Imagine my satisfaction at finally getting rid of that meddlesome priest.
For years he'd been coming to my feasts, eating my fowl, drinking my wine, laughing at me in his sermons. Despite my best efforts and achievements, nothing I could do seemed to overcome his intransigence. He hated me. Why?
Was it because I had risen up from humble beginnings – a lowly count – who through palace intrigue, war, and carefully courting matches with desirable families had risen to the status of mighty king?
Probably. Or maybe it's because I had refused to offer tribute to his holiness. Whatever it was, I was glad to hear word that he had been viciously attacked by a mob of rabble; beaten and broken, and left to die in a castle moat.
Maybe he hated me because I had arranged similar fates to the rightful heir to the throne I had recently assumed. Or maybe it was because marrying your cousin had some stigma attached to it.
Whatever his reason, didn't matter so much to me. I had a noble goal. Subjugate the entirety of the known world, have lots of feasts, and take as many concubines as my insatiable last would allow.
Enter Paradox Entertainment's Crusader Kings 3. A game definitely not designed for moralizing.
In Crusader Kings 3, players take on the role of a medieval climber in one of dozens of lands with no set goals aside from whatever pleases their majesty.
You can start as Bohemia, the Holy Roman Empire, Golden Horde, Francia or any other number of provinces, duchy, or kingdoms with an eye towards domination.
Through carefully managing romance and marriages, you may find yourself heir to a more powerful throne or, if you prefer, can conquer foreign lands with heavy infantry and by the point of your swords.
Lead mighty armies, duel to the death, and, yes, marry your blood relatives in your pursuit for power.
With a beautiful and living world, a macro and micro political environment, religious upheaval, and discovery - there's never NOT something going on to give your brain a steady supply of dopamine.
At over 1,000 hours into play, I'm still finding new tricks to exploit and using them to expand my realm. If being a '900s AD feudal lord doesn't scratch your meglamonical itch.. I don't know what will.
It's a fun, beautiful, and endlessly entertaining game that is based on their proprietary simulation engine.. and it's just good fun.
Let us know your thoughts! Have you brought the heathens to heel? Slaughtered your enemies? Been trampled by your own horse?
We want to know!