Waterways: Making Waves In The River Kingdoms

Pathfinder Online

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I looked, but couldn't find a thread dedicated to discussing one of the most interesting (and most definitely not MVP) aspects of Pathfinder Online: The potential for river-based combat.

Keep in mind that this is a more long-term discussion. Obviously most of this stuff would be totally unavailable a while after EE.

Things to discuss:

  • Ships? Swimming?

  • Bridges? A buildable structure? Tolls? Embargoes?

  • Pirates? Kobolds (said to live nearby rivers most of the time!)? Naval battles?

  • Easy transportation for lumber companies? Ferries?
  • Rivers can be awful big. I think they merit their very own thread.

    Goblin Squad Member


    I think we needn't focus on the "if" considering how far it would be, but rather on the "what" we want to see if it does.

    Goblin Squad Member

    There was a discussion about ships/boats and another stuff river related several months back. Don't remember the name of the thread though.

    It came down to being a possible addon but not until well after OE starts.

    Goblin Squad Member

    which is what we already said :I

    Unfortunately, searching "river" understandably turns up very little. I went with "water", and found nothing. Since the thread didn't exist to bump, I decided to make my own. If you can turn up the original thread, however, I'd be happy to move to that one.

    Goblin Squad Member

    It wasn't its own thread. It was within multiple threads.

    Goblin Squad Member

    The UNC has mentioned something somewhere, or maybe it was just our forums, concerning boat trading and river "activities" and such. I am not sure how much people want to discuss considering it is definitely post OE and a distant way off. I think that once we get into EE and get to play and see how the game evolves, we can start to look into the water aspects of the game. I think for now, just requesting the use of ships/rafts as a mode of transportation and goods trading will be an obvious direction to go.

    Yeah, I think the best place to start is rafts. No need for interior designs, simple models--all that's left is the "easy" task of making them function properly. Rafts are enough for people to transport goods, fight, and drown. I'd say that's enough for something soon after OE.

    I'd disagree over whether people like to discuss things a far way off. If I had a Goblin Ball for every post-OE object people have spend lots of time arguing over, I'd have...well, a bunch of nothing, since that name ain't sticking around, but whatever.

    Goblin Squad Member

    You did it on here. But yes.

    Goblin Squad Member

    not rafts. barges. barges.

    Goblin Squad Member

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    I think balk haulage is the biggest factor here depending on how deep the River Sellen is? Not sure what measurements they use in Golarion, but tons are in order via shipping.

    If you were able to set up trading routes between settlement docks, how would an enemy company or settlement be able to counter that? Would rivers and lakes just end up being a chaotic scene of pirates and traders?

    Goblin Squad Member

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    The "hideout" system. A bandit group establishes a "hideout" that reaches into the river. This will drop the barge out of "water speed" and allow the bandits to launch (procedural generated/hideout based?) raiding boats to intercept the barge. Otherwise, the sea routes are safe from bandits. Simple, effective, and efficient/meshing with the current system(s)

    If you are talking about specifically the River Kingdoms then Tolls are against the River Freedoms. Embargoes could simply be done though by funding pirates.

    Goblin Squad Member

    @Aaron: Not everyone follows the river freedoms, friend. In fact I suspect it is going to be common to ignore those freedoms...

    Goblin Squad Member

    BrotherZael wrote:
    @Aaron: Not everyone follows the river freedoms, friend. In fact I suspect it is going to be common to ignore those freedoms...

    Yes, and woe to those who do ignore the River Freedoms.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Tell it to the hellknights, friend

    People are free to ignore the Freedoms, sure. They're just gonna get their asses kicked.

    Goblin Squad Member

    I think Swimming could be a pretty important skill to have if used correctly.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Beleriand wrote:
    If you were able to set up trading routes between settlement docks, how would an enemy company or settlement be able to counter that? Would rivers and lakes just end up being a chaotic scene of pirates and traders?

    You make this sound like it would be a bad thing. I could only hope that this will be something down the road for PFO.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Possibly river-traffic for a larger map hence scaling up operations and battles for longer journeys and larger trade routes where slower but larger passage accumulates over distance.

    It sure would be interesting to see a race between merchants and the folk trying to force an embargo on the area. How would such a race be handled? Profession (sailor)? ;P

    Goblin Squad Member

    I was just thinking, they could do this in two steps (thinking more along sea going vessels).

    The first phase, they could treat ship combats sort of like a lobby - building a ship requires so much resources, and a sufficient crew to run, and can haul so much cargo or other players. When you set sail, you decide if your doing transport or raiding.

    Then you get put into a system queue that runs some statistical tests between ships, comparing ship speed, time of day, viability, sailor skills, location, and so forth (supposedly similar to the caravan fast travel set up). The result is mostly binary, either the transport ship escapes any interception or is blocked by the raiding ship.

    If the raiding ship succeeds, an 'instance' is launched that spawns a map with combatants on appropriate ships and conditions. From there, raiders can forfeit and allow passage, issue SAD on opposing ship, or pillage until one side is dead. Then the winning side divies up resources and loot, burns or captures the other ship, and then exits at a port on land.

    This system minimizes the need to make a whole setup of ship mechanics for navigation, and server space for waterways, at least in the short term.

    Goblin Squad Member

    instancing/theme-parking is kind of against the spirit of the sandbox.

    I think it should be like caravans, just boats should be VERY VERY expensive (and equally hard to sink, if able to be sink) as well as having need for docks and certain skill levels.

    Goblin Squad Member

    I'm actually hopeful that most of the "Theme Park Elements" in PFO are instanced.

    Goblin Squad Member

    well those are the "theme-parked" elements. I don't think river travel should be theme-parked or instanced is all.

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    If PFO can get the physics of things like barges right, I think combat on them would be a lot of fun. After all, too many people on board and you tip the boat.

    The trick is, though, that the race itself is kinda hard to pull off. How do you decide who wins the race? Do you make a way for people to row, or use poles and punting? Is the boat's speed determined by statistics like feats and stuff?

    Personally, I'd kinda like there to be feats that allow for faster boat travel. It would provide a whole new profession. Need someone to get your goods across/down a big river? Worried about pirates/enemy troops? Hire a good boatman!

    Goblin Squad Member

    For Barges to be an effective economic unit, then there needs to be skills/feats associated with it. Not everyone should be able to buy a boat, and not everyone should be able to pilot it. This is going to be a faster, more cost-effective method of transporting goods, and generally will be much faster than land caravans.

    It is, in effect, a specialty and should be treated as one.

    Goblin Squad Member

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    If there is travel and combat on rivers or other bodies of water, there should be many different skills associated with this system.

    Crafting, Combat, Trade, Movement, Control (Sailing), Swimming, etc.

    This would likely be a part if a major expansion, obviously not something we see in EE.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Yes. Whatever the devs come out with for rivers should be added later. possibly much later, when there is more than one river.

    Wait, this isn't gonna be in the first month of Early Enrollment? Game ruined. Goodbye. #WasteOfTime #KoboldsRights #FML #YOLO

    Here's what I'm thinking: Barges are a tool, like mounts and weapons (perhaps released alongside mounts, in fact). There are a couple steps I foresee to getting quality aquatic transport:

    First, the quality of the barge matters, as lesser barges are easily destroyed, maneuver poorly, and can't carry as many passengers/phatlutes. You must find a skilled craftsman (as Bluddwolf mentioned), who must obviously obtain quality lumber. Crafting the boat is highly expensive and probably requires both a settlement and time.

    Second, the quality of the guy using the sailor matters. I already went over this, of course. Because good boats are hard to get ahold of, good ferrymen will be even rarer. Entire Chartered Companies could be formed around organizing and protecting these crucial individuals.

    What I believe we'd need in the eventual boat release:
    Boat crafting (and, for pirates, "un-crafting")
    Boat-steering feat things
    Swimming and boating mechanics
    A system for paying for passage!

    Incidentally, I'm reminded of a passage from a novel I once read stating that pirates consider it bad luck to know how to swim, as when the matter inevitably comes up and people point you out as the only guy who can swim after escapees, you're gonna die. ;D

    Goblin Squad Member


    You are also missing out on a few things:

    Settlement positioning
    A Dock Building
    Dock Crafting
    Dock Tiers
    Boat Launch system
    Boat Dock system


    I don't know that quality docks are really a priority, actually. I mean, let's come at this from two angles.

    First, realism. In real life, as long as the dock ain't s#$!, it'll do. Heck, barges and canoes don't even need that much.

    Second, gameplay. While it might add something to require a settlement to worry about having a really good dock, it also makes boating even less convenient, since suddenly you have to worry about which settlements you're even able to visit. It doesn't really ruin gameplay, but does it add anything? Just having the dock should be enough.

    I'd say just make docks one of the simpler structures a settlement can build and leave it at that. Giving docks tiers just seems needlessly complicated, and unrealistic, to boot.

    On an unrelated note, it did just occur to me that the location of water might be something to consider. I mean, will there be many real rivers/lakes at EE? If not, either the existing map has to have rivers inserted(clearly ridiculous) or the original areas just have to remain landlocked, which seems like a bit of a shame.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Dock tiers = bigger docks. bigger docks = bigger barges.

    whether or not they are "nice" doesn't matter. They just need to exist. which I am pretty sure they don't.

    They released the map.

    Also totally related

    Big docks makes a bit more sense, though I do have to wonder whether there will be enough barges to justify. I guess in a "shipyards" capacity, really.

    What do you mean about "whether they are nice", though? What is "they"?

    Also, mind linking me to the map? I haven't been able to locate it.

    Goblin Squad Member

    Here you go

    Goblin Squad Member

    With a place called "The River Kingdoms" I don't think you have to worry too much about there being a lot of rivers.

    Awesome. I wonder how they'll handle rivers at first, though? Will they be shallow? Impassable?

    EDIT: Also, it looks like the map will not include any rivers at the start, save one to the left side. It's a very small selection of the River Kingdoms, after all.

    Goblin Squad Member

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    Here's the link to Harad's astounding work on the map as we've learned it so far. You'll see the starting EE area has no rivers, so we won't have to be concerned Day One.

    Goblin Squad Member

    yep. Shouldn't be until after OE that they will get implemented I imagine.

    The sad thing about this is a good number of early settlements won't have water access even after rivers get released, of course. ;D

    Also, there may not be rivers, but there are a couple pretty big lakes.

    Goblin Squad Member

    That is a problem I thought I brought up earlier. But yes.


    Dock PoI?

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