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D&D 3E
Leadership Feat 
11th-Feb-2005 10:19 am
Hey folks-

I've got a player who really wants to play one of those feats I've dreaded as a DM- Leadership. He wants a cohort, he's sixth level. Making up his 4th level cohort was no problem, but I'm curious how everyone's (anyone's) played this before. Does the DM normally run the character? The player? The player, but with DM veto?

Any advice, stories, hints, or comments would be greatly appreciated, as it's one of those things I'm not really comfortable with yet. Let me know just how bad my PC's can get with this.... and if there's anything else I need to be thinking about.
11th-Feb-2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
i'd let the player un him.
11th-Feb-2005 03:47 pm (UTC)
It is generally done so that the player runs the henchman/cohort. But the DM can veto any action that he or she thinks is out of character for the cohort.

And don't let the player treat the extra character as a piece of equipment. That is just abuse. ;)
11th-Feb-2005 04:02 pm (UTC) - yeah
I hate those feats... It just makes more paperwork for everyone for almost no result. It even forces the dm to create NPC's..

The way I handle it is you can feel free to take leadership. It represents the people you have behind to watch your fortress/mansion/house/horse. No cohorts will come with you. Though they feel you are a leader, it is to much to ask to get them to come adventure with you. Eventually if you get enough, you can create an army of them, or a kingdom full.

As far as everyday adventuring, no. It's a worthless pain. I took it with one of my characters, but I did it just to have a network of followers at home.
11th-Feb-2005 04:22 pm (UTC) - Re: yeah
that's actually a really good idea. i'm playing a pirate soon, maybe i'll use it to get myself a crew. cool. what are the prereqs?
11th-Feb-2005 05:41 pm (UTC) - Re: yeah
I treat it just like normal leadership, I just don't drag them around with me. There is also an epic leadership feat, but obviously you have to be epic level.
11th-Feb-2005 05:44 pm (UTC) - Re: yeah
Prerequisite: Character level 6th.
Benefits: Having this feat enables the character to attract loyal companions and devoted followers, subordinates who assist her. See the table below for what sort of cohort and how many followers the character can recruit.
Leadership Modifiers: Several factors can affect a character’s Leadership score, causing it to vary from the base score (character level + Cha modifier). A character’s reputation (from the point of view of the cohort or follower he is trying to attract) raises or lowers his Leadership score:

Leader’s Reputation Modifier
Great renown +2
Fairness and generosity +1
Special power +1
Failure –1
Aloofness –1
Cruelty –2

Other modifiers may apply when the character tries to attract a cohort:
The Leader . . . Modifier
Has a familiar, special mount, or animal companion –2
Recruits a cohort of a different alignment –1
Caused the death of a cohort –2*
* Cumulative per cohort killed.

Followers have different priorities from cohorts. When the character tries to attract a new follower, use any of the following modifiers that apply.
The Leader . . . Modifier
Has a stronghold, base of operations, guildhouse, or the like +2
Moves around a lot –1
Caused the death of other followers –1.

Leadership Score
Cohort Level —— Number of Followers by Level ——
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
1 or lower — — — — — — —
2 1st — — — — — —
3 2nd — — — — — —
4 3rd — — — — — —
5 3rd — — — — — —
6 4th — — — — — —
7 5th — — — — — —
8 5th — — — — — —
9 6th — — — — — —
10 7th 5 — — — — —
11 7th 6 — — — — —
12 8th 8 — — — — —
13 9th 10 1 — — — —
14 10th 15 1 — — — —
15 10th 20 2 1 — — —
16 11th 25 2 1 — — —
17 12th 30 3 1 1 — —
18 12th 35 3 1 1 — —
19 13th 40 4 2 1 1 —
20 14th 50 5 3 2 1 —
21 15th 60 6 3 2 1 1
22 15th 75 7 4 2 2 1
23 16th 90 9 5 3 2 1
24 17th 110 11 6 3 2 1
25+ 17th 135 13 7 4 2 2

Leadership Score: A character’s base Leadership score equals his level plus any Charisma modifier. In order to take into account negative Charisma modifiers, this table allows for very low Leadership scores, but the character must still be 6th level or higher in order to gain the Leadership feat. Outside factors can affect a character’s Leadership score, as detailed above.

Cohort Level: The character can attract a cohort of up to this level. Regardless of a character’s Leadership score, he can only recruit a cohort who is two or more levels lower than himself. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level. A character can try to attract a cohort of a particular race, class, and alignment. The cohort’s alignment may not be opposed to the leader’s 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.

Cohorts earn XP as follows:
The cohort does not count as a party member when determining the party’s XP.
Divide the cohort’s 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 cohort’s total.

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

Number of Followers by Level: The character can lead up to the indicated number of characters of each level. Followers are similar to cohorts, except they’re generally low-level NPCs. Because they’re generally five or more levels behind the character they follow, they’re rarely effective in combat.
Followers don’t earn experience and thus don’t 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 don’t consult the table to see if your cohort gains levels, however, because cohorts earn experience on their own.)
11th-Feb-2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
The way that I've always played Leadership, both as a DM and as a player, is that a PC's cohort is under his/her control, completely. I've never had any DM veto style to determine what's out of character. In my experience, PC's keep their cohorts in character/alignment/religion rather well, and if they don't it's for a darn good reason.

As for followers, that's an entirely different story. Followers (which are basically useless, when you think about it. They die more often than not, if you aren't careful.) are guided by the PC, but essentially controlled by the DM. They'll take actions under the orders of their leader, obviously, but the actual actions are taken by the DM, rather than the player (because a Leader is never in full control of his men).

Having a cohort can be a great deal for any player. For a spellcasting character, it can mean a personal bodyguard, if a little under-level. For a fighter, it can mean a flanking partner. For a Rogue, it can mean an extra set of eyes/hands to help search rooms/disable traps. The only thing that the player has to remember is that their cohort isn't there for their sole enjoyment, they are, as it says in the description of the feat, an entirely new and seperate character for them to roleplay with. As long as you don't wantonly waste the life of your cohort or followers, you should be okay: but just because a player does waste lives doesn't mean he's abusing the feat. He/she is just a poor leader, and is now much less likely to attract a good cohort/large number of followers.

One thing that should be mentioned is that Leadership is kind of iffy to allow into a game with a large number of players. Another character to go into combat can drag things down, especially since that new character is under the control of another PC (and in every game I've played in, the PC/cohort act on the same turn).
11th-Feb-2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks, that's very helpful, and gives me several things to think about.

The size of combat is a concern, as I have 5 players already, but I think I can handle that.

As a player, I'd thought about trying to take the feat several times- to have a bodyguard with a level or two of cleric to heal/ pump my spellcaster, primarily. The DM I played with at the time didn't allow it, however.
11th-Feb-2005 05:46 pm (UTC)

I believe you can attract many more cohorts the higher your level is. You shouldn't have to take the leadership feat more than once, in fact it would be pointless to do so...
11th-Feb-2005 05:49 pm (UTC)
actually-- nevermind... I'm really not sure now if you could take the feat more than once...

*starts flipping pages*
11th-Feb-2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
I thought about taking it on more than one occassion (but didn't any of those times, hence the multiple times thinking about it)

It can't be taken more than once, unless a DM rules that the leader can attract either followers or a cohort each time the feat is taken.
11th-Feb-2005 05:41 pm (UTC)
I think a cohort should definately be allowed to travel with the player in question. Cohorts/henchmen are awesome additions to the development of a character. It varies DM-to-DM whether to let the player control the cohort or not. In my games, I usually let them control the mechanics in battle, but I will roleplay a separate personality for the cohort, just because it makes the player feel like they're established a relationship with the person in question. If they control the roleplaying aspects of the cohort as well as the combat aspects, it deters from their roleplaying with their character and the cohort remains as a piece of paper, instead of as a fleshed-out person in the story.

In battle, though, they're the leader, they determine the actions. I'm sure the leader-cohort tacticize how they can help one another in battle outside of battles too.
11th-Feb-2005 06:56 pm (UTC)
This is the problem, having an extra character to play. Developing a character, creating and evolving their personality, and role playing that in an exemplary manner is almost all encompassing. Having a player try to do this for themselves as well as cohorts is going to take away from this. It also gives the character a tremedous advantage that is far superior to what one feat should grant. The reason a wizard is balanced is that they are fragile. Dodge, a beginning feat gives a character a +1 bonus to armor class vs. one opponent. Leadership gives the character a strong bodyguard who can block enemies from getting to the wizard, fight for him, be the recipient of his spells, etc. It's too much for my tastes as a dm, which is why I don't allow cohorts to travel with the party.

I understand others tastes may vary, but that is my spin on it.
12th-Feb-2005 01:42 am (UTC)
This is exactly how I do it, too.
11th-Feb-2005 05:44 pm (UTC)
I don't have any advice to give that hasn't already been given, except that you should think about why kind of players you have. For example, I have a character who wants to play a drow priestess of loth with a male cohort that she can boss around. That would be really fun. On the other hand, one of my players would be more likely to make a Hathran or Red wizard or with a lot of underlings that can beef him up via circle magic or something cheesy like that.

If you think the player can handle it, allow it.
11th-Feb-2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
Player runs it. Make sure the player in question is good, because having the extra character to run takes a bit of effort.
11th-Feb-2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
I have my player run his cohort, it is way too much trouble for me to handle an additional character. If the player ever really abused the cohort I suppose I'd overrule, but that's never been an issue (and honestly, a dwarf barbarian cohort is exactly the sort of person that charges into any fight that comes up.)
12th-Feb-2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
I don't require the feat in my campaigns. If people want to play more than one character, I let them, although I don't encourage it. I'm usually running larger than normal/average size groups anyway, so one more doesn't hurt. If they want cohorts to stay behind in a city/castle/mansion, that's fine. I just base it off their level.
16th-Feb-2005 06:07 pm (UTC) - Leadership
Generally I allow the player to control any followers he/she has, unless the player wants the NPC to do something that he/ she wouldn't do. If it gets out of hand, then I simply take control of the follower for the rest of the session, or (if I feel it's warrented) I'll decide that the NPC becomes insulted and leaves.
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