Adapting Pathfinder: Kingmaker to other fantasy RPGs

I played through half of Kingmaker, the Pathfinder RPG adventure path in which the players explore a territory and found a settlement there.

I loved the settlement-building aspect of Kingmaker and would love to adapt it to another RPG system that isn’t quite so crunchy as Pathfinder.

Does anyone have any suggestions for such a game?

Freebooters on the Frontier and The Black Hack seem to be well-oriented toward sandbox exploration. I believe Stonetop has good settlement creation, at least at a village level.

I’ve also seen some Dungeon World stuff:

Perilous Wilds is a must-have for exploration support.

The compendium classes for settlement leader-type characters - such as the Householder, Landed Gentry, Merchant, and Shopkeeper classes from the Class Warfare book.

Strongholds from Dwarfare Games.

Anything else come to mind?


If you like this stuff, Reign is right up your alley. The full game has an interesting fantasy setting.

The Enchiridion has just the rules for organizations - anything from a gang to an empire.

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I’m another Pathfinder refugee: I love Paizo’s Golarion campaign setting, but I got tired of the extreme crunchiness of PFRPG. (And, honestly, PF2e doesn’t seem all that much better in that regard.)

I had a lot of success running a sandbox-style game set the the Pathfinder Campaign Setting’s region of Varisia, using Dungeon World as the system.

I’ve only read (not run/played) the PFRPG version of Kingmaker, but I think DW would be a very good system to use.

One thing that DW doesn’t do is the whole “kingdom-building” minigame that so many people love about Kingmaker. If your players like it, go ahead and just take that minigame out of Pathfinder and use it as-is. If not… you could just hand-wave it. If you want to split the difference, you could try your hand at making a small number of custom moves that deal with building a kingdom.


No Country for Old Kobolds is a DW-inspired game with some nation-building rules you could adapt for this kind of thing.

I made an attempt at converting the Kobold horde rules back into DW a year or two ago, but never playtested them. I bet it would work pretty well.


Similarly Stonetop has rules for building and improving your settlement (and also dealing with various seasonal changes and misfortunes).

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Since it’s been brought up twice now, here’s the Stonetop steading playbook:

And here’s the (a little out of date) chapter that goes into the details:

It’s definitely oriented towards small-community building, like a village or a town. I imagine you could scale it up to city-level by treating each neighborhood or district in a city as a separate steading, but that’s hardly been tested.