Pathfinder: Kingmaker

released on Sep 25, 2018

Pathfinder: Kingmaker is the first isometric party-based computer RPG set in the Pathfinder fantasy universe. Enjoy a classic RPG experience inspired by games like Baldur's Gate, Fallout 1 and 2 and Arcanum. Explore and conquer the Stolen Lands and make them your kingdom!

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I refuse to learn min maxing in pathfinder

i actually enjoyed the kingdom management ducks head

Maybe it gets good, but I'm not gonna sit through 80 hours of whiff simulator to wait for that

Intricately made CRPG that may not offer a strong-enough hook to justify spending the required 100+ hours on a single playthrough.
+ interesting large-scope premise that mixes adventuring and kingdom management
+ remarkable number of tweakable settings to adjust gameplay
+ near infinite build customizability with decent enough suggestions
+ pretty and clean UI
+ pleasant soundtrack
- one-dimensional characters who barely get a backstory or development
- simplistic story that isn't told in an exciting way
- often frustrating combat due to convoluted skills and low hit percentages

a bit surprised by this one! a game which has languished in my steam library since i picked it up in a bundle some years ago, i had written it off as likely some soulless imperialist fantasy sim/rpg, admittedly based more or less on its title alone. as it turns out, well, after falling in love with baldur's gate this fall i started looking for more games in that vein of crpg. recently, pathfinder: wrath of the righteous appears to be the hot new thing among hardcore fans of the genre (and i must say that one looks far more appealing to me at a glance), and so i decided to give this one a chance first.
i'm pleasantly surprised. the most common complaint i've encountered is that the kingdom management aspect of the game, foisted upon you as you're tasked with the establishment of a new barony in neighboring lands infested with trolls and other monsters, bandits, and a cruel warlord, is poorly executed and a drag of a distraction from adventuring and dungeon crawling. i gather settings which automate this part of the game or render it effortless (in a difficulty setting for the management alone literally called effortless) wasn't always available, but it is now and as such i think it's perfectly fine.
what interests me more is the range you're given to be the baroness you'd like to be (within the dnd alignment system). i am loathe to be a lord of lands, but there's ample opportunity to rule with benevolence, instructing your advisors to tend to various matters before you and your party set out to make efforts in service of the people.
one thing i will warn about: character creation and early leveling are extremely daunting, even after getting a grasp on baldur's gate. the build potential is unreal. i love that shit, personally, though it does mean i end up spending hour after hour figuring it all out. a mod that lets you respec for free is an absolute must. i mean, you essentially need to have an understanding of how leveling works, how classes synergize—you select your class for every level you gain, then choose from a number of subclasses, abilities, spells, feats, etc. unless you just set it on story mode and do whatever you think seems cool, i suppose. i started as a sorcerer and later switched to a paladin with a dip into the thug subclass of rogue so that i can tank, heal, and put out the big damage with sneak attacks (which are powerful frontal attacks of opportunity, not stealth attacks). i seem to typically prefer a chaotic good mc with high charisma for games like this, and turn up my nose at lawful religious zealots, but again, in kingmaker (actually queenmaker tho) you can be a truly good person even as such. that matters to me. i don't like being evil unless it's in a game like tyranny, and even then i strive to do all the good i can for as many people as possible. big part of my enjoyment of these games, of roleplay...
might eventually amend this with further thoughts, assuming i finish it. i think i'd like to unless it really falls off later on.