Kingmaker Update

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Since a bit before all of us at Paizo transitioned into work-from-home mode back in early March, my primary job has been all things Kingmaker. The upcoming 2nd-edition update is one of the largest single print projects we’ve ever attempted at Paizo, with about a thousand pages represented between the 640 page Adventure Path (compare that to, say, the 432 pages in the Rise of the Runelords hardcover compilation), the 128 page Companion Guide (which brings in all 12 companions from Owlcat’s computer game version of Kingmaker), and a pair of Bestiary companions to help folks run the Adventure Path using 1st edition Pathfinder rules or even 5E rules. And this doesn’t even touch the various accessory products—maps and screens and more!

Unfortunately, the magnitude of getting this all done means that we’re not going to have it out for folks anytime soon. At this point, we’re targeting a release sometime in the second half of 2021—we’ll keep everyone updated as we get closer to the finish line, of course, but until then, work proceeds apace, with it being pretty much the only thing (other than meetings and product approvals) that I’m focused on right now.

As soon as I’m done writing this blog post, I’m jumping right back in to development—I’m midway through Chapter 7: Blood for Blood, working my way through Fort Drelev. I’ve finished development on the Kingdom management rules, the Settlement building rules, and the narrative Mass Combat rules. We’ve got over 300 pages of content in edit as I race to stay ahead of that curve.

But there’s more than words in an adventure, and now we come to the exciting part of this blog post! We’re ordering a mountain of new art for this project, both to illustrate scenes and characters and creatures we didn’t have the budget or time or pages to do in the first printing of Kingmaker a decade ago, along with lots of art for brand new content that’s never before seen print.

Some of that art’s already coming in, in fact, as you’ve no doubt already noticed!

First, we’ve got an image from the new introduction to the Adventure Path, based on the prologue from Owlcat’s version of the game when the brand-new PCs gather at Lady Jamandi Aldori’s estate for a feast and to be assigned their charters for exploring the Stolen Lands. Of course, even at first level, Amiri’s not gonna take any guff from midnight killers trying to ambush her while she’s resting up from a night of feasting!

Pathfinder iconic barbarian Amiri taking on a would be assassin with a chair An armored half eld holding a sword and buckler

And speaking of Lady Jamandi, we’ve got a brand new illustration of her—she’s essentially your patron for the first part of this entire campaign, and her role throughout the Adventure Path is a bit more involved... unless, of course, the players at your table decide to cut ties with Rostland and go off on their own to build a kingdom. It is a sandbox campaign still, after all!

Being able to finally illustrate a certain enormous and angry owlbear in his own illustration had to happen, obviously.

And finally, have a mutant chimera that may have gotten a bit too close to a volatile mix of planar energies from the First World and the Abyss. I won’t tell you where this last critter shows up, but he’s certainly a handful!

A wild owlbear with arrows sticking out of its back a mutant chimera with the heads of a bird, snake, and beetle.

In closing, thank you again to all of you out there who played Kingmaker and helped make it one of our most successful, most popular Adventure Paths of all time. Again, apologies for it taking longer to publish and get it all into your hands than we’d anticipated, but I think it’s going to be well worth the wait!

James Jacobs
Pathfinder Creative Director

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Tags: Kingmaker Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Is the Kingdom/Settlement/Warfare subsystem going to be released prior to the release of the AP? I plan to buy the AP when it comes out but I would definitely like those rules beforehand to include in my games.

A PDF perhaps?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rameth wrote:

Is the Kingdom/Settlement/Warfare subsystem going to be released prior to the release of the AP? I plan to buy the AP when it comes out but I would definitely like those rules beforehand to include in my games.

A PDF perhaps?

At this point, we're very strongly considering publishing these subsystems in a Player's Guide style PDF, but that's over a year away so a lot can change between now and then. The rules as they currently stand have some necessary spoilers for the plot in there, and by putting them in a player's guide with a spoiler free layout isn't something we have room to do in a print product.

I toyed with the idea of doing a limited public playtest as well of these rules, but that's irresponsible to consider at this point when the project's already behind schedule.

We'll see.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Rameth wrote:
stuff

At this point, we're very strongly considering publishing these subsystems in a Player's Guide style PDF, but that's over a year away so a lot can change between now and then. The rules as they currently stand have some necessary spoilers for the plot in there, and by putting them in a player's guide with a spoiler free layout isn't something we have room to do in a print product.

I toyed with the idea of doing a limited public playtest as well of these rules, but that's irresponsible to consider at this point when the project's already behind schedule.

We'll see.

I know that I would even pay for a PDF of that subsystems rules. Maybe 5 or 10 dollars? I wouldn't mind buying it and then purchasing the AP at a later date.

I hope there's something that can be done. Hope everything continues to go well for you guys!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rameth wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Rameth wrote:
stuff

At this point, we're very strongly considering publishing these subsystems in a Player's Guide style PDF, but that's over a year away so a lot can change between now and then. The rules as they currently stand have some necessary spoilers for the plot in there, and by putting them in a player's guide with a spoiler free layout isn't something we have room to do in a print product.

I toyed with the idea of doing a limited public playtest as well of these rules, but that's irresponsible to consider at this point when the project's already behind schedule.

We'll see.

I know that I would even pay for a PDF of that subsystems rules. Maybe 5 or 10 dollars? I wouldn't mind buying it and then purchasing the AP at a later date.

I hope there's something that can be done. Hope everything continues to go well for you guys!

While that's certainly an option, philosophically I've always been opposed to a "pay to play" element for players of Adventure Paths. That's why I've always pushed to have the Player's Guides be free resources for the players to pick up (and also why we stopped printing them, since we can't really do free print products like that—free RPG day being a weird exception to the rule).


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I am sad but only because of my enthusiasm to play it - but, to be honest, expected it because of stretch goals, COVID-related work-at-home delays, COVID-related delays with the printing industry, and once I found out the Kingdom and Mass Combat rules were getting rebuilt from the ground up.

But it gives me more time to prepare! Because I'm working on sort of a pre-port on my virtual tabletop for PF, sourcing every current resource on the Broken Lands. And you can never have too many NPCs. And some new stuff of my own design. This campaign is going to be insane..


I was hoping that it would be released in time for Christmas as I wanted to make a bulk purchase and the trio of books would be the prize. But waiting til possibly May or June to make my purchase isn't too bad just hope the mini's that I would have bought alongside it are still available. But many thanks for the update.

Keep well and stay safe.

EtG


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, LO Special Edition, PF Special Edition, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I backed the campaign, and I am fine with waiting a little longer. Paizo does good work. All the campaigns I have backed are getting delays right now. (At least it isn't Star Citizen :P)

Will Kingmaker be offered like the pocket guides separate from the normal campaign subscription if I want to get a second copy?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I'm sad it's delayed, but considering the scope creep, it'd be kind of crazy if it wasn't. Yay crowdfunding! I, too, would rather have a good product late than a bad product on time.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I'm sad its getting delayed this long, I can understand how both covid and the nature of kickstarters in general can contribute to delays. I would amplify the message that it would be better to play a good game in the future than play a bad game now, so take the time that's needed to make this right. I'm pretty sure I'll still be into gaming next year, so just something to look forward to then.


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Take care of yourself, James.

Dark Archive

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I completely understand the delay. Just want to see the Paizo staff healthy, and delivering the highest quality (not fastest!) Kingmaker that they can. Kingmaker is a legendary campaign (which there aren't many of!), and it deserves to be treated with the care and respect that it commands from fans.

I ordered just about everything from the backing campaign and I'm not fazed. Need an extra year? Take three if you feel it will make the product reach perfection.

Paizo Employee VP of Marketing & Licensing

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There have been a few questions about refunds that got removed due to violations of Paizo's Community Guidelines, so I'm repeating my previous post.

We are not offering refunds to backers of the Kingmaker Adventure Path campaign. This is a delay in fulfillment of our project, not a cancellation.

Good Gaming!

-Jim


I really love this Amiri piece "Ambushed." Who is the artist?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Hmmm... looks like we forgot to include artist credits. Oops!

Klaher Baklaher did Jirelle as the Sword Scion.

Roberto Pitturru did the other three.

Chief Operations Officer

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Cyfer wrote:

I backed the campaign, and I am fine with waiting a little longer. Paizo does good work. All the campaigns I have backed are getting delays right now. (At least it isn't Star Citizen :P)

Will Kingmaker be offered like the pocket guides separate from the normal campaign subscription if I want to get a second copy?

We haven't made and plans on pocket editions yet but we have said a couple of times that it is our intention to open things up for pre-orders of the non-exclusive content sometime in 2021, which should meet your needs.


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Is there a new update on this?


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think I have to wait for the public release of this because- I swear I thought I backed this, but apparently I didn't?
But with all the new content being added- bonus adventures, etc- is this going to go all the way to 20th?
I had thought this was a 3rd party project, for some reason. Maybe because of the kickstarter/owlcat connection? But when I saw it was being developed by James, I suddenly became a lot more interested. Can't wait for this one to come out after the pandemic delay.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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There's enough content to go all the way to 20th level with ease. It's a sandbox campaign, after all, and a group that tries to fully complete what's going into this thing should probably use the slow XP progression, and even then they'll have no problem hitting 20th level before the end.

In any event, it's not a 3rd-party product. We got some help from Legendary Games at the start, and they're handling the bulk of the 5E Bestiary, but I'm developing the remaining three books (around 900 pages overall), and Paizo is doing all the art, layout, editing, etc. in the same way we did the previous three Adventure Path hardcovers we've done.

I have no news regarding the update to the schedule, as making that announcement is above my pay grade, as is explaining why it's late, but it's been something I've been working on significantly for about a year, now. Hopefully Paizo will have more news regarding the schedule soon. If we do I suspect it'll be a blog post or something like that. It won't be hidden from view. This is one of the largest projects Paizo has ever undertaken, after all.


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James Jacobs wrote:

..., but it's been something I've been working on significantly for about a year, now.

...

Thanks Mr. Jacobs, now please get some rest. Must be close to Midnight, if you are in the Seattle area.

Liberty's Edge

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Yes. Thank you very much. I know it will be awesome in the end :-D

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
... in the same way we did the previous three Adventure Path hardcovers we've done.

I have Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne. Is there another AP hardcover out there that I'm missing?!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber
TomParker wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... in the same way we did the previous three Adventure Path hardcovers we've done.
I have Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne. Is there another AP hardcover out there that I'm missing?!

Shackled City perhaps?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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TomParker wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
... in the same way we did the previous three Adventure Path hardcovers we've done.
I have Rise of the Runelords and Curse of the Crimson Throne. Is there another AP hardcover out there that I'm missing?!

The first one we did was Shackled City.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ah. Shackled City. So epic. I pretty much wore out my hardcover of that. It got used so many times.


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I am absolutely looking forward to getting this AP. My only disappointment (besides the seemingly eternal wait due to Covid delays) is that I want to play it, but will most likely be have to run it.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zi Mishkal wrote:

I'm going to stick my neck out a little here and voice a concern. The last printed thing I think which has been posted to the internet was a brief update at the start of July by Legendary Press which stated the first draft of the AP had been turned over to Paizo at some point previous. The update before that, at the start of April, lent the impression that from Legendary Press' perspective they were almost complete. April link

As of April, from an outsider's perspective, things seemed ok. Skimming back through the PaizoCon Q&A there's a reply by Lisa Stephens which, in retrospect, sounds very cautious about release dates (about 1:07 in) . But I think the impression I got from her response is that it sounds like this is an undertaking that James is doing almost single-handedly? Moreover, it sounds like there's a lot of rewriting going on, and that the subsystems are only being put together now?

So, I think from a backer, and an end-user's perspective, you can understand the confusion and concern going on. We have almost zero insight into the day to day activities at Paizo and I think, for the most part, we assume that things are fine unless we hear otherwise. I don't think any of us mind the increased delay if we have some understanding of where the project stands. These are difficult days, after all. Its just from our end, things looked on track for a Nov-Dec 2020 release date and now that timeline has doubled, at least. Its concerning. And as much as we appreciate the new art, to be honest, I have to concur - we love paizo for it's content, not its pretty pictures.

So if you could speak to these concerns I know I (and probably others) would appreciate the effort, even if the information conveyed is disappointing.

Thanks, and stay safe.

I hella disagree.

Paizo's art is great, and we have WAY more than enough content to satisfy us until this AP re-comes out. I'd gladly wait a year for more art to make my table feel really invested (especially since Paizo had a good track record of making hearthrob NPCs that my table adores).

Y'all got no idea how development for this kind of thing works. Let Paizo take all the time they need.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
James Jacobs and everyone else wrote:
TomParker wrote:
Is there another AP hardcover out there that I'm missing?!
...Shackled City.

Ah, thanks! Pre-Pathfinder. I was on a gaming hiatus during that era. It was Pathfinder that pulled me back in, after reading some of the adventure paths. I'm looking forward to an updated Kingmaker; it's one of the APs I haven't read yet.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The art is absolutely one of the things that helps my players & me get into the mood of the setting. When I can push a rendering of a monster or a scene onto their screen, or open up a book to show them, it really helps everyone visualize what's going on.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Virellius wrote:


and we have WAY more than enough content to satisfy us until this AP re-comes out.

Not everyone has the luxury of just buying more content to make up for the fact that their already paid for content hasn't arrived yet. Whether monetarily or group inertia/time wise (APs take a LONG time to play and require a group to put aside timeslots for a considerable portion of the calendar year. Not knowing when the AP comes out basically disbars a lot of group from starting anything.)


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Are there any updates on the Kingmaker 2e conversion? I am trying to convert some family and friends to pathfinder once we finish our current campaign in a couple of months and I would like to be able to bring them in with kingmaker 2e.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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all the updates can be found here: LINK

They had been doing monthly updates, but april's update is not there.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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My understanding is that we'll have some more updates at Paizocon in a few weeks. I wrote an April update for the crowdfunding site, but I'm not the one who posts them to that site since I don't have access to do so—I'll look into things here to see why it got caught in the gears or whatever and hopefully we'll have the April update there soon.

To those hoping to get it in a couple of months, though... it's not gonna be ready in a couple of months, alas.


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Happy for update. Sad for delay.

Shadow Lodge

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Been about two weeks since Paizocon, and no one has posted the most recent delay to the pledge site. It would be nice to get some detail on the original platform in a timely manner. It's two weeks into June, so almost time for the May update, right?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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I've been pinging folks more to do a Paizocon Update post there; no new news yet from what we said at Paizocon in any event. I had thought there was gonna be something more (not written by me this time; again remember I don't have access to posting to the site), but I guess no one's had a chance to do so yet. I'll keep pestering people.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think in a post from last year the subsystem for Kingdom management was being considered as its own PDF as well.
Is this still something that may happen and if so, before Kingmaker is released?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Rude_ wrote:

I think in a post from last year the subsystem for Kingdom management was being considered as its own PDF as well.

Is this still something that may happen and if so, before Kingmaker is released?

As is my understanding, the Kingdom and Army rules will be in the Kingmaker Player's Guide, a free PDF that we'll build and release next year.

And from the office of expectation management... these rules will be for Kingmaker, not a generic world. AKA: Don't expect rules for building kingdoms in terrains that aren't part of Kingmaker, etc.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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The short as-of-this-minute update is that the books are being laid out, and I'm doing copy fitting. A few of the chapters ended up a little short, so I've been having fun adding an encounter here or a bonus stat block there along the way! :-)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Stoked that you guys are taking the time to put in more artwork! Its importance can't be overstated.


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WatersLethe wrote:
Stoked that you guys are taking the time to put in more artwork! Its importance can't be overstated.

The new art will prevent the apocalypse and unlock the secret to unlimited free sustainable energy through cold fusion!


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I really want this Kingmaker update soon. It really is one of Paizo's best, if not the best, AP they have ever made. My group had a blast with it. I think it will be even more fun in PF2 because every fight should be challenging without me having to do crazy stuff.

I think a Rise of the Runelords for PF2 would be good too. You can finally play these APs and have them be challenging at all levels.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Would the pawns from this be usable with the 1E version?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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taks wrote:
Would the pawns from this be usable with the 1E version?

Yes.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Thanks, James.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm really excited about this. Even tho (I swear to GAWD) I was 100% sure I backed this. And, apparently, I didn't...? I was confused when I didn't see it on my kickstarter page.
So, hopefully I can still purchase all the stuff when it comes out.

And, I'm with Deriven- I say Runelords for every edition of Pathfinder!

Altho, with PF2... I'm having such an easy time converting it, it would probably be time better spent on other projects.

Can't wait for this one!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

It’s not on Kickstarter.

Silver Crusade

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Game on Tabletop was the Crowdsource site.

Customer Service Lead

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If you missed the crowdfunding you don't need to worry, the book will be available for purchase here on paizo.com when it releases.

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