In dark times of betrayal, controversy, and deception, a strong Commander is critical to the maintenance of a house’s influence and authority. A house is not just a family, but a political and military organisation. War and uncertainty require men and women of influence, charm, insight, and skill to lead their adherents to safety and success. Commanders are not limited to the great houses, but can be in any position of leadership, from the Night’s Watch to a city guard. A poor Commander can mean the ruin of all who follow; a seasoned Commander can triumph despite the odds, winning wealth and prestige for all involved. Succeed or fail, they are known throughout the realm, their deeds remembered in song and story — though whether to their credit or infamy depends entirely on the strength of their actions and the singer.
In times of both war and peace, the Commander is a vital part of the health and well being of his culture, be it a noble house or a mercenary company. On the battlefield, a Commander’s presence has been known to give heart to the fearful, rally the routed, and stave off total collapse. A Commander alone might make the difference between standoff and victory. In the king’s court, their political acumen can mean the difference between loss and gain, feast and famine. They must be able to negotiate the game
When in battle, a Commander stands as the embodiment of his or her army, ancestors, and house — a living banner whose behaviour sets the tone for the entire fighting force. A Commander’s ability to rally his or her men is legendary. The most skilled and experienced Commanders have a lightning-like effect on the troops under their command; it is as if they can transfer a bit of their bravery and martial knowledge to their men.
Great Commanders abound in the military history of Westeros. Some, like the Young Dragon who conquered Dorne, were able to win through against breathtaking odds. These noble warriors win their unlikely victories because of their ability to rally their men to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the house.
The other side of a Commander’s prowess takes place not with sword and shield, but with wine and flattery. In the complex world of Westerosi politics, a Commander must take on far more personal struggles in an effort to secure the best possible position for both house and the realm at large. Because the politics of Westeros are based heavily on personal relationships, a Commander’s native gifts of charisma, charm, reputation, and fame may win wars before the battle lines are even drawn. Commanders with the most political sway are those who have a reputation for following through, who use their personal influences to the benefit of their house, who keep their own counsel, and who can rely on their knowledge and intuition to correctly predict their rivals’ actions.
It should not be assumed that Commanders must be honest or noble. Rather, to maintain their status with their own people, they must have the reputation of doing what is necessary to assure victory. Similarly, the art of the well-told story, even if embellished or even an outright lie, is an essential part of the Commander’s craft.
Examples of Commanders: Lord Tywin Lannister, Lord Eddard Stark, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont.
To become a Commander, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
ABILITY SCORES: Cha 13
Commanders gain 2 Hit Points + Constitution Modifier per Level
The Commander’s Class Skills (and the key Ability for each Skill) are: Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge: History (Int), Knowledge: Nobility (Int), Knowledge: Warfare (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Search (Int),
At each Level, Commanders get 5 + Int Modifier; humans gain +1 bonus
At each Level, Commanders gain 8 + Cha Modifier.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency
Commanders are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as all light and medium armour and with shields.
The Commander is a beacon of inspiration for his or her troops. If the Commander shouts encouragement to the troops, all within earshot (approximately 100 feet) gain a +1 bonus to hit and damage for as long as the Commander shouts, plus a number of rounds equal to Commander’s Charisma bonus +1 (minimum of 2). This is a free action. This Ability can be used once a day. At 8th Level, it provides a +2 bonus.
At 1st Level, the Commander has begun to study military history. He or she gains a bonus of +2 to the following Skills: Knowledge: History, Knowledge: Warfare, Knowledge: Nobility. These bonuses increase to +4 at 3rd Level, +6 at 7th Level, and +8 at 9th Level.
The Commander is skilled at using his armour to deflect blows and lessen their impact. As a result, at 2nd Level the character gains a +1 bonus to the Armour Rating of any armour he or she is wearing and proficient with, which stacks with any other Armour Compatibility (to a maximum of +3). Note that this bonus does not penalize an enemy’s called shot to bypass the character’s armour.
Combat experience has gifted the Commander with a shrewd, calculating mind. At 3rd Level, the Commander gains a +1 competence bonus to any opposed tests dealing with battle or warfare, including attack and defence rolls. The Commander’s bonus raises to +2 at 6th Level.
At 4th Level, a Commander can co-ordinate other characters in a co-operative task by making a Charisma check (DC 15 + the number of characters commanded). This increases the bonus granted by the aid another action by an additional +2 (see page 237). This increase goes up to +4 at 8th Level. Commanding other characters takes as long as the task they are attempting (minimum one full round).
By 5th Level, a Commander has learned how to advise an ally. If the Commander counsels someone for an hour, the character gains a +2 bonus to one of the following Skills (chosen as the time of counseling): Bluff, Knowledge: History, Knowledge: Warfare,
To the Last Man
At 10th Level, a Commander may inspire such valour that all allies within 30 feet of the Commander can continue fighting even while dying or disabled. Those allies so inspired gain a +2 to any Shock Value Saving Throws, and may continue on until they reach -10 HP (at which point they die).