Monday, May 31, 2010

Kingmaker begins

Rising from the ruin of our unfinished Blackmoor mini-campaign, we rush headlong into Kingmaker. No question, this AP is different from any of the others we've played. I've read it's very "old-school", but to be perfectly honest, I don't remember doing a lot of hex-mapping back in the day. My recollection is that we spent a lot of time underground, be it in the Tomb of Horrors, the Lost Caverns of Tsocjanth or the Temple of Elemental Evil. I suspect my 15 year-old self would probably have viewed this sort of systematic mapping exercise as a bit like homework, something I had little patience for if memory serves. However, that was before I learned the joys of turn-based computer strategy games like Sid Meier's Civilization, which bear a much closer resemblance to Kingmaker than anything I remember doing with AD&D.

There is one AD&D 2e campaign setting which does come to mind, however, when I read the player's guide for Kingmaker and that is Birthright. TSR started getting very experimental with 2e campaign settings, releasing oddities such as Dark Sun, Spelljammer and Planescape, but Birthright may have been the most unusual. It could be played as a straight-up medieval fantasy campaign, but it also had the option of playing as rulers of small kingdoms, battling to expand and develop one's holdings. There were cards for various military units that could be purchased to build your kingdom's army and rules for governance and economics. It was a remarkably well-done setting, one of my personal favourites, and won the Origins Award for the Best Rolepaying Supplement of 1995, but it never achieved much market success. There were just too many D&D campaign settings back then


A Paladin In Citadel said...

Kingmaker almost makes me want to drop some more coin on Pathfinder.

I'm really starting to dig what Paizo is doing, be it the Planet Stories series, the equipment and magic cards, or the new figs (I bought 3 Pathfinder figs on the weekend).

Rognar said...

Well, so far, kingmaker looks pretty cool. You can check out the Kingmaker player's guide for free. It's downloadable from Basically, each character in the group fancies one of 11 positions of authority in the new fief that the group is working to build and creates a character with the approriate skills to assume said role. I'm playing a cleric, so high priest is an appropriate choice, although councilor, marshal and even ruler, are possibilities.

Right now, we are just exploring and chasing off or destroying undesirable elements. We've already hanged a couple of bandits and killed several more in combat. One other bandit has shown a desire to repent and is currently working off his debt to society. We've also killed a worg and came damn close to a TPK against a will-'o-the-wisp. We will have to gain a few levels before returning to that hex.

Tayloritos said...

This is an interesting adventure to DM. Usually a sandbox campaign comes from the DMs head and he can change things on the fly as the characters make decisions. In kingmaker I have to know what is in each hex and how one encounter can relate to another.
It is nice to have 3 books in hand and understand the arc of the books. It gives me a little lee way to decide what is important.
I know I have already missed one clue, but will find a way to insert it next session.

These random encounters are killers.