‘Crusader Kings 2: Monks and Mystics’ DLC Impressions and Feature Breakdown

9
  • Windows
  • Strategy
2013-01-14
Crusader Kings 2: Monks and Mystics
Crusader Kings 2: Monks and Mystics Paradox

Crusader Kings DLC often comes in two varieties. One adds a new region or type of holding to the game Sword of Islam and The Rajas of India are of this variety. Others expand the gameplay options of the already playable world, Monks and Mystics fits into this camp.

The goal of the DLC seems similar to that of the Way of Life expansion. Both DLCs strive to give the player more to do in those times when you aren’t fighting back an invasion or stomping on a rebellion. They both strive to dig more deeply into what Crusader Kings is , a medieval nobility simulator. Unlike Paradox’s other Grand Strategy games, Crusader Kings is unique in that the player is not a faceless country, but a person, or many depending on how long your line lasts. It thus makes sense that Paradox would spend time fleshing out gameplay to simulate what medieval nobles did in their leisure time, just as much as during wartime.

The cornerstone of Monks and Mystics are Societies. Societies are basically groups of like-minded people working together for mutual goals. Societies, with monastic orders as the most prominent, were a huge part of medieval life. It’s fitting that they now play a part in the game. Every society has ranks. You rank up by getting a certain number of points and then requesting to raise a rank. For most societies, points build up passively but you will have opportunities to gain them faster if you partake in little quests or make moves that please the society.

There are four main types of societies with different variants:

Monastic Orders

These have a theology focus. You can build temples, go on pilgrimages, even try to convince others in the realm to renounce their sinful ways.  These are the most basic Society and there are variants for every region. Any character can join at any time.

Hermetic Society

These are based on Scientific Experimentation. You can only join if your learning stat is high enough. You will be able to build laboratories, experiment with drugs and medicine, and  attempt to scry into the future. This one is pretty fun as each rank gives you powers that you can use in the main game. For example, after ranking up once you can use medicine to cure a character’s depression.

Assassins

This society is only available to rulers with the Shia Islam faith. You will be able to intimidate to gain favors, mark someone for death, and of course murder.

Demon Worshippers

This one is a little trickier to join, but once you do you’ll get to have some fun. Powers include: Sacrifice a prisoner to Satan, Summon a Familiar, Demonic Possession, and of course Unholy Impregnation.

Beyond the Societies the DLC includes a bunch of welcome updates:

4th Councillor Jobs

The DLC adds a 4th task for each your councillor, which is a very unexpected and welcome change. See below from Paradox :

Chancellor - Perform Statecraft. This job increases the speed at which your Threat decays, and can fire events which improve relations with random vassals, neighbours, or your liege if you have one. If you have a specific character you want better relations with, the Improve Diplomatic Relations job will be more useful, but for general improvements Statecraft should be your choice.

Marshal - Organize the Army. This job lowers the upkeep cost of your Retinue (Or Horde), and can fire events to train existing or find new commanders.

Steward - Administer Realm. This job increases the speed of Cultural conversion in your realm’s provinces, and can fire events adding economic bonuses to any province. If you own Reaper’s Due, Prosperity throughout the Realm will also increase faster.

Spymaster - Sabotage. Target province will suffer damage, gain unrest, and may even be made easier to siege.

Court Chaplain - Hunt Heretics. This job enables the Court Chaplain to hunt for members of shadowy cabals who plot against God and man alike.

Artifacts and Relics

These are items that can be passed down ruler to ruler. They come with cool Diablo-esque art and will give buffs to your character. They could be as simple as a well forged sword or as mystic as a piece of the true cross.

Allies in Wars

Another extremely welcome update is the ability to give orders to your allies in war. They don’t have to listen, but I’ve found they often do. This helps prevent those moments when you could have won if only your ally had rallied to you instead of tooling around on their own.

There are many more changes small and large. All in all, I’m extremely pleased with this expansion. The hierarchy in the Societies, and fun of artifacts both provide completely new things to focus on. If Crusader Kings has any faults, it would be that you often just wait around for the next war. Monks and Mystics does even more than the previously released Way of Life in adding a ton of new, exciting, rewarding objectives to give yourself in peacetime.

  • Strategy
  • Windows
92013-01-14This is the real deal, the most robust and compelling strategy game since Civilization IV.
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