive, if this is ticked I have to feed your peasants if your harvests fail, if this is ticked you are allowed to torture and kill within your own holdings and vassals and I can't enforce laws within them. If this is ticked you can style yourself as a king, wear a shiny hat and get extra prestige even though you serve me. etc?

Edit: Also things like pasture usage, or negotiation of royal/church/common land. IF this is ticked you are allowed to use the commons for sheep, higher revolt risk as now the peasants are landless and hate the local lord, but he gains personal wealth (that isnt as taxable?) faster? If this is ticked you have to maintain the forests for royal hunting rights, again everyone is angry, crime events more often and lord and vassal get personal prestige faster?

Also really and this was kind of covered in the first bit but just something along the lines of, If this is ticked the vassal can abuse their post and privileges and the liegelord can't punish them for it.
 
Last edited:
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What does coinage rights do? Also, in one of the preview videos of the game we could see something called fortification rights that you could also grant to your vassals. Is that still a thing? How does it work?
 
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How does the Council Right work? The vassal is automatically added to council in Advisor role? Or just that when a vassal asks for a position on the council, refusing would incur tyranny/bad rep?
 
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Looks very nice, and definitely a huge improvement. I have a few questions, though:

1) Will we be able to negotiate with a group of vassals at once, or copy-paste contracts? For example, it might be interesting for a King of England and Scotland to have a different set of obligations for his English and Scottish vassals, but it would be quite a hassle to have to change half a dozen contracts in the same fashion if, say, one wants their English vassals to provide more taxes and less levies.

2) When taking over a vassal from someone else, or vassalizing an independent ruler, what will the contract be set to? Will we immediately start negotiating?

3) When granting an unlanded courtier a title, will we be able to freely set the contract? I mean, i they don't like it, sure, we can find someone else...
 
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How does it look on the other side when the liege (or vassal) presses the magic button?

For example, let's say my liege tries to implement Forced Partition for me. Do I get Partition the instant he presses the magic button (meaning I need to change the contract to exclude that clause and then need to change my succession law to escape it) or can I instantly tell the tyrant (or "tyrant", as the case might be if he offered something "fair") where he can put his contract and rise up in rebellion to keep my old contract (or perhaps even to get a better one) and (assuming I prevail) skip the whole Partition thing?
 
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Veldmaarschalk

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Wow, this is looks very good and will make your interactions with individual vassals so much more interesting.
 

kalauer

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When negotiating a new deal you can only move to adjacent levels of the tax and levy obligations.
So how likely is it that I finally negotiated a contract with the given vassal I am content with but can only have it some few years before he dies? Making me start all over again with his heirs? Or are the contracts inherited?
So if you don’t want to take that tyranny hit then you need to look at what changes you can propose that the vassal will want
Will htere be an indicator showing what the vassal wants? Or is it fairly straighforward: more power, less obligations?
 
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Censor96x

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Very nice system, huge improvement over both CK2 and CK3 previous system!
I have a question: besides the fact that some countries have different control over their vassals in the same bookmarks, will there be different obligations levels in the different bookmarks?
 
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crowdemon

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Thanks for the changes, much appreciated.
 
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