Crusader Kings 3 accidentally breaks same-sex concubine mods

Crusader Kings 3
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Crusader Kings 3 might let your dukes and queens engage in homosexual relationships, but marriage is reserved only for the straights. Fans have been able to queer up medieval Europe with mods, thankfully, but a recent update broke the loophole used to make more meaningful homosexual relationships in CK3 possible.

As spotted by RPS, CK3's patch 1.3 broke the ability to implement same-sex concubines. Modders hadn't quite cracked full-on gay marriage, but queer concubines and consort mods had become a popular workaround in their stead. Trying to use one of these mods post-patch, however, comes up with a rather pointed error message stating that characters cannot be the same gender as their concubine.

This isn't so much a case of Paradox suddenly turning around on supporting queer roleplay in CK3, mind. Rather, the developer explains that this was an oversight in a broader attempt to fix a number of issues involved with the system.

"The change, in this case, was part of a set of fixes around concubine-related behaviours in the game, leading to buggy outcomes like concubines being assigned to dead people," Paradox said in a statement to RPS. "In no way was this implemented in order to deliberately bar players from including same-sex relationships in the game."

Unfortunately, the community already fears this is a step back—not just from the previous build of CK3, but from the possibilities afforded by CK2. Common understanding appears to be that the game is hard-coded to make homosexual marriages impossible. Making do with homosexual consorts wasn't an ideal solution for modders, but until now, it was the best they could do.

Following up on their statement, Paradox explained that, unfortunately, full-on gay marriage is easier said than implemented.

"The issue is that the way some features were implemented in the base game, at this point, make official legal same sex partnerships difficult to mod in without breaking a lot of stuff. The CK3 team, and Paradox as a whole, are very conscious of representation in our games, and same-sex lovers have been included in CK3 since launch - but we know this is not the same thing as a formal relationship. This is something we support, since allowing everyone to tell their story is a big part of our values.

Paradox does intend to fix this change, eventually. But according to a programmer's reply on the CK3 forums, don't expect one anytime soon—modding conflicts come pretty low on the developer's to-do list.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.