Beard Your Own Monarch In The Crusader Kings II DLC

Needs more beard
I asked Crusader Kings II reviewer Adam what he thought of the new build your own ruler DLC for the grand strategy game. His first response was that it sounded a “bit daft”, but I’ll bet that a few hours from now he’ll be sat staring into nothing. If you get closer and closer and closer to his face, his eyes will be glazed over, his nostrils randomly flexing, he’ll be mumbling to himself. Closer still, listen to his words: “Of COURSE King Adam of Sweden will have a beard. There is no question, now. But what colour? And what of the length?” He’ll clench his fists and lean over, lost in his own beardcraft. You too can soon be pondering what sort of king to make in Crusader Kings II Ruler Designer DLC, perhaps the least deserving game DLC to ever receive a trailer.

You get to consider facial features, stats and traits as you build a character and dynasty. Let’s see how that will play out, shall well?

$5 on April 15th will get you your own monarch.


  1. Drake Sigar says:

    Thank Odin. Do you know how embarrassing it is to be a Viking without a beard? Do you?! All my Viking friends made fun of me.

  2. sneetch says:

    One would assume bearded is the default setting.

  3. Elmokki says:

    In a way this is a very sad DLC. It’s ingame interface for something you can edit savegame files for – and honestly if someone hasn’t already, it wouldn’t be a huge problem to code a program that does the exact same, just not ingame.

    But then again I doubt this took that long for Paradox either AND they are releasing major changes for the better for free in future pathes, so I suppose I might chip in to support developing CK2 more since the game is pretty good and has potential to be absolutely brilliant.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      The bottom line problem in computer gaming is this:

      People demand games of a quality that the price point should be $100-$200. But so much of the market is teens with little disposable income, so the $40-$60 price point is really a necessity. Thus you have expansions and DLC.

      People love to complain about the big mean companies who only care about money, but the bottom line is you get what you pay for, and until the market demonstrates that $100 or $200 are a workable model you will be stuck with DLCs and expansions if you want high quality games (relative to the market).

      Sure CK2 wasn’t nearly as expensive to make as say Diablo 3, but it also is a smaller market. So the cost per unit is likely similar.

      • Brun says:

        If it really costs $100-200 to make a quality game there needs to be some significant investment in streamlining the development process to reduce that cost without sacrificing quality. This means things like new development tools that speed up the generation of assets and process changes that further reduce cost.

        There’s a real problem with the way games are made if some developers are actually dreading the next console generation and the increased cost the new hardware will ultimately add to the creation of games.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          It all depends on what you expect and want and how big the audience is.

          Audience wants a game that costs $50,000,000 and has a potential market of 100,000, well then the fan base needs to be prepared to shell out $500 a person. At the same time the fan base might be happy with the same game with less QA and less money spent on graphics with only $5,000,000 spent on development. Of course then you might also depress the fan base to 75,000.

          So now the price point is only $65/person. So maybe this project can work now. Of course then the fans will scream to high heaven about how the “graphics suck, and the game wasn’t preperly tested. But of course they know more about it than the people making it right?

          Obviously those are just fantasy numbers, and obviously there ARE plenty of bad (and badly run (i.e. Kerberos)) developers out there. But computer game fans make some really absurd demands at times regarding products whose production they know little about.

          It is all well and good to talk about $10 games, but something like Braid has a broad appeal and requires very little work to make. The same is not true for something like CK2 which is WAY WAY WAY more labor intensive and has perhaps a smaller overall market (I honestly don’t know the specifics there).

  4. ArcusC says:

    Just me who finds it a little bit disturbing that the screenshot shows him as having a wife who’s a child?

    I’m still waiting for the DLC which brings more hats.

    • Werthead says:

      Disturbing, certainly. But also par for the course in Medieval Europe, when women were frequently married below the age of 16 (quite a few men as well).

      • Porkolt says:

        Clearly you haven’t played this game and seen the value of such a marriage in terms of politics.

    • cornflakes says:

      I’m pretty sure they are just betrothed. In the game (unlike in actual history) no one can be married before they are 16.

      There are a few inconsistencies in that screenshot from the current look, so I think it’s from a pre-release version. I’m pretty sure betrothals are more obvious in the ui now, but it’s been a while since I’ve worried about one of those in my current playthrough.

      • ArcusC says:

        Exactly, it should show “Betrothed”, not “Wife”. Unless she is a cherub, of course.

  5. bob. says:

    It’s nothing more than a nice little addition that I wouldn’t pay 5 $ (or even worse… €!) for. But, I consider it as a tip to the developers. After all, with the accompagnying patch they will improve the crusade system drastically (read the Dev Diary in case you haven’t yet)

  6. Tom OBedlam says:

    I’m really looking forward to the Muslim DLC, my knowledge of medieval history is embarrassingly euro-centric.

  7. razgon says:

    april 1st when they announed it, guys.

  8. caddyB says:

    Time to make the Immortal God-Emperor

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      At the moment of death, the immortal king eats his heir and steals his youth

  9. Quidgeon says:

    The physical customization is all fine and good, I suppose, but doesn’t the ability to define your own attributes sort of diminish the whole genetics metagame? Being able to freely define my own stats and traits seems to remove some of the challenge from the game.

    Or am I misunderstanding the feature?

    • Romtos says:

      Well, you only do it for your first character in each campaign, I guess.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      They’ve said there’s a limit to how many points/traits you can assign to a ruler, so you can’t make anyone TOO uber.

    • Unaco says:

      “Or am I misunderstanding the feature?”

      Yes. You seem to assume it’s mandatory, and that you must use it. It’s optional. Also, you don’t have to make a ‘good’ monarch… you could make a total shit, and make the game more challenging.

    • Quidgeon says:

      Ah. I was under the impression this was an enhancement that added in a character creation aspect to regular gameplay, not just an optional editor. In the case of the latter, don’t most other developers make their game/map editors available for free as a matter of course?


      Huh. I don’t see the point of that. Character creation is a big deal when you play with that character your whole game. I don’t see what the point of only being able to do it for a fleeting character that will make up such a small part of the game experience, and not for others.

      I don’t meant to complain too much. Obviously it’s optional. I adore the game, but between sprite packs and this, I don’t think Paradox really has the whole DLC thing down yet. I’d really be happy to pay for meaningful expansions, not piecemeal stuff that probably should have been a part of the game options anyway.

      • djim says:

        Why do some people think that everything should have been at the base game for free? They did not have infinite time you know. Although some concerns are understandable, Paradox has actually made a dev diary to explain the development process and talked about the kind of things they had to cut to finish the game in time. Also, they made this dlc because people asked for it. For the record i agree that it is expensive in a value for money way, but if you count the free patches that keep coming out all the time and will keep coming out it becomes much ‘cheaper’.

      • thebigJ_A says:


        Except it was never, at all, a game about creating a character and playing him. It was a game about playing a dynasty. This isn’t anything that “should have been in the game already”. It’s an idea they got from the fans, when they asked them, “Hey guys, what would you like to see us do for the first paid DLC?”.

        In other words, it’s the perfect DLC. The game is complete without it, no one would have missed it otherwise, but if you personally think it’s cool enough to spend some money on, you have that option.

  10. erniec76 says:

    So, I read “April 15th” and I’m wondering, where’s it at? Lol, I’ve been waiting awhile for this dlc and I’d like it. :) Anyhow, I find that it would be awesome to create your own family line/tree/etc, the game has many historical elements, but gameplay defines the fantasy. I have a family history w/heraldry I’d love to add to mine, and create a history of my own. In my time playing, I’ve seen England conquered by Norway, I’ve seen the HRE take control of Sweden/Norway, I’ve seen Poland succeed the Hungarian kings and take control of vast territories, I’ve also seen Croatia/Hungary/Poland as a huge kingdom. I want more :)