Chris Avellone's Pathfinder: Kingmaker RPG is now on Kickstarter

Chris Avellone announced his involvement in the development of a new isometric RPG called Pathfinder: Kingmaker last month, based on the popular pencil-and-paper Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. And today, developer Owlcat Games began what has become the next natural step in indie RPG development: The Kickstarter campaign

The campaign is seeking a hefty $500,000, not to enable the development of the game—that's going to happen either way—but to expand on its underlying ideas and design. First on that list is the promised ability to establish a "Kingdom," which is promised to be far more involved and in-depth than the player strongholds that typically appear in RPGs.   

"Your kingdom is a reflection of your character and your choices throughout the game. It is a living thing shaped by your alignment, your allies, and your ability to lead your people," Owlcat explained in the Kickstarter pitch. "Not only can your kingdom expand, opening up new territories and allowing you to build new towns and communities, but your capital city will physically change based on your decisions, your policies, and even whom you choose to ally with. As your kingdom grows, a number of factions and neighboring countries will come to you to seek favor—and to test your strength." 

The initial Kickstarter goal will enable "Kingdom as Companion," which will see the addition of more options and content, and make them more reactive to your actions. "Your moral decisions influence your Capital view and outfit," the pitch states. "If player's alignment is good—watch bright high-fantasy style city wtih pretty dancing maidens and lads; evil—enjoy dark monumental 'Imperialist' style outfits and skeletons as waiters in pubs." 

The expanded Kingdom will also provide access to Royal Artisans who can craft special items and artifacts, increased options for different buildings and upgrades, and more "unfolding events" with multiple outcomes and benefits. "Perhaps you want to control every single activity in your kingdom by yourself, or perhaps you are more of a top-level ruler who wants to spend time exploring the wilderness and fighting dangerous beasts," Owlcat said. "Either way, we will give you the life you want to live. You are a king, after all!" 

The studio posted a breakdown of how the funds will be used, covering everything from art assets to "meetings and heated debates," and also teased stretch goals, which based on the image may or may not have something to do with "camping"—a traditional RPG activity.

The Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter runs until July 11, and seems to be off to a pretty good start: It went live just a few hours ago and is already well over $41,000. Enjoy a few minutes of Avellone talking about the new project below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.