Crusader Kings II - Dev Diary 8 - Religion

Crusader Kings II - Dev Diary 8 - Religion

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Doomdark

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It's the first Thursday of a new month, and the stars just happen to be exactly right for a new entry in the Crusader Kings II developer diary! God willing, it will be an enlightening one. Yes, my friends, it is time to get serious and talk about religion, and, being a game about medieval times, religion obviously plays a huge part.

There are three groups of religions in CKII: Christian, Muslim and Pagan. Each group encompasses the main religions (e.g. Catholic and Orthodox) and their heresies (Waldensian, Bogomilist, etc.) Now, the specific religions have certain characteristics that set them apart from each other. For example, Catholicism has an independent chief pontiff (the Pope) who can excommunicate people and call for crusades. He can also, on rare occasions, grant a divorce or a special Casus Belli. Rulers can request excommunications, divorce or an invasion casus belli from the Pope, but it will cost them a lot of Piety, and requires that the Pope hold them in high regard.

Perhaps the most central feature of the Catholic Church, however, is the investiture of bishops. As you probably recall, fiefdoms can be held by members of the clergy (the rich and juicy Temple type baronies in particular). The income from these holdings normally goes to the Pope and not the secular liege of the bishops. However, if the Prince-Bishop happens to like his liege more than the Pope, he will instead pay taxes to his liege (and allow his troop levies to be raised.) The problem is just that the clergy naturally tends to favor the Pope, which is why kings can pass a law called Crown Investiture. This allows them to appoint new bishops who are appropriately grateful and loyal. Why not just do this all the time then? Because the Pope will be most displeased with kings who have passed this law, effectively barring them from any special Papal favors. There is a way around this problem too though: antipopes. Kings with Crown Investiture and high enough Prestige can set up a Pope of their own; an Antipope. This will ensure that all of the bishops in the kingdom pay taxes to the Crown, and will allow the king to excommunicate characters within the kingdom (but not outside it), arrange divorce, etc. Moreover, characters within the kingdom are immune to excommunication by the Pope, and foreign bishops who prefer your antipope might actually pay taxes to him (and therefore to you.) Antipopes cannot call for Crusades, however.

Another downside is that the setting up - and existence of - antipopes harms the "Moral Authority" of your religion. This value represents how respected the religion is and its general hold over the faithful. When the value is low, the chief pontiff can no longer call for Crusades, heresies start to run rampant, and characters and provinces will not convert to the religion easily. It is all a trade-off, and trade-offs are the heart and soul of good gameplay.

Crusaderkings2_DevDiary_110505_01.jpg

What about the other religions then? Well, in Orthodox Christianity the chief pontiff is the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, and he is vassal to the Byzantine Emperor. There is no investiture conflict (church taxes go to the secular liege) and the Patriarch cannot call for Crusades. However, he can excommunicate characters and grant CBs and divorces. Pagans have no chief pontiff at all and lack all the special mechanics. The two Muslim religions (Shi'a and Sunni) resemble Orthodoxy, but the Caliph himself is the chief pontiff, and they can call for Jihad.

That's all for now. At some point I will talk more about heresies. :) Until next time!

Crusaderkings2_DevDiary_110505_02.jpg

Henrik Fåhraeus, Associate Producer and CKII Project Lead
 
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Doomdark

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Great diary, the game shows so much promise.

I was wondering, though, with so much income coming the Popes way, what will effectively stop him from conquering many small and weak states in all of Europe?
Well, he's not playable and his AI won't be belligerent.

Also, if prestige is gained in any way similarly as in CKI, isn't a 500 prestige cost for your own Anti-Pope a tad too low? And is it possible to give a sneak peak of what the results have been (if any) from testing the clergy<>secular princes balance?
The actual numbers should be taken with a grain of salt at this point.
 

Doomdark

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Will religions be moddable?

And I read that names of the Pope and the Antipope are "Alexander", "Paschal"... I guess it is likely that the english Antipope, such as the other bishops in the Realm, has a Anglo-Saxon christening name. So shall we assume that regnal name are implemented ? And if that's the case, is it just for the Papacy or for Kingdoms too ?
Religions are fully moddable.

Popes and Antipopes get a regnal name, but they are unique that way.
 

Doomdark

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This is the best addition to the game mentioned so far. It sounds really great and reasonably thought out.

Will it be possible for single characters to convert to a different religion by a decision or something similiar (A Pagan getting baptised etc)?
Something similar, yes. :)
 

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Sweet! Very nice with the antipope idea! I am assuming the antipope could become the pope if the pope is forced to concede?
Yes. An antipapacy is actually just a claim on the title to the real papacy.
 

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I don't like the *once again* bare representation of the orthodox religion. Being the Patriarch of the religion should give significant bonuses while orthodox nations who HAVE to bow down to that Patriarch are affected negatively. It's no coincidence many nations fought to have their own Patriarchate recognized by the Byzantines. I'm quoting here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_Orthodox_Church#Autocephaly_.28Patriarchate.29

If you continue to read on you will see it was a huge deal to have your own Patriarchate and that should be a possibility in the game when u are negotiating with the current Patriarch. It's a vital part of a stronger claim i.e the Russians calling themselves the third Rome and taking the role of successors of the Byzantine Empire.
Orthodox heretics can have their own patriarchs.
 

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Really like what I am seeing here but i was wondering how you balance out the antipope thing. When you say characters in the kingdom cannot be excommunicated does the king count?
He does.
 

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Are you saying that for example if France supports an Antipope France may declare war on the Pope and try to force him to abdicate? Will other countries (for instances, the Holy Roman Emperor) be able to help the current Pope continue being Pope?
Yes.

Also, does the figure of Papal controller continue to exist? Do they get special benefits from the Pope like an higher likelihood of having their requests granted?
No, there is no Papal Controller.
 

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What about Judaism? I don't think that Judaism can be ignored as the jews are very important in Spain at the time and even have independent territories near the Caspian sea. - until that nasty horde arrives...

Of course the Jewish nations should be playable - nothing like a recreation of Israel 900 years premature ;)
There is no Jewish religion in the game.
 

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I wonder if I have a anti-pope and later conquer the whole papacy, will something happen?
If it's a war over your antipope's claim to the Papacy, you can end the schism, yes.
 

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If it is a claim, how and who can press it?

May I assume that there will be a way to press some other character's claim ? Like, our king can be press his Antipope (or his nighbour ?)' claim ?
Or there will be a sort of "elective" system involving bishops (for example, when a majority of bishops recognize the antipope, this one become the legitimate Pope) ?

And can rulers recognize a "foreign" Antipope as legitimate ?
Claims work mostly like in CK, except that they are rarer. You will more often want to press the claims of your courtiers and vassals.
 

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The Pope, since he is not playable, can use his money for all kinds of things, through events, etc.
 

Doomdark

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Better than my wildest dream. Please hybernate me and wake me up when the game is out. I cannot wait anymore !

PS For the Judaism, can we mod it in or there is no way to see Judaism in?
You can easily mod it in.
 

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I must say I'm excited about that. But:

I don't like the coats of arms. They look too XVIIth Century, so flashy and so baroque. What about taking a look at some XIV-XVth Century armorials? There's plenty of books of arms out there.

Also, please, tell me you will remake heraldry. CK1 heraldry was awful and inaccurate. I will help, if needed. Many people here made submods with the right heraldry for the provinces (I'm thinking about that magnificent mod that gave Sweden the right heraldry for the main families, instead of nowadays regional coats of arms).
Dynasties have their own Coats of Arms in CKII, separate from titles.
 

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I meant if you conquer the land, if you conquer Rome and you have a anti-pope what will happen. And what will happen of you "just" conquer Rome?
The Pope will still exist. Nothing in particular will happen if you conquer Rome as a Catholic (though you won't garner any favor with the Pope, obviously.)
 

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I like what I'm seeing. Will there be ways to up Moral Authority to balance out having an anti-pope? Will other secular kingdoms have options or AI tending to stamp out anti-popes?
Religions gain Moral Authority from things like succeeding with crusades, and also the skills of its chief pontiff.
 
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Doomdark

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Hello, there will be another Developer Diary for heresies, ok. Will it be other differents mechanisms for the other religions ?
There might be something more for religions with no official head.
 

Doomdark

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Really interesting question.

And I'm imagining another scenario : Heresy --> State adopting heresy as State Religion --> Schism !

I insist asking : may our ruler recognize an Antipope as legitimate ? And at what cost ?
That would be interesting if our ruler hasn't a great relationship with the current Pope but has a good one with someone else's Antipope.
Currently that is not possible, but it's something we've thought about.
 

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can there be more than one anti-pope? Like one for England and one for HRE? (at the same time )
Yes, there can be several.
 

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Would'nt that defeat the point of having an Antipope ? Or would he keep the pork flowing in your direction ?
Making him official would be very prestigious and would restore Moral Authority to Catholicism.