[[quoteright:256:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crusader_kings_cover_7402.png]]
[[caption-width-right:256:''Many are Called, Few are Chosen.'']]

''CrusaderKings'' is a historical grand TurnBasedStrategy / RealTimeStrategy FourX game produced and published by ParadoxInteractive. It's set chronologically before its sister series, ''EuropaUniversalis'', and uses a variant of the ''Europa Universalis II'' engine.

The game was originally developed by Snowball, who abandoned it in a very unfinished state, forcing Paradox to do some last-minute fixes before release, this makes the game exceedingly buggy and all but unplayable in its post-release state. Some furious activity both by the community (via modding) and ParadoxInteractive itself (via both patching and the ''Deus Vult'' expansion) has rendered the game significantly more stable and fixed many of the gameplay mechanics.

The gameplay itself is somewhat original in concept: Rather than playing a particular nation you play as a dynasty (with direct control being vested in the head of said dynasty) in medieval Europe starting in 1066 (or 867, as of ''The Old Gods'') and ending in the early 1400's. While you can raise armies, form alliances and so forth the most important aspect of the game is management of your family and estates: The amount of land you can directly control is limited by certain factors, and thus you have to parcel out land to your vassals. These vassals have their own personality traits and ideas (some of them which makes them butt heads with you... Or each other) The focus on individual characters and the dynamics within your dynasty gives the game a quality that is almost ''VideoGame/TheSims''-like. It's also notable for being one of the first Paradox Interactive games to rely on {{Random Event}}s with complicated triggers rather than chains of {{Scripted Event}}s to drive the game, which would go on to become the staple of the company's later games.

A sequel, ''Crusader Kings II'', was released on February 14th 2012, and [[http://www.fileplanet.com/224596/download/Crusader-Kings-II-Demo a demo]] has also been released. Amongst other gameplay changes, the sequel introduces character ambitions, an expanded plotting and intrigue mechanic, a revamp of the holy order and mercenary system and the sub-division of provinces into baronies, bishoprics and cities, all ruled by vassals.

Paradox has released numerous expansion packs for the game, each focusing on different aspects:

* ''Sword of Islam'', released in June 2012, expands the maps, introduces new mechanics, and features playable Muslims, with different rules to reflect their different culture.
* ''Legacy of Rome'', released in October 2012, focuses on the ByzantineEmpire and the [[OrthodoxChristianity Eastern Orthodox]] church.
* ''Sunset Invasion'', released in November 2012, includes an AlternateHistory where the Aztec Empire invades Medieval Europe. Some see this as the [[SoCoolItsAwesome Best Thing Ever]], others as [[AlienSpaceBats completely ahistorical and immersion-breaking]].
* ''The Republic'', released in January 2013, makes [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin republics]] playable and adds mechanics to simulate patrician families and republican elections.
* ''The Old Gods'', released in May 2013, makes Pagans and Zoroastrians playable, gives them unique events and mechanics, and adds another start date in 867 AD.
* ''Sons of Abraham'', released in November 2013, which focuses [[OrthodoxChristianity on]] {{UsefulNotes/Christianity}}, {{Islam}}, [[YouHaveToHaveJews and]] {{UsefulNotes/Judaism}}, most notably adding the Jewish Khazar dynasty into the campaign maps and including the College of Cardinals for papal elections.
* ''Rajas of India'', released in March 2014, expands the map eastward to include India and much of Central Asia. It adds three new religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism), Jungle terrain, new events and mechanics to account for Indian cultural and religious beliefs, and war elephants. Some additional content for the East African Miaphysite kingdoms that was originally intended to be part of its own expansion are also included, added with the free update to the base game scheduled to come at the same time as the new DLC.

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!!''CrusaderKings'' provides examples of the following tropes:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Tropes Present in Both Games]]
* AltumVidetur: The decision seal reads Audaces Fortuna Juvat, or in English Fortune Favors the Bold. Which makes sense, especially with regards to declarations of war.
* AbusiveParents: If your character chooses to raise his heirs himself, he may be given the option to beat them in various character-defining events. [[SadisticChoice Sometimes it's the best (or only) way to get rid of a potentially negative trait.]]
* AChildShallLeadThem: Especially if the heir of the realm is under 16; Larger realms will feel the pressure especially for younger leaders, as they have low stats (which do grow as the ruler gets older).
** Furthermore, being subject to an underage ruler is cause for yet another loyalty hit for one's vassals.
** Not as bad in the sequel, where underage or otherwise incapable-to-rule leaders will be appointed a regent to rule in their stead. However, [[RegentForLife this introduces new problems.]]
* AerithAndBob: A character's given name is determined by their culture, not that of their parents. A character usually inherits his father's culture, but has a small chance of either inheriting his mother's or identifying with that of the home province of the capital. This can lead to such oddities as a Christian crusader kingdom being led by a Catholic "King Muhammad."
** The second game takes steps to avert this somewhat, as characters are more likely to inherit names from their ancestors, and the player can now [[HelloInsertNameHere choose whether to override an AI-selected name with something else]]. Some names are also restricted by religion; only a child of a particular religion will randomly receive that name.
* AffablyEvil: The game gives bonuses for virtuous traits, such as being kind, humble, or charitable. However, having these traits does nothing to stop you from ordering the murder of children or amassing territory through brutal conquest. The trait-modelling system itself can occasionally cough up a charitable, soft-spoken young man whose chief hobby is impaling people on stakes.
* [[AllMythsAreTrue All National Origin Myths Are True]]: Just about every ruler of dubious historicity and every distant dynastic connection only attested in sources written centuries after the fact is given the benefit of the doubt and represented in the game.
** For Example, ninth-century Lithuania is ruled by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palemonids Palemonids]], most Irish counts are linked to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conn_of_the_Hundred_Battles Conn of the Hundred Battles]], the future kings of Sweden are said to be descended from the legendary Viking [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Muns%C3%B6 Ragnar Lodbrok]], and the Arpad kings of Hungary are presented as relatives of the Khans of Old Great Bulgaria. Justified by the fact that the lack of sources in most of these cases means that the alternative is just making people up entirely, and that in the eras covered, the people involved ''did'' take such claims seriously.
* AnachronismStew: Mostly averted except for when game mechanics require the use of anachronistic terms. The most obvious example is the cultures mechanic, which, for example, differentiates between "Castillian" and "Portuguese" cultures. Such distinctions were not so obvious during the game's timeframe (even after the foundation of the Kingdom of Portugal as a separate entity from Spanish Castille and Leon) and cultural-linguistic similarities between the two cultures exist in Galicia until this very day. The fact that the game covers six centuries, significant portions of three continents, and multiple culture groups means that many things are [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality simplified out of necessity]] compared to how they worked in the real world.
** In the second games, the images for holdings, such as castles and cities, varies only based on religion, not time period. So you have stone castles for Catholic rules in 867 and Norse rulers still using wooden forts in 1400.
* ApocalypticLog: The title history for unstable kingdoms can come off as this, with the title going from legitimate king to powerful duke to pretender and back again over the course of a few years.
** The map itself can come across as this, depending on your point of view. It can be very unnerving to see religious enemies or the Mongol hordes painting the map as they advance towards you.
* ArrangedMarriage: A ''[[SeriousBusiness huge]]'' part of the games is marrying off your children to the right people (while arranging a few deaths on the way) so that your heirs can inherit. A variety of systems of inheritance makes this a bit more complicated than it might seem.
** The sequel places even more emphasis on making good marriages by folding the alliance system into the marriage system.
** PerfectlyArrangedMarriage: For the second game, the random event "You have fallen in love with your wife." may appear, giving you and your wife a ''+100'' opinion bonus to each other.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: [[TheStarscream Conspire with your fellow lords to]] [[TheUsurper topple your rightful king]]! [[TheCrusades Wage Holy Wars on the infidels!]] [[WouldHurtAChild Assassinate small children to inherit large duchies!]] [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotHeinous Tell your wife she's silly for expecting you to spend your money to buy her poetry books!]]
** [[LetsPlay/KnudKnytlingPrinceOfDenmark Send all your problems to church!]]
* AxeCrazy (potentially): Beware keeping "Schizophrenic" or "Crazed" characters in your court for very long. "Possessed" characters [[ChaoticEvil frequently plot assassinations that don't benefit them in any obvious way.]]
* BadassGrandpa: Any king who lives long enough is likely to become one of these because of how the aging mechanics work.
* BadassMoustache / BadassBeard: Depending on culture and traits, these can be grown by male characters. Whether or not the character lives up to their hair's reputation is another thing entirely...
** The release trailer for ''The Old Gods'' makes this trope [[http://youtu.be/Y53_GV2aAg8 a literal selling point]].
* BadassPreacher: Like other rulers, holders of religious holdings can lead troops into combat.
* BastardBastard: There's a sequence of events by which a bastard son of your ruler might try to take his revenge for not being part of the inheritance. This stands a good chance of killing or at least maiming the victim.
* BiTheWay: An inversion from the typical presentation -- Homosexual characters can and will still marry and have children.
** This is likely less an indicator of a character's bisexuality as it is an indicator of the stigma of homosexuality in medieval times. The homosexual character may have no attraction to the opposite sex, but they are still under tremendous pressure by a homophobic Church and relatives who [[IWantGrandkids want more heirs]]. In contrast, a combination of the "Homosexual" and "Lustful" traits results in a Fertility stat higher than that of a character with neither trait, and may in fact represent actual bisexuality.
*** Alternatively, a ruler without children is a bad ruler. Not because homosexuals are bad, but because no children will mean a SuccessionCrisis and that means war. So even if you were gay you had better [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland close your eyes and think of England]] if you had any sense of responsibility. Same goes for dynastic marriages designed to unify or pacify to feuding families. If there are no children of mixed blood the feud might even become worse.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Due to the nature of the gameplay, you'll almost certainly end up like this.
** The plot mechanic introduced in the sequel means everyone is plotting against everyone. that includes heirs, wives and brothers-in-law all attempting to stab you in the back simultaneously. If you're not the plotting type, your poor king can sometimes come across as the OnlySaneMan in a cast of psychopaths.
** The Sword of Islam expansion compounds on this by allowing up to four marriages for Muslim rulers (and punishing powerful rulers who have less than four marriages), all of which can produce legitimate children. This means a lot of plotting by wives trying to maneuver their own child into becoming heirs. Another notable addition is the decadence mechanic for Muslim dynasties, which causes problems for dynasties with unlanded males. The only things worse than plotting family members are plotting family members with land and armies...and family members who disgrace their family name by sitting around the palace drinking and chasing servant girls.
* BlackComedy: Event and trait descriptions can be pretty tongue in cheek. Even without those, though, the sheer amount of backstabbing and craziness that your BigScrewedUpFamily will go through CrossesTheLineTwice. In fact, many a AfterActionReport uses this as a staple of humour.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: The Kingdom of Nubia is playable in the first game, an Orthodox one-province kingdom on the borders of the Fatimid Caliphate. It is ''incredibly'' doomed. The sequel extends the map farther south and adds the Duchy of Axum and Kingdom of Abyssinia, which are only slightly less doomed.
** Mali and Songhai to the west, however, usually survive.
* BrotherSisterIncest: The "You have fallen in love with X character" event does not check if said character is a family member...
** A popular GameMod adds a code that does, with the comment [[{{Squick}} "Ick!"]]
** As noted below, a patch for the sequel added the "Divine Blood" parameter specifically to model this for the benefit of modders and for characters worshipping {{Zoroastrianism}}.
* BuyThemOff: Sometimes, the Pope will offer forgiveness of certain sins in exchange for a substantial cash donation to the Catholic Church. In a more general sense, you can buy indulgences to provide small boosts to your character's piety. You can also do this if the Pope demands that you switch to Papal Investiture without angering him further.
* CainAndAbel: Really, it's more a question of which brothers ''won't'' try to kill you for the inheritance.
* TheCaligula: It's perfectly possible to have one of these leading your dynasty, sometimes at your discretion and sometimes... not.
** In a nod to the historical Caligula, rulers with the "Lunatic" trait in the sequel can, among other things, appoint their horse to important council positions.
* ChallengingTheChief: Attacking a coreligionist in either game most [[PretextForWar often requires some kind of claim on their title]]. In the second game, there's an alternative method in the factions system, which allows vassals to band together against their liege over all manner of grievances.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: In Crusader Kings, characters with the "Rebellious" trait. Possibly the player as well, whether it's to [[MagnificentBastard advance your power]] or [[ForTheEvulz just because this game provides fertile ground for such behavior.]] In Crusader Kings II, vassals with the "Ambitious" trait have distinct tendencies this way.
* ChurchMilitant: Crusader Kings has the crusading Holy Orders appear as states after Catholics take control of provinces in their particular areas of concern (they demand a province from whoever gets there first). Crusader Kings II has them appear as (effectively) mercenaries, whom you hire with Piety instead of Gold and who are only available when fighting infidels. [[ShownTheirWork They refuse to attack co-religionists.]]
** With the new Sons of Abraham expansion for the sequel, they are once again independent states, and can be a lot more important. Donating money to them gives piety, but you can take a loan as well. Occasionally they make requests for courtiers to join their orders or the rights to build castles in your territory, and its hard to refuse if you haven't paid the debt. If they get too powerful, banishment is an option, but does NOT reflect well on your character's reputation.
* ChurchgoingVillain: Any character who has the Zealous trait on top of any number of interesting combinations of decidedly non-virtuous traits can be this, regardless of what faith they belong to.
* CivilWar: Get used to this happening.
* TheClan: One key difference between these games and other grand strategy games is that, rather than managing a country or political faction, the player essentially manages a dynasty and its estates. You can lose almost everything you own and be forced to swear allegiance to another overlord, but as long as you have one county and a suitable heir to pass it along to, you're still in the game and still capable of recovering your lost realm -- or forging a new one entirely -- one way or another.
* CorruptChurch: Potentially.
* TheCoup: Unruly vassals can create or back factions to depose their current liege and install another.
* TheCrusades: Well, yeah.
* DangerousSixteenthBirthday: Sixteen is the age at which characters become adults. This makes them available for marriage proposals, government positions, and (in the case of males) leadership of armies, as well as when rulers (are supposed to) begin to rule in their own right as opposed to through a regency council.
* DarkMessiah: Schizophrenic characters can become convinced that they are Christ Returned, which leads to them getting labelled as heretics. Heretics tend to get excommunicated one way or another; if they happen to be rulers, this allows other rulers to claim their titles much easier. This (and the inevitable loyalty hit the vassals get) often develops into an ever-worsening cycle of civil war, violence and general mayhem that only ends with the death of the Messiah-King (sometimes).
* DeadlyDecadentCourt: There are events for your courtiers, many of which tend to consist of them bickering about how one of them is more suited for some post than the current holder. You will also likely get complaints from untitled offspring and offers from your Spymaster to "remove" inconvenient bastards. And finally, there's the one courtier who inevitably [[DrivenToMadness goes off the deep end]] and starts either [[PluckyComicRelief trying to rebuild the Tower of Babel]] or [[SerialKiller murdering the rest of your court]].
** One of the [[DownloadableContent DLCs]] for the second game, ''Sword Of Islam'', actually turns this trope into a game mechanic - each Muslim dynasty has a decadence score, and having unlanded males of your dynasty sitting in your palace being idle, boozing and whoring makes your entire family look bad and invites more righteous dynasties to overthrow you.
* DeathByChildbirth: Can happen occasionally in the first game. [[FromBadToWorse The newborn usually dies along with her.]]
** As of ''Sons of Abraham'' and Patch 2.0, the second game ''also'' has this.
* DecapitatedArmy:
** Played straight by peasant revolts and adventurer invasions; kill or capture the leader, it's curtains for the rebel scum.
** Subverted with noble rebellions. If the faction leader or the claimant to the throne is killed, the rebellion indeed ends, but the situation returns to the ''status quo ante bellum'', and the lords who joined the rebellion still have their armies and the ability to rebel again (which often takes less than a year). By contrast, if the rebellion is defeated or forced to white peace, the defeated lords are unlikely to try again (and can be freely imprisoned if they start factioning again).
* DefeatMeansFriendship: In the first game, you can beat someone around, disable them permanently, kill off their family, and invade their country, yet they tend to agree to your offers to join your army after being defeated. Flipping vassals is one of the principle means of destroying a rival kingdom.
** The second game kills "vassal flipping" stone dead; you can't seize a vassal's territory by force without defeating their liege. However, with the Old Gods DLC, if you play as a pagan, you can choose an ambition to become king of X. You can then use the subjugation ''casus belli'' to conquer Kingdom X without the time penalty. Every count you defeat gets a +75 opinion modifier for basically having the crap beaten out of them.
** Also in the second game, crushing a major revolt against your rule gives a (brief) relationship boost to all of your vassals, as they are suitably impressed or cowed into submission.
* DemonicPossession: Characters in both games can become demoniacally possessed, which isn't a very good thing if they happen to be in charge. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Of course, it could be some form of mental illness that medieval science doesn't recognize yet. Probably.]]
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "Sultan" is both a Muslim ruler title and a possible first name for Magrebi Arabs, certain cultures restyle the title name to match the dynasty name under an Islamic ruler, and randomly-generated Muslim dynasties take the name of their founder... which can result in Sultan Sultan I leading the Sultan Sultanate.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Did the next count over look at you funny during the last banquet? Claim his titles, go to war, and strip him of everything he loves!
* DrivenToMadness: As with "DrivenToSuicide" below, stressed characters have a chance of thoroughly cracking, becoming either Schizophrenic or just plain Mad. Sometimes this is [[HilarityEnsues funny]], sometimes it's [[GoneHorriblyWrong tragic]]. And yes, it ''can'' [[RoyallyScrewedUp happen to your ruler]].
* DrivenToSuicide: Pushing your kids too hard can make them stressed. [[FromBadToWorse Which can often worsen into depression. Depression often leads to suicide.]]
** [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Note that there]] [[InadequateInheritor are]] [[OffingTheOffspring situations]] [[SuccessionCrisis where]] [[CruelPlayerCharacterGod you]] [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential might want your kids to die.]]
* EarlyBirdCameo: Several of Europe's later historical dynasties are present in the 1066 start, but are unimportant to the point of irrelevance. For example the [[TheSoundOfMartialMusic Habsburgs]] start out as Counts of a backwater Swiss province. [[SelfImposedChallenge Recreating their rise to power is]]... [[NintendoHard difficult]].
** The addition of baronies and several preset courtiers in the sequel introduces even more famous families: the [[TsaristRussia Romanovs]] begin as High Chiefs of the Samoyeds, the [[ImperialGermany Hohenzollerns]] begin as the barons of Zollern and the Trastamaras (one of the royal families of Spain before the Habsburgs inherited the lot) begin as lowly courtiers in Galicia. Heck, even the [[Creator/AlexanderPushkin Pushkins]] appear with a child courtier in Rostov.
* EasyLogistics: Averted - Armies are EXPENSIVE, and you're strongly advised not to keep them mobilised when you're not at war. Large armies can also suffer attritional losses which can make entire stacks disappear if you don't manage them well.
** Played straight by the Mongols, who never take attrition damage. This is a big part of why they're considered DemonicSpiders.
** Crusader Kings II adds opinion penalties for having vassal levies raised too long.
** With the 1.10 patch, low-tech pagan lands have very low supply. Therefore, a catholic army of 7000 can get reduced to 2000 or less in less than a year because the supply for the land is 800 with a castle garrison of 1200.
* ElectiveMonarchy: Elective inheritance, along the lines of the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, is one option for succession in both games. In the sequel, it's a good way of keeping your vassals happy, but can be troublesome to have your chosen successor actually be the chosen successor.
** The 1.09 patch added Tanistry, an alternative style of elective inheritance which limits the candidates to the sovereign's dynasty, but greatly expands the criteria for who can vote.
* EliteArmy / ZergRush: Both and somewhere in between. The time frame covered means that your levies are all conscripts and not professional soldiers (that'd be the mercenaries you can hire). Also comes into play with the Hordes as they can show up with close to a quarter million soldiers (with reinforcements on their heels).
* TheEmpire: The HolyRomanEmpire and ByzantineEmpire already exist at the start of the game, though how much they truly live up to this trope can differ from game to game. It's not at all uncommon to see other realms rise to become TheEmpire over time, either.
** There's also the Fatimid Caliphate and Seljuk Sultanate/Abbasid Caliphate which are comparable in power on the Muslim side.
** With the release of ''Legacy of Rome'', it's now possible for the Byzantine Empire to reform the original RomanEmpire.
** As of ''The Old Gods'', you can now take direct control over the Mongols, whose leader on their historical appearance holds an Emperor-level title.
** You can technically establish an empire at any time as long as you control a high enough percentage of its ''de jure'' territories and have the money and piety to pay for the title. There are even some "hypothetical" empires like Carpathia (Hunagary, Wallachia, & Bulgaria) and the Wendish Empire (Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, parts of Russia) that represent things that did not exist, but could, in theory, have.
* TheEmperor: "Emperor" is the highest-level title possible in the second game and is able to hold "mere" kings as vassals. Most of the empires listed above are led by such a figure, including the [[TropeNamer co-Trope Naming]] Byzantines and Holy Romans. Exactly what flavour of Emperor a character is depends on their stats and traits.
* EnfantTerrible: A character is never too young to start gaining some very negative traits.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Combined with NeverLiveItDown - a character with the Kinslayer trait will never be liked by anybody else ever.
** [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney Unless, of course, the Pope offers to absolve him for an exorbitant amount of gold.]]
* EvilChancellor: A definite possibility, especially in the sequel, where they can easily be plotting to kill you and steal your title. If it's the Spymaster, who's responsible for finding out such plots, Heaven help you.
* EvilLaugh: When a character [[SanitySlippage goes insane,]] the confirm button on the pop-up reads "Muahahaha!"
* TheEvilPrince: Almost certainly the player. It's that kind of game, really.
** This tends to happen a lot more often in the sequel - if your ruler gives his heir a title, the heir will occasionally attempt to quicken his ascension. If a ruler has two sons and only one can inherit, expect a lot of murders to happen as both princes try [[EvilerThanThou to out-evil each other.]]
** This becomes an even bigger problem in ''Sword of Islam'' - Muslim rulers need to make sure all their male relatives have lots of lands and armies or risk their dynasty appearing corrupt and decadent, which also means gives them much more ammunition for potential throne-stealing shenanigans.
* FamilyValuesVillain: A given for many characters, considering that half of the villainous things you'll do in a game will be to ensure your family prospers and stays in power.
* FeudalOverlord: You and most of the characters you interact with. How closely any given character adheres to the negative stereotype is up to your own actions and those of the game engine.
* ForWantOfANail: By contrast to the first game, the second game is built on the ''VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis III'' engine and shares its far less deterministic design philosophy. Naturally, this has a impact on historical events.
* FounderOfTheKingdom: Some historical kingdoms (Portugal, Finland, Ireland and Rus, for example) start the game fragmented into several independent duchies and counties or occupied by foreigners. Liberating enough provinces lets a character found their own kingdom.
** The new start date introduced by ''The Old Gods'' in 867 splits up England, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, among many others, and includes historical kingdom-founders AlfredTheGreat of England and Haraldr Fairhair of Norway.
* GameBreakingBug: There's a bug that makes a siege reset upon the siege progression meter emptying, and it does this every time the siege "ends" meaning that you have to make your army physically leave the province and come back again, possibly killing off thousands of soldiers through attrition. If this happens your best bet is frankly to reload.
* GenghisGambit: If a state is being attacked in a Holy War, Invasion, Crusade or Jihad, its ruler gets a +30 "defending against infidels" relation bonus to all their vassals. Sometimes a well-timed defensive war can really bring quarrelling subjects under a single banner. Also, if a foreign ruler starts a war to claim Vassal X's title to his own realm, Vassal X will get a +100 "defending my title" bonus to his own liege for as long as the war lasts, which more or less ensures they will forsake all their rebellious intentions for that period.
* TheGoodKing: Taking actions that generally give piety, being fair and just, etc.
* GoodShepherd [=/=] SinisterMinister: Depending on appointment policies, your bishops can be either, or somewhere in between.
* GottaCatchThemAll: You get a lot of prestige for every Duchy, Kingdom, and Empire title created and inherited, so there's an incentive to collect as many as possible. However, your vassals start to hate you if you have too many high-tier titles, especially Duchy titles.
* HandicappedBadass: Getting maimed only reduces a general's Martial stat by 2, meaning that your best general will still remain a great asskicker even if they lose a limb or two.
** [[RealityEnsues This will affect his future health, though.]]
* HeirClubForMen: Enforced in the original, but Crusader Kings II allows you to loosen the restriction a little and even (if your characters belong to the Basque culture or Cathar heresy) adopt full gender equality in the succession. Also, the addition of matrilineal marriages means that a woman can inherit a title and pass it on to her children which count as a part of her own dynasty rather then the father's.
** The game has [[InvertedTrope female-preference]] succession laws, but they are only there for {{Game Mod}}s, as there is no way to enact them in-game (and no-one starts with them.
* HeroicBastard: If a bastard son receives his own fiefdom and doesn't end up trying to kill his father, he may sometimes end up being legitimized on the strength of his rule.
** Crusader Kings II allows you to deliberately legitimize your bastards even if they aren't particularly noteworthy.
* TheHeretic:
** Can crop up sometimes in the first game, although they don't really affect the game much.
** The second vastly expands on it, allowing you to [[SelfImposedChallenge convert all of Europe to Catharism]] if you're up to the task.
** ''Sons of Abraham'' further expands on heresies, both by providing unique game-mechanics (for instance, Catharism can have female bishops) and by allowing a heresy to become the mainstream (turning the ''old'' orthodoxy into a heresy) if it becomes dominant enough over the 'parent' -- meaning that after a while the 'convert all of Europe to Catharism' game would turn from Cathar heresy spreading in the face of Catholic orthodoxy to Cathar orthodoxy spreading in the face of Catholic heresy...
* HilarityEnsues: The vast majority of event options that aren't either practical or malicious tend to be this. Sometimes the game comes up with rather hilarious juxtapositions of the former, too (such as the "Ruler Commits an Act of Cruelty" event triggering at the same time that one of your provinces discovers a new weapon... [[CrossesTheLineTwice or goats]]).
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Many, obviously. In addition to the actual playable characters, random events include others such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_the_Rhymer Thomas the Rhymer]] and [[spoiler:Robin Hood]].
* TheHorde: The three Mongol hordes, plus the Seljuk Turks.
* HordesFromTheEast: See also TheHorde; all of these factions first appear at the eastern edge of the map.
* HotConsort: Your spouse can have the "attractive" trait. The actual appearance of the character can sometimes subvert this--they might appear to be very beautiful or handsome, but various traits they possess will make them repulsive to everyone.
* IdleRich: Pretty much any courtier with no real duties qualifies. Muslims in the second game need to avoid this so that their family doesn't look corrupt and decadent. If you don't have enough duties for all your relatives, [[OffingTheOffspring there are]] [[CainAndAbel other]] [[SelfMadeOrphan options]].
* IncestIsRelative: Only BrotherSisterIncest and ParentalIncest are explicitly forbidden by the game mechanics, and then only for marriage; the falling in love event doesn't check to see if the lover is a family member. Also, only blood relations are forbidden; a stepson ''can'' marry his mother. The "Inbred" trait that sometimes results from these unions is a large drop to all that character's stats, including fertility and health, so they're not likely to breed any further.
** Some of the mechanics can still imply, for example, that your wife is having an affair with your son.
** Justified to a degree; the middle ages wasn't as bothered by anything beyond incest between direct family members. Marriage within royal houses was a common tactic to consolidate feudal land.
** The Zoroastrian rulers, enabled in "The Old Gods", are allowed to marry sisters, daughters, mothers and such, and in fact get a relation bonus to all their Zoroastrian vassals and 100 piety if they do so. Thankfully, they are allowed to keep concubines, to produce non-inbred inheritors.
* InTheBlood: Characters will pass onto their offspring a tendency to have similar stats. This was strong enough in earlier versions that a form of Darwinian evolution could be observed, where since characters with higher stats were more likely to survive and to succeed as rulers and pass their traits on, everyone in the late game had insanely high stats.
** LamarckWasRight
** This was nerfed in the sequel; a genetic system still exists but there's a greater element of randomisation with regards to congenital/inheritable traits. Still, a eugenics-minded player can implement large-scale extensive breeding projects to produce the perfect heir.
* ItsBeenDone: Bad luck could result in a province making a discovery, while the rest of the world has already moved on to better things.
* JustFriends:
** Averted in the first game. The game assumes that any two characters of the opposite sex who are friends are actually lovers.
** Crusader Kings II replaces friends and the loyalty meter with an unilateral (you can like someone who hates the very soil on which you stand) relationship meter. Romantic love remains as a separate modifier applied to the relationship.
* JustOneMoreTurn
* KnightTemplar: Anyone with the "Zealous" trait. The [[TropeNamer trope namers]] [[TheKnightsTemplar also make an appearance]].
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Randomly generated for the most part, but there are tons of them. Thousands, in fact.
* LockedAwayInAMonastery/TakingTheVeil: Played straight for the first game; absent in the second until the 'Sons Of Abraham' expansion.
* LockedInTheDungeon: The fate of prisoners of war, unsuccessful rebels, and miscellaneous miscreants. Sufficiently noble prisoners may petition your ruler to be transferred to a LuxuryPrisonSuite or be put under house arrest; you can grant their request, ignore them, or [[HellholePrison lock them in the oubliette]] [[DisproportionateRetribution for their insolence.]]
* LoyalToThePosition: Even if they got their title by literally stabbing the guy in the back, your character usually inherits their benefactor's court along with their fiefdom.
* TheManyDeathsOfYou: There are many, many ways your characters can die. One of the more recent patches introduced a "cause of death" mechanic, and these tend to be strangely generic. Suicide is "Death by Depression", heart attacks are "Death by Stress", DeathBySex is "Died in [[NoodleIncident an Accident]]", and so on. Deaths caused by plotting can be anything from simple poisoning to driving carriages over cliffs to [[VorpalPillow vorpal pillows]] to something that can only be described as "[[IncendiaryExponent death by exploding manure pile]]."
* MamasBabyPapasMaybe: Male rulers can choose to disavow any knowledge of their bastards, which effectively leaves said bastard fatherless (and possibly resentful).
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: A number of events in both games are seen by the ''characters'' as explicitly supernatural or miraculous, but could have more plausible explanations.
* TheMiddleAges: Covers almost all of the [[TheLowMiddleAges three]] [[TheHighMiddleAges major]] [[TheLateMiddleAges divisions]] all the way up to the generally-accepted end date of 1453. Only the fifth through the middle ninth centuries AD aren't represented at present.
* AMillionIsAStatistic: The game mechanics practically encourage this. Keeping your vassals' troops on the field starts to accumulate relationship penalties with them, while getting their armies slaughtered has no negative effects other than having to wait for more troops to be conscripted. Thus, once you get a big enough army to storm castles rather than waiting outside sieging them, you'll want to throw away a few thousand lives to save time.
* TheMissionary: Court chaplains can minister to heathen or heretic provinces within your realm, as well as to pagan courts in far lands, with a small chance of converting them to the faithful.
* TheMistress: While love affairs are possible for Christians, concubines are common and expected among pagan and Zoroastrian rulers.
* MoralMyopia: In order to attack a coreligionist, even if you're a king and he's a count, you need to have a claim on at least one of his titles. There's no such limitations for attacking heathens, though.
* MotherMakesYouKing: Even with male-only inheritance laws, daughters get a claim on their father's titles, which they can pass on to their sons to press.
* NeverLiveItDown: {{Invoked}}, but Subverted most of the time. Even acquiring thousands of points of tyranny gets forgotten after ten years or so. There are a few exceptions: [[MoralEventHorizon Blinding, Castrating, Kinslaying]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and revoking titles]].
* NonEntityGeneral: Sort of. You play as the current head of the Dynasty. If your King is overthrown and killed, you may get booted to your very distant cousin, who is a count of a backwater province, but your game WILL continue. The only way for the game to end is to have your dynasty die out in the male line.
** In the sequel, you can have female heirs as a non-Muslim dynasty (eg the current head is not-Muslim) - if no males are eligible as heirs. You can, if you wish, choose to exclude females from being heirs, which may or may not be handy. But you can also give females equal rights to being heirs (but ''only'' for Basques or Cathars). With this option, as long as any one in your dynasty is alive, you can continue... though on the flip side, due to this being an era of {{Arranged Marriage}}s, keeping females in the family without losing prestige can be... challenging.
* ObviousRulePatch: Every patch seems to alter gameplay in the direction posters on the Paradox Forums complain the most about. Such changes include having smaller peasant revolts, making it harder for counts to marry into ducal titles and {{Nerfing}} the Byzantines.
* OffingTheOffspring: If your heir is an InadequateInheritor, or has failed to produce a son with the aging Duke of Norfolk's daughter and only child, or just isn't in line for all the nifty titles your second son by another wife is, this is always an option.
* OutWithABang: Possible with aging characters.
* ParentalFavoritism: Practically a necessity for anyone other than republics, up to and including murdering TheUnfavorite.
* ThePope: The Papacy is not playable, but the Pope can be a major asset if he is your friend, or a deadly threat if an enemy. Of course, if he gets ''too'' uppity you can always claim his provinces and remove the problem.
** The sequel lets the player create anti-popes and even replace the pope if they're prestigious enough - and under certain circumstances, people have managed to have their character ''become'' Pope.
** A rare few have had games where a character following a heretical form of Catholicism becomes pope... with the expected results (heretical religions such as Catharism start spreading while mainstream Catholicism dies out due to lack of moral authority.)
** In ''Legacy of Rome'', the Byzantine Empire or other Orthodox powers can reduce the Pope back to an ordinary Pentarch in a unified Orthodox Christianity, at which point Catholicism becomes heretical and the religious schism healed.
* PragmaticVillainy: ''The'' key to succeeding at this game. [[WideOpenSandbox For varying values of "winning."]]
* PretextForWar: Either via [[BlatantLies fabricated documents]] or actual ''de jure'' territorial disputes.
* ProperlyParanoid: The Paranoid trait grants a bonus to intrigue, meaning Paranoid characters are that much harder to assassinate if you actually are out to get them. This intrigue bonus is greater than the diplomacy penalty the trait gives, meaning that Paranoid is overall a beneficial trait.
* PuppetState: Very strong element. The player is able to create vassals by giving the aristocrats in his court titles. Assuming relations are good enough he can force these vassals to raise troops for him and even force to them to surrender their title and land (though this is very likely to result in rebellion instead.)
** It's also possible to press the claim of a dynasty member on a neighbouring country, since it takes several years to pacify the conquered regions the family member will then be almost completely dependent on you for support and the +100 relationship bonus means that the ruler will usually be an ally for life.
* [[PutOnABus Put On An Ox Cart]]: Characters will sometimes retire or join a monastery; the game treats them for all purposes as though they'd died.
** Crusader Kings II averts this; if the game says someone's dead, they ''are'' pushing up daisies.
* RandomEvent: Unlike most other Paradox Interactive games, this game relies almost entirely on random events, with only a few historical occurrences (the arrival of the Mongols, plagues, founding of Holy Orders) having scripted events. This design philosophy would later influence the next generation of Paradox games ([[EuropaUniversalis EU3]], [[HeartsOfIron HoI3]], [[VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun V2]]) and would carry over with a vengeance in the sequel.
* RealTimeWithPause
* RelationshipValues: A ''significant'' part of the gameplay, especially in the sequel. The first game had diplomatic relation scores between rulers, as well as a loyalty score between vassals and their lieges, the latter being essentially binary in practice. In Crusader Kings II, these were scrapped, and now ''every single character'' has a relationship value with ''every other character'' that is affected by a bewildering array of factors. Managing those scores is vital to both victory and survival.
** LevelUpAtIntimacy5: If your vassals like you a lot, they'll provide you with far more troops and pay you far more in taxes than they're legally required to, be more likely to approve any legal reforms you want to push, and can even occasionally be persuaded to give up some of their lands to the crown, or even convert to your religion.
** YouLoseAtZeroTrust: If your vassals hate you, on the other hand, you're one conspiracy away from the collapse of everything you've worked for. Especially bad if it's a [[BigScrewedUpFamily family member]] or [[EvilChancellor your spy master]].
* RemovingTheRival: Really, this is ''the'' central trope to understanding how the game works. Every single character has his or her own agenda, and plans clash more often than not. You likely have to flatter, bribe, threaten, or murder an awful lot of people in order to get what you want and keep others from getting their hands on your stuff.
* TheResenter: Bastards tend to end up like this.
* RevolvingDoorRevolution: Since new rulers always get a relationship penalty with their vassals (that gradually wears off as they maintain their hold on the throne), turnover time between rulers can be quite short indeed in kingdoms where no one ruler has enough power to hold out against a large enough faction (until someone eventually does or the kingdom itself splinters).
* RightfulKingReturns: Deposed rulers typically retain claims on their former thrones, which means that, just like any other claim holder, they can usurp it right back if they beat the current holder in a war.
** Alternately, if your kingdom gets invaded and you get killed, your dynasty may fall to an heir who just happens to be out of the kingdom at the moment (probably leading an army somewhere), or even a remote relative on the other side of the continent. In either case, they'll hold a claim for the recently-seized throne, and may not have the political or military clout to take it back right away - resulting in this trope when they (or their descendants) finally DO return to claim the ancestral lands...
* RiskStyleMap: It's a ParadoxInteractive game.
* TheRival: Via random events characters may acquire rivals, with appropriate relationship penalties depending on your political relationship to each other. If one of your vassals is a rival of you, always be prepared for them turning on you, whatever their other traits or their loyalty. (They also get a nasty -3 to loyalty per month, meaning even quite loyal vassals can start sliding towards rebelllion.)
* RoyalInbreeding: Many players practice this as an eugenics program, to get positive genetic traits into their dynasty. In the second game, Zoroastrians have all restrictions to marriage with close kin wiped away, and get bonuses to vassal relations and piety for incestuous marriages. To keep Zoroastrian families from descending into inbred messes, their men are allowed to keep three concubines for non-inbred but legitimate children, and the game code discreetly cheats by making inbred traits 75% less likely for children of Zoroastrian marriages.
* RoyallyScrewedUp: This can happen, and when it does things get very interesting. And by ''interesting'' we mean civil wars and the attention of opportunistic neighbours.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Most rulers generally lead, or at least fight with, their own armies. It's especially important for Muslim rulers to actually do something, or else they risk looking weak and decadent.
* RulingCouple: Can happen when one character has a spouse who is also a ruler in their own right.
* RunningGag: One of the events that a character trying to improve his learning might get involves [[VideoGame/EuropaUniversalis sighting a comet]]. "So it's not an ill omen."
* SanitySlippage: If a character stays Stressed for too long, watch out...
* SchizophrenicDifficulty: Even if you're the most powerful ruler in Europe in theory, the power that you actually wield pretty much correlates to how much your vassals like and respect you. A massive, map-spanning empire can crumble away in less than a decade when the underlings decide to take the throne for themselves or jump ship altogether.
* ScrewTheRulesImBeautiful: The "attractive" trait gives a pretty big opinion bonus for any character who's sexually attracted to your gender. A beautiful queen can get away with a surprising amount of shit.
* SelfImposedChallenge: Kind of a given since the game is a WideOpenSandbox with no set victory conditions. Among them is trying to recreate certain actual historical occurrences, trying to convert all of Europe to some minor spin-off of Catholicism such as Catharism, and simply choosing to play as a very weak country.
* SevenDeadlySins: They have traits for all of them, as well as for the SevenHeavenlyVirtues.
** Crusader Kings II explicitly flags the deadly sins and heavenly virtues with numbered icons in red and green respectively.
* SheIsTheKing: While a secular female noble will have normal feminine titles, a female who is both a religious head and a countess/duchess (must receive the religious title first and requires Absolute Cognatic succession) will have the title of Prince-Bishop/Prince-Archbishop. If you then make her an Antipope, she'll become King-Bishop.
* SimulationGame: The focus on dynastic politics means that you'll spend a lot of time tracking personal relationships and trying to groom your heirs to be good leaders.
* SketchySuccessor: Another big threat. Having a poor leader who nonetheless can keep things stable isn't a big deal. Having a great king who was able to keep everyone in line, and then having him suddenly ''replaced'' by some blithering moron who seems to go out of his way to piss off his vassals and neighbors, can swiftly reduce a great empire to a series of warring duchies.
* TheSpymaster: You can appoint a vassal or courtier to serve as one, and a skilled one is an asset. You had better make damned sure they stay loyal to you, though, or they might become...
* TheStarscream: As mentioned below, disloyal vassals (particularly those with the Ambitious trait) are a bigger threat than almost anything outside your kingdom. Also, if the player character is anything less than a king, chances are the player themselves will be this. Characters with the "Realm Duress" trait will have all their vassals turn into TheStarscream. [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity inevitably ensues.]]
** ''Legacy Of Rome'' in the sequel makes it more severe: disloyal vassals will now form massive alliance chains with the sole objective of deposing you.
* StormingTheCastle: An extremely deadly strategy once you gained a numerical advantage (generally around 15 times greater than the garrison) which can melt down the garrison in days. [[HollywoodTactics Not so much if you do not have said advantage]].
* SuccessionCrisis: This and disloyal vassals are probably your greatest threats. Other kingdoms are a distant second, unless you're in the path of the Mongols...
** Speaking of the Mongols, this is how they're kept in check. Mongols have all sorts of bonuses such as no demesne limit, no attrition, and the incredibly powerful horse archer unit, which allow them to rampage through Europe with impunity. The only thing stopping them is that when the Khan kicks the bucket, his enormous realm is divided among his male children (which tend to be a lot), who promptly start fighting amongst themselves, making them much more manageable. There's a much-hated random event that forces the player to institute a similar system of succession or take severe penalties. (And don't think you can cheat and immediately change it back; you can only change your succession laws every 25 years...)
** The Imperial and Succession Laws of each Kingdom you rule in the sequel are tracked separately, leading to much potential succession trouble if you don't make their laws similar. There's also the Elective, Gavelkind, and Open succession laws, which are just asking for future wars.
** Played straight in the sequel, where heirs that are second and third in line gain claims on the throne and become pretenders. If these pretenders are powerful and well-connected landholders, the realm can quickly dissolve into civil war. The myriad of alliances created through marriages can even drag powerful foreign realms into the crisis, creating a full-scale succession war, the likes of which become the stuff of history textbooks.
** If nothing else, your vassals will often decide to revolt as soon as the new king is crowned, mostly because of the "short reign" relationship penalty, particularly if said ruler is a child/woman/both.
* StupidEvil: You can raise your children to be cruel, slothful, envious, wrothful, greedy sons-of-bitches, but [[EvenEvilHasStandards your vassals will dislike such a ruler]] and several of the 'sinful' traits are rather bad stats-wise as compared to their virtuous counterparts.[[note]][[BatmanGambit Raising someone else's heirs to be cruel, slothful, envious, wrothful, greedy sons-of-bitches can potentially reap windfalls, however.]][[/note]] Also, there are several events where you can, for example, choose to torture some of your prisoners, but there's no actual benefit to that (unless you want someone dead or maimed) except ForTheEvulz.
* SuddenlySexuality: There is an event that causes characters to fall in love with members of the same sex, with the accompanying option [[EternalSexualFreedom to tolerate it]] or [[DeliberateValuesDissonance have the character banished]].
** In Crusader Kings II, even happily married 40-year-olds with children can discover [[HoYay strange urges]] when attending a tournament.
*** There's even an event in Crusader Kings II where a demonic creature (implied to be the Devil) can appear in the night and turn you gay.
* TakeAThirdOption: A character with sufficiently high stats may have a choice during a random event that wouldn't be available otherwise. Usually these are ways out of events that would otherwise hit you with a penalty no matter what you choose.
* TangledFamilyTree: Any dynasty that doesn't ruthlessly purge its heirs can start looking like this, as the sons and daughters start their own families that link with other families, creating webs of family connections. And that's just for Christians; Muslims add polygamy into the mix, pagans can take concubines whose children may be heirs to titles from anywhere at all, and Zoroastrians can not only take concubines, but there's that whole incest thing to mix everything up.
* TheTeutonicKnights: They make their first appearance crusading against the Baltic pagans.
* TheTheocracy: Any holding administrated by a bishop or other religious figure counts on the small scale, though they're often vassals to another, higher-ranked secular ruler. Popes, caliphs, ecumenical patriarchs, and religious leaders of the reformed pagan faiths are the more obvious high-ranking ones, and are often (but not always) independent.
* ThickerThanWater: Rulers who are members of the same dynasty are automatically allies, and they will frequently come to one another's aid when circumstances allow. Of course, this won't always stop them from trying to kill one another when one stands a chance of inheriting the other's titles, but then no family can be perfect.
* TreacherousAdvisor: If someone both holds a court position under you and doesn't like you very much, that's an almost-guaranteed recipe for trouble, as they'll be much more willing to join Plots against you and have quite a bit of Plot Power. If one of them is your Spymaster, you're basically just hanging a "Please Kill Me Quickly" sign around your neck.
* TurbulentPriest: See TheMissionary; this is what those characters become of you're one of the pagan rulers in question and you decide you're not going to tolerate them spreading their venomous lies. Within your own realm, Priests can be generally Turbulent in much the same way your secular vassals are.
* UnreliableNarrator: Especially in the case of traits like "Possessed", which might just as well describe an entirely mundane character trait or condition in modern times.
* UnwantedSpouse: Because of the way [[ArrangedMarriage alliance and marriage mechanics]] work, it's entirely possible to end up with a spouse who, while not exactly ''unwanted'', doesn't really bring much to the table as a person. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Fortunately]], [[MurderTheHypotenuse there are ways]] to [[UnusualEuphemism terminate]] [[DivorceRequiresDeath the marriage contract]] [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness once the desired alliance stops being beneficial]] - if you feel so inclined, of course.
** If you don't quickly marry off your children or others in your court, they can marry people on their own initiative. These do not come with alliances, and the woman in question may be a dribbling retard or a raving lunatic with many undesirable traits.
* UriahGambit: A perfectly valid (if unreliable) way of getting rid of uppity vassals, possible claimants to your titles and love rivals is to send them in battles where they may be wounded, slain or taken as prisoners. If they get captured by the enemy side, you can refuse to pay the ransom for their release, since they are unable to plan against you while imprisoned. There are no diplomatic penalties for doing these things, except the prestige malus you get if you actually lose battles in the attempt.
* VestigialEmpire: Say goodbye to the Empire of Byzantium [[note]]and welcome the Byzantine Empire of Russia![[/note]] (Unless it stops being vestigial.)
** To a lesser extent, the [[strike:Holy Roman Empire]] ''Kingdom of Germany'' as well.
** Tends to be averted (for both Byzantium and the Holy Roman Empire) in the sequel. A large part of this in the case of the HRE is the abolition of the Realm Duress mechanic (which used to result in the Kingdom of Germany routinely suffering complete implosion in the 1080s).
** More generally, you don't lose a title until it's taken by a rival claimant, usurped by whoever already holds most of its de jure lands, or you lose all of your lands. Even if the Byzantine Empire is reduced to Constantinople and surrounded by hostile Turks, so long as no one else has enough Byzantine land to declare itself Basileus, then Byzantium will remain an empire.
* VideoGameCaringPotential: Much, much more difficult than the alternative. Rebellious vassals mean that you are forced either to tyrannically crush dissidents or face part of your realm breaking away, and opportunistic states are a constant danger, meaning keeping the peace while maintaining order is on its own difficult. However, it is there. Keeping low taxes on your peasants and burghers, stubbornly sticking through thick and thin to popular law, gifting your vassals the money they need to develop their lands, (and even giving money to nobles outside your kingdom if you have provided all that your developing kingdom needs) caring and nurturing your offspring and ensuring they are provided for, and even vassalising a state which has been attacked by a larger one and paying for its preservation via tribute to the attacker... it's possible to be nice. It's just not easy.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Pretty intensive. You start playing and then after a few hours of gameplay you realize you've been spending most of your time and effort assassinating six-year-olds so that your literally-idiot nephew can inherit the throne of Bavaria.
** Among other things. This game is essentially to FourX games what ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' is to city management sims, both in complexity and cruelty potential.
*** It is absolutely amazing how much murder, imprisonment, and disinheriting one can find themselves doing in the sequel when trying to get a female successor.
*** The ''Legacy Of Rome'' expansion allows Byzantine nobles to have their opponents ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_mutilation_in_Byzantine_culture blinded and castrated]]'' in order to remove them from the succession.
**** In case of castration there is even a [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything separate message]], if the [[WouldHurtAChild player's]] victim is a child: "[[YouBastard You]] have the boy castrated and turned into a eunuch. [[BlackComedy You're a real piece of work, aren't you?]]".
*** "[[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?585174-How-I-engineered-a-Catholic-Papal-Invasion-CB-on-the-Byzantine-Empire How I engineered a Catholic Papal Invasion CB on the Byzantine Empire]]." Summarized best by the original poster himself: "When the Pope likes a King too much to let you invade him, manufacture one that he won't."
* VideoGameHistoricalRevisionism: Inevitable, and as usual for Paradox the extent to which it applies is a topic of debate. One major deviation, however, falls under AcceptableBreaksFromReality since it would be something of a GameBreaker. When a Mongol Great Khan died, all other Mongol military activity was to cease and the leaders were obliged to return with their armies to Mongolia to see the "election" of the successor. Historically, this was the only thing saving Western Europe from annihilation when Ogedei Khan died in 1241. This rule does not apply to the Mongols in either ''Crusader Kings''.
** In particular, the fact that some of Yemen's rulers in earlier start dates are ''completely fictional'' has attracted controversy.
* VillainProtagonist: We call them "successful rulers."
* WarriorPrince: See RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething above. Those with high Martial scores and the right set of traits or acquired skills tend to be particularly good at it, though.
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: Vassals can band together in an alliance against their liege for various petty reasons. However, vassals will do this even if they are being invaded by a larger outside threat, such as the Mongols.
** In Crusader Kings II, vassals can now found factions, demanding stuff like independence, lower Crown Authority, Elective Succession or something similar. It is not uncommon for a large realm to have a dozen different factions, which, however, only have one or two members each and thus do not revolt yet.
* WeHaveReserves: The AI for some reason thinks its funny to send soldiers that just spent a month marching and retreating back into battle, no matter how many times they have already been smacked down.
** It does this because there is always a chance that if you are besieging a province, an attacking army will manage to interrupt the siege and set it right back to square one. If you're defending or have beaten off an invading AI opponent they will hang back and let mounting debt and attrition, [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard the first of which they don't suffer from,]] weaken the player instead.
** The Mongols in the sequel both subvert this trope and force the player to use it: Mongols do not suffer attrition, but can't reinforce their units. Therefore, the only way to beat them is to basically send every soldier you have against them until there aren't any Mongols left.
* WonTheWarLostThePeace: Out of the four eras covered by Paradox (this game, EuropaUniversalis, VictoriaAnEmpireUnderTheSun and HeartsOfIron) the first game is the easiest game for conquering the entire map; with a decent start (England, say) you can do it in two generations. It is also the game where revolutions are the most dangerous; you can easily lose the entire thing as vassals rebel against you in vast quantities during a SuccessionCrisis or realm duress event. Even if you have claimed the entire map, holding it and trying to build a stable, united super-kingdom is a game in and of itself. Equally, in the second game you can easily win a war, ignoring some small civil disturbance down south, and then march back home to deal with it only to gaze in horror as that tiny rebellion has flourished into a multi-duke plot against your throne, and your exhausted army has no means of dealing with it...
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Crusader Kings I]]
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Some inheritance rules (based on either Salic or Semi-Salic Consanguinity) favour the son with the highest martial score rather then the eldest (Primogeniture). This was taken out in the second game.
* ArtificialStupidity: The game has no clue how to deal with the movement paths of armies, which make for some interesting detours.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Uses hues of the same colour to indicate ownership of different realms.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Computer factions never go into debt, so they're able to keep their armies fully mobilised at all times, and are always able to pay the transport fee over bodies of water, leading to interesting things like the Sultanate of Oslo and the Emirate of Wessex.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: Played straight here. Even when Muslims were made playable with the ''Deus Vult'' expansion, there wasn't really much difference between them and the Christians, mechanically speaking.
* DisabilitySuperpower: While carrying hefty martial and lesser stewardship and health penalties, blind characters get a bonus to their diplomacy and intrigue.
* GameFavoredGender: In the original, only men can ever inherit -- women can only gain titles by being directly granted them, and are primarily useful for marrying off or supporting your rulers. This actually ''isn't'' TruthInTelevision for the period, [[RealityIsUnrealistic but most people probably think it is.]]
* InSpiteOfANail: There aren't many fixed historical events, but those that are tend to happen no matter what else occurs. For instance, TheTeutonicKnights will be eventually formed even if the Crusades fail and the Baltic is already converted.
* YouALLLookFamiliar: Played straight in the first game, in that there are only so many individual portraits for each culture.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Crusader Kings II]]
* AbductionIsLove: Subverted. Certain pagans will abduct female courtiers when they sack settlements, and the rulers have the option of taking them on as concubines -- even if they're already married to someone else. However, this carries hefty opinion penalty, ensuring she will hate her abductor. It's possible for the "Fell in Love" event to happen between a ruler and their stolen concubine, but the event is bugged, and treats that concubine as an illegitimate mistress in related sub-events.
* AerithAndBob: Expanded upon from the original game significantly:
** The second game lets players choose the name of his/her character's newborn children, so one can either avoid this trope or intentionally cause it.
** In addition, there is a random chance for the child to be named for a parent or grandparent ''from both sides of the family''. This means that if you give a character a silly name, chances are it will spread.
** Some cultures follow a given name plus fathers name with adjective for their full name (with their dynasty name being left out but considered a part of their longer name). Combined this with the parental name sharing aspect mentioned before and this can result in such things as Bob Johnson with a son named John Bobson or even Bob Bobson.
*** [[TruthInTelevision Not that this is unusual in, for instance, Iceland.]]
* AlienSpaceBats: The 'Sunset Invasion' DLC for ''Crusader Kings 2'' involves the Aztecs invading Europe in the 13th century. [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/content.php?1153-Crusader-Kings-II-Sunset-Invasion-Announced Yes, really.]] Although reaction has been mixed since it goes well beyond the usual alternative history of the games, from a gameplay standpoint, it balances out the fact that Western Europe rarely has to worry about the arrival of the various Hordes in the east which can decimate eastern nations.
* AllThereInTheManual: Of a sort - if a character has a [[HistoricalDomainCharacter basis in historical records]] and has a Wikipedia entry, the game allows you to click an external link to go ''to'' that entry.
** ''Which'' wiki it points to is moddable, so total conversions and {{Game Mod}}s can have links to [[TheWikiRule the relevant wiki]].
* AmbitionIsEvil: The 'ambitious' trait gives characters a nice boost to your character's stats, but it also gives them a major relations malus with their liege, making them prone to revolt.
** Which ''can'' be circumvented if ''[[KlingonPromotion you]]'' [[KlingonPromotion are the liege...]]
* TheAntichrist: There's an event chain in ''Sons of Abraham'' recreating TheOmen which may end up in you ''playing'' as the spawn of Satan himself and ruling a dark, unholy kingdom, backed up by the forces of TheHecateSisters of [[ClassicalMythology Circe]], [[KingArthur Morganna]] and [[Literature/TheBible Jezebel]].
* AppealToForce: The Faction system allows angry vassals to gang up on their ruler and force him to change "The Rules" to their liking if they can beat their liege in a rebellion.
** Usually, the demands will include either a change in [[SuccessionCrisis Succession Law]] or [[AuthorityInNameOnly Lower Crown Authority]])
* ArtifactTitle: Zig-zagged. The [[DownloadableContent DLCs]] for the second game allow you to play as [[PerspectiveFlip a heathen]] or [[TheRepublic a plutocrat]], and even the original game allowed you to play as a non-royal noble, a non-Crusading Orthodox ruler, or [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a woman]]. However, there's plenty of kings going on crusades throughout most of the game, even if you're not one of them. Furthermore, non-Catholic religions get their own means of waging holy war on unbelievers. Finally, said heathens and plutocrats are only available to the player if they decided to spring for the DLC; those who choose only to play the base game only have access to Christian feudal lords, as was the case in the original game.
* ArtificialStupidity: The AI has no clue how to deal with the Decadence system for Muslim rulers in Crusader Kings II. As such, most of the larger Muslim dynasties have a nasty tendency to implode if left in the hands of the AI for too long.
** Because of its BackFromTheBrink nature, there are very few [[{{UsefulNotes/Zoroastrianism}} Zoroastrian nobles]] in the game. Nobles marrying courtiers get huge hits to Prestige, and the AI tries its best to avoid such marriages. In addition, the Zoroastrian AI prefers to set up [[IncestIsRelative marriages to close relatives]] for the boost to vassal relations. The result: it's difficult to ignore the incest when your landed son constantly asks for betrothals to his eight-year-old sisters [[WifeHusbandry (who he may or may not be educating)]].
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Differs from the first game significantly; in the sequel, the "Invasion" ''[[PretextForWar casus belli]]'' works like this. Essentially, you petition the Pope/Ecumenical Patriarch/Caliph/other relevant religious authority to sanction an ass-kicking to steal someone else's title. If succeeded you will get a strong claim on the target, this is exceptionally powerful because the claim can be a regal or even imperial one and typically you only get a ducal claim at best; This however only works if you're smaller than the target, or you have a corresponding weak claim already. If the invasion is successful you even get a nickname for it!
** The Adventurer system and Peasant Rebellions also allows for unlanded title claimants to amass their personal army to invade you for land.
** And Pagan rulers from The Old Gods DLC can invade any single province that borders their lands and claim it without giving a hoot for any of this "legal basis" business. The Norse can do this to any non-Pagan coastal province.
* AuthorityInNameOnly: The sequel introduces the concept of "Crown Authority" which measures how much power a king holds over the nobility - A king with little or no crown authority can't even revoke vassal titles or prevent nobles from waging independent wars.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Crown Authority mechanic encapsulates this trope. The higher it is, the better a ruler is able to keep his vassals in line, preventing them from launching independent wars, attacking one another (overtly), or passing their titles to another ruler's vassal by inheritance when they die.
* BarbarianHero: ''The Old Gods'' introduces adventurers, who can be both significant threats and potential allies.
* TheBeard: An event chain in the sequel deals with rumors about your character being a closet homosexual. You can then choose to embrace them and [[ComingOutStory become a homosexual]], or prove them wrong by [[HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday visiting several brothels]] [[RatedMForManly and becoming a "whoremaster"]].
* BelligerentSexualTension: Crusader Kings II has an event chain that starts with a neighbour complaining, potentially followed by you sending roses, potentially followed by romance.
* TheBerserker: If your character is a [[HornyVikings Viking]], he can become one in battle and gain a trait for it. This gives his martial skill a substantial boost.
* BigFancyHouse: Patricians in ''The Republic'' get a family palace that is treated as a completely separate holding from those that are on the map. Like any other holding, it can be upgraded to provide bonuses to income, levies, and other areas.
* BillBillJunkBill: Played with in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kX5ggw5AIU "Sloth"]] live action trailer for Crusader Kings II.
* BlackVikings: The strictest interpretation is [[SelfImposedChallenge technically]] [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=83133&d=1371182597 possible]] as of ''The Old Gods''. Even in the base game, though, it's possible for a character to inherit his name, culture, and religion from his native-born father but his looks from his exotic-born mother. Displaced courtiers will also try to find a court that's most similar to their own culture and religion, which is usually fairly nearby but can end up being quite far afield indeed. For instance, Abyssinian Miaphysites ending up in Greece or Asia Minor [[CurbStompBattle after the Fatimids steamroll their corner of the world]].
* BrickJoke:
** There's an event chain which begins with a neighbour boring you and sending envoys asking for money, and you can nail the envoy's hat on his head or send roses to him. If you nail the hat, you become an impaler and makes everyone around mad at you, with an option at the end of the chain saying something along the lines of "Perhaps I should begin planting roses?"
** In one of the Improve Intrigue event chains, you can frame a nobody for jewellery theft. Thirty years of in-game time later, your ruler will suddenly wake up in the night and realize the man is still in the dungeons for a crime he didn't commit, and will rush to the dungeons to let him out after a nightmare, while your character takes a hit to their piety.
* CastOfSnowflakes: Due to a more random generation system, characters in CKII are more individualised as compared to [[YouAllLookFamiliar the first game]]. furthermore, portraits change in relation to traits (battle scars, boils) or when characters are assigned jobs. Marshals and army leaders wear helmets and armor, dukes wear golden tiaras outside of battle, spymasters wear hoods, [[EyeScream blinded characters have dark, ugly voids where their eyes once sat]], and so on.
* ChaoticStupid: The Arbitrary trait is described as a character that cares little for right and wrong, and choosing things almost at random (it is represented by a six sided die). It also comes with a decent drop in vassal's opinions and stewardship. A lunatic, on the other hand, will do extremely random things (such as assigning their horse to a the council) and your vassals will LOATH you for it.
* ColourCodedForYourConvenience: Crusader Kings II uses different hues of the same colour to indicate similarity in its various map modes. On the political map mode, the Iberian Christian kingdoms for example share similar shades of yellow and red, while their Muslim neighbors are green. Similarly in ''De Jure'' Duchies mode, all English, French and German duchies are coloured in different shades of red, blue and white, respectively. The Kingdom of Burgundy is ... [[CaptainObvious well, guess]].
** For the Religion map mode, Shi'a and Sunni Muslim are represented by similar but distinct shades of green, while Orthodox Christianity is purple and Catholicism is in white. Heresies have differing shades from their mother religions.(Fractelli is light brown, while Cathar is light blue). Realms with different religions from their liege have strips across them.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: [[TheHorde The Mongols]] have giant armies that completely ignore supply limits, thus allowing them to concentrate in unbeatable numbers, while the player cannot counter this due to still being limited by supplies.
** Justified, since the ability of nomadic tribes to live off the land is one of their main advantages over more "civilized" nations.
** During native uprisings, the AI is regularly able to levy armies ten to twenty times larger than the player is allowed to get out of their own territories.
* TheComputerIsALyingBastard: Due to the relatively simple algorithm the game uses to determine the advertised difficulty levels of various starting options, and factors it doesn't consider, what it says is the easiest possible start to the game... isn't. It calculates it as such because you start with a large empire with a strong power base... but neglects to factor in that you're playing an elderly, weak ruler with loyalty issues among his vassals, and at least one costly civil war is effectively inevitable shortly after starting.
* TheConqueror: Any character who presses an Invasion claim can receive this nickname if he wins (and he'll deserve it, since winning an invasion involves conquering an entire kingdom in one go). They may also be a YoungConqueror, depending on their age.
* CosmeticallyDifferentSides: Averted as of the DLCs in the second game:
** ''Sword of Islam'', as Muslims have their own mechanics, such as decadence and polygamy;
** ''Legacy of Rome'', which made the game slightly different for Greek and Orthodox characters;
** ''The Republic'', which adds special mechanics for Patrician families in [[TheRepublic merchant republics]];
** ''The Old Gods'', which adds new mechanics for the now playable pagan nations, including raiding;
** ''Sons Of Abraham '', adding new features to '''all''' of the Abrahamic religions ''and'' adding Judaism to the mix.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Sufficiently strong pagan rulers can, under the right circumstances, reform their respective faiths, creating an organized religion with a formal priestly hierarchy and written holy texts. It's implied that these reforms are inspired by contact with and directly patterned after the Christian and Islamic religious bodies.
* DefensiveFeintTrap: In the sequel, this is the Altaic cultures' signature tactic, "Retreat and Ambush." It's widely considered one of the most powerful tactics in the game.
* DefiledForever: A subtle example -- married courtiers are not exempt from pagan concubinage, and being taken as a concubine cancels the marriage automatically.
* DarkHorseVictory: There's an achievement for conquering England as Svend II of Denmark, a somewhat more obscure monarch who also had a claim on the throne, rather than William of Normandy or Harald of Norway.
* DeathOfTheOldGods: Unreformed pagans are more easily converted by Abrahamic missionaries, have a harder time of winning converts of their own from those religions, and are very prone to splintering amongst themselves. If no single leader arises to reform a given pagan faith into an organized religion, it's quite likely that that faith will wither away under the pressure of holy wars and missionaries.
* DeliveryStork: Used as a short-hand to indicate that a particular character is pregnant.
* TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything:
** Mechanics also exist for immortal characters.
** Since the historical archives go back so far, TheProphetMuhammad is listed in the database. If you look at his character sheet, however, his portrait is [[HeWhoMustNotBeSeen blocked out]], the only portrait in the game to have this property.
** If you only read the drop down when [[StartMyOwn using the Liege Creator DLC]], you would think that being openly (well, as openly as medieval times allow for) homosexual is purely a penalty to the diplomacy stat. Well, it does more than just that. Most people will dislike you for being homosexual... except other homosexuals who will like you better. This opinion bonus also stacks with attractive...
** The act of offering up Native Americans as human sacrifice during a blót has its own special flavor text, even though it is a rather unlikely event.
** The [[VideoGame/CrusaderKingsIIGameOfThronesMod ''Game Of Thrones'' mod]] itself is an increasingly detailed model of Westeros, including "unlucky" modifiers for ruling [[HauntedCastle Harenhall]] (but only if Harrenhall was conquered with dragons) and negating the "Kinslayer" penalty if Stannis or Renly kill Cersei's children.
* DisabilitySuperpower: ''Averted so very hard'' in the sequel; where negative congenital character traits, such as being inbred or having dwarfism, generally lack a positive bonus. The same goes for negative Health traits, which will affect either your fertility (ability to make heirs) or stats.
* DownloadableContent: Crusader Kings II has two types of DLCs:
** "Bonus" cosmetic additions that add extra portraits, historical dynasty flags, unit sprites and music...
** ... [[ButWaitTheresMore And]] mini-expansions like ''Sword of Islam'' and ''Legacy of Rome'' which make Muslim rulers playable and add new gameplay mechanics for Orthodox rulers, respectively. Paradox kept its promise to add new features to the basic game so players won't be forced to buy the expansions, but this hasn't stopped [[BrokenBase some fans]] [[FanDumb from accusing Paradox of money-grubbing]].
* DuelingScar: In the sequel, it's possible to receive one in battle or a duel. It's shown on the character portrait and adds a small monthly prestige bonus.
* EasterEgg: Paradox Development Studio's main staff are in-game as landless Swedish courtiers.
* ExoticExtendedMarriage: Muslims can have a maximum of four wives. Pagans, Zoroastrians, and members of the three Indian religions get one wife and the option of multiple concubines, all of whose children are considered legitimate.
* ExpansionPackWorld: The patch that comes with ''Rajas of India'' extends the game map well to the East, including the entire Indian subcontinent and more of Siberia and the Central Asian steppes. Earlier expansions already extended the map southward into Africa, though on a much smaller scale.
* EyeScream: ''Legacy of Rome'' gives Byzantine emperors the option of putting out the eyes of captured pretenders.
** This feature also gets extended to all leaders with Greek culture.
* FeudingFamilies: Patrician families in ''The Republic'' can start long-running vendettas, complete with StarCrossedLovers.
* FourOneNineScam: You can be contacted by someone claiming to represent an Abyssinian prince. If you have the "Scholar" trait, you can reply by pointing out that the names in the message aren't Abyssinian.
* GambitPileup: Crusader Kings II introduced the ability for characters to form secret conspiracies to achieve some goal or another, called "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Plots.]]" It's pretty much inevitable that at least two are going to crash into each other sooner or later.
* GameBreakingBug: A King-Bishop is allowed to become the predicted next Cardinal, but is not allowed to become a Cardinal. Thus, if a King-Bishop becomes the predicted next cardinal (which is a distinct possibility due to the "secular power" modifier) he will prevent others from becoming Cardinals while himself never becoming a Cardinal, inevitably reducing the College to a tiny number.
* GameFavoredGender: CKII allows a male-biased inheritance law that allows women to inherit if no males are available for all non-Muslim cultures (''agnatic-cognatic''), and full female inheritance rights for the Basque culture and Cathar heresy (such as ''absolute primogeniture''). Even then, though, female rulers and/or heirs result in opinion penalties, which doesn't affect male rulers and/or heirs.
** Paradox ''did'' add female-preference inheritance in a later patch, but only for modders (by default, no realm starts with it and there's no way to switch to it). What is ''not'' moddable is that the default marriage is patrilineal (the children is of the father's dynasty), with a marriage being matrilineal having to be specifically chosen (and the AI prefers not to accept such marriage offers unless it directly benefits them).
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen[=/=]TheHighQueen: Pick your poison.
* GroinAttack: As of ''Legacy of Rome'', castration is an option for Byzantine emperors to inflict on their captured foes.
* HellGate: One chain of events in the sequel has an actual Gate to Hell open as a result of an earthquake, complete with wailing and gnashing of teeth. Fortunately, it's not too hard to close.
** Although it's not made entirely clear [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane whether it's a genuine gate to Hell or just a sinkhole seen through the lens of medieval superstition]].
* HelloInsertNameHere: You can name all your children in ''Crusader Kings II''. Since the AI often names children after their parents or grandparents, it is entirely possible to accidentally introduce a branch of the family who all name their children "[[EmbarrassingFirstName Poo Pants]] [[FailOSuckyname McTwat]]".
* HereditaryRepublic: While all Republics in ''The Republic'' DLC are elective, if you're good (and rich) enough, your family can just keep winning election after election with sufficient funding.
* HermitGuru: Indian princes can seek these out and try to lure them to their court to serve as advisors. It's often worth it, since said gurus often have ''very'' good stats.
* HopelessWar: This is what Harold Godwinson's defence of England is ''set up'' to look like during the conquest. He faces not only the larger army of William the Conqueror, but also Harald "[[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Hardruler]]" of Norway. Luckily, Harold has some very loyal vassals and a superb-rated spymaster.
** In Crusader Kings II, the sanest way to keep the throne as Harold Godwinson is to assassinate William the Bastard, since his claim on the English throne dies with him.
** Subverted in the early releases of Crusader Kings II, as the [[ArtificialStupidity AI for Harald Hardruler tended to be overly cautious when it could grind Harold Godwinson's army into the ground.]] In later releases the AI becomes much better at fighting this war and is more willing to assault holdings and attack Harold's army directly.
* HornyVikings: ''The Old Gods'' lets you take control of a selection of Norse warlords during the height of the Viking invasions of Western Europe.
* HotConsort: Your spouse can have the "attractive" trait. The actual appearance of the character can sometimes subvert this--they might appear to be very beautiful or handsome, but various traits they possess will make them repulsive to everyone.
* HumanSacrifice: Employed by the Norse and the Aztecs.
* HuntingAccident: One of the potential assassination plots involves arranging one to happen to the victim, in good old medieval tradition.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Can happen if you run afoul of a character with the "impaler" trait.
* InformedAttractiveness / HollywoodHomely: The "Ugly" and "Attractive" character traits in CKII have no effect on the character's portrait, so these tropes can sometimes happen.
** [[FridgeBrilliance Because they are ]] ''[[FridgeBrilliance portraits]]'' [[FridgeBrilliance and not actual representations of said characters. Portraits can be embellished or vandalised.]]
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Patch 1.09 for the sequel introduces this system, with certain provinces and titles being renamed depending on the culture of their ruler. "Suomi" will become "Finland" under Swedish rule, for example.
** Individual cities and domains can also be renamed by the player who owns them, who can then invoke this trope, as well as {{Egopolis}}.
* JeanneDArchetype: An event chain in ''Sons of Abraham'' can put one in your court. They even get a special exemption to the prohibition of women being marshals and leading troops.
* KingmakerScenario: Rival claimants to a contested throne don't always have their own landed titles, so they'll often depend on the backing of a powerful noble within the realm to lead Factions to enforce their claims. These nobles frequently end up being Kingmakers both figuratively and literally, at least when their faction wins.
* KingOnHisDeathbed: Rulers who are rendered Incapable get a regent appointed on their behalf, with all the court intrigues and power plays that that implies. They also usually don't last very long.
* TheMagnificent: Characters in the sequel can gain monikers based on their traits and actions. These range from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin "The Great" and "The Holy"]] to [[TheCaligula "The Cruel"]] and [[TheAlcoholic "The Drunkard"]].
* TheMaidenNameDebate: In very rare cases, characters can arrange matrilineal marriages, whereby the groom and any children the union may produce are adopted into the bride's dynasty instead of belonging to his own.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: The goal of any "Murder Character X" plot.
* MerchantCity: ''The Republic'' makes several of these playable...
** MerchantPrince: ...and allows players to become one of these within the great merchant cities of (among others) Italy and the Hanseatic League.
* MessianicArchetype: If you reforge the Persian Empire as a Zoroastrian ruler in "The Old Gods", you can declare yourself [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saoshyant Saoshyant]], the Messiah foretold by Zoroaster himself, who will put the world to order before it ends. This will give you a huge relations bonus with Zoroastrian vassals, and a smaller one to your descendants (similar to how Muhammad's descendants get a bonus with Muslims). [[DarkMessiah Actual messianic character may vary.]]
* MischiefMakingMonkey: A pack of 'em can sometimes show up during the Diwali festival and cause all sorts of mayhem among the guests.
* NobleFugitive: You can invite claimants to other titles to your court. If they accept, you then have the option of fighting on their behalf, whether their claim is rightful or otherwise. Succeed, and you've won an ally for life.
** Alternately, they could serve in your court as one of your advisors, and you can marry them to your sons or daughters (matrilineally) have have their children in your dynasty inherit their claims.
* NonNaziSwastika: Appears as a crest for many Indian titles in ''Rajas of India''.
* ObligatorySwearing: A probably unintended example happens if you're playing a Finnish pagan. Since all references to divine figures in event flavour texts are replaced by pagan gods, one event has the possible response: "Thank Perkele [my child] isn't shy." Perkele was an alternate name for high god Ukko in pagan Finland, but in modern Finnish it's a swear word, equivalent to the English [[PrecisionFStrike "fuck"]]. The response becomes very humorous with this added context.
* PantheraAwesome: Indian rulers can organize tiger hunts. Killing one yourself gives your ruler a nice amount of prestige, but beware its claws...
* PassedOverInheritance: The second and third in line for a title get strong claims on that title when the heir inherits. Even if they aren't particularly ambitious themselves, other nobles may start factions on their behalf to put them on the throne, even without their express consent.
* {{Patronymic}}: A feature introduced in the sequel - characters from certain cultures (Scottish, Norse, etc.) gain their father's name after their own.
* PermanentElectedOfficial: Doges under the new mechanics for Republics are elected for life, not any set term like in modern representative republics.
* PressXToDie: Depressed characters can commit suicide from the Intrigue menu. This can actually be useful if your current character is iffy but your heir is good. You can also perform any number of tyrannical acts before offing yourself, allowing your heir, who remains blameless, to reap the benefits without the (very severe) penalties that normally follow.
* ThePromisedLand: As of ''Sons of Abraham'', it's possible for Jewish kingdoms to return to and restore the Kingdom of Israel.
* ProtectiveCharm: In ''Sons of Abraham'', you can buy a holy relic, which gives a major boost to your piety, can be paraded around to help pacify the peasants, and gets passed down to all future rulers. Of course, whether it actually ''is'' a relic (or at least whether you're willing to knowingly forge one) depends on how cynical you are.
* ProudWarriorRace:
** Unreformed Norse and Tengri pagan rulers are required to fight wars regularly in order to maintain their stability. The latter group includes the much-feared Mongol hordes (as if they needed incentive enough).
** Members of the Altaic culture group (including the infamous Mongols) have access to a Tribal Invasion ''casus belli'' which allows them to essentially launch wars for entire kingdoms whenever they want to, though they lose access to it if they become Christians.
** Muslims also fit. They have an Invasion casus belli of their own, and one of the best ways to reduce [[WeHaveBecomeComplacent decadence]] is to fight and conquer. The original idea for the religion was that it'd be immensely powerful when expanding but quickly weaken and fragment in times of peace; this isn't quite how it worked out.
* RapePillageAndBurn: Pagan rulers can launch raids against religious enemies for {{Plunder}} without explicitly declaring war first. This can net them an awful lot of gold in one go, as well as a female captive or two who can later be forced to become your ruler's concubine and bear him heirs.
* RebelLeader:
** As of ''The Old Gods'', even random peasant uprisings are now led by named characters (typically Lowborn) with whom you can interact. [[{{Realpolitik}} If said rebel is a co-religionist in a province led by a heathen, he can become your best friend.]]
** Earlier, ''Legacy of Rome'' introduced a Factions mechanic, allowing vassals to unite against their liege over some common grievance. When the faction finally makes its bid for power, the leader of the faction also leads the rebellion.
** ''Rajas of India'' further refines the Faction system by granting the Rebel Leader a temporary title of equal rank to his liege's, with the other faction members serving as his vassals for the duration of the conflict.
* [[spoiler: RobinHood]]: A secret event chain in the sequel deals with this famous brigand and you have a chance of playing the legend straight or trying to subvert it.
* RegentForLife: The sequel introduces regencies for underage rulers, and sometimes regents won't give up on their power so easily.
* RegimeChange: In the sequel, you can press the claims of anyone in your court against any other title. If it's a lower-tier title and you win the claim war, the new holder usually becomes your vassal; if it's the same level as yours or higher and independent / under the same liege, it translates to an automatic alliance.
* RoyalHarem: Muslim rulers get multiple marriages, while Zoroastrians, pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains get concubines to go along with their one legal wife. All children from a Muslim father are considered legitimate, unlike those produced by mistresses in Christian nations. Children of concubines are equivalent to legitimized bastards.
* SelfImposedChallenge: Any of the hardest starts in the game (Generally considered to be, in order: Satrap Vandad of the Karen Satrapy in the Old Gods start, Isaac, Duke of Khazars, a Jewish vassal to the Tengri Cumanians, and the Khan of Khazaria in the Old Gods start, who is also Jewish, but even harder to play as due to a lack of a liege to protect him).
* SexSlave: Pagan, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain rulers can take captive women as concubines and breed heirs upon them.
* ShownTheirWork: The amount of research put into history and genealogy in the sequel is incredible. One can find lists of Byzantine, Russian or German rulers dating back centuries to Constantine, Rurik and Charlemagne, including character traits and family relations. Even minor Irish counts can trace their family line all the way back to the fourth century, and the Papacy goes back to the third Pope, Anacletus, in ''AD 79!''
** ''Sword of Islam'' expands on this, giving Muslim characters the ability to observe Ramadan and go on pilgrimages to Mecca. Its main feature, the dynastic decadence system, is based on medieval Muslim historiography, especially as described in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqaddimah the Muqaddimah]].
* SillinessSwitch: ''Sunset Invasion'', [[OutsideContextVillain where Aztecs invade Europe]].
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The first two major [[DownloadableContent DLC packs]] were ''[[ArabianNightsDays Sword of Islam]]'', which made Muslims officially playable, and ''[[ByzantineEmpire Legacy of Rome]]'', which expanded the Byzantine Empire. The third was ''[[{{Mayincatec}} Sunset Invasion]]'', or the Aztec Invasion of Europe DLC. [[http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/showthread.php?643376-Crusader-Kings-II-Sunset-Invasion-Announced!&p=14551861&viewfull=1#post14551861 Much confusion ensued]].
* StartMyOwn: As of ''Sons of Abraham'', if a Fraticelli ruler captures Rome, they can install their own Fraticelli Pope as a religious head totally separate from the Catholic Pope. Likewise with Iconoclasts who hold Constantinople, for an Iconoclast Patriarch.
* TestosteronePoisoning: The EXTREME release trailer for ''The Old Gods'' practically runs on this. Witness it yourself [[http://youtu.be/Y53_GV2aAg8 here]].
* ThrownDownAWell: In the second game, you can throw prisoners into an oubliette if you want them to hurry up and die but can't or won't execute them yourself for whatever reason.
* TitleDrop: In the second game, there's a possible random event during the summer fair intrigue event where a wandering band of minstrels are playing in your fair. Your options to respond include requesting that they perform the play "The Crusader Kings".
* TokenYuriGirls: In CKII, there's a specific event where two wives in a Muslim ruler's harem end up following in love. You can choose to accept it, banish them, or execute them. In the later cases, there is the possibility they end up [[Film/ThelmaAndLouise driving over a cliff on a carriage together]].
* WhyWontYouDie: If you are an infant ruler who is unfortunate to have a regent who hates you, he may make an attempt on your life. You have a small to decent chance of surviving each assassination attempt as your regent encourages you to go for a stroll in the deep forest, chase pigeons off the roof, etc. and if you are so lucky, the final attempt on your life has your regent fail to cut your throat in the dead of night before being dragged away by your guards screaming "WHY WON'T YOU DIE?!"
* WineIsClassy: One of the upgrades for the Patrician's palace in ''The Republic'' is the Wine Cellar, which [[ButLiquorIsQuicker provides a boost to your characters' fertility]].
* WorldOfHam: The new 867 start date, being from a time ShroudedInMyth, inevitably seems like one to modern ears. Try saying [[RagnarLodbrokAndHisSons "The Sons of Ragnar"]] in a non-melodramatic fashion. Go on, just try it.
* WouldHurtAChild: Especially if you are behind said child in the line of succession. A plot to assassinate a child may get [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything special text]] involving hiring a maid to [[VorpalPillow suffocate the child in their bed]].
[[/folder]]

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