The greatest asset of any kingdom are its cities, for it is here that the bulk of a kingdom’s citizens live, its armies train, its culture develops, and its future is forged. The rules presented here are designed to support the rules for kingdom building presented in the first portion of this article and to give players a visual representation of a city (the city grid) they helped to build up from scratch.
Reading the Grid
The city grid consists of 36 city blocks, each arranged into nine larger squares. Each block is separated by alleys, while each square is separated by streets. The nine squares themselves are in turn bordered by four sides—each side represents a border to the entire city district. A district border can represent a city wall, a river, a lake or ocean shore, a cliff, or merely the transition from one city district into another. For larger cities, you can prepare multiple districts sharing common borders.
As the PCs build structures and locations, they can place cut-out representations of their buildings into these city blocks, eventually creating a visual representation of their completed city.
Preparing the Site
Once you select a location for your city (which must be in a hex you have explored and cleared), you must pay to have the site cleared and prepared to support the city’s roads and buildings. The cost and time required to clear space in various terrains is detailed on the table.
Preparing a City District Site
Terrain Cost to Prepare Time to Prepare
Forest 4 BP 2 months
Grassland 1 BP Immediate*
Hills 2 BP 1 month
Mountains 12 BP 4 months
Swamp 8 BP 3 months
*Construction of buildings can be started the same month for grassland cities.
Once you finish preparing the site, decide which of the district’s borders are water (in the form of riverbanks, lakeshores, or seashores) or land. Record these choices at each border on your city grid. In addition, adding a city district to a kingdom increases its Consumption by 1.
The City Grid in Play
You can use your city grid to aid in resolving encounters or adjusting kingdom or city statistics.
If an event destroys one or more blocks, the devastation causes +1 Unrest per destroyed block. The cost to build the replacement structure is halved if the replacement is the same type of structure as the one that preceded the destruction.
City Grid Scale
Although combat encounters in a city should still be played out normally, you might need to determine how long it takes for someone to travel from one location to another in the city in the case of multiple encounters. In this case, treat each city block as if it were a 750-foot square—this means that an entire city district is about 1 square mile in size.
When using these rules to build a settlement, the city’s base value starts at 200 gp. It increases as you construct certain buildings, like shops and marketplaces.
Building A City
Once you’ve prepared your city district, you can start to build. The placement of buildings in your district is left to you, but two-block and four-block structures cannot be split up (although they can span streets). When you decide to place a building, you can use the cut-out icon for the appropriate type of structure and affix the building where you wish in your city grid. It takes 1 month to construct a building, no matter what size the building is—its benefits apply immediately.
A city’s population is equal to the number of completed blocks within its districts x 250. A city grid that has all 36 blocks filled with buildings has a population of 9,000.
A city’s Defensive Modifier can be increased by building certain structures (such as city walls) and has an impact on mass combat. Keep track of your city’s Defensive Modifier, but until the city is attacked by an invading army (something scheduled to occur later in the Kingmaker Adventure Path), this value is not used.
The base value associated with a city built in this manner is tied not to its size but rather to the number of Economy-based buildings it has. Each such building, whether it’s a shop, tavern, or brothel, increases a city’s base value. Any magic item equal to or lower than this base value in cost is available for purchase 75% of the time—this check may be made again every month (as new stock comes and goes). Any nonmagical item from the equipment chapter in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook is always available if its cost is lower than the city’s base value. Cities with multiple districts add the individual base values of each district together to determine the entire city’s base value, with an upper limit of 16,000 gp per city.
Magic Item Availability
A certain number of more powerful and valuable magic items are available for purchase in any city, although these items tend to be of a somewhat random nature as new items are found or created and enter the economy. As with base value, a community’s size does not influence the number of magic items above base value that are available for purchase. Instead, these items become available as certain buildings (like academies or magic shops) are added to a city. Whenever such a building is added to a city, place an “X” in one of the boxes next to the appropriate item category to indicate that the city has gained a “slot” in that category. During every Upkeep phase, randomly roll a magic item of the appropriate category for each empty slot.
After it is generated, a magic item remains on the market until it is purchased. Alternatively, once per Income phase, a kingdom can make Economy checks to try to sell items; once the item is sold, its slot remains empty until the next Upkeep phase.
Adding buildings to a city is one of the most efficient ways to enhance your kingdom’s statistics, as each block of buildings added to a city in your kingdom grants a specific bonus. Descriptions of each of these buildings, as well as the bonuses it provides once it’s added to a city, are listed below.
The building’s BP cost and any prerequisite buildings that must be built first are listed in parentheses after its name. At the GM’s whim, using construction magic (such as a lyre of building or spells like fabricate or wall of stone) can reduce the cost of a building’s BP by 2 (minimum of 0 BP). This is a one-time reduction, regardless of the amount of magic used.
The building’s benefit to the city and kingdom once it is constructed is listed last. If a building affects Unrest, it does so only once, when it is first constructed.
A fair amount of additional structures are common amid most one- and two-block structures; the following buildings represent the most notable building in any section, but not the only ones.
Academy (52 BP)
An institution of higher learning that can focus on any area of knowledge or education, including magic. Halves cost of Caster’s Tower, Library, and Magic Shop in same city; 3 minor items, 2 medium items; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Alchemist (18 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
The laboratory and home of a creator of potions, poisons, and alchemical items. City base value +1,000 gp; 1 minor item; Economy increases.
Arena (40 BP)
A large public structure for competitions, demonstrations, team sports, or bloodsports. Halves cost of Garrison or Theater in same city; halves Consumption increase penalty for festival edicts; Stability +4; limit one per city.
Barracks (6 BP)
A building to house city guards, militia, and military forces. Defense Modifier +2; Unrest decreases.
Black Market (50 BP; must be adjacent to 2 houses)
A number of shops with secret and usually illegal or dangerous wares. City base value +2,000; 2 minor items, 1 medium item, 1 major item; Economy increases, Stability increases; Unrest increases.
Brewery (6 BP)
A building for beermaking, winemaking, or similar use. Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
Brothel (4 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A place to pay for companionship of any sort. Economy increases, Loyalty increases; Unrest increases.
Caster’s Tower (30 BP)
The home and laboratory for a spellcaster. 3 minor items, 2 medium items; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Castle (54 BP)
The home of the city’s leader or the heart of its defenses. Halves cost of Noble Villa or Town Hall in same city; Economy increases, Loyalty increases, Stability increases; Defense Modifier increases; Unrest decreases; limit one per city.
Cathedral (58 BP)
The focal point of the city’s religion and spiritual leadership. Halves cost of Temple or Academy in same city; halves Consumption increase penalty for promotion edicts; 3 minor items, 2 medium items; Loyalty increases; Unrest decreases; limit one per city.
City Wall (8 BP)
City walls do not occupy a city block— rather, purchasing a city wall fortifies one of a district’s four outer borders. A city wall cannot be built on a water border. Defense Modifier increases; Unrest decreases.
Dump (4 BP)
A centralized place to dispose of refuse. Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
Exotic Craftsman (10 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
The workshop and home of an exotic craftsman, such as a creator of magic items, a tinker, a fireworks maker, or a glassblower. 1 minor item; Economy increases, Stability increases.
Garrison (28 BP)
A large building to house armies, train guards, and recruit militia. Halves cost of City Wall, Granary, and Jail in same city; Loyalty increases, Stability increases; Unrest decreases.
Granary (12 BP)
A place to store grain and food. Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
Graveyard (4 BP)
A plot of land to honor and bury the dead. Loyalty increases.
Guildhall (34 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A large building that serves as headquarters for a guild or similar organization. City base value +1,000 gp; halves cost of Pier, Stable, and Tradesman in same city; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Herbalist (10 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
The workshop and home of a gardener, healer, poisoner, or creator of potions. 1 minor item; Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
House (3 BP)
A number of mid-sized houses for citizens. Houses serve as prerequisites for many other buildings. The first house you build during any Improvement Phase does not count against the total number of buildings you can build during the phase. Unrest decreases.
Inn (10 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A place for visitors to spend the night. City base value +500 gp; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Jail (14 BP)
A fortified structure for housing criminals. Loyalty increases, Stability increases; Unrest decreases.
Library (6 BP)
A large building containing books, often presided over by a sage or other scholar. Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Luxury Store (28 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A shop that specializes in expensive wares and luxuries. City base value +2,000 gp; 2 minor items; Economy increases.
Magic Shop (68 BP; must be adjacent to 2 houses)
A shop that specializes in magic items and spells. City base value +2,000 gp; 4 minor items, 2 medium items, 1 major item; Economy increases.
Mansion (10 BP)
A single huge manor housing a rich family and its servants. Stability increases.
Market (48 BP; must be adjacent to 2 houses)
An open area for mercantile pursuits, traveling merchants, and bargain hunters. City base value +2,000 gp; halves cost of Black Market, Inn, and Shop in same city; 2 minor items; Economy increases, Stability increases.
Mill (6 BP; must be next to a water border)
A building used to cut lumber or grind grain. Economy increases, Stability increases.
Monument (6 BP)
A monument can be a statue of a city founder, a bell tower, a large tomb, or a public display of art. Loyalty increases; Unrest decreases.
Noble Villa (24 BP)
A sprawling manor with luxurious grounds that houses a noble. Halves cost of Exotic Craftsman, Luxury Store, and Mansion in same city; Economy increases, Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
Park (4 BP)
A plot of land set aside for its natural beauty. Loyalty increases; Unrest decreases.
Piers (16 BP; must be adjacent to a water border)
Warehouses and workshops for docking ships and handling cargo and passengers. City base value +1,000 gp; Economy increases, Stability increases.
Shop (8 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A general store. City base value +500 gp; Economy increases.
Shrine (8 BP)
A small shrine or similar holy site. 1 minor item; Loyalty increases; Unrest decreases.
Smith (6 BP)
An armor smith, blacksmith, or weapon smith. Economy increases, Stability increases.
Stable (10 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A structure for housing or selling horses and other mounts. City base value +500 gp; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Tannery (6 BP; cannot be adjacent to a house)
A structure that prepares hides and leather. Economy increases, Stability increases.
Tavern (12 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
An eatery or drinking establishment. City base value +500 gp; Economy increases, Loyalty increases.
Temple (32 BP)
A large place of worship dedicated to a deity. Halves cost of Graveyard, Monument, and Shrine in same city; 2 minor items; Loyalty increases, Stability increases; Unrest decreases.
Tenement (1 BP)
A staggering number of low-rent, cheap housing units. Tenements count as houses for the purpose of fulfilling building requirements, but building too many tenements can increase a kingdom’s Unrest quickly. You can build a house over an existing tenement for 2 BP. Unrest increases.
Theater (24 BP)
A venue for providing entertainment such as plays, operas, concerts, and the like. Halves cost of Brothel, Park, and Tavern in same city; Economy increases, Stability increases.
Town Hall (22 BP)
A public venue for town meetings and repository for town records. Halves cost of Barracks, Dump, and Watchtower in same city; Economy increases, Loyalty increases, Stability increases.
Tradesman (10 BP; must be adjacent to 1 house)
A shopfront for a tradesman, such as a baker, butcher, candle maker, cooper, or rope maker. City base value +500 gp; Economy increases, Stability increases.
Watchtower (12 BP)
A tall structure that serves as a guard post and landmark. +1 Stability; +2 Defense Modifier; Unrest decreases.
Waterfront (90 BP; must be adjacent to a water border)
A port for arrival and departure when traveling by water, facilities for building ships, and a center of commerce. City base value +4,000 gp; 3 minor items, 2 medium items, 1 major item; halves cost of Guildhall and Market in same city, halves Loyalty penalty for tax edicts; Economy increases; limit one per city.
Presented below are additional buildings and improvements that can be build outside of cities. Please note that constructing any of these improvements takes the place of the “build a farm” action in your kingdom turn. Please also note that Camps, Farms and Mines are mutually exclusive – you can have a farm OR a mine OR a camp in a hex. None of these improvements represent a single building in a 12-mile hex. It’s not just one farm, or just one mine, or just one camp. Building means you have devoted the primary physical and human resources of that hex to the activity of farming (farm), mining (mine) or logging (camp).
Camp (6 BP)
A logging camp can be build in a forest area with a road or river. increases Economy, increases Stability. The economy bonus is doubled if the hex contains a resource like rare lumber: increases Economy, increases Stability.
Fort (12 BP)
A sturdy structure that serves as a guard post and lookout for danger. A fort can be build in any hex containing a road or river, even if a camp, farm or mine has already been established. If a city is built in an area with a fort, the fort is treated as a watchtower. increases Stability; increases Defense Modifier; Unrest decreases.
Mine (6 BP)
A mine is used for recovering valuable or less valuables minerals, ores and gems. A mine can be built in hills or mountains if a road or river is present. increases Economy, increases Stability. The economy bonus is doubled if the hex contains a resource like gold or silver ore: increases Economy, increases Stability.