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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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Ohhh. Not on Kickstarter. I wonder if I did back it, then? But looks like it will be available here on the site after release regardless. Thanks for the info, you guys.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It'll probably be a solid year and a half before I'll be able to run it anyways; I'd rather a product done right than a product done now.

Good luck, I'm cheering for you!


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Ched Greyfell wrote:
Ohhh. Not on Kickstarter. I wonder if I did back it, then?

Had you backed it you would have been receiving monthly updates via email.


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I hope we see 2e versions of more 1e APs. I can only speak for myself, but the 2e APs haven't been up to the same standard (so far) in my view.

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
Ched Greyfell wrote:
I wonder if I did back it, then?

Your list of backed projects is here.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any new updates? I've backed the project but haven't gotten emails lately


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The last update was September 9th, so there should be another soonish.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Hopefully we'll be able to put a post up at the crowdfunding site sometime late next week, but it's not going to be much of a preview post since we're not quite ready to show off the bestiaries yet. I'm hoping we'll have something to show by next Friday but it's unlikely. We ARE starting to finalize some products though and the ones that take longer in production (things like pawns) are already off on their months-long journey from PDF to product.

Hopefully the global shipping crisis won't slow things down even further—that's part of why there's going to be an extra long printing/shipping stage already, but we remain in uncharted territory there at this point, but we're trying to weigh that and some other internal processes we're putting in place to lessen "crunch time" and strain on our staff as well to get this out responsibly rather than recklessly.

(I'm also not the one who directly posts the updates to the Game On Tabletop site; I just write the posts but don't have access to actually post or engage on that site, so I'm sort of at the mercy of other schedules beyond my control as well.)


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My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.

If you just can't wait it's rather easy to adapt.

I've made a pf2e kingdom management system on the kingmaker forum, so far were well into chapter 2 and it's holding up surprisingly well.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.

If you just can't wait it's rather easy to adapt.

I've made a pf2e kingdom management system on the kingmaker forum, so far were well into chapter 2 and it's holding up surprisingly well.

We want the PF2 version. We played the PF1 version.


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Deriven Firelion wrote:
My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.

Coming out in April at the moment? I think that was the last update. So not VERY soon.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Deriven Firelion wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.

If you just can't wait it's rather easy to adapt.

I've made a pf2e kingdom management system on the kingmaker forum, so far were well into chapter 2 and it's holding up surprisingly well.

We want the PF2 version. We played the PF1 version.

Yes that is what I was refering to, it's easy to make it into a pf2e game, most monsters are redone already or easy to adapt.

The hardest part is the kingdom system.

I also really wanted to play it but with the 2 + years delay on the original date I figured doing a conversion myself would be less irritating.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
AlastarOG wrote:
Deriven Firelion wrote:
My players are looking forward to this updated AP for PF2. I hope it comes out soon. They keep asking about it.

If you just can't wait it's rather easy to adapt.

I've made a pf2e kingdom management system on the kingmaker forum, so far were well into chapter 2 and it's holding up surprisingly well.

We want the PF2 version. We played the PF1 version.

Yes that is what I was refering to, it's easy to make it into a pf2e game, most monsters are redone already or easy to adapt.

The hardest part is the kingdom system.

I also really wanted to play it but with the 2 + years delay on the original date I figured doing a conversion myself would be less irritating.

If I hadn't already played it, I would probably convert it. I really want to see how they modify it for PF2. It was such a fun AP.

I will likely convert the Mythic AP at some point if they ever come out with Mythic Rules as it doesn't sound like they have any interest in converting Wrath of the Righteous. I really liked that AP, but the Mythic rules made it unplayable.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Have to say, right now, I am very disappointed. It's been over 2 years since we backed this project, and Paizo has been rather tight with any meaningful updates. Best we've gotten is a couple of pictures that aren't worth the over $200 I put towards this. And, for some reason, I'm fairly certain that when April gets here, it'll "just be another few months". I'm disturbed that Paizo is willing to spit on the customers like this. I understand that delays happen, but that's not really a good excuse once they've already taken our money for this project.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Couldn't be the global pandemic we've been in for nearly two years, huh?


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Cori Marie wrote:
Couldn't be the global pandemic we've been in for nearly two years, huh?

Maybe they haven’t heard :p

Liberty's Edge

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At least with Paizo, and evrn more James Jacobs, I am 100% sure they will deliver (and it will be great).

It is more that can be said for many many Kickstarters, which after all have no legal obligation to deliver.

We are willing to wait to get the very best stuff. And for PF2 Kingmaker not to suffer from the syndrom of "Released too early while the rules and guidelines were still fresh".


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

You can understand the frustration people have with extreme delay though. APs are massive time commitment and require a fair bit of organization and scheduling to get a group for.

Personally I've paid a lot for a product, that due to the extreme delay I may never get to use. Lives have changed people have moved on and people got dissapointed with the promise of a game that never appeared after moving their personal lives around to keep those Wednesday nights free.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I’ve kept them around by playing other APs in the meantime.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ah the spend more money at paizo to alleviate the issue solution.

Silver Crusade

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Cori Marie wrote:
Couldn't be the global pandemic we've been in for nearly two years, huh?

And since the global pandemic they have released two full sized books in the primary Paizo line, Secrets of Magic and Guns and Gears, which people hadn't paid for in advance. Plus continuing other adventure paths. I understand a delay, but 2 years, and looking at at least a half a year longer, is a bit of a stretch when, as I said, they already have the money for it.


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I've heard that the Australian Customer Protection Authority can help you.

Dark Archive

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Cori Marie wrote:
Couldn't be the global pandemic we've been in for nearly two years, huh?

Partly however I do believe there would still be pretty big delays with or without the pandemic (They do have a habbit of things going pear shaped both schedule wise and in general with croudfunding projects.)

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Unfortunately not Australian, so probably not. My frustration is that, after trying to raise $50,000 for the project they managed to get over $500,000, and all we have to show for that is 4 pictures, and the longer this drags out, the more likely they are to throw up their hands and say "oh well, we tried", and leave us with nothing to show for it.


7 people marked this as a favorite.
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Unfortunately not Australian, so probably not. My frustration is that, after trying to raise $50,000 for the project they managed to get over $500,000, and all we have to show for that is 4 pictures, and the longer this drags out, the more likely they are to throw up their hands and say "oh well, we tried", and leave us with nothing to show for it.

I'm not sure what exactly seems to be the problem? There have been delays in the middle of a global pandemic that no one could have predicted. James Jacobs and the team have been very transparent about, uh, everything however. Are you not seeing the same updates here that I'm seeing with the extensive amount of work done? I'm personally a big fan of the September update preview giving us a little taste of what's to come.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Problem is we sent them half a million dollars for product, and they haven't delivered. James Jacobs has said it was a bigger project than he anticipated, but he's not exactly a newbie to all this. He knows how this goes. Okay, I was hasty in saying they haven't been delivering updates, first time I used Kickstarter, and just noticed the updates tab, I've mostly been looking for updates on the paizo website. Global pandemic, as I mentioned, isn't really an excuse considering how most of this stuff can be done work-from-home, and the pandemic hasn't stopped Paizo from releasing either two or three adventure paths, 2 sourcebooks, and either one or two campaign setting books over the course of the same pandemic.

I'm just a little wary of things like this after I got screwed over before by Paizo and Wizards of the Coast back just before 4th edition got released, when I had purchased about a dozen pdfs of AD&D books from Paizo, only for Wizards to have them taken down shortly thereafter, leaving me having paid for material I could no longer access


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

Problem is we sent them half a million dollars for product, and they haven't delivered. James Jacobs has said it was a bigger project than he anticipated, but he's not exactly a newbie to all this. He knows how this goes. Okay, I was hasty in saying they haven't been delivering updates, first time I used Kickstarter, and just noticed the updates tab, I've mostly been looking for updates on the paizo website. Global pandemic, as I mentioned, isn't really an excuse considering how most of this stuff can be done work-from-home, and the pandemic hasn't stopped Paizo from releasing either two or three adventure paths, 2 sourcebooks, and either one or two campaign setting books over the course of the same pandemic.

I'm just a little wary of things like this after I got screwed over before by Paizo and Wizards of the Coast back just before 4th edition got released, when I had purchased about a dozen pdfs of AD&D books from Paizo, only for Wizards to have them taken down shortly thereafter, leaving me having paid for material I could no longer access

The writing and development was completed a few months ago, according to the updates on the site. Now its editing and shipping things off to printers, of which several things have been.

Now, Paizo's recent track record with getting things from their printers isn't exactly phenomenal, but they do get them, and historically, they do deliver them. If that's what you're worried about, then it'll probably be fine. I don't know what to tell you about your baggage from 12 years ago.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

An update just came out yesterday, and has every month of this project. More often, actually (57 updates in 29 months). Every update comes with an email announcing it, are you not getting those?


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2021, people still don't know that crowdfunding isn't a preorder with a delivery date that is set in stone.


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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
2021, people still don't know that crowdfunding isn't a preorder with a delivery date that is set in stone.

This exactly.

There's a difference between crowdfunds that are huge and complex and take longer than expected, and deadbeat crowdfunds that are wasting your money. Paizo is pretty clearly the former, particularly with their aggressive and transparent update process. And they're dealing with, what, a thousand pages or so, done three times for three different systems, coordinating between two companies, and all amidst the global pandemic?

I've got a few KS I've backed right now. Basically nothing is delivering within 6 months of their target date, if even that.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Don't KS if you think you are getting a product. Don't KS thinking it is a preorder... In a preorder you are paying for a product. In kickstarter you are well... Kickstarting an idea with a reward...
Think like this one is we will release a product soon and we are already taking money for it. The other is, we have an idea and will give you something if you fund us now... One has a lot less legal obligations, and is quite a bit unregulated, and preorders are already bad IMO.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Ah the spend more money at paizo to alleviate the issue solution.

I mean, I already spent the money long ago, so...


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Ah the spend more money at paizo to alleviate the issue solution.
I mean, I already spent the money long ago, so...

Well thats alright for you then.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
2021, people still don't know that crowdfunding isn't a preorder with a delivery date that is set in stone.

Sure and there is always some expected wobble. Six months delay on a one year proposed release would be enough to be peeved about (50% delay.) If I is done by the new expected its close to a 150% delay, and if things aren't already getting ready for shipping with the current state of international shipping I wouldn't expect them to hit their current target.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I've waited multiple years for other Kickstarter rewards.

My first Kickstarter pledge was at least a year late in delivery.


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Malk_Content wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
2021, people still don't know that crowdfunding isn't a preorder with a delivery date that is set in stone.
Sure and there is always some expected wobble. Six months delay on a one year proposed release would be enough to be peeved about (50% delay.) If I is done by the new expected its close to a 150% delay, and if things aren't already getting ready for shipping with the current state of international shipping I wouldn't expect them to hit their current target.

I'm chill with that. If this was a preorder, I'd have questions. It's not.

My copy of Gloomhaven - likely the best board game of all time - was estimated for May 2016 and arrived in May, 2017. I didn't bat an eyelash. I'm now looking at two crowdfundings that are running over half year late, but I'm fine, because I precisely know that KSes are either a) primary projects for companies that earn their money ONLY from this one thing which means they're so small that chances are anybody sneezing will cause a delay in the project b) side projects for other companies.

Paizo is b), so whatever happens, the side project will get delayed first ahead of whatever floats their monthly bottom line and what could lead to issues with partners (distributors/retailers). But it's fine, because that ain't a preorder.

Did I already say once that there's a substantial difference between crowdfunding and preorders in terms of what you can expect?

Dark Archive

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Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
My copy of Gloomhaven - likely the best board game of all time - was estimated for May 2016 and arrived in May, 2017.

I don't always agree with 'bagz, but when he's objectively right, I must concede.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Malk_Content wrote:
If I is done by the new expected its close to a 150% delay, and if things aren't already getting ready for shipping with the current state of international shipping I wouldn't expect them to hit their current target.

We’re doing our best! (I work in international shipping, adjacent to LA/LB port complex).

Based on prior years and the current state of affairs, things should get slightly better over the next few months, perhaps hit some snags late January and again sometime in March, and return to “screams, flames, running into the night in terror” by about May or June.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

^ *hugs*


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As long as it doesn't become Star Citizen, we should be ok.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

If you want to feel good about this kickstarter, just look at the starfinder masterclass miniatures kickstarter.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Malk_Content wrote:
Lives have changed people have moved on and people got dissapointed with the promise of a game that never appeared after moving their personal lives around to keep those Wednesday nights free.

On the plus side, some of my friends’ children have graduated and moved out, so the parents may be more free.

Seriously, I get that delays happen, but with delays come not-unreasonable complaints from people who dropped hundreds of dollars for the delayed product.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Val'bryn2 wrote:
And since the global pandemic they have released two full sized books in the primary Paizo line, Secrets of Magic and Guns and Gears, which people hadn't paid for in advance.

Books that aren’t already paid for are the obvious priority. When the product is already paid for there’s far less incentive to actually finish it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Luke Styer wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Lives have changed people have moved on and people got dissapointed with the promise of a game that never appeared after moving their personal lives around to keep those Wednesday nights free.

On the plus side, some of my friends’ children have graduated and moved out, so the parents may be more free.

Seriously, I get that delays happen, but with delays come not-unreasonable complaints from people who dropped hundreds of dollars for the delayed product.

I've just had my second kid. On the plus side if it gets delayed again like I expect it will, it'll come out right round when she moves to her own room and hopefully sleeps longer. Maybe I missed one golden time frame just for it to line up with a other


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Kickstarters are more or less written (or rather, recorded) financial agreements. That makes them legally binding, like any other contract. If a kickstarter doesn't hold up their end of the contract, you can sue them for breach of contract.

I know lots of people who have sued such entities, including prominent roleplaying game developers such as Gary M. Sarli (who personally stole $400 dollars from my family).

Being vague on important details such as "due date" does allow for a lot of wiggle room though. My advice: Don't invest in vague ill-defined operations.


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Ravingdork wrote:
Gary M. Sarli

This name doesn't ring a bell? What are they known for?


5 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a question as old as crowdfunding: at what point does "delay" become "failure"?

I'd say it's very clear that this Kingmaker project crowdfunded way too early in its cycle. Pandemic aside, it would always have gotten massively delayed based just on the sheer size and number of moving parts. Personally I don't back crowdfunds generally that aren't at least 80-90% completed. It sounds like this project, which I was a bit late to the party to back, crowdfunded before work even started.

But it's really hard to overstate how much of a mess crowdfunding is right now. I backed Coyote & Crow (with absolutely zero regrets, it looks so good). The original expectation was to have our books in hand by now--we do have PDFs at least. But their printer pushed them back out to March... and then just recently tacked on another eight months to get the printed copies. They had to switch printers to be able to deliver in the spring, which is raising the core price of the book from $50 to $70 USD for anyone buying it from a store next year. If this hadn't been an absurdly over-successful KS project, I'm pretty sure the losses they'd be incurring would have killed them quite dead in the water.

It's just a huge mess right now. And you combine that mess with the overeagerness of Kingmaker here?

I looked for GameOnTabletop's expectations of timeliness and none were offered. Regular, once or twice a month updates with tangible proof of work accomplished is more than enough benchmark to keep it in the "delayed" category and well out of "failed."


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Printing (nine month wait list, last I heard) and shipping are utter hell right now, on top of a pandemic that’s killed /millions/ of people across the globe. I can’t understand looking at that and having your biggest concern be a play-pretend book coming late.

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