Lizardfolk Chief (Paludia Supplement)
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The lizardfolk chiefs of Paludia are the most important authority of their tribe. A chief's primary concern is for the survival of his tribe and the continuation of his line. To that end, all lizardfolk chiefs have kept large contingents of warriors available for combat at all times. In addition to maintaining warriors, the chiefs themselves are usually the best armed of all fighters in their village. The stats for a typical chief look something like this:
Lamius the Prudent
Male Lizard Folk Reptilian Humanoid 2 / Fighter 13 Lawful Neutral
Strength 21 (+5) Dexterity 12 (+1) Constitution 21 (+5) Intelligence 13 (+1) Wisdom 15 (+2) Charisma 10 (+0)
Size: Medium Height: 6' 6" Weight: 200 lb Skin: Green Eyes: Green Hair: None
Total Hit Points: 149
Speed: 30 feet
Armor Class: 18 = 10 +2 [heavy wooden] +1 [dexterity] +5 [lizard folk] Touch AC: 11 Flat-footed: 17
Initiative modifier: +1 = +1 [dexterity] Fortitude save: +13 = 8 [base] +5 [constitution] Reflex save: +10 = 7 [base] +1 [dexterity] +2 [lightning reflexes] Will save: +8 = 4 [base] +2 [wisdom] +2 [iron will] Attack (handheld): +19/+14/+9 = 14 [base] +5 [strength] Attack (unarmed): +19/+14/+9 = 14 [base] +5 [strength] Attack (missile): +15/+10/+5 = 14 [base] +1 [dexterity] Grapple check: +19/+14/+9 = 14 [base] +5 [strength]
Light load: 153 lb. or less Medium load: 154-306 lb. Heavy load: 154-306 lb. Lift over head: 460 lb. Lift off ground: 920 lb. Push or drag: 2300 lb.
Languages: Common, Draconic, Orc
Longsword [1d8, crit 19-20/x2 4 lb, one-handed, slashing]
Heavy Wooden Shield [+2 AC; check penalty -1; hardness 5; hp 15; 10 lb.]
Feats: Acrobatic, Agile, Athletic, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical x2, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Stealthy.
As one can see, the chief is often much stronger than a typical lizardfolk; he will often receive enchantments and/or blessings from any mages, priests, druids, or clerics under his command, and he will always be sure to maintain a maximum level of strength, which is necessary to ward of challengers to his position.
Consorts and wives
A lizardfolk chief may typically have as many consorts as he can maintain. His wives are, in many ways (in many tribes, literally) considered his property, but he is generally expected to make sure they are well-fed, healthy, safe, and that they live in comfort. Their number one role is to provide for him as many children as possible. It is common for the consorts of a chief to be tattooed with his mark, thus showing that he has claimed her as his. Other chiefs will take note of the mark and will sometimes leave the female alone, for fear of retaliation by the chief who bears the original mark. Sometimes these tattoos have magical powers in them, enabling the chief to track his wife wherever she goes.
Problems inherent in autocratic rule
The chiefs of Paludia are mostly absolute rulers, and as such, they are a very bad source of governance.
First, one must consider that an autocratic state is in private, not public hands; the state and everything in it belongs to one individual. The people living under this one individual have no say in what decisions are made or how things are run. The interests and concerns of the people can only be fulfilled at the autocrat's leisure. By contrast, the autocrat will be able to avail himself of the resources of the land he controls; he can take anything he wants. There is no law to stop him because he is the law. Although traditions may limit his power somewhat, history has shown that customs are no good at hampering a tyrant over the long run, especially if he controls a great deal of land.
Second, there is no objective basis for autocratic rule, from any viewpoint; it can only be maintained by force or threat of force. Scientifically, there is no reason to believe that a tyrant possesses any "higher" or "greater" qualities than anyone else, regardless of race or family origin. Philosophically, there is no reason to believe that anyone on Earth has the inherent right to dictate the laws of the land one lives in. And from most religions' points of view, tyrants violate the morality set by God by claiming to be greater than they are; either they claim divine right of kingship (falsely) or else tell their people that they are divine themselves.
Third, the consequences of tyranny are horrendous indeed. A tyrant cares only about fulfilling his desires, and not about the people he rules. At first, the situation might be good, but as time goes by, the tyrant will want more and more, and will not think twice about hurting other people to get what he wants, even if it means starting a war. This will make the tyrant unpopular, and will increase the incentive to go to war in order to distract the people. Scapegoats are also used, and Paludia's chiefs will often scapegoat other tribes in order to distract their people from their problems. Sometimes, rival tribes are wiped out by violence instigated by autocratic chiefs.
Of course, the lizardfolk don't stop to think about any of this; most tribes haven't seen any other form of government besides monarchy, and even the few non-monarchical tribes don't find monarchy unnatural. On the whole, the lizardfolk find that the ruling family is the natural outgrowth of the regular family. Besides, every male lizardfolk want to be chief, and every female lizardfolk wants to be consort (or wife, or head consort, depending on the tribe.)
In The Game
In a quest involving a Paludian lizardfolk chief, one thing is certain; the chief of a village will only aid the party if they are of some use to him or if he can get something from them. Usually, this is little more than helping out in a fight or retrieving an item, but on occasion, a major request may be made. DMs can use chiefs as major movers in any campaign, as their status and power in a tribe enables the entire tribe to move with them.