This mod is three-part and aimed at adjusting the three biggest character-defining gameplay elements - education, education outcome, and focuses - to have a more strategic element, an element of randomness, and for each education, path to offer to a unique playstyle depending on that partially random outcome. Features: - Adjustments and rebalancing to ALL education traits, allowing each education to offer a unique playstyle rather than just flat stat bonuses. - Education has been restricted so that two children cannot be simultaneously educated with the same childhood focus adding an element of randomness and strategy - explained in the full description! - Focuses have been restricted to personality types. Why would a shy character pick carousing? Why would a craven pick war as their focus? How would an inbred imbecile do anything at all in the scholarship focus? You'll find yourself making decisions you usually wouldn't and picking focuses that would normally be left to the dust.
In an attempt to add a more natural and more random element to CK2s difficulty, in contrast to the fairly regimented difficulty system that just gives the AI some arbitrary and fairly mediocre buffs, I present Roll's Personality Driven Education and Focus Revamp Roleplaying Mod (PDEAFRRM).
This mod is three-part and aimed at adjusting the three biggest character-defining gameplay elements - education, education outcome, and focuses - to have a more strategic element, an element of randomness, and for each education, path to offer to a unique playstyle depending on that partially random outcome.
Firstly, education traits have been rebalanced and adjusted to offer a unique playstyle. Diplomats have an easier time impressing characters and reducing revolts within their realm. Intrigue characters are conferred a flat plot power bonus to give them a higher element of danger and act truly as a knife in the dark without requiring a cavalcade of plot backers. Most importantly learning educations have a reason to be chosen for the first time conferring all-around stat bonuses and giving bonuses to tech point generation!
This system was designed so that dedicated 16 years of a characters life to a particular field, and getting a little lucky with their guardian and education outcome, would result in some unique playstyles that aren't really too prevalent in the base game. Playing as a character with high stewardship is not massively different than playing a character with high diplomacy, or high intrigue. Arguably, martial educations giving you the ability to lead troops is the only significant gameplay effect. This aims to change that without being overpowered.
The next alteration is on education itself, which I personally found far too easy to metagame and incredibly unused. Almost all CK2 players would agree that simply picking thrift, duty, or struggle almost all of the time will yield the best results. This means that 5 of the 8 potential childhood focuses almost never get chosen outside of some select obscure reasons. To counter this, I've added a fairly simple scope to education that prevents you from picking the same education twice.
You're probably thinking that this is a horrible change that will end up with a lot of unusable characters but in my experience playtesting, this isn't entirely the case. Thanks to the education buffs I've added, sometimes ending up with learning character is far from a bad thing, unlike the base game, and it offers a unique twist with pseudo-random heirs rather than the same carbon copy from every campaign. It's these heirs that make for the best stories.
There's also a small amount of meta-gaming strategy to consider here as well. If you use the Struggle focus on a son, then immediately afterwards a strong son is born, you've lost out on a key advantage. Greater risk, but with the more focused education traits, you potentially have a greater chance of min-maxing with the right amount of patience and luck. From the opposite perspective, think of a multiplayer game where all of your poor friend's children have all tragically fallen from a balcony in quick succession, and now that players only heir is being educated in heritage. Sweet, sweet heritage.
The final alteration is restrictions placed on adult focuses. Right now it is far too easy to build incredibly powerful and flawless characters by alternating between rulership and theocracy - stack up all the virtues with Just and Zealous to boot. Maybe make all the money in the world by flipping between business and intrigue. Imprison people, banish them for their stack of gold, then debase the mints to celebrate. Not every focus and not every strategy should be viable for every character otherwise every character ends up being a carbon copy. I've had many characters that have all build a grand tower, hunted the white stag population to extinction, and uncovered the Necronomicon just as hobbies in their spare time whilst simultaneously being an imbecile, zealous, craven character.
Personality now drives the focus, rather than focus driving the personality. This is already the case for AI - what they choose as a focus is determined by their other traits, so a gregarious king is more likely to end up as a carouser. This makes perfect sense and should also be true of the player.
These limits aren't massively punishing, they're just sensible and thematically appropriate. No more Court Tomcat Eunuchs. No more cynical Sir Gallahads. No more drooling idiots discovering heliocentrism.
Overall this is a mod to add a bit of difficulty, a hint of randomness, but ultimately a lot more fun exploring playstyles that would otherwise remain entirely untouched. Balancing is going to be an ongoing thing depending on the impact of the education, but I have used this mod fairly extensively myself over a few playthroughs now and I've ended up with some really unique characters and interesting challenges caused by what is essentially just a few minor changes.