A Crusader Kings 3 player can have vast ambitions of conquest and come close to seeing them brought to full fruition to only have their plans turn to ruin because they neglected to watch out for scheming rivals. Due to this, players must invest in protecting against schemes to prevent being set back to square one. Defending against schemers can be a daunting task and, as such, requires a lot of planning to pull off effectively.
How To Protect Against Schemes
In short, there are several measures players can take to ensure they are protected from various schemes. The first and most important of these steps is to appoint a competent spymaster. To do this, head over to the Council tab by pressing “F4” or the big chair icon under the Military tab. The Council tab in Crusader Kings 3 is where players can appoint various members of their council, including the spymaster. You can do so by clicking the “Appoint a Spymaster” button, as shown below.
Once you clicked “Appoint a Spymaster,” another tab will open up, showing you all of the various candidates for the position. You are going to want to choose the one with the highest level of Intrigue. Additionally, you should also pick someone that has a relatively high or neutral opinion of you. If their opinion of you is negative, chances are they’ll be more inclined to ignore schemes against you.
If you can find a spymaster that fits both these qualifications, that’s great. If you can only find one though, be sure it’s one with a great opinion of you. If it helps, you can click sort by Intrigue, as shown below, to make searching marginally easier. Once you find the perfect spymaster for the job, click the Assign button on their character card.
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If you end up with a spymaster who has a low opinion of you, there are several things you can do to increase their opinion. The first thing is you can do grant them a title. To do this, right-click their portrait and then click the option under “Vassalage and Court.” As shown below, granting a title will increase their opinion depending on the rank of the title by either +40 or +60.
If they still don’t have a great opinion of you, it may be wise to give them a gift and change their mind. The quality and impact of this gift will depend on how much money you have and the kind of character they are. If all else fails, swaying or seducing them may be your best option. Be careful with this move, though, as it relies heavily on your scheme power and level in Intrigue. If you can use the previous two methods, then do so. You want to think of this option as a last resort.
After you get your spymaster appointed and with a high opinion level, the next step is to set them to Disrupt Schemes. This can be done by pressing the button shown in the image below. Then, depending on how high their Intrigue is, this will give the effects also shown in the below image. The spymaster’s Intrigue factor plays a large part in giving bonuses to both Hostile Scheme Resistance and the chance to discover schemes going on in your realm. Keep in mind, though; this does come at the risk of your secrets potentially being revealed, so use this carefully. If you can, in any case, be sure to have your spymaster actively disrupting schemes.
That’s everything your spymaster can do to prevent schemes, but there’s a second method for those wanting a different route. That method is simply to kill off, bribe, and sway anyone that has a low opinion of you. To do this, you can follow the steps we mentioned above for persuading the spymaster but for others with a low opinion of you. If killing them off is more your thing (which I entirely respect), you will have to start a murder plot, and the success of these will depend on how high your intrigue and scheme power is, along with the power of your spymaster.
If you want to murder a potential schemer, first start by checking both the Court (F5) and Realms tabs (F2). Under both tabs, you will want to search for anyone with -100 opinion, as it will be hard to raise these individuals’ opinions. In most cases, it’s better to just get rid of them than spend all that time swaying them. When you find one particularly hostile vassal or member of your court, right-click them and click the option that says murder under hostile actions, as shown below.
This will then start your murder scheme. Before you do this, be sure to set your Spymaster from Disrupt Schemes to Support Schemes. If you don’t, you’ll have your spymaster after you, which can spell serious trouble. You can do this under the Council tab, below where you selected the Disrupt Schemes button earlier.
After that’s all taken care of, you can then proceed with starting the murder plot by right-clicking the character and clicking Murder as we did before. Now when the tab shows up, click Start Scheme. This will begin the scheme, the progress of which you can find under the Intrigue tab. Additionally, you can invite agents who will help increase the scheme’s power and bring it closer to completion. To do this, all you need to do is click Invite as shown below and find someone that can either be blackmailed with hooks (these are people’s secrets in the game or favors you can hold over someone’s head) or bribed into becoming an agent.
Above both the methods we’ve shown here, the best way to prevent schemes is to keep your vassals and courtiers happy. It’s much easier to eradicate the chances of a problem before you have to tend to it. As mentioned before, this can be done with bribes, swaying, and granting titles. In addition to this, you can have your chancellor set to Domestic Affairs, which in turn will increase your overall vassal opinions. If all that isn’t enough, the rules regarding opinion we talked about with appointing a spymaster also apply to the chancellor, so use the same steps we talked about already when choosing your chancellor in Crusader Kings 3.
If Domestic Affairs aren’t proving to be enough, there’s one final thing you can do to keep vassals and subjects happy. Nothing makes people happier than food, so hosting feasts is a viable option. This can be done via the Decisions tab, as shown below. By hosting feasts, you will increase your vassal’s opinions over time. This, combined with the other options in this guide, can produce great results.
With all these options, we hope this guide helps you in stopping pesky schemes in Crusader Kings 3. With these tactics, you shouldn’t have to worry any longer about schemes and get back to the regularly scheduled war and espionage you’re known for. If this guide helped you be sure to share it around to help your friends avoid schemes. Or, if you plan to go against them, don’t and watch their kingdom fall before your very eyes. For now, keep an eye on The Nerd Stash for Crusader Kings 3 guides and more!