Politician

To Medieval Classes

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Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole, studio of Jean-Baptiste van Loo, 1740.

Portrait of Sir Robert Walpole, studio of Jean-Baptiste van Loo, 1740.

Dynasties and Demagogues
Author Chris Aylott
Series Campaign Style Series
Publisher Atlas Games
Publish date 2003
Pages 160
ISBN 1-58978-033-7
OGL Section 15 dynasties
Content Puller Joel

Netbook can be found on the following website

The Grand OGL Wiki

The material below is designated as Open Game Content

“Politics” derives from the Greek word for citizen, and all politicians answer to the citizens they represent. The only question is: which citizens are they representing? The answer varies according to politician’s ambition and the system that he works within. A politician may represent her home province, a particular class of citizens, or a select group of special interests. She may openly represent one group while quietly furthering the interests of another. She may work selflessly for a cause, or work only for herself.

An aristocrat may become a politician, if she seeks more power than she inherited. Some societies keep commoners out of politics, while other societies embrace the ordinary man who rises to power. Almost any adventuring class is suited for politics, though rogues and bards have an advantage due to their “people skills.”

One disadvantage of becoming a politician is that politicians do very little dungeon-crawling. On the other hand, they can accomplish far more on the floor of a senate than some adventurers will accomplish in a lifetime of dragon-slaying.

Hit Die: d4

Requirements

To qualify for the politician prestige class, the character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Diplomacy 8 ranks, Perform (oratory) 4 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks
Special: The politician must possess an office or position within the political system of her culture. This may be won by election, appointment, inheritance, trial by combat, purchase, or whatever method is typical to the culture.

Class Skills

The politician’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Intelligence), Bluff (Charisma), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Gather Information (Charisma), Innuendo (Wisdom), Knowledge (law, history, and local) (Intelligence), Perform (oratory) (Charisma), and Sense Motive (Wisdom).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier

Level BAB FS RS WS Special
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Personal Touch, Sense of the Room
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Compelling Promise
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Matching Speech
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Satisfying Ambiguity
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Quid pro Quo (both parties bound)
6 +3 +2 +2 +5 Public Appeal
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 Seniority
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 Quid pro Quo (politician is not bound)
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 Public Support
10 +5 +3 +3 +7 Aura of Power

Class Features

All the following are class features for the politician prestige class. The DCs for required skill checks are included where appropriate.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The politician is proficient in simple weapons.

Political Office: The politician may only advance in class levels if she currently holds a political office. Nobles in a feudal society almost always have a political office as part of their title.

Languages in Common: Many of the politician’s abilities depend on her ability to speak. Those abilities are useless if she is unable to speak, or if she does not share a language with her audience.

Audience: Several of the politician’s abilities require an audience. Each member of an audience must be able to see and hear the politician, and must be willing to Listen to her.

Personal Touch: Politicians are skilled at making a personal connection with the people they meet, even if they’ve never met them before. When a politician greets someone, the politician may make a Knowledge (local) check (DC 15) to remember a flattering fact about him. The politician may make this check for each character she meets, but she may only make it once every 24 hours for any specific character.

If the politician succeeds at the check, she may mention this fact in her greeting and gain a +2 bonus to one Bluff, Diplomacy, or Sense Motive check involving that character. The bonus must be used within one hour after it is received.

Sense of the Room: The politician may make a Sense Motive check (DC 18) to learn the needs and goals of a group of people. Each attempt requires ten minutes of conversation with the members of the group. If the check is successful, the politician understands what each person in the group hopes to accomplish and why. She is aware of any differences in agenda between the members of the group, and which members of the group (if any) are withholding relevant information. This ability is useful for zeroing in on hidden agendas or possible disagreements within the group that may be exploited to the politician’s benefit.

Compelling Promise: At 2nd level, the politician gains a +2 influence bonus to Diplomacy checks when she makes a promise to be fulfilled later. She is not required to fulfill the promise, but flagrant or regular oath-breaking may render this ability ineffective at the GM’s discretion.

Matching Speech: At 3rd level, the politician learns how to vary speech rhythms and vocabulary to mirror whomever she is talking to. She inspires confidence and trust by talking in the same way as the person she is trying to influence. This gives the politician a +2 reaction bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform (oratory) checks.

Satisfying Ambiguity: Sometimes a politician has to satisfy several agendas at once. At 4th level, the politician learns how to communicate several different (sometimes even contradictory) messages within the same words. To do so, the politician makes a Perform (oratory) check (DC 16) while speaking with the audience she wishes to affect. The politician may choose to send a number of messages equal to half her class level, and may choose which members of her audience receive which message. Each message requires at least five minutes of oratory to communicate and adds +2 to the difficulty of the Perform (oratory) check.

For audiences of 10 or less, the politician may choose which individual receives which message. For audiences of more than ten, she may divide the group along simple differences. Race, class, and alignment are all useful differences, whether separately or in combination.

For example, a 6th-level politician addressing a crowd of 50 humans, dwarves, and elves could specify three messages. Elves might hear the message that the politician supports and trusts them. Good humans might hear that while the elves may have good intentions, they need to be carefully watched. Evil humans and all dwarves might hear that the politician thinks that elves should be persecuted.

A speech or conversation communicating all three ideas would have to be at least 15 minutes long to be “understood” by all parties involved.

Quid pro Quo (Sp): At 5th level, the politician gains the ability to make unusually binding deals with another party. The politician and the other party must agree to a deal that imposes obligations on both parties. Both parties then make a Diplomacy check.

Both parties must now keep the deal to the best of their ability. If either party wishes to break the deal, that party must succeed at a Will save versus the higher result of the two Diplomacy checks. The other party remains bound by the deal whether the party trying to break it succeeds at the Will save or not. (The other party may still try to break the deal on its own, of course.)

At 8th level, the politician is no longer bound to the deal, and automatically succeeds at the Will save to break it. The other party remains bound by the deal, though it may attempt to break the deal as described above. If two 8th-level (or higher) politicians make a Quid pro Quo deal with each other, both parties make a Diplomacy check as described above. The party with the higher result is not bound by the deal; the party with the lower result is.

Public Appeal (Sp): At 6th level, the politician may compel an audience to perform a simple, non-violent task for her. The politician must speak to an audience for at least 10 minutes. She may then attempt a Perform (oratory) check (DC 25).

If the politician succeeds, she may compel the audience to perform a simple set of instructions. The instructions may be no more than 50 words long, and they may describe no more than three actions. For example, the politician could give the instructions: “Go home. Write a letter to the king. Tell him in the letter that elves are not to be trusted.”

The politician may not compel the audience to perform suicidal or obviously dangerous tasks, though he may ask them to perform actions that may not be in their best interests. (For example, “Give me every ducat you have.”) If the politician asks the audience to perform such an action, each member may make a Will save (DC 10 + the politician’s prestige class level + the politician’s Charisma modifier). For large audiences, the GM may wish to make a Will save for every 10 or even every 100 audience members.

Any politician or PC may always make a Will save to avoid being compelled by another politician’s Public Appeal. Politicians receive a +2 competence bonus to the Will save.

The politician may use Public Appeal once per day. She may compel up to 50 audience members for each of her class levels. Public Appeal is a mind-affecting charm ability.

Seniority: At 7th level, the politician gains the benefit of seniority over her fellow politicians. She receives a +2 reaction bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks when dealing with a politician with fewer levels in the politician prestige class than she has.

Public Support: At 9th level, the politician can rally the people to her cause. She must speak to an audience for at least 30 minutes. She may then make a Perform (oratory) check. The DC is 15 + 1 for each 100 members of the audience. For example, an audience of 558 people would present a DC of 20.

If the politician succeeds, she gains a +1 competence bonus for each 100 members of the audience. (In the example above, the politician would receive a +5 competence bonus if she succeeded.) She may use this bonus for any one Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, or Perform (oratory) check on any matter on which the opinion of that audience has a bearing. She must use this bonus with 24 hours of receiving it.

The politician may use the bonus gained from addressing one audience to make a difficult Perform (oratory) check and gain the support of an even larger audience. If time and logistics allow, the politician could speak to a series of audiences and gain a tidal wave of Public Support. This is a risky proposition, however. If the politician fails a Perform (oratory) roll to gain Public Support, he may not attempt the roll again for a month of game time.

Aura of Power (Su): A 10th-level politician wears her power like a magnificent cloak. Any character who can see and hear her must make a Will save (DC 25 + the politician’s Charisma modifier) to voice a disagreement with her or disobey her direct commands while in her presence.

Aura of Power is a mind-affecting charm ability

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