Nobility Domain Re-Vist


I would like to re-vist the discussion on the Nobility domain's Leadership feat.

My character has recently reached 8th and now has access to the Nobility domain's 8th level power which would have been the Leadership feat. When I chose the Nobility domain I was aware of the change that LPF made to the domain but after some thought and discussion with my current GM, it was suggested I bring it up here.

For those who are not aware the current policy is below in a spoiler...

[sblock=the Nobility Domain] Cleric: The 'Leadership' and 'Nobility' domains replace the 'Leadership' feat at 8th level for the following ability:

When a cleric prepares his spells for the day, he may also choose to endow his companions with superior skill. For each 4 levels a cleric possesses, he may grant 1 companion a +2 morale bonus to all skill rolls linked to a chosen ability (Strength, Dexterity, etc.) for 24 hours. The chosen ability is selected by the cleric and need not be the same for all companions affected by this power, although once chosen it cannot be changed until the following day. The cleric cannot target himself with this power. At 20th level, the bonus increases to +4. [/sblock]

I realize that at the time this was changed (I cannot find the discussion of this change, so it was some time ago) that most characters were low-level and some of the current classes were not in the campaign, namely the Summoner. I am aware of some of the concerns that the Leadership feat would bring but at the same time would argue that some of the concerns currently exist.

One of the concerns is that it adds another character (as the Cohort from the Leadership would be) to be tracked and considered by the GM. I would say that this already exists in the game with a Summoner's Eidolon, Druid/Ranger/Clerics with the animal domains with an animal companion (especially as they are higher level), as well as Wizards with familiars (especially those who might take the Improved Familiar feat), as well as higher level characters summoning the high level creatures from various spells. While some of these examples are more powerful and are not permanent things, they are all present and add complexity for any GM running their adventure. I have heard that some characters' additional "helpers" are as formidable as a single classed character. (I heard that an Eidolon was out preforming or at the least keeping par with a fighter.) I would make the argument that there is not much difference between these 'helpers' and that of a cohort.

I am aware that most of my examples are class abilities so they are part of the class and not merely a feat a character chooses. Even though it is a weak argument it can be made that those choosing the Nobility domain, the 8th level ability to gain the feat Leadership, is also a class ability.

It was also brought to my attention that one of the issues of a cohort would be a cohort who was of a class that could also have their own 'helper' class ability. And no one wants a character of a class with a helper to have a cohort with a class with a helper. (I do not see anything wrong with it personally, but I can see how having four+ beings to keep track of for one player could be an issue.

I would suggest merely adjusting the feat so that a cohort has to choose a non-helper/companion option (of which there are many in Pathfinder). I would also add that a cohort cannot have a cohort.

My final argument, after searching through the ENWorld character creation page and the wikki itself, there is no restriction form character taking the Leadership feat (I actually thought there was and if I am mistaken, I do not actually see it listed).Which brings to mind the question, why the change to the Nobility domain power in the first place?

Thank you for your time and consideration on this matter.
~ Songdragon
Well, since I suppose I am a multiple personality expert, I should chime in.
* A cohort is going to be running two levels behind and cannot catch up. So, it is going to have to have superior AC, superior HP/level or both. Otherwise it becomes the weak link of the party and falls unconscious or dead first.
* Choice of class for a cohort is extremely important. A fighter to protect a wizard is a good combination. A tank AC AND healing cleric to keep a barbarian standing on his feet is good. A wizard or sorcerer to buff a cleric, squish!
* A cohort is more than a porter who uses a healing wand. I have seen the "fights over, you can come out now and heal us." paper characters that annoy a GM to no end. On the battlefield, two characters standing side by side give no indication as to which is more powerful. So, the cohort should be targeted by an archer 50% of the time. That leads back to the first point; if he isn't designed to take a beating, he falls a lot easier.
* A cohort should logically be a drain on financial resources. Instead, he ends up being an upto 50% gain if he chooses his purchases properly on per day perpetual resources. Think Rod of Extend, Staff of Healing... Going the other direction, the cohort's finances can be abused in the purchase of consumables that are used by the primary or party.
* The cohort isn't counted in the XP/GP spits for an encounter, yet gets a flat rate percentage of it which turns into a bonus for the group.
* An eidolon is powerful in the 3-10 range, then his comparative strengths vs. a barbarian or fighter start to fall. At any level, a barbarian can still be built that will outperform an eidolon or synthesist. It's close, but a barbarian or fighter will win out if the eidolon is built legally.
* Several cohort designs are:
+ Crafter for cheap magic; useless because we don't craft.
+ Bard buffer, weak HP and AC.
+ Meat Shield Fighter for a caster, very useful, but not up to par with the other melees in the group.
+ Heal bot; useful.
+ Flank buddy; We have rogues in LPF?

So, given all that, I can summarize that a cohort is complicated and difficult to manage well. Keeping it alive is the hard part. Kill one off, and you lose a level in the next guy you recruit. But then again, all the extra complications are on the player and not the GM. So, I am going to give it a mild yes for my vote with the caveat that judges get to stomp on unforeseen, highly abusive combinations that crop up.

And followers, well, we already have a servants mechanic if you own a home. They can be wrapped up in that, and stay there, at home.
I believe Pathfinder society replaces it with Persuasive, and the judges decided that the new ability gives more of a option. I can look for it over the weekend, as I think I know when it was.


Community Supporter
My home games are generally all low level so I've never experienced the issues with Leadership that people seem to discuss periodically. And no offense to those who worked on the replacement but I've always felt that +2 to a group of ability-related skills to be a poor substitute. I would be willing to give it a try. As always, the option to discuss it again later and re-vote exists.

I will give it my YES.


Community Supporter
My vote leans toward no, but I'm going to sleep on it before making a final decision. This is one of the biggest PF power decisions, so I do not want to make it lightly.


There is one issue of a cohort that I did not see addressed. While Eidolons are in telepathic communication and have unwavering loyalty, they are fun addition to the game BUT controlled by the character. Animal companions are controlled with a dice roll.

Cohorts are supposed to be free thinking and are like NPCs. So now the burden is on the GMs to roleplay a player's cohort? Sorry, I vote NO, but it is a feat so the current replacement in the Nobility Domain might not be a great option. But it is still only a feat, so give a bonus feat instead.


Well I had hopped there would be... well... discussion.

In my time of playing and having played or having seen others play cohorts, I have never seen a GM roleplay a cohort.

If there is no change to the domain, as it stands, anyone can just take the Leadership feat itself. As I have mentioned, there is no restriction on taking that feat. If there is no restriction on the feat, I would ask why is there an issue with a change to the domain?

I am not seeing any problems with this, but then I have a mere mount that has played such a fun and interesting role in the adventures I have been playing with GE. That has not been an issue. Yes it is a mount, but she has at the same time been in combat, found clues for the party (the joys of speak with animals), and been almost a companion. I see such beings as companions, familiars, and the like more then just numbers and issues to be hand. They become that friend that fights at your side, drags you from the raging fire while you lay unconscious, and just so much more. I suppose that is the roleplayer in me.

Anyhow... It was suggested I bring it up so I have... What's done is going to be done.

~ Songdragon


Community Supporter
Huh ... I had assumed that Leadership was disallowed and we were discussing whether to legalize it. I suspect that not disallowing it was an oversight in LPF. It's not allowed in PFS, and LPF has disallowed the Natural Born Leader trait.

I may be at fault for spreading misinformation, but I think several of the judges have also assumed it was illegal. Glasseye explicitly said it was not legal in this thread. And several of the judges discussed the domain change here with the assumption that it wasn't legal.

I'm still on the fence, but still leaning no. An eidolon/familiar/animal companion is a class feature, which can be improved by certain feats. Getting an animal-companion equivalent or better for the price of a feat seems overpowered to me. Especially for a feat-rich class like a fighter. At that point, every fighter is going to start walking around with a transmutation specialist wizard in tow.


I was looking at the character creation rules on LPF Wikki... for what is and is not allowed. Leadership is not listed as a banned feat. GE has mentioned to me that it may have been an oversight on the wikki, but we both found it interesting that it was not listed there at all. (I searches the wikki for Leadership and it comes up in the Nobility domain change and a few other pages, but nothing about it not available for play. If it not available then someone should fix that oversight.

Question, what does PFS have to do with LPF? I am aware that one is Piazo's living world but LPF is something different that is created by the players.


Community Supporter
My understanding is that LPF used PFS rules as a framework to build off of, since they're both shared worlds. Leadership was explicitly disallowed for PFS, so my assumption was that LPF did too. We seem to have been going in that direction with the Natural Born Leader trait.

Maidhc O Casain

Na Bith Mo Riocht Tá!
I vaguely remember the discussion about leadership, and that it was decided not to allow cohorts, but can't find it now. It was in the early days, when we were still getting the basic framework down, so it would be in the social group. My guess - like that of others here - is that the ruling did not get ported over to the wiki.

My argument against it is twofold - the class feature vs feat argument has already been voiced adequately, and I second what Systole had to say about that.

My second argument is that those "extras" granted by the class features - Eidolons, Animal Companions, etc. have some very specific things they can do and not do and these things have been taken into account when designing the class.

A cohort can be created from any class and race combination legal for PCs - so they can be tailor made to make up for "deficiencies" in the PC, or to greatly enhance their strengths (see Systole's example of the Transmutation Specialist above).

I'm still reading for new discussion, but at this point my vote is NO.


Community Supporter
Songdragon, your proposal is just for reinstating the Nobility domain to its original state, correct? I think whether or not Leadership is an available feat is peripheral to the request and only mentioned because it wasn't explicitly stated on the wiki as being prohibited. Leadership as a feat is a separate discussion from this one that, admittedly, affects this discussion. I feel like this proposal is being dismissed based on the effects of Leadership available to everyone as a feat.

Considering just the proposal made by Songdragon (and continuing with our mutual assumption that Leadership in general is prohibited):

• Leadership IS a class feature. As such, it would be available to a very select group of characters: 8th+ level clerics with the Nobility domain (possibly Inquisitors, but I'm not sure about that). So we're NOT discussing a scenario that allows for a fighter to take Leadership with a feat and end up with a transmutation wizard cohort. Nor will we end up with every character in LPF having Leadership much like not everyone has gotten an intelligent item since those rules were approved.

• Who controls the cohort? The Leadership feat says the cohort is an NPC. Personally, I think that means the DM is supposed to control the cohort and I would agree with Perrinmiller that I don't want to mess with that as a DM. However, I don't object to the player controlling the cohort with the caveat that the DM could take control of the cohort when she deems it necessary.

• Flexibility of a cohort build vs. specific 'tasks' other companion types are designed for. This is an interesting point. Eidolons are pretty darn flexible, though, and can gain a whole lot more in the way of supernatural powers than a cohort could. And some of the upper level familiars are pretty flexible, too.

• Plus, intelligent items are available. Isn't that just a cohort you can buy with gold pieces?

I think specific issues could be worked out so that this is possible.

Maidhc O Casain

Na Bith Mo Riocht Tá!
All good points, GE. I hadn't really thought about it from the standpoint of allowing the class feature without making the feat generally available.


Community Supporter
I would argue that an eidolon is not a good comparison to a cohort, because while eidolons are flexible, they can't heal and they can't buff. And intelligent items don't act independently of the PC (as in, a whole 'nother set of actions).

The point that it is a class feature available to only certain PCs is well-taken, but I'm still dubious at best about the whole thing.


Yes, my no is for Leadership as an allowable feat. Two years ago when I joined, it was on a list somewhere that it was not allowed. I had used the LPF rules as a framework myself for another game.

Still, the evidence is there in the modification of the Nobility Domain. So as far as I am concerned Leadership Feat has been banned from the beginning, regardless what the current list says.

I am looking at the big picture here, Leadership opens up a can of worms that impacts time on the Judges part. Same with DMs which in many cases is the same people. Time is a valuable commodity around here since we lack enough DMs to run games for the all the players.

While as a player of Borric I would love to allow Zelena to have a cohort. Even if that burden would not fall on me to approve the character build and deal with as DM, I still have to vote NO to Leadership in General.

But, if it is allowed only for those unlocking it with Nobility Domain sticking it in a category of class feature for very specific builds I could be persuaded to make an exception, provided that we are not setting a precedent to overturn the allowance of Leadership Feat being completely allowed as a General Feat.