Pathfinder: Kingmaker

But if I lose weight I’ll lose Reach

Edit: oh noes, my silly joke got ruined by deletion of the advertisement post.

I forget, sometimes, how much proper (or over-) preparation and tactics can make a difference. During Chapter 2, there's a place where you can encounter an acid-imbued giant slug. Three attempts, three TPKs at level 7.

I think,"okay, let's do this properly." I buff with Protection from Acid (Communal), burn through a half-dozen Resist Acid potions, hit Bless, Prayer, Haste on the group, then Heroism and Enlarge Person on my two tanks. Then, I send my archers out in stealth to surround the slug (really just spreading out to avoid AOE attacks) and hit it with my melee fighters.

ONE character took 4 damage, and in 2-3 rounds (12-18 seconds) the slug was dead.

Yeah, I think about those wisps on that island and how it went from impossible to easy with a simple communal protection spell plus a resistance spell. Also Haste and Slow are HUGE.

90 hours in, I may be done. I've had a generalyl positive experience broken by repeated frustration and lack of specific game-to-player feedback. I think I need to back up at least 40 hours to rectify a timing problem, but I am not interested in retreading 40 hours - especially as I’m only midway through book 3 of 6. Of course, I don’t *know* that I need to back up that far, because the feedback mechanisms are severely lacking.

Short review: If your time has many demands on it at this point in your life, don’t bother. The lack of ability to fix bad choices without replaying hours of content has broken me.

But damn, sunk cost fallacy is a bitchy little voice on one’s shoulder.

Latest update just added instant travel from the throne room to outside of the city. It is so bizarre that such a simple, obvious thing would be such a huge QoL improvement.

Currently sitting around 90 hours in the midst of a chaotic, engaging chapter 4. Still digging the story beats quite a bit.

Poke in the catch all to share impressions when i play more

I have restarted this game 5 times now - Once after 25 hours into the game, because I want to try out other classes. I think I may have a problem with these kind of games!

I am loving my current character, even though it kind of hedges me out of the new fun duel companion. My current protagonist is a gnome firebender (fire kineticist) and i am really enjoying it. I put in a ton of time over the weekend and managed to get up to what i suspect is the final dungeon of chapter 2, part way into it when it was bedtime last night.

I'm playing on normal with the only adjustment being turning down the kingdom difficulty. I'm finding the balance to be a LOT better than it was in the first few weeks it was out when i was playing. The kineticist, much like the PnP version, is fairly OP with a heavy hitting touch based ranged attack with no practical limitations on its use. The story is compelling and I enjoy the way they are telling it. I have a hard time deciding who i want to keep in my party at any one time (which i consider to be a positive trait, a lot of these games have an optimal set of companions and additional trash companions you sometimes have to take along for missions) I particularly enjoy that you have access to every companions equipment in the safe area, it solves one particular annoyance i had with PoE and PoE2 that if i switched out companions often really top shelf equipment would go with them and you'd have to play the companion shuffle minigame to get it moved around. There are a lot of really tough decisions that have me grappling, without spoiling much, the decision involving the hermit wizard in the lonely house did a good job between pulling my loyalties between my own LG alignment and keeping my LN and CG companions happy.

I didn't encounter any bugs, except for the game freezing if i tried to tab out while it was loading or saving. So over all i am really happy with the state of the game, and i feel it provides the same experience for pathfinder that Baldur's Gate 2 provided for D&D.

Razgon wrote:

I have restarted this game 5 times now - Once after 25 hours into the game, because I want to try out other classes. I think I may have a problem with these kind of games!

I spent forever in the chargen, and ultimately landed on an Eldritch Archer. I have zero regrets, it was definitely a hard start (likely due to early balance issues mixed with a class that takes some time to really get going) but she's been rolling through stuff as soon as she hit level 5. That said, I have about a dozen characters I'd want to try out if I play through again.

Anyone find a bow better than the Devourer of Metal? I imagine I've missed something, because I scooped that gem up in chapter 2 and haven't found anything comparable.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:
Razgon wrote:

I have restarted this game 5 times now - Once after 25 hours into the game, because I want to try out other classes. I think I may have a problem with these kind of games!

I spent forever in the chargen, and ultimately landed on an Eldritch Archer. I have zero regrets, it was definitely a hard start (likely due to early balance issues mixed with a class that takes some time to really get going) but she's been rolling through stuff as soon as she hit level 5. That said, I have about a dozen characters I'd want to try out if I play through again.

Anyone find a bow better than the Devourer of Metal? I imagine I've missed something, because I scooped that gem up in chapter 2 and haven't found anything comparable.

Oh man, i just picked up that bow. i was struggling with the particular resistances of the monsters in that area since i for some reason decided not to bring Olivia... now i'm mowing through them with Ekans (or whatever his name is) Pathfinder really is a gear centered game

Yeah, that bow is ridiculous in that level. As soon as the troll trouble started is where my character class choice started to shine though as my main could acid splash with abandon (I think I also found a good 2H sword that Amri used to gleefully chop trolls down.)

I do love how often the game has you cycle through companions though. I tend to bring Valerie and Ekun all the time, as his wolf is a good tank and having that 7th character helps me stack up on DPS squishies for the rest of the group. But I do still juggle quite a bit.

How much can you play this game as 'one character'? I know there is a party but can you set AI so they do their own thing while you play your person? Do you have to fiddle with gear and skill/spell selections for all of them?

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

Yeah, that bow is ridiculous in that level. As soon as the troll trouble started is where my character class choice started to shine though as my main could acid splash with abandon (I think I also found a good 2H sword that Amri used to gleefully chop trolls down.)

I do love how often the game has you cycle through companions though. I tend to bring Valerie and Ekun all the time, as his wolf is a good tank and having that 7th character helps me stack up on DPS squishies for the rest of the group. But I do still juggle quite a bit.

His wolf was a bit lackluster... until i hit level 7 last night, now Dog is a BEAST. Valarie is a permenent part of my part, with her 33 AC shes always the first to make contact, which can be a bit of a roleplay issue because my main is technically LG, but I overwhelmingly favor LG NG CG interactions over LN and LE, so there is some friction with her. I'm not adding any paladin levels precisely because i am worried about drifting off LG toward CG

At launch I don't know that they had AI scripting - they might now. I honestly haven't looked into it. Generally speaking I'm comfortable with heavy focus on one character and light micro-managing. Mostly I intervene with the AI to send Val in first and hold everyone else back, to cast spell buffs from characters that do that sort of thing and aren't my main, and occasionally for target prioritization. I like to run with a mostly ranged party and my main is probably the fiddliest character I bring. Fighters, rangers, barbarians, and rogues are all straightforward enough that you can mostly leave the companions of that type be. The game also has the option of letting it autolevel your companions up. I can't speak to how optimal that is, but if it isn't optimal you can also tweak the difficulty.

What I've noticed is lots of the tough fights are won or lost before they begin. If you've thrown on the right buffs (resistance to the creatures preferred element, deathward for energy drain undead's, haste, stoneskin, etc.) and you've got good positioning so that your tank is taking most of the aggro, then you carve through the encounter like butter. If you've rounded the wrong corner and gotten ambushed near traps and don't read the encounter right early on, well you might be in trouble. Its definitely a game that wants you to use your stuff.

TL;DR - If they don't have AI scripting customization yet, they do have enough difficulty management settings that you could probably find a decent difficulty that will retain some challenge but not require you to do much intervening with the other characters - particularly if you prioritize the less fiddly companions.

TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

What I've noticed is lots of the tough fights are won or lost before they begin. If you've thrown on the right buffs (resistance to the creatures preferred element, deathward for energy drain undead's, haste, stoneskin, etc.) and you've got good positioning so that your tank is taking most of the aggro, then you carve through the encounter like butter. If you've rounded the wrong corner and gotten ambushed near traps and don't read the encounter right early on, well you might be in trouble. Its definitely a game that wants you to use your stuff.

I've been playing and GMing PnP Pathfinder since it released, and this has been the first commandment since day one. The second commandment is Gear Gear Gear. AN ungeared unbuffed unplanned party will be smeared across the masonry by an on level encounter, but the same party buffed with a tactical plan going in can make that same fight trivial.

That is part of what I really like about this game (and similarly Pillars of Eternity). You go into an encounter and get destroyed. Reload, buff, position all the characters and it suddenly feels doable.
You are never in doubt that your decisions makes a difference. From builds, which classes you bring, to gear, spells, using the environment etc.
Well, for most of the game anyway...

There are some obviously scripted moments, like

Spoiler:

a particular one on one duel between my 5th level fighter and what seems to be a 15+ level paladin

I've heard some complaints about that, but frankly, i enjoy that they work inside the system to create that outcome naturally instead of just enforcing a cut scene

Does anyone know when the best time is to play the Varnhold DLC, and when it feeds into the main story?

Can someone talk to me about Magus builds? I think i want to go str scion with either Abyssal or Blue dragon Bloodline.

Well this is the guide i used for the PnP to build a good magus. It's got a lots of material that isn't in the computer game, but the broad strokes stuff from the first few pages about types of builds and how they should play is still applicable.

Myrrh, Frankincense, and Steel: Kurald Galain's Guide to the Magus, updated March 2019

I'm playing a Magus. I made her an Eldritch Archer, chose elf for my race, and put my stats out like so:

Str : 11
Dex : 18
Con : 12
Int : 19
Wis : 10
Cha : 7

I bump Int every chance I can get, and for early spells Snowball, mirror image, and blur helped a ton in the early going (snowball is still a go to even later on.)

Point blank shot is the first feat I chose, with precise shot, improved initiative, and rapid shot all coming in by level 5.

In the early going you are very squishy, but as soon as you get some defensive spells and a good tank in the party, this immediately becomes much less of a problem.

She's level 12 now and pretty much kicking all of the ass.

thrawn82 wrote:
TheHarpoMarxist wrote:

What I've noticed is lots of the tough fights are won or lost before they begin. If you've thrown on the right buffs (resistance to the creatures preferred element, deathward for energy drain undead's, haste, stoneskin, etc.) and you've got good positioning so that your tank is taking most of the aggro, then you carve through the encounter like butter. If you've rounded the wrong corner and gotten ambushed near traps and don't read the encounter right early on, well you might be in trouble. Its definitely a game that wants you to use your stuff.

I've been playing and GMing PnP Pathfinder since it released, and this has been the first commandment since day one. The second commandment is Gear Gear Gear. AN ungeared unbuffed unplanned party will be smeared across the masonry by an on level encounter, but the same party buffed with a tactical plan going in can make that same fight trivial.

Yeah, proper preparation makes all the difference. The often do a really poor job of signposting encounters though, and you get stranded with a sub-optimal party with no way to get the right buffs, and have to face a protracted trek back to the capital to switch members, or reload.

And they get really repetitive with the encounters in the last two chapters, with you having to hard counter negative energy/fear, or paralyze. For every goddamn encounter, it's just resist fear + death ward or freedom of movement, or become a smear on the floor, until you give in and lower the difficulty because it's so tedious.

I finally finished it the other day, and the finale really soured me on what had otherwise been a decent time.

Enhanced edition released.

Some noticeable changes:
"story quests that have a time limit will now display a timer once there's only 2 months left." - adresses one of the biggest annoyances I had with the game

"a faster running speed option! When out of combat, if you click far away from your characters, they will run significantly faster." - 10 hours cut off from a playthrough!

"it is now possible to respec your characters" - omg

Shadout wrote:

"it is now possible to respec your characters" - omg

wait, what?! HOW?!

I borked my build on first play through as kineticist. i might go back if i can respec her

Yeah I started a new game today. Will see how far I get before I time out

I've done act 1 like 5 times at this point.

Ha - I have 7 different characters from act 1 through to act 3 so far.

Today, I started the eternal dungeon thing - its pretty neat! You level up for each level, so, its really a nice way to try out a lot of character classes!

I guess I'm glad I never get around to starting this for reals.
Now all I need are some better PC voices... they all suck.

Anyone have any experience with the Rogue-like infinite dungeon DLC? Is it any good?
I am wondering if I can earn one of those $6 off coupon on steam and apply it to that DLC on steam and try and figure out how to activate it on my GOG copy of Pathfinder...

Nobody? Welp it looks like I may be the one to take one for the team and try this out.
The gameplay vids look more like my cup of tea than the stock campaign.