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

nevin

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 skills.

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?
noooooo. Just roleplay it.
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
Fear. Power. Threats. Brides. The brown stuff rolls down hill. None of which require a charming personality.
I disagree; a charming personality is essential to use brides as a tool to get the crown ;)

unless you use fear, power and threats to get the said brides, of course…
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
No need for mechanics or rules to justify it.

Well I think the point of the question is whether it is plausible for a character who is traditionally not big in social skills to make it through the various challenges that we'd expect them to have to get through to be king. Or, once they have the throne, whether they'd last long in the challenges that we'd expect to happen there.

I mean, unless you want to say that, for typical dungeoneering, we don't need rules to justify them making it through combats.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Well I think the point of the question is whether it is plausible for a character who is traditionally not big in social skills to make it through the various challenges that we'd expect them to have to get through to be king. Or, once they have the throne, whether they'd last long in the challenges that we'd expect to happen there.

I mean, unless you want to say that, for typical dungeoneering, we don't need rules to justify them making it through combats.
Skills that determine either success or failure make a fairly poor mechanic to determine anything like that. Imagine if combat was simply a single die roll to determine if you won or your PC died. So I'm a bit sympathetic to the 'just roleplay it' stance, especially when the alternative is a single dice to fail or succeed.

I wouldn't be opposed to a more robust set of rules around such challenges though. Say you have a number of rulership points (like hp) that can take damage and you have various abilities to either deal with your adversaries or increase your rulership points. Something like that could be fleshed out to be an interesting subsystem. But a simple pass/fail system
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Skills that determine either success or failure make a fairly poor mechanic to determine anything like that. Imagine if combat was simply a single die roll to determine if you won or your PC died. So I'm a bit sympathetic to the 'just roleplay it' stance, especially when the alternative is a single dice to fail or succeed.

That seems an overly simplistic view of how such challenges ought to be structured.

Even if we don't go to entire new subsystems... just good old skill challenges can step it away from single roll fail/succeed, and allow the entire party to join in. And a campaign heading for a throne isn't going to be jus tone skill challenge - it'll be dozens of them, like there are dozens of fights.

This is why I said upthread - a fighter or barbarian is typically going to want to win a throne by right of arms, simply because this plays to their strengths. They'll need the rest of the party to take the lead on the other challenges.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
That seems an overly simplistic view of how such challenges ought to be structured. Even if we don't go to entire new subsystems... just good old skill challenges can step it away from single roll fail/succeed, and allow the entire party to join in...
Maybe. Skill challenges certainly helps make the odds less swingy which is a nice pro - but has many cons to it as well. I'm not sold they actually make skills as dynamic as combat.

And maybe more importantly, in my experience most social challenges have not been handled as skill challenges. Maybe that's different for you and others?
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Maybe. Skill challenges certainly helps make the odds less swingy which is a nice pro - but has many cons to it as well. I'm not sold they actually make skills as dynamic as combat.

So, can we dig into what you mean by "skills as dynamic as combat" there?

I'm not sure I know precisely what you mean, but what comes to mind when you say that is...

There are a lot of things that we may want to be "dynamic". In a well-run, interesting combat, there's usually a lot of dynamic tactical rules use. The planers engage in a lot of choices about weapons, spells, class abilities, movement, and so on, on a round by round basis, to do hit points of damage to various enemies.

In an archetypical skill challenge, yeah, there won't be so much in the way of tactical rules use, because there feats and class abilities aren't there.

But, that skill challenge scene can still be dynamic. The players aren't engaging with bags of hit points with claws, they're engaging with the narrative more directly. And if that narrative is kept lively, the result will still be dynamic and engaging.

So, if you're a player that really loves the tactical wargame thing, this wouldn't scratch that itch, no. But it can still be dramatic and thrilling.

And maybe more importantly, in my experience most social challenges have not been handled as skill challenges. Maybe that's different for you and others?

Whether they were handled in such a manner historically really isn't the point, though. This is about how one might do it better than it has been done in past experience.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Whether they were handled in such a manner historically really isn't the point, though. This is about how one might do it better than it has been done in past experience.
The point I raised was that roleplay often does a better job than single roll pass/fail skill checks when it comes to things like gaining a kingdom or keeping a kingdom. IMO. Roleplay is probably an actual improvement over what they are currently used to for many players that want this kind of thing.

I don't think skill challenges are a real improvement over roleplay here. Probably a downgrade and at best a sidegrade IMO. I do think there are subsystems that can be used to improve beyond roleplay, I just don't think skill challenges is that mechanic.
 

Well I think the point of the question is whether it is plausible for a character who is traditionally not big in social skills to make it through the various challenges that we'd expect them to have to get through to be king. Or, once they have the throne, whether they'd last long in the challenges that we'd expect to happen there.

I mean, unless you want to say that, for typical dungeoneering, we don't need rules to justify them making it through combats.
Sure it is. Because the numbers associated with the character are only part of the story.

My point is a CHA 3 fighter can be fine as a ruler because the number isn’t what makes the character feel real or alive. The choices and actions of the player more into what makes a character what it is.

The same even holds true in combat. Sure the bonuses and abilities matter somewhat , but what really matters is the player. How a character performs in combat is more determined by the player than the numbers.

If a player wants to have their character become a great leader and king/queen, it is the actions of the player that will make it happen and how well they will do at it, not the numbers in the sheet.

They don’t need to defer to the numbers on the paper to grant them permission to do what they want with their character.
 



Azuresun

Adventurer
They don’t need to defer to the numbers on the paper to grant them permission to do what they want with their character.

And here's the thing, this is falling into the old forum trap where if you're not optimised for something you're incompetent at it. The difference between Charisma 10 and Charisma 14 is.....ten percent. Go with CHA 12, take Persuasion as one of your skills, and you're a good talker.

Looking through Rime of the Frostmaiden, a lot of the community leaders are statted as....commoners. A scout. A spy. A veteran.
 






lingual

Adventurer
That's the point: the PC doesn't have the stats to back up the roleplay.
What keeps anyone from putting a 10s and 12s in mental stats? Two 10s and a 12 is nothing to sneeze at.

The reason for point buy and ASI is to give players the chance to shape their own stats.

Now if a player wants to dump 8s in their mental stats to get an extra 5 percent DPR or one more hp per level, well they can't have it all. It's called min/max but some players want max/max. In your campaign where you have kingdoms to conquer, politics, etc., just make it clear that optimizing for combat only is going to be short-sighted

If the DM wants the mechanics of skill checks to rule the game...well that a choice too.
 


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