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Darcand
2009-08-16, 05:45 PM
Inspired by a thread on rangers that got hijacked by the subject of Leadership

1: It is one of the best plot line motivators in the core set of rules. A feat that practically requires the PC to found a base of operations AND gives you an NPC you know they will be attached to? It practically writes it's own campaigns.

2: It is self balancing. By adding a cohort that does not add to the party's average character level (by virtue of being a feat, not a person) but still needs equiptment to remain effective, the PC's WBL is effectively lowered, and with it their power level. (Note. Since Cohorts do not obtain experiance from the same pool as the PCs they don't effectively slow down the party's level progression)

3: You can't always choose your friends. Nowhere in the RAW does it state that cohorts or followers are chosen by the player, which means that it is perfectly reasonable to assign the PC a cohort of your choosing, preferably one that fills an important party role. Also, it never states that said cohort/ follower is required to be, or even should be of a PC class.

4: Cohorts are NPCs. Just like mindless undead, a player with cohorts can direct them as a free action, but it is up to the DM how the cohort follows those orders. And unlike zombies, it is reasonable to assume that cohorts will, on occassion, ignore those orders or act irrationally. Followers are even more likely to do so, and not above being diplomacyed, intimidated, or charmed into betraying the PC's trust.

5: Your Player really wants it! Feats are far more valuable then gold, in plenty of classes they are the primary form of ability advancement. Far less often is a Player willing to give up a feat to gain a second character (if that's what they wanted most people will just ask the DM to let them play a second) then they are trying to build what they feel is a super amazingly stunning character concept and it all hinges around this one little thing.....

Example: After finally tracking the bandits to their lair in a long abandonned country monestary and defeating their leader Sister Anne "Sunshine" DiLunce (cleric 6) settled on the idea of reopening the church in dedication to her chosen patron, Pelor.

After writing a letter to her superiors stating this she was thrilled when confirmation arrived, in the form of half a dozen Missionaries of the Order (expert 1) and a rather grim looking Knight of the Church calling himself Sunsman Kettle (warrior 4), "Sent to help her restore the building, spread the Sun Lord's word, and defend the good people of the region against any further wrong doings." His writ proclaimed.

Fortunet too, for Sister Anne and her companions were soon to learn why the Monestary had been abandoned, and what dark horrors still lay buried beneath it's floor. -Fin

And there you have plot hooks, a gold leech, reasonably assigned NPC class followers, and Sister Anne's player is probably happy as a lark.

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 05:47 PM
I'd like to point out that the player can recruit their cohort specifically by something that's half RAW and half RAI, since on the table it says that recruiting a cohort as an opposite alignment gives you a penalty to your leadership score.

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-16, 05:56 PM
I disagree mainly with the argument that it's self-balancing. It can easily be abused, at least theoretically. I do agree about allowing leadership and the fact that it can be really nice thing to bring into a campaign.

Darcand
2009-08-16, 05:57 PM
I'd like to point out that the player can recruit their cohort specifically by something that's half RAW and half RAI, since on the table it says that recruiting a cohort as an opposite alignment gives you a penalty to your leadership score.

As you state, RAI. It is perfectly viable that Sunshine is a lawful good cleric and Sunsman Kettle chaotic good. Or even Lawful evil and serving the church because he enjoys the authority it grants him. In both those cases Sunshine would receive a -2 and get a watered down version of Mr Kettle.

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 06:03 PM
As you state, RAI. It is perfectly viable that Sunshine is a lawful good cleric and Sunsman Kettle chaotic good. Or even Lawful evil and serving the church because he enjoys the authority it grants him. In both those cases Sunshine would receive a -2 and get a watered down version of Mr Kettle.

So in other words, your version of Leadership is "take a feat to get NPC allies who don't agree with how the party does things and don't do nearly as much as they are supposed to."

You know, I could just go to a campaign where the DM loves DMPCs and get a similar effect without burning a feat.

Saying you have no choice over who you get for taking leadership is like arguing for using a strict RAW version of antimagic field, or a RAW version of Invoke Magic that, despite it's only purpose being to let you cast a low level spell in an AMF, never specifically stating you can use the spell itself in an AMF.

Leadership is one of those RAI cases where you have to do it RAI or it's utterly stupid; I'd never pay for a feat to have a DMPC I can't control tagging along with me while being an opposed alignment and too weak to be useful because the DM gives it a bunch of NPC levels.

Yora
2009-08-16, 06:09 PM
I see the benefits of Leadership.

But why make it a feat at all?
If I decide as a gm that the players should have positions in a greater organization or that they are making very good work creating one on their own, they don't need to take a feat for that.

Saph
2009-08-16, 06:10 PM
In the same spirit, here are five reasons not to allow Leadership.

1. It's brokenly overpowered. This should be obvious enough that it doesn't need explaining.

2. It adds to the number of characters in play, slowing the game down, especially in combat. Maybe not a problem if you've got two people in the party, but in a standard 5 person party, if everyone has a cohort and followers combat will take hours.

3. It hinders roleplay. If one player is directing the actions of both a PC and an NPC, it's really hard for them to get into character and it breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone else ("wait, which person were you when you said that?")

4. If the DM runs the cohort (so as to avoid the problem in number 3) then this adds to the DM's workload and puts him in the annoying position of running both sides of a combat at once when the party fights monsters.

5. Finally, Leadership is a mechanical ability that gives you something that really shouldn't be determined by game mechanics. The number of allies a PC has should be decided through roleplay and in-character actions. If you want allies, you go talk to people and get some. You shouldn't need a feat for it.

I've never allowed Leadership in my games, and honestly don't see a good reason to.

- Saph

vampire2948
2009-08-16, 06:13 PM
I see the benefits of Leadership.

But why make it a feat at all?
If I decide as a gm that the players should have positions in a greater organization or that they are making very good work creating one on their own, they don't need to take a feat for that.

It is only fair that a player should lose something to gain something.

If the DM wants to give them that for free, that is his/her choice. If the player chooses that they want something, it is only fair that they give something up. In this case, a 6th level or higher feat slot.

EDIT -- The ninjas! They're everywhere :smalleek: Especially above me.

sofawall
2009-08-16, 06:15 PM
Some are also below. :mitd:

Myshlaevsky
2009-08-16, 06:16 PM
EDIT -- The ninjas! They're everywhere :smalleek: Especially above me.

Not quite.

PId6
2009-08-16, 06:17 PM
If the player chooses that they want something, it is only fair that they give something up. In this case, a 6th level or higher feat slot.
Only in this case, they're giving up a 6th level feat slot in exchange for a 17th level character.

Frosty
2009-08-16, 06:20 PM
In the same spirit, here are five reasons not to allow Leadership.

1. It's brokenly overpowered. This should be obvious enough that it doesn't need explaining.

2. It adds to the number of characters in play, slowing the game down, especially in combat. Maybe not a problem if you've got two people in the party, but in a standard 5 person party, if everyone has a cohort and followers combat will take hours.

3. It hinders roleplay. If one player is directing the actions of both a PC and an NPC, it's really hard for them to get into character and it breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone else ("wait, which person were you when you said that?")

4. If the DM runs the cohort (so as to avoid the problem in number 3) then this adds to the DM's workload and puts him in the annoying position of running both sides of a combat at once when the party fights monsters.

5. Finally, Leadership is a mechanical ability that gives you something that really shouldn't be determined by game mechanics. The number of allies a PC has should be decided through roleplay and in-character actions. If you want allies, you go talk to people and get some. You shouldn't need a feat for it.

I've never allowed Leadership in my games, and honestly don't see a good reason to.

- Saph

I allow leadership for a Mount that can survive and keep up with the Rider.

Mando Knight
2009-08-16, 06:21 PM
As you state, RAI. It is perfectly viable that Sunshine is a lawful good cleric and Sunsman Kettle chaotic good. Or even Lawful evil and serving the church because he enjoys the authority it grants him. In both those cases Sunshine would receive a -2 and get a watered down version of Mr Kettle.

Actually, Sunsman couldn't be LE or CG if Sister Sunshine is LG.

From the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#leadership):

The cohortís alignment may not be opposed to the leaderís alignment on either the law-vs-chaos or good-vs-evil axis, and the leader takes a Leadership penalty if he recruits a cohort of an alignment different from his own.

Darcand
2009-08-16, 06:25 PM
Actually, Sunsman couldn't be LE or CG if Sister Sunshine is LG.

From the SRD (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#leadership):

right you are sir, I forgot that line when I was replying

Deepblue706
2009-08-16, 06:37 PM
Leadership is for chumps. Just use your money to get hirelings.

Then, pretend like you're NOT going to make them follow you into deathtraps. You might have to fork up a lot of dough to get them coming along, but you probably won't have to afford them much in wages if they end up dead soon anyhow.

The Mentalist
2009-08-16, 06:56 PM
Then once they die you pocket their cash....

I did this in a game once. The DM tried to say he had 7cp on him when I had paid him 100gp as we entered the dungeon. He said he had a magical money pouch that teleported the cash... Big mistake. We sold the pouch for 1000 gold and called it a day.

Darcand
2009-08-16, 06:58 PM
So in other words, your version of Leadership is "take a feat to get NPC allies who don't agree with how the party does things and don't do nearly as much as they are supposed to."

You know, I could just go to a campaign where the DM loves DMPCs and get a similar effect without burning a feat.

Saying you have no choice over who you get for taking leadership is like arguing for using a strict RAW version of antimagic field, or a RAW version of Invoke Magic that, despite it's only purpose being to let you cast a low level spell in an AMF, never specifically stating you can use the spell itself in an AMF.

Leadership is one of those RAI cases where you have to do it RAI or it's utterly stupid; I'd never pay for a feat to have a DMPC I can't control tagging along with me while being an opposed alignment and too weak to be useful because the DM gives it a bunch of NPC levels.
I'm sorry, when I saw RAI I assumed it meant Rules As Interperted, not Rules As Intended. Mostly because that is exactly how Leadership was intended to work. It was designed to give you a lower level sidekick, whom you have some degree of authority over, but that also expresses different views and even outright disobeys at times. While they aren't as handy in a fight as you are, they can hold their own against the typical thug and do sometimes come with a useful skill set.

In short, Leadership was designed to give you Robin, not a second Batman.

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 07:01 PM
That's what it's meant to be, yes. Giving a person who is of an alignment opposed to yours and then penalizing the PC who took the feat because you gave them somebody who wouldn't agree with them is a pretty bad way for the DM to do things. It's also pretty terrible if you are giving them cohorts with NPC levels; I don't *want* to take the feat if you are going to give me a True Neutral character who disagrees with what I say and is about as useful in combat as a Summon Monster I, is terribly unoptimized, and who I have to actually quest to protect.

Your version of the feat essentially involves giving players an escort mission NPC who, despite being under their leadership, they can't command.

Myrmex
2009-08-16, 07:06 PM
In the same spirit, here are five reasons not to allow Leadership.

1. It's brokenly overpowered. This should be obvious enough that it doesn't need explaining.

2. It adds to the number of characters in play, slowing the game down, especially in combat. Maybe not a problem if you've got two people in the party, but in a standard 5 person party, if everyone has a cohort and followers combat will take hours.

3. It hinders roleplay. If one player is directing the actions of both a PC and an NPC, it's really hard for them to get into character and it breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone else ("wait, which person were you when you said that?")

4. If the DM runs the cohort (so as to avoid the problem in number 3) then this adds to the DM's workload and puts him in the annoying position of running both sides of a combat at once when the party fights monsters.

5. Finally, Leadership is a mechanical ability that gives you something that really shouldn't be determined by game mechanics. The number of allies a PC has should be decided through roleplay and in-character actions. If you want allies, you go talk to people and get some. You shouldn't need a feat for it.

I've never allowed Leadership in my games, and honestly don't see a good reason to.

- Saph

Saph, why are you always right?

Eldariel
2009-08-16, 07:08 PM
I allow leadership for a Mount that can survive and keep up with the Rider.

For that, I use the Wild Cohort (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/re/20031118x)-feat, or if a player wants something more akin to Paladin's mount, I'm going to use a homebrewed feat named "Mount" that gets you a mount.

Steward
2009-08-16, 07:19 PM
In short, Leadership was designed to give you Robin, not a second Batman.

So your Leadership feat grants you a permanent Magic Mouth that announces things that you noticed 6 rounds ago? "Laddering liches, Roy! It's Xykon!" "Our only chance is to use the PC-lube, old chum!"



Then, pretend like you're NOT going to make them follow you into deathtraps. You might have to fork up a lot of dough to get them coming along, but you probably won't have to afford them much in wages if they end up dead soon anyhow.

A good DM would only let you do that once per town.

Yukitsu
2009-08-16, 07:25 PM
I use leadership to fill in missing niches that no one wants to play (Healers, trap monkeys, whatever we're missing.) I also use it when we're short players, and we don't want the DM to drop the CRs, or the DM won't reduce the CRs.

Darcand
2009-08-16, 07:37 PM
That's what it's meant to be, yes. Giving a person who is of an alignment opposed to yours and then penalizing the PC who took the feat because you gave them somebody who wouldn't agree with them is a pretty bad way for the DM to do things. It's also pretty terrible if you are giving them cohorts with NPC levels; I don't *want* to take the feat if you are going to give me a True Neutral character who disagrees with what I say and is about as useful in combat as a Summon Monster I, is terribly unoptimized, and who I have to actually quest to protect.

Your version of the feat essentially involves giving players an escort mission NPC who, despite being under their leadership, they can't command.

A fourth level warrior is going to be able to hold his ground in a typical sixth level encounter (saaaay eight second level warriors, four second level fighters, or one sixth level cleric) as long as he is fighting as part of the group.

A fourth level noble or expert brings less combat to the table, but he makes up for it with useful skill sets that PCs often don't have enough free points to be able to indulge in.

An adept isn't as combat orientated as a warrior, or as skilly as the other two, but still can contribute buffs, debuffs, heals, and battlefield control.

As far as not having any control over the exact details of your Cohort, that is something to discuss with your DM before taking the feat. Leadership is not different then many prestidge classes in that they require some discussion of how, why, and what effect does this have on the campaign.

Lastly, again, if you want absolute control of your cohort, and him to be as optimised as possible then what you really want to play a second character. Save the feat and ask your DM to let you.

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 07:39 PM
A fourth level warrior is going to get save or suck'd in a level 6 encounter and die. It doesn't bring much to the table at all.

Darcand
2009-08-16, 07:42 PM
A fourth level warrior is going to get save or suck'd in a level 6 encounter and die. It doesn't bring much to the table at all.

He saved your sixth level fighter from getting saved or sucked in that encounter.

Frosty
2009-08-16, 07:45 PM
A 6th level fighter ought to get a Wizard as a cohort. Level4 Wizard Cohort casts Grease on your opponent. opponent is now flat-footed and/or prone. Power Attack away!

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 08:03 PM
He saved your sixth level fighter from getting saved or sucked in that encounter.

So the only value of the cohort is his ability to be targeted by abilities instead of another party member? Hirelings do that and don't require a feat.

Sanguine
2009-08-16, 08:06 PM
So the only value of the cohort is his ability to be targeted by abilities instead of another party member? Hirelings do that and don't require a feat.

Plus if they die you can get your money back.

tyckspoon
2009-08-16, 08:08 PM
Saying you have no choice over who you get for taking leadership is like arguing for using a strict RAW version of antimagic field, or a RAW version of Invoke Magic that, despite it's only purpose being to let you cast a low level spell in an AMF, never specifically stating you can use the spell itself in an AMF.


Doesn't have to say you can use it in AMF if you're actually running RAW AMF, because AMF has nothing to say about casting spells. It only cares whether or not the effects of the spells can work in the AMF, and Invoke Magic does specifically function in AMF (really, its effect is to let your *next* spell's effect work in the AMF, but same thing.)

PairO'Dice Lost
2009-08-16, 08:08 PM
5. Finally, Leadership is a mechanical ability that gives you something that really shouldn't be determined by game mechanics. The number of allies a PC has should be decided through roleplay and in-character actions. If you want allies, you go talk to people and get some. You shouldn't need a feat for it.

I would point out that having a standardized system for followers can be a good thing. Okay, Joan of Arc wants to get followers. How many can she get? How should she earn them? What's the Diplomacy DC--or is there a Diplomacy DC? If you have no mechanics for it, it's left up to the DM's call, which could be an issue if the DM can't decide how to rule. If you have a mechanic for it, he can reference the table for determining the number of followers and then RP can grab followers up to that amount without requiring further Diplomacizing and such.

Also, I'd point out that Leadership is really just an extension of the men-at-arms/acolytes/followers/etc. rules in 1e and 2e. Both of those editions favored heavily the "screw RP rules, just talk it out" side of things, yet they had concrete rules for gaining followers, building a stronghold, and so forth. My group used those rules with no more than minor problems for years; having mechanics for followers isn't inherently a bad thing.

Woodsman
2009-08-16, 08:14 PM
I use Leadership, but I don't abuse it. I usually just keep my followers in one place (Like a stronghold or fortress) and use my cohort as a buffer (I like bards for this purpose). Followers are generally useless in my opinion, unless you use them like DMG suggests as scouts, runners, and the like, in which case you don't need many.

I just use the feat for fluff (Generally with a warblade or combat-type). Though some might say I waste a feat, I don't care; I play for fun, and I enjoy some of my characters being leaders. Hell, one of my characters (in an evil campaign) has a Faustian Pact for the feat.

Part of the feat relies on the players, as well. If they're pretty trustworthy, why not? And of course, they can always take "Mentor" from DMG II.

But if I can find that picture of "Leadership; if you do it right, you don't even need the feat..."

Darcand
2009-08-16, 08:39 PM
So the only value of the cohort is his ability to be targeted by abilities instead of another party member? Hirelings do that and don't require a feat.

With a warrior follower? Yes, that would be his primary purpose. To take the worst of it so that the other party members don't. That is also the role of the fighter, barbarian, paladin, or whomever happens to be tanking.

Your cohort isn't really meant to be any more valuable then a +1 to weapon damage, +4 to a skill, bonus on a save, shooting more then one arrow at a time, or any other low level feat.

Sanguine
2009-08-16, 08:43 PM
With a warrior follower? Yes, that would be his primary purpose. To take the worst of it so that the other party members don't. That is also the role of the fighter, barbarian, paladin, or whomever happens to be tanking.

Your cohort isn't really meant to be any more valuable then a +1 to weapon damage, +4 to a skill, bonus on a save, shooting more then one arrow at a time, or any other low level feat.

Weapon Specialization is +2 and Skill Focus is +3

Milskidasith
2009-08-16, 08:47 PM
With a warrior follower? Yes, that would be his primary purpose. To take the worst of it so that the other party members don't. That is also the role of the fighter, barbarian, paladin, or whomever happens to be tanking.

Your cohort isn't really meant to be any more valuable then a +1 to weapon damage, +4 to a skill, bonus on a save, shooting more then one arrow at a time, or any other low level feat.

Why isn't he meant to be stronger? I mean, hell, by the way they define feats, leadership is the only thing that is powerful enough to be a feat.

Civil War Man
2009-08-16, 08:50 PM
Your cohort isn't really meant to be any more valuable then a +1 to weapon damage, +4 to a skill, bonus on a save, shooting more then one arrow at a time, or any other low level feat.

Your cohort can also serve as a lesson in recursive sequences if you have a high level PC and an extremely open-minded DM.

Especially if you get high enough into epic levels that your cohort can also get Epic Leadership and Legendary Commander. Or even their cohort.

Flickerdart
2009-08-16, 08:56 PM
Your cohort isn't really meant to be any more valuable then a +1 to weapon damage, +4 to a skill, bonus on a save, shooting more then one arrow at a time, or any other low level feat.
Those feats are on the low (read: useless) end of the power spectrum and Leadership is up high. In feat-intensive builds, a cohort can cost you your Shock Trooper, or your DMM: Persist.

Yukitsu
2009-08-16, 08:58 PM
Your cohort can also serve as a lesson in recursive sequences if you have a high level PC and an extremely open-minded DM.

Especially if you get high enough into epic levels that your cohort can also get Epic Leadership and Legendary Commander. Or even their cohort.

Cohorts specifically may not have leadership.

What you need to do, is have a level 6 character who can manage level 6 followers, who are identical to yourself, which no DM would allow anyway.

Fiery Justice
2009-08-16, 09:04 PM
I think that Darcand is taking things a bit far on the "how to Gimp Leadership front."

For instance, what if I'm a Archmage who hits twentieth level and, in order to "settle down" takes Leadership? It's a rational choice for an academy. When I recruit a follower, I want him to be a fairly stable individual, decent track record. If someone I really don't like comes along I'll turn him down, no matter how tough he is. But, eventually, I get a fairly loyal and intelligent wizard. But he's a bit of a snot and has little patience for my troublesome adventuring ways, which is fair enough because I recruited him to run a magical academy.

Or maybe I'm a knight, pushing into a position of respect in a kingdom. I get a squire. I'm not going to take people I don't think can handle serious combat with me on a trip, so I'm not going to take an expert or an adapt. I'll take a fighter or a paladin. On the other side of things however, I can't determine their personality or exact stats. So he turns out to be overeager and reckless as well as not terribly bright. He is, after all, a squire. I'm supposed to teach him, not just use him to carry my stuff and hit people.

Maybe I'm a cleric and I want to start an abbey. I recruit a lower level cleric and some novices, all of whom are sent to be by my god. But I, in my spiritual duty as an abbot, need to mentor these people. That means, sometimes, taking them with me as I accomplish the missions of the church. It also means listening to their problems and making sure they're taken care of. Further, unless it's a cloistered abbey (which no adventurer could reasonably start), it needs to be about doing good works. So I have a huge administrative pain in the neck and I didn't even choose my abbey members, but I got all clerics because my god himself is supporting the work.

Perhaps I'm a noble and I've just become a lord. I marry and gain my cohort as my wife, she has a gift for administration and she loves me, but she's honestly no good in a fight. My own followers, the guard of my castle and the workers of my fields. They're no real use on adventures, because they have friends and family. But they'll stick me even when the famine strikes next year because that's the kind of loyalty I inspire, and I'm famed as a just and good lord simply because they like me that much.

Civil War Man
2009-08-16, 09:28 PM
Cohorts specifically may not have leadership.

What you need to do, is have a level 6 character who can manage level 6 followers, who are identical to yourself, which no DM would allow anyway.

I admit, I only have the SRD to pull from, but where does it forbid cohorts with Leadership?

Though that definitely also kills my idea of also giving Leadership to the level 6+ followers.

Yukitsu
2009-08-16, 09:39 PM
I admit, I only have the SRD to pull from, but where does it forbid cohorts with Leadership?

Though that definitely also kills my idea of also giving Leadership to the level 6+ followers.

Ah, sorry, I mean to say you can't make the cohort have leadership, as the DM gets to pick its feats, and as much of the build as they feel is appropriate. Not many DMs allow you leadership on a cohort. In fact, I can't think of any that would.

I have seen ones that allow it on followers, because it's nearly impossible to chain.

Civil War Man
2009-08-16, 09:46 PM
Ah, sorry, I mean to say you can't make the cohort have leadership, as the DM gets to pick its feats, and as much of the build as they feel is appropriate. Not many DMs allow you leadership on a follower. In fact, I can't think of any that would.

I have seen ones that allow it on followers, because it's nearly impossible to chain.

Hence why I said it requires an extremely open-minded DM. Preferably one with a sense of humor. Like if they enforced rigid bureaucratic red tape to the point where it takes dozens of rounds to disseminate orders because although you technically outrank your cohort's cohort's cohort's cohort's follower, they are part of your cohort's cohort's cohort's cohort's army, not yours, so you cannot give them direct orders without violating the chain of command.

Typewriter
2009-08-16, 10:08 PM
Leadership is a feat I often take, but my cohort is usually something that provides a non-combat benefit like an artificer or a politician or something.

But the cohorts...well you just use them as the crew (http://loungeoftheimmortals.com/downloads/Peeps.xls) of your airship or something...

Hat-Trick
2009-08-16, 10:16 PM
I must say, that spreadsheet is impressive.

HamsterOfTheGod
2009-08-16, 10:26 PM
Allowing leadership in a campaign and saying that leadership is overpowered are not mutually exclusive positions.

Salt_Crow
2009-08-16, 10:30 PM
When a player wants to play a thematically focused character at the cost of effectiveness (say a half-dragon sorcerer for example) I usually let them take a leadership feat to make up for the power gap. I make the cohort myself though.

The Glyphstone
2009-08-16, 11:16 PM
A cohort should be made, if at all, one of two ways:

1) By the player, with final approval from the DM. This eliminates things like Cohort LEadership Chaining, while letting the player have what he was trying to get - a muscular bodyguard for a squishy wizard, a squishy wizard to buff the muscular fighter, etc.

2) By the DM, according to specifications given by the player. For example, the player says he wants a muscular bodyguard for his squishy wizard, and the DM writes up a Fighter/Knight with a polearm and battlefield control feats. The DM does not make a Fighter/Warrior/Expert/Adept/Aristocrat/Commoner, give him Str18 and a shield, and call it a day, because that's being a jerk.

Kallisti
2009-08-16, 11:25 PM
Generally, I allow players to take leadership and build their own cohorts, not just choose their type, but only if I feel they won't abuse it/need the power boost, and can make it work IC. It's broken, but only if you abuse it. A cohort can be killed, so that right there is an advantage other feats have in comparison. Also, it can fill in a missing party role, which really, really helps sometimes...

On the other hands, cohorts do start with standard NPC gold, so at higher levels, you might not ever need to buy them anything, so the "It's not broken because it eats up money" argument becomes less relevant at higher levels.

I'm rather wary of Leadership because of its potential to be broken as hell, but I wouldn't disallow it outright, unless the player group was large, and cohorts would slow down play a lot.

Saph
2009-08-17, 02:38 AM
Saph, why are you always right?

:smalltongue:

Although as some people have been saying, there are ways to make the feat work. I think the best way is to work with the DM to have it built into the campaign world. E.g. if your wizard's headmaster of a magic academy, then Leadership makes complete sense. You have a cohort who's the deputy head and who runs things while you're away, and a whole bunch of lower-level guys who study at and run the place.

However if I was running the game I'd make it clear that you'd get responsibilities to balance out the benefits. You can call on the academy for help, but you're also expected to protect them in turn. And the whole thing would become a part of the story.

But if looked at strictly in game balance terms, Leadership just doesn't work. You spend a feat for an entire extra character. That does not make sense. It's fine if the player is interested in it for story reasons, but if they're picking it for power and try to someone is going to end up unhappy.

- Saph

Lamech
2009-08-17, 02:46 AM
I have a related question... what happenes if say a dragon with its high numbers of HD takes leadership. Do all those HD count as levels? 'Cause if they do I think the argument to players goes like this "Do you really want every monster to have a level 17 cohort? Didn't think so."

Innis Cabal
2009-08-17, 02:50 AM
3. It hinders roleplay. If one player is directing the actions of both a PC and an NPC, it's really hard for them to get into character and it breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone else ("wait, which person were you when you said that?")


That might be your experiance but I don't think its the case of -always-...i'd not put it on the list. There are plenty of people who can RP differenct characters at once and be just as good at it as someone who RP's one.

Nero24200
2009-08-17, 04:13 AM
I personally don't like leadership. It's, for one thing, very overpowering. If the player is controlling the conhort, that's double the number of actions the Player has, which in itself is quite powerful.

And when it's not the player running the cohort, a whole new list of problems arise. For one thing, the player will always have a very specific idea of the cohort in question, which can be difficult for the DM to replicate.

Besides, it also causes alot of immersion problems for me. If a player sinks a feat to gain a cohort, I can't exactly have the cohort be working to undermine or even kill the PC's can I? Suddenly, purely for mechanical reasons, theres an NPC following the party who will obey the beck and call of the PC who has taken the feat.

Nai_Calus
2009-08-17, 04:14 AM
There were three of us, and the Marshal's eight or so mooks.

Every. Single. Round. Of. Combat. Every. Single. Round. Of. Moving. Through. Maps. So much focus on ordering them around and them responding to things.

I would never allow it, and I would seriously consider leaving a game where it got allowed the instant it started to become even one tenth as obnoxious as that instance of it quickly became. Noooooo.

mistformsquirrl
2009-08-17, 05:31 AM
I find that Leadership is like any other variant subsystem - it can be extremely useful both to the player and DM, and when used properly, will really add to the game...

... but conversely can do quite the opposite as well if handled poorly or allowed in the wrong circumstances.

The key things are going to be:

A) The campaign itself - what's it's general style? If it's highly roleplay intensive and low action, Leadership is probably best left out; and such things as followers and cohorts just being roleplayed. On the other hand, a game with routinely large combats set in the middle of a war could probably benefit from leadership a good deal.

And there's anything in-between, with varying degrees of usefulness and irritation.

B) The player with the feat - If they're mature and reasonable: ie, aren't just looking for a power boost, then it can be a very interesting feat. I've seen it done both ways - with the DM creating the cohort from scratch and roleplaying it; and also with the player building and roleplaying said cohort. Both have worked, it just depends on the talent and maturity of the player as to which is better

Properly done, a player can even go as far as to get into arguments with themselves. While it's a bit funny to watch at a physical game table, as long as the player does it properly it can work out pretty well. In PbP games it works out even better, as you can just vary the text color depending on who is talking.

C) The DM, who is the linchpin of the whole thing. The DM has to be smart enough to judge if the feat fits their given campaign's style; if the player in question is able to handle a rule set with this much potential for complication, how much it will impact other players, how specifically to handle various elements (cohort generation and play particularly)... etc...

D) The Other Players - While not a direct factor on the player with the feat and the DM in regard to this feat; they're an important consideration as well. Cohorts and followers can slow down combats, get in the way; or if roleplayed obnoxiously, cause significant consternation. Basically the other players must be considered when Leadership is used, even if none of them have any interest in the feat whatsoever.

This is of course why the feat is so damned complicated - it requires cooperation from everyone at the table, and a character/setting where the 'extra' NPC(s) won't get in the way.

---

Including leadership, at least from my perspective, is similar to a decision like using Spell Points or using a very unusual setting (Dragonmech for instance) for your game; it can have a potentially huge impact and create a great deal of potential issues - so you have to ask yourself beforehand: Do I think it's worth what it may add to this game compared to what trouble it could cause?

And that answer can, and I'd say probably should, vary a great deal by DM, party make up, and campaign type.

(This is really my approach to most things: Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't; you just have to sit down and give it a good think before deciding one way or another, and have a plan to adjust if something unexpected or unintended arises.)

Kurald Galain
2009-08-17, 06:12 AM
I would point out that having a standardized system for followers can be a good thing.

Ah, but it's much more fun to get 3d10 devoted lowbie followers that guard your castle for you (you do have a castle, right?) than to have one slightly-lower-than-you guy that follows you around all the time.

Johel
2009-08-17, 07:09 AM
Our party plays mainly at low level (1-5) but we frequently get a NPC adept as an escort (read living healing machine) despite the fact that we have a priest.

We found that this is actually a good way for the DM to :
-Prevent Limit "adventurer rampage"
-Prevent TPK
-Help finding clue
-Provide background information

Also, it forces the adventurers to be more cautious because their employer won't be happy if they "lose" the little clerc to a hungry dragon.

Hijax
2009-08-17, 07:21 AM
I use leadership to fill in missing niches that no one wants to play (Healers, trap monkeys, whatever we're missing.) I also use it when we're short players, and we don't want the DM to drop the CRs, or the DM won't reduce the CRs.

You dont use a feat for trap monkeys. you use a log.
and to the evil cohort-with-leardership plot i can only say:
use a thrallherd.

Blackfang108
2009-08-17, 08:42 AM
3. It hinders roleplay. If one player is directing the actions of both a PC and an NPC, it's really hard for them to get into character and it breaks suspension of disbelief for everyone else ("wait, which person were you when you said that?")

While I'll admit it can, there are a few ways I've found that help distinguish someone playing 2 characters at once. (Note: I've done this many times as backup when someone leavces early/arrives late/fails to come.)

First: the easiest way to remove confusion is to use a different voice for each character.

I always play my character using my normal voice. Depending on various factors, I'll raise or lower my pitch, timbre, and tone for other characters, or add an accent. (usually a terrible mish-mash of Irish/Scottish/British, as my other accents: Brooklyn and Deep-South, REALLY break SoD.)

But I've always preferred when my characters are of opposite Sexes, as my falsetto is very distinct from my main voice, and makes the "who's saying that" completely unnecessary.

Rixx
2009-08-17, 11:33 AM
One of the members of my party is taking Leadership in order to create a love triangle.

Calmar
2009-08-17, 12:26 PM
Fiery Justice, I really like your point of view on this feat. That's definitely how I'd use it, too. :smallsmile:

Belobog
2009-08-17, 12:34 PM
One of the members of my party is taking Leadership in order to create a love triangle.

Reason six for and against, ladies and gentlemen.

Lysander
2009-08-17, 02:40 PM
A person shouldn't get to direct their cohort's actions except in character. So no "here's what my cohort will do", they actually have to be able to say and the cohort hear "Quickly COHORTNAME, do ACTION!" Which can be difficult to pull off in combat.

Personally, Leadership shouldn't be something your players choose to get to improve their power in combat. It should be something REQUIRED to run a large organization. If they're leading a massive army against the forces of evil, leadership will get them a bunch of trusted captains they can send out to lead each division. If your players are merchant wizards, the cohorts are the people running the day to day operation of the business while the PCs fight bandits blocking the roads.

Kylarra
2009-08-17, 02:43 PM
A person shouldn't get to direct their cohort's actions except in character. So no "here's what my cohort will do", they actually have to be able to say and the cohort hear "Quickly COHORTNAME, do ACTION!" Which can be difficult to pull off in combat.
By RAW, talking is a free action. :smallwink: