Why be a King?


Kingmaker

Dark Archive

I'm truly enjoying running my Kingmaker AP but I'm expecting to have a few problems working up the players interest in taking the reins of leadership. I know I can simply use the kingdom in the background rules but that kind of defeats the point of running an adventure to build a kingdom.

Mechanically I'm not seeing any rewards for the players to actually take responsibility for the growing realm. Other than being recognized by the populace (which my Rogue player hates) and maybe a free mansion/castle if they burn the build points there's nothing in the rules to really make a group of free wheeling adventurers WANT to settle down and take responsibility for protecting a bunch of farmers/townsmen. Some method of making it in their best interest to sacrifice their time protecting this town as leaders instead of mercenary adventurers would really help me sell it to them. At least as adventurers they get paid and can run away if it gets bad. All the same benefits with none of the headaches and they'll make more cash and grow more powerful FASTER as adventurers. Their needs to be a carrot on this stick big enough to make them want to sacrifice months of their lives here instead of dragon hunting and rolling in the spoils.

The other issue is in the mechanics for rulers. I'm a huge fan of the classic Feudalism setup for RPGS, and my players are going to definitely want their own titles, lands, etc under the PC King... but I'm really not seeing a way to make that work in the rules as their laid out. I've been toying around with the idea of letting the PC KING dole out hexes and titles to each PC and having each one of them run their own little kingmaker setup but I can see that getting complicated REALLY fast.

Also as the rules are written it feels less like a kingdom and more like a council of elders or elected statesmen in charge and I'm just having a problem working it around in my head so the players will feel like Kings, Queens and Great Nobles when half the people they share power with are barely a step up from dirt farmers. The PC's are doing all the dangerous work: claiming land, defeating monsters, protecting the weak, etc. and yet they are mechanically no different from the guy who sits in town and listens to folks complain about the size of the garbage dump.

Not trying to sound like I'm knocking the AP (I'm really enjoying the design) just looking for a little help making it feel more like a medieval world of Kings and Great Adventures and less like the Roman Senate meets C-Span.


My campaign hasn't started yet but here's my opinion:

The PCs will be better mechanically at filling roles than random NPCs. Or if you prefer, why would they get a say on how the kingdom is built if they aren't taking any responsibilities?

There are some roles that do not need to be recognized by the populace(namely the royal assassin).

So you're basically saying that the PCs would rather continue adventuring that build the kingdom..
Why did they accept a charter to build a colony in the first place if they aren't interested in it? I guess the players need to create PCs according to what the AP is about and everything is pretty much there in the Player's Guide.

Stuff happens in the kingdom and the players need to take care of it. Taking the decisions to build things and managing a kingdom takes time. Shouldn't be too hard to convince anyone with item creation feats to take some down time.. so maybe play on that aspect.

As for the titles and lands, it is all fluff. I guess you could attach a noble title to the different jobs in the kingdom and some lesser titles for other folks.

The king has the final say. One PC will feel like a king while the others will be councilmen. I really do not understand what you are saying about the mechanical aspect of it. The players are doing the dangerous work and have the complete control of an entire kingdom.. isn't that enough? I don't see why it should affect their character sheets. How different should they be mechanically?

It is possible to obtain money/items via the kingdom also and only the players are in the position to be able to do it so I guess that should be acknowledged too.

If your players absolutely need some additional candy to persuade them to run the kingdom, use the kingdom in the background rules. Seriously.

Sczarni

I agree with the above.

My players knew this AP was mostly about exploration, city building, and political shenanigans, with the odd dungeon or monster slaying quest tossed in.

That's what sold us all on it, both the players and myself.

If that'd not what they're (or you're ) looking for, the "kingdom in the background " scenario is probably for the best.

This way, they get to be kings, dukes, and the like, but don't have to deal with the bookkeeping and "non adventure time" periods.


For one thing, the PCs DO get mechanical benefits for growing the realm - there's a whole list of different milestones that grant XP upon completion. For another thing, the typical party of heroes (that is, good-aligned PCs) don't get any mechanical benefit from protecting dirt-poor farmers from orcs and goblins, either - it's just what they DO. This represents a different kind of heroism - the kind that involves being responsible, on a regular basis, for the lives of thousands of people.

Now I can see how this might not appeal to non-Lawful types, but at the end of the day, let's not forget that "it's good to be the king." I'm sure that, as a good DM, you're giving your PCs bonuses to diplomacy checks vs. their citizens (assuming they're doing a good job running the kingdom, anyway) as a way of representing their fame and reputation. I'm also sure that, once they've built a temple and made their cities big enough, that local clerics will provide spellcasting services at a discount, or at least without having to be begged/persuaded (it's nice to know that there's a priest back home who will Raise you). And if your PCs are self-centered greedy types, getting to have their own castle (to say nothing of having servants to wait on their every need) would be a pretty big incentive, indeed. And you want to talk about power? How about having the power to raise ARMIES? I mean, that's a pretty significant source of power, I'd say.

At the core of your question, though, is a clue as to where your group gets its most fun - action. "Mechanical benefits" pretty much means "more cool abilities/magic items so I can do more cool stuff." That's perfectly fine - the game can be played different ways for different types of fun - but there's a LOT of stuff that's in the core rulebook that isn't about "mechanical benefits." Naming your character, giving them a physical description, personality traits, etc- none of those things provide "mechanical benefits," but they're there to provide fun ways for people to roleplay. The Kingmaker setting offers up new opportunities for players by giving them a framework for how they could roleplay as important leaders in a kingdom, instead of just the hired swords who come in to wipe out monsters. If your group is more interested in being sellswords, you shouldn't try and force anything on them (nor should you probably expect that every part of the game should necessarily support that style of play). Just pick and choose what you think will allow everyone to have the most fun.

If you want every PC to have a little "slice" of the kingdom, why not just assign each PC a different city to "run?" They get to decide what to build, etc. If there's a competition for access to BP from the treasury, that would give you a great opportunity to re-enact some medieval-style power struggles amongst different factions for the king's favor ("You should give these BP to me because I'm going to use them to build this monument to your greatness." "No, give them to me, because I'll use them to create more markets that will generate wealth for your treasury"). At the end of the day, though, it's probably not a good idea to divide things amongst the PCs - D&D is a collaborative game, and tends to break down when the PCs split up and do their "own thing.

I'm kind of confused as to why you think that the PCs are "mechanically no different from the guy who sits in town and listens to folks complain about the size of the garbage dump." The PCs are mighty warriors who cleave ogres in twain, clerics who raise the dead, rogues who can pick any lock, and wizards who bend the fabric of reality itself. What makes the NPCs so much like them?

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


Mechanically I'm not seeing any rewards for the players to actually take responsibility for the growing realm. Other than being recognized by the populace (which my Rogue player hates) and maybe a free mansion/castle if they burn the build points there's nothing in the rules to really make a group of free wheeling adventurers WANT to settle down and take responsibility for protecting a bunch of farmers/townsmen. Some method of making it in their best interest to sacrifice their time protecting this town as leaders instead of mercenary adventurers would really help me sell it to them. At least as adventurers they get paid and can run away if it gets bad. All the same benefits with none of the headaches and they'll make more cash and grow more powerful FASTER as adventurers. Their needs to be a carrot on this stick big enough to make them want to sacrifice months of their lives here instead of dragon hunting and rolling in the spoils.

The other issue is in the mechanics for rulers. I'm a huge fan of the classic Feudalism setup for RPGS, and my players are going to definitely want their own titles, lands, etc under the PC King... but I'm really not seeing a way to make that work in the rules as their laid out. I've been toying around with the idea of letting the PC KING dole out hexes and titles to each PC and having each one of them run their own little kingmaker setup but I can see that getting complicated REALLY fast.

Also as the rules are written it feels less like a kingdom and more like a council of elders or elected statesmen in charge and I'm just having a problem working it around in my head so the players will feel like Kings, Queens and Great Nobles when half the people they share power with are...


Why be a king? Three words:

Droit de seigneur!


KaeYoss wrote:

Why be a king? Three words:

Droit de seigneur!

Also known as: It's GOOD to be King!


This is why I plan on running this as a Discovery of the New Continent scenario. Because if you don't protect the farmers, you starve.

Dark Archive

I guess I didn’t make my questions clear enough in my haste to post, let me take a moment and clarify it a bit more.

When I spoke of mechanical benefits I only meant game mechanics designed to inspire PC’s to spend their limited time building a kingdom instead of hunting dragons for cash and prizes. In this AP’s rules there is no incentive for PC’s to devote one iota of their time to building a kingdom over regular adventuring. There is actually a disincentive to doing it, namely slower gains, significant loss of wealth (cash, magic items, etc) and less reward for doing standard adventurer actions (defending villages, defeating marauding monsters, etc). Protecting farmers/townsmen from whatever granted potent mechanical benefits for adventurers, namely cash rewards which always improved the PC’s power are now standard responsibilities that at best maintained the tax revenue that PC’s are PENALIZED for using to improve their power.
The rules as written seem to specifically focus on preventing the PC’s from getting any tangible reward from devoting their time and effort to improving the kingdom. It’s understandable from a game perspective that letting the PC’s use the treasury of their nation to fund their mad grabs for “I can beat you all up” power there should be something else to offer a benefit in exchange. My problem is there isn’t, there are no stated benefits to the PC’s (not the players) for their altruism. No roleplaying benefits, no combat benefits not even any defined social benefits. If I can’t reward my players for putting their PC’s lives on the line for building this kingdom with cash and gear I would like to at least give them some roleplaying perks to play with and I don’t have any. There aren't even any rules to handle how the kingdom rulers are housed, fed, addressed or recognized. Now I can make up all kinds of things for this I’d just like to have some basis of comparison to work with.

I know my players, straight hack and slash games bore them, and the city building aspect can (and will) be dumped off to a spreadsheet to optimize that part so this part of kingmaker will take 5minutes a session. They will want to spend their game time answering duels, backstabbing rival Noble houses, building trading houses/criminal empires with the regular “adventure” thrown in to keep it spicy. This is the part I’m looking for guidance with. I can easily foresee my players spending whole sessions of time never leaving one of the cities (their class choices warned me of that, rogue, swashbuckler, monk and noble) and as written I will have to wing everything on this side of the game. The rules for powerful warriors carving the land into their own huge backyards full of people and towns is great but what about the rules for managing and interacting with those towns and people as members of nobility or outright Monarchs? Also the basis of this game has always defaulted to a feudalism scenario and all other choices being a modification but there is nothing here that remotely addresses that. A king is a good start but what about the Dukes & Earls, the Counts and Viscounts or any of a thousand other landed nobility types?
With the sheer size of the kingmaker world (144,000 square miles) there is literally no way to handle the management of all this land without some hierarchical structure with the king at the top or an obscene amount of magic. Anything to address that would be highly appreciated.

My statement about the PC’s being no better than dirt farming NPC’s comes from the fact that there are 11 defined leadership rules 2/3rd of them designed to be filled with NPC’s and their being no actual difference between any of them save where their ability bonus goes. The PLAYERS have de facto control over everything that happens in the kingdom, the PC’s sit at the table with the dirt farmers who only have the high power jobs they do because the PC’s risked their lives to give it to them. The actual leadership positions really have no hierarchal differences between them except for the ruler who doesn’t need any of them. With the release of the Kingdom at War rules they become even less important since NONE of them impact those rules. Even the General role has no job in mass combat and really needs to be replaced by anyone else (General role adds STR/chr bonus but actual General in the mass combat rules only uses Charisma so the best role of real general isn’t filled by the leadership role).

I’m really just trying to get some of those fluff rules fleshed out so I can use them as the rewards my RolePlaying players deserve, something to make this Kingmaker game about being Kings. Deciding whether to build a tavern in town X is a merchants job not a Noble’s. It's supposed to be good to be the King but if the King can't touch the treasury without risking his kingdom or summarily have a nuisance who is denigrating the highest noble in the lands hung for treason then I'm going to need something I can offer them to take up such a freedom restricting job. When not adventuring I want my players to focus their time on building up their noble houses, strengthening their royal standing, defending against rivals, handling Politics, responding to kingdom affecting challenges and setting up dynasties that last for ages. These are the rules and style of play I’m looking for help on, anything else and we’ll just hit it with a battleaxe and loot the corpses.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:


stuff

There is an option to have the kingdom in the background. It sounds like this is the option you want, as it allows the PCs to do all the adventuring stuff without worrying much about the kingdom.

Three things, though.

1) Adventure Paths have limitations. There is no way for the authors of an AP to customize the entrance so that every PC has the perfect reason for being there. That's part of your job as the DM. The AP is called "Kingmaker," not "Mercenary Adventurers Beat Up More Monsters With No Storyline."

2) Adventure Paths have limitations. There is no way for the authors of this AP to customize rules to cover the things you mention. There are dozens of supplements out that cover the things you want in detail. Those are not going to be rewritten by the authors for the benefit of the AP, especially if you consider that each volume is $20. Heck, I've got "A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe" sitting on my bookshelf, and it listed for $27. Add in something like the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, more adventures involving backstabbing nobles, and a couple suppplements detailing mass combat . . . well, Paizo isn't in the business of losing money. The AP works well as is. If you want more detail, see point #3.

3) Adventure Paths have limitations. If you want all those details, look around on the forum. Lots of people have additional rules and ideas.

Sczarni

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I’m really just trying to get some of those fluff rules fleshed out so I can use them as the rewards my RolePlaying players deserve, something to make this Kingmaker game about being Kings. Deciding whether to build a tavern in town X is a merchants job not a Noble’s. It's supposed to be good to be the King but if the King can't touch the treasury without risking his kingdom or summarily have a nuisance who is denigrating the highest noble in the lands hung for treason then I'm going to need something I can offer them to take up such a freedom restricting job. When not adventuring I want my players to focus their time on building up their noble houses, strengthening their royal standing, defending against rivals, handling Politics, responding to kingdom affecting challenges and setting up dynasties that last for ages. These are the rules and style of play I’m looking for help on, anything else and we’ll just hit it with a battleaxe and loot the corpses.

Ok...here's where you lost me...

"fluff rules" comes from you. The AP gives you the skeleton to say, get a city running, or calculate how many people take up an army.

it does not provide contingencies for things like "How do the peasants react to the King exercising his right to Primer Nocta" or "What will the courtiers do when smarmy Baron d'Ouche gets beheaded for mouthing off?"

Those kind of things are 1: not really factored into the AP because the default kind of ruler doesn't abuse his subjects and power, 2: impossible to account for on the wide scale.

If you want specific privileges and powers for your PC's to obtain, you're going to have to come up with some. Seeing as how you know about the period you're shooting for, why not dig up some real life examples of noble "rights" and run with them.

IMO, the setup implies that 1: if the PC's DON'T make this city, there won't really be any place to buy/trade gear/magic items in any reasonable distance, 2: the few people in the Stolen Lands will have no incentive to trade with them, and 3: as a "Wilderness Exploration" type of AP, resources will be an issue (maybe not for the PC's with Survival, Create Food spells, and the like, but for those commoners/experts you're supposed to be able to get things from).


In our campaign, we have the opposite problem, we have 3 characters who my want to be the king/Queen, how does it work out when 3 are good candidates, who does it go too?
I believe that this is a bigger issue....but thats just our group.


Malthir Al Dagon wrote:

In our campaign, we have the opposite problem, we have 3 characters who my want to be the king/Queen, how does it work out when 3 are good candidates, who does it go too?

I believe that this is a bigger issue....but thats just our group.

One room (20x20), one half brick in a sock. Last man standing is king.

I don't get how you people don't know the first thing about monarchy.


There's only one solution to that...

Spoiler:
Jello Wrestling. :P


Why be king?

It's good to be the king.


Malthir Al Dagon wrote:

In our campaign, we have the opposite problem, we have 3 characters who my want to be the king/Queen, how does it work out when 3 are good candidates, who does it go too?

I believe that this is a bigger issue....but thats just our group.

The players get to decide that. You give them problems, they come up with solutions. I would come up with ways of dealing with them deciding on some kind of power share though, since players seem likely to go that way. Perhaps they have a governing tribunal, and you get rid of some of the traditional roles. For instance, you could combine Ruler, Councilor, and Grand Diplomat together into 1 identical role with 3 seats. Any King's edict gets transfered to a vote needing 2/3rds.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
lots of stuff

Mathwei, there are no rules because the designers have no way to know how your players will want to build their cities. Its up to the GM to respond to what his players want.

As far as being penalized for staying still and not adventuring, that is entirely a matter of style of play. Lots of GMs have large ammounts of downtime in their games, and many people do not like how the PCs are on the fast track to power. This slows them down to a sane but fun rate that works really well.

They don't have rules for handling other monarchs, or trade, or anything else. Its not a part of the story that they can predit at all. In fact, they assume that these other kings wont even care about you and your little kingdom, since that is the way the area of their world works. I recomend you pick up the Guide to the River Kingdoms if you haven't already. It will give you a good idea of the area your PCs are in and the general attitude of the people. The area currently has no other nobles for 100 miles, unless players make them. Its unclaimed lands, and you have the charter by the king. If you notice, in books 4 and 5 the others in the area get jealous, while your sponsor backs away and forgets about you because of the massive political infighting. Those are the other nobles in the area. If you want to work Minov in for more, or rivals from Brevoy, that is up to you to add.

Yes, your PCs will have just as much affect on the kingdom as anyone else they decide put in a position of power. They can also choose to remove those people from power. The leadership positions have no difference between them because its assumed that most of the council will be friendly to whatever ideas the PCs put forth. They also say that if the PCs put someone in a position of power that is not friendly to them, they should cause them issues. For instance, the treasurer could imbezzle money and cause the treasury to disappear without the PCs noticing, and you can tell them that they don't have BP to do something they planned on. The Councilor can promise citizens things that he knows wont be upheld, creating outraged citizens and raising unrest. Pretty much every position has a way of being poorly performed.

The AP has significant ammounts of XP reserved for ideas the GM has. Random encounters are only 1 way of providing this XP. If you have a good idea for something the players will like, throw it at them. Thats the way this was designed.


I am going to start running Kingmaker as soon as my current DM completes the Council of Thieves AP, and I have already had everyone looking through the Player's Guide and thinking about what kind of player that they want to run in it. I made it clear to them that they need to make characters with dispositions and personalities that would make them WANT to run a kingdom and do it well. You should make that clear to the player's from the get-go so that later on you don't have a player who is like, "I can't see why my character would ever want to be in charge or bound by the duties of leadership since he is so chaotic neutral and therefore free spirited, so I am just not going to help the other players." Just make sure your characters start off with the intention and ambition to settle this land and carve out a fledgling kingdom, otherwise they would have never been hired for the task.

Sovereign Court

Malthir Al Dagon wrote:

In our campaign, we have the opposite problem, we have 3 characters who my want to be the king/Queen, how does it work out when 3 are good candidates, who does it go too?

I believe that this is a bigger issue....but thats just our group.

To be fair I believe Casimir would accept being Grand Diplomat if necessary, and I don't see it as a problem, more opportunity for RP :)

Threadjack over...


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Have you gotten to the point where the characters start taking on leadership roles? Have you talked to your players about this?

I suspect when it comes to it, the players will create a structure for themselves. I ran a year long political LARP and I was amazed at how they quickly found ways to create a balance of power. If the players want an absolute monarch, they can make one. Just because the President has a Secretary of Defense, doesn't make the President a less powerful position.

If the players put NPCs in charge, or even just lame ones, there is a whole thread detailing ideas about just that. Have the merchants complain when you make the dirt farmer into the minister of finance. If your players really want to have someone paying them to do everything, bring in some noble from Brevoy to be the Baron/King. But I suspect they will enjoy being in control of their own domain.

There are lots of ways to reward the players. If they are good rulers, they won't need a bonus to diplomacy vs their subjects, as the people's attitudes will generally be friendly and helpful already. If you really want give them a bonus of 1/2 the kingdom's loyalty to diplomacy vs their own subjects. Include the unrest penalty though. Have people name their children after their characters. Have monuments and shrines named after them. Perhaps a farmer brings some of their choicest crops as gifts. The high priest of the newly built temple might come by to bless the characters (and maybe their gear.) Be creative and respond to the player's interests.

In the end, it is up to the GM to tailor things to react to their players. Are your players really too impatient to spend 15 minutes working on their kingdom between adventures? It is easy for a few months to pass in a short amount of time, and get back to adventuring quickly in real life time.

I myself usually set up an online medium to run in-between game stuff on a forum/wave/wiki/etc. I'm not running Kingmaker at the moment, but my players built a storefront in Sigil. They've hired NPC's (and a retired PC sorcerer) to manage the sale of goods between adventures. To keep the face to face time about adventuring all the buying and selling of loot happens on a forum between games. They post stuff they plan on selling, then I spend a half hour before game doing the math and give them a total. Kingmaker has a little more bookkeeping than that, although others have already made spreadsheets to make that easier.


The Ruling player in our game simply turned the entire building and expansion programme over to the player who is the General with the assent of everyone else..it means I can handle things by email while we play some Exalted and some Pendragon.

The Exchange

From a player standpoint, our GM was clear what the campaign would be like from the outset. Without giving us any spoilers that weren't obvious (such as one of us becoming the King of a nation) he said that it would be a lot of exploration, city building, and a fair amount of social interaction, as well as the normal dungeons, monster slayings, et cetera.

With that in mind, we all made characters who would have reason to be interested in at least one of those aspects. We've got myself playing a Gnome sorcerer who is already very full of himself and just naturally curious, and my characters' uncle is played by another player, and his character is motivated by greed for money and power. We've got a half-orc ranger with a vendetta against Fey, a Cleric of Abadar determined to tame the wild lands, and a fighter who's desperately trying to grow out of mercenary work and other dirty odd jobs.

If your players aren't the type who are interested in doing something like running a kingdom, I can't see why running Kingmaker would appeal to you. You might run some filler material and wait for Serpents Skull?

If the players are interested but they made characters who wouldn't be, you might ask them to re-evaluate and adjust them so that it meshes well. I've always asked my players to limit themselves to character concepts that work well with the group and with the campaign concept, and I think that's a totally fair request for the GM to make.

Some players feel entitled to play whatever concept they want.
Player: Alright, my character is a LN Cleric of Asmodeus. He's a member of one of the many temples, does work in the courts as a judge, and is a personal friend of Mayor Arvanxi.
DM: But...this is Council of Thieves. The whole point is to rebel and try to over throw the evil rulers of the city.
Player: YOU'RE OPPRESSING ME LET ME PLAY THE CONCEPT I WANT!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The game mastery guide introduces a nifty idea for NPCs Boons, basically special favors individual NPCs can sometimes do for PCs if they're on really good terms. These can include temporary bonuses to skill checks, discounts on items, among other favors. Perhaps you could extend these for a king assuming he's well-liked. The Game mastery guide has a list of boons for the different NPC archetypes as samples. Perhaps they might be willing to go a little bit more out of the way for their king?

Or another option would be to give out he Stronghold feat (from the 3.0 Stronghold Builder's Guide) for free, or maybe a bonus to the Leadership score, depending on how well the king is doing as a leader.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
w0nkothesane wrote:

If your players aren't the type who are interested in doing something like running a kingdom, I can't see why running Kingmaker would appeal to you. You might run some filler material and wait for Serpents Skull?

If the players are interested but they made characters who wouldn't be, you might ask them to re-evaluate and adjust them so that it meshes well. I've always asked my players to limit themselves to character concepts that work well with the group and with the campaign concept, and I think that's a totally fair request for the GM to make.

+ a ton.

I've been DMing for the same core group of guys since 1990 (a few have come and a few have left), and this has never been a problem. I have a few "house rules" and since the days of the Shackled City AP in Dungeon magazine, my 1st three have remained the same, Kingmaker Houserules. Thank goodness my guys take the general ones to heart, and have a "cooperate and graduate" attitude. Doesn't mean there isn't some intra-party conflict but it is keep under control. It also means that they actively work with me to get things done. Now, they have taken some interesting twists and turns, but they come back in to the "main plot" in time.

-- david
Papa.DRB


My group have just received the Stag Lord Charter so now know what direction the campaign is taking. Barely 5 minutes had gone by before we had a split in the party along Monarchy v Parliament lines with religion thrown into the mix - I think Paizo missed a trick on not putting in rules for Civil War lol

On a more serious note - I've told my players that their personal actions will dictate the type of Kingdom they end up with - so if they are mean & nasty then they will attract mean and nasty settlers or v.v.


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I'm truly enjoying running my Kingmaker AP but I'm expecting to have a few problems working up the players interest in taking the reins of leadership. I know I can simply use the kingdom in the background rules but that kind of defeats the point of running an adventure to build a kingdom.

My best suggestion is to say to the players “I want to run a game called Kingmaker” and then let them come up with reasons why there characters would want to rule a kingdom.

If they either can’t or won’t then let a NPC be in charge and send them on missions or just play a different game.

Liberty's Edge

DOWN WITH DESPOTS !

VIVA LA REVOLUCION !

See all the good it did to our marvelous country, taste the freedom of thought and marvelous right to kill anyboday you don't like.

Remember :

Guillotine for One, Freedom for all !

Sovereign Court

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:

I guess I didn’t make my questions clear enough in my haste to post, let me take a moment and clarify it a bit more.

When I spoke of mechanical benefits I only meant game mechanics designed to inspire PC’s to spend their limited time building a kingdom instead of hunting dragons for cash and prizes. In this AP’s rules there is no incentive for PC’s to devote one iota of their time to building a kingdom over regular adventuring. There is actually a disincentive to doing it, namely slower gains, significant loss of wealth (cash, magic items, etc) and less reward for doing standard adventurer actions (defending villages, defeating marauding monsters, etc). Protecting farmers/townsmen from whatever granted potent mechanical benefits for adventurers, namely cash rewards which always improved the PC’s power are now standard responsibilities that at best maintained the tax revenue that PC’s are PENALIZED for using to improve their power.
The rules as written seem to specifically focus on preventing the PC’s from getting any tangible reward from devoting their time and effort to improving the kingdom. It’s understandable from a game perspective that letting the PC’s use the treasury of their nation to fund their mad grabs for “I can beat you all up” power there should be something else to offer a benefit in exchange. My problem is there isn’t, there are no stated benefits to the PC’s (not the players) for their altruism. No roleplaying benefits, no combat benefits not even any defined social benefits. If I can’t reward my players for putting their PC’s lives on the line for building this kingdom with cash and gear I would like to at least give them some roleplaying perks to play with and I don’t have any. There aren't even any rules to handle how the kingdom rulers are housed, fed, addressed or recognized. Now I can make up all kinds of things for this I’d just like to have some basis of comparison to work with.

I know my players, straight hack and slash games bore them, and the city...

What you are asking for here isn't Kingmaker: it's Birthright.

Your PCs are going to spend this adventure building a nation from the ground up, not smarming around an elaboratley established society full of obsolete rituals.

Duels, power struggles, noble houses... Maybe your follow-up homebrew where the players control the great-great grandchildren of their Kingmaker NPCs is what you're looking for.

and as for this...

"There aren't even any rules to handle how the kingdom rulers are housed, fed, addressed or recognized."

They started the kingdom, they choose where they live, what they're called and how other people bow to them. The PCs get to choose. Which is awesome.


Quote:
They will want to spend their game time answering duels, backstabbing rival Noble houses, building trading houses/criminal empires with the regular “adventure” thrown in to keep it spicy. This is the part I’m looking for guidance with.

There is some of this in there, but a lot of it isn't well-developed.

For example, Blood for Blood has a noble family that has established a neighboring barony, but which has severe internal conflicts, &c. Perhaps you could increase the size of this family, or introduce them sooner. For example, maybe there is a minor branch of the family that tries to establish influence or holdings in the PCs' kingdom, so that when the PCs finally confront their neighbors, it's more satisfying.

Or perhaps more aristocrats or merchants from Pitax try to establish some influence.

It seems like it would be easy to have a wave of minor petty nobles from Brevoy, or mercantile establishments, migrate into the PCs' holdings and establish the kinds of mercantile and feudal conflicts your players seem to enjoy. Have a session building the kingdom up over a few months, and then go into the rivalries.

As far as establishing feudal domains, perhaps each player could become the Lord Mayor of a separate village? That would give them their own domain of influence, while working to build up the kingdom as a whole. I don't know how feasible that is, on the whole.


therealthom wrote:

Why be king?

It's good to be the king

hump or death?
hump or death?


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:
Malthir Al Dagon wrote:

In our campaign, we have the opposite problem, we have 3 characters who my want to be the king/Queen, how does it work out when 3 are good candidates, who does it go too?

I believe that this is a bigger issue....but thats just our group.

One room (20x20), one half brick in a sock. Last man standing is king.

I don't get how you people don't know the first thing about monarchy.

Studied a lot of European medieval history, have we?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:

Why be a king? Three words:

Droit de seigneur!

My character's noble born. He's a cleric/ranger/fighter trained in a Restovian war college. He worships Erastil and is strong on principle, community and selflessness. He also expects others to pull their weight. I'd say he's being groomed for leadership. What will be funny will be if others see their characters along similar lines.


therealthom wrote:

Why be king?

It's good to be the king.

Weird but true..that line has a direct connection to my tabletop game of Kingmaker.The Actress who played the queen in that segment of 'History of the World" is the cousin of the Player who is the Ruler of our Kingdom

Sovereign Court

KaeYoss wrote:

Why be a king? Three words:

Droit de seigneur!

I think you mean : "Droit de cuissage" :)

Dark Archive

Ahh.... Birthright was an awesome setting, it did have everything I enjoyed the most about noble type games. Working those rules into the Pathfinder systems (with much streamlining with an axe) would definitely give my players the kind of world they'd enjoy.

I see now I was just expecting too much from an AP but that's why I came to the forums to ask the questions I did and got the answer I needed. However you now have given me a task that will take forever, pruning the old Birthright setting and the new d20 Birthright setting, into a workable system that works with the Pathfinder: Kingmaker setting.

Curse you, Curse you all for putting this bug into my brain!!!

Sovereign Court

Try Birthright.net. They had done a lot of work to convert Birthright to 3.X


If you want ideas on running sub-kingdoms, check out the kingdom rules in the old D&D Companion set/Rules Cyclopedia.

One of our players is buying the Kingmaker AP material as it comes out to run as future campaign (we are doing Pathfinder in Eberron currently).

I have always looked forward to reforging the link to the PC heroes influencing/controlling the fortunes of kingdoms (original concepts took commander figures from table top wargames off to adventure and potentially be more powerful commanders in the next battle).

There are sooo many points of interest for players I don't know where to start - developing own thieves guild, your own sub-branch of a knight order, a wizards tower!

I always thought the discussions about balancing power missed the point that while wizards got raw power to blow stuff up, fighters could create armies, clerics could gather a fervent horde, thieves could develop all sorts of capabilities for espionage - that is the balance of power!

PC's want power - well my army of ten thousand might be a tad better than your single +5 longsword :-)


The PC in my campaign who became the ruler was motivated by race. He is a Half Elf, and realized that by taking the role of ruler, the kingdom of Tenaria (the PC's kingdom) would be the only kingdom in the world with a half elven royal family. He had other motivations as well, but the weight of history strengthens his resolve and his commitment to the kingdom's success.

Dark Archive

Doug's Workshop wrote:


1) Adventure Paths have limitations. There is no way for the authors of an AP to customize the entrance so that every PC has the perfect reason for being there. That's part of your job as the DM. The AP is called "Kingmaker," not "Mercenary Adventurers Beat Up More Monsters With No Storyline."

Can't you take it up a level though? Once you have a kingdom then you can have kingdom level encounters where your kingdom beats up other Kingdoms for stuff. So unite those bandit groups and do what barbarian hordes do. There is a known weak Kingdom right next door, ripe for the taking, name of Brevoy...


Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
I'm truly enjoying running my Kingmaker AP but I'm expecting to have a few problems working up the players interest in taking the reins of leadership...

I feel your frustration. As I said before, the lack of connection between Dungeons&Delvers and Sim Kingdom parts of Kingmaker is THE main flaw of this AP. Or, I should better say, the lack of positive reinforcement. Strictly speaking, there is a connection, it just manifests as sinking resources into your kingdom for no meaningful return.

Bleh, if I'm ever to run Kingmaker, I'll cut all the loot from people who have no freaking business carrying magical bling, like bandits, local trolls and whatever. PCs will receive most of their income from tithing population and will not get much in the way of valuable trophies until looting the pseudo-lich tomb. PCs income from running a kingdom will also be slightly higher than WBL suggests for their levels.


When you're in a position of power, people seek you out to give you cool stuff, it's not all responsibility.

1. Kewl gifts of tribute!
2. All the bumper you can handle!
3. Willing goons who will go throw their lives away against your enemies!

Most of the problem is DMs that don't want their PCs to really have any power, so despite being kings or whatnot they totally make it an onerous burden. A little of that is fine in its turn but compared to being a random sellsword it's a sweet deal.

[Edit: Oh, also usually the Man is always taxing you, charging you with crimes, and generally dicking with you. Becoming in charge yourself is a welcome respite. Basically you don't need some big ass Birthright ruleset, just make being little guy suck and big guy rule. Since that's the way it works in the real world, it should not be all that hard.]

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