Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, March 03, 2021
Pathfinder: Kingmaker

There are at least two computer roleplaying games in the works that are based on 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons rules: Baldur's Gate 3 and Solasta: Crown of the Magister. However both are still in early access, and so I am playing an older game, Pathfinder: Kingmaker. I basically waited for the game to add an official turn-based mode before playing, and I'm happy I waited. However, Pathfinder:Kingmaker is still far from the best CRPG I ever played, and among other factors the Pathfinder system plays a role here.

Pathfinder is not exactly an accessible RPG system. While somewhat derived from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, Pathfinder went down the road to more option, more classes, subclasses, feats, and many other options. A fully optimized Pathfinder character is a work of art, massively more powerful than a less optimized version. And to understand this optimization process takes years of learning and studying. Pathfinder is a pretty hardcore system for minmaxers, and casual players need not apply. I begin to understand why YouTube if full of videos of people playing D&D, with Pathfinder being shown played a lot less often.

For Pathfinder: Kingmaker there is a relatively simple solution, which is playing the game at normal difficulty level instead of the harder options. On normal, the unoptimized characters a typical CRPG player can put together work good enough for the challenge at hand. You end up not understanding all the game tells you about stuff like the stacking of different bonuses, but you don't actually need it.

While I was really happy to have turn-based mode for the epic fight against the Stag Lord at the end of the first chapter, there were other fights where I was fighting three centipedes, and just turned on real time combat on automatic. That was on a rather large map, which felt a bit like a slog, because it was so large and filled with relatively trivial fights. But mostly the flow of the game was okay in the first chapter. In the second chapter the game adds kingdom management, which is interesting. Your main character now needs to balance the life of an adventurer with that of a baron, and the two systems seem to interact with each other in interesting ways. This is something which I never managed to pull off as a DM in a tabletop RPG campaign, having some system in place that lets players roleplay ruling a barony. So I am interested to see how Pathfinder: Kingmaker handles this.

Oh so there's a turn based mode now? I didn't know that.

Pathfinder Kingmaker is an absolutely awesome game. Unfortunately it's perhaps almost too big. I see that I've spent 322 hours in it and I still haven't finished the game. Granted, some of that was AFK and I'm the gamer type that takes things slow also. But still it's really huge.

I should check it out again, I just hope that my old save games are compatible or I will probably not bother.
I played it when it first came out I was not really happy with it. There have been a lot of improvements I guess, but I went in for Tyranny. Not a DnD game but I found it more enjoyable, especially the combat. Now BG3 is not like it predecessors and still a work in progress, I'd still take it over Kingmaker.
I found pathfinder to be very obtuse. I love crpgs but never having played any pathfinder rules before I found it very hard to make any headway without either dropping the difficulty or resorting to guides and I just don't like having to do that with games so I just stopped playing.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool