Got any recommendations for mods that improve the vanilla?
I'll echo Sevarics' in the recommendations of the first three.
More Bookmarks+ is one that I don't use simply because i tend to pick the earliest start date (I like very long games). But if you want to try alternate scenarios you can.
Other possibilities I've seen, but you need to watch for possible compatches:
Cities of Wonders 3
. Gives the option of upgrading your holdings even further, turning big cities into Megalopolis.
An overhaul of the emblems and coat-of-arms on the game. There is also this expansion
that adds alternate dynamic Coat of Arms for some titles: if you restore the Roman Empire, the coat of arms isn't the same if your reformed it as the HRE, the Byzantines, Italians or pagans.
It adds religious doctrines, cultural traditions and game rules that make adoption possible into the game, mostly based on historical forms. Wanted Roman style adoption? It gets you covered.
Reshuffles the cultures on the map to be a bit more historical. Compatible with RICE, CFP and EPE.
Loyal to a Fault.
It adds a loyalist faction that will fight with their liege should a rebellion happen.
Prisonners of War
. Ever felt that Prisonners being automatically transfered to your dungeons was a limitation? Now these prisonners travel with the army that captured them and are only transferred to your dungeons if the army is back in your lands. Mostly suggesting here for the RP.
In My Humble Opinion.
Shows what the opinion of your character would be of others (Vanilla only see how others feel about your character). If you want RP.
. A giant compatch between several mods that affect the UI. Only get it if you have some of the mods on their list (some of the ones I recommend are).
Very Immersive Events and Tales.
Tons of new events for the game, with game rules to customize their frequency and the ones you'll get (a few are superntural).
Want to see your cities expand more than a simple castle on the map? This should do it.
Sinews of War
. Reworks a lot of things to make the economy and population stuff more realistic. I normally don't use it but I've picked it because I'm curious...
More Interactive Vassals
. Reworks the way vassals work: civil wars now turn into CK2 GoT Megawars and border vassals fight with you if you attack.
. Mechanical improvements for the Muslim world.
Upgrade House Banners
. Small mod but frankly your House banner should improve if your House becomes more famous...
Dynamic Trade Routes
. A mod that aims to make the economy more realistic.
The Catholic Trinity
. Brings back some features of CK2 like Investiture, the College of Cardinals, Anti-Popes and Sainthood. Also apparently makes the Papacy playable...
Councilor's experience trait.
Adds traits for people who have sit on the Council: the more they stay on, the more experience they get and these traits reflect that.
Why would you want to play as a stinky feudal monarch when you can be a republic? This mods adds several playable republican governments.
Regency and ruler training
. What it says on the title: it adds regency mechanics.
New doctrine that allows you to decide whether or not your faith can send missionnaries to convert non-believers.
. Adds new governments to the game: Autocratic, Bureaucratic, Legionarry (Romans and successor states), Eranshar (Zoroastrian Persia), Nomadic (yes Nomads are back with this and they get migration mechanics), City-state (who said you had to be a Continental-sprawling Empire?), Islamic, Caliphal (For Islam) and Gupta (for India). They all come with unique mechanics to reflect their difference from the Vanilla ones.
Lifestyles Expandes - Prowess.
Simply adds a new lifestyle for the Prowess attribute. Not really the most interesting but if you want to RP a character that cares more about fighting than everything else...
Better Marriage AI.
Mostly because the AI can make stupid choices when deciding who to marry...
More Coat of Arms backgrounds.
If you want more diversity to the Coat of Arms, especially when designing your own...
Displayed Birth and Death Dates
. Mostly cosmetic but at least you don't have to look at the age of your character to remember when they were born or died...
This one's mostly if you want to make screenshots of your characters and seem them in full body. It's cosmetic but I like it...
. New succession laws based on historical ones: Imperial Elelctive (Byzantium and Rome), Kurultai (Mongolic elective), Royal Elective (think Medieval Poland or Hungary), Mahestan Elective (Zoroastrian Persia), Outremer Elective (Crusader States) and Eldership (like CK2). It also adds mechanics to simulate the existence of co-emperors and co-kings. There are also a few other additions aimed around the theme.
Show me Your Council.
You can now see who is on the council of AI rulers aside from their wife.
. Affects the relationship of a new ruler based on his predecessor. Adds some dynamic to the character's relationships.
Social Relations Expanded
. This one is like the above but more for contemporaries. Having common friends or ennemies with someone now has an impact.
More Game Rules
. New rules to tweak the game.
Ketaros's Interface is King
. A mod that aims to improve the interface graphically. It also adds a few additions.
. Additionnal Dynasty legacies.
Unit Packs Expanded
. New unit packs for certain cultures. Compatible with CFP and EPE.
The ones I mentionned should be up-to-date and not affect the map.
Can't be sure about the compatibilities though... I haven't necessarilly tried of them with each other and keeping track of compatibility can be a bit of a pain... Hell, I've actually dived into modding a bit because of that. You'll have to check manually on their pages to see what is compatible with what.
The Fallen Eagle
. This one is technically a Total Conversion but in practice it's designed to add the Dark Ages to the game so it's a Historical one. I don't think it changes the set-up of the map and provinces but don't quote me on that... But if you ever want to start in 395 AD or 476 AD, this is the mod for that. Some of the mods I suggested also started as Fallen Eagle submods.
Rank and File.
Reworks the way titles are given in the game depending on their relationship to the ruler (Dowager Queen, Crown Prince, etc...), make them dress apropriately (why would a dowager empress suddenly go back to wear lowly commoner robes?) and remove sick traits from the dead (because they are dead...) Not mentionning it with the others because it's technically in Beta, and thus not finished.
Only suggesting that one because it's true that Fornication and Adultery are different crimes and shouldn't be treated by the same religious doctrine... Even if admittedly few religions authorize one if they forbid the other. Pick only if that really bothers you.
Ibn Battuta's Legacy 2.
This mod does change the map... But only for historical purposes and to make the map more realistic. And mods aren't necessarilly build around the changes it brings. Only suggesting it because you might be looking for a more historical experience, but it's a map change technically...
. Extends the map all the way to China and Japan. Sadly that makes it a Total Conversion... But with Historical purpose.
When The World Stopped Making Sense.
An Alternative to the Fallen Eagle, but that does things differently. It has new bookmarks going from 476AD to the Charlemagne bookmark of CK2.
Show me Your Personnality.
Breaksdown the personnality values of character. Picked it because I found it interesting but it's more gamey than anything else.
Height label for Ruler Designer
. Might not be up to date. Is supposed to help you design the height of your character when you design him by giving a height value. Only pick if you really want to push that detail.
Cat's Coat of Arms Emblems
. Adds more emblems to the games. Some of them are Fantasy ones (like the three-headed Targaryen dragon) but there are also additionnal historical heraldry ones (like a Dragon Rampant
, a dragon that's standing up) or based on historical ones (like the Napoleonic Eagle). Not up-to-date according to the game but it's a graphic mode so it should work... There is also a submod that changes some of the historial coat of arms with dynamics.
The few Total Conversions I suggested here are because the ones you mentionned were all Fantasy-based ones so I'm not sure if you rule Total Conversion completely or simply wanted to look for more Historical mods.
(Damn, I may have gone overboard...)
I think you might be talking about that one.
I heard about a spouse-designing mod but I couldn't find it.
Sadly it's not up-to-date. And possibly abandonned...
I think I once saw someone who tried to update it, but he ran into a few nasty bugs he couldn't get rid off by his own admission.
A shame because I really liked the idea that I wasn't just designing my own lord but also his wife.
An alternative I've seen might be A New Sensible Family
. It's a mod that lets you create your own family at the start via a special decision. You get to design not only your wife, but also your parents, siblings and children if you want. That being said, I have never tried it because I kinda like the idea of starting as a nobody with no known connection by historians and people of the time... so I don't know the quality. And the fact it's a decision and not a use of the ruler designer also made it less appealing to me as I feel it has more limitation than using a ruler-designer like engine. It's possible I passed on a great mod without knowing but I can't speak for certain.
Also, do non up-to-date mods mess up the game?
They can. It depends on what exactly they affect.
I think as a general rule mods that only affect graphics are relatively fine because they don't touch anything beyond playing on graphics. CFP and EPE are a bit of an exception but it's because they actually also change a few other files. But these two are regularly updated.
Also the CK3 Human Phenotype Project
and it’s compatches for the above four
Didn't know about that one. I'd probably check it out.
Though if there are no compatch with EPE or CFP, I'll probably stick to those two.