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 nice book for Kingdom building.


Book of the River Nations by Jon Brazer Enterprises

This product is 52 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC, Introduction and credits. (4 pages)

Chapter 1: Exploration (2 pages)
This chapter has rules for exploring hexes and how to claim them for building a kingdom. There is also some side bars to give you a idea how big a hex is to real world locations and such.

Chapter 2: Kingdom Building (14 pages)
This is a chapter on how to build your own kingdom and this is where the book truly shines. A kingdom has a stat block somewhat like a PC would have. It changes as the kingdom grows. Once a month a kingdom follows a Kingdom Turn chart to determine what happened that month. There is four steps to follow, Upkeep, Improvement, Income and Event phases. You pay BP points in upkeep.(BP points come from income or from possible PC actions), then with the points left over you can spend them to improve you kingdom, followed by figuring the income for next months BP pool. Followed by the event there is a total of 40 random events that can happen.

Next is the Leadership section, if PC's or NPC's take on leadership roles in the kingdom they effects a related kingdom aspect, there is negatives for some roles if they are not filled. There is a total of a 11 roles. Certain hexes are not just open ground and they add resources depending what they are. This is followed by rules for building a city in a hex. There is 55 building types, along with 8 special things for the main castle, and 11 open space locations. The section ends with gaining xp, losing hexes, and GM advice.

Chapter 3: Mass Combat (10 pages)
It starts with how to make a army stat block and what it means. There is 14 tactics a army can learn that lets it do special things. Resources are things that can be bought with the BP of the Kingdom building rules to improve your army, there is 10 things. Some armies have special abilities that they can use, there is 14 listed. Next it gets into training armies and vassal armies.

The next part gets into running a mass combat. There is a combat round summery. Along with 5 different basic strategies or stances a army can take and what the mods are. It talks a bit about routing armies, victory, recovery, defeat, multiple armies, and the effects PC's have in armies. The section ends with 17 sample armies and a page of GM advice.

Chapter 4: Feats (3 pages)
This section introduces two new types of feats, kingdom and mass combat feats. They help specificity with those aspects in this book. There is 4 Kingdom feats, 3 Mass Combat, and 10 normal feats.

Chapter 5: Spells ( 5 pages)
It starts with a small section on how existing spells can effect mass combat. Next it moves onto new spells. There is 29 new spells, many of them for mass combat, Such as the summon army and summon natures army. Each with nine version of each spell. There is 6 spells that have nothing to do with armies or kingdom building. They range from meh to pretty cool.

Chapter 6: Secret Societies (4 pages)
There is 4 listed societies listed in this section. Each only has a paragraph or two about them. Mostly they are new character options, two of them. The Hidden Sniper and Monks of the Green Leaf are new archetypes for the Ranger and Monk respectively. While Devout Healers and Kings Eye are new PrC's.
Hidden Snipers – The gain SA ability, Aim(as a move action can get a bonus to hit), must take bow or crossbow weapon style, and gets poison use. Gives up wild empathy, favored enemy and hunters bond.
Monks of the Green Leaf – Gets some different weapons and skills, Elemental Fist, adds more Bonus Feats options, Locate Creature. Gives up Stunning Fist and Abundant Step.
Devout Healer – Five level PrC. d8, medium BaB, 4 skills, +5 spell levels. Gains a lot of bonuses with healing.
Kings Eye – Five level PrC. D8, medium BaB, 6 skills. Gains bonuses with sneaking, social skills, lock picking and gather information. A ability to made coded messages, slight boost to SA, and will save bonus.

Chapter 7: Magic Items (2 pages)
There is 11 new magic items. Only a couple of them effect kingdom building and none effect mass combat. It would have been nice if more had effected them and even better a side bar listing some existing magic items and what effect they may or may not have. I am sure a few existing ones would make sense for that.

It ends with a OGL, Ads and kingdom, army etc sheets. (8 pages)

Closing thoughts. First let me say this is a review copy and a real copy might come with a print version. If not then I think it needs one. The artwork is ok and black and white, but it has a big wide color border on each page that would be brutal on a printer and one of the big selling points for this is all the kingdom rules and such collect for ease of reference. For the printed book it's fine of course, for a PDF though it hurts the value of the PDF. Editing and layout are good, I noticed a few minor errors here and there but not bad at all for a book this size.

As for quality it varied. Chapter 2 was very good, chapter 1 and 7 was solid. Which combined is a 3rd of the book, the rest of the chapters where mostly ok. The weakest chapter is the mass combat rules, they get the job done but that’s about it. They scream for some expansion like what was added to the Kingdom section. Of course most people know the kingdom and combat rules come from extra sections in the recent Paizo AP Kingmaker. This book collects, reworks and expands some on those rules. The spells and feats where so so, some where meh, some where pretty good, but most was ok. Not bad, not great. Three of the Archetype/PrC's where pretty good and one was meh.

So what's my rating? Well for a combined book covering all the aspects it does it's job. If you are looking for kingdom building rules, this expands things enough to make it worth buying especially if you don't own the Kingmaker AP. Mass Combat is a bit of a let down next to them, it gets the job done but that’s about it. The rest helps expand things a bit. All and all I am going to give this a 3.5 star, I would give it a 4 star if it came with a print friendly PDF. If you are looking for kingdom building rules I recommend checking this book out.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.

An essential guide to kingdom building


From my blog review at

Here we are again with another amazing release by Dale C McCoy Jr and Robert Brambley of Jon Brazer Enterprises. "Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building" may be a long title but it encompasses everything that this book is about. The latest volume in the "Book of the River Nations" series, this latest release is available in print or pdf form from Paizo or RPGNow as well as your friendly local gaming store.

If you have read my last review of a Jon Brazer Enterprises product you know that JBE puts out some high quality content. They deliver again with this beautiful and well-written tome. Today I will be talking about the pdf version of the book.

The Complete Player Reference for Kingdom Building weighs in at 52 pages in length with the first 3 and last 3 pages given over to covers, title pages, and ads. The very first thing that jumped out to me about this piece was the beautiful cover art which extends from the front cover to the back cover. JBE work has always features very well done covers and trade dress, but I think this title has raised the bar. The interior art is gray scale and very well placed throughout the text, never more than a quarter page in size. The trade dress is aesthetically pleasing without distracting the eye or taking up too much space.

Moving on to the content which is the most important piece of any RPG supplement. Here JBE shines again with excellent layout and organization. The book is divided into 7 chapters and the contents includes page numbers for each as well as each table and sidebar throughout the book. I found looking up information to be very easy especially when combined with the easy to navigate bookmarks in the pdf.

Chapter 1 covers exploration and touches base on topics such as movement and wandering monsters. This is one of the shorter chapters in the book, but does include 2 tables and 2 sidebars.

Chapter 2 is what I consider the real meat and potatoes of the book and covers the topic of kingdom building. This is what it is really about in my opinion and I think JBE agrees because it covers 14 pages of the text. Here we have rules for leadership roles, the phases of a kingdom's turn, how to build improvements, castle building/improving, kingdom events, and experience gained from all of these activities. This truly is a comprehensive A-Z for the administration of a kingdom. Heck there are over 50 different types of buildings you can construct, 8 additions to spice up your castle, and 11 ways to develop an open space. All of the bases really have been covered here.

Chapter 3 covers another major aspect of running a kingdom, mass combat. What do you do when you go to war and how to resolve those battles. Here we have information on the army stat block, tactics that your army can use, resources/special abilities for the army, how to train armies, how to incorporate vassal armies, some sample armies, victory/defeat conditions, and how to run mass combat. This section definitely has the most crunch with stat blocks, modifiers, and a new way of resolving combat between such large groups. Everything is presented in a clear manner so it is very easy to pick up on. The author's don't get bogged down in the details of each individual soldier and instead concentrate on the essence of the force as a whole.

Chapter 4 introduces 17 new feats and two new feat types, the kingdom feats and mass combat feats. The feats here are all very logical and the benefits are well balances.

Chapter 5 brings us spells. Here we have a section on using spells in mass combat as well as 29 new spells to use. The new spells are primarily aimed at mass combat and as a GM I would not really allow them to be used outside of that.

Chapter 6 discusses organizations and secret societies. This includes 2 prestige classes, the Devout Healer and the King's Eye, as well as 2 archetypes, the Hidden Sniper and the Monks of the Green Leaf. These are not bad, but in my opinion don't really contribute a great deal to the subject matter at hand.

The final section, chapter 7, covers magic items and boy do we have some nice ones here. There are 11 items total and each one has a unique use in your kingdom. These items will give any spellcaster something good to work on crafting.

Last but certainly not least we have the appendix which is given over to 5 different blank maps and stat sheets. We have a great hex exploration map, a kingdom sheet, city district sheet, notable npc's, and mass combat army sheets. All very handy to have at the table.

Overall this is an awesome addition to any player or GM's Pathfinder RPG library. Personally I plan on picking up a print copy for my GM as a hint to allow my character to start planning his conquests. :)

Disclaimer: This pdf was provided free of charge by the publisher for review purposes.

Fantastic Resource for Kingmaker or ANY campaign!


I've been going through the PDF of this for about a week, but wanted to wait until I had the print edition in hand before posting a review.

The book is printed on nice, heavy cover stock and the interior pages are nice and heavy as well. The book is saddle stiched (stapled) and seems sturdy enough, although given the heavy weight paper stock and the number of pages, the book is probably at the max those staples can handle!

UPDATE: The second printing is now perfect bound instead of saddle stiched! A very welcomed improvement - now this is an even BETTER product!

The content of this book is, simply put, fantastic! We are currently playing Kingmaker and have found the kingdom building rules facinating and fun but a little confusing. This product will go a LONG way toward making everything more clear. In fact, if you are playing Kingmaker, this book is pretty much a no-brainer. Beyond that, though, I can see getting a great deal of use out of this in any future campaign that involves building or running a kingdom as well.

Inside you'll find just about everything players and GMs will need to make the business of running a kingdom smoother and easier: flow charts, clarifications listed here on the Paizo forums as well as many suggestions and additions made by players, GMs and fans (with the creator’s permission), more building types and kingdom events to play out, new feats, spells, archetypes, and prestige classes, options to customize castles.

Jason Nelson himself even apparently provided some additional development!

Bottom line - this is a pretty great book!

Almost perfect guide to Kingdom and City building


This pdf is 52 pages long, 1 page front cover, 2 blank pages on the insides of the cover, 1 page back cover, 1 page advertisement and 1 page containing both SRD and editorial, so let's check it out!

The first thing you'll notice when checking this pdf out, is the ToC with the accompanying introduction on the first page, the extensive bookmarks and the clear and easy to read two-column layout. This book is a compilation and expansion of the kingdom building rules for PFRPG's Kingmaker AP that makes the system more accessible for players. Due to probably not everyone owning the AP, I'll try to sum up the rules as we go. Thus, let's get to building our very own kingdoms!

The first 2 pages depict what is necessary to build a kingdom in the first place - exploration. After the concisely-written notes, we are introduced to the mechanics you need to run your kingdom - there are 4 phases in a kingdom's turn, upkeep, improvement, income and event. Almost all checks are related to a single mechanic and the player's decision, allowing for luck, skill and planning to determine and influence the success of a given kingdom. "But wait", you might say - "what about all the players in my campaign?" Fret not, each can fill a role in the kingdom and both the kingdom building and regular roleplaying are important. Especially when taking a look at city building, the next section of the book, in which you'll also find stronghold building guidelines and rules for the development of open spaces, the connections between PC- and Kingdom-level become fairly evident. Want an academy with scholars in your city? Well, buy one!
Edicts and events add a spicey touch to the building of nations and finally, there's the mass combat chapter in which the clash of armies, their equipment and special abilities, vassal armies etc. are detailed. Players in battle and the change from units to PCs and back is also mentioned along a selection of several sample armies.

On the rather-PC-centric-side, we get 17 feats mostly dealing with leadership and terrain-movement like swimming. For small armies of casters, we get so-called mass-combat spells, i.e. spells that can only be cast as long, huge rituals and subsequently be disrupted. Which, at least in my opinion, as a concept make for great instances when the PCs try to prevent the casting of a mass combat spell. There are some non-mass-combat spells here, too, just so you know. :)
Next up are two prestige classes, the devout healer, a healing-centered caster, the hidden sniper alternate ranger-archetype and the King's Eye, the kingdom's master-spies. There also are 2 pages of magic items, an exploration map, a kingdom sheet, a city district sheet, a sheet to keep track of notable NPCs and a mass combat army sheet. All the sheets are top-quality, easy to read and concisely presented.

Layout is clear, adheres to the two-column standard and serves its purpose. The b/w-artworks are ok, though nothing to write home about. Editing is ok - I only noticed 2 mistakes on all the pages and both were minor typos. I only noticed one formatting error, a case of two capital letters in the beginning of a sentence. If you're reading this review, though, that's not what sparks your interest, but rather whether you should buy this book. To cut a long rant short: If you've ever entertained the notion of your PCs owning a keep, expanding it, ruling and participating in the complex notions of politics rather than just be henchmen of rulers, this book is for you - the rules from kingmaker are concise, cool and easy to grasp, but hard to master. And this book actually delivers all you need, compiled into an easy-to-hand-out reference that will make it even easier for your players to understand the rules and immerse themselves in the great prospects of rulership That being said, the book unfortunately is not perfect - while it's a great resource for kingdom & city building, the rules fall short when it comes to mass combat, at least in my opinion. Yes, they are good. Yes, they are necessarily abstract, but I'm spoiled by 3.5's "Cry Havoc" and would have LOVED to see an expanded take on the rules and more content in that section - more spells, monster rules, more special abilities for the units etc. I realize that this complaint might be unfair, but it's all that keeps me from all out declaring this the ultimate resource on kingdom & city building and mass combat. As it stands, I still love kingdom & city building and will continue to use my own rules for mass-combat. But that's just my preference. What's my final verdict, then? It's a great book, but it could have been the reference in more than being just a reference guide, but rather THE reference. Combined with the few typos, I'll settle for 4 stars and a hearty recommendation. Anyone who plans to run Kingmaker should get this for his/her players and the same holds true for anyone planning on having the PCs acquire a kingdom/city - for you this book is a must-have.

Kingdom Building 101


A self-contained expansion of the Kingmaker kingdom rules, this book expands upon the Kingdom building and governing rules and consolidates the Kingmaker rules into one easy easy-to-use location.

If you are running Kingmaker, this book is very nice to have.

If you are not running Kingmaker, but want a set of mechanics to help run a Kingdom, this is the book for you.

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For the devout healer maximize healing ability, does it require the plus three level like the feat does? If so, I don't see when I would ever use it. My 10th level cleric/healer can cast a 4th level cure critical for 4d8 +15 which is much better than the maximized cure light...especially with the paragon healer ability making the ccw being a minimum of 31 ho healed.

Thanks for the help!

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Just wanted to pop in here and say that this was a MUST HAVE at our Kingmaker game. We got the PDF (in Sweden) and printed out what we needed, and the GM printed it all out and taped up pages on his GM Screen. Very nice!

Will this get an update now that Ultimate Campaign is out?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It still amazes me that all these years later, this book is still as popular as it is.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

It's a great book.

So, when is Book of the Star Nations coming out? :-)

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Distant Scholar wrote:

It's a great book.

So, when is Book of the Star Nations coming out? :-)

That is definitely a better name than "Book of the River Planets". ;)

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Do you realize that it has been almost 7 years since this book came out?

Jon Brazer Enterprises

All JBE Pathfinder PDFs are 75% off their regular price including the Book of the River Nations. Download now if you haven't already.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

All these years later, this book still sells well. I appreciate everyone that picks this book up. Thank you.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

amazing kingdom builder book, you really should make a new updated version with even more goodies!

2 people marked this as a favorite.

It definitely is a good book. I rarely buy physical third-party books and this was an exception years ago. I like Zuoron's thought on an updated version!

Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Zouron wrote:
amazing kingdom builder book, you really should make a new updated version with even more goodies!

Well, considering that we are continuing with Pathfinder support, an update to this could be in the cards. I'll talk it over with the team.

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Well, I would most certainly buy it. I always much prefer this one to the official stuff and to this day I still use this book.

What I want the most is even more Kingdom Events and also something to make cities have a bit more personality at the construction step.

Other things were more things to build in the countryside, different types of roads and balanced setup for different leadership structures. Like a council leadership rather than a single ruler, or elected leadership.

Rules for letting minor nobles having land without it totally ruining the economy and possibly ideas or rules for how they can levy their influence on the country/kingdom as a whole.

Clearer "rules"/guides for interacting with other kingdoms (like trade agreements would have an effect or how a vassal/colony would influence the country as well) as well as diplomatic events.

Rules for standing army, as the rules seem to reflect an army engage in active warfare.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the subject.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Zouron wrote:
Clearer "rules"/guides for interacting with other kingdoms (like trade agreements would have an effect or how a vassal/colony would influence the country as well) as well as diplomatic events.

Something like 5 years ago or so, I started work on exactly this. Short of the long, I never liked the fact that the rules essentially took place in a vacuum. With the exception of mass combat there are no rules for interacting with another nation whatsoever. No rules for nation A to use nation B to get at your nation. No rules for a nation to place tariffs on another. I always found that lacking.

I started work on addressing that but I got sidetracked. Perhaps it is time I dust that work off and get back to it.

Sounds like an excellent idea, this whole in a vacuum was a problem I had as well. I understand that it is supposed to be up to the GM and allow the interaction to be fluid and flexible, but when you don't have any real guidelines at all it becomes a chore to keep it reasonable.

As a GM I want to have strings to present and manipulate, as a player I want to have something to plan around.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

We still sell a few copies of the Book of the River Nations here and there. I'm just curious if you've bought it in the last 3-5 years, do you use this book for Kingmaker or are you making rules for your own campaign?

Tell us how you are using these rules.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

If you haven't download the Book of the River Nations, you should see why your fellow gamers love this book so much. Download today.

I haven't had a chance to use the rules recently, but I used the rules originally for Kingmaker (basically I replaced kingmaker rules completely as they were poorly explained).

I also used them to do several small narratives where I wanted to see how a nation in a pathfinder nation could arise, once for a kobold nation which I tracked for the first 50 years and another time for an island nation which I tracked for 250 years (though this one was mostly for practice).

I planned to use to sue the rules for a small campaign where the heroes were an incompetent noble's advisors, he would basically leave all to them and just train resources to live in luxuries. The game itself was to be centred around a small outpost the marked the border between the kingdom and three different hostile wilderness. The heroes would need to grow the outpost deal with local trouble, whims of the noble, external threats and pressure from the kingdom itself.

I used the rules to help me build up fantasy maps to populate them and make sure there is enough stuff to make it a bit more balanced. Check the economy by applying the rules have helped me get a better sense when world building. It has also helped with getting a feel of the scale.

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