This mod aims to enhance the strategic aspect of the game, giving more significance to such questions as "How will I educate my heir?", "What casi belli will I use?", "Which vassals will I benefit the most?", "How will I use my piety and prestige?" etc etc..

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Description of what this mod is about in 15000 characters.

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Credits

Two other mods have been included in this mod, with permission of course.

ARKOPack Armoiries by Arko : Forum.paradoxplaza.com
VIET by the HIP team: cybrxkhan, Aasmul, AnaxXiphos, Arko, Axl Madness, Bertucco, Elvain, EOOQE, Il Moro, Meneth, OrdepNM, Ruwaard, theking1988, Think0028, Zijistark : Forum.paradoxplaza.com

Regarding VIET, I did not include the changes to traits (except the new congenital traits) and some of the de jure realm changes. On the other hand I did go through all of VIET with the Validator and fixed many bugs. I think you should be able to experience several new events now which didn't work before.

Also a big thanks to Jamie550 and his Validator for making debugging a lot easier.

Becoming an absolute ruler

Conquering becomes much less fun if you're already at your demesne limit, and you immediately have to give away the spoils of war, else be smacked with huge relationship penalties. I prefer a softer more gradual limit on demesne size that focuses on managing the relations with your subjects.
* Demesne limit significantly increased, for all intents and purposes removing it as a game mechanic.
* Only -1 relations per holding over demesne. Much smaller tax penalty.
* No relationship penalties apply for holding more than 2 duchies.

To prevent you from becoming North Korean:
* Army commanders and councillors will regularly ask for titles in return for their services. Refusing leads to opinion loss with your vassals, courtiers, family, army commanders, eunuchs... depending on who's asking. It can even lead to them adventuring against you for your primary title.
* Your wife's family can also ask for titles.
* Court jester can't ask for titles.
* Characters given a title on their request will receive an Attribute boost based on the level of the title. For instance giving the Chancellor a ducal title will give him +4 Diplomacy. Thus handing out titles can give you super councillors and commanders. It also gives an incentive to land your heir rather than keeping him at court most of his life.
* Can only assign people as army commander whose opinion of you is 0 or higher.
* Armies without a leader are more likely to get a bad combat tactic during the melee phase.

If you still manage to become North Korean, the idea is that your courtiers will become more of a threat rather than your vassals:
* The bigger your demesne, the unhappier your courtiers will become.
* New plot: courtiers with a negative opinion of you will conspire to murder you and usurp your primary title.
* Crime modifiers (such as thieves' guild) will happen to your provinces if you have a large demesne. These can be removed by councillor missions.

At the moment I feel the speed at which you can gain holdings and at which you have to hand them out, are not yet sufficiently in sync, but it's a matter of further playtesting and tweaking the numbers. The new game mechanics are sound and fun to me. The penalties for reaching North Korea status will be expanded upon in the future.

Prestige and Piety as political coin

Prestige and piety are hardly necessary for anything in the game. It is not uncommon for a human player to end his rule with 10000+ prestige. This makes any actions that give you prestige/piety pretty much pointless. IMO the game is more fun and strategic if you are constantly challenged to seek more prestige and piety to fulfill your goals. To this end many actions now come with a cost:

* Imprisoning someone costs 50 prestige.
* Banishing someone costs 400 prestige.
* Transfering a vassal costs 25 prestige.
* Making a consort costs 25 prestige.
* Retracting a vassal costs 25 prestige.
* Revoking a barony->kingdom title costs 100->800 prestige.
* Demanding religious conversion costs 100 piety.
* Declaring war costs prestige or piety for most casus belli, eg 500 piety for a holy war.
* Educating a child costs 25 prestige.
* Inviting someone to court costs 50 prestige.
* Arranging a marriage costs 25 piety.
* 10000 prestige and 2500 piety required to get the full +20 relationship bonus.

Vassal Relations

It's too easy to keep a large realm under control by having a large number of weak vassals, making it harder for them to band together and make an effective fist against you. To force you to keep a limited number of more powerful vassals:
* Rulers lose -1 relation with all vassals per vassal they have.
To prevent being punished for simply having barony vassals under your county titles:
* Rulers gain +3 to vassal relations per holding in his/her demesne. This bonus cannot exceed the malus from number of vassals.

Other changes to make having high relations with vassals harder:

* Autonomy opinion modifier: every year a vassal's opinion if his liege will decrease by 1. This penalty is reset by such actions as granting a title, defeating a rebellion, lowering crown authority, defending his titles against conquest.
* Relationship bonus for defending against infidels lowered to +20.
* Relationship bonus for defending against foreigners lowered to +10.
* Long reign bonus only starts at 20 years instead of 10.
* A ward's opinion towards his guardian increases a little each year rather than one big bonus at age 16.

Crusader Kings II can be seen as a relationship management game. Having a high crown authority significantly reduces that aspect of the game, as you then get lots of troops from your vassals regardless of their opinion of you. I attempt to change this:
* Crown authority has little effect on vassal levies. Absolute crown authority only provides a minimum of 20% rather than 80%.
* Instead crown authority affects retinue. With Autonomous Vassals you gain no retinue from realm holdings. At Absolute Crown Authority you receive 16 retinue points per realm holding.
* Independent rulers gain 160 retinue per demesne holding.
* For vassals it depends on crown authority. Under Autonomous Vassals they receive the full 160 retinue. Under Absolute crown authority they get nothing.

Note that the tech bonus to retinue size has been reduced from 1600% to 600%, meaning that the amount of retinue you can receive at the most remains the same.

Factions

In vanilla whether or not a vassal joins a faction depends mostly on how much the vassal likes you and any possible claimant. At +50 relations it's clear sailing and you don't need to worry much about them joining factions.

In RIP vassals rather ask themselves "What is the best way for me to weaken my liege and gain more power for myselfwithin this realm?". This results in the following:
* The bigger the liege's personal demesne, the more likely vassals will join gavelkind factions. With very large demesnes, opinion 100 would be required to keep them out of the gavelkind faction.
* The bigger the realm, the higher the opinion threshold to keep different dynasty vassals out of the elective faction.
* The bigger the realm, the higher the opinion threshold to keep same dynasty vassals out of the seniority and tanistry factions.
* Vassals no longer limited to joining 2 factions.

* Rather than a flat +50 opinion, the threshold to keep vassals out of the lower crown authority faction depends on your current crown authority: +20 for low, +40 for medium, +60 for high, +80 for absolute.

Attributes

Common forum opinion is that Intrigue and Learning are much weaker stats than Diplomacy, Martial and Stewardship. Due to removing demesne limit as a barrier, Stewardship in RIP can be added to the list of weak attributes. To make these more attractive:
* Stewardship affects the opinion of your city vassals. +/-1 opinion per point above/below 10 Stewardship.
* Intrigue affects the opinion of your courtiers and councillors. +/-2 opinion per point above/below 10 Intrigue.
* Learning affects the opinion of your temple vassals. +/-1 opinion per point above/below 10 Learning.

Furthermore the prestige/piety cost of declaring war with a casus belli is heavily affected by ruler attributes. At stat 10 it's standard cost. It decreases down to half cost at stat 20. At stat 5 it's double the usual cost. Below stat 5 you can't use the casus belli.
* Imperial Reconquest is affected by the Diplomacy stat.
* Muslim/Pagan county conquests, invasions and subjugations are affected by the Martial stat.
* De jure claims and merchant republic-related casus belli are affected by Stewardship.
* Personal claims are affected by Intrigue.
* Religious casi bell are affected by Learning.

Tech tree and buildings

Shuffled around stuff to reduce the difference between must-have and so-so techs. The major headline is each unit type now has their own building, unlocked by their own military tech. You can now focus on one specific unit type if you like.

* Retinue size bonus now +600% at max tech. Thus it increases at the same pace as regular levies.
* Reduced the tech cost increase for being a century ahead to 10%. B-lining more encouraged.

Combat

* The threshold for enabling combat tactics has been raised. Now usually somewhere between 5 to 10% of a unit type (rather than 1%) is required.
* Terrain modifiers for unit types have been shuffled around. Summary:
- Light Infantry is good at fighting in rough terrain.
- Archers are good at fighting on flat terrain.
- Heavy Infantry are rebranded as marines, and receive no combat penalty for attacking from a ship or crossing a major river. Fits with them being the viking retinue.

Levies

Paradox added a negative levy modifier to holdings the further they were away from your capital duchy, to slow down blobbing. RIP makes some modifications:
* Capital kingdom vassals still give 100% of their levy. This change in fact creates stronger AI opponents.
* Within-empire vassals give 50% of levy. Outside empire it's 35%.
* Your own demesne now gets the same levy modifier.
* To compensate, four buildings have been added, Estates General I to IV, unlocked by the Tolerance tech, increasing levy size. They can be built in holdings which fall outside your capital kingdom, but of which you still hold the de jure kingdom/empire title.

So you have a choice now : wait 100 years for your holdings to assimilate, or go for multiple kingdom/empire titles and receive a more immediate levy increase.

Something I noticed: duke level rulers treat holdings outside their primary duke title as "outside empire". They too can build Estates General there if they gain the de jure duke title and if the duchy is within their capital kingdom.

Looting

Micromanaging lots of 500 men strong looting squads gets old really soon. The following changes make it profitable to siege down a holding with a larger army:
* 10000 instead of 500 troops are required to loot at maximum speed.
* Looting goes 5 times faster (but still overall slower combined with the above change).
* Sieging down a holding gives slightly more gold.

Islam

This is what I'm currently working on. Still in flux as I'm testing it in my ongoing game.

Decadence has been reworked. In RIP dynasty heads and independent rulers are pretty much guaranteed to gain the decadent trait. For everyone else the chance is much lower. So having unlanded dynasty members around is not a problem.

What are the main ways to reduce decadence?
1) having kids
2) capturing slaves during raids

1) For every child one of your dynasty members has, your decadence is reduced by 1. So it is in your advantage to spread your dynasty far and wide and give them titles, so they don't suffer from the large court penalty on baby-making. This is the opposite of vanilla where it's best to imprison them.

2) Muslims can raid just like Vikings. When sieging down a holding, Muslims can capture unlanded and lowborn characters, and turn them into slaves, giving you -1 decadence. They can be sold for some gold, be turned into court eunuchs loyal to you, or be turned into harem slaves. These feature in a 'Time to Tumble' event which can give you even more children, further reducing decadence.

Other changes:
* Muslims have access to more succession laws. Their standard law is Primogeniture. They can switch to Open Turkish at high crown authority.
* Changing laws costs 250 piety. 500 piety for crown laws.
* Muslims can gain the VIET raider trait.
* Taking a loan from the Jews increases decadence.
* Opînion penalty between ashari and mutazilah reduced.

De Jure Realms

* Serbia and Croatia become de jure Carpathia.
* Flanders goes to France.
* Brabant goes to Lotharangia.
* Dalmatia goes to Venice.
* Sicily goes to Italia. In 867, Doux Elias Rachitas of Calabria becomes king of Sicily.

Councillors

* Consorts, mothers, daughters and sisters can become treasurers and spymasters.
* Spouses cannot become councillors. The AI only hurts themselves by doing so.
* The frequency of councillor mission events is now affected by attributes up to 25. In vanilla it's up to 13 for most events.
* Organize Spies spymaster mission can increase relations with foreign courtiers.

Wards

* Notifications events when a ward has grown up, and when a child prisoner has no guardian.
* Wards less likely to convert culture to their guardian if they have the same culture as their home capital.
* Chance for ward to switch culture/religion dependent on the difference in Popular/Religious Customs tech between the guardian's home province and the ward's.

Various

* Cultural buildings aren't destroyed if the holder changes culture.
* Cultural creation requirements for landed titles readded for the human player. Waved when the character doesn't have a kingdom title yet.
* Cultural retinue types can be built when having the appropriate title. For instance, Byzantine emperors can build cataphracts even if they're not Greek.
* Independent female rulers with at least 8 Martial can lead armies.
* Vassal infighting only forbidden at absolute crown authority.
* Helping in someone else's war provides more prestige and piety.
* When one of your children marries, you receive a reward based on the child's attributes.
* The event where a prisoner asks for better accomodation can give traits such as Kind or Cruel.
* A religious head gets a little piety for provinces converted to his religion.
* Opinion penalty of rulers with a different religion towards rulers with a large realm. The larger the realm, the larger the opinion penalty.
* Unmarried queens receive an opinion boost from their dynasty.
* Varangian Guard no longer forced to be orthodox.
* Reduced pagan peace prestige loss. Seemed like the AI didn't understand how to avoid this.
* New decision: rulers with their capital in the desert or in Africa, Arabia or Persia can recruit 500 camel cavalry for 500 prestige.
* New decision: Altaic rulers and rulers with their capital in the steppe, Persia or Tartaria can recruit 500 horse archers for 500 prestige.

Java

A lot of my CK2 code has been generated by writing java code, making use of plenty of for-loops etcetera. The Netbeans project has been included in the download in case anyone wants to have a look.

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Crusader Kings II
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