Leadership Score

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When determining how many followers and what level cohort you can get with the Leadership feat, do you count your "natural" Charisma modifier the way you use your "natural" Intelligence modifier to determine Skill points, or do you include a bonus from an item?  My orc-warband-leader-to-be has a Cloak of Charisma +2, so his Leadership score is 1 higher if he can use that, and this can be the difference between having 5 followers and not getting any at a certain total (not the one he actually has, there the difference is more like 2 followers, but still it seems relevant).
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Even if the answer is yes, I don't know if you would want those extra followers.  They actually are not following you for who you are, but some magically enhanced version of you.  Should the cloak be removed, or temporarily negated due to Dispel Magic or an Anti-magic field, those extra followers will suddenly become disillusioned in who they were following.  Their sudden revelation in just how non-special you are could result in others becoming dissatisfied with you as well (evil DMs will bother to check).  It is thus potentially better just to take those you can handle.

Buffs and such are nice, but they are not a representation of who your character actually is.  The truth is that your character is not Superman, but only Clark Kent.  The smart player works on developing his core self, and not completely relying on magical silicon to become his identity.
The character in question is very specifically not prudent enough to avoid doing something he wants to do just because it's a bad idea.
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As far as the benefit of the rest of Magic is concerned, gold cards in Legends were executed perfectly. They got all the excitement a designer could hope out of a splashy new mechanic without using up any of the valuable design space. Truly amazing. --Aaron Forsythe's Random Card Comment on Kei Takahashi
It takes time for the followers to show up*, because your reputation needs to spread. It likewise might take time for that reputation to spread once the magic fades. This is why casting Eagle's Splendor isn't also Summon Hirelings.

*The Thrallherd, however, explicitly gets new followers after a day. 

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A sort of unspoken question here is about the time lag for the Leadership feat if your leadership score changes, since it's not like the followers simply materialize out of thin air if (for example) someone casts an eagle's splendour spell on you.  The thing is that it's not really defined how long it takes for followers to join you (or leave if the situation changes); that's up to the DM.

I can see a few workable possibilities the DM could consider for judging how Charisma bonuses from a magic item affect the leadership score:

  1. Treat it like skill points and ignore the bonus.

  2. Grant the bonus if the leader wears the item more often than not.

  3. Only grant the bonus if the leader literally wears the item all the time.

  4. Have the bonus only provide unreliable followers.


For the third possibility, removing the item would cause followers to depart, who would then need to be coaxed back once the item was worn again.  It's probably the closest to an accurate representation of the games mechanics (keeping in mind that they're somewhat ill-defined).


For the fourth possibility, the unreliable followers are really just hangers-on who aren't as dedicated or dependable as regular followers.  They pay attention when the leader is putting on a show in all his finery (wearing the item), but slack off whenever things get boring (he's not wearing the item) and just do their own thing.  They hang around because the leader is popular and they want to be part of that crowd, not because they truly believe in his leadership.


The first option is the simplest to use, and the second and third are a matter of personal preference (one is a good general representation, while the other is more mechanically accurate), but I think the 4th option is the most interesting, and it's the one I'd suggest.  It allows for some of the followers to be people who just want to feel important by being with the group, and those who intend to take advantage of them in some way (profiteering merchants, camp followers providing services, criminals seeking to hide from the law, and so on).  While it has no real support in the rules, use of the Leadership feat already involves a lot of DM arbitration, and it adds a lot of potential flavour to a group that otherwise consists entirely of devoted followers.

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Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
I'd say that a magical CHA enhancement can certainly increase a character's leadership score and potentially bring in more followers.  The thing there is that to count you should need that boosted score most of the time to get the followers.  When the score is down there may be some discontentment but that can be reversed.  I do thing your cohort should be based on your "permanent" CHA score to avoid the possible drawbacks of losing your enhanced CHA.

In a lot of ways I'd see the followers in the same light that I'd view bonus spells from an artificially enhance ability score. 

The way this issue has always been worked in my groups is that any followers gained from an enhanced charisma come half again as late as you're normal followers and leave twice as quickly should you're score decrees. Slagger_the_chull has some interesting ideas though, and hits the nail on the head when he says that the defined period for followers is Dm based. To keep it simple, I generally call it as a week after you fifty percent of your followers plus one percentile divided by two. After that, another week passes and you slowly gain them at a rate which reflects the population density of the area. I'm fully fine with giving the bonus from an enhancing item provided it's in use long enough to effect public view. I mean, the followers don't see you all the time, so it's a little silly to say that when you take off that cloak of charisma or your belt of magnificence at night to go to sleep, all of a sudden a follower somewhere in your camp goes "you know what, our leader has slain a dragon today, gave half the gold to us, is providing us with food shelter and protection, but...I suddenly don’t like him anymore. I'm leaving." If however it's been about a week since he's had those items on, then I think it's more reasonable for followers to start jumping ship as it where. This method also gives a little saving grace to a leader who has taken charisma damage. It would be a little odd for a leader to go ghost slaying, take six points of charisma damage and then come back that afternoon and have about 25 people leave on account of him walking through the camp to go see the cleric for a stat restore session.

The thing with the rate of the response to changes in the score is that it's the ultimate buffer, no matter which method you choose.  The longer it takes for changes to the leadership score to take hold, the smoother the transition, but in turn, the less responsive the results are to current changes.

At the fast end of the response scale, you got a leader whose followers blink in and out of existence as he changes clothes.  At the slow end of the scale, you've got a leader who can be completely unconscious from Charisma drain for days or weeks without his followers even batting an eye at the complete absence of his influence.

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Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.