Before someone comes out with a suspend your disbelief comment let me just say, yeah I can deal with magic and all the kookiness and fun that comes with running a fantasy game as long as the rules set forth are followed and make sense. This thread is all about correcting some of the more careless abstractions for DMs like myself that just can't stand them.
1) City and Hex development limitations.
2) Kingdom approved quest rewards and pay.
3) The Magic Item Economy.
This is a big enough text wall for now, will add more to this later if folks like/appreciate this...
Ok screw it, here's some more...
5) Regulated v. Unregulated growth.
1) Hex Development
2) I gave my PCs a stipend of 100 gp a month when it was a barony, 500 gp a month as a duchy and 750 gp a month as a kingdom (they are still a duchy). Kingmaker is treasure light and there's almost an expectation the PCs will craft their own weapons and armor.
4) House was probably the wrong word for it, I always ruled that placing a house was the equivalent of zoning a residential district. I also just GM fiated occasionally to throw in housing districts in other towns as more people flocked to the kingdom.
6) I let every town have a militia (or army) of human warriors of a CR equal to the number of districts for free. This comprises the watch, hunters, goons and civic minded folks willing to lay down their lives for their home. It's also handy for when I switched to the narrativist kingdom building.
Replying to DM:
2) seems reasonable bet they add up much the same.
3, 4 and 5) glad you approve, your imput is something I respect.
6) Not a bad way to go but I also have a much more extenive set of kingdom building rules and a strongly different set of rules for military building which is part of the reason kingdom building is more fun. MY players are trying to earn and support getting a Knight's Estate going to get some cavaleers since they finally have an NPC on the payroll that can train them and a military blacksmith. They are also gearing up to create a warmage college.
Its too extensive, we're talking over 30 pages in word, PM me your email and I'll be happy to forward them to you.
As an aside I will ask for an assessment as I'm considering trying to kickstarter myself into a 3PP eventually (unless I win superstar.) I really want to be a game designer.
Obvious answer to 2 is that Restov pays the rewards.
Regarding militia, Ive renamed promotion laws to policing and use that to determine the amount of raisable militia.
Obvious answer to 2 is that Restov pays the rewards.
Except as we get into Rivers Run Red the AP wants the tone to increasingly become "you're on your own." For my players the existence of a concerned citizen's council led by a merchant got their cackles up- especially after the bard that shall not be named showed up...
7} Varnhold and Fort Drelev
#7 is something I am scratching my head over. We just finished part two and I am preparing part three. I think I am going to have Varnhold have a series of setbacks that have kept them small, heavy tributes to both Brevoy and the centaurs, and some bad luck. Nyrissa will also have been more successful in her schemes against Varnhold, as she wouldn't yet know who it is that will bring her down with Briar.
I may have read things wrong but I thought Varn was a Swordlord according to part one. In part three he is from an Issian family and has no ties to the swordlords.
Right now, the PCs kingdom is about 30 hexes, doing extremely well, and has two cities that dwarf Varnhold. To help the players feel that it is okay to start exploring and expanding towards the Tors of Levenies, I am going to have Varn approach them and offer to sell them the rights to the land west of the mountains. This would help focus the group towards that direction and establish a working relationship that could make the vanishing more meaningful.
See my conversions to help ameliorate/explain population issues.
If you want a really bad logical fallacy take a closer look at the farming rules.
Oddly the average farm size is fairly constant at around 400 acres, that is a yearly average. Say the population of 250 people in a farming hex supports 25 farms. That is 25 x 400 acres or 10,000 acres, which leaves a lot of wild lands. (A 12 mile center to center hex is just shy of 125 sq miles or 80,000 acres.) Now from some research I did, IIRC it was 2 to 3 acres of farming to feed 1 person for a year (this was pre industrial revolution), so that single hex will feed 3-5000 people, but only provides enough BP to supply two hexes.
From Stolen Lands:
I'm not sure where the author learned math, but a circle with a diameter of 12 miles is only 113 or so sq miles, and a hex as described would fit inside that.
Vod, each hex is 12 miles across.
That means from hex side to hex side,
This has already been fixed - errata-ed.
So your 12 mile diameter circle would fit INSIDE the hex.
Queen Moragan wrote:
I don't keep up on the errata, but anyway if look at the first paragraph, that makes it a 125 (124.9??) sq miles.
It's somewhere in the KM rules, book 2 I believe.
Queen Moragan wrote:
You're absolutely correct, but then it gets screwy when you look at the map of Varnhold and there is a 1-to-1 correspondence between "buildings" in the stat block and buildings on the map. One "brewery" is exactly one brewery building and not a city block with a brewery and some houses. But this goes back to one of the other problems the OP pointed out - Varnhold, as mapped, is WAY too small.
We just went through Varnhold, and for fun I blew up the map as big as I could without turning it into a blurry mess.
Simply, the map of Varnhold is just like every other city/town/village/hamlet map ever put into an adventure, a hand drawn artistic map.
Only in KM do you need to "lay out the town" on a district grid.
Until then just consider the art differences to be "visual flavor text".
It's been brought up on the board before, but when tinkering with the population density figures remember that those of us living in highly developed counties have a skewed view of the subject from a historical perspective.
Figure that a normal pre-industrial household would include the parents, children, unwed siblings, elderly members of the family, etc.... And since (and this is the important bit) cars, trains, bus', and bicycles haven't been invented yet all these people will have to live within walking distance of wherever all the the family members work.
An average of seven people per apartment, or shack, in the middle of the city is by no means out of line. You can find that in some developed contries even today.
Queen Moragan wrote:
To give people an idea of the size of one square (or building as you put it,) 562,500 square feet is just less than 13 acres. Windsor Castle, biggest and oldest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen, takes up about 13 acres as well.
That means the castle that the players can build, the one that takes up four squares, is four times as large as that.
@ c) Keep in mind that in medival times you don't have cooling, fast travel etc. this is why medival "big cities" were really small compared to todays "big cities". The land around have to support the city (mainly food).
@Tryn keep in mind its pathfinder thus magic and gods exist. Methinks there's solutions to basic issues like clean water and food storage. As to the fast travel, once you have decent roads, a good system to navigate the rivers safely, and once again with the magic is real we can teleport things isn't exactly super slow either.
9 Blocks = 2,250 people = 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile.
The District size is the maximum and assume every single "750' Block" is used for something.
Try not to inject too much reality into a fantasy game, use the game mechanics to help keep it simple.
Worrying about the real world or "realistic" mechanics or urban planing is alot easier if you just assume your NPC's are smarter than the historical leader's of any other historical city on this planet.
After all, your people have access to magic and live in a fantasy world where some things can be alot simpler.
Mmm. I try not to just assume that NPCs have solved all those problems just because solutions exist. My first and immediate reason is, that's the players' job.
I like seeing GMs leverage their specialties at the table, as long as they can tie it to the narrative in an engaging way. Some people would benefit from keeping it simple and making assumptions like that. Yet maybe this GM has researched the development of medieval cities, and is conversant with the attractions a site might have for city founders, the way that city streets contour with the terrain, what kind of geographic features are likely to be modified for urban expansion and which features will be molded around, what will react naturally to the cities presence, and how a city might be shaped by events like being partially burned out, rebuilt, and growing beyond the city walls.
After all, these are the kind of people who wrote Westcrown, Absalom, Kaer Maga, Korvosa and Pitax. Maybe this kind of knowledge can make a city pop out for the players a little extra bit, and I can hardly advise somebody to keep their specialty on a leash.
Another GM I know studies geology. He could probably tell you all about convection planes, development of canyons and cave systems. He could probably tell his players what specific minerals make up his golems and earth elementals. Maybe it wouldn't come up often, but I bet it'd be darn good knowledge for a corps of dwarven engineers, or perhaps some strange dungeon ecology.
Another GM studies biology. He doesn't just have monsters; he has ecosystems (and trust me, the world of nature is plump with inspiration for horrible monsters). I'd like to see him cobble together a dungeon someday.
But I think retaining problems is realistic in its own way. You're probably surrounded by problems in real life that could be solved, but aren't. One example is illnesses that come from the use of needles. There exists a new kind of hypodermic needle whose tip isn't exposed to the air -- it unfurls then pierces the skin, drastically dropping subsequent infection rates. But you don't see this wonderful invention actually employed much, because hospitals often buy their supplies from groups of medical suppliers. Our little invention isn't part of one of those groups, so it's not yet affordable for the hospitals to saves lives with it.
Competition for resources and greed always serve as good reasons that Pathfinder is more of a gritty good-versus-evil world where you try to eke out a living, rather than a wonderful magic utopia. Maybe it's possible for a city to eliminate disease within its borders, but powerful spellcasters are a limited resources. Even if you have powerful spellcasters, most of them usually value their time very highly, and it can be difficult to urge or force them into service. And if you do, that will have its own consequences ... with the resultant reputation changes that key off of that behavior, you're picking your own pocket.
So is it possible? Sure. Purify Food and Drink is a 0-level spell that can make rotten food healthy to eat again ... but you need somebody who can cast it, who is willing to cast it, and can keep up with the needs of your population. Services like that tend to keep people alive that would otherwise die off in addition to attracting people who want guaranteed meals, and then you're almost back at the beginning because your population has exceeded your services unless you've continually pumped in the resources to meet the demand.
And I see Golarion as having a tragic edge, where all too often the creation of something truly great attracts the attention of great and jealous forces that desire to ruin or sieze it. Flying cities attract enemies strong enough to ground them.
@GM_Solspiral & Queen Moragan:
I don't want to make PF realistic (hell I would simply play another game if i want to^^), I only want to offer a different view on this part, so maybe we could understand why this limit was set.
Also magic is present, but there are maybe other reasons why they will not use them here (see Troubleshooters post about the needle).
I know Pathfinder is a mid magic campaign world, but this doesn't mean that grain were sent into granaries via teleport circles etc.
Sure you can handle the supply by magic, but what will this mean for your country? Economy? (who needs farms "create food", "heroes feast" > unemployment) What will the neighbours do if a magic kingdom try to rise to power? (and maybe attack them at some point in the future).
Magic is the solution to alot of adventure problems but I think using it for common issues will always create more problems.
Beside, why doing all this magic stuff (polution clearing, magic food transport etc.) instead of building a new settlement a few miles away?
I have no objection to increasing realism in the game.
Each group and GM needs to determine how much more additional "realism" they wish to add, that being said, what one group decides to make "more realistic" can simply be hand-waved by another group.
Both are equally valid.
The point is to add to your game if it increases your enjoyment, but don't complain that a simplified game mechanic is wrong.
If your group has found something that improves your game, by all means share it!
But do try to keep the endless debate over "realism in the game" to a minimum, and I would encourage everyone to do so. Healthy debate is fine, debating for the sake of debating is not.
We use the city grid for simplicity.
Honestly, the biggest logical fallacy in Kingmaker is assuming that PCs are running charity and volunteer works instead of a protection racket... Even though kingdoms actually are closer to the latter. The entire kingdom management system simply doesn't work when confronted with selfish-neutral or nominally-good PCs, because being a king apparently pays FAR worse than being a wandering murderer for hire (assuming the same amount of effort). Until this fundamental problem is fixed, fixing lesser quirks of the kingdom management system is just plaing poultices on a wooden leg...