Computer-Game Newbie Questions

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

Grand Lodge

Hey guys, I'm thinking about buying Pathfinder: Kingmaker to finally try my hand at video/computer gaming -- never really played video games -- but I really love the Paizo world and think this game may actually be fun for me.

But consider me a complete newb to computer gaming, with complete newbie questions. (I played Pong a bit as a kid, and I guess I kinda liked Ms Packman. I loved watching my friends play Super Castlevania IV on the Super Nintendo; I never wanted to play it. And I played a little Monkey Island when it first came out on my fancy Tandy personal computer. That's it. In my life. I don't like video games or computer games. But I love Pathfinder....)

Question 1:
What is "Explorer Edition"? What are the "Royal" and "Imperial" Editions? What do they have; what are they about? ....If I buy Explorer can I 'buy-up' to Royal or Imperial at a discount later? If I buy Imperial can I still play Explorer and Royal?

Question 2:
I think I can guess the answer to this but, if I purchase this game, make a PC and try playing, and the PC dies -- can I make another PC?
....Can I have a few different games going at once -- like, try it with a Ranger and play that PC for a while in play, then start over with a Paladin and run that PC, then go back and resume with my Ranger -- resume where the Ranger left off and not start over? In other words, play a Ranger from maybe levels one to three -- then play a Paladin for from say levels one to eight -- then go back and pick up the Ranger at level four -- then go back and resume the Paladin at level nine, etc.?

Question 3:
In general, for someone who loves Pathfinder and has been playing pen-and-paper, dice RPGs since 1981 but, oddly, who has never liked video/computer games and can barely figure out how the mouse works on his computer -- is this a reasonably easy game to learn? I know the PF rules extraordinarily well but I have the computer-game acumen of a shoe box.

Question 4:
Are the various bugs that are discussed in the various forums both here and on the OwlCat website back in Oct-Dec 2018 mostly fixed, and is the game significantly more playable than it was a few months ago when roughly half of the Forum posts regarded bugs? ....On the same concern, are the developers at OwlCat still working to make the game better? In other words, is the business side of the game healthy?

Question 5:
How customizable are PC generation rules? Can my PC be either a 15, 20, or 25 point-buy for Ability Scores? Is multi-Classing easy? Is there a Core Only option or something similar?

And tremendous thanks for all your answers!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for asking, W E Ray.

In general, the game has a difficulty section you can select at any time and make certain changes. The combat part of the game is "real time", and if you're not familiar with video games, that reaction time may be an issue. You can hit "pause" at any time with the space bar while you figure out what you want your character(s) to do.

Question 1:
The various editions are mostly cosmetic (more portraits, other non-critical digital goodies, and some physical goodies). I would recommend buying the normal (cheapest) $40 version.

If you really like the game, buy the "season pass", as that includes additional story and quest options.

Question 2:
If your PC dies, the game ends. You can then re-load a previous save game (prior to your death) and resume from that point. A common tactic is to "save" before entering a dungeon or approaching a major battle just for that reason. Another common tactic is to save before a major dialogue, sometimes to go back and see what happens if you choose another path.

You can have multiple games (different characters). They'll be grouped separately. You might play once as a Lawful Good Paldin, and a second time as a Chaotic Neutral Rogue, or even as an Evil Cleric.

Since the games are grouped and saved separately, you can have many running in parallel (just pay attention to which one you select when loading).

Question 3:
Most people that struggled with this game, struggled with the Pen and Paper part of the rules (i.e. what is power attack and why should I take it?).

However, you're kind of starting from zero, so it's hard to assess. I think this game does a good job of introducing itself. When you start, hit "escape" key and check the options and settings, turn on anything that says "tutorial" or "help" and that will constantly give you guides on how the computer part of the game works.

There ARE differences between this game and the Pen and Paper version, mostly minor. The biggest ones I noticed is that there are a lot less skills to choose from (and you get less skills per level). There are no favored class bonuses or Traits.

Question 4:
I played from the beginning and the bugs never bothered me until the end of the game, where things got wonky. As of now, I don't see any bugs with the game. Load times can be annoying (especially late game, and especially when switching between kingdom mode and adventure mode), but that's more about patience than anything else.

I think the game is about as good as it will get at this point, and the developers are working on $-generating expansions to add on to the core game (more levels, more character options, more quests and adventures).

Question 5:
Your main character (you) is with 25 point buy. You will encounter pre-made named NPCs that have their own story, including Amiri the Barbarian. You can level these NPCs how you choose, but you're stuck with their initial choices. You can also hire "mercenary" NPCs by spending gold, and they are on 20 point buy - but you control their build from the start.

All the core classes and races are represented, with four archetypes for each class (you cannot mix archetypes at this time). There's a few extra races/classes/feats/spells over and above the Core rulebook, but not much. otherwise, PC creation and leveling follows standard PFS rules 99% closely (no traits or favored class bonus as mentioned above, and the skill system is "tighter").

Multi-Classing is super easy. When you level up, you just pick what class you want (and the game will "recommend" things based on your current build). The game does a good job of sorting "recommended" feats and "unavailable" feats (so you can hide or sort them to make building a PC easier).

Key Non-Core options: Tiefling, Alchemist, Inquisitor, Magus, (the rogue, monk, and barbarian default to the "unchained" versions),


I really loved the game. I've done about 7 playthroughs with tons of different builds and role-playing choices. Each playthrough i found some new nugget of something that was cool.

The game starts with you in a big meeting hall being given the start quest, and you meet many of your potential allies and compatriots.

Right at the beginning, Amiri (Iconic Barbarian), Linzi (An NPC Bard) and Tartuccio (an NPC Sorceror) really jumped out at me as awesome and great characters. I also found Harrim (Dwarven Cleric of Groetus) to be hillarious.

When you camp for the night, your companions will have dialogue that feeds off each other. With so many companions to choose from (I think you meet over a ten of them), that means tons of role-playing options.

Grand Lodge

Thank you so much. I have a feeling I'm going to buy 'first' and try to find the time 'later' to play and learn.

One more question:
Whenever I buy a personal computer (currently on Windows 10) I make a point to let the seller know that I don't need much BaBoom -- I stream a little YouTube TV and stream a little overseas sports. I don't need the smartest or strongest computer on the block. As I understand it, though, the really smart computer games and MMORPGs require an equally smart and strong computer. But I've never needed all that extra PC brain muscle.

To make a short story long,... my PC at home does everything I need it to with a just little Pentium chip. And I plug it into my Smart TV (2015 Samsung) for a nice, giant plasma screen picture.

But of course computer games are designed to require a stronger/smarter PC. So here goes -- assuming I can't use my current 2015 Toshiba PC with it's "Intel," "Energy Star" guts, will I need to slump my shoulders and go buy an i3 or i5 or i7 or i9 PC? And um, what PC should I get to really enjoy the game, i3?, i5?, iMegatron? or iAndre-the-Giant?

And again, super Thanks in advance.

Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

I have a laptop that is 5(?) years old, and it has an I7. The game works. The load times are a bit slow, but ok. My biggest gripe is after getting out of the game, it takes a good 10 to 15 minutes for the game to completely unload itself so other work that I am doing is able to proceed at a normal pace. Firefox, PDF reader, mail just about die during that unload time.

I have been thinking about buying a new laptop, have to convince my wife first, but the biggest upgrade that would help is probably an SSD.

Take a look at the Dell laptops ( It will cost me perhaps $800 to $1,000 (US dollars) for what I want. I think desktops are somewhat cheaper, but I need a laptop for other reasons.

-- david

Grand Lodge

Thanks for everything.

I'm probably going to go buy a new i9 laptop; my old Pentium chip PC is almost five years old and while I don't necessarily want an upgrade in computer-brains, it is getting close to time to get a new laptop. Or maybe I'll get a tower.

Couple new(ish) questions--

I'm still not sure whether to get the Explorer Edition or the Imperial. I want all the extra graphics- cosmetics and pictures and digital goodies. But only if it's of a significant volume. Can anyone hazard an estimation of how many (or a percentage increase) extra cosmetics, pictures and digital goodies are added to the Imperial Edition from the Explorer. (I see no reason to consider at Royal; I mean, either go with everything or go with basic.)

What is this "Season Pass" and what does it actually do or have? Likewise, when Owlcat Games does add money-generating expansions (I assume such as Classes, Equipment, Feats -- and more site-based adventure locations to explore and NPC to encounter) how do we learn about it? How much do expansions typically cost? How often do they get published? ....Does there come a point when one can't play with merely the original game without having purchased expansions because all the expansions have altered the game? How does it work?

Again, many thanks!

I'll add my two cents as an occasional/light gamer who hasn't played many other games of this style (with caveat that so far I've only played the first third of Kingmaker, twice):

You can get plenty of value (in terms of hours of entertainment per dollar) from the basic game; you shouldn't "need" to add expansions for a good long time.

When you're coming in new, I'd suggest you treat your first start as a test to figure out what's going on -- learn the controls, familiarize yourself with this newfangled way of Pathfindering, etc, with the intent of restarting after a couple of hours and getting emotionally invested in that second character.

After that, save your game *often* so that you can see how things work through trial and error when necessary, without losing a bunch of time and momentum if it goes awry. Or so that if you get a ways into a complex encounter area or multi-step puzzle and decide you need to back off and tackle it fresh, you can do that.

Look for the setting that has combat pause after every turn, to make things fairly turn-based (rather than just a continuous flow of OMG-stuff-happening!)

When walking around buildings or encounter areas, hit the "Tab" key pretty much all the time: that'll highlight anything you can interact with (a door, a bookshelf, a trap you've spotted, a creature). This helps distinguish interesting stuff from background art, and also makes sure you're not missing something just because of camera perspective.

Grand Lodge


Looks like I'm just gonna build a computer from the motherboard up and use it ; I've still not decided whether to get Basic or Imperial, get all the add ons at the start or not. Part of me wants to go All In immediately so I don't ever have to be bothered about it and part of me knows I don't have much free time or even much love in general for this particular use of free time so why bother. But what if I love it? Yeah, I still haven't decided.

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

If you're only going to play one game, you may as well go all in on that one game.

As to your expansions question:
Season one of the DLC covers 3 expansions. To summarise the content:

The first added the kinetisist class, and tieflings as a playble race

The second is a stand alone adventure, that gives you benefits in the main game

The third is out at the end of next month, and from what I understand will add in an infinite dungeon to explore, either as a stand alone adventure, or as part of the main game.

There have been quite a few game upgrades besides these dlc, for example last week they added an extra 5 spells to the game, and they keep patching it and making it better

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