I know Leadership is broken; but why?


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it just slows down combat by too much to be a fun option most of the time.


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Bandw2 wrote:
it just slows down combat by too much to be a fun option most of the time.

That I definitely understand. That is why I have summoners(not the just the class) have their summons stats ready in advance, and know how they work.

If a player who is already slow wants to summon or take a "pet" class I try to push them in another direction. The same applies to leadership.


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wraithstrike wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
it just slows down combat by too much to be a fun option most of the time.

That I definitely understand. That is why I have summoners(not the just the class) have their summons stats ready in advance, and know how they work.

If a player who is already slow wants to summon or take a "pet" class I try to push them in another direction. The same applies to leadership.

UCam does suggest handing the cohort or companion off to a different player in that case. Either one with better game mastery, or a simpler PC to play. There is even a blurb somewhere about recruiting casual observers (children, spouses, etc) to play the companions. Good entry level participation to recruit new players.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

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Leadership is allowed in pretty much every home game I play in or GM, and I almost never take it. I only take it if I've either made close friends with an NPC, or I see my character as being a leader type. Otherwise I'd rather take a feat that actually helps me realize my concept.

Silver Crusade

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I was allowed Leadership in one campaign only because my Paladin Raised a Baby Gold Dragon from birth... Was a long campaign then he left his Mummy and went on his way, that's a good use of a Leadership I raised him and then he departed and he finished his story, Then we killed the Final Big bad guy and the campaign was over....


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I've never seen anyone take Leadership because it's mechanically the best feat - in my groups, it's generally been because it complements their story and roleplay. Our slayer's fiancée he met through adventuring last game. Our investigator's sister returning to town to join the fight this game. Folks looking to draw followers into staffing a fort in a PbP game...the list goes on.

Any other times I've seen it taken, it's been almost as a space filler - "well, I don't have any other feats my build needs, so I guess I'll take Leadership..." They tend to want to take feats that help them recognize their concept first, so Leadership only tends to pop up early if it's part of their concept.

It is far and away the best feat mechanically...but people, at least the ones I play with, don't tend to think of it that way for some reason. In my groups, they tend to be simply-built martial types or buffbots, and built in generic ways that benefit everyone rather than hyper-focused to cover their connection's weaknesses. And often times it's served as a way for me to generate story hooks and improve my GMing/roleplaying, and that never sucks.

(Many here contend crafter cohorts, and I do see the point on that one. But in my IRL group, we pretty much always have one or more item crafter(s) among our players anyway, and item crafting is seen as almost a gods-given right. So having cohort crafters for us just means everyone gets equal chance to benefit from item crafting since we have more crafting man-hours available. It actually tends to be an equalizing factor for us, and you can still check crafting with story pace if you don't want them lit up like Christmas trees.)


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

(Got ninja'd on the quote search.)

I've seen the Leadership feat taken in as many games as not.

It's pretty telling to see it taken half the time, though by that standard, Power Attack is the king of feats. In all the games I've ever been part of (or even seen) I've never seen it not get taken by at least one martial in the party.


Ravingdork wrote:

(Got ninja'd on the quote search.)

I've seen the Leadership feat taken in as many games as not.

It's pretty telling to see it taken half the time, though by that standard, Power Attack is the king of feats. In all the games I've ever been part of (or even seen) I've never seen it not get taken by at least one martial in the party.

I think it is telling since it is a feat that doesn't directly affect the character's playstyle. The character taking the feat does not get bonuses to attacks, spells, skills, or defense, nor does it add personal options. It does not make that character grow in personal power.

...but it still gets taken half of the time.

They are willing to delay everything else that progresses their character (and level 7 is a rather sweet spot with things like lunge popping up) in favor of this feat.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Yeah, level 7 is definitely a pretty nice "sweet spot."


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Getting another character and the various interpretations of how the feat is played are the primary reasons for its enormous power. Numbers that give better action economy are a big thing for the PCs. That said, I've found the feat works fine if you employ some common sense rules to it.

1.) The GM designs the Cohort, not the players. I take suggestions for who they try to attract, but they don't get to hand me a character sheet for them.

2.) Cohorts use NPC stat arrays and wealth.

3.) Cohorts and followers cannot take Leadership or any crafting feats.

4.) Followers are primarily commoners and experts, with the occasional adept at very high leadership levels. They are also understood by all players to be noncombatants, and do not join in the party's adventures directly. They would not survive.


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The thing about having the cohort be a crafter is that someone was probably going to grab that eventually anyway, because it's too wanted by the party not too. So putting it on the cohort means that the players can play what they want while not feeling like they are hamstringing themselves and their party by not getting those feats.

The same logic applies even more to a healer cohort. Most players don't want to play the healer. So why not let those duties fall to a reliable NPC?


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Klara Meison wrote:
It's not anymore broken than wish machines.

Some of us here consider wish machines to rank high on the Broken Scale.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Melkiador wrote:


The same logic applies even more to a healer cohort. Most players don't want to play the healer. So why not let those duties fall to a reliable NPC?

I, in fact, encourage the use of the leadership feat to fill gaps in the party make-up. I'd rather they recognize their own shortcomings and adapt the group to the campaign than have to adapt the campaign because everyone is too stubborn to shift their concept to cover useful adventuring skills and powers.


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Bill Dunn wrote:
I, in fact, encourage the use of the leadership feat to fill gaps in the party make-up.

You don't need Leadership to do that. Just bring in an NPC, and scale the challenge accordingly.

If this is about player desire more than GM, the players can pro-actively seek out like-minded NPCs who would look up to their leadership and Diplomatize them into aiding them.
Leadership does not actually accomplish anything unique, all it does is introduce the concept that you are entitled it's benefits at no cost besides the Feat used for it. And if you really only needeed another NPC with certain class abilities, it further introduces the large number of Followers, inviting the game to get bogged down with them.

Dark Archive

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.

I kind of agree with this. I think the best use of the feat is to fill holes when you have a 2 or 3 person party. A hunter, a summoner, and a cleric with leadership a rogue or archaeologist bard cohort for example.


Quandary wrote:
Bill Dunn wrote:
I, in fact, encourage the use of the leadership feat to fill gaps in the party make-up.

You don't need Leadership to do that. Just bring in an NPC, and scale the challenge accordingly.

If this is about player desire more than GM, the players can pro-actively seek out like-minded NPCs who would look up to their leadership and Diplomatize them into aiding them.
Leadership does not actually accomplish anything unique, all it does is introduce the concept that you are entitled it's benefits at no cost besides the Feat used for it. And if you really only needeed another NPC with certain class abilities, it further introduces the large number of Followers, inviting the game to get bogged down with them.

So you think Leadership is bad because you should be able to get its benefits without taking a feat?

And I think it's pretty rare for anyone to take their followers into the field. The cohort is the only one that actually benefits from experience.

Dark Archive

Yeah, the followers are definitely people that stay behind and tend a castle, stronghold, business, ship, etc.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I've had players actively use followers to great effect in their adventures.

Most recently, as the crew of their sailing vessel. When shipboard battles break out, the volleys from the crew of archer rangers can be absolutely devastating towards the enemy crews.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I use Ultimate Charisma in my games, and it's (free leadership for everyone, but only one cohort active at a time) never been a problem (in fact that one time the cohort's very powerful brother messed things up for the party was kinda memorable). The trick that seems to have worked is to enforce knowing the NPC first - the cohort doesn't get created out of whole cloth, the PC must have a history with them, and while the general direction of the utility can be set by the player ("crafter cohort, please!") the detail is up to the GM (so, brew potion, then), along with the fact that the cohort wants to be adventuring with the PC (stay here and make magic items? Sure! Ignores that and follows the PC on the road anyway).

While I think a GM has to carefully consider things before allowing leadership into their game, if it's done with forethought and care, it can work very well.


We usually have six players in our group and I have only seen the feat taken twice (neither time by me). In neither occasion have I witnessed any problems. In one case the cohort gave a much needed power boost to a rogue character and in the other case the cohort outlived the main character, which I thought was funny.

I agree that the feat is overpowered when the game is run by an overly lenient GM, although I have never witnessed that first hand.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Leadership is a tool, no more, no less.

I play in some 3-player, 3-PC groups. In those, Leadership is a great way to fill functional role gaps in the party while simultaneously building a more explicitly personal roleplay relationship than "just run two PCs" would.

**Quick amusing aside: in our Wrath campaign, we were assigned a task by a certain... intolerant female deity, and none of our three PCs were even remotely willing to play ball, due to roleplay/personality issues. My PC's Leadership cohort (faery dragon Path of War warder) was the only candidate because she frankly thought the idea was hilarious. In our multi-game canon, Pervenche took the name Harold due to misunderstanding, and to this day is serving said deity, somewhere off-stage.**

If you have a four (or more) PC party that is already optimized, Leadership can significantly alter balance; as much as the equivalent of 50% more PCs.

So it absolutely depends. It is a wonderful option to have on the books and formalized, so players & DMs can use it when and if it's appropriate.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Leadership, as it currently exists, simply shouldn't be a feat. I see "feats" as being special skills or talents that a character picks up as he improves himself over time. I could certainly see a better-conceived feat entitled "leadership" which gave you mechanical advantages when leading troops in mass combat, getting acolytes or novices to want to join your cult or finding apprentices, finding employees for your business. But the action of hiring bodyguards, apprentices, acolytes, henchmen, cohorts or companions should be something wholly separate from the feat system. It should be a function of gold invested, of fame, of charisma and most especially of roleplaying.

This said, the leadership feat as it currently exists does have a few uses. When you don't have many players (say only 2 or 3) it can be useful to allow its use. However, this could be just as easily accomplished by the DM allowing some NPC to temporarily or semi-permanently ally himself with the party - with no need for spending a feat at all. On the other end of the scale, when you have 4, 5 or more players, you really oughtn't have any extra cohorts clogging up the game. Even pets, familiars, eidelons and summons can be too much, depending on the number of players around the table.

So even though I understand those who decry the existence of leadership as a feat, I have more sympathy for those who defend it, even if some of them want to hedge it in to such an extent that it just doesn't look "fun" any more. I would also agree that cohorts shouldn't be crafting for their "master" at half price. Maybe they could offer a 5% or 10% discount... but wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume that they want to make some profit from all that tedious effort spent crafting? Shouldn't they have their own goals lurking around at the back of their minds, or even a family or elderly parent to support?


The cohort's pay should be factored in to them needing some share of your wealth to stay gear current and you giving them relatively safe experience. Otherwise it would be just as legitimate for one PC to charge another PC for crafting and I personally find that unfun.


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If charging for crafting is unfun, it doesn't come as a surprise that it is a task best foisted on a cohort, does it?


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Sissyl wrote:
If charging for crafting is unfun, it doesn't come as a surprise that it is a task best foisted on a cohort, does it?

So I should charge the other players for my cohort crafting gear for them?


No.. but perhaps you should charge your friends for items you have crafted for them with feats they never had to take because you did, hmm?


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Sissyl wrote:
No.. but perhaps you should charge your friends for items you have crafted for them with feats they never had to take because you did, hmm?

Then should the healer charge for heals? And the meat shield charge for taking hits so you didn't have to? Or the bard charge for singing for you all of the time? Afterall, they may have played those things so I wouldnt have to.


Crafting is by necessity a downtime activity. The others get to make money there. The crafter doesn't.


Sissyl wrote:
Crafting is by necessity a downtime activity. The others get to make money there. The crafter doesn't.

That may be a point but I've never actually been at a table that used those downtime rules. At any rate, you dont actually need downtime to craft, but your crafting progress will be at quarter speed, when you do it in the field.


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Sissyl wrote:
Crafting is by necessity a downtime activity. The others get to make money there. The crafter doesn't.

While there is some degree of legitimacy to charging other PCs for crafting services (probably not at full price though), downtime brings in money so slowly that the others either barely make any money or the crafter blows through all their available gold within very little time and then can start making gold too.


Remember magic crafting starts at level 3 where money making skills are already starting to lose their kick. By level 5 they're pretty much useless for making money without pausing the adventure for months.


HyperMissingno wrote:
Remember magic crafting starts at level 3 where money making skills are already starting to lose their kick. By level 5 they're pretty much useless for making money without pausing the adventure for months.

Even if you are generous and allow item crafting and selling instead of rolling for practicing a trade, you can only make 100-200gp of items a week after scrounging a bunch of bonuses. After costs, that is about 25-50gp a week, which is pretty piddly when the crafting wizard is making 28,000gp worth of items, saving them half that in gold.


Usually the wizard needs downtime to handle their spellbook. YMMV.


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Sissyl wrote:
Usually the wizard needs downtime to handle their spellbook. YMMV.

Not meaningful downtime, unless you are talking about the time to find the spell to be copied. The actual copying only takes an hour per spell. And of course, the wizard is the class most likely to be crafting most of the magical items.


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Melkiador wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Usually the wizard needs downtime to handle their spellbook. YMMV.
Not meaningful downtime, unless you are talking about the time to find the spell to be copied. The actual copying only takes an hour per spell. And of course, the wizard is the class most likely to be crafting most of the magical items.

Pretty sure it's one hour/spell level to write a spell in a spellbook. That's after spending an hour to study the spell and make the spellcraft.


Whenever the discussion of charging for crafting in the party comes up in always surprised by the anger it brings. When I take crafting feats I do charge the other players. 75% of the base price, so it's still a discount, and it gives me some cash to make a similar item (for example, effectively this means that I pay for say 25%of a headband if I just made a headband).

Nobody has ever had a problem with this, as they are still getting discounts on the item, and they help me get items, making the team more effective.


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Meanwhile our parties go full communism with multiple members taking crafting feats. One guy does wondrous items, another does weapons and armor, and another does rings.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
Meanwhile our parties go full communism with multiple members taking crafting feats. One guy does wondrous items, another does weapons and armor, and another does rings.

better ded then red!!!11 USA USA USA


If you are taking the leadership feat because it's powerful the GM should ban it, if you are taking it because it generates story and matches the campaign then it's awesome.

Basically does it fit the campaign and story, if not it's broken.


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Sincline wrote:

If you are taking the leadership feat because it's powerful the GM should ban it, if you are taking it because it generates story and matches the campaign then it's awesome.

Basically does it fit the campaign and story, if not it's broken.

It's not difficult to come up with an in-game reason to take it, and why you take has no bearing on whether or not it breaks things at the table. The build and how it is used determine that.


wraithstrike wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
it just slows down combat by too much to be a fun option most of the time.

That I definitely understand. That is why I have summoners(not the just the class) have their summons stats ready in advance, and know how they work.

If a player who is already slow wants to summon or take a "pet" class I try to push them in another direction. The same applies to leadership.

Its not just the player. The GM is going to have to tune up the encounter on his end(likely by adding more enemies). So slower on the NPCs end too.


lemeres wrote:

Lets look at the closest alternative (that isn't just that squire feat)- animal ally.

This takes two feats to get an animal companion with your level treated as -3 (which, considering the fact that animal companions are basically 3/4 HD for players anyway... means you get it at 3/5 hd without investing another feat).

This animal companion is not intelligent, has one skill point per level, has very limited feat selection, and cannot use traditional weapons and armor loot. There are some advantages, of course (mount, special abilities, etc)... but it is still exceedingly limited compared to a PC.

So 3 feats for a much more watered down character. Compared to 1 feat to get a character that is almost the same level as you (so that is 9/10 hd). The shift from cohort to animal companion is basically cutting it in half. As I have heard said before: 'if your feat can be cut and half and still be considered good, then the feat is overpowered'.

Entire class features are not as good as this feat. The closest comparison is the eidolon... and the eidolon is half of the summoner's class features. Also, it is basically limited to a big dumb melee person with a couple weird abilities and some skill stuff. Exceedingly limited spell access. While cohorts can have specialized classes and be devoted to spell casting.

With this feat you could get a druid companion 2 levels lower than you, and that druid gets an animal companion more powerful than the Animal Ally feat cheat. 1 feat > 2 feats?

A druid with an animal companion gets 2 actions per round, possibly more if they flood the battlefield with summons. Add +1 actions, or more if the original PC can do something similar. (A summoner with Leadership and a druid companion? Yikes!)

I think the feat is broken as it's uncapped. There's practically no limit to the feat.


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Kimera757 wrote:

With this feat you could get a druid companion 2 levels lower than you, and that druid gets an animal companion more powerful than the Animal Ally feat cheat. 1 feat > 2 feats?

A druid with an animal companion gets 2 actions per round, possibly more if they flood the battlefield with summons. Add +1 actions, or more if the original PC can do something similar. (A summoner with Leadership and a druid companion? Yikes!)

I think the feat is broken as it's uncapped. There's practically no limit to the feat.

So three feat to get...maybe a single wolf?

Or one feat to get two tigers, one on each side, one of which shoots lightning.


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Leadership isn't broken and as GM I expect players to take it at some point. I rarely see it taken though. So I removed it as feat and make it bonus feat players could work towards in similar way to 2nd Edition D&D. That's where if you build a keep you attract followers. Seems to work pretty good for the game I run using the Ultimate Campaign book.


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Melkiador wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
If charging for crafting is unfun, it doesn't come as a surprise that it is a task best foisted on a cohort, does it?
So I should charge the other players for my cohort crafting gear for them?

Not saying this is a good idea, but I have heard of players actually doing this . . . .

One thing to consider is that what may clog up a table (Cohorts, pets, etc.) may be fine in PbP, and vice versa (I saw one GM who used to run a game on these boards change the Dual-Cursed Oracle Revelations Fortune and Misfortune to work identically to the Witch Hexes of the same name to forestall the game bogging down due to the immediate actions that the RAW versions can cause).


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I love Leadership. I keep wishing people would take it more often in the games I run, but it's less common than I'd prefer. Similarly wish machines, especially considering the Paizo nerf (well, sort of... eh, it's more confusing with a wish machine, given GMG's recommendations). It'd make math, balance, and gaming easier, though, I'll tell you that much.

Point is, I don't find the thing broken for my games. I've found it a little underwhelming at times, as many players just haven't understood the "best" uses for it, and those that have have often been relatively light-handed in their use thereof, meaning, as a GM, I've had to walk on eggshells to avoid breaking their characters and cohorts on accident.
(Note: if I feel that I've given them an appropriate challenge and they failed it fair and square, that's one thing; if I feel that I accidentally set them up in an unsinkable situation because of where they should reasonably be and where they actually are, that's another thing altogether. The former is okay - though preferably avoided, it can happen; the latter is not really okay.)

The main problem I've had with Leadership is the main problem I've had with wishes and similar powerful options: everyone that plays under me seems to have some sort of preexisting gamer version of PTSD related to them; a kind of, "once bitten, twice shy" sort of thing. A wish will always end badly, so never take it or make the most mild and uninteresting ones possible; cohorts will always be killed or the GM will otherwise destroy you through your followers, so avoid at all costs or spend exhorbitant resources on protecting them or just never get to know them because it was basically a wasted feat slot anyway, but I had to try oh well, I'm waiting for the hammer to fall why are you making me wait this long you sick, twisted monster of a GM; just let the poor NPCs die already; I'm never going to bother knowing their names; you can't make me care!; ARG! ... or similarly weird expectations... or they just don't care to do that much paperwork.

Because I do require this: if you take the Leadership feat, you have names, and stats/character sheet of each of your ten highest level followers and your cohort. I get to see you level them up when it happens, and I'm informed of loot changes.

That's pretty much it. I may step in if someone chooses something that doesn't exist, but I'll do that anyway; "No, your character can't have Weapon Focus (Underwater Basketweaving); first because that sentence makes no daggum sense, and second because the gooftastic campaign is the other one - this one is serious, please try again."
I also try to work with people who want to use weapons or races that don't exist or certain concepts that don't. Usually I'll alter the setting to accommodate, but I can't always - I'm flexible, but not infinitely, and usually the two of us - GM and player - manage a compromise of some sort. Unless it's PbP. I'm bad at that. No good reason why. I just am. Sorry.

But yeah - actually having that infinite loop is pretty amazing. As a GM, I'd cut it off, eventually, but it's pretty awesome, and depending on the campaign, if a player asked if they could do that, I'd likely say, "Sure; just make sure the reveal is dramatic and you make it worth everyone's while and then you set the super-toy down and it goes into the background after its awesome use and only resurfaces occasionally, and doesn't become a 'get out of jail free forever.' card - 'cause otherwise, we'd have no game. Sorry, I'd just run out of GMing skill. My bad." (Or something similar.) Sounds pretty awesome, actually.


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Leadership is a feat, nothing more. For most of my old group we rarely took it since it wasn't a feat we felt needed or wanted for our group. When we did take it, it was mostly for RP or a way to generate money besides adventuring. This was before Ultimate Campaign.
The followers themselves are NPC classes with NPC stats. They have uses but nothing our group saw as more as a support structure. We used them to build our homes and businesses and maintained them while we the adventurers went out and adventured. They were background for us. If they were used it was to spring board an adventure. For our group we sometimes detailed them out for what they were and what they did but they never interfered with the overall adventure or campaign.
The cohort is a lower level extra PC if used properly. Depending on how they are used they can and sometimes do add complexity. As a GM I make it the players job with restrictions and guidelines to make the cohort and his responsibility to run. Most players refuse this making them and then keeping them with followers. Sometimes they use them in adventures or for a way to get more power. Had a player with a crafter making it so all his added magic was at half cost. By then it wasn't a huge increase since he had most of what he wanted in magical gear.
Our group have mostly used the feat as RP establishing a base of operations which is really what the feat is meant for. In 1st ed D&D at mid levels almost every class attracted apprentices, or followers to establish a permanent resident of some sort.

Dark Archive

Buri Reborn wrote:
Is leadership really anymore broken than an eidolon or animal companion?

Yes. Class levels are way better than hit dice on an animal companion or eidolon. You can have a spellcaster for crying out loud.


Cory Stafford 29 wrote:
Buri Reborn wrote:
Is leadership really anymore broken than an eidolon or animal companion?
Yes. Class levels are way better than hit dice on an animal companion or eidolon. You can have a spellcaster for crying out loud.

I went into a long discussion about why animal companions are worse... but eh again:

-Animal companions cap out at 16 HD. Eidolons have a max of 15 HD. Cohorts get up to 18 HD.
-cohorts and eidolons get more than 1 skill point per level, usually.
-animal companions have 3/4 BAB, on top of their lower HD. Their max BAB is +12. Eidons get +15 with their full BAB. Cohorts can have +18 as their max. I know eidolons and animal companions get strength bonsuses... but the cohort could be a barbarian, or any other full martial with an attack/damage booster.
-animal companions are natural attacks only, and need special armor. Cohorts can use whatever they want- they use the same stuff you do. Eidolons are more mixed as well.
-animal companions don't have hands for things like wands and such.
-animal companions are purely brutes, flank buddies, and maneuver users. Eidolons have similar restrictions, but can do skill and wand stuff too. Cohorts can be ANYTHING. Including a spell caster.

Cohorts are just far more valuable as the extra bodies on the field. They are far more flexible in their build, and they don't have the various restrictions seen on animal companions and such in terms of the items they can use and the actions they can take.


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lemeres wrote:


I went into a long discussion about why animal companions are worse... but eh again:

-Animal companions cap out at 16 HD. Eidolons have a max of 15 HD. Cohorts get up to 18 HD.
-cohorts and eidolons get more than 1 skill point per level, usually.
-animal companions have 3/4 BAB, on top of their lower HD. Their max BAB is +12. Eidons get +15 with their full BAB. Cohorts can have +18 as their max. I know eidolons and animal companions get strength bonsuses... but the cohort could be a barbarian, or any other full martial with an attack/damage booster.
-animal companions are natural attacks only, and need special armor. Cohorts can use whatever they want- they use the same stuff you do. Eidolons are more mixed as well.
-animal companions don't have hands for things like wands and such.
-animal companions are purely brutes, flank buddies, and maneuver users. Eidolons have similar restrictions, but can do skill and wand stuff too. Cohorts can be ANYTHING. Including a spell caster.

Cohorts are just far more valuable as the extra bodies on the field. They are far more flexible in their build, and they don't have the various restrictions seen on animal companions and such in terms of the items they can use and the actions they can take.

It seems to me that three things need to happen with the Leadership feat:

-- Leadership needs to be separated into 1 feat for attracting your cohort and 1 feat for attracting your horde.

-- Your cohort needs to have progression table similar to an Animal Companion or a Promethean Alchemist's Homunculus, with Archetypes or "Evolutions" in the vein of an Eidolon to customize him/her.

-- Your horde of followers should have what they do spelled out (informants, artisans, clergy, soldiers, scholars), what you can accomplish with them spelled out, and include the option to specialize or diversify as your leadership score increases.

That would limit the sheer amount of things you can accomplish with your Cohort, limit the Skill Factory that is your horde of followers ("My followers assist me in gathering information for a bonus of +40"), and maybe set up a way to have an unusual cohort (through feats, Archetypes, or whatever).

Wow. The Leadership feat is basically a chassis for a class just waiting to be made

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