Not only will Crusader Kings 3’s next expansion – Royal Court – bring us 3D throne rooms and courtly intrigue, it will also offer premium options to build on top of the free culture rework coming with the free patch. It’s been reported before that players can both merge cultures, and diverge to create new ones, but the developers have now stated that – based on player feedback – they’re going to be offering even more options for players.
One of the main threads of feedback to come out of the earlier reveals was that many asked what they could do if they liked the culture they had, but just wanted to make a few tweaks to make it even better. While you could always add new traditions if you had slots to spare, you couldn’t change existing traditions without creating a brand new culture.
Now, the cultural head can tweak their existing culture by ‘reforming’ it to change the ethos, the martial custom, and any tradition. You can’t change cultural pillars or language, and you will need the Royal Court expansion to do everything except fill out empty tradition slots, which can be done without the expansion. The cost to do these changes will not be trivial, with the dev diary offering example prestige costs for changing a culture’s Ethos in the 20,000+ range.
The costs for changing traditions will scale as well depending how many you’ve changed already, which will make shifting to widely different traditions expensive.
There will also be a time delay for these changes to take effect, which will depend on the size of your culture. There’s some additional nuance to this as well, such as adding a new tradition being cheaper and quicker than changing an existing one.
These new features are balanced so that there are still strategic or otherwise worthwhile reasons for diverging or merging to create new cultures. This is especially true for widespread cultures, where it’s harder to be the cultural head as this is determined by how many provinces you control of your own cultures. Diverging, for example, comes with other benefits as well, such as being able to change pillars for free.