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Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG) $5.95
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Anton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2012 09:59:12

I was intrigued by Paizo's "Kingmaker" adventure path, which transforms a D&D adventure into sort of a detailed cooperative "Settlers of Catan" or some other 'building' game, wherein each turn represents a month of world-time.

Unfortunately, my players are all too high-level to start at "Kingmaker's" level 1 adventure. Plus, would I really need to buy the entire Paizo adventure path, when I wouldn't be using their actual adventures?

Enter "Book of the River Nations." This book is inspiring, and condenses many many "Kingmaker" rules into its 52 pages. Most reviewers here mention it as a companion to "Kingmaker," but I want a replacement: how to create your own "Kingmaker"-like adventure.

Basically, your adventurers go out into the wilderness, fight monsters, discover valuable sites for resource creation and extraction, pre-existing abandoned facilities, and generally carve a kingdom out of the wilderness. The kingdom has several character-like stats, but there is a dark stat which brings down the other stats: "Unrest," or popular dissatisfaction.

I would really like some rules for map generation: how does one generate a "Kingmaker" wilderness, perhaps with some randomness. How much farmland is fair? How many windfall abandoned facilities are fair? How much mining is appropriate? In "Settlers of Catan" this facility is built in, but sadly, "Book of the River Nations" lacks this information. They do provide a page of hex paper, just no suggestions on what or how much to put in the hexes.

Another missing feature is some kind of straightforward "Unrest" calculator. Other people online have developed Excel Spreadsheets for calculating this, but surely this can be calculated on paper, and it would be helpful to see here. Also, it's not clear whether or how much unrest carries over from turn to turn.

Of course, this is specifically for "Players," and not "Game Masters," but the absence of a "Game Master's" guide makes the above gaps rather painful. I have to ding the book 1 star for that.

For all the complaints above, the book is swell, and well worth its now-reduced price. I just want the publisher to put together another "Game Master's" volume to cover the above-mentioned gaps. I'm willing to pay!

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
I'm really glad you enjoyed the Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building. I noticed you had a few questions and I would like to address them. First, Unrest is a cumulative stat so if you have 5 Unrest last turn, you will have 5 Unest the following turn until you build something or have some kind of event that reduces unrest. Second, why was the word "Player's" included in the title? There are alot of reasons but they can all be summed by saying it is as much for GMs as the 3.5 Player's Handbook is for GMs. While we have been working on a more GM's based book that would detail things like map generation and the like, we have not yet finished that yet. So take heart. We will get there.
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Book of the River Nations: Complete Player's Reference for Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
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