kingdom builder questions and ideas


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


so im starting a new kingdom builder campaign with some buddies. and i have alot of ideas that seem like theyd be good ones. but im not entirely sure so i figured why not open it up to discussion to veteran players and what not. lol.

idea number 1, is using the undead, specifically skeletons, as a labor force. the idea behind this is that they can work the fields, build buildings, mine mines, and the living population doesnt need to do this. allowing them to focus on educating themselves in one of the academies (magic military or normal), produce trade goods, pursue other more prosperous and lucrative occupations. already have several ideas on how to get bodies without raiding graveyards and killing people to raise them. but im just wondering how effective a strategy this would be?

idea 2 is making like 500 cauldrons of plenty. did the math, 500 cauldrons of plenty will effectively feed 18000 people a day. and while im not entirely sure what the population would be for each size of city but i figure any but the 2 largest types of city would have 10k people or less. so any city like that would be eating well off of just the cauldrons. i thought this up as a way to remove the need for a bunch of farms. but again not really sure how effective this strategy would be in practice.

idea 3 is golem army. im aware that crafting them will be costly. but an army of 100 clay golems is a cr 10 army and i have the impossible sorcerer bloodline. the idea behind this is a front line thatll just stomp things while the seige and ranged armies bombard the battlefield without harming our own troops. same as will the last 2 ideas, lol not sure how effective the strategy would be in practice.

so thoughts? questions? comments? critique? i wanna hear here it all. the kingdom im making is going to be a mageocrisy btw.


Re: Undead (my houserule)

I can't remember the exact mechanics but I used some similar to the fatigue rules to simulate damage to undead. Basically they could do no more work than a humanoid. If they were pushed further then they suffered damage until they broke at 0HP/


thats a good way to do that. ill have to run that by my gm. tho a decent work around is the bloody skeleton. cant be permanently destroyed except by positive energy. of course those would really only be suitable for mining if anything. but the two people in my kingdom with me and myself want to shy away from using them militarily. thats a slippery slope. we want to use them in a utilitarian fashion. the soul no longer occupies the vessel but the body can still help provide for our people. itd be volentary for the population. when someone dies either their family would decide weather to burn the body or donate it to the empire, or the person who died would have already signed a contract with the empire to donate their body. those who didnt sign it would have their corpses burned. this is purely meant to improve and enrich the lives of the population of my kingdom, even if it is an evil act raising the dead. but in practice would it work that way? is it possible to use a skeletal labor force in place of a living one so the living can focus on other jobs. would that effect the stability, economy, or loyalty of my kingdom?


Ummm....don't these spells have time limits?


not that im seeing. the animate dead spell says that the dead remain animated till they are destroyed.

the cauldron of plenty is a wondrous item. and says this: This enchanted iron pot can produce nourishing, simple fare sufficient to feed up to 36 people per day upon command. Once per week it can also be commanded to create a heroes' feast for up to 12 people. The cauldron needs neither fire nor ingredients to produce food; it does so instantly upon command.

and the clay golems are well.....golems. they can stick around for hundreds of years if left undestroyed and undisturbed.


Hmm, what about the number of undead controlled per caster? You'd need a number of dedicated casters to maintain them on a day to day basis, though if it's a mageocracy I suppose you'd have plenty (though remember the whole no. of undead per caster level plus the higher the caster level, the more powerful the mage).

You'd also probably want to be careful you don't have enemy clerics sneaking in and mass destroying them by channeling positive energy (as it affects areas).


well we're starting at level 10 and are gestalt. so he's gonna have cl 10. and the animate dead limit is Regardless of the type of undead you create with this spell, you can't create more HD of undead than twice your caster level with a single casting of animate dead. The desecrate spell doubles this limit. im not sure if that means he can only control so many no matter how many times he casts the spell. or if he can control an exponential amount of undead with each casting. tho if i were gonna take a guess itd be the first one. but regardless thats still 20 1 hd skeletons. 40 1/2 hd, which is most likely since they wont be used for combat. and im sure there are ways to control more undead at a time. god knows there are plenty of necromancers who raise hoards of undead.

as for the clerics and paladins coming in and destroying them en mass. well by the time we do this we will declare independence from the country we will be starting in and the law of the land will be that undead are property of the state. in which case they will be breaking the law by destroying them and subject to punishment, probably a fine something like 150 gp per skeleton destroyed. more than enough to cover the cost of replacing them. and like i said i have plenty of ideas to have plenty of bodies. and there is always the cauldron of the dead if all else fails.

edit: upon rereading the animate dead spell it also says this: he undead you create remain under your control indefinitely. No matter how many times you use this spell, however, you can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If you exceed this number, all the newly created creatures fall under your control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. You choose which creatures are released. Undead you control through the Command Undead feat do not count toward this limit.

so at 1/2 hd that is 80 skeletons, or 40 1 hd skeletons.


500 cauldrons of plenty would cost 7.5 million gold pieces. (Also, it would take one wizard over 20 years to make that many.) For that much cash, you could establish a kingdom of over 20,000 square miles, with a hundred or so farms spread over the countryside, and a handful of large cities with inns, castles, museums, villas, etc. The kingdom would be fully fed by its farms, even if it had 5 cities of 10,000 people each, and another 25,000 people spread in little hamlets and villages over the countryside. (Based on some rough math using the kingdom builder rules) Or, you could have less than a quarter of that population of well-fed people camping in the undeveloped wilderness with a bunch of cauldrons.

In short, magic items are a really inefficient way to feed a kingdom.


The other reason that people don't like undead, is per designer but not always raw not only are they inherently evil but if left unattended or you lose control they go and slaughter anything they can see.


well as far as the undead go. thats why they are going to be 1/2 hd. even commoners can kill them if it comes to that. but it shouldnt because the town guard should be more than capable of dealing with something like that. also its just losing control from what i can see. unattended undead will do the job its given untill control is lost. so the necromancer in control could say go to sleep or go on an adventure and as long as he doesnt die or is not forced to do something that would cause him to lose control of the undead he's raised so far, everything would be fine. and we're a chaotic neutral kingdom. so good, evil, neither really matter all that much. people put too much emphasis on those alignments anyways.

as far as the cauldrons go. i understand what your sayin about them being an inefficient way to feed a kingdom. tho you are wrong about the price. its be 3,750,000gp. not that that is enough of a difference in cost to make it worth it. as far as it taking a wizard 20 years.....seriously? because my lvl 8 wizard cohort is going to be able to make harder things faster in 2 lvls. let alone a lvl 12 gestalt sorc with the impossible bloodline. did you just pick out an arbitrary outrageous number or do you have some reason to believe itd take 20 years for that? ((not that im going to do it anymore anyways your right the cost is too high for the idea to really be worth anything.))


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Step 1: Purchase Ultimate Rulership from Legendary Games.
Step 2:

Deathless Laborers (2 BP per building or 10 BP per hex):
While incapable of skilled labor, mindless undead created
with animate dead are utterly tireless in performing simple,
repetitive tasks. Animated skeletons and zombies can be
created and tasked to perform such simple labor, increasing
economic productivity but making the general populace
nervous about the possibility of the undead breaking loose
and going on a rampage against the living.

(Actual mechanics snipped because Step 1 is important.)

Step 3: ???
Step 4: Profit!


that would be awesome. but 1 no third party stuff in this campaign and 2 i dont think anyone in the group is willing or able to buy it. there is a reason we play pathfinder. lol. all the stuff is up online for free. but that deathless laborers thing is pretty much what im thinking.


Jasper Foust wrote:
as far as the cauldrons go. i understand what your sayin about them being an inefficient way to feed a kingdom. tho you are wrong about the price. its be 3,750,000gp. not that that is enough of a difference in cost to make it worth it. as far as it taking a wizard 20 years.....seriously? because my lvl 8 wizard cohort is going to be able to make harder things faster in 2 lvls. let alone a lvl 12 gestalt sorc with the impossible bloodline. did you just pick out an arbitrary outrageous number or do you have some reason to believe itd take 20 years for that? ((not that im going to do it anymore anyways your right the cost is too high for the idea to really be worth anything.))

The reason for my figure was the part in the "Magic Item Creation" section where it says "Creating an item requires 8 hours of work per 1,000 gp in the item's base price" and "The caster can work for up to 8 hours each day. He cannot rush the process by working longer each day."

7500000 base price (not crafting cost)/1000=7500 days
7500 days/365 = 20.55 years

(Yes, there are a number of ways to reduce the number, you can probably get it down to probably around 5 years (assuming no vacations or weekends) with the right combination of feats / items / archetypes / discoveries, but the number was neither arbitrary, nor any more outrageous than the gp cost.) I assumed that you weren't crafting them yourself, and therefore would pay the purchase price rather than the crafting cost, because I didn't figure you'd be taking the time to do the crafting yourself.


1) You need people to control them, otherwise they go wild.

2) The cost is prohibitive, and inneffective. People would attempt to rob the cauldroms to sell to another kingdom. Farms are far cheaper and you can build them almost anywhere.

3) Again, the cost is too high recruit, and high to maintain. A CR 10 creature (x100) would be an ACR 10 army, which would cost 10 BP a week to maintain on the field, or 10 BP a month while stationary. It's strong, but overkill for most conflicts, and you lack diversity on the numbers.
They would probably have a bunch of special abilities, but also many disabilities (morale can go both ways).
The cost to "build" them is very high (2,150,000 gp), you would do better recruiting people.
Since the system has no building that can readily craft them, we would have to build them outside the system, which would cost the equivalent to 430 BP if we assume that each BP equals 5,000 gp. While you could recruit 53 armies of 2,000 soldiers each (about 106,000 soldiers) with that amount of gold.


yes the cauldron plan was ill considered i admit. and while i would be crafting them myself along with the help of a cohort and likely one or two other people ((3 players in my kingdom with me as the ruler and each of the other two as leadership roles)) even with that reducing the time it would take to craft them the cost is as shadowkras said prohibitive and ineffective. i was just looking for a way to replace the farm in order to build other buildings. but oh well no big loss it was just a thought. thank you, those of you who did, for talking me out of trying it.

as for the golem army i am pretty set on that. they will likely be stone golems so they dont have the berzerk possibility. but just as effective and easier to come by the materials as my kingdom is based in a mountainous area. i agree it is expensive. but i have can up to 6 armies according to the sheet i downloaded. and i intend on having a large empire uniting many countries under a single banner so the bp cost of having them stationary or in the field shouldnt be too much of a problem. of course this is not something i will be doing immediately. itll take time to build up the proper resources to even attempt such a thing. and there is infact a system to build golems.

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/building-and-modifying-constructs

and while the cost to make them will be extremely high they will not be me only army. 1 army of 100 clay or stone golems. im probably going to try for stone but will likely settle for clay if i must. and then 2 ranged armies one of bows the other of mages trained at my magical academy. a third for siege. likely a magical siege army with siege wizards and what not. and then 2 armies of just normal troops. likely at least one of elves considering the country i am in is currently ruled by elves and so i assume they make up a large portion of the population. but also likely one of humans. so that makes up for some nice diversity in my military. an army of 100 stone golems would just add some overkill. which is kind of the point. i want my armies to be intimidating. i want to march them up to a city and ask them to surrender and have them do so. and there are other players with other kingdoms in the game. if it comes to fighting them i want a trump card to win. 100 stone golems could stomp a great many armies into the ground and ranged will be ineffective against them at best. this is a high level gestalt game so we'll be gaining a pretty large amount of loot. and im willing to invest in a trump card like an army of golems. so unless anyone can give me a really good reason not to, which i do kind of hope someone can because regardless of the cost, the time itll take is something that will be a little iffy. but something im willing to deal with. but i really want one, ((partially for roleplay purposes)) so im likely going to do it unless there is a good reason not to.

as far as the undead go. my one necromancer alone can control 80 1/2 hd skeletons at a time. we will have cohorts and followers. im not worried about having people to control them. dont need hundreds of undead. just enough to negate the need for people to do the mining and building and maybe some of the farming.

oh and bodhranist sorry for saying the time it would take that you stated was arbitrary. it just seemed like kind of a ridiculously high number. lol.


Jasper Foust wrote:
oh and bodhranist sorry for saying the time it would take that you stated was arbitrary. it just seemed like kind of a ridiculously high number. lol.

Thanks, dude! No worries! It does sound like a fun idea for a game - hope it goes well and everyone has fun.

Also, I'd second the recommendation for Ultimate Rulership. It's 'third party' in that Paizo didn't publish it, but it's by one of Paizo's writers, and it does add in some interesting stuff and smooth out a couple of rough edges that the kingdom building rules left in.


yeah. ive heard about ultimate rulership. id like to get it myself. but well the gm has already said no third party stuff. and while as far as third party goes this is about the least of it id guess. i dont think that its gonna happen. i dont think it helps that the reason most of us play pathfinder is because its free and the srd is easy to use and what not. we are using ultimate campaign at least so at least its not basic kingmaker kingdom building which from what i understand kinda sucks. so there is that at least. but it does seem to leave alot out. i dont think they took the magic system into account when creating it. and while the gm has said that the undead workers wont really provide much of a benefit to me. they wont provide any minus's either ((personally id go something like -2 stability +2 production +2 econ or something.)) but for any job they are doing i dont need to pay the workers. and for mining jobs id say workers that i dont have to pay and that arnt going to be killed doing it is worth it.

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