As stated in Building A Kingdom, “Kingdom Turns” take place outside of normal game time and are handled somewhat differently from Tabletop Gaming. Kingdom Turns work by the following rules:
- They are conducted through Roll20 (or some other pre-agreed site)
- Each Kingdom Turn is equal to 1 month In-Game Time
- No more than 1 Kingdom Turn will be conducted per week (unless agreed upon by everyone)
- All players can act within a Kingdom Turn within their leadership role
- Though all players have individual leadership roles, the role of overall leader is handled by the GM as an NPC.
- While the Kingdom Turns are determined through Roll20, they are written up and recorded here, in Obsidian Portal.
Kingdom Turns represent the building up and evolution of your Kingdom through choices, edicts, events and circumstance which help to organically shape the Kingdom as it progresses. The rules used are those found in the Pathfinder Ultimate Campaign book (pages 208 – 228), but are also found on the Pathfinder SRD Website and goes through what is called the “Kingdom Turn Sequence” (more of this can be found on the Kingdom Sequence Cribsheet, and is broken down further into phases:
- Phase 1: Upkeep: Check your kingdom’s stability, pay costs and deal with unrest. There are 4 Steps in Phase 1, you can find them here.
- Phase 2: Edict: Declare official proclamations about taxes, diplomacy, and other Kingdom-wide decisions. There are 7 Steps in Phase 2, you can find them here.
- Phase 3: Income: Add to your Treasury by collecting taxes and converting GP into BP, or withdraw BP from your Kingdom for your personal use. There are 4 Steps in Phase 3, you can find them here.
- Phase 4: Event: GM roles on the events table and results are handled accordingly. There is only one Step in Phase 4, you can find it here.
(you can click on any of the phases to learn more in-depth information)
So in actuality, a full Kingdom Turn consists of 15 Steps over 4 Phases.
A Kingdom has attributes, just like a player character does. In the case of Kingdoms however, there are only 3:
Economy: This attribute measures the productivity of your kingdom’s workers and the vibrancy of its trade, both in terms of money and in terms of information, innovation, and technology. Your kingdom’s initial Economy is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.
Loyalty: Loyalty refers to the sense of goodwill among your people, their ability to live peaceably together even in times of crisis, and to fight for one another when needed. Your kingdom’s initial Loyalty is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and any modifiers from your kingdom’s leadership role or sponsorship modifiers.
Stability: Stability refers to the physical and social well-being of the kingdom, from the health and security of its citizenry to the vitality of its natural resources and its ability to maximize their use. Your kingdom’s initial Stability is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.
Many kingdom actions and events require you to attempt a kingdom check, either using your Economy, Loyalty, or Stability attribute (1d20 + the appropriate attribute + other modifiers). You cannot take 10 or take 20 on a kingdom check. Kingdom checks automatically fail on a natural 1 and automatically succeed on a natural 20. Though some of these Checks can be made by any leadership role, most are linked to certain ones and fall within their sphere of influence.
In each Kingdom there are a total of 14 Leadership Roles and with the exclusion of the “Ruler” Leadership Role, all can be claimed by players and npcs.
A stable kingdom has leaders that fill different roles—tending to the economy, defense, and health of its citizens. PCs and NPCs can fill these roles; your fighter may be the kingdom’s Warden, the party cleric its High Priest, and so on. Each role grants the kingdom different benefits.
A character can only fill one leadership role at a time. For example, your character can’t be both the Ruler and the High Priest. Even if you want the Ruler to be the head of the kingdom’s religion, she’s too busy ruling to also do the work of a High Priest; she’ll have to appoint someone else to do that work.
The kingdom must have someone in the Ruler role to function; without a Ruler, the kingdom cannot perform basic actions and gains Unrest every turn. All other roles are optional, though leaving certain roles vacant gives your kingdom penalties.
These leadership roles can be a part of any form of government; in some kingdoms they take the form of a formal ruling council, while in others they may be advisers, ministers, relatives of the leader, or simply powerful nobles, merchants, or bureaucrats with access to the seat of power. The names of these roles are game terms and need not correspond to the titles of those roles in the kingdom—the Ruler of your kingdom may be called king, queen, chosen one, padishah, overlord, sultan, and so on.
Responsibilities of Leadership: In order to gain the benefits of leadership, you must spend at least 7 days per month attending to your duties; these days need not be consecutive. This can be roleplayed or can be assumed to run in the background without needing to be defined or actively played out. Time spent ruling cannot be used for adventuring, crafting magic items, or completing other downtime activities that require your full attention and participation. Failure to complete your duties during a turn means treating the role as thought it’s vacant.
For most campaigns, it’s best to have the PCs pick the same days of the month for these administrative duties, so everyone is available for adventuring at the same time.
Abdicating a Role: If you want to step down from a leadership position, you must find a replacement to avoid incurring the appropriate vacancy penalty for your position. Abdicating a position increases Unrest by 1 and requires a Loyalty check; if the check fails, the vacancy penalty applies for 1 turn while the new leader transitions into that role. If you are the Ruler, abdicating increases Unrest by 2 instead of 1, and you take a –4 penalty on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.
If you are not the Ruler and are leaving one leadership role to take a different one in the kingdom, the Unrest increase does not occur and you gain a +4 bonus on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.
The 14 Leadership Roles:
Ruler: The Ruler is the highest-ranking person in the kingdom, above even the other kingdom leaders, and is expected to embody the values of the kingdom. The Ruler performs the kingdom’s most important ceremonies (such as knighting royals and signing treaties), is the kingdom’s chief diplomatic officer (though most of these duties are handled by the Grand Diplomat), is the signatory for all laws affecting the entire kingdom, pardons criminals when appropriate, and is responsible for appointing characters to all other high positions in the government (such as other leadership roles, mayors of settlements, and judges). The Ruler role is always filled by an NPC and portrayed by the GM.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Loyalty checks, any checks or edicts not covered by other rulers
- Occupied Bonus: Add character’s CHA modifier to Economy, Loyalty or Stability
- Vacancy Penalty: A kingdom without a ruler cannot claim new hexes, create Farms, build Roads, or purchase settlement districts. Unrest increases by 4 during the kingdom’s Upkeep Phase.
Consort: The Consort is usually the spouse of the Ruler, and spends time attending court, speaking with and advising nobles, touring the kingdom to lift the spirits of the people, and so on. In most kingdoms, you cannot have two married Rulers and a Consort at the same time.
The Consort represents the Ruler when the Ruler is occupied or otherwise unable to act. With the Ruler’s permission, the Consort may perform any of the Ruler’s duties, allowing the Ruler to effectively act in two places at once. If the Ruler dies, the Consort may act as Ruler until the Heir comes of age and can take over as Ruler.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Identical to Ruler when Ruler is unavailable
- Occupied Bonus: Add half your Charisma modifier to Loyalty. If the ruler is unavailable during a turn, you may act as the Ruler for that turn, negating the vacancy penalty for having no Ruler, though you do not gain the Ruler benefit. If you act as the Ruler for the turn, you must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep Phase or Unrest increases by 1.
- Vacancy Penalty: None
Councilor: The Councilor acts as a liaison between the citizenry and the other kingdom leaders, parsing requests from the commonwealth and presenting the leaders’ proclamations to the people in understandable ways. It is the Councilor’s responsibility to make sure the Ruler is making decisions that benefit the kingdom’s communities and its citizens.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Holiday edicts
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Charisma modifier or Wisdom modifier to Loyalty.
- Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 2. The kingdom gains no benefits from the Holiday edict. During the Upkeep Phase, Unrest increases by 1.
General: The General is the highest-ranking member of the kingdom’s military. If the kingdom has an army and a navy, the heads of those organizations report to the kingdom’s General. The General is responsible for looking after the needs of the military and directing the kingdom’s armies in times of war. Most citizens see the General as a protector and patriot.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Kingdom checks for events requiring combat
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Charisma modifier or Strength modifier to Stability.
- Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 4.
Grand Diplomat: The Grand Diplomat is in charge of the kingdom’s foreign policy—how it interacts with other kingdoms and similar political organizations such as tribes of intelligent monsters. The Grand Diplomat is the head of all of the kingdom’s diplomats, envoys, and ambassadors. It is the Grand Diplomat’s responsibility to represent and protect the interests of the kingdom with regard to foreign powers.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Diplomatic edicts
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Charisma modifier or Intelligence modifier to Stability.
- Vacancy Penalty: Stability decreases by 2. The kingdom cannot issue Diplomatic or Exploration edicts.
Heir: The Heir is usually the Ruler’s eldest son or daughter, though some kingdoms may designate a significant adviser (such as a seneschal) as Heir. The Heir’s time is mostly spent learning to become a ruler—pursuing academic and martial training, touring the kingdom to get to the know the land and its people, experiencing the intrigues of courtly life, and so on.
Because the Heir carries the potential of being the next Ruler, the Heir’s role is similar to the Consort in that the Heir may act on behalf of the Ruler.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Kingdom event rolls
- Occupied Bonus: Add half your Charisma modifier to Loyalty. You may act as the Ruler for a turn, negating the vacancy penalty for the kingdom having no Ruler, though you do not gain the Ruler benefit.
Whenever you act as the Ruler for the turn, you must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep Phase or Unrest increases by 1.
- Vacancy Penalty: None
High Priest: The High Priest tends to the kingdom’s religious needs and guides its growth. If the kingdom has an official religion, the High Priest may also be the highest-ranking member of that religion in the kingdom, and has similar responsibilities over the lesser priests of that faith to those the Grand Diplomat has over the kingdom’s ambassadors and diplomats. If the kingdom has no official religion, the High Priest may be a representative of the most popular religion in the kingdom or a neutral party representing the interests of all religions allowed by the kingdom.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Holiday edicts, rolls to generate magic items from Cathedrals, Shrines, and Temples
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Charisma modifier or Wisdom modifier to Stability.
- Vacancy Penalty: Stability and Loyalty decrease by 2. During the Upkeep Phase, Unrest increases by 1.
Magister: The Magister guides the kingdom’s higher learning and magic, promoting education and knowledge among the citizens and representing the interests of magic, science, and academia. In most kingdoms, the Magister is a sage, a wizard, or a priest of a deity of knowledge, and oversees the governmental bureaucracy except regarding finance.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Rolls to generate magic items not rolled by the High Priest
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Charisma modifier or Intelligence modifier to Economy.
- Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4.
Marshal: The Marshal ensures that the kingdom’s laws are being enforced in the remote parts of the kingdom as well as in the vicinity of the capital. The Marshal is also responsible for securing the kingdom’s borders. He organizes regular patrols and works with the General to respond to threats that militias and adventurers can’t deal with alone.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Exploration edicts
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Dexterity modifier or Wisdom modifier to Economy.
- Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4.
Royal Enforcer: The Royal Enforcer deals with punishing criminals, working with the Councilor to make sure the citizens feel the government is adequately dealing with wrongdoers, and working with the Marshal to capture fugitives from the law. The Royal Enforcer may grant civilians the authority to kill in the name of the law.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Loyalty checks to reduce Unrest or prevent Unrest increases
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Dexterity modifier or Strength modifier to Loyalty. During the Upkeep Phase, you may decrease Unrest by 1 (this is not affected by having the Leadership feat); if you do so, you must succeed at a Loyalty check or Loyalty decreases by 1.
- Vacancy Penalty: None
Spymaster: The Spymaster observes the kingdom’s criminal elements and underworld and spies on other kingdoms. The Spymaster always has a finger on the pulse of the kingdom’s underbelly, and uses acquired information to protect the interests of the kingdom at home and elsewhere through a network of spies and informants.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Kingdom checks involving crime and foreigners
- Occupied Bonus: During the Edict Phase, choose one kingdom attribute (Economy, Loyalty or Stability). Add your Dexterity modifier or Intelligence modifier to this attribute.
- Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. During the Upkeep Phase, Unrest increases by 1.
Treasurer: The Treasurer monitors the state of the kingdom’s Treasury and citizens’ confidence in the value of their money and investigates whether any businesses are taking unfair advantage of the system. The Treasurer is in charge of the tax collectors and tracks debts and credits with guilds and other governments.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Economy checks, Taxation edicts, Trade edicts
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Intelligence modifier or Wisdom modifier to Economy.
- Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. The kingdom cannot collect taxes—during the Edict Phase, when you would normally collect taxes, the kingdom does not collect taxes at all and the taxation level is considered “none.”
Viceroy: The Viceroy represents the Ruler’s interests on an ongoing basis in a specific location such as a colony or vassal state (see the optional Vassalage edict). The Viceroy is in effect the Ruler for that territory; her orders are superseded only by direct commands from the Ruler.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Vassalage edicts
- Occupied Bonus: Add half your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier to Economy. You may assume any leadership role (including Ruler) for your colony or vassal state, but any benefit you provide in this role is 1 less than normal; if you do so, you must spend 7 days that month performing duties appropriate to that leadership role in addition to the 7 days spent for Viceroy duties.
- Vacancy Penalty: If you have no Viceroy for your vassal state, treat it as if it had the Ruler vacancy penalty.
Warden: The Warden is responsible for enforcing laws in larger settlements, as well as ensuring the safety of the kingdom leaders. The Warden also works with the General to deploy forces to protect settlements and react to internal threats.
- Makes Kingdom Checks: Stability checks
- Occupied Bonus: Add your Constitution modifier or Strength modifier to Loyalty.
- Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty and Stability decrease by 2.