Companions in Leadership Roles


Kingmaker Second Edition


Question. The Companion guide says that if certain companions go into certain roles that role gets invested in addition to the 4 roles you choose to invest. So it looks like if you have more than 4 PCs it's more beneficial to exclude one of the PCs from a leadership role and put the companions in the Leadership Roles. Since no matter the amount of PCs, you are limited to 4 invested from PCs, but the NPCs can invest in their particular role in addition to the invested roles from the PCs.

Am I reading this right? Is it optimal to fill your leadership roles with NPCs so you can invest in all the leadership roles?


Snake0202 wrote:

Question. The Companion guide says that if certain companions go into certain roles that role gets invested in addition to the 4 roles you choose to invest. So it looks like if you have more than 4 PCs it's more beneficial to exclude one of the PCs from a leadership role and put the companions in the Leadership Roles. Since no matter the amount of PCs, you are limited to 4 invested from PCs, but the NPCs can invest in their particular role in addition to the invested roles from the PCs.

Am I reading this right? Is it optimal to fill your leadership roles with NPCs so you can invest in all the leadership roles?

Well I just saw that in the event phase if the kingdom skill has a PC leader associated with it they get a circumstance bonus to the roll. So maybe it balances out?


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After step 7 of Kingdom creation, the only thing that having a Leadership role Invested does is give an explicitly non-stacking status bonus to checks with the associated attribute, and which roles are Invested can be changed with the New Leadership Kingdom Activity (without needing to change who is holding a role). As such, having more than four roles Invested does basically nothing, assuming that you've assigned the Invested roles to give a bonus to each attribute.

Comparatively, on Kingdom Events a bonus is given only if a PC holds the associated role, so having more than four PCs holding Leadership roles is decidedly beneficial here.

One thing I'm not sure on is if assigning Companion Guide NPCs to their chosen Invested Leadership roles in Step 7 of Kingdom creation gives additional Trained skills, or if that's an intended hard cap of 4 skills.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mr_Shed wrote:

After step 7 of Kingdom creation, the only thing that having a Leadership role Invested does is give an explicitly non-stacking status bonus to checks with the associated attribute, and which roles are Invested can be changed with the New Leadership Kingdom Activity (without needing to change who is holding a role). As such, having more than four roles Invested does basically nothing, assuming that you've assigned the Invested roles to give a bonus to each attribute.

Comparatively, on Kingdom Events a bonus is given only if a PC holds the associated role, so having more than four PCs holding Leadership roles is decidedly beneficial here.

One thing I'm not sure on is if assigning Companion Guide NPCs to their chosen Invested Leadership roles in Step 7 of Kingdom creation gives additional Trained skills, or if that's an intended hard cap of 4 skills.

It's intended to cap at 4 skills (unless the GM feels otherwise). The NPCs are there to help fill out leadership roles if players just aren't interested, but also if you have fewer than 4 players. And as noted, having more roles invested is better for kingdom events—be they random kingdom events or the set kingdom events in the adventure itself.


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James Jacobs wrote:
And as noted, having more roles invested is better for kingdom events—be they random kingdom events or the set kingdom events in the adventure itself.

But it doesn't though?

Per the rules for Kingdom Events on pg. 554 (and the rules for Leadership Roles on pg. 514), whether a role is Invested or not doesn't matter to Kingdom events, just if a PC is in it:

Kingmaker Anniversary pg. 554 wrote:
Leader PC leaders are particularly helpful in resolving events. If the leadership role listed here is occupied by a PC who is not incurring a vacancy penalty, the check made to determine the event’s outcome gains a +1 circumstance bonus; this bonus increases to +2 once a kingdom reaches 9th level, and to +3 at 15th level. (The General leadership role never appears in this context, as the General focuses their specific influence on Warfare related activities; see Appendix 3.)

Which, honestly, has struck me as a bit odd since Investing a Role seems to only give a (non-stacking) bonus to a Kingdom attribute despite the rules for Leadership Roles seeming to imply that it does more. Was it originally intended that an Invested role gave a bonus on Kingdom Events, rather than it being a PC holding the role?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Mr_Shed wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And as noted, having more roles invested is better for kingdom events—be they random kingdom events or the set kingdom events in the adventure itself.

But it doesn't though?

Per the rules for Kingdom Events on pg. 554 (and the rules for Leadership Roles on pg. 514), whether a role is Invested or not doesn't matter to Kingdom events, just if a PC is in it:

Kingmaker Anniversary pg. 554 wrote:
Leader PC leaders are particularly helpful in resolving events. If the leadership role listed here is occupied by a PC who is not incurring a vacancy penalty, the check made to determine the event’s outcome gains a +1 circumstance bonus; this bonus increases to +2 once a kingdom reaches 9th level, and to +3 at 15th level. (The General leadership role never appears in this context, as the General focuses their specific influence on Warfare related activities; see Appendix 3.)
Which, honestly, has struck me as a bit odd since Investing a Role seems to only give a (non-stacking) bonus to a Kingdom attribute despite the rules for Leadership Roles seeming to imply that it does more. Was it originally intended that an Invested role gave a bonus on Kingdom Events, rather than it being a PC holding the role?

Also, keep in mind that the Companion Guide is optional. I was very wary of building in elements to that book that gave off a "Pay to win" vibe. If a group just plays with the 640 page adventure, it'd suck if they felt like they had to buy another book just to get the full experience. As part of that mindeset, I tried to make the presence of the NPC companions as additive, not required.

If you've got both books in your game, feel free to expand the limit for invested skills if you want—granting a kingdom more skills will make it more specialized and make dealing with events and kingdom activities less of a tactical question since you'll increasingly always have the right tool for the job. Some groups enjoy the challenge of having to work out solutions to things that don't have immediate solutions, but others don't.

And finally, the "This NPC invests automatically" is intended to imply what leadership role that NPC is best suited for, thematically. It'd be weird for Linzi to be a General, even though she could since a PC's stats don't have much impact on the kingdom rules. It's still weird looking.


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James Jacobs wrote:
Mr_Shed wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
And as noted, having more roles invested is better for kingdom events—be they random kingdom events or the set kingdom events in the adventure itself.

But it doesn't though?

Per the rules for Kingdom Events on pg. 554 (and the rules for Leadership Roles on pg. 514), whether a role is Invested or not doesn't matter to Kingdom events, just if a PC is in it:

Kingmaker Anniversary pg. 554 wrote:
Leader PC leaders are particularly helpful in resolving events. If the leadership role listed here is occupied by a PC who is not incurring a vacancy penalty, the check made to determine the event’s outcome gains a +1 circumstance bonus; this bonus increases to +2 once a kingdom reaches 9th level, and to +3 at 15th level. (The General leadership role never appears in this context, as the General focuses their specific influence on Warfare related activities; see Appendix 3.)
Which, honestly, has struck me as a bit odd since Investing a Role seems to only give a (non-stacking) bonus to a Kingdom attribute despite the rules for Leadership Roles seeming to imply that it does more. Was it originally intended that an Invested role gave a bonus on Kingdom Events, rather than it being a PC holding the role?

Also, keep in mind that the Companion Guide is optional. I was very wary of building in elements to that book that gave off a "Pay to win" vibe. If a group just plays with the 640 page adventure, it'd suck if they felt like they had to buy another book just to get the full experience. As part of that mindeset, I tried to make the presence of the NPC companions as additive, not required.

If you've got both books in your game, feel free to expand the limit for invested skills if you want—granting a kingdom more skills will make it more specialized and make dealing with events and kingdom activities less of a tactical question since you'll increasingly always have the right tool for the job. Some groups enjoy the challenge of having to work out...

Can you please help clarify investment benefits? Our group was playing Kingmaker 2e with homebrew kingdom rules before the rulebook dropped and now we're trying to rebuild our kingdom from scratch. Everything is more or less clear, except investment.

On page 511 it says "Since status bonuses don’t stack, you may want to invest one role that benefits each of the 4 kingdom abilities—but since each leadership role offers other unique benefits to the kingdom, spreading out the roles in that way may not always be the best choice!"

We still haven't found anything that requires a role to be invested. So why does it say that investing 4 roles with different attributes is not always the best choice, if its the only thing that is actually affected by investment? What did we miss?

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Liccorice wrote:

Can you please help clarify investment benefits? Our group was playing Kingmaker 2e with homebrew kingdom rules before the rulebook dropped and now we're trying to rebuild our kingdom from scratch. Everything is more or less clear, except investment.

On page 511 it says "Since status bonuses don’t stack, you may want to invest one role that benefits each of the 4 kingdom abilities—but since each leadership role offers other unique benefits to the kingdom, spreading out the roles in that way may not always be the best choice!"

We still haven't found anything that requires a role to be invested. So why does it say that investing 4 roles with different attributes is not always the best choice, if its the only thing that is actually affected by investment? What did we miss?

Because there could be a way to get a status bonus to that skill from some other source is all, as far as I can recall. It's been close to a year since I've had my head deep in those rules and I'm peeking in here on a day off so I can't do a deep dive at the moment though.


James Jacobs wrote:
Because there could be a way to get a status bonus to that skill from some other source is all, as far as I can recall. It's been close to a year since I've had my head deep in those rules and I'm peeking in here on a day off so I can't do a deep dive at the moment though.

Thank you for your reply.

I'm just very confused by this sentence. It seems to imply that a role would need to be invested to, for example, resolve some event or use a certain action, or build some special building.
But in the end I guess the best choice is always to invest one Culture, Stability, Economy and Loyalty role, and its never good to invest two roles with the same key ability, since bonuses don't stack. Even if we get a status bonus from another source, only the highest will apply, so it doesn't matter if the role is invested or not, and not investing will always be a waste.
Did I get that right? I just want to make sure, because the books seems to imply there's something more to this rule, and the logic in general just seems weird.
If players care about managing their kingdom they will always put PCs in four roles with different key abilities, which seems to go against the new system's idea of "Ability scores don't matter anymore, so you can take on any role you want without worrying about optimization".

Paizo Employee Creative Director

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Liccorice wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:
Because there could be a way to get a status bonus to that skill from some other source is all, as far as I can recall. It's been close to a year since I've had my head deep in those rules and I'm peeking in here on a day off so I can't do a deep dive at the moment though.

Thank you for your reply.

I'm just very confused by this sentence. It seems to imply that a role would need to be invested to, for example, resolve some event or use a certain action, or build some special building.
But in the end I guess the best choice is always to invest one Culture, Stability, Economy and Loyalty role, and its never good to invest two roles with the same key ability, since bonuses don't stack. Even if we get a status bonus from another source, only the highest will apply, so it doesn't matter if the role is invested or not, and not investing will always be a waste.
Did I get that right? I just want to make sure, because the books seems to imply there's something more to this rule, and the logic in general just seems weird.
If players care about managing their kingdom they will always put PCs in four roles with different key abilities, which seems to go against the new system's idea of "Ability scores don't matter anymore, so you can take on any role you want without worrying about optimization".

Thats more or less correct, yup.


Liccorice wrote:
If players care about managing their kingdom they will always put PCs in four roles with different key abilities, which seems to go against the new system's idea of "Ability scores don't matter anymore, so you can take on any role you want without worrying about optimization".

It does but, again, it doesn't. Nothing says only roles held by PCs can be Invested (just that when creating a Kingdom they're preferentially assigned to PCs), and the New Leadership activity lets you change Invested roles without changing leaders on any result other than a Critical Failure, so PCs can still choose whatever roles they want and, as their first action and with trivial effort, change which roles are Invested to ensure a bonus to all four attributes.

The amount of effort involved in ensuring all four roles are Invested is low enough that I'm honestly tempted to just houserule that at Kingdom creation the players can pick which roles are Invested regardless of whether or not a PC is in that role.

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