It was a big day for Paradox Interactive, which revealed a trio of new games including a squad-based tactics game called The Lamplighter's League (opens in new tab) from Harebrained Interactive, the Sims-like Life By You (opens in new tab), and Cities: Skylines 2 (opens in new tab), which promises to be "the most realistic city simulation ever created." It also had some good news for fans of its medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings 3: A major new expansion called Tours and Tournaments (opens in new tab), which will give players all kinds of new and interesting ways to spend their time and money.
Tours and Tournaments sounds pleasant enough, at least compared to what usually happens when a restless monarch gets bored and decides to go out on the road: weddings, hunts, gifts and rewards for loyal vassals, and all that sort of regal beneficence that keeps the common folk happy and potential rivals in their place. But the life of a ruler is never that simple, and while all may appear rosy on the surface, there's always the potential for ugliness—and bloodshed—behind the scenes.
"Be the host of new Grand Activities, be it grand weddings or stirring falconry hunts," says the expansion's description. "But beware! Many celebrations are the perfect cover for the perfect scheme against foes… or family."
Perhaps disinheriting your bastard children (opens in new tab) isn't quite as free as we were led to believe. In any event, here's how you'll be spending your time out and about amongst your people:
- Handpick your Entourage and customize your Route carefully. The road ahead might be long, but is filled with colorful characters, exotic cultures, and life-changing events.
- Pay your vassals a visit and interact with them closely. Inspect their holdings, and get to know how your subjects live their lives in the most distant corners of your realm.
- Manifest your benevolence and bestow gifts and rewards. Or, bring a horde of tax collectors and finally get your due from those conveniently hard-to-reach vassals.
- Join Contests to win extraordinary Prizes and gain valuable experience in new skills.
- Host a magnificent Tournament with all its splendor and festivities. Prepare yourself well by paying a visit to the blacksmith or gain some liquid courage in the local tavern.
- Beguile your opponent with setting Intents, then bash their heads in or win the heart of your quarries with your excellent jousting skills.
The other stuff!
Tours and Tournaments will also enable Crusader Kings 3 players to plan weddings (complete with prenuptial pacts, of course), bestow new and unique honors upon worthy knights, and enjoy "new museum-worthy character art, showcasing in detail the evolution of armor and dazzling changes in western medieval clothing, from the early to late Middle Ages."
Crusader Kings 3: Tours and Tournaments is expected to be out sometime this spring, and will arrive alongside a "major free update" that will feature updated interactions for pilgrimages, feasts, and hunts, "more intricate management of regency relations," and big changes to vassal relations and domain management.