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Jimp
2007-07-29, 09:39 PM
I've been thinking about taking the Leadership feat on a character in a low level campaign and I have two questions about it.

1. What ways can it be abused? I've seen people mention this feat being broken and banning it, but I can't see any ways to break it at lower levels.

2. In what non-broken ways is it useful? Off the top of my head things like personal healer or handy sidekick come to mind.

OzymandiasVolt
2007-07-29, 10:02 PM
The complaints are generally "you get a whole second character and a small army of mooks for the cost of a single feat" and the like.

Damionte
2007-07-30, 12:53 AM
That's really all there is to it.

It really depends though on how you run cohorts and followers as a GM. The more control you take over them (they're NPC's not PC's) the easier they are to keep from getting out of hand. It's a lot more work for you though.

I only allow leadership when the group is small. In a 4 man party or below I'll allow leadership so they can fill a hole in thier party. I also allow the player to run the cohort as a second PC to a limited degree. With that I mean it's accepted that the cohort is not a main character but a supporting one, so his story is tertiary to whatever is going on.

With 5 or more players in the party though I don't allow cohorts.

As for followers, it depends on what's gion gon in the campaign. In a city based campaign or one where the characters are in a general fixed location followers are easier for me to deal with. The followers stay stationary. A few may actually go places with the group but the rest generally act more as trusted contacts foer the hero with the feat.

they also don't get to pick thier followers. Otherwise they get all munchkin like, building an army of folks to follow them around. At best I let them keep enough useful guys to guard the camp and horses when they're gone. A cou[ple warriors and a healer or two is nice to have back at camp so they don't have to worry about it.

Draz74
2007-07-30, 01:50 AM
Leadership can be fine.

Let the player who takes it tell you the general idea of the cohort he wants, but then the DM should actually build the cohort himself. Give it a couple sub-optimal (but not horribly weak) quirks that the player wouldn't have picked. (Like an unusual weapon choice - a halberd or heavy flail instead of a greatsword would be refreshing.) And just don't let it be a cheesy combination character.

Followers are probably safer ... just tell the player how many of his followers have to be Commoners, how many have to be other NPC classes, and how many have to be non-spellcasters. Then let him work out all the details. (I.e. "You have 10 followers, huh? Well, since you're running a band of bandits, I'll let you get by without any Commoners. Five of them should still be NPC classes, though, and only one can be a full caster.)

Tor the Fallen
2007-07-30, 01:51 AM
Leadership can outshine the other players though, since you're gonna have two characters.

Orzel
2007-07-30, 02:04 AM
Leadership's main issues is giving 1 player the ability to solve too many of the parties problems without the other player's help. Grab a low level caster cohort and go to town with every good non-scaling low level spell.

2 and 3 person buff cheese combos come later.

JackMage666
2007-07-30, 04:57 AM
It's one of those things that can be either really good, or really bad, depending on either the player or the DM.

Player
Good - Responsible players who know the rules and don't try to overshine the other players can take leadership to fill a niche without losing their character's class levels. A good example is to add in a Cleric (or, better even, a Healer), co-hort, to subbly the party with healing. The NPC doesn't tank into combat, and prepares primarily healing/restoration spells, to fill the niche.
Bad - Munchkins out the co-hort, uses him to powerhouse his way through the game, and takes up twice as much time as the other players. Seems to have multiple personalities as he talks to himself "in character". If the player is a known powergamer, they should NOT take this feat.

DM
Good - Runs the co-hort as an NPC, keeps it out of the way in most instances, doesn't take up much spotlight, and doesn't allow the co-hort to outshine anyone.
Bad - Either allows the munchkin player to run it, or runs it as a horrible NPC that only causes problems, and is basically a huge deterent to the players.

As for followers, they don't do all that much. Followers are attracted to the PC, so the PC doesn't actually make them. They're basically a bunch of NPC that can't do all that much. I wouldn't even bother with them if it's a mobile campaign, since the followers take something like 1d3 months to find the PC, and it's much less likely if the PC is always mobile. It's rare to say "Wow, that lvl 1 Expert sure was helpful to out lvl 10 party" anyway.

Overlard
2007-07-30, 05:22 AM
I think that if a cohort takes up more in-game time than an animal companion, then it disadvantages all the other players and the DM.

Kurald Galain
2007-07-30, 05:39 AM
I'd say that if the party actually needs an auxiliary healer, they should simply have an NPC along, without the need (and potential abuse) of the leadership feat. If the party needs an auxiliary anything else, the DM is probably using too powerful encounters against them.

new1965
2007-07-30, 06:11 AM
Dont forget that the cohort gets a slice of the party's experience.

The fact that you can only attract cohorts two levels lower that yourself limits their usefulness as a melee combatant but they still good for backup, ,someone to tend to the wounded, scout around, etc....

I had a scout cohort for a while and he had his moments to shine. A bladedevil was holding a villager over his head and threatening the through him into a lava pit. My cohort scout made a successful disarm attempt, snatched the villager out of the devils hands and dragged him safety while the PCs attacked.

I eventually gave him up because it became too troublesome to play two characters without slowing down an already over sized playing group of 7

Stephen_E
2007-07-30, 06:24 AM
One of the less broken uses IMHO is to provide yourself with an exotic mount that won't croak at the slightest excuse. Useful for mounted builds who don't want to commit themselves to lots of levels in Animal Companion/Special Mount classes.

Actually something I'd like to try sometime is playing a mount PC to another players mounted combat PC. Lot's of scope for RP humour with the right player.

Stephen

ZeroNumerous
2007-07-30, 06:42 AM
Ah.. Leadership.

On one hand, jerks who only think of it as "Oooh! More characters!" get the feat banned in most games. On the other, there are people like me who feel that the feet is representative of a character who stands as a paragon to his/her people. Dragonwrought Kobolds should get this feat for free, in my opinion, but thats an entirely different matter.

My suggestions: If a player really wants to take the feat, then let him. But, always remember that the cohort isn't another PC and neither are his followers. Now, I'm saying that because the DM should rightfully build the cohort as an NPC. However, I'm not saying you should limit his followers to NPC classes. Sure, they aren't intended to be combatants, but 10 first level fighters aren't going to help much beyond hitting something with crossbows every once in awhile.

In all honesty, it's easier just to ignore followers because dealing with that is a huge issue. Personally, I've always allowed the PC with leadership to run the cohort in battle as he would his PC. It is his character, after all. Outside of combat though, the NPC doesn't have to follow his orders as readily, and thats when I play him and his reactions.

Really though, it's like an animal companion that doesn't suck.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-30, 06:45 AM
Dont forget that the cohort gets a slice of the party's experience.



*twitch*

No, it doesn't. Cohort explicitly gets extra XP.

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.

new1965
2007-07-30, 06:55 AM
*twitch*

No, it doesn't. Cohort explicitly gets extra XP.

Umm... Where does this "extra" XP come from? A creature that was worth 100 XP suddenly becomes worth 110?

That states that the cohort DOES indeed get experience from the pool, just not a "full" party share

ZeroNumerous
2007-07-30, 07:00 AM
That states that the cohort DOES indeed get experience from the pool, just not a "full" party share

Nope. It explicitly states the the cohort does not count toward the party's total level when determining XP.

Lets go with an example so people understand better..

Lets say Bob, a 6th level wizard and his friend Jim, the 4th level barbarian, kill an CR 6 encounter. With two PCs, this would net the 6th level PC only 900 XP while the 4th gets 1200 XP. Instead, because the cohort does not count as a PC, Bob gains 1800 XP.

Jim gains (4 divided by 6)=(.66x1800)=1188 XP.

The party XP pool doesn't change, it's still 1800 XP for Bob. Jim just gets his own XP from who-knows-where.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-30, 07:01 AM
[Scrubbed]

Yes they do get "extra" xp.

Sir Giacomo
2007-07-30, 07:26 AM
Hi Jimp,

on your two questions: likely the leadership feat is not broken at all, since it is completely controlled by the DM.

Some suggestions as I would handle it as a DM: If your player insists on taking the cohort with him to adventures (meaning more work for you as a DM since you constantly have to play an npc), you should also make clear that similar to familiars and animal companions, such npcs are very much endangered by the challenges a party typically faces, since the characters are at least two levels higher in power (plus have way more magical equipment for their level, though this could be shared). Replacing said npc can then take time (and if it happens often, lowers your leadership score).

So the best use of a cohort is either as a special mount more used for transport than battle (in mount-specific kinds of campaign; rather awkward for dungeon challenges). Or it is a backup character (like a bishop who has a personal friendship to his king- the pc; or a hero-worshipping wizard from childood friendship; a barbarian slave bought as bodyguard for the pc's family at home etc.). They are basically there to provide help between adventures (may even create magic items for you at reduced price, similar to pc casters), but they will not accompany the pc on his quests.

In my view the leadership feat was also put into the game by the designers (many in my view mistake it as optional, it is part of the core rules, though) to make magic and magic item creation more available for the non-casting classes; so allowing the feat in your game could help in case everyone feels that casters get overly powerful at higher levels than non-casters.

- Giacomo

new1965
2007-07-30, 07:31 AM
[Scrubbed]
Yes they do get "extra" xp.

The XP thing is the one drawback to the Leadership feet. Its a tradeoff, The way you are doing breaks the feat as as there ZERO consequence (besides playability) from getting an extra character

The rule say where the XP comes from

pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters

If it was" extra" , it wouldn't be taking XP from the other player characters

Also.. the exact quote in the DMG pn Pg 104 is "Don't include a cohort as a part member when determining the XP awards for individual characters". It then goes on to show you how to do the calculation for the cohort

The party XP pool is the same. The cohort just get a smaller share

hewhosaysfish
2007-07-30, 07:57 AM
The XP thing is the one drawback to the Leadership feet. Its a tradeoff, The way you are doing breaks the feat as as there ZERO consequence (besides playability) from getting an extra character

The rule say where the XP comes from

pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters

If it was" extra" , it wouldn't be taking XP from the other player characters

Also.. the exact quote in the DMG pn Pg 104 is "Don't include a cohort as a part member when determining the XP awards for individual characters". It then goes on to show you how to do the calculation for the cohort

The party XP pool is the same. The cohort just get a smaller share
???

Suppose we have 3 6th level characters and one 5th level. They fight a Tendriculos (CR6). The 6th levels get 450xp (1800/4) and the 5th level gets 562xp (2250/4).

Suppose we have 3 6th level characters - one of whom has a level 4 cohort - and one 5th level. They fight a Tendriculos (CR6). The 6th levels get 450xp (1800/4), the 5th level gets 562xp (2250/4) and the cohort gets 300xp (450x4/6).

Who has lost xp?

Kurald Galain
2007-07-30, 08:01 AM
Look, what part of "does not count as a party member when determining party XP" is too complicated for you? It's pretty simple.

XP gained for an encounter is dependent on the number of PCs and their levels, because an encounter is tougher if you have less characters, and less tough if the characters are higher level. In this calculcation, leadership cohorts do not count. After the total XP is thus calculated, it is divided among the particpants, including the cohort. The net effect is that a party wtih cohort(s) can take on tougher encounters but does not gain the full benefit from doing so.


likely the leadership feat is not broken at all, since it is completely controlled by the DM.
That is an Oberoni fallacy.

Attilargh
2007-07-30, 08:06 AM
Yet... "In a party containing four
PCs and one cohort, each PC gets 1/4 of the overall XP award." (DMG, last sentence of page 104.)

So if I've understood correctly, the Cohort gets XP that is a part of the total XP pool gained by the party, but as he is not a part of the party, all player characters get their full share of XP. In other words, the Cohort gains XP that is simultaneously part of the reward gained by the party, and comes from some other source. Are we talking SchrŲdinger's XP here? :confused:

hewhosaysfish
2007-07-30, 08:10 AM
After the total XP is thus calculated, it is divided among the particpants, including the cohort.


From the DMG, p104:

Cohorts earn experience points but not at the same rate as player charcters.
....
Do not include a cohort as a party member when determining the XP awards for individual charcters. In a party containing four PCs and a cohort, each PC gets 1/4 of the overall XP award.

EDIT: Ninjas!

new1965
2007-07-30, 08:24 AM
???

Suppose we have 3 6th level characters and one 5th level. They fight a Tendriculos (CR6). The 6th levels get 450xp (1800/4) and the 5th level gets 562xp (2250/4).

Suppose we have 3 6th level characters - one of whom has a level 4 cohort - and one 5th level. They fight a Tendriculos (CR6). The 6th levels get 450xp (1800/4), the 5th level gets 562xp (2250/4) and the cohort gets 300xp (450x4/6).

Who has lost xp?

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC

cohort gets 300XP and PC's get 375XP

Arbitrarity
2007-07-30, 08:26 AM
That's because you're doing that wrong. Leadership explicitly states that the cohort gains "free" XP, based on (but not from) that XP that the party gains.

Sir Giacomo
2007-07-30, 08:31 AM
That is an Oberoni fallacy.

From Trollbill on the WoTC site: "Oberoni Fallacy (noun): The fallacy that the existence of a rule stating that, Ďthe rules can be changed,í can be used to excuse design flaws in the actual rules. Etymology, D&D message boards, a fallacy first formalized by member Oberoni."

I think that treating leadership as the rules outline does not constitute this fallacy. It is quite simple. The rules say you get a class ability, item, whatever, then it usually is under the player's complete control. The moment that class ability or feat or treasure gained, however, creates a (sentient) being outside of that player character, it is an npc and thus run by the DM. It MAY be that for practical purposes the DM entrusts a player with completely controlling a familiar, animal companion or even cohort (most likely do so for the familiars and animal companions). But the basic principle of the game is that there are players running THEIR characters and the DM who runs the rest. No fallacy or design flaw here.

- Giacomo

Logos7
2007-07-30, 08:42 AM
either way, it's not that "Free" xp that makes the feat broken.

I thought the reason leadership is broken is that at 6th level you should be able to get 6th level followers (who aren't under the level -2 restriction ) who can then take leadership and get their own 6th level followers ad infinitium.

Personally, I use it as prerequisite for doing leadership style stuff, you wanna have a fiefdom , go get leadership you smoo. But that is strickly my house.

Logos

new1965
2007-07-30, 08:56 AM
either way, it's not that "Free" xp that makes the feat broken.

I thought the reason leadership is broken is that at 6th level you should be able to get 6th level followers (who aren't under the level -2 restriction ) who can then take leadership and get their own 6th level followers ad infinitium.

Personally, I use it as prerequisite for doing leadership style stuff, you wanna have a fiefdom , go get leadership you smoo. But that is strickly my house.

Logos



Now if that cohort gets to Level 6 himself.. the DM would just be nuts to let your "flunky" have flunkies of his own..(actually.... maybe thats where the followers come in since they are 5 levels back from the PC... but DEFINITELY not more cohorts)

lord_khaine
2007-07-30, 08:59 AM
but you dont get to pick feats for your followers, why should they have the leadership feat?

UglyPanda
2007-07-30, 10:00 AM
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.
A cohort usually levels up about the same time as the player with the feat.

Epic leadership is cheesy when mixed with the already cheesy epic spellcasting. Since it's possible to heavily buff your own charisma with epic spells, then it's possible to get more followers than actually exist on your native plane.

The problem with leadership is that it's so much better than other feats in the SRD that there is often no reason not to take it if you can.
Here's how it matches up:
-Quicken spell vs. Leadership: Your cohort is probably casting spells one spell level below you, rather than the four needed for quicken.
-Weapon focus tree vs. Leadership: Pick up a bard or marshal cohort.
-Bizarre +2 feats (alertness, steathy) or skill focus vs. Leadership: Bard or marshal cohort yet again.
-Any crafting feat vs. Leadership: Your wizard cohort may or may not have the crafting feat you want, but if he has at least one crafting feat you don't have, then you can assist him in crafting the items you want.
-Improved feint vs. Leadership: Get a free flanker.
-Any feat to increase HP vs. Leadership: Paladin or Cleric cohort.

There are cases in which leadership isn't cheesy, but it depends on the size and composition of the campaign.

Arbitrarity
2007-07-30, 10:27 AM
Given the effects of leadership, I say the cohort should be +1LA,:smallbiggrin:

Actually, it makes some sense, as the cohort, being 2 levels lower, is about half as powerful as you (that is, assuming you designed him. No skill foc(craft) basketweaving, mmkay?), and therefore your power level is x1.5, close to x2^0.5

Overlard
2007-07-30, 10:34 AM
The cohort gets free xp. That much is fact. His presence doesn't lower the amount of xp the other PCs are getting.

However, their share of treasure comes from the party pot. I think the biggest flaw of leadership is that by taking a feat, you're lessening your comrade's share of the loot. That's just the default ruling of course, but as written, it sucks for the other party members.

Foeofthelance
2007-07-30, 11:30 AM
Leadership is broken only if the playing group allows it to be broken. This includes both DM and players, and has nothing to do with the feat itself. I'm sure there are people who can tell us how Bob and his cohort Jim managed to ruin an otherwise perfectly good campaign, just as there are those like myself who managed to get along just fine with six leadership toters. Four dragons, three battleships, an aircraft carrier and a small division of undead later and our game was perfectly fine, even with the cohort builds and actions being directly under the player controls. (The DM basically looked at me, who'd taken it at sixth and said, "You started this, building everything is now you're problem," when everyone else took it at level nine.) The DM compensated for the extra power at our disposal by, surprise surprise, throwing tougher things at us, and adjusting our ECL according to the CR charts.

If you have a DM who is willing to do a little extra leg work to keep things running smoothly, it works fine. If you have a DM who looks at it in horror and says, "You get a fighter, with only weapon focus and weapon specialization," you'll probably still be fine. If you have a DM whom you bribe with pizza to allow that twinked build that Fax Celestis, Yuki Akuma, and TLN all collaborated on for your cohort, while every one else is playing for their first time, then yes, you might consider leadership "broken".

warmachine
2007-07-30, 12:03 PM
In one campaign, I regarded Leadership as a feat for the player, rather than the character. To counterbalance my straight Cleric, I designed a Gnome Bard/Sage cohort who's rubbish in combat but has high scores in all the Knowledge skills, so I can spout stupid factoids in that character's guise.

"Did you know Mind Flayers have no genitalia?"

"Orcs would be better warriors if their economy didn't suck."

"Did you know Black Puddings split in half when you hit them?"


He's underpowered for his level but I have fun making the other players cringe. It means I have more fun. However, they have realised his knowledge skills are useful.

Tweekinator
2007-07-30, 12:05 PM
From the SRD:http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/featsAll.html#leadership

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.

The cohort gains xp from the special "sidekick experience" that monsters/opponents release when they die. Thus, it cannot be used by the PCs and is not considered or even there unless there is a sidekick around to grab it.

hewhosaysfish
2007-07-30, 12:19 PM
If you have a DM who is willing to do a little extra leg work to keep things running smoothly, it works fine. If you have a DM who looks at it in horror and says, "You get a fighter, with only weapon focus and weapon specialization," you'll probably still be fine. If you have a DM whom you bribe with pizza to allow that twinked build that Fax Celestis, Yuki Akuma, and TLN all collaborated on for your cohort, while every one else is playing for their first time, then yes, you might consider leadership "broken".

Hmm.... when you put it like this it occurs to me that the potential for Leadership to be horrible arises from the fact that, if the player makes the choices, the players has twice as many (nearly) choices to make. And more otpions means more opportunies for twinkage.

new1965
2007-07-30, 12:39 PM
The people who agree with me about the cohort receiving a share of the party's experience are referring to the DMG where is pretty much fleshed out and says where the XP comes from

Those who say its "free" XP seem to referring to the SRD where the whole subject is pretty much glossed over.

Let just say it just depends on what rule set you want to go by.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 12:58 PM
The people who agree with me about the cohort receiving a share of the party's experience are referring to the DMG where is pretty much fleshed out and says where the XP comes from No they aren't. They are reading part of the DMG and making up additional rules that don't actually appear in it, because they assume the rule should be there, or because it worked that way in the second edition, or whatever reason they have.

The DMG explicitly states that, in a group with four PC's and a cohort, each PC gets 1/4 of the encounter's experience reward and the cohort gets experience by a completely different rule. Four players each getting 1/4 of the encounter's listed experience value is...all of the listed experience. There is no grey area here, it's telling you that the PC's get the full amount split only between them.
Those who say its "free" XP seem to referring to the SRD where the whole subject is pretty much glossed over. No, they are quoting the DMG and gave you a page number. Please review the thread again, and page 104 of the DMG.
Let just say it just depends on what rule set you want to go by. Indeed--RAW or your house rule. RAW have the party split experience and a separate calculation being done for cohorts, and your house rule treats cohorts as PC's.

You seem to be operating on a view of experience that comes from older editions of D&D, where each monster is worth a certain amount of experience that gets split up by everyone who participated in defeating it. It doesn't work that way anymore, and laboring under that outdated idea is making it hard for you to understand how it works in the current edition. The new rules, while requiring more conditions to check for and more math, really do work quite well when you apply them on their own merit rather than trying to simplify the system.

---

On the subject of Leadership itself...if the DM lets the players treat their followers/cohorts as extra PC's, it's going to end up broken. If the DM treats them as friendly NPC's, but retains control and doesn't let them stop having their own goals and personalities, it's usually going to end up just fine.

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:04 PM
pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters



So you are saying the DMG is wrong and XP is NOT taken from other players?
because it clearly says it there

Attilargh
2007-07-30, 01:12 PM
So you are saying the DMG is wrong and XP is NOT taken from other players?
because it clearly says it there
Yes. Are you saying that every PC in a party of four plus a cohort should not gain a quarter of the total XP award? It clearly says it right there in the DMG.

Thinker
2007-07-30, 01:12 PM
pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters



So you are saying the DMG is wrong and XP is NOT taken from other players?
because it clearly says it there

The overall text tells you exactly how it works. It tells you how to calculate everyone's XP. You're hung up on something that gives no specific conditions on how to take away from the other PCs.

"Effectively another PC" means that it operates as a PC in the game. The DMG explicitly counters your argument. You may not like to be wrong, but you are.

Tweekinator
2007-07-30, 01:15 PM
pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters

So you are saying the DMG is wrong and XP is NOT taken from other players?
because it clearly says it there

No, we are saying you are wrong.

It says on pg 104 of the DMG, and I quote,"Don't include the cohort as a party member when determining the xp awards for individual characters."

It's right there, on the bottom right of page 104, where it begins to tell you the exact formula for cohort xp.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 01:17 PM
pg 106 of the DMG Attracting Cohorts

A cohort is effectively another PC in the party under the player's control., one who's share of XP, treasure, and spotlight time is bound to take something away from the other player characters

So you are saying the DMG is wrong and XP is NOT taken from other players?
because it clearly says it there No, I am saying that you are taking one out-of-context line too literally and ignoring the multiple other times that the DMG explicitly tells you how to handle cohort experience.

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:18 PM
Yes. Are you saying that every PC in a party of four plus a cohort should not gain a quarter of the total XP award? It clearly says it right there in the DMG.

Im saying the total XP award for the PC's is lowered because of the cohorts cut.

Thats why i showed the math before. the 4 PCs still get .25 but of a smaller amount

Moogle0119
2007-07-30, 01:21 PM
As tainsouvra said, you are taking something out of context and interpreting in a way that is totally contradictory to what the feat actually states. If you wish to rule it this way as a house-rule that would be on your own accord, however by RAW your interpretation is wrong.

Attilargh
2007-07-30, 01:21 PM
new1965: ...Well, that does make kind of sense. I'll shut up now, if no-one objects.

Thinker
2007-07-30, 01:22 PM
Im saying the total XP award for the PC's is lowered because of the cohorts cut.

Thats why i showed the math before. the 4 PCs still get .25 but of a smaller amount

Are you trying to say that out of 100 XP the cohort gets 25 XP and then the 4 players each split 75 XP? If so, you are wrong. The monster is still worth the same 100 XP, but the cohort gains an amount based on his master's XP.

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 01:24 PM
Im saying the total XP award for the PC's is lowered because of the cohorts cut.

Thats why i showed the math before. the 4 PCs still get .25 but of a smaller amount If you are figuring the cohort's cut before you calculate PC experience, you are completely bypassing the entire set of rules the game gives for cohort experience based on PC experience.

That's a fine house rule, but don't pretend it's RAW. It's blatantly not so.

Tweekinator
2007-07-30, 01:25 PM
Im saying the total XP award for the PC's is lowered because of the cohorts cut.

Thats why i showed the math before. the 4 PCs still get .25 but of a smaller amount

No.

The way cohorts' xp is calculated is like so: Divide the cohort's level by the the level of the PC who took the feat and got the cohort. Then, multiply this with the xp the leader PC gained and add that to the cohort's total.

That was taken from the much unquoted page 105 of the DMG.

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:28 PM
As tainsouvra said, you are taking something out of context and interpreting in a way that is totally contradictory to what the feat actually states. If you wish to rule it this way as a house-rule that would be on your own accord, however by RAW your interpretation is wrong.

Actually... its not out of context as its in the paragraph that explains why a DM may want to disallow the feat because of the effect it can have on the campaign and PC's .

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:31 PM
If you are figuring the cohort's cut before you calculate PC experience, you are completely bypassing the entire set of rules the game gives for cohort experience based on PC experience.

That's a fine house rule, but don't pretend it's RAW. It's blatantly not so.

I didnt bypass it... its part of the math

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC

Counterspin
2007-07-30, 01:32 PM
The Leadership feat is inherently broken because it dramatically shifts the power of a character up for very little cost. It's bad because it requires more bookkeeping on the GMs part, and it slows down combat. If you play a more mob style game with the PCs having their private army, I guess the slowdown is immaterial, but the power level damage is universal. Players should be balanced against each other, and thus giving one player two characters is bad for balance.

On a related note, maybe the "Leadership XP rules" crowd could start their own thread? Not saying stop talking about it, just saying it's pretty far from the op's topic.

Thinker
2007-07-30, 01:38 PM
I didnt bypass it... its part of the math

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC
The formula explicitly states otherwise. It says that the party splits the XP as normal and then the cohort gains XP based on how much his owner acquired. Reading FTW!

Attilargh
2007-07-30, 01:39 PM
I didnt bypass it... its part of the math

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC
The third step is multiplying the cohort level to character level ratio by the total XP awarded to the character. You're not awarding the character 450 points, you're awarding her 375.

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:40 PM
Are you trying to say that out of 100 XP the cohort gets 25 XP and then the 4 players each split 75 XP? If so, you are wrong. The monster is still worth the same 100 XP, but the cohort gains an amount based on his master's XP.



let try it with your example

4PCs at 6th level + 1 cohort kill 100XP monster

the PCs would normally split 100/4 and get 25XP each
the cohorts XP is his level / his masters level. in this case its 4/6 in this case its 16(rounded down)
THE PC's split whats left (84/4) and get 21xp a piece

That adds up to your 100XP monster and theres no free xp

Thinker
2007-07-30, 01:45 PM
let try it with your example

4PCs at 6th level + 1 cohort kill 100XP monster

the PCs would normally split 100/4 and get 25XP each
the cohorts XP is his level / his masters level. in this case its 4/6 in this case its 16(rounded down)
THE PC's split whats left (84/4) and get 21xp a piece

That adds up to your 100XP monster and theres no free xp

No. You did it wrong again. The PCs get the total and then the Cohort gets XP based on how much the person who controls him got:

4PCs at 6th lvl + 1 lvl4 cohort kill 100XP monster.
The PCs would normally split 100/4 and get 25 XP each.
The cohort XP is 4/6 * 25 = 16 (truncated).
The PCs still get their 25 each. The monster was still worth 100 XP, but the cohort gained XP based on his owner's. That's the way it is.

Tweekinator
2007-07-30, 01:46 PM
I didnt bypass it... its part of the math

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

That would work as so: 4 6th level characters split 1800xp = 450xp each.
Say the cohort is level 3, for simplicity.

3/6 = 1/2

1/2 * 450 = 225xp.

AND SO, according the DMG(pg 105) that you hold above even the updated-with-errata SRD, the xp from the encounter not only is not taken from the total xp, it is also not taken from the leader character's xp. It appears on it's own, almost as if the cohort gains xp as their leader does.

It's ok; you made a mistake. It has been pointed out. You can either man up and gracefully admit your error, or you can continue plugging your ears and shouting,"I can't hear you!" over and over. If that is the way you houserule cohort xp in your games, that's fine; but constantly asserting that as RAW is counter-productive and wrong.

new1965
2007-07-30, 01:47 PM
The third step is multiplying the cohort level to character level ratio by the total XP awarded to the character. You're not awarding the character 450 points, you're awarding her 375.

Thats because the TOTAL XP award was reduced to 1500 because of the cohort

Think of leadership as continuous spell with an experience cost that the party pays

tainsouvra
2007-07-30, 01:51 PM
I didnt bypass it... its part of the math

4level 6 characters split 1800 =450 XP each
4 level 6 character + 1 cohort split 1800 =
1800 -300(cohort share = 4/6 PC share from above) = 1500XP 1500XP/4 = 375XP for each PC That isn't how the DMG said to calculate experience, so it's a house rule. You may like the house rule, it may be a logical house rule, but...house rule. The official rules explicitly tell you not to do it this way.

Thats because the TOTAL XP award was reduced to 1500 because of the cohort ...which the rules as written never told you to do, so that's hardly an explanation.

Indon
2007-07-30, 01:52 PM
I'm inclined to agree with the previously-expressed thought that it's the idea that monsters are worth a certain amount of XP that leads to this misunderstanding.

It works like this:

-Killing a monster is part of an encounter.

-An encounter has a CR (Challenge Rating).

-This CR has experience which is determined by the levels of the party members, reduced by the number of the party members; while I don't have a DMG onhand, I seem to recall that experience is not, in fact, divided. (Example: A '100-XP encounter' with a 5-member party with 4 level 3 characters and 1 level 2 character could end up with the four characters each getting 20 xp, and the level 2 character getting 30)

-A cohort then gains XP based (but not taken from!) how much XP his owner got.

Roland St. Jude
2007-07-30, 01:53 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: Okay, that's enough arguing about how cohort XP is calculated. It's derailing this thread. If you want to start a separate thread to discuss it feel free, but I recommend against it. The discussion is already halfway to being a flamewar, and it isn't really changing anyone's mind.

Regardless, let's leave that topic alone here and get back on the topic the OP raised. Thank you.

new1965
2007-07-30, 02:01 PM
{scrubbed}

Thinker
2007-07-30, 02:10 PM
I've been thinking about taking the Leadership feat on a character in a low level campaign and I have two questions about it.

1. What ways can it be abused? I've seen people mention this feat being broken and banning it, but I can't see any ways to break it at lower levels.

2. In what non-broken ways is it useful? Off the top of my head things like personal healer or handy sidekick come to mind.

1. It can be abused in many of the same ways that a regular PC can be abused. It only becomes a problem when it overshadows fellow PCs. Its generally fine for bards and such, though.
2. It can be useful for filling niches that the party does not currently have or by assisting others in those roles.

Rachel Lorelei
2007-07-30, 02:16 PM
{scrubbed}

The cohort is a "part" of the player's sheet and progresses based on the player's level, much like the druid's Animal Companion doesn't soak up XP.
This means, incidentally, that cohorts that craft magic items lead to a headache. {Please stop discussing this, per my instruction above. Thank you.}

Stephen_E
2007-07-30, 08:34 PM
I've started another thread on Cohorts and XP.

Feel free to go there and debate, but please take a deep breath and count to 10 before entering.:smallsmile:

Back to this thread. A significant balancing point to cohorts, and the time when DM's may really want to take control, is loot divy up.
As the DMG makes clear the Cohort is going to want some of that loot, even if they're a mount (and it should be noted that cohort mounts make a significant contribution to combat when used by a PC designed to use them). When that cohort stands up and dsemands a fair share of the gold and magic items you're much more likely to see the backbiting by the other players, and remember if they stiff the cohort the DMG makes quite clear that he can turn traitor on the party. "Hey, all these encounters seem specifically designed to screw the parties powers. Are you misusing DM knowledge?".
DM: "Nothing of the sort. Everything is completely in game", then watch them try and counter the scrying ecetre while completly missing that their treatment of the cohort has turned a feat brought/PC-party asset into a party enemy. :smallbiggrin:

Stephen

Zain_Thorngallow
2007-07-30, 10:18 PM
I've started another thread on Cohorts and XP.
A significant balancing point to cohorts, and the time when DM's may really want to take control, is loot divy up.

Exactly as Stephen_E says. While Leadership does provide an increase in power to the party, it does introduce its own limiting factor; the Party will lag behind on the Wealth-Per-Level scale afterwards because while they are gaining XP at the normal rate their Wealth (and thus the vital stat boosters, weapons, armour, and other essentials of survivability) will be spread out amongst another character, essentially reducing each party member's potential equipment quality by X percent. (Where X depends on the Party Member to Party + Cohort ratio.)

As long as the DM ensures the Cohort demands his, her, or its fair share, I find they don't unbalance affairs.

My perspective, at least. :smallsmile:

Tharivol123
2007-07-31, 12:37 AM
I love the leadership feat. Without it, my party never would have had our favorite halfling rogue dragon appetizer/ranged weapon/torch bearer/scout. I'll admit it, I was probably the worst 'boss' in history for a halfling cohort, but he seemed to enjoy it.
The way we have done it is by having the DM play the cohort as an NPC who is heavily inclined to listen to the PC. We also had a rule that if I made him do something too dangerous, he could attempt a will save against an intimidate check by my character. Too many attempts to ignore my will in a week (I forget the number), however, and he would find himself left in town as we moved on. It seemed to work well and kept us from abusing the system too much.
And yes, the cohort did fill a whole in our party. We were a dwarven fighter, an elf wizard, a human sorcerer, and my half-orc barbarian. Behold the glories of independent character building.