Hold Court DLC For the Medieval Strategy Game
Hold Court is an expansion that introduces a variety of new options. These include a host for court that can earn vassals opinion and realm cohesion bonuses; and a multitude of new court positions that let players hire food tasters, astrologers, and even a tiara-maker.
There’s also a culture system that adds some much-needed depth beyond technology advancement and opinion modifiers. There are artifacts that bring splendour, and cultural systems with their own languages.
A new artifact system adds different bonuses to a variety of legendary objects. Some of these are carried as inventory items – swords, crowns and shields – while others can be displayed in the royal court as part of a collection.
This includes things like statues, tapestries and reliquaries full of what may or may not be bits of saints. Each item has a specific effect that depends on its culture.
These items degrade over time, so it’s important to keep a skilled Antiquarian on hand to repair them. Having one at the throne room will also help increase your court’s grandeur and make it harder for other rulers to steal them. Artifacts can be bought from a number of NPCs, but the best ones require Inspiration.
The Royal Court DLC adds a new culture system that makes the medieval melting pot more dynamic than ever. Every culture comes with a unique set of bonuses and modifiers. Choosing an existing culture or creating a hybrid culture gives players plenty of scope to splice together different ways of life to make their court truly their own.
Every court has a Grandeur level, which can be boosted by cultural choices and certain events. The more grandeur, the better the court is, and the more benefits it unlocks.
Adult rulers can choose to Hold Court every five years, where they hear the troubles and wishes of their subjects. These could be anything from a dispute between nobles to a genealogist asking for funds. It’s up to the ruler to decide how to deal with these petitions.
In addition to adding a fancy new throne room, Royal Court also fleshes out the culture system by giving players more hands-on control over the perks it provides. They can now select innovations for their culture and see how those changes affect the dynasty in different ways.
There is now a Grandeur statistic that represents how famous your royal court is. It increases based on certain events and can be lowered by others. The higher the Grandeur, the more Inspired people will visit your court.
There are a lot of small details in Royal Court that help add depth to the game. For example, the culture system is a lot more hands-on than it was in CK2. Cultures can now be reformed and even split off from the main culture to become their own microculture for a tiny region on the map.
The regal expansion introduces a new throne room, and players will be able to spend gold on various amenities to improve the comfort of their courtiers, vassals and family members. These expenditures will contribute to a kingdom’s Grandeur; exceeding it will grant an opinion bonus while falling short will incur an opinion malus.
Inspired people will also visit a player’s courts, requesting money to undertake research or scholarly endeavours that will result in items and artefacts that can be displayed around the throne room. These are a more interesting addition than the current court guests, who by Oltner’s own admission “don’t do a lot except slow down the game”.
Royal Court will also flesh out the culture system, which has historically provided unique bonuses for a dynasty but has been largely hands-off.
There are a number of new court positions. These vary in importance from hereditary to purely ceremonial, but most provide a small boost to Grandeur (either as a percentage of the overall level or as an extra bonus).
Often they are also important for their influence over the regent. This could be because of their charm, boldness, honeyed tongue, intelligence, strength or something else.
A standard royal court will often include a chaplain who gets on badly with church representatives, an antiquarian or pet mad scientist who can help locate artifacts, and even a food taster who makes it slightly less likely that you’ll survive being poisoned at a banquet. These roles are all available as part of the new Royal Court menu that players can access from their Alerts Menu or the Character Radial.