Hesperia Universalis - Kingmaker
Creating a Kingdom
A major part of the Kingmaker Adventure Path is the PCs’ creation of a kingdom and the cities within its borders. This article presents rules for creating kingdoms and cities. Like characters, kingdoms use sheets to track their statistics. See page 59 for a blank kingdom sheet. Use the following notes to fill in a kingdom’s initial values.
Alignment: A kingdom’s alignment affects its statistics, so choose your kingdom’s alignment carefully. Lawful kingdoms gain a +2 bonus on Economy checks. Chaotic kingdoms gain a +2 bonus on Loyalty checks. Good kingdoms gain a +2 bonus on Loyalty checks. Evil kingdoms gain a +2 bonus on Economy checks. Neutral kingdoms gain a +2 bonus on Stability checks (a truly neutral kingdom gains this bonus twice).
Size: Count the number of hexes your kingdom comprises and record that number here. This number affects a kingdom’s Consumption and its Control DC.
Control DC: A kingdom’s Control DC is 20 + its size; this value is the DC you’ll be rolling against most often with your kingdom’s Stability, Economy, and Loyalty checks.
Population: Actual population numbers do not factor into your kingdom’s statistics, but it can be fun to track the number anyway. A kingdom’s population is equal to its size × 250 + the total population of each of its cities.
Stability, Economy, and Loyalty: These three values are analogous to saving throws. You make Stability checks during a kingdom’s Upkeep phase to determine whether it remains secure. You make Economy checks during a kingdom’s Income phase to determine how much its treasury increases. You make Loyalty checks to keep the public peace. A kingdom’s initial scores in all three of these categories is 0 + the kingdom’s alignment modifiers. A natural 1 is always a failure for these checks, and a natural 20 is always a success.
Unrest: A kingdom’s Unrest value indicates how rebellious its people are. A kingdom’s Unrest score is applied as a penalty on all Stability, Economy, and Loyalty checks. If a kingdom’s Unrest is above 10, it begins to lose control of hexes it has claimed. If a kingdom’s Unrest score ever reaches 20, it falls into anarchy. While in anarchy, a kingdom can take no action and treats all Stability, Economy, and Loyalty check results as 0. Restoring order once a kingdom falls into anarchy typically requires a number of quests and lengthy adventures by the kingdom’s would-be leaders—if your PCs’ kingdom falls into anarchy, you can either assume the Kingmaker Adventure Path is over (as you might if all of the PCs were slain in an encounter), or you can simply let the PCs “restart” a new kingdom elsewhere in the Stolen Lands. Unrest can never go below 0—adjustments that would normally reduce Unrest lower than 0 are wasted.
Consumption: A kingdom’s prosperity is measured by the Build Points (abbreviated BP) in its treasury, and its Consumption indicates how many BP it costs to keep the kingdom functioning. If a kingdom is unable to pay its Consumption, its Unrest increases by 2. A kingdom’s Consumption is equal to its size plus the number of city districts it contains plus adjustments for Edicts minus 2 per farmland.
Treasury: As your kingdom earns money, favors, resources, and power, its Build Point total increases. In the Kingmaker Adventure Path, you begin with 50 BP in your kingdom’s treasury (this amount is bestowed upon you by the swordlords of Restov).
Leadership: Write in the names of the PCs or NPCs filling each of the 11 leadership roles here, along with their appropriate modifiers.
Edicts (promotions, taxes, and festivals) increase your kingdom’s Stability, Economy, and Loyalty scores. Promotions can include recruitments, advertisements, and even propaganda campaigns. Taxes are payments gathered from a kingdom’s citizens to help pay for Consumption. Festivals, which can also include parades and other public events, can increase the kingdom’s happiness and loyalty.
Special Resources – If your kingdom includes any special resources (see below), record them here.
Some hexes do more than just add size to a kingdom— they also add resources and impact a kingdom’s Stability, Economy, Loyalty, and other elements.
Bridge: A bridge hex negates the cost increase of building a road that crosses a river.
Building: If you establish a city in a hex at a building location, you can incorporate the building into the city as a free building—the encounter indicates what type of building it counts as. See page 58 for a list of building types.
Cave: Caves can be used as defensive fallback points, storage, or even guard posts or prisons. A cave hex increases a kingdom’s Stability by 1.
Landmarks: Landmarks are sites of great pride, mystery, and wonder. They serve well to bolster a kingdom’s morale. A landmark hex increases a kingdom’s Loyalty by 1.
Road: A hex with a road in it allows for much easier travel. For every four road hexes your kingdom controls, the kingdom’s Economy increases by 1. For every eight road hexes your kingdom controls, its Stability increases by 1. Ruins: A ruin can be incorporated into a city as a building—doing so halves the cost of the building, as the ruin only needs to be repaired rather than having to be built from the ground up. The encounter indicates what type of building a repaired ruin counts as. See page 58 for a list of building types.
Towns: A town consists of an established settlement— claiming a town hex is an excellent way to add a fully functional city to a kingdom. In order to claim a town hex peacefully, the annexing kingdom must make a Stability check (DC = Command DC). Failure indicates that radicals and upstarts in the town increase your kingdom’s Unrest score by 2d4.
Resources: Resources include particularly valuable sources of lumber, metal, gems, food, or the like. A resource hex increases a kingdom’s Economy by 1.
A healthy kingdom has leaders filling a number of different roles. Each leader grants the kingdom different benefits; leaving a role unfilled can penalize the kingdom. In order for a Leadership role to grant its bonus, the character in that particular role must spend at least 1 week per month engaged in various leadership duties (during which time the PCs must be located within a hex that is part of their kingdom). For this campaign, it’s best to have the party pick the same week to dedicate to their administrative duties so that all of the PCs are all available for “adventuring duty” at the same time. A single character can only occupy one leadership role at a time.
The ruler is the primary leader of the kingdom. Unlike the other leadership roles, a ruler uses one of three distinct titles, depending on the current size of the kingdom. For a kingdom of size 1–20, its ruler is known as a baron or baroness. For a kingdom of size 21–80, its ruler is known as a duke or duchess. A kingdom of size 81 or higher is ruled by a king or queen.
Benefit A baron or baroness chooses one of a nation’s statistics (Economy, Loyalty, or Stability) and modifies that score by a value equal to the character’s Charisma modifier. A duke or duchess chooses two of these values to modify. A king or queen modifies all three values.
Vacancy Penalty A kingdom without a ruler cannot claim new hexes, create farmlands, build roads, or purchase city districts. Increase Unrest by 4 during each Upkeep phase in which the kingdom has no ruler.
Special Two characters can fill this role if they become married, in which case the two rulers can jointly command the kingdom. Both rulers apply their Charisma modifiers to the kingdom’s Stability, Economy, and Loyalty checks as appropriate for their rank, and as long as one of the two rulers is present for 1 week per month, they avoid the vacancy penalty.
The councilor ensures that the will of the citizenry is represented.
Benefit Increase Loyalty by a value equal to the Councilor’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Loyalty by 2; the kingdom cannot gain benefits from festivals. Increase Unrest by 1 during each Upkeep phase in which the kingdom has no Councilor.
The General commands the kingdom’s armies and is a public hero.
Benefit Increase Stability by a value equal to the General’s Strength or Charisma modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Stability by 4.
The Grand Diplomat oversees international relations.
Benefit Increase Stability by a value equal to the Grand Diplomat’s Intelligence or Charisma modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Stability by 2; the kingdom cannot issue Promotion Edicts.
The high priest guides the kingdom’s religious needs and growth.
Benefit Increase Stability by a value equal to the High Priest’s Wisdom or Charisma modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Stability and Loyalty by 2. Increase Unrest by 1 during each Upkeep phase in which the kingdom has no High Priest.
Magister (Lord High Thaumaturge)
The Magister guides a kingdom’s higher learning and magic.
Benefit Increase Economy by a value equal to the Magister’s Intelligence or Charisma modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Economy by 4.
The Marshal helps organize patrols and enforces justice in rural and wilderness regions.
Benefit Increase Economy by a value equal to the Marshal’s Dexterity or Wisdom modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Decrease Economy by 4.
The Royal Assassin can serve as a public executioner, a headsman, or a shadowy assassin.
Benefit Increase Loyalty by a value equal to the Royal Assassin’s Strength or Dexterity modifier. Fear inspired by the Royal Assassin reduces Unrest by 1 during each Upkeep phase.
Vacancy Penalty A kingdom without a Royal Assassin suffers no vacancy penalty.
The Spymaster observes the kingdom’s underworld and criminal elements and spies on other kingdoms.
Benefit Increase Loyalty, Economy, or Stability (Spymaster’s choice) by a value equal to the Spymaster’s Dexterity or Intelligence modifier. The Spymaster can change which value he modifies during the kingdom’s Improvement phase (but only once per phase).
Vacancy Penalty Reduce Economy by 4 because of out-of-control crime. Increase Unrest by 1 during each Upkeep phase in which the kingdom has no Spymaster.
The Treasurer organizes tax collection, and manages the treasury.
Benefit Increase Economy by a value equal to the Treasurer’s Intelligence or Wisdom modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Reduce Economy by 4; the kingdom cannot collect taxes.
The Warden leads the kingdom’s defense and city guards.
Benefit Increase Loyalty by a value equal to the Warden’s Strength or Constitution modifier.
Vacancy Penalty Reduce Loyalty by 4 and Stability by 2.
The greatest asset of any kingdom are its cities, for it is here that the bulk of a kingdom’s citizens live, its armies train, its culture develops, and its future is forged. The rules presented here are designed to support the rules for kingdom building presented in the first portion of this article and to give players a visual representation of a city (the city grid) they helped to build up from scratch. Reading the Grid
The city grid consists of 36 city blocks, each arranged into nine larger squares. Each block is separated by alleys, while each square is separated by streets. The nine squares themselves are in turn bordered by four sides—each side represents a border to the entire city district. A district border can represent a city wall, a river, a lake or ocean shore, a cliff, or merely the transition from one city district into another. For larger cities, you can prepare multiple districts sharing common borders.
As the PCs build structures and locations, they can place cut-out representations of their buildings into these city blocks, eventually creating a visual representation of their completed city.
Preparing the Site
Once you select a location for your city (which must be in a hex you have explored and cleared), you must pay to have the site cleared and prepared to support the city’s roads and buildings. The cost and time required to clear space in various terrains is detailed on the table on page 59. Once you finish preparing the site, decide which of the district’s borders are water (in the form of riverbanks, lakeshores, or seashores) or land. Record these choices at each border on your city grid. In addition, adding a city district to a kingdom increases its Consumption by 1.
Preparing a City District Site
Terrain Cost to Prepare Time to Prepare
Forest 4 BP 2 months
Grassland 1 BP Immediate1
Hills 2 BP 1 Month
Mountains 12 BP 4 Months
Swamp 8 Bp 3 Months
1Construction of buildings can be started the same month for Grassland cities.
The City Grid in Play
You can use your city grid to aid in resolving encounters or adjusting kingdom or city statistics. Destroyed Blocks: If an event destroys one or more blocks, the devastation causes +1 Unrest per destroyed block. The cost to build the replacement structure is halved if the replacement is the same type of structure as the one that preceded the destruction.
City Grid Scale: Although combat encounters in a city should still be played out normally, you might need to determine how long it takes for someone to travel from one location to another in the city in the case of multiple encounters. In this case, treat each city block as if it were a 750-foot square—this means that an entire city district is about 1 square mile in size.
When using these rules to build a settlement, the city’s base value (see Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, pages 460– 461) starts at 200 gp. It increases as you construct certain buildings, like shops and marketplaces.
Building A City
Once you’ve prepared your city district, you can start to build. The placement of buildings in your district is left to you, but two-block and four-block structures cannot be split up (although they can span streets). When you decide to place a building, you can use the cut-out icon for the appropriate type of structure and affix the building where you wish in your city grid. It takes 1 month to construct a building, no matter what size the building is—its benefits apply immediately.
Population: A city’s population is equal to the number of completed blocks within its districts × 250. A city grid that has all 36 blocks filled with buildings has a population of 9,000.
Defensive Modifier: A city’s Defensive Modifier can be increased by building certain structures (such as city walls) and has an impact on mass combat (see Pathfinder Adventure Path volume #35). Keep track of your city’s Defensive Modifier, but until the city is attacked by an invading army, this value is not used.
Base Value: The base value associated with a city built in this manner is tied not to its size but rather to the number of Economy-based buildings it has. Each such building, whether it’s a shop, tavern, or brothel, increases a city’s base value. Any magic item equal to or lower than this base value in cost is available for purchase 75% of the time—this check may be made again every month (as new stock comes and goes). Any nonmagical item from the equipment chapter in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is always available if its cost is lower than the city’s base value. Cities with multiple districts add the individual base values of each district together to determine the entire city’s base value, with an upper limit of 16,000 gp per city.
At the GM’s whim, using construction magic (such as a lyre of building or spells like fabricate or wall of stone) can reduce the cost of a building’s BP by 2 (minimum of 0 BP). This is a one-time reduction, regardless of the amount of magic used.
Magic Item Availability: A certain number of more powerful and valuable magic items are available for purchase in any city, although these items tend to be of a somewhat random nature as new items are found or created and enter the economy. As with base value, a community’s size does not influence the number of magic items above base value that are available for purchase. Instead, these items become available as certain buildings (like academies or magic shops) are added to a city. Whenever such a building is added to a city, place an “X” in one of the boxes next to the appropriate item category to indicate that the city has gained a “slot” in that category. During every Upkeep phase, randomly roll a magic item of the appropriate category for each empty slot.
After it is generated, a magic item remains on the market until it is purchased. Alternatively, once per Income phase, a kingdom can make Economy checks to try to sell items; once the item is sold, its slot remains empty until the next Upkeep phase (see page 61).
Adding buildings to a city is one of the most efficient ways to enhance your kingdom’s statistics, as each block of buildings added to a city in your kingdom grants a specific bonus. Page 62 presents icons for 31 one-block buildings, eight two-block buildings, and four four-block buildings. Descriptions of each of these buildings, as well as the bonuses it provides once it’s added to a city, are listed on their page.
As their kingdom grows, the PCs gain experience points. Use the following guidelines to determine when and how much XP should be awarded. These XP awards should only be awarded the first time each event occurs.
Founding a kingdom: 2,400 XP
Establishing a capital city: 1,200 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 5: 1,600 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 10: 2,400 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 25: 3,200 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 50: 4,800 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 75: 6,400 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 100: 12,800 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 150: 25,600 XP
Reaching a kingdom size of 200: 76,800 XP
Filling a square with four blocks of buildings: 1,600 XP
Filling three city squares with buildings: 4,800 XP
Filling an entire city grid with buildings: 12,800 XP