It's a Kind of Magic - The Spells & FX of Pathfinder: Kingmaker
Today we will be talking about spells – lifeblood of more than half of the Pathfinder classes. Since the release of their signature product, Paizo published numerous rulebooks for the Pathfinder RPG, both hardcover giants, like Ultimate Magic and Advanced Player Guide, and innumerable softcover Campaign Settings, Player Companions, Modules, and Adventure Paths. And most of them do contain spells, some of them only one, and some whole packs rivaling the basic assortment provided in the core rulebook. For us, when making a Pathfinder CRPG, this provides a treasury to draw from.
And as we do draw from it, and see the ideas of all these spells come to life on our screens, they blend together to give you a myriad of tactics to solve problems, overcome obstacles and defeat enemies our game will provide you aplenty. For in Pathfinder spells are not just elemental attacks of different shapes and colors, but a diverse set of tools and instruments for enormous amounts of possible situations. And those who love their elemental attacks will also find them in abundance, as some situations require precisely tools like these.
Is one of your companions injured? Poisoned? Dead? There are spells for that. Cannot find a secret door? There is a spell for that too. Found a secret door, but cannot open it? Again, there is a spell for that. Are you feeling the strong urge to set somebody on fire? There are a lot of spells that do exactly that. While setting someone on fire, you mistakenly set your companions on fire too, and now they're dead? We’ve already discussed, spells can fix that. Cannot see your enemy? There is a spell for that. Still cannot see him, because he's behind the wall? There is a spell for that. Still cannot see him? You’ve probably been blinded. Do not worry; there is a spell for that. There is a whole school of spells that allow you to see enemies even where there aren’t any. Got too cold? There’s a spell for that. Are neighbors too loud? There’s a spell for that. Mysterious rash..? There’s probably a spell for that.
Out of the core classes, only monk, fighter, barbarian and rogue don’t use magic, so each and every spell we add will increase the depth of the game for all parties that will not specifically avoid magic. And we want you to have a multitude of choices every time you level up your spell casting characters and every time you choose your spells for the day. Of course you won't have to constantly rearrange your spells and you'll be fine with just a basic set of spells in some parts of the game and on the easier difficulty settings. But we also strive to create challenges and environments that will make you stop and consider what spells to prepare for the task at hand.
But no spell may truly come to life without its visual component – because it is this exact part of the spell that makes it an actual translation from pen and paper to your screens. And in visual effects as well we try to support both the variety of spells and their targets. A special system in our game supports scaling of both shapes and sizes of visual effects on different creatures to improve both the aesthetic feel and gameplay feedback from your (and, sometimes, your opponents') actions.
Mechanically, spells consist of a basic skeletal structure and a system of multiple components that make up complex magical effects. The main structure contains common parameters that include, but are not limited to, range, different descriptions, name and release animation. Components include parts of the spell that working together will eventually make spell act the way we want it to. For example, the spell "Snowball" has components that add it to the Wizard spell list, a component for the conjuration spell school, a ranged touch projectile component, cold descriptor and actions that deal damage on hit and allow the target to make a saving throw, with an action that applies staggered condition on the target if it fails this saving throw. Each such component is programmed to be a new cog to create new spells from, to assemble them from different parts. And with each new component, it becomes easier to make spells that have similar mechanics.
So whenever anyone asks us how many spells will be there in Pathfinder: Kingmaker, we answer, “More than 300 of them”. But you should know that 300 is just a minimal number, the correct answer is, “As many as possible!”
It's over 9000!
Of course we don't want to end today's update without sending a massive THANK YOU to our growing list of over 10,000 backers! It has been our dream to make this game and you are all helping us to make it a reality. And there's still some time left until the campaign ends, so let's see how many stretch goals we can knock out. Let's all make this something big and special together!
Hail to the kings!