Kingdom Leaders

A stable kingdom has leaders that fill different roles – tending to the economy, defense, and health of its citizens. PCs and NPCs can fill these roles and each role grants the kingdom different benefits.

A character can only fill one leadership role at a time. The kingdom must have someone in the Ruler role to function; without a Ruler, the kingdom cannot perform basic actions and gains Unrest every turn. All other roles are optional, although leaving certain roles vacant gives a kingdom penalties.

These leadership roles can be a part of any form of government; in some kingdoms they take the form of a formal ruling council, while in others they may be advisors, ministers, relatives of the leader, or simply powerful nobles, merchants, or bureaucrats with access to the seat of power. The names of these roles are game terms and need not correspond to the titles of those roles in the kingdom – the Ruler of a kingdom may be called king, queen, chosen one, padishah, overlord, sultan, and so on.

Responsibilities of Leadership

In order to gain the benefits of leadership, a character must spend at least 7 days per month attending to their duties; these days need not be consecutive. This can be roleplayed or can be assumed to run in the background without needing to be defined or actively played out. Time spent ruling cannot be used for adventuring, crafting magic items, or completing other downtime activities that require full attention and participation. Failure to complete the duties during a turn means treating the role as thought it’s vacant.

Abdicating a Role

If a leader wants to step down from a position, they must find a replacement to avoid incurring the appropriate vacancy penalty. Abdicating a position increases Unrest by 1 and requires the new leader to make a Loyalty check; if the check fails, the vacancy penalty applies for 1 turn while the new leader transitions into that role.

If the Ruler abdicates, increase Unrest by 2 instead of 1, and there is a –4 penalty on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.

If the character stepping down is not the Ruler and only moving to a different leadership role in the kingdom, the Unrest increase does not occur and there is a +4 bonus on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty. If two characters are swapping leadership roles, both must make the Loyalty check separately.

If a character in a role is killed or permanently incapacitated during a turn and is not restored to health by the start of the next kingdom turn, that role counts as Abdicated (as above) except that Unrest increases by 2 and there is a -2 penalty on the Loyalty check (a Ruler replaced in this manner is handled differently – see below).

Situation Result
Ruler abdicates Unrest +2, Loyalty check at -4 or position vacant for next turn
Advisor abdicates Unrest +1, Loyalty check or position vacant for next turn
Advisor moves to another role Loyalty check at +4 or position vacant for next turn
Advisor killed or incapacitated Unrest +2, Loyalty check at -2 or position vacant for next turn

Leader Statistics

The statistics for the different roles are presented as follows:

Benefit: This explains the benefit to the kingdom if a character fills this role. Each leader relies on a primary Attribute to complete their role, and each adds to a particular Kingdom Attribute. The bonus to the Kingdom Attribute is determined by the Leader’s die type in the linked Attribute:

Die Type Bonus Die Type Bonus
d4 0 d10 +3
d6 +1 d12 +4
d8 +2 d12+1 +5

Most Leaders also add half of their Charisma modifier (round down) to the benefit, and Heroes with certain Leadership edges (Command, Inspire, Leader of Men, Natural Leader) gain +1 to their benefit for each edge.

When making a Kingdom check, each Leader has a linked Skill which they must use to modify the result of the check. Each success or raise gives a +1 bonus to the Kingdom check, while a Critical failure gives a -2 penalty. The bonus from the linked Skill only applies for the Leader making the check.

The Duchy Carlendrewaad is collecting taxes. The Treasurer has a d8 in Smarts which has already added +2 to the Economy, in addition to +1 from his Charisma. Before he makes the Economy check, he makes his own Knowledge(Economics) check, rolling d8 and his Wild Die. He gets a 2 and 9, adding +2 to the Economy check.

Vacancy Penalty: This line explains the penalty to a kingdom if no character fills this role, or if the leader fails to spend the necessary time fulfilling his responsibilities. Some roles have no vacancy penalty.

Ruler

The Ruler is the highest-ranking person in the kingdom, above even the other kingdom leaders, and is expected to embody the values of the kingdom. The Ruler performs the kingdom’s most important ceremonies (such as knighting royals and signing treaties), is the kingdom’s chief diplomatic officer (though most of these duties are handled by the Grand Diplomat), is the signatory for all laws affecting the entire kingdom, pardons criminals when appropriate, and is responsible for appointing characters to all other high positions in the government (such as other leadership roles, mayors of settlements, and judges).

The Ruler makes all checks or edicts not covered by other leadership positions.

Benefit: Choose one kingdom attribute (Economy, Loyalty, or Stability). Add the die rank of the Ruler’s highest mental attribute (Smarts or Spirit). If kingdom Size is 26–100, choose a second kingdom attribute and add the die rank of their second highest mental attribute. If the kingdom’s Size is 101 or more, add the higher die rank to two Kingdom attributes and the lower to the remaining one. The Ruler’s may divide up his Charisma bonus and any Edge bonuses may be divided amongst the Kingdom attributes as desired.

The Duchy of Carlendrewaad has grown to 48 hexes, and Duke Thorpe has Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Charisma +2, and the Command edge. He decides that Stability and Economy are his priorities so he assigns +2 (Spirit d8) to Stability, and +1 (Smarts d6) to Economy. He also gets +2 from Charisma and +1 from Command, which he decides to divide evenly amongst all three Kingdom Attributes, giving a final total of +3 to Stability, +2 to Economy, and +1 to Loyalty.

If the Ruler is married to someone of equal station, both can act as Ruler. Both add their modifiers to the kingdom attribute (or attributes, if the kingdom is large enough) and can each choose different Kingdom and mental Attributes (eg. the King to add his Smarts modifier to Loyalty, while the Queen adds her Spirit modifier to Stability). As long as one ruler is present for seven days per month, the kingdom avoids the vacancy penalty.

In a kingdom in which the leaders have no ties to actual nobility, “someone of equal station” is irrelevant and the marriage is between two Rulers. In a campaign where the leaders are nobles or royals, marrying someone of lesser station means the spouse becomes a Consort rather than a Ruler.

If a Ruler is killed or otherwise unable to continue in that role due to permanent incapacitation, the outcome is dependent on the presence/absence of a Co-Ruler, Consort or Heir as below. Use the highest line that applies:

Situation Outcome Unrest Loyalty Check
Co-ruler alive Co-ruler assumes Rulership +1 none
Heir designated and old enough Heir assumes Rulership +1 Succeed or vacancy penalty x1 month
Heir is too young, Consort alive Consort acts as Ruler (see Consort entry below) until Heir comes of age +2 -4
Heir is too young, no Consort Regent acts as Ruler (see Consort) until Heir older, Multiple candidates may vie for Regency, Civil war possible +2 -4
No Heir designated Multiple candidates may attempt to take Rulership, Civil war likely +4 Automatically fails

Vacancy Penalty: A kingdom without a ruler cannot claim new hexes, develop open spaces, build roads, or purchase settlement districts. Unrest increases by 4 during each Upkeep phase in which the kingdom has no ruler.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(nobility)

Consort

The Consort is usually the spouse of the Ruler, and spends time attending court, speaking with and advising nobles, touring the kingdom to lift the spirits of the people, and so on. In most kingdoms, you cannot have two married Rulers and a Consort at the same time.

The Consort represents the Ruler when the Ruler is occupied or otherwise unable to act. With the Ruler’s permission, the Consort may perform any of the Ruler’s duties, allowing the Ruler to effectively act in two places at once. If the Ruler dies, the Consort may act as Ruler until the Heir comes of age and can take over as Ruler (see Ruler, above)

Benefit: The Consort adds their full Charisma modifier and Edge bonuses to Loyalty. If the ruler is unavailable during a turn, the Consort may act as the Ruler for that turn, negating the vacancy penalty for having no Ruler, though he or she does not gain the Ruler benefit. If the Consort acts as the Ruler for the turn, he/she must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep phase or Unrest increases by 1 (1d4+1 on a critical failure).

Vacancy Penalty: None.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(nobility)

Chancellor

The Chancellor acts as a liaison between the citizenry and the other kingdom leaders, parsing requests from the people and presenting the leaders’ proclamations in understandable language. It is the Chancellor’s responsibility to make sure the Ruler is making decisions that benefit the kingdom’s communities and its citizens.

The Chancellor is responsible for setting the Subsidies Edict.

Benefit: Add the Chancellor’s Spirit die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Loyalty.

Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 2. The kingdom may not change the Subsidies Edict. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(local)

General

The General is the highest-ranking member of the kingdom’s military. If the kingdom has an army and a navy, the heads of those organizations report to the kingdom’s General. The General is responsible for looking after the needs of the military and directing the kingdom’s armies in times of war. Most citizens see the General as a protector and patriot.

The General is responsible for all Kingdom checks involving military activity.

Benefit: Add the General’s Strength or Vigor die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonus to Stability.

Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 4.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(battle)

Grand Diplomat

The Grand Diplomat is in charge of the kingdom’s foreign policy – how it interacts with other kingdoms and similar political organizations such as tribes of intelligent monsters. The Grand Diplomat is the head of all of the kingdom’s diplomats, envoys, and ambassadors. It is the Grand Diplomat’s responsibility to represent and protect the interests of the kingdom with regard to foreign powers.

The Grand Diplomat in responsible for setting Promotions and Diplomatic edicts

Benefit: Add the Grand Diplomat’s Smarts or Spirit die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Stability.

Vacancy Penalty: Stability decreases by 2. The kingdom cannot issue/change Promotions or Diplomatic edicts.

Relevant Skill: Persuasion

Heir

The Heir is usually the Ruler’s eldest son or daughter, although some kingdoms may designate a significant advisor/leader as Heir. The Heir’s time is mostly spent learning to become a ruler – pursuing academic and martial training, touring the kingdom to get to the know the land and its people, experiencing the intrigues of courtly life, and so on.

Because the Heir carries the potential of being the next Ruler, the Heir’s role is similar to the Consort in that the Heir may act on behalf of the Ruler when needed.

The Heir is responsible for making Kingdom Event checks.

Benefit: The Heir adds their full Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Loyalty. The Heir may act as the Ruler for a turn, negating the vacancy penalty for the kingdom having no Ruler, although he/she does not gain the Ruler benefit. Whenever the Heir acts as the Ruler for the turn, they must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep phase or Unrest increases by 1 (1d4+1 on a critical failure).

Vacancy Penalty: None.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(nobility)

High Priest

The High Priest tends to the kingdom’s religious needs and guides its growth. If the kingdom has an official religion, the High Priest may also be the highest ranking member of that religion in the kingdom, and has similar responsibilities over the lesser priests of that faith to those the Grand Diplomat has over the kingdom’s ambassadors and diplomats. If the kingdom has no official religion, the High Priest may be a representative of the most popular religion in the kingdom or a neutral party representing the interests of all religions allowed by the kingdom.

The High Priest is responsible for setting the Festivals Edict.

Benefit: Add the High Priest’s Spirit die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Stability.

Vacancy Penalty: Stability and Loyalty decrease by 2. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1. The kingdom may not adjust the Festivals Edict.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(religion)

Magister

The Magister guides the kingdom’s higher learning, promoting education and knowledge among the citizens and representing the interests of science and academia. In most kingdoms, the Magister is a sage or a priest, and oversees most aspects of the governmental bureaucracy except finance.

The Magister is responsible for determining Exploration Edicts or making Kingdom checks related to Exploration in the Kingdom.

Benefit: Add the Magister’s Smarts or Spirit die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Economy.

Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. The kingdom may not proclaim Exploration Edicts.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(history or other relevant area of study)

Marshal

The Marshal ensures that the kingdom’s laws are being enforced in the rural parts of the kingdom. The Marshal is also responsible for securing the kingdom’s borders. He organizes regular patrols and works with the General to respond to threats that militias and adventurers can’t deal with alone.

The Marshall is responsible for setting the Policing Edict and makes any Kingdom checks related to rural security.

Benefit: Add the Marshall’s Agility or Vigor die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Economy.

Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. The kingdom may not alter the Policing Edict.

Relevant Skill: Survival

Royal Enforcer

The Royal Enforcer deals with punishing criminals, working with the Chancellor to make sure the citizens feel the government is adequately dealing with wrongdoers, and working with the Marshal to capture fugitives from the law. The Royal Enforcer may grant civilians the authority to kill in the name of the law. The Royal Enforcer can serve as a public executioner, a high inquisitor, or a shadowy eradicator of kingdom rivals.

The Royal Enforcer is responsible for any Loyalty checks to reduce or prevent Unrest.

Benefit: Add the Royal Enforcer’s Strength or Agility die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Loyalty. During the Upkeep phase, the Royal Enforcer may make a Loyalty check:

Critical Success Unrest -2
Success Unrest -1
Failure Unrest -1, Loyalty -1
Critical Failure Loyalty -2

Vacancy Penalty: None.

Relevant Skill: Intimidation

Spymaster

The Spymaster observes the kingdom’s criminal elements/underworld and spies on other kingdoms. The Spymaster always has a finger on the pulse of the kingdom’s underbelly, and uses acquired information to protect the interests of the kingdom at home and elsewhere through a network of spies and informants.

The Spymaster is responsible for all Kingdom checks involving crime and foreign visitors.

Benefit: During the Edict phase, choose one kingdom attribute (Economy, Loyalty or Stability). Add the Spymaster’s Agility die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to this attribute.

Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1.

Relevant Skill: Streetwise

Treasurer

The Treasurer monitors the state of the kingdom’s Treasury and citizens’ confidence in the value of their money and investigates whether any businesses are taking unfair advantage of the system. The Treasurer is in charge of the tax collectors and tracks debts and credits with guilds and other governments.

The Treasurer is responsible for Economy checks as well as Taxation and Trade Edicts.

Benefit: Add the Treasurer’s Smarts die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Economy.

Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. The kingdom cannot collect taxes or set Taxation/Trade Edicts.

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(economics)

Viceroy

The Viceroy represents the Ruler’s interests on an ongoing basis in a specific location such as a colony or vassal state. The Viceroy is in effect the Ruler for that territory; her orders are superseded only by direct commands from the Ruler.

Benefit: Add the Viceroy’s Smarts or Spirit die type to the main kingdom’s Economy. The Viceroy acts as the Ruler for the Vassal state (contributing to the Vassal state’s Attributes as normal). The character doing this must spend 7 days that month performing duties appropriate to the Ruler role in addition to the 7 days spent for Viceroy duties.

Vacancy Penalty: If there is no Viceroy for the vassal state, treat it as if it had the Ruler vacancy penalty

Relevant Skill: Knowledge(nobility)

Warden

The Warden is responsible for enforcing laws in larger settlements, as well as ensuring the safety of the kingdom leaders. The Warden also works with the General to deploy forces to protect settlements and react to internal threats.

The Warden is responsible for Stability checks and setting the Regulations Edict.

Benefit: Add the Warden’s Strength or Smarts die rank, half Charisma modifier, and Edge bonuses to Loyalty.

Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty and Stability decrease by 2. The Kingdom may not change the Regulations Edict.

Relevant Skill: Investigation


Role Stat Used Skill Modifies Vacancy
Ruler Smarts or Spirit Knowledge(nobility) Any +4 Unrest, no growth
Spouse Smarts or Spirit Knowledge(nobility) Any
Consort Charisma Knowledge(nobility) Loyalty
Chancellor Spirit Knowledge(local) Loyalty -2 Loyalty, +1 Unrest
General Strength or Vigor Knowledge(warfare) Stability -4 Loyalty
Grand Diplomat Smarts or Spirit Persuasion Stability -2 Stability
Heir Charisma Knowledge(nobility) Loyalty
High Priest Spirit Knowledge(religion) Stability -2 Loyalty, -2 Stability, +1 Unrest
Magister Smarts or Spirit Knowledge(arcana) Economy -4 Economy
Marshal Agility or Vigor Survival Economy -4 Economy
Royal Enforcer Strength or Agility Intimidation Loyalty
Spymaster Agility Streetwise Any -4 Economy, +1 Unrest
Treasurer Smarts Knowledge(economics) Economy -4 Economy, no taxes
Viceroy Smarts or Spirit Knowledge(nobility) Economy Vassal state is rulerless
Warden Strength or Smarts Investigation Loyalty -2 Loyalty, -2 Stability

Kingdom Leaders

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