How to introduce a Money Sink


Advice


I'm DMing a game of kingmaker. I am using the downtime rules. However I am quickly realizing that the player are going to be making a lot of money likely more then the wealth per level. I don't mind that that much but I am given to understand that the game is balanced around wealth = power.

So I am wondering is anyone as any ideas of what I can persuade my players to invest in besides there own personal power. I know the downtime rules mean investing, but in that case it means investing to gain more money. It is kingmaker so there should a lot of things the players might want to get. If any of my players want to weigh in feel free.


Building settlements is very expensive as is maintaining an army later on. encourage kingdom building and most of the money issues should go away.


They are mostly paying for kingdom expensives with Bp. In fact they withdraw Bp sometime to invest in downtime activity.

I guess I could just up the games difficulty level. Or maybe if they would be willing to use the extra wealth to buy consumables. The players might replace the army if they become powerful enough with would not necessarily be a bad thing.


Well if they get too rich have thieves take bite of their wealth. Normally this isn't easy to do against gold the characters have. It can be done against down time activities though.

The Exchange

Encourage them to invest more in infrastructure, defenses, attracting settlers and training troops rather than their pet projects. Having their fine loot isn't going to help tremendously if the enemy forces outnumber their tiny garrisons eighty to one. (A PC party that can - in theory - easily overcome hundreds of soldiers is at a significant disadvantage if they've had to expend travel magic to pop to one fight after another, they've just completed their eleventh sequential encounter in a single day, and the biggest threats on the enemy side finally showed themselves.)


Just don't give out so much treasure during the actual adventuring part of the game (assuming Kingmaker does that).


You could always introduce them to the joys of expensive drinks, fine wines, exotic liqueurs, and mysterious alcoholic beverages from across the sea.
It is important to talk to your players about their wealth, let them know you are running a balanced campaign, they might be willing to live in the fancy inn, eat the rich food, and wear the expensive clothing (including upgrading to rare materials that do not affect power, only weight), to address your concerns. Generally though, GM's interfering with player wealth can lead to real life conflict, the important thing is to talk to your players, if they agree that it would be unbalancing then they might limit their downtime, or find their own hobbies and wealth sinks.

Failing that, there is always pickpockets, you could let them hire a paid (noncombat) servant to clean their things, get them pets to feed and care for, have toll booths on the road (they could go around, but that would slow them down).
If they are crafting, you may want to let them know some materials they require are rare, and so the prices will go up, or the items the party wants to make use the same materials forcing them to choose only a few (by RAW crafting is cheap and easy, but a lot of GMs make quests for materials or otherwise limit crafting to avoid power creep). This is best used with caution, some players make crafting their toons primary function.

There are other options to damage their property, or force them to use more healing than they are equipped for (forcing them to buy wands and potions or kits), but this is a slippery slope towards bad GM interference and a lot of unnecessary conflict.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Meh, if everyone is having fun, let it be. That's the most important part. ;)


When I ran Kingmaker the players had way above WBL and spent the vast majority of it building organizations using the rules in Ultimate Campaign. They had to be reminded to spend money on magic items. They had way under WBL in magic items at all times. If you encourage the roleplaying aspect of the AP the players will be willing to spend on followers and armies. Letting them set up business empires provides a convenient way to reintroduce plots they have avoided and take away money if they have too much WBL invested in magic items.


You're right I'll just see how this goes.

Silver Crusade

Check the forums for house rules as the RAW for Kingmaker create a loophole for insane wealth acquisition through selling of magic items. Otherwise, I wouldn't "scheme" your players with money sinks or try to alter the costs of armies (which are expensive, but generally disbanded quickly).

The Exchange

Say, while we're on the subject - I own Ultimate Campaign but don't have any Kingmaker. I get the impression they used it as a sort of prototype for the rules presented in UC. What sort of changes did they make between the two?


voska66 wrote:
Well if they get too rich have thieves take bite of their wealth. Normally this isn't easy to do against gold the characters have. It can be done against down time activities though.

This is about the worst thing you can do for a money sink in an AP. It's better to just tell the players "You can't have all that. You have to throw it in the river".

The reason it's the worst thing to do is:
The players won't think it's OK to just steal from them, they get offended.
If you steal from them, guess what the rest of the session (and the next session) is gonna be about? It's not the next part of the AP, let me tell you that.

And when they get it back, you're back with the same problem. But this time you're DMing for a group of pissed/paranoid players and a few sessions behind on the derailed AP.

And if you by no means will let them get it back, that's bad DMing. You don't cause the players a problem that you won't let them solve.

Only steal when you want them to follow it up.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Lincoln Hills wrote:
Say, while we're on the subject - I own Ultimate Campaign but don't have any Kingmaker. I get the impression they used it as a sort of prototype for the rules presented in UC. What sort of changes did they make between the two?

I played the first 1.2 modules and have studied Ultimate Campaign thoroughly.

One HUGE difference I noticed is that in the original module's rules, you could sell the magic items randomly generated by your kingdom. In short, unlimited wealth.

In Ultimate Campaign, it specifically says you need to buy said items first (though they are randomly generated by your kingdom, they are not yours).

The biggest wealth-by-level-unbalancer that I've found now, is using the downtime rules to acquire lots of magic capital, then spending that on magic item creation, which basically lets you get magic items at 1/4 market value rather than 1/2, but it takes far more time since you have to generate the magic capital in the first place.


If you have are running kingmaker but you haven't visited the kingmaker part of the forum, you might want to do so as soon as possible.

Now about kingmaker, what you should have done before beggining was to ban the magic item crafting feats (because the AP has pretty much unlimited time between books), do not allow players to convert BPs (from the kingdom) to wealth (for them) and maybe use the UC kingdom building rules instead of those in kingmaker*.

*i say that as a maybe because i haven't really checked the kingdom building rules in UC and it's been quite a while since i was in the kingmaker part of the forum.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
leo1925 wrote:
If you have are running kingmaker but you haven't visited the kingmaker part of the forum, you might want to do so as soon as possible.

This is great advice. I found said forums to be most helpful to me when I was initially learning the Kingdom building rules.

leo1925 wrote:
Now about kingmaker, what you should have done before beginning was to ban the magic item crafting feats (because the AP has pretty much unlimited time between books), do not allow players to convert BPs (from the kingdom) to wealth (for them)...

This...I am not so sure about. Item creation is quite easy to keep under control--simply limit the amount of downtime you give players in between modules. Keep it to one year, or two months, or whatever you are comfortable with. There is absolutely no reason to bring out the ban hammer. As for using BP for personal purposes, that comes with STIFF penalties which can quickly lead to a downward spiral. I think this really helps to keep things in check and to keep it from being abused.


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Have an honest discussion with your players and see what they want to do. Like RD said...

Ravingdork wrote:
Meh, if everyone is having fun, let it be. That's the most important part. ;)


@Ravingdork
I understand what you are saying but the thing is that if you don't give A LOT of downtime between books then your kingdom doesn't really has time to grow and become a large, real looking kingdom.
And about the penalties for drawing BPs from the kingdom, when using the rules on kingdom building, as they are in the kingmaker books, it's really easy at book 3+ to have built your kingdom so well that the penalties, for converting BPs to wealth, to be a non-issue. As i have said i haven't really checked the UC rules on kingdom building so maybe with using those rules there are stiff penalties.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I recommend catching up on the new rules provided in Ultimate Campaign. They are MUCH more balanced than the original Kingmaker rules.


Ravingdork wrote:
I recommend catching up on the new rules provided in Ultimate Campaign. They are MUCH more balanced than the original Kingmaker rules.

Is this going to the OP or me?

The Exchange

One other possibility occurs to me, slightly less likely to raise the PCs' ire than outright theft. If their kingdom is suddenly subject to a widespread natural disaster, such as flooding or a minor earthquake, they may have to re-invest their personal funds back into the kingdom. (As I recall, the rules have occasional results for minor disasters such as building fires, but not bigger stuff.)

If you want to tie it into the AP more closely, leave hints that this "natural" disaster was not-so-natural. Don't leave a full trail of clues - just enough that you can later associate the event with one of the powerful spellcaster villains much later on.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You, Leo, since you seem to keep quoting the older set of rules. Many of the issues you and others bring up, aren't really issues anymore (or are at least smaller issues).


Powergaming DM wrote:

I'm DMing a game of kingmaker. I am using the downtime rules. However I am quickly realizing that the player are going to be making a lot of money likely more then the wealth per level. I don't mind that that much but I am given to understand that the game is balanced around wealth = power.

So I am wondering is anyone as any ideas of what I can persuade my players to invest in besides there own personal power. I know the downtime rules mean investing, but in that case it means investing to gain more money. It is kingmaker so there should a lot of things the players might want to get. If any of my players want to weigh in feel free.

Mechanically there is nothing you can do within the rules. You just need to talk to your players about what they should be spending on the kingdom, rather than on themselves.

You can always alter the rules, so that tax money can only be spent on the kingdom.


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Kimera757 wrote:

Mechanically there is nothing you can do within the rules. You just need to talk to your players about what they should be spending on the kingdom, rather than on themselves.

You can always alter the rules, so that tax money can only be spent on the kingdom.

The other thing to that is that their subjects are likely going to be somewhat unhappy if their taxes are disappearing into the ruler's treasury while they suffer. Throw in some failed crops, starving villages, problems with raiders (many of them scattered around, so the best solution is to pay for more guards to keep them away), scheming underlings, and all kinds of other problems that will take money and/or effort to deal with. As in the real world, those people are going to start expecting to see some kind of services (albeit more aimed at the keeping them safe and alive kind) for their tax money, or they may well start thinking about whether a new choice of ruler is called for.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Isn't the subjects' unhappiness represented by the unrest penalizing pretty much everything kingdom-based?

It seems to me that forcing them to roleplay out riot scenarios and the like is just punishing the PCs further unnecessarily*. It may also lead to horrible situations like the PCs attempting to defend themselves from violent rioters, ultimately leading to a downward spiral of people versus government.

Seems like a good way to kill a game's fun fast.

* It's perfectly okay to describe such things taking place in the background, after all that's what unrest is, I just don't recommend forcing confrontations.


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You want the players (pcs) to have a money sink....make them get spouses.

The money will vanish.


You can buy titles of nobility.
You can give titles instead of some treasure, where the title grants kingdom use only benefits that they want anyway.

/cevah


Hm. Depending on their backstories, you could make it so they have some obligations that require them to send a portion of their fortune home. EX: Sick mother, older brother in a failing business, etc. You could even have them have debt collectors coming after them if they don't want to pay their kin's debts.

Or, more positively, you could have the divines reveal to them that there will be in the future (after they have passed so they cannot just say, "I'll just fight it myself when it gets here") a great disaster or war or pestilance that their saving additional funds for in various forms (extra grainaries, weapons stockpiles, gold reserves, etc.) will tip the balance for their sucessors in their quest for survival in those dark times. Heck, they can even spend more time and capital creating traps and tests to keep bandits and the unworthy out.

Haven't played Kingmaker, so not sure how viable those ideas are... but hope they help.

Sovereign Court

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If they're using the kingdom as a money source, maybe neighbouring nobles will notice, and start coveting that kingdom. After all, it's a profitable possession.

Now the PCs need to start spending more BP on national defense.


Convince them to make a solid platinum gold-plated statue of themselves and put it in the town square? Usually when you get that much money I see people working on their vanity. Time to buy a giant floating keep in the sky and stock it and build your dream house kind of thing.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As Ascalaphus says, basically. Armies are a HUGE drain on a kingdom's treasury (note: whatever consumption the army shows is per week. Multiply by 4 to get the monthly figure). Throwing a few enemy armies at the kingdom will (hopefully) cause them to reevaluate their priorities.

An Orc horde or two will probably do the trick quite well, if you don't have an opposing kingdom to use.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

After looking at the guy's game threads, it looks like the only thing that has happened so far is one player took 2 BP out of the treasury and made a +4 headband with it.

That doesn't seem so bad to me.

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