Hesperia Universalis - Kingmaker
Running a Kingdom
Ruling a Kingdom
Like a player character’s stat block, a kingdom’s stat block continues to evolve and grow as the kingdom expands, gathers more resources, purchases upgrades, and suffers defeats and setbacks. As the kingdom grows, the PCs will need to deal with a host of situations, all of which can further influence the kingdom’s stat block.
A kingdom’s growth occurs during four phases, which represent a month in total. When the PCs establish a kingdom, you should pick a day of each month to resolve that kingdom’s growth and fortunes—it’s best to set this as the last day of each month, so that any accomplishments the PCs have made during that month can impact that month’s growth.
One thing to decide early on is who makes kingdom rolls. The obvious choice is for the Ruler to roll the dice, as this adds a feeling of command to that player’s role. You can also assign each roll to a specific leader—for example, the Treasurer might make Economy checks and the Warden may wish to make all checks having to do with events under her command. Ultimately, since a kingdom is shared by all the players, it doesn’t matter who makes the kingdom’s Economy, Loyalty, and Stability checks, but assigning them can be fun nonetheless.
During a kingdom’s Upkeep phase, take the following actions. If your kingdom currently controls 0 hexes, skip this phase and proceed to the Improvement phase.
Step 1—Determine Kingdom Stability: Make a Stability check against your Command DC to determine your kingdom’s level of security for the month. If you make the check, reduce your kingdom’s Unrest by 1 (if your Unrest is at 0, gain 1 BP as a result of surplus goods and services). If you fail this check by 5 or more, increase Unrest by 2.
Step 2—Pay Consumption: Deduct your kingdom’s Consumption from the kingdom’s Treasury BP. If you aren’t able to pay for the month’s Consumption, your kingdom’s BP drops into the negative. Every time you end an Upkeep phase with negative BP in your Treasury, your kingdom’s Unrest increases by 2.
Step 3—Fill Vacant Magic Item Slots: If there are any vacant magic item slots in any cities, randomly roll new items to fill these slots.
_Step 4—Unrest: _If the kingdom’s Unrest is 11 or higher, it loses one hex chosen by the kingdom’s leaders. Any improvements in that hex (farmlands and roads) are lost and must be rebuilt after the hex is reclaimed. Any settlements in that hex become towns that must be annexed if they are to be reclaimed into the kingdom (see page 56). Finally, if the kingdom employs a Royal Assassin, reduce your total Unrest by 1 at the end of this phase.
During a kingdom’s Improvement phase, take the following actions. The number of improvements you can make during a single phase is limited by your kingdom’s size; see the Improvements per Month table for these limits.
_Step 1—Select Leadership: _Assign leaders to any vacant leadership roles. Leaders must be PCs or closely allied NPCs. You can change leaders as often as you want with no impact on your nation’s statistics (apart from changing what bonuses apply, as the ability scores of leaders differ); reallocating roles allows you to give every player a chance to play the role of ruler if you wish.
_Step 2—Claim Hexes: _Each hex on the maps of the Stolen Lands measures 12 miles across, and the PCs’ kingdom must be built hex by hex. To claim a hex, you must explore it and clear it of monsters or dangerous hazards; the hex must also be adjacent to a hex that is already part of the kingdom (with the exception of the first hex, which can be anywhere). At this point, you can claim the hex as part of the kingdom by spending 1 BP. Increase your kingdom’s size (and thus its Consumption) by 1 for each hex you claim. You can abandon a hex to reduce your kingdom’s Size. Doing so increases Unrest by 1 (or by 4, if the abandoned hex contained a city).
Step 3—Establish and Improve Cities: Prepare land for city districts and then purchase new buildings for your kingdom’s cities. The building’s adjustments to your nation apply immediately. You can also destroy buildings at this time in order to clear a space to build something new; if you destroy a building, don’t forget to remove its benefits from your kingdom’s statistics!
Step 4—Build Roads: Roads have an immediate initial cost but over the long term can pay for the investment handsomely. It costs 1 BP to build a road though a hex. This cost increases to 2 BP in forests and to 4 BP in swamps and mountains. If the road crosses a river, a bridge must be built—this doubles the road’s cost.
Step 5: Establish Farmlands: You can develop any grassland or hill hex that contains roads into farmlands to help sustain your kingdom’s Consumption. It costs 2 BP to designate a grassland hex as farmland and 4 BP to designate a hill hex as farmland. You cannot build a city on a farmland hex. Every farmland hex in your kingdom reduces your Consumption by 2 BP.
Step 6: Edicts: Pick or adjust your edict levels (see page 55) as you wish.
*Improvements per Month *
1-10: 1 new city, 1 new building, 1 new hex, 1 road, 1 farm
11-25 1 city, 2 buildings, 2 hexes, 2 roads, 1 farmland
26-50: 1 new city, 5 new buildings, 3 hex claims, 3 roads, 2 farmlands
51-100: 2 new cities, 10 new buildings, 4 hex claims, 4 roads, 2 farmlands
101-200: 3 new cities, 20 new buildings, 8 hex claims, 6 roads, 3 farmlands
201+: 4 new cities, no limit to the new buildings, 12 new hexes, 8 new roads, 4 farmlands
During a kingdom’s Income phase, take the following actions.
Step 1—Deposits: You can add funds to a kingdom’s treasury by donating coins, gems, jewelry, weapons, armor, magic items, and other valuables you find while adventuring. For every full 4,000 gp in value of the deposit, increase your kingdom’s BP by 1. Items that individually cost more than 4,000 gp must be sold as detailed under Step 3 below.
Step 2—Withdrawals: You can also withdraw funds from the kingdom’s treasury, but doing so runs the risk of annoying the citizens. Each time you withdraw funds, the kingdom’s Unrest increases by 1. In addition, you must make a Loyalty check (DC = Command DC + number of BP being withdrawn); a failure causes your kingdom to gain Unrest equal to the total BP withdrawn. Each BP withdrawn in this manner converts into 2,000 gp.
Step 3—Sell Valuable Items: You can attempt to sell items that cost more than 4,000 gp through your city’s markets to bolster your kingdom’s Treasury; these can be items you recover during an adventure or they can be magic items currently held by any of your cities. To sell these items, make an Economy check (DC 20 for minor items, DC 35 for moderate items, and DC 50 for major items). A failed check indicates the item doesn’t sell. Success indicates that the item sells and you can increase your kingdom’s treasury by 2 BP (for minor items), 8 BP (for moderate items), or 15 BP (for major items). You can make one Economy check per city district during each Income phase.
Step 4—Generate Income: Make an Economy check against your Command DC at the end of your Income phase. If you’re successful, divide your result by 5 (dropping any fractions) and increase your Treasury’s BP by that amount.
During a kingdom’s Event phase, roll once on the Kingdom Events Table to determine if an event occurs. Adventure specific kingdom events occur during this phase. Once you’ve determined what kind of event occurs (if any), simply follow the rules for each event to determine how the event impacts the PCs’ kingdom or cities.
Chance of an Event: There’s a 25% chance that a random event occurs during an Event phase. This chance increases to 75% if no event occurred in the previous Event phase. Kingdom Events
Listed below are numerous events that can occur during an Event phase. Some events are listed as “continuous” events—their effects continue through every Event phase until the events are resolved by making the appropriate check during an Event phase.
Harmful events can be lessened or negated with a successful Economy, Loyalty, or Stability check, as indicated by the event. The DC of these checks is equal to the kingdom Command DC (20 + kingdom size).
Assassination Attempt: One of your leaders (determined randomly) is the target of an assassination attempt. If the target is a PC, you should play out the attempt, using an assassin of a CR equal to the targeted PC’s level + 1. If the target is an NPC, you can simply make a Stability check to negate the attempt. If the leader is assassinated, the nation gains 1d6 Unrest points and immediately suffers the penalties for not having a leader in that role until the role is filled during a subsequent Improvement phase.
Bandit Activity (continuous): Bandits are preying upon those who travel through your kingdom. Make a Stability check. If you succeed, your kingdom’s defenses stop the banditry before it causes problems. If you fail, the bandits reduce your kingdom’s Treasury total by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, reroll that die and add the result to the total).
Disaster: A fire, storm, earthquake, flood, sabotage, or other disaster strikes! Roll 1d6—on a result of 1–5, the disaster is localized and affects only 1d4 city blocks in one city. On a 6, the disaster is widespread and affects 1d6 city blocks in each of your kingdom’s cities. Make a Stability check for each affected city block—every failure results in that city block’s destruction (this Stability check represents your kingdom’s ability to prepare for or react to the disaster as much as it represents the structure’s ability to withstand damage).
Economic Boom: Trade is booming in your kingdom! Increase your Treasury by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, reroll that die and add the result to the total).
Feud: Nobles in your cities are bickering. Unless you can smooth over ruffled feathers with a Loyalty check, the feud increases Unrest by 1d6.
Food Shortage: Spoilage, treachery, or simple bad luck have resulted in a food shortage this month. If you fail a Stability check, your Consumption is doubled during the next Upkeep phase.
Food Surplus: Farmers produce an unexpected windfall! Your Consumption is halved during the next Upkeep phase.
Good Weather: Good weather raises spirits and productivity. You gain a +4 bonus on Loyalty checks until your next Event phase.
Monster Attack (continuous): A monster (or group of monsters) attacks the kingdom—pick a hex the PCs have claimed to determine which hex the monster is active in. You can determine the type of monster by rolling on a wandering monster table until you get a result of CR 7 or higher. If the PCs don’t set out to defeat the monster or monsters, a Stability check removes the threat. If the monster is not defeated, Unrest increases by 4. If your kingdom’s Unrest is 5 or higher, the hex the monster dwells in becomes unclaimed at this time (this is in addition to losing control of hexes during Upkeep due to high Unrest).
Natural Blessing: A natural event, such as a bloom of rare and beautiful wildflowers or good omens in the stars, raises your kingdom’s morale. You gain a +4 bonus on Stability checks until your next Event phase.
Outstanding Success: One of your kingdom’s citizens creates an artistic masterpiece, constructs a particularly impressive building, or otherwise brings fame to your kingdom. You gain 1d6 BP and a +4 bonus on Economy checks until your next Event phase. Reduce Unrest by 2.
Plague (continuous): A deadly contagion strikes your kingdom! Choose a hex containing a city in your kingdom— this is where the plague strikes. If you control no cities, treat this as if no event had been rolled. Otherwise, make a Stability check to curtail the plague’s spread. If you fail, increase Unrest by 1d6 and reduce your treasury by 1d6 BP. A plague-stricken city cannot build new structures.
Political Calm: A sudden absence of political machinations coincides with an increase in public approval. Reduce Unrest by 6.
Public Scandal: One of your leaders is implicated in a crime or an embarrassing situation, such as an affair with another leader’s spouse. If you fail a Loyalty check, increase Unrest by 2 and suffer a –4 penalty on all Loyalty checks until your next Event phase.
Sensational Crime (continuous): A serial killer, arsonist, flamboyant thief, or daring bandit plagues your kingdom. Make a Stability check to catch the criminal; otherwise increase Unrest by 2.
New Vassals: A small group of indigenous creatures joins your kingdom and submits to your rule. Reduce Unrest by 2 and gain 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, reroll that die and add the result to the total).
Visiting Celebrity: A celebrity from elsewhere on Golarion visits your kingdom, causing a sudden influx of visitors and spending. Increase the Treasury by 2d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, reroll that die and add its results to the total).
1. Jacobs, James; “Rivers Run Red – Kingmaker Adventure Path #2, Of Cities and Kings” Paizo Publishing 2010