Kingmaker - Review and Interview
In a tabletop campaign, DMs use their storytelling skills as much as their rulebooks. They are able to assess in real time whether throwing another casual encounter, or killing that limping party member, would be a fun challenge or just an act of cruelty. But the spirit that governs Pathfinder: Kingmaker is incapable of showing such mercy.
Unless we count the options menu as part of the DM’s duties, in which case they are a generous being. They let me tweak various rules, such as deciding how strong the enemies will be (anything over “normal” is an exercise in masochism), choosing how often the game will auto-pause, and even allowing me to disable death. Even the more technical parts of the game, like levelling up the characters, can be fully automated.
"Pathfinder, like a number of tabletop role-playing games, is a turn-based system, and there are times where adapting turn-based mechanics to real-time mechanics can be a challenge," said Avellone. "It's something designers have wrestled with all the way back to Baldur's Gate 1, in which BioWare had to do a real-time system that simulated the turn-based rules.
"The other challenge is that Pathfinder is a rule-rich system, and there are a lot of classes, spells, and abilities to choose from. We implemented many of them for the game, but we weren't able to include every race, class, and skill - even though I think we did an impressive number, there's simply too many to do them all for this first Pathfinder game anyway. If we do more, we'd be able to expand on the ones we made for this game. It was one of the reasons we had the scaling Kickstarter goals we did - we wanted to make sure we were budgeting realistically for what we could accomplish, and it made the reasons transparent to the backers as well.