I know Leadership is broken; but why?


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The downside of the cohort was supposed to be that you need to keep them safe while keeping them with you, because they need xp to level. And if they die, they can be harder to replace. Meanwhile eidolons are almost expected to die every day, and companions only take a day of downtime to replace.


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Melkiador wrote:
The downside of the cohort was supposed to be that you need to keep them safe while keeping them with you, because they need xp to level. And if they die, they can be harder to replace. Meanwhile eidolons are almost expected to die every day, and companions only take a day of downtime to replace.

Except the level you get cohorts is close to when death stops being the end of everything and starts to become an annoyance, especially if there's a cleric or oracle in the party.


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

Maybe a thing where you are a somewhat 'meh' class with minor melee buffs and/or save debuffs....

...but you get 1-2 companions that advance like animal companions, but they can fit into one of a few different roles, such as melee, skills, and minor magic.

The basic idea is that this would work like a mix of summoner and medium- where you get buddies that are there for you, but you can switch out the buddy with a little time and effort in order to fill in gaps of the party. This would be based around you going out to recruit a new cohort.

I suggested minor melee buffs and save debuffs so that the main character itself could still be useful. The suggestion of 2 cohorts is based on the idea that they would not be extremely good after being made into an animal companion like mechanic (so the spell caster would be up to 6 spell levels at best...)- but you make up for that with extra action economy.

So like a bard split into multiple pieces, basically. A jack of all trades... able to do anything, but not very well... but you can do it all at once with multiple people.


Kitty Catoblepas wrote:

{. . .}

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.

Considering what you have to go through to get an Animal Companion if you are NOT of an Animal Companion class/archetype, I'd even say split the Cohort feat into an initial feat (Squire, Torchbearer, etc.) and a feat that upgrades it. Of course, this is assuming that you are not of a Leadership class (like Cleric with the Nobility Domain, or Noble Scion prestige class, etc.).

Kitty Catoblepas wrote:

-- 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...

I'd like to see this fleshed out . . . Now we need a Leadership Pathfinder Player Companion (yes, I know we had Cohorts and Companions -- wonder why they didn't go into this stuff at great length there).


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RaizielDragon wrote:

Is there a way to make it less/not broken? Maybe only allow the cohort, but no underlings? All of the characters are in the DMs control? Something else? If you could "fix" Leadership, how would you change it, while keeping it as intact as possible, such that you would allow it at your table.

The cohort is the main "problem".

Easiest fix: everyone gets it for free at level 7. No really. Read Alexander Augunas genius blog post on Leadership for details. Equal footing for all PCs, invokvement with game world, CHA dumping somewhat punished/not CHA dumping somewhat rewarded.

He then published the critically acclaimed Leadership Handbook (which is not available anymore on its own), which introduced the Leadership score and a whole nice subsystem for it.

He later published Ultimate Charisma which contains all content from Ultimate Leadership, Psychological Combat and more. Highly recommended!


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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

That there is something "better" (a subjective measure that is based on how you view your characters) doesn't matter. Further, to underline this fact, I don't make "builds." I make "characters."


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johnlocke90 wrote:
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.

If the player knows his characters well it should not take that much longer. I tend to get through my NPC's fairly quickly as a GM. Unless everyone has a "pet" it should not be a problem


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The problem I'm reading is using followers and cohort in combat. Followers are bodybags waiting to happen in combat. One fireball will more then likely kill every follower instantly. Cohorts will be hurt their saving throws 2 levels below the main PCs. Two levels behind in hit points another problem especially in a higher then average CR fight.
Another problem I'm reading is it slows the game down with followers and cohorts in combat. One solution our group had was joint Initiative. Cohorts and followers went on the PCs initiative count. Another aspect we did with one guy who had loads of low level skeletons was they all rolled once no matter how many were able to attack. One roll to determine if the hit or missed. While very realistic it spend up combat.
Cohorts are sweet if used properly but they like any other feat. Most groups I have played with used them as background if they ever took it.


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I've never seen anyone try to bring all of those followers into combat. Trying to track them would drag the game down. I didn't even create the followers for one of my players. I just said they existed, and had them building something or doing maintenance on the party's HQ. They were basically just used for flavor.


wraithstrike wrote:
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.

Degree of DM involvement as well. If the DM takes a hands off approach & just lets a player do whatever they want? Then problems will likely ensue.


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I once had a witch have a paladin cohort. That was actually really, really fun. :D

Iirc, the GM let me completely do my thing with it, though he did vet it, and I ended up roleplaying both almost equally.


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ccs wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
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.
Degree of DM involvement as well. If the DM takes a hands off approach & just lets a player do whatever they want? Then problems will likely ensue.

That falls under "The build and how it is used determine that.".

Letting the player do what they want is only a problem is the player takes things too far, which is what my above quote includes.


In every case a GM should be involved in a players character to some extent.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
wraithstrike wrote:
I've never seen anyone try to bring all of those followers into combat. Trying to track them would drag the game down. I didn't even create the followers for one of my players. I just said they existed, and had them building something or doing maintenance on the party's HQ. They were basically just used for flavor.

I have, but I can count the instances on one hand.

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