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Ary Scheffer: Charlemagne reçoit la soumission de Widukind à Paderborn (1840), Musée national du Château de Versailles, Galerie des Batailles.1840 Ary Scheffer: Charlemagne reçoit la soumission de Widukind à Paderborn (1840), Musée national du Château de Versailles, Galerie des Batailles.1840

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

Some people get power from blades. Others get it from mobs. The demagogue inspires and incites. He makes his listeners want what he wants, then tells them how to get it. He makes them forget law and morality.

Personal Charisma is everything to a demagogue. With it, he can rise to power with few achievements and skills. A great general or renowned priest is even more effective as a demagogue, however. It’s easier to get the mob to chant your name if you’re famous, and a good reputation will win the thoughtful as well as the foolish to your side. The hearts and minds of the thoughtful are almost irrelevant, though. The demagogue’s power always rests in the goose-stepping cadres and the blind masses chanting his name.

Bards make distinguished demagogues; they already do on a small scale many of the things that demagogues do on a larger stage. Demagogues make commanding villains.

Hit Die: d4


To qualify for the demagogue prestige class, the character must fulfill the following criteria.
Skills: Bluff 6 ranks, Perform (oratory) 6 ranks
Feats: Commanding Voice

Class Skills

The demagogue’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Charisma), Concentration (Constitution), Craft (Intelligence), Diplomacy (Charisma), Gather Information (Charisma), Perform (oratory) (Charisma), and Sense Motive (Wisdom).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

Level BAB FS RS WS Special
1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Matching Speech
2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Enthralling Speech
3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Blunt Hostility, Band of Brothers
4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Leadership
5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Personal Charm
6 +3 +2 +2 +5 Shifting Position
7 +3 +2 +2 +5 Fanatical Followers (cadre)
8 +4 +2 +2 +6 Fanatical Followers (mob)
9 +4 +3 +3 +6 Fanatical Followers (mass initiations)
10 +5 +3 +3 +7 Aura of Truth

Class Features

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

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

Audience: The demagogue’s abilities require an audience, even if that audience is only one creature. A creature must be able to see and hear the demagogue to be affected by his abilities. Any creature that can see and hear the demagogue is part of the “audience” referred to below, though the demagogue can intentionally exclude one or more creatures from his audience with the content and tone of his speech.

Languages in Common: The demagogue’s abilities depend on his ability to speak. They are useless if he is unable to speak, or if he does not share a common language with his audience.

Matching Speech: At 1st level, the demagogue learns how to vary speech rhythms and vocabulary to mirror those to whom he’s talking. He inspires confidence and trust by talking in the same way as the person he is trying to influence. This gives the demagogue a +2 reaction bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Perform (oratory) checks.

Enthralling Speech (Sp): At 2nd level, the demagogue learns how to hold an audience spellbound. He must speak to the audience for 2 rounds, then make a Perform (oratory) check (DC 20). If he succeeds, the audience becomes fascinated. It remains quiet and listens attentively for as long as the demagogue continues speaking.

The targets’ Spot and Listen checks suffer a –4 penalty. The demagogue gains a +2 circumstance bonus to any skill checks to influence members of the audience for the duration of his speech. The demagogue may speak for one hour per class level before becoming exhausted; the Endurance feat doubles this.

Any creature can negate the effect with a Will saving throw equal to or greater than the demagogue’s Perform (oratory) check result. Any potential threat (such as an ally of the demagogue moving behind a fascinated creature) allows the fascinated creature a saving throw against a new Perform (oratory) check result. The new Perform (oratory) check receives the +2 circumstance bonus described above. Any obvious threat, such as casting a spell, drawing a weapon, or aiming, automatically breaks the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the demagogue cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours.

Enthralling Speech is a mind-affecting charm ability.

Blunt Hostility (Sp): At 3rd level, the demagogue learns how to forestall aggression long enough to talk his way out of a situation. When physically threatened, the demagogue may make an Intimidate, Diplomacy, or Perform (oratory) check (DC 15) as a full-round action. If the demagogue takes damage or fails a saving throw during this attempt, he must make a Concentration check (DC 15) to complete the

If the demagogue is successful, each member of the audience must make a Will save equal to or greater than the demagogue’s check result to attack him. The effect persists for one round for each class level the demagogue has in this prestige class. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, Blunt Hostility has no effect on it for 24 hours. Blunt Hostility is a mind-affecting charm ability.

Band of Brothers: At 3rd level, a demagogue also learns to play on his audience’s need for belonging to bind it into a cohesive unit. The demagogue may speak for two rounds to draw his audience together in a feeling of brotherhood and instruct it on effective cooperation. He then makes a Perform (oratory) check (DC 20).

If the check is successful, the members of the audience automatically succeed at skill checks to help each other in cooperative efforts and at attack rolls for “aid another” combat actions. Any character who benefits from the “aid another” combat action receives a +4 circumstance bonus instead of the usual +2 circumstance bonus. The effect persists for one hour per class level of the demagogue.

Leadership: At 4th level, the demagogue gains the Leadership feat if he does not already have it. The demagogue receives a +2 modifier to his Leadership score for recruiting cohorts and followers.

Personal Charm (Sp): At 5th level, the demagogue can turn his worst enemies into friends. Once per day, he may attempt to charm a character with his force of personality.

The attempt takes at least half an hour, and works best if the demagogue is alone with his target. The demagogue gains a +1 circumstance bonus for each hour he spends with the target, up to a +6 bonus. The demagogue suffers a –2 penalty for each person other than himself and the target that is present during the attempt.

At the end of the attempt, the demagogue makes a Perform (oratory) check, adding his class level to the result. The target must make a Will save against this result. If the target succeeds, she is not and can never again be affected by this demagogue’s Personal Charm ability.

If the target fails the save, she becomes charmed, and treats the demagogue as a trusted ally. This effect is permanent and cannot be dispelled. It can be broken by the usual violations of trust that break a charm person spell, as well as by a greater restoration, limited wish, miracle, or wish spell.

Personal Charm is a mind-affecting charm ability.

Shifting Position: At 6th level, the demagogue also learns to lead his audience to subtle shifts in their opinions. Given enough time and skill, he can convince them that day is night.

Each attempt takes at least one hour of oration. For every two hours the demagogue spends speaking to his audience, he gains a +1 circumstance bonus, up to a +12 bonus. (It takes extraordinary measures to make an audience Listen to you for 24 hours, of course.)

The demagogue must start from a position that his audience agrees with. This is easy to do if he is speaking to an audience made up of followers who already agree with the demagogue’s public positions. If he is unsure what the audience agrees with, he may suggest a number of ideological positions in his oratory and measure the audience’s response. A Sense Motive check (DC10) will determine the most effective position from which to start.

The demagogue then uses his favorite rhetorical tricks to convince the audience of his new position. He speaks until he is ready to make the attempt to shift their position, then makes a Perform (oratory) check. The DC is determined by the magnitude of the shift that the demagogue is trying to accomplish; see the table below.

If the demagogue succeeds, any creature may avoid being convinced with a Will saving throw equal to or greater than the demagogue’s Perform (oratory) check result. Success gives no immunity to future influence attempts by the demagogue. Most members of an audience will not make Will saves — in most situations, they probably wouldn’t be listening in the first place if they weren’t interested in the demagogue’s opinions.

Shifting Position Difficulties
Degree of Shift DC From: “The king is just!” To:
Slight 15 “The king is just, but he needs to be warned about the elven peril.”
Minor 20 “The king is a little soft on the elves.”
Significant 25 “The king has been favoring those insidious elves.”
Major 30 “The king has been suborned by the elves.”
Ridiculous 40 “The king is an elf in disguise, secretly working against our human way of life!”

Fanatical Followers (Sp): At 7th level, the demagogue may use ceremony and ritual to turn ordinary followers into fanatics. He may perform an initiation ceremony once per month of game time. The ceremony does not have to be formal — a chat over coffee can be as effective as a baptism or midnight hazing. The followers must be willing participants, though they need not be consciously aware of the ceremony’s effect.

At the end of the initiation ceremony, the demagogue chooses which followers to affect and makes a Perform (oratory) check (DC 25). If he is successful, the chosen followers gain the benefits of a prayer spell. This effect lasts for one month and cannot be dispelled, though the effect on a follower will be broken if that follower becomes disaffected from the demagogue.

At 7th level, the demagogue may affect a number of characters equal to his class level in each initiation. Those characters must be followers or cohorts as described in the Leadership feat. At 8th level, the demagogue may affect all of his followers and cohorts at once. At 9th level, the demagogue may affect a number of characters equal to twenty times his character level at once. (At this point, the initiation ceremonies usually involve large rallies and long speeches rather than intimate kaffeeklatches.)

Aura of Truth (Su): At 10th level, the demagogue automatically rolls a “natural 20” anytime he makes a Bluff or Perform (oratory) check, including attack rolls during political debates.


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