Bullet Points: 2 Options for the Leadership Feat (PFRPG) PDF

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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. Although solid world-building is a useful skill, you don’t always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn’t have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.

#1 With A Bullet Point is a line of very short, cheap PDFs, and each one gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It might be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand holding—they just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.

The High Concept: Two options for different ways to handle the Leadership feat, of use to groups who wish to shake things up, feel gaining the use of an entire additional character (a cohort) is unbalancingly powerful for one feat, or think seventy 1st level characters are more annoying than useful.

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***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Perhaps the best BP so far

*****

All right, you know the drill - 3 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, 1 page content - let's check it out!

Option 1: Allies & Associates - instead of adventuring companions/cohorts, you gain access to allies in a safe haven that work for you. These include an artificer, a healer and a sage and let them craft items for you, cast spells, gather intelligence etc. - all capped by your leadership score's height.

Option 2: Patron Country - Treat all your country as favored terrain, all opponents of your fatherland as favored enemies, travel faster and gain discounts.

Both options are very concisely presented and include info for player and GM.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, the pdf adheres to SGG's 3-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Genius. In this pdf, Owen K.C. Stephens takes a look at one of my favorite feats (in my current campaign 4 of 6 players have leadership) and modifies it in a brilliant way - Allies & Associates offers great rp opportunity, while patron country enables you to play secret agents in the queen's service (007, anyone?) as well as jingoistic bastards. The concepts are rock solid, smart and well worth the price of admission - this pdf is simply brilliant and among my favorite, if not the favorite BP so far - my final verdict will thus be 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


*****

OK, am going to open with stating simply, I hate the leadership feat. No really, I do. The idea that a simple feat gives that much resource to a player really annoys me, and my players have learned over the years to wisely avoid it. Whereas I have never told them no, nor have I forbidden it at my gaming table, they have learned that a happy Gm is a more productive and fun GM. That being said, I was curious what this Bullet Point was going to bring to the table in regards of this extremely unbalanced feat.

What we are presented with are two very different approaches to how to handle the Leadership Feat, one granting the player a “pit crew”, the other mimicking the favored effects of the ranger class. Option one goes on the idea that anyone who can build up a crew of followers and cohorts probably has done just that, but they don't travel with them. Rather they are back at the crib, home base, the keep, that one ship where you are always welcome...or that proverbial bar. Point is, they are at a safe location to the player, they don't travel with them, but if the player can get to them, he can utilize them for cheap assistance. Information, healing, spells, items...all just waiting back at home base. Now, for a GM this takes away the additional NPC from combat rounds, which is one less “body” to keep track of while the group adventures.

Option two goes the route of simple numerical bonus. Player gains the equivalent of a favored terrain boost essentially when within the lands of a community/city etc. that they are a local hero to. This bonus applies to diplomacy checks, prices for services and goods, travel speeds and of course combat and checks vs. the lands favored enemies. A simpler more streamlined method of handling the feat, there is a measure of simplicity in how to handle this feat that may be a little to simple using this method, but that would be up to the individual GM's to decide.

Final thoughts on this one, I'm still not sold on this feat, but these two options do present alternatives to having a player sitting at your table with a small book next to them tracking their cohort and followers, and the logistical nightmare that manifests when said player begins utilizing them all, in every game session. Design wise, an inspired attempt to fix a broken feat, and one that I can see many GM's embracing and using, and well worth the price of admission. So, final rating on this one will be a 5, as it gives exactly what it states, and has me pondering this feats place in my campaign.....maybe.


Excellent!

*****

I don't purchase a lot of 3PP stuff for a variety of reasons. This product is incredibly well done. It fits the budget on a product that is only a single page. It also takes a feat that can be a lot of work and puts it on par with the rest of the feats. I would be willing to split Leadership into two separate feats to accommodate this product. I can see both uses being a huge boon without being overly complex. Both versions can easily be used by different characters at the same time without giving one character an advantage over the other.

The only reason now to use the old version of Leadership is to get your fighter a mount :)


A Balanced Option for Leadership

*****

Depending on your group and GM, the Leadership feat can either be a great addition to the game or a nightmare that makes combat take forever, causes the GM headache, and makes the other members of the party want to "keep up" by doing the same thing, resulting in a party doubling in size.

This Bullet Points release gives two options that give significant benefits to the Leadership feat, but takes out much of the room for abuse it normally allows.

The concepts are actually very straightforward - you can either have "associates" or you can have a "favored country". The two options give distinctly different benefits, but they are benefits that make sense from a Leadership perspective.

I would definitely recommend these options as alternatives to Leadership, especially for GMs who are concerned about the ramifications of introducing cohorts and followers.


Options? We like options!

****( )

The Leadership feat. How many times have you seen a GM hand out a list of House Rules and seen at the top of the list, "The Leadership feat is not allowed?" This attitude takes away the last vestige of an old school class ability, gaining followers. I admit that this can get in the way & overwhelm a GM. that is why I really like this product. It gives a couple of options for Leadership, so that it is useful to have without scaring a GM to death. The purpose of both options is behind the scenes help, rather than a bunch of followers following you around.

Option 1: Allies and Associates
You gain a small support team of three skilled
characters (an artificer, a healer, and a sage).

Option 2: Patron Country
You're a hometown hero & get help accordingly.

Don't want to get too deep into it, but that is the basics. It gives you options for downtime help & support. Your own behind the scenes pit crew. Great for the struggling GM. Great for the traditional adventurer that has a "lair" to come back too.


Super Genius Games

The Leadership feat as written can be a little... intimidating. Well now it doesn't have to be! For the low, low price of $1.00 you can actually start using the Leadership feat today. :D

Hyrum.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

#1 With a Bullet Point: 2 Options for the Leadership Feat gets a 5/5 review over at RPGNow.

"I liked these options, simply because I’ve experienced the problems that Leadership can bring to the game table. Both of these create a stronger “support” role in the mechanics they offer, and have some great material for role-playing the people your character is friends with. If you’re tired of having to deal with cohorts and followers, check out 2 Options for the Leadership Feat."


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:

#1 With a Bullet Point: 2 Options for the Leadership Feat gets a 5/5 review over at RPGNow.

"I liked these options, simply because I’ve experienced the problems that Leadership can bring to the game table. Both of these create a stronger “support” role in the mechanics they offer, and have some great material for role-playing the people your character is friends with. If you’re tired of having to deal with cohorts and followers, check out 2 Options for the Leadership Feat."

I think part of the problem, Owen, is that the description doesn't tell the consumer ANYTHING about the rules that are in it; only that there's something wrong with the baseline Leadership feat and this product aims to fix it. It really looks like a blind shot-in-the-dark from our end.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Golden-Esque wrote:
the description doesn't tell the consumer ANYTHING about the rules that are in it; only that there's something wrong with the baseline Leadership feat and this product aims to fix it. It really looks like a blind shot-in-the-dark from our end.

Well the game material is only 1 page long, as with all our bullet points, and the review gives a pretty good broad overview of the rules. But since I like trying to address the concerns of potential customers (it seems like good business), the short version is that that rather than add new full characters to a game (cohorts and followers), these options turn Leadership into a series of out-of-combat resources. It's still a feat, it just gives you access to aid you gain by having allies who aren't themselves adventurers.

For the record, I don't think there's a "problem" with Leadership -- I like the feat and have used it many times as a player and dealt with it many times as a GM. But a number of SGG customers have mentioned finding it annoying when it's come up in products of ours, and there are whole threads dedicated to what a pain it is as a GM, so this is an effort to create new, less resource-intensive, ways of handling the same basic idea.

The product is selling pretty well for us, though I'd guess that's as much because a lot of patrons seem happy to risk $1 as anything we did about advertising.


Cool options! My players are pretty excited about the first option. Two of my players were already using their cohorts as an out of combat resource, so they're pretty excited about having three instead of one.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

HalcyonAndOn wrote:
Cool options! My players are pretty excited about the first option. Two of my players were already using their cohorts as an out of combat resource, so they're pretty excited about having three instead of one.

In several playtest groups, the reaction from both players and GM was "This is great!," which I took as a good sign! I'm glad you like them. :)


Gave you guys a review.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Thanks for the review, Xorial!

Dreamscarred Press

Just posted my review. Definitely recommend this.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Golden-Esque wrote:
I think part of the problem, Owen, is that the description doesn't tell the consumer ANYTHING about the rules that are in it; only that there's something wrong with the baseline Leadership feat and this product aims to fix it. It really looks like a blind shot-in-the-dark from our end.

To be fair, the review does state:

Quote:

The first option gives you only a scant handful of connections, but you can get quite a lot from them. The second option gives you a broad spectrum of connections, but these aren’t very specific to any particular individual.

In both cases, the benefits are virtually free of combat utility, and more focused on what the people you know can do for you.

Now, that's certainly non-specific. But when the substance of the thing that you're reviewing is a single page long, there's a very real concern that being too specific about what's here is essentially giving the material away for free. When there are only a few rules, describing them in detail pretty well tells everyone what the book's mechanics are, and then there's no more reason to buy it.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

jeremy.smith wrote:
Just posted my review. Definitely recommend this.

Thanks for both the review and the recommendation!


I just posted a review as well. Let me say that of all the 3PP products I have looked over, this style is the kind that I like. One or two pages of easy-to-integrate rules. These two options fit that bill wonderfully. I'm going to rename them both and use all three forms of Leadership. They all have a role to fill. I haven't decided what I want to call them yet, and I don't know if I'll be changing the levels you can acquire them.

Thanks to Mr Stephens, my campaign has gone from great to greater all because I bought that for a dollar!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I just posted a review as well. Let me say that of all the 3PP products I have looked over, this style is the kind that I like. One or two pages of easy-to-integrate rules. These two options fit that bill wonderfully. I'm going to rename them both and use all three forms of Leadership. They all have a role to fill. I haven't decided what I want to call them yet, and I don't know if I'll be changing the levels you can acquire them.

Thanks to Mr Stephens, my campaign has gone from great to greater all because I bought that for a dollar!

Many thanks for the review, and I'm very glad the product is useful for you!

For note I've had a few people tell me they added these as the feats Well Connected and Local Hero, respectively. I'd be interested in knowing what names you go with. :)


Those names are actually perfect. If I come up with anything better I'll let you know but I doubt I will.

The Exchange

Picked up leadership for my Anti-paladin, I asked the DM to use this BP variant rules set, but I have to admit I didn't read it thoroughly before taking it. I am a little confused on the Crafting services provided in Option one. Its seems to me that a level 20 character will only ever have a level 10 caster equivalent for making items. Quite frankly this option for crafting services is unusable as I read it.

Also I was confused about the line that reads: "Such items must require a Spellcraft check with a DC of 10 + leadership score." Why the higher DC for with higher Leadership score?

Otherwise I like the rest. I think it will work well in our campaign.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Nerfherder wrote:
Picked up leadership for my Anti-paladin, I asked the DM to use this BP variant rules set, but I have to admit I didn't read it thoroughly before taking it. I am a little confused on the Crafting services provided in Option one. Its seems to me that a level 20 character will only ever have a level 10 caster equivalent for making items. Quite frankly this option for crafting services is unusable as I read it.

Yes, at 20th level you can have made anything two 10th level characters (one divine, one arcane) can make. Since caster level is not a prerequisite for item creation, that's actually a huge range of items. It does mean you can't get a +5 weapon, but that's one of the reasons GMs who hate normal Leadership (often used to take a crafter cohort) allow these versions.

Nerfherder wrote:
Also I was confused about the line that reads: "Such items must require a Spellcraft check with a DC of 10 + leadership score." Why the higher DC for with higher Leadership score?

It says "a DC of 10 + leadership score or less. It's a cap to how high a Craft DC your crafters can make, since there's no actual check 9and thus no chance for failure or a cursed item).

Nerfherder wrote:
Otherwise I like the rest. I think it will work well in our campaign.

Glad it's working for you!


Review added here. Can't believe I overlooked this one, got a few more Bullet Points from an older purchase to get done as well.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

KTFish7 wrote:
Review added here. Can't believe I overlooked this one, got a few more Bullet Points from an older purchase to get done as well.

Thanks for the review!


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Super Genius Games

Thanks again End!


I'm a bit confused about the healer in the Allies and Associates option.

His caster level is much, much higher than his character level (which is impossible by RAW).

Is this the way it is supposed to be?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Donkey Shot wrote:

I'm a bit confused about the healer in the Allies and Associates option.

His caster level is much, much higher than his character level (which is impossible by RAW).

Is this the way it is supposed to be?

Yes, because it doesn't represent a specific single person but a range of resources that can be brought to bear for the character with Leadership, drawn from a small group of people supporting him. The GM isn't supposed to have to write those people up, but they could be fey with a few specific options, or a samsaran who has spells not in keeping with his class, or someone with Master Craftsman who creates wondrous items to create spell effects despite having no spells herself, or a war priest rather than a cleric (so spell progressions is slower, but caster level continues to advance).

It's a set of guidelines for what your Allies and Associates can manage, not the abilities of a specific character with as pacific character sheet. Caster level can be crucial for things like remove disease and dispel magic, but higher-level spells are specifically kept out of the list so as to be balanced with standard Leadership (since you get a wider range of options) and less annoying for the GM to manage.


Thanks for the fast and helpful reply!


Just picked this up. I'm one of the people who really doesn't like Leadership as-is, and as a DM am highly restrictive over exactly what kind of cohort you can get because it's so easily abusable, and slows the game down even when you're not trying to abuse it.

These two options are pretty great. I'd be a lot more willing to let people use them. This is the first of your products I've seen, left a great first impression!

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