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Is there anyone who does not Ban Leadership


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew

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Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Tales Subscriber

I allow it. As others have said I have rarely seen 1 player in a party take the feat let alone everyone. Even so, I don't see a problem with the feat. The GM just needs to adjust a little.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
LazarX wrote:
I ban it in my home games because there's no need for it. If a player wants followers, or an army, he jumps through the roleplaying hoops and he can get them if the campaign can accomodate it. They'll get what they get based on what they look for, and how they do so.

I haven't had to rule on this yet since no one has indicated to me that they're thinking of taking this, but the above sums up how I feel about it.


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Xexyz wrote:
LazarX wrote:
I ban it in my home games because there's no need for it. If a player wants followers, or an army, he jumps through the roleplaying hoops and he can get them if the campaign can accomodate it. They'll get what they get based on what they look for, and how they do so.
I haven't had to rule on this yet since no one has indicated to me that they're thinking of taking this, but the above sums up how I feel about it.

Here's how I handle it...

I don't ban it. I may give it out as an RP reward, or the player can take it.

If it's an RP award, then the follower shows up after some RP (usually over several levels/several months of real games), and if you've RP'd right, and treated them right, then you get a cohort and some followers. Basically, a free feat.

If you take it, then you either pick someone that's been involved with the group already, and you get basically an RP boost with them, and they become a cohort in a game or two. Followers then begin showing up.

In either case, you can lose a cohort and followers by treating them badly. If you paid for the feat, you can attract another, but with a reduced leadership score. If it was a freebie, you lost it.

So, it's harder to get one through RP than taking the feat, and it's easier to lose it permanently if it's a freebie. Taking the feat insures it (since you're giving up a resource), but even ensuring it doesn't make the cohort or followers slaves or anything, they can leave if you do them wrong, and your leadership score goes down.


I think some people are interpreting it as an "extra PC for player" feat and not a "get to boss around NPC" feat.

If you do it the first way, I can see how you will have problems.

Most old school players I know don't use it that way.

This is the way I know:
Player takes the feat and asks for cohort. GM gets a level appropriate NPC from the GM guide and plays it. Player has to tell NPC what they want them to do. He has his own personality and makes his own decisions.


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darth_borehd wrote:

I think some people are interpreting it as an "extra PC for player" feat and not a "get to boss around NPC" feat.

If you do it the first way, I can see how you will have problems.
Most old school players I know don't use it that way.
This is the way I know:
Player takes the feat and asks for cohort. GM gets a level appropriate NPC from the GM guide and plays it. Player has to tell NPC what they want them to do. He has his own personality and makes his own decisions.

I'm a 1e guy from way back, but I let the player select and run the cohort (the latter mostly because I have enough to do already running the game). The thing I'm noticing in 3.X is that, given that the cohort's CR is 3 less than the PC's (2 levels lower minimum, -1 for NPC-equivalent gear only), the cohort isn't equal to another PC. He's an aide, a helper, a source of a bit of extra healing, but generally doesn't pull a full-duty share. And that's fine with me.


I've never banned Leadership. In fact one of my PCs having Leadership has been a crucial plot point in my current campaign as she is a Lieutenant in Cormyr's army in FR. Her cohort is her sergeant and has been a good source of information for the group.

Silver Crusade

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I'm not a fan of Leadership when it becomes apparent it's not for RP but rather to introduce a personal healbot, item crafter, buffer, etc. Always seems to be a caster.

Osirion

I personally like Leadership.

I DM about 90% of the time, btw...

In my Kingmaker game, I ended up making Leadership mandatory: they are rulers of a fledgling nation, after all. It has actually been pretty smooth. They started out loving a couple of the NPCs (Due mostly to my odd RPing of them), wanting them to stick around. Funny, once they Cohorted them, and wanted to 'control' their every action, everyone stopped loving them so much. Ha...
So, I stepped back in and RP them from time to time, mostly for flavor to keep the players happy with the personalities.

Anyways, (Minor Spoiler) in Kingmaker, you have positions in the government that you need to 'fill', in order to make things run more smoothly. Putting the various Cohorts in these jobs has thus helped quite a lot.

Cohorts: I don't let you make the exact 'Build' that you drool over, sorry... You can either advertise (Looking for traveling Bodyguard,etc...) or you can Cohort one of the NPCs encountered, or otherwise available.
I have Hero labs, and, honestly, I have statted up over a hundred NPCs at least. They have a pretty good selection to choose from.

The party tends to reward the Cohorts as a group, since they all have the option of a Cohort. Only one player currently has a Cohort,however...another one died in the last module, and a third died, but was resurrected and semi 'retired', now serving as Captain of the Watch in the home base.

The actual leader of the country never took a Cohort. Instead, I allow him to have an open Cohort spot, which he may fill (From about 10 NPCs who now work in positions in the government) as needed for a particular adventure. Need some Recon/Stealth? Bressa slinks along, a little firepower? Salmos Fiero, Gnome Fire Sorc blaster... Diplomatic tact in short supply? Feldyn of Dylnarra, at your services, M'Lord.

He's never really abused it, is perfectly happy with this system, and it works well for us.

Another boon is (Now that they are involved with Inter-Kingdom war), the party's combined Leadership netted them 100+ extra troops. Not bad, when going to war with your rivals.

As well, Leadership (Cohorts) allow for a fun, and familiar option, should a PC die. One guy has already asked (Should he get eaten by a Dragon or what-not) to play one of the Cohorts as a PC.

All-in-all, I think that it is a game-by-game choice. Not all Campaigns that I have run would have fit this model, or Leadership at all, frankly. But, my current one does, and I'm pretty happy about how we have made it work.

-Uriel

RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I allow it. One PC took it because her back story is that she is a charismatic rogue who travels a lot, and now that we're getting higher in levels, she's meeting up again with a lot of people who owe her favors, or making new connections with people in towns the PCs pass through in their adventures. So now that she has a definite mission, she's reconnecting with these people and having them do things to influence the campaign world in ways that she wants. She has a single cohort swashbuckler as a sidekick, whom she sometimes sends on short side missions, but her followers are spread far and wide running errands and making things happen for her behind the scenes.

In the same campaign I have another player who'd assumed Leadership would be banned. When he saw she took it, he said "We can take Leadership?!" And immediately set out building a Barbarian Smash Machine as a bodyguard for his bard. "And the followers?" I asked. "Not interested. They're useless in combat," he said without any apparent irony in his voice. He doesn't actually know what the rogue is doing with hers, since she's always told me privately what they're up to. The bard actually has yet to TAKE the feat, but he statted up his guy anyway and keeps him current with his bard's level, just IN CASE he takes Leadership next level.


Pathfinder Cards, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I allow the Leadership Feat, but I can understand the grievances of other GM's who do Ban it. Currently in my game there are 2 players who have taken the Leadership feat. The main problem I see with it are for inexperienced players who want to do more (By having more than one character). This leads to a bog down in combat/roleplaying when the inexperienced player can't decide what to do. What compounds the issue in my game is that the inexperienced player is also a summoner. So at a minimum he has a total of 3 characters to go through before his turn is up. But overall the feat is fine in my opinion.


I don't ban it. It actually would be a neat tie-in in my up coming campaign but I won't say why as I know a few of my soon to be players peruse the boards. :P


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
TOZ wrote:

No, HIS generalization was absolutely right, it was the other guys generalization that was wrong. Obviously, his generalization about the other generalization doesn't fall into the same category.

;)

Mind. Blown.

Are Barbarian?

Taldor

I've never banned Leadership, but none of my players have taken it, either. There isn't a shortage for a cohort to fill up because there's already 7-8 PCs at the table, and I think my players just don't want the bookkeeping.

This thread inspires me to give Leadership another chance, though. Especially if I use Kingmaker.


I usually don't allow it since my party is in the 7-9 player range, and last time somebody took it they had tried to bring their entire mass of followers with them on adventure. Talk about a slow combat that ended in dozens of dead followers. Apparently lvl 1 guys get glassed when ambushed by AoE spells.

While running legacy of fire I've allowed it, but for cohorts only, and those cohorts are meant to be backup characters if their main dies where we can't get back right away for a raise.

Next campaign I'm allowing it since its going to be a looser campaign with some minor kingdom building stuff involved. Since the characters are going to be landed lords, leadership makes sense. One of the characters is taking it so they can have a seneschal or steward, and men at arms to guard and take care of his property when he is on campaign.


I think it's great, and I think adding it as a feat was a GREAT design move vs. AD&D where is was an automatic class feature if you built a castle. If you want to enjoy that class feature, great, take the feat. If you don't, or if your particular campaign doesn't lend itself, take something else and you're not getting hosed.

You can still hire people as needed as the GM allows, with or without Leadership existing in the game or with or without having taken it.

To distinguish, IMO a true cohort should be valuable enough to the PC to justify not taking some other feat, I think this is often best accomplished by letting the player have input in the NPC's build and letting him run the cohort in combat.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

With less than 6 players, I generally allow Leadership with the following caveats:

1: Followers do not get involved in combat. They crew your ship, cook your meals, clean you keep, or possibly grow crops. They are YOUR responsibility as a player, but MY targets & plot-hooks as a GM. They are also NPC classed, unless special considerations arise (you run a thieve's guild, or own a mage's college, or etc.)

2: Cohorts may or may not be involved in combat, but expect them to be mercilessly targeted if they fall into the classic "shoot first" categories of A: Healer, B: Buffer (like Bards), C: Spellcaster, D: Super-Turret-Archer-Guy.

3: Do not slow down the game. If you take a hundred years to handle a single melee PC, do not expect to then take a Summoner Cohort. Just no.

4: You do the paperwork. I reserve the right to audit said paperwork at any time, and I expect you to do the math properly, but I will not be generating large numbers of NPCs for you to run, nor will I create your Cohort (unless you're grabbing a Pre-Made NPC from the campaign, in which case, Hooray!)


I took the Leadership feat in order to provide a cohort for missing party roles and for the followers to be a squad of low level "red shirts".

The cohort is an oracle of life whose primary role is to fill in for the ever increasingly absent party cleric. I try to keep her out of the fights as much as possible, but I will have her bless the party before each battle and heal them afterwards. Also, since the party does not (usually) have a rogue, I gave her the Seeker archetype so that we would have somebody who can disable magical traps. Since the rogue in question is an Alchemist X/Rogue 2, she might still be called upon to handle the magical traps. She also has one level of the Harrower prestige class, so the party will benefit from that if both of the other players she can replace happen to show up for the game. When she is not otherwise needed, her main role would be to guide low level NPCs out of danger.

For the followers, I set things up so that their second in command is my player character's Viking-like uncle. They would be used to handle low level threats that are far beneath the party's abilities. I made him second in command because of the hit my leadership score will take the first time that group takes casualties -- at that point, the original leader will desert with many of his followers, and the Viking-like uncle will take over those who remain. Most such fights will take place "off stage", of course.


I've played in one campaign where someone took the leadership feat. It was the worst idea ever. I'd never play in a game where someone got to play 2 characters.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't ever ban the feat, but I do talk to my players beforehand and discuss how they intend to make use of it. I also do my level best to introduce NPCs that appeal to them as potential cohorts / followers over the course of the campaign. Nobody's actually had to stat up their own cohort, so far. They usually latch on to an NPC that they like and Bob's your uncle . . .

Followers are much more dynamic and vague; unless you have a solid reason for a few dozen people [or more, for the really charismatic types] to tag along on your adventures, they're usually stationary. Folks with real lives and such that you can generally rely on in a pinch. If you have a stronghold, chances are most of the people associated with it will be followers. They're often low-level contacts withing organizations and communities that the PC frequents. Anytime the PC is trying to, say, gather some intel, his followers pitch in with their Aid Another actions and provide a significant bonus.

Of course, the only guys that I've run games for that actually took the feat were mature, experienced players that wanted to use it an an RP tool to advance the metaplot of the game. And make their own stories that much more memorable. Your individual experience may vary.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
8 Red Wizards wrote:


I personally do not ban leadership, because it expands on gaming options of Mass combat (Invading another country), building a church or guild, constructing your own city). Although I would like to hear from other people to see if I am alone.

All the feat does is to replicate what was a class feature of a number of classes back in the day (in OE, 1E etc.). I'm surprised that it would be banned, but then I'm sure it gets abused. I require the PC to be ready for it. The cohorts are established NPCs who need to be convinced to get on board. The followers can only be recruited if the PCs situation is appropriate (i.e. establishing a stronghold / temple / guild etc.). It used to come with the PCs hitting certain levels (a Fighter hitting 9th level "Lord" for example). Personally I think 7th level is a bit soon as a prerequisite but it usually involves just the cohort at that point in my game. Although I did have one enterprising and charismatic Fighter start his own mercenary company once...


Jorda75 wrote:
Leadership is only broken if your GM isn't good enough to handle it, I can understand it being "banned" for inexperienced GMs but anyone worth their salt at it will allow it.

In the sense that it is more powerful than other feats it is certainly 'broken', personally I do not allow it:

- preference of style, one pc not multiples
- not bogging down the game (combat) unnecesarily
- it is more powerful than other feats by far
- I prefer to treat npcs as npcs without ownership stamp, they are mine and they might aid or betray the party at my whim

I am not an inexperienced GM though and I think I am worth my salt

Osirion

I almost always allow this feat for out of party use of a cohort, but not often in party, since we usually have a huge group (8-10 players). If the wizard wants a cohort to run his arcane academy while he adventures, go for it. If the fighter wants a cleric cohort to make potions and restore lost levels, etc post adventure, fantastic. That being said, I don't particularly have an issue with a cohort in party, as long as the group size wasnt too large.

The main issue that I think comes when this feat gets discussed on the boards is whether or not the cohort is basically an animal companion of the PC, meaning they get to design them from the ground up and run them completely, or whether the GM gets to present various NPCs for selection and then plays the NPC's personality. It seems there is a contingent that believe the player should have total control and a contingent that believe the GM should handle most of it, other than in combat activities.

I think this has a lot to do with why it isnt very popular in a lot of groups. If the GM and players cant reconcile their differing viewpoints on this, the players may feel like they are wasting a feat, and the GM may feel the feat is too powerful if the player basically gets a second character of his design and control.

Andoran

Our GM put it thus:
"You are taking Leadership, aren't you? I think it gives him the freedom to make the opponents more powerful. It is also likely that he designed the opponents around the assumption that there would be more characters than players.
The player can design the cohort (the character can recruit a specific person) with a DC 15 Diplomacy check (no assistance, no taking 10 or 20). Failure means the GM designs the cohort (somebody else showed up who was willing to take the gig).


I've found that Leadership:
- Works best when not treated as a feat, but as a RP reward.
- Does not work when you have the potential for DM change-off (A cohort is one more thing for a DM to keep track of).

In my experience:
- I've found that letting the player design the cohort tends to, but not always, leads to abuse.
- I've found that the most common cohort request is for a caster of some type to act as the person's personal buff/etc. bot.

In short, Leadership is a terrible feat.

It is great as an RP reward where there is a consistent DM and group of friends.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've never banned Leadership, and have had people take it sporadically (sometimes everyone takes it, sometimes no on takes it, sometimes some people take it but not others). I often run the cohorts and followers, but it's not because I want to... rather, usually I'm prefer for the players do so (as long as they don't expect their followers to walk into traps "just because"). When the player gets busy and forgets about their followers they are supposed to run, however, that's when I generally step in and start running them, though when I do end up running them, I work with my players to make sure things are going mostly as they like, though the followers and cohorts often fade into the background to make things work more smoothly for me (as I've got enough to run).

Overly long example, regarding the biggest game I ever ran!:

In the largest game I ever ran (up to, I think, around sixteen different players at one point), no less than half the group had leadership as a feat and mostly worked at maxing out their score (except for one guy, but he's an outlier anyway, so...). That was crazy goodness right there. I loved every minute of it. And when the players got into epic situations in which their followers weren't even close to being big enough to make a difference, they basically combined all of their followers, folding them to make a city out of their followers, with their cohorts generally in charge of the place (working together as a council in charge of the day-to-day stuff on behalf of their "true rulers"). It provided a safe, powerful base for the PCs filled with loyal-to-the-death persons with a solid place to deposit their stuff and not really worry about thieves or monsters.

Outside of direct mechanics (which is cool too), Leadership often makes a great RP reward. Occasionally, I'll give it out as a "bonus feat" for particular RP things, or allow its effects without the player otherwise using up a feat to gain it. In such cases, I get the player to work for it, and encourage heavy RP'ing, to truly invest them into the story.

Time for another overly long example!:

In one (low level single-player) game I'm running, I effectively gave the player (a Telepath) the Leadership feat in secret, under the idea that she's subtly influencing the mind and emotions of people that are important to her. She's since recruited a number of different people of all different levels (followers and a cohort) and takes them on adventures (sometimes), or installs them in various important positions in different organizations (sometimes) or otherwise uses them: it's been great, because she's using her feat to slowly infiltrate a number of rival organizations in a city and basically wield unparalleled influence. She doesn't control those organizations, but she has tremendous influence on a number of people she's made sure are in important positions in said organizations, who owe her and are deeply loyal to her. In other cases, she works hard to bring a few people with her on adventures and she not only works at keeping them alive but they assist her with various actions (some of a lower level than she is, one of a higher level). And this basically is the mechanical benefit of leadership in action... and I love how she's choosing to apply it.

Personally, I've never had a problem with leadership, and have always found it easy to integrate into a game in many different ways - the two above examples are just the first two that come to mind. As a player I love RP'ing the feat.

In Kingmaker, for example, I've made a tight-nit community of people that my character trusts and who trust him, as they learn magic from him (and, against conventional wisdom, whom he doesn't require to be personal item-bots!). It's interesting, because I treat them so well, that it's become kind of a competition: see who can out-do who to be a better friend (me or my followers) - so far I'm winning!

In any event, it's a great feat, lots of fun, and has tremendous potential.

On the other hand, I know that there are some people that don't like it. Thus the existence of rule 0. It make sense and I like that about our shared hobby. I'm personally a really big fan of it, though. (And there is literally nothing wrong with item-bots or heal-bots: those are great, and especially the latter is probably the best use of the feat in a "standard" game).

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

I have never banned Leadership. Currently at least one player in every Pathfinder game I run has taken it, and each one uses it differently.

No GM I have played under bans Leadership. Many insist on talking to the player before approving it, but that's true of a lot of character decisions. Those conversations tend to be information, rather than authoritative (designed to see where GM and player are, rather than a trial to ask permission).

I, and every GM I play with, design and run the cohort and any followers, as they are NPCs. The same is true of all +1 elements (mounts, dragon steeds, animal companions, familiars) except for eidolons (which players are allowed to design, though the GM still runs them). Such designs are always made with a close eye on what choices the PC makes (a druid can generally pick what animal companion they want, and the GM watches how the player wants to use it, but as it gains hit dice its feats, ability scores, and skill points are assigned by the GM. same with Cohorts).

This has never slowed a game or been a problem with other players that I recall.

I do understand why such things might cause problems in other games (I even designed an alternative set of Leadership feats for that reason), but they match the play style of my groups as-is.


I've actually been encouraged by other players and my gms to take leadership in our last 3 games, not for the power but simply due to concept. In our current kingmaker campaign everyone just got it for free with the caveat that the dm can decide what cohorts are available when as each has tasks within our organizations. We also run with an optional rule that if you actively rp and engage npcs to ally with you you can run the character as only 1 level lower.

I know a lot of people here would cringe at how we normally play our games (I've mentioned our standard stats once and got a lot of side-eyes) but what really helps is that it's an experienced group and everyone is willing to help with concept but also stop outright cheese.

I can see why it's a very controversial feat, but I think as long as the in game reason is there and there's open communication it shouldn't be as bad as it seems made out to be.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
ArmosD49 wrote:

What compounds the issue in my game is that the inexperienced player is also a summoner.

That's one of the classes I ban for newbie players, period.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

And Owen didn't even pitch his own product that has alt Leadership Feats, so I will do it for him. :P

Bullet Points: 2 Options for the Leadership Feat


Pinky's Brain wrote:
It has no business being a feat, either make it a free bonus for everyone in the party or ditch it.

Why so? Surely some characters are interested in having groups of followers, while others are completely disinterested? And wouldn't the effort that goes into being a leader and working towards having followers require the kind of expenditure that feats can represent? I've seen it work well 3 or 4 times as a GM, although most players I've had weren't really interested in it. The only time it didn't work was the first time I had a player take it, and that was pretty much my fault.

Silver Crusade

Charlie Bell wrote:
@Jorda75: It's also problematic in very large parties, regardless of GM skill. You might dial it back a little. I've been GMing for 20 years now and I don't allow it in some games.

A six man party can suddenly turn into a twelve man one. The encounter building guide doesn't cover parties that high in number.

Silver Crusade

I create the cohorts, not my Players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think the key is that any cohort should be setup so that while the PCs control the character in play, GM needs to decide how it levels (if at all) and have creative control. The cohort is more like a shared character between the GM & PC. The cohort may still have motivations that the PC is unaware of. The GM is free to take control of the cohort when he needs to introduce a plot point.

Taldor

master arminas wrote:

While I do not out right ban it from my games, there are a number of things that make my players aware of before they take it. Followers are only gained if the party has a permanent base of operations: and they don't leave. They take care of the castle, or the fort, or the tower; they grow food, tend the fields, watch over the herds, maybe work a small mine. They do this for the PC they follow, and they will defend his keep to the best of their extent. They do not go dungeon delving or take the offensive. Ever.

Cohorts must be found and recruited; on occassion one may seek out the party to inquire about employment. I design the cohorts; I build them. They have NPC gear appropriate for their level (not the PCs, the cohort's level). Cohorts do not get a share of treasure, and receive XP equal to their PC. If the PC wants the cohort to have better gear, he has to either find it or buy it and then give it to them.

Master Arminas

This

The group I DM has one cohort, they recruited from the local temple, that takes the role of the healing cleric and emergency figher. It allows the players to run the characers they want whilst still having a viable party (currently Sorceror, Witch, Fighter, Ninja). Treasure and XP handled as quoted.

Silver Crusade

I thought cohorts only got half the XP.


shallowsoul wrote:
I thought cohorts only got half the XP.
Quote:

A cohort does not count as a party member when determining the party's XP. Instead, divide the cohort's level by your level. Multiply this result by the total XP awarded to you, then add that number of experience points to the cohort's total.

If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one lower than your level, the cohort does not gain the new level—its new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed to attain the next level.

Half XP was given to cohorts long ago (I don't remember if it was 3.5, 3.0 or earlier).


Our house rule is cohorts don't show up unless there's three or less players at the gaming session, and followers do things like run your boat/inn/whatever.

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