I'm working on preparing Kingmaker to run for my group and have been looking at things to add or change within the adventure. I figured that posting thoughts up here might be an excellent way to get some feedback on what people think about what I am doing and possibly change what I am doing or use some of the thoughts that I had for themselves.
I really love the framework that we have been given with the Kingmaker AP. I have wanted to run this AP since I received the first book in the mail. In fact the basis of this AP being a 'sandbox' adventure is what got me to start subscribing to the APs in the first place.
That said, I think that Kingmaker can benefit from some changes. I understand that the AP is only so many pages long but it is covering a huge area. While we are given a large number of singular encounters and a few encounter areas there could be more presence of some of the themes within Kingmaker brought to the front.
I believe that DM_aka_Dudemeister has posted some great ideas on how to make changes to the AP, and other changes I have seen I have liked as well. These are my additions to the AP, I hope that at least someone out there will like them.
The first thing that I have to share is some changes and expansion on the backstory of the Adventure Path.
She rushed to speak with Count Ranalc and swore her fealty to him, promising that she would be his most loyal retainer. Count Ranalc informed her that he had more than enough servants, and wondered what a nymph might offer him that they would not.
Nyrissa bowed to Count Ranalc and swore to him on the sacred grove that she had lived within that she would search the land for three things that he asked of her, but in return she would be allowed to swear her fealty to him when she succeeded in the tasks.
The Count, entranced by the vivaciousness within the nymph, offered her three quests to perform that she might be sworn to him. He tasked her with bringing him water of the purest spring but insisted that it would have never touched the ground, trapping true beauty so that she might present it to him, though it could not be held against its will, and finally to defeat one of the Tane and return to him intact. Upon telling her the quests, Count Ranalc gave Nyrissa a blessing in the form of a kiss and moved on, quickly forgetting about the nymph.
Distraught by the quests that were before her, but empowered by the feeling within her Nyrissa struck out to complete the quests. Over many an age Nyrissa quested throughout the First World as well as beyond to complete the quests that the Count had put before her. First she brought him back water that she had journeyed along an expanding horizon of reality at the borders of the First World until finally existence began to create itself around her for there was nothing there before she had journeyed. She continued on until she found the purest spring and harvested the water before any ground could create itself around it.
Before she journeyed off once again she spoke to the Count of the changes that she had experienced on the quest that she had been on. She knew of no other fey that were able to shape reality before them in the fashion that she had done other than the Eldest. Count Ranalc listened to her and said that maybe she should become one of the Eldest.
The Count was entranced by the determination of the nymph that he had forgotten about so long ago and the changes that she had described to him. He was uncertain what effects the first blessing that he had given her would have, and now he wished to see more. In thanks for the completion of the first quest that he had given her, Count Ranalc gave Nyrissa his second blessing.
This blessing was not a simple kiss for the nymph, but instead many nights of heated passion between the two. Nyrissa stayed with the Count who was fascinated with the changes that had come over the nymph since their first meeting. In their throws of passion that night he entreated her to stay with him, but Nyrissa was determined to complete her quest that had been given to her so long ago.
For more ages Nyrissa strove to complete the second quest that was before her, and finally she returned with a bottled storm and rainbow that she had captured from a mountain that no one had ever climbed or seen before she journeyed to it. From the first cool drops of the rain to the last of the frigid snow she brought to Count Ranalc.
The Count was elated that she had returned again and spoke to her in great length about her journey. She confided in him that she felt her power was growing greater and greater, beyond any measure that she knew of. He smiled knowingly and told her that she would soon be the youngest Eldest. That night and for many more nights they spent wrapped up in each other, and finally the Count blessed Nyrissa a third time.
Before the Nyrissa journeyed off to complete her last quest for the Count asked her to show him the power that she had, and upon witnessing the great strength that she possessed confided in her that she surely had the power of the Eldest.
Nyrissa left soon after and began seeking one of the Tane to defeat in the name of her quest. Where she would go she spoke to the other faeries, and soon word of her ascension into the ranks of the Eldest spread across the First World. Many faeries looked upon what was happening to Nyrissa and hoped that there was hope that they might one day grow beyond their station.
This rampant belief spreading through the First World was felt even by the other Eldest, and so it was decided that Count Ranalc and Nyrissa must be made example of. A Tane was unleashed upon Nyrissa to slay the nymph, but she fought against the mighty creature and escaped. Sadly the possibility of escape was foreseen and the Eldest were waiting for her.
The Eldest brought Count Ranalc and Nyrissa together for their sentencing. The Count spoke with her only briefly and accepted her eternal fealty for completing the quests that he had laid before her.
Then the Eldest punished her for the claims she had made and ended up creating the weapon known as Briar to be a prison where Nyrissa's love and empathy were kept from her. They bestowed this weapon upon a nereid named Evindra to take into the Prime Material Plane and keep it from all who would seek it.
The Eldest also had punishment for Count Ranalc. Ranalc's approach to Nyrissa greatly altered the pattern of life within the First World. While all may appear to be chaos formed from will within the First World, it is more than that. Nearly everything repeats itself in cycles, as the true fey are not creatures of free will. The stories that are told in the fey lands are repeated over and over again. The change to Nyrissa altered her story, and all the stories that touched upon her.
For this Ranalc was banished to the Material Plane. The Eldest removed him from the First World within the region of the Stolen Lands, and thus was this place forever marked. Upon Ranalc's exit from the First World his form was no longer able to hold itself together.
Reality functioned in a completely different fashion within the Material Plane than it did in the First World. He discorporated, and the winds carried his essence across the Stolen Lands. To this day there is evidence of his connection to this place where the rules of mundanity wear thin to create altars of the building blocks of creation. Everything that remains of Count Ranalc now resides within these supernatural eddies of the eight building blocks of reality.
Through the Stolen Lands are eight sites that are aligned with each of the four classic elements as well as the four alignments. Through combinations of these things Count Ranalc was once able to form reality around him, now his remains alter the nature of the Stolen Lands.
The Eldest looked on in horror as Count Ranalc's fate came upon him, while they wished to punish him they were unaware of the fatal aspect that true exile would have to one of the Eldest. Never since this time has one of the Eldest truly left the First World, instead if reality beyond their own ever interests them they use proxies to conduct business. They quickly turned away from Nyrissa and the whole messy affair that had drawn their attention and went back to their business convinced that everything was over.
To Nyrissa the affair was not closed, for while she was unable to love or empathize any longer she had still sworn an oath to Count Ranalc and that oath still weighed heavy upon her soul. Over a time Nyrissa began to devolve into a madness of sorts, her oath and obsession over Count Ranalc grew within her but the love that was once a part of them no longer remained. When she could try to turn her back upon the call on her being no longer, Nyrissa journeyed to the Norn.
The Norn, a powerful and dangerous fey creature made a bargain with Nyrissa. She promised to speak to her of the path that she could take to service her liege lord and all the Norn wished in return was to tell Nyrissa of her death. Nyrissa agreed to hear both.
The Norn spoke a prophecy to her of the return of Count Ranalc to the First World, for he was not truly gone. Nyrissa, having changed the course of fate for herself long ago, must decide how to proceed and establish her place within the weave of fate once again. The Norn told her of the land where The Gone but Not Forgotten Lord lies buried, but lives on and that the one way to return Count Ranalc would be to bring the site of his graves to the First World, so that he may be born anew. She had these last cryptic words to tell Nyrissa about the service that she could perform for the Count "If Ranalc is to be remade, then so too must his love be made whole."
Then the Norn spoke to Nyrissa of her death, at the hands of a blade forged from her own being. She told Nyrissa that if she were to honor her sworn oath to Count Ranalc then she must always fear the bite of Briar. When mortal hands rest upon the blade and carry it within Nyrissa's realm, then the nymph will truly die.
Nyrissa left the Norn knowing that she would aid the Count and fulfill the promise that she had made so long ago. From Thousandbreaths, Nyrissa has long sought out the location of the Count's grave as well as seeking Briar. For hundreds of years she has been preparing the Stolen Lands to merge with Thousandbreaths in hopes that this will bring Count Ranalc back. Now her plans finally begin to come together, but a small contingent of explorers from Restov may undo all of her age old work.
Bringing the Count to the front I thought that him kind of guiding Nyrissa down the path to make her declaration as being a new Eldest. It seemed to fit with the brief information we are given on his personality in Part 6.
Last, what if all of this is just a bunch of crap that the Count spewed? As a fey it is entirely possible that he has set all of this up as a big trick on the other Eldest as well as a real test to see how far Nyrissa will go for him. During this entire time maybe he is really just living as the 8 poles that are his "gravestones" because to a true fey time has no real meaning. To do all of this as a test for someone feels like it fits faeries.
The one thing that I am not certain is if I should make Nyrissa rather than being a true fey (one that is not of Golarion at all, but from the First World) the daughter of a nymph and a human. While considered a nymph still, it would provide part of the impetus for Count Ranalc to be so entranced with her and wonder what would happen.
Then again in the passages we already have they talk about the fact that Nyrissa was undergoing changes because of what he was doing to her, so we might not need that aspect. It is all a question of what she will do for him in the end.
Hope that some of that was worth sharing. Best wishes everyone!