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Appendix 3: Warfare

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 555
Pathfinder focuses on events that directly affect (and can thus be solved by) PCs on an individual basis, but as Kingmaker progresses, some conflicts with bands of trolls or barbarians, the armies of Pitax, or supernatural incursions from the First World must be met on the field of battle. While it's difficult enough for a band of PCs to face off against dozens of foes at once, the rules of the game make it all but impossible to play out such a conflict round by round against hundreds or thousands of foes.

When mass conflicts occur in the course of your Kingmaker campaign, you have a choice. The simplest solution is to simply gloss over these parts of the Adventure Path—to have the battles play out in the narrative background and assume that as long as the PCs continue to persevere, their kingdom does as well. If you opt for this simple solution but are using the kingdom management rules from Appendix 3, then at the start of any Kingdom turn during which warfare took place, the kingdom gains 1d6 Unrest and increases one Ruin of the party's choice by 1 point.

But if you want to expand the kingdom rules to include a method of resolving mass combat in play as downtime events, read on! These rules provide an abstract system for warfare that lets you play out a complex battle as a downtime encounter using victory points. These rules are not intended to accurately represent complex wars, but instead seek to incorporate warfare into a campaign that stays primarily focused on traditional, small-scale adventuring and roleplaying.

Preparing for War

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 567
Before sending armies into battle, you need to gather, train, arm, and maintain those forces at the end of a Kingdom turn's Activity phase.

Army Activities

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 567
After the PCs complete the Civic Activities step of a Kingdom turn, they may take an Army Activities step, in which each army currently maintained by the kingdom may take a single Army activity. The order in which they are attempted is chosen by the players. Army activities are presented below, and may only be taken during the Army Activities step (but note that Recruit Army is a Leadership activity instead).

Army Stat Block

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For generic armies, the alignment trait is listed as “Any.” An army comprised primarily of one type of creature has an alignment that's representative of that type of creature.

Armies have one of four type traits. Infantry consists of soldiers or creatures that move on foot. Cavalry consists of mounted combat units. Skirmishers consist of a small number of highly mobile units. Siege armies focus on the deployment of siege engines rather than personal combat.

Army NameArmy (Level)

Rarity TraitAlignment AbbreviationType Trait
Scouting This entry lists the modifier for an army's initiative—typically equal to the Perception modifier of the army's individual creatures—or the Scouting DC to detect an army that lies in ambush in a hex (to generate a Scouting DC, add 10 to the Scouting modifier).
Recruitment DC This lists the DC required to recruit the army (as a general rule, this DC is equal to the standard DC for the army's level)—see Recruiting an Army above; Consumption This lists the number of Food Commodities the army consumes during the Kingdom turn's Upkeep Phase; see Pay Consumption. If you fail to pay Consumption during a Kingdom turn, all of your armies increase their shaken and weary conditions by 1 An army whose shaken or weary conditions reach 4 or higher as a result of this increase immediately disbands; this causes the kingdom to gain 1d4 Unrest and increases one Ruin of the party's choice by 1.
Description This gives a brief description of the army.
AC This lists the army's Armor Class; Saves Armies have two saving throws: a Maneuver save and a Morale save. Maneuver This modifier applies to all checks made by the army to maneuver, be it to execute a complex tactic or to minimize damage and effects from unusual physical dangers; Morale This modifier applies to all checks made by the army to avoid becoming shaken or to resist effects that undermine cooperation, bravery, loyalty, and such.
HP This lists the army's Hit Points. When an army's Hit Points reach zero, it becomes defeated. An army cannot be reduced to fewer than 0 Hit Points. The army's Rout Threshold (RT) is listed in parenthesis after its Hit Points. RT is typically half its maximum HP. An army that is resistant to fear or is particularly brave generally has a lower RT, while the rare army composed of creatures that are entirely immune to fear won't have an RT listed at all.
Melee The name of the attack the army uses for a melee Strike, followed by the attack modifier. An army inflicts 1 point of damage on a hit and 2 points on a critical hit. Melee Strikes can only be used against engaged armies.
Ranged The name of the attack the army uses for a ranged Strike, followed by the attack modifier. An army inflicts 1 point of damage on a hit and 2 points on a critical hit. An army can use its ranged Strike up to 5 times in each war encounter before its ammunition is depleted (unless it has the Increased Ammunition tactic). An army automatically replenishes its ranged Strike shots at the end of a war encounter.
Tactics Any tactics known by the army are listed here.
Gear Any gear outfitted by the army is listed here.
Special Abilities Additional unique abilities possessed by the army are detailed here.

Recruiting an Army

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 570
When you recruit an army from a specialized group encountered during the course of play, the GM provides you with the army's statistics, but the majority of your kingdom's armies will be recruited from its citizens. When you recruit an army, follow these steps.

Step 1—Choose a Basic Army Type

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(Skip this step when recruiting a specialized army—its type is listed in its stat block.) Choose the basic type of army you want to recruit from infantry, cavalry, skirmishers, or siege engines. Statistics for all four basic armies are found below.

You cannot choose an army whose minimum level is higher than your current kingdom level.

Step 2—Recruit the Army

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 570
Take the Recruit Army activity during the Leadership Activities step of a Kingdom turn to recruit the army.

Step 3—Adjust Statistics

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When you recruit an army, be it a, its level adjusts to match your kingdom level. Unless you recruit an army at minimum level when your kingdom is the same level, this means you must adjust the army's DCs and check modifiers as detailed under Basic Armies by Level.

Step 4—Choose Initial Tactics

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All armies can know at least one tactic. When you recruit a basic army, choose its tactics from any that it qualifies for (but note cavalries and siege engines “spend” their first tactic on Overrun and Engines of War respectively). Specialized armies already have one or more tactics listed in their stat blocks; you only add tactics to these armies after they increase their level.

Step 5—Place the Army

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A basic army starts in the same hex as one of your kingdom's settlements. A specialized army starts in the hex in which you first encountered and recruited them. A settlement can support any number of armies.

Step 6—Adjust Consumption

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 570
When you recruit an army, your kingdom's Consumption score increases by the army's Consumption score. You don't have to pay Food Commodities for the army immediately, but you will need to do so during the Upkeep phase of your next Kingdom turn.

Step 7—Name the Army

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Give your army a unique name and decide on any other flavorful elements for the army at this time if you wish. While the quality and magical nature of gear affects your army's statistics, the specific weapon and armor types do not.

Basic Armies

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The statistics for each of the basic armies present them at their minimum level.

Basic Armies by Level

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The table below lists the standard values for basic armies by level. These values can be adjusted by tactics, conditions, and gear.

Scouting gives the army's base scouting check, typically used to roll initiative in a War encounter.

Standard DC is used for the army's Recruitment DC as well as for any special abilities it might learn.

AC, Saves, and Attacks have the values listed. Armies have a high save and a low save, but which is which depends on the army. An army uses the same attack modifier for melee and ranged Strikes, but not all have both forms of attack.

Max Tactics lists the maximum number of tactics the army can know at any one time. (Armies learn tactics with the Train Army activity)

Basic Armies

LevelScoutingStandard DCACHigh SaveLow SaveAttackMax Tactics

Leveling up your Armies

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 571
When your kingdom gains a level, each army gains a level as well, increasing its stats as detailed on the Basic Armies table. When an army increases its level, it may also increase the maximum number of tactics it can know—these new tactics are not gained automatically, but must instead be learned through the use of the Train Army activity.

Specialized Armies

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To recruit a specialized army, you must first establish diplomatic relations with the associated group, after which you can attempt the Recruit Army activity using a Statecraft check. Only one specialized army can be recruited from each group. The level listed for each army indicates the minimum kingdom level at which the army can be recruited.

DC and Modifier Adjustments: As with basic armies, specialized armies immediately adjust upward in level to match the level of the PCs' kingdom, but unlike basic armies, the DCs and checks for specialized armies have different baselines. In stat blocks for specialized armies, the DCs and modifiers are given for that army at its minimum level, followed by an adjustment value in parenthesis. When the PCs recruit a specialized army at a level above its minimum, calculate its DCs and modifiers by starting with the values for a basic army of that level from the Basic Armies table then applying the adjustment values given here.

Darkvision: Many of the specialized armies presented on the following pages possess the Darkvision tactic—they gain this tactic for free, and it does not count against the maximum tactics they can possess.

Unique Tactics: Specialized armies possess at least one unique tactic. These tactics count against the maximum tactics the army can know, and these unique tactics cannot be replaced.

Army Gear

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 574
When you recruit a new army, it's outfitted with basic gear. The exact nature of this gear is largely cosmetic— an infantry army armed with longswords will do the same potential amount of damage as one armed with clubs or spears or scythes. You can upgrade an army's gear by taking the Outfit Army activity.

If you outfit an army with a type of gear the army is already outfitted with, the new gear replaces the old gear; if you spent RP on the old gear, you can deduct that RP cost from the cost of the new gear.

Army Gear NameItem [Level]

Price This lists the gear's price in RP. (Gear that has multiple types includes a Price for each type instead.)
The section after the line describes the gear.
Type If multiple types of the gear exist, entries here indicate the name of each type, its level, its price, and any other relevant details or alterations from the above description.

Additional WeaponItem 1

Army Price 10 RP
Most armies have only one weapon—a melee or a ranged weapon. This gear outfits an army with an additional weapon of the other type. The army gains a melee or ranged Strike (as appropriate) at the basic modifier for their level.

Healing PotionsItem 1

Price 15 RP per dose
An army equipped with healing potions (these rules are the same if you instead supply the army with alchemical healing elixirs) can use a single dose as part of any Maneuver action. When an army uses a dose of healing potions, it regains 1 HP. An army can be outfitted with up to 3 doses of healing potions at a time; unlike ranged Strike shots, healing potion doses do not automatically replenish after a war encounter—new doses must be purchased.

Magical Armor Item 5+

Magic armor is magically enchanted to bolster the protection it affords to the soldiers.
Type magic armor; Level 5; Price 25 RP
This armor increases the army's AC by 1.
Type greater magic armor; Level 11; Price 50 RP
This armor increases the army's AC by 2.
Type major magic armor; Level 18; Price 75 RP
This armor increases the army's AC by 3.

Magic WeaponsItem 3+

The army's weapons are magic. If the army has melee and ranged weapons, choose which one is made magic when this gear is purchased. You can buy this gear twice—once for melee weapons and once for ranged weapons. If you purchase a more powerful version, it replaces the previous version, and the RP cost of the more powerful version is reduced by the RP cost of the replaced weapons.
Type magic weapons; Level 2; Price 20 RP
These weapons increase the army's Strike with that weapon by 1.
Type greater magic weapons; Level 10; Price 40 RP
These weapons increase the army's Strike with that weapon by 2.
Type major magic weapons; Level 16; Price 60 RP
These weapons increase the army's Strike with that weapon by 3.

Transfering Gear

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 575
You may transfer gear from one army to another, provided the army receiving the gear is high enough level to utilize the gear in question, and provided both armies are located in the same hex. This transfer does not require an activity to perform, but it must take place during Downtime.

If an army with gear is destroyed, all of its gear is destroyed. If an army with gear is disbanded, you can transfer its gear to another army as part of the Disband Army activity; if you don't do so, the gear is lost.

Army Tactics

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 575
When you recruit a basic army, choose its initial tactics from the following list; when you recruit a specialized army, it may already know tactics from this list in addition to its own unique tactics. Armies can learn new tactics using the Train Army activity. To qualify for a tactic, the army's level must be greater than or equal to that tactic's level, and the army's type must be listed as a trait for that tactic. An army cannot have a single tactic more than once.

War Encounters

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 576
War encounters aren't meant to serve as a precise and detailed simulation of the complexities of a mass combat event, but rather as a quick and engaging way to play out these clashes without detracting too much from the focus of a Kingmaker Campaign: the stories and adventures of the PCs themselves.

A war encounter plays out during Downtime, as the result of an Offensive Gambit or hexploration.

Offensive Gambit: You can initiate an Offensive Gambit activity against the enemy during the Army Activities step of the Kingdom turn. In this case, the war encounter takes place immediately after the Kingdom turn resolves.

Hexploration: During hexploration, if the PCs are traveling with at least one army, they can encounter enemy armies. If either the PCs or the enemy initiate an attack, it immediately starts a war encounter.

Player Characters in Battles

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 577
In a war encounter, the focus is on a clash between opposing armies on the field of battle. These rules don't work particularly well when an army attacks a single target—such encounters are better played out with the PCs facing the threat themselves.

But what if the PCs want to fight with their soldiers on the field of battle? For the most part, a PC who fights in an army won't noticeably affect that army's stats. Having a famous (or infamous) founder of the kingdom fighting at your side in battle can bolster an army's mindset, though, so if a PC chooses to fight in this way, they grant a +1 status bonus to that army's Morale checks.

A better way to incorporate PCs in battles is to have them confront specific singular enemies on the field of battle while the armies themselves fight it out all around them. In such a case, play out the war encounter to its completion to determine the degree of success achieved (see Victory or Defeat), then play out the battle between the PCs and their foe(s). If the PCs win this battle, the result of the war encounter is improved one degree, but if the PCs lose their battle or the enemy escapes, the result of the war encounter is worsened one degree.

The Battlefield

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 577
Armies can move across the battlefield to engage enemies, to retreat and regroup, and seek terrain advantages during their war actions, but their relative positions on the battlefield remain abstract throughout the encounter. What does matter is relative position between armies. During a war encounter, armies can be in one of the following three relative positions. Two of these positions—engaged and distant—are also conditions.

Near: When war encounters begin, the armies involved are normally considered near—close enough to advance and engage with a foe, but far enough to avoid direct conflict. An army cannot attempt melee Strikes against an enemy that is near—only ranged Strikes. Indicate an army is near by placing its token on the grid in any square not adjacent to another army.

Engaged: An army that is engaged can attempt melee Strikes against other armies it is engaged with. Indicate armies that are engaged with each other by placing their tokens adjacent to one another. An army can be engaged with up to four armies at once.

Distant: An army that attempts to disengage or retreat can move to a distant point on the battlefield. Attacks on a distant army are possible via ranged Strikes, but at a –5 penalty for the range. Indicate a distant army's position by placing its token or miniature on the table just off the edge of the grid. (Armies that manage to flee the battle entirely are taken off the table.)

Battlefield Terrain Features

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 578
While some battles take place in open terrain, some battlefields contain additional terrain features. Relatively common battlefield terrain features are detailed below; some of the scripted war encounters in the Adventure Path feature other, specific terrain features.

Darkness or Heavy Fog: All armies become concealed, and distant armies become undetected. Armies in these conditions take a –4 circumstance penalty on Scouting checks. Armies with darkvision ignore the terrain effects of darkness.

Difficult Terrain: A war encounter that takes place in rugged mountains, swampland, or dense forests are examples of difficult battlefield terrain. Armies take a –2 circumstance penalty on Maneuver checks in difficult terrain.

Dim Light, Light Fog, or Rain: Armies in these conditions gain a +1 circumstance bonus on Maneuver checks and take a –2 circumstance penalty on Scouting checks. Distant armies become concealed. Armies with low-light vision or darkvision ignore the terrain effects of dim light.

Wind: Ranged Strikes take a –1 circumstance penalty in strong wind, or a –2 circumstance penalty in windstorms. The penalty for a ranged Strike on a distant army is doubled to –10 (this penalty stacks with the standard penalty to ranged Strikes in wind).


Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 578
Some battlefields include a fortification (such as a keep, castle, wall, or trench) that can house one or more armies. An army can't seek defense in a fortification once a battle begins; it must prepare itself and its defenses in advance during a Kingdom turn via the Garrison Army activity. Once an army is successfully garrisoned, it gains the fortified condition as long as it avoids using Maneuver war actions.

It's possible to destroy a fortification, but only with the use of siege armies. If a fortification is destroyed, all armies that were fortified within lose that condition and increase their shaken condition value by 1. Typical AC and HP values for fortifications against siege army attacks are listed below, along with how many armies each can contain.

Fortification Statistics

Fortification TypeACHPMax. Armies
Wall, stone2032
Wall, wooden1522

War Encounter Structure

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A war encounter takes place over the course of several rounds, with each round representing an hour of battle. The battle continues until all armies on one side are defeated (reduced to 0 HP) or routed.

Step 1: Roll Initiative

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Each army in the battle makes a Scouting check to determine its initiative. On the first round of a war encounter, armies are usually near. (Armies that have the Ambush tactic may be able to begin a war encounter engaged; armies that have the Opening Salvo tactic may be able to begin a war encounter distant.)

Step 2: Play a Round

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Each army takes three war actions on its turn, chosen from Basic War Actions or from any other war actions the army may have access to.

Step 3: Check for Routs

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At the end of the round, after every army has acted, there's a chance that armies might rout. An army whose HP is at or below its Rout Threshold must attempt a Morale check; the DC is equal to the highest Morale DC among the remaining enemy armies. On a critical success, that army no longer has to check for routs at this step for the remainder of the encounter (but it can still become routed from other effects). On a failure, the army increases the value of its shaken condition by 1. On a critical failure, the army becomes routed.

Step 4: Begin the Next Round

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After checking for routs, the round is over and the next one begins.

Step 5: End the Encounter

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Once all armies on a side are routed or destroyed, the encounter ends; see Victory or Defeat to determine the final results of the encounter.

Victory or Defeat

Source Kingmaker Adventure Path pg. 578
If all of the enemy armies were routed or defeated, the PCs won the battle; see Determining Victory below. If all of the PCs' armies were routed or defeated, the PCs lost the battle; see Determining Loss below. In either case, your kingdom gains experience: each army you defeated provides the same amount of XP as defeating an adversary of the same level in encounter mode, but in this case, the rewards are in kingdom XP.

Determining Victory

The PCs won the battle! Roll a basic Warfare check to determine the repercussions for the kingdom.
Critical Success The damage suffered in the battle was relatively minor. Restore 1 HP to every damaged army, and at the start of your next Kingdom turn, gain one bonus Fame or Infamy point and reduce Unrest by 1.
Success The damage wasn't as bad as it seemed. Restore 1 HP to every damaged army.
Failure The battle was hard fought, but your armies bore the results of the clash as well as could be expected.
Critical Failure Although you won the battle, it took its toll on some of your armies. Any army that was damaged in the battle increases its shaken or weary condition value (the party chooses which) by 1.

Determining Loss

The PCs lost the battle! Roll a basic Defense check to try to minimize damage and to determine repercussions.
Critical Success Many soldiers survived the lost battle. All defeated armies are restored to 1 HP, and one damaged army of your choice heals 1 HP.
Success One damaged army of your choice escaped the brunt of the loss—that army heals 1 HP. Gain 1 Unrest.
Failure The battle was a loss. Gain 1 Unrest.
Critical Failure The loss has crushed your armies' spirits. Each army that participated in the battle increases its shaken or weary condition (the party chooses which) by 2. Gain 1d4 Unrest.

Basic War Actions

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Basic war actions are available to all armies.

Tactical War Actions

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The following war actions are available only to armies with the appropriate tactic.

Army Conditions

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When an army becomes affected by a condition, that condition's effects last until the condition's stated duration ends or the condition is removed. As with character conditions, some army conditions override others.

Some army conditions have a numerical condition value. This value conveys the severity of a condition, and such conditions often give a bonus or penalty equal to their value. These values can often be reduced by taking the Recover Army activity or simply by waiting, as described in the condition itself. If a condition value is ever reduced to 0, the condition ends.

Concealed-KM: A concealed army is tougher to target, and gains a +2 circumstance bonus on its Maneuver checks. Attacks against it take a –2 circumstance penalty. This condition lasts as long as the event granting the concealment persists.

Defeated: When an army has zero Hit Points, it becomes defeated. A defeated army cannot take war actions. A defeated army can be restored to 1 Hit Point with the Recover Army activity (although the basic DC is increased by 5 for this check). Any effect that restores a defeated army to at least 1 Hit Point removes the defeated condition. A defeated army can only be moved one hex at a time with the Deploy Army activity. A defeated army can be Disbanded normally. It can't be used for any other Army activity as long as it remains defeated.

If a defeated army takes damage, it must succeed at a DC 16 flat check or be destroyed. If all armies on a side are defeated, those armies are destroyed.

Destroyed: The army has been completely devastated, and it cannot be restored—it can only be replaced by a new army. Any gear the army had is ruined.

Efficient: The army has performed an Army activity with such speed that it can be used to attempt a second Army activity immediately, but doing so causes it to lose the efficient condition. The second Army activity suffers a –5 penalty on its check, and the result of this second Army activity check cannot grant the efficient condition. If the army doesn't attempt a second Army activity, it instead loses the efficient condition and reduces the value of one condition of its choice by 1.

Engaged: An army that is in close combat with one or more enemy armies becomes engaged. An army must be engaged in order to attempt melee Strikes. If an army is engaged and attempts a maneuver war action that would cause it to disengage, it provokes reactions from any enemy armies they were engaged with.

Fortified: The army is in a defensive position as the result of a Garrison Army activity. While fortified, enemy armies cannot engage the army and the army cannot engage enemy armies. A fortified army gains a +4 item bonus to its AC and to Morale checks made to rally. A fortified army that uses a maneuver war action immediately loses its fortified condition.

Lost: When an army's attempt to deploy to a new location fails, it can become lost. A lost army can take no Army activity other than Recover, and that only in an attempt to remove the lost condition. When an army recovers from the lost condition, the GM decides what the army's new location is (typically this is at an approximate midpoint between the army's starting point and its intended destination).

Mired: The army's movement is severely impaired. It may be bogged down in mud, snow, underbrush, rubble, or similar terrain, encumbered by carrying heavy burdens, or any other reason. Mired always has a value. A mired army takes a circumstance penalty on all maneuvers equal to its mired value and to Deploy Army checks. If an army ever becomes mired 4, it becomes pinned.

Distant: An army that has the distant condition has managed to retreat a fair range away from enemy armies, and is potentially poised to make an escape from the field of battle. Armies can attempt ranged Strikes against distant armies, but they take a –5 penalty on that Strike.

Outflanked: The army has enemies coming at it from many directions and must split its forces to deal with threats on every side. The army takes a –2 circumstance penalty to its AC.

Pinned: The army and cannot move freely. It has the outflanked condition and cannot use any maneuver war actions. A pinned army cannot be deployed.

Routed: The army retreats, whether due to magical compulsion or simply broken morale. On its turn, a routed army must use the Retreat war action. While routed, the army takes a –2 circumstance penalty to Morale checks. This condition ends automatically once a war encounter is resolved, but the routed army increases its shaken value by 1 in this case. If all armies on one side of a battle are routed simultaneously, the battle ends and the other army is victorious.

Shaken: The army's morale has begun to falter, be it fear in the face of a powerful enemy, a supernatural effect such as a dragon's frightful presence, or simply the result of ill fortune in the tide of battle. Shaken always has a numerical value. The army's Morale checks take a circumstance penalty equal to its shaken value, and whenever the army takes damage, it must succeed on a DC 11 flat check or its shaken value increases by 1. An army that becomes shaken 4 is automatically routed. An army reduces the value of this condition by 1 each Kingdom turn that passes during which it does not attempt an Army activity or engage in a war encounter.

Weary: The army is exhausted. Weary always has a numerical value. A weary army takes a circumstance penalty equal to its weary value to its AC, to its Maneuver checks, and to its Army activity checks; it takes double this circumstance penalty on Deploy Army checks. An army reduces the value of this condition by 1 each Kingdom turn that passes during which it does not attempt an Army activity or engage in a war encounter.