Pathfinder: Kingmaker Strategy Guide

Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Deep Silver
  • Platforms
    Microsoft Windows, OSX, Linux
  • Genre
    Role-playing
  • Guide Release
    31 July 2018
  • Last Updated
    29 June 2018
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin

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Chapter 2 - Dire Narlmarches Expedition

Chapter 2 - Dire Narlmarches Expedition

The Campaign Map

After the banquet ends you’ll find yourself in your infant capital city, which stands on the site of the Stag Lord’s old fortress. They sure got to building fast, eh? Kesten Garess will be there to greet you, answer some initial questions you may have, and finally take you on a tour of the place. If you ask him about what peculiar citizens are about, he’ll inform you that Jhod and whatever emissary you chose are in the capital, as well as a blind elf named Desna. You’ll have to introduce yourself, but first, allow Kesten to guide you about the city, such as it is, after which you’ll enter your residence.

In your throne room you’ll be introduced to a new feature - the campaign map. Your emissary will tell you - sparing every possible detail - what you can expect to find on this map before urging you to appoint capable ministers from your pool of companions and followers. Last but not least, you’ll be reminded to return to your capital regularly to deal with official business. Petitioners expect to be able to meet with the baron, and it’s a tradition you’d do well to maintain, for the sake of your realm’s stability.

He Who Cannot Dissimulate is Unfit to Reign

After the chatter is over you’ll be dropped onto the unfamiliar campaign map, which is well worth discussing in great detail. First up, note the options on the upper right side of the screen: Events, Projects, Claims, Leaders, Map.

Events are random occurrences that you can attempt to exploit for your benefit (Opportunities), or that you must resolve lest you face some detrimental consequences (Problems). Individual events are represented by cards at the bottom of the screen, and they are quite random - there’s a good chance you won’t have any available right now.

To handle an event you’ll need to click on the event card and assign a leader to the task. The leader(s) available will vary depending on the nature of the event, and they’ll make a skill check in a relevant kingdom-related field to determine success or failure of the endeavor. Fortunately, while a leader is deployed on an event or project, they can still adventure with you (don’t ask why, just take the gift and be glad).

Note: Fortunately you can save/load the results of events and projects, as the rolls which determine the outcome are done when the timer expires, not when the task is assigned. Like with save/loading camping results, save/loading the outcome of kingdom events may drastically skew the difficulty of the game and undermine key kingdom-building mechanics. Abuse at your own discretion.

Note: Since the exact events that unlock - and when or whether events become available at all - can be random, their completion will be largely left up to your own initiative.

Projects are generally longer-term than Events, giving you more time to deal with them. Otherwise they’re very similar, often requiring the investment of one of your leader’s time and/or some material resources. Select them via the cards at the bottom of the screen, which will appear when the projects tab is selected.

Note: Some projects requires the undivided attention of your assigned leader and your protagonist. For these, you’ll automatically skip the time it takes to complete the project, so have your affairs in order beforehand.

Claims are the rarest of the three events, appearing when you’ve met the conditions required to claim a slice of territory. That being the case, don’t expect this to happen terribly frequently. Otherwise they function like events and projects. Once a new territory is claimed you’ll be able to found a new settlement there… which will be discussed shortly, when it comes time to build up your capital.

Leaders assigned to various roles constitutes one of the more important aspects of your barony’s operation, as the individuals you assign will determine the success or failure of the events, projects, and claims you assign them on. Not only that, but each character has their own personality, virtues, vices and goals, which will influence how they resolve tasks assigned to them. Picking a leader whose goals and principles as similar to your own is key, as forcing them to act contrary to their wishes will displease them.

Select the leaders tab and the various offices that need to be filled will appear, represented by cards. Right now, each office can typically only be filled by one or two characters, if that. The roles and the kingdom stats they govern are as follows: Regent (Community), Councilor (Loyalty), General (Military), Treasurer (Economics), High Priest (Divine). Be mindful of the modifiers each character has for each role and the actual flavor text of said individual.

As your kingdom stats increase, at certain point thresholds you’ll get an event card where the leader representing that stat will bring a matter to your attention. This generally requires you to make a decision on a matter related to the office the leader holds; tax rates, whether to favor the plebs or patricians, military doctrine… sweeping questions that will help define the nature of your country. Not only does this give you a chance to please or displease your leaders by following - or acting contrary to - their advice, but afterwards you’ll usually get a project to "support the [Leader]'s endeavors". This will take two weeks of time to resolve, during which you can’t do anything else. Afterwards, however, the kingdom stat related to that leader’s office will increase in rank, the practical upshot of which is higher skill checks for that leader’s office.

This will all be discussed in greater detail when your kingdom has had more time to develop, generally through the raising of stats by building structures and successfully resolving event cards.

Map allows you to get a wider view of the area, from which you can select various icons representing events or settlements.

To help you get oriented, you currently control all of Shrike, and if you followed this walkthrough and completed all the sections listed earlier, you should have completed most of the map areas in your domain, with a few dangerous exceptions. To your immediate north is the Outskirts area, which is where you’ll find Oleg’s Trading Post. It’s an area that rightfully belongs to you, and none have a better claim to it, but that’s something to worry about in due time. The North Narlmarches are also an attractive piece of land, as well as an area you should have extensively explored.

That’s an awful lot of information to take in, and you may be wondering how it all works. First, assign whatever leaders you feel best suits the kingdom you want to create. Your protagonist’s alignment seems to determine what characters are fit to serve you, to a degree, so don’t just focus on the good/evil aspects of a character’s personality, but the chaotic/lawful aspects, as well. Don’t fret too much about the assignment, though - you can usually let the modifier they apply to the position be your guide, if that’s what you really care about.

Sometimes you’ll get to choose which leader you wish to deal with an event or problem, and this reflects that nature of your response. If you send your Regent, for example, the response is understood to be a diplomatic one, while sending your General is a military response. The nature of your response can influence the difficulty of the task, as well as the reward, and it’s not uncommon for the reward to reflect the kingdom stat the selected leader represents - succeeding at a task with your High Priest will often boost your kingdom’s Divine stat, for instance.

For events and projects, your assigned leader will still be able to adventure with you, so don’t worry too much about that. In fact, you should see to whatever business is currently available at your barony, and once you’ve assigned as many tasks as possible and made a note of the completion dates of assigned tasks and the expiration dates of outstanding ones, use that time to get some adventuring in.

Warning!: From now on bouts of exploration will be punctuated by visits to the campaign map. It’s a balancing act you’ll need to acclimate to, as you should be under no illusions about the fact that this barony which was won by your prowess will also need to be maintained by it. Running a stable, prosperous kingdom is all well and good, but some threats will require your personal attention, and the loot and experience gained by adventuring will help you deal with whatever threats arise in the future.

Right now the only two projects you should have at your disposal are Pillage Temple of the Elk and Trade Agreement with Surtova. The latter requires a whopping 1,500 Build Points (henceforth known as BP), while the former is actually a matter divided by morality. The evil party will sack the place and earn 150 BP in the process, while the good party will ignore the temptation, in hopes the opportunity arises to rebuild the temple at a future date.

This brings up the next major aspect of running your barony - building.

Barony Building

Running a barony isn’t all a matter of assigning personnel, taking advantage of opportunities and dealing with problems. Successful rulers are expected to build monuments to their nation’s power and prosperity and having a functional purpose that benefits the peasants also helps.

The currency of building is Building Points (BP), which are accrued on a weekly basis, although certain dialogue options, quests, events and projects can yield additional build points, and generally the more developed your economy is, the more Build Points you’ll earn each week.

To check your kingdom’s current stats, hover your cursor over the "Stats" bar at the top left of the screen. The categories that appear under the stats bar lists your kingdom’s capabilities, resources and level of development in various categories. These can be improved by completing events and projects, but events are fickle, and a bad stroke of luck could just as easily lower these stats. The sure-fire way to improve them is by building cities, which requires time, Build Points, and planning.

To start building, click on your capital city’s icon on the map to view its own personal contributions to your kingdom’s stats on the left, and the buildings comprising the city on the right. The right-hand list isn’t looking too good right now, is it? Time to fix that. Click the "Enter" button (the one on the screen, not on your keyboard) to get a view of your city. Some of the buildings depicted are merely aesthetic, but click on the "Build" button and you’ll get a list of structures available for construction, as well as a grid representation of where you can build these structures.

Each building requires Build Points to create, as well as time to construct - another task you should endeavor to take care of between bouts of adventuring. In return, constructed buildings provide various benefits to the city they’re in, as represented by boosts to various kingdom stats. A Barracks will improve your Military might, a Shrine will increase your Divine rating, while Shops and Taverns will improve the economy.

This is all rather straightforward stuff, but to complicate matters, some buildings have greater effects when one is built next to another (an Adjacent Bonus) while others will benefit so long as another building is located anywhere within the same settlement (Coexist Bonus). These bonuses can only apply once per pairing, so building a Smithy flanked by two Shops will not do you any good. As a further complication, as you build up settlements they’ll naturally get larger, for instance graduating from a village to a town. You can build more advanced buildings in bigger settlements, but for now just concern yourself with the basics.

At this point you should have at least 400 BP, which is enough to get started. Consider building a Longhouse (50 BP) in the center of your capitals 3x3 grid, a useful start considering that several other buildings have an adjacent bonus with it. Speaking of which, put a Tavern (20 BP) on the square to the southwest, a Smith (20 BP) to the northwest, and a Shop (20 BP) in the western-most corner grid. This should get you off to a fine start, and if you want to be more adventurous, you can build a Barracks (30 BP) to the northeast of the Longhouse, some Piers (25 BP) along the lake and a Wooden Wall (30 BP). Don’t spend all your BP, however; you’ll need some later.

Note: Building multiple buildings of the same type in each settlement will get progressively more expensive. For example, the first Shop you build in an area will cost 20 BP, the second 30 BP and the third 45 BP.

Whew. That’s a lot of mechanics to wrap your head around, but to summarize:

– Assign leaders to various roles, picking them by the modifier bonuses they give, or by how their disposition matches up with your preferred means of resolution.

– Take care of any events you may have by assigning a leader to the task.

– Build the aforementioned buildings.

This should get you started, and if you queued up some buildings you’ll have several days until they’re finished, giving you plenty of time to venture about the capital, meet new characters, and get reacquainted with old friends… and maybe get in some proper exploration once done.

Note: You can check the progress of kingdom events while exploring. To do so, when you’re on the world map just click on the "Kingdom" tab in the upper right corner of the screen. You can even assign characters to handle events and build structures in your settlements. Some events will require your physical presence, however, so it’s a good idea to return regularly and not over-extend yourself.

Trade and Talk in Tuskdale

You can start out by talking to Jhod and Kesten, to learn a little (very little) more about them. The rest of your companions have nothing new to say, so turn your attention to your emissary. Whomever you chose, they can certainly tell you more about the relationship between the Surtovas and the Aldori, just don’t necessarily expect an unbiased account.

Exhaust their dialogue options, then turn your attention to the Storyteller, who can be found near the doors to the southwest. This is the blind elf Kesten told you about earlier - a collector of stories and a preserver of history, he’s keenly interested in such artifacts. Simply put, he’s the antiquarian whose services you’ve been in need of since Chapter 1, and he’s all too eager to buy up any Ancient Rostland Coins, Tokens of the Dryad, Cyclopean Coins and Taldan Warrior’s Dog Tags you may possess. If you were diligent about hunting them down in Chapter 1, you every well see yourself become 7,000 GP richer by such an exchange. Alas, you currently don’t possess enough Scorched Fragments of a Necklace to turn in.

Complete your business in the throne room, then leave the building. Once outside make your way to the southeast to find an area transition, which leads to the Capital Tavern. There’s surprisingly little to do here aside from talking to the proprietor, Elina. Still, worth pointing out so if business leads you here later, you know where you’re at.

Return to your throne room and from there head southwest to encounter a pair of merchants. To the west is Hassuf from Absalom (simply known as "Merchant" outside of dialogue) and to the east is Verdel. Hassuf sells a stunning display of tantalizing equipment, any single piece of which you can probably afford, but collectively it’s rather beyond your means right now.

Standout gear includes a Belt of Incredible Dexterity +2, a Belt of Giant Strength +2, a Chainshirt +2, a Flaming Bastard Sword +1 (great for Trolls!), Eyes of the Eagle (failed Perception checks are more troublesome to deal with than other skill checks), and Flameguard (a potent Tower Shield that protects the wielder from fire). Much, if not all, of this gear will prove quite useful in your future adventures, but for now consider picking up the Scroll of Fireball and Scroll of Haste. Keep them handy for when Octavia hits the 5th level as a Wizard (or better yet, your protagonist does), as these are two keystone Wizard spells, and for 375 GP each, they’re a steal. Of course, you can find both of these in the wilderness if you’re willing to wait, and if Octavia is your primary Wizard, you might as well, as she won’t be hitting the sixth level (hence fifth level as a Wizard) for quite a while yet.

Verdel’s wares are more catered to the stouter sort of warriors, and it includes Adamantine Full Plate Mail +1 (heavy armor with Damage Reduction 3/-), Mithral Full Plate +1 (medium armor - thanks to being made of mithral - with the protection of heavy armor). These two suits of armor are some of the most expensive items you can potentially buy right now, but it is the sort of armor that’s fit for a baron…

Peruse their wares as you wish (at the very least it’ll give you some financial goals to work towards) then head south to meet another familiar face - the Guardian of the Bloom. She’ll initiate conversation with you when you approach, suggesting that the lord of the realm should become more familiar with her, the living embodiment of the land. Deep in the woods you’ll find a crumbling fortress, and in that fortresses’ courtyard you’ll find a tree, in the shadow of which the nymph will be waiting. This starts the quest A Just Reward.

The promises of greater rewards, meeting in the flesh, and seeing her as she truly is are lurid enough, but her request that you come alone should inspire caution. At the very least trekking through the wilderness alone will be dangerous, but on the plus side this gives you an excuse to explore the wilderness to the west of your capital. Despite the fact that the nymph requested that you travel alone, your first expedition should be more concerned with finding a route there and clearing other map areas along the way. That being the case, hit the area transition west of your throne room, gather your party and venture forth.

Note (3rd-Level Spells): After defeating the Stag Lord and claiming the lovely experience rewards at the end of Chapter 1, there’s a good chance your party will ascend to level five. If so, and you have a Wizard protagonist, they’ll have access to third level spells, although Octavia will take a bit longer. Still, now is a fine time to discuss third level arcane spells so you know what to pick.

Third level spells are where arcane magics start to get really interesting, although you’ve doubtlessly noticed how much better things go when you employ spells like Web and Blur wisely. Haste and Slow are fantastic party buffs and debuffs, the former will drastically increase your party’s offensive output and the latter will significantly hinder enemy combatants. Fireball is a tempting damage-dealer, but you’ll likely find the former two spells to be far superior. Dispel Magic is always useful, but you can delegate that responsibility to your Clerics, whose third level spells aren’t quite as good.

Warning!: This and upcoming expeditions will be undertaken under the assumption you have some free time before more pressing matters arise. In this case, you should have the entry Troll Trouble in your journal, but this quest won’t really get started until the event card "Troll Invasion" appears. The time this takes to appear seems to be around a month after finishing Chapter 1, but whenever it appears, that’s a sign that you should start wrapping up whatever adventure you’re on and return to Tuskdale.

This main quest will take you to a lot of the same areas you’ll be dealing with in expeditions covered below, and you’ll also get more free time during the main quest, as you have to neglect the main quest an awfully long time for the effects to become serious. That being the case, don’t worry if you can’t get around to everything, and be willing to skip area the walkthrough as necessary so you can complete areas when you get the opportunity. You’ll be reminded of this later.