Civilization V Customisation Wiki

The Holy Roman Empire led by Otto I is a custom civilization by TopHatPaladin, with contributions from TarcisioCM and danrell.

This mod requires Brave New World.


Ottonian Dynasty[]

The Ottonian Dynasty was a ruling dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, reigning from 919 to 1024 AD. The dynasty's name came from the fact that it had three consecutive emperors named Otto; other names of the dynasty include "the Saxon dynasty" and the Liudolfings.

The first historically attested member of the Ottonian dynasty was Liudolf, a large landholder and the duke of Saxony in the mid-9th century. Through well-chosen marriages, the early Ottonians rose to increasing prominence in East Francia; Liudolf's son, Otto the Illustrious, was a major candidate for the kingship after Louis the Child died in 911. Conrad I of Franconia would ultimately be chosen over Otto the Illustrious, which was perhaps prudent as Otto died just next year; after Otto's death, Henry the Fowler ascended the duchy of Saxony.

Henry the Fowler quickly distinguished himself by taking a leading position in the ongoing battle against Hungarian invasions. Because of this, Henry was elected King of East Francia in 919, and he spent his rule ensuring the stability of his dynasty. Henry quickly defeated the rebellious dukes of Bavaria and Swabia, and he eschewed attempts at centralization - which had failed for earlier kings - in favor of granting moderate autonomy to the stem duchies. This left Germany in an exceptionally strong position when Otto I succeeded Henry in 936.

Otto I[]


Art by TopHatPaladin

Otto I was born on 23 November 912, possibly in Wallhausen, to Duke Henry the Fowler and his second wife, Matilda. Although Henry was simply the Duke of Saxony at the time of Otto's birth, he was elected King of East Francia in 919, placing Otto in the German royal family.

Otto first distinguished himself in the later 920s, commanding armies against the Wendish tribes in the east. Around this time, Otto was also wed for the first time; to help bolster his legitimacy, Henry married Otto to the Anglo-Saxon princess Eadgyth in 930. Otto was also selected as the sole heir to the kingdom, allowing him to ascend the German throne peacefully after Henry's death in 936.

This peace would not last once Otto's reign got underway. Forced to settle several disputes between the dukes, Otto made several controversial decisions in the first years of his reign, fomenting resentment in the realm; in 938, this erupted into a full-fledged rebellion. The Duke of Swabia had tipped Otto off to this uprising, however, allowing the king to quickly crush the rebelling dukes; most of them subsequently reconciled with Otto, but Eberhard of Bavaria was recalcitrant, and fled to France to secure the support of Louis IV against Otto. This stage of the revolt was also short-lived, though, as Eberhard was killed in the Battle of Andernach in autumn 939.

Frustrated by these uprisings, Otto increasingly centralized his authority throughout the 940s, ruling unilaterally and often overruling the nobility. Through a series of marriage pacts, Otto created familial connections with his strongest and most loyal vassals, further centralizing power in the realm. During this period, Otto also involved himself closely in foreign affairs; he maintained good relations with Burgundy and Byzantium, and interceded in a French succession crisis, although he did fights wars against the Bohemians and Slavs.

In 951, Otto's son and heir Liudolf invaded Lombardy, for reasons that are today unclear. This campaign almost failed, but Otto eventually contributed forces to the expedition; these reinforcements turned the tide of the campaign. The Italian nobles and clergy subsequently let Otto into Pavia and awarded him the Iron Crown of the Lombards; Eadgyth having died in 946, Otto cemented this kingship with a marriage to the princess Adelaide. Liudolf, humiliated at having been upstaged, joined forced with Conrad of Lorraine and rose in rebellion against Otto in 953; this lasted for two years, but was ultimately a failure, and allowed Otto to further consolidate his power.

The Magyars had been raiding eastern Germany ever since arriving in the region in the 9th century, and when Otto was dealing with Liudolf's rebellion, they seized the opportunity to step up their raiding activity. However, the tide rapidly changed once the rebellion had been put down; a raid in 955 saw Otto able to bring his full army to bear against Hungary, and the Battle of Lechfeld became one of Otto's grandest victories. It was after this triumph that Otto began to be proclaimed as an emperor.

Meanwhile, Liudolf had begun a second invasion of Italy, which was proceeding successfully until he abruptly died in 957. This fostered antipathy between Otto and King Berengar II of Italy, leading Pope John XII to reach out to Otto when Berengar threatened his own position in 960. Otto agreed to help, on the condition that he would be crowned Holy Roman Emperor at the conclusion of the expedition. Thus, when Otto reached Rome in January 962, John XII bestowed upon him the imperial crown, and the pair labeled themselves as the twin protectors of the Christian faith in the Diploma Ottonianum.

Italy would prove the most troublesome factor in this decade of Otto's reign. Berengar's son Adalbert would rise in rebellion in 966, and papal successions caused a series of internal conflicts. By this point, Otto was the most powerful man in Europe, although he was entering old age; he ultimately succumbed to fever on 7 May 973, and the throne passed without incident to his son Otto II.

Dawn of Man[]

Hail, Otto the Great, Holy Roman Emperor and protector of Christendom! Where your father united the fractured German states through decentralized power, you were able to consolidate the highest authority upon yourself, reigning as the supreme ruler of central Europe. This authority was backed by military strength: your invasions of Italy and the Slavic realms were great successes, and your defeat of the Hungarians put a decisive end to the period of Magyar raids in Europe. Your staunch faith and involvement in Italy also brought you closer to the Byzantine Empire, leading to a cultural exchange that sparked the Ottonian Renaissance; arts and architecture flourished under your patronage.

Otto, your people clamor for the strong hand with which you led the state, effortlessly crushing enemies both external and internal. Can you resume your well-rounded rulership and create an empire of both military and artistic dominance? Can you build a civilization that will stand the test of time?

Introduction: Welcome to my kaiserpfalz! I am known as Otto, and here is where I conduct the business of the Holy Roman Empire.

Defeat: I may have failed on Earth, but I will be rewarded in Heaven.

Unique Attributes[]

Holy Roman Empire (Otto I)
IconPNG OttoI

Art by TopHatPaladin

Ottonian Renaissance

When a city is converted to your Religion Religion, gain Greatperson Great Artist points scaling with its Population. Receive Science Science per turn for every original Capital that follows your Religion Religion.

IconPNG LegioRegia

Art by TopHatPaladin

Legio Regia (Swordsman)
  • Gains +15% Strength Combat Strength when beginning its turn stacked with a religious unit
  • Generates Greatperson Great Artist points when capturing cities
Icon Kaiserpfalz

Art by TarcisioCM

Kaiserpfalz (Castle)
  • Contains a slot for a Great Work of Art
  • If the slot is filled with a foreign-created Great Work or Artifact, yields +2 Science Science
City List
  1. Magdeburg
  2. Cologne
  3. Aachen
  4. Quedlinburg
  5. Mainz
  6. Augsburg
  7. Bremen
  8. Memleben
  9. Wallhausen
  10. Merseburg
  11. Meissen
  12. Pavia
  13. Speyer
  14. Trier
  15. Saalfeld
  16. Chur
  17. Brandenburg
  18. Worms
  19. Milan
  20. Nordhausen
  21. Arnstadt
  22. Zeitz
  23. Regensburg
  24. Egeln
  25. Langenzenn
  26. Illertissen
  27. Ravenna
  28. Eresburg
  29. Haldensleben
  30. Enger
  31. Ulm
Spy List
  • Henry
  • Bruno
  • Thankmar
  • Liudolf
  • Berengar
  • Conrad
  • Hedwig
  • Gerberga
  • Matilda
  • Liutgarde


Peace Theme War Theme
Link Link
Ave Maria Stella from the Crusader Kings 2 soundtrack Swordplay from the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack
Icon Ottonian

Mod Support[]

Additional Achievements[]

Fully Ottomatic

  • Win the game on any difficulty setting as the Ottonian Dynasty.

This One's Just To Spite Voltaire

  • As Otto I, hold at least five Great Works in a Holy City.

Events and Decisions[]

Install Family in the Duchies
The empire is firmly under our control, but no one man can live forever. Let us begin establishing marriage alliances with all of the empire's stem duchies; this will ensure their loyalty, and will allow our dynasty to persist long after we die.
  • Player must be Otto I.
  • Must have at least five cities.
  • May only be enacted once per game.
  • 400 Gold Gold.
  • 2 Magistrates Magistrates.
  • Receive an additional Trade Route slot.
  • Gain CultureIcon Culture per turn from internal Trade Routes.
Promote the Scriptoria
Most of the common people are illiterate, and cannot even read the Bible; however, our monks have keen artistic eyes. If we become their patrons and commission illuminated manuscripts, we can ensure the primacy of the true faith in our lands.
  • Player must be Otto I.
  • Must have founded a Religion Religion.
  • Must have built the Writer's Guild.
  • May only be enacted once per game.
  • 600 Gold Gold.
  • 1 Magistrates Magistrate.
  • Receive Greatperson Great Writer points from buildings that yield FaithIcon Faith.

Unique Cultural Influence[]

"Our people are now building your chapels and displaying your ivory carvings. I worry that the rest of the world will also succumb to the influence of your culture."

Full Credits List[]

Civfanatics Download

Steam Workshop

Last Updated: 1 March 2019


  • TopHatPaladin: Design, Code, Art, Text
  • TarcisioCM: Civ Icon, Building Icon
  • danrell: Unit Model
  • Robin Birner and Yannick Süß: Peace Theme
  • Harry Gregson-Williams: War Theme

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