What makes a great lord?

I know this will very much so vary in opinion but hear me out.
I’ve seen and used many lord’s on my fe gba playthroughs and questioned myself if some of these are great. Of course everyone has different play styles when it comes to playing so these (in my opinion) are the basic of what lord needs.
The class.
The relevance to the story/lore itself.
The introduction.
The stats.
The character development.
The growths.

Note: Not all lords need character development.

  • The growth, if the lord starts with poor stats but with great growth it worth to train it without fear of leveling for just get killed on the next chapter
  • An unique and Powerful final weapon, it gives personality to the protagonist being more attractive ( Alternative Falchion or not )
  • To be innocent and good leaders, most of times the protagonists are lords but cause they have the chance to guide people for a noble cause because they generally would be noble. If a lord it’s Ignoble it wouldn’t be the protagonist imo
  • to have blue hair xD , ok it’s just that it became a something singular in FIRE Emblem, and having not Blue Haired lords It’s a bit weird ( without offending Roy )
  • mmm it should be attractive and charismatic enough to attract the attention of the public to play the game
    That’s what I think
    I hope you like it
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Their class in game has to be called “Great Lord”

actual reasoning

I think they need to be good characters in their own right alongside good character design. Good unit performance is also a big plus


O yeah but don’t forget the Lordstar Marth the bestest Lord

This is basically the generic question “what makes a good protagonist”? Character development, relevance, agency, lack of passive behaviour, personality and/or beliefs we can understand if not wholly identify with… we all took English class in high school. A Lord is just a FE protagonist, so add “usable growths/bases/class” and you’re done.


I also asked here a similar question last january, collecting opinions from different people, although it is more on the story relevance(?) side aka non stats:
perhaps this will also help you

One of the most common characteristics of the protagonist in FE is

His father or mother dies.
FE fathers usually die.

His castle will fall early on.
Otherwise it would be difficult to draw up a scenario where he fights with a small army.

They have friends who are absolutely loyal to them no matter what their circumstances.

Somehow a strong knight has been with us since the beginning (Jagan).

They’s weak early on, but active.
Retires from the front line in the middle game and goes behind the scenes to train younger players
Returns to the front line again at the end of the game

Anyway, there is a strong locked weapon.

Ikemen is justice.


Cute is justice.


So for Lords in general, I find the following to be common:

Swordlocked or Magic
Regardless they have a tendency to get a mount on promotion.
Bow lords, fighter lords, flier lords etc. are rare.

Almost always have one of the best growth distributions out of any unit. They will more often than not snowball into huge juggernauts only hindered by story-locked promotion and even then, will be better than a large chunk of the cast. Mage lords that have constant 1-2 range are very susceptible to this.

They usually start out mostly irrelevant to the main plot; they only enter the plot (i.e. stop fighting bandits and start fighting empire/cultists etc.) when it gets shoved in their face such as an invasion or the death of someone important to them. They are then forced into the conflict out of necessity and as a result become competent leading to their party becoming more and more important to the story as a powerful fighting force. Their character development usually comes during the main conflict, and usually when their own choices end up not being the best and other characters calling them out for it.

Overall, I find most lord archetypes to be very common and recognizable and I’m honestly quite fed up about it…
which is why I’m working on a romhack that will defy or deconstruct this.

I’m trying to write a lord, except:

  • His growths are awful and his promotion gains are the worst in the cast (his bases are adequate for the starting bandits and no more). By the end of Ch4 he should become a liability and by the time he promotes he should be hopelessly useless.
  • His talents, while present and competent in their relevant fields, are mostly useless in an armed conflict; they are mostly relegated to supports
  • He makes bad strategical decisions and you, the player, will suffer for it with some very hellish map difficulty and blatantly anti-player mechanics like fog-of-war
  • Major power players all have no trouble ordering/manipulating him around like a pawn to make use of the (much more competent) subordinates under his command; his army is strong but its leadership lacks any real political ambition
  • The starting party members eventually wrest control of the army from him and he becomes a figurehead while they run the army as a council
  • When the Nyna shows up with a bigger army, his army gets absorbed into it and he plays no more major roles for the rest of the story (while the Nyna/their deputies become the actual lords for the last act)
  • He doesn’t get to use the legendary weapon that wrecks the final boss; he is the only unit that cannot reach S-rank in any weapon type (except the dancer)
  • If he gets a paired ending with a marriage, it’s very clear his wife is the one actually ruling his lands
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ngl that sounds extremely unfun in a bad way :pensive:


There are two main facets that make a game’s Lord have good game-feel.

First, and most obviously, the unit offers good combat or utility. They hold their own, you’re not babying them every turn to make sure they don’t die, they’re actively contributing to your army.

Second, and this is where canonical FE struggles a bit more, the Lord has to be able to share the stage. FE1/3/6/11/12 are almost exclusively maps with an objective to capture, and because of this, Marth/Roy have this “Ferry to throne” feel for players trying to test their skills or otherwise. In turn, this makes them feel worse as units because you aren’t using them as units that much.

And of course, a Lord can’t be a Lord unless they’re a central figure to the story and the story, in some manner, cannot be itself without them. If the plot could go on without the Lord, the Lord has failed to be sufficiently part of the story for it to be a good example.

I would argue - rather extensively - that Lords do not have to have Class: Lord, they definitely don’t have to Uses: Swords, they don’t have to have approximately 18 HP, 5 Strength, 5 Skill, 7 Speed, and 5 Defense at level 1 (Marth, Roy, Eliwood, and Ike).

Lords don’t need to have good stats or growths and can be extremely unconventional, as long as it doesn’t feel like an active drag to use them. They have to be a likeable person or at least not easy to hate, because the player should want to see them succeed because it is that success that the story is going to most likely build towards.

Lords don’t need much to be good, but to be great, I believe they need to be in a well-written story that lets them show their character’s depth and breadth off. They need to have a varied cast of friends to ping-pong with, to build the world and to showcase their own beliefs about that world. They need to have gameplay use that isn’t “Is the way to end the map”, they need to have something unique to themselves.

Really, all of these same elements apply to any character or unit. The thing that makes the Lord be the Lord is that the story is about them or requires their participation.

A great lord is, in essence, just a greatly written character that is at the story’s center, and as a unit is competent and consistent.


strongest california male


A promotion in the penultimate chapter…
Just a joke, don’t like that, anyway.

Sigurd was a great lord. Helped me get through the almost whole half of the genealogy of the holy war
without any special weapons (except for the silver sword and tyrfing in the end)

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Like most folks said above, there are a lot of common tropes for FE lords that, while iconic, get stale when you find them in every game/hack you play, so you’d probably get more appreciation for defying the stereotypes somehow.

Honestly, having a main character lord with a flaw that’s not actually a “pick me” flaw, like Eirika being so pure and trusting that she gives a stone to Lyon for no discernable reason. Sure, it’s a drawback, but it’s from the part of her character that makes all the hair-dyed demigods join her party and/or forgive her for allegedly murdering their family/friends. So, it’s actually an important attribute for her to have and in all other ways, she’s a saint anyway. It’s like being at a job interview and saying your worst attribute is that you’re too much of a perfectionist, but your potential employer doesn’t want to hear you humble brag on yourself, they want you to exhibit actual self-awareness and willingness to confront your own weaknesses.

They can still be good people, you don’t have to go full grimdark and morally grey to have a fresh protagonist. Who’s going to root for a main lord who beats his wife over a golf trophy? Professionals have standards. But good people are capable of doing bad things, and sometimes you want a little salt and spice with your sweetness, like old bay on caramel popcorn(which I recommend, by the way, it’s shockingly tasty).

Or you could go @RNGSOMEONE 's way and make your initial lord a 2019 guy. Which is freaking hilarious and made me laugh when I was reading it in class. Salute.

Also, archer lords are chad.


In my opinion the lord is one of if not the most important unit to get right in a hack, if your lord’s an active liability then the game becomes an absolute slog to get through, especially when paired with seize maps or blatantly unfair mechanics such as FoW, however if a lord is too strong then the game becomes a different kind of chore to complete as you’re just throwing them at everything until the credits roll.
In terms of story, I think that possibly the worst idea is to make them a non-factor in the story. A lord who isn’t capable of anything or isn’t making any sort of impact on events does not deserve to be a lord. Overall, the last thing players want is to put up with someone who they can’t stand an entire game so be sure to make a lord that players can at least tolerate, something like a lord who constantly messes up or is constantly being manipulative or manipulated isn’t going to be very likable and people probably won’t want to continue playing your hack for long since the lead is so unlikable. Subversion of tropes is good but do not subvert for the sake of subverting. Make your lord interesting.
Make sure to give lords flaws but not to let those flaws define their entire character.


There should be narrative and mechanical reasons why the character with the game over flag should be the driving force of the game.

Motivationally, it can be anything, reactive or proactive, just as long as we, the audience can understand and/or empathize with their desire to eventually fight a dragon and probably god with a thing called the fire emblem

Mechanically, they need a niche that makes them stand out from everyone else in the rag tag bunch. Generally speaking, this is done by way of making them the guy who takes the chair, or who has a knack for convincing others to join the cause, or has some weapon unusual enough to make them stand out to a passerby (that probably does pretty good against armor and horses)

But that’s just a Lord

What makes them great?

First there should be some struggle, internally or externally, with their ability to lead or if they are the one to be given the task of saving the kingdom from the empire
Second, the should have some quality that those closest to them can see that inspires following the Lord’s leadership
Third, this doesn’t necessarily have to be immediate or apparent even to the Lord, it is something they should come to understand and either temper and embrace, or acknowledge and work around (if its a perceived negative quality, like being the first to rush into a fight)
and Fourth, when they embrace their title and reach their full potential, they wield their rank and weapon not just for themselves, but for their cause, others, or to achieve their initial goals without becoming the villain… unless that’s the goal you had in mind and intend to write a fall from grace


I really like Leif’s arc as a unit. He starts off as “little Leif” with 5 con and bad stats, none above 6. He can actually be captured and carried off the map by many enemies, for a very insulting game over. But he has good growths, even in Build and Movement, supports more units than any in the game (which if you are unfamiliar with FE5, are completely free and don’t need to be built) and a great prf weapon with 1-2 range, large luck boost, and ability to fully heal him.

He does start to struggle again when he reaches lvl 20, since his promotion is late, and it’s probably the worst in the series giving 1+ to some stats and no movement or new weapon types, but the ability to have him gain levels again is the best part.

Leif’s highest point is the battle against Raydrik. He gets a super sword that absolutely trivializes the fight, making it ironically anticlimactic, but in the notoriously tricky FE5 it is a breath of fresh air to get handed the victory, and it is definitely not unearned due to all the suffering you had to persevere through to get to this point.

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the protagonist is the character the story focuses on, not the “good” person. don’t conflate the two


Wow I learned a lot about lord’s today. Everyone made great points and that makes me happy. Thank you guys and gals :heart:


I know but I just say that FE vanilla games has always noble lords as Protagonist. And the protagonist aren’t always lords btw
So an ignore lord would only be a protagonist of a FE fangame

So I read RNGSome’s idea, and while it sounds interesting, I don’t know if it is a good idea in practice. So instead of Deconstruction, how about reconstruction?

So, during a war campaign, the king had fallen. This causes his son, the lord to be the new king. However both the Lord and the Jagen knows that the lord is not yet experienced in leading an army, let alone a country, so the lord became a figurehead leader, while the Jagen being the one in charge, with the lord being understanding enough to not give a fuss. Alternatively the lord is simply too young to rule and the Jagen had to be the reagent.

Gameplay wise, the lord is more growth oriented, much more so than the average FE Lord, while the Jagen is also a Game Over condition if defeated.

I have two idea on how the story goes. One is simpler, borrowing from TLP and Advance Wars Days of Ruins. The Jagen also died midway through campaign, forcing the lord to lead the army by himself. Fortunately he manages to learn a thing or two about leadership from the Jagen.

The second idea is probably a bit more interesting. During the campaign, the party is presented with a moral dilemma. While the Jagen’s solution is more pragmatic, the player are allowed to make the lord intervene and offers a more moral solution, which lead to a gaiden chapter. For example, there’s a village that is about to be attacked by a bandit. The village is of little importance to the campaign, and worse a rain is about to fall. You can got through the Jagen’s solution to simply ignore the village, or the lord could intervene and bring the party to save the village, leading to a gaiden chapter where you try to rout a bandit from a village in rain weather. As the story progress, the lord is starting to propose a more daring but moral solution to the problem, and as you completed the gaiden chapter, the Jagen is starting to have faith in the lord’s capability.

This leads to the three possible ending depending on how many gaiden chapter you completed:

  • Bad Ending: The Jagen decided to have the lord go on a leadership training while the Jagen rule the Kingdom. The kingdom’s future is uncertain.
  • Normal Ending: The lord rule the kingdom with the help of the Jagen. The kingdom is recovering and hope is high.
  • Good Ending: The Jagen, impressed by the lord’s capability, relinquish his position and let the lord to be in full charge while the Jagen become an advisor. Under the lord’s rule, the kingdom fully recovers and became very prosperous.

I guess I got a bit out of topic here, sorry about that. But in my opinion, since the lord is usually the protagonist of the story, I think it’s better to at least give the MC some redeeming qualities. Edgelord or even a villain protagonist isn’t a bad thing, however an MC that is too downright unlikeable is bad thing. Also I think that RNGSome’s idea could work in comedic situation I think?