Paizo’s pen and paper RPG Pathfinder may not be Dungeons & Dragons, but it’s as close as you can get to it while still being legally distinct, which makes it perfect source material for a Baldur’s Gate-esque old school RPG. Successfully Kickstarted a year ago, Pathfinder: Kingmaker now has a release date – September 25th – and a very fancy new trailer below to accompany the announcement.
While the heart of Pathfinder: Kingmaker is your usual adventuring material – go forth, kick arses, take names, hoard loot – it does promise some interesting twists in its larger structure. You’ve got your own town to manage, build stuff in and (presumably) tax until it bleeds, because adventuring doesn’t come cheap. The trailer also features some truly over-the-top gore effects that remind me vaguely of enemies exploding into very ’90s clouds of gibs in early Infinity Engine games.
I know it’s just the nature of the beast, but the trailer’s dramatic narration of BIG NUMBERS does raise a chuckle – it’s like a dungeon master trying to convey the dramatic scale of the room by reading its dimensions in feet AND meters. Still, 14 character classes should mean decent replay value, assuming the combat engine is dense enough with crunchy numbers and dice-rolls to make them matter. More importantly, Kingmaker has veteran RPG word-slinger Chris Avellone as senior narrative designer, which is definitely a good name to have attached to an RPG.
For the Bioware crowd disappointed that Anthem won’t be letting us smooch on weird aliens and/or power-armour, the trailer does at least make it clear that Kingmaker will have romantic options, even going as far as suggesting the star-crossed pairing of half-orc and half-elf. Quite what the kids would look like from that is anyone’s guess – pale green and with vaguely pointed ears, I guess? But I digress.