I know Leadership is broken; but why?


Advice

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What kind of epic roleplaying or Diplomacy checks are being used by people to find and direct some of these cohorts, anyway?

"Hey, Master Archmage, sir, can I follow you on your adventures so I can help you and be a great hero like you someday?"
"Yeah, sure thing, kid. Why don't you start by making a headband of vast intelligence +4 for me, how does that sound?"
"Uh... Okay! I'll figure it out!"

"Thanks, that's a big help. Mind making some chainmail +1 for my buddy Trog now?"
"...yeah. Yeah, I'll give it a try."
"I knew you had your uses, kid."

"Master Archmage, I finished it! Can I fight the invading darklords by your side now?!"
"Yeah, absolutely, kid. But we're staying in town this week, so, uh, if you have nothing better to do, think you can have some scrolls ready for me by then? Oh, and maybe a couple more wands of Infernal Healing if you have the time. I've got to go, the king invited me to dinner. Happy scribing!"

tl;dr: if you won't do it, and you wouldn't ask another PC to do it, and they wouldn't do it if you did ask (and the other PCs are presumably your good friends, so that's not insignificant), why should your cohort be any more willing? That alone is a notable factor in balance, and GMs shouldn't allow cohorts to let themselves be used as slave labor.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

What kind of epic roleplaying or Diplomacy checks are being used by people to find and direct some of these cohorts, anyway?

"Hey, Master Archmage, sir, can I follow you on your adventures so I can help you and be a great hero like you someday?"
"Yeah, sure thing, kid. Why don't you start by making a headband of vast intelligence +4 for me, how does that sound?"
"Uh... Okay! I'll figure it out!"

"Thanks, that's a big help. Mind making some chainmail +1 for my buddy Trog now?"
"...yeah. Yeah, I'll give it a try."
"I knew you had your uses, kid."

"Master Archmage, I finished it! Can I fight the invading darklords by your side now?!"
"Yeah, absolutely, kid. But we're staying in town this week, so, uh, if you have nothing better to do, think you can have some scrolls ready for me by then? Oh, and maybe a couple more wands of Infernal Healing if you have the time. I've got to go, the king invited me to dinner. Happy scribing!"

tl;dr: if you won't do it, and you wouldn't ask another PC to do it, and they wouldn't do it if you did ask (and the other PCs are presumably your good friends, so that's not insignificant), why should your cohort be any more willing? That alone is a notable factor in balance, and GMs shouldn't allow cohorts to let themselves be used as slave labor.

What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?


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Next session every character is turning level 7 in kingmaker. It is expected that most of us will take leadership.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.


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It's not the Cohort that breaks the Feat - that's just another party member. It's the followers.

First of all they're usually too weak and feeble to take with you. So now the murderhobos need a home, at least for those followers. And something for them to do. So all of a sudden you've a second game within the game: NPC Economy Simulation.
Plus a bunch of low level NPCs, when tricked out to work together, can really be a magical item factory without tying down the Wizard of her Cohort. Because unlike an adventurer, they don't need to be able to do anything else. But unlike other NPCs, they have a master who's loaded and "buys" whatever they make.


Sah wrote:

Next session every character is turning level 7 in kingmaker. It is expected that most of us will take leadership.

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

Its the most powerful feat in the game by a huge margin. Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are. It probably shouldnt exist as a feat


Oh, I am well aware of the power of the feat. However, I've never been in a party where 6-7 players take it. Especially not when two of those characters already have animal companions.

That is what I'm not sure how to feel about.


Brother Fen wrote:
It's not broken. There are just a lot of lazy GMs that frequent these boards.

I'd rather spend the saved time and energy on improving multiple other parts of the campaign. Usually all players will benefit from this, unlike a cohort which is useful mostly for one player only.

From a roleplay perspective I prefer my players to interact with each other, not with NPCs. If the cohort is very loyal to a player, it skews conflicts in his favor - because he now has two voices.


Leadership is only 'broken' if played 'wrong' by the GM. The cohort is not a slave, and is not a mindless automaton.

A properly GM'd cohort is as much a liability/responsibility as it is a boon.


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Sah

So long as your cohorts don't go adventuring with you it should be fine. If they stay home and keep town running then it is a good RP experience that doesn't unbalance the game.

If you are concerned, voice your concerns to your GM


VRMH wrote:

It's not the Cohort that breaks the Feat - that's just another party member. It's the followers.

First of all they're usually too weak and feeble to take with you. So now the murderhobos need a home, at least for those followers. And something for them to do. So all of a sudden you've a second game within the game: NPC Economy Simulation.
Plus a bunch of low level NPCs, when tricked out to work together, can really be a magical item factory without tying down the Wizard of her Cohort. Because unlike an adventurer, they don't need to be able to do anything else. But unlike other NPCs, they have a master who's loaded and "buys" whatever they make.

None of that should be happening in regards to followers. They're not your servants, they're people who admire you. At best they'll do you favors, they're not a personal workforce you have to house and manage. They have their own lives, and while you're their hero, they're not going to drop their previous lives to be at your beck and call.


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
MageHunter wrote:


What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?

I would certainly be in favor of a cup of coffee of vast intelligence +4!


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Tyinyk wrote:
None of that should be happening in regards to followers. They're not your servants, they're people who admire you. At best they'll do you favors, they're not a personal workforce you have to house and manage.

I must beg to differ. Followers are described as "devoted subordinates who assist you", not as "people who owe you favours". A subordinate takes orders and is subject to some sort of hierarchy.

Liberty's Edge

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MageHunter wrote:
What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?

Cohorts have class levels. They're inherently far more badass and capable than any intern and should be given jobs that represent that.

I mean, I think there is some flavour allowance for having an artisan respect your work and decide to provide for you, but in that situation you better be paying them.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Bwang wrote:
3-Our house rule is you can only take a weaker caster cohorts, are built on 15 rather than 20 points and must generally be of the same race.

I think a lot of people overlook the fact that Cohorts are NPCs and should follow the Heroic NPC rules for character creation. That includes such things as a lower point buy, less starting equipment, and no traits without taking the Additional Traits feat.

If you really want to implement a house rule to discourage taking the feat, you could further limit it to non-heroic NPCs. You'd have even fewer points and only NPC classes. Even an Adept cohort is better than pretty much any other feat.


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Kaladin_Stormblessed wrote:

What kind of epic roleplaying or Diplomacy checks are being used by people to find and direct some of these cohorts, anyway?

"Hey, Master Archmage, sir, can I follow you on your adventures so I can help you and be a great hero like you someday?"
"Yeah, sure thing, kid. Why don't you start by making a headband of vast intelligence +4 for me, how does that sound?"
"Uh... Okay! I'll figure it out!"

"Thanks, that's a big help. Mind making some chainmail +1 for my buddy Trog now?"
"...yeah. Yeah, I'll give it a try."
"I knew you had your uses, kid."

"Master Archmage, I finished it! Can I fight the invading darklords by your side now?!"
"Yeah, absolutely, kid. But we're staying in town this week, so, uh, if you have nothing better to do, think you can have some scrolls ready for me by then? Oh, and maybe a couple more wands of Infernal Healing if you have the time. I've got to go, the king invited me to dinner. Happy scribing!"

tl;dr: if you won't do it, and you wouldn't ask another PC to do it, and they wouldn't do it if you did ask (and the other PCs are presumably your good friends, so that's not insignificant), why should your cohort be any more willing? That alone is a notable factor in balance, and GMs shouldn't allow cohorts to let themselves be used as slave labor.

Most people would much rather craft than go out and adventure. Adventures are dangerous and bloody.

People would rather help others nonviolently if possible.


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CWheezy wrote:
Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are.

This is _so_ not true.


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I actually like to permit Leadership in the games I run. Paizo's APs tend to have a bevy of interesting NPCs that tend to disappear very shortly after they stop being relevant. Whenever a player of mine expresses interest in taking Leadership, I will emphasize NPCs that they have met that seem interested, which usually makes the character's integration feel far more natural. Other times, they will go out of their way to get who they really want. For example:

Carrion Crown spoiler:
In book 3 of Carrion Crown, one of my players, a bard, took a shine to Duristan Silvio Ariesir, and he showed an attraction of curiosity, in return. When they later discovered Duristan had become a werewolf, the cleric used his prepared Abayence, temporarily suppressing the curse. The group managed to talk down Duristan, and over the course of the following session, convince him to come with them (as a cohort to the bard) and try to find a way to eliminate his curse. To balance the character a little, I removed his Aristocrat levels, once he joined the group. As for followers, the player and I agreed that they would not have much rhyme or reason, in this particular campaign. She decided that, once everything was said and done, she would gather followers and try to fully restore the Stairs of the Moon, and possibly use the Dusk Moth ritual to cure Silvio.

Or
Hell's Vengeance spoiler:
I permitted the Tyrant Anti-paladin in the group to take a modified version of Torchbearer, to add Cimri to the group. By the end of Hellfire Compact, she really would have no desire to stay Longacre. At level 7, the feat will become Vile Leadership, rather than Leadership, to suit the campaign. The anti-paladin's player has informed me that he intends to send his followers to Longacre, to use the town as a base of operations, and to staff the now-defunct tannery.

That was more ramble than I anticipated, but I find that cohorts can add a lot to a character, and if done right, followers can make a lot of sense for a character. I trust my players to not abuse my allowances, and they trust me to permit things they will find enjoyable.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Gjorbjond wrote:

Heroic NPC rules for character creation

...includes such things as a lower point buy, less starting equipment, and no traits without taking the Additional Traits feat.

If you really want to implement a house rule to discourage taking the feat, you could further limit it to non-heroic NPCs. You'd have even fewer points and only NPC classes. Even an Adept cohort is better than pretty much any other feat.

I woke this morning to three emails from other players in the game (Don't you clowns sleep?) pointing out that very reference, our trait limit (1 for npcs, +1 if Human) and Starting packages (only PCs get cash to boot). Not being allowed a cohort, etc made me blind to all those things.

Incidentally, I count as 4 complications:

1-Non-standard race, he has in the low teens of Standard races, so it makes sense, I guess...

2-Wizard with constantly shifting spells.

3-A familiar that shifts forms and bonuses. Seeing as he requires me to have each form at my finger tips, this I can see. I also need to get a sheet for all 70-80 familiars out there.

4-As a shapeshifter, I freely admit to causing a great deal of 'complications' just by starting the meal as an Elf and ending as a Human.

5-Non-campaign material, as he doesn't run Eberron anymore. Should count, but I legacied in from back then. I got graced on this one.


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Leadership can be broken, as others have pointed out.

It doesn't have to be broken, as long as the player and GM work together to prevent that from happening.

Lastly, Leadership does open some interesting roleplaying opportunities.

The last player of mine who took Leadership was a Paladin. During the adventure, the party came upon an abandoned border fortress. The fortress had belonged to an outlying knight of an evil kingdom who was destroyed as an example after failing in a duty to his liege. The party was participating in a war against this evil kingdom.

When the party cleared out the castle of it's current monstrous inhabitants, they decided it would be a great base of operations. So, the Paladin took Leadership at the next level advance, getting a pile of adherents. These adherents were predominantly people who could repair and subsequently man the castle (as appropriate for a Paladin of a militant order), with the cohort acting as the castle's chamberlain while the party was out adventuring.

Without going into everything, there were some cool and interesting advantages to the party from taking the feat without any of them being unbalancing. Simultaneously, lots of cool things were added, such plot hooks involving defending the castle from enemy attacks and expanding the castle into an actual fiefdom.


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...y'know, while people say that a GM can manage it with work and compromise with the player, taking control of the NPC so the player just doesn't unilaterally get another turn... that is a lot of extra work to make sure you aren't breaking the game.

It include rebalancing encounters, roleplaying another NPC, playing another character on the battlefield, maybe managing that NPC's spells and feat choices....

GM's are already the most overworked part of any table. Even if they are just taking a premade campaign and playing it with no adjustment, they always have to play the up to a dozen different creatures on the battlefield already.

So while some may call the GM 'lazy'... maybe they deserve to be a bit lazy at time. Particularly when you are only spending a feat while forcing all this extra effort.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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I manage Leadership similarly to others on this thread:

-GM designs the cohort, based on the player's stated preferences. Cohorts get the NPC array of ability scores(15 14 13 12 10 8). Cohorts start with NPC WBL.
-Treasure is not increased; if the player wants to upgrade the cohort's stuff it means less stuff for the PCs. This is actually a pretty big balancing factor as so much effectiveness at higher levels comes from gear.
-Cohorts are adventuring companions. They want to come with you and be heroes. No magic item factories.
-Once a cohort is in play advancement is decided by the player.
-Players run their cohorts, but the GM has veto power over obviously suicidal or out-of-character actions.
-Rarely a cohort will have an agenda or do something stupid they thought was a good idea. Think comic-book sidekick getting into trouble.
-Cohorts are perfectly legal for use as adventure hooks. Sometimes the cohort's home village is in trouble or whatever.

-Followers generally won't have stats. If stats are needed they will be generic NPCs taken from the NPC codex.
-Followers are not adventurers and don't want to go on adventures. They are willing to look after the home base, perform guard duties, spread rumors, deliver messages, and do other low-risk useful things.

Leadership, even with these restrictions, is a super useful feat. But remember the players are adding a whole person to their party and all the baggage that comes with it.


Do you really need to ask OP?

What other SINGLE feat in the game gives you a whole extra character and an ARMY to play with?


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MageHunter wrote:
What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?

Then you should be paying your cohort and followers a proper minimum wage. Surely we can all agree unpaid internships suck.


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MageHunter wrote:


What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?

Not nearly as entertaining as this old gag:

"Welcome to the U.S.S. Enterprise. Unbeknownst to her crew, we've replaced her Dilithium Crystals with Folgers. Let's see if they notice."


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
CraziFuzzy wrote:

Leadership is only 'broken' if played 'wrong' by the GM. The cohort is not a slave, and is not a mindless automaton.

A properly GM'd cohort is as much a liability/responsibility as it is a boon.

ah, so the only way to fix leadership is to make sure it isn't a feat. mmkay.


If my players want cohorts, they have to earn them, I don't tend to let my players use game time to hire cohorts or try recruiting them. They have to build a trust and solid reputation within their base city/town/village or whatever. Through their actions in game, once I feel they've earned it I will throw them an NPC they've encountered who they can take on as a cohort, sometimes I will let them create the cohort.

The players do not get to control their cohorts unless it's a situation where there is mass combat.

They do not get to take their cohorts with them on adventures. I will allow the cohorts to tag along but only to be lookouts or to watch over their camp site, the inn they're staying at, etc. Otherwise they stay home to train, run errands, find jobs for the party, stuff like that. Outside of that, if we are short players I will let a healer cohort tag along, if the party finds gear the healer cohort can use, it goes to the cohort.

From time to time I will run lower level adventures and let the players play as one of their cohorts. Allows the players to try out a new class.


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It's not anymore broken than wish machines. You will get another person who is, at best, 2 levels lower than you, and a bunch of low-level mooks.

Mooks are pretty much just pure fluff, since they won't be of any use in combat. Cohort is more trouble than people make it out to be, and you probably wouldn't want to send it into combat, for the following reasons:

  • It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s~#&ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any

  • It's at least 2 levels lower than you(and probably more, if you aren't maxing charisma), which means lower saves, HD and HP.

  • It is an additional party member, which means additional strain on whatever measures you are taking to protect the party(e.g. if you are traveling through a volcano, it means one more Resist Energy and Endure Elements)

  • Any time your cohort dies, you get -2 to your Leadership score. This is permanent. Literally nothing short of DM fiat could increase your Leadership score back up. This means that each cohort death permanently cripples your following cohorts.

All of those taken together mean that your cohort will be way weaker* than you(and as such, a very attractive target in combat for your enemies) AND you get painful penalties for losing those. So, cohort will likely stay in camp all day.

But that also causes problems! Now BBEG could assault your cohort while you aren't there. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You will have to let them tag around with you on adventures, but not let them get very close to scary dragons and such.

So what could they give you and the party? Well, crafting is one thing. Healing spells(Restoration and such) are another. Long-term buffs could be helpful too. Overall, this would help you, but shouldn't directly unbalance any encounters during the day.

*Now, when I say that, it's not quite true. Some classes in pathfinder are just that good that they could live just fine without any gear(Wizard, I am looking at you). A way to balance that would be by restricting class options for the cohort, such as restricting it to only tier 3-5 classes, or even just NPC classes. And...that's all you need to do to bring it to reasonable levels, honestly. Mooks aren't even a consideration-what are they going to do, bring you coffee? Polish your boots while you sleep? Nothign broken about that.


Bandw2 wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

Leadership is only 'broken' if played 'wrong' by the GM. The cohort is not a slave, and is not a mindless automaton.

A properly GM'd cohort is as much a liability/responsibility as it is a boon.

ah, so the only way to fix leadership is to make sure it isn't a feat. mmkay.

That's not what he said !!

He said that a cohort is not supposed to be a walking Wand or Meatshiled.

A cohort is a NPC, and so the GM has its wor to say on what the cohort does and thinks.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Blindmage wrote:
All of the characters gained from Leadership should be totally built and run by the DM, the player can totally give input as to the kind of people they'd be looking for and such, but they should never be involved in the mechanics of their minions.

Though the GM is certainly welcome to run his game how he and the people at his table please, the developers have made it quite clear that this was not the intent. After all, you wouldn't tell a player what weapon to choose for his Weapon Focus would you? According to the developers, its the same principle here; it's their feat, their cohort, their choice.

That being said, cohorts and minions should be built as heroic NPCs, using the NPC rules of the Core Rulebook.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Noir le Lotus wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
CraziFuzzy wrote:

Leadership is only 'broken' if played 'wrong' by the GM. The cohort is not a slave, and is not a mindless automaton.

A properly GM'd cohort is as much a liability/responsibility as it is a boon.

ah, so the only way to fix leadership is to make sure it isn't a feat. mmkay.

That's not what he said !!

He said that a cohort is not supposed to be a walking Wand or Meatshiled.

A cohort is a NPC, and so the GM has its wor to say on what the cohort does and thinks.

he said it's supposed to be as much as liability as a boon, pretty sure that reads as no real benefit overall.


Klara Meison wrote:
[list]
  • It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s#$%ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any
  • We are all looking at the wizard for that too. One of the problems with allowing the player to design the cohort is that they can make the cohort into a crafter, which saves ob WBL with 1/2 costs.

    If it is a melee guy... then your list absolutely applies. Heck, that is why I would say the squire feat is more balanced, since the class selection is reduced to something more manageable. It can make the cohort into 'animal companion, with easier equipment and maybe good skills if you go with a ranger'.

    But a wizard sitting in the back with less care about HP and BAB?... yeah... That is dicier.


    lemeres wrote:
    Klara Meison wrote:
    [list]
  • It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s#$%ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any
  • We are all looking at the wizard for that too. One of the problems with allowing the player to design the cohort is that they can make the cohort into a crafter, which saves ob WBL with 1/2 costs.

    If it is a melee guy... then your list absolutely applies. Heck, that is why I would say the squire feat is more balanced, since the class selection is reduced to something more manageable. It can make the cohort into 'animal companion, with easier equipment and maybe good skills if you go with a ranger'.

    But a wizard sitting in the back with less care about HP and BAB?... yeah... That is dicier.

    Not sure what BaB has to do with this. Wizard-cohort is still a target for fireballs cast by the enemies requiring saves, and arrows shot by them requiring AC. Yes, they could craft gear for themselves too, but where are they finding all that time to do that? And I would honestly prefer to have my character with great gear over having a second, s~#*tier version of my character.


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    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Klara Meison wrote:
    It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s~+%ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any

    Actually, it doesn't. Cohorts are built using the rules for NPCs, and NPCs start with their own gear. Sure you need to keep up as the game goes on, but from my experience, hand-me-down items are more than plentiful.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    Any time your cohort dies, you get -2 to your Leadership score. This is permanent. Literally nothing short of DM fiat could increase your Leadership score back up. This means that each cohort death permanently cripples your following cohorts.

    This doesn't happen whenver your cohort dies. It happens whenever you are the direct cause of his death, such as when you murder them, or when you send them on known suicide missions.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    All of those taken together mean that your cohort will be way weaker* than you(and as such, a very attractive target in combat for your enemies) AND you get painful penalties for losing those. So, cohort will likely stay in camp all day.

    As I said, there is usually no penalty for losing the cohort other than losing the cohort. What's more, it's pretty easy for a player with high system mastery to build a lower level cohort that is more powerful than the full-leveled character of another player with less system mastery. Heck, I've done this myself (unintentionally of course).

    Klara Meison wrote:
    But that also causes problems! Now BBEG could assault your cohort while you aren't there. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You will have to let them tag around with you on adventures, but not let them get very close to scary dragons and such.

    I think you are underestimating how powerful/useful a cohort can potentially be. And yes, they do make good plot hooks for the GMs sometimes.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    So what could they give you and the party? Well, crafting is one thing. Healing spells(Restoration and such) are another. Long-term buffs could be helpful too. Overall, this would help you, but shouldn't directly unbalance any encounters during the day.

    Since I regularly allow at least one cohort in my games, I can tell you that you are seriously downplaying them. More efficient action economy and not having to spend as many personal resources is enough on its own, to say nothing of a cohort's ability to also do a myriad of other things for you.


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    MageHunter wrote:


    What if you replaced all the magic items with coffee?

    "Hey, Master Admin, sir, can I follow you on your adventures so I can help you and be a great admin like you someday?"

    "Yeah, sure thing, kid. Why don't you start by making a coffee of vast intelligence +4 for me, how does that sound?"
    "Uh... Okay! I'll figure it out!"

    "Thanks, that's a big help. Mind making some coffee +1 for my buddy Trog now?"
    "...yeah. Yeah, I'll give it a try."
    "I knew you had your uses, kid."

    "Master Admin, I finished it! Can I fight the invading hackers by your side now?!"
    "Yeah, absolutely, kid. But we're in meetings after lunch, so, uh, if you have nothing better to do, think you can have some coffee ready for me by then? Oh, and maybe a couple more coffees of Infernal Healing if you have the time. I've got to go, the customer invited me to lunch. Happy brewing!"

    That makes a cohort sound like an intern.
    They tend to leave just as they're becoming useful.


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    Ravingdork wrote:
    Klara Meison wrote:
    It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s~+%ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any

    Actually, it doesn't. Cohorts are built using the rules for NPCs, and NPCs start with their own gear. Sure you need to keep up as the game goes on, but from my experience, hand-me-down items are more than plentiful.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    Any time your cohort dies, you get -2 to your Leadership score. This is permanent. Literally nothing short of DM fiat could increase your Leadership score back up. This means that each cohort death permanently cripples your following cohorts.

    This doesn't happen whenver your cohort dies. It happens whenever you are the direct cause of his death, such as when you murder them, or when you send them on known suicide missions.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    All of those taken together mean that your cohort will be way weaker* than you(and as such, a very attractive target in combat for your enemies) AND you get painful penalties for losing those. So, cohort will likely stay in camp all day.

    As I said, there is usually no penalty for losing the cohort other than losing the cohort. What's more, it's pretty easy for a player with high system mastery to build a lower level cohort that is more powerful than the full-leveled character of another player with less system mastery. Heck, I've done this myself (unintentionally of course).

    Klara Meison wrote:
    But that also causes problems! Now BBEG could assault your cohort while you aren't there. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. You will have to let them tag around with you on adventures, but not let them get very close to scary dragons and such.

    I think you are underestimating how powerful/useful a cohort can potentially be. And yes, they do make good plot hooks for the GMs sometimes.

    Klara Meison wrote:
    So what could they give you and the party? Well, crafting is one thing. Healing spells(Restoration and such) are another.
    ...

    >Actually, it doesn't. Cohorts are built using the rules for NPCs, and NPCs start with their own gear.

    NPCs don't get a lot of money in comparison to PCs. In this case, it will be something like 10% of your WBL, at best. That's... not much.

    >hand-me-down items are more than plentiful.

    I am not sure what you mean. Hand-me-down items would be included in your WBL, I imagine? You were using them at some point like just normal items, right?

    >This doesn't happen whenver your cohort dies. It happens whenever you are the direct cause of his death, such as when you murder them, or when you send them on known suicide missions.

    Well, I concede. If your cohort really really wants to go into combat and then dies, penalty won't be applied. But if you, say, ordered them to go into combat with you...

    >I think you are underestimating how powerful/useful a cohort can potentially be.

    Perhaps. I do think that restricting class selection to the less powerful options and building cohorts with a 3PB is enough to bring the feat down from ridiculous levels everyone seems to think it's at.


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    I dunno Klara, the barbarian and cavalier cohorts have performed really well in our party. In fact we recently got a fighter that shrugged off a dominate person from a big boss. The only time those 2 HD became a problem was when she got hit by Finger of Death, and that was against a boss that was intended to be a mythic trial for my flame oracle.


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    Ravingdork wrote:
    Blindmage wrote:
    All of the characters gained from Leadership should be totally built and run by the DM, the player can totally give input as to the kind of people they'd be looking for and such, but they should never be involved in the mechanics of their minions.

    Though the GM is certainly welcome to run his game how he and the people at his table please, the developers have made it quite clear that this was not the intent. After all, you wouldn't tell a player what weapon to choose for his Weapon Focus would you? According to the developers, its the same principle here; it's their feat, their cohort, their choice.

    That being said, cohorts and minions should be built as heroic NPCs, using the NPC rules of the Core Rulebook.

    I'm curious, Ravingdork - can you point to a quote from the developers saying players should be able to build their own cohorts? Being able to do that seems to be what turns an already strong feat up to at least 12...


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    In our Rune Lords game, we have an Oracle. She took Leadership and has a Cleric as a cohort. The cleric has helped the group a lot. The minions are just background and are kind of background noise. Right now they are fixing up the Glassworks. I think Leadership is only a problem to the GM who panics. Our GM knows how it works and has it under control.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

    I feel like mentioning that I've removed money from magic items, so in my games even if I allowed someone to take leadership, using them to create money isn't much of a problem.

    I just don't like a feat giving you more than a feats worth.


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    Klara Meison wrote:
    lemeres wrote:
    Klara Meison wrote:
    [list]
  • It's gear value goes straight out of your WBL, so you either both end up with s#$%ty gear, or your cohort ends up without any
  • We are all looking at the wizard for that too. One of the problems with allowing the player to design the cohort is that they can make the cohort into a crafter, which saves ob WBL with 1/2 costs.

    If it is a melee guy... then your list absolutely applies. Heck, that is why I would say the squire feat is more balanced, since the class selection is reduced to something more manageable. It can make the cohort into 'animal companion, with easier equipment and maybe good skills if you go with a ranger'.

    But a wizard sitting in the back with less care about HP and BAB?... yeah... That is dicier.

    Not sure what BaB has to do with this. Wizard-cohort is still a target for fireballs cast by the enemies requiring saves, and arrows shot by them requiring AC. Yes, they could craft gear for themselves too, but where are they finding all that time to do that? And I would honestly prefer to have my character with great gear over having a second, s*!*tier version of my character.

    Your NPC wizard who is two levels behind you can likely be better than every party member that is not you, even with NPC gear. Depending on how he is played or built the GM may be better off with regard to combat, having him not directly participate.


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    dysartes wrote:
    Ravingdork wrote:
    Blindmage wrote:
    All of the characters gained from Leadership should be totally built and run by the DM, the player can totally give input as to the kind of people they'd be looking for and such, but they should never be involved in the mechanics of their minions.

    Though the GM is certainly welcome to run his game how he and the people at his table please, the developers have made it quite clear that this was not the intent. After all, you wouldn't tell a player what weapon to choose for his Weapon Focus would you? According to the developers, its the same principle here; it's their feat, their cohort, their choice.

    That being said, cohorts and minions should be built as heroic NPCs, using the NPC rules of the Core Rulebook.

    I'm curious, Ravingdork - can you point to a quote from the developers saying players should be able to build their own cohorts? Being able to do that seems to be what turns an already strong feat up to at least 12...

    Here are the quotes from SKR(former rules designer at Paizo)

    Quote:


    When a PC takes Weapon Focus, does the GM choose what weapon it's with?

    When a druid's animal companion gains a new feat, does the GM choose what that feat is?

    When a player takes Improved Familiar, does the GM choose the familiar?

    If the answer to these questions is "no," then why should the answer be different for Leadership, or any other decision on managing resources the player makes about his or her character?

    -----

    another poster in the same thread wrote:


    So, yes, the player should be able to design his cohort. But the GM needs to be mindful of how the player is using the cohort. For example, how many GMs actually require a ranger or druid to make Handle Animal checks, or keep track of what tricks an animal companion knows? None that I've ever seen. Consequently, the animal copanions in the games I've been in have been more powerful than they should have been

    -----

    SKR replying to above quote wrote:


    Then we agree.

    I never said the GM shouldn't be involved. I'm just saying the PC is spending a resource--a feat--and should get to make the decisions about that resource. If you create a potion-making cleric cohort, that's fine, he's unavailable for adventuring much of the time, and it's not like the PC couldn't have taken Brew Potion on his own. If he makes a meat-shield fighter, and that fighter dies (which, given the 2-levels-lower limit, isn't a surprise), then that dings the character's leadership score (as does the "moves around a lot" penalty, and others).

    Your point about Handle Animal is an excellent one--there are brakes in the game to keep some things from getting out of control, and if the GM doesn't use those brakes, it's his fault


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    Basically the idea was that the player get to make the choices, but the GM should still use discretion to make sure things don't get out of hand.


    Buri Reborn wrote:
    CWheezy wrote:
    Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are.
    This is _so_ not true.

    Can you explain what feat is better than a level 5 wizard/cleric?


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    dysartes wrote:
    I'm curious, Ravingdork - can you point to a quote from the developers saying players should be able to build their own cohorts? Being able to do that seems to be what turns an already strong feat up to at least 12...

    Ultimate Campaign added a lot of information and guidance on how to handle companions in the game. They discussed Familiars, Animal Companions, Eidelons and Cohorts in different ways. It's a very good read, and I feel the non-crunchy parts of Ultimate Campaign should be mandatory reading for any GM (and most players, honestly).

    As an example, here is the section on Advancing Cohorts:

    Quote:

    Cohort: Advancement choices for a cohort include feats, skills, ability score increases, and class levels.

    A cohort is generally considered a player-controlled companion, and therefore you get to decide how the cohort advances. The GM might step in if you make choices that are inappropriate for the cohort, use the cohort as a mechanism for pushing the boundaries of the game rules, or treat the cohort unfairly. a cohort is a loyal companion and ally to you, and expects you to treat him fairly, generously, without aloofness or cruelty, and without devoting too much attention to other minions such as familiars or animal companions. The cohort's attitude toward you is generally helpful (as if using the Diplomacy skill); he complies with most of your requests without any sort of skill check, except for requests that are against his nature or put him in serious peril.

    If you exploit your cohort, you'll quickly find your Leadership score shrinking away. Although this doesn't change the cohort's level, the cohort can't gain levels until your Leadership score allows for a level increase, so if you're a poor leader, you must wait longer for your cohort to level up. In extreme cases, the cohort might abandon you, and you'll have to recruit a new cohort.

    Examples of inappropriate advancement choices are a good-aligned companion selecting morally questionable feats, a clumsy cohort suddenly putting many ranks in Disable Device (so he can take all the risks in searching for traps instead of you), a spellcaster cohort taking nothing but item creation feats (so you get access to plenty of cheap magic items at the cost of just one feat, Leadership), a fighter cohort taking a level in wizard when he had no previous interest in magic, or you not interacting with your cleric cohort other than to gain defensive spells from a different class or a flanking bonus.

    When you select the Leadership feat, you and the GM should discuss the cohort's background, personality, interests, and role in the campaign and party. Not only does this give the GM the opportunity to reject a cohort concept that goes against the theme of the campaign, but the GM can plan adventure hooks involving the cohort for future quests. The random background generator can help greatly when filling in details about the cohort. Once the discussion is done, writing down a biography and personality profile of the cohort helps cement his role in the campaign and provides a strong reference point for later talks about what is or is not appropriate advancement for the cohort.


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    CWheezy wrote:
    Buri Reborn wrote:
    CWheezy wrote:
    Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are.
    This is _so_ not true.
    Can you explain what feat is better than a level 5 wizard/cleric?

    He never said there was a more powerful feat. You said "Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are.", which is all that he quoted.

    I think you were trying to say "If very single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are, it probably shouldn't exist as a feat."

    That period in between "are" and "it" also changes the grammatical structure of what you wrote.


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    Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
    CWheezy wrote:
    Buri Reborn wrote:
    CWheezy wrote:
    Every single build or class takes it at level 7 no matter what they are.
    This is _so_ not true.
    Can you explain what feat is better than a level 5 wizard/cleric?

    Extra rage power, for superstition? :P


    I don't really care what build you are doing, there isn't a better feat at level 7.

    Buri even emphatically said many builds would not, but I can't really imagine why. Maybe he is confused because it is banned 99% of the time, so you don't make builds that include leadership


    Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
    CWheezy wrote:

    I don't really care what build you are doing, there isn't a better feat at level 7.

    Buri even emphatically said many builds would not, but I can't really imagine why. Maybe he is confused because it is banned 99% of the time, so you don't make builds that include leadership

    I don't ban it, it's not picked because no one wants to feed another mouth, so to say. :P


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    CWheezy wrote:

    I don't really care what build you are doing, there isn't a better feat at level 7.

    Buri even emphatically said many builds would not, but I can't really imagine why. Maybe he is confused because it is banned 99% of the time, so you don't make builds that include leadership

    I can imagine why.

    If the entire table gets it then the GM might consider banning it. A lot of people are going to have an instinctual tendency to moderate their behavior so they get to keep their pocket Haste/BFC spammer.

    Of course, many GMs will notice how broken it is and just ban it next campaign instead, but the players will at least get to enjoy their feat-wizard for a whole adventure instead of having them taken away because of greed.


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    Every GM I have played for has allowed it, and it is rarely taken. If someone makes builds based on the "I want the most powerful build possible" idea then sure everyone takes it. But if we go that route nobody will bother with rogues, monks(core), and fighters either.

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