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Istari
2010-11-01, 01:55 PM
My DM is going to run a PvP game in couple weeks in which the basic premise is that my fellow players and I will be put in groups of two build a base, recruit adventurers and monsters and try to destroy the other teams bases. The main problem is that he thinks the Leadership feat should be allowed since it fits the theme of the adventure and he doesn't believe me when I say its broken, so could the Playgrounders out there help educate us on exactly what's good and bad about Leadership?

Shadowleaf
2010-11-01, 01:57 PM
You have a cohort 1 levels lower than you.
You are a level 9 Wizard? Level 7 Wizard following you around. For the cost of one feat.

How is that not broken compared to, say, +1 Attack Bonus with a specific weapon?

OldTrees
2010-11-01, 01:59 PM
Leadership can be used in a non broken manner. (As can anything really)

As long as your side and the other side set rules on how powerfully you are going to exploit the feat then it will work out.

Chaelos
2010-11-01, 02:02 PM
Leadership, from my viewpoint, is not broken mechanically so much as an exercise in forcing mechanics on something that should be accomplished through roleplay. That's why I ban it in my games.

Want followers? Attract them in the campaign. Recruit and shanghai more where you can. Don't mindlessly massacre every enemy that crosses your path. Actually engage in dialogue with NPC's rather than view them as a cheap source of XP. Etc. etc.

Leadership gives players this enormous sense of entitlement to something that, from my viewpoint, they really should have to earn on their own. That's my biggest beef with it.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-11-01, 02:04 PM
Just convince all the other players to take Leadership and broken won't matter (as much). Level the playing field.

Duke of URL
2010-11-01, 02:06 PM
Leadership is a horrible feat. Just horrible.

It takes something that is a very campaign-specific concept, something that should be worked toward and potentially given as a reward, and makes it a general feat.

Just horrible.

It's not even a matter of balance. If the DM wants you to have a cohort and followers, then you get a cohort and followers. If (s)he doesn't, Leadership is going to be banned anyway.

In this particular case, however, it sounds like the benefits of the Leadership feat do very much tie into the game. It should just be a given for each character, though, not a feat cost.

Chaelos
2010-11-01, 02:10 PM
Agree completely with Duke of URL. Additionally, and something not often discussed, Leadership requires an exponential increase in paperwork for the player/sheet-checking for the DM (if he's bothering to, which me may in a competitive PVP game).

If he wants to give you guys each an army, that's great--but make HIM create the army on each side.

RelentlessImp
2010-11-01, 02:11 PM
This broken. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFuMpYTyRjw)

The guy in the robes with the big stick is the cohort. The other dude is a crazy character concept the player thought was cool and turns out actually sucks in any real situation.

Calimehter
2010-11-01, 02:19 PM
- From a purely mechanical perspective, the cohort granted by Leadership is (or can be) quite a bit stronger than the mechanical benefits granted by almost any other feat. What other feats compare to having a Tier 1 sidekick on standby?

- As Chaelos said, it really sort of intrudes into things that many folks feel should be part of the 'in-game' experience, not something come up with during character generation.

.
.
.
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The truths above having been said . . . it does seem kind of silly to say that "having a useful friend is teh broken!!". After all, most people can make friends w/o spending a feat to do it, and some will actually do so in D&D games! :smalltongue: I allow it in my campaigns and have used it from time to time in the past on my own characters, but we expect ourselves to be just as reasonable about it as we are about anything else.

mootoall
2010-11-01, 02:27 PM
Leadership is only as broken as the classes he cohorts/followers are. Example: twenty first level wizards all casting fell drain sonic snap. At the same time.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-11-01, 02:30 PM
The thing is that a cohort is not your friend, your party mates are (or should be) your friends. The cohort gained through leadership is more of a psycophant or even a slave, obviously you can re-fluff the type of relationship, but at it's core it is somene who will follow all your desires, orders, etc even if it will harm the cohort.


Note: all of this are my own perception and opinions on the subject, they are by no means facts and shouldn't be take as them.

Now back on the regular topic, yes it is broken if only one character haves, but if everyone has leadership, the power dissparities lessens and may even dissapear (assuming all he characters and the cohorts have the same relative power level).

In this kind of game, it should be given for free (most sensible IMO) or be a mandatory feat.

If you do make a cohort, conisder a DFI Bard, to give your followers and yourself a bigger oomph.

Coidzor
2010-11-01, 02:30 PM
Agree completely with Duke of URL. Additionally, and something not often discussed, Leadership requires an exponential increase in paperwork for the player/sheet-checking for the DM (if he's bothering to, which me may in a competitive PVP game).

If he wants to give you guys each an army, that's great--but make HIM create the army on each side.

Why does it matter so much who creates the mooks? The DM's going to have to approve 'em either way as you said in the first place and if the player wants them, why should he get out of doing a bit of extra paperwork when the DM is the busiest of the lot, generally. :smallconfused:

Awnetu
2010-11-01, 02:31 PM
Ignoring all that, how many other feats grant the ability to abuse the action economy, especially in core?

Radar
2010-11-01, 02:32 PM
Just don't give your cohort and potential 6th level followers Leadership feat. This exploit is book-concusion inducing.

Apart from that: even without wacky hijinks, you get a second character, which doubles your actions per round. If you drag all your followers around, it gets even worse.

HunterOfJello
2010-11-01, 02:35 PM
Lets put it this way:


If a level 6 Commoner take the Leadership feat he can gain a level 4 Wizard cohort. That level 6 Commoner has gone from being one of the weakest possible characters at Tier 6 and gains the abilities of spellcasting turning him into a Tier 1/2 character.

There is no other single feat or ability in the game that can accomplish such a huge change from Uselessness to complete Usefulness.

~

However, I think that Leadership can be a fun feat if controlled and used properly in a game with a small number of players. I'm DMing a game right now with only 2 players and one is taking the leadership feat.

I take it as granted that this will boost the entire parties power by quite a bit, but they're low on group members as is. Also, since the characters are both evil maniacs, they would be unlikely to ever find an NPC that they could have join as an equal party member. The leadership feat allows them to gain followers and a cohort to follow them around and help them spread their destruction of the world.

~

At the end of the day, the Leadership feat is listed in the Dungeon Master's Guide for a reason. It should be strictly controlled by the DM or not allowed at all. It can improve a game or ruin it quite easily, making it viable for some campaigns and not others. Use your own judgement and keep a close eye on your players to make sure they don't go overboard.

Susano-wo
2010-11-01, 02:41 PM
the couple things I will point out that mitigate leadership slightly (not totally make it not too good if done right/wrong, just mitiagete it a bit.

You can try to attract certain kinds of cohorts, but in the end its the DM who gives them to you, so though you might want a wizard, you might not get one. And I don't mean just DM screwage(I want a wizard, DM gives me a S&B fighter with power attack), I mean ligitimately, he/she can change it without bending the rules (or ignoring your intent). Say, you want Wizard, and s/he gives you a sorc. And not necessarily the spells to do what you waned the sorc to do. Its not like you can look at al lthe people in the world and say "that one!" (or worse, costum build your own people:smallamused:)

Still ,even if he/she gives you, say a poorly built fighter...you still have a lot of henchmen to do things for you (maintaing your keep/trade company) which can easily be free money/crafting, and a fighter is at least good for taking hits.

As people have said, it can be a lot better than another feet, though, depending on what feet. (hack, if you've gotten most/all of the good feats for your fighter build, why not throw in leadership? :smalltongue:)


Second, in this case, everyone probably should take leadership, since you are supposed to be fighting the other in a sort of Warcrafty feeling pvp battle....just give everyone one less feat than nromal :smallbiggrin:

Chaelos
2010-11-01, 02:45 PM
Why does it matter so much who creates the mooks? The DM's going to have to approve 'em either way as you said in the first place and if the player wants them, why should he get out of doing a bit of extra paperwork when the DM is the busiest of the lot, generally. :smallconfused:

In this case, it matters because the DM is the one who seems to really want the feat in play. In other cases, having the DM create the cohort/followers acts as a mechanical check on the extent to which the feat is "broken," regardless of whether or not the DM would actually look over and approve the specifics if the player had done it. Most DM's don't have the time or energy to look over everything in a massive character sheet, in my experience, until something in the sheet becomes a problem (e.g. "Why do you have an attack bonus of +95?"). By making the DM create the cohort and followers, you apply the old maxim that "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

But, then, this is just my experience with DM's (as a sometime-DM myself).

Calimehter
2010-11-01, 02:46 PM
The thing is that a cohort is not your friend, your party mates are (or should be) your friends. The cohort gained through leadership is more of a psycophant or even a slave, obviously you can re-fluff the type of relationship, but at it's core it is somene who will follow all your desires, orders, etc even if it will harm the cohort.

I'm fairly sure that cohorts need to be treated well to continue along with the adventuring group and avoid penalties of some sort regarding them (though I'm not near my books to verify the mechanics of this and am just running off of memory) and that the relationship is a bit more than just master-slave. Likewise, non-cohort NPC allies can be quite devoted to your character, maybe even moreso than a cohort who isn't being treated well. YMMV of course.

Really though. . . if all you want to do is bully your way into a master-slave relationship with someone, there are spells and skill checks that are much cheaper ways to go about it than spending a feat. ;)

jiriku
2010-11-01, 02:50 PM
Leadership can potentially double the effectiveness of your character.

An important component of the Leadership feat which is often overlooked is that THE DM is supposed to create and manage all cohorts and followers. This is important, folks. This is really, really important. When a player creates his cohort and followers he's naturally going to tailor-make them to his exact needs and give them mechanical abilities perfectly suited to complementing his PC. Especially if he's an optimizer. The DM, on the other hand, can fine-tune the focus and build choices of these NPCs to suit the needs of party balance and smooth gameplay. Allowing the player to stat out his cohort and followers is like a judge asking the prosecution to prepare legal briefs for the defense -- the prosecutor wants to win the case, not be challenged by a fair and balanced legal battle. The DM needs to have his hand on the wheel here, and if he's not interested in the paperwork required, then Leadership shouldn't be available as a feat.

Unlike others, I don't feel that Leadership is horrifically anti-D&D, as I remember the 1st edition days when you got followers automatically as a class feature at 9th level. It's been part of the game since the first printing in one form or another. It just needs to be refereed by, y'know, the referee. There's a reason that the feat is explained in the DMG instead of the PHB.

ericgrau
2010-11-01, 03:04 PM
I don't think commoner / wizard is a fair comparison (and ignores a commoner's lack of charisma, but whatever). It would be better to compare wizard to wizard or fighter to fighter and then... ya, 2 levels behind is big but it still seems much better than most other feats. OTOH he does eat up a half share of treasure.

I'll agree with just give it to everyone or give it to no one, especially for pvp balance. You could also try putting him 3 levels behind instead. I mean 4 levels behind is supposed to be almost useless, at least if you don't allow any cheesy tricks.

Duke of URL
2010-11-01, 06:05 PM
Unlike others, I don't feel that Leadership is horrifically anti-D&D, as I remember the 1st edition days when you got followers automatically as a class feature at 9th level. It's been part of the game since the first printing in one form or another.

Only if you built a stronghold. And 9th level in 1ed was very high level, whereas 6th level in 3e is the low end of heroic. 1ed also granted followers, but not a cohort.

megabyter5
2010-11-01, 06:18 PM
You could always meet halfway with your DM. Why not see if he'll institute tier limitations on cohort classes? To be honest, I'd love to play a game where each player had one upper-tier character and one lower-tier character. Of course, that's just me; I don't know how much you enjoy thinking up new character concepts, not to mention the necessary bookkeeping.

jiriku
2010-11-01, 06:23 PM
Only if you built a stronghold. And 9th level in 1ed was very high level, whereas 6th level in 3e is the low end of heroic. 1ed also granted followers, but not a cohort.

True, it had the very clunky henchman acquisition rules instead. I remember puzzling for quite some time over those rules before deciding that Gygax was closet addict of both gambling and logic puzzles, and had decided to discreetly stick both his vices in the rules.

awa
2010-11-01, 08:40 PM
a secondary often overlooked cost of leadership is you need a high charisma to use it at full potential not a big problem for a sorcerer but anyoing for say a fighter. Like any feat whether it is broken or not has to be taken in the context of everything else a level 6 paliden with his level 4 squire is not going to break the game if hes in the same party as the level 6 druid.

Also the bmx biker vrs angle summoner makes me think instead of a wizard and a fighter.

Diarmuid
2010-11-01, 08:49 PM
the couple things I will point out that mitigate leadership slightly (not totally make it not too good if done right/wrong, just mitiagete it a bit.

You can try to attract certain kinds of cohorts, but in the end its the DM who gives them to you, so though you might want a wizard, you might not get one. And I don't mean just DM screwage(I want a wizard, DM gives me a S&B fighter with power attack), I mean ligitimately, he/she can change it without bending the rules (or ignoring your intent). Say, you want Wizard, and s/he gives you a sorc. And not necessarily the spells to do what you waned the sorc to do. Its not like you can look at al lthe people in the world and say "that one!" (or worse, costum build your own people:smallamused:)

Still ,even if he/she gives you, say a poorly built fighter...you still have a lot of henchmen to do things for you (maintaing your keep/trade company) which can easily be free money/crafting, and a fighter is at least good for taking hits.

As people have said, it can be a lot better than another feet, though, depending on what feet. (hack, if you've gotten most/all of the good feats for your fighter build, why not throw in leadership? :smalltongue:)


Second, in this case, everyone probably should take leadership, since you are supposed to be fighting the other in a sort of Warcrafty feeling pvp battle....just give everyone one less feat than nromal :smallbiggrin:

I think this is the most overlooked part of Leadership and leads to the worst abuses of it.

The DM decides who shows up to offer their services to you. You then can choose to allow them to follow you around. You may want some artisan crafter who you're going to shackle to a wall and make crank out items for you, or a caster specialised in making items whose XP you're going to rape...but you have absolutely no say in what your follower is.

Coidzor
2010-11-01, 09:03 PM
Still ,even if he/she gives you, say a poorly built fighter...you still have a lot of henchmen to do things for you (maintaing your keep/trade company) which can easily be free money/crafting, and a fighter is at least good for taking hits.

I'm pretty sure that's the equivalent of saying **** You instead of just saying no.

monkman
2010-11-01, 09:09 PM
Leadership is not broken compared to a lv 16 dread necromancer being able to controll 512Hd of undead with the animate dead spell.

Boci
2010-11-01, 09:13 PM
Leadership is not broken compared to a lv 16 dread necromancer being able to controll 512Hd of undead with the animate dead spell.

Now multiple that number by 25. Plus the undead you can create aren't that strong.

Leadership is far worse.

Mando Knight
2010-11-01, 09:33 PM
You have a cohort 1 levels lower than you.
You are a level 9 Wizard? Level 7 Wizard following you around. For the cost of one feat.

How is that not broken compared to, say, +1 Attack Bonus with a specific weapon?

Level 9 Sorcerer. Who traded off his familiar. Assuming he only has 18 Charisma, that gives him one level 8 cohort, 10 level 1 lackeys, and a level 2 lackey. With a stronghold and a reputation for being both generous and awesome, that bumps him up to 35 level 1s, 3 level 2s, and one each of a level 3 and 4. If being a level 9 sorcerer counts as having a special power, then it's an additional 5 level 1 lackeys, 2 more level 2s, one more level 3, and a level 5.

ericgrau
2010-11-01, 10:12 PM
By RAW cohort has to be at least 2 levels lower than the character no matter how high your charisma.

Coidzor
2010-11-01, 10:28 PM
Gotta take a feat to rectify that. So that would be two feats given over to leadership and close cohort (dragon 346) or improved cohort (heroes of battle).

Thrallherd on the other hand, doesn't require any feat expenditure. Well, other than Inquisitor prerequisite... Certainly no questionable feat expenditure.

awa
2010-11-01, 10:46 PM
those low level lackeys are nearly useless and every time one bites the dust your leadership score drops and if you take them into battle they will die

Boci
2010-11-01, 11:07 PM
those low level lackeys are nearly useless and every time one bites the dust your leadership score drops and if you take them into battle they will die

You could have them use arrow volleys to stay out of combat, rogues to gather information and steal, artificers to craft (although their craft reserve won't last long so soon it will be mundane crafting). Factotums could do both.

Dark_Nohn
2010-11-02, 12:15 AM
You could have them use arrow volleys to stay out of combat, rogues to gather information and steal, artificers to craft (although their craft reserve won't last long so soon it will be mundane crafting). Factotums could do both.

NPCs don't have experience, RAW, from what I remember. They advance when the DM wants to advance them, which means that your cohort will not level up with you unless the DM ditches that rule, but by the same token, they do not have to deal with XP loss for crafting. The true way to break Leadership is to have your cohort craft everything your party will ever need while you adventure. Bonus points if you have a ring gate for him to pass his finished creations to you.

Endarire
2010-11-02, 12:28 AM
Leadership works better if the party needs said character. In one campaign I DMed, I let the Paladin take Leadership to get a Cleric cohort. I let the player make the cohort.

In general though, I'll only take Leadership if I can get the cohort I want. Otherwise, I'll make another character.

Duke of URL
2010-11-02, 05:50 AM
NPCs don't have experience, RAW, from what I remember. They advance when the DM wants to advance them, which means that your cohort will not level up with you unless the DM ditches that rule, but by the same token, they do not have to deal with XP loss for crafting. The true way to break Leadership is to have your cohort craft everything your party will ever need while you adventure. Bonus points if you have a ring gate for him to pass his finished creations to you.

Actually, cohorts do gain XP on their own. Followers don't.


Cohorts earn XP as follows:

The cohort does not count as a party member when determining the partyís XP.

Divide the cohortís level by the level of the PC with whom he or she is associated (the character with the Leadership feat who attracted the cohort).

Multiply this result by the total XP awarded to the PC and add that number of experience points to the cohortís total.

If a cohort gains enough XP to bring it to a level one lower than the associated PCís character level, the cohort does not gain the new levelóits new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed attain the next level.


Followers donít earn experience and thus donít gain levels. However, when a character with Leadership attains a new level, the player consults the table above to determine if she has acquired more followers, some of which may be higher level than the existing followers. (You donít consult the table to see if your cohort gains levels, however, because cohorts earn experience on their own.)

Oh, and if your followers don't have XP, they can't use XP to make magic items, and therefore they can't make magic items.

Foryn Gilnith
2010-11-02, 06:12 AM
those low level lackeys are nearly useless and every time one bites the dust your leadership score drops and if you take them into battle they will die

The follower death penalty doesn't stack. Caused the death of other followers? -1 to leadership with followers. Doesn't matter how many.

Lev
2010-11-02, 06:14 AM
This is really making me want to make a Legendary Captain (Stormwrack PrC) that gives +1 to leadership per level.

Only reqs are BAB and leadership feat.

An airship captain character? Hells yes.

bokodasu
2010-11-02, 07:30 AM
It doesn't have to be broken, or at least any more broken than anything else in the game; compare it to a druid who uses the Awaken spell liberally. That druid doesn't have to mess around with level 1 commoner followers; she gets an ARMY OF BEARS. For spending xp, no feat. Also, she's a spellcasting bear who summons bears and has a bear for a best friend, and if that bear dies, she can get a new one in 24 hours with no hit to her ability to awaken more bears.

(Or, if you're more into having an army of crafters or miners or whatever bringin' in the ph4t l3wts while you're off adventuring, replace all instances of "bear" with "dire ape". Then you've got a bunch of 7-HD creatures who can wield the weapons they've been busy making if you decide you do want the more literal type of army after all.)

I'm just sayin'.

If you're playing a standard 4-person dungeon crawl, leadership is pretty broken. If you're playing a big stronghold-building, army-raising game, that's kind of what it's meant for. (Although I agree it should just be free and not a feat, because you'd be an idiot not to take it.)

Boci
2010-11-02, 09:15 AM
Oh, and if your followers don't have XP, they can't use XP to make magic items, and therefore they can't make magic items.

Hence artificers for crafting some cheap magical items like situational scrolls.

ericgrau
2010-11-02, 09:31 AM
Gotta take a feat to rectify that. So that would be two feats given over to leadership and close cohort (dragon 346) or improved cohort (heroes of battle).

Thrallherd on the other hand, doesn't require any feat expenditure. Well, other than Inquisitor prerequisite... Certainly no questionable feat expenditure.
Who thought that feat was a good idea at all? Why not create a 3rd feat called greater leadership that simply gives you a second character of equal level?

Tyndmyr
2010-11-02, 10:26 AM
I think this is the most overlooked part of Leadership and leads to the worst abuses of it.

The DM decides who shows up to offer their services to you. You then can choose to allow them to follow you around. You may want some artisan crafter who you're going to shackle to a wall and make crank out items for you, or a caster specialised in making items whose XP you're going to rape...but you have absolutely no say in what your follower is.

No say? Incorrect. The rule specifies that the player gets to target a class and alignment. There is no purpose this could have but to limit the dm screwing the player over. Its a good clause. Otherwise, you get things like haha, pally falls.

It also doesn't specify who builds the characters. At all. So there is not really any rules support for a dm fiating the feat into uselessness.

Even with fiat though, once you have the chars, you control them, and thus, control further progression. This is still immensely useful.

thompur
2010-11-02, 11:26 AM
I allow it in my games, but the character doesn't get the cohort right away. I will introduce it organically during the flow of the game. I will let the player create the cohort, but I must approve the class, and the player uses the elite array for stats. Fourtunately, my players are mature, and skilled role players, but not rabid optimizers. Our Druid took a Ranger cohort, our Warblade took a Bard, and the Rogue took a Warlock, who became her boyfriend(when they stayed at inns, they got their own room).

It's really only as broken as the DM allows it to be.

grarrrg
2010-11-02, 11:37 AM
Lets put it this way:
If a level 6 CommonerTruenamer takes the Leadership feat he can gain a level 4 Wizard cohort. That level 6 CommonerTruenamer has gone from being one of the weakest possible characters at Tier 6 and gains the abilities of spellcasting turning him into a Tier 1/2 character.

Fixed that for you :smallcool:

On a related note, somewhere on these forums is a Druid bears of DOOM thread.
A Level 20 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 18 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 16 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 14 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 12 Druid...etc

That's a lot of bears.

bokodasu
2010-11-02, 01:23 PM
It also doesn't specify who builds the characters. At all. So there is not really any rules support for a dm fiating the feat into uselessness.

p. 106 of the DMG says a player tries to attract a cohort of a specific class, race, and alignment, and "the DM determines the details of the cohort."

I don't see how that allows the player to build the cohort's charsheet, beyond the class, race, and alignment fields.

Although if you're going to say "ok, you find a lawful good human paladin; he has 8s in all his stats and he's taken skill focus: basketweaving for all his feats" you might as well say "no, I don't in fact allow the Leadership feat."

Boci
2010-11-02, 01:26 PM
On a related note, somewhere on these forums is a Druid bears of DOOM thread.
A Level 20 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, Bearinton Bearman the Bearbearian takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 18 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 16 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 14 Druid, summons bears, wildshapes into bears, takes leadership and gets a cohort...
A Level 12 Druid...etc

Fixed for you.

Radar
2010-11-02, 01:28 PM
(...)

Although if you're going to say "ok, you find a lawful good human paladin; he has 8s in all his stats and he's taken skill focus: basketweaving for all his feats" you might as well say "no, I don't in fact allow the Leadership feat."
Just watch out for players, that given such a cohort would try to corner the basket market and additionally produce new, exclusive, fashionable baskets for aristocracy. :smalltongue:

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 02:08 PM
Also the bmx biker vrs angle summoner makes me think instead of a wizard and a fighter.

You know, I think an angle summoner would be closer in power level to BMX Biker:smallwink:

And yes, you can try to attract a certain cohort. No garunteesthat you'll get the one you want, though. according to the SRD:

A character can try to attract a cohort of a particular race, class, and alignment. 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.

NO where do you the player determine this. Its the DM's job and privilege to determine things not specifically determined by the player according to the rules. Now your DM might agree to do it differently (and I wouldn't necessarily deny just any request, but an obvious min-maxing sort of 'I need a wizard/cleric/druid/whatever so I can complete my aweseome power trip" sort of request would not be fulfilled), but it's, by RAW his/her decision who you can get as a cohort.
It also does not specify who plays the character, or controls level up perameters....which puts it in the purview of the DM again. Its the DM's job to conrol everything else aside from the players. technically, I'm not sure if, by RAW, you control your familiars/mounts/animal companions. Since they are inherent class featers, I don't have a problem with it, but I don't think its RAW.

[hmm, though that might help reign in Fleshripper or other Druid animal companion shenanigans, if you always have to actively control the little beastie...but that's not the point:smallbiggrin:]


(though the SRD doesn't really define cohort, so maybe some of that *is* defined in the DMG? can anyone with access to it atm tell me?)

finally, about the getting a fighter being useful comment, I do think that DM screwage, and I do think you should just say "I don't like leadership, and won't allow it." rather than letting the player take it and playing mind games. I was just pointing out that the DM screwage option still give the player benefit :smalltongue:

(oh, and I really do think leadership is better handled in game through RP. It prevents those sorts of shenanigans (can I say that twice in the same post?) by making everything flow from the actions of the story, not by trying to shoehorn in the mechanical features of the feat you just took with what's happening.)

grarrrg
2010-11-02, 02:13 PM
Fixed for you.

Much abliged. I thought about going into obscene detail, but thought I'd keep it simple. The question is "How Broken" so I thought I'd answer it with minimal cheese AND show how obscene it can get.

Leadership = GINORMOUS pile of Bears.

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 02:15 PM
It isn't a broken feat if your DM isn't an idiot and understands the game. The reason a majority of D&D players/Dm's find it broken is because they don't actual read the entirety of the text in the DMG.

See below:

Attracting Cohorts
A character of 6th level or higher can start attracting cohorts (see page
104) and followers (see page 105) by taking the Leadership feat (see
below). Unlike other feats, this one depends heavily on the social setting
of the campaign, the actual location of the PC, and the group
dynamics. Youíre free to disallow this feat if it would disrupt the campaign.
Be sure to consider the effect of a PC having a cohort. A cohort
is effectively another PC in the party under that playerís control, one
whose share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something
away from the other playersí characters. If your group is small,
cohorts may be a great idea. If itís big enough that a cohort would be a
problem, donít let the PCs have cohorts.

------------------------------

Now for the campaign setting you've described in the OP it sounds like each team should have leadership and a different set of cohorts/followers to compliment their class/race choices of each team. Or the DM can simply state each team WILL have one cohort.

As the feat itself applies to D&D in general, it is not only logical but also states literally the DM should be very involved in the process. Choosing of the cohort type, it's gear, and general attitude are ALL up to the DM.

What makes it broke is PC's feeling they simply select the feat and have a char 2/3rd's of their power running around as their personal beotch. Which is NOT what the actual feat was meant to be.

I also agree with the posts in this thread that stated it should be a very roleplay heavy benefit and not a mechanical one.

Tyndmyr
2010-11-02, 02:28 PM
For all those insisting the dm is somehow right to ignore the players class request entirely, and give him something he doessnt want instead....

Negative levels.

The cohort gets xp, right? Level drain away/those levels of (stupid class) and advance him in a good one. Dcs the feats and reformation the skills. A marginal delay on the path to game breaking power.

By raw, its broken. Sure, with enough fiat, you can make it work, but we're deep into Oberani territory here.

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 02:44 PM
well, seeing that bit from the DMG, it does seem that the default for control is Player control, which means level up choices do get to be made by the player.

Which does open it up to cheesy manipulation...
which leads us down the path of "how much DM intervention is houseruling" or, in other words, what level of DM intervention is required for a DnD mechanic to be broken.

And that is a dark path indeed :smallbiggrin:


(oh, though giving the character a cohort that is similar(wiz and sorc both arcane full-casters), but doesn't give access to essentially [level-2] class levels in that class for whatever tricks/abilities the player wanted, is not ignoring the request entirely...but if you were refering to the fighter bit, I agree that that is ignoring the request and poor Dming.)

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 02:50 PM
For all those insisting the dm is somehow right to ignore the players class request entirely, and give him something he doessnt want instead....

Negative levels.

The cohort gets xp, right? Level drain away/those levels of (stupid class) and advance him in a good one. Dcs the feats and reformation the skills. A marginal delay on the path to game breaking power.
By raw, its broken. Sure, with enough fiat, you can make it work, but we're deep into Oberani territory here.

Two things on that.

1) You're being a player trying to actively break the game and not playing in the spirit of the game in any way - which is just lame and pointless. Might as well go play Neverwinter Nights and use console mod to make your char extremely broken and one hit everything.

2) Energy Drain and Enervate and such would obviously be something someone DOESN'T want to get hit with. This would most definitely fall into the category of abusing your cohort which would cause him to leave and possibly make plans for revenge. Another element the DMG covers and implies DM intervention.

Blackfang108
2010-11-02, 02:58 PM
those low level lackeys are nearly useless and every time one bites the dust your leadership score drops and if you take them into battle they will die

My one PC with Leadership (A soulknife/Illumine Soul/Tempest in an epic campaign) uses his followers as a reserve army for the party's 2 keeps. This lets our party focus on the big bads, while the hordes are otherwise occupied.

None of our army battles have ever been close (for party members), but they always take forever because our area killing just takes too many dice rolls.

Jolly
2010-11-02, 03:03 PM
As with most supposedly broken things in 3.5, this can be solved by a DM who's doing his job and players who aren't immature jerks.

Edit: fixing silly mistake. Darn phone posting.

Blackfang108
2010-11-02, 03:04 PM
As with most supposedly broken things in 3.5, this can be solved by a DM who's doing his job and players who are immature jerks.

I think you mean players who aren't immature jerks. :smallbiggrin:

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 03:10 PM
Two things on that.

1) You're being a player trying to actively break the game and not playing in the spirit of the game in any way - which is just lame and pointless. Might as well go play Neverwinter Nights and use console mod to make your char extremely broken and one hit everything.

2) Energy Drain and Enervate and such would obviously be something someone DOESN'T want to get hit with. This would most definitely fall into the category of abusing your cohort which would cause him to leave and possibly make plans for revenge. Another element the DMG covers and implies DM intervention.

except that you, as the player can RP the cohort, by the DMG. So wizard player explains to Paladin cohort that he can, if he humbles himself gain even greater power by relying on the power of the Divine. YOu then level drain him to 1st and he becomes pally1, cleric X

Not saying this is good RP, or a reasonable way to be playing, just that energy drain being usually bad doesn't stop it from happening, even in the context of the fiction

grarrrg
2010-11-02, 03:27 PM
I think you mean players who aren't immature jerks. :smallbiggrin:

?
There is no such thing (from a DM's perspective anyway).
:smallbiggrin:

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 03:38 PM
except that you, as the player can RP the cohort, by the DMG. So wizard player explains to Paladin cohort that he can, if he humbles himself gain even greater power by relying on the power of the Divine. YOu then level drain him to 1st and he becomes pally1, cleric X

Not saying this is good RP, or a reasonable way to be playing, just that energy drain being usually bad doesn't stop it from happening, even in the context of the fiction

The point is, the DM should determine if his players are capable of handling it without intentionally breaking things (as it's clear many of you here that posted are not) and if his/her campaign suits it or not.

It isn't broken, players break things.

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 04:22 PM
That seems to be your first point, and I agree with that.

Your second point was rules based, and you assumed that X was always the case, when the action depends on context, and I showed that the context could allow it.

You shouldn't use leadership for that, its a poor way to play, and power struggling with the DM that way is unproductive. The DM will just power struggle back, and in the end it could have been handled with mature players simply talking to each other.

Its akin to creating this or that spell interaction loop/combo, and complaining when the DM disalows it. (which is different than when you use X spell in exactly the way it is obviously intended, and its too powerful/harms fun)

Also,
as it's clear many of you here that posted are not
is somewhat insulting and unecessarily aggressive.:smallsmile:

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 04:29 PM
I apologize if it was insulting, it wasn't meant to be.

It was just my opinion. I've played with quite a few different players in my time spanning from 2nd Ed to 3.5 to homebrew percentile based games and honestly many players tend to forget about the spirit of the game and then say it's broken. I tend to feel Wizards intended and implied much in their rules and more often than not it was for mature players that would respect the spirit and not only the letter.

It's humorous because many lawmakers have struggled with the same thing in life and too many claim the system is broken where in fact, it's us the people that break it with our litigations and selfish want.

ScionoftheVoid
2010-11-02, 04:30 PM
The point is, the DM should determine if his players are capable of handling it without intentionally breaking things (as it's clear many of you here that posted are not) and if his/her campaign suits it or not.

It isn't broken, players break things.

How can you tell the section I've bolded? Do you have some mysterious power allowing you to determine how people play via posts on an internet forum, in which they have made it clear that any examples are hypothetical? I'm more than willing to guess that you are just assuming the worst, without paying attention to the context of the discussion (i.e. not an actual game, and that these people are arguing that the feat is broken enough to be banned under most circumstances. Not that these people actually use the feat this way)

And if a feat - when used as intended - is massively more powerful than any other supposedly equivalent option - even with the variety of limiters on it - it is broken, or close enough. Your solutions tend toward Oberoni fallacy territory, and in any case a player can simply send back any useless cohort. Or you could ban the feat, as it tells you to do if it is not appropriate to the group's size. When a feat tells you to ban it unless specified otherwise it is probably broken.

Edit: Rant on why bringing up the spirit of the rules is nothing more than irritating follows.

The spirit of the rules is subjective, the letter is much less so (it would be objective, but 3.x is not a perfect system). I would say that the spirit of the Leadership feat is to gain another character and numerous nigh-faceless others, to be used as the player wishes. Staying within this spirit, the feat is clearly far superior to other options. What spirit are you using, to keep the feat balanced? We can only discuss from the letter without stupidly in-depth or frustratingly vague discussions being the norm. That is why we discount the "spirit" of the rules. That is why using them as an argument is useless. My spirit of the rules is just as valid as yours, or anyone else's. We could make no progress if we discussed the spirit. If the spirit of the rules and the letter are different the letter holds priority in discussion, unless stated otherwise, and either holds priority in an actual game, depending on the group's preference.

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 04:40 PM
well, I might have read it wrong too. :smallsmile:
IN any case, in my experience, if you have mature players, you don't run into the brokeness problem, or if you do, it can be solved by, well, being mature players.
I don't consider the sytem to be unplayable, which is why I still play it (well, I play PF now, but the groundwork is the same :P)
so I think we're more or less on the same page with it, really.

Though I'll avoid the litigation issue. Ok, no I won't but I'll avoid a protracted argument about it :smallwink:


[SPOILER]overlitigation and entitlement is an issue, but certainly not the most fundamental issue with the [US] legal system. The fundamental problems are:
A.that it is a technichal system. Its a due process/rules system. Justice is not addressed with it. You may happen to get justice, but the system is only concerned with the rules. For instance, Illegally obtained evidence. its thrown out of court. But in a 'justice' system, it would be allowed, but the person who is repsonsible for it being illegally obtained would be punished.

B. that its wirtten for (and often by) those high up on the socioeconomic stratum, most notoriously large corporations. Considering them persons, combined with extensive wheel greasing by lobbying, etc means that the laws are slanted in their favor, and makes it very hard to effect real change
C. probably other things that I am not thinking about right now :P

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 04:40 PM
@SCIONOFTHEVOID

Correct, I can only base on content of posts. If my only value of data is said posts, then my analysis and conclusion can only be graded in said manner with said qualifications.

Lamens: Yep I made a broad generalization...umadbro?

To the actual merit of your post, I don't believe Oberini Principle is used properly so i'm going to disregard it and merely address the statement of: "When a feat tells you to ban it unless specified otherwise it is probably broken. "

Personally I can't agree. I will in fact respectfully disagree as I believe it was intended as a campaign based dynamic feat for situational benefit under supervision of the Game Master or Dungeon Master or Dude People Yell At. Not a combat mechanics feat as some have used (or should I say misused) in campaigns.

Note that last sentence refers to personal experience as I can in no way claim to know your experiences, please don't be offended =)

You have a good point in regards to the "spirit of the game" comments though, i'll give you that. It wasn't meant as an argument, moreso an indicating factor.

@SUSANO-WO

I completely agree with your comments on "broken-ness" if I can use that word.

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 04:53 PM
you may. :smallcool:

ScionoftheVoid
2010-11-02, 05:19 PM
@SCIONOFTHEVOID

Correct, I can only base on content of posts. If my only value of data is said posts, then my analysis and conclusion can only be graded in said manner with said qualifications.

Lamens: Yep I made a broad generalization...umadbro?

To the actual merit of your post, I don't believe Oberini Principle is used properly so i'm going to disregard it and merely address the statement of: "When a feat tells you to ban it unless specified otherwise it is probably broken. "

Personally I can't agree. I will in fact respectfully disagree as I believe it was intended as a campaign based dynamic feat for situational benefit under supervision of the Game Master or Dungeon Master or Dude People Yell At. Not a combat mechanics feat as some have used (or should I say misused) in campaigns.

Note that last sentence refers to personal experience as I can in no way claim to know your experiences, please don't be offended =)

First, I think it is silly to assume people actually play in the ways they point out is possible by RAW when the discussion is a rules-based one, in which the RAW is our only shared information.

Second, I hate broad generalisations, though that's not your fault and has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Third, the Stormwind fallacy is misused more often than the Oberoni fallacy, and I would say that if you have to keep giving a player a cohort that is deliberately weakened to not unbalance the game then the fallacy applies. Of course the massive help a horde of fifty-or-so warriors with bows provides is better than many feats by itself, and since the feat scales (unlike most feats) it ages far better and is a superior choice to many purely on those grounds. It pulls far ahead of, say, Toughness or Stealthy. Whilst those are low balance points they should be only slightly weaker than Leadership. They both have the same cost and Leadership only has prerequisites you cannot help but fulfill eventually. Any feat should be at least roughly balanced with another and Leadership, I would argue, is not.

Fourth, whilst it can be used as "a campaign-based dynamic feat" (whatever that means) the fact remains that it is more than viable as a combat feat, many other feats involving cohorts are specifically combat-oriented, and combat is the most detailed section of the rules so any given feat should be balanced to be of use in a combat situation if such a thing is possible. Or rather, any feat that has a chance to be used in combat, should be balanced should the character with the feat wish to use it in combat. Assuming balance of the rules-as-written be a concern at all, of course. In your games the RAW is told to shut up and quit spoiling your fun if your posts are any indication of your playstyle, which they may not be, I don't know you and don't have the arrogance to assume I do.

Fifth, continuing on the theme of whether or not Leadership should be thought of as a combat feat. If it is not a combat feat then surely the Diplomacy system should cover such things? Either Diplomacy cannot be allowed to do the same things or anyone who spends a feat on Leadership intead of skillpoints on Diplomacy is a sucker. Skillpoints are worth far less than feats, enough gold for a custom magic item to boost Diplomacy (DM approved only, but so is the feat itself) is worth far less than a sixth-level feat slot. The feat is either too good or a waste of time, there is no middle ground. This, IMO, makes it broken.

Finally, on your statement about rules not being "broken", but players breaking rules. The rules are designed for use by players. If said rules are easily broken even when used by players using the spirit of the rules, the RAI and other such things, it is easier to say that the rule itself is "broken" as a shorthand. That Polymorph is "broken" does not mean that it is unusable, it is merely a shorter way of saying that it is considerably more powerful than other spells of the same level, can add toward the overshadowing of non-casting classes and creates a great many headaches with the initial wording, let alone the errata, the (amusingly, technically invalid) changes in wording that later books recommend, the newer errata and so on. Whilst your statement may be true it is about as useful as arguing that you do not kill someone by stabbing up from beneath their ribcage using a long knife. It ends with the result of massive imbalance, or the person's death. How you get there is rather irrelevant.

Thank you for reading my pointless and overly-wordy post.

Lans
2010-11-02, 05:28 PM
Leadership really just becomes a feat tax that gives a boost to charisma based characters and nerfs druids for 3 levels.

Goudaa
2010-11-02, 05:35 PM
I didn't state cohort should be given as weaker to balance the feat...just double-checked and nope, not there.

Campaign-based dynamic feat could imply many of things but the most easily discussed would be an army setting where group members lead forces. Kind of a duh in my mind.

Naw, I abide by RAW, I just think there's more to the game than that. I've conceded to your point already that "spirit of game" has no place in discussion with you already though, so that was all a bit moot.

Diplomacy is also assuredly broken in your mind so I won't bother retorting as i'll find myself in contention with my above comment.

I disagree on the rules being easily broken by players. The most broken character concepts through feat/class combination and spell selections are usually from well-read players that have played for years. Y'know the guys, they pick apart every little RAW to get the best possible benefits. Newer players just cast fireball and roll their d6's =)

Seems we began to agree towards your last overly verbose paragraph where you came close to implying even the more "broken" or badly worded spells can be used in a game where people agree to not break them...which would ALMOST mean the players themselves have some form of control over the "broken-ness".

Npnp, I love reading people's drivel.

Dark_Nohn
2010-11-02, 05:39 PM
Why bother with draining their levels when you can just retrain them as per DMG2 rules? Sure it's not the best way to go about it, as it requires permission from the DM, and usually a quest, but your cohort doesn't start from level 1 and with one level in a class that does no good for the class.

Susano-wo
2010-11-02, 05:47 PM
Why bother with draining their levels when you can just retrain them as per DMG2 rules? Sure it's not the best way to go about it, as it requires permission from the DM, and usually a quest, but your cohort doesn't start from level 1 and with one level in a class that does no good for the class.
see that part I bolded? thats the issue. HTe level drain idea was a way to curcumvent a DM giving you a nerfed cohort. If the DM is doing this, the DM will not allow them to retrain :smallamused:

ScionoftheVoid
2010-11-02, 06:21 PM
-snip- my post is long enough alone

Oh, the player's certainly control how broken the game gets. The fact that they have to makes the rules broken.

I'd disagree with the notion of "newer players just cast fireball and roll their d6's", when I was new to the game I still realised that defensive spells were worth casting and that Scorching Ray was more effective than Fireball in a lot of cases. I knew that some Summon Monster X spells could be more effective than straight damage spells. I realised that most things with Reflex saves would often be negated by a Rogue. I liked the idea of Save or X spells a lot. I needed a small push to realise the power of Colour Spray, Grease and Web, but I barely had to look before I found communities with strategies better than "blast it". People used to previous editions probably noticed that everyone got massively boosted health but Fireball still did d6/level.

Anyone who looks for more than "highest number of d6s" will find far more effective spells than Fireball. On the same spell level it's outclassed by Fly, Haste and possibly Slow. Fireball is just not a good spell and any player interested in the game will discover that.

Even a player who does just look for more d6s eventually finds a level without them, and generally that's at level 4 spells, including Polymorph and Evard's Black Tentacles, two well-known powerful spells. The new player is probably going to pick Polymorph, Evard's Odd Obsession being less obviously powerful. They'd probably have died by this point if they dumped Con, so when they realise they can give themselves the ability to fight as well as the Fughter does they'll probably try it, for the novelty if nothing else. They then realise that as long as they have this spell they can stand in melee like a Fighter with few penalties, whilst still having the ability to cast only a five-foot step or Concentration check away. And by ninth level they have Spell Focus and Greater Spell Focus so why not Combat Casting, +4 to the only check holding them back from being just better than the Fighter for several minutes at a time? This type of thing only gets worse as the levels get higher. It is possible and even likely to stumble upon powerful spells, and it only takes a day to prepare different, better, spells if you do. That is not the sign of an unbroken ruleset, IMO.

Also, character concepts are not broken. A holy warrior is a character concept. A Crusader, Paladin, C of CoDzilla or even some form of Rogue are ways of representing that concept. Fluff cannot be broken, because "broken-ness" is purely rules based.

Thurbane
2010-11-02, 06:34 PM
Leadership is only as broken as the DM (and players) allow it to be. It can be played as "OMG I now have 2 characters! Win!", or it can be played as an NPC with strong allegiance to one of the PCs.

There is no reason a reasonable DM and player working together can't come up with a totally workable, non-broken cohort. In that respect, it no more game breaking than having an extra NPC along with the party, or a caster throwing a Charm or Dominate on an NPC...

IMHO, gaining a loyal cohort or follower probably shouldn't even require a feat.

Dark_Nohn
2010-11-02, 06:41 PM
see that part I bolded? thats the issue. HTe level drain idea was a way to curcumvent a DM giving you a nerfed cohort. If the DM is doing this, the DM will not allow them to retrain :smallamused:

It's true, but I could see a DM taking away your leadership feat if you energy drained your cohort just to get the class you want them to be. Better do a metagame "I'll let you railroad me for a dungeon if you let me get the cohort class I want," and everyone will be slightly happier, and you're less likely to get a DMG bashing for rule abuse. If asking for a respec quest fails, than you always have the option of doing it the other way... except that you need a full on level 9 spell in order to get your way, or a 5th level spell slot, metamagic feat and a DM who ignores the phrase "Enervation never leaves permanent level loss" after you do an extended enervation (at 12th caster level so the negative levels stay in place)