Kingdom Building


Kingmaker

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

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For the curious, the item in question was a +3 mighty cleaving frost greataxe (value 50320). It's not actually the most expensive item that has come up (that being a staff of defense at 62000), but it's the first one that made a player say, "Hmmm... can we use these items? Yknow, just... borrow em for a little while?"

Cheapest "Medium" item so far: potion of hide from undead (50 gp). Ouch.

I'm pretty sure a Caster's Tower was the first building the PCs built when we rebooted the rules. In the draft, if you didn't "establish" a capital by building a town hall or castle, plus a block of houses and one other building, you gained 1 unrest per turn. When the final rules came out we rebooted the first five months and they started with a caster's tower instead of a castle so they could start turning over magic items right away.

Yes, I made the mistake of sharing the kingdom-building rules with the players. Alas...


Jason Nelson wrote:


Yes, I made the mistake of sharing the kingdom-building rules with the players. Alas...

So which parts do you recommend the player's have access to?

Scarab Sages

so, I saw that a city's population is roughly 250 x the number of developed blocks. If you start with a castle, does that mean the settlement starts at 1000 people as opposed to 250 if you started with a single space building?

Grand Lodge

stuart haffenden wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:


Yes, I made the mistake of sharing the kingdom-building rules with the players. Alas...

So which parts do you recommend the player's have access to?

That's a good question. Jason, James, what are your thoughts on sharing access to the kingdom building rules with the players?

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

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I think it's entirely reasonable for players to have:

1. A price list of the various buildings and improvements they can make (including roads, farms, clearing and claiming hexes, etc.). Not the effects, but how much BP they cost, how long they take to build, in terms of clearing hexes and such, and how many of each they can do per turn.

Not the effects of all buildings, but the prices.

2. Some general information about the effects of buildings.
a. A list of what buildings result in the creation of magic items, because building those opens up a new subset of the rules.
b. A list of the buildings that add to the gp limit of their city.
c. A list of buildings that have special limits on construction (next to a house, NOT next to a house, next to water, etc.).
d. A list of buildings that INCREASE and that DECREASE unrest.

All of the above give them the outline of what they can do with the resources they know they have (BP). They don't need to know the precise effects (how many items, how much of a gp boost, what bonuses to which rolls).

You also have a choice to make once they start building stuff. Do you:
a. Manage all the math yourself, and don't tell them what the building does?
b. Tell them exactly what buildings do, but only AFTER they've built at least one of them?
c. Give them the full run-down on exactly what each building does before they build them, so they can number-crunch the efficiency.

3. They should know that every hex and every city district costs 1 consumption.

4. The rules on edicts I think are fine for players to have.

5. As far as kingdom roles, they should have the description of what each role does, and they should know that leaving roles vacant (other than the royal assassin) will cause penalties.

***********************

For any of the above, I think at least to start I wouldn't give them the specifics on what different buildings do, or what stats they need for various roles.

Let them gravitate towards the roles that interest them, or the buildings that seem like things they should make because it makes narrative sense instead of "ooh, if I build THIS first, then I can build THAT, and this combo will provide 4.7 BP per turn on average instead of 4.3" or whatever.

I think you'll find better role investment if Bob the Bard wants to become the Ruler because the player is interested in exploring that role, rather than the other party members saying "Bob, you should be the Ruler because you have the best Charisma."

But, that may just be wishful thinking. Besides, it will more work for you if you have to manage all of the numbers, and you have to realize that players are there to have fun too, and if you think your players are the sort that might really enjoy that kind of resource management game, you might think about giving them the keys to the candy store and letting them roll with it.

I think, at least to start, less is definitely more.


Jason,

I assume that if you do the number crunching your self, with regards to the Roles, you'll automatically pick the PC's best ability Mod [from those suitable for that particular role] for the role he has filled even though you wont tell him/her ?


James Jacobs wrote:
thenovalord wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


First of all... there's a basic assumption that the PCs are playing good guys.

i dont see that as none of the 4 pre-gens are, and going forth and conquering the new world isnt 'good'?

id say the assumption should be the PC's are lawful guys

hmm..not the right thread for these kings of thoughts, may raise this elsewhere

john

I should have realized that saying "good guys" would sound the same as saying "good-aligned guys."

What I should have said was, "Kingmaker assumes that the PCs are not actively destructive and cruel, and that they want their kingdom to succeed."

I think:

the basic assumption is the party are heroes.
Hereos arent tyrants.

Id go with that!!

John


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Jason Nelson wrote:


2. Some general information about the effects of buildings.

I plan on making my players work for this. I'm allowing a Knowledge (engineering) check to discern abilities of buildings. For buildings with a BP cost of 15 or less, it'll be a DC 10 to learn one ability, and for every 2 over the DC they get another ability of the building. For buildings with a BP cost of 16-30, the DC increases to 15. Any building over 30 will require a DC 20 check to learn an ability.

If they build it, well, they learn through trial and error.

I also thought about not giving them the information on the various edicts except through Knowledge (geography), but I think I'll just let them see that chart. It's not enough information to hide, IMO.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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underling wrote:
so, I saw that a city's population is roughly 250 x the number of developed blocks. If you start with a castle, does that mean the settlement starts at 1000 people as opposed to 250 if you started with a single space building?

If you want. Actual numbers of population are 100% irrelevant to the mechanics of the rules. You as the GM can simply decide arbitrarily how many people live there; saying 250 per developed block is a great way to keep it simple, so adding a castle does indeed add 1,000 citizens. Since in the end the specific number of citizens doesn't impact the rules, the exact number can be anything you want.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Aberrant Templar wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:


Yes, I made the mistake of sharing the kingdom-building rules with the players. Alas...

So which parts do you recommend the player's have access to?
That's a good question. Jason, James, what are your thoughts on sharing access to the kingdom building rules with the players?

Jason's got some good advice.

I would just add to it: You know your players better than us. If they're the type who look at new rules not as tools to help tell a story, but as an equation that needs to be crunched and spindled and maximized to yield its most accurate results with no regard to flavor, you should probably NOT provide the rules to your players but instead adopt a more narrative method of running the building of cities and kingdoms.

If your players are good at keeping common sense and logic in the forefront of their minds while using the rules, and respect you as the GM enough to stop being silly (let's fill this whole city grid up with GRAVEYARDS because they're so cheap!), though, showing them the rules is okay.

Liberty's Edge

Disenchanter wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

If you have a magic item slot open, and roll a 3rd level potion for the random item. It is worth 750 gp. In the Income Phase, it says that items that cost greater than 4000 gp can be attempted to be sold off.

As written, there isn't anything to cover selling items of a lesser value - other than the PCs buying it up to open the slot.

Ah. Yes. Items that cost less than 4,000 can't be sold off. It's just too cheap to really have much of an impact on your national economy to make a difference; it'd be like the US government selling a single TV to try to make a dent in the deficit. Doesn't really help. Only selling items that are worth 4,000 gp or more can help bolster your kingdom's treasury.

If you have a low-cost magic item that's "clogging" a magic item slot, and you want to get rid of it but no PC wants to buy it, you can "sell" it during the Income phase by making the Economy check; if you're successful, the kingdom's treasury doesn't increase but you do open up the item slot.

That is what I expected. Just trying to point out the little cracks in system that will be constantly questioned if the system were to see the light of day, as written, in a more "general" product line (I think I can guess which product).

What general product are you getting at? Has James or any other Paizo employee hinted that these kingdom rules will be going into another book or are you purely speculating?


Marc Radle 81 wrote:
What general product are you getting at? Has James or any other Paizo employee hinted that these kingdom rules will be going into another book or are you purely speculating?

That is a tricky question. I do not believe I am purely speculating... But I admit I might be reading too much into posts.

So to be completely fair, I will say I am purely speculating.

James Jacobs wrote:
Aberrant Templar wrote:
stuart haffenden wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:


Yes, I made the mistake of sharing the kingdom-building rules with the players. Alas...

So which parts do you recommend the player's have access to?
That's a good question. Jason, James, what are your thoughts on sharing access to the kingdom building rules with the players?

Jason's got some good advice.

I would just add to it: You know your players better than us. If they're the type who look at new rules not as tools to help tell a story, but as an equation that needs to be crunched and spindled and maximized to yield its most accurate results with no regard to flavor, you should probably NOT provide the rules to your players but instead adopt a more narrative method of running the building of cities and kingdoms.

If your players are good at keeping common sense and logic in the forefront of their minds while using the rules, and respect you as the GM enough to stop being silly (let's fill this whole city grid up with GRAVEYARDS because they're so cheap!), though, showing them the rules is okay.

Considering that the group can "gimp" its kingdom if they don't know the effects of buildings, I'd err on the side of letting the players know the rules. I would compare it to not letting the players know the effects of feats until after they take them.

But along with James Jacobs, I'll say the GM knows his/her players better than I do.

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

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You're right that withholding information can gimp your players and perhaps induce them to make suboptimal choices.

That's the choice you have to make.

If you want to arm them with the information to make the *best* possible choices, then you give them the rules. All of them. That way they can make their own choices as to what is mechanically best.

If you think that, for reasons of flavor, you would rather they make choices based on non-mechanical considerations, then you don't.

Knowing the cost of things and the basic parameters of buildings, as I suggested above, will pretty much prevent the PCs from actually *gimping* themselves. They may not be absolutely maximizing value, but there aren't really any bad choices or any "right" or "wrong" methods to go about kingdom building. They will all get you there in the end whether you start with a castle and then build a smith, tannery, and shop, or whether you start with a caster's tower and then build a temple, a graveyard, and a tavern.

There are all kinds of options and none of them are bad. There are no real "trap" choices that will mess up your kingdom, which is testament to putting together a fun and useful system.


Jason Nelson wrote:
There are all kinds of options and none of them are bad. There are no real "trap" choices that will mess up your kingdom, which is testament to putting together a fun and useful system.

I almost agree.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is not impossible to make role selections and building choices in such a manner as to totally murder your Stability stat (as an example). And the treasury starts bleeding. If the group is required to guess and check which buildings and roles help that check, especially early on, the kingdom could be doomed before it begins.

This is not a situation that is impossible to overcome. Either by luck, perseverance, or GM assistance.

But from dealing with some incredible smart - and oblivious - players in my time, I would recommend letting the players see the system. At least that way they only have themselves to blame.

But that is just my take on it. Each GM should weigh the benefits to risks and judge for themselves.


Concerning the question of whether to let the players have the kingdom rules or just a subset, I think it is important to consider that this is only relevant for the very first time the players use these rules.

When they start another campaign including kingdom building, they will probably already know all the rules.

Of course the Kingmaker campaign might be even more exciting if the players "discover" the kingdom rules bit by bit.

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

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Zen79 wrote:

Concerning the question of whether to let the players have the kingdom rules or just a subset, I think it is important to consider that this is only relevant for the very first time the players use these rules.

When they start another campaign including kingdom building, they will probably already know all the rules.

Of course the Kingmaker campaign might be even more exciting if the players "discover" the kingdom rules bit by bit.

This is the key point right here. Soon enough, these rules will be old hat and everyone will be familiar with them.

This right here is your only chance to play with that "first time experience" of discovering a new rule set and how it works by playing through it and learning as you go. That's the real reason you might consider withholding parts of the rules. That first time is not a thing you can get back once the cat is out of the bag.

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

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Disenchanter wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
There are all kinds of options and none of them are bad. There are no real "trap" choices that will mess up your kingdom, which is testament to putting together a fun and useful system.

I almost agree.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is not impossible to make role selections and building choices in such a manner as to totally murder your Stability stat (as an example). And the treasury starts bleeding. If the group is required to guess and check which buildings and roles help that check, especially early on, the kingdom could be doomed before it begins.

This is not a situation that is impossible to overcome. Either by luck, perseverance, or GM assistance.

But from dealing with some incredible smart - and oblivious - players in my time, I would recommend letting the players see the system. At least that way they only have themselves to blame.

But that is just my take on it. Each GM should weigh the benefits to risks and judge for themselves.

The easy path of GM assistance here would be the NPCs filling various leadership roles who can offer advice to the PCs. Of course, sometimes their advice may not be optimal advice, as it will usually be directed at things that will help their focus (the Warden will want improvements that help Defense, for instance), but if PCs are lagging in one area the Treasurer might come and tell them to boost Economy, or the Marshal will tell them to build something that helps Stability.

In sum, withholding the rules should never be something the DM does to screw with the players. It should be an opportunity to promote them having a give-and-take in character with people and events in the campaign to learn about being good rulers on the job. This is their first time ruling a kingdom. There SHOULD be some trial and error involved.

One other tack to explore might be using skills like Knowledge (engineering, geography, local, and nobility in particular) or Profession skills be an in-game route to learning details or making informed choices on the effects of various improvements.

It's just a route to trying to move knowledge of how to build a kingdom from the meta-level to the in-game level.


I plan on introducing an NPC, prob at start, to help them with this. The guy (Alfred Pennyworth + Balwer from tWoT) would be start as a liaison to Restov and a competent major-domo. He can give the PC's a "Kingdom Ruling for Dummies" class and advise them on what might be a good idea. I do like the idea of the NPC rulers being like the advisors from Civ tho.

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

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Rodel wrote:
I plan on introducing an NPC, prob at start, to help them with this. The guy (Alfred Pennyworth + Balwer from tWoT) would be start as a liaison to Restov and a competent major-domo. He can give the PC's a "Kingdom Ruling for Dummies" class and advise them on what might be a good idea. I do like the idea of the NPC rulers being like the advisors from Civ tho.

The best advisors were the live-action guys from Civ 2:

Military: Give me more soldiers that I may sheath their swords in the beating hearts of our enemies!
Culture: Wise man say, only fools rush in. How about some more luxuries? Ah-hah.

Those guys rocked.

This would also serve as a convenient bridge for the mini-quests/missions that involve rewards or bounties (like the King of the Forest and Howl of the North Wind, or even just the whacking of the Stag Lord) - he is listening to what kinds of threats are popping up in PC-Land and being a liaison back to Restov and coming back with offers of bounties from their sponsors on their behalf.

Then, around the early part of #33, he might give the PCs a final mission, to investigate the "Varnhold Vanishing," before being recalled to Restov to deal with issues back then and leave the PCs, now established, to manage things on their own.


I'm actually considering introducing Varnhold in the 2nd module. The leaders of that community are going to want to open communications with their sister settlement and will open with sending resources (which establishes them as friendly and more advanced than the PCs). Hopefully that will make it more interesting when the PCs need to investigate.


Silly question and I may have missed the answer before:

On the Gaining Experience chart for different kingdom accomplishments, are those numbers per PC or to be divided among PCs?


Caelinae wrote:

Silly question and I may have missed the answer before:

On the Gaining Experience chart for different kingdom accomplishments, are those numbers per PC or to be divided among PCs?

I'm only guessing here, but since the exploration awards are for the group, I would say the kingdom accomplishments would be for the group as well.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Caelinae wrote:

Silly question and I may have missed the answer before:

On the Gaining Experience chart for different kingdom accomplishments, are those numbers per PC or to be divided among PCs?

All XP awards are divided among PCs. We'll say if an XP award is ever for a single PC, and I highly doubt we'll EVER do that since it's not really fair or in the spirit of the Pathfinder RPG.


In generating income it says to make an economy check against your command DC and if successful divide the result by 5 and add that amount to your treasury.

If I had a +12 and rolled a 13 that would be 25. The DC would be 21. Do I divide 25 by 5 to get 5 BP or the 25 minus the DC of 21 to get 0 BP? I think it is the 5 BP but wanted to check.

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

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Daniel Waugh wrote:

In generating income it says to make an economy check against your command DC and if successful divide the result by 5 and add that amount to your treasury.

If I had a +12 and rolled a 13 that would be 25. The DC would be 21. Do I divide 25 by 5 to get 5 BP or the 25 minus the DC of 21 to get 0 BP? I think it is the 5 BP but wanted to check.

You have it right.

Successful check = divide result by 5, get that many BP.

Failed check = you get nothing.

Boom or bust!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

An early version of the rules had you subtracting the Control DC from your Economy check result and dividing that in half to determine BP. We abandoned this for 2 reasons:

1) It was needlessly complicated.
2) It didn't generate enough BP.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

James, given how the kingdom building rules aren't specific to Kingmaker, is there any chance that they'll be republished as a short stand-alone product?

I could really see adding in some of the material that was cut for space/new material, and making the corrections that have been identified here, along with a cover, introduction, etc. and selling this as a 16-page product for $5 or so.

These rules are really great, and it seems like a shame to keep them hidden away in PF #32.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Alzrius wrote:

James, given how the kingdom building rules aren't specific to Kingmaker, is there any chance that they'll be republished as a short stand-alone product?

I could really see adding in some of the material that was cut for space/new material, and making the corrections that have been identified here, along with a cover, introduction, etc. and selling this as a 16-page product for $5 or so.

These rules are really great, and it seems like a shame to keep them hidden away in PF #32.

If they're popular (and they certainly seem to be so far), chances of the kingdom building and city building rules being expanded and included in a stand-alone product at sometime in the future are relatively good. After all, many other new rules conventions that premiered in Pathfinder (traits, chases, haunts, etc.) are appearing in hardcover rulebooks this year.

The material that was "cut for space" is more or less gone for good, but if these rules do get into a new product down the line I'm pretty sure they'll be greatly expanded to work with multiple types of governments, lots more buildings, more kingdom events, and likely an even more balanced approach to how the kingdom and city stats work.

But they're hardly "hidden away" in Pathfinder #32. We generally print more copies of our Adventure Path volumes than anything other than our hardcover releases, after all, and they're hands-down the most widely distributed and purchased and read subscription line we offer for Golarion. AKA: It's likely that more folks will see these rules than any single product in the Companion or Chronicles line.

And if this convinces more folks to pick up Pahtifnder AP or subs to it, that's good! :-)


Alzrius wrote:

James, given how the kingdom building rules aren't specific to Kingmaker, is there any chance that they'll be republished as a short stand-alone product?

I could really see adding in some of the material that was cut for space/new material, and making the corrections that have been identified here, along with a cover, introduction, etc. and selling this as a 16-page product for $5 or so.

These rules are really great, and it seems like a shame to keep them hidden away in PF #32.

+1!

Also, it would be nice to have the missing terrain types in the Kingdom rules covered, and to have the exploration rules and the upcoming mass combat rules included in such a product. Maybe it would also fit well into GameMastery Guide 2...?


I've got a question about the generation of magic items in a city.

According to page 58, any magic item that is equal to or lower than the base value of the city itself is considered to be available 75% of the time. Under magic item availability, it states that, depending on the buildings that you have constructed in your particular city, you are to roll a randomly-generated magic item for each minor, medium, and major magic item slot that your city has available.

I'm a little confused on how you should approach it if you have a city beyond the appropriate base value for a magic item, and roll that magic item up as available in a particular city district. For example...let's say that your city has a base value of 4,000 gp and you roll up a +1 glamered breastplate, which would have a value of 3,900 gp (if I'm doing my math right). Would you roll the 75% chance to see if it's available anyway and if it isn't, then write it in? If you make the 75% roll, do you re-roll the item slot? Thanks for any clarification here!

And one more question, while I'm thinkin' about it..the rules state that multiple city grids can be placed in a single hex. Is there a BP cost to adding extra city grids to a city, or is it that once a hex has been prepped, you can build as many city grids as you need without incurring any additional BP cost? Or is the +1 Consumption per grid assumed to be enough of a limiter on overdeveloping a single hex in favor of expanding the kingdom?


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Phillip0614 wrote:

I've got a question about the generation of magic items in a city.

According to page 58, any magic item that is equal to or lower than the base value of the city itself is considered to be available 75% of the time. Under magic item availability, it states that, depending on the buildings that you have constructed in your particular city, you are to roll a randomly-generated magic item for each minor, medium, and major magic item slot that your city has available.

I'm a little confused on how you should approach it if you have a city beyond the appropriate base value for a magic item, and roll that magic item up as available in a particular city district. For example...let's say that your city has a base value of 4,000 gp and you roll up a +1 glamered breastplate, which would have a value of 3,900 gp (if I'm doing my math right). Would you roll the 75% chance to see if it's available anyway and if it isn't, then write it in? If you make the 75% roll, do you re-roll the item slot? Thanks for any clarification here!

I would read that as:

If PCs or Cohorts go shopping in the city, there is a 75% chance that any given magical item with a price less than or equal to the Base Value of the city is there to buy. Example, if the PCs go shopping for a 1500 gp wand in the city with a Base Value of 4000 gp, then there is a 75% chance it is there to be bought.

Separately, as part of your kingdom upkeep, you generate a series of items. They are not affected by the 75% chance at all. It may, by chance, turn out that you roll up the same item as the PCs were shopping for. There's still no connection, but you could treat it as a "second chance" for them if the roll before said it was not available; it wasn't there, but someone heard one was wanted and is now selling one.


Urath DM wrote:
Phillip0614 wrote:

I've got a question about the generation of magic items in a city.

According to page 58, any magic item that is equal to or lower than the base value of the city itself is considered to be available 75% of the time. Under magic item availability, it states that, depending on the buildings that you have constructed in your particular city, you are to roll a randomly-generated magic item for each minor, medium, and major magic item slot that your city has available.

I'm a little confused on how you should approach it if you have a city beyond the appropriate base value for a magic item, and roll that magic item up as available in a particular city district. For example...let's say that your city has a base value of 4,000 gp and you roll up a +1 glamered breastplate, which would have a value of 3,900 gp (if I'm doing my math right). Would you roll the 75% chance to see if it's available anyway and if it isn't, then write it in? If you make the 75% roll, do you re-roll the item slot? Thanks for any clarification here!

I would read that as:

If PCs or Cohorts go shopping in the city, there is a 75% chance that any given magical item with a price less than or equal to the Base Value of the city is there to buy. Example, if the PCs go shopping for a 1500 gp wand in the city with a Base Value of 4000 gp, then there is a 75% chance it is there to be bought.

Separately, as part of your kingdom upkeep, you generate a series of items. They are not affected by the 75% chance at all. It may, by chance, turn out that you roll up the same item as the PCs were shopping for. There's still no connection, but you could treat it as a "second chance" for them if the roll before said it was not available; it wasn't there, but someone heard one was wanted and is now selling one.

Yeah, that's what I figured and was planning on doing should that situation arise. Thanks!

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Phillip0614 wrote:
And one more question, while I'm thinkin' about it..the rules state that multiple city grids can be placed in a single hex. Is there a BP cost to adding extra city grids to a city, or is it that once a hex has been prepped, you can build as many city grids as you need without incurring any additional BP cost? Or is the +1 Consumption per grid assumed to be enough of a limiter on overdeveloping a single hex in favor of expanding the kingdom?

Urath DM is right on the first question; the 75% chance and the actual rolled items are two separate areas for magic items to live.

As for the second question: Multiple city grids can indeed exist in a single hex, but you have to prepare the land for each grid. Every time you add a city grid to your kingdom, no matter if it's in a hex that has a grid or not, you pay the prep cost and your Consumption goes up by 1.


James Jacobs wrote:
Phillip0614 wrote:
And one more question, while I'm thinkin' about it..the rules state that multiple city grids can be placed in a single hex. Is there a BP cost to adding extra city grids to a city, or is it that once a hex has been prepped, you can build as many city grids as you need without incurring any additional BP cost? Or is the +1 Consumption per grid assumed to be enough of a limiter on overdeveloping a single hex in favor of expanding the kingdom?

Urath DM is right on the first question; the 75% chance and the actual rolled items are two separate areas for magic items to live.

As for the second question: Multiple city grids can indeed exist in a single hex, but you have to prepare the land for each grid. Every time you add a city grid to your kingdom, no matter if it's in a hex that has a grid or not, you pay the prep cost and your Consumption goes up by 1.

Gotcha. Thanks James!


I was running the kingdom building to see what I wanted to build and when and encountered a problem.

The map has 77 hexes on it. Not counting Oleg's, Candlemere Tower and the Stag Lord's fort I come up with 44 plains or hill hexes to put farms in for a total of -88 consumption. Sounds like a lot until you realize the 77 hexes only leaves room for 11 districts in your cities. If my math is right then any non plain or hill hex is a drag on your economy. What exactly do forest hexes do for you? They don't provide hunting, nuts or berries since they have no effect on consumption. They provide no other bonuses that I can see. Am I missing something?

Problem two. Stability check is 20+size or a 97 if the entire map is claimed. Without significant city district developement(more than 11 districts) you can't come within 40 of this number so you fail by more than 5 and accumulate 2 unrest per turn. Even with the Royal Assassin in place you can't slow unrest without building additional buildings which you can't because of consumption.

Problem three. Without more than 11 districts you can't build your economy past 60 which leaves you 28 short of an economy roll to get tax money.

So you can't pay consumption, can raise taxes and unrest runs rampant. It seems that the forests not constributing or another way to lower consumption is killing long term growth. If this was a forest kingdom this would come to a head much earlier. Am I wrong?


Daniel Waugh wrote:

I was running the kingdom building to see what I wanted to build and when and encountered a problem.

The map has 77 hexes on it. Not counting Oleg's, Candlemere Tower and the Stag Lord's fort I come up with 44 plains or hill hexes to put farms in for a total of -88 consumption. Sounds like a lot until you realize the 77 hexes only leaves room for 11 districts in your cities. If my math is right then any non plain or hill hex is a drag on your economy. What exactly do forest hexes do for you? They don't provide hunting, nuts or berries since they have no effect on consumption. They provide no other bonuses that I can see. Am I missing something?

Problem two. Stability check is 20+size or a 97 if the entire map is claimed. Without significant city district developement(more than 11 districts) you can't come within 40 of this number so you fail by more than 5 and accumulate 2 unrest per turn. Even with the Royal Assassin in place you can't slow unrest without building additional buildings which you can't because of consumption.

Problem three. Without more than 11 districts you can't build your economy past 60 which leaves you 28 short of an economy roll to get tax money.

So you can't pay consumption, can raise taxes and unrest runs rampant. It seems that the forests not constributing or another way to lower consumption is killing long term growth. If this was a forest kingdom this would come to a head much earlier. Am I wrong?

It seems to me the solution here is obvious: Don't try to settle the entire map until AP #33 is out and you have more of a map to settle.

Forest hexes can be improved with roads (which boosts Economy) and will also need to be settled to develop eastward, but in #32 you really shouldn't be expecting to max out your size right away. Make a small kingdom, just a few hexes, and begin building up slowly, making sure that you can support it before you add more. Be conservative, don't try to take the River Kingdoms by storm, and you'll do fine. Eventually most of the caps will be taken off as your kingdom reaches a critical mass and relies more on trade and craft than subsistence farming and donations from the PC's pockets and Brevoy.

Dark Archive

Daniel Waugh wrote:

I was running the kingdom building to see what I wanted to build and when and encountered a problem.

The map has 77 hexes on it. Not counting Oleg's, Candlemere Tower and the Stag Lord's fort I come up with 44 plains or hill hexes to put farms in for a total of -88 consumption. Sounds like a lot until you realize the 77 hexes only leaves room for 11 districts in your cities. If my math is right then any non plain or hill hex is a drag on your economy. What exactly do forest hexes do for you? They don't provide hunting, nuts or berries since they have no effect on consumption. They provide no other bonuses that I can see. Am I missing something?

Problem two. Stability check is 20+size or a 97 if the entire map is claimed. Without significant city district developement(more than 11 districts) you can't come within 40 of this number so you fail by more than 5 and accumulate 2 unrest per turn. Even with the Royal Assassin in place you can't slow unrest without building additional buildings which you can't because of consumption.

Problem three. Without more than 11 districts you can't build your economy past 60 which leaves you 28 short of an economy roll to get tax money.

So you can't pay consumption, can raise taxes and unrest runs rampant. It seems that the forests not constributing or another way to lower consumption is killing long term growth. If this was a forest kingdom this would come to a head much earlier. Am I wrong?

wait wait. You can, of course have several districts on 1 single HEX

even more, you can have several cities of several district on the same hex !
as far as I red it correctly of course...

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
r-Kelleg wrote:
Daniel Waugh wrote:

I was running the kingdom building to see what I wanted to build and when and encountered a problem.

The map has 77 hexes on it. Not counting Oleg's, Candlemere Tower and the Stag Lord's fort I come up with 44 plains or hill hexes to put farms in for a total of -88 consumption. Sounds like a lot until you realize the 77 hexes only leaves room for 11 districts in your cities. If my math is right then any non plain or hill hex is a drag on your economy. What exactly do forest hexes do for you? They don't provide hunting, nuts or berries since they have no effect on consumption. They provide no other bonuses that I can see. Am I missing something?

Problem two. Stability check is 20+size or a 97 if the entire map is claimed. Without significant city district developement(more than 11 districts) you can't come within 40 of this number so you fail by more than 5 and accumulate 2 unrest per turn. Even with the Royal Assassin in place you can't slow unrest without building additional buildings which you can't because of consumption.

Problem three. Without more than 11 districts you can't build your economy past 60 which leaves you 28 short of an economy roll to get tax money.

So you can't pay consumption, can raise taxes and unrest runs rampant. It seems that the forests not constributing or another way to lower consumption is killing long term growth. If this was a forest kingdom this would come to a head much earlier. Am I wrong?

wait wait. You can, of course have several districts on 1 single HEX

even more, you can have several cities of several district on the same hex !
as far as I red it correctly of course...

You can do this, but it doesn't really help with the consumption problem - city districts create consumption whether they're in the same hex or different hexes.

The system does contain an inherent bias to fewer, larger cities, rather than lots of small cities. At first, I was kind of annoyed by this, but what kind of turned me around was this idea:

Much as "farm" is an abstraction for "many small farms scattered across the hex," so too is "city" kind of an abstraction. Those official "cities" are your major centers, but you will have tiny hamlets and thorps and crossroads micro-settlements scattered all over the place. They don't show up in the macro sense, because it might be a collection of a half-dozen homes around a couple of docks on the Candlemere - not an actual town, but just a place where a couple of locals have banded together their homes, with maybe an informal tavern, or a little crossroads inn and market with a dozen people living there.

There will be tiny settlements like this all over your kingdom, and some may even be there before you officially settle the hex.

IMC, the PCs were traveling south to investigate, among other things, the rumors of the Old Beldame and see whether she was a threat, a potential ally, or what. I had spread rumors (working with and expanding on the ones in the module) about her stealing children and eating them (since, of course, people think she's a witch!) and that sort of thing... but that meant I needed some PEOPLE to spread and share those rumors. So, even though the PCs hadn't yet explored south of the Stag Lord's Keep hex (where they built their capital), I improvised a handful of tiny fishing villages along the Tuskwater and the Candlemere. Yes, the Greenbelt is mostly wilderness, but I figured there might be pockets of people living here and there, just folks looking to lose themselves far away from kings and lords and that kind of thing. It was from one of these little micro-villages that little Tig Tannerson got lost - when the party rescued him, their rumor-mongering in a GOOD way spreads word of mouth around the local yokels that the PCs are helpful folks and people that the locals could support as they continue to expand southwards.

So, think about it that way - your kingdom DOES have lots of tiny villages, just they're little one-horse towns that only show up on a map if you know where to look.

P.S. If you want a method for making forest and swamp and mountain hexes more useful, check out this thread for a possible idea.


Due to the popularity of the Kingdom Rules (Which I love, BTW) why not just release that chapter as a preview for those that haven't bought the AP. As subscriber, I have them already. I know the PDF done by chapter has one chapter with just the rules for the kingdom building.


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Jason Nelson wrote:
P.S. If you want a method for making forest and swamp and mountain hexes more useful, check out this thread for a possible idea

Thanks! That's exactly what is missing from the base rules. It's enough variation without over complicating everything, awesome!

Grand Lodge

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.
I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?


PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?

I think the abstraction here is down to city zoning. BP isn't just "What do we have in the castle vault" it's a representation of the wealth of the entire kingdom. Think of it like you're taking the role of the Leader in a 4X game. Your character is likely only saying "You know, let's build some houses here," but it isn't the kingdom's money being used to buy the materials, pay the workers, etc.

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

9 people marked this as a favorite.
PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?

I think the answer to your question is really a reorientation of your perspective on what the BP economy is about. You are seeing it like "PCs have a sack of resources (BP), and they take out the cash when they want to buy/build something." That is, building a building is like going to the store - you pick out the one you want, you give your money to the person who has the item. They keep the money, you get the item.

Looking at it that way, it does seem odd - why are we "buying" a brothel? Or a tannery? Or a shop? Can't people set up their own businesses? Why should the PCs be paying for the actions of NPCs?

Here's your answer:

When you spend BPs, you aren't spending YOUR resources. You are influencing your citizens (including new citizens you are constantly drawing into your kingdom) to spend THEIR resources.

Let me explain.

BPs aren't money. They aren't even exactly material resources. They INCLUDE money, and material goods, and livestock, and lumber and seed and wheat and plows and wagons, and all the rest. But they also include people. They also include political capital, goodwill, advertising with town criers and recruiters going around and spreading the good name of your kingdom and encouraging people to resettle in your land and bring with them their skills and businesses. They include EVERYTHING that can be considered a useful resource that exists in your kingdom. BPs are the combined wealth and capital, both tangible and intangible, of everyone in the kingdom.

This includes the businesses that NPCs create for themselves. The PCs don't "control" those businesses in a literal in-game sense. They don't buy or sell or control inventory or any other kind of micro-managing tasks. Instead, the expenditure of BP to build, say, a shop, represents dedicating the resources to recruit shopkeepers from elsewhere, to resettle and build their businesses within your kingdom, to transport their goods within your kingdom.

The citizens of your kingdom and their lives and livelihoods and homes and farms and city buildings are both the OUTCOME of BPs, and also the MEANS by which BPs exist. They *are* the resource you are spending.

Just like when you roll up a new character and "spend" your starting money, you aren't going down to the corner store with a sack of loot to buy a suit of armor, a sword, and a backpack. Your "starting money" represents all of the wealth and resources you have accumulated in your life prior to starting your career. In your backstory, your sword was your father's old nicked blade from the Goblin War. In pure game mechanics, you "spent" 20 gp on it, but all that represents is that "20 gp worth of your game mechanical wealth is represented in the form of this sword you possess," not that you literally spent 20 golden coins to get a shrink-wrapped blade at Ye Olde Weapyne Stoere.

BPs are an abstract means of assigning a value to what the PCs control in a game-mechanical sense. Your kingdom encompasses a certain amount of material and immaterial wealth, the vast majority of which is in the form of stuff that your PC's don't actually OWN. BUT, while they don't own it, they as the rulers of this new land, as long as they maintain the goodwill of the people, do get to control it - not on a micromanagement level, but they get to decide, in broad brushstrokes, what the citizenry of the kingdom will do, and where, and when. Found a city, build roads from here to there, plant farms, expand commerce and business opportunities.

I think if you look at BP expenditures as what the leadership of your rulers CAUSE to happen in the kingdom (in month-long increments, remember), rather than a personalized kind of traction the PCs are doing out of their royal checkbook, I think it makes a lot more sense.

Hope this helps.

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

Chris Kenney wrote:
PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?
I think the abstraction here is down to city zoning. BP isn't just "What do we have in the castle vault" it's a representation of the wealth of the entire kingdom. Think of it like you're taking the role of the Leader in a 4X game. Your character is likely only saying "You know, let's build some houses here," but it isn't the kingdom's money being used to buy the materials, pay the workers, etc.

Ninja'ed, and much more succinctly. :)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Daniel Waugh wrote:
The map has 77 hexes on it. Not counting Oleg's, Candlemere Tower and the Stag Lord's fort I come up with 44 plains or hill hexes to put farms in for a total of -88 consumption. Sounds like a lot until you realize the 77 hexes only leaves room for 11 districts in your cities. If my math is right then any non plain or hill hex is a drag on your economy. What exactly do forest hexes do for you? They don't provide hunting, nuts or berries since they have no effect on consumption. They provide no other bonuses that I can see. Am I missing something?

Nope; forest and swamp and mountain hexes are not intended to be really all that great for living in. Sometimes, special hexes have resources or other cool bonuses, but you'll need to build through some empty hexes to get to them. And if you want to build up your total kingdom size, or expand into NEW good ground on the far side of a mountain or forest or swamp, you WILL need to build some hexes through the less-desirable terrain.

In other words, not all hexes are equally good for you. But there ARE more hill and plain hexes in the other three regions still to come.

Daniel Waugh wrote:
Problem two. Stability check is 20+size or a 97 if the entire map is claimed. Without significant city district developement(more than 11 districts) you can't come within 40 of this number so you fail by more than 5 and accumulate 2 unrest per turn. Even with the Royal Assassin in place you can't slow unrest without building additional buildings which you can't because of consumption.

Balancing your kingdom's scores against its size is part of the problem of building a kingdom. Buildings in cities can help a LOT in increasing Stability, Economy, and Loyalty, though. Don't overexpand a kingdom without adding a city or two with some buildings to help boost your kingdom's scores.

Daniel Waugh wrote:

Problem three. Without more than 11 districts you can't build your economy past 60 which leaves you 28 short of an economy roll to get tax money.

So you can't pay consumption, can raise taxes and unrest runs rampant. It seems that the forests not constributing or another way to lower consumption is killing long term growth. If this was a forest kingdom this would come to a head much earlier. Am I wrong?

Again, the actual buildings in your cities are where you need to make up the numbers. (adding roads also helps, as does claiming lairs and resources and landmarks)

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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xorial wrote:
Due to the popularity of the Kingdom Rules (Which I love, BTW) why not just release that chapter as a preview for those that haven't bought the AP. As subscriber, I have them already. I know the PDF done by chapter has one chapter with just the rules for the kingdom building.

Well... if the popularity of the Kingdom Rules helps drive sales of Pathfinder #32 and Kingmaker, why would we want to give it away for free?

And more practically, separating out that chapter, rebuilding it so it makes sense on its own, creating its own PDF, setting it up as a purchase, etc. etc. takes time. We're in Gen Con crunch mode now, working 12 hour days 7 days a week in some cases to get everything to the printer in time and will be for several more weeks. We don't really have the time right now to add new projects, however small they might be. :-P

Paizo Employee Creative Director

PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?

And also... the fun of building a city is something that the players should experience, not the NPCs under the GM's control. THAT'S why it's the ruler's job to pick buildings.

Grand Lodge

Jason Nelson wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?
I think the abstraction here is down to city zoning. BP isn't just "What do we have in the castle vault" it's a representation of the wealth of the entire kingdom. Think of it like you're taking the role of the Leader in a 4X game. Your character is likely only saying "You know, let's build some houses here," but it isn't the kingdom's money being used to buy the materials, pay the workers, etc.

It does but the cost of some of the BP's seemed a little out of whack and I get the abstract of BP's but when the pcs burn their actions ie bps etc some of these don't translate well to actions being used especially since consumption on some of these seem pretty cost prohibitive. Control or command rolls are really gonna suck as the kingdom grows 20 + # of hexes + # of cities! There isn't any skills that give you a bonus or anyhting just straight rolls off of your stat. Hmmm.

Ninja'ed, and much more succinctly. :)

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
PJ wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:
Chris Kenney wrote:
PJ wrote:

First of all Kudos big time to the development team and all contributors of this AP and especially the Kingdom Building rules.

I do have some questions about the city buildings. Why do the rulers really want to build some of the buildings? I see the people going to them for permission to build an Inn,magic shop, etc and maybe even paying for it. It just seems ... like some thing a ruler really not getting involved in. I see planning for the infrastructure of the city, for example, road design building codes,sewer system, plumbing, Defense,
safety -fire etc. It just seems like the pcs would be builing a town hall, city walls, a castle - that would make sense. Why would they pay for the specialist shops? -- They understand the #'s and can # crunch with the best of them. I guess I'll have to come up with more adventures as people flock to their banner, that would reward them with a discount on some of these buildings from people pitching in with their own money and swearing fealty etc. What do you guys think?
I think the abstraction here is down to city zoning. BP isn't just "What do we have in the castle vault" it's a representation of the wealth of the entire kingdom. Think of it like you're taking the role of the Leader in a 4X game. Your character is likely only saying "You know, let's build some houses here," but it isn't the kingdom's money being used to buy the materials, pay the workers, etc.

It does but the cost of some of the BP's seemed a little out of whack and I get the abstract of BP's but when the pcs burn their actions ie bps etc some of these don't translate well to actions being used especially since consumption on some of these seem pretty cost prohibitive. Control or command rolls are really gonna suck as the kingdom grows 20 + # of hexes + # of cities! There isn't any skills that give you a bonus or anyhting just straight rolls off of your stat. Hmmm.

Ninja'ed, and much more succinctly. :)

The kingdom IMC is I think up to around 14 or 15 hexes, but the PCs' stability and economy checks are near-automatic right now. That may change as the kingdom gets bigger and stat mods become less relevant.

If your PCs are worried, build a fortress city - one town hall (+1 Stability/22 BP) and a bunch of half-price watchtowers (+1 stability/3 BP).

Alternatively, they can spend a number of months at a time hunkering down and building the kingdom - if you do nothing but rule for the month, you get +4 to each ruler's contribution. You can also alternate adventuring months (which may want or need to do in response to events) with full-time rulership months.

It's not like the kingdom can't survive gaining a little unrest or failing a check sometimes, as long as you deal with the problem while it's still small. If you let the problem get big, then you've got big trouble, because it's hard to get that genie back in the bottle.

Also, check this: Your PCs shouldn't succeed at all of their rolls all the time!

They should have to make tough choices about which areas to maximize, when to expand, when to consolidate, when to farm, when to build, when to adventure, when to hunker down. That's not a bug, it's a feature!

Let the campaign develop, take time to let them breathe, to sometimes bite off more than they can chew and have to work hard to compensate for it. The game should be a challenge; that's what makes it fun!


Jason Nelson wrote:
Alternatively, they can spend a number of months at a time hunkering down and building the kingdom - if you do nothing but rule for the month, you get +4 to each ruler's contribution. You can also alternate adventuring months (which may want or need to do in response to events) with full-time rulership months.

Is this an artifact of the playtest rules and/or a house rule?

Or just another example of me missing it in print?

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