So I'm struggling to figure out the table on page 106 of the DM guide for 3.5 about how many cohorts you can have and at what level you can have them. If you have a Leadership score of 9 or below, can you not have any?

The description of the Cohort level reads "A 6th-level paladin with a +3 Charisma bonus, for example, can still only recruit a cohort of 4th level or lower." but the table shows that a character with a Leadership score of 9 (which the Paladin would have, right?) can't have any.


Level 6 is the earliest with one Level 4 Cohort.

Cohort Level

The character can attract a cohort of up to this level. Regardless of a character’s Leadership score, he can only recruit a cohort who is two or more levels lower than himself. The cohort should be equipped with gear appropriate for its level. A character can try to attract a cohort of a particular race, class, and alignment. The cohort’s alignment may not be opposed to the leader’s alignment on either the law-vs-chaos or good-vs-evil axis, and the leader takes a Leadership penalty if he recruits a cohort of an alignment different from his own.

Leadership Table:


Note: Don't confuse a cohort with the other followers on the table above. They are two separate entities gained from the Leadership feat.

  • \$\begingroup\$ So for the Paladin mentioned in the description, they may only have a Cohort at level 4 or lower. The follower portion of the table doesn't relate to the cohorts? \$\endgroup\$
    – Delimbor
    Mar 2 '15 at 6:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Delimbor Correct. The cohort will (or at least should) have a character sheet right next to the player character. No matter the leadership score, the cohort (without feats) will always be a maximum of two levels lower than the player character. The followers of various other levels on the table are the "mooks" or "populace" that are not as loyal as a cohort and never near as powerful. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Mar 2 '15 at 6:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Delimbor the "(without feats)" reference is due to feats being out there the player character could take that improves his cohort, such as Dragon Cohort and Improved Cohort, among others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Mar 2 '15 at 7:02

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