Monday, September 14, 2020

General Rules: Feats - Leadership

Leadership is a somewhat unique feat that allows a character to recruit a cohort and followers. This page details how I handle this feat.

Leadership [General] (from the Player's Handbook)
You are the sort of person others want to follow, and you have done some work attempting to recruit cohorts and followers.
  Prerequisite: Character level 6th+
  Benefit: You can attract loyal companions and devoted followers, subordinates who assist you. The level of your cohort and the number and level of your followers is determined by your leadership score. Note that there are different modifiers for your Leadership score with respect to cohorts and followers, so your Leadership score might be different for your cohort than it is for your followers.

Your cohorts and followers are generally loyal and reliable retainers. Unlike ordinary NPCs, who have their own agendas and objectives, cohorts and followers look to the character for direction and guidance. As a general rule, they will not betray you or deceive you unless they are severely mistreated, although in such cases they will usually simply abandon your service.

Cohorts and followers will expect that the character will provide for their basic needs including room, board, and any workspace, tools, or other specialized equipment needed to undertake the tasks you assign to them (this is, after all, one of the major reasons they have sought you out to serve as your retainers). So, for example, if you recruit a follower who is a blacksmith and ask him to craft materials for you, he will expect you to provide a forge with appropriate blacksmithing tools and raw materials needed to undertake the work. Failure to appropriately provide for your cohort and followers will be likely to negatively affect your Leadership Score.

Cohort: A character with Leadership may have a single cohort. In general, a player may design their desired cohort, subject to my approval. Cohorts should be built using the elite array of ability scores (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8), subject to applicable racial modifiers. The cohort may be any playable race and any allowable class. The cohort may be a multi-classed character if the player desires, and may take advantage of any of the options available to player characters. When the cohort enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value appropriate to an NPC of the cohort's level (see Table 4-23: NPC Gear Value on page 127 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, I may allow a cohort to be a nonstandard race, or even an intelligent monstrous creature, such as a sphinx or a dragon. In those cases, apply the appropriate Level Adjustment to the cohorts class levels, or, if the cohort is a type of creature that does not have a listed Level Adjustment, the cohort's initial "level" will be their Challenge Rating. All such nonstandard cohorts must be approved by me in advance.

Your cohort is a loyal companion who will accompany your character on adventures. In general, you can control your cohort, although they will not undertake obviously suicidal or self-destructive actions. I reserve the right to assume control of the cohort if that becomes necessary.

Your cohort does not gain "experience". As your Leadership score goes up as you rise in level, your cohort will gain levels to match that allowed by your new Leadership score, although this is subject to the usual limitation that your cohort can never be higher level than two levels lower than your current character level.

Followers: A character with Leadership is able to attract followers if his Leadership Score is at least 10. Followers, like your cohort, may be designed by the player, subject to my approval. Followers should be built using the standard array of ability scores (11, 11, 11, 10, 10, 10) or the nonelite array of ability scores (13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8) at your option. You may, if you wish switch back and forth between these two arrays for different followers. Followers can be any standard playable race, and may be adepts, commoners, experts, or warriors. When a follower enters the character's service, they will be equipped with equipment with a total value equal to the starting gear for a character of their class. Any additional equipment must be provided by the player.

Under certain circumstances, a follower may be of a nonstandard race if there is an appropriate character-driven reason for such followers to be attracted to the player character. All such followers will be typical members of their race and must be approved by me in advance.

Your followers are loyal aides, but generally will not be willing to accompany the character on adventures. Followers will be willing to work as craftsmen, work as personal aides, handle business tasks, act as couriers, travel with caravans and take care of your animals and wagons, and even defend your stronghold or, if necessary, go to war alongside you, but they will not delve into dungeons, enter a dragon's lair, or help you sack an evil temple. In general, a character may direct the actions of their followers, but they will not be willing to undertake unnecessarily dangerous, suicidal, or self-destructive actions. As with cohorts, I reserve the right to assume control of followers if necessary.

As with cohorts, your followers don't gain "experience". As your Leadership Score increases, you attract new followers and are eligible to retain higher level followers. When you become eligible for higher level followers, you may either advance a current follower to a higher level or recruit a new follower of the appropriate level.

Leadership Modifiers: A character's base leadership score is their character level + their Charisma modifier. Several factors can affect a character's Leadership score, causing it to vary from this base score. Your reputation from the point of view of the cohort or follower you are trying to attract raises of lowers your Leadership score.

Leader's ReputationModifier
Great renown+2
Fairness and generosity+1
Special power+1

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 1
1 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

Cohorts and Followers: Once a character's Leadership score is determined, the level of their cohort and the number of followers they can attract is determined according to the following table. If a character's Leadership score changes, their cohort and number of followers may be affected. As a character's Leadership score rises, their cohort will advance in level and more followers will come into their service. If a character's Leadership score falls, their cohort's advancement will stagnate, and followers may abandon the character.

LeadershipCohortNumber of Followers by Level
1 or lower-------
24 or higher17th135137422
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. A 6th-level character with a +3 Charisma bonus, for example, can still only recruit a cohort of 4th level or lower. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level.
Number of Followers by Level: The character can lead up to the indicated number of characters of each level.For example, a character with a Leadership score of 14 can lead up to fifteen 1st-level followers and one 2nd-level follower.

Replacing Cohorts and Followers: If you lose a cohort or followers, you can generally replace thrm, according to your current Leadership Score. I takes 1d4 months to recruit replacements. If you are to blame for the deaths of the cohort or followers, it takes extra time to replace them, up to a full year. Losing a cohort or followers can give you a reputation for failure, which would affect your Leadership score.

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