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[Actual Play Podcast] Solo Kingmaker (Spoilers)


For those out there who enjoy Actual Play audio podcasts, we have been recording our Kingmaker sessions, and these are now available to download as MP3 files from Google Drive. Enjoy!

This thread is for when updates are posted and general discussion of the podcast. This audio, unsurprisingly, contains massive ***Spoilers*** for the entire Adventure Path.

The River Kingdoms are a constantly shifting group of city-states, kingdoms, and fiefdoms, rising and falling through the machinations of would-be conquerors, wars, assassinations, games of politics, and dangerous monsters. South of Brevoy sit the Stolen Lands – stolen from what and when are a matter of debate – currently overrun by bandits and monsters. Brevoy seeks to aid in the establishment of new kingdoms, buffer states, run by anyone strong and clever enough to carve a kingdom out of the wilderness. Kaylen Thorne, the mercenary who would be king, believes he is that man. Herein lies his tale - of wilderness exploration, monsters, politics, romantic entanglements, ancient gods, and war. Heavy is the head that wears the crown…

Link to Audio Downloads

Starring: Helen as Kaylen Thorne, half-orc Fighter; Jared as GM / Tristain Thorne (human bard) / Korwin Steelriver (dwarf cleric of Pharasma) / Bryn (half-elf monk) / Michaela Morag (Mysterious Rogue/Cleric)
Special Notes: This is a solo game – one GM, one player. To help our lead character Kaylen out, he gets a rotating cast of four main NPCs as his party. To save us a lot of headaches, only one of them goes adventuring with him at a time, run by the GM. We have previously run through the Jade Regent adventure path – alas, unrecorded – like this previously. We began recording a few sessions into Book 2, and Session Zero is a short recap of what came previously.
Subsystems: A homebrewed version of the relationship mechanics from Jade Regent, where Kaylen gains Relationship Points and bonus abilities with his fellow NPCs, and Harrow cards used as Hero Points.
Frequency of sessions: Varies, but usually once every two weeks or so.
Length of sessions: Usually sits around the 2.5-3 hr mark, but these can vary wildly. We play in and around schedules whenever we have free uninterrupted time, so our game lengths are pretty swingy.
Special Thanks To:

  • Paizo, for an excellent Adventure Path, and the Paizo forums for several variations to improve it further. Dudemeister's work shines heavily through here, but I've borrowed from any number of sources.

  • Intro music "The Hunt" by BrunuhVille used with permission under Creative Commons License.

  •, who offer a wide variety of actual play audio and inspired the podcast.

Episode Synopses
For those of you who like episode synopses, here they are (spoiler tagged for those who prefer to listen blind!)


Episode 0 - in which we recap that which has passed unrecorded.

Episode 1 – in which a rumourmonger comes to town, and Kaylen fights a force that can’t be slain by a sword. Grigori, famed as one of Kingmaker's more memorable encounters, comes to town.

Episode 2 – in which Stagthorne is attacked by a unique monster (a Dandifluer), and Kaylen takes a fascinating side trip to the First World.

Episode 3 – in which the kingdom loses a great asset, Kaylen explores south to Candlemere Island, and a new species is encountered in the Greenbelt.

Episode 4 – in which Kaylen and Michaela encounter the horrors of Candlemere Island. The Cthuhu-ian horrors of the Outer Dark await!

Episode 5 – in which Kaylen and Tristain explore Candlemere, encounter the lizard folk, try to save a child, and start a war.

Episode 6 – in which the lizardfolk army attacks, and the Church of Desna and the Order of the Silver Twilight disagree over the fate of Candlemere.

Episode 7 – in which the Holy Order of Erastil comes for justice for Akiros, high General of Stagthorne. Kaylen makes a move on Bryn, and the mythical Hodag is encountered.

Episode 8 – in which Kaylen returns to the Elven ruin and finds some old and new enemies.

Episode 9 – in which the Baoban Sith is faced in a fierce encounter, Tristain finds love, and Tartuk is tried for his crimes.

Episode 10 – in which the spy within Stagthorne is outed, and the problem is taken care of.

Episode 11 – in which Kaylen is presented with an unexpected - and confusing - opportunity at love, and the Lonely Barrow is raided.

Episode 12 – in which the Lonely Barrow is raided, and Mab’s champion is faced.

Episode 13 – in which two short episodes are combined – Kaylen deals with a choice of women, speaks to Oleg, and the kingdom faces a minor plague.

Episode 14 – a short episode in which Kaylen deals with an outbreak of divorce, and plans for trolls.

Episode 15 – in which Kaylen takes the fight to Hagrulka’s kingdom, slays a “dragon”, meets Jamandi Rull, and frees a load of slaves.

Episode 16 – in which the battle of Fangberry Farm takes place and the battle of Elk’s Rest.

Episode 17 – in which we experience the traditional Lost Episode and Recap session. Here, a councilor is murdered! Not a dream, not an imaginary story, somebody really dies (and then we look at Raise Dead...)

Episode 18 – in which Kaylen meets the swamp witch, is invited to Varn Thorne's wedding, and explores the lower Greenbelt further.

Episode 19 – in which Kaylen finally confronts Hagrulka, in the battle of the Monster Kingdom vs Stagthorn!

Episode 20 – in which tragedy hits Elk’s Rest, Kaylen hits back, and the biggest monster yet is encountered.

Episode 21 – in which Kaylen deals with the destruction left by Hagrulka's parting blow.

Episode 22 – in which Kaylen travels to Varnhold for the wedding of Varn Thorne and Jamandi Rull.

Episode 23 – in which fun and games are had at the wedding. And a tragedy strikes the council.

Episode 24 – in which the conspiracy of the cult of Gyronna is unmasked, and we find out who is on whose side.

Episode 25 – in which King Kaylen deals with the depth of the betrayal of his kingdom.

Episode 26 – in which wedding bells ring. Will anyone object?

Episode 27 – in which a million million kingdom turns occur

Episode 28 – in which Fey Lords and Ladies are consulted, and ill news comes from Varnhold.

Episode 29 – in which Kaylen and Tristain investigate Varnhold. What dark sorcery is responsible for it’s fate?

Episode 30 – in which Kaylen confronts the Nomen Centaurs

Episode 31 – in which Kaylen seeks the gods’ wisdom to divine the plot, and has a diplomatic meeting with the centaur leader.

Episode 32 – in which Kaylen and Tristain explore the Nomen Heights and battle the monsters – and eels! – within

Episode 33 – in which Kaylen and Bryn explore the Nomen Heights, climb Mt Talon, and face the deadly foe of eels again.

Episode 34 – in which Kaylen and Bryn descend Mt Talon a lot faster than they climbed in, and challenge the power responsible for Varnhold’s vanishing.

Episode 35 - in which the gifts of the Queen of Forgotten Time are accepted, and Kaylen is challenged to undertaken a dangerous and already completed task.

Unrelated to Kingmaker, but for those enjoying the audio, we also have The Worlds Most Wondrous Year, a Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure (further details in spoiler tag). Be warned that this audio contains Spoilers of a sort for the Carrion Crown AP's Book 2, Trial of the Beast, which we adapted for the purpose (it's adapted heavily, so I wouldn't be too worried if you plan to play it - nonetheless, a warning for those who like to avoid spoilers of any kind!)

It is 1899, the turn of the 20th Century. 23 years after extraordinary British scientist Phileas Fogg went around the World in 80 Days, he now seeks to better his own feat – to travel to any seven destinations on the planet, no matter how far, within the year. Fogg will then justifiably become the head of the Royal Academy of Science. There’s just one problem. Phileas Fogg is a cad, philander, murderer, and monster. Only a small group of heroes know the truth, and only they can stop him in an adventurous race around the world!

This is a pulp adventure in the style of Indiana Jones, with our heroes travelling the world and facing adventures from a variety of different pulp-filtered genres, from Mystery, Mummies, Pulp Archeology (death-traps!), light Horror, Espionage, and are heading into Time Travel and Dinosaur Safari.

Link to Audio Downloads


  • Jared as the GM

  • Helen as 'Pittsburgh' Pete Morrison, square jawed American hero

  • Miriam as Dr Johnathan Hannah, renowned mummy-phobic Egyptologist with shifty eyes

  • Susan as Dr Amanda Strange, rich dillentante, occultist, scientist, and general eccentric who believes her cat can talk to her, and is inhabited by her dead husband's spirit.

  • Mara Priscilla Mimieax, time travelling 10 year old Eloi girl from the ruined future.

  • Grant as Bernard Pendlebury / James Fogg, allegedly a simply butler, but secretly Phileas Fogg's thought-murdered brother.

  • Jan as Jeremy Wright, mad clockwork scientist

  • Yerin as Special Investigator Rosemary Darling, British police officer.

System: Savage Worlds, Pulp Edition
Special Notes: This is a slightly homebrewed version of Savage Worlds, set up for Pulp rules and based on the Thrilling Tales sourcebook. We've made some skill changes and added a travel system, but it's mostly Savage Worlds in all it's glory.
Frequency of sessions: 3 sessions in a month, very consistently
Length of sessions: Around 2.5 - 3 hours, consistently.
Special Thanks To:

  • Pinnacle Entertainment Group (PEG), makers of Savage Worlds.

  • Intro music "Jade" by Scott Buckley used with permission under Creative Commons License.

  • Our Egyptian Adventure "The Strange Expedition and... The Secrets of Sekhmet!" is strongly inspired by The Shadows of Sekhmet, an Any-System Key Scenario by Peter Schweighofer.

  • Our Transylvanian Adventure "The Strange Expedition vs... The True Terrors of Transylvania!" is an adaption of The Trial of the Beast, Paizo's second book of the Carrion Crown Adventure Path.

  • Our Amazon Adventure "The Strange Expedition vs... The Crocodile Cult!" is an adaption of PEG's free pulp Savage Worlds adventure, The Eye of Kilquato.

Episode 36 now uploaded.


Episode 35 - in which the Test of Between is undertaken. is Kaylen up to the challenge of a Centaur foal? A short episode today.

Episode 37 uploaded.


Episode 37 - in which the Twice Marked King learns of his new allies, and discovers the secrets of the Nomen Centaurs.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Question: I downloaded these and have been listening through while cooking. What happened to episodes 3-5? I had just finished up Kaylen's jaunt to the First World, queued up the next episode, and discovered we'd jumped to negotiations with Queen Vestek.

Hmm. Looks to me like they're still there, and I've test-downloaded these myself and I'm not having any problems. Anyone else?

My best guess would be that your files have corrupted while downloading, and so your MP3 player is skipping straight past them onto episode 6. I'd suggest re-downloading those files - if it doesn't work, let me know and I'll see about some alternatives.

Each episode has the episode number recorded into it just after the intro, so it should be easy to tell if you're missing any.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think that's it -- I've been manually starting the files one at a time, so I can see quite clearly that they're just not there in my copy.

I downloaded all of them at once using the "Download All" button in Google Drive. It looks like it skipped those episodes for some reason. Weird. I'll download those three manually.

I didn't realise there even was a Download All function. Helpful if it actually worked.

Episode 38 uploaded.


Episode 38 - in which Vordekai makes his first move against Kaylen. Thrice shall it come and done...

Episode 39 uploaded.


Episode 39 - in which Kaylen and Michaela explore Varnhold, and encounter the strange creature of Dragonleaf Gulch.

Episodes 40 and 41 now uploaded.


Episode 40 - In which Kaylen and Michaela hunt for the Ghost Stone, and face some less-than-lethal threats.

Episode 41 - in which Stagthorne participates in the long-awaited Kankerata Run. Is Kaylen fast enough on his feet to win the trust of the centaur herd?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I only just noticed this. I'm going to download all this sweet goodness tonight.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You'll be able to enjoy some wonderful implementation of your Monster Kingdom and Clockwork Pitax ideas then. It is a real treat.

The Centaur Trust system has also been a big hit, DM, although my Clockwork Pitax doesn't have a lot in common with yours - but I couldn't go past Clockwork Dr Doom.

Episode 42 now uploaded.


Episode 42 - in which Kaylen and Bryn hunt for the Watcher's Stone, exploring the waterways of the Nomen Heights. For the third and final time, the shadows come for Kaylen's soul.

A small note, to those interested: I like to foreshadow upcoming elements a lot, as you've no doubt heard. I'm starting to lose track of my NPCs and Councillors, so I went through and made a list of all the name-dropped NPCs who have come up thus far. It's 60 (!) plus named characters who have appeared or been mentioned, and may yet appear again in the campaign, and that's discounting those whom I don't plan on using again. No wondering I'm losing track!

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've listened to the end of the discussion with Oleg after Kaylen's return from the lonely barrow.

Some good role playing in here -- Kaylen seems pretty much the archetype of Lawful Goodness, complete with routine conflicts between the law part and the good part. Nicely done.

Episodes 43 and 44 now uploaded.


Episode 43 - in which the mighty castle Thorn is finally built... and immediately, someone comes along to smash it down.

Episode 44 - in which Kesten's Bowmen and Mikmik's Kobolds face off against the Zombie Horde...

Episode 45 now uploaded.


Episode 45 - in which Kaylen faces the king's most deadly foe yet - fear and ignorance, and the death and shame that follow in its wake. Today, Stagthorn is made poorer.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pro tip: if you want to skip the intro while listening, jump to 1:45. In VLC, you can get to the jump-to menu by pressing CTRL+T.

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well, I took to listening to this whilst cooking. But now I have run out of podcast.

Clearly I can no longer cook, and must surely starve. Weep for me!

Ah, the downside of listening to an ongoing podcast as opposed to one that's over and done with (I binge listen, so I don't even like to start until there's 20 episodes of something in the bag already). And it'll likely be slow on new episodes over Christmas, too! I'm sure we'll be done with Kingmaker is... well, OK, a couple of years, given we're just approaching the end of book three.

But there's no need to starve to death, when you can try The Worlds Most Wondrous Year, our Savage Worlds pulp game. It's a complete campaign, so it'll never run out (well, until you reach the end of the 51 episodes. But that should occupy you for a while!) It's quite different from Kingmaker (group game with the same GM and our Kingmaker player as one of the group), but better than starving to death.

We'll be beginning Curse of the Crimson Throne in a month or so, too (although that'll take forever until there's a nice big backlog of episodes).

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah, I may have exaggerated a wee bit. I have a great deal of experience at waiting on Kingmaker, seeing as my own run-through took just over seven years, and in some ways isn't fully over yet even though we finished dealing with the BBEG in one branch of reality back in August. Stuff got ... complicated.

I probably won't listen to your Crimson Throne campaign, as I'm starting one of those myself in early January. Here's hoping we can finish that in some kind of reasonable time frame. But I'll check out your other ones.

In the meantime, I'm curious about your house rules. Mainly the Harrow based hero point system; but occasionally Kaylen will be called on for ability checks and announce sky-high results. I think I recall hearing a result of 34 on a Strength check, for example. Are you using the base ability score rather than the modifier? Is that part of the adjustments you've made to better support solo play?

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Tinalles wrote:
...but occasionally Kaylen will be called on for ability checks and announce sky-high results. I think I recall hearing a result of 34 on a Strength check, for example. Are you using the base ability score rather than the modifier? Is that part of the adjustments you've made to better support solo play?

Ah, the "lift with your back, Rogar" rule (referenced from The Gamers movie).

Basically, we found that raw ability checks have such relatively low modifiers they get subsumed by the d20 roll fairly easily.

Take, for example a basic wooden door (DC 13 to break). The 18 (+4) Str Muscular Barbarian needs a 9 or better on the dice to kick it down. Weakling Wizard with 8 Str (-1) needs a 14. We had multiple instances where Weakling's dice favoured him, and left the Barbarian scratching his head.

In response, we now use the full ability score (so 18 vs 8), and the DCs for raw ability checks increase by +10 across the board. So the wooden door is now DC23 to break. The Barbarian succeeds on a 5 or better, while the Wizard needs a 15. At a strong wooden door (DC23 pumped to DC33), the Barbarian needs 15 (vs the 19 he'd need at the ordinary rules), and the Wizard flat out can't do it, since the best he can generate is a 28 (which is the same problem he'd have in the original rules, since he'd need to roll a 22 on the dice, but you can see the difference in numbers needed). It makes harder tasks more doable for those with high attributes, and harder for those with low attributes, which is the effect we desired.

It's worked reasonably well for us and is an easy houserule to apply. It's nothing to do with solo play - we use the same rule in our group DnD games as well. The side effects are that stat-dumping matters a little more, and that bull rushes and things of that nature that use straight Strength are performed a little more. It's not a significant change, but we've enjoyed it.

When we use attribute checks - which isn't all that common - Strength checks get used for lifting (since we can't be bothering looking up max loads and working out the weight of what the character is carrying) or breaking a thing; Dexterity gets used for things of grace (like dancing - you could also use Perform Dance, considering the DC for the Dex check will be 10 higher); Con for forced marches and the like; Int to draw a conclusion from facts presented in front of you; Wis to draw a conclusion from facts you've been told by the GM in the past; and Cha to make a good first impression on someone.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Back from Christmas to finish my reply, a mere three weeks later!

Hero Points are primarily a death-saver, and a chance for rerolls. We generally prefer to have death harder to come by in a DnD game, and the Hero Points allow me to throw around save-or-die effects without worrying about it. Particularly in a one-player game - without Kaylen, it's not as if we could just slot another 8th level adventurer in there and keep going with the campaign. Without a party to carry on the plot, it's all on Kaylen's shoulders.

The 'Harrow Cards' are mostly a bit of extra descriptor - we starting using these mid-way through Legacy of Fire to make the players pay attention to the situation they're in. Everybody picks one that best represents their character (a bit stolen from Curse of the Crimson Throne), and then bonuses are given if you use that, one of the same attribute as your card, your enemies character card (which means it's in the players interests to pay attention to what's motivating the Big Bad Guy), or one appropriate to the situation.But that's relatively minor - you could trivially drop it and use simple poker chips as markers instead.

Each character gets an appropriate number of Hero Points per level - we're using 4 for the solo game, with a feat available to gain an extra one every time you level (Korwin Steelriver, being a character of strong destiny and nothing better to do with his feats, has taken this over and over again), and the ability to use them on behalf of other PCs. At the start of each session, you re-draw your hand, getting new cards each time (although only the number you have left).

For all their uses (spoiler blocked for length):


Regular: Reroll any dice roll. You must take the second roll, even if it’s worse.
Attribute: Reroll a dice roll at a +2 bonus. You must take the second roll, even if it’s worse.
Special: Reroll any dice roll twice. Take the best possible result.

Damage Or Fatal Spell (Finger of Death, etc)
Regular: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to -5 and Dying.
Attribute: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to -5 and Stablise.
Special: Upon taking damage that would drop you to negatives or kill you, you drop to 1 HP and remain active.

Regular: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Dying.
Attribute: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Stablise.
Special: If dying and losing -1HP per round, you may remain at -9 and Stablise.

Confirm Crit
Regular: Spend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm.
Attribute: Spend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm. You may reroll the damage dice if you choose, but have to take the second roll.
Special: pend a point to confirm a critical hit instead of rolling to confirm. You may reroll the damage dice, taking the better roll.

Incapacitating Effect (Blindness, Flesh to Stone, Polymorph, etc)
Regular: The effect still succeeds, but lasts only 2d6 rounds, hours, or days (GM’s discretion) before reversing itself.
Attribute: The effect still succeeds, but lasts only 1d6 rounds, hours, or days (GM’s discretion) before reversing itself.
]Special: You pass your saving throw retroactively.

Recall Spell
Regular: You may regain any one spell (prepared caster) or spell slot (spontaneous caster) you have expended today. If the spell had metamagic applied, you receive only a normal version of it. This usage takes a full round action.
Attribute: As before, but this usage takes a standard action.
Special: As before, but this usage is a free action.

Been playing many games over the Christmas break!

Episodes 46 - 53 now uploaded.

Episode 46 – in which the forgotten Test of the Deep is inadvertently faced, and Kaylen has a new revelation about the upcoming birth.

Episode 47 – in which Stagthorne faces a foe on more than one front, and learns of the consequences of supporting a revolving door afterlife.

Episode 48 – in which Horatio Surtova faces justice, Kaylen takes a council of war with his new allies, and the time has come to confront Vordekai to save the citizens of Varnhold.

Episode 49 – in which Kaylen and Michaela at last enter Vordekai’s tomb and discover the fate of Maester Paedrod

Episode 50 – in which the ultimate battle with Vordekai is decided.

Episode 51 – in which Kaylen and Michaela face a complex trap in Vordekai’s lair, and find the fate of Varn Thorne.

Episode 52 – in which Stagthorne deals with its new potential allies, and Michaela Morag unveils her secrets.

Episode 53 – in which Kaylen is given a gift he’s waited a lifetime for, and sacrifices and compromises are made.

Also new news:

We have reuploaded all the files, edited to boost the volume and little and eliminate the various odd points of dead air, and a few editor little comments edited in. If you've already heard them, there's no merit in listening again, but if you have a bunch you're downloaded but haven't heard yet, you might as well replace them.

We've also added Episode 0b, which is a brief recap of the Venture Capital mod used in terms of who the kingdom of Stagthorn made deals with, and how the main characters are built mechanically. Worth listening to if you're interested in that sort of thing.

Additionally, we've finished off another (group) DnD game, and the Sugar Fuelled Gamers will be coming out shortly with Lost and Forgotten, a mini-campaign adapted from Soul for Smuggler's Shiv, the first book of the Serpent's Skull adventure path. Stay tuned.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Quick suggestion: it might be useful to put the episode number first on the files. By default Google Drive uses icon view to display the files. The file name is displayed at the bottom, but because of the length of the file name, they get cut off before the episode number. The result is a long series of identical icons showing a big red speaker icon with the words "Kingmaker Session ..." at the bottom, which makes it difficult to find a specific episode in the list.

Of course it's possible to switch to list view using the hamburger icon at the top right, but not everyone may know that.

I decided to give this a try as I'm always up for a new podcast. Both DM and player are very good and despite the fact we join in book 2 there is a good synopsis for what happened in book 1 to cover what we missed.
However, and this is a deal breaker for me personally, someone is babysitting during the sessions and I find it very concentration breaking. I gave it to episode 3 but cannot go on.
I wish Sugar Filled Gamers luck with their future endeavours though as they otherwise produce a very interesting podcast.

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