Video Game: Crusader Kings II Game Of Thrones Mod

Crusader Kings II: Game Of Thrones is a Game Mod for Crusader Kings II, set in the world of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Players will be able to start at various points in Westerosi history, starting from the year before Aegon I's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, to the Conquest itself, right up to the beginnings of A Clash of Kings and A Feast for Crows. It is still in beta (v0.9.5), but is very playable.

Discussions on the mod can be found here, and at its own sub-forum at Paradox's CK II forum (Paradox requires people who seek access to the mods sub-fora of their games' fora to register a product key for the relevant game).

This mod provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Many characters from canon have impressive stats, e.g. Varys, Tywin Lannister and Littlefinger.
  • Adaptational Badass: Cersei in the A Feast For Crows bookmark. In canon, Cersei was "only" the Queen Regent for her son. In the bookmark, she becomes the Lady Paramount of the Westerlands and Lady of Casterly Rock. This means having her own council and armies. Ironically, due to game mechanics, she cannot be Tommen's regent.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The mod also allows non-Westerosi factions to be played (e.g. the Free Cities of Essos & the Summer Islands), as well as lesser houses mentioned offhandly in canon (e.g. the Crakehalls, Reynes & Umbers).
  • A House Divided: When the Iron Throne is at war, the realm will fracture as the various Lords Paramount gain temporary independence. The Lords Paramount can either help their "former" liege in the war, remain neutral, or declare permanent independence by reviving the pre-Conquest Kingdom titles of their region (In the case of the Riverlands, they have the Kingdom of the Trident). Of course, there are also the many civil wars in canon.
  • Appeal to Force: If you have a dragon, "rights" and "claims" mean nothing and you can declare war wherever you please. Why? Because anyone who objects can take it up with your dragon. Just be careful, because even dragons can be killed.
  • Battle Couple: Daenerys and Young Griff in the last two bookmarks, if the player chooses so.
  • Badass Bookworm: Tyrion, being that he has the Scholar Trait.
  • The Brute: Ser Gregor Clegane, as per canon.
    • Dumb Muscle: His stats are 20 Martial, and zero for everything else.
    • Offstage Villainy: In most cases, you can only start after he did the horrible things he did in the books. If you start before then, then he probably won't do those things.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • From the A Feast For Crows bookmark, we have Edmure Tully. He's already lost the Lord Paramountcy of the Riverlands, and more often than not, Riverrun is wrested from him as well and granted to Littlefinger. To say nothing of what happened to him in canon...
    • From the A Clash Of Kings bookmark, we have Joffrey. Lousy stats, just about everyone important to him holding the Iron Throne hates him. His marriage to Sansa also brings no alliance to the table, as Robb is warring against him as well. This makes it all the more impressive if you can survive while playing as him.
  • Celibate Hero: Ludwin, Brienne, and Hodor all have the celibate trait. The Night's Watch, The Maesters, and the Septons try to invoke this by preventing their followers from marrying.
  • Childby Rape: Tyrion Tanner, Lolly Stokeworth's bastard in the Feast of Crows bookmark. Craster's daughter wives also count as this. Also the children born from Salt Wives and Slave Concubines (or at least the ones who hate their owners). Also, see Prison Rape below.
  • Cool Sword: Valyrian steel swords, which provide bonuses to characters' martial and personal combat abilities. As in canon, certain families start with their own, with names and histories, while still others can recover swords that were historically lost; the remainder can go on quests to yield "generic" (though no less awesome) swords.
  • Cross Over: If the player plays the Mod while the Sunset Invasion DLC is active, there is the possibility that Aztecs might show up.
  • Defiled Forever: If a character is raped (see Prison Rape below), his or her spouse will hate the rapist. However, if a child is conceived by this rape, than the spouse of the victim will treat it like the bastard was born from consensual infidelity.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The mod is an increasingly detailed model of Westeros, including "unlucky" modifiers for ruling Harrenhal (but only if Harrenhal was conquered with dragons) and negating the "Kinslayer" penalty if Stannis or Renly kill Cersei's children.
  • Dream Team: Daenerys and Young Griff in the A Feast For Crows bookmark. You can put the Golden Company, the Unsullied, the courts of both characters and the lords of the Stormlands together in one team. Oh, and dragons. Three of them. To add to the fun, Doran Martell is highly likely to add Dorne to the list.
  • Deus ex Machina: During the event to get a Valyrian steel sword, you get attacked by pirates. Normally you have to either fight them (which triggers a duel), flee (which is unlikely to succeed) or ram them (success depends on the ship you chose to construct). However, if you have the Chosen By R'hllor trait, you can simply pray to The Lord Of Light and he will literally blow up the enemy ships.
  • Did You Just Slay a Dragon?: If an army is lead by a dragon rider, then there is a slim chance of the opposing army killing that dragon. If this happens, the character who did it will actually get the trait "Dragonslayer".
  • Dwindling Party: The Starks and Baratheons are prone to this.
    • During Robert's Rebellion, only Eddard, Benjen and Lyanna are around.
    • In A Clash of Kings, Renly, Stannis and his daughter Shireen are the only Baratheons left.
  • Fix Fic: If you start in the Robert's Rebellion bookmark, and somehow Robert Baratheon not only survives but also succeeds in overthrowing the Targaryens, then it is almost assured that Lyanna will not only be alive but will be able to marry Robert after the war. Think about what that means. After losing his father and his brother, Ned is able to save his sister's life. Robert will marry the love of his life and will probably keep his act together. The Lannisters will never work their way into King's Landing via a marriage to Cersei. Joffrey will never be born, and won't execute Ned. The whole civil war that takes up most of the series will never have even happened. Can you say Happily Ever After?
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Can be either invoked or defied in one event. If your lover gets pregnant, she will ask you if you want her to drink moon tea (which is the Wesetros version of Plan B). You can either tell her to, or you can ask her not to. The option asking her not to literally says "Would you kill my unborn child?"
  • Gender Is No Object: While female rulers suffer some opinion penalties, as long as the succession laws allow for it, women can be granted or inherit titles. A stark contrast from canon when it comes to Westeros (outside of Dorne), although most locations still have male-preference succession at the very least by default.
  • The Good King: Robert Baratheon immediately after defeating Mad King Aerys; if he manages to save Lyanna, then he'll probably stay that way.
  • Great Offscreen War: In addition to the conflict at the heart of the books and series proper, the mod also allows you to start from many other pivotal events mentioned in the backstory as well, from the Bleeding Years and Aegon's Conquest all the way up to Robert's and the Greyjoy's Rebellions.
  • Haunted Castle: Harrenhal, if starting after the War of Conquest bookmark. Being burned to near-ruins means the holder of Harrenhal gets a hidden "unlucky" modifier.
  • Hero of Another Story: Due to the limitations of the game engine, characters who do not have any land or titles are not playable despite their importance in canon (e.g. Arya and Brandon Stark).
  • Hot Consort: A literally hot one in Daenerys if she gets married in the last two bookmarks.
  • Informed Attribute: For all their cunning and subversive actions in canon, if Varys and Littlefinger have a high opinion of you, you are generally safe from being a target of their schemes.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: If the bookmark/date chosen happens after dragons have largely died out, hatching dragon eggs and becoming a dragon rider is awesome. Bannermen (vassals) have a higher opinion of a dragonrider, and dragonriders can declare wars which force an independent ruler to bend the knee just because they have dragons. And most importantly, the player might be the only dragonrider in existence.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Depending on the timing, the player can easily find a young Olenna Redwyne, Brynden Tully or even Maester Aemon. Conversely, they can also see how beautiful folk (e.g. Rhaegar, Cersei and Daenerys) would look like in old age.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Even if Joffrey wins the war, it is still virtually assured that he will get assassinated (usually by a Martell).
  • Last Stand: There is an example of this trope before the game even begins. The loading screen shows a dragon standing on the ground, about to breath fire and burn an entire army to a crisp. Is the army fleeing? No: they're staying and attacking the dragon despite there being no way whatsoever to kill it.
  • Legally Dead:
    • If you look in the Stark Family tree, you will find an ancestor named Brandon The Shipwright. He has a trait saying that he went missing and is presumed dead. This is a Shout-Out to how he tried to cross the Sunset Sea in the books and presumably drowned. Since he lived two thousand years before the first bookmark, he is probably dead now.
    • Likewise, Arya Stark is also missing in the A Clash of Kings scenario, and Arya, Bran, and Rickon in the A Feast for Crows one. Unlike Brandon the Shipwright, there's a small chance that they might actually reappear under the right circumstances.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: A valid way to let your enemies wear each other out before mopping them up.
    • In the A Feast For Crows bookmark, Tommen can and should allow Stannis and Young Griff to tear each other up.
  • The Load:
    • The Riverlands is this to Robb Stark in the A Clash Of Kings bookmark. Tywin can win the war easily by besieging provinces in the area. Due to game mechanics, Robb can potentially lose his war without even fighting a battle.
    • Unsurprisingly, Joffrey is this to Tywin in the same bookmark. Often, it boils down to which load weighs down which side first.
  • Made a Slave: Depending on your realm's crown law settings regarding the practice of slavery, it is possible to not only buy slaves, but also to enslave anyone in your dungeon who does not own land.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings:
    • The Stark family has six children.
    • Lets not forget Craster and Lord Frey, both of whom have an absurd amount of children.
    • The mod even includes the ambition to have five children.
  • Mle Trois: Starting from the A Clash of Kings bookmark, it is literally possible to have five "kings". See Mythology Gag below.
  • Mythology Gag: The mod is based on the books and not the series, but Talisa Maegyr does exist as a daughter of one of the ruling families of Volantis and her appearance and traits match those of the series-original character.
    • While the War of the "Five" Kings is technically a misnomer (only four active at any point in the conflict), the A Clash of Kings bookmark adds a fifth king as the scenario proceeds, in the form of Young Griff.
  • Nonindicative Name:
    • The A Feast For Crows bookmark contains plotlines from A Dance with Dragons, as both books are contemporary to each other.
  • Off the Rails: Pretty much a given, though the player can seriously screw things up if they so wish. For example, assassinating Hoster Tully as Ned Stark, and then pressing Cat's claim on the Riverlands, thus allowing Robb to become Lord Paramount of the North and the Trident when he inherits titles from his parents.
  • Original Character: Since the player's actions can and do alter the game world in serious ways, there's a good chance that they, and other characters, will not have the same children that the cast did in canon. There's also a number of pregenerated OCs, who fill in the blank spots in each house's history (since we don't know the name of every Stark at Winterfell for instance). Finally, the Ruler Designer DLC for the base game can be used with the mod to create your own character to replace one of the canon ones from the very start.
  • Out of Character:
    • As the King, you can knight Sandor Clegane.
    • As Ned Stark, you can legitimize Jon Snow.
    • Giving Tyrion the honorary title of Court Dwarf actually improves his opinion of the king.
    • As Joffrey Baratheon, you can actually be somewhat competent.
  • Out of Focus: The Others are not featured in the gameplay, despite being the ultimate source of terror in canon.
    • As of a recent patch they have a chance of appearing during harsh winters.
  • Palette Swap: Jon Snow and Young Griff look identical, but with different colored hair. Likely a reference to the popular theory of Jon's parentage from canon.
  • The Plague: More common than in canon, though it depends on the mood of the game engine. Individual characters can also get pneumonia (not mentioned in canon) or just a generic illness.
  • The Pioneer: There are multiple abandoned provinces which are only ruled by ruins. If you have enough money (and they are really expensive), then you can colonize the Provence. Your colony will only succeed if you make the right decisions and sink enough money into it.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Whichever facts the canon is silent on (e.g. unnamed sons and daughters of the various lords and kings), the developers fill in the gaps in ways that fit the spirit of the series (e.g. generate names that fits the style of the houses). In a number of cases (such as much of eastern Essos), some things have been made up almost whole-cloth simply because the game engine needs something concrete to work with in order to make that part of the world function.
  • Prison Rape: If you hold a character as prisoner, and if that character is the right gender for your orientation, and if you do not have the kind, honest, or honorable traits, than you do have the ability to invoke this trait and force yourself on prisoners. Doing so automatically results in you getting the cruel trait or the ruthless trait (depending on which one you don't already have), and in both the character and said character's spouse hating you (-60 opinion). The opinion modifier is literally called "forced yourself upon me/my wife".
  • Railroading: Generally averted.
  • Really Gets Around: One of the ambitions your character can get is to "make the eight," i.e. to sleep with one woman from each of the Seven Kingdoms (plus the Riverlands).
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: If you play as any of the Good Masters of Astapor during the Clash of Kings bookmark, than seven minutes into the game you will get an event stating that Daenarys used her dragon to sack the city and killed all the good masters. This automatically kills you and turns Astapor into a kingdom, meaning game over. And no, not agreeing to trade all of your unsullied for one of the untamed dragons is not an option.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Targaryens have a special mechanic simulating the dreaded "Coin Flip of the Gods": there's a 50% chance of a Targaryen, born incestuously, getting the "lunatic" trait. The Seven/Old Gods/R'hllor help you if he/she is first in line to succession.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: There are tons.
    • If you are playing as one of the Starks, you might want to keep the family together during the War of Five Kings.
    • Conversely, you might try to play as Mad King Aerys and prevent the Targaryens from losing the throne.
    • If you are playing as Littlefinger, then you will try to marry Catelyn at some point.
    • In game, some of the ambitions your character can pick seem like this, such as: obtaining a Valyrian steel sword; obtaining a dragon egg; and sleeping with a woman from each of the Seven Kingdoms, among others. All of these are actual ambitions your character can pick.
    • Speaking of dragon eggs, you are going to find yourself attempting to become a dragon rider at some point in the game. This is just an inevitability.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: You can potentially knight your sons who are otherwise unqualified to be knights under certain conditions, at the cost of prestige. Oh, and you can knight your wife and daughters as well.
  • Sex Slave: It is possible to buy one in places where slavery is legal. Followers of the Drowned God can also take "salt wives" while on raids.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Your courtier may come forward with claims that your heir is a bastard, to which you may respond, "Ah yes, a 'bastard'" and dismiss that claim.
    • Self-Referential Humor: The ShoutOuts to the source material from the vanilla game? Still here:
      • "[Girl] was supposed to work on her embroidery, but she clearly favors another kind of Pin." note 
      • With regards to an event of a child discovering you and your lover - One of the options is "The things I do for love."note 
      • Another related event involves disciplining a child who insists on climbing the old tower. note 
    • When you make it your ambition to find a Valyrian Sword, you will get a chain of events. One of the events in the chain is choosing who to bring along, it is called, for example, The Fellowship of House Baelish.
    • Also on the quest for a Valyrian Sword, you might get attacked by pirates. The Pirate is Captain Spack Jarrow.
    • A character with the Lunatic trait may have a random encounter with a group of Drowned God worshipers, who recruit the player to help with their invocation. Completing the ritual kills the character; stopping it gives an event referencing the climax of The Call of Cthulhu and the "Godslayer" trait, which gives a substantial boost to their Martial stat!
    • In The Reach, there is one provence called The Ring. During the Bleeding Years bookmark, The Lord of The Ring is Saron. Likewise, the island of Oakenshield is ruled by a man named Durin in the same period.
    • The names of Dragons are randomly generated, but two of those names are Toothless and Smaugon.
    • There's a minor holding in Dorne named Shady Sands.
  • Shown Their Work: For starters, the developers actually edited game portraits so that the portraits for many characters looked close to how Martin described them in canon. In short, if you have difficulty visualising the terrain and locations found in canon, this mod helps immensely.
  • Silliness Switch: Again, the Aztecs from Sunset Invasion if you have the DLC. But with dragons.
  • Something We Forgot: Normally when you go on a quest for a Valyrian Steel Sword, the result is that you get a bar of Valyrian steel which you can reforge into a generic sword. If you are playing as a Lannister however, you instead discover Bright Roar which was the sword their ancestor lost long ago.
  • Slave Mooks: One possible building available to slave-holding factions is the slave camp, which allows you to raise 1000 light infantry. However, your morale for light infantry is 50% less than normal.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Slave owners have an opinion penalty applied to their relations with non-slave owners.
  • Spanner in the Works: Euron Greyjoy is this to Tommen, should he wrest the Reach from Mace Tyrell.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Vargo Hoat and the Brave Companions in the A Clash Of Kings bookmark. Also counts as Karma Houdini.
    • In canon, both the Targaryens and Lyanna died during Robert's Rebellion. In the Game of Thrones mod, Lyanna is likely to survive while Robert is likely to merely exile the Targaryens (due to the tyranny penalty that an execution would give).
  • Stations Of The Canon: In the last two bookmarks,Daenerys can choose to return to Westeros as Young Griff's bride. However, only the A Feast For Crows bookmark contains the Golden Company's canonical decision in A Dance with Dragons to occupy the Stormlands first.
    • There is also Dany's visit to the House of the Undying in the A Clash Of Kings bookmark, complete with the canonical way of escaping the place ( always choose the door to the right).
    • See Spared by the Adaptation above. Jaime Lannister still has the "Crippled" trait.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Lyvia Clegane, the OC who serves as Gregor "The Mountain That Rides" Clegane's daughter and heir runs a pretty good chance of becoming this. She'll comes with the "Huge" and "Strong" traits (both of which increase most character's attraction to her), and depending on the other randomly generated traits she receives can end up fairly attractive, despite her parentage.
  • Sword and Sorcerer: Stannis and Melisandre
  • Upbringing Makesthe Hero:
    • If you start out playing as Joffrey in the Clash of Kings bookmark, making him good is surprisingly easy. Just replace Cersei with a mentor who has the most positive traits.
      • This is fitting when you consider that Joffrey got as evil as he did as a result of being raised by Cersei and picking up her worldview. In game, if you play as Joffery and leave Cersei as the mentor than it is noticeable how she always chooses the bad options when child raising events pop up.
    • If you play as Sweetrobin than invoking this trope is especially vital. He starts out with zero in every stat, so a good education is the only way to ensure he does not grow up to be useless.
  • Videogame Caring Potential: Keeping the Starks together during the War of the Five Kings? Sure, it's difficult, but you'll want to do it anyway.
    Eddard Stark: Lyanna will be safe.
    • Also, once Robert wins, his AI is unlikely to execute the Targaryen family (as that would gain tyranny points), and will instead simply banish them.
    • You can play as any canonically evil character and make them into a decent person.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: It's a CK II game, at the end of the day. For starters, you can turn canonically kind characters into unsavory monsters.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Oddly enough, this trope is more present than it is in the vanilla game.
    • There are new traits like Tyrant, Dishonorable, Ruthless, Slaveowner, and Slave Trader. All of these have a negative effect on your relationships with other people. Some, like Tyrant, have a negative effect on your prestige intake.
    • Traits like Craven, Cruel, Impaler, and wroth are much harder to get rid of.
    • If you are caught assassinating someone, you better pray to the Old Gods. Followers of the Seven are likely to get excommunicated for such acts.
  • Vestigial Empire: New Valyria. Though if you play as that faction you can try to defy this and rebuild the Valyrian Empire.
  • What If?: The moment you unpause the game, the game engine takes the characters into different directions from canon. Also, with the right bloodlines (Targaryen/Blackfyre) and some visits to various locations, it is hardly difficult to hatch dragon eggs: in canon, this has stumped many people of said bloodlines, and killed quite a number of them.
    • In some cases, events present a choice between doing the canonical thing, and doing something else. For instance, in the Bleeding Years bookmark (which starts two years before Aegon began his conquest of Westeros), Aegon Targaryen is presented with a choice to join the war against Volantis' New Valyria as he did in canon, or side with the Volantenes.
    • One of the more popular of such choices, judging by the popularity of various After Action Reports where the players make it, is having Jon Snow accept Stannis's offer to legitimize him in exchange for Stannis's help in securing the North in the AFFC bookmark.