Assessing Kingdom Skills Value

Kingmaker Second Edition

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Reading through the Kingdom rules I was struggling to assess the value of different kingdom skills, given that both actions and buildings are gated behind different proficiency levels so I made this spreadsheet to assess the skills:

Kingdom Skill Benefits

Some initial observations:

Industry Trained is good bang for your buck unlocking 10 different buildings and 1 action.

Magic is modest value initially (but has a very useful untrained action) but grows in vale with further investment

Trade trained is a solid initial pick, unlocking 2 useful abilities, and 4 buildings, like magic it offers value the more levels invested.

Agriculture seems very lackluster, unlocks no skills or building, probably best to ignore and use supernatural solutions instead. Exploration is nearly as bad.

What about Wilderness?

Deriven Firelion wrote:
What about Wilderness?

Yeah its not great, but I think compared to Exploration it provides a bit more utility, the fact that if you take it to expert it can sub in for Exploration almost completely (offering Recover Lost Army) means it's just bad in my mind, as opposed to very bad for Exploration/Agriculture.

Sovereign Court

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I've been doing simulations of kingdom builds with someone (ie we do the kingdom stuff but not the rpg itself)

Magic is the UBER skill.

Supernatural Solution is just too important. Magic is far and away the single best skill there is.

Engineering*, Industry, Trade, and Warfare (for Army Stuff) wind up all but required.
*: If you take the Practical Magic feat you can ignore Engineering and just use Magic.

Agriculture, Defense, and Statecraft are all extremely useful.

You can build farms with Supernatural Solutions but starting out Supernatural Solutions cost a lot of your RP.
And it's quite likely the Party starts there kingdom where there are no plains so making farms is +5 DC.

Arts, Folklore, Intrigue, and Scholarship are useful but not required.

Boating, Exploration, Politics, and Wilderness haven't mattered at all.

VanceMadrox wrote:
*: If you take the Practical Magic feat you can ignore Engineering and just use Magic.

Not quite...

That feat lets you switch out which skill you will ROLL, but it says nothing about skill (and/or training level) REQUIRED (for Activities or Buildings). So, if you want to build an irrigation network, yeah, go ahead and roll against Magic, but you still need Engineering trained to choose that Activity in the first place...


Sovereign Court

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I've finished typing up everything for our rules changes. Now we're just working on formatting/readability.

Should have things posted this week.

In the meantime here's a sneak preview of our findings on skill Balance:

The Kingdom Building rules have 16 different Kingdom Skill. This is the same total number of Skills as regular Pathfinder 2e and just like in regular Pathfinder 2e not all Skills have equal value of usefulness. In our testing we found the Skill tiers to be:

Overpowered and likely should be reigned in: Magic
Essential: Engineering*, Industry, Trade, Warfare
Above Average: Arts, Defense
Decently USeful: Folklore, Intrigue, Politics, Scholarship
Some Use: Boating, Engineering*, Exploration, Statecraft
Don’t Bother: Agriculture, Wilderness

We discussed implementing changes to balance the skills a little better but ultimately decided not to do any changes specifically for balance aside from the change to the Practical Magic feat listed above.Fortunately some of the rest of the changes we did helped a few of the worse off skills anyway. Here’s some brief thoughts on some of the skills.

Agriculture, Boating, and Wilderness: These three are underpowered mainly because the Regional Activities for gathering food quickly become outdated once your Kingdom has some Farmland

Agriculture is used to Establish Farmland but since there are no Activities or Structures that require any proficiency in Agriculture, you’re better off building Farms using Magic via Supernatural Solution. Adding an Item Bonus for Establish Farmland to the Granary Structure and changing it to require Agriculture (Trained) should be just enough to move Agriculture up into the Some Use tier.

Boating isn’t used for much but as long as the GM strictly enforces the item level available for purchase rules, the Waterfront structure is enough to warrant a little investment into Boating.

Wilderness isn’t worth investing in as written at all. None of its unlocks matter and the main Activities it’s needed for are ones that can use other skills. Our new Reconnoiter Hex option is tied to Wilderness (but doesn’t require trained), which should add just enough value to move it up to the Some Use tier

Engineering: Engineering is in the list twice because of the Practical Magic feat. If using our recommended change above, Engineering is an essential skill, If not using our change, then Engineering’s only value is to unlock Actions/Structures gated behind levels of Engineering proficiency.

Exploration: Exploration isn’t too useful overall but with Claim Hex, Clear Hex,and Hire Adventurers all using it we felt we didn’t need to do anything with it.

Magic: Magic is still the best Kingdom Skill even with the change to Practical Magic but we decided not to do anything else to keep our changes more streamlined. The Practical Magic change at least reigns it in some. If you feel that the Magic Skill is still too powerful then we’d recommend swapping the Magic Skill option in Claim Hex with the Scholarship Skill option in Establish Settlement so that you can use Magic for Establish Settlement a Scholarship for Claim Hex. This would bring Magic down to the second tier and Scholarship up one tier.

Statecraft: The best way to increase the value of Statecraft is just to have more groups for the Kingdom to interact with.

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