“Who rules the Stolen Lands?
The Stolen Lands have long been the domain of bandits and monsters, but no longer! Your party has been granted a charter to explore these wilds, defeat its dangers, and build a brand new nation. Yet not everyone will welcome you as new neighbors, and powerful supernatural forces have their own plans for the region. Can you defeat your kingdom’s enemies and become one of the greatest new nations in the world?”1
It’s been nearly a year since my Kingmaker Planning started. My game is now underway and I’ve thoroughly enjoying my players exploring the Stolen Lands. Indeed, they now rule their own growing kingdom. I’ve made some low level additions and taken inspiration from Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for both expanded foraging and cooking rules as well as creating a fiend inspired by Ganondorf (though I made it before getting to the boss fight so no spoilers there). I also provided some updated Pathfinder2E build rules for a few NPCs, but I suggest you save that link for your GM. It’s been an incredible journey thus far, but I’m quite excited for some additional content and tools…
FoundryVTT has released their Kingmaker module in partnership with Paizo! I’ve been eager to get it since they announced it last year. I didn’t want to wait for its release – and my group does play in person – but I knew it would come with useful features for the entire table, for me as the GM, and for the players too. It’s been released as a two-parter with the second part coming later, which is a-ok with me especially as I’d rather not wait for it all to be done. I’m excited to start using it now! Why, you ask? Well let me tell you! And for the record, this isn’t paid content. I’m just thrilled and thought you might want to know why in case you’re thinking of running Kingmaker too!
Clearly there’s the obvious digital convenience of Foundry. It doesn’t matter where you are, people can join in. I was close to picking it up for general use back during lockdown. And honestly, that’s partly why I want it now. If we have to be separated due to sickness, bad weather, travel… I’ll have Foundry to keep our game going. I’ve been slowly picking up bits and pieces as I downloaded it and then got to play some using it through PaizoCon because the amazing Vanessa ran her game for us through it. That’s the game where we got to explore Iomedae’s group challenging the Whispering Tyrant’s forces. I also got to meet Harry Bigle (check out his patreon) as he played the classic heroine with style. I got to enjoy a bit of a short term campaign he was running, learn more about Foundry, and meet his amazing team last summer. He’s crafting some great homebrew content so check out that patreon link. And thanks to Vanessa and Harry for teaching me so much.
Feat 10: Major Lesson – Hex Editing
Foundry offers features like dynamic maps that reflect the seasons or animations for wind, fog, and other weather effects. The dynamic lighting is beautiful for visual effects but also to reflect a character’s vision-based abilities. The digital character sheets can be modified pretty easily with features imported in, and I’m hoping some community tools for Herolab make it even easier. The automation for attacks, saves, and various effects is a huge time saver. For a GM we have all that plus PDF imports, hidden elements, fog of war on maps, various journal entries, scenes set up to emerse your players in the world, and encounters set up for combat! I also find the rollable tables useful and of course, the digital dice. Player aids like journal entries you can share out or let the players make is vastly important. Let them see the details or document their own. I’ve a very roleplaying, story-focused bunch so this is key!
Kingmaker Specific Features
Then we get to the features Kingmaker has added! Foundry hired Damien Mammoliti (who has done a lot of Paizo art over the years) to create a new map of the Stolen Lands. It’s absolutely lovely, but then the dev team and I’m sure a DXP (digital experience) team went to work. You see – and this isn’t really spoilers – Kingmaker can be very much a sandbox of hexploration searching. There’s an incredible amount of things to be found, people to meet, challenges to face, and adversaries to fight! There’s plenty of events and numerous plots afoot, as well as some overarching stories that impact much of the adventure. So that map of the Stolen Lands is there for you to explore. The team at Foundry created a hexploration system with fog of war, ways to note the hexes were reconnoitered or mapped, and linked to relevant journal entries. You can modify the map icons, move them, and add more entries to the journal and tag them. I’m loving the hex controls and I know my players will too. We’ve been updating a paper map, using some google docs, and while helpful a unified UI to do so will be vastly superior. And yes, that’s even though we’ll be playing in person. I’m lucky and thankful for that. I mean I won’t need the starting scene again, but take a peak at just how breathtaking below! Yes, minor spoilers, but this is where you start so not really!
There’s also the Kingdom rules. Why explore and take over a land if you aren’t going to start your own Kingdom? Or collection of Freeholds? The KIngdrom rules can be found on Nethys, and they’re provided in detail in both the path book for me as the GM and the player’s guide for player use. It is a learning experience to get started, but I’m already seeing the rewarding aspects of changing the lands, choosing NPCs to help the PCs lead, and the overall story implications. We’re using a google doc to help us but it’s still a lot of flipping through pages. Well, Foundry expanded the Party features (where the players characters are grouped in the app) so that the party can start their kingdom and track their Kingdom Character Sheet. All the skills of the kingdom are listed with details, but more important are the Kingdom Activities with filter tags to make it easier to look up and act. I know this will be a boon for all of us, easy to reference and integrated where we’ll do a lot of our other bookkeeping.
There’s also the Kingmaker music provided. Various sounds and sound effects have been combined to create numerous lists. I did start to recognize a few sounds and checked the listing page again. Sure enough, Owlcat Games, who produced the Kingmaker game, has shared audio with Foundry! There’s expanded art, tokens, configured scenes and maps, and more. While I still very much want to do some creative drawing, utilize flip maps, and build up some epic Dwarvenforge sets it’ll be very useful to have maps at the ready since it is an exploration path and the players could go anywhere. Also, there’s some maps later on in the path that are very large. I’d spend far too many days drawing them and they wouldn’t have the beauty that I know Foundry can add. I also want to focus on adding content like all the Gremlin Brothers content I’ve mentioned a couple times. Maybe I’ll share that out once I package it up? It’s pretty easy to do, because…
Foundry has truly wide and powerful community support. Again, I’ll mention Harry as he showed me a number of useful things. You do host it on your own system/computer/local server when you’re the GM. However, you don’t have to. Harry showed me that you are able to get your Foundry server hosted through the Forge, a cloud hosting solution, so I don’t need to run Foundry on my own PC. This lets me log into and run my server from anywhere, so I can be working on it on my PC, laptop, or when traveling with relative ease. All the community modules and packages can be loaded into it too. He also clued me in to some great Foundry community extensions to use like Pf2e Workbench, Dorado UI or Pathfinder UI, Pf2e tooltips, and Dice so Nice! Highly recommend them! Roll for Combat has a number of packages that I know Stephen and team have produced for all things Battlezoo. You can now purchase the World of Battlezoo Indigo Isles for Foundry actually! Kobold DM has been creating some great maps and they’ve got a great youtube channel too. Of note, take a look at their 8 essential modules for Pathfinder 2E. You’ve also got Foundry on Reddit and Discord! Heck, even the Pathfinder2E module is community based and contributed to by volunteers. With my development background, I have to tell you that a development system that opens its door to a faithful community is a great way to drive growth, build loyalty, and keep innovation strong! Of course Foundry releases their own videos to go over features (like what’s new this year and in v11) but there’s plenty more where that came from.
If you’re ready to invest in Kingmaker on Foundry Virtual Tabletop, please note it’s currently discounted by $20. If you already own the PDFs for the game, it’s $50 instead of $70. Again, it’s being released in two parts so if you go looking for end game content it’ll be in part 2. They’ve noted all will be released by end of year. I’m really excited to see additional content come into it, let alone see what the community produces for it. I know if nothing else it’ll help me tremendously with map management and help the players with the maps/location tracking as well as the kingdom needs. I hope you found this info useful whether playing Kingmaker or wanting to use Foundry for another game!
Check out Foundry’s release trailer for Kingmaker below!
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 – Beyond the Campaign banner, Kingmaker Adventure Path, Pathfinder2E, added title text, Paizo
- Kingmaker Foundry Virtual Tabletop logo, Foundry
- Back cover excerpt, Kingmaker Adventure Path, Pathfinder2E, Paizo
- Hex Editing Features, Foundry
- Starting Scene screenshot, Foundry and Paizo
- Build a Kingdom and Rule with Pride, Foundry