Investing In: Legend of Zelda and Kingmaker Inspirations

Link, this is a huge discovery!” – Zelda

Rob made a huge discovery, well a realization anyway. I realized why Kingmaker appeals to me besides being a sandbox with a grand story that I’m sure my friends will talk about for years to come. It’s not just the many ways I can weave in character details personal to them either. It’s got so much going for it including exploration, ancient discoveries, spirits, old magic, politics, dangerous ancient evils hidden below, camping, cooking… It’s like Zelda Breath of the Wild or Tears of the Kingdom, which I’ve been playing since it came out.

Now you might say: Rob, are you sure Breath of the Wild isn’t like Kingmaker since technically Kingmaker came out in 2010 and Breath of the Wild came out in 2017. Well Kingmaker for Pathfinder2E came out last year. Is Tears of the Kingdom, the 2E version of Breath of the Wild? Well, yeah, maybe. It is a sequential follow up with new abilities, new mechanics, but like the additions to the new Kingmaker there’s more story. Anyway, we’re getting away from the point that I love rich NPCs, grand stories, a world to explore… This is why I love RPGs. These latest Legend of Zelda releases mirror that and Kingmaker is the ultimate exploration, grand story, amazing NPCs path!

Thus, I figured I needed to weave in some inspirations from the Legend of Zelda into my Kingmaker game. There’s already a cooking system added into the Kingmaker Companion Guide and of course we’re exploring the hex grid. So my mind turned to a combination of the story and NPCs. You might recall Luis Loza did make a Ganon for Monstrous Physique back after Breath of the Wild came out and so I felt compelled to follow in his large, amazing, talented footsteps! Yep, first thing I did was make a new Pathfinder2E Ganondorf. I don’t have 90 hours in yet, but I did feel I could produce a capable villain! 

Creature 20
NE Large Humanoid Demon Fiend
Perception +34; darkvision
Languages Common, Abyssal, Gerudo, Hylian
Skills Acrobatics +32, Arcana +32, Athletics +34, Intimidation +41, Religion +41, Stealth +34
Str +11, Dex +7, Con +8, Int +10, Wis +7, Cha +11
Items Sword of Darkness (see below)

AC 48; Fort +36, Ref +33, Will +40; +2 circumstance bonus to saves against divine magic.
HP 580; Resistance 20 to physical damage; Weakness good / light 20
Dark Aura (see below)
Attack of Opportunity [reaction]

Speed 30 feet
Melee sword of darkness +40 (deadly 2d12, evil, forceful, magical, versatile P), Damage 4d12+20 slashing; critical hit see Corrupting Gloom
Ranged gloom blast +36 (evil, magical), Damage 4d10+20 evil (can’t be healed unless individual bathed in light)
Dark Lord’s Power [free] Ganondorf is a being of immense dark power. He has a pool of 5 dark focus points, which he can use to enhance his abilities. He can spend 1 dark focus point to gain a +2 circumstance bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks for 1 round.
Mortal Binding Ganondorf is bound to his physical form and cannot be permanently destroyed unless specific conditions are met. Those conditions should be based on the story of your campaign’s characters.
Sword of Darkness Ganondorf wields a legendary weapon known as the Sword of Darkness. The sword is a +3 major striking bastard sword with the Cursed Blade ability.
Cursed Blade When a creature is slain by the Sword of Darkness, its soul is trapped within the sword, and Ganondorf gains temporary hit points equal to the slain creature’s Hit Dice. These temporary hit points last for 24 hours or until depleted.
Dark Energy [one] Once per day, Ganondorf can channel dark energy into his melee or ranged attacks, causing them to deal an additional 5d6 negative damage with each successful attack for 1 minute.
Corrupting Gloom When Ganondorf successfully critically hits with a melee attack, he can choose to activate the Corrupting Gloom. The target must succeed at a DC 42 Fortitude save or have its soul partially corrupted. The target takes 10d8 negative damage and becomes drained 3. Ganondorf gains half of the damage dealt as temporary hit points, rounded down.
Deific Sealing When Ganondorf is reduced to 0 hit points, the secret stone upon his head shatters and releases a burst of dark energy. All creatures within a 60-foot radius must succeed at a DC 40 Will save or be banished to another plane of existence.
Dark Resurgence [two actions] Once per day, Ganondorf can tap into his dark powers and restore himself. He regains up to 290 hit points (not beyond his maximum) and gains a +4 status bonus to all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for 1 minute. You should describe a transformed, bulkier, scarier appearance.
Dark Aura Ganondorf exudes an aura of darkness/gloom within a 30-foot radius that is effectively a 9th level effect with a Will DC of 44. Enemies within this aura must make a Will save DC 44 when they first enter it. They are then immune for 10 minutes.
Critical Success: As success but ignores all penalties.
Success: As failure but halves the penalty to -1 and reduces the enfeebled to 1 while also removing the reducing healing.
Failure: The enemy takes a -2 status penalty to saving throws against Ganondorf’s abilities and are enfeebled 2. Additionally, any healing effects on enemies within the aura are reduced by half.
Critical Failure: As failure but also drained 2, doomed 2, and blinded.


Now I’ll mention obviously I’ve used good and evil between weaknesses and the attacks, though we know the alignment traits are changing with the Remaster project. Gloom is the enemy; light is the ally. I’ll also have to tweak once I finally get to fight him in the game. Thus far I haven’t seen mention of the triforce, and while we all know Ganon typically has that of Power, I chose to focus on the secret stone (form of Triforce maybe?) and the gloom attacks. As to how I actually plan to use this Ganondorf build? I’m going to tweak it I think based on how the characters in the game progress and what interests they have, but considering some of the other ancient evils and dangers in the Stolen Lands, another one making a ploy of influence over the people to keep them separated and prevent a kingdom from flourishing will make sense.  You can have him sealed away, released by activities with the Sootscale or foolish machinations of Pitax.  Perhaps he’s always been operating and that’s why the Stolen Lands are struggling to find unity.

I’m going to produce another article with some other Breath of the Wild / Tears of the Kingdom items woven in but you’ll see a PRIDE 2023 article next! Until then, I hope you’re investing in some Legend of Zelda game playing because it’s a ton of fun and I hope it inspires your games, especially if you’re running or playing in Kingmaker like my group and I! Want to run Kingmaker in the future? Well, you may want to check out Alchemy, the new VTT, whose kickstarter will be ending when this article comes out. It unlocked Kingmaker materials as a stretch goal!

Update: I had to add this amazing image that Ryan created. Thanks Ryan!

Investing In:

I wasn’t quite sure what to name my article series when I first started but the idea of showcasing or discussing things that make me excited, that I find new and interesting, or maybe I’m otherwise passionate about seemed to fit with the idea of Investing In something like the Pathfinder 2E mechanic. To use some magic items you have to give that little bit of yourself, which helps make these things even better. I like the metaphor of the community growing and being strengthened in the same way!

I also want to hear what you’re Investing In! Leave me a comment below about what games, modules, systems, products, people, live streams, etc you enjoy! You can also hit me up on social media as silentinfinity. I want to hear what excites you and what you’re passionate about. There’s so much wonderful content, people, groups (I could go on) in this community of ours that the more we invest in and share, the better it becomes!


Banner – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom art, Nintendo

  1. Ganondorf, Nintendo
  2. Kingmaker cover image with Ganondorf edit, Kingmaker is a property of Paizo while Ganondorf is a property of Nintendo

Rob Pontious

You may know Rob Pontious from Order of the Amber Die or Gehenna Gaming's first series of Monster Hearts 2. He currently writes Know Direction's Investing In blog as well as a player for the Valiant podcast and Roll for Combat's Three Ring Adventure. He's been a lover of TTRPGs for over three decades, as a gamer, and a GAYMER. You can find him on social media as @silentinfinity.