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Crusader Kings 3 Wards & Wardens release date

The next Event Pack for Crusader Kings 3 is coming up
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The next item on the Crusader Kings 3 roadmap for 2023, Wards & Wardens, is swiftly nearing its release date of August 22, 2023. Unlike Tours & Tournaments, which launched earlier in the year and was a full Expansion Pack, Wards & Wardens is an Event Pack – smaller scale DLC fleshing out a specific aspect of the game with deeper mechanics and more flavor.

As the name suggests, Wards & Wardens focuses on the topics of child-rearing and education, adding lots of events and role-playing opportunities.

One new feature will be the giving of hostages – a pretty common practice in medieval times to guarantee things like contracts and alliances between realms. It’s also not as malevolent as it sounds, as these hostages were usually highborn children, who were treated accordingly and often grew up together with the local elite. Think Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones, who grew up with the Stark children. When you gain a hostage and treat them well, you’ll gain a new type of hook on them – Perpetual Hooks. They’re essentially a mix of the existing Weak and Strong Hooks, so they can be refused, but stick around forever.

Crusader Kings 3 Wards and Wardens event about a hostage.

You'll be able to form close bonds with hostages, which is something your own court may dislike.

Eccentric is going to be added as a new trait, which leads to higher stress gain and a penalty to diplomacy, but also increased stress loss and more learning. They also have a higher opinion of other Eccentric characters and gain more monthly lifestyle experience.

The Wet Nurse will be a new court position. They are not just keeping children healthy (or can, you know, poison them more easily), but will also play a major role in some of the new events. Among these are Rites of Passage – milestones for children as they grow up. These include things like duels or the first beard-shaving.

Characters will also be able to boost their education level even after reaching adulthood by going to university to better reflect the fact none of us are indeed fully formed human beings at the age of 16. This will be a new activity, like feasts and tournaments, and involve travel.

Crusader Kings 3 Wards and Wardens university visit event.

University visits will be a new activity you can travel to.

Another cool addition in Wards & Wardens is going to be adoption, which is going to be available to characters in a same-sex marriage, childess, infertile, or elderly characters, and those with the Compassionate trait. There are some restrictions as to who can be adopted, of course – you can’t just adopt a child ruler of another realm, for example. There will be a new culture trait called Noble Adoption as well as game settings to facilitate this play style and loosen the rules a bit. While adoption was quite rare in the medieval world as opposed to ancient Rome, where it was relatively common and taken very seriously, it’s not unheard of.

All in all, Wards & Wardens is shaping up to be quite a strong package and proves a deserving fan vote winner. Paradox Interactive has not revealed the price of the Event Pack yet. The last DLC of this type had a price tag of $4.99 / 4.99€, though content-wise Wards & Wardens looks to be a bit juicier, which may lead to a higher price.

Wards & Wardens is also included in Chapter 2 of the Crusader Kings 3 Expansion Pass, which bundles this year’s DLC at a discounted price, so it nets you the Elegance of the Empire Fashion Pack, Tours & Tournaments, Wards & Wardens, and the Legacy of Persia Flavor Pack releasing later this year.