Ultimate Rulership (PFRPG)

***** (based on 5 ratings)
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A fantastic expansion to the kingdom-building rules for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

If your characters are building a kingdom, you cannot miss this 40-page product! Designed as a perfect complement to the newly revised kingdom-building system, Ultimate Rulership contains a dazzling array of new options including new Edicts for royal commissions and endowments, espionage and festivals, and militarism and recruiting new armies. Add nearly 20 new buildings for your cities from Aeries to Tunnels, Hanging Gardens to Crematoria. Guidelines for population and military recruitment, and for integrating settlement attributes, kingdom events, and danger levels; naturally advantageous sites and exotic city locales from cliff dwellings to treetop towns to cities under the sea!

We hope you enjoy the first product in our line of Ultimate Plug-Ins and look forward to upcoming products supporting not only the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Campaign hardback but other hardback rulebooks. Players and GMs alike will find fantastic rules support from the best authors in the business, delivered the creativity, flair, and imagination that will Make Your Game Legendary!

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***** (based on 5 ratings)

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If you like Kingdom Building... you want this.

*****

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I'm a huge fan of the Ultimate Campaign Kingdom rules, as well as Legendary Games, so when a complementary product is released, I'm quick off the mark to buy it (but not too quick to review, it seems).

This book is the perfect expansion for people who want more depth and options for their kingdoms, written by the maestro of kingdom crunch, Jason Nelson.

The Good
If the introduction didn't sell it well enough, here's some broad details:
New edicts, covering things like festivals, espionage, and military recruitment.
New buildings, offering greater variety in benefits (and building tiles for your settlement sheets).
Population revised, which gives a more detailed approach to the size of your settlements.
Events revised, accounting for the kingdom's danger level.
Titles. Lots and lots of titles, drawn from the real world, you can find the perfect noble title for your ruler (and rules for how proclaiming yourself Emperor if you only rule a single hex makes you look like an idiot).
And lots more... (and I don't mean "just one more bit", this book is packed with options and rules.)

The Bad
As usual, I find it hard to find fault with this product. One thing that springs to mind is that the Windmill is missing from the new building tiles.
Layout-wise, I found having the titles taking up several pages in the middle of the book a bit odd (could have been an appendix).
One thing that might put people off is that there is simply So. Much. Crunch. This is not a negative for me, but if you're not after detail, detail, and more detail, then you might feel overwhelmed.

The Conclusion
If you're looking for more Kingdom rules, this book is a must. It perfectly works alongside the Ultimate Campaign rules, and bits of it can be plugged in (Ultimate Plug-ins, who'd have thought it?) with impunity.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

The first proper supplement for Ultimate Campaign’s innovative crafted by Legendary Games is 48 pages long, 1 page front cover,2 pages of editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 2 pages of advertisement, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 39 pages of content, so let’s take a look, shall we?

I’ll do it similar to the introduction of this book and go off on a slight tangent: I LOVE Ultimate Campaign. It’s not perfect, but the sheer fact that the rules allow for PCs to properly influence and guide the fortunes of organizations, cities etc. is glorious and helps much with the concept of immersion. So what does this expansion offer?

The first component introduced herein would be edicts, of rather modifications of edicts: Alternative expansion, taxation and holiday edicts are provided and offer more variety and control than their default versions: Weekly holidays may for example cost 1d12 BP, but they also offer +2 to economy and +4 to loyalty… Nice modifications for the standard edicts and ones that should not overexert anyone’s ability to implement them. We also are introduced to a series of special edicts that can be grouped in 5 fields – commission, endowment, espionage, festival and recruitment edicts. The respective edicts are smart and make sense: For example, take the endowment edict – it may result from the noblesse oblige event and provide +1 loyalty and fame, but also increase consumption by +1 – and if you fail to pay for the endowed building, you run the risk of gaining 1 point of unrest on a failed loyalty check… Espionage is also rather awesome, if I may say so – from the alignment and levels of vital players/rulers of nations to general levels of unrest, there is a lot that can be gleaned and options to support organized crime, ferment unrest, bribe merchants – it’s all there for the taking!

What also deserves special mentioning in my book is the fact that all PC-classes can be “built” as elites by providing the adequate prerequisite buildings. Now one personal minor gripe I had with the basic kingdom building rules seems to have been shared by LG’s design-team and we thus also are introduced to a variant rule that eliminates the attribute modifier from the respective ruling positions and instead makes a value of 13 a prerequisite. Instead, skills count for more in the respective area of expertise, which, at least to me, makes infinitely more sense – so kudos for that and making magical items with attribute boosts matter less in the grand scheme of things.

Now with all this talk about kingdom building, it should come as no surprise that we also get a variety of basic premises that are the foundation - getting a land grant results e.g. ina different starting BP-score than getting a fiefdom – and yes, taking the conan-route and gaining control via a coup (not that unlikely, taking PC prowess into account!) also provides for an option, albeit a challenging one – having to start with only 20% of a kingdom’s former BP is a harsh restriction, but if the rulers-to-be manage to pull it off, they’ll have no authority above them to answer to…

Now on the fluffy side, having kingdoms, land and vassals also entails a certain amount of status and thus, titles – mostly neglected in the basic rules, we get a nice, concise breakdown of kingdom sizes, domain names, typical titles of the respective rulers and honorifics: Beyond European-inspired lists, we also cover middle-eastern, asian, ecclesiastic and Greco-roman titles and finally, even a collated table.

Now every realm requires cities and similar settlements – and some places are safer than others. Hence, we get a neat table to modify population-size by terrain and factor modifications of danger by terrain type into account as well – and yes, settling in the underdark is damn dangerous. Via farms, fishereies, watchtower etc., these can further be modified and sample settlements,. Once again, we get optional rules as well and oh boy, do I like them: Where limiting exotic goods seems logical, the second one provided is gold: We actually get a concise way of limiting consumable magic items – which is awesome. Why? Well, if you haven’t noticed, their pricing tends to be balanced with costly material components that don’t fracture into the GP-limit-determined availability, resulting in powerful magic being potentially available in ridiculous breadths. Well, with some concise rules and a small table that particular jarring blemish is gone., especially since part two of that issue, the restriction of caster levels, is addressed as well. Compared to those optional rules for secret markets for magic items and a smart limit on spellcasting services available may be less interesting, but still welcome – at least on my table.

Speaking of cities – building them was never as easy as with this book: With the extremely helpful massive table of buildings tec. by base-cost and how long construction takes etc. – duplicate buildings, restrictions, different building qualities – all in here. As is advice for luring the lines between city-building and customizing buildings to represent their neighborhood. Have I mentioned the new types of buildings? Tunnels and thankfully, finally also bordellos may now be constructed. Oh, and want to go kingdom-building Geb/Hollowfaust-style? What about having your own deathless labor force? Permanent Animate Objects? What about forbiddance or (un-)hallow effects? Or peculiarities like fertile land, natural crossroads and the like? There is quite an array of potential at your beck and call, if you choose to make use of it. Now where the pdf goes above and beyond is with uncommon settlement-types – cavern cities, cliff-side settlements, barge cities, treetop villages – all come with their own restrictions and challenges to make sure that your exotic settlement does indeed reflect its uncommon nature in the rules as well as its fluff – two thumbs up!

Another expansion herein that we imho were in dire need of would be danger-levels by area and thus kingdom and settlement events – events are now grouped as beneficial or dangerous, modified by danger modifiers and come with their own tables that make determining proper events much faster and also more logical. We also get a broad range of different settlement qualities that allow for e.g. the settling in old ruins to be possible and civic attributes also feature in a concise, massive table – which btw. includes e.g. sacred animals, anthropomorphizing auras, a magical aura that makes animals talk, existing in a pocket dimension, being unaging/eternal (great to build e.g. ancient bastions akin to Anor Londo) or make your settlements wild magic zones or bureaucratic nightmares –all can be found herein.

Beyond this vast amount of options, we also get lavishly drawn building tiles in full color as well as an index of tables.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn’t notice any glitches of significance. Layout adheres to LG’s two-column full-color standard studded with thematically fitting graphical elements. The pencil-drawn artworks by Frank Hessefort and Mike Lowe in full color at first took me a bit to get used to, but their sheer amount of detail and precision let them develop a nice, unobtrusive flair that complements the supplement rather nicely. The building tiles are top-notch. The pdf comes fully bookmarked and in two versions, with the second being more printer-friendly than the default pdf.

Jason Nelson has delivered a supplement with this pdf that is all but REQUIRED for Kingmaker and any supplement using Kingdom-building-rules – this pdf provides options upon options, many of which allow you address some of the weaker aspects of the base system. Furthermore, the added content, with all its options and iconic possibilities does quite a nice job at providing a myriad of possibilities. If this pdf made one thing clear, then it would be that these rules not only can use expansions, they provide fodder galore for even more supplements. Ultimate Rulership is an awesome, if not particularly cheap supplement that is worth every cent for its well-crafted amount of crunchy content, with my one gripe being that there is still quite some ground to be covered – perhaps a sequel is in order? My final verdict will clock in at 5 stars + seal of approval for a glorious supplement indeed that should make any kingdom-building experience more rewarding and which should be considered all but required for any prolonged use of Ultimate Campaign.

Endzeitgeist out.


Can't Complain.. At all

*****

I bought this shortly after it was premiered on the home page of Paizo.com. I read through it before I read Ultimate Campaign, then read it again after reading Ultimate Campaign. It accomplishes what it set out to do. It adds to the Ultimate Campaign without even compromising it. I think in my humble opinion this piece is part two of the Ultimate Campaign. I wouldn’t use Ultimate Campaign without it.


Ultimate Rulership lives up to its name

*****

Ultimate Rulership is a PDF from Legendary Games in their Ultimate Plug-Ins line consisting of a host of optional yet very fun rules for the kingdom building rules in the recent Ultimate Campaign hardcover. It consists of 40 pages, with one page for a cover, title page, credits, contents, one page explaining the Plug-Ins line, one full-page piece of color art, a back cover, and two pages covering what else LG has for sale or is coming soon from them. That leaves 31 pages for the actual contents, so here goes.

First you get a list of new edicts for your PC rulers to use and some expansion on variants for the normal edicts listed in UC. The new edicts allow you to commission magical items from your populace, have festivals to entertain your subjects or establish places of art and learning for them, and my favorites, the espionage and recruitment edicts. They are both very detailed, allowing you to engage in all sorts of devilry with the neighbors if you so desire ranging from spying on them to rousing the rabble and promoting unrest. (Of course, they can do this to YOU too).

Recruitment edicts allow for the raising of an army -- militia, regular troops, and elites, with the latter given a list of building requirements. You can also set the level of militarism from 'Peace and Love' to 'We are Sparta!' with effects on how many troops you can raise and affects on your nation's economy and society.

The PDF also expands on leadership role skills in case you prefer that skill counts for more than raw ability when it comes to running a nation. There's also some material on just how your nation can be founded, and the differences between doing it all yourself, taking a fief, charters or land grants. There are rules for how to make Building Points a kind of treasure and how the Leadership feat can help.

Another section that I consider very well done is the one on judging the population of your kingdom and its cities. This new system goes into considerable detail as to how many people can be found in various kinds of terrain, how improvements such as farms affect it, as well as a new system for erecting various buildings on a monthly installment plan. It always seemed odd to me that you could put up a castle in a month. There's an extensive chart that lists all the information you need for this, including the population it will add and (another new optional rule) whether or not it can be built in your community, depending on how big it is.

And we get new building types, as well as rules for less-sturdy wooden buildings (quicker and cheaper to build but more fragile). Various magical improvements and natural advantages are listed as well, along with new exotic types of settlements such as cities built on barges, causeways, and cliffs. It ends with some new rules on dangers to your new town and attributes it can have or gain.

I think this is required for anyone who wants to use the kingdom building rules. Along with JBE's Book of the River Kingdoms it's some of the very best expansions for a game of PC rulers. My sole criticism is to wonder if they really needed nine whole pages out of a 40 page PDF for cover, contents, ads and all the rest. That stated what you get is worth every penny you'll pay for it. 4.5 stars and rounded up to 5 for this review.


High Value Supplement

****( )

Ultimate Rulership is a well written product offering substantial value to anyone using the kingdom building rules in the Ultimate Campaign or the Kingmaker Adventure Path. It provides complementary material adding depth and enrichment that feels native to Pathfinder.


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Now available!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Woo! Come and get it!

Grand Lodge

Jason and Legendary Games Team,

Well done and thank you for this product! I am particularly happy with the optional rules for taxes, recruitment, and manpower.

Cheers,
Jim

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for the kind words and the review, Jim!


Looks interesting, but I'm not so sure about the bang per buck ratio here. Looks like 35-ish pages of content (excluding cover, index, etc) of PDF for $9.99. The same price as the Ultimate Campaign PDF itself.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

3 people marked this as a favorite.

That's because hardcover PDFs are essentially a loss leader for Paizo. They are selling the hardbacks for 39.99 and the PDFs essentially as an add-on for 9.99, or as a means to get people in the door to purchase the framework of the system (the hardback rulebooks) at a heavily discounted price in order to encourage them to buy the rest of Paizo's products at the full print or PDF price.

The simple way to see that the PDF cost for Paizo hardbacks is not proportional to their production cost is to look at other Paizo products. The Core Rulebook is 560 pages and the PDF sells for 9.99. which means Paizo earns only 1.8 cents per page.

Ultimate Campaign has 244 pages of content (excluding indices, ads, and frontmatter pages) for 9.99, so it costs 4.1 cents per page.

A closer approximation would be something like the "Animal Archive," nominally a 32-page product but using your method and excluding covers, ads, and indices has about 28 pages of content, selling for 7.99 in PDF (10.99 in print). That means you're paying 28.5 cents per page for the content.

Using your estimate of 35 pages of content for 9.99 for a PDF with 35 pages of content. Your cost per page? 28.5 cents per page, exactly the same as a Paizo player's companion line product.

If you're comparing the cost of a 3PP PDF or even Paizo's own support products, nothing is going to get anywhere close to the bang for your buck that you will get from the PDFs of the hardback rulebooks. They are flat-out the best deal in gaming.

But, if you're going to compare our products to similar products made by Paizo, I think you'll find our price point is very fair and gives you the same bang per buck (if not better, since we think are products are great!).

There's a sliding scale at work here, and shorter products are almost always going to cost more per page than longer ones. Take a middle-of-the-road-size product like "Chronicle of the Righteous," which is a fraction the length of UCam (about 60 pages of content) or any other rulebook yet the PDF retails for $13.99 (and the print version $19.99); the price is higher than the PDF of a rulebook for less than a quarter of the content. The PDF here costs 23.3 cents per page, which is way more than a hardback but still a bit less than the shorter player's companion.

This is because there is a certain amount of inherent work and cost involved in doing any product, so that even if the individual pieces are smaller, adding that static constant "startup cost" makes a bigger proportional difference when your product is smaller. Because Paizo is a much bigger company, their processes and resources can achieve volume discounts and have more streamlined processes in place for managing their throughput, which means the margin between print and PDF products for them is almost always going to be lower for them ordering products in the thousands than it can be for a 3PP ordering them in the hundreds, and even for PDFs they have greater flexibility in resources to get thing out the door.

But even given all of that, in an apples to apples comparison between our products and similarly sized ones from Paizo, you are absolutely getting comparable bang for your buck.

If you haven't fallen asleep from boredom at this point, I hope you'll consider picking up a copy of Ultimate Rulership!


One thing I'd really have liked to have seen was pictures for the buildings you introduced. My kingmaker group absolutely loves mapping their cities and not having those made them not want to use your buildings. (I realize it's a small thing but it is something they value greatly.)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The artist that did most of the work on this product, Mike Lowe, is on vacation until the 17th, but when he gets back I'm going to inquire about whether he could do a sheet of building counters to include with the print edition we are planning for Ultimate Rulership.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

By the way, Ultimate Rulership is now the #1 third-party download on Paizo.com!

Thanks for all your great support of this product. Now, since somebody out there is obviously buying this product, please consider taking a few minutes to write us a review! That one review we have is getting lonely and needs some company! We'd love to hear your thoughts!


I might get and review this based on Eric's review as soon as I'm not that tight regarding money - great review!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for the review, Eric!

On the subject of price vs. length, I'd invite you to compare Ultimate Rulership to other similar Paizo products not just on page count (as described upthread, though you can argue what pages count as content or not) but in terms of word count, since that removes any other variables from the equation like art, layout, maps, tables, etc. that take up a lot of room.

A Paizo Player's Companion like, say, People of the North, has about 18,000 author words (i.e., actual content, not including OGL, ads, credits, table of contents, but does include a two-page spread of around 1400 words on "what this product is about"). A Player's Companion PDF retails for 7.99 (print for 10.99)

By comparison, Ultimate Rulership has about 20,000 author words (again, actual content, not including OGL, ads, credits, table of contents, or paragraphs on "special electronic features/what Legendary Games is"), of which about 300 are spent on "what this product is about." Ultimate Rulership retails for 9.99.

So, for a cost comparison not including the "what this product is about" section (as per your review):
A Player's Companion = 7.99/16600 words = 48.1 cents per 1000 words
Ultimate Rulership = 9.99/19700 words = 50.7 cents per 1000 words

If you did include the "what this product is about" section, it looks like this:
A Player's Companion = 7.99/18000 words = 44.4 cents per 1000 words
Per thousand words, Ultimate Rulership = 9.99/20,000 words = 50 cents per 1000 words

Although Paizo is able to take advantage of economies of scale that a small operation like ours can't (especially on print products, but also true to a lesser extent on PDFs), our price per word (and per page) is virtually identical to theirs. As stated previously, of course, no product is ever going to come remotely close to the per-page or per-word value of the PDF core rulebooks themselves.

LG products may cost a bit more than other 3PP products of equal length, but they are very comparable with Paizo's own prices, with writing, art, and maps by standout Paizo freelancers. We think we deliver an outstanding product, and we hope that our fans agree that you get great value for your purchase every time.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Jason,

The wasted pages (nine in this product, call it six after cover, contents and OGL) and high price are what keeps me from buying Legendary Games' products. Your PDF products are priced more than Paizo's which boggles my mind considering I view the Paizo 32 page modules as overpriced. As a 3PP, even a high-quality 3PP are you are starting at a disadvantage compared to Paizo and its reputation for quality products. Assuming you are competing (I admit your products are complimentary) in ~32 page module range for my gaming dollars, LG is unfortunately going to lose every time. The first question most people ask is why should I pay more for a 3PP PDF product than I pay for a roughly equivalent sized Paizo PDF product? Quality writing? Paizo has that. Amazing art? Paizo has that. Rules/system mastery? Paizo has that. LG products may have that as well, but they also cost more and bring with them uncertainty as to the quality and value. Why would any pay more for you product than what they would pay for the industry leader's material? The only space you really have to compete is on price and LG isn't. I'm glad your current strategy appears to be working for LG, but if you want to widen your consumer base you need to bring your prices down.


If I may, I hear both of you, Jason and BlackKestrel and I think both of you have valid points.

If I may just add my 2 cents:

As far as I've understood, LG is not trying to compete with Paizo - and let's be honest - competing with them in ALL areas just isn't doable. Instead, LG opted to actually provide supplemental material for Paizo-APs - which imho is a smart move.

Now in order to ensure their products can be used thusly, layout, editing (!!!), art etc. has to adhere to Paizo's standards - which are insanely high and one of the reasons why I continue buying their stuff. Now this level of quality paired with a smaller audience also means that necessarily, the prices will be higher than for products of other 3pps of a comparable length. I think of them as premium-products, especially since so far, LG has failed to truly disappoint me even once - which is quite a feat. In the range of modules, BlackKestrel can compare them, but since LG's modules are expansions to APs, I'm not sure whether just comparing them with regular Paizo-modules is fair to either - they do something different, after all: One is an original story, the other essentially a bonus-chapter.

So yeah. I think that while some people might be scared away by the price, e.g. the grimoire-series (imho VERY fairly priced!) brings something new to the table at a very high level of quality and that seems to be worth something for a couple of folks, me included. I'm currently struggling with my finances and thus, yes, the price-point hurts, but I don't consider the pricing unjustified for the bang-for-buck-ratio and have yet to regret a purchase of an LG-product. Everyone is free to disagree, of course and I don't mean to offend anyone here.

Now the direct comparison of cents per word, at least imho, is actually hurting LG - I get what you're trying to say, but by opening a direct comparison, you put yourselves on the same level with Paizo, which, as seen above, is problematic at best, also since most your products tend to be VERY crunch-heavy, whereas e.g. Player's Companions offer a lot of fluff - yes, they are pretty and useful and have improved as a line, but they are not particularly meaty. (And there are some none too impressive pieces of content I banned... *cough* Deadly Snowball-Spells *cough*) Not trying to bash on Paizo here, just trying to put things in perspective - we are comparing apples and oranges here. I think there is another range than art, price etc. to compete here and that this is why LG works - ideas.

In the end, I consider the roleplaying games industry to be a market determined in large amounts by good ideas, codified in a common language, the rules, that has to be mastered - and if one sees ideas one might enjoy, then one can get them, expand them etc. Personally, I buy for them, not (exclusively) page-count. Quality trumps quantity - to speak with books: I'd rather read a gripping 80-page novella than a 2000-page snorefest with two exciting chapters. If one company continues to deliver the RPG-equivalent of "War and Peace" and marries quality with quantity - awesome! But not required.

Now don't get me wrong - you do have a point here - I have in the past and will continue to do so, complain if I feel the bang-for-buck-ratio is off when compared to other 3pps - but it's more than sheer number of pages that count.

Oh, one final thing, if I may voice a humble request: Please let's not start another "Why our products cost X but our competitor's cost Y"-discussion. I don't have fond memories of the last one...

Thanks for the attention and sorry for the rambling tangent, again, sorry if I came off as belittling or abrasive - it was neither my intent or purpose.


Lists of noble titles. I'm not angry. Just.... disappointed.

But, despite that, I think that this is a great little product, well worth the few quid to enhance any Kingmaker (or other kingdom building campaign). I'll certainly be incorporating it into mine.

Cheers
Mark

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Hi BlackKestrel -

Thanks for taking the time to craft some thoughtful comments. You offer good food for thought, and it's true that any company (3PP or otherwise) faces a balancing act between price and product size when trying to find the best return on investment of the people contributing. When you're asking Paizo's ace freelancers in art, writing, and cartography, you know you're going to get ace quality, but they also want to see a good ROI if it's going to be worth their time to work for us instead of Paizo.

So far, our current business plan seems to be working out, but your point is well taken. Perhaps we could do better with a lower price point, with less revenue per unit, but make up for it in volume. Better to sell 20 adventures at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99, for example. Heck, better to sell 13 at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99. More people buying means more people with the opportunity to get hooked on the quality that LG offers across the board.

We're having an LG meeting at PaizoCon with most of the principals from LG, and we will certainly talk about pricing on the agenda.

Let me ask you a question: As a potential LG customer, what kind of price tag would you put on our products? If they are priced too high for your tastes as they are, what would be your sweet spot of a price?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Hi Endy -

Thanks as always for your thorough and insightful comments. I appreciate your endorsement of the ideas that LG brings to the table; that's certainly our goal, to get the best contributors possible working on products about which they are passionate and motivated and with a fairly light editorial hand, so that whatever we produce reflects the author's vision.

Sometimes our products run shorter, sometimes longer. Heck, Jim Groves' new adventure Road to Destiny came in at a whopping 24,000 words. It's completely fair for you to call a product out when you feel it's on the lean side, though I always feel like we're delivering top-notch quality in whatever length you get.

Yours and BlackKestrel's points about pricing are likewise fair arguments, and something we'll continue to consider as we look at our product lines past, present and future. In the meanwhile, of course, I'll be happy to honor your "humble request." :)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Mark Norfolk wrote:

Lists of noble titles. I'm not angry. Just.... disappointed.

But, despite that, I think that this is a great little product, well worth the few quid to enhance any Kingmaker (or other kingdom building campaign). I'll certainly be incorporating it into mine.

Cheers
Mark

Hi Mark,

Glad you enjoyed most of the product! The noble titles inclusion was kind of a throwback to the 1st Ed DMG and the relative status of various noble titles in there (plus ones mentioned in passing in the World of Greyhawk setting or other products). Some folks seem to like it, so if it wasn't to your liking chalk it up to nostalgia and enjoy the rest. :)


Mister Nelson, just so you know -- despite my comments on the page count, I really do like this PDF and I hope you do more along these lines for the Kingbreaker AP and for kingdom building in general.

And given how much else there is that can be used, even if I never use those noble titles they were a great bit of trivia to have included. And yes, they rather reminded me of the old Greyhawk days.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Eric - Glad you enjoyed. I'm working on Ultimate War as we speak! (well, while watching the NBA Finals - Go Spurs!)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

BTW, for all interested parties, I sent over the expanded manuscript for the POD version of Ultimate Ruleship to layout yesterday! See our website for more details!

Among other news - Mike Lowe is working NOW on new building tiles/counters!


Jason Nelson wrote:

BTW, for all interested parties, I sent over the expanded manuscript for the POD version of Ultimate Ruleship to layout yesterday! See our website for more details!

Among other news - Mike Lowe is working NOW on new building tiles/counters!

Excellent! I'll have to see about making room in my budget for the print version.

For the future: do you have any plans for Kingbreaker character material supplements? Feats, spells, archetypes and whatnot?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

We do!

We have several products in various stages of development, some pretty close to done. We've just had a bit of a lull in production as I've had a bunch of other busy projects (including this POD project and trying to get Ultimate War nailed down) and getting things slotted in and getting Tim back going again on the layout side while he juggles preparations to move (but is looking forward to having much more time available after the move is completed). I expect that getting Ultimate War and this POD will take up most of the rest of the month, so I would expect more Kingbreaker stuff to be coming on line in July!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

BlackKestrel wrote:

Jason,

The wasted pages (nine in this product, call it six after cover, contents and OGL) and high price are what keeps me from buying Legendary Games' products. Your PDF products are priced more than Paizo's which boggles my mind considering I view the Paizo 32 page modules as overpriced. As a 3PP, even a high-quality 3PP are you are starting at a disadvantage compared to Paizo and its reputation for quality products. Assuming you are competing (I admit your products are complimentary) in ~32 page module range for my gaming dollars, LG is unfortunately going to lose every time. The first question most people ask is why should I pay more for a 3PP PDF product than I pay for a roughly equivalent sized Paizo PDF product? Quality writing? Paizo has that. Amazing art? Paizo has that. Rules/system mastery? Paizo has that. LG products may have that as well, but they also cost more and bring with them uncertainty as to the quality and value. Why would any pay more for you product than what they would pay for the industry leader's material? The only space you really have to compete is on price and LG isn't. I'm glad your current strategy appears to be working for LG, but if you want to widen your consumer base you need to bring your prices down.

One last thing, which I was not at liberty to share in our previous conversation, but if you are interested in seeing what Legendary Games has to offer with lower prices, you might want to check out our one-week anniversary sale, starting at midnight tonight. Does 40% off 13 of our products sound at all appealing?

P.S. As to uncertainty as to quality and value, try one of our products and I don't think you'll be uncertain any more.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jason Nelson wrote:

Hi BlackKestrel -

Thanks for taking the time to craft some thoughtful comments. You offer good food for thought, and it's true that any company (3PP or otherwise) faces a balancing act between price and product size when trying to find the best return on investment of the people contributing. When you're asking Paizo's ace freelancers in art, writing, and cartography, you know you're going to get ace quality, but they also want to see a good ROI if it's going to be worth their time to work for us instead of Paizo.

So far, our current business plan seems to be working out, but your point is well taken. Perhaps we could do better with a lower price point, with less revenue per unit, but make up for it in volume. Better to sell 20 adventures at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99, for example. Heck, better to sell 13 at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99. More people buying means more people with the opportunity to get hooked on the quality that LG offers across the board.

We're having an LG meeting at PaizoCon with most of the principals from LG, and we will certainly talk about pricing on the agenda.

Let me ask you a question: As a potential LG customer, what kind of price tag would you put on our products? If they are priced too high for your tastes as they are, what would be your sweet spot of a price?

Hi Jason,

Sorry it has taken a while for me to reply. I have been busy with work and life which limited my forum time. My sweet spot PDF's of physical books is half the price of dead-tree version (which appears to be the industry standard outside of Paizo). For purely electronic releases my sweet spot for well-written products with quality art and high production values is in the range of 15-20 cents per page with 16.67 cents being the median (based on a quick review of a sample of products in my RPGNow library). I am not suggesting LG needs to go that low as you might not be able to maintain your standards and make a profit, but taking a look at Ultimate Rulership, it breaks down to 25 cents at the advertised 40 pages, or 32 cents per page of you count the useable number of pages cited in Erick's review. That is very pricey compared most of my PDF purchases. At those prices I start to wonder if its better for me expend the time and come up with the rules I need/want even if that means I miss out on some truly amazing ideas (agree with you here Endzeitgeist). I will be certain to pick up some of the products on sale and I'll let you know what I think.

@Endzeitgeist

When I said compete I meant for my gaming dollars vice directly in a product line manner. I had hoped my parenthetical comment conveyed that, but clearly I failed. I agree with you that LG's business strategy of providing supplemental support to the products Paizo creates is brilliant. I am totally willing to pay for well-executed, quality ideas, but if the product is priced so high that a customer is unwilling to take the risk that isn't good for the company of the customer. And no, your tangent was neither belittling of abrasive. :)


Hej BlackKestrel,

Glad I managed to not offend you. I tend to come off more aggressive/offensive than I intended to, so glad I managed to convey my opinion diplomatically.

What I tried to say product-line-wise was that, at least in my opinion, you can't directly compare different publications - i.e. AP-plug-ins with stand-alone modules and Paizo versus 3pp (for PFRPG)-companies, but, as mentioned, I respect your opinion but consider the argumentation slightly flawed - not in its intent, but in the categories it employs.

Not trying to change your opinion here, mind you - just trying to clarify what I was trying to say. And let me say that I appreciate you sharing your opinion and discussing like a gentleman - in "teh [sic!] internetz" that's no given! :)

...And the reason for me writing my post in the first place was essentially not wanting a rehash of some really unpleasant discussions I saw in the past.

So yeah, it's 2 AM here and I'm off for now.

Cheers!


I found it a worthwhile purchase. Kudos, Team LG.


Jason Nelson wrote:

Hi BlackKestrel -

Thanks for taking the time to craft some thoughtful comments. You offer good food for thought, and it's true that any company (3PP or otherwise) faces a balancing act between price and product size when trying to find the best return on investment of the people contributing. When you're asking Paizo's ace freelancers in art, writing, and cartography, you know you're going to get ace quality, but they also want to see a good ROI if it's going to be worth their time to work for us instead of Paizo.

So far, our current business plan seems to be working out, but your point is well taken. Perhaps we could do better with a lower price point, with less revenue per unit, but make up for it in volume. Better to sell 20 adventures at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99, for example. Heck, better to sell 13 at 3.99 than 10 at 4.99. More people buying means more people with the opportunity to get hooked on the quality that LG offers across the board.

We're having an LG meeting at PaizoCon with most of the principals from LG, and we will certainly talk about pricing on the agenda.

Let me ask you a question: As a potential LG customer, what kind of price tag would you put on our products? If they are priced too high for your tastes as they are, what would be your sweet spot of a price?

Obviously I am not Blackkestrel, but I also do not buy some of LG's products because of price. Coldwood Codex comes to mind. 7,99$ for 10 monsters is steep. Compared to SGG's Mythic Menagerie series that cost 3,99$, the choice becomes easy, even if the art of SGG is not great for the MM series.

I understand that the art, layout and editing of LG are top quality and must cost a bundle, but it remains a small 3pp. No offense.

For a 3pp product to cost 9,99$ it really needs to be special and have lots of containt. I'm afraid that at 40 pages it is not the case.

This might sound weird, but cutting on the art (more stock art maybe?) and layout might be a good idea. The countaint is there with LG, and certainly the form, but I still prefere SGG products that might be rough around the edges, but delivers the same quality crunch at a lower price.

Dark Archive

Page 8 states "An army compromised of characters of PC class levels gains the appropiated special abilities based on the class and level of the characters comprimising it, as described on Ultimate Campaign".

What i don't get of the elite rules is: How many elites must i have on an army to get the listed benefits on Ultimate Campaign? And most of specific class benefits caps at level 3-4, so why should i recruit 5th,6th and 7th elite characters (assuming having the proper kingdom size?)

Regards


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Yes, the price point on Legendary Games offerings are higher than some other 3rd party companies, but it’s worth every penny. Every time I have purchased one of their products, I have been completely satisfied in the end with what I bought. Except for perhaps one other company, I can’t really say that about all the other 3rd party products in my gaming library. Do I wish the things they offer were cheaper? Of course I do, but the old adage “You get what you pay for” has never wrung more true with this company. High quality, good customer service, and innovative products are what keeps me coming back, and I’m willing to pay for that.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for the kind words Valantrix. We certainly aim to produce the absolute best quality products available, and with a team of contributors that has written almost 40% of Paizo's AP adventures (including 4 of the top 5 most prolific AP authors*) and hundreds of thousands of words for Paizo's hardback rulebooks and other product lines, you can rest assured that when you buy from Legendary Games, it's gonna be good.

Spoiler:
1st-Vaughan, 3rd-Spicer, 4th-Hitchcock, 5th-Nelson (plus Matt Goodall and Jim Groves have written two more each).

Note to self: Must get Richard Pett on board!

I'm also pleased that you mentioned our customer service, because nobody is immune to making mistakes and we are no different. But we do our level best to resolve any issues our customers bring to us here on the boards, on facebook, or at makeyourgamelegendary@gmail.com, and we also take all customer comments and feedback into account as we plan our products and services. If for whatever reason you are not satisfied, drop us a line and we will do what we can to make it right.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Kord_Avatar wrote:

Page 8 states "An army compromised of characters of PC class levels gains the appropiated special abilities based on the class and level of the characters comprimising it, as described on Ultimate Campaign".

What i don't get of the elite rules is: How many elites must i have on an army to get the listed benefits on Ultimate Campaign?

All of them.

As in, not all of every soldier in every army, but all soldiers in the army that's gaining the special ability must have the special ability for the army to get it.

Kord_Avatar wrote:

And most of specific class benefits caps at level 3-4, so why should i recruit 5th,6th and 7th elite characters (assuming having the proper kingdom size?)

Regards

Higher-level soldiers have a higher individual CR and thus will increase your army's ACR. In addition, let's just say that there's more on this subject in the upcoming Ultimate War.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

For the record, I have no problem with LG's pricing.

Getting a bucket of stuff that saves me hours of time for the price of a DVD rental is a good bargain, as far as I'm concerned.

And people complaining about Paizo's pricing? Seriously? Do you not remember the old days of T$R??

Dark Archive

Jason Nelson wrote:
Kord_Avatar wrote:

Page 8 states "An army compromised of characters of PC class levels gains the appropiated special abilities based on the class and level of the characters comprimising it, as described on Ultimate Campaign".

What i don't get of the elite rules is: How many elites must i have on an army to get the listed benefits on Ultimate Campaign?

All of them.

As in, not all of every soldier in every army, but all soldiers in the army that's gaining the special ability must have the special ability for the army to get it.

Kord_Avatar wrote:

And most of specific class benefits caps at level 3-4, so why should i recruit 5th,6th and 7th elite characters (assuming having the proper kingdom size?)

Regards

Higher-level soldiers have a higher individual CR and thus will increase your army's ACR. In addition, let's just say that there's more on this subject in the upcoming Ultimate War.

Great, thanks for the reply! For some reason i thought elite units where "special units" inside a regular army, not an army on their own. That seems far more reasonable and easier to track, still i'm eager to see "Ultimate War" for more data =)

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

By the way, for anyone interested in taking a peek at Ultimate Rulership without having to drop 10 bucks all at once, you can check out the latest issue of Open Gaming Monthly, which features an excerpt article featuring kingdom events and settlement attributes. Just $2.99 for that article plus a bunch of other 3PP goodness; you can't go wrong.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Ahem.


Hit the target? I hope they aren't aiming directly for the enemy -- grazing shots are the way to go, get the ball to hit the ground and bounce right before it hits the front line, sending a spray of rock that turns a single cannonball into an area-of-effect scythe of doom.

...I've been reading too much 1632 lately. n.n;


Jason Nelson wrote:
Ahem.

Nice but of art. It kind of reminds me of some of what I've seen in Osprey books like 'Armies of Medieval Burgundy'. Which is also a great book if you want ideas on how to organize late-Medieval armies.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Not to bring another product into the discussion, but how compatible with JBE's kingdom rules are these?

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

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Matthew Morris wrote:
Not to bring another product into the discussion, but how compatible with JBE's kingdom rules are these?

The JBE book was based on the original kingdom and mass combat rules in the Kingmaker AP, basically aggregating those two articles and extra content people had posted on the Paizo boards (I contributed some stuff to it, and got a free contributor copy for that), combined into one easy package for convenient reference. A very handy book for the rules when they first came out three years ago.

Ultimate Rulership and the forthcoming Ultimate War (and... no, too soon) are based on the updated, revised, and massively expanded version of the kingdom rules and mass combat rules that comprise Chapter 4 of Ultimate Campaign - aka, my summer freelance project last year. :)

Having written those revised rules (and had lots more ideas for things to do that just wouldn't fit in the 34,000ish words I had), I can ensure that the rules elements we create to go with the kingdom building and mass combat rules are consistent in tone, flavor, mechanics, and style with the published rules while also expanding them in some very cool ways.

BoRN does have some things that our products don't related to kingdom stuff, including some spells and magic items, but in terms of the actual kingdom-building and mass combat rules, those rules have a lot of similarities to the originals but also a lot of differences. If you're going to be using the revised kingdom and mass combat rules from Ultimate Campaign, you'll find a lot of places that don't quite fit with BoRN. Some will, so the book will still have some utility, but in some ways it'd be like using a 3.5 sourcebook with Pathfinder. It mostly works, except for the parts where it doesn't.

So, TL;DR - I designed these products to be compatible with Ultimate Campaign, not with BoRN. If you have BoRN, you can still get some use out of it, but if you want products that are not just compatible but completely integrated from the ground up with the new Ultimate Campaign kingdom and mass combat rules, our line of support products is the way to go.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Thank you for the detailed answer.

Scarab Sages

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Maybe its the perspective of a gamer whose long in the tooth and has seen quite a bit of work come and go. But if you told me a few years after Mud Sorcerer's Tomb came out, that I could buy more material from the same author, I would have paid top dollar for it. Similarly, the writers I have seen working on LG products do top quality work. They have written some of my favorite adventures, and contributed to some truly excellent Paizo products.

I realize that not everyone has free entertainment money to spend on gaming material. However, you don't go into a Mercedes dealership and quibble over the pricetag. The level of excellence that I see these days from folks like Paizo, Legendary Games, Fire Mountain Games, Alluria Press, and quite a few others, was unheard of even in 3.x days. Paizo set a new standard, and some are rising to meet it. I am loving this new era of amazing adventure writing and truly excellent art and campaign material. Now I just need to clone myself so I can run even half of it. :)

To drill down to my point succinctly, my gaming group of 10 players has gotten nearly two years worth of regular gaming fun out of the Kingmaker AP. Roll in Book of the River Nations, Guide to the River Kingdoms, a couple of hardbacks that came out during that time we use extensively, and now Ultimate Campaign and Ultimate Rulership and the cost for value in ridiculous. I spend more money on coffee creamer over the past two years than I did on this material.

Jason, you folks just keep making the amazing quality of work you do and charge what you think its worth. We got you covered!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks very much for the heartfelt endorsement redcelt. That kind of praise means a great deal, and always strive to live up to it. We think the talent of our contributors speaks for itself, but even if you didn't trust that past history we hope the quality of our products keeps bringing you back. When we hear comments like yours, it definitely makes us feel like we're on the right track.

For what it's worth, I agree that the level of quality in 3PP overall has gone up a metric ton since the glut of the early 2000s. Sure, there were some gems in there, but there was a lot of stuff put out that was iffy at best. We salute every 3PP out there that's raising the bar and putting out consistently excellent stuff.

One last thing: We'll be having a very special announcement next Wednesday about something we think might just raise the bar even higher. Stay tuned.


I just purchased this PDF up today and look forward to devouring the rules. However, as I skim through it, I noticed that the Free Buildings section for Treetop City is a copy of that section for Cavern City (page 28). Are there free buildings for treetop cities? If so, do you mind listing them here?

Thanks!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Love this add-on, and agree 100% with redcelt. As someone who lived through the TSR days of mass quantity and low quality (started in '83), I can't tell you how pleased I am with Paizo and third parties like yourself. The art, content, editing, volume, etc... of this product are of amazing breadth. You are also an excellent self promoter, but hey, it's justified. ; )

Please keep up the great work - can't wait for the war add-on and whatever else you have in store.

P.S. As long as the quality is up to this level, I have no issue with the pricing.

Thanks,

Aaron

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.

My review: This is worth every penny. If you are going to use the Kingdom Building rules, buy this and you will never regret it. I may not use every option presented in here, but what I do use is well worth the price tag.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Thanks for the kind words guys. Also, I am happy to inform you that the very first print product from Legendary Games is nearly here: The Ultimate Rulership Print Edition!

Tim Wickham has finished his move back to the East Coast and has been hard at work getting the revised product laid out. Revisions were necessary because while our PDF product could happily hyperlink into the wonderful world of the internet, for a print product we really wanted a lot of those rules right there on the page, so we've added about another 5000 words, mostly in the kingdom events and settlement attribute sections, as well as adding in a full page of beautiful building tiles (courtesy of Mike Lowe) to use with your city grid.

The product will be available on amazon.com and CreateSpace.com, and we will see about making it available through other channels.

If you've already purchased the product, you'll be able to download the expanded version of the product at no extra charge.

As for what's coming down the pike next; oh, brother, it's gonna be great. Previews are forthcoming, as well as a metric ton of terrific product.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Niilo John Van Steinburg wrote:

I just purchased this PDF up today and look forward to devouring the rules. However, as I skim through it, I noticed that the Free Buildings section for Treetop City is a copy of that section for Cavern City (page 28). Are there free buildings for treetop cities? If so, do you mind listing them here?

Thanks!

No free buildings; just a cut-and-paste error. It's been deleted in the revised Print Edition (for which PDF buyers will be able to download the updated version once it's ready, hopefully by the end of the weekend).

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Print version of Ultimate Rulership is on the way! Files are uploaded, the first batch of print books is shipping for us to sell via our website, and the completed files are working their way through the Amazon/CreateSpace system to be able to buy from them as POD. Check out the latest on our website, as well as a quick preview of our next PDF product, Faerie Passions.


Great Product i like the work that you have put into it thank you!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Glad you enjoyed it. Now that our layout person has finished his move, we should be able to get the next product in the series out soon, hopefully by the end of the month!

P.S. We'd appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to write up a review!

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