Kingdom Building

Absalom was not built in a day.

You can expect that if you are a mere mortal and your chosen location is mostly unexplored, untamed wilderness, it might take you even longer. This page represents your total knowledge of kingdom building and it will be expanded upon as time passes and lessons are learned. Study up, fledgling rulers, for difficult choices lie ahead.

In order to understand some of the terms discussed below, feel free to check the Kingdom Terms page of the wiki.

Each nation’s essence can be distilled into a few statistics that reflect its health, growth and ability to withstand internal and external pressures. These are:

Alignment – This is expressed along the same two axes as character alignment. Your nation’s alignment must be within one step of the Party Alignment.

  • Lawful kingdoms gain +2 to Economy and Chaotic kingdoms gain +2 to Loyalty.
  • Good kingdoms benefit from +2 Loyalty, while Evil kingdoms enjoy +2 to their Economy.
  • Neutrality on either axis nets a +2 bonus to Stability.

Size – Simply the number of hexes claimed by your nation. Only one hex may be claimed per Kingdom Turn. Hexes may be abandoned if your nation has grown too quickly to support itself, but such an action would almost certainly have a negative effect on your population’s faith in your ability to rule.

  • A nation of size 1-20 is a Barony.
  • A nation size 21-80 is a Duchy.
  • A nation of size 81+ can truly be called a Kingdom.

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. We’ll just call them Months 1-12 for now, and we can figure it out as we go.

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. 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. 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. Some with as adventure seeds, and some handled by this kingdom management subsystem.

Leadership Roles

The formal leadership positions, as laid out in the second book, are listed and briefly described below. Each one is listed using the name in the book, but if you don’t like it feel free to change it – you guys make up the titles and we’ll roll with them. Remember that each position focuses on a particular conceptual area of the kingdom, and a kingdom stat associated with it. Having someone in place will help when rolling using that stat; an empty position will hurt. Any character that holds a leadership position must spend about a week each month completely focused on doing that job, or the position is considered to be vacant that month. This gives you a few weeks of flexibility, but also puts some pressure on you to balance between adventuring and governing.

  • Ruler – Primary leader of the kingdom and figurehead representative of the land. Contributes her CHA modifier to one of the three primary natiKingdom Values (her choice). As the nation increases in size, the Ruler may contribute to two or even all three of these Values. Special: A nation may have two Rulers who are married to each other, in which case, each Ruler contributes his/her modifier. Only one of these Rulers need be present to avoid the vacancy penalty. Penalty – A nation without a ruler cannot claim hexes, designate farmland, build roads, purchase city districts, treat with other nations or declare war. Unrest also increases significantly without strong leadership.
  • Councilor – Ensures that the will of the citizenry is represented. May add his WIS or CHA modifier to Loyalty. Penalty – Loyalty decreases and the kingdom cannot benefit from festivals. Unrest is sure to increase when the will of the people goes unheard.
  • General – Commands the kingdom’s armies and is a public hero, representative of the might of the nation. May add his STR or CHA modifier to Stability. Penalty – Stability will suffer greatly when there is no brave soul to lead the nation to victory.
  • Grand Diplomat – Oversees international relations. May add her INT or CHA to the country’s Stability. Penalty – When the nation is cut off from diplomatic relations, Stability will suffer and it will not be able to benefit from Promotion Edicts.
  • High Priest – Spiritual guide to the nation. May add his WIS or CHA to Stability. Penalty -With no one to guide them through the difficulties of life in the frontier, the troubled citizens will lose both Stability and Loyalty, while Unrest increases.
  • Magister – Leader of higher learning and magic. May add her INT or CHA to Economy. Penalty – The Economic engine will slow down considerably if there is no one driving progress.
  • Marshal – Organizes patrols and enforces justice in the nation’s more rural areas. May add his WIS or DEX to Economy as trade thrives when even the border regions are safe. Penalty – Of course, Economy will take a serious hit when security concerns override free trade.
  • Royal Assassin – May be a public executioner and enforcer or a shadowy figure accomplishing unpleasant but necessary tasks out of the public eye. She contributes her STR or DEX modifier to Loyalty and the promise of permanent consequences has an ongoing positive effect on national Unrest. There is no penalty if this role goes vacant.
  • Spymaster – Keeps tabs on the nation’s underworld and other kingdoms, both friend and foe alike. The Spymaster may chose to increase any one of the three Kingdom Values by either his DEX or INT modifier. This benefit can be re-assigned once per phase. Penalty – Out of control crime will have a major impact on legitimate business and stifle the Economy. Unrest will also rise as decent citizens fear for their safety and property.
  • Treasurer – Collects taxes and manages the national treasury. She may add either her INT or WIS modifier to Economy. Penalty – The Economy is sure to suffer if no one is minding the store and the treasury will dwindle as taxes go uncollected.
  • Warden – Leads the kingdom’s defensive militias and city guards. Add either STR or CON to Loyalty. Penalty – Without a strong and organized defense, Loyalty will be greatly reduced and national Stability will weaken.

Any PC who takes the Leadership feat may recruit a loyal and competent leader/administrator to fill one of these roles (except for Ruler). In addition, the Leadership feat lets that PC increase their effect on Kingdom Values by +1 per 10 points of Leadership score (minimum 1). Alternatively, if you don’t have the leadership feat, you don’t have to choose a cohort to fill that role, you could use an NPC that you are familiar with.

Edicts

Edicts are the ‘policies’ of your nation. They may be assigned or re-assigned once per Kingdom Turn. More types of Edicts may be available as your kingdom grows, but for now, you can address the following top concerns:

  • Promotion – The Grand Diplomat role must be filled to issue and benefit from these edicts. Promotion Edicts represent your kingdom’s attitude towards growth and expansion. It reflects recruitment efforts to bring in new population, homesteading benefits and interaction with unaligned settlers and towns.

None – -1 Stability, no Consumption increase
Token – +1 Stability, +1 BP to Consumption
Standard – +2 Stability, +2 BP to Consumption
Aggressive – +3 Stability, +4 BP to Consumption
Expansionist – +4 Stability, +8 BP to Consumption

  • Taxation – The Treasurer role must be filled to collect taxes.

None – +0 Economy, +1 Loyalty
Light – +1 Economy, -1 Loyalty
Normal – +2 Economy, -2 Loyalty
Heavy – +3 Economy, -4 Loyalty
Overwhelming – +4 Economy, -8 Loyalty

  • Festivals per year – Everyone loves a party, but you cannot benefit from festivals unless the Councilor role is filled. These edicts represent the number of nationally sanctioned and supported festivals, which may occur on national holidays or religious/natural days of significance.

None – -1 Loyalty, no Consumption increase (party pooper)
1 – +1 Loyalty, +1 BP to Consumption
6 – +2 Loyalty, +2 BP to Consumption
12 – +3 Loyalty, +4 BP to Consumption
24 – +4 Loyalty, +8 BP to Comsuption (party animal!)

City Improvements

There are many details to consider when building and improving your nation’s cities, many of which you will learn over time. This page represents your knowledge so far and will be updated as your kingdom grows.

A city may be established in any claimed hex that does not contain farmland or Non-City Improvements. You must pay a one-time cost to have the hex prepared to support the city’s infrastructure. The cost and time required for this preparation depends on the prevalent terrain. A grassland hex requires 1 BP to prepare and new building construction may begin during that same turn. A hills hex requires 2 BP to prepare and new construction in that city may begin in the following month.

Your kingdom will receive an immediate +1 to Stability for every city beyond the first. Of course, that benefit will be lost and Unrest will increase significantly if any of your cities is abandoned or taken by an enemy.

All hexes in The Stolen Lands can be presumed to have adequate fresh water to support a city (unless explicitly stated otherwise), regardless of the appearance of rivers on the exploration map.

Each city has important values to be aware of:

  • Defensive Modifier – can be increased by certain structures and will affect mass combat, should that ever come to pass.
  • Base Value – related to the number of Economy-based buildings. Any magic item equal to or lower than this Base Value in cost is available for purchase 75% of the time. Item availability may be checked once per item per Kingdom Turn. Each city starts with a base value of 200gp.
  • Magic Item Availability – certain ‘featured’ items are randomly generated, based on the number and type of city improvements. Items remain on the market until sold during the Income phase or purchased by the PCs.

There are many types of City Buildings and Improvements to chose from. Many more choices will open up as the nation progresses. Buildings are considered to be ‘constructed’ immediately and contribute their bonuses in the same turn that they are built. All Kingdom Value benefits and penalties are ongoing, except for Unrest, which is a one-time effect.
Your list of available city improvements is found here.

Monthly Building Limitations

Kingdom Size New Cities New Buildings Hex Claims Roads Farmlands or Camps (Including Mines)
1-10 1 1 1 1 1
11-25 1 2 2 2 1
26-50 1 5 3 3 2
51-100 2 10 4 4 2
101-200 3 20 8 6 3
201+ 4 No Limit 12 8 4

Kingdom Building

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