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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3 people marked this as a favorite.

Wow. that's quite the delay!

Grand Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

Boo for delays, huzzah for updates!


11 people marked this as a favorite.

That chimera is why we don't let wizards drink around here!


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Stay safe, James and Paizo et al!


I got an email from paizo and I thought "finally my APG has dispatched" but it was this! Double whammy of disappointment.

But you gotta do what you need to get it right and thanks for giving us the early heads up, when it comes to scheduling when to play APs it is quite the commitment, this let's mr know I gave the time to run Extinction before kingmaker drops.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I don't give a (flying flump in a cloak)* about art, the internet is full of art.

Release pdfs of parts that are developed, which we payed for a year ago.

*Non-expletive expression of frustration


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Unfortunate, but not at all unexpected. I tend to tack 6-12 months onto any project completion estimate to begin with, so it's barely even a delay. XD


I’m pretty sure that’s Jirelle not Lady Jamandi, but I could be wrong!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

10 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure why they posted Jirelle. I supplied an illustration of Lady Jamandi as the reference. Hopefully that'll get fixed at some point. I can't fix it myself, alas.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

66 people marked this as a favorite.
Antony Walls wrote:

I don't give a (flying flump in a cloak)* about art, the internet is full of art.

Release pdfs of parts that are developed, which we payed for a year ago.

*Non-expletive expression of frustration

Releasing un-edited PDFs of developed text without art is unprofessional and disrespectful of the hard work the authors put in to the project. Won't be happening. Sorry for the delay, but the solution is not "Give out half-baked content." Failing to deliver a product on its initial estimated delivery date may be unprofessional as well, sure, but the solution to fixing that is to own up to the error and work to fix it... not to be even more unprofessional.


23 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

"No one remembers Watchmen was delayed a year. They only remember it was awesome." Don't know who originally said that, but it's fitting. Take the time you need to do it right, Paizo.

Liberty's Edge

Big boo for delay.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Looking forward to being able to buy this outright, I didn't get the chance to be a part of the pledges due to financials at the time.

Dark Archive

Out of intrest will it be the same team of Iconics they used for the origonal version of kingmaker or will it be diffrent ones or even the ones from the actual game?


11 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'd much rather wait for a good product than get a poor product earlier.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Kevin Mack wrote:
Out of intrest will it be the same team of Iconics they used for the origonal version of kingmaker or will it be diffrent ones or even the ones from the actual game?

The art uses the same team of iconics. The characters from the videogame are NPCs (not PCs) in this version, and their role is pretty much constrained to the Companion Guide. Remember that in the tabletop version of the game, all of the PC roles are played by players. The Companion Guide will allow you to sub in some of the Owlcat characters as additional adventuring companions, but we expect the PCs to each be played by players, and to be characters of their own creation.


37 people marked this as a favorite.
FunkamusPrime wrote:
"No one remembers Watchmen was delayed a year. They only remember it was awesome." Don't know who originally said that, but it's fitting. Take the time you need to do it right, Paizo.

Similarly, the Shigeru Miyamoto quote:

"A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."


23 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Noven wrote:

I see this transition to home excuse a ton these days. Tell me, can't you edit, write and layout from home? Need to conference with co-workers? Video call!

I am not trying to be a b~$$ h%&*, but really I cannot see how this would be delayed so much due to work from home. How is this the case?

You're making a LOT of assumptions about the company's workflow pipeline there. Especially given this is a collaboration between 2 separate companies, both working from home, needing to communicate and be on the same page.

Also making assumptions on their access to professional software and tools at home. A company might not necessary be able to shell out copies of those pieces for every writer, editor, and other worker for their personal computers. Hell, some writers and whatnot might not HAVE PCs at home.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

Grand Lodge

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

Well that is too bad but I understand. I would love maybe a monthly update or something on the project. More communication is better! Stay safe


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oof. That hits hard - I was looking forward to running this campaign this winter.

But, the Miyamoto quote is exactly on point. I'd rather you guys do it right than quickly.

Soldier on, Paizo. I'll be supporting you the whole way.


Huh, I had kind of forgotten this was a thing. Is it possible to late pledge anywhere?


I have fought MANY CHIMERAS!
.......BUT NONE WITH A SPIDER HEAD! (shudders)

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zi Mishkal wrote:
that the subsystems are only being put together now?

I'll leave the rest of this for James or someone else to address, but as for this, "development" is very much not the same as "putting together." Development has a lot more to do with smoothing out a piece of writing's relationship to the other pieces around it and the context as a whole than it does with hammering at mechanics or the like.

Paizo Employee VP of Marketing & Licensing

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Well that is too bad but I understand. I would love maybe a monthly update or something on the project. More communication is better! Stay safe

We'll continue to post monthly updates to the Game On Tabletop page as James and the team work through the material. We missed a month in there with PaizoCon and other related work, but we'll make sure to stay on top of it from now on.

Good Gaming!

-Jim


Huh, Jamandi looks a lot like Jirelle. Are they possibly related?


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

No worries about the delay. With this, though, will there be any chance for backers to add on to their original orders? I missed out on pawns the first time around, and I'm kicking myself...

Paizo Employee Creative Director

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Shisumo wrote:
Zi Mishkal wrote:
that the subsystems are only being put together now?
I'll leave the rest of this for James or someone else to address, but as for this, "development" is very much not the same as "putting together." Development has a lot more to do with smoothing out a piece of writing's relationship to the other pieces around it and the context as a whole than it does with hammering at mechanics or the like.

The subsystems are through development and I'm in the process of inputting the last bit of changes to them before sending them over to edit. These systems (the kingdom rules, settlement rules, and warfare rules) will be going through some internal playtesting as well, which will result in more changes and more editing.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Berselius wrote:
Huh, Jamandi looks a lot like Jirelle. Are they possibly related?

Nope.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I wonder how much the module, Malevolence, that James Jacobs is writing that is due out in March 2021, is contributing to the delay?
I guess they already have the over 500,000 dollars for the kingmaker project, so they can take their time. But the module is a new stream of money, so that takes precedence?

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber

None at all.

The Blog wrote:
...work proceeds apace, with it being pretty much the only thing (other than meetings and product approvals) that I’m focused on right now.


23 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Grumpus wrote:

I wonder how much the module, Malevolence, that James Jacobs is writing that is due out in March 2021, is contributing to the delay?

I guess they already have the over 500,000 dollars for the kingmaker project, so they can take their time. But the module is a new stream of money, so that takes precedence?

Dude, this is Paizo. Does anything you just suggested seem to fit with their business ethic as we've seen it for the past decade+?

Paizo Employee Marketing & Media Manager

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Timothy Ferdinand wrote:
I’m pretty sure that’s Jirelle not Lady Jamandi, but I could be wrong!

We are working on posting the correct image. Thanks.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jim Butler wrote:
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Well that is too bad but I understand. I would love maybe a monthly update or something on the project. More communication is better! Stay safe

We'll continue to post monthly updates to the Game On Tabletop page as James and the team work through the material. We missed a month in there with PaizoCon and other related work, but we'll make sure to stay on top of it from now on.

Good Gaming!

-Jim

Care to respond to my question about how to cancel my pledge and get a refund? Preferably without having to wait for 2 months for customer service to get to my email.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

21 people marked this as a favorite.
Grumpus wrote:

I wonder how much the module, Malevolence, that James Jacobs is writing that is due out in March 2021, is contributing to the delay?

I guess they already have the over 500,000 dollars for the kingmaker project, so they can take their time. But the module is a new stream of money, so that takes precedence?

Zero.

My work on Malevolence is done in my free time, as a freelancer. It's not something I'm writing on the clock. When I go overtime while working on Kingmaker (which is happening) that eats into my free time, which means I need to then juggle my time spent working on projects like Malevolence against things like relaxation, sleeping, etc.


15 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I hope you are appropriately prioritizing said relaxation, sleeping, etc, James. :)

I know things like this eat you up, but keeping yourself healthy and sane is more important than avoiding delays. :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Thanks for the update, James! Carry on!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

6 people marked this as a favorite.

Huh; looking further at the art we have for Lady Jamandi, it is wrong. We'll be adjusting it to look more like her and less like the iconic swashbuckler in the final product. It's still a cool image.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

17 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:

I hope you are appropriately prioritizing said relaxation, sleeping, etc, James. :)

I know things like this eat you up, but keeping yourself healthy and sane is more important than avoiding delays. :)

It is, of course, further compounded by the crippling stress of working during a pandemic. I'm sure I'm not the only person on the planet whose work efficiency hasn't taken a hit due to time spent worrying that I or my loved ones might be dead in a week. AKA: There's more ways than just "supply chain disruptions" that a pandemic can affect a product's schedule.

Whether or not I'm appropriately prioritizing relaxation and what not... I'm sure I'm not but I'm doing what I can.


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Black Josiah wrote:
Jim Butler wrote:
Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Well that is too bad but I understand. I would love maybe a monthly update or something on the project. More communication is better! Stay safe

We'll continue to post monthly updates to the Game On Tabletop page as James and the team work through the material. We missed a month in there with PaizoCon and other related work, but we'll make sure to stay on top of it from now on.

Good Gaming!

-Jim

Care to respond to my question about how to cancel my pledge and get a refund? Preferably without having to wait for 2 months for customer service to get to my email.

There is nothing to respond to. This was a "Crowdfunding" campaign. If you look in the Taxes and Shipping section (Scroll down) you will see the relevant information:

"Return Policy: Due to the nature of the crowdfunding, rewards received through the Kingmaker 10th Anniversary crowdfunding campaign are not eligible for return or exchange."

Paizo Employee Creative Director

12 people marked this as a favorite.

OKAY! I've looked into the art brief, and the image I listed above was not intended to be one of Lady Jamandi Aldori at all. It's an image to illustrate the "Sword Scion" background at the start of the book (one of several Kingmaker-themed backgrounds adapted from the original publication's Campaign Traits).

So... it's correct, in that it's illustrating the iconic swashbuckler after she takes the Sword Scion background and fights with an Aldori Dueling Sword.

We've ordered several hundred new pieces of art for the book... it's a relief that a mix up like this is me mis-remembering what past James did in anticipation of an illustration need! :-)

Silver Crusade

20 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Persona 5, Resident Evil 4, Team Fortress 2, Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

It is finished, when it's done. Take your time.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

21 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:
Huh; looking further at the art we have for Lady Jamandi, it is wrong. We'll be adjusting it to look more like her and less like the iconic swashbuckler in the final product. It's still a cool image.

And this, gentlefolk, is why we aren't done with the book yet! Producing this much material takes a ton of work, especially if we want to maintain the standard of quality we're known for. Recent events have made it much more difficult to reapportion resources to help poor James out, alas, which means he's doing much of the work (at this stage at least) on his own.

Thanks for all your hard work, James! I for one love our accidental Jirelle-cosplaying Aldori swordlord.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

James Jacobs wrote:
Grumpus wrote:

I wonder how much the module, Malevolence, that James Jacobs is writing that is due out in March 2021, is contributing to the delay?

I guess they already have the over 500,000 dollars for the kingmaker project, so they can take their time. But the module is a new stream of money, so that takes precedence?

Zero.

My work on Malevolence is done in my free time, as a freelancer. It's not something I'm writing on the clock. When I go overtime while working on Kingmaker (which is happening) that eats into my free time, which means I need to then juggle my time spent working on projects like Malevolence against things like relaxation, sleeping, etc.

That's great to hear. I was not aware that the module was freelance. I had mistakenly assumed it was part of your regular Paizo job.

Grand Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

It's much more likely that they need a couple of months more, BUT this is a delay they hoped wouldn't happen, and the immediate months where an extension of the work would happen actually had other products scheduled for the people working on it. So instead of delaying their entire production pipeline, they will probably pause development while prioritizing the previously scheduled work and continue at a point in time where they managed to make some space.
Scheduling is important, even more so when products take 1+ years to develop. Delaying 5-6 products they announced recently (or going to announce this week) by 3-6 months vs delaying one for 6 to 12 months... The later just look and feel better.
Because yeah, delaying each of these products would have individual overhead.

[EDIT:] This was supposed to be a semi reply to the overall tone of past5 posts, but the thread went faster than I thought it would. So now I feel it's a bit out of context. Sorry.

[EDIT 2] I also just realized that my actual opinion on the subject dis not clear:
I'm ok with the delay., I wanted to GM it this winter for friends, but this will have to wait, as I prefer VASTLY for you to be healthy and making a great product. continue the good work, rooting for you.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
James Jacobs wrote:

It is, of course, further compounded by the crippling stress of working during a pandemic. I'm sure I'm not the only person on the planet whose work efficiency hasn't taken a hit due to time spent worrying that I or my loved ones might be dead in a week. AKA: There's more ways than just "supply chain disruptions" that a pandemic can affect a product's schedule.

Whether or not I'm appropriately prioritizing relaxation and what not... I'm sure I'm not but I'm doing what I can.

A wise man once said "Get some rest. If you don't have your health, you don't have anything."

I'm not the boss of you, but overtime is almost never the answer, at least not beyond immediate emergencies. The book will be done when it's done.


20 people marked this as a favorite.

I spent 500$+ on this product and I’d rather wait a year extra than get something rushed or lacklustre. Thanks for the update. Knowing James Jacobs is fathering this project gives me complete confidence in it being worth the wait. Best of luck James!

Liberty's Edge

Thanks for the update.
I agree this delay is a bummer because I'm very excited to get my grubby hands on this product and kick it off with my pals. I trust that Paizo is doing what they can to keep this rolling along with the least amount of delay possible. I'll keep waiting and continue to support the great things Paizo does because I know you're good for it.

Stay safe and keep up the good work

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