• Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne - Dev Diary 1 - Let's get Early Medieval

    * CKII: Charlemagne Developer Diaries will be released weekly on Wednesdays from now on up to release! *

    Welcome to the Charlemagne dev diaries - and above all, welcome to the 8th century!

    I'm Tobias Bodlund, scripter on the Crusader Kings II team, and in this first installment of the dev diaries for CKII: Charlemagne I will be talking about the new 769 start date and how we've chosen to represent that historical period in the game.

    We've added a bunch of new cultures to the game. A few of these could arguably have been present in The Old Gods already, but going back to 769 we felt we really needed to shake up the map to properly represent the changing cultural landscape of the Early Middle Ages.

    In Spain we have the Visigoths, and they are in the Iberian rather than the Germanic group, since the Gothic migrations are long since over and they have been living in the peninsula since the early 6th century. With time, Visigothic provinces are likely to eventually become Castilian, Catalan or Andalusian depending on location and which other religious and cultural influences they are subjected to. In northwestern Iberia we also still have the Suebi, an old Germanic people. They have their own culture shift events which may see the rise of Portuguese culture.

    Looking north, we have the Franks. They are still Germanic but becoming more and more latinized. You will see them slowly turning into something we call "French"...

    Other new cultures you will find are Saxons, Lombards, Picts and Somali. Also, there are no Russians yet, but instead various East Slavic peoples such as the Ilmenians, Severians and Volhynians.

    We've revisited cultural dynamics in some other places as well. For example, the emergence of Norman culture is now somewhat more likely than before.

    Regarding religion, the old Norse religion in the game is now referred to as Germanic. We decided to do this because with the earlier start date this religion exists well beyond Norse lands (specifically, the Saxons), and the old name also sometimes caused players to confuse it with Norse culture.

    Moving further south, the Ibadi faith is now its own religion and no longer a Sunni heresy.

    We've also added a new pagan religion, available only in the Charlemagne start. They are the followers of the sun-god Zun, which was historically the Zunbil dynasty in Afghanistan. They start out surrounded by Muslims and Buddhists, and this should provide an interesting and possibly quite difficult start, comparable to the Jewish starts.

    And where are the Jews in 769, you ask now - you will find them in Semien in Ethiopia (sometimes referred to as Beta Israel).

    Oh, speaking of the Norse, yes... with the new start date the Viking Age hasn't begun yet. This means that the Norse will initially not be able to launch Viking expeditions overseas. This will change the early game for them as they'll need to focus more on local affairs initially. Don't worry, though, a few decades in things will start happening for them and the continent will properly learn to fear the wrath of the Northmen.

    Finally, let's look at some of the large empires in the 8th century:

    In 769, the Byzantine Empire is embroiled in what historians call the "First Iconoclasm". This basically means that the emperor and patriarch (and most of the elite) follow the Iconoclast faith, where religious icons are condemned as idolatry much like in Islam. There is a choice for the emperor to either stick with Iconoclasm or renounce it (via a special decision).

    Meanwhile, the Abbasids are the great blob of the 8th century. During this time, they historically ruled an area from the Indus in the east to the Maghreb in the west. Though "rule" is perhaps a misleading word in some cases. To reflect the fact that in reality they had limited control over many of their nominal vassals, we have made some of these areas independent in the game. But the Caliph still has plenty of de jure CBs and claims on those areas, so beware...

    In Spain, Umayyad rule is fairly recently established, so you have an Arab Muslim dynasty ruling over mainly Visigothic Christian subjects.

    Then there is the Frankish Empire. After Pepin died, his sons Charlemagne and Carloman inherited a kind of joint kingship over the Franks, with each of them ruling directly over a portion of the kingdom. In the game, this means the two brothers each have a king title but also a claim on the other's title. With powerful neighbors such as the Lombards, the Umayyads and the pagan Saxons, things may get very interesting here.

    As you can see, the world in 769 is quite different from later starts, with many period-defining events still to unfold. Things such as the Holy Roman Empire (yes, you can found it), Vikings, Normans and Russians are still unheard of. There aren't even that many Karlings yet (!).

    The 8th century is a strange and wonderful place. We hope that you'll enjoy it.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne - Dev Diary 1 - Let's get Early Medieval started by The Witch-King View original post