Hi everyone. so our group is about to hit lv 7 and last session the GM stated that we are allowed to take the leadership feat under the condition we get approval on the cohorts and there uses (just safeguarding his game) it should be fine since were a 4 (sometimes 5) person group. anyhow, were technically in a urban campaign which has us visiting nearby areas. we are also using downtime rules to run a guild that focuses on city protection, investigation, escort missions, improving quality of life and run a tavern on the side for extra gold. so our GM figures we could use our followers as guild members and our cohorts as second in commands while were gone or bring them along for extra muscle since we also do a few caravan escort missions that go through some very dangerous places.
so now that i'm done with may wall of text. what class/archetype should i pick for my cohort? i never had a opportunity to take leadership before. i was thinking a Majordomo investigator (maybe with Cryptid Scholar) as a butler or secretary for the guild.
some important notes though
1)doesn't need to be combat focus since our team has got that covered.
2)doesn't need to be crafter since one or two of the other players focus on that and might get crafting partners
3) if it helps it helps my class is a monk/virtuous bravo multi class and will have a leadership score of 13-14
4) no 3PP (3rd party publishers)
5) my alignment is NG (special house rule for monk and paladin from the GM)
What is your current party makeup and combat style? Does your party have a known weakness or something it is lacking like ranged damage, AoE damage, knowledges, certain skills, ect?
Bard(vanilla) is my usual go to for a cohort. everybody needs someone to inspire them in combat, and bards are great for buffs, support, secondary healing and knowledge/skills. Bard with 2-3 levels of Paladin(vanilla or divine hunter) will all of your cohorts saves very high.
If you want less buffing more straight skills, investigator or a high int Rogue would also be good. The rogue could also be good at ranged damage, though if you want some skills mixed with some good ranged damage Ranger(skirmisher), gunslinger(musket master), or alchemist(vanilla) might be better. If you have never played a gunslinger or an alchemist, it might be a good time to play one and learn the ins and outs of the class. Alchemist especially gives you a lot of options, and can be very useful and versatile.
Support fighter or brawler is another option, through more combat oriented. improved trip/disarm is usually pretty good, and dazzling display and/or the great feint tree are useful if you want to keep your cohort who will be weaker than you, out of melee(NOTE: I am a big fan of greater feint as a monk or a party with a rogue)
Last and maybe least I present the boring option, The vanilla healing/buffing cleric of desna or sarenre or similar. Yes, it's kind of lame but it gets the job done, with plenty of heals, buff spells, and aid another with a reach weapon.
Also just as a note, as a GM who has killed many a player cohort, pay attention to your cohorts initiative and reflex save(all saves really, but mostly reflex). If you cohort can't get out of the way during combat, or takes a lot of damage from AoE attacks, they tend to not last as long or start costing your party more resources than they may be worth.
Pretty common combination is the Sacred Tattoo Half Orc with Fate's Favored trait... +2 Luck bonus to all saves.
But yes, probably focus on healing with any of them, though.
The Bard Arcane Duelist brings Disruptive and Spellbreaker to the table, as well as Inspire Courage, give him/her Flagbearer and a longspear with a banner on it. Good versatility, works well thematically since you guys operate a bar and bars need music.
The Toxophilite can shoot incoming arrows out of the sky, and is fun for friendly wagers in competitions with locals.
ok so i don't plan on using him that much for combat. more of a utility character that good which people.
so far in our party we got
1) me, skirmisher/face lv6 monk/paladin,
2) aid-another/tank lv5 fighter/cavalier,
3) skirmisher/caster lv4 unchained-monk/druid.
4) healing/buffer lv5 cleric
5) buffer/DPS lv4 skald
You seem to lack arcane caster (skald is kind of caster, i guess).
Dont know if this will be helpful, but my cohort is Ley Line Powered Witch with Plague patron who summons hordes of undead via Animate Dead (and Blood Money because i am cheap). Was very helpful at defending a certain structure for the time needed, but probably will not work for good aligned party like yours.
Also Raise Dead and other healy gubbins (tho you have cleric who will get it faster anyway), fly, summoning daemons and my favourite - Conjure Carriage.
While the Bard is looked at as the Jack-of-All-Trades, which he surely is... I think the Ranger is actually one of the most versatile characters. At least when it comes to the various ways you can build a Ranger. Once you select a Ranger's path, then maybe he cannot specialize in as many things as a Bard. But the numerous Ranger archetypes available do offer many paths with are various benefits.
So I'm going to share several Ranger archetypes that I think would be fun or beneficial or just plain neat for your party to have. And remember that all of these archetypes still get Full BAB and Combat Styles. So this cohort can provide damage himself. And though I'm not 100% sure which weapons your teammates are wielding, at first glance, it looks like you would use some ranged help.
Before I share these archetypes, I know that you mentioned that you'd like this cohort to be good with people. That generally means high Charisma. But it doesn't necessarily have to. It could be beneficial to have a cohort that's good at manipulating a community or an organization. So that's what you'll see in some of these Ranger archetypes.
Guildbreaker: You mentioned that your party runs a guild during downtime. This cohort could help break up and ruin rival guilds who may be competing with you, or hurting your operation, or hurting your town and it's people (thus hurting your business/guild). At the very least he could gather information.
A cohort like this could also add to some neat scenarios from your GM... both for downtime play and active play. Your Guildbreaker could attempt to infiltrate organizations during downtime and information gather or sabotage them in some way. Various rolls could be made to see if he succeeds along the way. If he fails various things could happen. He may even be captured. You'd then either have to ransom him for a large amount of money. Or you could have a scenario where you try to rescue him. Or even a scenario where you kidnap a rival member and have a prisoner swap. If he greatly succeeds the rival guild/organization could be dismantled or even taken over by your party/guild.
Through this archetype-cohort, some really cool scenarios and adventuring could happen both in downtime and in active play.
Dandy: If you want to dip into the world of politics and nobility, you could have a Dandy as your Cohort. This could bring your guild's dealings from the local (city) realm into the wide-spread (national) realm. This could open up some really neat downtime scenarios and make for some really fun roleplaying. If things go well, this could even open up missions from the crown. A whole new realm of adventures in various location could be opened up. And all of this would be mixed with the precarious political world of the noble courts.
Important note, the Dandy gets Bard spells and uses Charisma. This could be a big bonus when it comes to people affecting skills and spells.
Urban Ranger: I don't think this one is as useful, but you did mention it's an urban campaign. This archetype is able to find and disable traps. With your party not having a rogue, this could be helpful. This type of cohort should be able to easily move through the city and gather information for you without getting noticed. But he doesn't seem as fun as the previous two archetypes.
Raven Master: I'm not sure if this idea would work, but with the Raven having 3 Int and able to speak a language, I wonder if you could have him set outside locations/organization and spy. I'm not sure if he has the intellect to then report (or simply regurgitate) the information back to you. I would say the raven would obviously go unnoticed. But it does mention that at level 7 the raven takes on a silvery metallic color. So maybe he'd stand out. I'd also like to think the Raven could help scout ahead for you when you're travelling to help keep your party from being ambushed. This archetype is just an random idea. I'm not sure this will work at all.
Freebooter: A Freebooter seems more at place on a ship with a crew. But maybe your city is a port town, so there's sailor type folks around? Unlike the other archetypes mentioned above, this one actually gives bonuses in combat. But it doesn't really do much else besides that.
Of course remember that for all of these archetypes, these Rangers are still getting Full BAB and Combat Styles. So in their own right, they should be effective at combat. And with Combat Styles that can be various forms of combat. A Ranger doesn't have to be specialized in ranged combat. He has some really nice combat options available.
Anyways, I hope this helps present some different options. I'm not saying these Ranger archetypes are as optimal as a Bard, but they can certainly open up some neat avenues of play and storytelling.
I hate to add a second post, but I was giving some thought to cohorts outside of both Bard and Ranger. With you're party not having a Rogue, I thought I'd throw out a few archetypes as well.
But before I do that, let me share two obvious choices for Charisma-based classes. Your party could benefit from the arcane abilities of a Sorcerer. It would help bring balance to your party's attack and give you a character with natural people skills. The Oracle is another choice, though I doubt you are lacking for divine spells with a cleric and druid already in the group. But the Oracle's numerous mysteries/revelations allow for a variety of build avenues. And again, being Charisma based can only help with skills that influence people.
One last thing I want to suggest is that don't simply think about the various classes as alternatives to how this cohort can support your party. It may help to think along the lines of maneuverability or some other aspect of combat. This cohort could ride a mount, which helps him move from teammate-to-teammate as he provides support (whether combat, healing, or buffing). He could be a Halfling riding a dog. The dog being a medium-sized mount means they could still easily move within the tight confines of city streets and alleys. Or maybe this character has wings and can fly around to support the party. Maybe one of his main roles is to have Teleport ready, in case someone needs to get out of trouble. Fly over, cast it and save their life. There's plenty other ideas and combinations of ideas that can be beneficial, and they don't necessarily revolve around one type of class or archetype.
So with that said, let me now turn around and expound on some archetypes from one class: Rogue archetypes. Mind you, I haven't listed out all the Rogue archetypes that I think could be beneficial to your party. That is because I take it your party is a "good" party. If your guild is looking to improve the quality of life in the city, then I'm assuming your party is good-aligned. So I'm leaving out Smuggler, Guild Agent (who has to be a part of the Thieves Guild), and similar archetypes. Of course none of this means your cohort has to be good-aligned. Maybe he's neutral. Anyways, here's some archetypes that may help your party and guild.
Agitator: The Agitator can sway a crowd and even move them towards a common purpose. This could be very beneficial when it comes to accomplishing things within your city.
Interesting enough, the Agitator gets Leadership at level 12. So would your cohort get a cohort? Hahaha! It's a pretty fun idea. Even if this second cohort couldn't participate in active play, maybe he could still be involved in the downtime activities.
Consigliere: A Consigliere is normally an adviser to a crime boss. But this cohort could simply be an adviser to your party's leader. A Consigliere can eventually share his teamwork feats with multiple party members. This is a very cool ability! He could really help out in combat.
Snoop: This class is a little shady. But it's not outright evil or anything. A Snoop can be used to gather information and can even spread rumors. The rumor spreading could be very useful in furthering the goals of your party or guild. This archetype doesn't seem as fun as the other two. And you may not want someone who's a rumor-spreading liar as your right-hand man.
Sorry for sharing my thoughts so much! It's just the idea of a cohort to not only help in combat, but to be a part of your guild-organization... that seems pretty fun and exciting!
I’ll echo the suggestion that a Bard would work well. He or she could be great for social interactions, gathering information, etc and also potentially useful in combat if that ever comes up. However, I think that an interesting variation on the tried and true cohort could be to make the cohort a Skald instead.
Through rage powers the Skald might be able to add some interesting abilities to the PCs as well as the other cohorts and followers. The Skald would also get Spell Kenning, which allows you to cast some Cleric or Wizard spells - potentially great for utility, especially at higher levels. I kind of imagine your whole team growing claws or horns, gaining the ability to Bull Rush foes with Knockback, using Intimidating Glare, etc. There are a ton of rage powers to choose from, and you'd still get a basic boost to Str and Con too.