Kingdom Building and Management Rules

Below are links, and some information, about the rules sub-system in the 2nd module. I’ll probably update and change what’s here quite a bit until we get settled, so check back often.

In general, the kingdom creation & management rules address founding the kingdom (by claiming hexes on the map that you’ve already explored), improving the kingdom (by building things like roads, farms, cities, and all the pieces & parts of cities), and seeing how well the kingdom functions economically, politically, socially, and legally. There are four separate phases that we’ll go through each month of game time: kingdom upkeep, kingdom expansion/improvement, kingdom income, and kingdom events. The first, third, and fourth phases consist of die rolls by various leadership personnel, modified by a variety of things like stats, buildings built, and other things based on previous decisions made. The second phase is like sim-city, wherein you guys will decide where to expand, what to build, how to arrange it all (on the region map and eventually on individual city maps), and on what time table.

Leadership Roles: Your kingdom has 11 distinct leadership roles, which can be filled by PCs or NPCs. Characters of either sort may switch out of and into different roles at any time without penalty, as long as there is a good story-based reason to do so. Each position, when filled, provides certain advantages to the kingdom, and creates certain disadvantages if ever not filled. Determining the form of your government, and who will do what, is probably the most important initial step. Take a look at the list and starting thinking. I’ll put an adventure log post up in a few days just for discussion of leadership roles. Remember: NPCs can fill the roles, so long as they can be convinced to do so.

Kingdom Management Overview
Each turn of the system lasts one month of game time. I know there are special month names from Pathfinder canon, but I don’t want to deal with memorizing those in order to make sense of things. Unless you guys really want to do otherwise, I say we stick with real month names.

Anyway, each turn lasts a month, and is made up of 4 phases, which are dealt with in order. The rolls for each phase (and the steps in each) are said to be made, that is, finalized in the story, on a given day in the month. I recommend that you go with the last day of each month, so that whatever things you did in adventure terms during a given month will take effect in the kingdom building side of the house. The four phases are dealt with in order, but should be taken as representing the entire month of events and issues. The phases are listed below, along with a brief summary of each. I’m going to come up with a way to track goings-on for each month, broken into the phases, so I’ll probably add more pages later. For now, you just need to know the basics. Each of the phases is linked to a deeper description of that phase.

  1. Upkeep Phase: The kingdom’s overall stability is determined here, and is rolled by the ruler. It sets the trend for the next entire month, or in the case of putting it last, describes what it’s been like for the last month. This is also the phase where ‘consumption’ is paid – that is, you pay up in ‘Build Points’ (BPs) to support your kingdom. The bigger the kingdom, the higher the cost, but also bigger=more potential for revenue. Magic items are also replenished here. Yep – the shops and markets in your cities may carry magic items, and those that are sold or otherwise used up in-game are replenished at this point, up to a given city’s GP max. Finally, the level of unrest in the kingdom impacts things at this point, if it’s high enough to do so.
  2. Improvement Phase: This is where you can, in order, change out leadership positions, claim new land (hexes), establish and improve cities, build roads, establish farmlands, and issue edicts (laws and other proclamations). This is where you guys will make the most decisions, spend your kingdoms BPs, and customize it. There are several pages of things you can buy and put in cities, for example.
  3. Income Phase: At this point, you’ll do the following in order: deposit your own money in the kingdom’s treasury to increase the number of BPs you have (this is where adventuring gains can help you build your kingdom); withdraw money from the treasury (yes, you can take money from the kingdom…do it too much and the people get pissed off, however); sell valuable items (things worth more than 4000gp each) – this will generate cash, which you can then use in the same manner as in the first part of this phase; and generate revenue (collect taxes, and otherwise make money off the success of your kingdom).
  4. Kingdom Events Phase: Stuff happens. Sometimes it’ll happen in your kingdom…sometimes good; sometimes bad. This is somewhat akin to wandering monster tables of the olden days, but presented in a manner that they can impact how your kingdom operates. These could be dealt with as adventure seeds, or handled by this kingdom management subsystem – your call.

Outside of this set of rules, there is a story to the second book. As a group, you’ll spend time each month running the kingdom, and the balance of the time in ‘adventure mode,’ working through the story.

I see it developing something like this, although this is just based on conjecture. We’ll start off, through this site, hammering out the details of who will fill which positions – at least the PCs, that is. You guys will discuss where to put the seat of government – you need to select a single hex where it will all start, and from where it will emanate. You can choose your first hex anywhere you’ve explored, and subsequent hexes must be adjacent to that one – you’ll build outward. You’ll start with 50 BPs – that represents the money, supplies, and additional colonists send to you by the Sword Lords. Establishing a hex costs 1. Clearing it will cost 1 or more, depending on the type of terrain. When your kingdom is small (10 or fewer hexes) you’re pretty limited as to the amount of activity in a turn (a month). You’ll be able to settle one hex, clear it, and start building a road – and that’s it for the first month. During the second month you can found a city, and begin construction of 1 building in it. Building at Oleg’s will be cheap (clearing grassland costs only 1), and you can automatically turn his fort into one of a few types of buildings. That’ll save you resources. Building on the site of the Stag Lord’s fort will give you a significant advantage for kingdom stats, due to its location, and will enable you to build a castle for half the price. Building your capitol at the Temple of Erastil will help for some kingdom stats, too, and will enable a faster build – like at the other two locations – due to pre-existing structures. The forest, however, will take more resources to clear. You can also put your capitol somewhere else on a hex you’ve explored. Think about it.

I see us hammering out those details through this site, then moving forward in our first live session in the next book with discussion of laying out the first city, initial roads, and all that. I see spending a good amount of that first session back detailing out your first full year in control, building and revising.

Kingdom Building and Management Rules

Pathfinder Kingmaker Lyle