Jesse Heinig (trekhead) wrote,
Jesse Heinig

Running Pathfinder: Kingmaker -- Entry 2: Dwarf Fortress

Last time, I wrote a bit about some "unconventional" kinds of governments for your fantasy kingdoms. This time I'm going to look into how a nonhuman kingdom might change the use of the Pathfinder kingdom-building rules!

The existing Pathfinder kingdom-building rules are generally humanocentric, or at the very least, they assume that if you're not building a human kingdom, you'll "reskin" some of the settlements in a purely flavor fashion. If you want to really dig into having some distinctive differences between human and non-human settlements, give some of these ideas a whirl. The new systems included below help to incentivize building your kingdom in the fashion often associated with a race's fantasy flavor, so dwarfs delve deep into mountains while elves prefer to live in the forests. For a start I'm going to work out dwarfs, with elves to follow and then some other demi-human folks.

Naturally, some GMs may not agree with these ideas, or have ideas of their own -- and that's great! The whole point of ths exercise is to inspire you with new notions for unconventional games of Pathfinder kingdom-building.

The stereotypical dwarf kingdom is underground, deep in the mountains or dug into hillsides, perhaps with a few small holdings aboveground to help support trade and raising of crops or animals that don't do well in caves. The typical dwarf settlement is at least 75% below ground, which means that setting up a new location is actually easier in places wth canyons, caves, and tunnels (such as mountains and hills) and harder in flat, open terrain (such as plains and marshes).
The settlement plot for a dwarf city will generally consist of a several plots that are underground (in a hill or mountainside excavation) and a few that are outdoors (adjacent to the cavern entrance). Dwarf cities in plains or marshes usually have a fortification aboveground that guards a passage that descends into stonework passages below.
Terrain and Terrain Improvements: Dwarfs adjust exploration and preparation time as follows:

  • Fishery costs 5 BP for dwarfs instead of 4 BP.

  • Mine costs 5 BP for dwarfs instead of 6 BP.

  • Quarry costs 5 BP for dwarfs intead of 6 BP.

Terrain Exploration Time Preparation Time Preparation Cost Farm Cost Road Cost
Caverns 1 day 1 month 2 BP 4 BP 3 BP
Hills 1 day 1 month 2 BP 2 BP 1 BP
Mountains 1 day 1 month 2 BP 4 BP 2 BP
Forest 3 days 4 months 12 BP -- 4 BP
Plains 3 days 3 months 8 BP 4 BP 4 BP

Buildings: Dwarf buildings are modified as follows:

  • Brewery: Adds +2 Loyalty instead of +1.

  • City Wall: Any dwarf settlement built into a mountainside is treated as having a city wall along the boundary.

  • Foundry: Adds settlement Productivity +2 instead of +1. Dwarfs can build a foundry adjacent to a magma flow instead of a water district.

  • Mill: Costs 9 BP instead of 6 BP. Dwarfs prefer to work with stone instead of wood when possible, and grain is more commonly used for making ale or beer.

  • Tannery: Costs 9 BP instead of 6 BP. While dwarfs may use goat and sheep hide for leather or vellum, they generally don't have a lot of livestock.

  • Observatory: Obviously, cannot be build in a settlement plot that is underground.

  • Smithy: Adds +2 Economy instead of +1.

Next time: Forest kingdoms for the elves!
Tags: game design

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