Dungeons & Dragons has had its fair share of video game adaptations - Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate, and Temples of Elemental Evil are all great CRPGS based on the pencil & paper RPG that has existed for decades. Paizo has their own spin on the pencil & paper RPG genre with Pathfinder, a system that built upon the 3.5 edition ruleset and is sometimes called "3.75" by certain elements of the P&P RPG community. This rule set (and the Golarion universe) are finally being adapted into a single-player RPG experience with Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The game's developer Owlcat Games is currently running a Kickstarter to raise funds for improving the development of the latest take on adapting pencil & paper RPG rules to a video game of a somewhat different genre.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker was announced in mid-May 2017 as a game that is based off of the Kingmaker Adventure Path with a little help of additional lore in the Guide of the River Kingdoms accessory paperback. Taking place in the Golarion setting, players will roam around the land questing, looting, and working to build a kingdom of their own in this ruthless land. This is the first project from the newly-formed Owlcat Games, a game developer formed from industry veterans with experience in the CRPG genre. Amongst the personnel contributing to this endeavor is Chris Avellone, a game developer with quite a few CRPG credits under his belt such as Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, and Knights of the Old Republic II.
A pledge of $5 will net backers an "Heir" forum badge and access to the developer forum. For $28 or more, you'll get a digital copy of the game, a special in-game item, a "Baron" forum badge, and access to the developer forums. $40 will grant access to the Premium Digital Download with additional in-game items, and $55 will secure you a boxed copy of the game along with a premium digital download. At $75, you'll unlock the "Lore Explorer II" tier which includes a digital art book, digital soundtrack, digital RPG adventure PDF by Chris Avellone, a Pathfinder RPG Inner Sea World Guide PDF, and everything else from the Premium Digital Download Tier. For $95, you will get everything in the Lore Explorer II tier along with an upgraded "King" forum badge and early access to the game. Notably, those who pledge at #275 will also get access to the original pen and paper Kingmaker Adventure Path by Paizo along with other tools to run their own game
This is by no means all of the pledge levels for this particular campaign. Pencil & paper RPG fans are no strangers to spending money for their hobby; serious enthusiasts will drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on reference books, playmats, miniatures, and set pieces. The Kickstarter campaign for Pathfinder: Kingmaker has additional tiers at $170, $225, $275, $500, $750, $1,000, $1,500, $1,750, $2,000, $2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000. Most of these tiers are limited in some fashion, and the diehard Pathfinder fans out to break the bank will get an awful lot of goodies if they pledge a significant sum of money to the campaign. Consult the following chart to see what exactly you'd get if you have a few grand burning a hole in your pocket:
[gallery size="lead-image" link="file" columns="1" ids="154917"]
The project has already reached its first two Stretch Goals. The $550,000 "Camping" Stretch Goal has been unlocked; it allows players to set up camp, determine guards, and better prepare their party for the following day. The $600,000 "Magus" Stretch Goal has unlocked the Magus class, a melee spellcaster with an affinity for Destruction Spells. If the campaign reaches $700,000, an extra story will be included in the game and Mac & Linux versions will be developed. Finally, at $800,000, 3 "Archtypes" or alternative features will be created for each class to add more variety and depth to character creation and progress.
If you (understandably) don't want to drop an insane amount of money to get the physical goodies but you still feel like splurging a bit, there are some add-ons available for you to pick up. An additional $26 on top of your pledge will net you an additional digital copy of the game. $8 will secure you a DRM-free digital version of the soundtrack. $10 will grant access to a digital adventure PDF by Chris Avellone. $8 will get you a digital artbook, and $10 will upgrade your beta access to Alpha access. If you absolutely must have some kind of physical swag, you can a backer-exclusive t-shirt ($30) or hoodie ($60). A 30mm miniature of one of the game's companions will run you $15, and if you'd like a little something to put on a shelf you can get a 120mm jabbawock miniature for $50.
The core story of the game is estimated to clock in at around 40 hours; side quests will increase that playtime up to 80 hours. Players can choose from ten classes created from seven different races and they will have over a hundred different types of monster doing everything they can to impede your party's efforts. Hundreds of feats, spells, and magic items will round out the possibilities for your rise or ruin, and over 300 Kingdom events will make your experience at forging your own little empire an interesting endeavor, to say the least. 14 different regions can be brought into your Kingdom as you progress through the game's 6-part adventure path.
As for previous Kickstarters, this is the inaugural project (and consequently, first Kickstarter) for Owlcat Games. The company was formed as a pilot initiative of my.com and is largely comprised of industry veterans with experience in game development (especially in this particular genre); even so, there are still risks involved with video game development as always. The game is completely funded whether or not the Kickstarter is wildly successful. This particular campaign is being run solely to expand the scope of the game if the player demand is there, and it appears to be.
Owlcat Games is happy to answer any questions prospective or current backers may have; simply send them a message and someone will get back to you as soon as they are able. If Pathfinder: Kingmaker seems like the kind of project you'd like to support, you can check out their Kickstarter campaign here. It's already reached its funding goal, and now it's a matter of which stretch goals will be reached in the remaining days. The crowdfunding campaign for Pathfinder: Kingmaker ends on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time.
What do you think of Pathfinder: Kingmaker? Do you think Owlcat Games will be able to make a good CRPG set in the Pathfinder universe? What do you hope to see in the game? Let us know in the comments below!