Was George Orwell an Optimist?
The Herbie Nichols Project - Dr. Cyclops' Dream
I can't find the post now but I seem to remember someone recommending a different 3 player Kingdom setup than what the rules recommend.
Any opinions on the best 3 player setup for novices?
I'd recommend assuming the designer knew what he was doing until your own experience gives you reason to suspect otherwise. Starting with variants before absorbing the game is a mistake more often than not. (And yes, I've played this game with 3 using the suggested setup.)