Game Guides

Crusader Kings 3 – What are Schemes and Hooks

Sometimes you need to call in a favor or two.

by Brandon Adams


Schemes and Hooks are a new way to interact with other characters in the world of Crusader Kings 3, and they can be the difference between a deal going through, or failing entirely. They come in a variety of flavors, so what exactly are they?

Schemes and Hooks in Crusader Kings 3 are ways of generating favors, increasing opinion, or performing malicious deeds.

Schemes and Hooks in Crusader Kings 3 cover a wide spectrum of actions in the game, so let’s break them down to their basics. Schemes are interactions with other characters, such as befriending them, swaying them into liking you more, or even plotting their murder. Your standing and attributes will play a role in a scheme’s success, and once you choose a scheme it will continue until you either manually end it, or that character dies.

There are three types of schemes to pursue in Crusader Kings 3: Hostile Schemes, Personal Schemes, and Secret Schemes. Personal Schemes are the more benevolent interactions, such as romancing or befriending someone. Hostile Schemes range from straight murder to abduction. Secret Schemes are attempts to dig up dirt on other characters, or Hostile Schemes from other people that have been brought to your attention.

Personal Schemes only have a chance of success stat you need to worry about, and highlighting the circular icon will reveal to you what’s being factored into your overall odds. Hostile and Secret Schemes have a second stat: their secrecy. The higher your secrecy the less likely your scheme will be revealed. Having a high Intrigue attribute and a talented Spymaster boost both stats, and you can try and persuade people close to your target to assist with your schemes if you have the right amount of favor, money, and a hook or two.

Hooks are how you bend people to your will. Think of them as favors or blackmail you personally hold over someone. If you release a prisoner from your dungeons, for example, you can do so in exchange for a hook. Digging up someone’s dirty laundry allows you to blackmail them for a hook, though you can’t blackmail people who share the same secrets as you.

Hooks come in two flavors: Weak and Strong. Weak hooks can only be used once, and Strong hooks can be used an unlimited number of times and pack a larger punch. Both expire after roughly a decade, so you’ll want to use them while you can. Hooks can be used to alter vassal contracts, to force unlikely marriage proposals, and more. Damn near every interaction in Crusader Kings 3 can be altered with a hook, so you’ll want to grab them when able. Just bear in mind other characters can gain hooks on you and yours, so the tables can be turned against you.

Additional scheme and hook interactions can be unlocked via your Lifestyles perks, so if there is a certain playstyle you wish to pursue browse the trees for the schemes and hooks you need. Stewardship has a perk that allows you to demand payment from hooks, and most of your skulduggery schemes are within the Intrigue trees. There’s a scheme and hook for every occasion, so be sure to review what’s available.

- This article was updated on:September 1st, 2020

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