These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Crusader Kings
Alternate Character Interpretation: If by some miracle you completely wipe out the Aztec invasion in Sunset Invasion, than you will get a message stating that one day the old world nations will follow the Aztecs back to the Americas and repay them with intrest. This implies that the decimation of the Aztec civilization in the age of discovery was a Roaring Rampageof Revenge.
Anti-Sue: It is possible to create one of these with the character create, and to use console commands to shift the plot in their favor.
And with Rajas of India, we have an entirely new continent, new cultures, new Indian events and a potential for the early establishment of Hindustan. What does the fandom care about? The new Messalian heresy, which has incest and the worship of Lucifer as a god figure. To wit.
Sunset Invasion, a not-entirely-serious DLC focused on an Alternate History where the Aztecs invade Europe. Some loathe the concept, some like the idea of western Europe having an equivalent of the Mongols, others appreciate it as a potential countermeasure against the Moors, and some are content to buy the DLC and just deactivate it for certain campaigns.
It also happens with the some of the more recent Portraits DLC. The artist changed, and a big part of the community thinks the art comes off in poorer quality than before. Some people (keeping up with the recent fad in the forums of making petitions for everything) are petitioning the mods to redo the facepacks. The issue often descends into a Flame War.
The current trend of DLC expansions has players divided on how Paradox is treating previously implemented content, and if favorites are being played. The Old Gods was one such example, as discussion of favoritism being given towards the Norse due to the far greater degree of content and lack of pre-patch balance, with other pagan religions showing a far thinner amount of content. Critics have also argued the lack of post-expansion attention to various mechanics, despite players demanding attention, such asthe Decadence system that was implemented with the Sword of Islam expansion.
Rajas of India breaks the base even further. The patch containing free content disrupted multiplayer capabilities, while the expansion of the map to include India meant that lower end computers who could play the game previously now struggle to do so, and Paradox's attempt to compress portraits to free up memory resulted in bugged portraits. These problems persisted for over three months after ROI's release.
Ending Fatigue: It's entirely possible for a player who knows what they're doing to achieve their goals — up to and including World Conquest — well before the game ends. The rest of the game then becomes about protecting what you've already gained from being conquered or breaking under its own weight, which is usually not quite as compelling as the initial goal.
Fridge Brilliance: Have you ever noticed how courtiers of a dynasty, when not influenced by the player, tend to 'not' marry after some two generations or so of sitting on their hands as courtiers, and subsequently ending that particular branch of the family? Well, what if it's the way of the game representing that that particular branch pretty much became plebeians, and thus the records have been lost to history due to unimportance?
This goes hand in hand with the mechanic of inviting (read: creating new) nobles to your court. They didn't just form out of thin air. They were always around, but when invited they become a part of recorded history.
They seems to be a divergence between a character's physical traits relating to their appearance (specifically the "Attractive" and "Ugly" traits), until you realise that you are looking at their portraits. Portraitswhich can be embellished.
Goddamned Bats: The Old Gods adds raiders who will plunder your territory, then flee back onto their longboats before your army can get to them.
Good Bad Bugs: The demo for the sequel restricted play to only four characters. However, almost imminently players found out they could play whichever character they wanted by picking a character from the demo list, then quickly clicking on a province on the map before the game loads - and play as the ruler of said province.
They also found out that the demo doesn't end twenty years later but specifically in 1086 and that if you set the start date at 0AD you could get 1086 years of playtime out of the demo. However, this screws up the triggers.
The Scrappy: The Karlingnote Descendants of Charlemagne dynasty in The Old Gods 867 start, who start with the powerful and prosperous kingdoms of East and West Francia,note Later known as Germany and France, respectively Italy, and Lotharingia (among others) within their realm. Due to the way alliance and title mechanics work in the game, they often hold onto their thrones much longer than they historically did, and any attempt to unseat one of them (or half the wars they get involved in at all, really) ends up dragging literally half of Europe into the fray.
Scrappy Mechanic: A number of mechanics for Muslim players were not thought out at all. The Decadence system, which, while not necessarily a bad idea, means that in practise, Muslim players can see their entire dynasty collapse because they have one drunken second cousin (whose existence somehow brings enough shame on their house to trigger an invasion by fundamentalist desert tribesmen). The game also automates guardianship contracts for female Muslim characters, operating, apparently, under the assumption that anybody who plays as a Muslim, won't care who mentors their daughter. Not only can this destroy one's immersion in the game (it's hard to stay in character, when the game decides your worst enemy would make a dandy mentor for your daughter and assigns her accordingly), but it can actually become a serious problem when, a few years into the mentorship, the computer decides that it would like to reassign her to a new mentor, and, in the process, earns you a massive -30 "Lost a Ward" penalty with the old one. Worse yet, the game can then decide that this pattern worked out so well statistically, that it is going to repeat it exactly, earning you ever increasing negative penalties with the character who comes first in the chain of mentors. Finally, it only gives Muslim players access to one kind of succession, which aside from being historically inaccurate (not all Muslims are the Ottoman Empire), pretty much ensures a civil war after your heir takes the throne.
Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The original game, while it had its fans, was definitely a flawed game, with a Troubled Production and quite a lot of bugs. Crusader Kings II, on the other hand, has received by far the smoothest launch of any Paradox game to date, and received almost universal acclaim from the fans. Expansions like Sword of Islam, Legacy of Rome and The Old Gods have only served to make it even better.
Pretty much everything having to do with Islam. Islamic characters have to have four wives in order to stop their Prestige from falling, ignoring the fact that the Quran stipulates four wives as a maximum, not a requirement. Islamic characters suffer from encroaching Decadence, Christian characters do not (despite almost stereotypically corrupt societies like Byzantium being playable). Christian characters have the option (however difficult it is to pull off) of altering the law to let women inherit. Islamic characters do not, even though there have been historically female Islamic Queens, and even three female Caliphs (Calipha Sitt al-Mulk from the Fatimid Caliphate, Zaynab an-Nafzawiyyah and Al-Khayzuran bint Atta). Islamic characters are also beholden to a style of succession modeled on that of the Ottoman Empire, despite that being one state, and not indicative of Islam as a faith or culture. Generally speaking the game plays to some of the worst medieval and Orientalist stereotypes about Islamic states, and the addition of a number of terrible mechanics (Decadence, automated guardianship contracts for female characters, Ottoman style succession) means the game ends up sending the message that being Christian is an advantage, and being Islamic, a handicap.
The fact that the game lumps all "pagan" characters together, treats their faiths in approximately the same manner, and makes them prone to offering human sacrifice, is also rather problematic.