Supplementing Kingmaker With Dungeons


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Hey there everyone! I've been running Kingmaker for a couple months now as a West Marches style campaign. Pretty good so far! Been using plenty of the ideas on the forums, and it's working pretty smoothly. What's not so smooth, however, is wealth by level. I initially started by tripling the wealth found in various lairs/areas (like the Stag Lord's Fort, the mite's lair, Tartuk's room), but my players began to feel as if it was unrealistic for these various threats to have just so much wealth lying around. As such, having asked for a good way to distribute the treasure, they suggested expanding some of the locations, perhaps even making them into dungeons.

Because of this, I ask you, Kingmaker forums. I'm not the best at cartography or stuffing enemies into rooms lined with traps, so I'm looking for some good dungeon crawls to insert into the campaign. At first I was considering just outright plopping Rappan Athuk and its surroundings into a hex, but I'm not so sure my players would want to challenge a dungeon that deep (or have me go through a 600+ page tome) for some loot. I might add onto the lairs already dotted around, giving them extra levels below, such as the Lonely Warrior's Barrow or the Owlbear Lair. Anyone got any suggestions?

What exactly is the issue that you're looking to correct, here? WBL is pretty meaningless in most Kingmaker campaigns; once the kingdom is up and running the PCs can pay themselves a couple thousand gold every month from the treasury. The loot found in the published adventures is perfectly adequate, in my experience. Especially considering that the enforced downtime between kingdom turns plus some item creation feats will allow the party to outfit themselves beyond the WBL guidelines.

Silver Crusade

I'm currently running KM (using D&D 5E rules) and the "15 minute" adventuring day encourages players to burn all their resources in the battles we have knowing, absent a dungeon crawl, there's little incentive to save up. It's making combats rather lop-sided and random encounters a chore. For me, it's not the treasure output, it's the monotony.

So, a good dungeon crawl or two would be a good idea. In return, I'd reduce the amount of "hexploration" to compensate, perhaps by finding old maps, 3-D models of some areas, a venerable elf/dwarf who knows the area, and so on.

I'm plugging in dungeons from stuff I never got around to running when I played Pathfinder, including Carrion Crown's Harrowstone Prison for Candlemere Island, Crimson Throne's "A History of Ashes" to supplement the Centaur region, and I've expanded the Lonely Warrior's story based on these forums.

So, that's my tactic as we go along: plug & play.

When I ran Kingmaker, I found that dungeon crawls did not fit well with the game, thematically speaking. By the end of the second module, the kingdom was well-off enough that it didn't really make sense for players to go into dungeons or to hexplore. They hired people to do that for them.

Rather, I found that new plotlines were essential to making the game run. And there were some sweet ones along the way. Some thoughts:

  • Consider reading up on the stories behind each of the individual encounters, or turning the encounters into mini-adventures on their own. Enforce the stories, make them part of the game.

  • The module Realm of the Fellnight Queen has a strong plotline, a dungeonish crawl in the BBEG's castle, and a very memorable BBEG who can tie back in to the Kingmaker BBEG.

  • Consider revamping standalone encounters to make them into challenges where the PCs don't wait for things to come kill them. (See the Spring Feast and Hargulka's Monster Kingdom on this board for these ideas).

  • If you must have a dungeon crawl, dress it up as something like elite infiltration that only the PCs can accomplish. Perhaps their spymaster and his people failed on a mission.

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Whether it's adding dungeons or adding plotlines, some helpful poster started a list of modules that people liked to use to supplement their Kingmaker campaign.

The first post in the thread explaining the list is here, and the most updated list is here.

Sovereign Court

So where are you in the story arc and must they be dungeon crawls?

With my campagin we have,

Added "Crown of the Kobold King" to "Stolen Lands" (The children had run froma caravan of settlers heading to Varnhold)

Added "Feast of Ravensmoor" (as the settlement where the abandoned ferry is at the bottom of the map), "Revenge of the Kobold King", "Carnival of Tears" (with a risen Staglord as the BBEG), "Horns of the Hunted" (third party product again instead of a random encounter) and finally "Realm of the Fellnight Queen" all to "Rivers Run Red". Fills out the world and there are some fun modules here.

Added "Cold Moutain" (third party producted added into the forests instead of a random encounter) to the mountains on the way to Varnhold in "Varnhold Vanishing"

Added "The Harrowing" in the space between "Varnhold Vanishing" and "Blood for Blood"

Up to this point they have been running on SLOW XP progression and I haven't had to do anything with the treasure.

Also look here gmaker#1

I think diplomatic relations and plot lines with River Kingdoms, Brevoy, Numeria etc... are a best options. You can provide gifts or exchanges building these relations and making their kingdom real in the region. More roleplay, more interactions, more fun.

In my campaign, I linked Kingmaker with Wrath of the Righteous around T4 & T5 of kingmaker.
Growing and prospering kingdom. Brevoy worried between the Worldwound and PCs Kingdom.
The worlwound becoming a real threat also for PC's kingdom.
Currently we are at the end of T6 Kingmaker and start of T5 Wrath of the righteous.

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