Norse Code: Crusader Kings II – The Old Gods

Paradox are finally ready to unleash the Pagans, or at least they are finally ready to announce that they will unleash the Pagans in the near future. The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings II won’t just allow players to control Pagan leaders, with all new mechanics and events, it will also open up a new start date of 867 AD. Details are scarce but I did speak with members of the studio about raids and Viking bands. Raids sound like a sort of terror event, with bands sprouting from the woodlands and wilds once a trigger is hit, falling under the leadership of a nearby ruler. Their numbers are not tied to the provinces that leader controls, so they can quickly become overwhelming. Trailer follows.

I quizzed Paradox about the ‘landless adventurers’ but came away empty-minded. It’s a feature that will change a great deal before release, with the expansion early in development at present, but it would make sense if those individuals were linked to the concept of spontaneously appearing warrior bands. Quite how the characters will earn the prestige – or whatever it might be termed – necessary to attract warriors to them isn’t clear, but I was assured that they will be a force to fear, particularly in the early game.

The prospect of a changed world by 1066 is an exciting one. The Old Gods is expected in Q2.


  1. elhreno says:

    This is sexist!

    • Lambchops says:

      Loki here sir, I think you’ll find that pun threads are supposed to come BEFORE debates about sexism!

      Also more CKII expansions, I Thor one am excited.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Don’t listen to him. Stop with CK expansions already! Christ! Already lost wife and kids to this game. Please I beg you, stop.

        After this one…

        • RSeldon says:

          “Already lost wife and kids to this game.”

          Oh, no! I hope you still have an heir from your own dynasty.

      • GuybrushThreepwood says:

        O din’t I mention, it’s as Sif I could play CKII forever.

      • iucounu says:

        I’ll definitely be keeping one eye on this one.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Another CK2 expansion? Heimdall for it!

        • MrEclectic says:

          Odin’t know about it. I’m sure it will get raven reviews, but I’m a-Freya it will be a Giant time-sink.

      • stahlwerk says:

        I still didn’t have the time to get into CK2 and I fear it’ll be long before I do, but eitr way, I’ll surely have a Jörmungandr at this.

      • qizarate says:

        I think i speak for everyone when i say i’m beginning to tyr of these endless pun-threads. Unfortunately i’m willing to bet that norn will listen…

      • King in Winter says:

        Viking will be pleased by this, Thor sure. It is certainly Loking good. Let’s hope pagan play Zoroastrians too.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Huh. I wasn’t aware ‘unleash the pagans’ had a double meaning.

    • stahlwerk says:

      In before the spam spam spam spam
      spam spam spam lovely spam!

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      OP misspelled “sexiest”.

      Edit: I meant “Muspelled”. Damn it!

  2. Chris D says:

    I will be very dissapointed if there isn’t an event where Cthulhu rises from the sea and devours everyone.

    • Fontan says:

      And now I’m sure I will be disappointed as well.

    • RedViv says:

      Or at least Kraken devouring your returning fleets if you did not string up enough of your foes and so dared to defy Odin.

    • Triplanetary says:

      That’s uh that’s not really how pre-modern paganism works.

  3. wodin says:

    This is the expansion I’ve bee waiting on.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Wasp are you talking about? Wait – am I in the right thread?

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Is it a pun relating to Vikings and their obsession with honey? In any case it meads a some work.

      Edit: now I feel physically sick.

  4. Soulstrider says:

    Also Zoroastrians are playable in this expansion, I was really excited about it though since in the trailers they only focus on Vikings I am afraid they will have no depth at all.

    Still It’s nice I can now restore the Persian Empire.

    • Lambchops says:

      “Still It’s nice I can now restore the Persian Empire.”

      And in the game?

      • Soulstrider says:

        Well the title of Persia already existed but now I can play with their ancient religion so it’s a plus.

        • spiritusinvacuo says:

          Holy balls of Ahura Mazda, I want to do that. I always wondered how would history of that region look like if it weren’t of the rise of Islam. Thumbs up from me, bro.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      In the Paradox forum the developers said that the DLC focuses on the vikings, but they also said that all the pagans – and the Zoroastrians – will get their own special content (of course, that could mean only a special event or two, but I think they will do a bit more than that).

    • Kaira- says:

      I like Norse as much as anyone else, but for some reason Zoroastrias make me feel all tingly and warm inside.

  5. DrAmateurScience says:

    Wodin you know it, I *still* haven’t played CKII despite it sitting in my Steam list for months. I had better show some Huscarl and actually give it a go!

  6. bladedsmoke says:

    The expansion I’ve been waiting for. CK2 was already excellent, with all these expansions I’d happily say that it’s the best strategy game ever released.

  7. LennyLeonardo says:

    Oh good grief, I am so happy I could hang from a tree for nine nights.

    • Subject 706 says:

      So the Blot on your mood is gone now?

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        Frigging Hel, Haakon tell you how happy I am. Aesir best news I’ve Hermod all Ymir. I don’t think Amma Sleipnir a wink tonight, Asgard as my witness. Um… Modsognir… er… Billing’s Daughter…. nope, I’ve lost it.


  8. Anders Wrist says:

    Plenty of stuff to play with at an earlier start date, and with added mechanics for heathens I am sure I will enjoy this expansion.

    Also, vikings!

  9. Theory says:

    Launched CK2 for the first time on Saturday. By 11PM I had a good grasp of it, then on Sunday I played from 9AM to 9PM. I can’t wait for more this evening! There’s a plot in Aragon to kill the young heir to the throne of Galicia (currently under my protection after I was installed there by a rebellion…I’m looking the other way), plus it’s almost time to press my de jure claim to the Arab-held counties in west Portugal.

    • sinister agent says:

      Hahaha, you started as a Christian in Spain, too. Good luck!

    • Sucram says:

      I did the same, starting for the first time on Saturday as a Spanish king. Already murdered one of my sons, executed my rebellious cousin, almost bankrupted myself in a holy war, been excommunicated by the thankless pope, tried to lay claim to a province in Norway before dying of smallpox. Now I’m playing as my heir, I’m a genius apparently, so am sure the next thirty years will go more smoothly.

      • sinister agent says:

        I don’t think it’s possible to survive in Spain if you’re not prepared to be a total arsehole to anyone who even attempts to cross you. The worst part is when you finally dominate the peninsula, your enemies all on the run and only BASTARD FRANCE being really capable of overpowering you… and then your widely admired and loved Queen/King dies, and leaves behind an heir everyone hates.

        Goddamn dukes, man. No gratitude. No brains either, since they’re stupid enough to think that starting a war with me won’t just mean that France immediately waltzes in and eats them alive. Bastards.

        • Clovis says:

          In my last game I got to flip that. France suffered a rebellion that I kept running for like 10 years. Since you are considered hostile to both sides when you declare war on anyone, I was I able to continual find reasons to pick off all the rebels, but destroy the main French army while I was at it. By the end I controlled more than 50% of France.

  10. Stitched says:

    A minute long trailer of quick concept sketches and rousing music? Well, hell, I’m sold!

  11. iucounu says:

    In other news, I have been playing CK2 for about a year now, on and off, and only just realised a couple of days ago that every county has a capitol that you can upgrade as well as the holdings. Never thought to click on the damn thing. What this means in narrative terms is that for the last 200 years or so my kings have been ruling out of unimproved shacks.

    • MrLebanon says:

      really? Those upgrades are actually extremely useful :/

      • iucounu says:

        Yeah! So I’d have a county with a monstrous castle or two, a city, and a bishopric, all the stuff upgraded with super keeps and thousands of men, and then there’s the capitol which is a hovel with a man holding a pointy stick outside.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      You been playing Portugal?

      • iucounu says:

        No, Dublin > Ireland > Britannia. Portugal, unlike Andalusia, remains independent. *schemes*

  12. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I am so excited about this! The Pope will worship Odin, I’ll see to it!

  13. lordcooper says:

    Oh Hel yes.

  14. visseking says:

    Poison their houses, burn their women and rape their water!

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      No no, you got it all wrong. You burn their water, rape their houses and marry their livestock.

      • wodin says:

        No you rape the livestock, water the women and marry the houses

  15. FCA says:

    I wonder how they’ll handle the holy roman empire with that earlier start date. Colour me very excited.

    • spindaden says:

      I’m very interested in how the world will change from the earlier perspective too. Paradox’s historical database must be getting Sports Interactive levels of ridiculous by now.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Don’t get TOO excited – they only provide the new startdate 867, not the years between that and 1066. The reason is that the necessary research would be to much effort for them, so they decided to just make 867 as good as possible and leave the rest to the modders.

    • 2lab says:

      There should be some pagans left in the British isles with that start date, I could have some fun with a doomed effort to halt advance of of church.

  16. strangeloup says:

    I’ve been wanting a really good game where you can play as vikings for a while now. CKII is already a really good game, since I took the advice to ditch the buggy tutorial and jump in — I’ve had to be careful, playing it in reasonably short bursts so as not to be up until 5am — and this expansion sounds like it’ll make for even more fun.

    That being said, I am pretty much enjoying being King Bastard of Norway, and holding out quite well, despite not having figured out half of the things I can do.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      The lack of proper Viking-related games is truly baffling isn’t it? Perhaps it’s because the popular image of the Viking is so different from the “reality”. But then this comes along, and: joy.

  17. Captain Joyless says:

    “The Old Gods” are coming – but not the oldest god, Yahweh!

    (well, arguably not true, blah, blah, it’s a tagline).

    Despite the fact that there are actual real historical Jewish rulers in 867 (in particular, the Khazars in the Crimea), plus all the Jewish courtiers that should be in various medieval courts from 1066 to 1452, and despite that there’s even Khazar remnant Jewish lord in 1066…

    …Paradox has decided to write Jews and Judaism completely out of history. We have Zoroastrianism, but no Jews. We have Finnish neopaganism, but no Judaism.

    So what does Paradox do with historical Jewish lords and courtiers? Paradox just changes their religion to Orthodox or Tengri. So they’re in the game, sure, and they have names like David, Benjamin, and Aaron, but Paradox has decided to write an entire European history without Judaism.


  18. Stuka_JU87 says:

    Finally, I can’t wait to play this. I’ve been waiting to play as a pagan culture since I got this and its been sitting in my steam library since bought it. I haven’t been able to get the motivation to play this as a christian or muslim nation.