Play­ing a hunk in Cru­saderKingsII.

Con­quer­ing Venice with the power of hand­some in CRU­SADER KINGS II


she agrees to dou­ble in­dem­nity her hus­band with an ex­plod­ing privy

There are a lot of ways to ‘break’ Cru­sader Kings. You can be­come an im­mor­tal war­rior, a devil wor­ship­per with magic pow­ers, or the lit­eral an­tichrist. But re­cently I dis­cov­ered a new way: by be­ing su­per hot.

I first no­ticed this while play­ing as a char­ac­ter who had both the ‘at­trac­tive’ and ‘strong’ traits. I was sur­prised how high an opin­ion boost this gave and, like any gam­ing vet­eran, I im­me­di­ately thought “Can I min­max this?”

Step for­ward Hunk McMan­meat, the sex­i­est man in Chris­ten­dom. Hunk was cre­ated us­ing the Ruler De­signer DLC, which lets you de­sign

a cus­tom char­ac­ter, and ‘pay’ for traits with age. I give him ‘at­trac­tive’, ‘strong’ and ‘mas­ter se­ducer’, all of which makes him aged 69. I bring him down to 44 by mak­ing him wounded and stressed as well. He has no other tal­ents, his stats are medi­ocre – how far can one man go on looks alone?

I de­cide to start Hunk in Venice be­cause I find the phrase ‘Sexy Doge’ hi­lar­i­ous, and take up the hobby of all mer­chant re­publics; mur­der­ing other mer­chants for their trade as­sets. At this point the true power of Hunk’s smoul­der­ing good looks be­comes ap­par­ent. Y’see, one of the things that gov­erns whether some­one will join in a mur­der plot is if they like the plotter, and women like Hunk. They re­ally like Hunk. Soon my ri­val Domenico de Morosoni is dead.

It turns out this power can be en­hanced even fur­ther. I in­vite half a dozen women to court. All six have a high plot­ting skill, and they’re all

sin­gle. Soon Hunk, de­spite be­ing de­scribed as an ‘am­a­teur­ish plotter’, is ca­pa­ble of as­sas­si­nat­ing any­one in the land with ease. Within a few months the last mem­ber of House Morosoni (a baby) is dead. There are lots of rea­sons to do a bit of child mur­der in CK2, but “be­cause the guy who asked me to was re­ally good look­ing” isn’t a com­mon one. With the fam­ily line elim­i­nated, sev­eral of its trad­ing lo­ca­tions be­come mine.

If looks could kill

Even­tu­ally my ir­re­sistible force meets an im­mov­able ob­ject, one Pa­tri­cian Giovanni de Ziani. Ziani has a mam­moth in­trigue score which even my re­lent­less killers can’t de­feat. Worse still, his wife is a skilled spymistress, and in Cru­sader Kings, just like in real life, your spouse’s stats are added to your own. But his big­gest as­set is also his big­gest li­a­bil­ity. I go on a charm of­fen­sive with Lady Ziani. It’s all too much, and she agrees to Dou­ble In­dem­nity her hus­band with an ex­plod­ing privy. At this point I re­alise my own wife, who has been sur­pris­ingly tol­er­ant of my phi­lan­der­ing ways, has died, so I make my an­ni­hi­la­tion of De Ziani com­plete by mar­ry­ing his wi­dow.

Hunk passes away aged 62. He never con­quered any new lands, but he did amass enough wealth to buy all of Europe sev­eral times over. He wasn’t the best man, but he was the hottest piece of ass in Venice, and maybe that’s enough.

T’was beauty who killed the beast.

Cru­sader Kings is just an elab­o­rate dat­ing sim.

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