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Have you met the party baron of Crusader Kings 3?

Wait, you don’t know the Party Baron of Crusader Kings 3? Aw, mate, he’s only an absolute ledge. Best bants in all the kingdom, I tell ya, throws the best parties from here to the Holy Roman Empire. While it looks like he’s scarpered from the game’s final release, tales of the legendary host (and some fantastic placeholder art) appear to have helped shape the grand strategy’s tangle of plots, intrigue, and colourful characters.

Released earlier today, Crusader Kings 3 is quietly packed with lovely paintings of court intrigue and bloody barons, each worthy of a frame on your wall. But earlier today, one developer shared a stunning, once-hidden artwork – unearthing the tale of feudal Europe’s coolest venue owner.

Goofy MS-Paint art isn’t even the best part of this Tweet, however, which quickly turns into a deep lore thread on the Party Baron. Described as “partially a joke, partially a design concept”, the Party Baron was a kind of ideal shorthand for how the team explored characters in the game. “[He] was never an official design approach,” Petter explains, “but I think it exemplifies the way the team communicated about the game.”

See, the Party Baron represented how even minor characters could play a huge role in your dynasty’s story. He’d be some absolute nobody, baron of a piss-poor puddle of mud in the arse-end of nowhere – but he’d have a staggering diplomacy score, and would win everyone over with his legendary feasts and parties. He might not be of much import, but getting rid of him would mean making a whole lotta enemies.

“He’d be the kind of character who, even though you might be a petty ruler who envied him, he’d eventually win you over. He’s the Party Baron, after all! Everyone loves the Party Baron, even you, you miserable git!”

So, did the Party Baron make it into the game proper? Petter is tight-lipped but reckons the thinking behind the Baron is what should make stories in Crusader Kings 3 “every bit as magical and personal” – even if they’re entirely procedural.

Our own court jester dashing lord Nate Crowley took an early trip through ye olden times for our Crusader Kings 3 review. Baron or no, he reckons it’s a fantastic jumping-on point for series newcomers, but may need more time to fully weigh up his conclusions on the daunting political sprawl.

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Natalie Clayton

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