Kingmaker at higher levels


OK, I've got a party of noble brats who have been cheerfully solving problems for their country for the last few levels. They've caught wind of a variety of "Dark clouds on the horizons" foreshadowing doom and gloom for their island kingdom, but they're still fighting to hold things together. While there is a slight chance that they'll manage to stem the tide (I'll give them the chance, but it'll be hard), the more likely result is that they'll end up in a fighting retreat and end up getting sent ahead as scouts to find someplace for the refugees to set up camp. How well they do with this (along with some choices they make in the sessions between now and then) would determine how much resources they have to start off a new kingdom with.

I'd already more or less planned this much when I got the chance to flip through Kingmaker. I rather like the story arc, and frankly I could use some help on plot and stuff to flesh out setting up a kingdom. Unfortunatly, Kingmaker starts off at 1st. My general thought was to have them arrive in port and get recruited as per the Kingmaker story arc, with the added complication of having two groups to please: The Sword lord patrons on one side that want a stable ally in the region, and the groups of refugees coming in on the other that want to set up shop and work on figuring out how to reclaim their island.

From the swordlords point of view, this brings two additional parties into the already volatile mix, along with an already simmering war.

1) Does anyone have any resources for "boosting" Kingmaker up by a few levels? I realize I could simply jump to part 3, but I'd rather not skip on plot elements in the first two.

2) I'm tempted to run the first two modules on "slow" progression, as there's enough new things with getting a kingdom up and running, that they won't mind slowing down the pace of level ups at all. That way While the first two modules might be leveled up considerably, the 3rd will be only somewhat, and then the remaining ones as printed.

3) Any ideas that come to mind with this interesting conjunctions of plot?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

2. sounds like a fantastic idea.

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

My advice on Kingmaker -

1) Due to the sandbox nature of Kingmaker, you can drop almost any encounter or adventure into it. The adventure path advises against placing a time constraint as months or years could pass as the PCs plan their community or take the time to explore.

You could easily drop in other adventures like the Emerald Spire, or develop your own encounters.


The higher level battle with Pittax has some clumsiness that could be fixed. At one point an army of trolls marches against the PC kingdom. Against a standard militia, they would be tough. Against a murderhobo party above 10th level, not so much. Sure, there's lots of trolls. The PCs have lots of options to control the battlefield, divine the enemy long before it is seen, and mow down trolls long before they could even step inside the borders of the PCs kingdom.
I suggest having a Pittax band of murderhobos with the trolls as military advisors of sorts (at a level or two lower than the PCs). This makes the threat something that the PCs need a militia with them to deal with, and they need to be with the militia to avoid having the Pittax advisors destroying the PC's army.

Then there's also the problem of "Where did they come from, and where will they go?" The prosperous trader nation on an island sounds like a great fit for Absalom.

I think I'll probably use that little island to the NW of Absalom - Escadar. I can dream up political (and crisis) to keep the Absalomians from interfering. If the invaders that are pushing them out are from Cheliax, they could be intent on establishing an outpost to maneuouver around the Andorans.

So our intrepid heroes can flee NW to Almas and be recruited there with the intent on establishing a frontier kingdom in what I'll deem to be untamed and/or dangerous lands between Almas and Cassomir.

On the other hand, I'm tempted to have Eastward be the direction of flight, and have them end up being recruited to civilize the lands between the frontiers of Taldor and Qadira. The description of Qadira explicitly states that there's a lot of ruins and breeding grounds for dangerous monsters in the area. And that doesn't (potentially) require erasing a major city from the map. :)

Sounds like Kingmaker will be all but unrecognizeable by the time I'm done with it.

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

I agree Zitchas. If you change the location of Kingmaker, you deal with different political entities. Thus, the central concept of Kingmaker could be preserved, the political groundwork would be very different.

The problem is that there aren't many unbordered, open lands in the Inner Sea. This doesn't mean you could not use a variation of Kingmaker, it would likely become "build a colony or settlement for an established nation" rather than "we are crazy enough to give you a blank check to build your own empire".

Just to give a bit more info on the plot arc as it stands so far:

While we're currently running some homemade stuff running around the island dealing with minor problems (sabotage, kidnapping whole villages, a raider camp) we're going to be culminating with the "Tower of the Last Baron" and it's sequel "Chimera Cove". These are transplanted from the Andoran/Cheliax frontier, and are being framed as the culminating elements of what's going on on the island - Cheliax trying to take it over. The two modules give a lot of flexibility to work with, and, if the PCs take advantage of them, will end up with them controlling a number of large, but slow ships, as well as a smaller and faster one, and a port that is personally friendly to them.

When they return to the capital, arriving about the same time as the army that was off dealing with the renegade Baron, they'll find that a Cheliax force has already stormed the docks and taken a small portion of the lower city, and more ships are arriving. The leadership of the kingdom (who have been giving the PCs orders up to this point) will be sending the PCs with refugees away from the city in hopes of getting them to safety. Safety, in this case, in the form of whatever ships they've secured on the opposite side of the island.

This provides the lead-in for them needing to find somewhere to settle these people and try to build up resources to take back their island. These refugees will be following in much slower ships, probably overloaded. So the PCs have a few weeks, potentially even a month or two before the first refugees arrive.

I'd need to do a bit more research, but both the Andoran/Taldor border and the Taldor/Qadira border seem like they could have similar sorts of political conflict.

I think I'll go with the Taldor/Qadira one. Between the description of the border being rife with ruins and monsters, Taldor being a decaying empire rife with internal conflict, and a history of conflict, Qadira seems like a very reasonable alternate sponsor interested in establishing a city-state or mini kingdom to guard its Northern Frontier.

Liberty's Edge

I once mastered a Kingmaker game with a MUCH higher level... maybe you can get ideas from there.
Corsario's Kingmaker

Ooh, Thanks! That looks great!

You wouldn't happen to have behind-the-scenes notes on how you prepared the encounters, would you?

Liberty's Edge

Basically I "re imagined" the encounters creating enough enemies to make a challenge.
Whatever I wrote down, and planned, is HERE
I am glad you can use it.

Corsario wrote:

Basically I "re imagined" the encounters creating enough enemies to make a challenge.

Whatever I wrote down, and planned, is HERE
I am glad you can use it.

Hi Corsario. Could you please, post it again?. pretty please, with a cherry on top...


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