Crusader Kings 3 nerfs the Pope, makes it easier to imprison your kids, and stops crotch exposure

The Pope is being nerfed!
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Even if you don't play Crusader Kings, the patch notes are always a treat. Paradox has been detailing what's coming in the 1.3 patch over the course of a few dev diaries, and the main focus of the latest one is the duelling option, soon to be transformed into a fully fledged system. Next time you decide to shiv your own son, you'll have many and varied ways of doing so.

There's a detailed breakdown of how a duel might play out in the update notes, and it's a turn-based system where players switch between attacking and defending, and choose options over two to four rounds to play to their strengths. The 'options' here are combat moves, like headbutting your opponent, all-out attack rush, defending, and so on, all with their upsides and downsides. If you want to get more in-depth you can read about High Chieftain Waththab fighting his son and rival Musa using this new system.

Amusingly enough, for most of its development this duelling system featured a bug that would mistakenly attract crocodiles to the location of fatal duels. "This means that, for the vast majority of time spent internally playtesting, crocodiles would tend to turn up in any fight that wasn’t explicitly indoors. Taiga, steppe, European farmland, Tibetan mountain, the middle of the Sahara. None were safe from the surprise crocodile." Kind of sad that we won't get to experience the crocopalypse ourselves.

The new duelling system in Crusader Kings 3.

(Image credit: Paradox Interactive.)

But duels schmuels, amirite? Let's get to the good stuff, beginning with the happy news that you can now recruit children from prison, unless they're heir to a title. Speaking of children, "fathers of secret bastards can now realize that they are the real father even when the mother is married." Which must be a bit awkward. Best of all, if your teenager's being a pain in the ass, chuck 'em in jail: "It’s now easier to imprison your own young children if they’re unfortunate enough to be in your court."

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(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

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Speaking of kids, Barons were apparently not having much luck on medieval Tindr, but will now "get married and produce a family more consistently." Who knows, but this may have been because characters' chances of randomly contracting lover's pox and great pox were too high, and so have been reduced.

To get more granular for a second, another enhancement really sums up why some players love Crusader Kings III so much: this update marks a revolution in "the hair & beard inheritance gene system." Children will no longer inherit specific haircuts from their parents, but a hair type gene ("such as 'straight', 'wavy', 'curly' or 'afro'"), and will choose their own haircuts based upon their culture. Any existing characters from old saves run the risk of a new haircut or going bald when this is implemented, so it's good to see some male videogame NPCs hitting their thirties.

If that isn't enough hairy goodness, this update also adds the ‘Chin Goatee’ beard variant. Oh, and a certain other type of hair should no longer be seen: "Characters can now rip their shirts off without exposing their crotch."

Moving on from your own flesh-and-blood, there's good news also for those who enjoy murdering peasants, as "imprisoning and executing characters of no particular status (i.e. lowborns) now yield much less tyranny." Some poor souls were also getting wounded in the 'wrong' places after battle, with the unfortunate result that these wounds would never heal. Sounds like that's the kind of stigmata that holy rollers would love, but it's been fixed.

Finally, and perhaps best of all, the holy father has been busted. God and Paradox see everything, and it turns out that popes have been executing quite the grift during the crusades: essentially giving themselves Italy's capital, and then patting themselves on the back for their godliness in doing so. But "The Pope will no longer grant himself Rome every year, and gain Piety for it." Amen.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."