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Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building
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Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building


Balduran's Guide to Kingdom Building

"....this is crazy good! The presentation is superb! This is a full supplement book. Pretty hefty." -Anthony J.

"I’m very impressed with the thoroughness and level of detail, the variation with the adventures, the insane amount of content in all the tables. I’ve never done any extensive “management” type things at the table, but this product gets me excited to put it to use." -Jos W.

"I can definitely see myself using it." -Cam D.

"It's absolutely superb." -Bryan H.

Mighty armies and powerful cities. Towering walls and swinging trebuchets. Holy sites and vast libraries. Rich trade and hidden intrigue. Occult lore and loyal subjects. These wonders and more await you in this guide.

At long last. Kingdom-building rules written with the mechanics, and in the spirit, of fifth edition. Streamlined, story-driven, party-centered.

In this 167-page guide, you will discover these wonders:

  • New rules for settlement-building, travel and exploration, and mass combat

  • 10 terrain types

  • 9 strongholds

  • 9 professional maps, DM and player versions

  • 9 adventures

  • 3 new monsters

  • 201 buildings

  • 97 mass combat units

  • 883 adventure hooks

  • 4 example settlements

  • 1 city sheet for tracking settlements

What Is This Guide? Balduran’s Guide to Kingdom Building is everything DMs and players need to add a new kingdom-building element to their D&D campaign.

Does It Play Nicely with D&D fifth edition? Absolutely. The guiding philosophy for this title from its inception has been that kingdom building should feel integral to D&D fifth edition. This guide is chock-full of 5e mechanics repurposed to support starting settlements and kingdom building. The last thing we wanted was for this to feel like a separate game that’s just tacked on. I’ve been there. It’s not fun.

Why Kingdom Building? There is only one reason to add kingdom building to your game. To make it more compelling, more memorable, and more fun. We believe Balduran’s Guide does all of that. In fact, we think that any group that employs a kingdom-building element using this guide will find their campaign reaches new heights of social interaction, exploration, and combat.

Wait. Who Is Balduran? Balduran was a seafaring adventurer who founded a settlement called Gray Harbor that would grow to become the famed Baldur’s Gate, the largest metropolis on the Sword Coast. You’ll get a glimpse of this figure inside this guide, though the historian scamp Volo couldn’t help but stick his oar in as well.

Why Is This $25 USD? Simply put, we really do think it’s worth that much. 167 pages of content. A whole new rules system you can use for literally years to come. Nine gorgeous stronghold maps. Nine detailed adventures. A product more than a year in the making. The preview is over 40 pages long, so take a look and we think you'll agree.

However, if the cost is prohibitive, you can get $5 off by following this link: DISCOUNT! We want everyone to try their hand at kingdom building (while also still paying my cartographer, my editor, and myself fair wages).


Follow me on Twitter: @AdamMakesTTRPG

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Reviews (7)
Discussions (43)
Customer avatar
Austin E August 18, 2021 1:47 am UTC
Any plans for a player's companion. My DM is running a game using these rules and we're about to get into a place where we can begin expanding the towns. But he doesn't want to simply share the PDF with us for fear it would give away plot hooks for certain things we've already encountered in different places as we've encountered the towns we will be running. How would you handle sharing, but not oversharing, the rules for kingdom building without giving away the plot hooks; short of trying to do it all word of mouth?
Customer avatar
Henry J May 25, 2021 6:31 pm UTC
I've read the book and loved most of it, I'll probably leave a full review at some point but there is one thing I wanted to talk about.
As it stands, the combat rules seem to allow for a degree of randomness that doesn't feel realistic. One roll with the settlement bonus for two clashing armies in particular seems odd. In theory one camp full of goblins could send a troupe to meet an army from Waterdeep in the field and win like 25% of the time. If the Goblins roll a 17 (-3) against Waterdeep 3 (+8) they somehow just wipe the army. I agree a level of randomness is needed but this seems too much.
You mention advantage being a possible factor and I think expanding on that can fix the problem. One simple set of rules for advantage would mostly fix the system;

Give advantage to an army during the following circumstance; THIS ADVANTAGE STACKS
- Double size confers advantage.
- Superior weaponry confers advantage. (e.g. Plate Vs chain shirt)
- Better training (avg hit dice...See more
Customer avatar
Mark S May 01, 2021 10:39 am UTC
Any plans on releasing possible expansions on this book. I know its possible to homebrew some stuff around it but you have released things far better then I could produce.
Customer avatar
William T November 14, 2020 1:08 am UTC
i'm concerned that the mass combat rules are too simple/quick for large/important battles, and also that the amount of features gotten from having lots of different buildings might quickly overwhelm and confuse players, is there a quick/easy way to handle these things? furthermore, the limited range of cities to attack other cities means its almost impossible to attack someone who isnt your neighbour which for my settiing might be difficult, can you give me some advice to fix said concerns?
Customer avatar
Adam H November 14, 2020 2:57 am UTC
As one DM to another, it helps to keep in mind that buildings go up slowly. The default is three months (one season), if the settlement really focuses on that. The party can do a lot in that amount of time. So, while it's possible to eventually get a lot of building features, the party should be used to what one building does before the next one is completed.

If you find the unit ranges too limiting, it's a simple fix to double or even triple them.

Customer avatar
Fenris U November 01, 2020 6:34 pm UTC
Any plans for a printer version?
Customer avatar
Adam H November 14, 2020 2:58 am UTC
Unfortunately, no. The DMs Guild has limited print on demand to just a handful of books a year, and only if the print-on-demand feature is pre-approved before publishing.
Customer avatar
Franklin D November 01, 2020 5:31 pm UTC
When you have multiple degrees can you choose the same one multiple times? For example, construct 2 buildings or can you only do each one once per season.
Customer avatar
Adam H November 14, 2020 3:00 am UTC
Good question! Yes, you can issue the same decree more than once, if it makes sense. Constructing two buildings is certainly an option.
Customer avatar
Austin H October 21, 2020 8:12 pm UTC
Is it possible to combine this with Strongholds & Followers? I know there is the brief section at the beginning that states the equivalencies between the strongholds found in both supplements. But I'm wondering if any work has been done to better combine the two? Like converting all levels of strongholds between the two? For instance, what a level 1 Keep from S&F would be in BGtKB. Or a way to add the Industry Scores to the strongholds from K&W? I really like both supplements and would like to find a way to get them to work together.

And I assume the warfare systems are totally incompatible due to how differently they approach the matter. Which isn't a problem.
Customer avatar
Adam H October 21, 2020 8:20 pm UTC
They work together in many respects because S&F is a player-facing supplement while Balduran's Guide is a DM-facing supplement. But they don't work seamlessly in every aspect, such as the two warfare systems, as you pointed out.

The write-up on page 3 is likely my final word on it.
Customer avatar
Monty P October 10, 2020 4:20 am UTC
Great work, so I don't want these points to be construed as negative criticism. I wouldn't go through this unless I planned on using the product and liked it. I had a few things as I adapt this to a Kingmaker 5E game (I'm blending the two systems and they can work). In no particular order:

1. City Walls (military) say they grant "total cover" against overland military attacks, but there is no discussion that settlements follow the same rules as D&D combat. If they do, I presume this follows D&D rules (+2 AC for half cover). As to City Walls and "total cover," is it intentional that if I attack with mercenaries and siege engines, the mercenaries have absolutely no effect in this battle because they are an "overland" unit and therefore cannot "target" the settlement? Even mercenaries can carry ladders, and obviously the siege engines are in place to allow the mercenaries to act once a breach is made. Would it make more sense that if a siege unit accompanies...See more
Customer avatar
John W September 23, 2020 6:58 am UTC
We are using this at our table, and I had a few quick questions. For the trading post stronghold, does the feature it give simply give another option for downtime for the players? Is it rolled every 30 days regardless if the players take part in it or not? Additionally, if you replace a stronghold, do the stats from the previous one remain but the feature goes away?
Customer avatar
Adam H September 23, 2020 9:25 pm UTC
Yes, roll on the Running a Trading Post table every 30 days, whether or not the player characters spend any time running the trading post (with a boost when they do spend that time). They can collect their profits when they visit.

And, yes, if you upgrade a stronghold, it ceases to function in the way it used to and takes on a new function. So replace the old feature with the stronghold's new feature.
Customer avatar
Ana M September 15, 2020 5:02 am UTC
I should start by saying that I certainly appreciate the amount of work and thought that must've gone into this process.

A few notes on this I noticed (which you may or may not have already seen. And if I misunderstood anything, my bad):

I saw the stronghold options are included as building options on Chapter 5 with details and plot hooks (which is super cool).

After reviewing the chapter, I noticed I couldn't find the "Tower" stronghold in the chapter (but I might guess the Mage's Tower or Alchemist's Tower might apply there? Not sure if Watchtower does).

Outpost is also missing as a building option.

The monastery looks to be missing as well (though monastery seems to be the only one listed on the quick-list on page 90, out of the three mentioned). Unless monastery can use the same principle descriptions of an abbey?

I apologize if my questions may have already been asked or if I missed something pretty obvious ~.~ thank...See more
Customer avatar
Adam H September 23, 2020 9:34 pm UTC
You're right that not all of the strongholds have a corresponding building. Since an outpost is like a miniature settlement, there's no equivalent building. If they want something comparable to a tower, I'd suggest the ones you mentioned: mage tower, archmage tower, alchemist's tower, watchtowers, or an observatory.
Customer avatar
William H July 26, 2020 10:27 am UTC
question about adding up industry scores,
does a settlement with multiple inns get a +1 for each inn or a flat +1 to for having any amount of inns?
Customer avatar
Adam H July 26, 2020 6:54 pm UTC
Yes, you get the Industry Score Increase, but the other traits don't stack.

For an example, see Baldur's Gate on pages 150-151.
Customer avatar
Austin P July 07, 2020 1:27 am UTC
A friend of mine purchased this for use in our games, and it is absolutely amazing! (I will make him write a review for it)

Is there anywhere to contact you, I've been building additional rules onto this system (mostly expanding race, terrain, and adding a system of magical energy you collect in your city for effects and such), and would love your thoughts on them!
Customer avatar
Liz M April 27, 2020 9:05 pm UTC
Is it just me, or is the preview dysfunctional? I was interested in purchasing the product, but the preview won’t load to sample it.
Customer avatar
Adam H April 27, 2020 9:23 pm UTC
Hi, Liz. Sorry about that. The 7-page quick preview should be working. The full-size preview is broken, which is a known issue. I'm trying to implement a workaround solution.
Customer avatar
Liz M April 27, 2020 11:04 pm UTC
Thanks for the quick reply!
Customer avatar
Adam H May 01, 2020 1:58 pm UTC
Hi, Liz. Though the site-generated full-size preview is still broken, a 41-page full-size preview is available in the product description.
Customer avatar
Liz M May 03, 2020 6:53 pm UTC
Some great content in there! I’m looking forward to using it in a future session
Customer avatar
Mark S March 26, 2020 10:45 am UTC
I wanted to ask as I bought this amazing pdf (Im not sure if its this account) But do you ever plan on releasing expansions? I would love to see more options in more outrages biomes and having monsterous races as citizens, like trogolodytes or possibly giants
Customer avatar
Gage R March 03, 2020 1:03 am UTC
One thing I'd like to ask is, what is the point of the other buildings that grant advantage on specific harvest rolls. Some of them even need scores of 11 to be built but a trade post which has minimal prerequisites can grant advantage on all commerce checks.
Customer avatar
Adam H March 04, 2020 8:15 pm UTC
Ah, yes. The jeweler's shop and other buildings like it are in need of an update. Look for that in the next version.
Customer avatar
Gage R January 29, 2020 3:49 am UTC
I don't suppose you would be making a fillable City Sheet pdf anytime soon?
Customer avatar
Adam H March 02, 2020 10:36 pm UTC
Hmm, I don't know how to do that on a Chromebook.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on August 27, 2019.