Pathfinder Adventure Path #31: Stolen Land (Kingmaker 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 19 ratings)
Pathfinder Adventure Path #31: Stolen Land (Kingmaker 1 of 6) (PFRPG)

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Chapter 1: "Stolen Land"
by Tim Hitchcock

A Realm to be Tamed

Enter the Stolen Lands, a wilderness claimed by nobles, bandits, and beasts alike. Into this territory the fractious country of Brevoy sends its emissaries, tasking them with subduing the lawless folk and deadly creatures that have made it a realm of savagery and shame. Beyond the last rugged frontier stretches the home of voracious monsters, capricious fey, wily natives, and bandits who bow to the rule of a merciless lord none dare defy. Can the PCs survive the Stolen Lands, bring their dangers to heel, and lay the foundations of a new kingdom? Or will they just be one more fateful band, lost forever to the ravenous wilds?

    This volume of Pathfinder Adventure Path launches the Kingmaker Adventure Path, and includes:
  • “Stolen Land,” a Pathfinder RPG adventure for 1st-level characters, by Tim Hitchcock.
  • A gazetteer of Brevoy, a country of ancient grudges and noble rivalries, by Steve Kenson.
  • New rules for turning exploration into a different kind of adventure, by James Jacobs.
  • A new misadventure for disgraced noble scion Ollix Kaddar in the Pathfinder’s Journal, by James L. Sutter.
  • Five new monsters, by Ed Greenwood, David Hill, Steven Kenson, Rob Manning, and F. Wesley Schneider.

Pathfinder Adventure Path is Paizo Publishing's monthly 96-page, perfect-bound, full-color softcover book printed on high-quality paper. It contains an in-depth Adventure Path scenario, stats for about a half-dozen new monsters, and several support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

ISBN–13: 978-1-60125-229-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscription.

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****( ) (based on 19 ratings)

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Good intro to a very good adventure

*****

I have been running this for my friends and they love the adventure path. Really solid beginning.


Good for self-starting players

****( )

I ran this adventure mostly as-is for a group of 5 players (4 veterans and 1 new player). We used the medium experience track. It took about 24 hours of play, not including leveling, over 6 4-hour sessions. They really enjoyed it. The only complaint was that the XP gain was slow. The encounter locations are loaded with intriguing details and creative connections between them. The terrain for the battles is varied and tactically complex. Almost every encounter has tips for how it could be handled in an unconventional way, but there's plenty of fights if that's what the group is in the mood for. It was a blast to GM.

Why only 4 stars? The adventure relies a little too heavily on random encounters to fill out its experience count, and some of the most plot-relevant and interesting details are difficult to convey to the players, especially the BBEG's origin story.

The back material is a basic explanation of hex exploration (which is basically a reminder of how long it takes to travel, plus an xp award), and a gazetteer on Brevoy. The latter is a good place to start for anyone who wants to take the AP in a political direction. The fiction is entertaining and the monsters are solid and useful. The carbuncle is so entertaining, I wish I had remembered to include it when it was CR appropriate.

If your players are self-starters with a drive to investigate and you want an AP that you and your players can develop into your own story, this is a great AP for you.


amazing!

****( )

This is the AP Ive been waiting for. I played in it once before and HATED. It. What a difference a new gaming group makes! This game finally gives PC's the chance to not only rule a kingdom but build it from the ground up! My group had endless fun building our kingdom and protecting it from various villians.


Win a Crown By Your Own Hand....

****( )

Kingmaker's sandbox approach was very new and innovative, and made for a very different experience. I love that my players had to pause and think, "If I waste him with my crossbow, how will he pay taxes?" Read my full review: Stolen Land


Good but a bit of a grind... Recession Review added to end

***( )( )

My review format is bullet points if you want to read a book, well read the book :)

The Good: -Great first encounter.
-NPCs are well written with rich backstory.
-Sandbox style is interesting and feels homebrew which is good.
-Rewards are balanced yet cool.
-First act hints at many mysteries, which is great.
-Tickleback, nuff said.
-End boss fight can be a puzzle and easy or an epic encounter, good fun design.
-Amazing forum community if you are a GM and want to customize your own spin.

The Bad: -Hexploration gets old and a bit of a grind.
-Bad random encounter roll can absolutely murder everyone.
-Ally NPC Jhod is poorly designed.
-Dire Boar adventure and a few other side treks feel about as WoW as you can get.

The Ugly: -Not for novice DMs, the DC is too high for you go with a railroad save your sanity.
-Those great pieces of backstory are never really exposed to PCs as written.
-Smart players have too easy a time.

Overall: There's allot to love, plenty to complain about I give a neutral 3 star rating based on the fact that this AP is for the most part entirely what you make of it.

Read the recession review here The Flying Pincushion


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The Exchange

blurb wrote:


Will the heroes be able to wrest control of the realm from the monstrous bandit known only as the Stag Lord?

Paizo's going stag? Does that mean Seoni won't be in the AP?

Dark Archive

Very cool.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Zeugma wrote:
blurb wrote:


Will the heroes be able to wrest control of the realm from the monstrous bandit known only as the Stag Lord?
Paizo's going stag? Does that mean Seoni won't be in the AP?

Don't be silly. Seoni is busy in Cheliax.

I am staggered by your Pun.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Wow, this sounds sooooo cool!

Scarab Sages

While it is still a ways off, I imagine this adventure path will do much to break the typical D&D adventure mold. Hopefully anyone who thinks that the APs are merely variations on the same theme will see this and take heart.

Tam


Tambryn wrote:

While it is still a ways off, I imagine this adventure path will do much to break the typical D&D adventure mold. Hopefully anyone who thinks that the APs are merely variations on the same theme will see this and take heart.

Tam

It does look good. I have a lot of players get whistful about Birthright, which is something I missed during my "off years" away from the hobby.

Hopefully this will satisfy that itch.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I'm very excited about the prospect of this AP, I've wanted to run something with this theme for a long time.

Grand Lodge

OK, seriously jazzed about this!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Lord Fyre wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
blurb wrote:


Will the heroes be able to wrest control of the realm from the monstrous bandit known only as the Stag Lord?
Paizo's going stag? Does that mean Seoni won't be in the AP?

Don't be silly. Seoni is busy in Cheliax.

I am staggered by your Pun.

I was racked with laughter, but I see your point.

Contributor

I'm very excited about this adventure path. New fiction by Jeff Grubb! AZURE BONDS remains one of my favorite Forgotten Realms novels, and I read LORD TOADE in one laughter-filled sitting--and then immediately turned back to the beginning and read it again. :)


AZURE BONDS was a good one, can't wait to see the story in this one

Scarab Sages

Sounds cool. It's great to see Jeff Grubb on Pathfinder.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Matthew Morris wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Zeugma wrote:
blurb wrote:


Will the heroes be able to wrest control of the realm from the monstrous bandit known only as the Stag Lord?
Paizo's going stag? Does that mean Seoni won't be in the AP?

Don't be silly. Seoni is busy in Cheliax.

I am staggered by your Pun.

I was racked with laughter, but I see your point.

Oh deer! What have I started?

Dark Archive

Tambryn wrote:
While it is still a ways off, I imagine this adventure path will do much to break the typical D&D adventure mold. Hopefully anyone who thinks that the APs are merely variations on the same theme will see this and take heart.

You bet! This AP goes right to the top of my planned RPG purchases in 2010. And the more young talent they let loose on this one, the more enthusiastic I'll get.

And while people get excited about the Stag King, I'm more intruiged by this reference:

Preview for Kingmaker #3 wrote:
As the war with the bandit kings of the River Kingdoms escalates,...

All hail the Bandit King! Hail! Hail! Hail!

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This AP looks hella awesome!


Mactaka wrote:
This AP looks hella awesome!

California? :)

Dark Archive

Dude, La Jolla, Cali FTW !

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow man! This looks totally gnarly!

Dark Archive

My wallet, downloads and my forum titles suggest that I'm a big fan of almost everything Paizo puts out - but in all honesty, I think this is the most exciting adventure path I've read about yet.

Between the RPG and this AP, I can't wait.

The Exchange

Have I mentioned how excited I am to get ahold of this AP? No? Well expect me to do so a couple of hundred times before the release of the first chapter.


Oh, definitely looking forward to this.

The Exchange

Ohh Pathfinder meets Birthright (sort of). Definately interested in this as one of the longest running and most fun campaigns I've ever run had the PC's as domain rulers (using the old Basic D&D rules for running domains, plus extra material from Bruce Heard's Princess Ark column in Dragon magazine). Still love those rules, so looking forward to seeing what Paizo come up with for running realms.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think it will be interesting to see how big the "Kingmaker sandbox" is - presently I intend to use Kingmaker as a 'sequel' to Council of Thieves (which may require re-tooling the end of CoT to facilitate KM).

Ah the old days (as it were) of "Expert Set", where you could carve a 'domain' out of the howling wilderness, claim your throne and crush all pretenders to your crown... ^_^


I hope we'll get a set of kingdom building/defining rules in this AP and a set of accompanying mass battle rules (or as Pathfinder Companion 200 page book ;-) ). There are some decent ones in the d20 community, but I'd like to see Paizo take a plunge and give us rules and ideas on how to build and manage a kingdom and how to solve mass combat situations (AEG's Empire comes to mind as an example of basic (relatively) simple rules that have a number of options to be expanded). Please.

Birthright, sigh
Expert Set, sigh
Good old times, sigh

Regards,

Kosta


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

This reminds me of the Birthright game world. It was chock full of story and flavor. I even ran an PbEM on AOL sometime when it came out. I am eagerly awaiting this baby.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm definitely looking forward to these adventures because I have been craving something with a mixture of politics and combat. I just wish it was coming out sooner then feb 2010 xD. Also i'm brand new to Pathfinder and i'm slowly collecting the books and modules so I know those will be an awesome edition.

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Does anyone else get a "Keep on the Borderlands" vibe off this, or is it just me? I'm more jazzed about this than any of the other APs (and, as you can see from my forum title, I've got them all).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Konstantin Dika wrote:
I hope we'll get a set of kingdom building/defining rules in this AP and a set of accompanying mass battle rules (or as Pathfinder Companion 200 page book ;-) ). There are some decent ones in the d20 community, but I'd like to see Paizo take a plunge and give us rules and ideas on how to build and manage a kingdom and how to solve mass combat situations (AEG's Empire comes to mind as an example of basic (relatively) simple rules that have a number of options to be expanded). Please.

Detailing something along these lines is a big part of Kingmaker. There'll be rules for building your own cities, your own kingdoms, exploring and settling wildlands, and mass battles. Not as detailed as Birthright, but more like the War Machine rules.


James Jacobs wrote:
Konstantin Dika wrote:
I hope we'll get a set of kingdom building/defining rules in this AP and a set of accompanying mass battle rules (or as Pathfinder Companion 200 page book ;-) ). There are some decent ones in the d20 community, but I'd like to see Paizo take a plunge and give us rules and ideas on how to build and manage a kingdom and how to solve mass combat situations (AEG's Empire comes to mind as an example of basic (relatively) simple rules that have a number of options to be expanded). Please.
Detailing something along these lines is a big part of Kingmaker. There'll be rules for building your own cities, your own kingdoms, exploring and settling wildlands, and mass battles. Not as detailed as Birthright, but more like the War Machine rules.

That sort of stuff gets me really excited, and I can't wait for this one. It's too bad it's too complicated to have some sort of contest, wherein you guys take entries from people that detail the kingdom/city/etc created with this AP, and then whichever you pick as the winner actually enters into canon as a legitimate entity.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Elfgasm wrote:
That sort of stuff gets me really excited, and I can't wait for this one. It's too bad it's too complicated to have some sort of contest, wherein you guys take entries from people that detail the kingdom/city/etc created with this AP, and then whichever you pick as the winner actually enters into canon as a legitimate entity.

Well... since three of the writers on Kingmaker (out of six) are either winners or placed in the top 4 of RPG superstar, you can kind of think of it as a contest that's already been won.


Oh, I'd never heard of this RPG Superstar - very interesting. I had no idea you guys allowed consumers to write content.


Elfgasm wrote:
Oh, I'd never heard of this RPG Superstar - very interesting. I had no idea you guys allowed consumers to write content.

Check out here for the RPG Superstar stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This looks promising!

It looks like this is going to be the next AP i will be DMing :) Can't wait to know more.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am very excited about this particular AP. There has been a lot of talk by Paizo editors about this AP being different than anything done before it. It is being coined a "sandbox" adventure path. I am intrigued.

What I would like to ask are some questions that will help everyone understand the precedence of this event and how it could change the hobby.

The game has long been understood to be about adventuring and becoming powerful, but seldom do we see a rise of a king or a kingdom that gives the "feeling" that we are nouveau royalty. It seems logical that becoming rich and powerful would lead to ascendancy (to be a king). Many of us have experienced controlling kingdoms in computer games, but how will PRPG and kingdom building be successfully blended together?

I am curious if there is a model for doing this in previous products throughout the years of the game. Is there a past example that has had some success?

Hopefully, if this product does accomplish its goal, could it usher in a new form of RPG gaming?

And could this give rise to a new approach of Paizo's handling of Epic Level Play?

Thank You Paizo!
I love what you do.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Updated description with correct author credits. (The cover image is still a placeholder, and has not been updated.)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Vic Wertz wrote:
Updated description with correct author credits. (The cover image is still a placeholder, and has not been updated.)

As I've mentioned elsewhere, it seems Grubb is off the Journal. I bet he's busy working on the inaugural Pathfinder novel. I am excited to see the series go back to the multi-author format, though.

Dark Archive

this is just the type of campaign i wish to run or play right now, currently I have had enough of the save the world campaigns. I wish it was out now, instead of the council of thieves.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Small design request: Can the spines for these books be some other color instead of black? When I'm looking at the PFs on my shelf, I love that RotRL and LoF stand out with their white and red spines but black is used on the rest of them. The different colors allow me to quickly spot what I'm looking for and look nice overall.
Pretty please?

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Callous Jack wrote:


Pretty please?

*nods in agreement*

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Callous Jack wrote:

Small design request: Can the spines for these books be some other color instead of black? When I'm looking at the PFs on my shelf, I love that RotRL and LoF stand out with their white and red spines but black is used on the rest of them. The different colors allow me to quickly spot what I'm looking for and look nice overall.

Pretty please?

Probably. The covers of Kingmaker are going to be some sort of blue is my understanding. I'm not sure if Sarah's planning on extending that cover to the spines, though. I'll run the idea by her anyway.

Sovereign Court

Ravenmantle wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:


Pretty please?
*nods in agreement*

*nods in agreement to the agreement*

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Jacobs wrote:
Callous Jack wrote:

Small design request: Can the spines for these books be some other color instead of black? When I'm looking at the PFs on my shelf, I love that RotRL and LoF stand out with their white and red spines but black is used on the rest of them. The different colors allow me to quickly spot what I'm looking for and look nice overall.

Pretty please?
Probably. The covers of Kingmaker are going to be some sort of blue is my understanding. I'm not sure if Sarah's planning on extending that cover to the spines, though. I'll run the idea by her anyway.

Thanks, James.


Kingmaker is going to be my first Paizo AP subscription product and, after reading all the descriptions of the AP, I have to say that I'm super excited about it! I only got into Pathfinder and Paizo maybe a year ago, when the Beta playtest was still in the classes section, but I've been a huge fan ever since and am currently running Second Darkness in PF.

I haven't been able to subscribe to the AP line yet, and will be starting when Kingmaker starts, so I'm really geared up for next year!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Phillip0614 wrote:
Kingmaker is going to be my first Paizo AP subscription product and, after reading all the descriptions of the AP, I have to say that I'm super excited about it!

You and me both! And when I got the chance to write for a chapter for it...and all the accompanying insight into what it will entail, and what's going on behind the scenes, and who's authoring all the other chapters...I really do think it'll be a great one.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

I'm also very excited by this AP - I'll be going from running two (#1 and #3) down to just this, and I think it'll be worth it.

And keep the Purple! - it looks glorious!

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

Purple is the color of royalty. ;-)


Would this AP work well with a party of evil characters?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Gryphon Gold wrote:
Would this AP work well with a party of evil characters?

As well as any AP works with evil characters. As in... if the evil characters can work together an don't just want to ruin each other, yes. The GM will need to make some adjustments to storyline here and there, of course. It's not DESIGNED for evil characters, though.

Dark Archive

NSpicer wrote:
Purple is the color of royalty. ;-)

I would go with scarlet or crimson... I love crimson, and black (especially combined... like in our glorious flag! ;))

Alright, seriously, why not light green or emerald? And/or dark green spine?

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