A character with this feat is the sort of individual others want to follow, and he or she has done some work attempting to recruit cohorts and followers.
Prerequisites: A character must be at least 6th level to take this feat.
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:
|Leadership Score||Cohort Level||—— Number of Followers by Level ——|
|1 or lower||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|25 or higher||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 below.
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 paladin 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 (see Table 4–23: NPC Gear Value, page 127).
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 1stlevel followers and one 2nd-level follower.
|Fairness and generosity||+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 * Cumulative per cohort killed.||–2*|
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|
With the DM’s permission, a leader may seek out a special cohort who is not a member of the standard PC races (the common races). For creatures with classes, such as a lizardfolk cohort, calculate its level according to the rules for PCs of that kind of monster (see Monsters as Races, page 172). For example, a leader with a Leadership score of 8 could have a 5th-level human fighter as a cohort, or a lizardfolk with two fighter levels, or a bugbear with one fighter level. For more unusual creatures, add at least +3 to a creature’s Challenge Rating to determine its effective level. The more special abilities a creature has, the larger the number you should add. See the table below for some example special cohorts. Note that evil special cohorts may have agendas of their own.
|Blink dog||Lawful good||6th|
|Werebear (lycanthrope)||Lawful good||10th|
|Avoral (guardinal)||Neutral good||15th|
|Bralani (eladrin)||Chaotic good||11th|
|Hell hound||Lawful evil||7th|
|Displacer beast||Lawful evil||10th|
|Imp (devil)||Lawful evil||7th|
|Young green dragon3||Lawful evil||16th|
|Erinyes (devil)||Lawful evil||16th|
|Quasit (demon)||Chaotic evil||8th|
1 Leader must be a human, elf, or half-elf maiden.
2 The leader is immune to the dragonne’s roar.
3 The dragon ages but does not gain XP.
The effective character level (ECL) of a creature determines how powerful it is as a character or a cohort. The Monster Manual contains statistics and other details on potential cohorts. Take the level adjustment plus the Hit Dice to generate ECL.
Using the numbers given in the Monster Manual, we find that an ettin, which is a 10 HD creature with a +5 level adjustment, is the equivalent of a 15th level character or cohort. If you add a template, add the template’s level adjustment, too. For instance, the fiendish creature template (see page 107 of the Monster Manual) has a level adjustment of +2. A fiendish ettin would be a 17th-level cohort. That’s all there is to it.
You should carefully consider any special attacks or qualities that a potential cohort possesses and may choose to disallow or make ad hoc adjustments to suit your campaign.
If a creature in the Monster Manual doesn’t have a level adjustment, this means we don’t recommend using it as either a player character or a cohort. The dryad is a good example; she’s connected to her tree and as such has very limited mobility. Mindless or low-Intelligence creatures also make undesirable cohorts.
LEADERSHIP AND MOUNTS
A character may use the Leadership feat to attract a cohort that can serve as a mount. This feat cannot attract a mount with an Intelligence of less than 4. If such a character already has a special mount, familiar, or animal companion, he takes a –2 penalty to his Leadership score.
PALADIN COHORT MOUNTS
At the DM’s option, she may allow a paladin or other character with a special mount class feature to combine the special mount with the cohort feat. The special qualities such as the empathic link and shared spells make this quite potent and worth a minimum of a +2 level adjustment to the cohort mount ECL.
What can a DM do if the number of players in her group is irregular? Sometimes a cohort is a much-needed addition to a party; sometimes it’s one character too many. A DM might work with her players to allow contingent cohorts.
For instance, the DM may have between three to seven players show up at any one game. Suppose she likes a group of five to seven best. She may rule that the Leadership feat isn’t always active. The player selecting the Leadership feat also chooses an alternate feat. (This alternate feat cannot function as the prerequisite for any other feat. Improved Initiative is a fine alternate feat.)
The DM may declare that if the number of players is less than five, characters who took the Leadership feat may bring along their cohorts. If the number of players is five or more, players who took the Leadership feat can’t bring their cohorts, but instead gain the benefits of their alternate feat for the session.
This can work out very amiably if the contingent cohort conditions are clarified before the DM allows the character to take the Leadership feat.
Source: Dungeon Master's Guide