Making Kingmaker Quests More Meaningful


Kingmaker


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The bottom line is that some quests are silly. 250gp for "Moon Radishes"? Really? Magic items in exchange for killing a boar? Really? When did magic items become that pedestrian? My players are never gonna buy this. They also care a lot more about the story than how much treasure they get.

So, I need ways to motivate them with the story. For some quests (Bandits and Svetlana's Ring) it's built in so no problem. I can work others into PC backgrounds. (I've already done that for Tuskgutter, Falgrim Sneeg and the Kobolds.) But PC backgrounds only go so far. Wanted posters also get boring after about two have been posted. Treasure and monetary reward is a) unrealistic and b) boring for my players.

So, I need ways to introduce these quests to the PCs as they go without it being too obvious and in a way that makes a story. The next part of the AP has some more good examples inside the back cover ("Where's Tig?" and "A Lady's Desire").

Any other good ideas out there that can justify or replace the existing quests?


amnuxoll wrote:

The bottom line is that some quests are silly. 250gp for "Moon Radishes"? Really? Magic items in exchange for killing a boar? Really? When did magic items become that pedestrian? My players are never gonna buy this. They also care a lot more about the story than how much treasure they get.

So, I need ways to motivate them with the story. For some quests (Bandits and Svetlana's Ring) it's built in so no problem. I can work others into PC backgrounds. (I've already done that for Tuskgutter, Falgrim Sneeg and the Kobolds.) But PC backgrounds only go so far. Wanted posters also get boring after about two have been posted. Treasure and monetary reward is a) unrealistic and b) boring for my players.

So, I need ways to introduce these quests to the PCs as they go without it being too obvious and in a way that makes a story. The next part of the AP has some more good examples inside the back cover ("Where's Tig?" and "A Lady's Desire").

Any other good ideas out there that can justify or replace the existing quests?

I had similar thoughts. I can tell you some of what I did though I converted it to Eberron so YMMV.

Oleg and Svetlana keep their ears to the ground for the PCs and deliberately point them towards people/places they think may be of interest to them. It feeds into the rumors table as well. Sometimes what they point them towards turns out to be a big load of nothing. Sometimes it's one of the quests. Svetlana for example found Jhod to be a very odd duck and told the PCs they should go speak to him and see what's up.

Also Oleg's is a big gathering place for hunters so rather than being asked to slay Tuskgutter they hear tall tales from the local hunters who say things like "Ain't NOBODY ever going to get ol' Tuskgutter." As expected the PCs took it as a challenge. Once they bag Tuskgutter the hunters will of course start telling them about all the infamous hunts. Rewards: A lifetime of drinks and meals bought by the hunters. The hunters become contacts of sorts passing info as they themselves also explore the land. The hunters can find things in their travels just like the PCs can and will often pass it along to them aka misc minor magic items. Some of the hunts especially magical beasts will have acquired more interesting loot and store it in their lair. Some monsters can be harvested for body parts. Crackjaw's shell can become an awesome shield for example.

The "posters" are just a fun way to remind them of the quest.

I changed the Bandits quest to only be the important bandits. IE you must kill 6 bandits bearing the Stag Lord's amulet. Gave them a reason to collect the Stag Lord Amulets.

Bokken will not sell the PCs anything until he gets more goodberry wine. Changed fangberries to goodberries. Rewards: Bokken's shop opens up. Bokken takes requests. IE they have their own personal potion maker. Bokken gives them some goodberry wine. Basically a few potions of CLW but in jugs and can get your drunk.

The Tatzylwyrm I kept a wanted creature. It slew and devoured a young boy and injured his mother who tried to save him. Hence killing it is a big deal and Oleg put its head up as a trophy. Everyone pitches in for a monetary reward and the Tatzylwyrm's skin was made into a snazzy vest that could hold a mage armor spell for 24 hours. The wizard really loved that though it's made zero difference in combat so far.

Falgrim Sneeg went from shady mercenary to wanted war criminal and became Dovan (to hide his identity). Also he had to be taken alive for a reward. Kesten taught each of the PCs a combat feat over the course of a week rather than giving them loot they could have easily bought or acquired at the Stag Lord's Keep.

Northern Howls is going to be a trick. The cult that springs up wants the PCs to kill it because they worship the BBEG. For my game it's an Awakened Horrid Wolf that is a natural enemy of the BBEG.

NEW QUEST!
A gnome from House Sivis will supply the PCs with some excellent forgeries but they have to destroy Narthropple's maps without being discovered or physically harming Narthropple. He wants Narthropple disgraced and the maps for himself. Bonus Reward for sabotaging the expedition and forcing Narthropple to head back home.

Troll Blood: Oleg is a war veteran missing his right arm. Bokken thinks he can make a potion that will mimic a regeneration spell. The PCs can hold onto it for themselves or let their good friend Oleg use it. The quest is made complicated by the fact Bokken doesn't know how much blood he'll need. So the more the better! and he can only give it one try.

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amnuxoll wrote:

The bottom line is that some quests are silly. 250gp for "Moon Radishes"? Really? Magic items in exchange for killing a boar? Really? When did magic items become that pedestrian? My players are never gonna buy this. They also care a lot more about the story than how much treasure they get.

So, I need ways to motivate them with the story. For some quests (Bandits and Svetlana's Ring) it's built in so no problem. I can work others into PC backgrounds. (I've already done that for Tuskgutter, Falgrim Sneeg and the Kobolds.) But PC backgrounds only go so far. Wanted posters also get boring after about two have been posted. Treasure and monetary reward is a) unrealistic and b) boring for my players.

So, I need ways to introduce these quests to the PCs as they go without it being too obvious and in a way that makes a story. The next part of the AP has some more good examples inside the back cover ("Where's Tig?" and "A Lady's Desire").

Any other good ideas out there that can justify or replace the existing quests?

Since Kingmaker #1 is the first time we experimented with these types of quest giving mechanics, I certainly HOPE that they start getting better in the adventures to follow.

In any event, the reason I gave them such "high" rewards (like magic items or 250 gp for moon radishes) is because the "standard" player is going to expect rewards of about that level for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level quests. I don't have the luxury of knowing how you run your game or what your players expect, so you should absolutely adjust the quests so that they work for your game.

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I found it to be pretty simple to use items of comparable value. Those seemed less stilted.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

My players, stay out.

Spoiler:

My PCs are giving me endless ideas for story hooks, but mind you, I channeled their backgrounds. I asked them: "Why can't they go home?" I mean if you are going to WILLINGLY go into a barely charted wilderness where every attempt at civilizing has been rebuffed and is filled with bandits and dangerous magical creatures, you have to have something wrong with you enough where this looks like the best option you have (at least, as I see it).

My players reasons: I'm a fugitive from skywatch and now people want me to die to keep silent about what I may know (but I don't know anything) or want to capture me to find out what I know (and still don't anything), I shot a nobleman in the ass while hunting and now I am banished, I slept with a nobleman's wife and now I am kicked out of the paladin order (but is still a paladin).

My plot ideas: a bounty hunter is looking for the fugitive and has 250 gp on him. The noblemen hired a fairly incompotent hunter to take out the two that crossed the nobles. He happens to have magic arrows and a mwk longbow.


I changed the Moon Radish quest as follow:

Upon returning/giving the radish to Svetlana, she gave the player a token reward (10 or 15gp). Then, as she sells her moon radish cake, the player gets a cut of the profit (20gp/week). This will go on until the party gets a total of 250gp or when they start to establish their kingdom.

With regards to bandit quest, I split the quests into 2 parts:
As someone suggested, I made Svetlana very pregnant and give birth right after the player finished ambushing the bandits at Oleg's. They successfully deliver the baby and name the baby. I gave them the XP reward for RP.

The party then go and write a report to the swordlords and suggesting them to send reinforcement to Oleg's. They also send a report right after holding a trial for Kressle (after defeating her bandit camp). The swordlords are impressed with their achievement and send the GP reward of the bandit quest along with Kesten Garess and his warrior.

I thought it works out well for my party. They really thought it was their action that lead to reinforcement of Oleg's. Also, they are thinking of grooming Oleg's and Svetlana's baby to be the heir of their empire.

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James Jacobs wrote:

Since Kingmaker #1 is the first time we experimented with these types of quest giving mechanics, I certainly HOPE that they start getting better in the adventures to follow.

In any event, the reason I gave them such "high" rewards (like magic items or 250 gp for moon radishes) is because the "standard" player is going to expect rewards of about that level for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level quests. I don't have the luxury of knowing how you run your game or what your players expect, so you should absolutely adjust the quests so that they work for your game.

Hey, we have had no complains as players with the quests in my group. We didn't even question the moon radishes thing. We actually wrestled the boar to the ground under a net and brought it back to Oleg's. That was an interesting scene...

We haven't really looked at the wanted posters though. Our DM didn't even mention it until we were over a month in to exploration hunting for bandits.


our group must be crazy as i have chnaged nothing, and just adding a few hooks here n there to background, or if a player has said "this is cool, can we...."


You might make the epic radish quest a minor favor asked after Svetlana learns the party will be passing right by that area, with a more modest payment offered. If the party is of good alignment then a minor quest in an area they'll must pass by might not even see payment requested.

By a remarkable stroke of luck the players arrive just as a band of the kobolds warned of are harvesting the radishes and the kobold's treasure just happens to match the reward originally posted, or that plus any standard kobold treasure.

Jon Brazer Enterprises

thenovalord wrote:
or if a player has said "this is cool, can we...."

What? Your player died in mid-sentence?!? ;)


These are all so neat. I hadn't thought of making these changes as were still several months from playing it but these are great.

Thank you all

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