Crusader Kings 3 is that rare beast: a hugely popular medieval-inspired game that doesn't chuck in a load of fantasy tropes alongside its real-world history. As someone who was a medievalist scholar in another life I can appreciate the developers' attempts to keep things grounded in reality (though I also like the fact that the game gives you options to toggle things like allowing female heirs into the line of succession and decriminalising same-sex relationships—allowing you to tailor exactly how gloomily real you want your realism to be on any given day).
Whether you regard it as a logical next step in adding more appealing and varied features to the game, or an inevitable concession to players who simply can't enjoy medieval Europe without Merlin doddering around magicking swords into stones, I think we can all agree that a fantasy mod for this game was inevitable. And, sure enough, it's on its way with the announcement of Anbennar.
Fans of historical grand strategy games in general and 2013's Europa Universalis IV in particular may already be familiar with the name, as Anbennar has existed as a popular fantasy total conversion mod for that game since 2018. Now, a large team of modders working collaboratively—led by Jay10101, who first started work on the mod six years ago—are bringing Anbennar to Crusader Kings 3.
Citing Dragon Age and The Witcher as their video game inspiration, as well as drawing from the Forgotten Realms setting from Dungeons & Dragons, the creators of Anbennar aim to take full advantage of CK3's historical setting in the golden age of medieval fantasy, while staying faithful to its core strategic game-play: "In CK3 we will deal with fantasy at its peak: an age of knights and magic, with all with the undertones of political and dynastic intrigues that we all know and love."
The mod's features are set to include the introduction of playable classic fantasy races (including elves, dwarves, and halflings); magical aptitude traits that can be passed on through bloodlines, encouraging dynasty building that is magically as well as politically advantageous; and a D&D inspired magic system that will allow players to wield their characters' magical abilities.
Anbennar for CK3 aims to continue its EU4 legacy as "a massive collaborative worldbuilding project with art, music, fanfiction and even D&D campaigns". The community welcomes new collaborators—especially now, when there's a lot of work to be done—over at their Subreddit and Discord server.