Rise of Nations
A Word About This Campaign
This will be a mostly free-form or ‘sandbox’ style of campaign, based on the Kingmaker adventure path published by Paizo. This is not a story that you will be participating in, your deeds ARE the story. There are major set-piece events that are likely to happen as things progress and there are some subtle, overarching themes, but, for the most part, this game is about what you choose to do… or not do. This style of play has three hallmark features that you should be aware of as you make your way through the world.
1. There are no rails. With the great power to determine your own destiny, comes the great responsibility of figuring out how you will get there. There will not always be an obvious ‘next step’ in the action nor clues to lead you to a major location or event. You are going to have to make decisions about your path and often it will be in the absence of compelling need. Characters with a clear sense of purpose will probably have more to contribute to these discussions than PCs who sit back, clueless, waiting for the plot to find them.
2. Your actions have consequences. If you allow or cause a town to be razed, it is gone. If you slay an NPC, they are dead. If you elect not to help out potentially helpful characters, they may die, leave, or decide to actively work against you (or they may shrug and get over it). None of the story elements has ‘plot immunity’. Timing is also a factor— evil won’t wait for you to show up. If you neglect a small problem long enough, it may turn into a very big problem.
3. The world is dangerous. There will usually be guidance about where your efforts are best directed, or what challenges might be beyond your abilities, but there is no in-game mechanism to keep you on track and no reason you can’t rush directly into the deadliest areas on the map. Even if you stay in ‘safer areas,’ some monsters may be rude enough to wander out of the dangerous wilds and into lands inhabited by lower level PCs. Since these monsters are not aware of (nor interested in) your recommended encounter level, they are likely to try and kill you anyways. Not everything you will encounter is guaranteed to be a level-appropriate challenge! Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
It is my sincere hope that you will have as much fun playing in this campaign as I have had preparing it. I am also excited about the possibility of expanding expectations of what a tabletop game can be and offering everyone a chance to try something that is both familiar and different at the same time. The most important detail is for everyone to have fun on this journey and, to that end, I always welcome your comments and suggestions.