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RPG Superstar 2015

Leadership Cohort Stats


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A PC of mine wants to take Leadership, after looking at the feat it was unclear to me if the stats for the Cohort should be rolled up, or just use a NPC (possibly Heroic Stats) from the Core book?

Or is there another method entirely? Thank you.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I would rule it up to you. If you want to roll the stats or build using point buy, do it! If you want to just use npc stats, do it! Be careful though, I would make the cohort for him, I have seen players abuse Leadership before, and it can get nasty if not watched.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting Subscriber

Same here, I usually make it a useful addition to the party and something that fits with the character as a whole but the stats and skills/equipment should be determine by you initially. Going forward that NPC would probably look to some guidance from his leader though.


You can roll up the stats if you like or use the Heroic Stats. If you want to use another method, go for it. Cohorts are useful additions to the party, but if you make them too strong overshadow them (rare, but possible). You might use whatever method was used to generate characters. But one note: as cohorts are NPCs, I think it's the GM's job to create them, with an understanding that Leadership is a PC's ability and so work cooperatively on creating the cohort.

Lantern Lodge

I've asked my players to use Heroic Stats, with the NPC rules, and NPC wealth guidelines for creating their cohorts, and it seems to work well. They add an extra person on the field of combat which can make all the difference for our rogue to get flank, and they often do buffing.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If hes an npc, should I be "controlling" the cohort, or the PC?


Draznar wrote:
If hes an npc, should I be "controlling" the cohort, or the PC?

That's truly a matter to discuss, player to GM. There's no hard and fast rule. I generally favor the player controlling the cohort except when the player plainly does something that an established cohort would not do (based on previous interactions with that cohort) or when it's important for the GM to take control of the cohort for story reasons. In combat, it should be the player's job. At least, in my modest (not humble) opinion.


Lathiira wrote:
Draznar wrote:
If hes an npc, should I be "controlling" the cohort, or the PC?
That's truly a matter to discuss, player to GM. There's no hard and fast rule. I generally favor the player controlling the cohort except when the player plainly does something that an established cohort would not do (based on previous interactions with that cohort) or when it's important for the GM to take control of the cohort for story reasons. In combat, it should be the player's job. At least, in my modest (not humble) opinion.

I was going to say pretty much the same thing ;)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Here's how it works in my campaign:

Player: I take Leadership. What do I need to do, to get a cohort?
Me: Where is your character posting notices for such a minion? What do you advertise?
Player: I'd like a wizard cohort, so I'm posting at the Arcane School. I mention that we're active explorers, and that I'm looking for a wizard who isn't afraid to get his or her hands dirty. If somebody's good at recognizing enemy spells and countering them, that's a bonus.
Me: The elders there mention that there's three apprentices about to hit journeyman status.

  • Aleph is an elven noble who's been here for years, casual about her studies and sometimes prone to using her noble status as a shield to defend herself against unpleasant duties. She's particularly skilled in enchantments.
  • Beth has been caught trying to filtch extra food from the pantries, but she's never done anything that requires a real reprimand. She's a woodworker as well, and loves turning decorative wands on her lathe; they're in high demand from other journeymen who are themselves better at enchanting a stick than carving one. Her price is sually 'A spell scribed from your book', and she's managed to collect one of the largest apprentice spellbooks they've seen.
  • Gimel is a gnome, specializing in illusions. He has some shady past --he hides out from paladins, and he came through in a pinch when they needed someone to disable traps on a chest-- but the elders have never met anybody as quick to pick up on any stray bit of lore or obscure spellcasting technique.

Player: Is that all?
Me:Where else are you making inquiries?
Player: I don't know. The magic shopkeep? The Pathfinder lodge? The dockside taverns?
Me: That widens your search a little more.
  • The magic shop is still boarded up, remember?
  • At the lodge, a couple of Pathfinders mention that there's a guy named Daleth, who's now somewhat adrift after the rest of his party went after a cult of Razmir and got themselves killed. He might be amenable to joining your crew, but you're all more experienced than him, so he might make a decent henchman. "An' he comes all wit' 'is own gear. His, an' that of his chums."
  • At the Slippery Sphinx, you try to make some discreet queries. "A new spellcaster? Whatever happened to that dwarf sorcerer of yours?" asks a husky voice from a table near the entrance.

Player: Do I recognize him?
Me: Her. Remember the cultists you ran to ground back in Reeveport? Remember the mage there that escaped? She's standing here before you, and she doesn't look particularly pleased to see you.
Player: But say, didn't she do a good job of countering our spells?


Draznar wrote:

A PC of mine wants to take Leadership, after looking at the feat it was unclear to me if the stats for the Cohort should be rolled up, or just use a NPC (possibly Heroic Stats) from the Core book?

Or is there another method entirely? Thank you.

I would use the NPC heroic stats, and it would not get any special PC privileges such as action points or hero points just because the PC's get them.


Draznar wrote:
If hes an npc, should I be "controlling" the cohort, or the PC?

I let the players do it. It is one less thing I have to do while DM'ing, plus if it gets killed he can only blame himself.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Draznar wrote:
If hes an npc, should I be "controlling" the cohort, or the PC?

In combat, the player, out of combat, the GM, that's how I usually roll with Leadership.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I quoted "A cohort is generally an NPC with class levels" to my PC but he counters with....

"I think what there referring to is the person playing the character, (None Player Character) which is why they say generally because (like in this case) a player will be playing the character. (Making it in definition a Player Character)" -- PC

I argue that "The Cohort is an npc, its never considered a PC. Even if you control her primarily, that doesn't make her a full fledged player character."

Am I crazy or is my thought process reasonable?


Draznar wrote:

I quoted "A cohort is generally an NPC with class levels" to my PC but he counters with....

"I think what there referring to is the person playing the character, (None Player Character) which is why they say generally because (like in this case) a player will be playing the character. (Making it in definition a Player Character)" -- PC

I argue that "The Cohort is an npc, its never considered a PC. Even if you control her primarily, that doesn't make her a full fledged player character."

Am I crazy or is my thought process reasonable?

Given that a cohort is "generally an NPC with class levels" (quoted from the feat description), they can't be referring to the person playing the character. That's either a player or the GM. The player controls the character he/she creates; by default, all other objects and creatures in the universe are GM-controlled.

Yes, your thought process is reasonable to me. You are creating her, she's therefore an NPC, which gives you, the GM control over her. You cede some control over her to the PC as you desire.

Be careful your player isn't trying to get a 2nd character out of this. The cohort should be a useful ally, not another weapon in the player's arsenal against the GM.

Lantern Lodge

Chris Mortika wrote:
removed for politeness

That is how I wish I DM'd.


Galnörag wrote:
Chris Mortika wrote:
removed for politeness
That is how I wish I DM'd.

Me too. I also wish my players would be susceptible to that type of DM'ing :)


I generally build cohorts one tier below the players. If I was using 20 point buy, for instance, I'd build the cohort on 15 points. Their equipment would be on the NPC wealth table rather than the PC table, but thereafter they'd be governed by the pc rules for wealth. Typically the players will give the cohort a half-share insofar as treasure and magic is concerned (making them effectively a junior partner in the party, which is appropriate considering what they normally bring to the table). If the cohort really hits it off with the party and isn't annoying to me, I'll usually slowly upgrade the cohort towards the tier that the players are built on over a number of levels, as their heroism 'rubs off' on them, and the party will usually also slowly rachet up their negotiated share. I've seen a few exceptional cohorts earning 3/4 of a share before because the party wants them along so badly.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Galnörag wrote:
That is how I wish I DM'd.

Thanks. I'm flattered.

Part of it, I'm sure, is that I can afford to spend a lot of time in prep work. I've game-mastered a few play-by-post campaigns when I had the time, and that experience was great; the GM has hours to spend crafting replies and such if he likes.

In tabletop games, I'm currently in a cyclic-GM sort of thing, where we each take a turn GMing for 4 - 10 weeks, and then we're off for about 20 - 30 weeks while other people run their campaigns. There's a lot of detail you can figure out in 20 weeks.

I can also recommend PC Perls and GM Gems (and my collection of old Dungeoncraft articles) for the kind of inspirational thinking that helps bring NPCs to life.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I usually like having an npc or two tagging around the party anyways, so I'm usually happy to put together Cohorts and followers when I have time.

Time being the speculative word, of course. When I have impatient players who have a strong Idea, I'll sometimes let them put together their own cohort (usually with the admonishment that said character is their backup if things go south for their primary PC). The Cohort is at least 2 levels less, after all, so it's harder for them to show the primary PC up (it can be done, I know, but they'd have to work it, and I'm not much of one for munchkinisim/mini-maxing in my games).

Given how tough Companion Animals and Eildolons can get though, I wouldn't stress too much about it. A sidekick is a sidekick, after all. I tend to be more concerned about whether or not companion characters will slow down the game overall (as they often do in large parties when combat comes rolling around). Then again, I regularly let players run the monsters in a fight when their character is down (which they love); gives them something to do besides stabilization checks, and adds personality to the enemy.

On building them: they're npcs. Heroic npcs, but npcs. If you're building them, roll them up however you like to build your npcs, but if you cede that right to the player, have him/her tow the line with the npc building rules, unless you trust them to not get sneaky abusive.
On who gets to run them: they're npcs, but their companions as well. I find it's best to let the player handle companions in combat, and use them as an excuse for light role-playing on the side, but I've always reserved the right to take them over as a full npc when I think it would a) be in the npc's best interest, or b) make for a better story or gaming session.

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