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PF1E Kingmaker Adventure Path

scrubkai

Explorer
3 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

Let me start by saying I wish I could give this a higher rating. There is the seed of a very good campaign here, but it requires a lot of work by a dedicated and experienced DM to bring it out.What do I mean....Parts one and two are a sandbox where the players try to carve a kingdom out of the wilds. It's actually not a bad sandbox too. As with all sandboxes, A good DM that can take basic outdoor encounters and bring the monsters/NPCs to life based on some basic info is needed to keep this section from feeling like an MMO. But overall, if you DM is willing to put in some work and go along with the PCs crazy plans, the first couple books are a blast.However it should be noted: This part also introduces some of the rules designed to abstract out the running and economy of a kingdom. At first this isn't too bad, as the players probably will have fun building a little kingdom. However they do suffer from the same economic problems inherent in all of D&D 3.x systems and as such the system as written is very easy to break given a little thought or some bad luck. This can quickly lead to a significant drag on the fun for any of the players who are not accountants.The second part of the adventure path (books 3 and 4) are more of what I consider a loose form adventure. Outside events start to put more pressure on the PCs and make this less of a sandbox, and more about the PCs reacting to those events. The game does make some assumptions about what the PCs did in their sandbox, and the events start to become more plot driven (rather then feeling PC driven) but overall I also found this section to be reasonably well done. I do have some questions about the execution choices here (like part 3 funneling the PCs to the hardest encounters at the very start of the adventure, rather then the end), but as long as you read advice from people who have run these before and can adjust a bit, these are also very solid entries.The last 3rd of the AP is where the biggest problems comes from. Part 5 makes extensive use of some questionable mass combat rules, and other then that really removes all sandbox style elements from the path in favor of a more plot driven structure. Part 6 pretty much comes completely out of left field for the players unless the DM goes way out of his way to expose the metaplot of the AP in books 3 to 5 far more then it is currently written in. While not a bad adventure per say, 6 is just totally a different tone/feel from the past books, and that is not foreshadowed well at all.So overall, if you have a DM who is willing to put in the time and effort this could easily become a 5 star effort, but as written there are just too many problems to give this more then 3 stars.
 

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Dragovon

First Post
4 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

This was a lot of fun. It was well balanced and enjoyable. However, as far as I'm concerned, the kingdom building rules that were in it (they may be better with the rewrite in the Ultimate Campaign) were slow and clunky. The mass combat was crap...easier to just hand wave them based on some PC encounters.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

First, I've only read this adventure path, not actually played it. Actually, I've played the last adventure, and that adventure is part of the problem this series has. The last adventure is completely different form the rest. In this adventure path, you have to start a young kingdom where none was before. You begin as humble explorers, but soon you advance to become landlords, then kings. You build, fortify, recruit, and finally make war. And there the series switches completely, introducing a situation that is much more fantastic than anything you've encountered before, while simultaneously being a story for children in which your adventurers-cum-statesmen are supposed to engage. Lets just say I see the final part as very optional, the adventure path is a series of 5 with an optional sixth adventure that can be played together or separately. I have rated it like this, as two separate parts, at 5 stars. Rated as a whole, I'd give it 3 stars.

And yeah, the kingdom building rules, which I have played with in another similar campaign. If used at all, they are best played out in solo sessions between GM and an interested player. It just takes to much time to add up all the numbers, and involving more than one or two players in the process bogs it down even further. IMO, they are both too detailed (too many numbers) and too rough and unfinished (can a country benefit from more than one building of a certain kind? Can a kingdom have several cities? I want my house HERE, but the rules do not support that!). I've read the campaign book, and some issues were straightened out, but overall this is not a sub-system I love. Others might love their spreadsheets more than I do.
 
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NewJeffCT

First Post
3 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

The first two adventures are very much a sandbox, but my group went straight for the main villain each time, no matter how often potential side quests and other options came along. Only once the group defeated the Stag Lord & his cronies in book 1 did my group lose their laser-like focus on him and start going back & delving into exploring the area and clearing the hexes. The same with book 2. The other options just were not interesting enough to get them off focus. Since I had some ideas about book 6 along the way, I did drop a few hints & some foreshadowing about what was potentially coming down the road, so book 6 didn't come completely out of left field as others have stated above. Also, if your group isn't into bookkeeping, the DM will be the one that's left to track the ups & downs of the kingdom and its finances, which was an unforeseen chore for me. I just had them make some decisions in the beginning and asked for reactions to major events down the road. As I've seen elsewhere, unless the PCs really screw up their kingdom building, they'll be rolling in gold in a short time, so can buy all the help they need for the big combats down the road. I really had to beef up some of the foes in book 4 and 5 to make them something of a challenge because of this. Overall, a lot of good ideas, but the sandbox wasn't always that wide open, IMHO.
 

3 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

Tries to do some interesting things, but doesn't mesh well with the Pathfinder system - the last few modules are utterly broken by the power curve and the kingdom building rules aren't terribly fun.
 


4 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

My group and I were able to play the first 4 modules of Kingmaker. We had a great time. The sandbox worked well with my group.My only complaint is the magic item economy and the whole kingdom rules. If I had other rules for kingdom management, I would replay this AP without hesitation.
 

mxyzplk

First Post
5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

This AP has provided many months/years of play for many groups - you get to carve out parts of an untamed wilderness in your own order and time and grow and customize your own kingdom. Marred slightly by a sixth chapter that doesn't follow well, but much ink has been spilled on how to perfect this AP and make it all flow well.
 

2 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

Good AP with novel approach to exploration and kingdom building. However plot and story suffer. The kingdom building part is too demanding in terms of bookkeeping, and nigh impossible unless you grab one of the kingdom building excel sheet kicking around on the Paizo boards (fan-generated and based on the Paizo AP's PDF Kingmaker track sheet). There were games where we would literally spend 3 hours crunching numbers to figure out kingdom economy scores, etc.No...
 


Enrico Poli1

Adventurer
5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

Kingmaker is controversial, but in the end it deserves a 5-star rating.
It is a great sandbox, as the party has to hexcrawl. This is also a weakness because most of the encounters will be very easy for a well-rested party.
There is a great Quest system: every installment has 8 major quests and a number of lesser quests to be completed. This is fun!
The kingdom-management mini-game is fun and, at first, interesting, but after a pair of adventures becomes broken and boring. The players could also exploit it for money = unbalanced magic items.
The mass battle subsystem is crap.

Anyway, the first two adventures are really great. The third and fourth are problematic, because, in my opinion, the balance between exploration and dungeon-crawl is no more, and the hexes are only there as a background for the final dungeons, so they lose the unique feel of Kingmaker. The fifth adventure returns to the right spirit, and then we have the tournament, and some great villains! The sixth adventure is like a fairytale! In itself is a fantastic adventure, but it is very different then all other installments of the AP; plus, the BBEG hasn't been properly anticipated.

To make the Kingmaker experience, one could just play the first two adventures of the campaign. That said, this is enough to make Kingmaker one of the GREAT Paizo adventure paths that deserves to be played once.
 

zztong

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

I enjoyed the premise and execution of the Kingmaker AP through the early modules. The DM did not care for the later modules and changed the plot, so I did not experience those as written.
 

5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

We had a great experience with this Adventure path. We did make extensive changes and skipped almost everything in the final module, but the modules gave us a fantastic playground to play in.
 

Aluvial

Explorer
5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

I have been running this for 5 years now. We are just finishing book 5. I think it is a great setting and I'm really happy for a reasonable system for running kingdoms and sandbox play. The hardcover that expanded the system along with other 3rd party publishers made for a really robust system. I tweaked mass combat however.... 2d10 rather than d20 for mass combat attacks. It made all the difference in the world.
 

Adunaphel

Villager
5 out of 5 rating for Kingmaker Adventure Path

We played throug to level and I loved this AP. Don't know how much extra work our DM put in, but the struggle between building and adventuring was cool.
I missed this empire-building since D&D blue box and now it's back. This AP is my top priority to be continued.
 

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