Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kingmaker - game design by committee

So, we finished the initial part of the Kingmaker adventure path involving the exploration and mapping of part of a region known as the Stolen Lands and have now been given a charter to set up a fief in the territory. We have had a chance to examine the new rules for creating and ruling our new lands. Any hopes that these new rules would compare favourably to my beloved Birthright Campaign Setting have been dashed. There are nearly a dozen rulership positions that need to be filled in order for the newly-established barony to function effectively. Certainly, every lordship needs a Treasurer and a High Priest, but many of these jobs seem to be the same thing with a slightly different focus. For example, the Warden administers to the defense of the realm, but the General leads the army and the Marshal organizes patrols and administers justice in rural areas. I guess if we were comparing this situation to a modern nation state like Canada, the Warden would be Minister of National Defense, the General would be Chief of Defense Staff and the Marshal would be Minister of Public Safety. It seems like a lot of redundancy for a small medieval fiefdom, however.

Even stranger, the occupant of each position appears to be qualified based solely on his or her ability scores. Our tiefling sorcerer with the Cha 20 would make a more effective High Priest than our actual priest of Erastil who only has Wis 18, because class and level seem to be completely meaningless as far as ruling our fledgling state is concerned. In any case, despite being a monarchy, we are given the option of swapping places after each turn. Each turn is a month, so if the Ruler wants to see how his ministers live, he can switch places with a different one each month. Maybe he'll try out Spymaster next month, then take a turn as Grand Diplomat after that. I don't know if this was inspired by reality TV, but even post-war Italy didn't turn over governments that quickly.

I hope more detailed rules will be revealed in future issues of the Kingmaker AP, because what we have right now seems bizarre to me.



Obiri said...

I do agree that swapping roles every month is pretty stupid but I do like how the roles are designed.. If only clerics could be the high priest then any party without one would be scrwed. While this set up is not perfect it is very flexible.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Well, you could have posted this BEFORE I went and bought the first four adventures!


Rognar said...

Obiri - I don't think that's true. No party will have enough members to fill all the positions anyway, so it's expected that some will be NPCs. It could be a requirement that the high priest at least be able to cast divine spells, so a druid or paladin could fill the role. If no player could do it, you recruit an NPC.

Paladin - You old school guys like to hack and house rule everything anyway. Think of Kingmaker as a DIY project. :)

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Or perhaps a fixer-upper!