Leadership Feat in Pathfinder RPG: Guide & Best Cohorts

Despite their best efforts, the dragon proved to be too much for the brave paladin and his trusty sidekick. Just as the dragon was about to deliver the killing blow, the paladin’s cohort leaped in front of him and took the brunt of the attack, sacrificing himself for his friend.

The paladin was heartbroken, but he knew that he had to continue on. With new resolve, he faced down the dragon and defeated it, avenging his fallen friend.

In Pathfinder RPG, the Leadership feat is one of the most coveted feats a player can have. It allows for players to have a powerful ally by their side, as well as giving them many benefits that can help in their adventures. 

In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Leadership feat. We will cover what the feat does, as well as what benefits it offers.

We will also take a look at cohorts and what rules apply to them.

Finally, we will provide a list of cool options for players who want an interesting cohort for their party.

What is the Leadership Feat?

The Leadership Feat allows Pathfinder characters to start an organization and gain followers. As the organization grows, more and more followers can join your team, evening coming to your aid in combat! With this feat, players can expand their party with loyal NPCs.

The benefits of the Leadership feat are that you gain followers and cohorts. Followers are NPCs who have joined the player’s organization and offer their services to the party.

They can be used as extra muscle in combat, or they can be employed as guards to protect the player’s base. 

Followers also provide the player with additional resources that can be used for crafting or buying equipment. As the player progresses, they’ll eventually attract a cohort.

Cohorts are NPCs who fight alongside the player. They are more powerful than followers and can be used to provide a boost in combat.

Creating An Organization

To create an organization, the player must first have the Leadership feat. They then need to come up with a name for their group, as well as a short description of what it does.

It can help if the players come up with a list of skills that their organization is good at. These skills can be used to help the association grow and prosper.

At first, your player won’t have many followers.  However, as the game progresses, the group can gain more and more members. As you grow in power, it is important to plan ahead with what you want your organization to do.

Having a powerful army of followers can be very beneficial in the later stages of the game.

The Gamemastery Guide provides a chart on page 168 to help you plan your organization’s growth. Use this chart to track how many followers your group can have, as well as the number of lieutenants under your command.

Organization Stats by Level

LevelFollowersMax Follower LevelLieutenantsLieutenant Levels

Setting Up a Base

Setting up a base of operations is an important part of running an organization. This is where the player can go to rest, resupply, and plan their next adventure.

There are many different options for where a base can be located, and the player is free to choose whichever one works best for them.

The most important thing when setting up a base is to make sure it is safe. The base should be in a location that is easy to defend, and it should have plenty of room to accommodate the player and their followers.

It is also a good idea to have a workshop where the player can repair and upgrade their equipment, as well as a library where they can study new spells and abilities.

NPCs and Cohorts Guide

One of the benefits of having the Leadership feat is that players can attract NPCs to their organization. These NPCs can provide a variety of benefits, including skills, training, and equipment.

Additionally, NPCs can help the player’s organization grow by providing new followers.

In the beginning, the players will only be able to attract a few level 0 NPCs. These NPCs may not be very powerful, but they can still be helpful. As the players gain more followers, they will be able to attract more powerful NPCs to fight beside them.

Gaining Followers

There are a few ways for players to attract NPCs to their organization. The first is by completing tasks for them. NPCs may ask the player to complete a task in order to prove their worthiness, such as retrieving an item or defeating a rival organization.

The second way to attract NPCs is by fulfilling their desires. Many NPCs have specific desires that they want to be fulfilled, such as becoming wealthy or gaining power. If the player can fulfill these desires, the NPC may choose to join the player’s organization.

The final way to attract NPCs is by bribing them. Some NPCs may be willing to join the player’s organization in exchange for money or other benefits.


As your organization grows, you’ll need people that can help you manage it. This is where your lieutenants come in. Around the time you get five followers, you can get your first lieutenant. This loyal and capable follower will help you with the day-to-day operations of your organization.

Using Cohorts

Cohorts are NPCs that follow the players into combat, fighting alongside the players as they struggle to survive the dangers of Golarion. Cohorts are NPCs or creatures that the player can summon to their side, and they offer a wide variety of benefits.

There are several rules that players need to follow when using cohorts. First, a player can only have one cohort at a time. Additionally, cohorts cannot be of a higher level than the player. This ensures that the player remains in control of the battle and that their cohort does not overshadow them. 

Usually, cohorts are several levels below the players they follow, offering aid and assistance wherever they can. GMs are free to adjust the rules if necessary for their adventure.

Another rule to keep in mind is that cohorts must always be friendly to the player and their allies. If a cohort is ever reduced to 0 hit points, they are removed from the battle and become unconscious.


Cohorts are a great way to round out an uneven party. At low levels especially, cohorts can be useful for serving as the party’s healer or magical liaison.

As long as you can keep them out of danger, low-level cohorts can prove extremely useful by supplying the PCs with skills and abilities they don’t have. 

Some of the best cohorts are bards and rogues. These multiskilled adventures can prove handy in situations that require something more than brute force.

And if situations get extreme, a low-level cohort can sacrifice themselves for the sake of the leader. By throwing themselves in the path of danger, your cohort can take the brunt of an attack aimed at you.

While this will likely result in death, it may be worth it to save your life and the lives of your allies.


As players reach higher levels, they can start to attract more powerful cohorts. These NPCs and creatures can offer a variety of benefits, such as increased combat abilities or powerful magical spells.

For example, a mid-level cohort might be able to cast powerful healing spells to keep the party alive. Or they could act as a tank, soaking up damage while the rest of the party attacks. And mid-level cohorts can use magic items the players find to further increase their effectiveness.


The final stage of a Pathfinder RPG campaign is often the most difficult. At this point, players are facing their greatest challenges yet, and they need all the help they can get. Fortunately, end-game cohorts can make all the difference.

At this stage, players will likely have access to powerful cohorts that can turn the tide of battle. For example, a high-level druid can use their connection to nature to summon powerful creatures that can fight alongside the party and defeat even the most powerful opponents.

A high-level sorcerer can cast spells that cause devastating damage to their enemies, while a cleric can heal and buff the party with powerful spells.

Leadership Events

In Pathfinder, players can enjoy many downtime activities, from earning gold to learning a craft. The Leadership feat comes with its own downtime events and activities that the party can participate in. 

Pathfinder’s leadership events give players a chance to make important decisions that can affect the future of their organization. There are three types of events: opportunity, trouble, and windfall. 

As a GM, you can use leadership events as a way to segway between adventures or to offer the players chance to form new alliances. Players can meet with important figures to discuss larger issues happening in Golarion.

This might be something as simple as how to spend the organization’s funds, or it could be a more complicated issue like how to deal with a dangerous group. 

Opportunity Events

When the PCs are given an opportunity event, they’ll have the chance to make a decision that could have major ramifications. Whether it’s making a deal with a rival organization or accepting a quest on behalf of the local government, the decision the PCs make will have an effect on the game.

Sometimes these effects are good. For instance, making a deal to work with the Thieve’s Guild could net your party a lot of gold. On the other hand, things could go badly. You might find yourself and your followers are wanted by the local authorities. 

It’s up to the GM to determine the outcome of decisions made during opportunity events. If you’re careful, you should be able to steer clear of trouble.

Trouble Events

With a trouble event, something has gone wrong with the PCs’ organization. They’ll need to use their collective resources and wits to solve the problem. Perhaps their organization has been infiltrated by the Sczarni.

They’ll need to hunt down the spies among their own guard or else risk having their plans fall into the hands of thieves and bandits.

If the players solve a trouble event, it’s a good idea to make sure they receive a reward to compensate them for spending their time and resources. Oftentimes, a trouble event will lead to an important quest.

Windfall Events

Good fortune shines on the PCs, and their organization receives a surprise benefit during a windfall. It could be a large sum of gold dominated by an anonymous benefactor or a tip about the location of a powerful artifact.

GMs are encouraged to invent then own scenarios. If the players have their followers working toward any useful goals, a windfall event is a perfect opportunity to resolve those adventures.

GMing the Leadership Feat

Some GMs argue that the Leadership Feat is a little too good. After all, for the cost of a single feat, the players can get followers, cohorts, and potentially a stronghold! That’s a lot to worry about as the GM.

So what do you do? Some GMs forbid players from taking the Leadership feat to avoid the hassle that comes with it. 

Still, there can be advantages to using the Leadership feat in your campaign. To begin with, it can be a lot of fun building an organization, growing your followers, and bringing cohorts with you on missions.

Having a party that’s too large, however, will slow the pace of combat. If you’re playing with a group of five or more players, it’s probably a good idea to leave cohorts behind. 

On the other hand, if you’re team is short a player or two, the Leadership feat provides a great way to strengthen the team and keep the players formidable. 

Pros of Leadership

  • Good for a small group of players
  • Offers opportunities for a seamless roleplaying experience
  • Makes it easy for players to jump in and out of the game
  • Cohorts can serve as backup characters

Cons of Leadership

  • Adds a lot of extra work for the GM
  • Can be overpowered
  • Cohorts slow down battle with a large group of players

Leading the Way

The Leadership feat in Pathfinder RPG is a great way to make your group more formidable. Leadership can be used as an avenue for interesting roleplaying opportunities.

It could provide the players with a means of strengthening their party by adding cohorts and other NPCs to fight alongside them. 

With the leadership feat, the players have a chance to make their mark on the world and form new alliances. Players can meet with important figures to discuss larger issues happening in Golarion.

They might even influence important decisions made by rulers or institutions.