Chris Avellone on Pathfinder: Kingmaker's companions, choices and romances

"I generally find smart evil to be more fun."

Prolific RPG designer Chris Avellone has been working on Owlcat Games’ adaptation of the Pathfinder tabletop game, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but he’s taken a break from scribbling down quest ideas to answer questions from the community, teasing some of the adventure’s features in the process. 

On the subject of the setting, he says, “The Stolen Lands are a perfect place for building a kingdom from scratch, and even better, the adventure path format gives Owlcat and I 'breathing room' to add more narrative and quests without disrupting the classic adventure path itself.”

Expect to see familiar characters and places from the tabletop game, like Amiri the barbarian. “She has some of the best lines in the game so far, and it’s no surprise,” says Avellone. “She’s fun to write for.” 

Not surprisingly, given Avellone’s involvement, Kingmaker will come laden with choices. You’ll be free to be a boring do-gooder, or a horrible ne’er-do-well. “And cruel. And cunning. I generally find ‘smart’ evil (ex: talking two enemies into killing each other) to be more fun than demanding more money as a quest reward or being a mass-murderer.”

And if you don’t fancy a scuffle, you’ll be able to use diplomacy and speech to get out of tricky situations, both at court and on the battlefield. These choices will change the world and how your story ends, too. “We’d like players to play it more than once and get a different experience each time. The companion arcs alone have several options that are shaped throughout the game, and that means the story can change considerably depending on your party composition.”

Speaking of companions, yes, you’ll be able to take them out on dates, but romantic relationships aren’t the only kind. “Just romance is limiting,” Avellone notes. “The companions are with you for a reason, and that reason may change based on your actions—for good or for ill, and they’ll pay attention to your behavior and act accordingly.”

There’s more in the full interview, so give it a read.