The material below is designated as open game content.
Often a minor son of a noble house, military commanders are typically not in the direct line of inheritance of their family. With little to expect in the way of money or titles, many of these young men choose the honourable career of war. They study military tactics and strategy, learning the ideal way to conduct military campaigns. These professional strategists often lead their nation’s armies during war, using their vast knowledge of logistics to keep their army fed and to keep morale high. Often, however, these commanders have more education about warfare than they do first-hand experience. Some of these commanders use the opportunities afforded to them to gain practical experience and respect in the eyes of their men, while others act as knaves, leading from the rear of the army in the safety and comfort of a wellappointed campaign tent.
Adventuring: Although very schooled in the theory of warfare, many military commanders have limited practical experience. For this reason, quite a few become adventurers, desiring to test their schooling first-hand against brigands, humanoids, and even monsters. As the military commander continues gaining experience, he may find that theoretical knowledge of fighting and warfare bears very little resemblance to the actual act. These more experienced adventuring commanders are more respected by their troops than leaders who obtain their command merely by virtue of having a noble title.
Role-Playing: Due to their comprehensive schooling, some military commanders have large egos because of their immense pride in their education and knowledge. These confident commanders may believe that they know the best way of doing things, and may argue incessantly with other party members when there is a disagreement. Most military commanders eventually cease this superiority complex once they suffer their first few defeats in actual combat and become useful and important party members.
Bonuses: By virtue of his extensive schooling, the military commander gains a +2 competence bonus to all Knowledge (military tactics) skill checks that he makes. His confidence in his superior knowledge and education also provides him with a +2 circumstance bonus to all
Penalties: The strict focus on military strategy and warfare means that the military commander has had little time for other pursuits. He must put maximum ranks into Knowledge (military tactics) for each level of aristocrat gained. Additionally, the military commander’s focus on warfare as the best solution for all conflicts results in a -2 circumstance penalty to all Diplomacy checks he is required to make.