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

Horwath

Hero
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.
you can get that with point buy, if you are not super greedy for your primary stat.

friend played half elf barbarian(with tasha's ability score option to assign racial bonuses wherever).

started with 13,13,13,12,12,12 in point buy, ending in

str 15, dex 14, con 14, int 12, wis 12, cha 12.

4th level feat: skill expert for +1 str and expertise in Survival.

he was both scout and party face. having 8 skills, it worked out very good.
 

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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.

Zhuge Liang was pretty charismatic as well, but he was not a fighter. He didn't carry weapons, probably wore no armor, never killed anyone (except by talking them to death, which he didn't do in real life)... he was like a Noble NPC class.

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.

I'm going to have to disagree with this. Charisma was always important. It's the leadership stat. You want people to look up to and respect you. You have to convince lesser warlords to team up with you (and not your competitors) and you need to do this when you're not very strong so it's not just a case of "my army is bigger/more badass than yours". Examples of extremely charismatic leaders include Julius Caesar (died 44 BC, was very charismatic on and off the battlefield), Liu Bang (reigned 202 to 196 BC and became emperor specifically because he had better social skills than his chief competitor, who had a larger army and a better sense of tactics) and Ghengis Khan (reigned 1206 to 1227).
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
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!
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.

Yes, but even a small kingdom is far to large for the king to do all the murder/threat of murder personally. Or even to directly supervise all the people doing it on their behalf. Any king, therefore, is going to need some way of securing and keeping the loyalty of subordinate commanders (reputation, family ties, bribery, religious/legal structures, etc.). Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma aren't the be all and end all in doing so, but they certainly don't hurt either.
 
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Stormonu

Legend
No need for a feat to rule.

But I wouldn’t be against a feat that gives followers, like the 9th level rules in 1E/2E. Whether it’s men-at-arms, apprentices, devout followers or a gang/guild. More than anything, it can be used as a signal of “I want this”.

And I wouldn’t be against a feat that gives you Expertise with a skill - not much different than one that gives maneuvers or magic initiate and the like.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Yes, but even a small kingdom is far to large for the king to do all the murder/threat of murder personally. Or even to directly supervise all the people doing it on their behalf. Any king, therefore, is going to need some way of securing and keeping the loyalty of subordinate commanders (reputation, family ties, bribery, religious/legal structures, etc.). Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma aren't the be all and end all in doing so, but they certainly don't hurt either.
I don't think anyone is suggesting that having intelligence, wisdom, or charisma, as a king (or any kind of nobility or simple leader) "hurts."

But the premise of the OP seemed to be "Since Fighters dropstat any mental stat, weshould get a feat to let them be effective rulers."

I think (and it seems some others who have commented concur) many do not see that as necessary or even desireable, imho.

Gaining/making/conquering a "dominion" of whatever size should absolutely be an "in game/in world" thing...not "Took a feat. POOF! I'm a Duke!" (why did I hear that in my head in Ralph Wiggums voice?)

Roleplay the taking over/creating a kingdom.
  • Attract your followers.
  • "Clear the territory" as we used to say in ye olden days.
  • Construct your (or conquer an existing) castle/fortress/stronghold/(hideout?)
  • Recruit (and pay) your henchmen and retainers.
  • Collect (demand) your taxes and/or good will from the community and/or religious leaders (or simply conquer through violence and rule by fear).
AND/OR once you have some success/degree of security, there's nothing stopping a player from putting some ASIs into mental stats. Take feats that assist in communications, persuasion, and leadership. Sure. But a feat to "make me a king?" I don't think so.

There is a TON of stuff you can do to make your Fighter/Barbarian/Rogue a ruler... and capable of being a good one. An "auto-king" feat is not warranted.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I think we're confusing mechanics with story.

If you elect to make a fighter that doesn't have great charisma or wisdom, and they don't have training in persuasion, insight, intimidation or deception - and they find themselves in place to be the leader... well, I'd call that an opportunity, not a problem. Players walk their characters through challenges as part of telling a good story. If the player and character are willing to take on the role, but lack the skills to do so, how do they do it? Do they resort to magic to augment their skills or raise their ability scores? Do they work through agents that they guide? Do they solve diplomacy through means that do not rely upon skill? Or perhaps they sign a deal with a Devil to overcome their shortcomings?

And for that matter, what do others in their social circles think they need to do in light of the shortcomings? Isn't the uncharismatic leader a cliche in TV and movies? Think about how those stories evolve. Who are the players? Why do those stories work?

A problem, in an RPG, is an opportunity.
 

but do they naturally have the stats to keep the crown? which I think is the topic of discussion.
A character is more than just the stats and mechanics. A D&D character is as much the player playing the character as it is the numbers on the page.

If your character becomes a ruler in game and situations are presented by the DM then the player gets to deal with them.

No need for mechanics or rules to justify it.
 


Rabulias

the Incomparably Shrewd and Clever
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.
1) Kill current monarch.
2) Put crown on head.
3) Say "Anyone got a problem with this?"
4) Deal with any challengers (see Step 1).
5) Sit on throne and become king.
6) Profit!
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I'm going to have to disagree with this. Charisma was always important. It's the leadership stat. You want people to look up to and respect you.
You don't have to lead with charisma, you can lead with fear. It's how most warlords, lords, kings, dukes, emperors throughout history have done.
You have to convince lesser warlords to team up with you (and not your competitors) and you need to do this when you're not very strong so it's not just a case of "my army is bigger/more badass than yours".
If you're not strong, you lose and die. Having a nice smile is at the end of the long list of things you need.
Examples of extremely charismatic leaders include Julius Caesar (died 44 BC, was very charismatic on and off the battlefield), Liu Bang (reigned 202 to 196 BC and became emperor specifically because he had better social skills than his chief competitor, who had a larger army and a better sense of tactics) and Ghengis Khan (reigned 1206 to 1227).
Three examples. All of whom were also accomplished warriors. Of those three, only one actually won out because of charisma. Caeser won wars and gained popularity. Khan murdered everyone who stood in his way. If they happened to also be charismatic, that's fine, but they primarily gained their reputations as military men first.
Yes, but even a small kingdom is far too large for the king to do all the murder/threat of murder personally. Or even to directly supervise all the people doing it on their behalf.
No one said otherwise.
Any king, therefore, is going to need some way of securing and keeping the loyalty of subordinate commanders (reputation, family ties, bribery, religious/legal structures, etc.).
Fear. Power. Threats. Brides. The brown stuff rolls down hill. None of which require a charming personality.
Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma aren't the be all and end all in doing so, but they certainly don't hurt either.
Exactly. The end all be all is power and a willingness or ability to do worse to your enemies than they're willing or able to do to you.
1) Kill current monarch.
2) Put crown on head.
3) Say "Anyone got a problem with this?"
4) Deal with any challengers (see Step 1).
5) Sit on throne and become king.
6) Profit!
7. Sit on the throne long enough and people stop challenging you.
8. Arrange advantageous marriages with other warlords nearby and increase your holdings over generations.
9. Your family sits on the throne long enough and people stop even questioning you.

And now you know how all the monarchies in history were established.
 

I'd say you probably do have to put points into Cha (being a general and eventually a king means getting people to follow you) and Wis (to know when they're trying to put poison in your soup or get your vassals to defect).

There have been plenty of real-life monarchs with single-digit mental and physical stats (Charles II of Spain comes to mind), but that's usually after inbreeding has damaged the gene pool.
 

I allow PCs to substitute their proficiency bonus for their Charisma bonus in situations where reputation is more important than personal magnetism. Here are my guidelines...

1) Have the NPCs actually heard of the PC? This depends on the structure of the campaign. Just use your best judgement here. If not, it's just an interaction roll using Charisma.

2) If the NPCs have heard of the PC and the PC has been actively trying to promote their reputation (hiring bards, leaving heads on spikes wherever they go, calling cards, etc.) then the roll is made with advantage.

3) Do the NPCs have a classical fantasy outlook, where martial and clerical classes are viewed as more esteemed and esoteric classes (wizard, druid, warlock) are viewed with suspicion? If yes, then the esoteric classes can only use half their proficiency bonus. Use your best judgement here. In general, Fighter, Barbarian, Rogues and Clerics get full reputation bonuses.
 

lingual

Adventurer
Zhuge Liang was pretty charismatic as well, but he was not a fighter. He didn't carry weapons, probably wore no armor, never killed anyone (except by talking them to death, which he didn't do in real life)... he was like a Noble NPC class.
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ECMO3

Hero
You don't have to lead with charisma, you can lead with fear. It's how most warlords, lords, kings, dukes, emperors throughout history have done.

Fear. Power. Threats. Brides. The brown stuff rolls down hill. None of which require a charming personality.
You need charisma to do this effectively, or more accurately you need people skills, which are rolled up in the d&d charisma stat.

I also not that you keep talking about power, but what is that in a stat. Sure Khan and Caesar were great leaders, but they were not great warriors because they could defeat others in 1-on-1 combat or in Ceasers case even because he was the best at leading armies. Mark Antony was far more of a soldier and general than Caesar was when he was defeated by him.
 


You need charisma to do this effectively, or more accurately you need people skills, which are rolled up in the d&d charisma stat.

I also not that you keep talking about power, but what is that in a stat. Sure Khan and Caesar were great leaders, but they were not great warriors because they could defeat others in 1-on-1 combat or in Ceasers case even because he was the best at leading armies. Mark Antony was far more of a soldier and general than Caesar was when he was defeated by him.

I totally agree with you...

Quick note: Antony was defeated by Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus (Caesar's great nephew and heir). Augustus would have been a terrible warrior, since he apparently had severe allergies as a child and young man, missing out on military service.
 

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