Cohorts WITH ARMIES??? WHAT???


One of my players just came up with an amazing idea! If a Cohort is level 7 can he/she take the leadership feat and gain a cohort and army of their own??? Thus creating a chain of command and a decently sized army at lower levels??? Let me know if this idea is legit! Are there any rules in place against this?

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There is nothing stopping this, except for the DM. As a cohort is an NPC the DM creates and runs it, so if the DM wants your cohurt to also have leadership and be a captain of an army then sure.

Do not let your player's abuse the leadership feat, it is already a powerful ability. Talk it over with the player as to what he is looking for in a cohort and use that input but letting them min/max a second character only 2 levels behind them will just lead to bad things.


Technically, yes it can be done.

Logically it should never be done.

You are now starting to understand yet another reason why the Leadership feat is banned outright in so many games.


Once A Fool
Back when I ran 3.X games, I specifically house-ruled the Aristocrat class to gain the Leadership feat specifically so I could have a chain of aristocrats and their servants serving each other.

Worked fine. Except that, nowadays, I'd just handwave that kind of thing. Way too much work, otherwise.


First Post
If you're excited about it? Let them do it.
If you're not? Don't.

That's all the rule you actually need. I'd assume my players were joking if they brought this up, but groups obviously vary.

If you're worried about infinite chains, the cohort can't be more than its leader's level minus 2. So even a 7th level cohort would only have one tier underneath it, because the cohort's cohort is 5th level at highest.


Gaming Tonic

First Post
I think that if the DM is comfortable with this then half the work is done. The other half of the work is are the other players comfortable with it. What this has the potential to do is make it an incredibly long time between the turns the other players get to take. I know I hate waiting for a druid or a summoner to move around their extra "characters". I would have even less patience for DM controlled characters like cohorts and followers and such. The Leadership feat is so overpowered and is disallowed in lots of games because it leads to these kind of situations.


I've used this several times to build NPC organizations, a PC-based pirate fleet and even to create the command structure of a small army.

As others have stated, it's completely legal, but it invokes a vastly different playstyle than the game is built around. It really needs a DM's steady hand at the wheel to keep it from throwing a campaign sideways.


Eternal Optimist
Using Leadership to chain to more Leaderships: Are you happy with it as a DM? That's the main reason to disallow it.

Personally, I don't mind so much because lower-level characters are so weak in PF/3E that it won't affect things much, especially given the limit on levels that Leadership gives.


Way back in the 1e days I had several players who achieved "name level" and, therefore, attracted followers. Those followers eventually also got to levels that would attract followers. This resulted in a campaign that moved away from dungeon crawling, except for the occasional world saving endeavour, and moved instead toward political intrigue. Those players ruled middling sized kingdoms. The players, who didn't have their own kingdoms, acted as agents for those who did. It was probably the most interesting campaign I've ever run and there's no way that I'd have the time to devote to something like that, these days.

Let me know if this idea is legit!

Is there a legit reason to take Leadership other than to achieve cascading Leadership for a greater following?

Keep in mind the -2 leadership score effect from having a cohort die. In a military setting, having your PC keep his army Generals alive is top priority to maintain the infrastructure beneath them. And given the relative level of the army, using them for defense of a stronghold is a much more fruitful than using them for adventuring.

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