Sunday, August 26, 2012

Developing the Kingmaker Sandbox

I've been GMing the Pathfinder Adventure Path 'Kingmaker' and, though we're still in the middle of the first part 'Stolen Land' I'm already looking ahead for ways I can extend the campaign.

What makes Kingmaker different from the adventure paths that precede it is the very 'sandbox' nature of the campaign story.  Though there are events that take place, and a climax against dangerous opposing forces, the GM has far more opportunity to make the campaign their own.  This got me thinking about how I might want to extend Kingmaker and I've decided to introduce a couple of other stand alone Pathfinder adventures into the mix, as well as extend the back story; in fact foreshadowing to one of my player characters before the game began, as well as hinting at the nature of the bad-guys from the outset of play.

So far I've decided on two Pathfinder adventures to add into the campaign (though not for a few levels yet!)  The first is 'The Realm of the Fellnight Queen', a particularly appropriate scenario that can easily be incorporated into the wooded area that makes up a substantial area of the lands in which Kingmaker is based.  The plot of the scenario also fits very nicely in the overall 'feel' of the Kingmaker campaign, and it's also a good read!

The second adventure I'm intending to add is 'The Harrowing', a unique adventure that takes the PCs 'inside' a Harrow Deck - the Pathfinder equivalent of Tarot cards - in a very much 'Alice in Wonderland' style adventure.  I think it will make for an interesting departure of the King-building nature of the campaign.

Another reason for adding these two scenarios though is my concern that my players are used to being reactive to the plots they are presented with - rather than 'proactive' and going out to build their own adventures.  This is just how we've always played really, and even the 'hexploration' (exploring the hex-grids that make up the 'Stolen Lands' has been something they are only slowly getting used to.

It will certainly be interesting to see how they get on with the Kingdom-building rules. I'm pretty convinced that some will love it and others loathe it.

I think the 'issue' (if you can call it that) is that the gamers in my group enjoy the 'narrative' aspect of roleplaying and that is something that is possibly down-played a little in the Kingmaker adventure path.

Only time will tell.

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