RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse









Back
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG) $2.95
Average Rating:3.4 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
1 1
1 2
0 2
1 0
0 1
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Click to view
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by William W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/11/2012 07:44:55
A nice set of supplemental rules for Pathfinder that bring mechanics for wilderness exploration, and kingdom and city building. Includes leadership roles (and the benefits for each, and penalties for not assigning them), the kingdom as a "character", building types, kingdom events, and more.

This is a great supplement for any GM wishing to add an element of empire building to their campaign - the possibilities for developing characters and storylines are very good (even if they're not the ones in charage of the kingdom!). This PDF is fully bookmarked for ease of reference.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Elliott D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2011 12:58:09
A review of 2 BTRN pdfs

Three big scabs to start with:
no index; no TOC on one volume ; no intro to speak of.

Seems to be a largely rehash of existing PF material.

Impolite: their new material not identified as such, just inserted along with the PF:KM rules.

It would have been nice to see
"here's what you'll be getting into"
"here's what you're looking at"

Peeve:
they out no DEF # on city form, would have been easy fix, they just copied the form from PF:KM rotely.

did tidy up the city form

clip art for new building types.

new ideas for XPs?


Green Leaf Monk Prestige Class
seems out of place, little flavor text or intro.
why does a GLM fit in with a river nation ?
or is he a foil ?

The Mass Combat spells are launched into without
intro. They are not explained, contexted, or referenced.
Could you at least point out into which book the rules relate ?
They may be wonderful spells, but since I don't have the
MASS COMBAT base book, and the author's didnt mention
where to get one, they just made 2/5ths of their own book
into a mere side-bar.

Later on I find they sell a MC rulebook, but given the material so far, why would I get it?

In other publications, the author will, upon first using an acronym or abbreviation, spell it out. ie(THACO, To Hit Armor Class Zero)
but here in the River Nations, everyone automagcially knows all terms.

The Generic City forms at the end are somewhat more useful
than the color ones by paizo.


The King's Eye seems excellent,
and some of the Feats seem good & useful.

The Green Leaf Monk is excellent ruleswise, but seems an after thought and could use expansion and at least throw a bone to the player or DM: "Why is this guy in the middle of my campaign world?

I can only barely recommend it, and then only for the few nuggets to add onto KM:PF (which means Kingmaker adventures in Pathfinder, thank you.)

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Dark M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2011 13:20:49
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building by Jon Brazar Enterprises

This product is 2o pages long. It starts with a cover. (1 pages)

Exploration Rules (2 pages)
This has rules for exploring land. It has movement rate and a few other things in it.

Kingdom Building (12 pages)
This section has rules for building a kingdom, random events, rules and positions of powers with the effects they have. Taxes, buildings and the effects they have etc. It is a quick simple yet effect set of rules for building a kingdom.

It ends with 4 pages of sheets, exploration map, city district sheet, kingdom stat sheet, and NPC sheet and a OGL. (5 pages)

Closing Thoughts. This is the exploration rules from Kingmaker AP 1, The Stolen Lands reprinted. The kingdom building rules is the rules from Kingmaker AP 2, River Runs Red, with 3 extra pages of information. Looks like a few more buildings and kingdom events are added to it. Other than the new sheets which are helpful and 3 pages of new buildings and kingdom events, it is just the information from the two Kingmaker AP's combined together in one book in a print friendly format. Again I find this one hard to rate as it depends a lot if you have the AP's and if being able to print the information is important to you.

My one critic is I wish the kingdom events had been it's own chapter. That way you could print it out and give everything but the events to the players, that would have helped make this better and more useful. As it is for 3 bucks, if you don't have the AP's and want some quick and simple kingdom building rules, then I would give it a 3.5 star. If you have the AP's but would like the new buildings and events and want a print friendly copy, then I would give it a 3 star. If you just want a print friendly version or just want the new buildings etc, then I would give it a 2 star.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/04/2010 12:09:55
When reviewing an RPG book, there are different aspects to consider. How professional is the layout? Is the art of good quality? Can the author and editor deliver a text that’s free of typos and grammatical errors? And, of course, how well does it play in your game? This last question can be one of the most difficult to judge, because there’s no better way to judge how well a supplement or adventure works than playtesting – unfortunately, if you want to make regular reviews, playtesting is next to impossible; there’s just not enough time to thoroughly dig into a book.

That’s why, for me at least, it’s special when I’m able to review a book that I have gotten the chance to playtest, as I did with Jon Brazer Enterprises’ Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building.

Now, to be clear, what I playtested wasn’t this book per se, but rather the material that it’s drawing from…which segues nicely into noting this particular elephant in the room: virtually all of this book is reproduced Open Game Content. More specifically, this book takes the exploration rules from Pathfinder Adventure Path #31 and the kingdom-building rules from Pathfinder Adventure Path #32 and merges them into a single file. Now, there’s more here than just a cut-and-paste job; new events and new buildings are the most obvious, but I also noted some subtler additional material, like a few new terrain types listed in the costs/time expended for preparing a city in different terrains, or how there’s a sidebar that gives an abbreviated flowchart for how the kingdom-building turns progress.

To be entirely fair, the new material here may not be enough to entice you into picking up this product if you already have the aforementioned Pathfinder products. Having a few extra buildings like an apiary, a butcher, or a keep – along with a few new events such as rowdy adventurers coming to town, or holding a public execution – is nice, but extra. You can get along just fine without them.

Having said that, I’ve been running a Kingmaker (the Pathfinder Adventure Path that makes use of these rules) game for the last several months, and I think that this product is a godsend. First, it’s much easier having the exploration and kingdom building rules all in one place instead of having to flip back and forth between two different books whenever I want to use them again. Secondly, this product changes the layout regarding how the information is presented – unlike the original files, this book presents the kingdom-building turn first, and then gets into the specifics of what you do on each turn. This makes it far easier to understand the rules for those who haven’t read them before, and easier to reference for those who have.

But enough with the comparison to the original material, let’s go over this fresh.

Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building is a twenty-page PDF for the Pathfinder RPG. The file has full, nested bookmarks and allows copy-and-pasting, which are standard for professional PDF publications. The book has several black and white pieces of interior art shuffled throughout it, and has fairly ornate borders on alternating sides of each page. Having a single page for the cover, and another for the OGL and credits, there’s also four pages of graphs and charts, allowing you to draw the layout of your kingdom, its cities, and records the various statistics for both. This leaves a full fourteen pages of rules and material.

The first two pages cover the mechanics of exploring land. Overland areas are charted in a hex map, with each hex covering 144 square miles of land (the text characterizes this as being “just over 100 square miles”). Rules are given for how quickly a party can cross a hex based on their speed and the kind of terrain it is, followed by rules for actually exploring that area based on those same two factors. A helpful flowchart is given here for determining the order in which events occur (e.g. when you find something obvious versus when you find something hidden versus when wandering monsters attack, etc.).

The remainder of the book deals with the mechanics of building a kingdom, and it’s here that things start to get truly interesting. A kingdom has its own set of mechanics that are created and kept track of over time. It measures things like Stability, Loyalty, and Economy as measures for tracking the health of the realm, Unrest (which is a penalty to the aforementioned three scores), and Consumption, which is the cost of maintaining your kingdom and building new things. This cost is measured in Build Points, or just BP. The more BP your kingdom has, the richer it is and the more you can expand it; lose BP, and you’ll become poorer and even go broke (which can eventually lead to your kingdom collapsing).

Because these rules are written under the assumption that the PCs are the ones who not only explored the land, but are the founders and active rulers of their kingdom, there are eleven political positions in a kingdom for characters to occupy, from the Ruler to the General, Treasurer, High Priest, and more. All of these allow for some sort of benefit to the kingdom (and most have a penalty if there isn’t someone acting in these roles), meaning that you’ll likely need some trustworthy NPCs to fill some posts. There are also various edicts you can declare, such as raising or lowering taxes, running campaigns to promote goodwill amongst the public, or throwing festivals.

The main thrust of running a kingdom, however, lies in building cities. Cities are the heart of your kingdom, and occupy a significant position in the kingdom-building rules. These largely revolve around having a “city grid” that represents (a district in) your city, and which can be filled with various buildings, of which several dozen are listed. Each has a given cost to construct it, and has some statistical effect such as helping or hurting your Economy, Loyalty, Stability, or Unrest, and possibly affecting the cost of other buildings. It’s a very detailed system for managing how your cities grow, and is surprisingly fun (my players quickly grew to love it).

Finally, there are also random events that can happen. In this book, these are expanded from the original material and sub-categorized into good events, bad events, adventurer events, and leadership events. Events don’t always happen, but they’re fairly likely from month to month (as a note, each turn of kingdom-building represents a month of game time).

Personally, I love this system, and my players and I are having a blast using it. Hence, I’m overjoyed to have this new incarnation from Jon Brazer Enterprises, since it nicely consolidates all of the material and expands on it.

My only real complaint about the book, however, is that it didn’t correct several of the smaller mistakes that crept in to the original rules. None of these were major, nor was there ever a formal errata sheet for them, but if you read the Paizo message boards you were told what they were. Barracks and Watchtowers should have their costs reversed, for example (since otherwise the latter is cheaper than the former), and Graveyards should not give a bump to your kingdom’s Economy. Add in to this minor errors that cropped up here – such as some buildings not having their mechanical effects properly emboldened and italicized, or the occasional “+1” somehow being a “-1” instead, and the book could probably stand to go through one more round of editing, just to iron these kinks out.

Having said that, however, I just can’t bring myself to give this book anything less than five out of five stars. I have no problem with this material originating elsewhere, since I’ve used the source material and I still prefer this take on it – consolidated exploration and kingdom-building rules, revised layout, new mechanics, and helpful flowcharts all ensure that this will be the version I have in hand the next time I sit down to my Kingmaker game (after making a few manual fixes). And that’s overlooking the sheer convenience of having these rules available as a cheap stand-alone product, something that’s very convenient for those who don’t have the original materials.

If you’ve always wanted to run a Pathfinder game of exploration and nation-founding but never got the original books, or if you have the original books but just wanted something more, pick up Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building and send your characters forth to create a new empire!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2010 21:54:32
I like Pathfinder, despite my usual aversion to d20, so when I saw this, I was somewhat curious.

I like it, and I don't. On one hand, it's cool, and could be a GM tool even. On the other, it's just too cool.

I like the prospect of players owning cities. Surely some super-powerful bards, clerics, sorcerers, and the like have the brains, guts, and charm to pull it off. It's a good source of resources and responsibility, and allows fleshing out a world easily and quickly. Also, it has a wilderness exploration aspect, which is pretty cool, though nothing to write home about.

The one bad thing about city ownership is that it gets to the point where it could become either another game, or just a background trickle with an occasional effect. On one hand, I don't want an epic character defined by his ownership of a city, nor do I want an under-epic character using a city as his only means of strength.

Ultimately, like all supplements, this depends heavily on GM intervention, but requires a special amount of moderation, as it can wind up to be either an awesome addition to a campaign, or a tool for munchkins.

I like it, though, despite its flaws, and it's certainly priced decently.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
Thank you for taking the time to review the product.
Book of the River Nations: Exploration and Kingdom Building (PFRPG)
Publisher: Jon Brazer Enterprises
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/30/2010 14:49:03
Depending on which side of the fence you DM on, Book of the River Nations may be a pleasant treat or a dismal disappointment.

Book of the River Nations is a supplement that allows you to install a kingdom building mini-game into your Pathfinder campaign world. Your game world is first divided into hexes. You provide resources to hexes and populate in other features like established settlements and locations. Your PCs begin in a hex starting their city, and then acquiring the other hexes through exploration. Each month you receive points for the hexes you have and spend them on kingdom improvements, called buildings. These buildings provide statistical bonuses to your kingdom economy, loyalty and stability. NPCs can be appointed in positions in your kingdom, giving even more bonuses.

If you have ever wanted to establish a city building aspect to your campaign world but did not know how, Book of the River Nations is a must buy. However, for everyone who has played through Paizo’s Kingmaker Adventure Path, there is nothing new under the sun. It is a bit disappointing considering how many fan supplements and suggestions for improvement there are floating around. This is nearly a word for word copy of what is in the Adventure Path sans the Mass Combat rules. Things like new buildings, expanded resources or NPCs would have really made this product original. At the least, a list of possible encounters for hexes should have been provided.

For the Player
My players have played with this system for six months. As board gamers, as well as role players, they love the extra aspect of a mini board game they play after every major story arc.

For the Dungeon Master
This supplement requires a bit more prep, as you need to set up possible encounters in each of the squares. If you are the kind of DM that hates seeing well written encounters absolutely ignored, you will frequently be disappointed. However, if you enjoy creating a dynamic world that requires you to be on your toes, you will enjoy yourself.

The Iron Word
I really hope someone at Paizo is getting residuals for this because this is an unchanged edition of the great kingdom building rules they created. Book of the River Nations allows you access to these rules without shelling out for the Adventure Path. Having tinkered with kingdom building rules for the last five years, this set is one of the best to fit a Pathfinder game.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Publisher Reply:
I appreciate you taking the time to review. A comment on a few items brought up in your review. This isn't intended to replace Paizo's rules but rather to allow players to have a copy of the same rules without GMs having to make copies. So a near word for word copy of those rules was essential to insure a minimum amount of confusion between GMs and players. Additionally, I showed an early version of this to Paizo, to insure that they were ok with what I was doing. They had no problems with it. New buildings were included in the building section. New NPCs are noted for future supplements. Again, thank you for taking the time to review.
Displaying 1 to 6 (of 6 reviews) Result Pages:  1 
Back
You must be logged in to rate this
0 items
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG