A great tabletop campaign requires a special understanding between a dungeon master and their players. The players supply their creativity and enthusiasm, and in return, the DM provides a fun story, fairness, balance, and, perhaps most importantly, a well-designed adventure. Pathfinder: Kingmaker takes as mighty a swing at capturing that tabletop experience as any game I’ve played, mostly delivering on giving you the tools to fulfill the player’s side of that deal. But when it comes to upholding the DM’s end of the bargain, it falls short.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker takes the sometimes byzantine rules of its tabletop source material and translates them soundly. It adopts one of Pathfinder’s most treasured Adventure Paths as the central story. Clinging tightly to the source material was a good design decision as it ends up oozing authenticity, which is attractive and exciting in the early hours.