Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session Three

Having previously nailed down their new kingdom’s hierarchy and support funding, the group found themselves almost ready to leave the free city of Restov– but not quite.  Eager to have a more formal meeting with their fellow newly founded nations, Gavriil the Human Arcanist arranged a luncheon between their party and the parties of Maegar Varn and Hannis Drelev, who had been chartered to explore the Nomen Heights and the Hooktongue Slough respectively.

The banquet that the party set out was nothing short of exquisite, and many stories of exploration and daring deeds were shared.  Gavriil and Eneko the Human Bard/Cavalier took the opportunity they had to speak with their fellow leaders about the geography of their respective lands.  While Drelev seemed rather close-lipped and a bit grumpy, Varn was much more receptive to their talks, and offered them a rough sketched map of the Nomen Heights.  He was also able to give them some vital information on the Shrike River, which as it turned out had two large waterfalls along its length which would make trade routes over it quite difficult.  Concluding their business (though not after trying to talk some sense into Drelev’s Grand Diplomat), the party retired for the evening, to set out upon the next day for the Stolen Lands!

The next few days were relatively simple– the group visited Oleg’s Trading Post to inform the traders of their newfound kingdom status, then went to the Sootscale Caverns, where Elysia the Human Ranger requested Chief Sootscale to serve as the kingdom’s Royal Enforcer.  Accepting this position (upon hearing that he’d be required to work very closely with the Ranger), a small feast was had (as was now custom!), Mikmek the Kobold was put in charge of the Sootscale tribe in the chief’s absence, and the party was off to the Stag Lord’s old fortress!

Upon arriving, the party spent the rest of their day exploring the land they had previously left unexplored across rivers, before settling down for the night at the site of what would soon become their capital.  The next morning, Gavriil and Noruas the Human Gunslinger spent some time using supplies from the fort and Gavriil’s engineering knowledge to craft a basic raft for the group, big enough to hold the party and Elysia’s newfound wolf companion, Tyr.  The rest of the day the party mapped out a close section of the Tuskwater lake, then returned for the night.

What followed was many days of preparation, calling in the new kingdom’s leadership, constructing a tent city for inhabitants, establishing a caravan route for material and supplies to arrive, and the rest of the month flew by as the group finished preparations for their new city of Elbat Dnuor.  After establishment, two more months went by as the party settled into their new roles, issuing orders and claiming territory!

It was late at night near the end of Erastus (July), when Eneko was awakened in his tent by a sharp and debilitating pain in his stomach– he had been stabbed!  Standing above him was a shadowy humanoid figure holding a sword, quickly drawing it out of the man’s gut and preparing to strike again!  “Death to Tolemac!”  he hissed out, before people sprang into motion!  Elysia, sleeping nearby in her own tent, was alerted to the danger when she was awoken by Eneko’s loud screaming!  She sprang out of her tent, Tyr close behind her, and ran towards the ruler’s abode.  Eneko himself reached out and grabbed at his whip, managing to crack it into his assailant’s legs, tripping the man.  His horse was, apparently, also sleeping in the tent, and so was able to respond in kind, stomping on the figure’s back and hands to maim him.  The man attempted to stand, was knocked down by the horse, then attempted to stand a second time, finally succeeding.

Just as Elysia rushed into the tent, Eneko was able to bash the man down into the dirt, unconscious.  A whisper of “The Stolen Lands should be free…” escaped his lips as he slipped away.  Intrigued, Eneko cast a spell to heal the man so that he did not die outright, but moments later the man began to foam at the mouth!  Resolving to found out why he had been attacked, Eneko grabbed up his attacker and rushed towards the inn, where Gavriil and Noruas had taken up residence!

 

 

The Kingdom of Tolemac, three months in, Erastus 4712:

Size:  3                                        Cities:  1                                        Control DC:  24

Loyalty:  16                               Stability:  18                                 Economy:  20

Unrest:  0                                   BP:  59                                             Consumption:  0

Buildings:  Inn, House, Shrine to Nethys, Grove to the Green Faith, Noble Villa for House Medvyed, Noble Villa for house Lodovka

Tolemac 3 months

 

 

 

PLAYERS, DO NOT READ

 

 

I was terribly excited to get into the kingdom turns for the first time, and so we were able to go through a total of three of them this past session!  I’m a little bit worried– the book suggests that about a year’s worth of kingdom turns should be completed before the party goes forth to begin the rest of their adventure.  I was uncertain how that would go over, and prefaced that portion of our session to the players with a disclaimer– if at any time you feel bored, we can 100% go back into adventuring.  While this didn’t happen, at the end of the session Gavriil’s player did mention to me that she had a pretty big disconnect with the thought that running the kingdom only took one week out of four in a month, and thus was struggling to figure out what exactly Gavriil would be doing during the rest of that time.  Noruas decided to spend some gold to craft a third musket, and Elysia used a bit of the time to train her new wolf animal companion.  I think the third month’s roll on the event table definitely helped some of this however– the kingdom’s first event, using the Ultimate Campaign tables for random kingdom events, resulted in an assassination attempt!

Well, clearly this was to be an exciting event, so I quickly pulled together some stats (thank you Paizo for making an NPC Codex and the PRD!) for a Rogue of the same level as Eneko, and sent the man after him in the dead of night.  Didn’t really have any expectations of him living or succeeding; I gave Eneko a Perception check while asleep to notice the man which failed, yet even the coup de grace that the rogue got wasn’t impressive enough to take Eneko down (though I suppose it might have been, if I’d rolled way better on damage).  Combined with abysmal initiative rolling, he fell with only making one attack.  Popping some poison down his throat to prevent him from being interrogated, he will present quite the mystery for the party to investigate come next session.

As of this moment, I have no idea who sent the assassin, but there are plenty of good choices to pick from!  Hannis Drelev is already being set up as a pretty nasty guy who doesn’t like the PC’s; the rabble-rouser Greggori is set to arrive as a kingdom event and was sent from Pitax; it could even have been a man sent by the bandit Akiros Ismoort, who escaped from the Stag Lord’s fortress some months ago!  The possibilities are exciting, and if I were a betting man I’d say that this is something that the PC’s will spend some resources on figuring out…which means I’ll have to come up with an answer soon!

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4 thoughts on “Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red, Session Three

  1. Hehehe…. round table. Makes me giggle.

    Glad your players enjoyed the kingdom turns. I made the mistake and had my players roll through the whole first year. It ended up taking a whole session. They reported the next session that they didn’t enjoy it at all. In hindsight, I wish I would have done the same and broken up the rolls and decisions therein among the different sessions. They might not have been so put off by the mechanic then.

    However, one thing I did do, was a Year 0, kinda like you did above. We roleplayed through them meeting their new people, the hiring of a Castellan for the Baroness, suitors galore showing up for her hand, just a TON of little side quests for the players to feel vested with their new city and its surrounding environment.I basically came up with a dozen side quests for each player if they decided to poke around at all.

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    1. As it happens, it was pure circumstance that left us with only three months down last session– I was prepared to blast through a full year in the session had time allowed, though like I mentioned I did warn them to stop me as soon as it stopped being fun or interesting. I think these events, if I roleplay them out with my guys, will serve as a great break between kingdom turns for them– it’ll give them things to do, and that connection with their city like you mentioned. I like what you mentioned about the dozen little side quests for everyone– that’s something that, if I had put more energy into this, I totally could have done and I’d bet my players would have loved it…perhaps there is still time to do something similar! I know for certain that at some point, I want to have them pass some laws for their kingdom based upon some situation that comes up, but I’ve yet to solidly form how that will go.

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  2. His horse was sleeping in his tent with him?!? 😀

    I definitely recommend rolling kingdom events ahead of time and making a little story or quest out of them. After a while the novelty will be overtaken by the monotony, but in those early days every “experiment sets a precedent” and it’s all chock full of meaty story hooks and roleplaying opportunities.

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    1. I highly contested this concept from the player– but he kept arguing for it and I suspected it would have continued into perpetuity, so I just gave in– the horse wouldn’t have a huge impact on the battle, and if he wasn’t there it would likely have just been one more round until Elysia got into the tent for the assassin to be killed.

      I pre-rolled random encounters in the last book, will be doing so for this next book– it’s not a bad idea to pre-roll kingdom events so that I can make something decent of it ahead of time, and I’ve no clue why I hadn’t considered it before! Thus far we’ve been fortunate enough that each event that happened came at the very end of a session, giving me ample time to prepare a bit of RP for each event. Thus far our sessions have been peppered with mixtures of kingdom turns, and some prepared kingdom-level RP discussions, and I *think* it’s been working out okay.

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