How have you used Brevoy?


Kingmaker


In vanilla Kingmaker, Brevoy mostly moves offscreen by the end of book 2 or so, with a couple possibilities for action after the module is over. But there are possibilities up there, particularly considering the amount of real estate given to the Houses in the Kingmaker players guide.

Here's how I've used Brevoy:

* My players got caught up in some of the internal Brevoy politics when they pressed the Swordlords for independence. Among other things, Noleski Surtova was nearly assassinated in their capital.

* The Black Prince, a vilderavn, tried to draw the players' kingdom into Brevoy politics to destroy their kingdom and wreak vengeance after the PCs double-crossed him.

* The Black Prince has engineered a coup in Brevoy and is the mover behind a civil war. He currently holds one of the PCs councilors hostage, and Akiros Ismort pledged service to the black prince to secure the release of his wife's (an NPC paladin) soul. Several important NPCs (including Jhod Kavken) have set out to rescue the councilor. They're offscreen now, functioning as Heroes of Another Story.

What is Brevoy in your campaign?


They met Brevoy politics at the beginning of their Kingdom, and become partially involved with some of the Great Houses.

They have found a "creative solution" to Lady Donatra Kerelov problem... making her ask Asylum to the Garress and not in their own Kingdom.

In the next session the Alchemist/Treasurer is going to marry Valentyna Garess,Kesten's syster. The wedding will take place in the Garess capital.


I used the "players have to make alliances and enemies for their initial BP" option, which tied them to some of the Great Houses (and pissed off others).

Around RRR, they came into conflict with a nobleman ally of the Regent, who was really a fey bogeyman in disguise, which was a side plot tied to one character's backstory. During that time they attended a royal ball in New Stetven to confront the nobleman.

Before VV, the Regent forced Restov to cut ties with the PC kingdom, as per the book, but as they had diplomatic treaties with Restov that actually affected their kingdom numbers. And they had a pretty close relationship with the Swordlords, so communication had to be conducted via backchannels after that. Which came up a lot in VV as the Swordlords kept trying to get the players to wipe out the Nomen and the players kept trying to broker a compromise.

Before BFB, a Baron from Brevoy who was close to the Regent approached the PC kingdom and asked them to swear fealty to the Throne and be formally incorporated into Brevoy. The players demurred. They spent some time trying to find the missing Rogarvians to steam what seemed like an imminent civil war in Brevoy, but didn't get far. Then after Fort Drelev's initial invasion, before the players had a chance to strike back, they were invaded by Brevoy.

After that, they pivoted from trying to stop a civil war to instigating it. Currently they have allied with the Swordlords, House Medyved, and House Orlovsky and are attacking the gathered loyalist forces outside of New Stetven, just as winter is starting to arrive. Not really sure what will happen there, or what it will mean for the future, but... they might have broken Brevoy for good.


IMC, I used a different world, in which "Brevoy" hadn't lost its ruling family, but the current Tsar had usurped the throne while the PCs were still teens. The heir to the losing side was "Irrovetti" who didn't have a kingdom, instead a refugee movement that was growing strength by incorporating monsters and elves. The Stag Lord, his bandits, and his father were also members of this low-level rebellion. Varn, Drelev, and one of the PCs' fathers were the new Tsar's allies, so they got the charters to expand the kingdom and hunt down rebels.

I added two minor noble houses at the edge of the map who had ties to both camps, and another one at Restov. The widowed ruler of one made for an interesting foil for the PC ruler, as well as a window into happenings in "Brevoy".

Book 5 was an invasion by "Irrovetti", with several pitched battles. I moved the Castle of Hundred Doors to the Tsar's palace, which "Irrovetti" had seized in a sudden move, chasing out the new Tsar. Since 2 of the PCs had lived in the castle (as teenage hostages/fosterlings), they knew some of the secret places and the general layout.

I could have ended the campaign here at the end of Book 5, with the ruling PC perhaps claiming the Tsar's throne for herself, but it was agreed out of game that we didn't want to add the whole kingdom to the ruling part of the game, and to continue into Book 6.


I built on the description of Brevoy considerably, both as a way to have more background to flesh the campaign out, and as a reservoir of NPCs with ties to the broader story as well as family and alliance relationships to the PCs. I wrote a few pages of political background (the great houses, their alliances and feuds, key members) and gave it to those of the PCs who have a noble background.

Then, at the time of kingdom foundation, I used all those people and interests (the aforementioned great houses, the main churches, a variety of other groups) to present the PCs with a list of negotiation options, so that all of their initial BPs came as from various deals with a bunch of groups in Brevoy. This forced them to choose allies, and in turn some other groups became unfriendly to the new kingdom.

At a later point I had a lot of fun drafting a list of prospective brides for the baron, most of them from Brevoy. Each bride came with political and personal pros and cons, as well as a potential dowry (some very rich, some much less so). The baron's choice was his most important decision so far, in terms of kingdom building.

Also, the group's diplomat gets to enjoy a whole lot of intrigue and plotting with various feuding factions in Brevoy. For example, she recently managed to thwart King Noleski's plans for a marriage and alliance with one of the other great houses (but, in a twist, Noleski's spies had seen it coming and he unexpectedly turned to a rival house instead, causing a complete realignment of alliances inside Brevoy).

In other words - it's possible to have a ton of fun with Brevoy's politics and interaction with the kindgom in the Stolen Lands. The more complex you want it, the more work it is, but it's up to you how much you want to add.

Finally, several threads on this forum are of tremendous help, both as a source of ideas and inspiration. Take a look at more or less everything written by Dudemeister, and also this thread: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2o4uw?Redcelts-Game-of-Thrones-in-Brevoy#1 as well as this one: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2l9a9?Venture-Capital-aka-A-Deal-with-the-Devil . This will give you excellent examples.

Scarab Sages

I thought it was a sad oversight that there was so little Brevic involvement in this AP, so I fixed this issue, by fleshing out the agendas and personalities of all sorts of sub-factions that my PCs could negotiate with, ally, or even alienate as they grew as a kingdom. I tied the backstory of the PC ruler directly into a Barony of Rogarvia, making her the niece of the Baron. When he called for help she came running, sucking the PCs into Brevoy politics. From there, the PCs began seeking allies through invitations to festivals, etc. As their Brevic allies grew, so did their necessary involvement in Brevoy, especially in the fighting that broke out between the Rogarvian barons and their mercenary units.

The PCs faced so many tough conquering threats to their fledgling kingdom from outside groups, Mivon, and Brevoy, that I was forced to change the Pitax assault on their kingdom. They have been fighting tooth and nail since the instant they were first given BP to keep their kingdom alive, another threat later on will be a snoozefest for them.

So the TL;DR version is - Brevoy was a viper's nest that serves up adversaries, conspiracies, assasinatin attempts, staunch allies, treaties that demand the PCs lead armies with their allies against other Brevoy factions, and in general and big fat complication in the players running of their kingdom.


I used the AP in another non-Golarion campaign, which was very liberating, if only for having the supplied map's compass rose actual be North = up. I put the Stolen Lands, Brevoy, and the River Kingdoms at the edge of the frontier of the primary empire, with southern border of the Stolen Lands undefined so that the PC's kingdom has a direction to indefinitely expand.

Brevoy was a nation that was technically part of the empire, but since it was so far out, and since the empire is having difficulties, House Surtova has recently taken over until the empire "hast the resources to support Brevoy, again." Rostland and Issia still have their same shared history, so the Swordlords motivations for exploring the Stolen Lands still work roughly the same. (Chorral the Conqueror may or may not also be a red dragon, but he definitely was a great general for the empire before House Rogarvia disappeared.)

I used Restov as the setting for my version of the Venture Capital addition, but I also used the opportunity to show that Rostland and Issia were at a political détente, limiting both factions' support for the kingdom, unless the PCs wanted to drag their nation into the middle of Brevoy's potential civil war.


I too used the Venture Capital approach with a bit of an assist from the Redcelt's Game of Thrones in Brevoy thread. I'm seeding the story as a bunch of jockeying for position among the various houses and the PCs thus, are roughly allied with half of the great houses, and thus lined up against the other half. When war breaks out in Brevoy, there will no doubt be a call for the PCs to aid one side (especially now that the Baron is married to the granddaughter of Poul Orlovsky).

Additionally, I've been trying to plant a hook for Skywatch (which the PCs haven't really latched onto yet) but setting up a series of observatories (Talon Peak, Candlemere, and Skywatch) that were all part of research being done by the Casmaran Cyclopean empire which ultimately drew the attention of the Dark Tapestry. In my game, the Cyclopes Empire was actually good, though Big V was ultimately tasked with monitoring the Dark Tapestry after the empire was destroyed fighting them off, and his thirst for vengeance has turned him into the evil creature he is now. Ultimately I think the party will have more hooks than they can realistically follow, so we'll see what they decide to latch onto.


I use Dudemeister's suggestion and had Brevoy send a noble down during book 3 that had a contract for marriage to Varn's daughter (that didn't exist as written but DM added in). It created a fun challenge as the group had to figure out a way to convince her to get out of it, figure out a way she could get out of it, and that entire area was on the line if they failed.
Later, in book 5, I again used a suggestion from Dudemeister and had Brevoy working with Pitax and attacked from the north/east as Pitax was attacking from the west.


Warped Savant wrote:

I use Dudemeister's suggestion and had Brevoy send a noble down during book 3 that had a contract for marriage to Varn's daughter (that didn't exist as written but DM added in). It created a fun challenge as the group had to figure out a way to convince her to get out of it, figure out a way she could get out of it, and that entire area was on the line if they failed.

Later, in book 5, I again used a suggestion from Dudemeister and had Brevoy working with Pitax and attacked from the north/east as Pitax was attacking from the west.

Yeah I plan to use the marriage contract too, though I have a feeling my players will simply shrug and say "Well, sucks to be you." I mean, this is the group that signed a treaty with Hargulka and gave the keep in Varnhold to the spriggans. We'll see what happens when/if they actually manage to rescue the remaining Varnholders of course.


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Gargs454 wrote:
Yeah I plan to use the marriage contract too, though I have a feeling my players will simply shrug and say "Well, sucks to be you." I mean, this is the group that signed a treaty with Hargulka and gave the keep in Varnhold to the spriggans. We'll see what happens when/if they actually manage to rescue the remaining Varnholders of course.

WOW!!

I hope a lot of them giving land away is either greatly rewarded or majorly bites them in their collective asses.

And I don't know which one I'd prefer to see happen.


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Warped Savant wrote:
Gargs454 wrote:
Yeah I plan to use the marriage contract too, though I have a feeling my players will simply shrug and say "Well, sucks to be you." I mean, this is the group that signed a treaty with Hargulka and gave the keep in Varnhold to the spriggans. We'll see what happens when/if they actually manage to rescue the remaining Varnholders of course.

WOW!!

I hope a lot of them giving land away is either greatly rewarded or majorly bites them in their collective asses.

And I don't know which one I'd prefer to see happen.

Heh, well, a little of both will/would be the outcome. I mean, I'm not going to specifically penalize them for not going in the direction the authors anticipated. That said, Hargulka ended up not being an issue because they wound up attacking him anyway when they believed he had violated the treaty (he didn't really, but they interpreted it differently). They do still have the lizardfolk living there though -- sadly they did not notice the missing boy.

As for the Spriggans, it was kind of a "Not our problem" issue. Though they are obviously missing out on some gear as a result. From an XP standpoint, I don't track XP but rather level up at appropriate times, but I would have given them the same XP as if they had stormed the castle so to speak.

I have to hand it to my group, they are very much a "Hey, if you don't mess with us, we'll leave ya be" group. This did cause some issue with Gregori whom they largely ignored because they figured it was his right to speak out. They eventually got tired of it and managed to out debate him though. The spriggans will be an interesting one to watch though assuming they rescue some Varnholders. I imagine though the PCs might just tell the Varnholders to bugger off since they are learning that they were not exactly the good people they thought they were. Having a Surtova noble come to collect his bride that was promised might almost cement the deal in that regard. The interesting long-term questions will be that there are now a number of potential enemies that have been let go, or who have run off and not been pursued. This could lead to some interesting developments later on.

As a cool side point though, my group of very veteran gamers had no idea that the Hargulka's Monstrous Kingdom stuff was not part of the AP as written, which is very much a big time kudos to Dudemeister. His stuff was so well laid out that it was easy to flow it seamlessly into the adventure.


Gargs454 wrote:
As a cool side point though, my group of very veteran gamers had no idea that the Hargulka's Monstrous Kingdom stuff was not part of the AP as written, which is very much a big time kudos to Dudemeister. His stuff was so well laid out that it was easy to flow it seamlessly into the adventure.

My group had the same thing! I added in most of DMs suggestions and the group had no idea what was different versus what would've been written into the AP (including a player that had played through most of the AP before but had forgotten a lot of it).

Hargulka's Monster Kingdom was a great addition, and the changes to book 3 made the centaurs an absolute favourite to the group. DMs changes with the centaurs made them feel like an actual race that had their own traditions and beliefs.
I can't stress it enough how much at least those two changes should be added to any Kingmaker game.


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Most of my players had ties to the Brevic noble houses, so had at least one point of contact, usually a minor goal, and some context of Brevic politics, with built in enemies. I used Redcelt for reference to expand upon Brevic politics and schemes going on in the background. I used the Venture Capital option, though I did not follow up on it as much as I would have liked; there are a lot of ties to Brevoy embedded into that system, as well as BP from houses the PCs were connected to, strengthening those ties.

My PC run NPC ruler (a player who did not attend the games, but read the reports and occasionally made his wishes known) had strong ties to Brevoy, especially House Orlovsky, and to House Surtova through his ex-wife. Through his eldest child and heir, there is a subplot to find a spouse for him, which is tying back into Brevoy politics well. Through the heir, we have also had a chance to interact with Skywatch and Queen Natala Surtova. The diplomat trained under Mivonese duelists, so we have been able to tap the rivalry of Rostland and Mivon, as well as tie in Aldori duels. And because of her sticking her nose in to snub the new nation, my PCs hate Dame Sarrona Lebeda and are set on preventing Elanna from marrying King Noleski, something that strengthens their bond with Queen Natala.

Finally, more kudos to Dudemeister's Hargulka's Kingdom, which was the perfect buildup for that part of the story, and a better ending to Book 2 for my campaign. Thanks for the insight into the centaurs, as well!


Just curious as to what you did with Skywatch? I think this is one of the cooler mysteries in the AP, but unfortunately there is nothing more said about it after the first mention. I too am trying to lay hooks for Skywatch for my party and thus, would love to see what others have done.

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First off, full credit to the following individuals for inspiring my game and giving me more to work with then I could ever use.

Erik Freund's Venture Capital

Redcelt32's Game of Thrones in Brevoy

Dudemeister's Hargulka's Monster Kingdom & Varnhold Vanishing Additions and Changes & a ton of other posts, threads, and suggestions elsewhere.

That being said... I've used Brevoy in a myriad of ways. I'm kind of surprised when I hear from other Kingmaker GMs who haven't taken advantage of the source material and friendly forum advice on Brevoy. Here's how I used it in my game.

Character Backgrounds
My wife's character has a crazy long and insanely weird backstory.

Wife's Background:
She was a child in ancient empire of Thassilon, or at least one of it's outlying colonies or communities. They somehow survived past the Earthfall incident by means of ancient Azlant tech/magic and sitting on a natural leyline or heavily first world influenced place. Just think Azlant Brigadoon, it's there but not there. Well some undead army of cyclops, giants, and worse comes through the area and finds them. They hold out as long as they can but realize it's a lost cause. They put my wife's character, another child, and some adults in these stasis boxes. The magic will keep them in a pocket outside of time until the boxes are opened. A last hope. Fast forward a whole hell of a lot to Lord Gurev Medyed of Brevoy leading an expedition into the Stolen Lands looking for treasure, cultural or otherwise. His team finds the mysterious ruins that seem to be Azlant in origin. Inside they are able to recover all manner of Azlant treasure, none of which is functional, and also this mysterious box. The other boxes are either already open or smashed when the ruins collapsed. This one is intact. He takes the box home as his share of the treasure, too curious about what it might be. Years of poking and prodding at the thing yields little to nothing and he gives up. Then one day his half-elf daughter, the result of a tryst with one of the other explorers, is in her father's study. She plays with the box and somehow accidentally opens the box, revealing a young girl her own age within. With what little Azlant he is able to speak Lord Gurev Medyed begins raising the girl as his own, feeling responsible for her as well as knowing that if the boxes all held people that this girl is all on her own. Of course my wife chose the name Andora for her character, using the Azlant naming structure of a single name that starts with vowel but also being a pun on her origins. When Andora heard of an expedition into the Stolen Lands, she could not refuse. The answers about her mysterious origins lied in the untamed wilderness and she was going to conquer it. If they were to form a new colony then who better to lead the effort then her? Andora held an ancient claim that could not be contested, provided she could find proof.

My best friend has a less long but still crazy backstory.

Best Friend Background:

My best friend's character is a Damphir Bloodrager with the Draconic Bloodline named Cervantes. We were tossing ideas back and forth about how to tie him to the lands of Brevoy, and we went for broke. He is the grandson of Choral the Conqueror, the original King of the combined lands of Issia and Rostland now known as Brevoy. His character was born 140-ish years ago. His Damphir nature was a great embarrassment to his father, a noble who married into the Rogarvian house. Cervantes' mother was his blood ties to the ruling house. The nature and origin of Damphirs were not well understood at the time. Either his mother had been fed on by a vampire while she was with child or Cervantes was the product of adultery with a vampire. His "father" exiled him from the home at a young age, forcing him to live with the Rogarvian bannermen house the Khavortorov. Cervantes was more or less forced to take on the name of Khavortorov, leaving behind Rogarvia. Through his long life he trained at many professions, became learned at many fields of study, and perfected his skills in battle. Then the event known as The Vanishing occurred, taking away the entire Rogarvian family but somehow leaving Cervantes. Was it his mixed blood of being not only a Damphir but also his Draconic bloodline as well? Or was it the lack of knowledge of his ties to the royal family? It mattered little as Surtova took regency and control quickly after. In the little more than a decade since the Vanishing, Cervantes had become aware of an expedition into the Stolen Lands. Knowing that gathering lands, resources, and influence could help him to regain the crown that was his by right and by blood, he agreed to help form a new colony to the south. First he had some bandits to deal with.

I've also used Brevoy outside of the player's backgrounds.

Earning BP:
When they needed the build points (BP) to start their little kingdom, they had to get the funds from the noble houses of Brevoy. The players decided to start their capital city in and around the ruins of the Stag Lord's Fort. I gave them a small pool of BP from treasures and building materials they found at the fort. The rest they had to earn from making deals with the Nobel Houses. The Swordlords of Restov also had a sort of tournament going on and were willing to place bets against the PCs in the form of BP. All told they were able to win BP and make agreements for BP totaling the amount they needed to start their kingdom plus a little extra. The fledgling kingdom did have to agree to certain terms from multiple parties. Many of these agreements have timers attached such as the head of state getting married in 2 years, building a temple of X within 5 years, giving up half of the wealth generated by a mine for a year, etc. It's fun watching my players freak out when they realize they're not keeping up with their promises. I've told them it would prove disastrous for their kingdom if a noble family, a church, or other group were to pull support all at once if they reneged on their agreements.

The rest of how I've used Brevoy in my game.

Other Brevoy Nonsense:
I've also had NPCs from Brevoy become involved in the Diplomacy between Brevoy and the new kingdom to keep the story ties strong. This has been mostly successful in keeping Brevoy in the consciousness of the group. You might think from all I've posted that Brevoy is a huge chunk of our game but it's really just one of four or five main story elements we go through on a weekly basis.

Recently, a certain young noble also traveled to the new kingdom in search of adventure, drink, loose women, and the chance to hunt "scalies". Needless to say that didn't go over so well with the party or their kingdom. They saved his life, the spymaster attempted to return him to Brevoy, and now the spymaster has been arrested for kidnapping. Apparently Brevoy currently views the kingdom as a colony and not it's own sovereign state. It's going to be fun to figure that one out, I'm still in the middle of it currently. For some Aroden-forsaken reason the party has an Asmodean Anti-Paladin as their Marshal. So now we have the Anti-Paladin riding his nightmare steed at full clip to get to New Stetven before our Spymaster is tried in a Brevic court for a crime he didn't commit.

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