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How many cohorts?


First Post
Page 104 of the 3.5 DMG, under the heading of cohorts, second paragraph, states that there are no limits to how many cohorts a character may have.
Then everything else talks about cohorts in a singular context and what their max level is. I looked through the errata and FAQ at WOTC and found nothing to further clarify this.

Does the rules mean a character can have essentially any number of cohorts at a given time, as long as they continue to meet the requirements under which the cohorts are hired? Is there anything in the rules that state a numerical limit to the number of cohorts a character can have at one time?

Or does the rule mean that a character can have an unlimited number of replacements for the one cohort they can have?

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Hannibal Barca

First Post
By the rules, unless a feat specifically states otherwise, you may only take a feat once. So the short answer is one cohort.

That being said, Monte Cook has stated that you can take Leadership more than once. (See his web site).

Lord Pendragon

First Post
You can only have one cohort at any given time (barring DMs who allow the feat to be taken more than once.) The mentions of multiple cohorts are in reference to successive cohorts. That is, if one cohort dies, you can get another, and if he dies, another, and so on and so forth until your Leadership score is too low to attract another.

Ridley's Cohort

First Post
It would also be logical to allow a cohort to be dismissed. If both motivated and handled reasonably, you would not risk negative modifiers.

Keep in mind that your DM my lose patience with a Lone Ranger who dismisses Tonto more than once without a strong in character cause.


First Post
Thanks. It would have been nice if after making a statement that you can have so many cohorts they had specified the conditions instead of continuing to be so ambiguous. How hard would have been to add the sentence, " A character may have no more than one cohort at a time."


Well, according to the 3.5 SRD:

Prerequisite: Character level 6th.

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.

Right off in the table it shows one cohort of x level. It does mention later that lost cohorts and followers are replaced over time.


First Post
That is my point, it does not specifically say you get ONE cohort, it is implied. The only thing it really tells you is there is a level limit to your cohort. The sentence I refer you to in my first post specifically states that you can essentially have an unlimited number of cohorts, but it does not go on to say "but only one at a time." Every other sentence i read implies one cohort, but nothing specifically says only one, or further clarifies the sentence I am refering to. So it would have been nice to add some clarification to it, instead of thinking a lot of implications is good enough. 3.5 is supposed to be about rules clarifications, this rules set can use some clarification.

Lord Pendragon

First Post
Treebore, I sympathize with you. There are a lot of things in D&D that didn't seem obvious to me either. Leadership's "one cohort" deal seems very obvious to me, but I'm sure there are things that seem obvious to you that did not to me.

The simple truth is that the writers of 3.x are people too. They aren't always going to extra-clarify points that, to them, seem clear-cut. At least until they get enough letters/emails about the confusion. :p


Treebore said:
I've tried that, apparently my particular questions were never asked by enough people for it to be addresses by WOTC.
Treebore, you are not alone. Given that rules vagueness, in a previous solo campaign I allowed the player to have 3 Cohorts, in effect creating a party of 4 all under the control of that one player. Of course, the speed at which they leveled was ludicrous (as per the cohort experience reward rules), since all the XP's went straight undivided to that single PC, and all cohorts receiving almost as much XP.

We played that campaign from level 6 to level 27... it was fun after a fashion.

Anyways... given what I just read in this thread, I tend to agree that it means just one cohort, but hell would I like also to have an official ruling on that.


Lord Pendragon said:
Which means they must have been fairly clear. :p
Whic means nothing at all actually ;).

If there's a rule ambiguity about weapon specialisation, it will be adressed faster by the Sage then a question about cohorts, because cohorts don't come up as much (many DM's don't allow cohorts at all).

It ain't clear at all. And I too would like it spoken out.


First Post
How about we make up our own cohort rules. for instance i do not think a character should be limited to one cohort their whole career, especially if you go into epic levels and take the epic leadership and legendary commander feats.

I have been thinking that maybe putting severe restrictions on what a cohort can do may keep the cohort issue from getting out of hand. I mean you can recruit cohorts for specific jobs, such as one guards your castle, one "administrates" your lands while you are away, another is general of your troops, those kind of restrictions. Plus only one can adventure with you.

I know as a player I would feel a lot better if my investment into leadership feats gave me cohorts I could trust and be of a level they may be able to effectively defend my "properties" against my enemies, at least long enough for me to get back and take care of things personally.

Who knows, maybe this is what their ambiguous rules mean for us to do.


Just for those of you who really want to bend the rules, legally, if you take the thrallherder preistige class from the XPH, you can get up to two thralls, which are the same as cohorts in every respect except they have to obey you, they can be up to one level lower than you, not two, and even though you figure out your thrall score the same way as you do a leadership feat, it is unaffected by such things as killing cohorts and such, so your score never goes down. It is lots of fun when you play evil, but you can't back it up with the leadership feat, but who cares, you can get two thralls and an army that will die for you on a moments notice and replenish itself within one day, no penalty, pretty good if you ask me.

Hannibal Barca

First Post
See red highlight below.

Dungeons Master's Guide Errata
From Eric Noah's Site and WOTC
Dungeons Master's Guide Errata (ZIP 34 Kb)

DMG Errata Coming ... In a While: D&D Creative Director T'ed Stark: DMG Errata will be coming along as quickly as we can compile it. Unfortunately, it's been a very busy time here in the office, so I can pretty much guarantee the material won't be posted until later on this month. Right now, I'm reviewing quite a bit of material and getting ready to attend the GAMA Trade Show. When I return, finalizing errata for the DMG, the MM, and our already-released products becomes a top priority. Thanks for your patience.

Assassin Sneak Attack: The reference to sneak attacks while flanking was inadvertently dropped in the assassin prestige class description. The assassin sneak attack ability is the same as a rogue's (except that assassins use Table 2-9 in the Dungeon Master's Guide to determine sneak attack damage).

Keen Weapons Correction: Scooper "Alarandar" received word from Skip Williams that the DMG is incorrect about "keen" weapons only being slashing weapons. "...table 8-15 in the DMG and the following description (pages 185, 187) are incorrect. Keen is intended to be placed on piercing as well as slashing."

Wizard NPC Table Misalignment: WotC's Sean Reynolds explains how to read one of the DMG NPC tables given that there's a misalignment with the table layout: The column headers are misaligned ... check right under where it says "Table 2-43: NPC Wizard" and you'll see "Crossbow Spllc/Kno"

Leadership Feat: If you want multiple cohorts, you take the [Leadership] feat multiple times.

Staff of the Deathsong: (Monte Cook, as reported by Sean Reynolds) The staff of the deathsong is in error. The DCs should be 13 [for shatter] and 16 [for shout]. (This staff is mentioned on p. 173-174).

Which Witch Spells?: (Monte Cook, as reported by Sean Reynolds) A number of spells given on the Witch spell list no longer exist in 3E or have had name changes. Here are the corrections:

Cure blindness/deafness should be Remove blindness/deafness
Spectral force should be Major image
Advanced illusion should be Mirage arcana
Attraction should be replaced with False Vision
Avoidance should be replaced with Sending
Animate should be Animate objects
Also note that antipathy/sympathy at 8th level are two spells, and should be separated by a comma (actually, should be arranged in alphabetical order).
Holy Avenger: According to Monte Cook, the holy avenger sword should get +2d6 damage from its "holy" bonus, not +1d6.

Decipher Scrolls: Alex at WotC Game Support indicates that the DC for deciphering a scroll spell using the Spellcraft skill is 20+spell's level. This is correct in the PHB on p. 155, but incorrect in the PHB Survival Guide on p. 11 and the DMG on p. 203.

Magic Item Caster Level vs. Level Prerequisites: Sean Reynolds offers a correction to these sentences that appers on Dungeon Master's Guide p. 178 under the heading Caster Level:

"For other magic items, the caster level is determined by the item itself. In this case, the creator's caster level must be as high as the item's caster level (and prerequisites may effectively put a higher minimum on the creator's level)." The caster level is NOT a prereq and was never intended as one. We can sort of salvage that quoted text by changing the last sentence to: "In this case, the creator's caster level must be as high as the item's MINIMUM caster level (and prerequisites may effectively put a higher minimum on the creator's level)." So the minimum caster level of an item that makes a fireball would be 5, since that's the minimum caster level for a fireball.


I mean if if you could really get 100+ permenant powerful and customizable minions with 1 feat.

What would be the point of summons?

It's seperated out with two words "cohorts" and "followers" and the table shows the level of the cohort, otherwise that would conflict with the "followers are 5 levels behind the group" if they were both the same thing.

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