Kingmaker ACKs Edition

Hello people on this forum.

Since yesterday we have switched from holme 77 to ACKs and we are having a blast. For years I knew ACKs existed but always balked at the pagecount compared to good old holmes. My group however wanted a bit more crunch and I agreed. Hence this post. This recent game started out with the desire to once and for all create the setting for our group. After some aborted settings we finally decided that we would start with the area arround the kingmaker stolen lands and make the world arround it as we went along. The only thing we did was make the history of our continent in broad strokes, races and some cultures and themes.

Themes of this world:

Their are only 5 known sentient races at the moment:

Elves: For the most part a celtic culture. They are very much of mixed opinion about humans. On the one hand they are short lived dogs. On the other they created the modern and powerful Steel empire. Something a lot of elves remember. They think the past was better. Out of all races, Elves are the most likely to perserve the culture of the Steel empire.

Halflings: Your standard small beings with rotund bellies who love to farm and want to be left alone. Eat 1,5 times what a human needs. They are such good farmers that invariably conquered without much trouble for some products. Only the insane of this race are adventurers. Those settling new land are just giving up comfort at present for comfort in the future. They do have militia however.

Dwarves: Your standard dwarves for the most part but more spread out. There are above grounders far from the mountains, they are slightly taller but live shorter lives. The dwarf gods are the ancester, a lot of them.

Humans: Just humans, different cultures doing different things.

Dragi (Fighter/Mage Dragonborn): Dragon people who came from the south and made the last empire of the continent. They came with their magic, cavalry and wooden castles. However the great weakness of this race was exposed when their king died. Dragi hate other draconics including their own kind. They also love other cultures. With the king dead their people spread of the known world to get out of eachothers sight. There are still some dragi lords but most races have a fairly new aristocracy again.

Fey: The fey are special in that they are not quite of this world but they are not summoned from another realm either.

No beastmen, but who knows. Perhaps a chaotic wizard or cleric could summon them?

There are thousands of gods. The great 5 fought in a war until the god of death defected and they were defeated. The god of death is the only universal god in the known world. He has given his anti undead powers to the clerics of the other gods. Undead are incredably rare due to a motivated and capable god of death.

German is the latin of the world and the only real written language. The Stahlmen of this world were the romans of our world. They had a large empire on the known continent of our world. It is also the language of magic, making it even more the wizards domain.

Wizardry was saved becouse they were the onse who gathered in monasteries after the fall of the Steel empire after being second rate citizens. Thus writing and wizardry was saved and rose greatly in power. They are more consentrated than clerics who are hopelessly divided. They are also the only ones who have saved the written word making them doubly important. In this ACKs world you tith Wizard monasteries, not temples.

This is a game which takes nods from 10th/11th century England. Thus most of the castles will be Motte and Bailey and made out of wood. Stone castles will be very rare. Rules for that somewhere else.

The game

I am running a modified Kingmaker book 1 stolen lands for them at the moment. Modified to fit in my campaign world. At the time we were playing using holmes 77 but with ACks I ran into a small problem. The hex sizes of kingmaker are 12 miles. After some head breaking I decided to simply shrink the size of the stolen lands to 6 mile hexes. And that is where we began after some slight conversion.

What happened before? It involved Bandit genocide, befriending elves, halfling genocide, exploring, fey pranks and a nasty magical accident in a bone temple.

In the short time we had left to play the following happened. I converted the temple of Erastil in the book to a temple of the 5 with a runined overgrown city arround it and a large dungeon under it. So they went in. In the bishops washing room they found some giant centipedes and some big beetles. The last ones they didn't fight becouse they closed the door and  put a hold portal spell on it. Then things got bad for the group. They found some nice loot like golden goblets, candle holders and a lot of VERY old whisky which were gladly taken. The assasin failed its stealth role for opening a door and came face to face with a baby hydra just waking up from a nap. What followed was a brutal battle that brought the assasin to 0 and the other in the group to low single digets.

He was quickly saved by the cleric but still rolled badly. Our assasin is now permanently brain addled and needs two weeks of rest. They quickly retreated to Oleg.... I mean Werners steading.

Not a bad first session if I say so myself.



I played in a Kingmaker campaign in it's original pathfinder ruleset about 3 or 4 years ago, and from what I remember shrinking them to six is probably the better choice.  Most of the hexes, at least from my perspective as a player, would have at most 1 significant landmark that the players were expected to find after thorough exploration.  Even this isn't 100% accurate since a six mile hex in ACKs would have more, but it's a good start.

I hope the transition from Holmes to ACKS continues to run smoothly. ACKS was more or less created out of BX so I know what you're going through.

I'm not familiar with Kingmaker. Sounds like you're setting is pretty cool though.

It's an adventure path from Paizo publishing, makers of Pathfinder.  The elevator pitch is that it's Eastern Europe meets Game of Thrones.

Your party plays one of 4 groups of adventurers who are granted fiefs of land lost to the wilderness by a desperate barony trying to find allies in a looming civil war between it's nation and the nation it balkanized from, having previously spent centuries under the same ruling family.

There's a small trading post along the northern road that serves as your base as you make expeditions into the 50 or so 12 mile hexes that make up your fief. when you've fully explored all of them, you're able to found a capital and start annexing hexes.  Along the way you have to navigate the issues with the other adventuring parties' kingdoms, such as rivalries or large external kingdoms threatening to wipe them out, along with a few eldritch-ish horrors hiding in the depths of a few dungeons.

We played an extremely house ruled version of the kingdom building rules that were in no way balanced but the DM was able to roll with the punches and send sufficiently challenging foes at us.  There were also a lot of fun and unexpected side treks, like the King (me)'s wife getting her brain eaten by a cyclops-lich, requiring a clandestine trip to the only city in the world with clerics high level enough to cast true resurrection without our foes taking advantage of our absence.  Ultimately, though, the 6th and last book of adventure path is absolute garbage, full of contrivances to justify killing NPCs in ways that are permanent enough to railroad what was otherwise a decently sandboxy adventure forward, and ending with a transdimensional dungeon that, even with the portents we kept finding along the way, felt incredibly detached from the rest of the campaign.

Still, one of the best campaigns I've ever played in, and one of the few that we actually saw to finish.  Though I was a player, I have little doubt it's full of things that any campaign could reasonably pilfer as long as you can squint your eyes and the 3.x-isms and stat blokcs to see the true story underneath.

The transition went very well. We just used the stats already rolled and the amount of experience. No major hickups. Just a bit less spells for our wizard.

Well explained sir Jard. I am only planning to use the first two books, I will however be using the ACKs rules and not those presented. After that they will have done enough stuff that I don't need the rest.