Burning a King

I’m working on a campaign where the King of the land plays a very important role - he’s the father of the PC. As such, he’s both antagonist & recurring NPC, and I’d really like to give him a full burn. My problem is, I just can’t find the right Life Paths. There’s Born Noble, Prince of the Blood & Noble Prince to begin with, but then what?

Is there any point in burning characters as big as a king and a queen? I guess I could just make up stats & skills for him, but I really like working with lifepaths for NPCs. Help?

I’d burn him up as far as you can and then add a few traits, reputations, affiliations and such as you see fit.

I guess you could figure out what he did before he was the king. Was he a great warrior or general? A crusader? Did he take holy orders and enter a monastery only to be jerked out after the deaths of all the other heirs? Did he pal around in court?

countercheck’s right. i front-load my king’s with background lifepaths.

Born Noble, Page, Squire, Knight, Knight, Court Advisor, Prince of the Blood, Noble Prince for the classic privileged King build

throw in a Captain LP for the King who took his realm by force

throw in a courtier, master of horse, or other such lifepaths for a distant cousin-type surprise inheritance situation.

the key question is ‘how did the king gain his throne?’ - straight lineal inheritance, physical conquest, magical means, some wizard’s puppet king who killed his wizard and took control, a noble child enslave who gained his freedom and rose up against his realm’s oppressors. the more interesting you make his back story, the more fodder for conflict with his privileged son. i suggest playing against type and throwing some interesting wrenches to surprise the PC son further down the road, depending on the history of your land. lots of potential

Kings are monsters.

And Luke just broke my brain. I have to go start burning up the King for my campaign, now.

Burning a king:

This scene may have been the only time reading a book ever gave me a nightmare. (That’s Denethor there, from Return of the King. A Steward, technically, but close enough.)

And yes, I do agree, if you want to get the level of high drama fitting for a king like this, you need to custom burn him using your imagination, not from lifepaths.

Countercheck is right, lots of questions to be asked.

When did he come to power? Is he a young King new to the throne or an old King with heirs awaiting his death to seize power themselves?
What kind of kind is he?
Was he legitimate or a Bastard?
Is he educated [Student]? As a youth was he a dashing Prince of the Noble Court [Courtier] or a Warrior Prince holding his fathers crown by force of arms [Knight/Captain]?
Does he rule justly or is he a master manipulator [Blackmailer]?
Is he a Sorcerer or a Secret Cultist?

Dean is right too, mix things up, make new paths?

I’d do a basic burn as you imagine him, then tweak for colour, add or even subtract a couple years, modify or add traits.
feel free to change life-path requirements for him too he’s the heir to the throne; who’s gonna tell the old King, “No, your son can’t squire Sir Roderick because he didn’t serve as a page first”?