Requesting advice / ideas from fellow GMs


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Greetings all,

I have a rather interesting issue to deal with for my Kingmaker campaign. But before I can get to the actual question/request, I have to explain the context.

To keep the long story short, in my campaign, the storylines revolve around how the world had suffered world-changing events that wiped out the majority of the races but there were plans put into place that would allow for a large number of individuals from a group of several different intelligent races to "survive" and "awaken" to "start over again" after the damage to the world was naturally repaired.

Fast forward nearly a 1000 years after the last "awakening" and we arrive to the current game year in the campaign where the player characters are building quite the robust kingdom and investigating every ruins they find as it may unlock additional secrets. I am running the campaign in a way that it has the feel of playing a fantasy rpg video-game. So naturally, I incorporated different portions of various systems (i.e., Tome of Battle and the prestige points/fame introduced by Paizo) for a PFRPG-based gameplay.

Because I want to give my players more options for how to spend their BP, I said that whenever they "unlocked" a new area or discovered pieces of lore from previous civilizations, they can spend BP to "unlock" specializations or benefits for the kingdom.

My question/request is this: in regards to magic, my players want their kingdom to research types of magic and perhaps unlock specializations in magic. On an individual-basis, it's not a problem, but for spending BP, what kind of kingdom benefits and drawbacks can you think of and what would be the BP cost?

For example, if they wanted the magical academies and universities they built on Candlemere Isle (which is the centre of very power ley lines) to focus their research into healing magics (such as discovering a means to improve arcane healing), what kind of game benefits/drawbacks would you devise and more importantly, how would you implement the game mechanics (i.e., prestige class, new army boons for an arcane spellcasting unit to have the Healing boon, a bonus to Stability checks, and so forth) to represent those benefits/drawbacks?

I already have some ideas but I also want to benefit from the experiences and insights that other GMS may have as well. I am certain that I will be able to implement some of your ideas, :)


CB out

First off: Sounds like a cool campaign concept, so kudos!

As for your question, I think it might depend upon what exactly the party/kingdom is doing with the specializations. Are they researching healing magic so that they can add a healer or two to each army unit? If so, that might increase stability (harder to revolt) but might also create more unrest (the lords are tightening our nooses even more and ignoring the plight of the common man just to build a more powerful army!)

On the other hand, are they trying to find a way to bring arcane healing to the common masses? If so, then I think you are likely to see an increase in stability and a decrease in unrest. On the flip side, if they are simply researching magic specializations in order to make specific members of the council more powerful (i.e. the Magister wants to do the research in order to get a boon that makes him more powerful -- defined as a spell, feat, whatever in game terms) then I could see the common people objecting to that particular expenditure. Stability decreases, unrest increases.

As for actual cost of said research in BP terms though, I'll be honest, not really sure. Certainly it would seem to be more than just adding a new building though. I would probably try to gauge it on what you have been charging for other similar research. Just keep in mind, magical research is likely to be pretty expensive. Just researching spells, etc., would be expensive and if you are dedicating BP (which includes personnel) then you are looking not just at the bare reagents and the like but also people, who would need food, place to stay, laboratories, etc.

The drawback to arcane looking into divine magics would be the relationship between the religions/faiths and temples in the kingdom and the arcane school.

The island itself a powerful ley line may even be claimed by elves or druids who believe such an area is theirs!

They are looking, at first, to ensure that every citizen has access to a healing potion or basic level of healing care against severe injuries.

The reason why they are considering research in arcane healing is because there are no gods in the campaign, only empyreal lords and since it has only been a 1000 years since the last "awakening," the churches are not massive, opulent cathedrals nor do the organized religions have access to lots of funds. It's mostly nature worship and small shrines to various empyreal and elemental lords. Only the capital cities in each nation has actual temples.

What this means is that the druid, cleric, wizard, and sorcerer base classes are only available for npcs (so magic for pcs is restricted to 6th level spells). I intentionally did that because it made sense in-game and plus the pcs are mythic, ;)

CB out.

The isle was home to a cult dedicated to Hastur in ages past. So there are ruins with secrets left behind by such crazies, but for now, the group has built a settlement there with caster towers and universities, etc. to focus on magical research there and how to utilize the ley lines there to increase the magical knowledge of the kingdom.

CB out.

First off I love the crap out of this idea. I think the biggest thing with this is to keep the bonuses they receive either very minor or fairly rare. Also, look at making some of those secrets need not just BP but also time to fully unlock. Or have some of it be like gated by time unlocks.

Might be a lot of crazy book keeping but has some great possibilities.

One of the things I have been thinking about for this experiment is the discovery of a new base class for the kingdom. For example, as I mentioned above, the PCs are thinking about new ways for the kingdom to have access to healing magic. Since clerical magic itself is restricted to npcs (and the number of said clerics is much lower), they want to research arcane healing magic. An idea here is that spending 1d2 BP into research unlocks 1 level of the white necromancer class (by Kobold Press) or perhaps 1 level of the ghustil prestige class (from Dungeon Magazine #100, on the Polyhedron side, page 15; in this case, it is a variant that taps into the fey magic of the First World). Each progressive level requires another 1d2 BP investment, representing further research in a new field of magic.

While the PCs cannot benefit from it directly (except for the prestige class), unlocking does mean they can build army units composed of white necromancers (who can learn the Healing boon) and the settlement where they unlocked this new class gains a benefit based on how many levels were unlocked. For example, at 5 levels, the expertise and skill level of the white necromancers in that settlement are great enough that the settlement gains therapeutic settlement quality; at 10 levels, the settlement gains a variant of the holy site settlement quality, and so forth. It could also mean that the cost of healing-based spells and items are reduced but the cost of any non-healing necromancy-based spells and items are increased by a similar amount.

These are some of the thoughts that I have been tinkering with. By all means, please continue sharing your thoughts and ideas, :)

CB out.

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