It's always somewhat surprising that D&D or D&D related things haven't had more games released. What makes it all the more surprising is the recent resurgence seen by the CRPG. Titles like Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity and Torment: Tides of Numenera have brought the genre back to the forefront.
I'm fully aware that Pathfinder isn't actually D&D. Released by Paizo as an offshoot of D&D 3.5, rather than moving up to 4th edition, it does have that familiarity. Scratching that itch of a strongly detailed CRPG set in a highly detailed world could be here shortly. Stepping up to the stage are Owlcat Games and Paizo Publishing with Pathfinder: Kingmaker.
Just five days ago Owlcat launched a Kickstarter, asking for $500,000. At the time of writing, it's already received $375,884 in pledges. With thirty days left to go, it's almost impossible to imagine it'll fail at meeting its goal.
What is particularly interesting are the names behind Pathfinder: Kingmaker. While Owlcat are a new studio, the team aren't new to the industry. Having worked on titles like Silent Storm and Heroes of Might and Magic IV, they have a level of pedigree. In addition, the narrative designer is Chris Avellone of Planetscape: Torment, Neverwinter Nights 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera fame.
This should come as a great comfort for fans of both Pathfinder and the older style CRPGs. The game promises to have at least forty hours of play time from the core story, hitting eighty when including side quests. With ten playable classes from seven races, the game looks to offer a huge variety. This is particularly true when considering the myriad of skills, abilities, and items on offer.
What is particularly interesting is the promised ability to grow and develop your own kingdom, as you go down the particular Kingmaker adventure path. Carving out your own territory, using diplomacy and politics to secure what you have and of course leading your own troops. It looks to offer a strategic layer over what already wants to be an incredibly deep RPG.
What would be worth reading is IGN's time spent with the game. What has been covered makes the kingdom building sound fantastic, particularly how it links in with the stories featured within the game. Possibly even more so, considering characters not adventuring with you directly affect the running of your kingdom. There are also a few videos that give us a look at how the game actually plays.
Without a shadow of a doubt, I'm looking forward to Pathfinder: Kingmaker. With a hopeful release around March 2018, it could very well be a highlight of the year. For now, all I can do is pledge towards it and hope that it turns out to be another Kickstarter success, like the ones I covered in my crowdfunding catchup.