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D&D 3E
Leadership In Your Campaign 
18th-Mar-2006 12:50 am
It's been discussed numerous times, in many forums, but as I'm fixing on starting up a new campaign next week, I have my mind set on all the various things that may spring up during the game. Leadership is among those things, since at least 3 of the 4 people in my group are people who have taken Leadership in the past and rather enjoy it.

However, Leadership being a feat given out solely at the DM's discretion, I was trying to come up with a better way to handle it rather than simply having a player take the feat, and then attract a cohort and followers.

I decided to handle Leadership in more of a roleplaying way, rather than with pure game mechanics. Essentially, should a PC sufficiently demonstrate to me that he or she is a leader, I'll give them the option of attracting followers. I haven't quite decided upon the cohort as of yet, but basically when I'm thinking of doing is essentially giving Leadership as a free feat to those who are actually proven to be leaders. The choice as to whether or not they want the position is entirely up to them, but I still may have NPC's coming to them as some sort of hero figure.

Thoughts on this? How have you guys handled Leadership in your groups in the past? I'm trying to avoid every character having the Leadership feat and running around with a cohort (something that our previous group was plagued with). Because of that, I might have the PC's seen as leaders as a group, and form a sort of collective Leadership.

Edit: Sorry if this is a little unclear. It is St.Patrick's Day after all, and I'm slightly tipsy. ~.^
18th-Mar-2006 08:23 am (UTC) - Hrm. My thought:
You're turning character traits into player traits...

The idea of making it a feat is so that the oddball kids who doesn't know anything about leadership can play a character who does know about leadership and not have his imagination hindered by actual ability.

Given the opportunity, submersion is an excellent way to learn how to lead. If they don't have the life skill, maybe you should toss them into game situations where they have to practice it. You'd be doing them 2 services: Entertaining them, and teaching them something useful for life.

How's that for an idea?

Cheers ;) *raises his glass*

If yer interested in BSing, I'm on irc.lost-soul.net in #userfriendly for the next 2 or 3 hours.
18th-Mar-2006 05:36 pm (UTC) - Re: Hrm. My thought:
I'm turning characters into their players, I think would be more accurate. I'm trying to encourage roleplaying.

Two of my four players are actors, one is a long-time gamer who writes often, and the other works in a school library helping students with their grammar and such.

~.^ No oddball kids in this group, anyway.

Basically the reason for my change to the Leadership feat is because the group that we were all a part of (which was a much larger group. 10 frikkin people!) had a DM who was himself a power gamer and had tons of stupid house rules. One of the major problems that we ran into was all of the people who had Cohorts through benefit of the Leadership feat. Our total party numbered 13~14 not including the NPC's that he still insisted remain with the group.

Part of the reason we left was for a smaller game.

In any case, I understand what you're saying, and I still understand that not all leaders are necessarily good at what they do (or even want the job in some cases) but I'm pulling DM discretion on this one.
18th-Mar-2006 01:00 pm (UTC)
A PC is using Leadership in my campaign. He's a Dread Pirate and he uses all his minions to crew the ship. Since the concept of a DP is that he uses his reputation to get what he needs, it seemed a likely fit for him to attract a swath of rugged sailors who wish to take to the open sea. The Cohort is his first mate and I have control over the character, and she's useful, while she can't hold a candle to the main party members. In this case, the feat, and the class, all keep him in line, alignment-wise as he's trying to maintain his reputation as an honorable if dastardly pirate. At the very least, the feat keeps me off the hook for tracking thirty-some xp totals and in the long run, if you're going to give the PC access to a load of goons, this is the way to do it. It's a tool for the DM. You could easily have the players exhibit in-character leadership and get what he gets in that way, but the feat not only requires him to bust a feat for the opportunity, it also gives you some hard and fast rules to minimize your headache. I would only do it if the player in question had a major purpose to occupy the followers with, such as crewing a ship, or staffing a mansion, or running a store or something of that nature. The character certainly shouldn't be able to treat his followers as monster fodder and if he does his Leadership score will suffer.
18th-Mar-2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
I thought about Leaders who scare people with reputation into getting what they want, and indeed I would be using the rules of the feat in my process.

I'm not taking away from Leadership as much as I'm changing the prerequisites for it. "Character level 6" is a little flimsy, if you ask me.

For things such as Leadership scores, numbers of followers and level of cohort, I'd still be using the rules in the DMG. I'd also allow PC's to have followers without the need for a ship, mansion or store like you suggested. Remember that not having such a place means that your Leadership score is lowered (by not having the bonus of a permanent base, and probably taking the penalty for moving around a lot).
18th-Mar-2006 05:42 pm (UTC)
I understand the penalty, that's just a personal preference as I don't wanna have to manage 30 NPCs everywhere the party goes.
18th-Mar-2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
Oh, neither do I.

But 30 people going somewhere when the PC's were hired for something as a group of 4 is rather silly. Sure, you could do it, but how are you going to pay your men? (As far as I'm concerned, if you're going to be using your men as an army you have to pay/feed/provide for them). Any reward just isn't going to cut it.

Also at higher levels, they'll be little more than useful for mundane tasks (such as: set up a camp-site and guard it as well as you can).
18th-Mar-2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
If you were paying them you wouldn't need the Leadership feat, then the cost is out of pocket. Leadership assumes followers are following you out of choice, not because they were hired. They might want some table scraps, but they aren't going to demand a fee.
18th-Mar-2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
There's the difference then.

Followers shouldn't be blind sheep following you because they believe you to be some sort of deitific figure. If you want that, you should take divine ranks.

Choosing to follow somebody doesn't forfeit your freewill. You may do as they ask, but if you're a horrible leader and don't take care of them, that's your own fault. Also, if they're forced to fend for themselves, world-wise, they'll be spending a lot of time working their Professions rather than coming with you on your adventures.
18th-Mar-2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
If you're a horrible leader and don't treat your guys well then your leadership score suffers and your ranks dwindle accordingly. But if you're paying them for their time, they're not followers, they're hirelings. They might tag along for a share of the loot, and a glimpse of glory, but they likely aren't getting paid per day, whether or not they're being fed and sheltered.
18th-Mar-2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
I never said they were demanding payment or need to be paid to follow you.

But, logically, how long can anybody follow some random shmuck around without getting paid for his services?

Personally, if I were to follow somebody, even if it were a moral choice, I wouldn't be able to be at his every beckon call, nor would I want to do everything that he says, simply because he said it.
18th-Mar-2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
I never said they were never getting any money out of this, just not on a regular basis. A great deal of what they're doing there relies on their faith that he will lead them to greatness. Failing greatness, not so many of them will sticka round.
19th-Mar-2006 01:04 am (UTC)

All I'm saying is, anybody that leads his or her men into every situation, even when they aren't called for and have nothing to do...is a bad leader anyway. =)
19th-Mar-2006 05:20 am (UTC)
And thus, lower score, less goons.
18th-Mar-2006 05:46 pm (UTC)
In our campaign, we have two related feats for that. The core Leadership feat, which works as normal, and Close Companion, which lets you gain a cohort (with a +2 Leadership bonus) but no followers.

To get Leadership, your character must display leadership qualities. I can understand the comment made above where D&D should be about playing a character with such abilities even if you don't in real life, but if your character never does anything on her own, can't make decision, and remains quiet most of the time (as one of the PCs in our campaign acts), I'm sorry, you aren't a candidate for Leadership. :-P

Close Companion was meant for players who wish to have a sidekick, but are otherwise not leaders.
18th-Mar-2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
Amen to that. Wishy-washy characters who hang in the backdrop aren't leaders.

Where is Close Companion from? House feat, or drawn from a book?
18th-Mar-2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
I think it was taken from Heroes of Battle, a recent D&D supplement.
18th-Mar-2006 07:44 pm (UTC)

(I just checked.)
18th-Mar-2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
It might be original then! I don't have the DM at my disposal right now. Here is what was posted on our game's message board.

Close Companion:

Prerequisite: Character level 6th.

Benefits: The character is able to attract a cohort per the leadership feat, and further gains a +2 bonus to his or her leadership score. No followers are attracted.

Special: Characters who have attracted a cohort via another feat or ability do not derive any benefits from this feat.
18th-Mar-2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
d20 Past introduced a pair of feats that duplicate Leadership in similar ways. Minions grants you the followers, but with a slightly altered leadership score bonus table (matching goon uniforms is a +2 bonus). Sidekick is the cohort feat.
18th-Mar-2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
Minions and Sidekick are fantastic imo.
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