Sunday, 28 November 2010

Pathfinder's Kingmaker

Hiya folks, if you have been following Kelvin’s blogs of the Kingmaker story, eg ‘Living in a Box’, and likewise by Stuart on his blog, The Great Game, eg: ‘A Short Cut to Mushroom (soup)’, you may be aware there are a bunch of us playing Paizo’s Kingmaker Campaign using the Pathfinder rules. Having completed books – or as I call them – ‘Acts’ / or Story Arcs 1 and 2, I thought I’d offer up a little commentary and some thoughts on them.

Well – we decided to go ‘retro’ and return to an older edition of D&D having given 4e a go (I ran Paizo’s Rise of the Runelords for Acts 1 and 2, and Ric had run some of Open Designs ‘Wrath of the River King’ slotted into his homebrew setting). We were after a more open, sandbox game – our interest sparked by Kelvin’s Rogue Trader game that was VERY open. ;) & we were also after that retro feel where we had more options than simply killing everything, and only using powers…. A return to skills and a more open game-play. Paizo had produced the sandbox campaign Kingmaker, and with its ruleset Pathfinder, we decided to give it a go, and see where it took us!

Why I’d recommend Kingmaker (using Pathfinder):

It is a sandbox game,
in which players can affect the story, and is not driven by a linear plot development. (Yes – players are limited to a certain size of the map – via their charter from Brevoy, their noble sponsors – but what they do, who they kill, who they ally themselves with in the realm is up to them)

The Pathfinder rules – they are better, IMHO, than 3.5 D&D, more like a souped up version of D&D (influence of Iron Heroes here?), and the tweeks from 3.5, although making it a little fiddly for those of us who are familiar with 3.5 and thus have to declutter our brains from 3.5 gobble-di-gook, the tweeks and changes are welcome ones, and make game play better! Stuart has written a few words here about 4e v Pathfinder – in a fair way IMHO. :)

Pathfinder rpg is well supported – with the Pazio prd, as well as a fansite pfsrd.

Paizo’s Adventure Paths are also well supported – via fan postings on the message boards. I was able to mine these posts from folks who were ahead of me in running the game, and learn from their problems, their ideas on bring some parts of the game to life, and reflecting on how to foreshadow future issues and so on and so forth. Ideas about climate, culture, names, working out some tricky points in the game, how to make sure the players have a background that will advantage them/ link them into the setting etc. Really useful to have a community of other GMs to converse with about the materials, rather than do it all on your own. This is a key advantage of any Pathfinder Adventure Path.

We have really enjoyed it. And players have responded. We have 2 bestiaries now – one for the players for their companions and summonsed creatures stats; 3 copies of the Advanced Players Guides, I have pre-ordered Bestiary 2… and we are looking forward to the new Magic book in April 2011….. None of us have played at this level before in D&D (bar me – level 9 was my limit in a game I ran – The Night Below for 2nd ed way back in 1995-1997)

I am looking forward to playing in Kelvin’s ‘Carrion Hill’ scenario for Pathfinder level 5 and our Winter BenCon all day gaming sometime over xmas – where we get together and play games (rpg one shots/ board games) all day! I am also looking forward to recharging my GMing brain, and having time to paint some minis before I get back into the hot seat! Kelvin’s turn first! Carrion Hill - & Rogue Trader?

2 comments:

  1. Carrion Hill definitely. Rogue Trader depends on how much of a break you want to take; it could run for six weeks, or sixteen, depending on what we want to do. There's plenty of time to decide, anyway, with a Cold City one-off coming up, Carrion Hill, and Winter BenCon™ before we get back into a regular game.

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  2. Wish I could make the Cold City game - but with a one-chance to see the Royal Crown Revue... for me, for once, RPGing takes a backseat. OK. Make that twice, with me being at my insane brother's 40th on Friday.... :S

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