Warning!: Writing for this guide began during Beta Version 0.3.1. Some changes may have occurred between early writing and the game’s official launch.
Note: The following section is rather tutorial-heavy, and such tutorials are integrated into the general walkthrough, so don’t skip headers just because the start with the word "Tutorial" - they often also include relevant walkthrough details. Even if you know a bit about the Pathfinder game system, trudging through the tutorial sections comes highly recommended so you know exactly how the these rules are implemented in-game.
Meet the Swordlord
Your adventure begins in the banquet hall of a rather massive mansion, having gathered here under the vague pretense that the "Aldori are looking for heroes". Whether your personal motivations involve doing heroic deeds for the sake of such deeds needing done, or because such heroics usually put one in a position to profit is, of course, your own business. Another, more impatient adventurer named Amiri complains about the tardiness of your hosts, only to be chastised by a rather obnoxious Gnome (as if there’s any other type) named Tartuccio. After a bit of expositional dialogue your hosts will be introduced to you: Swordlord Jamandi Aldori and Lord Mayor Joseph Sellemius, who will arrive and explain matters to you.
As adventurers, your job, of course, is to embark on a grand adventure! Your reward for doing so in this case is lands, titles, and semi-autonomous rule of your own little domain. All you need to do is venture south into the Stolen Lands (apt name, given both its current "ruler" and your own intentions) and wrest control away from a bandit leader who styles himself as the Stag Lord. Ask what question you will, along with pertinent gems like which of the gathered adventurers will, exactly, become the head of this new state, and what your benefactors stand to gain from sponsoring such an effort, after which it’ll be time to rest up and prepare yourself for your aforementioned grand adventure. Even heroes need a good night’s rest, after all.
Before you can embark on such a lofty task, however, you’ll be bothered by a Halfling Bard named Linzi, who seems keen on making friends with you. A born follower, she’s already got her eye on you as a potential leader and subject of future works of her… but at least she’s capable of spotting Tartuccio for the contemptible wretch he is. Respond how you will, after which you’ll finally be left to your own devices in the banquet hall. There’s precious little reason to talk to everybody, and they’ll all filter off to bed soon, anyways, so you might as well take this opportunity to learn some of the basics.
Leave the Great Hall
Camera (Tutorial): To move the camera, use the WASD and ARROW KEYS or press and hold the middle mouse button.
First, you can move a character around by having them selected (left-click on your character, or click and drag a box to encompass them) and clicking on your destination. If you’re playing full-screen, you can move the camera by moving your mouse cursor against the edge of the screen, which will then pan in the desired direction, otherwise you can use the good old WASD keys, arrow keys, or by depressing the scroll wheel button of your mouse and moving the mouse. You can also use the scroll wheel of your mouse to zoom in and out. Clicking on other characters or objects will interact with them, with the action taken varying depending on the object - clicking on a character talks to it (if non-hostile) or attacks it with your equipped weapon (if hostile), while most objects have a single, obvious function (open and close doors and chests, toggle levers, etc.).
A touch more advanced, but imminently quite handy, if your character has access to spells (you picked a spell-casting class or a pre-generated character with one) you can prepare your spells now. You know, just in case for some crazy reason you need them soon. Press the "B" button to bring up your spellbook, where the spells you know/have access to will be on the book in the center of the screen, while the memorization slots will be on the bottom left. Simply click and drag the spells you want to memorize into one of your empty spell slots, or double click the spell in the book to transfer it. Spells must be memorized before they can be cast - simply knowing them isn’t enough… unless you’re a Sorcerer, or similar sub-class, in which case you can freely cast your known spells. Most spells - save 0 level spells - can only be cause a finite number of times per day, after which you’ll need to rest to replenish them.
To cast spells, note the hotkey bar above your character’s portrait. These hotkeys do what you might expect if you played any computer RPG in the past twenty years: click on the icon and you’ll activate/select the indicated spell/ability/item. Above the hotkey bar you’ll find three icons, with the left-most one bringing up an expanded window of spells (which has its own tabs on the right side of the window to sift between spell levels), the center one doing the same for abilities, and the third being additional belt items. Icons in these windows can be activated or selected by clicking on them, and if you wish to have easier access of a particular spell/ability/item from an expanded window, you can click and drag its icon down to the hotkey bar to assign it to a hotkey.
With all that, it’s time to go to bed. Don’t worry, you’ll be presented with more info about gameplay as it becomes relevant. Like right now, for instance. One of the most useful bits of advice for the entire game is the Tab key. Hold it down and every interactable object will either be highlighted, gain an icon, or have its name displayed, making it a much, much easier task to navigate through the game. Case in point, scroll down to the southeastern corner of the screen to find some large doors, beyond which you should a cute little door icon. Give the door icon (hence forth known as an area transition) a click and your character will move on to the next area.
Area Exit (Tutorial): Click [the door] icon to exit the current area.
Did You Know?: Back in the day, some classic CRPGs (the likes of which clearly inspired Pathfinder: Kingmaker) there was no way to highlight interactable objects. That’s right, you had to wave the mouse cursor back and forth across the screen and carefully search (by watching for the icon to change) for things you could interact with. Dreadful times. The ability to highlight objects via the "Tab" button is much appreciated.
Survive the Assassin Attack
Your rest is not a restful one. After you exit the banquet hall you’ll find yourself in your room, where Linzi bursts in warning of some attack. Her attention will be shortly drawn away by someone screaming bloody murder - literally - only to be replaced by an Assassin, giving you your first taste of combat.
Combat in Pathfinder: Kingmaker, occurs in real time - or at least, as a form of active, turn-based combat with no breaks between each round that makes a good enough facsimile of real-time as to not be worth quibbling over. Behind the scenes, your characters perform all their actions in seamless combat rounds each lasting six seconds in an order determined by their Initiative score. The character with the highest Initiative score (generally determined by a d20 roll + that character’s Dexterity modifier) goes first and performs one action, which for now can be simplified to performing an attack (although as your Base Attack Bonus increases, you’ll get more attacks in a combat round), casting a spell and/or moving (the "base" speed of most medium-sized creatures not encumbered by armor is thirty feet during a combat round - smaller creatures move slower, as do creatures wearing heavier armor).
General (Combat Tutorial): Combat happens in real time, but you can pause the game at any time to assess the situation and give orders to your companions. To pause or unpause the game, press Space. Click on an opponent to attack them.
Initiative (Combat Tutorial): When a battle starts, each combatant makes and initiative check. The higher their initiative, the earlier the character can act. Initiative scores can be viewed in the Combat Log. Combat is divided into rounds, with each round lasting 6 seconds.
To cast a spell, simply select that spell’s icon from the hotkey bar (or the spell window you can open via the left-most tab above the hotkey bar) and note that each spell’s range and area of effect is represented when you hover your mouse over or select it. Attacking (either with a melee or ranged weapon) is somewhat more straight-forward, as you need merely click on your target to attack with the selected character.
Most combat actions in Pathfinder are resolved with dice rolls (the results of which can be seen in the Combat Log on the bottom-right of the screen), specifically by a d20 roll. One character’s Attack Roll is opposed by the target’s Armor Class, while a spell’s Difficulty Check is opposed by a creature’s Saving Throw (either Fortitude, Reflex, or Will - the type of Saving Throw varies based on the spell/effect.) If an attack hits, damage will be dealt (subtracted from the target’s Hit Points) according to the attacker’s weapon and a myriad of other factors. A spell’s effects can be mitigated (damage/effect reduced) or negated if the defender’s Saving Throw roll matches or exceeds the spell’s Difficulty Check.
Note: Despite being call the Combat Log, the menu on the bottom right of the screen shows all sorts of useful information, including state changes, rewards and skill checks. All kinds of useful information - keep your eye on it. You can sort the types of information displayed on the Combat Log by clicking on the tabs below it.
Dice Rolls (Combat Tutorial): Most of the game’s mechanics are based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game System, and use dice rolls to determine the results of actions. The most common die has 20 sides an is used for both checks and attacks.
Attack Roll (Combat Tutorial): An attack is a character’s attempt to strike an opponent. The result of an attack roll depends on many factors: wielded weapons, the combatant’s abilities, etc. An attack succeeds if the result of an attack roll equals or exceeds the target’s Armor Class.
Damage (Combat Tutorial): The amount of damage dealt in the case of a successful attack depends on the weapon’s stats and other factors, such as buff spells. Attack roll results and damage number can be found in the Combat Log.
Armor Class (Combat Tutorial): The higher a character’s Armor Class, the more difficult it is to successfully attack them. It combines a base defense of 10 with other factors, such as equipment stats, Dexterity bonus, passive abilities, etc.
There’s much, much more to combat than that, however, especially if you’re a magic-user, and some of it is immediately relevant. Attacks of Opportunity are going to be a sad fact of life for you, as certain actions - moving past an opponent, casting spells, using a ranged weapon, standing up from a prone position, etc. - during combat lowers your guard, giving adjacent enemies a free attack on you. A magic-user or archer is therefore in a fairly compromised situation in melee combat, which may make the first few encounters somewhat more challenging.
Note: Magic-users will automatically attempt to cast defensively in combat, which, if successful, avoids provoking attacks of opportunity. In order to succeed at this, the caster must succeed at a Concentration check with a difficulty of 15. A caster’s Concentration score - which is also used to determine whether their casting is interrupted upon taking damage - is equal to their caster level (class level for the spell being cast, not overall character level) + the attribute modifier they use for said spell. Therefore a level one Wizard with an Intelligence score of 20 (+5 modifier) has a base Concentration score of +6… which means that character will, at best, avoid provoking attacks of opportunity about 50% of the time.
Defeat your first opponent, then loot his remains by clicking on the treasure left behind to score a Dagger and a Chainshirt. You almost certainly started the game with a better weapon than a humble Dagger, but let’s take a gander at that Chainshirt. Armor is divided into three categories: Light Armor, Medium Armor and Heavy Armor, which require different proficiencies to use. Generally, your tanky, fighter types are going to be able to use heavier armor as a perk of that class, although anybody can pick up, say, Fighter levels later on to gain Feats allowing them to wear said armor, or just purchase the Feats later on.
Note: While it may be tempting to grab everything you see, keep in mind that items have weight, and carrying too much can slow your character(s) down. There are two considerations to be made when it comes to encumbrance; a character’s personal encumbrance load, and the overall party’s encumbrance. You can check both by pressing the "I" button to access the inventory screen.
In the case of party encumbrance, look for the number on the bottom right of the screen. Party encumbrance is the sum weight of all the gear worn or carried by all characters, and your party’s max encumbrance is equal to the total of each character’s personal max encumbrance load. If your party is carrying too much gear, it will slow you down within areas, as well as effect how you travel on the world map… a matter that can be discussed later, when it’s more relevant.
Personal encumbrance is a little more complicated. You can check this on the inventory screen, too, by looking at the numbers below each character’s avatar in the center of the screen. This amount is displayed as two numbers, with the number on the left being the current weight of equipped items, and the number on the left being the maximum weight for a light load.
If an unarmored or lightly armored character’s personal encumbrance exceeds a light load, they’ll start receiving penalties to their movement speed, the maximum Dexterity modifier they can apply to their Armor Class, and skill checks. Normally this is pretty easy to manage, but as fatigue and exhaustion lower your Strength score (which determines your maximum encumbrance), you may find your characters hindered by loads that previously were bearable.
Characters who are wearing medium or heavy armor (hence also suffering the aforementioned penalties, courtesy of their armor) will not face additional penalties from encumbrance until their encumbrance load exceeds that of their armor class. For example, a character wearing a Breastplate can carry a medium load without any extra penalties, and a character wearing Halfplate can carry a heavy load.
Not all characters will want to do this, however. Generally speaking, heavier armor provides higher Armor Class, which is good for obvious reasons, but heavier armor also slows a character down, reduces the maximum Dexterity modifier they can apply to their Armor Class, imposes an Armor Check Penalty which adversely affects skill checks, and the bulk of heavier armor impedes arcane (but not divine) spell casting in the form of a flat Arcane Spell Failure chance. Rangers and Rogues will want to wear lighter armor so their skills aren’t hampered too much, as so they can get the best benefit out of their higher Dexterity scores, while Sorcerers and Wizards may want to refrain from wearing any armor at all to avoid the chance that their spell-casting will be impeded.
The Chainshirt - yes, merely an excuse for another tutorial - is middling armor, Light Armor on the edge of Medium Armor, giving a +4 Armor Class bonus while retaining a +4 Max Dexterity modifier. Perfect for a Ranger or a more combat-prone Rogue.
Trophies (Tutorial): You can interact with various objects, such as the bodies of dead opponents, by clicking on them. Interactive objects are highlighted with a blue outline when you hover your mouse over them or when you hold Tab.
Make your way northeast and interact with the door to you room to open it and head outside, where you’ll find Linzi waiting for you. She’ll ask you to follow her, but neglect her for now and instead head through an open doorway to the southeast to reach another room, where its occupant never made it out of bed. Shame. No sense in letting their treasure go to waste, though. Search a chest near the bed to score a Longbow, a Dagger a Bloodstone and 12 Gold Coins.
Journal (Tutorial): Linzi’s Journal contains your current quests and tasks. When their status changes, you will also see a notification on the main screen. To open Linzi’s Journal press J.
Leave the room and follow Linzi to the northwest, then turn northeast at the hallway she stops at to spot two Assassins standing near an unfortunately unharmed Tartuccio. They find him as contemptible as everybody else and decide to save him for later, instead turning their attention onto you. These Assassins are no stronger than the last one was, and for now you have the benefit of an invulnerable Linzi, so let them attack her if possible. No sense in taking any damage now if you don’t need to.
Once they’re dead, Tartuccio will express relief that the world isn’t yet going to be deprived of his presence, making sure to avoid doing anything resembling thanking you. Instead, he’ll attempt to adopt a leadership role with the stated purpose of rendezvousing with Jamandi in the banquet hall… and perhaps saving a few fellow adventurers along the way. Only one good thing comes of this encounter: in order to enable you to protect him, Tartuccio hands over a Tartuccio’s Present - a magical ring that boosts the wearer’s Armor Class. A suspiciously generous offering from him, but… don’t look a gift Gnome in the… oh whatever. Just open your inventory (press the "I" button) and double click the ring to equip it.
Equipment (Tutorial): You’ve acquired a ring. In order to equip it, open your inventory by pressing I.
To equip an object, double-click on it or drag it to a suitable slot. Hover your mouse cursor over an object to see a tool-tip with its description, stats and comparison to any equipment currently in that slot. Some items (primarily weapons and armor) require a character to have proficiency with that item’s type before they are able to equip the item.
Fight Through the Mansion
After this last fight you’ll finally find yourself in a proper party, as Linzi and Tartuccio both put themselves under your control. Unfortunately, yes, that means there’s another tutorial. You can select individual party members in a variety of ways: by clicking on them in-game, by clicking on their portrait under the hotkey bar, or by clicking and dragging a selection box over them. If you want to select/deselect specific characters, hold down Shift while you click on them or their portraits To quickly select your entire party, press the Backspace key. Double-clicking on a character’s portrait will scroll the camera to focus on them. Finally, you can select characters by press Alt + 1 for the first character, Alt + 2 for the second, and so on.
Selecting everybody is all well and good, but moving a group around strategically is another matter entirely. To sort this out, you have formation, represented as one of the icons on the bottom left of your screen by six dots. Click it and you’ll bring up the formation grid, which includes two tried-and-true classic formation, along with three you can customize by clicking and dragging icons. There’s usually not too much cause to get too fancy with these, so long as you keep your warriors up front and your ranged characters and arcane spell-casters in the back. When you give a character (or characters) a move command you’ll see their target destination(s) represented by a movement reticle. You can right-click and hold at the desired location, then move your mouse about to preview and rotate the move command, letting go of the mouse button when you’re satisfied. Very useful for navigating your party around corners and whatnot.
Note: Linzi joins the party with a Scroll of Cure Light Wounds and a Scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds, and she can also cast Cure Light Wounds twice per day. Tartuccio possess two Potions of Cure Light Wounds (which you can immediately relieve him of) and can cast Mage Armor and Burning Touch five times per day.
The path seems to fork from here, but you can rid yourself of an semblance of choice by checking the door to the northeast. Since it’s barred from the other side, you’ve got no choice but to proceed through the doorway to the southeast, then turn northeast to find another doorway to the left. In the room beyond the doorway lie another group of Assassins - three of them this time.
Companions (Tutorial): There are several companions in your party now. To select a single character, click on their portrait or press a corresponding key Alt+1 - Alt+6. To select multiple characters at once and give them the same order, draw a frame around them while holding down on the left mouse button. To select all characters, press Backspace.
They’re mostly armed with ranged weapons, so if you’re a melee-competent character, you can take advantage of those aforementioned Attack of Opportunity rules. To refresh, if you’re adjacent to an enemy who performs an action that provokes an Attack of Opportunity (in this case, fires a ranged weapon), you’ll get a free attack against them. If not… well, you can still get the drop on them in a shoot-out, provided you don’t rush in all at once and provoke them.
It’s also worth noting that the enemies are relatively clustered closely together, and this is no accident, as it provides an excuse to share a spell tutorial. Those three clustered Assassins do make an awfully tempting target for Tartuccio’s Burning Hands spell…
Spells (Advanced Combat Tutorial): Linzi and Tartuccio are capable of casting spells. To use a spell, click on its icon in the action panel or in the spells menu, and then on the target (your companion or an enemy, depending on the desire effect). For Clerics, Druids, Magi, Paladins, Rangers and Wizards, spells are prepared in advance before casting it again. Bards, Inquisitors and Sorcerers can use their spells several time per day, but their spell repertoire is limited. Spells have various characteristics, such as range, duration, school, etc. To review all the spells available to a character, open their spellbook by pressing B.
Abilities (Advanced Combat Tutorial): Most characters have usable abilities, which may be limited to a certain number of charges. To use an ability, click on the icon in the action panel or in the Special Abilities menu, and then on a target. (You might target a companion or an enemy, depending on the desired effect.) Some abilities do not require targeting, or can be switched on and off.
Attacks of Opportunity (Advanced Combat Tutorial): Some actions performed close to an armed opponent can provoke an additional attack upon your character even when it’s not the opponent’s turn. Such actions include, among other things, casting spells, attempting to move away from an opponent, and shooting ranged weapons.
Tactical Time Flow (Advanced Combat Tutorial): By holding down SHIFT + SPACEBAR while the game is paused, you can make time move slowly, for better combat control.
With all the information that’s been dumped on you (some of which was provided in the walkthrough a bit earlier than in the game) you can really get a grasp of how things work in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Select Tartuccio and highlight the Burning Hands spell on his Hotkey bar (it’s assigned to "2") to see the range of the spell. With a range of 15 feet, you’ll have to get somewhat close, so select a spot near the enemy, press the "Space Bar" button to pause the game, then hold down Enter to carefully watch Tartuccio approach, stopping when you’re near enough. Once done, hover your cursor over the spell again to confirm you’re in range, select the spell to bring up an area-of-effect indicator, then left-click to confirm. If Tartuccio is taking too much fire, you can always with draw him quickly, and to improve your odds, you can have him cast Mage Armor before embarking. None of this is strictly necessary, but it is a fine way to test out for yourself some of the concepts being presented.
Health and Death (Tutorial): Each character has a certain number of hit points (HP). When a character’s HP value drops to 0, they lose consciousness. After combat is over, the character will get up and can be controlled again.
A character’s HP value can drop into negative numbers. However, if a character is reduced to a negative amount of hit points equal to its Constitution score, the character dies. To resurrect them, you will need a special spell.
To restore lost hit points, you can use healing spells, potions, or rest. Healing potions can be bought from merchants or obtained as trophies after combat. Healing spells are accessible to the following classes: Bard, Cleric, Inquisitor, Paladin and Ranger.
To use expendable items, such as scrolls, potions and rods, open your inventory and place them into a quick slot.
After your foes are slain, loot their bodies for more basic weapons and armor, along with a generous selection of healing potions (Potion of Cure Light Wounds x5 and a Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds) in case you need to heal an injured character.
Pass through another doorway to the northwest, immediately beyond which you’ll find two more doorways to search. Ignore the one to the northeast, as it’s empty and head through the southwestern door to find a room with an unattended chest in it, inside of which you can find a Heavy Mace and some Hide Armor. Leave the room and continue up the hallway until you find another chest, which you can plunder to score a Silver Ring and 35 Gold Coins.
Pass through a doorway at the end of the hallway to find Amiri, who is recklessly raging against an assortment of Assassins. That yellow HP bar above her head lets you know she’s invulnerable right now, so don’t bother getting your hands dirty - you get experience and plunder whether you lift a finger to help or not. After the Assassins are smote she’ll stop just long enough to threaten Tartuccio before running towards the sound of combat. Nice lady.
Loot the corpses left behind in Amiri’s wake, then follow her down the hallway to the southeast before turning northeast through a doorway to reach a large hall. Watch the scene that follows - a firm reminder on your place in the pecking order - and when the coast is clear make your way north to the opposite edge of the hall, stopping to loot the bodies of the slain as you go, of course. Doing so will get you two more Potions of Cure Light Wounds and a Potion of Enlarge Person as well as a few more arms and armor.
Pass through the door you find and into a smaller hallway, where your way forward (southeast) will be immediately blocked by some rubble, which serves as another excuse for a tutorial!
Skill Check (Tutorial): Sometimes interacting with an object requires a skill check. A successful check may be needed for a variety of tasks: unlocking a door, opening a chest, disabling a trap, moving a heavy object, reading and inscription in an ancient language, etc. Different skills are used for different checks. If multiple characters are selected at once, the character with the highest skill bonus will perform the action. If a character fails a skill check, they must usually level up before making another attempt.
Click on the rubble blocking your way to make the required difficulty check, beyond which you’ll find more Assassins waiting. Get the drop on them if you can and use the knowledge you’ve accumulated thus far to emerge victorious.
Loot the Armory
You now have two ways to go, but again, it’s a phantom choice, as the door further down the hall is currently locked, so instead head through the nearby door to the southeast to reach the armory.
Tab (Tutorial): Press the Tab key to highlight all interactive objects in the vicinity.
There’s no one - friend or foe - guarding the place, and survival is your top priority, so you shouldn’t feel any qualms about securing the arms and armor you may need… although if you go wandering around in front of the estate’s owner wearing her armor and wielding her weapons… well, she might not be too pleased. If you don’t care about the potential consequences (or trust your silver tongue to get you out of trouble), you can loot a weapon stad, two armor stands and a two chests to obtain a Composite Longbow, a Light Mace, a suit of Banded Mail, a Breastplate, a Tower Shield and a Watchkeeper’s Key. If you wish to indulge in as little larceny as possible, just grab the key and leave.
The provisional gear you’ve collected thus far should suffice to crudely satisfy all but the more specialized of builds, but there’s another, somewhat more controversial bit of loot you can pick up. On the table nearby is a small chest which, if you interact with it, you’ll be informed is the guard’s pay. Tartuccio is all too eager to pocket it - or rather, to encourage you to do so - while Linzi argues for morality.
Throughout Pathfinder: Kingmaker you’ll be presented with opportunities to make decisions both good and evil. These actions may have consequences, not the least of which are how your companions will react. Good characters will not approve of selfishness, greed and wanton acts of cruelty, while evil characters will quickly grow tired of a spineless do-gooder who wastes time and potential profit with misplaced gestures of morality. More than that, however, some characters may be displeased by your lack of respect, focus and deference for tradition and authority, while others will feel oppressively constrained by those very same things. You can’t make everybody happy, and should strive to travel with like-minded individuals… and perhaps avoid blatantly doing things to provoke them from time to time.
Respond to Tartuccio however you wish and do what you will with the coin - a pretty face and a quick tongue can get you out of whatever trouble you might get in.
When you’re ready, leave the armory and head to the doorway further down the hallway, which is now magically openable. How about that… When you open the door you’ll find another one of your fellow adventurers - Jaethal. You know, the creepy scythe-wielding elf? Apparently the hallway ahead is… somewhat less than safe, as attested by the corpses of her fellow adventurers lying about. Tartuccio wisely questions how she survived the carnage, which will prompt her to reveal her true nature.
Traps (Tutorial): You will encounter many traps on your adventures. When any of your characters approaches a trap, they will automatically make a Perception skill check. On success, you will see the trap’s location and the game will automatically pause. Traps vary in effect as well as difficulty to detect. Having identified a trap, you can click on it to order one of the characters to make a Thievery skill check to disable it. On success, the trap will be disabled. On failure, it will remain in place. However, if the result of a skill roll is less than the trap’s difficulty by 5 or more, the trap will go off as if the character had triggered it. All check results can be found in the Combat Log.
After the conversation ends, Jaethal will join your party. Except for possibly your protagonist, she’s the best combatant you’ve encountered thus far, being an Inquisitor with fair combat stats, save some questionably low HP for a front-line fighter. She also has access to divine spells, although if you were looking for a healer… well, she’s pretty much the opposite of that, as she channels negative energy. This allows her to heal herself well enough (Inflict Light Wounds will heal undead, just as Cure Light Wounds - and similar spells - will harm them), but that’ll do precious little for the majority of your companions. On top of that her high Persuasion, Perception, Knowledge (Arcana) and Lore (Religion) skills may come in handy down the line.
Or in the case of Perception, immediately. She mentioned traps ahead, ones that are harmless enough to her, but will wound the living. That being the case, send her forward to scout for traps. Their Difficulty Check is so laughably low (DC 5) that she can’t possibly fail to detect them, and while she’s not good at disarming them (largely thanks to the Chainmail she wears) she also can’t be hurt by them, so there’s no harm in having her try.
Note: Now might be a good time to alter your party formation a bit. You can change the order of characters in the party by dragging their icon forward or backward on the party bar at the bottom center of the screen. Depending on your protagonist’s class, altering your formation so that either Jaethal alone, or Jaethal and your protagonist are leading the way - it’s safest to lead with characters who have higher HP and Armor Class.
Disarm the three traps (DC 10) ahead and enter the second door to your left, inside of which you’ll find a chest you can loot. Grab the Fauchard and the Chainmail from within, then continue down the previously-trapped hallway. Loot a corpse to score a Scroll of Bless and a Scroll of Shield of Faith, then proceed through the doorway to the northwest.
Scrolls (Tutorial): You found a scroll - a single-use item that allows you to see the spell that’s written upon it. For a character to use it, that character must have the Use Magic Device skill, or be of a class which could eventually learn to cast the spell. For convenience, it is best to place things like scrolls into a character’s quick slots.
Find Jamandi’s Stash
Beyond the doorway you’ll spot two Assassins who are apparently searching for Jamandi’s stash. You know somebody with a mansion this big and the title of "Swordlord" has to have some cool swag, right? Probably some swords, one would think. Exterminate the would-be thieves and take up their bid at larceny. Send one character into the first room to the right, while the rest should head up the hallway and into a second room.
In both rooms you’ll notice several statues: two in the southern room, four in the northern room. Half have their swords up, half have their swords down, and all can be interacted with. That’s right, a puzzle. Your goal is to get all the statues to hold their swords in either an upright position, or to put them down. The complication? Interacting with one statue will always cause others to change their positions, too.
First, let’s map out these statues. Let’s label the ones in the southern room #1 and #2, with the southwestern-most one being #1 and the northeastern-most one being #2. In the northern room, again continuing the trend of numbering the statues from southwestern-most to northeastern-most, are statues #3, #4, #5 and #6. With that understanding, consult the following table to see which statues influence each other:
|Statue Interacted||Statue Influenced|
|Statue #1||Statues #2 and #6|
|Statue #2||Statues #1 and #5|
|Statue #3||Statues #4 and #6|
|Statue #4||Statue #3|
|Statue #5||Statue #2|
|Statue #6||Statues #1 and #3|
At the start, statues #1, #3 and #5 all have their swords lowered, which makes toggling statue #6 appealing, as it solves two of those issues. However, you must first resolve two issues: Getting #6’s sword lowered first, so you can finish with it (along with #1 and #3) and getting #5’s sword raised. This is simply done by interacting with statue #1 first, and #2 second. Once those two statues have been toggled, you should have statues #1, #3 and #6 with their swords lowered. Just use a character in the northern room to interact with statue #6 to solve the puzzle. Easy-peasy.
Alternatively, you can get all the statues to lower their swords. Starting out statues #2, #4 and #6 all have their swords raised. Interact with statue #1 to cause it to raise its sword, and get statues #2 and #6 to lower theirs. Then use statue #6 to end up with statues #3, #4 and #6 with their swords raised. Finally, interact with statue #3 to cause all three to lower their swords at once.
When all the statues have their swords raised, go through ehe doorway that appears between statues #5 and #6 and loot a chest, which disappointingly doesn’t contain a single sword. So much for being a "Swordlord". It does, however, contain a Citrine an Agate and a Potion of Remove Blindness. When all the statues have their swords lowered, a door will open along the northeastern end of the room with statues #1 and #2, where you’ll find a chest containing a Potion of Invisbility and a Copper Ring.
A full solution to get both of these doors open is: #1, #6, #3, #3, #6, #1, #1, #2, #6.
Leave the statue rooms and return through the doorway to the southeast, where you should next turn your attention to another doorway to the southwest. Through this doorway is a garden, where another trio of Assassins lurks. With Jaethal added to your party, they’re woefully outmatched, and it’s only going to get worse for your paltry foes soon enough.
Dispatch them, loot their bodies, then note the dramatically "dying" dwarf lying on the floor in the middle of the garden. Approach the poor sod and… well, since Groetus seems to be taking so long to take him your protagonist will decide to intervene.
Dialogue Skill Checks (Tutorial): Sometimes skills are checked over the course of dialogue - for example, when trying to convince a character of something. The check result will determine the way the dialogue develops. The character in the party with the highest bonus in the desired skill is usually used to determine such a check.
Using a potion won’t actually use up one of your potions, nor will it convince the hypochondriac dwarf that he is not, in fact, dying. As the tutorial should have hinted, you’ll need to pick an option with a dialogue skill check. Either Diplomacy or Intimidate achieve the same results, and as the tutorial note promises, Tartuccio, with his +9 modifier in both, will apply his bonuses to the rolls.
One of them is bound to succeed (since the Intimidate check is DC 10, it’s impossible for Tartuccio to fail) after which the dwarf, Harrim, will join your party. Harrim is a proper Cleric, capable of doing all that lovely healing that everybody loves Clerics for. The class is notably powerful in Pathfinder and related game systems, too, as they also possess decent combat stats and an expanded spell arsenal compared to earlier editions of… related game systems. Harrim won’t rival Jaethal, offensively, but high Armor Class is nearly as good, and his HP are superior. His spotty Dexterity score may be cause for concern down the line, but for now he’ll serve you well as a front-liner.
Spell Conversion (Tutorial): Clerics and Druids can convert their spells spontaneously. A Cleric of good alignment doesn’t need to prepare healing spells: they can spend almost any prepared spell to cast a cure of the same level. In the same way, a Cleric of evil alignment doesn’t need to prepare inflict spells. During character creation, Clerics of neutral alignment can choose whether their converted spells cure or inflict. A Druid can convert almost any prepared spell into Summon Nature’s Ally of the same level.
Formations (Tutorial): Group formations is half of any victory. The formation system will help you hold the line in combat. Click the button to select one of the standard formations, or you can create your own.
Pass Through the Fire
Make your way to the northwestern end of the garden, where you’ll find a handful of guards gathered, led by one Kesten Garess. Talk to him and after he finishes barking orders at his subordinates he’ll spare some for you, as well. Question him as you will, after which you’ll be directed to brave the fires beyond, the last obstacle that lies between you and the embattled Lady Jamandi.
Walk bravely into the flames and you’ll be introduced to a new feature of Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Illustrated Book Episodes!
Illustrated Book Episodes (Tutorial): Some game events play out as illustrated book episodes. The decisions you make during these episodes can have drastic impact on the developments of the game’s plot. As with dialogues, you will often need to make various skill checks during these episodes. Depending on the circumstances, sometimes you will need to choose one of your party members to perform an action, and sometimes an action will be automatically performed by the character with the highest skill bonus.
For this particular event, choose "drenched ourselves with buckets of water.", but avoid "tried to find a less dangerous passage", as the wasted time will force you to make one of several checks: [Reflex], [Mobility], [Athletics], or just take a bit of damage with one brave character (Tartuccio volunteers!). Failing one of these checks tends to have worse consequences for the party than just taking the damage with one character.
After getting through the fire, another section of the episode will force you make another choice: either help Valerie rescue some injured guards [Athletics] or convince Valerie to abandon the effort for the good of Lady Jamandi [Diplomacy]. The scores you’ll need to pass these vary, but seem to increase if you did not choose "drenched ourselves with buckets of water" and/or did choose "tried to find a less dangerous passage". Best case scenario, you make it through unscathed, worse case scenario, you take minor damage twice and emerge fatigued.
Valerie joins your party either way, and even if the rest of you avoid getting fatigued (save Jaethal, who cannot become fatigued - lucky girl) Valerie will start out fatigued.
Conditions (Tutorial): One of your characters is fatigued. This is just one of the negative conditions that can affect you during the game. To notify you that a character is under the effect of a condition, a symbol will appear near their portrait. To find out more about the character’s condition, open their Character screen.
Fatigue: A fatigued character cannot charge and takes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue causes the fatigued character to become exhausted. After a complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued. You can also cure fatigue with a restoration spell or potion.
Don’t let Valerie’s artificially deflated attributes fool you (fatigue imposes a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity), she’s a tank. With an impressively high Armor Class and stellar HP to back it up, she’s a great defensive warrior, fit for pinning down foes. Her offensive isn’t exactly top-tier, but this can be improved as she levels up.
Boss: The Assassin Leader
Make your way to the end of the hall you’re in to find an area transition. Before passing through, now might be a good time to use whatever buffs you have available. If your protagonist is a spell-caster, even if you selected spells earlier in the banquet hall, you haven’t had enough time to prepare them, so there’s precious little you can do. Harrim, however, can cast Bless, Linzi can use her bard-song, Inspire Courage, and Jaethal can buff herself with Divine Favor. Patching up any wounds you may have comes recommended, as well.
In the next room you’ll find Ezvanki Keeg and Jamandi Aldori squaring off against the Frost Giant that dispatched so many of your fellows with contemptuous ease, leaving you to fight three Assassins, two Assassin Bowmen, the Assassin Leader and three Rift Channelers. The latter trio won’t contribute much to the fight, while the first five are the normal fodder whose blood you’ve been using to paint this nice estate.
The Assassin Leader, however, is a spell-caster, and somewhat more troublesome than his subordinate. In particular he’s fond of starting out the fight with Mirror Image to protect himself, followed by Scare. There’s not much you can do about the latter save target him with Linzi and Tartuccio, neither of which are competent enough archers to inspire much confidence. For your melee fighters, focus on cutting down the Assassins that charge you, as their Attacks of Opportunity against fear-fleeing characters are the most dangerous part of this fight. If you can chop them down before the Cause Fear hits, you’re in pretty good shape. If your party is in need of a quick heal, don’t be shy about using Harrim’s Channel Positive Energy - Heal Living.
Once you’ve recovered from the spells of the Assassin Leader, killed his Assassins, and engaged him in melee combat, the fight should be pretty well in hand. Neither he nor his archers are wise enough to avoid provoking attacks of opportunity, and his Rift Channelers are complete non-threats.
After the fight ends, before you talk to Jamandi, loot your fallen foes to score the usual Assassin junk. The Assassin Leader, however, is especially generous, as he’ll bestow some Alchemist’s Fire, a pair of Acid Flasks, a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, a Potion of Barkskin and some unidentified Bracers, which, when picked up you should be able to identify as Bracers of Armor +1.
Note: Identifying magical items in Pathfinder: Kingmaker requires successful use of the Knowledge (Arcana) skill, and is automatically attempted when you pick up an unidentified magical item. In this particular case, both Jaethal and Linzi have a +7 modifier to this skill, which should be sufficient.
Finally, one last thing before you talk to Jamandi… make a hard save here. The choices ahead will determine your starting party, and if you end up with buyer’s remorse and want another shot at things, you’ll have a convenient way of doing so.
When you’re ready to put an end to matters in the mansion, talk to Jamandi and she’ll praise the leadership qualities of your protagonist and… Tartuccio? The deceitful little jabroni immediately takes the opportunity to slander you, accusing you of being an agent of "the vile king of Pitax, Irovetti", and use the ring he gave you as evidence. Well, at least that explains his "generosity" earlier.
You have several ways to respond to his implausible accusations, including a [Diplomacy] check, a [Knowledge (World)] check, or by simply having the good sense not to be wearing the little git’s ring. In this case the choice - and the results of your check - are inconsequential enough, as Jamandi’s suspicious of both of you. At least Amiri seems to take your side, regardless of your true motivations or alignment.
Other choices are somewhat more consequential, however, as Tartuccio will continue to use every major action during the attack to cast doubt on you. When he brings up the fact that you robbed the armory (or if you stole the guard’s pay, he’ll use that to attack you) you’ll be presented with two responses, each of which contains a skill check [Diplomacy] and a Moral Choice. It’s one thing to pick an alignment during character creation, but your actions during the game will either reinforce - or alter - your alignment depending on your actions. In this case you have a [Lawful Neutral] response and a [Chaotic Neutral] response.
Moral Choices (Tutorial): Sometimes your character has to make difficult decisions, relying on their conscience (or lack thereof). Such decisions impact your character’s alignment, gradually shifting your character towards good or evil, lawful or chaotic. Some dialogues feature special options that are available only to characters with certain alignments.
Note: While your previous choices may flavor the conversation with Jamandi, the variable outcomes are all determined by what dialogue choices you pick and whether you succeed or fail at a variety of skill checks. The moral choices you pick will determine which possible companions join you, while succeeding at skill checks will improve your relations with Jamandi.
Valerie or Harrim
While these choices aren’t enough to significantly impact your alignment on their own, they will send a clear message to your would-be companions. Valerie is inclined to lawful behavior, and choosing the Chaotic Neutral response will sour her on you… although considering the other choice is a Chaotic Evil Gnome, it’s hard to see how she expects to fare any better with Tartuccio. Harrim, however, finds the arbitrary constraints of law to be tedious at best, and folly at worst, and makes his opinion known.
Simply put, if you pick the [Lawful Neutral] responses:
"Forgive me for my trespass. In my defense, we were in the middle of a battle and in dire need of weapons."
"We weren’t trying to take the money - we just wanted to keep it away from bandits."
Valerie will join you during your expedition into the Stolen Lands.
On the other hand, if you pick the [Chaotic Neutral] responses:
"We were in the middle of battle and needed weapons! There was no time to run and ask permission!"
"So what if we did? The guards weren’t able to handle their responsibilities, so we decided we should teach them a lesson."
Harrim will join you. You can’t have both, and regardless of what choices you make and of your successes or failures at diplomacy, you will not be allowed to keep the coin you stole. Drat.
Jaethal or Linzi
Next Tartuccio has the audacity to accuse you based on your actions when you were navigating the burning section of the mansion, claiming you either purposefully wasted time instead of rushing to Jamandi’s aid, or that you mercilessly abandoned poor guards to their fiery fate. There’s really no winning with this guy, eh?
This, too, provides an opportunity to test your alignment, although this time on the Good/Evil axis rather than the Lawful/Chaotic axis. Like the last two, the two remaining party members - Jaethal and Linzi - will decide to stay with you, or join Tartuccio based on your responses here.
If you pick the [Neutral Good] responses:
"People were dying right in front of me. How could I just walk by?"
"I regret that I couldn’t save everyone - I would have if I could! I’m sad for the perished, bu I had to decide between helping them and helping Lady Aldori. Forgive me if I chose wrongly."
Linzi will join you, so as to continue to record your heroic deeds.
On the other hand, if Tartuccio’s accusations cause you to display your evil side by picking [Neutral Evil] responses:
"I wouldn’t have saved them without good reason. Dead soldiers are useless, but the wounded could still help Kesten defend the mansion."
"Heartless? So what? I’m not going to worry about guards’ lives when their ruler’s life is at stake!"
Jaethal will join you, finding your distinct lack of morality an appealing trait for a potential leader. Again, you cannot have both.
The single, large, effective party will thus split into two, while Amiri - blissfully unconcerned by the moral arguments everybody else engaged in - joins you. "I don’t even need to think!", indeed, but whatever her intellectual faults, her muscle will prove invaluable.
With that settled, Jamandi will give you Camping Supplies and Rations x4 and a Signed Scroll of Raise Dead after which she’ll set the groups on separate paths, with Tartuccio’s squad heading through Nivakta’s Crossing, and with you stopping by Oleg Leveton’s Trading Post. Finally, she’ll offer up a throwaway statement regarding who she currently finds more trustworthy (depending on whether you failed or succeeded at your Diplomacy checks) between you and Tartuccio before also mentioning that Pitax might not be the only one interfering in this expedition… apparently the Royal House of Surtova may also be opposed to your goals. With such forces arrayed against you, you’ll need to overthrow the Stag Lord in a timely manner: You have three months to complete your task, by her estimation.
|Reward: For surviving the attack on the Aldori Mansion|
|135 XP / Camping Supplies and Rations x4 / Signed Scroll of Raise Dead|
A Tale of Two Parties: Depending on the choices you make throughout the game, your experience may be quite different. Already you’ve experience this to an extent with the splintering of your first party, and as such a "one alignment fits all" walkthrough is certainly not going to be sufficient for the task at hand.
For that reason, this guide is being written around two different playthroughs, with two different parties: the "good" party and the "evil" party. That’s a rather crude look at things, as the "good" party also has lawful leanings and the "evil" party has chaotic leanings, but it’s serviceable enough short-hand. Some quests and events may play out differently depending on the choices you make, and your party composition will certainly be different, which means the walkthrough may diverge at times (although this will be avoided wherever feasible) and tactics will vary for each party. Just keep this device in mind when using the walkthrough.
The good party starts out with Valerie and Linzi, while the evil party travels with Harrim and Jaethal.