Some people love the realtime-with-pause combat of Baldur’s Gate and games like it, and Pathfinder: Kingmaker was made with them in mind. In the 90 hours it took me to finish Kingmaker, I have to say that combat never grew on me. I spent the whole time wishing it was turn-based instead.
Sure, you can set it to autopause at the end of every notional round but you still don’t have the effect of clicking where you want to go and immediately going there. Pause-and-play just doesn’t have the same “I pick up my guy and move over to flank the bandit” feel of a tabletop game.
But now, thanks to modder Hsinyu, Kingmaker does. The turn-based combat mod even reinstates one of the Pathfinder tabletop game’s rules that didn’t work with a realtime system—the free five-foot step a character who doesn’t take a regular move action is allowed, which gives spellcasters, archers, and other ranged attackers the ability to reposition away from attackers without drawing an attack of opportunity.
Maybe the biggest advantage of turn-based combat in Kingmaker is that area of effect spells, which it has quite a lot of, can now be set up and cast reliably. No more lining up a burning hands spell then watching as the enemies scatter out of range while one of your companions runs right into the flames.
To install the turn-based mod you’ll first need to grab the Unity Mod Manager, then run it once to tell it which game you’re tweaking. It’ll set up a mods folder wherever Kingmaker’s installed and you can plonk turn-based combat in there (and maybe look into some other options like camera rotation, and proper flanking while you’re at it).
This mod’s in beta, but it seems relatively bug-free. I’ve been replaying the beginning of Kingmaker and it’s a huge improvement so far. Please talk me out of spending another 90 hours finishing it again.