Leadership problems with a player


Advice

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I (as the DM) have a rule about Leadership; "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them." A player wants an awakened gorilla cohort, but wants to create and control them.

Awaken
Leadership
Gorilla

So my questions are;
1- What Effective Cohort Level would you suggest for a 5hd gorilla?
2- Is "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them" clear?
3- Do you think I am unreasonable to enforce my "I will create and control them" rule?
4- Do you think that rule is arguably RAW?
5- Or does the player have a reasonable expectation that they will create and control a cohort from Leadership?

Any advice on a compromise?


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This is really mostly a houserule or advice question.

None of us were there to know if you were clear about your expectations; but it's clear that your player has different expectations. I would have an out of game conversation to try to come to something mutually agreeable.

(I would never want to take leadership if the GM was both creating and controlling them; it's basically just wasting a feat on an NPC to have someone else try and enact your vision).

I think the best compromise is you let them create it with you having final approval. I don't see why, as GM, I'd insist on control (unless the player is mistreating the cohort, which is when I'd step in).

The first step to compromise is figure out what the player wants and what you want and find the best way to meet both of those desires.


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Read this:

http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCampaign/campaignSystems/compani ons.html

It should answer some of your questions.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:


(I would never want to take leadership if the GM was both creating and controlling them; it's basically just wasting a feat on an NPC to have someone else try and enact your vision).

There are a bunch of reasons to have a GM controlled NPC that was mostly loyal to my PC. Even more if the GM is allowing any player to play contrary or backstabbing PCs.

Quote:
. I don't see why, as GM, I'd insist on control (unless the player is mistreating the cohort, which is when I'd step in).

The primary reason cited by game designers and RAW is that it is unfair to the other players in terms of consuming real life time at the table.

Silver Crusade

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The Cohort is a NPC, so as GM it is part of your domain. You could give control of the cohort to another player to reduce your workload, but you shouldn't hand it to the player in question since in the end he would play two characters and might upset the party-balance by hogging the spotlight.
About the creation of said cohort - maybe you could work together, maybe you could ask the player for some input like how the attributes should be priorized etc. In the end you decide what possible cohorts the player might find.

Silver Crusade

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The Bestiary-Gorilla has CR 2 and 3 HD, as a cohort I guess he would be okay for lvl 7.


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My perspective is from having GMed issues like this. Citing rules on a part of game that lets you get a supporter is unlikely to be persuasive or help a game.

That's why I focused on the compromise issue. Figure out what the player really wants and think how best to accommodate it. (I'd be more restrictive if this player already had other companions and controlled them).

It's also a lot easier to have the player control a cohort (not all NPCs, obviously there are great reasons the DM should control most NPCs).


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Since it appears most posters are not going to read the link I provided,

PRD aka RAW wrote:
Sentient Companions: A sentient companion (a creature that can understand language and has an Intelligence score of at least 3) is considered your ally and obeys your suggestions and orders to the best of its ability. It won't necessarily blindly follow a suicidal order, but it has your interests at heart and does what it can to keep you alive. Paladin bonded mounts, familiars, and cohorts fall into this category, and are usually player-controlled companions.

To the OP, read the following section about Issue of Control, since as the GM, you can decide how you want it to work.


Create Mr. Pitt wrote:
Citing rules on a part of game that lets you get a supporter is unlikely to be persuasive or help a game.

It's the RULES forum, not the Advice forum. So I assume people post questions here because they are looking for an answer that is based on RAW.

Case in point,

Quote:
4- Do you think that rule is arguably RAW?


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Valandil Ancalime wrote:

I (as the DM) have a rule about Leadership; "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them." A player wants an awakened gorilla cohort, but wants to create and control them.

Awaken
Leadership
Gorilla

So my questions are;
1- What Effective Cohort Level would you suggest for a 5hd gorilla?
2- Is "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them" clear?
3- Do you think I am unreasonable to enforce my "I will create and control them" rule?
4- Do you think that rule is arguably RAW?
5- Or does the player have a reasonable expectation that they will create and control a cohort from Leadership?

Any advice on a compromise?

1. My bet is 'lvl 4'. Two for the CR, another two for the awakened bonus. From here on, remember that Bongo the gorilla can pick any level from any class.

2. It is your right as a GM.

3. Not at all, specially when you don't know what that said player want to do with the cohort (like the crafting mule cohort). For what it matters, I let the player control the cohort in combat, and casually in non combat scenarios, but in the end I am the one who "upgrade" him.

4. RAW, the only clear terms are the level cap for the cohort and the followers. It never says that "the player can go to the cohort shop and pick whatever he wants".

5. The very moment players starts filling their character sheet they have expectations. Will the other players be annoyed? Will the feat disrupt in any way your campaign? Will it be an opened way for future quests?


an awakened gorilla would be a level 2 cohort so if the player is higher level(lets use level 9 as an example) the gorilla would need to have 5 class levels to meet the leader ship cohort thingy of level -2

weather or not you or the player makes the cohort if between you and the player as is who controls the cohort all though i would suggest a compromise the player chooses to either have a)they make the cohort and the gm controls it or b) the gm makes the cohort and the player controls them

but by raw the player would get to do both much like an animal companion or a summoner edolon or a familliar


Lady-J wrote:
but by raw the player would get to do both much like an animal companion or a summoner edolon or a familliar

By RAW, a player does not control an animal companion.

Ultimate Campaign wrote:
Nonsentient Companions: A nonsentient companion (one with animal-level intelligence) is loyal to you in the way a well-trained dog is—the creature is conditioned to obey your commands, but its behavior is limited by its intelligence and it can't make altruistic moral decisions—such as nobly sacrificing itself to save another. Animal companions, cavalier mounts, and purchased creatures (such as common horses and guard dogs) fall into this category. In general they're GM-controlled companions. You can direct them using the Handle Animal skill, but their specific behavior is up to the GM.

With regards to Eidolons,

UC wrote:
An eidolon is normally a player-controlled companion, but the GM can have the eidolon refuse extreme orders that would cause it to suffer needlessly.

So ACs and Eidolons are managed differently under RAW.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

The only GM I play with that even allows Leadership insists that she 'creates' them (all rubber stamped so far) and only NPC classes allowed, though she has lesser versions of each PC class. Apparently there were issues with a Paladin/Sorcerer pair of players before I got in the group.

She does allow an 'side kick feat' based off Animal companions. As a wizard with a mandatory familiar, I'm ineligible.


Leadership is a player feat, not a DM feat. While I have no problem with the DM overriding abusive players or banning leadership outright, it is not a NPC for the DM to control.


This is why you just ban leadership!


a cohort is an npc, per the leadership feat. an npc, by its very definition is NOT a player character.

i understand having the player run it tactically during combat - with the gm making the call whether to override something the player tries to do that goes too far - but outside of combat, the gm should be giving it voice and personality.

as far as design of the cohort, the player should suggest the class or abilities they are seeking out in a cohort, but the gm should design the cohort itself. in the case of the awakened gorilla, doubly so.

a pc might be picky and talk to a number of roguish individuals before extending an invite to one of them.... but unless you are in a village of awakened gorillas, you are likely going to have one to choose from when it becomes available.... and it's yes or no at that point.

unlike animal companions, your pc isn't the one training them.

a thoroughly convincing pc may be able to convince his cohort tho retrain some features over time... but if he is constantly trying to change the cohort, it could backfire - and the cohort may choose to leave the pc.


The few times I have seen Leadership in play and it not proven disruptive/ludicrously overpowered, it was always the GM creating and controlling the NPCs (because a cohort is a Non Player Character, regardless of the fact the PC spent a feat). It is a decent compromise between getting some backup to the party without overshadowing the PCs or having one player hog inordinate amounts of spotlight time.

The handful of times I've seen Leadership be utterly broken, it was when the GM (myself in one occasion) allowed the player(s) to create and control their own cohorts and followers. Because a high level 3.5 sorcerer taking leadership and feats that boost it... Then having the cohorts and 6th level followers be Cha based and also take the leadership feat (and repeating at each new -1 HD tier) creates a pyramid structure of doom. That is way more power than any feat should ever give.


Oddman80 wrote:

a cohort is an npc, per the leadership feat. an npc, by its very definition is NOT a player character.

i understand having the player run it tactically during combat - with the gm making the call whether to override something the player tries to do that goes too far - but outside of combat, the gm should be giving it voice and personality.

as far as design of the cohort, the player should suggest the class or abilities they are seeking out in a cohort, but the gm should design the cohort itself. in the case of the awakened gorilla, doubly so.

a pc might be picky and talk to a number of roguish individuals before extending an invite to one of them.... but unless you are in a village of awakened gorillas, you are likely going to have one to choose from when it becomes available.... and it's yes or no at that point.

unlike animal companions, your pc isn't the one training them.

a thoroughly convincing pc may be able to convince his cohort tho retrain some features over time... but if he is constantly trying to change the cohort, it could backfire - and the cohort may choose to leave the pc.

if you find a gorilla and awaken them you sure and heck can train them in the rolls you are seeking them to fill


Oddman80 wrote:

a cohort is an npc, per the leadership feat. an npc, by its very definition is NOT a player character.

i understand having the player run it tactically during combat - with the gm making the call whether to override something the player tries to do that goes too far - but outside of combat, the gm should be giving it voice and personality.

as far as design of the cohort, the player should suggest the class or abilities they are seeking out in a cohort, but the gm should design the cohort itself. in the case of the awakened gorilla, doubly so.

a pc might be picky and talk to a number of roguish individuals before extending an invite to one of them.... but unless you are in a village of awakened gorillas, you are likely going to have one to choose from when it becomes available.... and it's yes or no at that point.

unlike animal companions, your pc isn't the one training them.

a thoroughly convincing pc may be able to convince his cohort tho retrain some features over time... but if he is constantly trying to change the cohort, it could backfire - and the cohort may choose to leave the pc.

NN959 showed above where the rule is that the player runs it. And a cohort by its very nature is a bond that shouldn't be broken. It is Batman and Robin, Lone Ranger and Tonto, and Chewy and Han Solo. It is not just a friendship or companion. The bond is stronger than that of the player characters to each other (in most cases). It should be respected as such and run by the player.


Thanks for the input so far. To clarify some points.

The pc did buy a gorilla and trained it until he could get an awaken spell.

I have let a 2 player rl/tt group make and run their cohorts to round the party out to 4. So i know just how impressive a cohort(s) built to fit a group can be.

It is a pbp group.


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Raynulf wrote:

The few times I have seen Leadership in play and it not proven disruptive/ludicrously overpowered, it was always the GM creating and controlling the NPCs (because a cohort is a Non Player Character, regardless of the fact the PC spent a feat). It is a decent compromise between getting some backup to the party without overshadowing the PCs or having one player hog inordinate amounts of spotlight time.

The handful of times I've seen Leadership be utterly broken, it was when the GM (myself in one occasion) allowed the player(s) to create and control their own cohorts and followers.

Since we're sharing totally anecdotal stories, the group I have played with since college (so 14 years or so) has had multiple people take Leadership and the player built and ran the cohort, and its never been a problem.

Reasonable limitations on cohorts make sense. But then, most DM's put reasonable limitations on PC creation too, so it's not a special rule for cohorts.

As for a player with a cohort being a time hog, its no different than the druid with an animal companion, or summoner with eidolon, or wizard who casts summoning spells. Everyone should be courteous of their fellow players' time.


Valandil Ancalime wrote:

I (as the DM) have a rule about Leadership; "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them." A player wants an awakened gorilla cohort, but wants to create and control them.

So my questions are;
1- What Effective Cohort Level would you suggest for a 5hd gorilla?
2- Is "You may look for a specific type of cohort/followers, but I will create and control them" clear?
3- Do you think I am unreasonable to enforce my "I will create and control them" rule?
4- Do you think that rule is arguably RAW?
5- Or does the player have a reasonable expectation that they will create and control a cohort from Leadership?

To answer your questions specifically:

1- An awakened gorilla would have a CR of 4 (2HD to start, +2 from awaken). Anything left gets to become class levels of some sort. Remember, level adjustment doesnt exist anymore, its purely based on CR/HD now. So a leadership score of 10 which allows a Cohort with of 7th level, using this example, would allow for 3 class levels for Bongo.
2- Your random house rule is totally clear if unfair, unfun, and neither RAW nor RAI.
3- Yes. Totally and completely unreasonable. Why on earth would you do that to your player? How is it fun for them in any way? This is a game meant to be fun and you are taking their hard earned fun away from them. Boo on you.
4- As said above, it is neither RAW nor RAI in even the slightest. It makes me wonder why would you do it in the first place. Do you simply not trust your players?
5- Based on the RAW and the RAI the player would have more than a reasonable expectation, they would have an absolute iron clad expectation that they would run that cohort. Thats whats fun about having a cohort in the first place!

Hope this clears things up for you...

AtD

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think it's reasonable for their to be some back and forth here. I would expect the character to tell you what kind of cohort they want, and then you build it. They would control it, although you would have the right to overrule anything suicidal they want it to do, for instance.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I generally let the player control their PCs' cohorts in combat. It saves me the burden and the presumption is their cohort is supposed to work well with them in such situations. I will veto blatantly suicidal actions, though. I also generally play the cohorts in non-combat interactions since they are NPCs and should be able to bring alternative perspectives to the PC's attention rather than just be an extension of their own brain. If given a task to do away from the rest of the party, I resolve that internally/off camera based on the NPC's own personality and skills.

I generally prefer to make the PCs' cohorts, though I will take suggestions since they are, after all, in the market with something specific in mind. If they want a flanking buddy to fit their own fighting style, I'll make one up to be competent with their fighting style as best I can and then round him off with whatever else would make them a good, all-around cohort.


1. Would call him level 4 or 5. Remember his level is capped at character with leadership level-2
2. Yes its a very clear rule
3. Your fine. I disagree but I don't find it unfair(given that they are warned in advance)
4. Well 50/50. It says you can attract a cohort which leaves it up to dm determination how the cohort is selected. However as previously pointed out, cohorts are declared to be under PC control. This doesn't make it wrong but people will always find a way to forget Rule 0 despite it being the very first in Core Rulebook
5. See 4. Most people expect reasonable limitation even if given free reign. So long as you are upfront about how it works in advance, do as you like

My personal way of running leadership
1. They build it but I must approve it before they can use it in game
2. I control out of combat
3. They control in combat
This stops dumb combos, leadership recursion/craft abuse, spotlight hogging, and keeps me from having to run another thing in combat


an awakened gorilla is cr2 so it would be level 2 the awakened spell doesn't add cr to the animal


In my group the cohort can be any class, and is under the PC's control, followers are NPC classes only. The official character sheet sold by Paizo for use with the Pathfinder game has a page for your cohort, familiar, or animal companion, seems like that puts it literally in the player's hands. The knights of the inner sea book has a "squire" feat that allows you a cohort at level 1 then becomes the leadership feat at level 7.


Lady-J wrote:
an awakened gorilla is cr2 so it would be level 2 the awakened spell doesn't add cr to the animal

Unfortunately, Lady-J is correct: awaken, although it adds 2 additional hit dice (for a total of 5HD and BAB+3), does not increase the CR by RAW, and thus an awakened gorilla is CR2 and counts as a 2nd level cohort, upon which class levels can be added.

So a 7th level PC with a leadership score of at least 7 will attract a 5th level cohort, allowing you to add 3 class levels onto the gorilla, who would then have 8HD but count as 5th level. The stat array of a gorilla is not actually far off that of a 15pt gen human.... disturbingly.

Pros: Large sized, 3 extra HD, +1 BAB over a normal NPC
Cons: Skill points are not gained retroactively for an increase in Int (looking at the base 3 HD); Large sized; -2 class levels; and unlike a regular NPC Cohort it doesn't come with its own gear (awaken doesn't magically create NPC wealth).

Gorilla Stats:

Given the mediocre mental stats (average Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 9) it's probably best served going a martial class. Let's say barbarian (invulnerable rager). Give it a masterwork chain shirt (large), and a masterwork greatsword (large).

Str 16 (+1 @ 4HD); Dex 16 (+1 @ 8HD); Con 14; Int 2; Wis 12; Cha 9
HP 61 (5d8+3d12+16+3)
BAB +6; CMB +10; CMD 23
DR 1/-

AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +4 armor, -1 size); -3 while raging.
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +3 (+5 in rage)

Speed 40 ft; climb 30 ft
Space 10 ft; Reach 10 ft
Melee Mwk Greatsword +7/+2 (3d6+10, 19-20x2) or 2 slams +6 (1d6+7)
Raging Mwk Greatsword +10/+5 (3d6+13, 19-20x2) or 2 slams +9 (1d6+9)

Feats Great Fortitude (1st), Skill Focus (Perception) (3rd), Power Attack (5th), Combat Reflexes (7th)
Class Abilities Rage (10 rounds/day), Fast Movement, Cold Endurance, Reckless Abandon
Skills Base 3, +4 from the 2 racial HD, +12 from barbarian levels. Max 8 in a skill.
(Say) Acrobatics +11 (inc -1 ACP), Climb +16 (inc -1 ACP), Intimidate +5, Perception +13

All that being said; While Pathfinder has managed to avoid some of the abject silliness of 3.5's Leadership feats (Improved Cohort, i'm looking at you), comparing a cohort to an animal companion is a false comparison: An animal companion vastly more restricted than a cohort, and a class feature. Leadership is a single feat that can be taken by anyone, and on the whole, better.

The ability to play two (or more) characters is ludicrously powerful for a feat, and should be approached with caution (if at all). Placing restrictions on it - such as the GM controlling it as an NPC and/or creating it - is pretty reasonable all told.


Raynulf wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
an awakened gorilla is cr2 so it would be level 2 the awakened spell doesn't add cr to the animal

Unfortunately, Lady-J is correct: awaken, although it adds 2 additional hit dice (for a total of 5HD and BAB+3), does not increase the CR by RAW, and thus an awakened gorilla is CR2 and counts as a 2nd level cohort, upon which class levels can be added.

So a 7th level PC with a leadership score of at least 7 will attract a 5th level cohort, allowing you to add 3 class levels onto the gorilla, who would then have 8HD but count as 5th level. The stat array of a gorilla is not actually far off that of a 15pt gen human.... disturbingly.

Pros: Large sized, 3 extra HD, +1 BAB over a normal NPC
Cons: Skill points are not gained retroactively for an increase in Int (looking at the base 3 HD); Large sized; -2 class levels; and unlike a regular NPC Cohort it doesn't come with its own gear (awaken doesn't magically create NPC wealth).

** spoiler omitted **...

skill points do get retroactively changed tho as both skill points and hit points retroactively change in pathfinder when a stat goes up or down. the actual con is that while the creature type changes to magical beast none of the numerics change over so its a magical beast with 5 animal hitdie with their numerics but gain more skill points form a higher int and what not


Did you make it clear that you would create and control cohorts when the game first began? If you did, then he knew what he was getting and you are completely fair for insisting. If not, then it would be a little unfair to suddenly spring that on him. In that case. I think you should let the player create the cohort, with your final approval. Then let them give suggestions for actions during combat, though you make the decision in the end. But either way, talk it over with the player outside of the game.


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Raynulf wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
an awakened gorilla is cr2 so it would be level 2 the awakened spell doesn't add cr to the animal

Unfortunately, Lady-J is correct: awaken, although it adds 2 additional hit dice (for a total of 5HD and BAB+3), does not increase the CR by RAW, and thus an awakened gorilla is CR2 and counts as a 2nd level cohort, upon which class levels can be added.

So a 7th level PC with a leadership score of at least 7 will attract a 5th level cohort, allowing you to add 3 class levels onto the gorilla, who would then have 8HD but count as 5th level. The stat array of a gorilla is not actually far off that of a 15pt gen human.... disturbingly.

Pros: Large sized, 3 extra HD, +1 BAB over a normal NPC
Cons: Skill points are not gained retroactively for an increase in Int (looking at the base 3 HD); Large sized; -2 class levels; and unlike a regular NPC Cohort it doesn't come with its own gear (awaken doesn't magically create NPC wealth).

** spoiler omitted **...

But the npc wouldn't have a 15 point by pc stat array. they would have an npc stat array per the rules of creating npcs.

Also - an awakened gorrilla is a magical beast and is therefore not a standard cohort - but rather a Monstrous Cohort. Paizo advises GMs to look at other monstrous cohorts from the list in order to properly determine what level the proposed monstrous cohort should be.

the 4 hit die (intelligent large magical beast) giant eagle is considered a level 6 cohort.

the 5 hit die, (non-intelligent large animal) giant vulture is a level 7 cohort

the 6 hit die, (non-intelligent large magical beast) sea cat is a level 8 cohort

none of these creatures have SLAs - they all have basic natural attacks, and two modes of movement (like the gorilla).

given all of this, i would think the awakened gorilla would fall more on the level 7-8 side of things.


Thanks for the replies, the problem is mostly sorted.


Oddman80 wrote:
Raynulf wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
an awakened gorilla is cr2 so it would be level 2 the awakened spell doesn't add cr to the animal

Unfortunately, Lady-J is correct: awaken, although it adds 2 additional hit dice (for a total of 5HD and BAB+3), does not increase the CR by RAW, and thus an awakened gorilla is CR2 and counts as a 2nd level cohort, upon which class levels can be added.

So a 7th level PC with a leadership score of at least 7 will attract a 5th level cohort, allowing you to add 3 class levels onto the gorilla, who would then have 8HD but count as 5th level. The stat array of a gorilla is not actually far off that of a 15pt gen human.... disturbingly.

Pros: Large sized, 3 extra HD, +1 BAB over a normal NPC
Cons: Skill points are not gained retroactively for an increase in Int (looking at the base 3 HD); Large sized; -2 class levels; and unlike a regular NPC Cohort it doesn't come with its own gear (awaken doesn't magically create NPC wealth).

** spoiler omitted **...

But the npc wouldn't have a 15 point by pc stat array. they would have an npc stat array per the rules of creating npcs.

Also - an awakened gorrilla is a magical beast and is therefore not a standard cohort - but rather a Monstrous Cohort. Paizo advises GMs to look at other monstrous cohorts from the list in order to properly determine what level the proposed monstrous cohort should be.

the 4 hit die (intelligent large magical beast) giant eagle is considered a level 6 cohort.

the 5 hit die, (non-intelligent large animal) giant vulture is a level 7 cohort

the 6 hit die, (non-intelligent large magical beast) sea cat is a level 8 cohort

none of these creatures have SLAs - they all have basic natural attacks, and two modes of movement (like the gorilla).

given all of this, i would think the awakened gorilla would fall more on the level 7-8 side of things.

that table is all kinds of wonky and is a terrible source for level judgement there's no way in hell that those creatures are worth the levels they are assigned many of which are about 5 levels to high on their given "level of cohort" especially when compared to classes who can get them as companions as class features lets take the babau as an example its treated by that list as a level 11 cohort which means an character would need to be level 13 to get it as a cohort were as an anti paladin gets it at level 9 which would make it a level 7 cohort but using monsters as pc rules it should be a level 6 cohort and monsters as pc are way more flushed out rules than some arbitrary chart that laughably attempts to give none conventional creatures as cohorts but screws it up royally like a cr 8 creature as a level 18 cohort like wth is that


Lady-J wrote:
that table is all kinds of wonky and is a terrible source for level judgement there's no way in hell that those creatures are worth the levels they are assigned many of which are about 5 levels to high on their given "level of cohort" especially when compared to classes who can get them as companions as class features lets take the babau as an example its treated by that list as a level 11 cohort which means an character would need to be level 13 to get it as a cohort were as an anti paladin gets it at level 9 which would make it a level 7 cohort but using monsters as pc rules it should be a level 6 cohort and monsters as pc are way more flushed out rules than some arbitrary chart that laughably attempts to give none conventional creatures as cohorts but screws it up royally like a cr 8 creature as a level 18 cohort like wth is that

While I very much agree with you, RAW you don't use the Monsters As PCs rules when determining the equivalent level of a monstrous cohort.

As you note, a CR 8 Blood Hag is given a cohort level equivalent of 16(!).
Comparing to the table, I agree with Oddman80 that it seems like it should be equivalent to about a level 7, based on the examples in the table.

I think that you should probably ignore this bit of RAW, but then I would also say to ignore the RAW that the extra HD from Awaken wouldn't affect the level of the gorilla too.


Samasboy1 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
that table is all kinds of wonky and is a terrible source for level judgement there's no way in hell that those creatures are worth the levels they are assigned many of which are about 5 levels to high on their given "level of cohort" especially when compared to classes who can get them as companions as class features lets take the babau as an example its treated by that list as a level 11 cohort which means an character would need to be level 13 to get it as a cohort were as an anti paladin gets it at level 9 which would make it a level 7 cohort but using monsters as pc rules it should be a level 6 cohort and monsters as pc are way more flushed out rules than some arbitrary chart that laughably attempts to give none conventional creatures as cohorts but screws it up royally like a cr 8 creature as a level 18 cohort like wth is that

While I very much agree with you, RAW you don't use the Monsters As PCs rules when determining the equivalent level of a monstrous cohort.

As you note, a CR 8 Blood Hag is given a cohort level equivalent of 16(!).
Comparing to the table, I agree with Oddman80 that it seems like it should be equivalent to about a level 7, based on the examples in the table.

I think that you should probably ignore this bit of RAW, but then I would also say to ignore the RAW that the extra HD from Awaken wouldn't affect the level of the gorilla too.

if awakened did impact cr at all i would say +1cr at most


IME there are two main reasons players want a cohort -
1) It's fun.
2) Power.

After a few experiences the rule I'm currently following is -
a) Find Cohort - If they have a NPC in game that they already have a bond with this isn't a problem. Otherwise they have to advertise and I randomly roll for Race, Alignment and class that turns up. If the Player is interested in one of these I create them using an online NPC/Monster builder I use.

b) I then hand them over to the player to handle because I sure as hell don't need the extra work but under the proviso (which I may have to repeat several times to get it through) they are an NPC which means I get oversight on how they behave and if I decide something would be appropriate I will take over control and have them say or do certain things as I see fit for the cohort's personality even if they aren't optimal from the PC's PoV.
Then I hand them back.

c) progression - I generally let the player control progression, but again with the proviso. The Cohort will take advice from his boss but he is his/her own person and not a tool for the Players Min/max(powergame) desires. So far I haven't had to much problem here after the repeated "no, it's not your character just because you used a feat. The feat gave you access to a Cohort, not complete design and control of said Cohort". :-)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

To the OP, why do you want to create and control the cohort ? To me, there is an undercurrent of I do not trust this player, or even I do not trust players. Is that so ?

The player might see this as a trust issue too if you refuse his request. Maybe some contract between player and GM is needed here to reinforce the mutual trust. What requirements would you need to be comfortable with him creating the cohort ? And with him controlling the cohort ?

How come the player is so blatantly ignoring your houserule ? Did he know about it beforehand ? Did he agree or argue with it ?

What is so important to him in creating and controlling this cohort ?

Tldr You need to reach a compromise with the player. For this you need to understand what the goals are on each side and build TOGETHER the solution palatable to both

It helps that the common goal in RPG is for people to have fun :-)


Lady-J wrote:
that table is all kinds of wonky and is a terrible source for level judgement there's no way in hell that those creatures are worth the levels they are assigned many of which are about 5 levels to high on their given "level of cohort" especially when compared to classes who can get them as companions as class features lets take the babau as an example its treated by that list as a level 11 cohort which means an character would need to be level 13 to get it as a cohort were as an anti paladin gets it at level 9 which would make it a level 7 cohort but using monsters as pc rules it should be a level 6 cohort and monsters as pc are way more flushed out rules than some arbitrary chart that laughably attempts to give none conventional creatures as cohorts but screws it up royally like a cr 8 creature as a level 18 cohort like wth is that

Wait... why are you trying to compare the cohort you get through a single feat to animal companion acwuired through class features?!?!

The monster cohorts are intentionally weaker than 'equivilent level' druid animal companions... its just a single feat. i can't take a single feat and gain full wizard spell casting. i cant take a single feat and get a rogue's full sneak attack progression. heck - i cant even gain a fighter's "armor training" progression via a single feat.

if you want a full strength animal companion, it takes three feats to pull off (nature soul, animal ally, and boon companion).

you can get a companion that is 3 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for two feats... so getting an intelligent magical beast companion that starts off 4 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for just 1 feat... that is still remarkably strong - especially considering the monster cohort can then go on and take full BAB class levels.


Oddman80 wrote:
Lady-J wrote:
that table is all kinds of wonky and is a terrible source for level judgement there's no way in hell that those creatures are worth the levels they are assigned many of which are about 5 levels to high on their given "level of cohort" especially when compared to classes who can get them as companions as class features lets take the babau as an example its treated by that list as a level 11 cohort which means an character would need to be level 13 to get it as a cohort were as an anti paladin gets it at level 9 which would make it a level 7 cohort but using monsters as pc rules it should be a level 6 cohort and monsters as pc are way more flushed out rules than some arbitrary chart that laughably attempts to give none conventional creatures as cohorts but screws it up royally like a cr 8 creature as a level 18 cohort like wth is that

Wait... why are you trying to compare the cohort you get through a single feat to animal companion acwuired through class features?!?!

The monster cohorts are intentionally weaker than 'equivilent level' druid animal companions... its just a single feat. i can't take a single feat and gain full wizard spell casting. i cant take a single feat and get a rogue's full sneak attack progression. heck - i cant even gain a fighter's "armor training" progression via a single feat.

if you want a full strength animal companion, it takes three feats to pull off (nature soul, animal ally, and boon companion).

you can get a companion that is 3 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for two feats... so getting an intelligent magical beast companion that starts off 4 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for just 1 feat... that is still remarkably strong - especially considering the monster cohort can then go on and take full BAB class levels.

that's just cuz paizo loves feat taxing players, there are many other feats that emulate class features that classes dedicate themselves to and your don't see anyone crying about those i don't see a familiar or animal companion being worth any more than a feat to get plus you can come up with far more shenanigans with an animal companion/familiar/edolon than a cohort anyway


the only thing i can think of are the amateur swashbuckler/gunslinger/barroom brawler feats that give you a super limited, low level version of a class feature... i can't think of any single feat that actually grants an entire, full powered class feature....

there is also variant multiclassing, but that requires a lot of feat investment, and it still provides lesser versions of class abilities.

on another note, it is not surprising that going the monster cohort route could be a weaker option than going with the normal humanoid npc leadership route... but players may still choose this for the flavor (much like the myriad of flavorgul, but mechanically weaker class archetypes that are available). this does not mean, though, that it is incorrect and in need of power boosting.


Oddman80 wrote:


on another note, it is not surprising that going the monster cohort route could be a weaker option than going with the normal humanoid npc leadership route.

Sorry, but no. The table doesn't make sense.

By the rules, a PC Blood Hag is a 8th level character. But the same Blood Hag is a 16th level cohort. That is ridiculous.

A level 16 Tiefling Magus is a 16th level cohort, and also 16th level as a PC.

There is no defense for the Monster Cohort rules.

But, if we are discussing RAW (such as Awaken not increasing CR) then we also must acknowledge the RAW that Monster Cohorts use the table, not the Monster as PC rules.


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Komoda wrote:
NN959 showed above where the rule is that the player runs it. And a cohort by its very nature is a bond that shouldn't be broken. It is Batman and Robin, Lone Ranger and Tonto, and Chewy and Han Solo.

I love how this implies that Han Solo is Chewbacca's cohort. ;-)


FamiliarMask wrote:
Komoda wrote:
NN959 showed above where the rule is that the player runs it. And a cohort by its very nature is a bond that shouldn't be broken. It is Batman and Robin, Lone Ranger and Tonto, and Chewy and Han Solo.
I love how this implies that Han Solo is Chewbacca's cohort. ;-)

I guess so, but that wasn't my intention.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Why not? There is no question that Chewbacca is the older and more mature of the two. ;)


Oddman80 wrote:


Wait... why are you trying to compare the cohort you get through a single feat to animal companion acwuired through class features?!?!

The monster cohorts are intentionally weaker than 'equivilent level' druid animal companions... its just a single feat. i can't take a single feat and gain full wizard spell casting. i cant take a single feat and get a rogue's full sneak attack progression. heck - i cant even gain a fighter's "armor training" progression via a single feat.

if you want a full strength animal companion, it takes three feats to pull off (nature soul, animal ally, and boon companion).

you can get a companion that is 3 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for two feats... so getting an intelligent magical beast companion that starts off 4 levels behind an equivilent druid animal companion for just 1 feat... that is still remarkably strong - especially considering the monster cohort can then go on and take full BAB class levels.

Do you want people riding around on druids? Because this is how you get people riding around on druids...

If a player was doing this all for the sake of power-mongering, why would they choose any of the more odd options, when it's perfectly legal by RAW to use Leadership to take a Druid cohort, which also gets them the druid's animal companion? Getting a 5th level Druid and its 5th level AC for one feat at 7th level is way more powerful than even the most generous way people have suggested doing monstrous cohorts.

I say let people have their cool monsters or awakened gorillas or whatever at a reasonable power level, or they'll end up riding around on wildshaped full-casters instead...


FamiliarMask wrote:
Do you want people riding around on druids? Because this is how you get people riding around on druids...

Forget riding around on druids, you can ride around on a flying Synthesist Summoner.

Shoutouts to AM BARBARIAN.


FamiliarMask wrote:


Do you want people riding around on druids? Because this is how you get people riding around on druids...

If a player was doing this all for the sake of power-mongering, why would they choose any of the more odd options, when it's perfectly legal by RAW to use Leadership to take a Druid cohort, which also gets them the druid's animal companion? Getting a 5th level Druid and its 5th level AC for one feat at 7th level is way more powerful than even the most generous way people have suggested doing monstrous cohorts.

I say let people have their cool monsters or awakened gorillas or whatever at a reasonable power level, or they'll end up riding around on wildshaped full-casters instead...

Saying that he can do worse therefore we should let him do this isn't an argument for allowing him to do this. If a player came to you with pun pun would you allow him to play with literally anything less powerful? Everyone is aware that if abused Leadership is quite broken, hence all the dms that flat out ban it. We are discussing what a reasonable valued cohort for a single feat is. It has merely been debating what level is fair; not an outright ban on cool Awakened Gorrillas


I would say that even an Awakened Gorilla would still be inclined to use it's natural weapons. Armor proficiency is a different story, I could easily see that being accepted. Basically Grodd from Injustice, a Gorilla wearing full-plate would be pretty fun. I hate that the entry for a Gorilla's STR is 15 so I use the fan content that calculates their STR at 27 to match the strength of a real life gorilla. That would easily increase it's CR though.

The 2 HD gained from Awaken shouldn't increase it's CR by any more than 1 in my opinion, if at all. Mainly because it's stats are still treated as Animal and not Magical Beast and all it really gains is a few HP and a feat with it's new intelligence. Now you decide an appropriate CR, which from a CR 2 you could say it's now CR 3, and that becomes it's "character level" with the experience points of a 3rd level character. Once it reaches level 4 it would gain it's first class level. For example: Awakened Gorilla 3/ Fighter 1.


Tyrant Lizard King wrote:

I would say that even an Awakened Gorilla would still be inclined to use it's natural weapons. Armor proficiency is a different story, I could easily see that being accepted. Basically Grodd from Injustice, a Gorilla wearing full-plate would be pretty fun. I hate that the entry for a Gorilla's STR is 15 so I use the fan content that calculates their STR at 27 to match the strength of a real life gorilla. That would easily increase it's CR though.

The 2 HD gained from Awaken shouldn't increase it's CR by any more than 1 in my opinion, if at all. Mainly because it's stats are still treated as Animal and not Magical Beast and all it really gains is a few HP and a feat with it's new intelligence. Now you decide an appropriate CR, which from a CR 2 you could say it's now CR 3, and that becomes it's "character level" with the experience points of a 3rd level character. Once it reaches level 4 it would gain it's first class level. For example: Awakened Gorilla 3/ Fighter 1.

winston from overwatch is an awakened gorilla too and he uses guns, pretty sure grod also uses guns and same with that other gorilla in dc as well


I would rule that the player may control the gorilla in combat in terms of gears, tactics and actions. However, you keep control of personality and motivation of the gorilla. Player will also have to roleplay and provide the gorilla's needs such as food, shelter, entertainment and clothing. Awaken Gorilla is like a person, they will have their needs mentally and physically. He has no reason to follow you if you can provide more than others could, also he is free to choose if he want to work for someone else if approached. You can't stop what he does in his own down time.

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