Ultimate Campaign - Pathfinder Pen & Paper Theorycrafting

Hello, I am Zombie Lord, and I am a powergamer.

Ok, here is where I admit to how incredibly cheesy I can be. I enjoy storytelling and working on character backgrounds, but I’m also appreciate optimizing. I like developing stories, and I value background stories, but I believe game mechanics are intertwined with story. I don’t think you can’t have one without the other. Conan the barbarian must have a high strength score. If I want to be a very successful Kingdom Leader, I believe I must have game mechanics to back it up.

I understand that coding will only allow so much, and some adaptation will be required from Pathfinder “rules as written”. For this computer game, I will adapt to the rules of the game. But, if I were only limited to the Pathfinder rules, the following posts are the approach I would take.

I won’t criticize your personal preferences, and in return I hope you won’t judge me too harshly for my blatant cheesiness… that being said, any suggestions for improvement are welcome. :wink:

Charisma-Based Classes:

If I were limited to focusing on a single PC in a kingdom-style campaign, my main focus would be on a Charisma-based spellcasting class (Sorcerer or Oracle).

Thankfully, most campaigns are not solo adventures, so there is some flexibility for PC’s. But any party I was part of, would hopefully include both Sorcerers and Oracles.

If I had to choose though, I would take Sorcerer. To compare the two, here are the benefits I see from both classes (for both PCs and Followers)…


Familiars (utility and breeding stock, farmer mentality):
Cat/Hawk (pest control)
Chicken (eggs, meat, breeding stock)
Pigs (breeding stock)
Goats (milk, breeding stock)
Monstrous Spider (silk)

Familiar (low level combat use):
Hummingbird (for initiative boost)
Monkey (with Valet archetype, opposable thumb, can say “Eeep-Eeep”, command word for a custom wand & activate with UMD)

Improved Familiar (combat – action economy, wand wielder with Use Magic Device)
Brownie, Homunculus (L5)
Imp/Quasit (L7)

Utility Spells:
S/W 0: Mending, Prestidigitation
S/W 1: Crafter’s Fortune, Expeditious Construction (fieldstone-construction, limestone-cement raw material, sand-glassblowing, soil-farming)
S/W 3: Paragon Surge, Tongues (though an Intelligence Headband with “Linguistics” is pretty solid, each rank is a new language)
S/W 5: Fabricate, Overland Flight, Permanency
Teleport family of spells for time-saving transportation.
Charm family of spells for interrogation and police actions.

Long Duration Spells:
S/W 1: Charm Person, Endure Elements, Mage Armor, Mount (travel and labor)
S/W 2: Darkvision, False Life, Protection from Arrows, Alter Summon Monster
S/W 3: Phantom Steed, Greater Magic Weapon, Shrink Item (aerial bombardment, boulders, bonfires, carrying capacity with large chests)
S/W 4: Lesser Age Resistance, Charm Monster, Greater Darkvision, Greater False Live
S/W 5: Mage’s Private Sanctum, Overland Flight, Lesser Planar Binding
S/W 6: Age Resistance, Planar Binding
S/W 7: Greater Age Resistance, Mage’s Magnificent Mansion
S/W 8: Mind Blank, Moment of Prescience, Polymorph any Object (cosmetic surgery for followers, medium gold dragons for guards, animals to gnomes for slave labor, bloody skeletons to half orcs for darkvision enabled – 3 shift slave labor)

Immediate Action Spell: S/W4: Emergency Force Sphere

Cheesy Combos:

Blood Money (plus anything expensive)
Strength damage paid for with Magic Jar, Enlarge Person or Shape of the Dragon (size), Blood Rage (morale), Bull’s Strength or Belts (enhancement), Manual Items (inherent).

Expensive Spells: continual flame, lesser/regular animate dead, true seeing, wall of iron, limited wish, wish

(Expensive, but greater than one round casting if you believe it matters, or one round via Limited Wish @ S/W 7): create treasure map, masterwork transformation, create armaments, permanency, bless/curse water, consecrate/desecrate, divination, restoration, hallow/unhallow, raise dead, reincarnate, awaken

(Expensive, but greater than one round casting if you believe it matters, or one round via Wish @ S/W 9): lesser create demiplane, simulacrum, clone, create demiplane, symbol, cyclic reincarnation, greater restoration.

Heighten Spell – Mount, + Alter Summoned Monster: (L6 Lantern Archons, L8 Hound Archons, L10 Bralani Azata)

Conjuration (Calling), planar binding family of spells: Animate Dead fodder, XP and Loot farming, Circle Against <alignment> + Dimensional Anchor + whatever overlapping physical traps or Symbols you care for (everyone fails a save on a Natural 1)


Long Duration/Utility Spells:
C/O 0: Mending, Create Water, Purify Food & Water (food preservation)
C/O 1: Read Weather, Abstemiousness (stretch food supplies), Enhance Water (boooooze! Mead is valuable)
C/O 2: Undetectable Alignment, Make Whole
C/O 3: Create Food & Water, Magic Vestment

Life Mystery good for party healing, Juju Mystery good for an overlord.

Dual Cursed is fun. Blackened good for blasting. Legalistic good for profession/crafting (or any 1/day skill boost).

Any Class:

Craft (alchemy) can make Cement at low levels (before Wall of Stone)

Heighten Spell – Continual Flame (vs Darkness and Deeper Darkness at higher levels)

Maximize Spell – Cleromancy (any knowledge to build bestiaries or “how-to” manuals, made easier with S/W 5 Fabricate to “print” short term knowledge on metal plate-style books)

Feats to make custom magic items (Wondrous, Arms & Armor, Rings, Rods, etc.)

Feat: Experimental Spellcaster (undeath) for undead without material components (C/O 2, S/W 3)

Animate Dead: (burning skeletons = small animals in cages/stone boxes as perpetual heat sources, other skeletons = less smelly perpetual motion for labor saving devices)

Bestow Curse (S/W 4, C/O3): infertility for birth control, amnesia via afflictions>madness on prisoners for breeding stock/labor (charm/diplomacy bait).

Wall of Stone (S/W 5, C/O 5): simple arched vaults, above ground shelter or bury for cellars.

Cold Ice Strike (S/W 6, C/O 6): Immediate Action damage dealing spell

Control Weather (S/W 7, C/O 7): farming, disaster prevention

Craft Wondrous Item (L3): Salve of the Second Chance (reincarnate for immorality, or to change race of prisoner breeding stock – applied by perceived ally)

Paragon Surge (spell, requires Half Elf, use for Expanded Knowledge, Experimental Spellcaster)

Feats: Nature Soul + Animal Ally = animal companion (@ 3 levels lower, goats, chickens, pigs, for breeding stock for NPCs)

  • Boon Companion = Badger animal companion (if PC, for combat)

Feats: Skill Focus Knowledge Arcana + Eldritch Heritage (arcane) = familiar

“Troll Farming” (Bestow Curse or Cursed Headband to knock Charisma to Zero, + Ring of Sustenance, + Google “Cattle Industry Byproducts”, = hides, leather goods, sinew, bone/blood meal, stomach acid, meat, parchment, etc.)


At least one cleric with the Magic / Arcane subdomain for caster level boost.

Feat: Eldritch Aid

Feats: Racial Heritage (changeling), Coven Caster

Illusions: entertainment on steroids (imagine what we’d pay for perfect 3D – virtual reality)

Crafters: Skill Focus, Prodigy, Master Alchemist

Recruit/Retrain priorities:
Level 1: Lore Oracles (focused trance, +20 to intelligence based check, like craft or knowledges)
Level 2: Oracle 1 / Sorcerer 1
Level 3: Clerics (lesser restoration)
Level 4: Oracles (lesser restoration), or Cleric 3 / Wiz 1
Level 5: Clerics (create food & water)
Level 6: Sorcerers (fireball + elemental spell / custom spell research for other flavors)

Oracle is a better healer and negative condition remover, but Sorcerer has lots of damage options, has lots of buffing and kingdom building utility.

Sorcerer also has Charm Monster and can manipulate a greater number of minions that way.

If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with Sorcerer and hope another PC covered healing, or that I could manipulate or charm a healing NPC.

Do you guys have any good Pathfinder combos for a Kingdom Building campaign in the pen and paper based rules?

A bit of a side note. A handful of these feats/spells are from non-PRD sources. As I understand it, only CRD, DMG, most of APG, and the Campaign Setting are being used along with a smattering of other PRD books (eg. Consolidated Skill from Unchained). Just something to consider as you mentioned adaptation to the computer version.

Maybe 90% of what I described above couldn’t be roleplayed in a computer game like this. :wink:

It just doesn’t translate well to hack and slash computer engines. Most of what I described are ways to find advantages in a story line with better food, supplies, manual/extra labor.

I get a kick out of theory crafting this kind of stuff, but have no illusions that it will get much use.