Rise of Nations
A stable kingdom has a number of leaders that fulfill different roles— tending to the economy, defense, and health of its citizens. PCs and NPCs can fill these roles; the fighter may be the kingdom’s Warden, the party cleric its High Priest, and so on. Each role grants the kingdom different benefits.
A character can only fill one leadership role at a time. For example, a character can’t be both the Ruler and the High Priest. Even if you want the Ruler to be the head of the kingdom’s religion, he is too busy ruling to also do the work of a High Priest; he’ll have to appoint someone else to do that work.
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, though leaving certain roles vacant imposes penalties on a kingdom.
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 advisers, 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 your kingdom may be called king, queen, chosen one, overlord, grand poo-bah, 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 his duties (during which he must be located within a hex that is part of the kingdom); 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, traveling, training, or completing other downtime activities that require a character’s full attention and participation. Failure to complete his duties during a turn means treating the role as though it’s vacant. Generally, it is best if the PCs pick the same days of the month for these administrative duties, so everyone is available for adventuring at the same time.
PCs and NPCs as Leaders: These rules include enough important leadership roles that a small group of PCs can’t fill them all. Players will have to recruit NPCs to fill out the remaining necessary roles for their kingdom. Cohorts, followers, and similar companions can all fill leadership roles, and players may want to consider inviting allied NPCs to become rulers, such as asking a friendly ranger to become the kingdom’s Marshal.
Abdicating a Role: If a character wants to step down from a leadership position, he must find a replacement to avoid incurring the appropriate vacancy penalty for his position. Abdicating a position increases Unrest by 1 and requires a Loyalty check; if the check fails, the vacancy penalty applies for 1 turn while the new leader transitions into that role. If the abdicating character is the Ruler, Unrest increases by 2 instead of 1, and the kingdom takes a -4 penalty on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty. If the character is not the Ruler and is leaving one leadership role to take a different one in the kingdom, the Unrest increase does not occur and the kingdom gains a +4 bonus on the Loyalty check to avoid the vacancy penalty.
Leader Statistics: The statistics for the different roles are presented as follows.
Benefit: This explains the benefit to a kingdom’s attribute if there is a character acting in this role. If he has the Leadership feat, increase this benefit by 1. If this section gives a player a choice of two ability scores, use whichever is the highest. Most benefits are constant and last as long as there is a character in that role, but don’t stack with themselves (i.e., a General provides a constant bonus to the kingdom’s Loyalty equal to his Strength modifier, not a cumulative bonus per turn). This bonus goes away if the character in that role resigns or dies.
Vacancy Penalty: This section 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. If a character in a role is killed or permanently incapacitated during a turn and not restored to health by the start of the next kingdom turn, that role counts as vacant for that next turn, after which a replacement can be appointed to the role. Like benefits, most vacancy penalties are constant, last as long as the role is vacant, and don’t stack with themselves. If a vacant role lists an increase to Unrest, however, that increase does not go away when the role is filled. For example, if a kingdom lacks a Ruler, Unrest increases by 4 per turn and doesn’t automatically return to its previous level when a new Ruler steps into that role.
The Ruler is the highest-ranking person in the kingdom, above even the other kingdom leaders, as 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 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).
Benefit: Choose one kingdom attribute (Economy, Loyalty, or Stability). Add your Charisma modifier to this attribute. If your kingdom’s Size is 26-100, choose a second kingdom attribute and add your Charisma modifier to it as well. If your kingdom’s Size is 101 or more, choose a third kingdom attribute and add your Charisma modifier to it too.
If you marry someone of equal station, you both can act as Ruler. You both add your Charisma modifiers to the kingdom attribute (or attributes, if the kingdom is large enough). As long as one of you is present for 1 week per month, you avoid the vacancy penalty. In a campaign where the kingdom leaders have no ties to actual nobility, “someone of equal station” is irrelevant and your 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.
Vacancy Penalty: A kingdom without a ruler cannot claim new hexes, create farmlands, build roads, or purchase city districts. Unrest increases by 4 during the kingdom’s Upkeep phase.
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 a Ruler until the Heir comes of age, and can take over as a Ruler.
Benefit: Add half your Charisma modifier to Loyalty. If the Ruler is unavailable during a turn, you may act as the Ruler for that turn, negating the vacancy penalty for having no Ruler, though you do not gain the Ruler benefit. If you act as the Ruler for the turn, you must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep phase or Unrest increases by 1.
Vacancy Penalty: None.
The Councilor acts as a liaison between the citizenry and the other kingdom leaders, parsing requests from the commonwealth and presenting the leaders’ proclamations to the people in understandable ways. It is the Councilor’s responsibility to make sure the Ruler is making decisions that benefit the kingdom’s communities and its citizens.
Benefit: Add your Charisma or Wisdom modifier to Loyalty.
Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 2. The kingdom cannot gain benefits from holidays. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1.
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.
Benefit: Add your Charisma or Strength modifier to Stability.
Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty decreases by 4.
The Grand diplomat is in charge of the kingdom’s foreign policy— how it interacts with other kingdoms and similar political entities such as tribes of intelligent humanoids or monsters. The Grand Diplomat is the head of all 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.
Benefit: Add your Charisma or Intelligence modifier to Stability.
Vacancy Penalty: Stability decreases by 2. The kingdom cannot issue Expansion edicts.
The Heir is usually the Ruler’s eldest son or daughter, though some kingdoms may designate a significant advisor (such as a steward) 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 know the land 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.
Benefit: Add half your Charisma modifier to Loyalty. You may act as the Ruler for a turn, negating the vacancy penalty for the kingdom having no Ruler, though you do not gain the Ruler benefit. Whenever you act as the Ruler for the turn, you must succeed at a Loyalty check during the kingdom’s Upkeep phase or Unrest increases by 1.
Vacancy Penalty: None.
The High Priest tends to the kingdom’s religious needs and guides its spiritual 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.
Benefit: Add your Charisma or Wisdom modifier to Stability.
Vacancy Penalty: Stability and Loyalty decrease by 2. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1.
The Justicar deals with punishing criminals, working with the Councilor 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 Justicar may grant civilians the authority to kill in the name of the law.
Benefit: Add your Dexterity or Strength modifier to Loyalty. During the Upkeep phase, you may choose to decrease Unrest by 1; if you do so, you must succeed at a Loyalty check or Loyalty decreases by 1.
Vacancy Penalty: None.
The Magister guides the kingdom’s higher learning and magic, promoting education and knowledge among the citizens and representing the interests of magic, science, and academia. In most kingdoms, the Magister is a sage, a wizard, or a priest of a deity of knowledge, and oversees the governmental bureaucracy except regarding finance.
Benefit: Add your Charisma or Intelligence modifier to Economy.
Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4.
The Marshal ensures that the kingdom’s laws are being enforced in the remote parts of the kingdom as well as in the vicinity of the capital. The Marshal is 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.
Benefit: Add your Dexterity or Wisdom modifier to Economy.
Vacancy Penalty: Stability decreases by 4.
The Spymaster observes the kingdom’s criminal elements and 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 abroad through a network of spies and informants.
Benefit: During the Edict phase, choose one kingdom attribute (Economy, Loyalty, or Stability). Add your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier to this attribute. The Spymaster can change which values he modifies each turn.
Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. During the Upkeep phase, Unrest increases by 1.
The Treasurer monitors the state of the kingdom’s Treasury and its citizen’s confidence in the value of their currency and investigates whether any businesses are taking unfair advantage of the system. The Treasurer is in charge of the tax collection and tracks debts and credits with guilds and other governments.
Benefit: Add your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier to Economy.
Vacancy Penalty: Economy decreases by 4. The kingdom cannot collect taxes— during the Income phase, when you would normally collect taxes, the kingdom does not collect taxes at all and the taxation rate is considered “none.”
The Viceroy represents the Ruler’s interest on an ongoing basis in a specific location such as a colony or vassal state (see the Vassalage edict). The Viceroy is in effect the Ruler for that territory; her orders are superseded only by direct commands from the Ruler.
Benefit: Add half your Intelligence or Wisdom modifier to Economy. You may assume any leadership role (including Ruler) for your colony or vassal state, but any benefit you provide in this role is 1 less than normal; if you do so, you must spend 7 days that month performing duties appropriate to that leadership role in addition to the 7 days spend for Viceroy duties.
Vacancy Penalty: If you have no Viceroy for your vassal state, treat it as if it had the Ruler vacancy penalty.
The Warden is responsible for enforcing laws in larger settlements, as well as ensuring the safety of the kingdom’s leaders. The Warden also works with the General to deploy forces to protect settlements and react to internal threats.
Benefit: Add your Constitution or Strength modifier to Loyalty.
Vacancy Penalty: Loyalty and Stability decrease by 2.