You attract followers to your cause and a companion to join you on your adventures.
Prerequisite: Character level 7th.
Benefits: This feat enables you to attract a loyal cohort and a number of devoted subordinates who assist you. A cohort is generally an NPC with class levels, while followers are typically lower level NPCs. See Table: Leadership for what level of cohort and how many followers you can recruit.
Leadership Modifiers: Several factors can affect your Leadership score, causing it to vary from the base score (character level + Cha modifier). Your reputation (from the point of view of the cohort or follower you are trying to attract) raises or lowers your Leadership score:
|Fairness and generosity||+1|
Other modifiers may apply when you try to attract a cohort, as listed below.
|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 you try to attract a follower, use the following modifiers.
|Has a stronghold, base of operations, guildhouse, etc.||+2|
|Moves around a lot||–1|
|Caused the death of other followers||–1|
Leadership Score: Your base Leadership score equals your level plus your Charisma modifier. In order to take into account negative Charisma modifiers, this table allows for very low Leadership scores, but you must still be 7th level or higher in order to gain the Leadership feat. Outside factors can affect your Leadership score, as detailed above.
|Leadership Score||Cohort Level||Number of Followers by Level|
|1 or lower||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|25 or higher||17th||135||13||7||4||2||2|
Cohort Level: You can attract a cohort of up to this level. Regardless of your Leadership score, you can only recruit a cohort who is two or more levels lower than yourself. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level (see Creating NPCs). A cohort can be of any race or class. The cohort’s alignment may not be opposed to your alignment on either the law/chaos or good/evil axis, and you take a –1 penalty to your Leadership score if you recruit a cohort of an alignment different from your own.
A cohort does not count as a party member when determining the party’s XP. Instead, divide the cohort’s level by your level. Multiply this result by the total XP awarded to you, then 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 your level, the cohort does not gain the new level—its new XP total is 1 less than the amount needed to attain the next level.
Number of Followers by Level: You 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 usually 5 or more levels behind you, they’re rarely effective in combat.
Followers don’t earn experience and thus don’t gain levels. When you gain a new level, consult Table: Leadership to determine if you acquire more followers, some of whom may be higher level than the existing followers. Don’t consult the table to see if your cohort gains levels, however, because cohorts earn experience on their own.
Some characters garner the aid of particularly powerful, intelligent, or magical creatures to serve them. A character must have the Leadership feat in order to enlist such a creature.
The following examples are some of the most common monstrous cohorts and where the stats for each can be found, as well as the creature’s effective cohort level for the purpose of determining a character’s requisite Leadership score and character level in order to enlist the aid of the creature.
Many classes grant characters access to animal companions. When they reach 7th level such characters can also acquire a cohort through the Leadership feat. This may lead to a single character having both an animal companion and a cohort, which can significantly slow down gameplay and cause the character to be less important than the allies at her side. The Monstrous Companion feat allows a character to combine a monster cohort and an animal companion, gaining benefits over either without having to keep track of both.
If a magical beast’s effective cohort level is lower than what is allowed by your effective druid level, the cohort gains class levels equal to the difference. A cohort with 1 class level gains the link and share spells abilities of an animal companion. A cohort with 3 class levels gains the evasion animal companion ability. A cohort with 6 class levels gains the devotion animal companion ability. If the class feature you use as a prerequisite for this feat does not grant one of those abilities (such as a cavalier’s mount, which does not gain share spells), your monstrous mount also does not gain the ability. The magical beast does not gain any abilities not listed here.
Blink dogs are intelligent magical beasts capable of shifting back and forth between the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane with supernatural ease. Though their riders cannot travel with them when they rapidly teleport across the battlefield, these wise and noble creatures are ideal for Small knights who respect honor and devotion, and blink dogs likewise appreciate a valiant companion.
Effective Cohort Level: 4th
A cervine protector might be encountered in natural settings or stand vigil, ensuring that no taint befalls their charge.
Effective Cohort Level: 10th
Flying alabaster horses with the ability to shift between planes, dragon horses occasionally offer aid to good creatures they deem worthy of their graces, and can be found alongside their riders throughout the multiverse.
Effective Cohort Level: 16th
With their varied natures and capacity for superhuman intelligence, it is perhaps unsurprising that adolescent dragons sometimes ally with humans long enough to be adopted as mounts, though the relationship is rarely one of subservience (except occasionally on the knight’s part).
Dragons that serve as monstrous mounts are always young, and their various sizes means both Small and Medium knights may take them as mounts. Dragons usually only serve knights whose alignments match their own.
Effective Cohort Level: A young dragon‘s effective cohort level equals its CR + 8. Dragons serving as cohorts do not advance via aging as normal dragons do, but by gaining class levels (typically in fighter or sorcerer).
Dragonnes are mysterious beings that resemble a cross between lions and brass dragons. They are highly territorial and fiercely loyal to those they consider part of their pride; knights who are likewise dedicated to their companions tend to find particular kinship with a dragonne mount.
Effective Cohort Level: 10th
Magical beasts that dwell in primordial forests, giant owls are keen defenders of their wooded homelands, and sometimes ally themselves with people who share a similar appreciation for the environment.
Effective Cohort Level: 8th
An honorable beast with the body of a lion, the head and claws of an eagle, and matching enormous wings, griffons are intelligent creatures and serve as mounts for all manner of knights, especially those who often need to traverse long, perilous distances at great speed.
Effective Cohort Level: 8th
Typically ridden by knights in service to archdevils, hell hounds can prove to be valuable allies for unscrupulous individuals of small stature and questionable morality.
Effective Cohort Level: 7th
Renowned for their flying capabilities, scaly hide, and sheer rarity, kirin are noble stag-like creatures not of this world. Only the most pious and honorable individuals may hope to enlist a kirin as a mount, but those who do find a faithful companion for life.
Effective Cohort Level: 13th
While these benevolent winged horses occasionally serve the cause of good, they are skittish and not quick to befriend. Only after extensive courting involving gifts, displays of righteousness, and diplomacy might a knight garner the aid of a pegasus as a mount.
Effective Cohort Level: 6th
Otherworldly hounds that tend to serve equally wicked individuals, shadow mastiffs are particularly potent mounts for sinister and small-bodied knights who tend to dwell in shadow more than light, and whose moral compasses have been severely compromised.
Effective Cohort Level: 8th
These magical, eight-legged horses walk on air as easily as solid ground, and are thought to be descended from the steeds of the gods. Their moral diversity makes them prized mounts by creatures of all walks of life, from valiant crusaders to harbingers of destruction, though their superior intellect means they must be won over with words and deeds, not treats and discipline.
Effective Cohort Level: 16th
Although unicorns typically only show themselves to protect their forest homes from would-be evildoers, these mighty steeds occasionally adopt humanoid women who are pure of heart as riders. A knight must stay as virtuous as her unicorn mount in order to keep such a skittish companion.
Effective Cohort Level: 8th
Over-sized, feral wolves with a predisposition toward evil, worgs often ally themselves with monstrous denizens of the forests or plains in which they roam. Anarchic knights with a propensity for both nature and violence might hope to acquire a worg as a companion.
Effective Cohort Level: 5th
Equipment cohorts are objects that take on lives of their own and become faithful sidekicks.
Intelligent Item Cohorts: Most adventurers generally consider intelligent items as just another form of treasure, albeit rare and memorable.
However, intelligent items can also make interesting cohorts, using the following rules in place of the normal rules for cohort levels and advancement. A character with the Leadership feat can select an intelligent item as a cohort after receiving the item in the normal process of gaining treasure. Alternatively, a GM may choose to grant a character with Leadership and no cohort a bonus intelligent magic item to act as a cohort (rather than as an NPC), though such items should not be worth more than 25% of the character’s normal wealth by level.
Creating an Intelligent Item Cohort: A PC with Leadership can bond with an intelligent item that has an alignment within one step of the PC’s and treat the item as a cohort. This requires a 24- hour ritual with the item and a successful Will save (DC = the item’s Ego).
If the character’s alignment is different from the item’s, the character takes a –2 penalty on the save. If the save fails, the character can attempt the ritual again, but the save DC increases by 2 for each attempt after the first. Once the save is successful, the item agrees to serve as the character’s cohort.
As long as a character’s Leadership score exceeds an item cohort’s Ego, the item never attempts to take control of the character it serves. A character with an intelligent item cohort can enhance and improve the item’s magical abilities as if possessing the appropriate item creation feat for creating an item of its type. For additional information on improving existing magic items.
Cohort Item Advancements: Over time, a cohort item becomes more tightly bound to the character it serves. Each time the character gains a level, her item cohort gains an item advancement. When a character first completes her bond, if her character level is greater than 7th, her item cohort instantly gains an item advancement for every level above 7th. The character can select each item advancement up to 5 times, and their effects increase as outlined for each ability.
If an item cohort is separated from the character it serves for a number of days exceeding the character’s Leadership score, it loses these item advancements until the character spends 24 hours re-bonding with the item.
- Called: The item gains the called magical weapon special ability. This functions identically for an item of any kind, not just weapons. Each time the character selects this advancement after the first, the range of the ability increases by 1 step on the following progression: 1 mile, 100 miles, anywhere on the same plane, anywhere on any plane.
- Empathic: The item establishes a permanent empathic link with its owner as the familiar ability of the same name. If the character selects this advancement a second time, the bond strengthens to provide the benefits of a permanent status spell between item and master. If selected a third time, the advancement provides the character and item the benefit of a permanent telepathic bond. It selected four times, this advancement grants the character the ability to scry on his companion, as per the scry on familiar ability. If the character selects this advancement a fifth time, both the character and item gain the ability to cast discern location as a spell-like ability once per day, only to find each other.
- Indestructible: The item’s hardness increases by 1, its hit points increase by 3, and it gains a permanent +1 bonus on its saving throws. If the character selects this advancement multiple times, these effects stack.
- Perfection: The item gains a +1 inherent bonus to one ability score. If the character selects this advancement multiple times and selects the same ability score, the inherent bonuses from this advancement stack.
The planes are full of limitless possibilities, each being a separate reality of its own inhabited by creatures ranging from the puny to the powerful. Many outsider races are wholly alien from a mortal perspective, with little interest in the affairs of the Material Plane. Even within races generally unconcerned with such mundane matters, however, there may be individuals or clans of outsiders who feel a connection with the world the PCs call home, and who could be convinced to travel among heroes. Myths and literature are replete with tales of angels, demons, genies, and divine beings walking among mortals for the sake of curiosity or to forward a greater purpose. What starts as whimsy may grow into love and loyalty to the mortals they come to call friends. Alternatively, ambitious mortals might turn the tables on outsiders and inveigle them into outright bondage.
Many classes can temporarily summon extraplanar allies, but to actually treat with an extraplanar entity and bargain for its assistance requires calling magic. Planar ally spells allow mortal servants of the gods to implore their planar proxies for aid.
Favors for the faithful simply require an appropriate offering, as all parties involved are working for the same divine masters. There are divine heralds and servitors tailored to every religion, as well as supplemental summons suitable for each faith.
Planar binding is something different, a hostile entrapment that seeks to attract a creature from beyond, enticing and imprisoning it until its will is broken and its does as its captor commands. Spells like binding and trap the soul can be used as threats or punishments, but even without them, planar binding can compel servitude, or at least form a basis for negotiation with the leverage decidedly in the binder’s favor.
This includes an extensive list of the kinds of tangible goods and intangible offerings that outsiders of each type favor, as well as the typical goals and desires of such creatures.
Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.