D&D 5E How does that Fighter, Barbarian or Rogue become king? Bring on the Feat

ECMO3

Hero
It's classic Conan, going from vagabond to king. And it happened in real life too.

But take a look at the typical Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue: one or more of Int, Wis, and Cha are dump stats. Sure you can take the Skilled Feat, but as a king you're taking important decisions and trying to persuade important people with only that Proficiency Bonus. Sure, having your advisors to hand will give you Advantage, but when the crunch comes it's just you. You need to say the right thing at the right time. You need to make the right decisions.

So, mechanically, how do they do it? Or rather, how does your PC get to do it? I suggest that they get to add their high Proficiency Bonus a second time.

I smell a Feat here.

Feat: Canny
Prerequisite: Proficiency Bonus +4
Benefit: when making a skill roll or opposed skill check after you make the roll but before you know the result you may add your Proficiency Bonus to the roll. This ability does not stack with Expertise or any other ability which adds your Proficiency Bonus a second time. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Proficiency Bonus. You regain all uses after a Long Rest.

Essentially this is a Shield spell for skill

While I think the aim is clear, I'm not happy with the phrasing. In particular it is messing with the Rogue's Expertise ability. How would you do it?

I disagree with the premise, you can run a 16 Wharisma fighter just fine and I have run a 16 Wisdom fighter. If you pick human and take the skilled feat, you start with 8 proficiencies (2 fighter, 2 background, 1 human, 3 feat). Pick a subclass that gets you another proficiency at 3rd level and now you have 9. Skill expert at 4th level get you to 10 skill proficiencies with expertise in 1 of them. Now you take a 3-level lore bard dip and you get 4 more proficiencies, expertise in 2 more of them and jack of all trades for the rest. So that is 14 total, which is the exact same number as there are combined intelligence, wisdom and charisma skills.

So at 7th level, you are proficient in every single Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma skill, have expertise in 3 of them and you have half proficiency in all the strength and dexterity skills. You can also add fighting styles (superior technique) that can help with these checks even further.
 

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True, but many weren't. But soldiers become generals become presidents or kings
I think very few soldiers become generals. That takes a high degree of smarts and other traits.

I use point buy every time I game, whether I play or GM, because I want the various PCs to be balanced with each other. (And throwing NPCs with very high stats isn't fair, if they're using PC-like rules.) It's not realistic and it's not supposed to be. However someone like William the Conqueror "rolled" really lucky on stats. High Strength, maybe high Con, high Int, and at least decent Wis and Cha. PCs don't get stats like that.

The issue worked a bit better in 4e than in 5e. In 4e a warlord could get by with only one high physical stat and one high mental stat. Your skills improved substantially with levels, too. You don't get to be king by being good at kicking butt (even if you need that ability to survive battles), you get to be king by being very good at leading other people who are good at kicking butt. Is there something like a Charismatic warlord in 5e?
 

lingual

Adventurer
Don't be a slave to mechanics. You determine when a skill check is called for.

A 20th Champion who just saved an entire village does not need to make a Persuasion check to get a bowl of free soup at the tavern.

A 20th level fighter who just singlehandedly slew the village guards and mayor does not need to make Intimidation checks.

Allow players to metagame. A high level warrior shouldn't need to be a "mastermind" to know how to beat most monsters. I would assume such a player would be well versed in mechanics, etc. by then and allow them to take advantage of it.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think very few soldiers become generals. That takes a high degree of smarts and other traits.
Probably also because there are very few generals needed?? ;)

I would more argue generals, et al. need one decent score--maybe. But really, again 10 is average people and for some reason players seem to forget that. A lot of people make it really far with average abilities because of other traits such determination, courage, loyalty, etc.

For example, a woman I know is average intelligence, nothing special really, has moments of brilliance and those other moments as well... BUT she has her Masters degree and worked her butt off to get nearly straight A's, providing her with a stipend to help pay for school.

So, not everyone needs to be smart, etc. to be an effective leader/ruler/whatever in one capacity or another. I'm not saying it wouldn't help, but again with standard array, by default you are going to have at least a 12 in one of the mental ability scores.
 

lingual

Adventurer
I disagree with the premise, you can run a 16 Wharisma fighter just fine and I have run a 16 Wisdom fighter. If you pick human and take the skilled feat, you start with 8 proficiencies (2 fighter, 2 background, 1 human, 3 feat). Pick a subclass that gets you another proficiency at 3rd level and now you have 9. Skill expert at 4th level get you to 10 skill proficiencies with expertise in 1 of them. Now you take a 3-level lore bard dip and you get 4 more proficiencies, expertise in 2 more of them and jack of all trades for the rest. So that is 14 total, which is the exact same number as there are combined intelligence, wisdom and charisma skills.

So at 7th level, you are proficient in every single Wisdom, Intelligence and Charisma skill, have expertise in 3 of them and you have half proficiency in all the strength and dexterity skills. You can also add fighting styles (superior technique) that can help with these checks even further.
But we all want our fighters to be the most optimized for combat they possibly can be without any downsides. How can I play a wise, diplomatic ruler when I dumped 8,8,8 in my mental stats?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
How can I play a wise, diplomatic ruler when I dumped 8,8,8 in my mental stats?
Fortunately, only when the DM calls for checks might low scores become an issue. If you role-play your PC as smart, wise, and a strong ruler, you might never be asked to roll for a check.

Also, even with -1's for ability modifiers, if you are proficient in a skill, your net bonus with proficiency is still a +1, so better than someone with a 10 and no proficiency.

Otherwise, take skill proficiencies and maybe prodigy to get expertise in a skill, or dip into rogue for an extra skill, expertise, and a little sneak attack damage which won't hurt your fighting, either.

Finally, since in many builds STR and DEX aren't both maxed out, why would you otherwise use a 15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8 build anyway?
 

I base some of my medieval "generals" on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, based on China c. 180 AD to around 200 AD. There were many generals during this civil war, but I think you could break them into three groups:

1) The scholars. Ur-Example Zhuge Liang. He probably wasn't even proficient with any weapons or armor. Other people in this category included Liu Bei (scholar/manipulator, clearly prioritized Int/Cha but could do some fighting) and Cao Cao (ditto, but probably higher level). Two of the three kingdom leaders (Cao Cao and Liu Bei) definitely fell into this category.

2) The brutes. Examples included Lu Bu (you've probably heard of him), Dian Wei and Xu Chu. The first and last were dumb (Xu Chu was nicknamed Tiger Fool for a reason). The latter two were bodyguards who were occasionally used as battlefield assassins. Not that "sneak up and kill someone" variety but "walk toward their champion and take their head" variety. Dian Wei did have a lot of brains, and even Xu Chu supposedly had Wisdom.

3) The Tiger Generals. These people were good at combat, most were reasonable generals (eg Guan Yu) and they had to be charismatic enough to lead people into life-risking combat. None of the kingdoms had more than four or five such generals. Doing a Tiger General is hard in the rules. Not even 4e could handle it.
 




Stalker0

Legend
This is where media narratives clash with mechanics. When you think of Conan, he is the true exception. He's super strength, and pretty darn tough, AND not too dumb, AND super charismatic. He's the protagonist after all.

The issue is that dnd has a charisma stat, and as long as people do point buy, your going to have to trade off combat power for social power. Only way to truly play the Conan type is to roll stats, get super lucky, and then make your highly competent fighter that also has amazing charisma.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Because some DMs don't bother enforcing limits on PCs when their scores would otherwise justify it.

Not saying I agree with it, but it happens.
Is the reason most people don't play smart, charming, wise fighters with 8 int, 8 cha, 8 wis because the DM enforces limits? Or is it because they don't want to do that and so they choose not to?
 

lingual

Adventurer
I base some of my medieval "generals" on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, based on China c. 180 AD to around 200 AD. There were many generals during this civil war, but I think you could break them into three groups:

1) The scholars. Ur-Example Zhuge Liang. He probably wasn't even proficient with any weapons or armor. Other people in this category included Liu Bei (scholar/manipulator, clearly prioritized Int/Cha but could do some fighting) and Cao Cao (ditto, but probably higher level). Two of the three kingdom leaders (Cao Cao and Liu Bei) definitely fell into this category.

2) The brutes. Examples included Lu Bu (you've probably heard of him), Dian Wei and Xu Chu. The first and last were dumb (Xu Chu was nicknamed Tiger Fool for a reason). The latter two were bodyguards who were occasionally used as battlefield assassins. Not that "sneak up and kill someone" variety but "walk toward their champion and take their head" variety. Dian Wei did have a lot of brains, and even Xu Chu supposedly had Wisdom.

3) The Tiger Generals. These people were good at combat, most were reasonable generals (eg Guan Yu) and they had to be charismatic enough to lead people into life-risking combat. None of the kingdoms had more than four or five such generals. Doing a Tiger General is hard in the rules. Not even 4e could handle it.
Sounds like Zhuge Liang didn't dump his brain stats. It is very possible to have a wise, charismatic fighter. Maybe Zhuge Liang raised his mental stats and took skill prodigy instead of just taking Sentinel, GWF, and maxing Strength/Con. Could plain martials use some mechanics to boost their Charisma/fame? Sure, I can buy that. It'll help the tables that call for Insight and Persuasion checks at every chance. But I always thought that's the extra feats were for. So they can become more well-rounded as they level up.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Is the reason people don't play smart, charming, wise fighters with 8 int, 8 cha, 8 wis because the DM enforces limits? Or is it because they don't want to do that and so they choose not to?
Honestly, I've encountered all three:

DM doesn't enforce/ player doesn't enforce - the scores don't really matter.
DM does enforce - player can't do things, but get upset about it, instead of owning their choices.
Player choose to enforce - scores are honestly represented and DM doesn't need to intervene.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Honestly, I've encountered all three:

DM doesn't enforce/ player doesn't enforce - the scores don't really matter.
I think usually this happens when players have a certain idea about what a stat means and the other player/DM have different ideas.

DM does enforce - player can't do things, but get upset about it, instead of owning their choices.
I think this usually happens when the player in question and the DM have different ideas about what an 8 int or whatever score means and how it 'should' be roleplayed.

Player choose to enforce - scores are honestly represented and DM doesn't need to intervene.
This is what I see most often.

I won't say it doesn't happen but most players really just want to roleplay their PC and so they self police. IMO, if it looks like they are not it's almost always just a difference of opinion about what stats mean and how they should be roleplayed. There's 1,000,000+ ways to play an idiot afterall ;)
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
You need to say the right thing at the right time. You need to make the right decisions.

Sooooo, not really familiar with real life kings/rulers, then? Pick a point in history...ANY age or culture's history.

You take over the neighboring territory. You call yourself king. Some magical/religious person says, "Ya, sure [don't kill me], you're king." And now if someone wants to say you're NOT king, they had better be able to kill you before you kill them...and then you're king of THEIR land, too!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
And it happened in real life too.
That’s how all lords and kings and emperors gained power. They murdered everyone who stood in their way. Leaders worrying about being charismatic is a relatively new thing, historically speaking. Being the biggest and the toughest (and/or having the most money) was all that mattered. If you managed to kill the ruler, you’re now in charge. In older editions you simply started attracting followers at certain levels. It needn’t be more complicated than that.
 

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