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Let’s Play: Crusader Kings 2 Game of Thrones Mod v0.3
SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers for Book 1 and Season 1
Warning: This is going to be a long document. You have been warned.
To kill time before Guild Wars 2 comes out I’ve been playing an incredible grand strategy game set in
Westeros. I will confidently state that this is the best Game of Thrones game out there, and it is just a
beta version mod. The vanilla game is Crusader Kings 2, which you can read about at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusader_Kings_II. I picked it up during the summer steam sale solely
because I had heard about the GoT mod. I haven’t even played vanilla, so I can’t say too much about it.
In brief, the game focuses on expanding the influence of your house (direct family members). It has
some RPG elements, as you play as a single character with stats and traits that change based on
decisions you make and on your upbringing. When your character dies you become your heir (usually
first born son, but it doesn’t have to be) and so on until you die without an heir or you lose all of your
land. You can play this mod multiplayer, but I’m not sure how well that would work out.
The game is played on a world map, which is divided into small provinces. It is similar to Civilization in
that you build up your holdings and combat is abstracted. You can raise your own armies and also call
upon your vassals for a percentage of their men to join you.
Any “landed” noble has a court and council members that help you do all kinds of nasty things to your
neighbors. The game also generates non-landed individuals that can be assigned as generals, or
stewards, or granted land if they are within your realm. A great deal of the game focuses on raising your
heirs, marrying off children to build alliances and gain land, keeping your liege happy, managing your
vassals, and plenty of backstabbing intrigue. At this point it is worth noting that the game has a complex
system of plots that allows the various people of Westeros to ruin each other’s lives. For example, it
wouldn’t be unusual to receive a message from your spymaster indicating that he has discovered that
your lover is plotting to murder your wife, and that the ungrateful asshole that is threatening to rebel
against your throne is in on the scheme.
Perhaps the best part of the game is how it creates emergent storylines. I hope you enjoy reading the
following story as much as I enjoyed playing it.
I’m first going to post a screenshot that made me smile, but that isn’t from the current Let’s Play.
I was playing as Littlefinger, just messing around, when I noticed the alert in the top right corner. King
Robert murdered by his wife Cersei? Didn’t see that one coming! I should note that this event was
unscripted. Also, I have a ton of money because I cheated to get a handle on how to play the game. The
Let’s Play will involve no cheating and I will not be reloading if something bad happens. This screenshot
may be confusing if you’ve never played before, but after this Let’s Play you’ll see that the game is
actually not all THAT complicated.
So on with the Let’s Play. General things: For my own entertainment I will be writing (poorly) from the
perspective of my main character as if writing a journal. I will occasionally explain gameplay elements in
italics. The mod has four scenarios. I’m going to select “The Crowned Stag” and I will play (once again) as
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. This game thrives on devious intrigue, and there are few better suited for it
than Lord Baelish. At this point in time Petyr is essentially a nobody. He is lord to a backwater province
in the Vale called Newton, the littlest of the three peninsulas known as the Fingers. Petyr also happens
to be incredibly ambitious, and desires to see himself declared King of the Iron Throne within his lifetime
… or die trying.
This is the character select screen, showing a map of Westeros. The game recommends a few
“interesting characters,” but you can click on any of the small provinces on the map and select to play
the lord or lady that rules there. The game lets me know that playing as Littlefinger will be quite difficult,
as he has no family members and no vassals, and basically nothing but some incredible stats. I’m not
sure if it is intentional for this scenario, or if it is a bug in this release, but Westeros was very stable under
the rule of King Robert in this playthrough. In previous games using the prior version, the Iron Throne
was constantly fracturing as various Lords Paramount united to overthrow the crown.
284 Years after Aegon’s Landing
Peace has settled over the seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The Kingslayer has murdered the Mad King and
Robert Baratheon rules in King’s Landing, married to the devious Cersei Lannister. My liege, Jon Arryn,
claims that we are all better off without the Targaryens, but in the Fingers nothing has changed. There is
no coin here. Poor lords fighting over poor lands. But that will change. King Baratheon and the fool Ed
Stark believe the Targaryens are gone. But my Master of Whisperers has told me an intriguing tale. Two
Targaryens still live. They are young and without parents or friends. They will be frightened and
impressionable and easily manipulated. I will return them to their former glory, and soon all will know
the name Petyr Baelish. I cannot wait to see the look on Eddard and Catelyn’s faces as they kneel before
me as King.
The game is truly a sandbox, so it helps to set short and long term goals. My goal in this playthrough will
be to marry Princess Daenerys and elevate her to the Queen of the Iron Throne, making myself (Petyr)
King and hopefully setting up my heir to have a lengthy rule.
The Stormborn Princess has been hidden away in Driftmark and Lord Monford appears to have no idea
of her identify or importance. The fool has agreed to betroth the young Princess to me.
Prestige is one of three currencies in this game, the other two are Gold and Piety. Everything costs gold,
and some actions will cost Prestige or Piety. Prestige is essentially a measure of how famous/badass your
character is. Piety is a measure of how devout you are to your Religion. I start with 20 Prestige because
I’m a nobody. Marrying Daenerys will net me 111 Prestige because of the Prestige of her dynasty (House)
and because her rank is way above mine. Marrying below you will cost Prestige.
Daenerys is 1 years old at this point, so I will have to wait 15 years before we are actually married. Time
to get busy.
As befits this hellhole that I call home, my court is filled with incompetent peasants. Without a strong
council behind me, I may well fall prey to one of the Spider’s many traps. Fortunately, the courts of my
many friends in Westeros are filled with talented young unmarried women. My friends will not hesitate
to marry off their best and brightest ladies to my peasant nobles, for a price.
Marrying my male courtiers to highly skilled women causes them to join their husbands in my court. This
allows me to appoint them to my council. I use the character search function to find a few women with
the Genius trait (+5 to all stats, inheritable) and marry them to my incompetent courtiers. As they arrive
in my court I appoint them to my Council.
My only regret is that the High Lords will not tolerate a female Castellan, and I must appoint the idiot
Wallace to this post. However, his new wife has a flair for stewardship and has accepted a position as
my Master of Coin. The Citadel has also responded to my request for a Maester to teach the children of
my Court. Miraculously, Maester Ronnel appears to know his craft well.
I have sent my Master of Laws to fabricate a claim on the island of Peeble, as I suspect that they are
weak and will easily fall before my armies. You have to have a valid reason to declare wars, known as
Casus Belli. Here, I’m having my Master of Laws forge a set of documents that will be miraculously found
demonstrating that I have a valid ancient claim to the Peeble province. Once this claim is in place, the
other lords of Westeros will understand if I go to war to take over the territory.
There are six Council positions. Each Council position uses a different stat, which adds to the Ruler’s stat
to calculate a State stat. Each position can undertake three tasks. First, a description of the five different
stats (note that a character with a 20 in a stat is considered to be highly skilled in that area):
Diplomacy (Petyr Baelish = 17): Affects how much other characters like you, which affects your ability to
persuade them to do your bidding.
Martial (Petyr = 13): Measures your fighting ability. Used when leading armies, fighting in tourneys, and
in personal combat on the field of battle.
Stewardship (Petyr = 29): Your strength at managing a realm. Will increase tax revenue and the number
of holdings you can maintain before angering your vassals.
Intrigue (Petyr = 26): Your strength at organizing and foiling plots. For example, it is easier to assassinate
a character with low intrigue.
Learning (Petyr = 11): Appears to measure how competent you are at teaching others. I believe that you
want to have your children mentored by characters with high learning.
The six Council Positions are:
Castellan: Can oversee a single province, increase defenses in a province, or ___________. Uses
Master of Laws: Can improve relations with another lord, fabricate a claim on another province, or sow
dissent between an opposing lord and his vassals. Uses Diplomacy.
Master-at-Arms: _____________, train troops, or research military technology. Uses Martial.
Master of Coin: Can collect taxes, oversee construction, or research economic technology. Uses
Master of Whisperers: Can uncover plots, create spy rings, or steal technology. Uses Intrigue.
Maester: Can tutor children, tend to wounded, or research cultural technology. Uses Learning. Must
have the Maester trait.
After a slew of marriages I end up with a strong council, minus the Castellan. I’m not sure if the
requirement that the Castellan be male is a bug or a feature. Hopefully this will be the only long drawn
out explanation of gameplay mechanics.
285 Years after Aegon’s Landing
Keeping my betrothal a secret has been difficult. The other lords whisper when I arrive without a wife in
tow. In addition, although I despise the Newton peninsula, without an heir it would pass to Lord Arryn if
I were to die. I cannot allow this to happen. Fortunately, one of my councilwomen has been flirting with
me during sessions. I believe she fancies me.
Lady Lysa is well reknown for her mental acuity. Our child would likely be brilliant. Tonight, I will make a
sacrifice to ensure the future stability of House Baelish.
Being a lord is not without certain privileges. I have taken Lady Lysa as my lover and her cuckold
husband, my idiot Castellan Wallace, is none the wiser.
286 Years after Aegon’s Landing
Joy of joys. Lady Lysa has given birth to my daughter Donyse. Little Donyse is learning so quickly, I
believe she must be a genius. I have legitimized her as my heir, and must watch Wallace, who now
knows of his wife’s nightly transgressions. Still, he is the best Castellan in my small court, so he will
remain at his post, for now.
Every character has an opinion of every other character. This is reflected as a score between -100 and
100. Various traits and events will affect the opinion score. For example, Wallace now has a -30 opinion
modifier to me for “Cuckolded.”
I must move quickly to ensure that none of my rivals stake a claim to the other young Dragon. I have
betrothed my young daughter Donyse to Prince Targaryen. The young prince will be unwilling to break a
betrothal and unable to take a wife in the meantime.
288 Years after Aegon’s Landing
Today is a tragic day for the Vale. Lord Arryn has passed from this life. His young daughter has appointed
me as Regent of the Vale.
290 Years after Aegon’s Landing
My Master of Laws finally finished fabricating an ancient claim on the Island of Peeble. I hired a group of
Dornish sellswords to join me on a jaunt to Lord Cadwyl’s castle. The fool thought I was attending his
tournament! The look on his face when I informed him of my declaration of war was priceless!
You cannot declare war with your levies raised to avoid this exact situation. However, for some reason
you can have mercenaries raised and still declare war. I marched a large mercenary army to his doorstep
and then declared war. This looks to be a fantastically overpowered tactic that I will use to my
advantage. Petyr is a ruthless man.
291 Years after Aegon’s Landing
A few years ago a passing septon knighted me. It is a foolish profession, but I have found that the local
tourneys do help to pass the monotonous years before Daenerys comes of age. Imagine my surprise
when I triumphed over the warriors of the realm!
Unfortunately, a wench at the tournament has infected me with some vile disease! I have asked for the
sweet release of the milk of the poppy, but Maester Ronnel had the gall to refuse. If I recover, he will be
Fortunately, my Master-at-Arms is quite competent, and has managed to win the siege against Lord
Cadwyl in my absence. I am now the owner of two miserable stretches of land in the Fingers, but it is a
I have also sent that fool Wallace to collect taxes in Newton. Unsurprisingly he has failed in his charge,
but the bright side is that he has been severely wounded.
In fact, this joyous news has been sufficient to lift this cloud of sickness from my shoulders.
News has reached me that the Targaryen boy is an incompetent and cruel coward. I can only hope that
his sister does not share these same traits.
Although I love my daughter Donyse, I must be prepared to name my future Targaryen brats as my heir
should they prove worthy. I have therefore decided to change to an elective monarchy. Although my
vassals will have an opportunity to vote for my successor, I am confident that my gold and my assassins
will keep them in line.
As a ruler you have an opportunity to change a number of laws regulating your kingdom, including your
succession law. I had previously been set to share my titles among my children when I die. I want to
ensure that my heir will inherit all of my holdings, and although Donyse looks to have great stats and
traits, I want to remain flexible. An elective monarchy is perfect for my needs.
At a recent feast in the Eyrie I happened to meet the infamous Queen of Thorns. It appears she is
unhappy as a widow and has a lust for the male touch. She is unhappy with the Tyrell court and is willing
to marry one of my fool courtiers. Once she joins my court I will appoint her as my new Master of
Whisperers. I cannot help but suspect the devious old woman, but I will put her talents to good use.
My scheming has proven insufficient. My wife will turn 16 in 8 short years. I must have more to show for
her than a few backwater provinces in the Fingers! Perhaps I have been too charitable with my nearby
lords. That ends today!
I must also begin to distance myself from my lover Lysa before my Princess joins my side. Lady Lysa has
failed to give me more children, but will remain as Master of Coin.
However … another gorgeous genius fancies me. Perhaps another attempt at producing a son would be
Unfortunately, my relationship with Melessa was only a one night stand, and my spies indicate that she
isn’t pregnant. A pity.
Time feels like it is passing quickly with little progress. I must make a move on the Vale soon. As the Lady
Paramount Eglantine’s regent, I have ample opportunity to arrange an unfortunate accident, however
that will not be my way. I have other, more sinister plans in store for her.
The bastard Royce Coldwater has fabricated a claim on Newton! His forgery lacks the finesse and skill of
my Master of Laws, but nevertheless the Lady Paramount has recognized his claim. She will pay for this!
But first Lord Coldwater will suffer.
The lady Targaryen has grown up to be a bright, and beautiful young lady. We were married today, and
she showed no signs of her father’s madness. Today is a wonderful day, yet I still have very little to show
for a decade of scheming. Perhaps the young Dragon will have some ideas.
In other news, the Queen of Thorns has passed away. In the last few years she became quite fond of me,
and on her deathbed she recommended that I marry a son to the Lord Paramount of the Reach’s
daughter, and murder anyone standing between the daughter and the throne of the Reach. She may
have gone mad in her last days, but she has some interesting ideas … as this would set up my grandson
to be Lord Paramount of the Reach.
My daughter Donyse has come of age and was willing to marry the Targaryen Prince despite his many
faults. Unfortunately, the bastard Sealord Narbo has gone against his promise. He will pay for this.
Fortunately, the young Princess understands her duty and has given me a son. We had decided to name
our son Donnel, however our drunken Maester erroneously wrote “Khaos\” on the missive to the
Citadel. The poor lad has become a laughing stock throughout Westeros.
I had set the “\” key to take screenshots, and I managed to name him Khaos\ by mistake. Damn it!
I overheard two serving girls gossiping outside of my chambers this morning. Among their gibberish
were two fascinating pieces of information. It appears that a Wilding has been named Lord Commander
of the Night’s Watch. A man by the name of Mance Rayder. King Baratheon has lost his mind!
Additionally, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, brave Ser Barristan the Bold, is reportedly in a
coma. The Maesters do not believe he will ever recover.
Perhaps it is for the best that Sealord Norbo has rejected the marriage of my daughter to the young
Targaryen boy. I have found a young man for her to wed that is by all accounts a genius. He is certainly
unattractive and wears an atrocious mustache, but my daughter understands her duty.
Finally, my lovely daughter Donyse, my new Master of Laws, has successfully fabricated claims against
the Island of Paps. I will smear Lady Lyessa’s castle with her blood!
Paps has fallen and Lady Lyessa’s name has become nothing more than a smear on the pages of history.
With three of the five provinces of the Fingers under my control I have named myself the High Lord of
the Fingers, the newest High Lord of the Vale. Perhaps now I will finally gain the respect I deserve.
My fair Princess has a sharp mind for politics. While I had been marshaling my forces to overthrow the
nearby High Lord of Northweald, she recommended that I play to my strengths. Lady Eglantine is not
well liked by her High Lords, and a few coins have bought the loyalty of Lord Yohn the Bronze, who
would lend me significant support in a plot to acquire the Vale for my own.
Plots have an initial “plot power” based on your state intrigue compared to your target’s state intrigue.
You can invite other characters to your plot, increasing your “plot power” if they like you a great deal
more than the target, or have other reasons to support your action. As the most powerful High Lord in
the Vale, Lord Yohn the Bronze added something like 183% to my plot power. With sufficient backers and
plot power you can initiate your plot and see what happens.
My former ward has seen reason, and to avoid a costly civil war has elected to abdicate the throne to
me. My wife is quite pleased. However, Lady Eglantine still rules in the Eyrie and must be dealt with.
Additionally, Lord Yohn’s power now threatens my own. It is time to clean house in the Vale and take
control of the most lucrative castles and cities.
My Master of Whisperers claims it would be a trifle to fabricate an ancient claim on the High Lordship of
the Giant’s Lance. As the High Lord of the Giant’s Lance I will have a de jure claim on each of the four
provinces within the High Lordship, including the Eyrie and the Bloody Gate.
Using my fabricated claim I have declared war on Lady Eglantine. My vassals have raised their armies in
my name and I have beaten her forces into submission. She now calls me Lord. This is the first step
towards ousting her from my realm. However, Lady Eglantine is only one obstacle preventing me from
ownership of the most valuable provinces in the Vale. The other lords will be angered if I simply revoke
the Lordship of Heart’s Home, as is my right as Lord Paramount. However, if I can provoke the Lord of
Heart’s Home into rebelling against me, my other vassals will be more than happy to topple him. I have
appointed Lord Lyonel as my Court Jester, and have instructed my Maester to send a number of ravens
to his castles insulting his manhood.
I do the same to another of other lords who control land that I want. There will be a series of wars within
the Vale, but no single Lord poses a threat to me, except perhaps for Lord Yohn.
Lord Yohn has grown far too powerful. His forces could threaten a prolonged civil war were he to rebel
against my rule. Rather than provoking him to battle, my sweet Princess recommends that we simply
imprison him and send him to the Wall. His disgraced family will lose all claim to their lands, and I will
become master of his castles and cities, and named the High Lord of Runestone. The people may
whisper “tyrant,” but none have the gall to stand against me.
Taking negative actions against your vassals without a right to do so, such as imprisoning and banishing
someone who has done nothing wrong, will earn you the tyrant trait, providing an opinion penalty
against you for everyone within your realm. This action is worth it here because the people generally love
me and his provinces are rich.
Another insulted Lord has been foolish enough to rebel against my rule. Like the others, his rebellion will
be quashed, himself imprisoned, and his title confiscated. He will not be the last.
Lady Eglantine has declared war on me. The armies of the Eyrie are vast, and its defenses impressive.
However, the Eyrie is easily isolated from supplies. It may take a long siege, but she will beg for
forgiveness when I am done.
In the meantime, I have grown very fond of my Princess. Not fond enough to ignore the many women
lusting after a Lord Paramount, but fond nonetheless.
The bastard Royce Coldwater has declared war. If he thinks I have forgotten his attempt to fabricate a
claim on my ancestral home, he is sadly misguided. He will rot in my dungeon, without an acre to his
My beautiful wife has surprised me with the news that she is pregnant! She claims it is a boy. Perhaps he
will prove more worthy than his poorly named brother.
The siege of the Eyrie has been successful, her defenders rot in the snow.
Lady Eglantine wallows in my dungeon, and her title to the Eyrie is mine!
The Stormborn Princess has indeed given me a son. Out of respect for her wishes, I have allowed her to
name the son. I sense great things for young Rhaegar and will tutor him myself.
King Baratheon is strong, and I must court strong alliances if I am to place my beloved wife on the Iron
Throne. I have betrothed my eldest son Khaos\ to Lord Edmure’s daughter. Unfortunately, she is not
Lord Edmure’s heir, but perhaps that can be changed.
Similarly, I have betrothed young Rhaegar to Lady Freya, the granddaughter of the Lord Paramount of
the Reach. Lady Freya would be named Lady Paramount of the Reach were her father and grandfather
to … retire.
Tragically, my daughter Lady Donyse and Ser Jaime have given birth to a young inbred named Humfrey.
This news has confused my Maester, as he can find no records to indicate that Lady Donyse and Ser
Jaime are related.
Lord Stannis is willing to overlook Humfrey’s disability and has agreed to a betrothal with his young
I decided to give Lord Stannis a ticking genetic time bomb.
With young Rhaegar betrothed to Mace Tyrell’s granddaughter, I must ensure that the succession falls
to her. The first step will be to ensure that Freya’s father is named Lord of the Reach. My Master of
Whisperers has informed me that it will be no trouble to find someone within Lord Tyrell’s court to
arrange an accident.
Even I am shocked by the young Knight of Flowers’ enthusiasm to join my plot to eliminate his father.
However, I sense that he is sincere and I will not turn away such assistance.
A young courtier in King’s Landing, where I sit on King Baratheon’s council, has informed me that she
“appreciates my talents.” I can only assume she wishes to further our relationship.
Unfortunately, Leonette did not have a liaison in mind. I’m not sure exactly what she had in mind, but
she screamed when I arrived at her chambers in the dead of night. I still do not understand women.
Fortunately, the Stormborn Princess is none the wiser.
I have grown tired of waiting for Loras Tyrell’s scheme to bear fruit and directed my Master of
Whisperers to hire assassins for the princely sum of 350 gold. They have proven successful, and Freya’s
father Garlan now rules in the Reach.
A young courtier has indicated that she lusts for me. Although I have decided to become faithful to my
Princess, Leonella’s aggressive advances leave me no choice.
There was a bug that prevented me from turning Leonella down. I fear this will come back to haunt me.
My wife is pregnant once again. She told me today that she desires to have five children! I have much
work to do.
From the east, news has reached me that the young Prince Viserys is dissatisfied with the Sealord Norbo
and fears assassins. I have invited him to join my court in the Vale and promised him my protection.
Prince Viserys was hesitant to join me at court in Newton. He has recommended that I move my court to
the Eyrie. I do not know why I have waited so long to do so.
My son in law, Jaime, has approached me demanding that I remove his wife from my council as Master
in Laws and appoint him in her place. The fool, what does she see in him? I expected genius
grandchildren from him and he gives me an inbred whelp. Now this! I believe it is time to deal with him.
Unfortunately, my assassins, who so handedly murdered Mace Tyrell, failed to finish the job. They did
manage to maim him, and he does not know that I sent his attackers.
Leonella insists that I join her in some public outing. The madwoman has apparently been telling
everyone that we are lovers! The very idea! And news has reached my wife. I must make this woman
My hapless son-in-law continues to anger me. I overheard him insulting me to a group of his friends.
This will not stand. In addition, his inbred son has unfortunately passed, and will no longer need Jaime as
I cannot trust Ser Loras to act against his elder brother, as he moved against his father. Fortunately,
after months of saving I can afford to hire a set of highly skilled assassins, personally trained and
supervised by my Master of Whisperers. Even so, Lord Garlan’s bodyguard is well equipped and well
trained. Chances of success are slim.
The Queen of Thorns’ plan has come to fruition. After a bit of unpleasant business, my favored son
Rhaegar is now betrothed to the Lady Paramount of the Reach. My grandchildren will rule the Vale, the
Riverlands, and the Reach. I fear that there may be tension between my sons in the future.
My Princess has given me a daughter. I have betrothed her to one of Eddard Stark’s younger sons, to
guarantee his future support against Cersei Lannister’s bastard heirs.
My son-in-law has fathered another inbred whelp. I should have my Maester beaten for failing to
uncover the apparently close familial relationship between my daughter and her husband, however, he
swears that no such relationship exists. In any event, Ser Jaime must be removed.
My daughter did not grieve for her late husband, and is eager to marry above her station. She has
requested a marriage to Prince Viserys. I am wary of allowing the Targaryen line to bear fruit once again,
but I acquiesce to her wishes.
It has come to my attention that the south has become embroiled in a succession crisis. Princess
Arianne, the Lady Paramount of Dorne, is at war with her son, Lord Paramount Dale of the Stormlands
for control of Dorne. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to use this to my advantage in the future. In
the meantime, age has taken its toll on my body, although my mind is as healthy as ever. My Maester
says it is very unlikely that I will recover.
In any event, I cannot let my infirmity impede my ambitions. It is time to secure control of my neighbors
in the Riverlands. My son Khaos\ is betrothed to Lady Lysa, the second child of Lord Edmure. I must
ensure that the Riverland falls to my future daughter-in-law.
My son Rhaegar shows great promise and I have decided that he will rule when I am gone. I have
therefore changed the Vale to an Elective Monarchy and named Rhaegar as my heir. This has angered
both my daughter Donyse and my son Khaos\. I’m sure they will understand in time.
PrinceViserys has brought another dragon into the world. She has been named Deana and the world
trembles at her arrival.