1-The Charles 1st
This King has managed to rule without Parliament for eleven years by using obsolete taxes like Ship-money, knighthood fines, fines for breaching the forest laws and the like. But after he blundered into a northern war, he had no choice but to call Parliament for money. Parliament has a long list of demands and complaints, and things are on the edge of a full scale civil war.
In theory the Hirohito is all powerful, but in practise he is kept isolated from his people and is not allowed much of a say in government, although he does have a weak influence on it. He fears that the generals who in reality rule his country are going to get it into one war too many yet there is little or nothing that he can do to stop them.
The real king has either been kidnapped, an iron mask clamped on his face and immured in a dungeon, or outright murdered and secretly buried somewhere, and this doppelganger from another kingdom has been inserted into the position, and is now trying to swing his country's position on foreign affairs to help the country he is a true member of without being uncovered as a fake.
Plot Hook-The PCs are on the verge of rescuing the real monarch when they realise that he is in fact a deeply unpleasant person who will cause a civil war in his country if he is set free as some rally to him whilst others prefer the imposter. Do they still decide to set the real king free?
4-The Richard 1st
A popular warrior king, beloved by his people despite persistent rumours that he is homosexual, the Richard 1st is brave beyond belief and a good fighter, but he has a foul temper at times and would much rather go on crusade then stay at home and get on with the work of ruling his kingdom.
5-The Richard 2nd
As a boy of fourteen faced with a revolt of the peasants, he rode right into the middle of them without fear and talked to them, persuading them to go home-and later setting the royal army on them and punishing them severely for their revolting behaviour. Later though the king once admired for his bravery became paranoid towards his nobles and there are now plots to overthrow him going on.
6-The Richard 3rd
He is deeply unpopular with his people because of worrying rumours that may or may not be true that he immured his own child nephews in a fortress and had them murdered because they had a stronger claim to the throne then he does. Child killers are not popular at any time in history, and there are many who would happily revolt against him given the chance.
He is a weak king who will die young without achieving much in his life, but his tomb will escape the attentions of the normal grave robbers and when one day in the far future it is opened by archaeologists he will become famous because of the rich grave goods found within.
The Great is a popular, intelligent monarch ruling a rich country who is neither needlessly cruel to his subjects nor so far the other way that crime gets out of control, with an heir and a spare and a loving Queen and in good health-the ideal of what a king should be.
The Cruel is notorious for how unpleasant he is to anyone who he even suspects of trying to overthrow him, and the putting out of eyes is a common punishment at the royal court. As you can imagine, he is not a popular king, but few will dare to do anything about him, not wanting to fall foul of his secret police and be blinded or end up with their heads stuck on spikes.
10-The State Is Me
Through a combination of personal popularity, clever statecraft, a judicious use of taking hostages from the nobility without maltreating them in the process, and an efficient secret police, this king has all the levers of power in his hands and everybody at all levels of society knows it.
After the currant king was killed in a tragic jousting accident, his son and heir was only six years old when he was crowned. As a six year old clearly cannot rule the country, a Council of Regents has been set up until the King reaches his eighteenth birthday. But one of them may get to like the taste of power and make plans of his own to cut the heir with a knife before he can reach adulthood and take over.
12-The Michael Collins
The Michael Collins came to his position by the way of terror and of multiple assassinations of police, soldiers and anyone who dared to inform, using a secret army. As such he is wary of the same thing happening to him, and because he and his friends have fallen out with each other this has become highly possible.
13-The Edward the Confessor
This king is very religious even by the standards of his time. Many, not least his Queen, think him to be too religious, to the point where it is getting in the way of his governing the country. Should he be one day overthrown and tonsured and forced to enter a monastery, many think that he would not in fact mind it that much.
This King really wants to modernise his kingdom, but he does not care who gets hurt, and many of his ideas for his 'Great Leap Forward' are terrible. His kingdom is wracked by famine, but his police and secret police have managed to ruthlessly suppress all opposition. He has a very active personality cult.
This king is trying to change his nation but he is going too far too fast, the clerics are worried about him, and many people who supported him earlier are backing away. If he is not careful he will soon be overthrown and probably killed.
The Lazy is quite happy to leave the business of actual government to his ministers as long as he is free to enjoy himself and has enough money to buy luxury items and servants to wait on him hand and foot. The next monarch will find it hard if not absolutely impossible to regain royal control of the government.
17-The Charles II
The Charles II was chiefly known for his mistresses and his underhand dealings and was not very popular, until a spark in the wrong place set his capital alight. Rather then turn and flee to safety, he used his soft white hands to throw buckets of water all night upon the flames, risking getting cut off and burned alive more then once, and helping to stop the entire city from burning down. Afterwards he temporarily suspended the laws against vagrancy since so many subjects had been burnt out of their homes, and made sure they were fed until the city had recovered. In doing this, he became truly popular and seen as a King of the people for the first time.
His country was taken over several years before by a great Empire, but he was allowed to rule as a semi-independent client king. Finding himself to be dying, he has left half his kingdom to the Emperor and the other half to his daughter, but the Imperial servants have other ideas and once he has died they will want it all.
19-The Lord of the Isles
Although the Lord of the Isles technically ranks as a clan chief rather then a king, he is considered a de facto King to his clan as he has de facto powers of life and death over them. He not only has his own large clan army, but also a large clan fleet fully capable of either defending the home islands of his clan, or invading the mainland. He is popular with most of his clan and a brave man in battle, and only rarely and for severe offences orders an execution.
Unpopular with the people, who utterly despise him, this king is known for high taxes, an unpopular manner and a liking of throwing his noble enemies-and their wives and children-into dungeons and having them deliberately given water but no food so that they slowly and painfully starve to death. His barons are on the verge of a revolt to remove his boot from their necks.
21-The Alexander II
The Alexander II is considering the advantages of at least a limited experiment with democracy and letting the people have some say in whole rules them at the lower level. However, he might not have a chance to do this, as a small terrorist cell are busy plotting his death.
The Peter want's to modernize almost everything-the armed forces, the Royal Court, the tax-gathering, the cities, the Church-everything except for his own absolutist royal rule. No political parties of any kind are legally allowed to form in his country and the leading nobility and churchmen are closely watched by political police for any signs of revolt or even resentment.
23-The Leper King
Once a handsome, popular and intelligent monarch, although his mind remains sharp as ever, his looks have been destroyed by leprosy and he never appears in public without gloves, a body concealing cloak and a mask. He knows that he does not have much longer to live, but is determined whilst he still lives to rule well.
Plot Hook-the PCs are sent to find a cure for him before it is too late.
The Mad has genuinely gone insane; amongst other things he thinks he is made of glass and could shatter if he is not careful, yet there is no constitutional way to depose him and he is not so insane that he does not know who he is and the full extent of his powers. It is seeming more and more likely that for the sake of the country his assassination, sadly, has become necessary.
Plot Hook-looking for plausible deniability, the PCs are the ones promised a large reward if they can get past the royal bodyguards and commit regicide; should they succeed their employers will try to double cross and murder them to make sure that the truth about what happens never gets out.
25-The Kim Il Sung
With the Kim II Sung, everything in his country is all about him and his people suffer and starve under the watch of his secret police, whilst he and a few others underneath him live in luxury. His country is full of propaganda posters and other forms of propaganda endlessly proclaiming how great he and his government is, and his people are not allowed to go abroad in case they discover the truth about just how decrepit and unpleasant his kingdom has become.
The Martinet is strict, with a strong police force to see that his laws are obeyed, and a pillory, whipping post, gallows and gibbet in every town. Amongst other things, prostitution and pornography are strictly banned, only the army and police and a very few high ranking nobles may legally carry weapons or even own them, and the Martinet has been known to personally whip or execute convicted criminals. Despite his strict laws, most of the merchants, traders and shopkeepers like his rule, as the amount of crime in his kingdom has greatly dropped since he was crowned as the king.
After a monarch was so unpleasant, incompetent or just so unlucky as to be overthrown, the replacement is trying frantically to maintain his grip on power and make sure that the same fate does not happen to him. Uneasy is the head that wears a crown.
28 and 29-The Twins
This country has not one but two monarchs ruling at the same time, and each may veto the actions of the other king if he thinks that the other king is not ruling properly. They are in turn watched over by a Grand Council who can in certain circumstances such as insanity, treason or gross incompetence dethrone one or both of them. So far the system has worked surprisingly well.
The Puppet is not allowed any power at all and lives in a de facto gilded cage under a comfy but firmly enforced palace arrest, whilst his ministers and the military rules in his name.
Plot Hook-he has smuggled out a letter to the PCs promising a large reward to them if they can rescue him and place him in a position of proper political power. He may or may not be planning to try to double cross them once the deed is done.
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? Responses (2)
I take it you're not Irish.
I have a little bit of Irish blood in me but don't consider myself Irish as such. I also have some English, Scottish and Norwegian blood in me.