Seduction is a well-known, expansive diplomacy mechanic in Crusader Kings, which allows you to grow your dynasty by producing and legitimising bastard children, making your way into other courts or simply to help your future spouse have a better opinion of you. You can seduce a number of characters, including a rose bush, and start a lot of court drama this way. Men seducing female rulers can also gain prestige, and yes, the sound you can hear if you open your window anywhere in the world right now is that of me sighing.
It's a fun gameplay system with a lot of options, so it's no surprise to see it return in Crusader Kings 3. In the last development vlog before release, programmer Magne Skjæran had an interesting tidbit on seduction to share, as an example of a situation where developer Paradox had to put the brakes on its own AI. "[The non-military AI] will help ensure that this world feels like it's actually alive. Sometimes we will have to have some restrictions on the AI for how it interacts with the player just so that it doesn't get overwhelming or frustrating. The prime example here is seduction, where at various stages in the game we've needed to tweak the rules so that if the player is playing a woman rather than a man they just don't get a hundred seduction attempts constantly. While that might sadly be quite realistic in some ways it's not an experience you want in the game or in reality."
I like how Skjæran adds the "in reality" with a little grin and a shrug that suggest in real-life there may be quite a few people who would probably enjoy hundreds of seduction attempts, but it's of course a different thing when, like in Crusader Kings, it results in blackmail of 20% of your yearly income.
Crusader Kings 3 releases on September 1, in both a standard edition and the Royal Edition, which includes the expansion pass and the Garments of The Holy Roman Empire outfit collection. It's a fantastic game—read our review for more.