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RPG Superstar 2015

Kingly Classes


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


To me, a good king is generally a strong military leader. Able to charge forward into battle by his knights, address people in court with intelligence, and speak to crowds of thousands with no issues.

But what class makes a good king? Surely a king would have a high charisma and be knowledgable. But a king should be a strong combatant when time for war comes.

This is all my opinion obviously, but what class would suit these roles? All i can really think that might be close would be a Cavalier, honourable, strong, socially capable.

Any thoughts? or other ideas? cheers all.

Grand Lodge

My experience in one campaign taught me that for the just and noble king role, nothing beats a Paladin.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Cavaliers definitely work.

Paladins work pretty well, though they're a little light on skills.

Oracles can do pretty well too. As can Inquisitors (especially with the Conversion Inquisition).

But the best class for it? The Bard. Expert on every question he's asked, able to charm the birds out of the trees, and a deadly warrior when need arises, and in a way that inspires his troops to fight harder.

There was a whole thread on this pretty recently, check it out.

Dedicated Voter 2013

Any class can be a great king so long as they have two very important skills,
Craft (Kingdom) and
Profession (Monarch)

if they have to win the kindom from an oppressive ruler, Craft (Revolution) would also be handy.


To me a great king is powerful. He wields magic that can alter the reality, thus he never have to bother with his petty subjects. His rule is strong, but always fair, as fairness is defined by himself.
While others might (silently) accuse him of being unjust, at his heart he knows that he is more capable of making the right decision than others. He keep those closest to him in an iron grip, controlled through magic and manipulation, but only because he knows that should anyone be able to harm him, the entire kingdom would hurt from it.

My point is that kings vary...

I think Cavalier is a fitting class for the classical knight-king. Bard is also a great class for a ruler, eventhough the flavour mostly suggest the court jester.

As I see, all of the classes can take up the mantle of rulership, depending on the kingdom in question.

The traits you mentioned are good examples of traits that can be good for a leader to have. However none of them are necessities. Personally I would put significant weight on political savvy. If not a dictator, they king most be able to move adeptly in a political landscape filled with intrigue.

Personally, I am a bit more interested in which qualities the king does not possess. The characters are more interesting if they can't do everything themselves, but rely on others in doing some of the things, such as having advisors.

PS. I see paladins as potentially the worst kind of rulers. Nothing will destroy a country faster than a ruler, who feels honorbound to throw the kingdom into war, because the nabouring country supressess the common people. Finding compromises becomes much harder if you are unable to disregard your ideals.


I like how all the archetypes here are based off of their combative might and "big stick" prowess.

I would rather see a country ruled by one or several people who balance the might that they wield against the wisdom to choose a better path, and knowledge of options, and where previous actions have led.

The right to rule isn't in the fist, it's in the heart, mind, and gut.


Some Ranger Archetypes could be good kings, too.
Besides, Charisma is not the only thing a king needs. A likeable fellow who totally lacks any wisdome would be a horrible king in my book.

If I wanted to stat a true King I could see me taking a ranger with an archetype that is a homebrew mix of freebooter and urban ranger. I's mostly use the freebooter, exchanging the fast swimmer ability with the push through ability and changing the names and fluff of freebooter's bane and freebooter's bond to something more kinglike. By doing that I think you get a good king who can lead from the front.


I like aristocrat/fighter. Sorry.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Being a good king isn't about the abilty to kick a lot of orc ass, it's about the ability to lead. As such, ANY class could be a good king, including a very low level aristocrat and/or expert. Hell, under certain circumstances, I could see a low-level commoner as a king.

The absolute minimum pre-requisites for a king:

1. Daddy was a king.
2. Daddy is dead.


HarbinNick wrote:

I like aristocrat/fighter. Sorry.

Me too. Respect, brother.


Don't these things come in pairs?

Cleric with a wizard spouse. If you want to take over the kingdom, you have to find a way to off both of them. Also, they're probably great at working together. It won't be easy.


Kings need a lot of things, but Charisma is probably the most important thing. You can have smart and wise advisers, and strong warriors. But if people don't look up to you and aren't willing to follow your leadership, you're finished.


Kings need connections to others more than any physical or mental skill. A rebel whom is crowned king by his fellow revolutionaires has a connection to them. In this case they are likely charismatic leaders who took big risks in the revolution. The heir of a kingdom needs those around him who work with him or her to consolidate power respect their claim to the throne a quick look at history, and you will find some expamples of kings that are not smart, charismatic or noble yet others that are. A prophet or theocratic ruler needs to be seen and recognized by the faithful as the god's choice, this is going to differ god to god.

Now a good king is going to have connections to others, his allies, subjects and sources of power that are fair, just, aimed at liberty for all, and respect the lives of those he would rule.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Aristocrat.

The main job of being King is sitting on the throne, provide a focus for leadership, and bearing heirs to carry on the line.

The other job of being King is picking the right advisors and right hand people to take care of all the other things you're not proficient in. And learning who to trust.


Wanna be King? Invest in CHA and Diplomacy and such. Class is negotiable.


Enchanter. Not surprisingly everyone will love you to at least think they do. Frankly, what's the difference? ;-)


I think a Blackblade Magus king who's legendary sword secretly manipulates him sounds awesome. But that's just my love of plot twists talking.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

loaba wrote:
Wanna be King? Invest in CHA and Diplomacy and such. Class is negotiable.

This is the truth. Skills are what truly dtermines a good King.

But let's look at what skills: Diplomacy and Sense Motive are probably most vital (with Diplomacy edging out Sense Motive). Followed immediately by decent levels of Knowledge (Local) and Knowledge (Nobility), as well as Profession (Ruler). Ideally you also want good Bluff and Intimidate, but those can be done without in a pinch.

Now, any class can grab some of that assortment with a few Feats, but some start with most of it, and good ratings in associated Abilities (or bonuses from the class itself).

Those classes are:

Bard (Starts with all skills mentioned above, can base Sense Motive on Cha meaning they're all either based on it's primary stat or get a Bardic Knowledge bonus)

Cavalier/Samurai (All but the Knowledge skills, some Orders have some of those. No real stat bonuses. Some Order bonuses, but very situational.)

Inquisitor (All but the Knowledge skills, can use them with Wisdom or get other bonuses to them based on Inquisition and Archetype, also get useful ancillary abilities like Discern Lies)

Paladin (Start with Diplomacy, Sense Motive, and Knowledge-Nobility. Charisma based. Cleric is in the same boat, but less Cha based.)

Rogue/Ninja (Everything but Knowledge-Nobility, or everything in the Ninja's case. No real bonuses, though Ninjas tend to high Cha. Tend to be less direct than kings often are, but it's just a tendency.)

Aristocrat (Everything needed as a Class skill. No bonuses or mechanical reason to have high Cha, but tend to anyway.)

Expert (Can have thew whole list and good Charisma, depending on what they're an Expert in.)

Nobody else has more than two of the listed skills (barring Profession, which everyone but Barbarians have) as Class skills. And thus make less good Kings on average than those mentioned above.


You could easily re-fluff a bard as a noble/aristocrat.

- high Will save? check!
- access to diplomacy skill? check!
- inspiring personality? check!
- subjugate your enemies with your talents as orator? check!
- pull a few tricks up your sleeves!
- charge together with his knight in the mist of battle? Well, perhaps take a level or two as fighter or knight...


Kthulhu wrote:

The absolute minimum pre-requisites for a king:

1. Relative is a king.
2. Relative is dead.
3. Relative had not closer blood relatives or are also dead.

Or...

1. Sworn Enemy is King
2. Sworn Enemy and his entire family are dead
3. General public are cool with it or cant complain about it.

Fixed.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

All Hail Our Amphibian Overlord!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

See this other thread.

Liberty's Edge Star Voter 2015

Charlie Bell wrote:
See this other thread.

I mentioned that one already. People seem to want to discuss the topic again anyway. :)


It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.

The Exchange

I've been sitting on the idea of a Nobility Bloodline for the Sorcerer, but I still need some of the cool abilities.

3rd party has the Warlord class, which is kinda like the Cavalier/Cleric/Bard.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013

Deadmanwalking wrote:
I mentioned that one already. People seem to want to discuss the topic again anyway. :)

Oh stop, you undead ninja you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
MagiMaster wrote:
It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.

Archetypes are for groups and classes of characters. Kings by necessity are singular beings. They are creations of bloodline, (and blood!) history, plot, and story, not character mechanics.


Don't forget intimidate. Making sure your enemies are afraid of you is a very useful kingly skill


LazarX wrote:
MagiMaster wrote:
It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.
Archetypes are for groups and classes of characters. Kings by necessity are singular beings. They are creations of bloodline, (and blood!) history, plot, and story, not character mechanics.

So what we need is a King Bloodline for sorcerers?

WCFHNT

EDIT: An hour later I notice the suggestion of a nobility bloodline a few posts above, making my attempt at a joke on of the most unoriginal ideas since Avatar...


Tirq wrote:
I've been sitting on the idea of a Nobility Bloodline for the Sorcerer.

That sounds really cool. Let me know if you figure that out.


Actually, the best class for a king (or other absolute ruler) is the Assassin. See the Discworld series of books for the evidence. ;)

Shadow Lodge

"HaraldKlak wrote:
An hour later I notice the suggestion of a nobility bloodline a few posts above, making my attempt at a joke on of the most unoriginal ideas since Avatar...

My work here is done.


Ninjotic wrote:
"HaraldKlak wrote:
An hour later I notice the suggestion of a nobility bloodline a few posts above, making my attempt at a joke on of the most unoriginal ideas since Avatar...
My work here is done.

I knew I had fell victim to a vicious ninja, stealthing his post for several hours after submitting... Damn you ninjas, DAMN YOU ALL!

Shadow Lodge

HaraldKlak wrote:
Damn you ninjas, DAMN YOU ALL!

Mine is a silent, deadly, and evil laugh.

Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wayfinder 5 has the Rulership mystery.


Nobility don't really have any good bloodline powers but royalty do. Say something like

Level 1 - Aegis of the Righteous at level 1 and every 2 Sorcerer levels afterwards you may add 1 point of your charisma bonus to all of your Saves this replaces the bonus from the normally used modifier.

Level 3 - Divine Retribution - Make a ranged touch attack to deal 1d6/2 Sorc level (max 10d6) holy damage to 1 target this ability may be used 1+cha mod/day.

Level 9 - The King's Touch - 1/day you may touch a target to call forth a healing miracle heal 1d4+1/Sorc level HP you also immediately cure any natural disease or poison and may make a Caster level check against magical disease poison and curses to cure each affliction the target is suffering from. Increase uses per day by 1 at 12,15,18, and 20.

Level 15 - Inspirational presence - Once per day you may call forth to your subject and for the course of a single battle(of any length) you Inspire them as if a bard of your Sorcerer level.

Level 20 - Godly Avatar - Your bond with the divine and with your subjects is such that so long as you are reigning king you become immune to all natural poisons and diseases, you also gain a +5 AC bonus DR 10/Holy and SR 15. Upon your death you may make a DC(something hard but not impossible say a 25% success chance) Caster check to ascend to divinity as a minor deity for so long as your kingdom shall last.

All of them are based off of historical myths about kings and their divine relationships except the resistance thing which was based off a book I read =P you could probably take the AC off of the avatar and shift that as a scaling bonus for the level one ability instead.


There are plenty of real life examples of people who don't respond to charismatic leaders, the find them slick or manipulative, good politicians do not necessarily make good leaders. Look at USA. Societies are made up of unique people. A monarch or Cheliax is going to need a different skill set to rule than a council person from Andoran, or a leader from Galt, this does not even look at race. Do you think dwarves respond to style and presence more than they do conviction, honor and a sharp axe. Is it charisma or fear that keeps a pirate king in command of the pirate flotilla.

Don't get me wrong Charisma is going to go a long way for any good leader but it alone is not the be all end all skill. Not if your GM plays NPC's with depth. If NPC's are just there to manipulated by skill checks than yes Charisma is the way to go. But there should also lines in the sand of peoples personal character than just charisma won't cross. Will skilled bard with a good song convince mothers to drown their babies?

My point is not that Charisma is irrelevant rather that people and societys should be complex and they will want different things from their leaders.


LazarX wrote:
MagiMaster wrote:
It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.
Archetypes are for groups and classes of characters. Kings by necessity are singular beings. They are creations of bloodline, (and blood!) history, plot, and story, not character mechanics.

Well, if you don't take the word King too literally (king, queen, pharaoh, empress, etc.) that's a pretty big group. :)

The Exchange

gnomersy wrote:

Nobility don't really have any good bloodline powers but royalty do. Say something like...

...All of them are based off of historical myths about kings and their divine relationships except the resistance thing which was based off a book I read =P you could probably take the AC off of the avatar and shift that as a scaling bonus for the level one ability instead.

I am currently working on the Nobility Bloodline and I will post it under the Homerules Section of the Forums. It's not quite like what you have said, but I think people will like it anyway.


A king needs three things: social skills, enough knowledge to know when his advisors have their own agenda, and some way to avoid becoming a puppet.

Bards have social skills cheaply via versatile performance, half level knowledge for free, a fast will save progression, and at sufficient level can scry independently of the court wizard preventing him from controlling the king via information control.

Liberty's Edge

Lord Shojo was a 14th lvl Aristocrat and was badass.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Paladinosaur wrote:
Lord Shojo was a 14th lvl Aristocrat and was badass.

The Improved Paranoia feat was a big help.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
MagiMaster wrote:
LazarX wrote:
MagiMaster wrote:
It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.
Archetypes are for groups and classes of characters. Kings by necessity are singular beings. They are creations of bloodline, (and blood!) history, plot, and story, not character mechanics.
Well, if you don't take the word King too literally (king, queen, pharaoh, empress, etc.) that's a pretty big group. :)

It's still only one per country though.


LazarX wrote:
MagiMaster wrote:
LazarX wrote:
MagiMaster wrote:
It might be cool to make a King archetype for all the different classes.
Archetypes are for groups and classes of characters. Kings by necessity are singular beings. They are creations of bloodline, (and blood!) history, plot, and story, not character mechanics.
Well, if you don't take the word King too literally (king, queen, pharaoh, empress, etc.) that's a pretty big group. :)
It's still only one per country though.

Bullhonkey look at Rome they went through like 100 Emperors in 20 years during some of the dark backstabby days. Or warring states Japan you had alot of would be kings(well Shogun but same diff.) Having a King archetype doesn't mean you have to BE the king it just means you're aspiring to be king.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
gnomersy wrote:


Bullhonkey look at Rome they went through like 100 Emperors in 20 years during some of the dark backstabby days. Or warring states Japan you had alot of would be kings(well Shogun but same diff.) Having a King archetype doesn't mean you have to BE the king it just means you're aspiring to be king.

But you still only had one at a time. If if you look at those 100 Emperors you'd pretty much realise that for the most part none of them had the supposed "King" archetype,being for the most part ambitious general types who were totally unprepared to defend themselves against court type treachery.

Heck,any idiot can have an ambition. Any strong man with a big enough army in the right place at the right time can seize a throne.

Hanging on to it though.... that's the tricky part.


I imagine the archetype(s) would cover not just kings/etc., but princes(ses) and other high-ranking political ruler types. Also, in a feudal system, there may only be one king, but there are many smaller rulers governing the various areas that would also qualify.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Twigs wrote:
HarbinNick wrote:

I like aristocrat/fighter. Sorry.

Me too. Respect, brother.

I did the same with most of my monarchs in my gameworld. Just seems fitting. I might change one or two to aristocrat/cavalier though.

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