Leadership Feat and your GM


Advice


ok, out of curiosity as a player who feels he has wasted a feat on leadership address this issue with my DM. Everything seems to be designed to exclude my Cohort. It is the consensus that my cohort, I am a Paladin, he is a bard makes my character to broken, and thus my cohort does not seem to be included in much solutions. IE...we have to use windwalk and he gets left behind, or teleport doesnt have enough room for him. Things like that.
How do you as a GM handle leadership, or as a player how does your GM handle it. Looking for a little help here.


I would say the first thing "you" have to do is take a step back and look at this combo with unbiased eyes, no I am not saying you are bias just walk with me here...

Is the Combo producing a broken situation?

Or is it the way it is being used?

I do not see an issue with a Paladin being followed by Bard as a bad thing.

"My Lord I am Drenin, I have heard all about what you did in Willowshire and I beg of thee to allow me to follow and spread far and wide your great tales.".

That sounds like a damn good story and room for endless story-hooks for the GM.

Now the other side....

"Hey there Sir. I have thought long and hard about this and I think I have every spell and ability that can fill the holes in your butt-kicking arsenal. If you are too slow I have just what you need. If you are too heavy I got ya covered. If you lack this then I have that! Heck man it can be said that I am tailor made with nothing BUT your flaws and how to fix them in mind!".

A Cohort should of course be useful to you, kinda the pint but at the same time IF you are playing a RPG you need to put in a little RP to the G. This "person" should be their own person. Created as if they had a life before the Paladin and dreams and goals outside of making the Paladin a WMD. Where did the Cohort grow up and what is their world view? Reflect that in skills, casting and combat styles and selections.

Game Balance is often the victim of Creativity and Sneakiness.
I had a Cleric/Necromancer in 3.X that had my GM pulling out his hair and to be honest only my own self control made him have the weakspots (13 of them) that he did.

What i am trying to say is maybe your issue is not the Leadrship feat but how you applied it. Is he a person or is he a bag of powers for your Paladin?

Now that said...
A GM .. no wait, that's unfair and could be seen as insulting.
I do not mean it that way but can't think of any other way to say it. A good GM would thrive on the challenge. I tend to. If they see you as broken then from an RP stance you more than likely have beat a lot of baddies and if you are a Paladin you did it in the name of not just good but Holy good. This should get the eye of some opposite evil.

"So, it's that Paladin again? Every time I lay plans there is that little &^%$#! Enough is enough. Gorah! I have a task for you".

Enter fill in the blank and her Henchwoman.

An NPC foil can be the best subplot of a game, let me stress SUBplot. You should not turn the game into the You Show.
She does not have to be an example of a weapons race, heck in fact she should be weak where you are strong and strong at your weakest.
As for her Henchwoman, she should be a arrow aimed at your Cohort's heart. Maybe he falls in love with her. Maybe he see right through her but wants to save her from Gorah's command and brutality. Maybe it's his sister?

I find the best way to deal with "Broken" characters is to dunk them into RP not to exclude them.

"Okay i need you to make a He's in love with your archenemy but you ordered him to kill her roll.. oh wait that's right there is no sat for that.".

"Umm I have Diplo-".

"Shut..up.".

I feel one of my long winded posts coming so oh too late.. so let me try to end this.

If the GM and the players feel that your combo is broken then take a look at why they feel that way. If it's just that they can't out think you then I feel bad for you not them. If you did min/max and make your cohort a bag of tricks for you then... shame on you.

One Last Note:
No GM should (IMHO) leave you to make, RP, or control a Cohort. It's an NPC and it should be more fun to not know every thought of this NPC. Makes them less of a person. If you created, rolled, Role Play and level this guy then THAT makes it a waste of a feat.. again.. IMHO.
And show the Followers some love too DANG IT!


thank you Heru, and I did not make it clear in my initial post, but you saw it the same way we did when my Gm and I sat down before I took the feet and talked about it. Why would this guy follow you? How did you meet.....all the stuff to create a roleplaying background for someone who is compatible with my paladin...it was like signing up for a dating service. We also discussed my DM controlling him, being his voice, running him as a npc and it never happened.
He was made, and has been a bump in the story at best. In the 2 levels I have had him (more specifically the 5 months of bi-weekly gaming) Levels 10-12 he has cast maybe 6 spells, and been little more than an after thought. I realize that is only about 10-12 sessions that last about 5-6 hours but I have mentioned to the GM about the lack of use he gets and a meh was my answer. I am looking for ideas on how to better utilize a cohort without him becoming over powered for just the expense of a feat, but also not feeling like my feat was wasted.


The leadership feat is a huge bonus. It is the same amount of work for the GM as having a whole extra person come to the game. He has to wine, dine, clothe, and feed it. He's expected to be gentle with it, sense it is a level lower and you did invest a feat after all. It ups the combat strength of the party be an entire character. All in all, it stinks.

Personally, in my opinion, the cohorts main function should be to watch your keep while you are away. You get him with leadership and he should help you in the back. You should be able to send him to do thing. But just taking him along as an extra player character is a pain.


Leadership is by far the most commonly banned feat--so much so that I know personally no GMs that allow it RAW. Honestly I'd talk with your GM and ask if he'd consider dumping/retraining the feat. He'd probably breathe a sigh of relief.


Dedlin wrote:
It is the consensus that my cohort, I am a Paladin, he is a bard makes my character to broken, and thus my cohort does not seem to be included in much solutions.

Heh, I never really thought much about bard cohorts for a paladin -- because in 3.5 this was rather difficult to pull off. A bard had to be nonlawful to gain levels in bard, and a paladin only accepts lawful good cohorts. So that didn't happen often. . .

I generally ban the Leadership feat unless there are less than 4 players playing.

Silver Crusade

As a DM I love leadership. My only caveats are that I Be notified several levels before the feat is taken. Once I an given notice I introduce characters who could be followers. The NPCs have been created by me (or exist in the module). This let's the feat be more organic in nature and prevents the tailor made cohort from existing.

The cohorts usually guard the keep or do other background things. One player had a bard cohort whose only jobs were to get a better rate on selling treasure and to spread tales of his deeds.

When they are taken in a dungeon I find the player often forgets about them or even is reluctant to expose them to combat due to their lower level.


As a DM I have enjoyed leadership. My group never really used it until a couple of players who would have multiple concepts realized that they could play different characters that way. The cohorts always seemed to float in and blend well with the group (we had about 5 players) and filled in any missing roles.
For me as a player it is like making an entourage, though we rarely include the followers.


I allow Leadership in my games. However, I make a point to always have RP issues (good and bad) come up, and make sure the cohort is a full blown NPC.

As for your game, definitely talk to the DM. Sometimes it's hard to balance combat for an extra person, and the bard definitely is an extra perso, especially with bard song helping the party in combat (and your DM might feel bad about targeting the weaker bard with stronger monsters). In situations like that, your DM may be making plot reasons to exclude him. (From what you've described, this sounds like what's happening.) If he's there, even if he doesn't fight, he can still heal after the battle. (Although wasting leadership on what's effectively a wand of cure light wounds defeats the point of leadership in my book.)

An alternate way to use him is outside of combat. You're high level, and the bard is at least mid level, so if you're approaching a town, send him ahead to scout / announce your presence. Have him meet with kings of neighboring towns or kingdoms as your emissary. Ask him to do what your character would do if he could be in two places at once.

For the DM: Let him fall in love and come to you with the week's plot-hook. Let him try to hook you up with another PC, spending time creating romantic interludes between your character and another one. Let the bard come to you for help, or refuse help when he needs it (so that you have to help him discretely). Depending on the size of your group, your DM might find these ideas interesting.

If your DM doesn't want him to be useful in combat, and you can't use the bard out of combat, and he doesn't make for interesting plot hooks, then ask your DM to retrain the feat. And personally, if all the bard does is give plot-hooks, I'd ask to retrain the feat and move the bard to simple NPC status.


As a DM back in 3e I never had a problem with the cohort. I also did not take resposibilury for thier "care and feeding". Where I may pull a punch on a PC I'd let the cohort have it full. Part of the challenge of the leadership feat to a player is keeping your followers alive. If you can do that and they keep dying on you, your use of leadership degrades. Often I'd counter blance a cohort by bumping up the number of creatures in an encounter without a corresponding EXP increase. Partly because if the NPC were treated as full PC they would be taking a chunk out the EXP gain anyways.

That said, I still hold to the older 3.0 limits on leadership regarding followers. I generally allow Commoners, Experts, and Warriors as non-cohort followers. A most definatly not PC classed followers. Even back with Eberron it was IMO dangerous to game balance to allow Adepts and Mage Wrights as loyal camp followers and possible combatants.


The idea of Cohorts being run or played (GM or PC) as just background is a little silly to me. Hmm maybe even lazy.

A GM is not just another player he or she is like all the players plus the storyteller and at times your Rabbi or fill in the adviser of your choice. A GM when doing their job has to wear many many and many hats. It's hard work, it's thankless most of the time... all in all it can really blow but that is balanced by great games and great players.

When I GM I take it to heart...

"Okay Ned your turn, the Dreadlord drops Iris from it's claw, her life spilling out on the floor.".

"Okay I shout out a vow to Gorum and hurl a fire ball at it with tears in my eyes.".

Now how would Ned feel if I said.. "Yada yada yada fire from your hands and *rolls* hit.. umm.. crackle crackle fire.. *rolls* 13 damage.. sucky.".

If I was Ned I'd dump some water over my GMs head and leave LOL.
So why should I do this with his Cohort that he spent a feat on?

If you are going to GM do the full job.


Dedlin wrote:
I realize that is only about 10-12 sessions that last about 5-6 hours but I have mentioned to the GM about the lack of use he gets and a meh was my answer. I am looking for ideas on how to better utilize a cohort without him becoming over powered for just the expense of a feat, but also not feeling like my feat was wasted.

Well my answer based on what you aid here alone (edited by me mind you) is that he has little respect for your efforts.

"Meh?".. really a meh? Even if Meh was not the words used, if you came away feeling like Meh was his answer then you are wasting your time on him. Add this to the fact that his response to the problem was as broken as he feels your combo was. "Ummm so yeah the teleport magic.. i uhh is out of room. YEAH OUT OF ROOM! So I guess the Bard will have to. y'know.. stay home. Heh hehe.".

That ish is whack, as we said in the old days.

Shadow Lodge

Spes Magna had an article on GMs excising a ranger's favored enemy from a campaign because he thought the ranger was too powerful with it and this is the same exact thing. It's much more merciful to honestly nerf something than to do a sort of passive aggressive nerf like this.

As for Leadership, it's an iffy feat. I like the idea but many players can't deal with the extra burden and many GMs don't have the time/ skills to manage an extra character at the table (personally I don't really care for managing NPCs but I know some people like it). I've also seen players who assume their cohort is an accessory for their PC.

Conceptually the idea of leadership is cool, and it does open a lot of RP possibilities but if the GM isn't willing to manage it or thinks it's broken then he should just say so and let you take something else.


I appreciate the advice and suggestions and feel that my offering the olive branch of changing feats is probably the most realistic action.

P.S. Inner Heru, I want to play in one of your games. But the whole teleport was a group effort. Because the Bard had become unimportant he was ignored by the party as well and means of travel that did include him were not sought.


I just had a convo with my GM about leadership and I am only level two. I though it was a good idea to plan ahead because he has to. In our conversation he stated that he dislikes cohorts in battle because it often slows combat. My character being a charisma based rogue (going master spy), it is important to me to have leadership. We came to a compromise were my cohort runs a spy ring for me (all my followers will be spread around the map gathering info). This becomes a great plot device for the GM and lends itself to my characters role-playing. As for mechanical advantage, I am giving the wizard knowledge skills and item creation feats which helps the group. Though it should be noted that like Inner Heru said a cohort is a "person" also and in such arrangements it is normal to attached +10%-15% to the material cost when he makes an item as his payment.


Dedlin wrote:

P.S. Inner Heru, I want to play in one of your games.

Heh thanks lots but don't be too sure. I have crazy hours, at the moment the Curse of the Crimson Throne I run was Tues nights at 7pm PST till about Midnight. Most of my players are 2 to 3 hours away from me so the poor devils would be playing until like 2 and 3 AM on weeknights :D (God Bless the Recession? o.O )

With a little luck and some blessings our Employed at long last outweighed our Unemployed and so we made a shift to Saturday's at 8PM PST but since one of us even works on weekdays we have to end it at like Midnight.

I am getting my head around Kingmaker for my next AP to run since I have a sinking feeling Scarwall will be the end of my CotCT run... poor So and So's. Since I feel that Kingmaker has the MOST to offer for my type of GMing style. Open world Sandbox where Roleplay will have as much if not MORE effect on the world as ROLL play. Oh hell yeah. I'm kinf od stoked , this is just the kind of game I would kill to play in but alas... nobody GMs anymore and not the ways I like. Still I will keep you in mind assuming you are the kind of person that hates sleep or are part of the Army of the Unemployed or are off weekends.


I live in Washington state so time frame is not an Issue, I am a returned to college because of job market student, so I keep crazy hours. Mostly paying you the compliment, you have a flare for words.


As a player, I often have Allies/Cohorts/Followers/Sidekicks/Whatever-they-are-called-in-this-system. The fact that my character often risks his/her life for his friends kind of eases fears.

In my opinion, a Cohort should never be just a number.


personally I love leadership and cohorts as a player and DM. I was playing a star wars game as a noble who purchased a droid to be his body guard, the noble wouldn't pull his blaster in a fight, but when his droid was getting over whelmed he freaked out and tried to blast the things attacking his droid.

As a GM, I'm currently running a high level game where 3/4 players have leadership and I love it. I told them I would make a cohort that fit thier character and their goals. The fighter who runs a fighters guild and trains elite troops for the king, well his cohort is monk he bested in combat several years back that has vowed to follow him and learn from him, and help him train troops. The Cavalier has a wizard/loremaster that is his herald, reciting his long list of accomplishments and deeds. The cleric has the high priest of the temple he is in charge of.

They come along when it makes sense, but most of the time are sent to handle affairs the PC's want them to. "My lord trolls attack the western village" "Curses! I was on my way to the front lines of the war, Garock can you take some men and tend to those trolls?"

They make great hooks for adventures for sure.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

One idea I had, but haven't done yet, is to make the PCs cohorts of higher level characters. In a sort of 'reverse cohort' experience thing, the people they are cohorts to stay at a high enough level to keep them as cohorts. :)

They'd basically be used as suggested above.

Fighter NPC : "Robert, take the gang and go deal with that village to the east. They've been having goblin issues recently. See if you can't track the goblins down and smash them for us, would you?"

Bard PC : "Of course Sir Austin, c'mon guys, let's go save that village!"


Ask your GM what it would take for your cohort to tag along more often.


As a DM, I like to create my PC's Cohorts by hand, usually giving them a class that is similar to the PC's, if not identical. Once I have this all figured out, I play the NPC for the initial encounter and adventure that follows, then at the end, role-play the NPC deciding the follow the PC. At that point, I allow the player to take over the NPC. If I don't then often times, the game night can turn into a "me" fest, where I end up talking to myself in the voice of several different characters. Other than prominent NPC's and monsters, I try to let my players play the characters.


Not a huge fan of them without a really good intro, but my Paladin who is the Baron in our KM game is going to take it at 7th. My cohort is probably going to be a boy that we saved who had been terribly maimed in a boar attack.
We actually went through a quest to get the boy healed.
He was promised as my squire and has been in training. By the time I get to 7th he will probably be around 16-18 and will be my cohort.
He won't adventure with the party, but he might take up a rulership role at some point.
Alternately I think the GM is going to use an alternate rule and allow his leadership score to influence the ability attribute to help rule the kingdom.


Malthir Al Dagon wrote:

Not a huge fan of them without a really good intro, but my Paladin who is the Baron in our KM game is going to take it at 7th. My cohort is probably going to be a boy that we saved who had been terribly maimed in a boar attack.

We actually went through a quest to get the boy healed.
He was promised as my squire and has been in training. By the time I get to 7th he will probably be around 16-18 and will be my cohort.
He won't adventure with the party, but he might take up a rulership role at some point.
Alternately I think the GM is going to use an alternate rule and allow his leadership score to influence the ability attribute to help rule the kingdom.

Was following your KM game on here. Enjoyed what I was reading back then.

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