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Friday, September 11, 2015

Modern Times mod for Crusader Kings 2 - enjoy feudal politics of 1900-2015

IMG_7142 by MankiProject from flickr (CC-BY)

Early versions of the mod have been available for a bit over a week on Steam Workshop, but I'd like to make a proper announcement and notes.

The mod shifts Crusader Kings 2 to 1900-2015 timespan, with same map, reasonably accurate borders (as much as possible with vanilla provinces), some historical rulers, and automatically generated vassals, families, and rulers which I didn't write down yet.

Otherwise, it has same map and mechanics. It is not and has no intention of ever being a total conversion mod. It might someday expand timespan back a few decades or maybe even centuries, and it will probably contain a few tweaked mechanics eventually, but I'm not making anything like AGOT.

You can get it from Steam Workshop or as direct download.


The intention is that all independent rulers will be accurate in some future version - for now all 10/10 emperor-tier countries but only 13/75 lower tier countries are done. You can - and should - use ruler designer to come up with your ruler if non-historical one is used.

Who counts as a "ruler" is somewhat ambiguous, I took monarchs if possible, and then usually presidents over prime ministers, unless prime minister is much more prominent (as in let's say Germany). Interim presidents and no-ruler periods are all disregarded, with next ruler being backdated to whenever previous ruler's reign ended.

Everybody else - regional vassals, and children of various landed characters - has been generated randomly.

This start is in some ways already better than vanilla starts - especially in 769 and 867 but also in later start dates outside core of Europe nobody had any daughters or sisters, so there was no way to do any dynastic politics until second generation. In this mod as duke of Bavaria you can marry daughter of king of Netherlands, or whoever got rolled randomly there.

20% of rulers (except Muslims and popes) and 50% of children are female.

Even historical characters get randomly generated children (in addition to any historical children they might have).

I tried to model parent-child relations between rulers, but anything more complicated than that I left out for now, so they'll just be kinsmen. Characters with same name (historical or generated) in same country are treated as part of same dynasty, characters from same dynasty in different countries (like kings of Sweden and Norway) are currently treated as independent houses, and any intermarriage between royal houses of different countries is not yet modelled. It will probably change at some point.

Traits of all characters are generated randomly by the game whenever you start. So if Jacques Chirac turns out to be a greedy impaler attractive dwarf in your game, that's not mod's doing.

The only character with special treatment is ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who gets cruel zealous and 10k event troops. Without that ISIS falls too easily, and we wouldn't want that, right?

I might add special treatment to a few more rulers, but it can too easily get into silly arguments if someone was a genius or an idiot based on political preferences, so I'll keep most randomly generated.

Countries and their names

The mod tries to use the most geographically appropriate landed title, and then rename it if it needs be, using same trick vanilla uses to make "kingdom of Italy" continuation of "kingdom of Lombardy" (k_italy both).

So for example Romania is a kingdom-level title, corresponding to "k_dacia" (named Wallachia) in vanilla.

De jure map has not been touched yet, but it will need to be eventually. There are a few things I'm not terribly happy about, like how HRE and Byzantine Empire still exist de jure, and how post-1918 Austria (e_carpathia) is wholy outside its de jure territory.

Decision to make something empire, kingdom, duchy, or county depends primary on its maximum territorial extent in mod's timeframe. That's why Belgium (d_frisia) is just a duchy, while Austria (e_carpathia) is an empire.

All empires are: United Kingdom, Spain, Ottoman Empire/Turkey, Russia/Soviet Union, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, India, Iran. (names of Russia and Turkey change depending on bookmark).

The mod includes no dynastic names minimod, so Arab/Turkish/etc. countries use territorial names too.

One thing I couldn't fix was making ISIS keep "The Sunni Caliphate" as its primary title. It quickly creates territorial duchies of Syria and Mosul and uses one of them as its primary, even though game files explicitly tell it not to do so. So you'll see two Syrias (k_syria and d_syria/d_sunni) next to each other quite often. I think I should at least rename "d_syria" to duchy of "East Syria" or something to reduce silliness a bit.

Arabia (k_arabia) is called "Arabia" not "Saudi Arabia", as nothing guarantees that their dynasty will stay in charge.

As map covers only tiny part of China, instead of any kind of empire of China mod only includes kingdom level Xinjiang - which is early bookmarks includes Mongolia. I'm not terribly happy about it, but there's little I can do. Chances are high Paradox will add China in some future expansion, making this problem go away.

Border changes generally correspond to peace deals or some long term truces, so there's no crazy border changes every month during WW2 etc.

Some small countries like Kosovo, Lichtenstein etc. just don't fit the map, so they won't exist in the mod at all.

Holy Orders

All holy orders which exist at end of CK2 vanilla timeframe still exist in the mod. In addition to that Templars exist (check any conspiracy site for reasoning), Zealots exist as Israeli vassal in any bookmark where Israel exists (mostly to prevent them getting overran by Egypt day one), and Assassins get un-destroyed and exist as vassals of Iran in any bookmark after Iranian Revolution.

Internal Organization

Every county or duchy level independent ruler holds everything personally.

King/emperor level rulers hold everything in their capital duchy personally, and have one multi-count vassal per de jure duchy.

As gavelkind would be ridiculous, everybody starts at agnatic-cognatic primogeniture, except Muslims (agnatic open), and various special titles like papacy and holy orders.

All countries start with zero crown authority, papal investiture, as well as level 2 city and feudal taxes (AI will generally go to no feudal tax ASAP which is silliness inherited from vanilla, I might include bugfix for that in future versions of the mod).

Emperor tier titles start at zero centralization, everybody below that at medium centralization. This means that some titles start over vassal limit, and some - especially United Kingdom (while it still holds India) and India - start drastically over vassal limit.

This will hopefully be fixed in future versions, with vassal multicounts being replaced by vassal dukes, multidukes, or kings for countries where it's sensible.

Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are marked as nomads - so they'll start as nomads if you play with Horse Lords DLC, or tribes otherwise. Other countries (like Moldova) have nomad flag removed.

Provinces which are tribal and end of CK2 remain tribal in mod, even though it's a bit silly.

All provinces with bishopric capital get their capital moved to castle, except Rome. City capitals remain as such.


Population culture/religion is mostly what it was at end of CK2, with some number of rough tweaks for worst silliness.

Various Protestants are modelled as Catholic heresies. Half-Catholic countries like Germany are generally treated as Catholic for now.

The problem with accurate modelling of all that is that religious and cultural minorities are for most part spread out geographically, but CK2 expects them to be regionally concentrated, so nothing like correct modelling is possible.

Technology is based on sensible gradient - British Isles > Western Europe > Eastern Europe > Middle East > India/Africa/Steppes (each group one tech below previous). France and Germany regions are in Western Europe tech in 1900, but in British Isles group in 2015.

Game generates buildings in holdings based on technology levels.

Extra game mechanics

The mod includes Suez Canal minimod.

There's no European Union / NATO / WW2 etc. as we can't add extra tier of titles, and it would take very complex scripting to do anything useful this way. Maybe one day I'll set this up.

If you're playing as Norse (via ruler designer) character, you won't have access to most major rivers, as they stop being navigable when provinces they neighbour reach fort level 10, which most of them start at with mods' tech levels. I might change that in the future.

Bookmarks suggested by the mod (1900, 1914, 1920, 1938, 1945, 1975, 1991, 1999, 2015) are in no way special.

Future versions of the mod might include a lot more mechanically.

Mod might be compatible with a lot of non-map-changing minimods.

Code and Bug reports

Feel free to contact me in any way whatsoever about bug reports or questions (email, blog comments, Steam Workshop, reddit etc.).

Bug reports that some country's rulers are missing are not necessary, as I know that already :-)

If added historical rulers have wrong dates (interim rulers intentionally not included, so backdating here expected), names etc. or borders are wrong (in a way that's not simply artifact of vanilla provinces falling between two countries), that's kind of mistake I'm most interested in hearing about.

Code generating the mod is available on github. Most interesting files are probably characters and borders.

There is no guarantee that mod updates won't screw your existing campaign in some way, so you're probably better off using direct download version instead of Steam Workshop version (which will automatically update).


My primary sources were Wikipedia and GoaCron. I checked with a few other sources like 2015 mod by King of the Romans too.


Ols said...

If you want any help modding the province shapes or changing the de jure setup then I could put in a couple of evenings to work on it.

taw said...

Ols: I think I'll just keep province shapes as they are for now. I'm not sure yet how far back I want to extend the timeline eventually, and that would affect province shapes, de jure map etc. - things that make sense for 21st century won't necessarily do for 19th.

Unfortunate downside of me using scripts to setup this mod is it makes hard for other people to contribute anything more than bug reports (which are definitely welcome). :-/

I'd also totally love if someone made a let's play series with this mod, that doesn't require any coding :-D

Ols said...

You can have the de jure shapes change over time, and the map of Victoria II is a great way to make province shapes that can accurately model both the 21st century and the 19th. What scripts are you using? It's usually better to actually delve right into the folders in my opinion.

taw said...

Ols: All the code is here:

Mostly check these for raw data:

There's something like thousand lines of mod-specific code to turn that into province histories, is addition to all the base code for manipulating Paradox games.

It's something like 20k+ generated characters, not even remotely doable by hand, and I wouldn't mind setting up even more complex generated world.

I approached thing a bit wrong way, only specifying lands from 1900.1.1, so moving back even one year requires manually rechecking all provinces. Once I get around this mess, I'll probably move timeframe back a lot. I'm currently targeting 1700+, but it will probably take a few updates to get that far, and a few things (like Germany, HRE etc.) will need major changes.