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Kingdom Building

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 198
Ruling a kingdom is a complex and difficult task, one undertaken only by the very ambitious. Many PCs are content to live as mercenaries or treasure hunters, no interest in being responsible for the health and well-being of subjects; for these characters, a kingdom is simply a place they pass through on the way to the next adventure. However, characters who are keen to spread their wings and forge a place of power and influence in the world can use this chapter to create a different sort of campaign. If the PCs are interested in ruling only a single town or castle and the small region around it, kingdom building can focus primarily on the settlement and the PCs’ personal demesne. If the PCs have larger goals, such as carving out a new, independent kingdom, these rules allow them to build cities and engage in trade, diplomacy, and war.

These rules assume that all of the kingdom’s leaders are focused on making the kingdom prosperous and stable, rather than oppressing the citizens and stealing from the treasury. Likewise, the rules assume that the leaders are working together, not competing with each other or working at odds. If the campaign begins to step into those areas, the GM is free to introduce new rules to deal with these activities.

Like the exploration system, the kingdom-building rules measure terrain in hexes. Each hex is 12 miles from corner to corner, representing an area of just less than 95 square miles. The hex measurement is an abstraction; the hexes are easy to quantify and allow the GM to categorize a large area as one terrain type without having to worry about precise borders of forests and other terrain features.

Kingdom Building Overview

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 198
The key parts of the kingdom-building rules that you’ll be referencing are as follows:
  • Explanation of the kingdom terminology used throughout this chapter.
  • Step-by-step instructions for founding a kingdom.
  • The turn sequence for an established kingdom.
  • The game statistics for terrain improvements.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to found your first settlement.
  • The game statistics for the types of buildings.
  • The settlement District Grid.
  • The kingdom sheet (page 227).
Following the main rules and the types of buildings are several optional rules for kingdom building, such as modifying the effect of religious buildings based on alignment or deity portfolio, tracking Fame and Infamy scores for your kingdom, rules for different types of government, and special edicts you can declare during the turn sequence.

Kingdom Terminology

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 198
Kingdoms have attributes that describe and define them. These are tracked on a kingdom sheet (see page 227), like a character’s statistics are on a character sheet.

Alignment: Like a PC, your kingdom has an alignment, which you decide when you form the kingdom. The kingdom’s alignment represents the majority outlook and behavior of the people within that kingdom when they’re considered as a group. (Individual citizens and even some leaders may be of different alignments.)

When you decide on your kingdom’s alignment, apply the following adjustments to the kingdom’s statistics: Chaotic: +2 Loyalty; Evil: +2 Economy; Good: +2 Loyalty; Lawful: +2 Economy; Neutral: Stability +2 (apply this twice if the kingdom’s alignment is simply Neutral, not Chaotic Neutral or Lawful Neutral).

A kingdom’s alignment rarely changes, though at the GM’s option, it can shift through the actions of its rulers or its people.

Build Points: Build points (or BP for short) are the measure of your kingdom’s resources—equipment, labor, money, and so on. They’re used to acquire new hexes and develop additional buildings, settlements, and terrain improvements. Your kingdom also consumes BP to maintain itself.

Consumption: Consumption indicates how many BP are required to keep the kingdom functioning each month. Your kingdom’s Consumption is equal to its Size, modified by settlements and terrain improvements (such as Farms and Fisheries). Consumption can never go below 0.

Control DC: Some kingdom actions require a check (1d20 + modifiers) to succeed—this is known as a control check. The base DC for a control check is equal to 20 + the kingdom’s Size in hexes + the total number of districts in all your settlements + any other modifiers from special circumstances or effects. Unless otherwise stated, the DC of a kingdom check is the Control DC.

Economy: This attribute measures the productivity of your kingdom’s workers and the vibrancy of its trade, both in terms of money and in terms of information, innovation, and technology. Your kingdom’s initial Economy is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.

Kingdom Check: A kingdom has three attributes: Economy, Loyalty, and Stability. Your kingdom’s initial scores in each of these attributes is 0, plus modifiers for kingdom alignment, bonuses provided by the leaders, and any other modifiers.

Many kingdom actions and events require you to attempt a kingdom check, either using your Economy, Loyalty, or Stability attribute (1d20 + the appropriate attribute + other modifiers). You cannot take 10 or take 20 on a kingdom check. Kingdom checks automatically fail on a natural 1 and automatically succeed on a natural 20.

Loyalty: Loyalty refers to the sense of goodwill among your people, their ability to live peaceably together even in times of crisis, and to fight for one another when needed. Your kingdom’s initial Loyalty is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and any modifiers from your kingdom’s leadership role.

Population: Actual population numbers don’t factor into your kingdom’s statistics, but can be fun to track anyway. The population of each settlement is described in Settlements and Districts on page 211.

Size: This is how many hexes the kingdom claims. A new kingdom’s Size is 1.

Stability: Stability refers to the physical and social well-being of the kingdom, from the health and security of its citizenry to the vitality of its natural resources and its ability to maximize their use. Your kingdom’s initial Stability is 0 plus your kingdom’s alignment and leadership modifiers.

Treasury: The Treasury is the amount of BP your kingdom has saved and can spend on activities (much in the same way that your character has gold and other valuables you can spend on gear). Your Treasury can fall below 0 (meaning your kingdom’s costs exceed its savings and it is operating in debt), but this increases Unrest (see Kingdom Upkeep Phase on page 205).

Turn: A kingdom turn spans 1 month of game time. You make your kingdom checks and other decisions about running your kingdom at the end of each month. Unrest: Your kingdom’s Unrest indicates how rebellious your citizens are. Your kingdom’s initial Unrest is 0. Unrest can never fall below 0 (anything that would modify it to less than 0 is wasted). Subtract your kingdom’s Unrest from all Economy, Loyalty, and Stability checks.

If your kingdom’s Unrest is 11 or higher, the kingdom begins to lose control of hexes it has claimed.

If your kingdom’s Unrest ever reaches 20, the kingdom falls into anarchy (see Kingdom Upkeep Phase).

Kingdom Building Quick Reference

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 199
With building a kingdom, you begin by founding a small settlement—such as a village or town—and expand your territory outward, claiming nearby hexes, founding additional settlements, and constructing buildings within those settlements. What you build in a hex or a settlement affects the economy of your kingdom, the loyalty of your citizens, the stability of the government, and the likeliness that kingdom will fall into chaos when citizens worry about monster attacks and other threats.

Use the kingdom sheet (see page 227) to track the statistics of your kingdom, just as you use a character sheet to track the statistics of your character. The terms on the kingdom sheet are described in Kingdom Terminology.

You and the other PCs take specific roles in leading your kingdom, such as Ruler, High Priest, General, and so on. The leaders provide bonuses on rolls you make to manage the kingdom’s economy and other important issues. For example, having a High Priest makes your kingdom more stable and your citizens more loyal, and having a Treasurer makes your kingdom more profitable.

Instead of using gold pieces, a kingdom uses a type of currency called build points (BP), which represent actual cash, labor, expertise, and raw materials. While it is possible to convert gp into BP and back again, for the most part you’ll just be spending BP to run your kingdom.

Running a kingdom takes place over a series of turns, similar to how combat takes place over a series of rounds. A kingdom turn takes 1 month of game time. Each turn has four phases which you resolve in order: the Upkeep phase, where you pay the kingdom’s bills; the Edict phase, where you levy taxes and build improvements; the Income phase, where you collect taxes; and the Events phase, where you see if something especially good or bad happens to your kingdom.

If this is your first time reading these rules, start with the section on Founding a Settlement and read the rest of the kingdom-building rules in order. If you find a term you’re not familiar with, check the Kingdom Terminology section or refer to the Kingdom Building Overview for a better idea of where you can find that information.

Founding a Kingdom

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 200
Once you have your first settlement, you have the start of a kingdom. You’ll need to make some initial decisions that affect your kingdom’s statistics, and record them on the kingdom sheet (see page 227).

Choose Your Kingdom’s Alignment. Your kingdom’s alignment helps determine how loyal, prosperous, and stable your kingdom is. Your kingdom may be a lawful good bastion against a nearby land of devil worshipers, or a chaotic neutral territory of cutthroat traders whose government does very little to interfere with the rights of its citizens.

Choose Leadership Roles. Assign the leadership roles for all PCs and NPCs involved in running the kingdom, such as Ruler, General, and High Priest. The leadership roles provide bonuses on checks made to collect taxes, deal with rioting citizens, and resolve similar issues.

Start Your Treasury. The build points you have left over from starting your first settlement make up your initial Treasury.

Determine Your Kingdom’s Attributes. Your initial Economy, Loyalty, and Stability scores are based on the kingdom’s alignment and the buildings your settlement has. (If you start with more than one settlement, include all the settlements in this reckoning.)

Once you’ve completed these steps, move on to Kingdom Turn Sequence.

Leadership Roles

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 200
A stable kingdom has leaders that fill different roles— tending to the economy, defense, and health of its citizens. PCs and NPCs can fill these roles; your fighter may be the kingdom’s Warden, the party cleric its High Priest, and so on. Each role grants the kingdom different benefits.

A character can only fill one leadership role at a time. For example, your character can’t be both the Ruler and the High Priest. Even if you want the Ruler to be the head of the kingdom’s religion, she’s too busy ruling to also do the work of a High Priest; she’ll have to appoint someone else to do that work.

The kingdom must have someone in the Ruler role to function; without a Ruler, the kingdom cannot perform basic actions and gains Unrest every turn. All other roles are optional, though leaving certain roles vacant gives your kingdom penalties.

These leadership roles can be a part of any form of government; in some kingdoms they take the form of a formal ruling council, while in others they may be advisors, ministers, relatives of the leader, or simply powerful nobles, merchants, or bureaucrats with access to the seat of power. The names of these roles are game terms and need not correspond to the titles of those roles in the kingdom—the Ruler of your kingdom may be called king, queen, chosen one, padishah, overlord, sultan, and so on.

Responsibilities of Leadership: In order to gain the benefits of leadership, you must spend at least 7 days per month attending to your duties; these days need not be consecutive. This can be roleplayed or can be assumed to run in the background without needing to be defined or actively played out. Time spent ruling cannot be used for adventuring, crafting magic items, or completing other downtime activities that require your full attention and participation. Failure to complete your duties during a turn means treating the role as thought it’s vacant.

For most campaigns, it’s best to have the PCs pick the same days of the month for these administrative duties, so everyone is available for adventuring at the same time.

PCs and NPCs as Leaders: These rules include enough important leadership roles that a small group of PCs can’t fill them all. You may have to recruit NPCs to fill out the remaining necessary roles for your kingdom. Cohorts, followers, and even intelligent familiars or similar companions can fill leadership roles, and you may want to consider inviting allied NPCs to become rulers, such as asking a friendly ranger you rescued to become the kingdom’s Marshal.

Abdicating a Role: If you want to step down from a leadership position, you must find a replacement to avoid incurring the appropriate vacancy penalty for your position. Abdicating a position increases Unrest by 1 and requires a Loyalty check; if the check fails, the vacancy penalty applies for 1 turn while the new leader transitions into that role. If you are the Ruler, abdicating increases Unrest by 2 instead of 1, and you take a –4 penalty on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.

If you are not the Ruler and are leaving one leadership role to take a different one in the kingdom, the Unrest increase does not occur and you gain a +4 bonus on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.

Leader Statistics: The statistics for the different roles are presented as follows.

Benefit: This explains the benefit to your kingdom if you have a character in this role. If you have the Leadership feat, increase this benefit by 1. If this section gives you a choice of two ability scores, use whichever is highest.

Most benefits are constant and last as long as there is a character in that role, but don’t stack with themselves. For example, a General increases Loyalty by 2, so the General provides a constant +2 to the kingdom’s Loyalty (not a stacking +2 increase every turn), which goes away if she dies or resigns. If a benefit mentions a particular phase in kingdom building, that benefit applies every turn during that phase. For example, the Royal Enforcer decreases Unrest by 1 at every Upkeep phase.

Vacancy Penalty: This line explains the penalty to your kingdom if no character fills this role, or if the leader fails to spend the necessary time fulfilling his responsibilities. Some roles have no vacancy penalty. If a character in a role is killed or permanently incapacitated during a turn and not restored to health by the start of the next kingdom turn, that role counts as vacant for that next turn, after which a replacement can be appointed to the role.

Like benefits, most vacancy penalties are constant, last as long as that role is vacant, and don’t stack with themselves. If a vacant role lists an increase to Unrest, however, that increase does not go away when the role is filled. For example, if the kingdom doesn’t have a ruler for a turn, Unrest increases by 4 and doesn’t automatically return to its previous level when you eventually fill the vacant Ruler role.

Who Rolls the Kingdom Check?

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 202
Running a kingdom is more fun if all the players are involved and each is responsible for making some of the kingdom checks. Who makes each roll depends on the players in your group and what roles they want to play. Some players may not want to make any of these rolls. You may want to start with the following die roll responsibilities and modify them to suit your kingdom and the other players. Anything marked as an optional rule is described in the optional kingdom-building rules.

Ruler: Loyalty checks, any checks or edicts not covered by other rulers

Consort: As Ruler when Ruler is unavailable

Councilor: Holiday edicts

General: Kingdom checks for events requiring combat

Grand Diplomat: Diplomatic edicts (optional rule)

Heir: Kingdom event rolls

High Priest: Holiday edicts, rolls to generate magic items from Cathedrals, Shrines, and Temples

Magister: Rolls to generate magic items not rolled by the High Priest

Marshal: Exploration edicts (optional rule)

Royal Enforcer: Loyalty checks to reduce Unrest or prevent Unrest increases

Spymaster: Kingdom checks involving crime and foreigners

Treasurer: Economy checks, Taxation edicts,

Trade edicts (optional rule)

Viceroy: Vassalage edicts (optional rule)

Warden: Stability checks

Build Points

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 204
The units of a kingdom’s wealth and productivity are build points (BP). Build points are an abstraction representing the kingdom’s expendable assets, not just gold in the treasury. Build points include raw materials (such as livestock, lumber, land, seed, and ore), tangible goods (such as wagons, weapons, and candles), and people (artisans, laborers, and colonists). Together, these assets represent the labor and productive output of your citizens.

You spend BP on tasks necessary to develop and protect your kingdom—planting farms, creating roads, constructing buildings, raising armies, and so on. These things are made at your command, but they are not yours. The cities, roads, farms, and buildings belong to the citizens who build them and use them to live and work every day, and those acts of living and working create more BP for the kingdom. As the leaders, you use your power and influence to direct the economic and constructive activity of your kingdom, deciding what gets built, when, and where.

Build points don’t have a precise exchange rate to gold pieces because they don’t represent exact amounts of specific resources. For example, you can’t really equate the productivity of a blacksmith with that of a stable, as their goods are used for different things and aren’t produced at the same rate, but both of them contribute to a kingdom’s overall economy. In general, 1 BP is worth approximately 4,000 gp; use this value to get a sense of how costly various kingdom expenditures are. In practice, it is not a simple matter to convert one currency to the other, but there are certain ways for your PC to spend gp to increase the kingdom’s BP or withdraw BP and turn them into gold for your character to spend.

Providing a seed amount of BP at the start of kingdom building means your kingdom isn’t starving for resources in the initial months. Whether you acquire these funds on your own or with the help of an influential NPC is decided by the GM, and sets the tone for much of the campaign.

Kingdom Turn Sequence

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 205
A kingdom’s growth occurs during four phases, which together make up 1 kingdom turn (1 month of game time). The four phases are as follows:

Phase 1—Upkeep: Check your kingdom’s stability, pay costs, and deal with Unrest.

If your kingdom controls 0 hexes, skip the Upkeep phase and proceed to the Edict phase.

Phase 2—Edict: Declare official proclamations about taxes, diplomacy, and other kingdom-wide decisions.

Phase 3—Income: Add to your Treasury by collecting taxes and converting gp into BP, or withdraw BP from your kingdom for your personal use.

Phase 4—Event: Check whether any unusual events occur that require attention. Some are beneficial, such as an economic boom, good weather, or the discovery of remarkable treasure. Others are detrimental, such as foul weather, a plague, or a rampaging monster.

These phases are always undertaken in the above order. Many steps allow you to perform an action once per kingdom turn; this means once for the entire kingdom, not once per leader.


Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 208
Edicts are the official pronouncements by your government about how you are running the kingdom that turn. For example, you may decide to have low or high taxes, to have more or fewer holidays, and how much effort to put into improving the kingdom’s infrastructure. Edicts fall into four types: Holiday, Improvement, Promotion, and Taxation.

In the Edict phase of the kingdom turn, you may set the Holiday, Promotion, and Taxation edict categories to whatever level you want, as well as decide how much of your allowed improvement from the Improvement edict you’ll use. For example, you may decide that this turn holidays are quarterly, promotions are aggressive, taxation is minimal, and you won’t build any improvements.

Losing Hexes

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 209
If you lose control of a hex—whether because of Unrest, monster attacks, assaults from a hostile kingdom, and so on—you lose all the benefits of any terrain improvements in that hex (such as Farms and Roads). All settlements in that hex become free cities with no loyalty to you or any other kingdom (see Free City on page 211). At the GM’s discretion, monsters may move into the abandoned hex, requiring you to clear it again if you want to claim it later, and terrain improvements may decay over time.

Losing a hex may break your connection to other kingdom hexes. For example, losing the only hex that bridges two sides of a mountain range creates two separate territories. If this happens, the primary territory is the part of the kingdom with your capital city, and the rest of the kingdom is the secondary territory. If none of the kingdom’s leaders are in the secondary territory when this split happens, you lose control of all hexes (as described above) in the secondary territory.

If at least one kingdom leader is in the secondary territory when the split occurs, you retain control of the secondary territory, but kingdom checks regarding its hexes treat Unrest as 1 higher, increasing by 1 each turn after the split. This modifier goes away if you claim a hex that reconnects the secondary territory to the primary territory.

If you claim a hex that reestablishes a connection to a leaderless secondary territory, you regain the benefits of the territory’s terrain improvements. You must succeed at a Stability check to reclaim each of your former settlements in the secondary territory. You initially have a +5 bonus on these checks because the cities want to return to your kingdom, but this bonus decreases by 1 (to a minimum bonus of +0) for each subsequent turn since you lost control of the secondary territory.

If your kingdom is reduced to 0 hexes—whether through Unrest, a natural disaster, an attack by another kingdom, or other circumstances—you are at risk of losing the kingdom. On your next turn, you must claim a new hex and found or claim a new settlement, or your kingdom is destroyed and you must start over if you want to found a new kingdom. At the GM’s discretion, you may be able to keep some BP from your destroyed kingdom’s Treasury for a time; otherwise, those assets are lost.

Terrain Improvements

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 210
Terrain improvements are changes to a hex that improve the land for your kingdom’s use, such as cultivating fields, digging mines, and clearing forests for lumber. The following list describes common improvements. An improvement marked with an asterisk (*) can share the same hex as other improvements.

Some terrain improvements affect a settlement’s Defense, which is used in the mass combat rules (see page 237).

Terrain: This indicates what kind of hex you can build this terrain improvement in.

Effect: This line states the effect the terrain improvement has on that hex (or in some cases, your entire kingdom).

If an improvement says you can upgrade it into another improvement, you can do so by paying the cost difference between the two improvements. When the upgrade is complete, you lose the benefit of the old improvement but gain the benefit of the new improvement.

Cost: This line gives the cost in BP to build the terrain improvement.

Table 4-6: Terrain and Terrain Improvements

TerrainExploration Time1Preparation Time2Preparation Cost3Farm Cost4Road Cost5, 6
Cavern73 days3 months8 BP4 BP
Desert2 days1 month4 BP8 BP4 BP
Forest2 days2 months4 BP2 BP
Hills1 day1 month2 BP4 BP3 BP
Jungle2 days4 months12 BP4 BP
Marsh3 days3 months8 BP4 BP
Mountains3 days4 months12 BP4 BP
Plains1 dayImmediate1 BP2 BP1 BP
Water2 days

1 Exploration time represents how many days a typical scouting party requires to explore a hex of this type. These times assume a party speed of 30 feet. For parties with different speeds, see Table 3–3: Exploration Time (1 Hex). Treat Cavern as Mountain and Jungle as Marsh for exploration time. Do not adjust the speed for Water hexes; it’s assumed that the party is already using a boat or other watercraft to explore.
2 Preparation time represents the months of labor (beginning with the current turn) required to prepare the hex for settlement. Construction of buildings can begin in the current month for settlements built on plains.
3 Preparation cost represents the BP cost to clear a hex of this type in preparation for founding a settlement.
4 Farm cost represents the BP cost to cultivate a hex for farming. A Farm must be within or adjacent to a hex containing a river, lake, swamp, or Canal, or adjacent to at least 2 hexes that already contain Farms.
5 Road cost represents the BP cost to establish a Road that crosses a hex and connects to all adjacent hexes. The cost to build a Road doubles if the hex contains rivers. A kingdom with a Size of 26 or greater can build a Highway (or upgrade a Road to a Highway).
6 If the hex contains any rivers, double the listed cost to reflect the need to build bridges.
7 This is a large system of caves and underground passages and can be found in any terrain type except Marsh. It functions as an additional hex that exists underground, below the surface hex.
8 Treat this as the adjacent land terrain type for all purposes.

Settlements and Districts

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 211
The greatest assets of your kingdom are its settlements. Most settlements start as simple villages, and some grow over time into bustling cities. You can use the District Grid on page 226 to create the initial design for your settlement and decide where to place additional buildings as it grows. You may want to photocopy the District Grid so you can build multiple settlements in your kingdom.

The District Grid is divided into 9 large blocks separated by streets. Each block consists of 4 smaller lots separated by alleys. Treat each lot as approximately 750 feet per side, so overall the district takes up about 1 square mile. On each lot you may construct a building, and each building affects your kingdom’s Economy, Loyalty, and so on. Descriptions of these buildings, as well as the bonuses they provide once they’re added to a settlement, are listed here.

Most settlements only have 1 district. If your District Grid is full and you want to add another district (for example, if you run out of available lots in that settlement and want to construct additional buildings), you can create an additional district for that settlement by paying the preparation cost for the settlement’s terrain as listed on Table 4–6: Terrain and Terrain Improvements). Remember that your kingdom’s Control DC is based on the number of districts in your settlement.

Icons representing each of the building types are shown on pages 224 and 225; you may want to print multiple copies of the icons so you can cut them out and attach them to your District Grid as your settlement grows.

The placement of buildings in your district is up to you— you can start in the center of the district and build outward, or start at the edge and build toward the center. Some buildings (such as the Guildhall) take up more than 1 lot on the grid. You can’t divide up these larger structures, though you can place them so they cover a street. (Streets do not count as lots.)

Construction: Construction is completed in the same turn you spend BP for the building, no matter what its size is. A building’s benefits apply to your kingdom immediately. At the GM’s discretion, construction magic (such as lyre of building, fabricate, or wall of stone) can reduce a single building’s BP cost by 2 (minimum 0). This is a one-time reduction per turn, regardless of the amount of magic used.

Population: A settlement’s population is approximately equal to the number of completed lots within its districts × 250. A grid that has all 36 lots filled with buildings has a population of approximately 9,000.

Base Value: The base value of a settlement is used to determine what magic items may easily be purchased there. There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale in the settlement with little effort. The base value of a new settlement is 0 gp. Certain buildings (such as a Market or Tavern) increase a settlement’s base value. A settlement’s base value can never increase above the values listed in Table 4–5: Settlement Size and Base Value (except under special circumstances decided by the GM).

Defense: A settlement’s Defense is used with the mass combat rules. It otherwise has no effect unless the settlement is attacked. You can increase a settlement’s Defense by building certain structures (such as City Walls).

Table 4-5: Settlement Size and Base Value

PopulationSettlement SizeValue
Fewer than 21Thorp50 gp
21-60Hamlet200 gp
61-200Village500 gp
201-2,000Small town1,000 gp
2,001-5,000Large town2,000 gp
5,001-10,000Small city4,000 gp
10,001-25,000Large city8,000 gp
More than 25,000Metropolis16,000 gp

Founding a Settlement

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 212
Before you can start your own kingdom, you first need a base of operations—a fort, village, or other settlement—where you can rest between adventures and where your citizens know they can find you if they need help or want to pay their taxes. Once you have a kingdom, you’ll want to create more settlements in order for the kingdom to grow and prosper. To found a settlement, you must perform the following steps. (These steps assume you’re building a new settlement from scratch; if you’re attempting to incorporate an existing settlement into your kingdom, see Free City under Special Terrain)

Step 1—Acquire funds. You’ll need money and resources in the form of build points.

Step 2—Explore and clear a hex. You’ll need to explore the hex where you want to put the settlement. See the Exploration Time column on Table 4–6: Terrain and Terrain Improvements to see how long this takes. Once you have explored the hex, clear it of monsters and dangerous hazards. The time needed to clear it depends on the nature of the threats; this step is usually handled by you completing adventures there to kill or drive out monsters.

Step 3—Claim the hex as yours. Once you have BP and have explored and cleared the hex, you can claim it. Spend 1 BP to do so; this represents setting up very basic infrastructure such as clearing paths, hiring patrols, setting up a tent city, and so on. This establishes the hex as part of your kingdom (or the beginning of your kingdom).

Step 4—Prepare the site for construction. To put a settlement on a claimed hex, you’ll need to prepare it. Depending on the site, this process may involve clearing trees, moving boulders, digging sanitation trenches, and so on. See the Preparation Cost column on Table 4–6: Terrain and Terrain Improvements for the BP cost.

If your settlement is in a hex containing a canal, lake, ocean, river, or similar large body of water, you must decide which of your settlement’s borders are water (riverbanks, lakeshores, or seashores) or land. Some types of buildings, such as Mills, Piers, and Waterfronts, must be adjacent to water.

A new settlement consists of 1 district, represented by the District Grid map on page 226. Mark the four borders on the District Grid as land or water, as appropriate.

Step 5—Construct your first buildings. Construct 1 building in your settlement and pay its BP cost. See Building Descriptions for building types. If this is your kingdom’s first settlement, you should start with an Inn, Shrine, Monastery, or Watchtower. In addition, you may also purchase and construct 1 House, Mansion, Noble Villa, or Tenement. If your first building is an Inn, you must construct a House or Tenement next to it, as building an Inn requires an adjacent House or Tenement.

When you complete these steps, you’ve founded your settlement! If this is your first settlement, it’s considered your kingdom’s capital city.

Claiming Water and Islands

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 213
When you claim a hex that contains part of an ocean or lake, your claim includes the water portion of that hex. In effect, your kingdom automatically controls a small portion of the waters adjacent to its coastline. Because any new hex you claim must be adjacent to an existing hex in your kingdom, if you want to claim land beyond that water (such as an island), you must first explore and claim the intervening deep water hexes. Your exploration only applies to the water’s surface—you are searching for uncharted islands, dangerous reefs, and so on. The GM may want to treat the underwater portion of a hex as a separate hex, much like a network of large caves under a hex may count as its own hex, allowing a village of merfolk or sahuagin to thrive in your kingdom without your knowledge.

Buildings in the Kingdom

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 213
You improve settlements by constructing buildings, which provide bonuses to the kingdom in general and the settlement in particular. Pages 224 and 225 present icons for these buildings, and the building descriptions and effects begin on page 214. Some buildings also intersect with the mass combat rules, notably with fortifications and reserve armies.

Demolition: If a lot has a building, you can clear it for new construction. Doing so costs 1 BP. You may construct a building on a lot the same turn you demolish the old building there. You do not regain BP for a demolished building (but see Rebuilding, below).

Destroyed Lots: If an event or a pillaging army destroys 1 or more lots, the devastation causes Unrest to increase by 1 per lot destroyed.

Rebuilding: If you rebuild the same type of building on a destroyed lot, the cost is halved, as you can reuse some of the materials for the same purpose. If you rebuild a different type of building on that lot, reduce the cost of the new building by 1/4 the cost of the old building (minimum 1 BP). If you build smaller buildings on top of a site that held a multi-lot building, split the discount evenly over the new buildings. For example, if you demolish an Academy and construct a Mansion and a Luxury Store on top of those lots, each building gets a 6 BP discount (1/4 of 52 BP is 13, divided evenly between the two).


Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 220
Listed below are unusual events that can happen during a kingdom’s Event phase. Most events occur immediately and are instantaneous or terminate at the end of the Event phase.

Some events impact the whole kingdom, while others are centered on a specific settlement or hex. Roll on Table 4–7: Event Type and Danger Level to determine the type of event and whether it is beneficial or harmful. Then roll on the appropriate beneficial or dangerous settlement or kingdom event table. If this results in an invalid event (such as a pilgrimage when there are no Cathedrals, Shrines, or Temples in the kingdom), roll again.

Continuous Events: A continuous event’s effects continue each turn during the Event phase until you resolve the event (as explained in the event description, usually by succeeding at a kingdom check).

Localized Events: Some events are listed as “settlement” or “hex.” The effect of these events are localized to a single settlement or hex. Randomly select a settlement or hex for the location of that event. Some events (such as a feud) could be confined to a settlement or start in one settlement and spread to affect the entire kingdom, depending on whether they’re rolled on one of the Kingdom Events tables or one of the Settlement Events tables.

Settlement Modifiers: Some events adjust settlement modifiers (Crime, Lore, etc.). If an event is localized to 1 settlement, its settlement modifier adjustments apply only to that settlement; if it’s localized to a hex, it affects only settlements in that hex. If the GM is using settlement modifiers for the entire kingdom (see Expanding Settlement Modifiers on page 230) and the event is not localized, its adjustments apply to the final modifier for the entire kingdom. For example, the new subjects event increases Society and Stability for the entire kingdom by 1.

Hiring Adventurers: Once per Event phase, you can hire NPC adventurers to help deal with an event, gaining a bonus on one Economy, Loyalty, or Stability check made as part of that event. Adventurers of levels 1–2 grant a +2 bonus on the check and cost 4 BP; adventurers of levels 3–5 grant a +5 bonus on the check and cost 8 BP; adventurers of level 6+ (but never higher than your APL) grant a +10 bonus on the check and cost 16 BP.

Table 4-7: Event Type and Danger Level

01-02Natural blessing and roll again1
03-04Good weather and roll again1
05-25Beneficial kingdom event (Table 4–8)
26-50Dangerous kingdom event (Table 4–9)
51-75Beneficial settlement event (Table 4–10)
76-96Dangerous settlement event (Table 4–11)
97Bandit activity and roll again2
98Squatters and roll again2
99Monster attack and roll again2
100Vandals and roll again2
1 If the reroll indicates the same event, ignore the duplicate event and do not reroll again.
2 If the reroll indicates the same event, the second event occurs elsewhere in the kingdom.

Table 4-8: Beneficial Kingdom Events

01-07Archaeological find
08-12Diplomatic overture
21-31Economic boom
32-39Festive invitation
40-53Food surplus
54-66Good weather
67-75Land rush
76-85Natural blessing
86-90New subjects
91-100Political calm

Table 4-9: Dangerous Kingdom Events

01-05Assassination attempt
06-18Bandit activity
29-41Food shortage
42-51Improvement demand
60-64Large disaster
65-76Monster attack
85-92Public scandal

Table 4-10: Beneficial Settlement Events

27-40Justice prevails
41-46Noblesse oblige
47-58Outstanding success
67-72Remarkable treasure
73-81Unexpected find
82-93Visiting celebrity
94-100Wealthy immigrant

Table 4-11: Dangerous Settlement Events

01-10Building demand
11-17Crop failure
18-25Cult activity
26-33Drug den
50-54Localized disaster
55-61Monster attack
67-74Sensational crime

Archaeological Find: A well-preserved ruin is found in your kingdom, with historical artifacts connected to the people who lived in your land long ago. Effect: Lore +1. If you have a Museum, the discoverers donate 10,000 gp worth of historical artifacts to its collection (if you have multiple Museums, choose one as the recipient).

Assassination Attempt: One of your leaders (determined randomly) is the target of an assassination attempt. If the target is a PC, the GM should run the attempt as an encounter, using an assassin of a CR equal to the targeted PC’s level. If the target is an NPC, you must succeed at a Stability check to prevent the assassination. If the assassination occurs, Unrest increases by 1d6 and the kingdom immediately incurs the penalties for not having a leader in that role.

Bandit Activity: Bandits are preying upon those who travel through your kingdom. Attempt a Stability check. If you succeed, your kingdom’s defenses stop the bandits before they cause any harm. If you fail, the bandits reduce your kingdom’s Treasury by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, add the result to the total and roll again).

Boomtown (Settlement): Randomly select one settlement. Commerce booms among that settlement. Until the next Event phase, Economy increases by the number of buildings in the settlement that grant an Economy bonus, and Corruption increases by 1d4 in that settlement.

Building Demand (Settlement, Continuous): The citizens demand a particular building be built (01–75) or demolished (76–100). Select the building type randomly from those available for the settlement. If the demand is not met by the next Event phase, Unrest increases by 1. Alternatively, you can suppress the citizens’ demands and negate the event by succeeding at a Loyalty check, but this reduces Loyalty by 2 and increases Unrest by 1.

Crop Failure (Settlement): Pests, blight, and weather ruin the harvest in the settlement’s hex and all adjacent hexes. Attempt two Stability checks. If both succeed, the problem is fixed before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. If only one succeeds, affected farms reduce Consumption by 1 (instead of the normal reduction) in the next Upkeep phase. If neither succeeds, affected farms do not reduce Consumption at all in the next Upkeep phase.

Cult Activity (Settlement, Continuous): A religious cult of an alignment opposed to the kingdom’s alignment begins kidnapping, converting, or even publicly sacrificing citizens. Attempt a Loyalty check and a Stability check. If both succeed, the cult is disbanded before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. For each of these checks you fail, Unrest increases by 1 and Productivity, Society, and Stability decrease by 1. If both checks fail, the event continues in the next Event phase.

Diplomatic Overture: A nearby kingdom sends an ambassador to you to negotiate an embassy (01–60), treaty (61–90), or alliance (91–100), as if using a <%RULES$Diplomatic Edict&Category=Special Edicts">diplomatic edict. If the GM doesn’t have an appropriate kingdom in mind when this event occurs, determine the kingdom’s alignment randomly; it may be hostile or friendly. The ambassador bears 1d4 BP worth of gifts for your kingdom.

Discovery (Settlement): Scholars unearth a bit of ancient lore or devise important new research of their own. Fame increases by 1 and Lore increases by 1d4. Drug Den (Settlement, Continuous): One of your Houses or Tenements becomes a hive of illicit drug trade. Attempt a Loyalty check and a Stability check, with a penalty equal to the number of Brothels, Tenements, Waterfronts, and lots with squatters in the settlement. If you succeed at both checks, you eliminate the drug den before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. If you fail at one check, Crime and Unrest increase by 1. If you fail at both checks, Crime and Unrest increase by 1; Economy, Loyalty, and Stability decrease by 1; and on the next Event phase, a second drug den event occurs in the same settlement (01– 50) or the nearest settlement (51–100).

Economic Boom: Trade is booming in your kingdom! Your Treasury increases by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, add the result to the total and roll again).

Festive Invitation: Your kingdom’s leaders are invited to a festival in a neighboring kingdom. If you attend and bring 1d4 BP worth of gifts, for 1 year Society increases by 1, Fame increases by 1 for any check relating to that kingdom, and you gain a +2 bonus on edict checks relating to that kingdom.

Feud (Settlement, Continuous): Nobles (or other influential rival groups) are bickering. Attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, you end the event but Unrest increases by 1. If you fail, Corruption increases by 1, Unrest increases by 1d6, and the event is continuous.

Food Shortage: Spoilage, treachery, or bad luck has caused a food shortage this turn. Attempt a Stability check. If you succeed, Consumption in the next Upkeep phase increases by 50%. If you fail, Consumption in the next Upkeep phase increases by 100%.

Food Surplus: Farmers produce an unexpected windfall! In the next Upkeep phase, the kingdom’s Consumption is halved (but returns to normal on the next turn). Good Weather: Good weather raises spirits and productivity. Economy, Loyalty, and Productivity increase by 2 until the next Event phase.

Improvement Demand (hex): This event is identical to the building demand event, but the citizens want the construction or destruction of a terrain improvement in the hex.

Inquisition (settlement, continuous): Zealots mobilize public opinion against a particular race, religion, kingdom, behavior, or kingdom leader. Attempt a Loyalty check. If you fail, the zealots run rampant; Infamy and Law increase by 1 and Lore, Loyalty, Productivity, and Stability decrease by 2. If you succeed, the zealots are somewhat suppressed; Lore, Loyalty, Productivity, and Stability decrease by 1. Two successful checks in a row end the event (if a check ends the event, no penalties from it occur that turn).

Justice Prevails (settlement): Authorities shut down a major criminal operation or thwart a plot against the settlement. Law and Loyalty increase by 1 and Crime and Unrest decreases by 1.

Land Rush: Overeager settlers claim an unclaimed hex and construct a Farm, Mine, Quarry, or Sawmill at their own expense, but are fighting over ownership. This hex is not part of your kingdom, so you gain no benefits from it. Productivity, Society, and Stability decrease by 1. Attempt a Loyalty check. If you succeed, Unrest increases by 1. If you fail, Unrest increases by 1d4. If you construct an identical improvement in an adjacent hex during your next Edict phase, remove this event’s changes to Productivity, Society, and Stability.

Large Disaster (Hex): A fire, storm, earthquake, flood, massive sabotage, or other disaster strikes! Roll 1d6; on a result of 1–5, the disaster threatens only 1 improved hex. On a result of 6, the disaster is widespread and threatens 1d6 additional improved hexes adjacent to the target hex. Attempt a Stability check for each threatened hex; failure means the disaster destroys one terrain improvement in the hex and Unrest increases by 1. (This Stability check represents your kingdom’s ability to prepare for or react to the disaster as well as the structure’s ability to withstand damage.)

Localized Disaster (Settlement): A fire, a flood, a storm, an earthquake, massive sabotage, or another disaster strikes the settlement! Roll 1d6 to determine how many lots are threatened by the disaster. On a result of 6, the disaster is widespread and affects 1d6 additional adjacent lots. Attempt a Stability check for each threatened lot; failure means the disaster destroys the building in that lot and Unrest increases by 1. (This Stability check represents your kingdom’s ability to prepare for or react to the disaster as well as the structure’s ability to withstand damage.)

Monster Attack (Settlement, Continuous): A monster (or group of monsters) attacks the kingdom. The GM picks a claimed hex in the kingdom in which the monster is active. The CR of the monster encounter is equal to the party’s APL + 1d4 – 1. You can personally deal with the monster (earning XP and treasure normally for your efforts) or succeed at a Stability check to eliminate it (which doesn’t affect you or the kingdom’s statistics). If the monster is not defeated this turn, Unrest increases by 4. If the kingdom’s Unrest is 5 or higher, the monster’s hex becomes unclaimed—this is in addition to losing control of hexes in the Upkeep phase because of the kingdom’s high Unrest score.

Natural Blessing: A natural event, such as a bloom of rare and beautiful wildflowers or a good omen in the stars, raises your kingdom’s morale. You gain a +4 bonus on Stability checks until the next Event phase.

New Subjects: A small group of indigenous intelligent creatures joins your kingdom and submits to your rule. Society and Stability increase by 1, Unrest decreases by 1, and your Treasury increases by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, add the result to the total and roll again).

Noblesse Oblige (Settlement): A noble family offers to construct a Monument (01–50) or Park (51–100) in your settlement at the family’s own expense. The nobles pay all costs and Consumption for this purpose.

Outstanding Success (Settlement): One of your kingdom’s citizens creates an artistic masterpiece, constructs a particularly impressive building, or otherwise brings glory to your kingdom. Fame increases by 1, your Treasury increases by 1d6 BP, and Unrest decreases by 2. You gain a +4 bonus on Economy checks until the next Event phase.

Pilgrimage (settlement): Randomly select one settlement with a Cathedral, Shrine, or Temple. Pious religious folk journey to your settlement, holding a religious festival in that settlement at no BP cost to you.

Plague (Hex or Settlement, Continuous): A deadly sickness strikes the target hex or settlement. You cannot construct terrain improvements or buildings there while plague persists. Attempt two Stability checks, each with a penalty equal to the number of Brothels, Foreign Quarters, Highways, Inns, Piers, Roads, Stables, Stockyards, Tenements, and Waterfronts in the hex, and a bonus equal to the number of Alchemists, Cathedrals, Herbalists, Hospitals, and Temples in the hex. If you succeed at both checks, the event ends, but Stability decreases by 2 and Treasury by 1d3 BP. If you fail at one check, Stability decreases by 4, Treasury decreases by 1d6 BP, and Unrest increases by 1d3. If you fail at both, Stability decreases by 4, Treasury decreases by 1d6 BP, Unrest increases by 1d6, and in the next Event phase the plague spreads to an adjacent hex.

Political Calm: A sudden absence of political machinations coincides with an increase in public approval. Unrest decreases by 1d6. Until the next Event phase, you gain a +2 bonus on checks to resolve continuous events. If your kingdom has no Unrest and no continuous events, both Loyalty and Stability increase by 1. If you are using Law settlement modifiers for the kingdom (see Expanding Settlement Modifiers), this also increases Law by 1 for the entire kingdom.

Public Scandal: One of your leaders is implicated in a crime or an embarrassing situation, such as an affair with another leader’s spouse. Infamy increases by 1. Attempt a Loyalty check. If you fail, Unrest increases by 2 and you take a –4 penalty on all Loyalty checks until the next Event phase.

Remarkable Treasure (Settlement): The settlement immediately fills one of its open magic item slots (selected randomly) with a better than normal item (medium if a minor slot, major if a medium slot). Treat the settlement’s base value as 50% higher than normal for determining the item’s maximum price. If the settlement doesn’t have any open magic item slots, treat this event as Unexpected Find.

Sensational Crime (Settlement, Continuous): A serial killer, arsonist, or daring bandit plagues your kingdom. Attempt two Stability checks, adding the settlement’s Law and subtracting its Crime. If you succeed at both checks, the criminal is caught before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. If you fail at one, the criminal escapes, Unrest increases by 1, and the event is continuous. If you fail at both, the criminal makes a fool of the authorities; Law and Loyalty decrease by 1, Treasury decreases by 1d4 BP, Unrest increases by 2, and the event is continuous.

Slavers (Settlement, Continuous): Criminals begin kidnapping citizens and selling them into slavery. Attempt a Loyalty check and a Stability check, each with a penalty equal to the number of Brothels, Tenements, Waterfronts, and lots with squatters in the settlement. If you succeed at both checks, the slavers are caught before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. If you fail at one of the checks, Loyalty, Stability, and Unrest decrease by 1, but the event is not continuous. If you fail at both checks, Loyalty, Stability, and Unrest decrease by 2, and the event is continuous.

Smugglers (Continuous): Unscrupulous merchants are subverting legitimate businesses. Attempt a Loyalty check and a Stability check, each with a penalty equal to the number of Piers, Waterfronts, and trade routes in the kingdom. If you succeed at both checks, the smugglers are stopped before your kingdom takes any penalties from the event. If you fail at one of the checks, Corruption increases by 1d2 in each settlement, Crime increases by 1 for the kingdom, Productivity for the kingdom decreases by 1d3, Treasury decreases by 1d3 BP, and the event is not continuous. If you fail at both of the checks, Corruption increases by 1d4, Crime for the kingdom increases by 1, Productivity for the kingdom decreases by 1d6, Treasury decreases by 1d6 BP, and the event is continuous.

Squatters (Settlement, Continuous): An empty settlement lot is taken over by beggars, troublemakers, and people unable to find adequate work or housing; they camp there with tents, wagons, and shanties. You cannot use the lot for anything until the squatters are dispersed. Fame and Stability decrease by 1, and Unrest increases by 2. You may try to disperse the squatters with a Stability check. Success means the squatters are dispersed and the event is not continuous, but if a House or Tenement is not built in that lot on the next turn, Infamy increases by 1 and Unrest by 2. Failing the Stability check means the event is continuous, and you may not build on that lot until the event is resolved.

Unexpected Find (Settlement): Local citizens discover a forgotten magical item. The settlement gains one temporary minor (01–70) or medium (71–100) magic item slot that is automatically filled in the next Upkeep phase. This slot and the item go away if the item is purchased or in the next Event phase, whichever comes first.

Vandals (Settlement): Thugs and dissidents riot and destroy property. Attempt a Loyalty check and a Stability check. If you succeed at both, the vandals are stopped before your kingdom takes any penalties. If you fail at one check, Society decreases by 1 and one random building in the settlement is damaged. If you fail at both, one random building is destroyed (Unrest increases by 1 for each lot of the destroyed building), and 1d3 other random buildings are damaged. A damaged building provides no benefits until half its cost is spent repairing it.

Visiting Celebrity (Settlement): A celebrity from another kingdom visits one of your settlements, causing a sudden influx of other visitors and spending. Fame increases by 1 and Treasury increases by 1d6 BP (each time you roll a 6, add the result to the total and roll again).

Wealthy Immigrant (Settlement): A rich merchant or a noble from another land is impressed with your kingdom and asks to construct a Mansion (01–75) or Noble Villa (76–100) in the settlement at no cost to you. If you allow it, the building provides its normal benefits to your kingdom.

Gaining Experience for Leadership

Source Ultimate Campaign pg. 215
As the kingdom grows, the party gains experience points the first time it reaches each of the following milestones.

Found a Kingdom: 2,400 XP

Establish a Capital City: 1,200 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 11: 2,400 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 26: 4,800 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 51: 9,600 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 101: 12,800 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 151: 25,600 XP

Reach a Kingdom Size of 201: 76,800 XP

Fill a Settlement with 4 Lots of Buildings: 1,600 XP

Fill a Settlement with 16 Lots of Buildings: 4,800 XP

Fill a Settlement with 36 Lots of Buildings: 12,800 XP