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HIP Lead
58 Badges
Jan 29, 2013
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EMF: Extended Mechanics & Flavor
The core mechanics & flavor overhaul mod for HIP.

What is EMF?

EMF is the new kid on the HIP block, the first to be added to and created for HIP since HIP formed as a confederation of co-visionary mods in January 2014; EMF itself arrived in September 2014. Its lead developer is zijistark, and it continues in the spirit of Project Balance's minimalist aesthetic while nevertheless greatly expanding the scope of core mechanics & flavor improvements within HIP.

EMF is a project with the mandate to work toward an increasingly flavorful, less repetitive, more strategic, more challenging, more balanced, more customizable, and most important of all, more coherent Crusader Kings II featuring much greater dynamism and unpredictability. In other words, EMF is a gameplay mod, and in that capacity, it seeks improvement in fun factor on every front.

While this scope is quite wide, note that EMF does not, however, modify the map. Further, note that EMF's first priority is be to the core of a HIP installation, so while I'd like to spend a lot of time on flavor as well, things like Casus Belli and other core or scenario customization mechanics receive most of my attention. The vast majority of what makes EMF particularly unique is mostly-hidden infrastructure code and fixes/improvements for vanilla that improve quality-of-life.

Some principles which have already and shall always guide EMF's development:
  • High Quality
    • EMF games should never crash, insofar as that is possible with the CKII engine's ebb and flow of hard-coded bugs.
    • EMF features/changes shall all be tested and tuned before release, and we'll often be overhauling vanilla behind the scenes for higher scripting quality.
    • EMF performs very well. Great care and leveraged experience is taken to implement all of our features with minimal overhead considering the features' benefit.
    • EMF is built for long campaigns and strives to remain performant 300 years into your game, often even moreso than vanilla (when using the vanilla map).
    • We will conduct observes of full campaigns regularly to spot balance problems, bugs/crashes, and any performance regressions.
  • Plausibility
    • Whenever a mechanic within EMF is considered for alteration or add, the first question asked will always be, "Is this change real-world plausible, and if so, what is the realistically grounded explanation of the mechanic?"
    • Sometimes one must choose between the most plausible outcome and the most historically accurate outcome, and for EMF, plausibility must take priority. Historical accuracy is very important, but ultimately, when we have to choose, we choose not to railroad history.
  • Coherency
    • We see coherency as one of CK2's main problems. You'll save your liege on the battlefield to his great delight, and then he'll be plotting to revoke one of your titles on the next game day. A random event will suddenly give you Craven for no particular reason. In EMF, if something happens, it should make sense or be a direct result of your actions.
    • EMF shall go to great lengths to serve up flavor that reflects relevant character properties or previous outcomes and relationships built during a campaign.
    • EMF will give you what you righteously, reasonably expect from the game's presentation of strategic effects (such as army composition or demesne law).
    • EMF will strive to continually, comprehensively improve how all the pieces of the game fit together to maximize immersion.
  • Fun Factor
    • If it's not fun, it's not going into EMF. If it's getting in the way of fun to serve some other purpose, the approach or very premise of that other purpose needs reevaluation.
    • EMF plans for the long game and assumes challenge, diverse strategy, and what would amount to a great AAR are fun.
    • Despite being the core overhaul mod for the Historical Immersion Project, EMF also offers a wide array of ahistorical or "what-if" scenario customization decisions to offer an even wider, more fun number of options to the player and enable the game to be played the way you want rather than simply how we think you'll want it.
  • Compatibility
    • EMF is compatible with all HIP modules and strives to be compatible with simpler, non-overhaul mods as well as be relatively easy to compatch for more comprehensive 3rd-party mods. If you want permission to use EMF code to create a compatch for such another mod, simply contact @zijistark.
    • EMF will always support at least the vanilla and SWMH maps.
    • EMF will do its best to not only be compatible but also highly-coherent with the features of the various combinations of HIP modules that it may be installed alongside.
    • EMF follows a very strict save-compatibility regimen, wherein save-compatibility is only broken when new major DLC/patches arrive (e.g., CM, WoL, HL-- whenever vanilla breaks save-compatibility itself), so you may play EMF knowing that you'll be able to safely upgrade to new versions within the same major patch cycle without any negative impact on your ongoing games. Since EMF's initial release in September 2014, we have never violated this save-compatibility regimen. [EDIT: Oops. We did need to violate this rule finally in 2016 while adapting to Conclave.]

EMF's code repository can be browsed here:

link removed - Had a dad

EMF's latest development changelog is always here (not guaranteed to describe all of the latest features & fixes currently in the beta):
link removed - Had a dad

Who is behind EMF?

I, @zijistark, am the EMF lead, and @Rylock is my primary co-pilot.

@Rylock joined me this Spring [2016] after leading CK2Plus for a very long time (very successfully). Most of his contributions so far have derived from prior work that he's done on the CK2Plus mod, and thus, EMF now perma-credits CK2Plus for a heck of a lot of cool stuff. He's also done plenty of revision and extension of that work and will likely go on to develop many entirely new projects for EMF in the future.

@AnaxXiphos is a crucial contributor and co-owner, although he now only has the time to save us with some neat art as we need it.

@Think0028 has also been a valuable contributor in the combat mechanics arena, but he is now retired.

@caocao268 is a new recruit -- so far working upon combat, retinues, and buildings -- but also serves as an adviser to the mod. He has his own sub-mod work-in-progress, ARLES, where he is testing-out some ideas that might eventually trickle into EMF.

@IoannesBarbarus is an excellent advisor to EMF, continually being a central part of our mechanics debate as well as someone that runs EMF observes so continuously that it's his effective screensaver. He also contributes plenty of code in his own way, as a programmer and occasional modder.

Finally, EMF also inherits from the work of @Meneth and myself on the now-obsolete Project Balance, although note that almost zero PB code remains active in the mod.

How can I contribute to EMF?

Community contributions are most definitely accepted, conditionally based upon adherence to the development/design principles already outlined, and that is done via GitHub (see: GitHub Bootcamp).

If you'd like to be a part of the EMF team-- including contributing as a tester/adviser-- and you agree with the aforementioned EMF principles/vision, then EMF Wants You! EMF is greatly in need of more manpower in order to hasten and better focus its development efforts; our focus upon quality over quantity does indeed have its downsides in some respects.

People with experience directly contributing (in any manner) to high-profile, professional mods like EMF, CK2Plus, AGOT, Lux Invicta, MEIOU & Taxes (EU4) are particularly likely to be of the greatest immediate need (apologies to all the highly-professional mods not mentioned!).

Next steps: Strike-up a discussion with me, @zijistark, that goes over some background about you and/or your experience, why you want to help, how you can help, etc., and you can expect a followup within at most 1 week. NOTE: I am also the HIP lead and can probably find a place for you within HIP at large if more appropriate.

Additional Credits
  • CK2Plus (tons of shared code and lineage)
  • Improved Genetics for HIP 2.03 (@Crimson9)
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About The EMF BETA

Many of you have asked about how to replicate changes made in the beta version of EMF into your version of HIP so that you can get new features, tweaks, and bugfixes right away. You may also want to help us find any bugs in EMF before they graduate to a general release.

Below, we explain how to cleanly install the latest EMF beta with the HIP installer, which will allow you to do all of the above and additionally gain the ability to do as many reinstallations as you like without losing the beta changes and eliminating most possible sources of error:

Whenever installing the beta, you'll of course want to know what is that we've changed / added / fixed. For that, see the EMF Beta Changelog, which is also included in your compiled mod folder (e.g., 'mod/Historical Immersion Project/') after you install the beta. The bundled changelog has the same filename as online: EMF_changelog.txt

How To Install The EMF BETA

For these instructions, I'll assume you're starting fresh (no HIP install) for completeness. If you have a previous installation and thus the modules/ subfolder in your mod folder, you can skip straight to step (3). Note that step (3)'s download link is always the same.
  1. (Standard) Make sure no preexisting modules/ subfolder exists in your mod folder from a past HIP install. Delete it if so.
  2. (Standard) Download and unzip the contents of the latest HIP release archive (.7z file) directly into your mod folder. Overwrite any existing files.
  3. Download the latest EMF beta snapshot here as emf_beta.zip.
  4. Browse inside the modules/ subfolder of your mod folder and delete the directories EMF, EMF+SWMH, EMF+Vanilla, and EMF+MiniSWMH.
  5. Extract the already-downloaded contents of emf_beta.zip directly into modules/ to replace the deleted content.
  6. There should now be a new folder for EMF, EMF+SWMH, EMF+Vanilla, and EMF+MiniSWMH directly inside modules/. As for any other files extracted, don't worry about them.
  7. Run the HIP installer as usual and select EMF for installation. You'll note that the version number and date for EMF will now indicate beta status and the date at which the downloaded beta was last updated.
  8. Profit!
Easy as pie.

Keep in mind that you are playing a pre-release version of HIP when you're using the beta. However, EMF's beta branch policy is quite stable, so don't feel too hesitant to dive-in. If you ever need to revert to the original HIP release for some reason, simply do a clean reinstall.

NOTE: The EMF Beta download link did change on July 1st 2017. I no longer use GitHub to host the latest beta snapshot and instead use my own private software on my own private server which automatically archives and compresses the aforementioned ZIP file whenever the EMF beta code changes. The link will not change again.
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We're all very excited about EMF. I believe it combined with PB will make the game considerably more interesting to play.
I haven't worked on EMF myself beyond commenting on some of the ideas being discussed internally, though it has of course utilized some code from PB. The reason for this is mainly modding burnout; I haven't done much modding in months, and I don't really expect that to change until Charlemagne comes out, sadly.
ziji has done great work leading the module, as is to be expected of a modder of his caliber.
Sounds great !

At the moment, I have copious free time, and would love to help in some way; BUT, this may change in the near future. I'll know more in about 3 weeks / a month from now.
do want
This looks great, and it's clear you people are aiming high with the promises in your first post. When this will be published, I will play it with great interest.
We're all very excited about EMF. I believe it combined with PB will make the game considerably more interesting to play.
[ ... ]
ziji has done great work leading the module, as is to be expected of a modder of his caliber.

Aww, Meneth spoils me.
I want to increase the fun factor of murdering my children!:eek:

I feel dirty now.
I want to increase the fun factor of murdering my children!:eek:

I feel dirty now.

Then you are in the right thread, I guarantee you that much.

Well what can I say? This is awesome. I am pumped for this. Thank you for your efforts guys!

BTW no decadence for the win! :D

Yeah, your suggestion put me over the top after we considered the abomination that is decadence right now. Here's hoping Charlemagne really does something decent to it.

Everyone, thank you for all the well wishes! We've been working hard in "secrecy" for awhile.
Awesome, thank you for posting your summary :)

Having seen that this mod will make it possible for Norse women to be "shield maidens": does this mean that it is also a part of EMF's remit to create cultural mechanics, or is this, by and large, only something for VIET immersion?