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How do you make sure the King doesn't overshadow the other PCs?


Scarab Sages

The King is a very powerful position in the campaign as he essentially ‘speaks’ for the kingdom. There can be a lot of NPC interactions which only involve him.

Some players are naturally louder than others and enjoy the sound of their own voice. One of these players is the King in my campaign. Some of the other players aren't happy because the King PC tends to hijack dialogue and makes decisions without consulting the other PCs.

I blame part of this is my own failings as a GM, as I believe I should have added more NPC interactions specifically tailored to the other PCs.

We're about to start the last book now, so this isn't going to be as much of an issue (the last book seems more like a linear kill-fest), but the damage is already done.

What have you guys done to prevent problems like this?

I 've had a similiar situation, but i didn't see this a "problem". Roleplaying is game which promote acitivity on sessions. I don't like tailor anything for "spotlight" purpose.
So I let solve this situation to player, which is a king. He must mediate between players, decide which lobbygroup of players has a right(building/army/magi items/expansion etc), how many gold withdraw for the treasure, what to do with PC which want more importance etc. He is the king? So let him deal with all of this cases. Success/loss depends on his actions, not a GM activity.

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One thing is ensuring the king remembers he has a council. If he makes decisions alone without consulting his council or involving them that should generate unrest in both the PC and NPC council members. Ie if the king gives orders to an army to move and attack location X without consulting or involving the general, no good general would simply roll over and accept "well he is the king" its ok I lost track of an entire army.

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Take into account that the king is not the only leadership slot in the kingdom. Like Gekkou said, all the leaders technically form a council of their own, and the king should hear out what the other members in charge of various things have to say. Ignoring what the Spymaster says about criminal activity is one good way for a proper ruler to screw up big time and cause a lot of unrest.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Class Deck, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I went out of my way to ensure that one of my quietest and most consensus-building players was the obvious choice for ruler.

I also make a point of looking around the table at each player when we're in big interaction scenes. "Okay, we've heard from you, Bob. Joe, what do you want to say?" I try to ensure that the interesting ones are with large groups (so it's reasonable that many side conversations could happen simultaneously) or with people who would pay attention to all PCs regardless of titles (such as powerful fey). The latter can even apply to major NPCs; people like Varn, Drelev, Irovetti, nobles in Brevoy, ambassadors from Mivon, and the like are going to recognize that the king is part of an adventuring party, and are going to want to get a sense of the entire party, not just their nominal leader.

Silver Crusade

Lucky for us, our Ruler PC doesn't get involved in anything. But that's because the PC's that make up the rest of the council are a bunch of political back-stabbing, power hungry individuals that actually end up keeping each other in check. The Ruler just sits back laughs at everything going on.

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

The rules mention a "king" but that doesn't mean it has to be a monarchy. My PCs kindgom has a ruling council where all of the players are involved in the decisions. Yeah, one PC is in the "king" role for the rules, but that doesn't affect how they rule the kingdom.

Shadow Lodge

I did much the same as Cintra. While my Queen-to-be is one of my more vocal players, the Magister and Spymistress are not shy to speak up, nor are most of the NPC councilors. I also added an NPC Advisor to the group, a major-domo sent from my Brevoy stand-in to guide the adventurers into the world of politics, and he helps make sure everyone at the table gets a say.

It's not as big an issue for me, as my Queen while vocal doesn't try to steamroll everyone else, but I hope it helps your situation.

Hasn't really been a problem IMC, but I consider all the other rulers the eyes and ears of the king - anything significant that happens in the kingdom gets reported to one of them, who can then decide whether it needs the king's attention.

Examples: A smuggling operation is going on: the spymaster gets the word, but maybe she decides the king doesn't need to know. Bandits are terrorizing a rural stretch of road: the guards push the ball to the warden, who may just send a patrol or ask the king if the party should intervene directly.

Sure, in a negotiation with a rival kingdom it is the king who does much of the talking. However, the treasurer will get appraise checks for any trade deals offered, while the marshal is most likely to know if claims of military power are just boasts.

Our king was very much busy with himself, AND the kingdom.. worked really well until the other pcs started dying.. And since everyone roleplays "hardcore", the king now has a problem that he needs to find new council members :p

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As queen, I try to let the other PCs do the talking first in an encounter unless it is something that I feel needs to be done as Queen.
I've even told them several times to drop the "Queen & Lords & Ladies of the Realm" from parleys. It does help to make events/encounters be more normal.

I've also instituted a voting system for projects;
Queen gets 4, PC Councilors get 2, NPC Councillor's get 1 vote.
Votes are added every month, winner gets done, and so on down the list as funds are available. Magister had to plug away at caster's tower for quite awhile, but it got done.

For a fun twist, you could copy our GM's idea; sidequest at candlemere.
He knocked us into limbo for about 18 months!
We had to play npc council members with differing goals during the crisis, while somehow holding the Kingdom together!

Was one of the best parts of game so far!

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