A character refers to any person, historical or generated, that is represented personally in Crusader Kings III. Every single character is an individual, living entity that will act individually and has the potential to change history. Characters can be either noble or lowborn, and landed or unlanded.
- Noble characters are members of a dynasty.
- Lowborn characters are not members of a dynasty. If they are landed with a republic or theocracy title, they will remain lowborn. If they are landed with any other title, they will become noble and found a dynasty.
- Landed characters own at least one holding.
- Unlanded characters do not own any holdings.
Characters are depicted using a 3D portrait system. Every character's physical appearance is internally determined by a DNA system, which defines how they look: facial features, skin pigmentation, height, and hair color are all stored as DNA. This DNA is dynamically generated for courtiers, and can be directly edited with the Ruler Designer. DNA is stored as dominant and recessive genes and passed on to a character's children, affecting their appearance.
As Crusader Kings III covers a large portion of Eurasia and North Africa in its setting, characters can be from a diverse number of ethnicities: West/Central European, Northern European, Slavic, Arctic, Mediterranean, West African, East African, Arabic, Asian, North Indian, or South Indian.
Their appearance is further determined by age, weight, and certain congenital traits. Characters will age as years pass by, eventually growing old and withering away. Their appearance can also be adversely affected by illness or injury; battle wounds may scar their face, while disease can leave a ghastly impact on their visage.
Players can adjust the appearance of their ruler or ruler's family members via the Barbershop window. This allows hair and clothing to be changed, overriding the character's default appearance.
A character's sexual orientation determines with which gender they will gain attraction opinion and can form lover relations. It is decided when the character is around 10 years old and cannot be changed. AI characters will never try to form a relation with characters that do not match their sexual orientation. Both the initial distribution of sexual orientation and the chance for children to gain a certain sexual orientation is determined by the sexuality distribution game rule.
If the child is played by a player, there is a 20% chance that the player will get to pick the gender preference.
|Male icon||Female icon||Preference||Can form lover relations and have attraction opinion with|
|Heterosexual||Characters of the opposite gender|
|Homosexual||Characters of the same gender|
Each character has an opinion of every other character. The opinion the player character holds influences the success rate of certain actions that target another character while the opinion of AI characters also determines their behavior towards other characters.
- Positive opinion towards predecessor: 25% of opinion is inherited.
- Negative opinion towards predecessor: 50% of opinion is inherited.
Attraction is an opinion modifier that can only be held towards characters one's sexual preference allows. Male characters aged above 65 years and female character above 50 years are not affected by attraction.
When certain requirements are met, two characters can have one of three types of relations, with each type having three levels. Relations have a great impact on how two characters act towards each other.
- Childhood relations can only be held between two child character and might evolve into their corresponding adulthood relations when the characters reach adulthood
- Adulthood relations can be gained and lost as a result of events
- Lifelong relations can only be obtained towards characters with an existing adulthood relation and each character can have only one of each lifelong relation
Tyranny is negative opinion gained by rulers who take unjust actions. It is felt by vassals and courtiers towards a liege. The maximum tyranny a character can have is 1000. Tyranny is not gained if the liege has a valid reason.
|Successfully imprisoning a character||+20 tyranny|
|Increasing feudal obligations||+20 tyranny per obligation without concession or hooks|
|Revoking title without title revocation reason||+20 tyranny|
|Retracting a vassal||+5 tyranny|
|Banishing a vassal||+5 tyranny|
|Executing a vassal||+10 tyranny|
|Base decay||-0.25 tyranny per month|
|Venial (Guile dynasty legacy)||-0.05 tyranny per month.|
|Defender of the Faith (Theologian lifestyle perk)
Faith has Righteous doctrine
|-25% tyranny gain|
|Soon Forgiven (Administrator lifestyle perk)||-0.15 monthly tyranny|
|Easy difficulty||-25% tyranny gain (player)|
|Very easy difficulty||-75% tyranny gain (player)|
|Pursuit of Power tenet||-50% tyranny gain|
|Faith is Donyi-Poloism or Sedism
Faith holds holy site Pemako
|-20% tyranny gain|
|Faith is Bidaism or Siguism
Faith holds holy site Niani
|-0.1 monthly tyranny|
-20% tyranny gain
|Callous personality trait||-20% tyranny gain|
|Palace of Aachen special building||-20% tyranny gain|
All characters have an opinion modifier, Personal Diplomacy, which is based on a character's skill. It is calculated by taking the character's Diplomacy skill and subtracting 8.
The diplomatic range is the distance within which two characters can interact with each other. Neighboring realms are always within diplomatic range of each other, as well as realms separated by no more than three sea zones.
Each character has a name.
- Their first name is chosen at birth (or, for generated characters, when they are created) and it is based on their culture.
- Some cultures may have patronymics (names based on one's father) which act as a middle name.
- Their last name is decided by their dynasty.
- Main article: Nickname
AI characters will use decisions and character interactions based on the following attributes:
- Boldness: determines how much the character is affected by dread.
- Compassion: determines how the character will treat its prisoners.
- Energy: determines how often the character will consider a decision.
- Greed: determines how easily the character will spend gold.
- Honor: determines how often the character will honor relationships and alliances as well as how often they will become agents.
- Rationality: determines how strong a character's army has to be before declaring war.
- Sociability: determines how often the character will consider a character interaction.
- Vengefulness: determines how much the character will seek to punish transgressions.
- Zeal: determines how often the character will join holy wars.
Each attribute is capped at -100 and +100.
Each AI character will have its personality described with an adjective and a noun based on the highest two attributes:
|Attribute||Very Negative (-76 to -100)||Negative (-1 to -75)||Positive (+1 to +75)||Very Positive (+76 to +100)|
|Honor||Treacherous||Blackguard||Dishonorable||Knave||Honorable||Gentleman / Gentlewomen||Righteous||Paragon|