Pathfinder 1E Prepping for Pathfinder: Kingmaker (spoilers!)


Eternal Optimist
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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Registered User
I used a laptop running Hexographer with a map of the Stolen Lands while gaming to keep track of things.

For the first module, flesh out the not-soon-to-be-dead NPCs - they will very likely make up part of the council in coming modules, so best to introduce them as living, breathing NPCs early.

Beyond that, I'd recommend that you take a look at this thread:

Additionally, check out the Paizo boards for the Kingmaker section - some of the authors have published errata and other suggestions, plus there's spreadsheets for the kingdom management and an expanded encounter table.

All this, and much, much, more. One of the benefits of using an "older" AP.


First Post
Make the trading post encounter of first meeting the couple matter. Have a few other NPCs of hunters and other people come in for the players to meet. When you get into book 2 and build the kingdom the PCs will need NPCs to fill important roles and the book presents a bare minimum of NPCs. When we played it I think by drafting ever named NPC we meet we were able to fill in the leader ship roles with no one to spare.


Totally agreed with the mentions of developing NPCs. Make sure to introduce several and make sure they have some depth. I think when I ran Kingmaker it was where I dropped the ball the most. Not enough focus on the NPCs and building them up - both so the players had other people to choose from for leadership spots and also to help give some more concern for the welfare of the kingdom itself.

I think the people that have really successful Kingmaker campaigns put time into the NPCs to help bring the kingdom to life.


Eternal Optimist
Thanks for the advice! I made sure to emphasize the NPCs, and I'll try to build them up more as the campaign progresses.

Our first session saw the following characters presented for play:
Dave - "Nowan Orlovski" - human Rogue, Nobleborn
Lee - "Brandis Evermine" - half-elf Ranger, Pioneer
Tim - "Asmodeus" - half-elf Alchemist, Brigand
Michael - "Kiera" - human Oracle (Life), Pioneer
Greg - "Wyven" - human Paladin, Sword Scion

The group reached Oleg's Trading Post, where they explained they were there to survey the land and kill the bandits. This gave Oleg mixed feelings: good to have someone dealing with the bandits that were making his life a misery, but not so good that it'd mean there'd be more people about; he wanted a few people to sell goods to, not a whole city's worth! Svetlana, his wife, was more happy about the news, and calmed him down.

Pharist 1, 4712: Ambushing the Bandits
The group thought Oleg's plan of ambushing the bandits when they came to collect the goods on the morrow was a good one, and they planned their attack... not much. They just set up on the battlemap in various positions to do the ambush from (not always the best, esp. with regard to Dave's character).

However, nothing could prepare us for the reality of the first combat: in the surprise round and the first round of full combat, none of the players rolled higher than a five! This gave the bandits an unexpected bonus as the players flubbed their rolls, and they were able to take Nowan down. I also had to explain to Lee how horrible the Heavy Crossbow is for a ranger - and quickly replaced it with a Longbow. Eventually the players started rolling higher, and they managed to defeat the bandit's leader; the two remaining bandits tried to flee, but were cut down.

Oleg and Svetlana returned from where they'd fled, and they congratulated the party on their success. The party took the horses that the bandits had left, selling three to Oleg (which took most of his remaining funds), and then rested for the night; they'd begin their exploration on the morrow. They also undertook to find Svetlana's wedding ring, which had been taken by the bandits.

Pharist 2nd-12th, 4712: First expedition
The group started their search to the north-west of Oleg's Trading Post, making their way through the plains, before entering the forests and swamps of the Narlmarches. Once in the forest, Wyven's horse almost stepped in a bear-trap, but Wyven was alert enough to avoid it. Nowan was then able to disarm it; although not immediately (and he got caught in it once himself!)

More bear-traps, carelessly scattered around the forest, were found by Brandis, who marked each in turn for Nowan and Asmodeus to disarm. However, Asmodeus brashly declared he'd find one himself - and he did, by stepping into one! Kiera was not that impressed as she healed both Asmodeus and Nowan.

(Why is Asmodeus called that? I don't know, but it wasn't the name his parents gave him!)

As the party headed south, they ran into Travon, a hunter who warned them about Breeg, a somewhat disturbed trapper who had set the bear traps they'd discovered. More traps were probably around, and Travon expressed his distaste for them: he preferred the clean kill of his bow and arrow. Travon knew Oleg and Svetlana, and was glad to hear that the group were dealing with the bandits: he'd seen them about, though he'd avoided them and didn't know where their camp was. The party bid him good day and continued their survey.

As it turned out, Breeg wasn't going to be a problem: a deadfall trap he'd been setting by the path of the Thorn River had fallen on him, trapping him and eventually killing him. His masterwork handaxe was in a treestump nearby, which Brandis recovered. Brandis also noticed a small grig nearby, named Xoan, who was very friendly to the group, especially after they started conversing with him in Sylvan. He revealed that "Perlivash" had been responsible for the trapper's death, but not who Perlivash might be.

It didn't take long for the group to find out who Perlivash was. While avoiding a giant centipede (some 25 feet long!), Brandis realised that his arrows were missing, having been replaced by sticks. Looking around, he noticed a Grig and a Faerie Dragon rolling with laughter in the air above (Brandis has a +10 Perception check, and Lee was rolling well for his Ranger).

Calling out a greeting - and bribing them with gold and fine wine, which Nowan, the noble outcast had with him - the group (and particularly Kiera) befriended the pair: Perlivash the faerie dragon and Tyg-Titter-Tut the grig. The pair returned Brandis' arrows, now wrapped in flowers, which Brandis took particular note to praise, and the fey were delighted to know that the group were hunting down the "mean biggenses". They were able to point the group in the right direction to find the bandit camp, and offered their help if the group needed it in the future (though not as adventuring partners - knowledge only!)

Now it was time for the group to engage the bandits, and, after Nowan scouted out the bandit camp, they approached it from two sides, but lost the element of surprise mainly due to how horrible Kiera and Wyven were at being stealthy!


This was fun: I was able to use the D&D Wilderness Tiles I'd acquired along with the many D&D Minis to represent this combat.

Once again, the group rolled fairly poorly in the beginning of the combat, but they recovered quickly. Tim also displayed how scary the Alchemist is - splash damage of 5 points from alchemist's fire wasn't quite enough to kill the bandits outright, but it hurt them dreadfully. One vial went haywire and landed off-target; luckily, it just splashed on a pair of bandits!

Wyven engaged the bandit leader - a woman wielding dual hand-axes - in combat, and his good AC (20) was able to protect him against most of the attacks. Some arrows hit our heroes, but Brandis was able to return fire and take out one of the look-outs. When Wyven finally slew Kressle, their leader, the remaining bandits surrendered or fled; the fleeing ones were shot down by Brandis.

Interrogating the remaining bandits, the party discovered the bandits were working for a powerful bandit called the Stag Lord who was greatly feared. However, the Stag Lord had become a drunk in recent months, and even more bad-tempered. The bandits revealed where his lair was. In answer to an inquiry as to the location of Svetlana's ring (which was not with their loot) they revealed that a group of mites had taken the ring - the mites lived under the Old Sycamore tree to the east.

However, that quest would have to wait for now. The group returned over the plains to Oleg's Trading Post, delivering the two bandits to borderland justice.

There, they discovered that the guards that Oleg had been waiting on had arrived, led by Kesten Garess, of the Garess noble family of Brevoy. He got on well with Nowan, and revealed that there was a rogue mercenary - Falgrim Sneed - probably working with the bandits that he wanted due to a past feud. If the party delivered Falgrim alive, he reward them with four masterwork weapons.

Another arrival at the trading post was Jhod Kavken, a cleric of Erastil who wanted to reclaim a lost temple of his god. He offered free healing to the group if they'd find the temple for him.

The party also took note of various quest notices posted on the trading post's notice board; in particular the bounty on dealing with the bandits, which they'd effectively already done. (A reward will arrive for them once the lords of Brevoy get around to it; probably on the 19th).

With that, I ended the session - we had about 20 minutes left, but it was a natural break-point in the adventure. Each of the PCs gained 1200 XP. I'm concerned that the XP may be a little too low, but we'll see how they deal with the upcoming encounters. I have been using random encounters - which yielded Travon, Xoan and the giant centipede.

We're really enjoying the adventure so far. I'm displaying the Map Folio poster map of where they're exploring, so they have a visual reference, whilst Tim is marking down what they find on the blank mapsheet.

The group doesn't have a proper wizard. Greg's already considering getting a cohort once he becomes eligible for Leadership. If the group really need one, I'm sure one of them will die and make up a replacement character that fits the bill! :)

We'll continue on with the game next week. Until then!


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Great write-up! I enjoyed the read.

With that, I ended the session - we had about 20 minutes left, but it was a natural break-point in the adventure. Each of the PCs gained 1200 XP. I'm concerned that the XP may be a little too low, but we'll see how they deal with the upcoming encounters. I have been using random encounters - which yielded Travon, Xoan and the giant centipede.

The Kingmaker Forums at Paizo made it sound like you had to watch XP pretty closely and there were times that it was a bit tight. When I run APs I tend to hand out XP at the appropriate points and not track it closely.


Eternal Optimist
100 XP per hex! Hooray! :)

I've just gone through the AP: if the PCs complete every quest, explore every hex and kill (overcome) everything, they should get enough XP to reach level 4. Just.

With a larger group (5), I'll have to adjust a few encounters and XP.



First Post
I'm currently in a Kingmaker campaign, we just started book 6. Without giving any spoilers, i feel book 6 is a bit of a jolt in the storyline. There was almost no forshadowing untill the end of book 5. Maybe this was how our DM ran it, i don't know.
Your XP worries shouldn't be a problem, we thought the same, but hexploration, quest XP, and random encounters saw almost perfect timing in level-up's. There is alot of random encounter rolls, (5% entering a hex, 15% exploring a hex) the writers have added the average to the XP track, and it works out. You'll still need to adjust for 5 characters tho.
Hope your game is as fun as ours.


I'm currently in a Kingmaker campaign, we just started book 6. Without giving any spoilers, i feel book 6 is a bit of a jolt in the storyline. There was almost no forshadowing untill the end of book 5. Maybe this was how our DM ran it, i don't know.

There is foreshadowing, but it is subtle and a GM could miss it or fail to bring it to the forefront enough. I added a couple of things to help foreshadow it a bit as well.


Eternal Optimist
Our second session was without Lee, who had been summoned to a family emergency. As a result, we were without a ranger (and his excellent Perception checks).

I began the session by doing a little role-playing with the inhabitants of Oleg's trading post, and reinforcing a few of the quests. Svetlana asked for the Moon Radishes (to cheer up the ill Lee and the depressed Oleg). Though this quest has a ridiculously good reward, I wasn't about to change it.

The group's main objective was to regain Svetlana's wedding ring, but on the first expedition they discovered some kobolds guarding her moon radishes and - after failing to negotiate with them - slaughtered three of them and then successfully negotiated with the fourth. From here, it was time to look for the Sycamore tree the mites lived under.

Once that was found - and the guard party of mites was dealt with, we had one of the most amusing set-piece encounters yet: the group would find some mites, kill one, then the rest would run away. Once they reached the leader, he had all these reinforcements. Unfortunately for the mite leader, he won initiative, charged into combat, and was killed before the rest of the mites could act. What did they do? They ran away - abandoning their home to find somewhere far, far away from cruel adventurers!


This session was *mostly* run without miniatures, but I did use a basic map to show the mite combats.

After the mites were defeated, they recovered the statue of a devil, and freed a poor kobold who really wanted to return the statue to his tribe. The group were very amenable to negotiating with the kobolds, and accompanied him to the tribe.

The second big set-piece of the session found the group giving the statue to the chieftain of the tribe rather than the shaman, and then defending themselves as the shaman attacked them. The chief was overjoyed when the shaman was slain, and a treaty was enacted between the kobolds and the adventurers. Dave was talking about trade routes - we'll see how that goes as the adventure continues. Mikmek, the kobold they rescued, will probably have an ongoing role as well...

Apart from that, the group continued to explore the lands around. A random encounter with a troll saw the group bribing it with about 12 days worth of rations rather than fighting it (good thinking!), they reclaimed a temple of Erastil, and failed to discover a couple of items because their Perception skills weren't high enough. The session ended with them fighting a great boar (one of the quest monsters) and defeating it pretty easily.


Beads indicate hexes explored. The goblin has no significance.

At this point, the group was just short of 3rd level, so I instructed everyone to level up in preparation for the next session. (They'd reached 2nd level after a couple of encounters this session). We should finish this first adventure next session, and then move into the kingdom-building aspect of the Adventure Path.


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Eternal Optimist
We finished our third session of the Pathfinder adventure path, Kingmaker, today, which also concluded the first volume of the six-volume set. It actually took a little longer than I expected, a little over three hours, which is not how long it looked when the group were finishing off the last of the exploration of map hexes; that proceeded fairly quickly, mainly because there were few actual combats to get through (and little role-playing).

Most of the excitement in the early stages came from random encounters. Upon finding the dice indicated a faerie dragon, it proved an opportune time for Perlivash to return. A group of grigs (insect faeries) were unknown to the party, but they'd heard of the party, and so we got brief vignettes of role-playing as a result, which I mostly used to give feedback to the party that they were having an effect, and that their efforts against the bandits were appreciated by the forest folk. I wonder what Perlivash will think when the settlers start moving in...

The group also escorted Jhod to the reclaimed Temple of Erastil, fulfilling that quest, and found the fangberries for Bekken, with the spiders being defeated with Tim's first attack (although not before they poisoned most of the group, though somewhat ineffectively. I like how Pathfinder is dealing with resolving poison, even if most of the group (with the exception of Lee) weren't affected.

On the other hand, Dave wanted to craft some poisons. As we're using the Advanced Player's Guide for this campaign, Dave has taken the poisoner option for his rogue (losing trapfinding to be effective with poisons). Unfortunately, nothing will make the Pathfinder crafting rules good. They were stupid in 3E, and they're stupid in PF. To get one dose of poison, he'll need to spend three weeks making it. Yes, Kingmaker will be a longer campaign than most D&D games I run (it's already spanned 7 weeks of campaign time), but 3 weeks for one dose? Yes, far more effective to just "buy" the poison.

(But from whom?)

Give me the Ravages from Book of Exalted Deeds any day.

One of the more important encounters, although possibly not seen that way by the group, was the discovery of a unicorn's body with no explanation as to how it died or who killed it. Foreshadowing. Woo!

The final battle against the Big Bad Bandits was fun. The group got ambushed on the way up to the lair, but did manage to get into the lair through a back door. That led into a battle with the bandits attacking in waves and the group getting aid from an unexpected source. And finally the Big Bad appeared and did some damage before going down. All of this just reinforced to me how pathetic NPCs are in Pathfinder as villains.

I'm just going to do a comparison of the baseline with the Big Bad's stats. I think these shouldn't be that far off... while noting we're talking about a CR 6 threat here (allegedly):
Big Bad: AC 19, F+4, R+9, W+1, hp 67, Atk +8/+3 (10) plus sneak attack +10
Suggested: AC 19, F+5 R+9 W+5, hp 70, Atk +12 (25)

Well, defensively on par, but definitely underpar (and a fair way) offensively. I don't like Pathfinder rogues as enemies. They're generally crap - they get one sneak attack and that's it unless they have some magical way of hiding. Stealth +12 is *not* enough. At least this Big Bad has a magic item allowing a second sneak attack. Not that it helped once Greg and the others got up into melee.

The last encounter was with the guardian of the bandit's treasure, and here was an unfortunately brief and fairly pointless battle, all over in one round.

With the bandits all dealt with, I wrapped up the details of the first adventure and laid some groundwork for the next, explaining a few things about the kingdom-building rules. We'll cover the details of the rules next session. Actually, I'll give them all copies of the rules prior to us getting fully underway. I'm really not sure of how much time we'll devote in-play to the kingdom.

A couple of points on the staging of this adventure: first of all, I managed to acquire a copy of the Dungeon Tile product DN2: The Witchlight Fens the other day, with a lot of swamp and river terrain. It proved perfect for the fight against the Tatzlwurms, which was a lot of fun as Lee's Ranger tried to use Animal Empathy on them, not realising they were dragons. After the group killed the one that mauled him, the combat was only two rounds long. Pathfinder doing lengthy and significant combats? Not so much so far. (The bandit combat I dragged out by introducing them in waves). I really, really love the D&D Dungeon Tiles, particularly the ones for the wilderness, and they have proved very useful so far.

Second, I drew up the bandit camp on my Flipmat before I came to the session, and so was able to deploy it without any hassle and such saved a lot of time. D&D Miniatures made the bulk of the miniature action this session, with Tim and Michael providing unpainted Reaper metals for their characters, and Lee having a Pathfinder mini for his ranger.

We're not running every encounter with minis (mainly because a lot are so damn inconsequential), but I have them available if they become important.

Kingmaker is playing nicely from the player's point of view, though I'm very curious to see if it manages to give us challenging encounters. The final encounter with the bandits was quite challenging, although mainly due to Auchs, the big brute bandit, not so much for the rest. Once Michael got his oracle's healing online, the damage being dealt was less than the healing on offer.


Kingmaker is playing nicely from the player's point of view, though I'm very curious to see if it manages to give us challenging encounters. The final encounter with the bandits was quite challenging, although mainly due to Auchs, the big brute bandit, not so much for the rest. Once Michael got his oracle's healing online, the damage being dealt was less than the healing on offer.

A lot of the encounters in Kingmaker were pretty easy. It was simply the nature of one encounter per hex plus maybe a wandering critter or two. That let the party be ready for most encounters. There were some exceptions along they way, but they were exceptions.

There was usually at least one "mini-dungeon" that provided some challenge within. It seems each book has at least one of those.

Book Six makes up for this in spades. The power level in there is a shock compared to the first five books.


We finished book 6 this weekend. Yes what a shock, re: the BBEG,

my ranger... i roll 47-47/49/42/25/29/12 to hit!
DM... you miss
my ranger...:eek:

Yep! As a GM I loved that battle! Helped make up for all the easy encounters during exploration! I really enjoyed the final book in that series as a GM. Along the way I feel I had done a good job of foreshadowing it, so book 6 didn't seem as far out of left field as some complained on the Paizo boards.

Overall I really liked the AP. I think our group had a good time with it.


First Post
On the other hand, Dave wanted to craft some poisons. As we're using the Advanced Player's Guide for this campaign, Dave has taken the poisoner option for his rogue (losing trapfinding to be effective with poisons). Unfortunately, nothing will make the Pathfinder crafting rules good. They were stupid in 3E, and they're stupid in PF. To get one dose of poison, he'll need to spend three weeks making it. Yes, Kingmaker will be a longer campaign than most D&D games I run (it's already spanned 7 weeks of campaign time), but 3 weeks for one dose? Yes, far more effective to just "buy" the poison.
Really, the only way to save it, use gp not sp to determine crafting speed for poisons.
That makes crafting useable as it should be.

I'll see what you can do if using sp.
Trapdoor spiders? 150 gp.
Craft DC 14, cost 50 gp.
Assuming 14 Int, trained +1 rank=6.
Yeah, taking 10 means a 16 means to get 1500 goal: 240 a week. 6 weeks.

Caster's can boost your ski'l by 5 (Crafter's fortune, 1st lv spell). This raises you to 11. This lowers time to 315 to 4 weeks

A masterwork item would boost by 2. raising to 345, so still 4 weeks.
If you have the others all aid another him: 4 x2=+8. Raising to Skill Total 19 +take ten, we can raise DC by 10, since we still make DC.
New amount 725, Time 2 weeks.


Eternal Optimist
What Came Before
My Kingmaker campaign has been continuing somewhat sporadically, as various illnesses and events have been interfering. We took 4 sessions to play through Rivers Run Red, which saw the characters found their kingdom and bring it up to a 17-hex barony. Most wonderfully, they recruited a giant to be the kingdom’s headsman, and the threat of the giant keeps the loyalty of the kingdom quite high.

Greg’s character, Wyvern, is the ruler of the kingdom, with the other PCs taking on other positions of responsibility. Kingdom-building was the main focus of Rivers Run Red, although there were two main encounters of note: Wyvern recovered a broken feybane sword from a nearby barrow, and Dave’s character, Nowan, a human rogue, was torn apart by a troll. Apparently, rogues with low Constitution shouldn’t engage in melee with advanced trolls!

Dave created a new character – Joe, a human transmuter – and Greg recruited a cohort – Talia, a human Wizard, and our most recent session saw us begin The Varnhold Vanishing, the third part of the Kingmaker adventure path.

The Characters
Greg – Wyvern, human Paladin 7 – ruler
his cohort – Talia, human Wizard 5
Dave – Joe, human Transmuter 7 – spymaster
Lee – Brandis, half-elf Ranger 7 – marshal
Tim – Asmodeus, half-elf Alchemist 7 – magister
Michael – Keira, human Oracle 7 – councillor

The Vanishing
One of the aristocrats of their new kingdom came to Wyvern with a problem; his brother, on a visit to the newly-formed town of Varnhold, which had been formed by another mercenary band at the same time as the PCs’ barony, had not returned. Nor had there been any contact with the barony for at least two weeks!

Baron Wyvern was amenable to finding out was wrong, and set out with his boon companions on horseback to Varnhold. The journey there was interrupted by a fight with five worgs, which, alas, only provided the group with brief entertainment. (Two fireball-casting wizards? Not good for worgs!)

The watchtower in the mountain pass leading to the town was abandoned, and so too proved to be the town. The animals of the town were mostly dead – starvation and thirst being the killers. Or neglect. There were signs of spriggan activity, including a couple of spriggan corpses, but there was no sign of what had happened to the villagers. A feral hog attacked the group, dealing some damage to Wyvern, but it was slain by the group easily enough.

The group soon began to suspect the local centaur tribe, the Nomen, based on the discovery of centaur hides, and a message scrawled on the inn’s door. They also found books and notes from a travelling scholar, who had come to town to investigate the Nomen and other historic parts of the region, which just reinforced their suspicions. There were also pictures and notes about a jade bracelet that had been recovered from a nearby river. Could this have been the trigger that had led the Nomen on their rampage?

Swarms of crows and rats were fireballed away, and the group finally found living, intelligent creatures in the town; a tribe of spriggans, who had been looting the town after relocating there. The spriggans had set up camp in the town’s stockade, and attempted to stop the party from entering. They were unsuccessful, and all seven of them, plus their leader, were slain in the fights, but not before the spriggans set alight the stockade, destroying it and any evidence that might have been there of what had occurred in the village.

The party returned to their home to deal with the business of ruling – their kingdom expanded to 19 hexes, and they built a brewery (having discovered a recipe for stout in Varnhold, it seemed appropriate). Joe crafted some horseshoes of speed for Keira’s horse and his own, and he also started using the Ant Haul spell to increase the carrying capacity of the party’s horses, so they could even carry Wyvern in his plate armour without reducing their speed! The group could now explore even mountainous hexes at the rate of 1/day, rather than one hex per three days as it was before.

Travelling back to Varnhold after this week’s break, they started looking for the centaur tribe, searching the lands around the mountains. One night was broken by a Chimera attack, another by more Worgs, but they were fairly easily dealt with; Asmodeus was wearing a ring of sustenance, and so would always be on watch with one other character, and his bombs were proving quite effective.

The group found the old, petrified bones of a linnorm, at which they found a number of offerings of meat and wine; they were also attacked by a bull mastodon that was roaming the area. Asmodeus and Wyvern took a lot of damage from it before the group were able to slay it. Joe was now casting mass enlarge person at the beginning of combat to aid the group. Keira mainly just channelled to heal the party rather than taking an offensive role.

Further exploration found them taking a quest from a phase spider to clear out the Xills that had invaded her lair; the Xills proved very difficult for the group to slay, with the Xills proving resistant to many of the spells of Joe and Keira, and they did a lot of damage back to Asmodeus and Wyvern; Keira was hard-pressed to keep everyone functioning, but finally the Xills were slain and the group gained a reward from the phase spider which included a spellbook, much to the delight of Talia and Joe.

At that point, we ended the session. The game has been running for about 15 months of game-time so far; I don’t believe this adventure is going to take all that long to complete.

DM’s Notes
This was a very satisfying session. It’s great to see the group working well together, and Dave is really now using his knowledge of the Pathfinder spells to great effect. The group reached 8th level by the end of the session. I’m not really tracking XP any more, and they probably would have been just short otherwise, but giving the characters levels between sessions means the sessions don’t slow down that much.

In contrast to most of our recent sessions, we only had one kingdom-phase this session; the group was very busy exploring Varnhold. I have the map folio for this adventure, and the session was made much easier by having a poster map of the town so that the group could just point to which building they wanted to explore. The mystery of the vanishing is presented really well; I was worried going into the session that it might be a bit boring, but it played well, which is what you really want from an adventure.

I’ve also recently acquired Book of the River Nations: Complete Player’s Reference to Kingdom Building, which Michael spent some time perusing the other day. It expands the options for what they can build in their kingdom and, although we didn’t use it this session, I expect we will in the future. My copies of the first four instalments of Way of the Wicked, an evil-themed Adventure Path from Fire Mountain Games have also arrived, and we’ll likely play that when Kingmaker ends.

The battles in this session were more challenging than most of the last adventure (save for the trolls) which was good to see; it’s very common for Pathfinder battles to be very lopsided, especially with them more likely to be one per day in this AP.

We’ve now played eight sessions of the Kingmaker game; I expect this adventure to take a total of three sessions if they continue with it in the manner they have so far. Their kingdom is now 19 hexes; I wonder how big it will be when this adventure ends?


First Post
Looks like you are having a good time with this AP.

I ran it last year and we had a blast. The player's really got into the nation building and made some interesting choices during the campaign that I went along with. Like instead of wiping out a band of Kobolds they befriended them and ended up recruiting them take over and work a local mine. Some of them were even trained as sharpshooters and became members of the town guard!

I know kobolds are listed as evil but I always maintain that this is just the popular opinion of the 'civilized' races. They just don't 'get' the orcs, kobolds, goblins, etc.



First Post
Having played all the way through Kingmaker -

Yeah, we domesticated the kobolds. Our gnome summoner also started rearing owlbears.

Kingdom building was neat at first, but was a serious chore by book 5. We also had about 12 districts worth of cities and were using an excel spreadsheet to track everything.

The mass combat system in book 5 was a little disappointing, though it may have been in part because our group was calculating something wrong - our nation had a great economy, but the cost of keeping a decent unit in the field was so high we could only field like 3 units at a time. So we decided to bypass the mass combat entirely by going straight for the enemy ruler in a commando strike.

The final boss of book 3 is interesting - his offensive power isn't amazing, but he has high DR and a lot of immunities. Fortunately, in our game he got stuck between a wall and my paladin.

The final boss of book 4 was one of the hardest fights of the campaign. The summoner's eidolon was killed like 4 times in that battle.

The Palace of Doors in Book 5 was pretty neat to raid. Though our maul of the titans helped with the Doors part. It was pretty funny when my paladin came through a wall right into the throne room.

The Forest of a Thousand Screams is pretty messed up. The forest can spit out random encounters that are significantly more dangerous than any normal encounter in the module.

Epic Threats

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