Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG) PDF

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This is the complete player's reference to Kingdom Building organizes all the rules players (and GMs) need to explore new lands, build nations, and defend against invading armies consolidated into one easy to reference tome. Starting with rules included in the Kingmaker Adventure Path, this volume expands every aspect of kingdom building and mass combat and delivers new feats, spells and class options to give PCs the edge in conquering and ruling their own corner of the world.

This book compiles information from Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building, Feats, Spells and Secret Societies and Mass Combat.

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A terrific resource for players and GMs alike

5/5

More than any other Paizo AP (in fact, more than any other campaign I've run in 33 years of gaming), Kingmaker requires legwork for the GM and lots of it. Not only do you need to run the players through the adventure as presented, but if you want to get the most out of it you need to create scores, if not hundreds, of vibrant NPCs, give each PC their own plotlines to develop, and think several game-years (at least) into the future. The result can be an unparalleled immersive experience for everyone involved, but make no mistake, it takes a LOT of work to make it so. Therefore, anything that can make your life easier as a GM is something to buy, treasure, and recommend to others.

The first thing to take into consideration is the title. I think it's a bit unfortunate, since this is far from just a PLAYER'S reference; GMs will find much to love here.

I purchased the PDF version, so my comments are limited to that. Physically it's a nice book, with a lovely cover, good B&W illustrations throughout, clean text and presentation, and not a lot of page background to mess with readability or devour printer ink.

The first section deals with exploration and is essentially a restatement of the rules in Stolen Lands, with a couple of nice additions like a size-comparison chart showing how big a kingdom is with RL comparisons. It's fine, but nothing thrilling.

Next is city and kingdom improvements, which is where the book starts to shine. All Paizo's buildings are listed, but additions are made for cities (like Office of the City Guard and Witch's Hut), rural areas (like Apiary, Winery, and Royal Preserve), and even castles (ranging from a fancy art collection through a moat to an anti-scrying room). This is where the book starts to become indispensable, as much time, effort, and balancing will be saved by having these structures ready to hand, in addition to giving players more of the options they crave. A much-improved random events table is also included.

Next up is mass combat, and the additions here are very useful indeed, ranging from new army types (everything from various size militias through orc raids to everyone's favorite shambling undead cannibals) through new attributes (like bleed, crusader, and mercenary) and rules to generate the sort of humanoid hordes we all know and love. If you plan to feature a lot of mass combat, you NEED this.

A short section on new Feats follows, which gives both traditional (e.g. Armored Swimmer or Tumble Strike) as well as Kingdom (e.g. Aid Another Leader or Inspiring Ruler)and Mass Combat (e.g. Mass Combat Focus and Inspiring General) options. Again, for someone really wanting to get into the building rules that make this AP special, this is excellent stuff that you will make use of.

The next section is for new spells, and it's here that the only real problem I have with the book comes, in the form of the various "Summon Army" and "Summon Nature's Army" spells. They're only usable by mass combat units, but I still think the present serious balance issues. Still, YMMV, and I'm sure some GMs will find them perfect for their games.

A very interesting section, somewhat misnamed as "Secret societies and organizations," comes next. it has two 5-level prestige classes and a pair of new archetypes, all of which are good, useful, and interesting, but nothing in it can replace, say, the sort of thing found in the Faction Guide if players wish to found their own organizations.

Two pages of magic items are the last major section, and these are generally useful, especially the magical statues that grant kingdom bonuses when placed in Parks. More could have been done with kingdom stat-modifying items, but that's a quibble.

Rounding out the book are several pages of revised forms for kingdom tracking, which is fine, although I think the majority of GMs find that the kingdom must be tracked through computer spreadsheets. These forms are fine and you'll like them if they're the sorts of things you like.

Overall, this is a truly exemplary resource for players and GMs using the Kingdom Building subsystems in their games. It's not perfect, but it is clearly a 5-star product and an absolute steal at its price.


Indispensable!

5/5

When I decided to start up my Kingmaker campaign, I knew I had to have this book from the reviews I've read and it hasn't let me down. My group is still slogging away through book 2 but they have already gone through 4 and half years of kingdom builing. The players have enjoyed the extra buildings and, as the GM, I've really enjoyed the expanded random encounter section. Additionally, being available in print makes it more convenient to flip through at the table. What also impressed me was the community support of this product by creating an excel spreadsheet that incorporated the extra material in this book. This has made the kingdom building aspect a breeze to keep track of.


YMMV

3/5

The book starts from the basic exploration, kingdom/city building and mass combat rules as presented in the Kingmaker AP Chapters 1, 2 and 5.

As written it's quite useable and has a few interesting changes as noted in previous reviews, such as the change in the square miles of the area a hex encompasses. Trivial point: the area of Washington D.C. is a bit under 70 square miles, so you can fit more than 5 of them in a single hex.

The kingdom building chapter adds in a substantial expansion on "farmlands" from the original rules, changing this to "open spaces development". This is the best part of the entire book, one I am adding in toto for my own campaign. This gives a reason to remember where your various landmarks are at on your kingdom map, as you can do something with most of them.

The revisions in this book for building cities and the changes in the actions by size of kingdom in my opinion are unnecessary.

There are a few new buildings, some of which are "odd". The majority of the new buildings are underpriced variants of the tradesman building in the regular rules that don't require houses be adjacent. The Keep is a variant of the Barracks that costs too much. The additions to Castles are nice, although the moat is badly explained and the 'wards' one is either overkill or far too easily bypassed by other means. Best to remove it from availability.

Mills are incorrectly assumed to only be used as a lumber mill and require substantial water access. More mills are likely built and used to grind grain than mill lumber and can be build on a much smaller river or stream than can a pier. As these rules stand, you have to have a carpenter for quite a few important items - which means in order to build various stuffs you will want every city built on a water border to build the mill that the carpenter requires. This doesn't really work well... Some of these discrepencies derive from the original material.

The militarily-required buildings are generally unecessary as well, although they are tied into the mass combat section of this book.

The mass combat system is a nice attempt at changing the admittedly basic one presented in Chapter 5 of the Kingmaker AP. The consumption costs are generally far too high, especially on a weekly basis. The training system works well enough, although using it as-is might not be so satisfactory for some.

There is a new tactic for victorious armies to learn and 4 new resources to upgrade armies with. These are also good additions and ones I plan to integrate in toto. I suggest that the poison resource inflict damage to the army using it as well unless that army is comprised of creatures with the poison use class feature or that are immune to poison.

There are several special abilities added - only Mercenaries is worthwhile. 'Bleed' is best left as originally presented in Kingmaker as part of the 'poison' special ability, while 'Crusader' is too subjective. Everyone will argue that all of their armies are crusaders to shave those consumption costs down.

Vassal armies I think are a good concept that in the book that is not well executed.

The army construction rules present an interesting concept: limiting maximum army size by 'method of conscription' - based on whether the army in question is conventionally recruited and trained (marshal), divinely acquired (planar allies?) or 'arcane' (which covers all the rest of them).

There are several new feats presented, most pertaining to govorning your kingdom or leading your armies. They are good enough to use, although Sickening Strike I would remove. Dirty Trick is already able to do this and doesn't quite require the "feat taxes" to acquire the feat. The rest of them seem fine, although Mountain Strike I would caution against unless you are willing to have some of your bad guys get it too.

The mass combat spell section has some problems as well. I cannot recommend integrating it as-is. The summon army spells are - while written for entire armies of wizards/sorcerers/clerics/druids - an especially bad idea. The effects of summoned monsters on this scale are sufficiently covered by that army's "spellcasting" special ability.

The only two non-army spells of note (besides the two that deal with scent) are (a) magic wall - which omits the very important detail of how much it costs and what the minimum caster level should be to make it permanent; and (b) wall of tentacles.

My beef with this supplement's army building rules are identical to the original ones - purely RAW they are way too easy to abuse. Armies of hound archons are the same cost as an army of 5th level fighters - both are a base CR of 4 as a Medium army in this example.

The same complaint goes for armies of golems, pixies, rust monsters, great wyrm dragons ridden by 20th level wizards and so on. There should (in most campaigns) be a hard cap on what one can recruit and train in such numbers.

This supplement attempts to reign that in by the consumption cost / week of resources = same as the cost to purchase. This really doesn't work well, as it makes armies too expensive without addressing the core problems.

The magic items are largely fine - but I caution against the trio of statues. As they're written, a group could plant one of each in each city for pretty cheap and rachet the kingdom's bonuses up even further. In a nutshell, one park per city(6 BP, most often either 3 or 1 BP) 'unlocks' access to these statues. Presumably the PCs are able to craft them, so they cost half. The +1 statues are a bargain at 2.5 BP each - the reason? Each *city* can have one of each statue in their park. I recommend house-ruling the highest such bonus provided by these statues be applied to the entire kingdom as an enhancement bonus. Otherwise, one set of +3 statues - at a 'retail' cost of 135 BP - provides the same benefit as placing a set of +1 statues in each of 3 different cities at a 'retail' cost of 22.5 BP. For the same price as one set of +3 statues, you can acquire a +18 to Economy, Loyalty and Stability for the entire kingdom, provided you have 18 cities, which is not hard to do.


Must Have For Kingmaker GMs

5/5

I picked this up for a Kingmaker campaign I'm running. It collects all of the rules from Kingmaker for exploration, kingdom building and mass combat in one place. While I have not taken the time to do side by side comparisons, all of these rules systems seem to be expanded and the expanded material blends seamlessly with the original material.

The absolute best part of this book is it can be easily shared with players as a reference work while performing kingdom maintenance without making the adventure and gm-eyes only sections of the Kingmaker Adventure Path books easily accessible to players. For that reason alone I consider this book money well spent and an absolute essential for any GM running a Kingmaker campaign.


Great content, but prefer better binding

5/5

Other reviewers have already summed up how immensely useful the content of this book is. There's no need for me to rehash that. The few typos and lack-luster art would not be enough for me to deduct more than half a star.

The reason then that I am rating this at 4-stars rather than 5 is for the printed copy of the book...

Unless the printing method has changed, the copy I received has a folded and stapled binding with non-glossy pages. Had I known that before-hand, I would have simply purchased the PDF-only and printed my own copy. I much prefer the more durable type of bindings used for the Adventure Path volumes, and appreciate the fact that I can open them even to the foreword or bestiary and still have them lay flat on my desk without issue. The same cannot be said for a stapled binding such as this.

As feedback then, I would just like to say that I find far more value in paying a few extra dollars for a good-quality binding than saving what amounts to a couple cups of coffee.

To Recap:
PDF: 4.5 stars (essential content, mediocre artwork)
Book: 4 stars (as PDF but binding is stapled)
Would I buy it again? Yes. I'd buy the PDF and then bind my own copy.

***EDIT***

6/04/2011: Note that as of the 2nd printing, this book is now perfect-bound! Great to see customer feedback implemented so quickly! Adjusting rating to 4.5 stars for the book too which it up to 5.

Note: One small thing to keep in mind when using this book is that the hexes are of somewhat different size than those in Kingmaker. They are 12-miles to the side, whereas the ones in Kingmaker were intended to be 12-miles from center-to-center. The difference is 375-sq miles vs. 125-sq miles. Very little (if any) effect on gameplay, but I figured it was worth mentioning in a review. More info on the difference here.


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Got back late last night and this was waiting in my mail box. Sweet!!!

I have read everything in detail except the mass combat rules, as my guys are only about 2/3 thru book 1 of Kingmaker. As they have no cleric, and we lost a player, I was asked to bring in an NPC cleric and the Devout Healer prestige class looks nice.

*However* there is a Table 6-1 and text discrepancy:

Level 5:
Chart: Empower Healing - doesn't exist in the text
Text: Maximize Healing - doesn't exist in the chart (and is it SU/EX/SP?)

I *assume* (and we all know what that stands for) that Empower Healing == Maximize Healing, but I need a clarification. Oh, and same issue in the original Feats, etc. PDF.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Papa-DRB wrote:

*However* there is a Table 6-1 and text discrepancy:

Level 5:
Chart: Empower Healing - doesn't exist in the text
Text: Maximize Healing - doesn't exist in the chart (and is it SU/EX/SP?)

I *assume* (and we all know what that stands for) that Empower Healing == Maximize Healing, but I need a clarification. Oh, and same issue in the original Feats, etc. PDF.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Hey David,

Sorry I didn't get back to you on this sooner; I just noticed it. Yea, the chart should say Maximize Healing. Originally the ability was going to be Empower Healing but playtesting revealed it to be underpowered compared to what you're giving up so we went with Maximizing instead. However, the chart was never updated. I'll fix that (and a few other minor details) for the next printing. Also its a (Su).

Liberty's Edge

Laithoron wrote:
Review updated to reflect info on the new binding and the difference in hex sizes we discussed. Thanks for taking the binding feedback to heart, have an extra half-star on account. :)

The switch to perfect binding is an excellent improvement!

I updated my review to reflect the fact that, with the new binding, this really top notch product got even ... top notchier? :)


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Hey David,

Sorry I didn't get back to you on this sooner; I just noticed it. Yea, the chart should say Maximize Healing. Originally the ability was going to be Empower Healing but playtesting revealed it to be underpowered compared to what you're giving up so we went with Maximizing instead. However, the chart was never updated. I'll fix that (and a few other minor details) for the next printing. Also its a (Su).

No problem Dale,

They just got introduced to her in the last session, still at level 2 so it will be a while before she qualifies for the PrC.

Having a blast. The Paladin of Erastil, is a bit bent out of shape that a woman priest of Erastil is adventuring and not home raising babies. He sets up a tent for her each night for privacy, makes comments, etc. So much fun.

-- david
Papa.DRB

Liberty's Edge

In the Kingdom Rules it lists a Market as only needing 1 city block (by default as it doesn't say), but has the prerequisite of needing to be built adjacent to at least two houses.

However the token for the Market in the Pathfinder rules has it as a two Block space.

Which is correct?

I could be just missing something.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I noticed that some of the building statistics (like BP cost) for a few buildings have been changed compared to the original rules for Pathfinder #32. What is the reason behind these changes?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Zaister wrote:
I noticed that some of the building statistics (like BP cost) for a few buildings have been changed compared to the original rules for Pathfinder #32. What is the reason behind these changes?

which buildings? It's been a while since I worked on it and I don't remember which were changed.


Zaister wrote:
I noticed that some of the building statistics (like BP cost) for a few buildings have been changed compared to the original rules for Pathfinder #32. What is the reason behind these changes?

Paizo staff acknowledging they were mistakenly given the wrong BP value i expect.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Kalraan wrote:

In the Kingdom Rules it lists a Market as only needing 1 city block (by default as it doesn't say), but has the prerequisite of needing to be built adjacent to at least two houses.

However the token for the Market in the Pathfinder rules has it as a two Block space.

Which is correct?

I could be just missing something.

Sorry I didn't answer this previously Kalraan. I just noticed your question. I'll look into it and get back to you.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I noticed that some of the building statistics (like BP cost) for a few buildings have been changed compared to the original rules for Pathfinder #32. What is the reason behind these changes?
Paizo staff acknowledging they were mistakenly given the wrong BP value i expect.

that is true. We did try to incorporate all the "errata" from the forums. So that would explain some or possibly even all the differences.


Any chance of there being tokens for all of the buildings in here being offered?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

silverhair2008 wrote:
Any chance of there being tokens for all of the buildings in here being offered?

Sorry. We don't have that kind of art budget. I tried making my own when I started this project and ... well lets just say my best attempts will never see the light of day. I know when to hire someone, and I would need to hire someone to do tokens. We just don't have that kind of budget for that many pieces of art. If a fan wanted to do them, I'll be more than happy to post a link to their website.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
DM Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I noticed that some of the building statistics (like BP cost) for a few buildings have been changed compared to the original rules for Pathfinder #32. What is the reason behind these changes?
Paizo staff acknowledging they were mistakenly given the wrong BP value i expect.
that is true. We did try to incorporate all the "errata" from the forums. So that would explain some or possibly even all the differences.

Here are a few examples:

Barracks 8 BP (vs. 12 in the original rules)
Watchtower 12 BP (vs. 6 BP)

If these were "official" errat, do you known where they were given?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Zaister wrote:


Here are a few examples:
Barracks 8 BP (vs. 12 in the original rules)
Watchtower 12 BP (vs. 6 BP)

The watchtower was my own modification. That was changed due to the Open Space Development rules. We wanted some kind of remote defensible position. As such, we made a fort. A fort in a wilderness was going to be smaller than a keep in a city so we wanted it to cost proportionately less. At the same time, the original Watchtower was simply to good for 6 BP. It receives the equivalent of a +4 bonus (negative unrest counts as a positive bonus for this purpose). While other 6BP buildings (such as the Smith) merely grant a +2.

So we fixed two birds with one change. We upped the cost of the watch tower to be more inline with other buildings, and we made the open space fort grant the same bonus as the watchtower and noted that if it were incorporated into a city, it would become a watchtower.

I don't remember if the Barracks was my own adjustment or not. But it still seems logical to me. Comparing it to the shrine, both give what we deemed to be a +3 bonus (-1 unrest = +1 bonus, 1 minor item = +1 bonus), however 1 costs 12 and 1 costs 8. We lowered the Barracks to be inline with the Shrine.

Infact looking at it, I'd say the City Wall is WAY to underpriced. It gives a +6 bonus for 8BP. Plus it doesn't require a space. That is way to undervalued. But it is what it is.


I'm curious what the reasoning for changing the location of the "one week per month" requirement for leaders from "In any claimed hex" to "In the capitol" was. Was there an issue with how it played out as originally written, or was it just a "Makes more sense this way" change?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Bobson wrote:
I'm curious what the reasoning for changing the location of the "one week per month" requirement for leaders from "In any claimed hex" to "In the capitol" was. Was there an issue with how it played out as originally written, or was it just a "Makes more sense this way" change?

It was just a "made more sense change."

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Sorry to be tangental, Dale.

Have you seen the Caravan rules in the Jade Regent Player's Guide? I'm kind of curious if you've considered the 'JBE Treatment' for them. My old group had a couple of players who were big on the 'Textiles and Traderoutes' kind of game. So I know there's a niche for it, just don't know if it's enough to make a book for. :-)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Matthew Morris wrote:

Sorry to be tangental, Dale.

Have you seen the Caravan rules in the Jade Regent Player's Guide? I'm kind of curious if you've considered the 'JBE Treatment' for them. My old group had a couple of players who were big on the 'Textiles and Traderoutes' kind of game. So I know there's a niche for it, just don't know if it's enough to make a book for. :-)

LPJ Design expressed an interest following up on Jade Regent. We're busy enough with our current projects that we're not going to be able to do the these rules justice.

I appreciate the interest though.


Just got an email that the PDF has been updated to the second printing.

What has been added or changed since the first print run?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Twin Dragons wrote:

Just got an email that the PDF has been updated.

What has been added or changed?

Very minor details. A slightly better chosen word here and there. The single biggest difference is in the Devout Healer PrC's Table. Empowered Healing has been updated to Maximize Healing to match the ability's description, as pointed out upthread.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Twin Dragons wrote:

Just got an email that the PDF has been updated.

What has been added or changed?

Very minor details. A slightly better chosen word here and there. The single biggest difference is in the Devout Healer PrC's Table. Empowered Healing has been updated to Maximize Healing to match the ability's description, as pointed out upthread.

So probably not worth it reprinting the PDF?

I hate to waste paper for something that can be easily corrected with a pencil.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Diego Rossi wrote:

So probably not worth it reprinting the PDF?

I hate to waste paper for something that can be easily corrected with a pencil.

You could get away with pencil changes. Its nothing earth shattering. But at the same time, we want to bring the highest quality books so we updated it.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

So probably not worth it reprinting the PDF?

I hate to waste paper for something that can be easily corrected with a pencil.
You could get away with pencil changes. Its nothing earth shattering. But at the same time, we want to bring the highest quality books so we updated it.

Which is one of the reasons I've become quite spoiled by the print/pdf bundle concept.

If only certain companies *coughCatalystcough* could catch on to the free PDF concept, I'd have a lot more dead trees in my house.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:

So probably not worth it reprinting the PDF?

I hate to waste paper for something that can be easily corrected with a pencil.
You could get away with pencil changes. Its nothing earth shattering. But at the same time, we want to bring the highest quality books so we updated it.

And I appreciate the sentiment.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

Does this have an easy guide to the checks and steps of Kingdom Building and the Four Phases?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

the Haunted Jester wrote:
Does this have an easy guide to the checks and steps of Kingdom Building and the Four Phases?

Yep! The order of exploration is on page 4. The order of phases (with all the steps) for kingdom building sidebar is on page 6. And the mass combat summary is on page 24. Plus there alot of other helpful charts and explainations.


I may have asked this before so pardon me, but: On page 14 of BotRN, in Chapter 2, something called a "herbal cultivar" is listed. It's for herbs that cannot be moved from where they normally grow, so the herbalist has to live near the plants. At 15 BP's it's kind of pricy for an "open spaces" development.

And we also have the Camp for 8 BPs which provides double the usual Economy and Stability bonus if it's in a hex that "contains a resource like rare lumber, herbs, or fish".

My main question is. just where on a map in the Kingmaker AP would I be able to set a herbal cultivar? I'm guessing it'd be a site like (from the map in "Stolen Lands") hex G or W, the Radish Patch and Fangberry Thicket.

Also, what is the benefit in paying 15 BPs for a cultivar when a camp on the same hex costs only 8 BPs and provides just as much of a benefit?

I know I'm missing something here, and I hope someone can point it out to me. Thank you.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Eric Hinkle wrote:
My main question is. just where on a map in the Kingmaker AP would I be able to set a herbal cultivar? I'm guessing it'd be a site like (from the map in "Stolen Lands") hex G or W, the Radish Patch and Fangberry Thicket.

Bingo. I couldn't say that exactly in the book, but I was trying to elude to it as best as I could and you got it.

Eric Hinkle wrote:

"contains a resource like rare lumber, herbs, or fish".

Also, what is the benefit in paying 15 BPs for a cultivar when a camp on the same hex costs only 8 BPs and provides just as much of a benefit?

Short answer: the radish patch and the fangberry thicket are listed as plants and not as resources. They produce no benefit to the player's kingdom by themselves. The whole benefit is derived from the building. Compare that to the Camp/Mine where you get a bonus from the land's natural resource, a bonus from the camp/mine, and a "synergy bonus" (for lack of a better term) when the two are together.

I will admit, that "herbs" is confusing there in the description of the camp. I'll remove that for the next printing (should another be required).

Thank you for asking.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
My main question is. just where on a map in the Kingmaker AP would I be able to set a herbal cultivar? I'm guessing it'd be a site like (from the map in "Stolen Lands") hex G or W, the Radish Patch and Fangberry Thicket.

Bingo. I couldn't say that exactly in the book, but I was trying to elude to it as best as I could and you got it.

Eric Hinkle wrote:

"contains a resource like rare lumber, herbs, or fish".

Also, what is the benefit in paying 15 BPs for a cultivar when a camp on the same hex costs only 8 BPs and provides just as much of a benefit?

Short answer: the radish patch and the fangberry thicket are listed as plants and not as resources. They produce no benefit to the player's kingdom by themselves. The whole benefit is derived from the building. Compare that to the Camp/Mine where you get a bonus from the land's natural resource, a bonus from the camp/mine, and a "synergy bonus" (for lack of a better term) when the two are together.

I will admit, that "herbs" is confusing there in the description of the camp. I'll remove that for the next printing (should another be required).

Thank you for asking.

Okay. Thank you for explaining that, that does straighten it out for me.


I've got a few questions about the new Summon Army spells.

1) They have a casting time of 10 minutes, and a duration of 1 minute/level. If a tactics round lasts 5-30 minutes, and a combat round lasts 1 minute, when are you supposed to cast the spell? If you cast it during Tactics, it could run out before you engage them, especially at low levels. If you cast it during battle, it takes up 10 rounds to get off.

2) What's the point to providing the summoned army with multiple tactics, since you can only use one in any given battle, and they're unlikely to last through multiple battles?

3) Who can cast the 9th level summon spells, since armies with Spellcasting are limited to one level lower spell than their maximum? Epic level casters?


I went ahead and bought the PDF version of this document because it promised to be a player-friendly resource. Unfortunately I discovered that it has extensive GM-only sidebars and sections peppered throughout. In my mind, that's hardly a "player's reference". Okay, I figured, perhaps I could just edit or delete the parts that are GM oriented. Nope. The PDF is password protected against editing. So I still don't have a set of kingdom building rules I can show my players. Back to square one. Yay! [/rant]

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ambrus wrote:
I went ahead and bought the PDF version of this document because it promised to be a player-friendly resource. Unfortunately I discovered that it has extensive GM-only sidebars and sections peppered throughout. In my mind, that's hardly a "player's reference". Okay, I figured, perhaps I could just edit or delete the parts that are GM oriented. Nope. The PDF is password protected against editing. So I still don't have a set of kingdom building rules I can show my players. Back to square one. Yay! [/rant]

Which sidebars do you feel are gm only?

All PDFs downloaded from Paizo are password protected to prevent the anti-piracy watermark from being deleted.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps I should have said "sections" rather than "sidebars".

And I don't particularly care for Paizo's policy of locking PDFs. I understand why they do it, but it makes for a product that's less useful for me. This is a fine example why. I can't easily provide something to my players without copying, pasting and reformatting the whole thing myself or printing out a copy and black-lining the undesirable sections.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ambrus wrote:
Perhaps I should have said "sections" rather than "sidebars".

Ok, which sections do you feel are GM only? I mean, other than the Game Mastering Notes sections? They're a total of 1-1/2 pages of notes on how to better integrate the rules in your game. There are no spoilers in there. Just a few notes on how to GM with these rules. There's no guarantee we're going to do a Kingdom GMing book (truly, I highly doubt we ever will), so we needed to put in a few words of advice in.


Aside from the Game Mastering Notes sections, as examples I'd include such things as the kingdom events and awarding experience points sections. Last time I checked, detailing events and awarding XP were the GM's responsibility and not stuff one would care to have players reading.

I admire your desire to provide GMs with added advice on kingdom building but those additions means the book is misleadingly titled as a "Player's Reference". Why not simply call it "Complete Reference for Kingdom Building" so as to be accurate?

If the GM-only sections are such minor parts of the book, why not leave them out of the "Player's Reference" altogether and simply provide a small downloadable "GM's expansion" PDF? I would have happily paid an extra ¢99 for the extra material just so as to have my player's reference be truly player friendly.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Ambrus wrote:
Aside from the Game Mastering Notes sections, as examples I'd include such things as the kingdom events and awarding experience points sections. Last time I checked, detailing events and awarding XP were the GM's responsibility and not stuff one would care to have players reading.

To each their own. My own group has their own copies of this book. We've had no problems. Some prefer to keep it out of player's hands. Others feel they can trust their group enough to handle it responsibly. Personally, I let my players role their own events. Its fun watching them roll their own doom. *evil grin*

Ambrus wrote:
I admire your desire to provide GMs with added advice on kingdom building but those additions means the book is misleadingly titled as a "Player's Reference". Why not simply call it "Complete Reference for Kingdom Building" so as to be accurate?

The short answer is is that if the word "Player" is not on the cover somewhere, people doubt if the book is for players to see. Pathfinder Player Companions are a prime example. Originally they were called Pathfinder Companions, but there was doubt whether or not they were safe for players. So they changed the title.

Had I removed the word "player's" from the title, there would be confusion as to whether or not the players should even have these rules. And I've seen enough games run without these rules to know games without them run with alot more frustration on both the GM and the player's parts and frequently end the game early. So I did everything I could to get them into player's hands, which includes putting "Player's" in the title.

Ambrus wrote:
If the GM-only sections are such minor parts of the book, why not leave them out of the "Player's Reference" altogether and simply provide a small downloadable "GM's expansion" PDF? I would have happily paid an extra ¢99 for the extra material just so as to have my player's reference be truly player friendly.

Its a "damned if I do and damned if I don't" situation. If I put them in, then its not completely for players. If I take them out, then it is not the all-in-one reference that it was designed to be. At the end of the day, this book is all anyone needs to run a kingdom building campaign. If I split off those rules into a downloadable PDF, then I would get complaints about "removing" the XP reward from the rules and for not giving any kind of assistance to new GMs.

End of the day, I stand by my decision to include the word Player's in the title and put some GMing section in the book.

Liberty's Edge

Ambrus wrote:

Aside from the Game Mastering Notes sections, as examples I'd include such things as the kingdom events and awarding experience points sections. Last time I checked, detailing events and awarding XP were the GM's responsibility and not stuff one would care to have players reading.

I admire your desire to provide GMs with added advice on kingdom building but those additions means the book is misleadingly titled as a "Player's Reference". Why not simply call it "Complete Reference for Kingdom Building" so as to be accurate?

If the GM-only sections are such minor parts of the book, why not leave them out of the "Player's Reference" altogether and simply provide a small downloadable "GM's expansion" PDF? I would have happily paid an extra ¢99 for the extra material just so as to have my player's reference be truly player friendly.

This is just my opinion, but it sounds you might have a somewhat more narrowly defined view of what can be seen as a player than many ...

Certainly, every player I know is pretty aware of how experience works and what actions (defeating monsters, bypassing traps etc) will earn experience points.

I have this book, as does everyone in our group. The GM has no issue at all with us all reading it - in fact, it just helps everyone understand the process better and makes for a better game.

Like I said, just my opionion.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Personally, I let my players role their own events. Its fun watching them roll their own doom.

I suppose you could do that. If they're trustworthy a GM could even let the players roll their own random encounters as well as NPC attack and damage rolls and assign themselves XP and treasure if that's his cup of tea. But would that make the game more fun?

Thing is, as far as the kingdom building mini-game is involved, detailing kingdom events is about the only part which might directly involve the GM doing something beyond merely double-checking the players' math. I feel silly asking it, but the GM is supposed to enjoy playing the game too isn't he? How is gameplay improved if the players can review all the possible kingdom events, roll one up and simply plug in the numerical effects into their calculations each turn? Sounds rather boring for both players and the superfluous GM to me.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
The short answer is is that if the word "Player" is not on the cover somewhere, people doubt if the book is for players to see.

Which, since it includes GM specific information, I contend it isn't.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
If I split off those rules into a downloadable PDF, then I would get complaints about "removing" the XP reward from the rules and for not giving any kind of assistance to new GMs.

That complaint wouldn't be valid if the GM material was freely available for download. You wouldn't have lost on profits by doing so either since the GM material is largely useless if one doesn't buy the Player's Reference first.

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
End of the day, I stand by my decision to include the word Player's in the title and put some GMing section in the book.

Good for you. You should stand by your convictions. Just don't expect me to be happy about having spent my money for something which I feel is misleadingly titled.

Marc Radle wrote:
This is just my opinion, but it sounds you might have a somewhat more narrowly defined view of what can be seen as a player than many ... Certainly, every player I know is pretty aware of how experience works and what actions (defeating monsters, bypassing traps etc) will earn experience points.

I don't believe my view is narrower than most. I believe most would agree that they don't want their players reading material specifically intended for the Game Master. And certainly there are many players who are sufficiently trustworthy and mature to read such material without purposefully abusing it just as there are GMs willing to let them do so. But that's not the issue. The issue is that, for marketing purposes, the book carries a title which seems (admittedly, only to me so far) erroneous.


Bobson wrote:

I've got a few questions about the new Summon Army spells.

1) They have a casting time of 10 minutes, and a duration of 1 minute/level. If a tactics round lasts 5-30 minutes, and a combat round lasts 1 minute, when are you supposed to cast the spell? If you cast it during Tactics, it could run out before you engage them, especially at low levels. If you cast it during battle, it takes up 10 rounds to get off.

2) What's the point to providing the summoned army with multiple tactics, since you can only use one in any given battle, and they're unlikely to last through multiple battles?

3) Who can cast the 9th level summon spells, since armies with Spellcasting are limited to one level lower spell than their maximum? Epic level casters?

Just bumping these questions, since I think they got lost in the shuffle.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Bobson wrote:

I've got a few questions about the new Summon Army spells.

1) They have a casting time of 10 minutes, and a duration of 1 minute/level. If a tactics round lasts 5-30 minutes, and a combat round lasts 1 minute, when are you supposed to cast the spell? If you cast it during Tactics, it could run out before you engage them, especially at low levels. If you cast it during battle, it takes up 10 rounds to get off.

2) What's the point to providing the summoned army with multiple tactics, since you can only use one in any given battle, and they're unlikely to last through multiple battles?

3) Who can cast the 9th level summon spells, since armies with Spellcasting are limited to one level lower spell than their maximum? Epic level casters?

Bobson wrote:
Just bumping these questions, since I think they got lost in the shuffle.

Sorry Bobson, I don't know how I missed these questions.

1) Basically, they are tactic round spells. The idea being you cast the spell and then you start combat. The tactics round time listed is more or less just a fudge for "however much time you need." Plus the casting time is suppose to limit <11th level armies to 1 extra army out. That's the general idea. The tactics time isn't mean to be something like: summoning the army and then waiting around for 5 minutes wasting the army's time.

2) With mass combat's limited options, we were struggling for way to say that summon army 1 was better than summon army 2 and so on. Tactics became one additional (and convenient) way of expressing that. Truth be told though, it is not the most useful advantage, but mass combat lacked many ways for us to express that.

3) There you got me. We didn't fully consider that impact of the rules when we wrote the spell. But yea, it's going to be an epic level spell usage only. I planned on doing an expansion at some point that allowed spellcasting units to have a "scroll" resource. This would have allowed a lower level unit to cast it, but I never got the chance to write it down.


Dale, I don't mean to derail the thread, but I had a question I wanted to ask and I didn't know where else to post. What are the chances of JBE putting out rules for running an intelligence network for Kingmaker? You know, foreign and domestic spy networks. That option seems like a perfect fit for Kingmaker, but as far as I know nobody's come up with actual crunch for it.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Darwyn wrote:
What are the chances of JBE putting out rules for running an intelligence network for Kingmaker? You know, foreign and domestic spy networks. That option seems like a perfect fit for Kingmaker, but as far as I know nobody's come up with actual crunch for it.

We have a number of subsystems in mind that revolve that concept. Things like causing unrest in a giving nations, sabotage, basic and sensitive intelligence gathering, insurgent recruitment, etc. However we haven't even done an alpha test nor have we written anything down for these so far.

As things stand right now, the earliest we could start a project like this and give it the attention it deserves will be after GenCon 2012. However, I'm not really sure how much demand there will be for it at that point. I suspect the Skull and Shackles rules systems will be much more in demand at that point.

So the best I can say is, "We'll see."

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Dale, one of my players is using the Hidden Sniper from your book and another want to create a organization of healers across the land, so it is possible we will have some Devote healer NPC too.

I have recently started to use Hero lab to keep a back up copy of my player character sheet and NPC sheets, but I am still a noob at using it as far as adding archetypes and prestige classes.
So, you know if someone has already prepared them for Hero lab?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Diego Rossi wrote:
Dale, one of my players is using the Hidden Sniper from your book and another want to create a organization of healers across the land, so it is possible we will have some Devote healer NPC too.

Sure, I can work up a few. Give me a week or two and I'll get a decent selection.

Diego Rossi wrote:

I have recently started to use Hero lab to keep a back up copy of my player character sheet and NPC sheets, but I am still a noob at using it as far as adding archetypes and prestige classes.

So, you know if someone has already prepared them for Hero lab?

I haven't tried anything that complex for HeroLab at this point in time. That's still a little out of my league yet. I don't know if anyone else has created it either. Sorry.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Dale, one of my players is using the Hidden Sniper from your book and another want to create a organization of healers across the land, so it is possible we will have some Devote healer NPC too.

Sure, I can work up a few. Give me a week or two and I'll get a decent selection.

Diego Rossi wrote:

I have recently started to use Hero lab to keep a back up copy of my player character sheet and NPC sheets, but I am still a noob at using it as far as adding archetypes and prestige classes.

So, you know if someone has already prepared them for Hero lab?
I haven't tried anything that complex for HeroLab at this point in time. That's still a little out of my league yet. I don't know if anyone else has created it either. Sorry.

Sorry, I apparently said something I didn't mean. English isn't my first language.

What I did mean with my first phrase is that I will probably have some Devote Healer NPC in my campaign. I will develop them, there is no need for you to do that. I was interested in the Hero Lab support if available.

Thanks for the quick reply.

BTW: that material you are developing on the plane of shadows seem very interesting. Finances permitting, I will buy it.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Diego Rossi wrote:
What I did mean with my first phrase is that I will probably have some Devote Healer NPC in my campaign. I will develop them, there is no need for you to do that. I was interested in the Hero Lab support if available.

Ahh, I understand now. Sorry, no HeroLab support for that at this time.

Diego Rossi wrote:
BTW: that material you are developing on the plane of shadows seem very interesting. Finances permitting, I will buy it.

Thank you.

Scarab Sages Reaper Miniatures

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We're almost finished with book 2, and my players are absolutely in love with this book, Dale. My General, for one, is entranced with the added depth - the option as presented in the module worked ok for him, but he really like what you've added and enriched.

Thank you and yours at Jon Brazer for doing a wonderful job with it!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Bryan Stiltz wrote:

We're almost finished with book 2, and my players are absolutely in love with this book, Dale. My General, for one, is entranced with the added depth - the option as presented in the module worked ok for him, but he really like what you've added and enriched.

Thank you and yours at Jon Brazer for doing a wonderful job with it!

I'm glad you guys are enjoying the rules so much! Thank you for the compliment!


On page 9, under Special Resources,

"Forests: A hex that is almost entirely trees within 5 hexes of a city reduces the Consumption of that city by 1. The Consumption of a city cannot go below 0 due to forest in close proximity. A forest hex cannot be used to reduce the Consumption of more than one city. If multiple cities are within 5 hexes, the rulers must choose which city receives the benefit. The presence of a camp in a forest hex reduces the city’s Consumption by an additional 1."

The Baron asked me if the forest hex had to be claimed, and if yes, what is the benefit?

Claim forest hex:
Cost: +1 Control DC, +1 Consumption
Benefit: -1 Consumption

So why would they claim a forest hex if the net is +1 to the Control DC?

-- david
Papa.DRB

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Papa-DRB wrote:

On page 9, under Special Resources,

"Forests: A hex that is almost entirely trees within 5 hexes of a city reduces the Consumption of that city by 1. The Consumption of a city cannot go below 0 due to forest in close proximity. A forest hex cannot be used to reduce the Consumption of more than one city. If multiple cities are within 5 hexes, the rulers must choose which city receives the benefit. The presence of a camp in a forest hex reduces the city’s Consumption by an additional 1."

The Baron asked me if the forest hex had to be claimed, and if yes, what is the benefit?

Claim forest hex:
Cost: +1 Control DC, +1 Consumption
Benefit: -1 Consumption

So why would they claim a forest hex if the net is +1 to the Control DC?

-- david
Papa.DRB

The hex needs to be claimed. Otherwise the hex is not safe. Claiming a hex is the process of taming the land and making it safe to gather resources.

As to why would anyone claim it, short answer is to build a camp and/or claim special resource hexes. We added the rule about forest hexes decreasing consumption to offset the negative cost of a forest. This will make the special resource hexes profitable. Other reasons include to insure safety since unclaimed hexes can be a breeding ground for bandits, monsters and other unfriendlies, ncrease the reach of your spy network's domestic arm. You're effectively blind in unclaimed hexes. So someone could park an army right next to a city and you'd have no clue until it was taken.

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