Pathfinder: Kingmaker Interview

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Eschalon: Book II

Release Date:2018-09-25
  • Role-Playing
Buy this Game: Amazon ebay

GB: Chris Avellone is something of a legend in the video game industry. What's it been like working with him and how would you summarize his contributions to Kingmaker to date?

OG: To be honest that was a question for us too: how it would be to work with such a renowned writer? :) But we pretty soon found out that Chris is not only one of the best narrative designers but he is extremely open and friendly in communication. We are very lucky to be able to share our ideas in constructive and complementary manner. So Chris not only reviews all narrative design elements, but he also does a lot of work to assist with the story and characters, as well as doing writing, assisting with chapter outlines, and also companion design (inc. writing companion dialogue) - it's a collaborative process, and we exchange ideas frequently.

GB: Will item descriptions in Kingmaker have flavor text or will they be purely utilitarian in nature?

OG: It would be disappointing to us if one of the prime features in every CRPG - equipment - would have only utilitarian descriptions :) There are hundreds of armor/weapon/other pieces in the game - and to be honest, we’re not sure we can write flavor text for all of them. But we definitely will do it for every noteworthy and special item, especially items taken from tough enemies or won through difficult challenges - flavor descriptions add to the reward of the item.

GB: Stores that have limited cash is a mechanic that isn't always well-received by some players (including myself). Will Kingmaker feature such a mechanic?

OG: You are welcome - we are not planning to limit cash for our vendors.

GB: Scounting ahead with a rogue or an invisible character and then using appropriate buffs for any major encounter ahead - yea or nay? In other words, will we be able to pre-buff before combat begins?

OG: Yea, in most of encounters. Sometimes you will be in the situation where pre-buffs are impossible, like having random encounters while camping.

GB: On a similar note, will Kingmaker feature epic spellcaster battles?

OG: Yes, but to go deeper into the answer is to spoil the story.

GB: A couple of questions about the Journal. Will we be able to write our own notes? How about putting custom pins on the map?

OG: We would love to do it. To be clear, these features are not the top priority ones. So there is always a chance we may not have time to implement everything we would like to see in our game. But we always want to give players as much ability to customize their experience as we can. We will do our best to implement custom notes.

GB: You talked about highly customizable difficulty settings for Kingmaker during your Kickstarter campaign. But what about the game's base level of difficulty? Taking the default setting and an average CRPG veteran – how challenging will they find that experience? What difficulty setting would you recommend for those of us who know what they're doing when it comes to RPGs?

OG: Yes, you will be able to customize difficulty in many ways. Our default difficulty setting is called Adapted Rules and will mostly follow Pathfinder rules, except for the parts where they get too lethal to the player. Criticals will be less deadly and character death will be handled in a way that allows you to recover characters without paying for the resurrection. We think that a lot of players will find the game enjoyable and challenging on this setting.

Meanwhile, the Core Rules setting is a little more challenging - this difficulty setting will be as close to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system as possible, and characters will not be protected from death by the occasional critical strike. This is quite a challenging experience even for CRPG veterans, but combat on this setting requires all of the depth of character customization and mechanics. You have to use your characters’ strengths and guard against their weaknesses - in addition, buffs and consumables are really useful on this setting.

GB: And finally, how do you handle optional content? Will we be able to glean new things about the main story by doing side quests or are they mostly self-contained?

OG: What we are trying NOT to do are quests like "bring me 10 pieces of something useless for some stupid reason". We feel it’s important to build a consistent story where every single event has a connection with either the past, present, or future of the world and contribute to the plot development as well. Not only will side quests will be a reflection of the main plot but even the majority of simple events will reveal some knowledge or a new perspective on the story and the characters.