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Crusader Kings 3’s new plagues absolutely rocked my royal house

Crusader Kings 3’s newest expansion, Legends of the Dead, adds two major elements to the game. The first is a sense of legacy, with individual monarchs forging out their own legends within your greater dynasty. The second is much less magnificent: the introduction of plagues. Surprising absolutely no one, they’re ruining everyone’s day in my medieval kingdom.

As I play Crusader Kings 3, I spend my time focusing on my lord (or lady). Their decisions affect the standing and fate of the overall dynasty, and when one passes, they hand the throne down to their heir. The fun comes in when nobles fight over territory, challenge each other’s claims, or try to assassinate one another. Not only do I have to manage military campaigns, but I have to navigate the intrigue of a royal court, keeping my subjects and vassals happy. It’s a lot to juggle — and things only get worse when a plague shows up.

There’s the infamous Black Plague of course, but there are smaller poxes and sicknesses that can throw a wrench in my complex plans. I started a run in the south of Ireland, and through tactical marriages, I managed to unite the entire island and a big chunk of England under my banner. And then the Romance Plague appeared. Despite the name, my kingdom didn’t see a sudden boost in whimsical romances. It was a coughing, sweating, fatal fever that took out three of my kids and a huge chunk of my citizenry.

Image: Paradox Interactive

Luckily, I had a cabinet full of professionals who could help me navigate this issue. What surprised me was that a few of their suggestions mirrored modern day debates from our own recent pandemic. Some of my advisors told me I should lock things down, quarantine, and then move in with aggressive medical treatment. However, they’d warn me about the consequences of such a choice, specifically a badly battered economy. I had to choose whether to take action, and how severe that action should be. In my haste to fill up my gold coffers and maintain my trading lines, I chose minimal support. That backfired pretty hard and my poor peasants ended up paying the price.

Some things are familiar and modern, but other parts of Crusader Kings 3’s depiction of plagues are fully medieval. Once the Romantic Plague hit, I had the option to lock down my kingdom, but I could also choose to just take my family into seclusion, and keep them safe. I decided that what was good for the goose was good for the gander, and since I was letting the people move freely, it’s only fair that the royal family should be equally unconcerned. After all, I had a royal physician, so we’d be fine… right?

The physician was unable to cure my kids with top of the line techniques like “bloodletting” and “prayer”, so by the time my current queen got sick, I panicked. I asked for the most drastic treatment available, and the physician tried removing the afflicted flesh on her face. So now, my queen has to rule over her plague ridden kingdom wearing an iron mask. Not great!

On the plus side, my enemies are equally as afflicted with sickness and death. That’s the nice thing about plagues: they’re equal opportunity attackers. I may be down a few kids and a face, but I won’t stop conquering and building a legacy — and that’s the beauty of Crusader Kings 3.

Via

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