Crusader Kings 3 will soon let you resolve grudges, disagreements, feuds, and other miscellaneous disputes in a more up-close-and-personal capacity, when elaborate one-to-one duels are introduced as part of the medieval grand strategy game’s next free update.
Building on Crusader Kings 2’s Duel system, Crusader Kings 3’s next update, known as version 1.3, will let players challenge rivals to fully interactive one-to-one combat scenarios, enabling them to select from a range of attacks and special moves until an agreed victory condition – from landing a light scratch to a mortal blow – has been met.
Developer Paradox explains the new system in extensive detail over on its blog. The gist, however, is that duels – which can be unlocked via the Chivalry lifestyle tree’s Stalwart Leader perk – will play out over two to four rounds, with each new round presenting players with a choice of three distinct combat moves from an expansive pool.
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These options might, for instance, permit you to headbutt your opponent, rush into an all-out attack, or play defensively, and characters will draw better moves from the pool the higher their character’s Prowess is. Sometimes, however, a regular combat move will be replaced with a special move, and these are determined by the likes of traits, location, and any special relationships you might have with your current opponent.
Regular moves will contribute to a Likelihood of Success tally when played, and the victor will be the first character to cross a certain threshold. Special moves, meanwhile, either tend to be more powerful or will provide secondary effects outside of the combat scenario, perhaps granting dread gain or stress loss. Crucially, attacks also carry a Risk of Injury modifier, meaning the ultimate goal is to maximise your Likelihood of Success without causing too much damage to yourself – which might bring a round to a premature end.
A duel round with three possible moves ready to be deployed.
Mixing things up a little further are Duel Edge Bonuses and Maluses, which can boost or reduce your Prowess stat for the duration of a bout, meaning characters with the higher value aren’t always guaranteed to walk out as victor.
”Over time, we hope to improve the combat system with general QoL tweaks, dedicated UI, and, last but not least, more combat moves,” writes Paradox. “We also intend to pepper it throughout future content, as well as rework certain elements of old content on an on-going basis to use these more elaborate duels as appropriate.”
Duels will arrive in Crusader Kings 3’s upcoming 1.3 patch alongside winter as a gameplay mechanic, randomised poetry generation, and more.
The update will be accompanied by Crusader Kings 3’s first significant DLC drop, which is set to be revealed as part of this month’s Paradox Insider livestream event. It’ll be airing on Twitch this Saturday, 13th March, at 7pm UK time/11am PT.