Friday, 27th July, 2012, 01:26 AM #1
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
Prepping for Pathfinder: Kingmaker (spoilers!)
After our run through one of the weaker Pathfinder APs (Council of Thieves), my players have joyfully settled on the Kingmaker AP as their next challenge. This should be interesting. I've got the Kingmaker adventures, the pdfs, the player guide and the map folio - and the PCs have happily embraced the Advanced Player's Guide to create their characters. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, lots, but just at the moment it hasn't!
Oh, Dave wants to play an Assassin and Greg wants to play a Paladin? Well, that didn't last long.
(I'm going to relax the alignment restriction on the Assassin to allow them to be neutral. Not that we've been paying that much attention to alignment in any case).
Unlike my running, Council of Thieves, I'm hoping to take a much more active role in balancing the adventure to fit my players. The problem with doing that is (a) I don't really have much time to do that and (b) Pathfinder is still a system that I'm not that familiar with. 14 sessions of PF - even with all my 3.5e experience - isn't quite enough. Mind you, the players are a LOT more familiar with how to deal with PF creatures like devils and grappling monsters, so the TPK from poor tactics/monster unfamiliarity shouldn't occur. No, just from Overpowered Monsters.
The PCs the group are talking about include an Alchemist, a Oracle (Life), a Paladin, a Rogue (eventually Assassin) and an arcanist of some sort; Lee hadn't decided last time I saw him. Characters will be slightly more powerful than standard point-buy, so I really should adjust a couple of monsters to compensate. If I knew exactly what to do. Oh well!
One very unusual aspect of Kingmaker is its exploration focus. I'm not sure how this will affect the game's speed; we went through Council of Thieves extremely quickly (14 four-hour sessions), but Kingmaker covers more levels and has a lot of small encounter areas. I'm hoping for a slightly slower progression than CoT, but I do tend to cut to the chase on the story and encounters: role-playing exists, but it serves the plot rather than being an end in itself. And I run combats very, very quickly.
I'll give the PCs the blank hex-map from the Player's Guide to write down the exploration status and encounters in each hex (there's no chance of getting lost, is there? That happened in my most recent AD&D session... ), but I'll also have the poster map from the KM Map Folio on the table so they have a much, much better idea of what's going on. I've run enough "blank hex" adventures recently (notably Isle of Dread) so that I don't really need another one: it's the contents of the hexes that are more important than the terrain types.
If anyone has any pointers for the first adventure (Stolen Land), I'd appreciate them. We begin this Sunday, and we'll be playing weekly. Onwards to the first session!
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