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Mynafee Gorse

Bill Dunn's page

Goblin Squad Member. Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber. Pathfinder Society Member. 4,765 posts (5,431 including aliases). 4 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 1 Pathfinder Society character. 16 aliases.


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Mykull wrote:
TriOmegaZero, so the people who post on the Paizo Messageboards do not represent the people who play Paizo's rpgs?!? You're kidding me with this, right? Please tell me you're kiddding me with this.

Mykull, it's not a representative sample - it's a biased sample. Thus there's more error if you try to infer anything about the overall PF-playing community based on your observations of people here.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Mass Cure Spells have always been underwhelming. The extra targets are pretty much never worth the sacrificed combat potential of a spell several levels higher.

Heck the Cure Spells in general are pretty underwhelming, even more-so regards the characters with higher hit points that in theory are the ones who are going to take the most beating anyway.

The problem is, compared to damaging spells, they scale weirdly. They offer a little scaling based on caster level, but most of their scaling is by spell level - which, thanks to wand cost calculations, means that there is no healing wand more efficient than the wand of cure light wounds. They also, as a result of their scaling, generally scale poorly compared to the damage a PC is likely to take in a fight.

Their singular major positive factor is the ability of most PC clerics to spontaneously cast them so they don't cost a pre-planned resource.

I think there could be a better scaling for healing spells - I'm just not sure what it should be yet. I haven't put too much effort to it.

Ash hears Zaiobe's voice ringing in his head, "I think he will agree to meet because he makes certain... overtures to me that I have rebuffed. And he is weak like all men when it comes to lust."
...perhaps letting him know a bit more than he wanted...

Zaiobe's expression is enough to convey her answer to Alara's comment, though her telepathic voice makes it absolutely clear, "Ugh, no!" But as far as Masamune's broader suggestion... "This is my bedroom." She nods toward the nest of grasses and debris. "And there are not many places to hide here. I thought the parapet on the wall might do since it gives you more room to fight. I do not know how much you need."

She lets go of Piper's hand and extends it toward Ash.

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Rynjin wrote:

It really isn't though. At least not how I've always pictured it. The way it works you basically just wing your weapon in a big arc around you like a scythe into wheat, which seems to be very much not finesse.

That kind of ignores the context clues about it such as the prerequisites that suggest mobility and deftness over brute force. Add to that the development of the concept through 3e's non-OGL flavor text and all the way back to the 1e Oriental Adventures kensai, a finesse-oriented class, and I'd say you have a better fit in a non-strength-based feat tree.

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upho wrote:

Oh, lemme join in! I have two (or lots, actually):

1. Improved [Combat Maneuver] - Maybe some of them should still require a feat, but multiple feats? For example, I still cannot for the life of me see why Improved Trip requires an Int of 13 AND Combat Expertise - a purely defensive feat that's also absolute crap. Or why you would need to be able to Power Attack in order to push someone back without you getting smacked first (Improved Bull Rush). Guess I must have an Int way below 13...

2. Power Attack - The penalty is already built into the feat.

The improved/greater combat maneuver feats are ripe for better scaling. They're supplements when you get them because anyone can try the same maneuver but just be kind of bad at it. But they should scale through the advanced ones. Same with vital strike.

Power attack is probably one of the few feats I would agree with kart-ryder about. I could see it like combat expertise - anyone can try it (like fighting defensively) but at a less efficient exchange. The feat makes it efficient or expands the ability.

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Rynjin wrote:

If it was going to be a Feat chain, why isn't Whirlwind Attack the ultimate Cleave Feat?

If it was just one Feat, that'd be fine. Though if it was an option that anyone with BaB +6 could do, that'd be better.

Cleave's part of the power attack/strength chain. Whirlwind attack's mojo is more finesse and speed. That's probably why it was on the dodge/dexterity chain. It might work better off combat reflexes.

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I may agree that some prerequisites could be thinned, reworked, and some better scaling within the feats themselves occur. But probably not that whirlwind attack should have a BAB no higher than 1 or that it should have no prerequisites at all. I'd cut the combat expertise (and attendent intelligence bonus).

I would also consider paring down the feat list considerably in favor of more generic feats, particularly for combat (extra damage, condition imposition, special maneuver, etc). The list now is getting too bloated and specific in its effects. I'd then set them up intended to be built into more cohesive combat styles like the 1e Oriental Adventures martial arts. There'd still be a particular method of picking them up - more basic maneuvers needing to be picked up before more advanced ones - but with more varying prerequisites based on the style.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

I never said such an attack should be made without penalty without a feat, only that someone who knows how to fight should be able to actually fight even if they're surrounded rather than lie down and die.

They'll still probably die anyway but they might take a few of their assailants with them.

Would you rather have a PC be able to take as many attacks as they want as long as they're penalized for it? Might that not bog down play? Large numbers of attacks from single characters already can take a long time to adjudicate. And how does that work with high level combatants who may have attack bonus out the wazoo?

I think designing something like that might open a bigger can of worms than just accepting that it's a supplementary feat and not everyone is designed to be able to do it.

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You think anybody should be able to just swing at everyone within reach? How is that ability not a significant improvement over the standard action single attack or even full round action multiple attack (considering you qualify for whirlwind attack when you can probably only get 2 attacks) when it has the potential to hit quite a few more? That seems to fit in with your idea of the feat being supplementary to me.

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kyrt-ryder wrote:

Indeed this is a huge flaw in the current system. Feats are restrictive rather than supplementary.

A feat should enable you to do something crazy freaking awesome or make you significantly better at something you can normally do.

Right now most feats [except caster feats that is >_<] tend to restrict simple things someone should be able to do.

That may apply to some feats but I'd say it's a mischaracterization of most, even martial, feats. I don't think I would consider most martial feats something a character should normally be able to do.

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Tectorman wrote:

Oh, really? And when you rolled a nat 1 for your first attack roll in a campaign, were you stuck with that nat 1 for EVERY attack roll thereafter?

It's really not the same thing. Plus, there are numerous ways to compensate through ongoing development in a 3e-based game like PF.

Yeah, but we don't know whose it is. If it's just cash it's untraceable. Nevertheless, I suggest we plough that money back into the local economy.

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I wouldn't worry about it. I wouldn't dissuade the player from taking it either. Most traits offer a nice little bonus, this one is no different.

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I recommend getting photocopies of their character sheets so you can review them and make sure you understand their abilities. Have them talk to you about their level up plans when you level them up. Then you can anticipate better how their characters will interact with the adventures you run.

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AntiDjinn wrote:
Knowing your party's take 10 numbers for various skills is a great tool for a DM to set the DC's for a skill check or encounter. The take 10 number is that "just under 50%" mark for a DC. It is also a good way to waive a roll entirely when there is no reasonable way a trained person should fail a check (or when you didn't intend for a specific minor dice roll to derail an entire adventure): "If you are trained in knowledge, local, then you have heard of this guy" is the same as saying "The DC on the knowledge local check to recognize his name is under your take 10 for the skill so we don't have to wait while you pull out your phone, boot up your dice rolling app, then spend 30 seconds staring at the screen and doing math in your head before telling me the result."

I agree that knowing a PC's take 10 results can be helpful because it does allow a GM to waive rolling lots of situations. But I wouldn't use it to set the DC itself, at least not very often. I'm in the camp that DCs are what they are and should be set independently of the specifics of the PCs as much as possible.

Piper, you don't need a diplomacy roll with every question. All you need it for is to raise someone's attitude and for really significant requests. Most other stuff is far more routine and not in need of a die roll.

In response to Piper's question about how she communicates with Kikonu, Zaiobe says, "It is how I speak - curse or gift. I seem to be able communicate easier with some I choose. I chose Kokonu when we were lovers, though I haven't tried since he betrayed me, I think it would still work."

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I keep wondering if people are thinking of 3e's cover rule when they're bringing up the possibility of hitting their ally. In 3e, not only did a person shooting into melee suffer -4 to hit (amelioratable by precise shot) but if there was anything between them and the melee, including their own ally, the target got a cover bonus and if you missed by a margin less than the cover bonus, you might hit the cover. And that could be your buddy. See page 123 of the 3.0 PH.

They demoted that rule in 3.5.

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The Additional Resources document allows the Pantheons and Aroden appears on the cultural pantheon. Granted, it's qualified by a parenthetical (before his death) but he hasn't exactly been removed from the list. I can't really imagine anyone raising a stink about listing a character as an Aroden worshiper if you aren't deriving a mechanical benefit from your worship. After all, if you can worship none, then worshiping something that isn't a god (or no longer is one) doesn't seem a very far step.

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I'm not sure I'd allow the player to forego the -4. Melees can get kind of chaotic - intended targets within one probably should get a bonus to their AC even if a shooter is being reckless. There's just a higher chance of something, anything, getting in the way and deflecting the shot. I'm not even talking about hitting the shooter's ally. I'm talking about just having a hard time hitting anything intentionally. Taking a feat to trump the penalty seems about the right cost to me.

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Milo v3 wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
. This means that the player can't just say, "Before I go into the ball I put a flower in my lapel -- maybe it will give me a bonus to Diplomacy" -- because they know it won't.
While I agree with most of the post this is wrong. As the GM can give you a circumstance bonus for doing so. Circumstance bonuses still are sort of based on "Mother May I".

I increasingly detest characterizing any refereed RPG as "Mother may I". It's just more of one group of players talking down to another or players of one game talking down to players of another.

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Sounds like a potential style clash to me and nothing more. If their style doesn't work for you, let them know. I'd strongly suggest giving it a few sessions before making that decision.

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The rules aren't really borked. They can't cover every possible contingency that groups of gamers will throw at them. Better for the GM to make a ruling and move on. That's what he's for.

With Zaiobe on the spot, a good many of you get the feeling that she's quite sincere about wanting to take Kikonu down. She veritably seethes with hatred for him.

Piper, Ash, Masamune:
Very perceptive group of you guys. As far as general trustworthiness, you get the feel she is sizing you all up. He eyes dart a bit from item to item, weapon to weapon, as if assessing how formidable you are.

Both Alara and Piper receive Zaiobe's telepathic suggestion (no, not the spell, just a suggested course of action), "Good! We should lay an ambush for him. Because we were once close, I can communicate with him without touching him. I can suggest an intimate meeting and draw him out without his corbies. The question is - where?"

If we're looking OK with it, the next question is when to start. We could start right away - as 3rd level characters, that means everyone would get a +1 resistance bonus, even without wearing a cloak. (Alara, I'll come up with a suitable replacement for the cloak Walther gave you. It'll be a relatively minor thing but it would be something not obsoleted by the auto-bonus system.)

The whole attainment of clothing as +0 armor basically means that even regular clothing allows you to apply the inherent armor bonus. Mage armor is pretty much always going to be better, but some armor bonus will apply (once it starts up at 4th level) even when the spell isn't in effect.
The other main benefit is you don't have to reserve your neck slot for natural armor, shoulder slot for cloaks of resistance, or a ring slot for a ring of protection. You'll still have some kind of automatic bonus apply.

Jacen "Ash" Teleris wrote:
I'm using one of the variants in my Reign of Winter game and I love it. It has made it so my players aren't all wearing generic stuff (which this does as well). The thing to note (to everyone who is asking) is that it doesn't remove magic items, it just removes the base bonus stuff. It does, also, call for a reduction in wealth by level, because you aren't going to need as much magic gear. The only worry for me is weapons keeping up, but it doesn't really effect Ash. With that in mind, could I propose weapon enchants or even look into 3rd party or 3.5 weapon enchants, since for myself and Rawnie, we will not be using much in the way of weapon enchants. Also, will you still be throwing us the campaign specific magic weapons and such? (even if they are missing their inherent +1/+2/etc)

I would still be using whatever campaign-based weapons are in the treasure drops. They'd just be there for their add-on abilities and not raw pluses. Those would come inherently and can be used with any weapon a PC "attunes" to (which can be switched fairly easily). The rules as written generally call for the inherent bonus to ablate a little when using weapons with special enchantments - which effectively means a PC pays for a keen enchantment by reducing their inherent bonus by 1 when using that weapon - but I may ignore that since it's harder to bookkeep and, primarily affecting martial characters, has relatively little game balance danger.

Oh, yeah. The utility stuff would still be around, but bonus-based stuff would be supplanted.

I was thinking about some of the optional ideas in Pathfinder Unchained lately and I was thinking that one rule might be particularly fitting for this group. I've noticed there isn't a lot of chatter about dividing treasure, even when there are useful items to divide up. That's fine with me, by the way, because I like a group that has other priorities than the equipment upgrade grind. But taking too relaxed a view on that topic may leave the group a bit underpowered.

So my suggestion is that people review this link here: Automatic Bonus Progression
It's basically PCs picking up inherent bonuses. Magic items, from my end, would not be based on lots of +1 rings, +1 cloaks, +1 items, stat boosters, less routine math-oriented and so on and that would leave more utility-expanding items around.

Check out the link (or a copy of Pathfinder Unchained if you have it) and let me know what you think.

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Jane "The Knife" wrote:

check out the history of the Janissaries in the Ottoman Empire sometime.

or the Egyptian mamluks...

Check out the history of Janissary revolts and corruption sometime. Or the history of slave sabotage in the United States.

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Jane "The Knife" wrote:

?? what ??
You don't trust me, because I'm a slave? what?
There is no more chance of my "switching sides" by being sold in the middle of a mission than one of my companions. Less in fact.

edit: from the Wikipedia article I quoted above, "... the belief that slaves in a position to be privy to their masters' affairs would be too virtuously loyal to reveal damaging evidence unless coerced...."

The risk of a slave being sold while on mission may be low. But the risk of disloyalty or sabotage could be high depending on the slave's relationship with his or her owners. Getting coerced service from someone really isn't the same as willing service and comes with risks.

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thejeff wrote:

And then you go shoot down the idea that there's no racial aspect to slavery in Golarion.

Cause that, right there, that's racial chattel slavery. Not "Transatlantic Slave Trade", perhaps, but then the worst excesses of US slavery took place after the slave trade was stopped.

If the slavery in Cheliax were specifically oriented toward enslaving people based upon skin color, like the Garundi, then I think you'd be looking at a parallel institution. But, while halflings may be preferred slaves in Cheliax, I don't think slavery there is limited to halflings.

Zaiobe responds to Alara's question, "Putting on a play? That is him. He believes himself a great artist, but his "masterpiece" is all garbage. He did not take my voice, but he has used it against me. I do not understand how he did it but it was needlessly cruel."

She looks in Ash's direction, but continues to direct her telepathic communication at Alara and Piper. "Kikonu does not come here often. But if he knows you are in the castle, he may come looking or send corbies. My presence will not stop that... unless we work together."

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Except there are loads of basically benevolent organizations in real life... unless you really were agreeing with me and not being sarcastic.

As well as loads of organizations that take on institutional secrecy as an interest as well as an us vs them mentality like the aforementioned FBI, CIA, and a host of corporations, religious organizations, and even charities. If the trope is overused, it may be so because it mirrors so much of reality.

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ThePuppyTurtle wrote:
Hrothdane wrote:
Someone thought the Decemvirate needed more "evil points," apparently.
What the hell is it about large organizations which main characters work for that makes the writers feel the need to always make them evil? Why the hell can't the good guys ever work for an organization that is legitimately virtuous and standing up against evil in morally sound ways?

But the Pathfinder Society aren't the good guys. They're adventurous guys looking for knowledge... for themselves to write about or stow away in places for their "top men" to examine. Even an Andoren-based adventure I've played has PCs retrieving a dangerous item for questionable motives like possibly cheating in a prestigious tournament. They're thieves with a glorified and self-serving motivation. There are more enlightened (in the sense of good aligned) factions within the organization but they exist cheek to cheek with devil worshipers and mobsters.

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Sort of yes, sort of no. You really don't want to step on another players toes - that's just bad etiquette. That said, have you worked with the slayer player at all or is it the GM being overly heavy-handed on the slayer's part? What's the slayer player's take on all of this - the way you're writing it sounds like it's all coming from the GM.

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lokidr wrote:

NobodysHome wrote:
We just do level-ups together so we're all on the same page.

I don't know if it's extreme, but it seems to describe your method. You add the restriction that players sit with all the other players and you when they level. If someone has to leave early or can't make it to the game that week, do they level alone or have their own leveling session?

Maybe I'm slow, but I take a lot of time to consider options. My paladin/oracle has a lot of odd options to weigh. The straight barbarian, not so much. Group leveling will lead to a lot of snap decisions and all that implies for both DM and players.

How often are you just starting to think about what option to take when the GM says "Level up!"? Chances are you have some pretty good ideas what you want to do before that happens. Plus, if any questions come up about your PC and what he can do, everyone is there and problems can be hashed out and everyone put on a common level of understanding of a particular feature.

lokidr wrote:
NobodysHome wrote:
In my mind, it IS a cooperative game.

Cooperative means operate together. If I'm the tank, I don't need to discuss taking options to better tank to cooperate: it's my job and I should do it well. I don't ask each round what I should do, even as I consider other players in my decisions. If this IS a role playing game, the players need to play their own role.

But in many cases the role they pick, as in the role within the party, is selected in consultation with the other players. Player 1 is taking Feat A, Player 2 picks Feat B to complement Player 1. Or Player 1 is going to be a rogue with good lock-picking skills so Player 2, who is playing a wizard, elects not to gear up to make wands of knock. That too makes this a cooperative game.

Jacen "Ash" Teleris wrote:
He also has a awesome miniature in the battles line ;)

And there's a Lamashtu as well. But my favorite may be Squealy Nord.

Pazuzu. Yes, there's a known name. He may not be as well-known as his rival Lamashtu, the Mother of Monsters, but he has a certain notoriety as a demon lord. He's reputed to be the father of Deskari, another demon lord who is best known on Golarion as the main force behind the Worldwound. Pazuzu may also have a Sanpoint connection - the "Late Unpleasantness". When local carver Jervis Stoot was revealed as the serial killer known as "Chopper", they found an altar decorated with the tongues and eyes of his victims and dedicated to some bird demon. Sheriff Belor Hemlock (chief deputy a the time) still refuses to get any more specific than that - he may not want to know more. But Piper's studies enable him to recognize that the altar was probably dedicated to Pazuzu.

Zaiobe turns her attention to Alara. "I do not know what it is that you need to cure your friend's illness, but maybe we can work together because we face the same problem - the current master of the castle - Kikonu. He has hurt me for the final time and I want retribution. Together, your friends and I, we can defeat him. And with him gone, the corbies should be less of a problem. What do you say?"

Alara cannot hear Piper's telepathic voice via Zaiobe's link. She can relate what she communicates, but not acts as a conduit.

Zaoibe's voice rings in Piper's head, "The wind was Pazuzu of the 4 Wings. He took my voice as a sign to me. There are places I must go and I have... wasted too much time here."

She spies Masamune and Ash coming up the stairs. "How many of you are there?'

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My take on the resale of magic items is that 50% is a convenience factor. Some things will sell for less, some for more, but consistently trying to get more will take time - potentially lots of time looking for an optimal buyer. If they wanted to hold off on selling something in order to get a better price, they're either out of adventuring time longer or they're hiring agents for their sales (and I think they'd charge about 10-20% for that service).

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I don't generally ban stuff outright as much as I discourage things for thematic purposes. "X won't fit this campaign well, so let me suggest something else..." More like that.

Zaiobe watches Piper with an astonished look. She then drops her bow and grabs at Piper with her now free hand. When she makes contact, Piper "hears" in his head, a feminine voice, "Can you not speak either? Did the wind take your voice too?"
The voice seems to be quite excited.

As far as understanding her telepathic ability, not many magic items or spells come to mind, and none of them require physical contact like she seems to need to communicate. However, telepathic powers are often associated with extra-planar or divine sources, as are related curses like her apparent muteness

The winged woman's lips don't move, but Alara can suddenly hear a foreign voice in her own mind. "I am Zaiobe. Do not be afraid. This is the only way I have to speak." Zaiobe's grip tightens on Alara's hand as she communicates this, resisting any sudden reflex to pull away.
"What are you doing here? Nobody comes here."

For a better look at Zaiobe art than the wee little chit I made for the maps, check the links at the top of the page. I'll clip and post other art of major NPCs and opponents chapter by chapter as you encounter them (if there's splashy art in the books).

The winged woman doesn't seem particularly hostile. As the ninja reaches out, she holds her own hand steady with no sign of treachery that Alara can detect.

But as far as what's going on? That's a bit difficult to tell, other than the winged woman wanting Alara to take her hand.

Piper easily recognizes the woman as a harpy - creatures best known for singing a captivating song that will so enthrall listeners that they will stand contentedly as the harpy rips apart their flesh. Bards can, of course, counteract a harpy's song with their own music.

The winged woman transfers the arrow she is holding back to its quiver and then makes a beckoning gesture with her empty hand. She extends that hand toward Alara, palm up, as if she wants Alara to take her hand. As she does so, she cocks her head just a little as if she were asking a question.
She does this without uttering a word or other vocal sound.

As Alara reaches the top of the stairs, she feels a slight breeze and smells the fresh salt air of the harbor as well as something else... something more like rot.

The room at the top of the tower is lined with bookshelves, though most of their contents currently lie in heaps on the floor. A large nest of grasses, branches, and strips of cloth is tucked into a corner of the room and rustles with air currents that blow in through an open door. Through that door, Alara can see a balcony overlooking the bay.

On the balcony, a creature stands. Her features are at least partly feminine, but cruel and harsh. She has large bird-like wings on her back and talons for feet. She holds a bow in one hand, an arrow in the other, but both are lowered, the arrow not yet put to string. She appears wary, but also curious. Her eyes narrow as she scrutinizes Alara's appearance.

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I'm not sure I'd go for aid another here. Seems more like a heal check replacing the save to me. That said, once you've rolled and you know you're 2 points short, it's too late to get the help. They need to be part of the check, not brought in retroactively.

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I haven't banned the use of Leadership, in fact, I think it can be really useful in rounding out a group or getting a PC a bunch of useful contacts (good use for those followers).

I let the player control their cohort in combat under the assumption that they should work well together, though I will veto obviously suicidal actions on the cohort's part. As GM, I play the cohort under other situations and will use them to supply information to the players as best I can.

I have let the players build their cohorts, but I will also build for them too based on a few specifications. I make it clear that I will be striving to build a complete and well-rounded character, not just a one-trick bag of hit points.

I don't even worry about using a cohort to craft magic items. I find the concerns about that being a problem are completely overblown.

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Other alternatives:
Bonus feat - if you're worried about that being too good, limit the choices to stuff that's useful but may not be a priority to buy. Save boosters are a good choice, for example.

+2 bonus to a stat - The PCs can be counted on to boost their highest stat, so consider boosting their second-highest stat. It'll affect the power curve less than their highest and still be kind of nice.

Start using the hero point system (if you aren't already) - not as good as mythic but still a persistent boost.

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