Saturday, January 8, 2022

Pathfinder: Kingmaker - first thoughts

I've been playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

- the controls are a bit . . . annoying. I accidentally zoomed in my combat map and can't zoom it back out. I can't seem to even figure out what the game wants me to press to make that happen.

Camping requires assigning characters, and shows it all on a screen. But then you need to go to another screen entirely to swap who is doing why. Why, even?

Characters selected to grab something or unlock something or whatever tend to run off to do it . . . you need to move the whole group up if you want them ready in case a fight breaks out.

Stuff like that isn't the best thing. I actually resorted to a Waltkthrough and a YouTube Playthrough to figure out some of the commands.

- I do like turn-based combat, since that feels better for a game with a D&D ancestry. Everything has more HP than I'm used to, though - I hit a Kobold for 8 damage and it was still alive. I was like . . . how? Oh yeah, they probably had lots of HP in Pathfinder compared to AD&D.

- Alignment is actually interesting. I'm Lawful Neutral, so I always choose Law or Neutral options, and if then Good options. Given a choice, say, between Neutral Good and Lawful Evil actions, I go Neutral Good. But otherwise I'll choose the LN option regardless. It reminds me of Planescape: Torment in a positive way, and the clarity of what option is what makes it easier to hew to your chosen alignment.

- I like the odd mix of companions I've got, and the balance needed to keep them. I picked up an Evil character I quite liked from the introduction, which is fun because the rest of my party is largely neutral but has a good member, too.

- I've already needed to restore from a save after a clicky blunder killed my party off. Oops.

- I seem to have useful gear that I can't use - I killed a bandit up in a tree fort with missile fire. I have rope. They have a ladder. I cannot get to him. I do not understand this.

- I really like how combat misses are shown - arrows bounce off shields or armor, blows miss or get blocked or hit armor, etc. So my heavily armored tower-shield carrying fighter ally doesn't just get missed, but blocks arrows. Same effect, but it feels good.

Overall, it's enjoyable. I have been blasting through scrolls and potions and whatnot just to avoid having a Scroll of Monster Summoning I when I'm fighting dragons and demons and whatnot.

We'll see how I feel later on, but for now, it's scratching a good itch.


  1. I believe Zoom is on the mouse wheel or arrow up/down. There are also mods for the camera especially to allow you to zoom out farther.

    Having played Baldur's Gate 2 and a few of the other Infinity Engine games, I really like the real-time with lots of the pauses in the options set. It's basically set to pause whenever I might need to do something different, like an enemy dying, a spell being cast, etc. Makes combats go more quickly, though it has probably lead to a few deaths when things get out of hand quickly.

    Obviously not saying you should switch, just telling you what I preferred in games like this. Good luck and hope you continue to enjoy it.

    1. What's odd is I use a laptop with no mouse wheel - so there must be some combo of keys or pad strokes to do it.

      I like X-Com: Apocalypse on real time with pausing, because I think that works well with gunfire. With these kinds of games I get lost too easily. That's especially true because I'm both a 3rd-edition D&D and Pathfinder newbie.


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