Courtier

Prerequisite: You must be trained in Diplomacy. The games of court are about winning allies and subtle persuasion, which is impossible without at least some knowledge of the art of diplomacy.

Most adventurers stick out like a troll among halflings when placed in courtly situations. They see only a bunch of nobles and retainers fawning over one another in incomprehensible ways with little relevance to their lives.
    A courtier knows better. A battle rages amid the smiles and niceties of court. Each word is a carefully calculated move, each meeting a play for political power, and each friend another piece in the game of court. A single mistake can mean the difference between acquiring a powerful position and being clapped in irons.
    A courtier sees unique solutions to a problem. When confronted by a wicked duke, a typical adventurer might launch an assault on his keep or try to assassinate him. A courtier might instead go to the king and plant the idea that the duke’s wicked acts are a political liability. The villainous duke could soon be stripped of his lands and titles, thus ending his threat just as effectively.

    Courtier Starting Feature (1st level): Whenever you make a Diplomacy check, you can roll twice and take the higher result.
    Courtier Level 5 Feature (5th level): Whenever you would make a Bluff check, you can make a Diplomacy check instead.
    Courtier Level 10 Feature (10th level): Whenever you would make a Streetwise check to gather information in a settlement, you can make a Diplomacy check instead.

Courtier Utility 2Courtier's Cover

You quickly cover for another’s gaffe.

Encounter  
Free Action      Personal

Trigger: While you are able to speak, an ally that you can hear and is within 5 squares of you makes a Diplomacy check and dislikes the result.

Effect: Make a Diplomacy check and use your result in place of the triggering result.


Courtier Utility 6Call for Capitulation

Your words reveal the wisdom of surrender.

Encounter  
Free Action      Personal

Trigger: You would make an Intimidate check to force an opponent to surrender

Effect: In place of the Intimidate check, make a Diplomacy check with a DC equal to the target’s Will defense + 5.


Courtier Utility 10Bastion of Words

A well-timed warning causes your enemies to hesitate.

Encounter  
Minor Action      Close burst 5

Target: Each enemy who can hear and understand you in the burst.

Effect: Make a Diplomacy check against each target’s passive Insight. If the check succeeds against a target, the target cannot take actions during your turn until the end of your next turn.


Published in Dragon Magazine 426.