D&D 2E Leader of Men... 9th level fighters


so in my 2e days we rarely used the whole lord title thing, but come 3e we loved (and in 4 and now 5 miss) leadership as a feat. So I feel like I have missed something. I feel like there was some great ideas that I may have skipped over.
When a fighter attains 9th level (becomes a “Lord”), he can automatically attract men-at-arms. These soldiers, having heard of the fighter, come for the chance to gain fame, adventure, and cash. They are loyal as long as they are well-treated, successful, and paid well. Abusive treatment or a disastrous campaign can lead to grumbling, desertion, and possibly mutiny. To attract the men, the fighter must have a castle or stronghold and sizeable manor lands around it. As he claims and rules this land, soldiers journey to his domain, thereby increasing his power. Furthermore, the fighter can tax and develop these lands, gaining a steady income from them. Your DM has information about gaining and running a barony.

In addition to regular men-at-arms, the 9th-level fighter also attracts an elite bodyguard (his “household guards”). Although these soldiers are still mercenaries, they have greater loyalty to their Lord than do common soldiers. In return, they expect better treatment and more pay than the common soldier receives. Although the elite unit can be chosen randomly, it is better to ask your DM what unit your fighter attracts. This allows him to choose a troop consistent with the campaign. See Table 16: Fighter's Followers.

The DM may design other tables that are more appropriate to his campaign. Check with your DM upon reaching 9th level.

what is everyones experence? did your whole group settle down, did you just take down time then have it in the background, or did you have some more kingdom building (sometimes called Simcastle)?

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Mark Hope

In some games, yes, high-level characters settled down and became rulers of principalities, castles, cities, and whatnot. In others, they continued to live the adventuring life. And it has been both foreground (one group wrote out an extensive constitution for their principality) while in others it was background details for the adventures of the day.

My current homebrew started out in the city ruled by the previous adventuring party - it's currently under siege so the old high-level PCs have their hands full while the new party is off dealing with issues elsewhere. And in my Dark Sun game, the warrior types are slowly amassing enormous armies (DS gives warriors lots and lots of followers). I'm not sure what they're going to do with them - the PCs are off away from home on an extended jaunt - but they have some rather ambitious plans for dealing with the high-level foes of Athas, so it will be interesting to see :)

what is everyones experence? did your whole group settle down, did you just take down time then have it in the background, or did you have some more kingdom building (sometimes called Simcastle)?
Experience varied from one campaign to the next and from one character to the next. Some players would see their characters as loners or simply rootless wanderers, sometimes they just wanted a place to store their &^%$, still other times they were totally intending to make themselves a ruler over a significant new kingdom of their own making within the existing game world. Sometimes examples of all that were found in the same set of PC's in the same campaign, or maybe it would change over time where nobody wanted to bother - or EVERYBODY gradually changed their minds to be leaders of... whatever.

Greggy C

cool did your fighter just not build his keep and not get his followers or did you bring them with you or did you just every once in awhile drop bye to catch up?
So there 2 fighters and one fighter/mage in our group. I believe they all built a keep of some sort and had some followers.

But no they never brought them on adventures, that would be cruel to use them as canon fodder :)

I don't think we ever did anything with them, its a bit of a blur, it was just used as a money sink and something to talk about, didnt really fit into the campaign.


Everyone's hit the old "name level" plateau in my current 2e game. I'm just getting started with it, and juggling it with running Night Below. So far the players seem to be interested.

The group has a pair of dwarf fighters, so I gave them the following followers based on the 2e tables but adjusted to make them more "dwarfy":

Leader: 5th level dwarf fighter, +1 battle axe, +1 shield, plate mail
Elite units: 15 2nd level dwarf fighters, battle axe, heavy crossbow, shield, chainmail.
Troops: 40 1st level dwarf fighters, spear, light crossbow, scale mail; 20 1st level dwarf fighters, hand axe, heavy crossbow, scale mail.

Got a svirfneblin thief who picked up a dozen thieves, used the PHB table, but made them all gnomes. Half are single class, and the rest are evenly divided between flghter/thieves and illusionist/thieves. I have them all divided evenly among rock gnomes, svirfneblin, and forest gnomes. I should really be statting them up right now instead of chatting here....

The cleric follows the god of sun, light and time, so I went into the Priest's Handbook and synthesized the followers for those gods as well as the god of rulership since he's the chief human god into this custom list: 5th level cleric, 3 3rd level clerics, 6 1st level clerics; 3rd level fighter, 3 1st level fighters, 3rd level wizard, 3 1st level wizards, 3rd level aasimar paladin, 3 1st level paladins, 102 0-level followers.

Anyway, they've been given command of Broken Spire Keep to keep it from falling into the wrong hands again, they'll probably be building it up into a bigger base, and the cleric is building a temple next to the keep. I haven't done the math yet, but I think that with all their followers, they now have the single biggest community in Haranshire.

They're just starting to trash the City of the Glass Pool; given their murderhobo tendencies, they should really ace this part of the campaign. Once they're done, I'll see about letting them use part of their army to set up a staging area down there.
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James Gasik

Sadly the only long running 2e campaigns I've been in have the characters constantly on the move, though I have acquired Henchmen as a result of hitting "name level", what tends to happen is you quickly start dealing with individuals with so much power that a standing army doesn't seem to matter much.

Though I did once laugh at my DM friend who still runs AD&D. He had a player gripe about not having enough treasure. "Isn't he a 9th level Fighter? And didn't he actually earn his keep years ago? Tell him to go take over a kingdom or something!"


5ever, or until 2024
In 2e specifically, there were some followers. They were squishy. Also a 2nd in command to watch the castle, and that was useful for the PCs and DM.

A few henchman, one of whom did die.

Very much felt that we could have done more...but did something.

The 3e leadership feat actually did a good job of calling out the mechanic, and making it cost something.


I think followers become really useful when you're going on long expeditions away from civilization and have to pack provisions for a couple of months. And can't just grab a couple bags of holding from the store and have your cleric conjure food every day.
When you have more stuff than you can carry, you need people to carry it for you, and people to guard the squishy carriers. Which means you need more provisions and it all snowballs quickly.


From my experience, in some campaigns, some of the characters settled down and became rulers. In most cases, the DM and/or players aren’t interested or it peters out before it becomes viable.

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