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This Crusader Kings 3 player will stop at nothing to secure the perfect heir

How many family members do you need to kill for the perfect heir? The number might surprise you...

A child laying in a crib us about to be attacked by a snake, from CK3 trailer

Succession in grand strategy game Crusader Kings 3 is a tricky beast. For most cultures, the initial partition laws mean that any character’s hard-won gains can be split between children, but even if you eventually manage to secure a better form of succession, there’s no saving your Kingdom from the fact that your eldest child is an idiot.

Unless you’re Reddit user Bartosio, of course, who decided to go on a Red Wedding-worthy murder spree through their character's extended family to ensure that the correct person ended up on the throne when the active character passed away. 26 family members later, they’d secured an heir with some of the best stats in the game.

You can read the full saga on the Crusader Kings subreddit, but perhaps more impressive than the fact they killed so many family members, was the fact they accomplished the deed(s) within the space of a few in-game months. According to Bartosio, there was a need to get this dirty work done quickly due to a notification that predicted the active character's death within the space of a year, something you get when you complete one of the health-related perk trees.

“It was now or never,” Bartosio explains.

After murdering 26 family members and disinheriting a bunch more I pushed this ABSOLUTE CHAD to the top of the pile. from CrusaderKings

“I had a total of 25 kids, so I had to disinherit all save for [heir’s] mother. Then I had to murder/disinherit all of the kids, grandkids, and, in some instances, my great-grandkids of all of my kids that were above him. It cost me 2600 splendour and I am now chilling at a cool 111 tyranny. Final step – I killed his mum and older brothers, an afterthought at that point.”

Usually, when you disinherit one of your character’s children, it disinherits the entire line below that child. Unfortunately for Bartosio, by the time they realised they needed to embark on this selection, some of their character’s children had already died, and even some of their children’s children, resulting in a complicated family tree. The heir has only just been born, so let’s hope it survives long enough to actually inherit and make their mark on the map, otherwise there’s been a lot of bloodshed for very little gain.

Crusader Kings III will be getting a new expansion – Royal Court – at some point, which will introduce a 3D throne room, as well as offer content that will compliment the culture overhaul coming as part of the free patch.