Just started the Kingmaker adventure path (potential spoilers)


Kingmaker


Not looking for spoilers.

Started off fairly ordinary enough, we get through the introduction, party ends up at Oleg's trading outpost, and we ambush the bandits that show up the next day.

We decide to follow the tracks back to the bandit camp. Once we hit the forest edge, our ranger almost fails the survival roll (pretty high DC i think), barely makes it through with a +10 bonus in total. So we are walking along, and we discover the corpse of a dead animal in a clearing. We go to check it out, and an owl bear jumps the ranger and drops him to -7 hp (apparently it had rolled a 20 on it's stealth check).

Both our wizard and sorc have nothing that can really hurt the owl bear (too high HD), our rogue doesn't want to go near it because he can get one shotted by it and our cavalier only killed it with some lucky rolls and dice fudging by the DM. The final blow was dealt by his horse after the Cavalier had been grappled and dropped to low negatives.

Party has now ended up back at Oleg's with 2 near dead party members and no source of magical healing. Pretty embarrassing since we were only away for a couple of hours.

Just wondering if this is a typical experience in Kingmaker? Is this like the tomb of horrors?


Your DM is just playing hardball. Random encounters all day every day even if you're not exploring a hex.

A nat 20 stealth from an Owlbear is a 17. Easily seen by 1st level players. Again, hardball.


Sounds like a bad random encounter roll. There shouldn't be an owlbear that close to the start otherwise. Normally the first couple books and the beginning of the third are easy because the hexes enforce a slow encounter pace that lets you overpower encounters without worrying about resource limits. That makes it relatively bad for fighters and rogues because they don't have any per diem resources to nova.

There are also very few situations that call for a rogue. Rangers can sneak and cavaliers can talk, leaving the trap handling as exclusive and Kingmaker is about as far from a gygaxian trapfest as it's possible to get.

You've also got redundant arcanists. It's a good AP for casters and you can support the redundancy in a 5 person group, but a witch or divine caster might be nice. You don't appear to have done any party composition planning. It might be a good idea to do some shuffling.


Wait, you mean we are not supposed to roll for random encounters the moment we enter a forest hex?

I guess the owl bear got modifiers for being in the trees. Final DC was 25.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Actually, your DM was doing it right - when you enter a hex is an expected time to roll for random encounters.

And some of the random encounters are extremely deadly. Part of the core experience of Kingmaker is that you can explore any way you want to, and see things in whatever order you happen upon them - and that means that you can encounter stuff way above your level at the beginning.

If your DM is concerned about the lethality of some of the random encounters, he/she can come ask advice on the Kingmaker boards - there are plenty of threads already where folks have discussed some ways for managing that.

For players, the best advice I can give is, at least in the beginning, don't be in too much of a hurry to chase down leads you discover. Take the time to explore the area (and learn the area, plus gain the appropriate treasure and XPs) as you go. Your charter is to explore and map, as well as to wipe out the bandits. And you shouldn't really be on much of a timeline for this - you can take however long you need to.


Question wrote:
Is this like the tomb of horrors?

Kingmaker is nothing like Tomb of Horrors, Jon Snow. Nothing.


We had a near early on TPK when we encountered a single will-o-wisp randomly. It actually kicked off a whole (mostly tongue in cheek) subplot of will-o-wisp eradication.


As an alternative, you could ask your DM to allow Knowledge rolls when you encounter creatures to give an in-game rationale for gauging a creature's relative strength. I'm not surprised to hear about your party having such a tough time with a CR 4 encounter. Kingmaker is about an untamed wilderness and the random encounter lists have some brutally high CR monsters. There are times when you will have to run, but there is no time limit. If you run one day, you can always return later. And no Kingmaker is nothing like TOH, you get savings throws in this one. Sounds just like a few bad rolls and a mistake we've all made at one time, not running when we should have. View it as a learning experience as a player and as a character. The wilds of Golarion are dangerous, tread carefully my friend :)

The Pale :)


Wizard, Sorcerer, Rogue, Ranger, Cavalier.

.

.

I'm going to look at some facts, make some assumptions, and then draw a conclusion:

  • Fact - Your party has minimal access to healing or curative magic.
    (Does the Ranger have spells? If so, he can use a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, and will be able to Remove Disease and Neutralize Poison after 10th level, but not often and with reduced caster level.)

  • Facts & Assumptions - The Wizard & Sorcerer will stay out of melee. The Ranger is built for archery, the Rogue isn't willing to take chances in melee, and the Cavalier will get Ride-By attack in the near future, and will ride past enemies to maximize charge opportunities rather than sticking to enemies in melee.

  • Assumptions - Between your Wizard and Sorcerer, neither has a damaging spell nor a damage dealing 1st level power. They're both committed to various kinds of magic that permit Will saves, making them useless against many categories of enemy.

  • Conclusion - As a group, you did little or no planning, and you have little intent of working together, putting the good of the team ahead of your individual characters.

Please tell me I am wrong!


Scarymike wrote:
We had a near early on TPK when we encountered a single will-o-wisp randomly. It actually kicked off a whole (mostly tongue in cheek) subplot of will-o-wisp eradication.

This is EXACTLY what would happen if it were my group also. I approve this message!


If we ran the ranger would have gotten eaten though :(. He was in negatives during the surprise round.


Blueluck wrote:

Wizard, Sorcerer, Rogue, Ranger, Cavalier.

.

.

I'm going to look at some facts, make some assumptions, and then draw a conclusion:

  • Fact - Your party has minimal access to healing or curative magic.
    (Does the Ranger have spells? If so, he can use a Wand of Cure Light Wounds, and will be able to Remove Disease and Neutralize Poison after 10th level, but not often and with reduced caster level.)

  • Facts & Assumptions - The Wizard & Sorcerer will stay out of melee. The Ranger is built for archery, the Rogue isn't willing to take chances in melee, and the Cavalier will get Ride-By attack in the near future, and will ride past enemies to maximize charge opportunities rather than sticking to enemies in melee.

  • Assumptions - Between your Wizard and Sorcerer, neither has a damaging spell nor a damage dealing 1st level power. They're both committed to various kinds of magic that permit Will saves, making them useless against many categories of enemy.

  • Conclusion - As a group, you did little or no planning, and you have little intent of working together, putting the good of the team ahead of your individual characters.

Please tell me I am wrong!

We just started at level 1. We have no funds for a wand of CLW, although the ranger could use one.

The ranger is...i'm not sure exactly, he used a falchion against the bandits. Probably archery. The rogue didnt do anything in the bandit fight either, so i can't comment. The cavalier seems to have ride by attack already.

The wizard has magic missle. However 1d4+1 would not have helped much against the owl bear, so he elected to run (he was surprised when the cavalier managed to kill it). Sorc was expecting to be able to rely on daze/sleep until level 2 when he could pick up grease, since the player guide mentioned bandits as the main opponent.

We didn't do much planning for an "optimal" party build. Was one required for this adventure path? The general consensus among everyone was "play what you like". It looked like the ranger was going to play a druid though, until the last guy joined with the wizard and he decided to stay a ranger so we wouldn't have too many casters.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

dont optimize please, random encounters go bad sometimes, 5 out 8 times the sorcerer drops him to sleep, and any magic missile is a good one. do try to get a wand or a oracle or druid or cleric or even bard tho that can heal, otherwise wands are your besets friend


Welcome to the Stolen Lands! Now, watch yer step.

Seems as though bad luck played a good role in this one. The Stolen Lands are a dangerous place, and there's a good reason they are still wild. That being said, your DM did it right by rolling for a random encounter, you just got unlucky by a) having it turn up as a random encounter and b) having that encounter be an owlbear.

I wouldn't necessarily worry about the party composition, just keep in mind that a good portion of the party resources will likely go toward wands. As for tactics and what not, I really don't blame the wizard for running from an owlbear. Even with the ranger in the negs, it would have a hard time faulting the party for running away -- even though that almost certainly means a dead ranger. Crit happens.

I would be a tad concerned about the rogue though if he is pretty much avoiding all fights. Its early obviously, but still, the rogue will need to pull his weight and your rogue/ranger/cavalier trio is going to have to find ways to occupy melee monsters or else your party will have a rough go of it.

Best piece of advice: Keep your head up and your eyes open and remember that the wilds can be, well, wild and unpredictable. Not everything you meet is simply waiting for you to kill it and as such, sometimes its better to run and live to fight another day.


The rogue's player is not going to like this, but he and your cavalier are your front line. I am DMing for a similar party - two casters, an archer fighter and two rogue variants (Scout archetype and Ninja). The two rogues carry the brunt of the close combat duty. A Songhealer bard has recently joined the party but that wasn't until they were level 4.

The toughest random encounter they met in book 1 was a CR6, and I gave them every opportunity to avoid the fight, though in the end they went for it and barely won.

Scarab Sages

This AP in the first book has an old school flavor of allowing the explorers to encounter things way above their pay grade that are more than willing to eat them for lunch. In some cases, they are also able to run them down and devour them before they can get away. For instance, 5 trolls at first level or the early mentioned will-o-wisp.

Hopefully your GM is merciful enough to allow any way over-powered encounters to be seen by your group before they see you, barring any silly player choices.


I'm running a KM campaign for a party consisting of a paladin, rogue (spy archetype), halfling magus/monk, and sorcerer (arcane bloodline). At first level, they fought as random encounters an owlbear and a troll (which ambushed them at night, though luckily the rogue spotted it at the last second). These encounters nearly ended them, and they learned that standing and fighting everything wasn't a good idea in this game!

This lesson really came in handy when they squared off against a CR 6 creature at 2nd level and knew right away it wasn't worth trying!

Things can get ugly at points in this AP, but that's the way of a sandbox. Stay smart and don't be afraid to simply live to fight another day!


I've run Kingmaker to the finish.

Firstly, you're going to really suffer without some form of magical healing (not a spoiler, this is true for nearly all the AP's).

Second, there are two rolls for random encounters with each hex.
One when you enter it and another higher one if you state you're exploring the hex rather than just crossing it.

Third, Early on it's better to scout and explore till you're more experienced.
Some things you can handle, some you can't, don't be afraid to back off, or run like crazy if you have to!

DBH

Scarab Sages

If you are a player, horses are the first thing every group should buy, gives you lots more options to run, especially for small races.


Scrogz wrote:
Scarymike wrote:
We had a near early on TPK when we encountered a single will-o-wisp randomly. It actually kicked off a whole (mostly tongue in cheek) subplot of will-o-wisp eradication.
This is EXACTLY what would happen if it were my group also. I approve this message!

Funny, that's what my group is saying about owlbears, except the near-TPK bit. I think they've met 3 or 4, and have been putting them down fairly easily. The cavalier is grumbling about an "infestation," and the working title for the country is "Hootergrad."

And, yes, I agree with the sentiment not to optimize or metagame. Do, however, seek to invest in some healing. My group opted not to take any arcane casters, we'll deal with how that plays out.


I'm not sure why everyone keeps saying "bad luck." They killed an owlbear, and everyone survived! That's a good chunk of XP.

Shadow Lodge

Mostly because it could have very easily gone the other way, with the owlbear wiping the entire party, if the dice had fallen differently.

Also there's a lot of people who run KM who don't use XP, and just level up their players at appropriate plot points. I'm not one of them, but it's a really common recommendation. So all these groups would get from killing an Owlbear at that level is a sense of accomplishment and maybe a small boon like a training bonus on killing magical beasts or harvested fur/feathers with some kind of innate minor magical property that could be useful in crafting. Cool, but not the big chunk of XP a group leveling normally would get.


Simply put you ARE doing it right. You chose to not have a dedicated healer and that is fine. You may not be able to move through encounters like others will tell you is imperative, but this is your game not theirs. You may want to talk to the gm about adjusting some loot here and there to allow more cure potions or some such, but beyo d that, as a gm, I think you are doing fine. It is after all a very dangerous place.


You had a near death experience!
Welcome to the stolen lands ;)

Keep playing, please don't worry about optimizing too much. Have fun, or die trying XD

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