Noted RPGmeister Chris Avellone, whose credits include Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, and my goodness the list goes on, has teamed with a new studio named Owlcat Games to create Pathfinder: Kingmaker, the first-ever isometric CRPG based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.
Originally published as a pencil-and-paper game in 2009 by Paizo Publishing, the Pathfinder RPG is based on a modified version of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset. Because of that heritage, there’s a certain old-school flavor to it, but while it’s designed to be compatible with the older D&D system, it’s been thoroughly tweaked and burnished to provide a more contemporary RPG experience.
“I’m a Paizo fan, and a Pathfinder fan. I like the setting, the art style, the adventure paths, the card game, and the iconic characters. I’ve enjoyed playing Pathfinder with my friends (we used to be part of an Ocean’s 11 style game), and I’ve enjoyed the comics, the world, and the overall setting,” Avellone said. “I’m excited by the prospect of bringing Pathfinder to the computer RPG world, and hope gamers will enjoy playing in the Pathfinder universe.”
The game will be set in the Stolen Lands, “the dangerous and turbulent territories well known within Pathfinder fandom,” and will feature “familiar characters and well-known locations” taken from its lore. During their adventures, players will have the opportunity to claim territory and establish their own kingdoms, but that aspect of the game “will go beyond simple stronghold-building to become a true reflection of the hero’s character and choices made throughout the game,” Owlcat said. “Each kingdom will be a living thing shaped by alignment, choices, allies and the hero’s ability to lead his or her people.”
This project, for the record, is unrelated to the Pathfinder Online MMO that was successfully (re)Kickstarted, to the tune of more than $1 million, in 2012. That game has unfortunately floundered; a recent “Road Forward” blog post committed to a one-year timeline to finish a limited feature set and move the game out of “early enrollment,” but Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens acknowledged that it will “take a gargantuan effort” to make it happen.
We’re obviously a long way from a Pathfinder: Kingmaker release date, but Owlcat said it will “show its unique ideas” for the game at the upcoming PaizoCon 2017, while will take place May 26-29 in Seattle. For now, you can find out more about the studio and the game at owlcatgames.com.