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Allies and Companions

In Ascendancy, each character has the opportunity to gain temporary or permanent allies or companions that can assist them on adventurers or in a non-combat capacity.

Please follow this link for an excellent resource for advice on allies and companions.

The following section details the different types of companions that can be obtained and how.

Familiars & Animal Companions

These creatures, granted by class features or certain feats, are a mainstay of many characters.

Animal Companions

Creatures with an intelligence score of 2 or less are essentially at animal level intelligence. Most cannot speak and know no languages, but exceptions exist.

In Ascendancy, the player controls their animal companion in and out of combat and levels them as per their class or feat guidelines. To speed up gameplay, the Handle Animal skill is not needed for general movement or combat. As long as the animal as the required trick in question, roles are not needed.

Familiars

Familiars are usually either regular animals that have a mystical connection that grants them increased intelligence and power, or extraplanar creatures bound to their spellcaster. In either case, both generally have intelligences equivalent to or even exceeding normal NPCs (or perhaps even their master). Those that can speak may do so normally.

In Ascendancy, the player controls their familiar in and out of combat and levels them as per their class or feat guidelines.

Leadership

The most well-known way to gain cohorts and followers is with the leadership feat.

Cohorts
This feat works as described in the above link, except cohorts level automatically when the PC does and can never gain levels higher than the character’s level minus 2.

Using this feat has a number of advantages over other methods. You gain a loyal cohort which you directly control and levels as your PC does. They can be used to great effect in other rules systems, such as the downtime or kingdom building rules. The cohort usually (but not always) travels with your PC on adventurers, but they are never the main focus of the story and are last in line to obtain treasure rewards. Your cohort may briefly shine in the spotlight, but they are never to eclipse your main PC in their intent. The GM may decree that your cohort is not suitable or needed for a particular adventure, and in this case, must sit out during that time.

In Ascendancy, the player has control of the cohort and decides how to level him or her, though the GM has the final approval. The general exception is the temporary cohort gained through the use of the prestige point system listed on the reputation page. This temporary cohort (that serves for 24 hours) is one that is created by the GM, but the hiring character may control the creature in combat.

Followers

The leadership feat also grants you access to followers, low-level NPCs that are rarely useful in combat. They represent a gathering of individuals that are loyal to you and any cause that you may be undertaking. Like your cohort, they can be used to great effect in other rules systems, such as the downtime or kingdom building rules.

In Ascendancy, followers are gained through role play only. While your character may experience an increase in their leadership score and acquire new followers, these followers are not obtained until RP has been done with the GM to recruit them. The GM creates these followers and control is evenly split by the GM and the player.

Downtime Teams, Managers & Organizations

The downtime system contains rules for hiring/recruiting teams of people that can be turned into organizations. The people in your teams/organization obey you because you pay them, or at least keep regular contact with them and direct their activities, unlike with cohorts and followers gained from the Leadership feat (who are loyal toward you because of your reputation and behavior).

In Ascendancy, the GM controls teams and the individual NPCs that make up their number. After using the downtime system to purchase such a team, adequate role play must then be don to acquire the members of that team. The GM creates these people’s names and stats. As per the downtime rules, these NPCs do not level and can only be upgraded using the rules in tat system.

Faction Allies

Some organizations in the faction rules grant permanent or temporary allies or minions that can be purchased using CPA points. The amount of service or control is listed under that particular faction entry. As each faction is different and has varying goals and alignment, these allies could be either fanatically loyal, reluctant friends or military subordinates.

Services and awards that result in the presence of NPCs or animals include appropriate gear for their class and level and all living expenses for them. For double CPA cost, those NPCs listed as serving for 1 day can serve for 1 week, and those listed as serving for 1 week can can serve for up to 1 month. The character is expected to return any NPCs or mounts and their gear to the faction when finished with them. If you return less than 50% of the mounts, gear or NPCs aquired, you loose a minimum of 1 TPA and a maximum of 5 TPA.

In Ascendancy, the GM creates these allies, but the player may have input if the situation warrants. Further, the GM usually controls these characters in battle, but a player may request direct control, which the GM may or may not agree to depending on the situation. In most situations, these NPCs do not level.

Other Methods to Obtain Minions

If an NPC character has a recurring role in the campaign, a player might want to make that character a permanent addition to the group. This is first accomplished by having a positive relationship with the desired NPC that has taken place with suitable role play. Once this requirement is met, the NPC can usually be recruited by offering the NPC a ridiculously high wage (offering an NPC-classed a 1,000 gp bonus for taking a job is roughly equivalent to 4 years of normal pay, while PC or monster classed characters will require higher incentives, subject to GM approval). Whether the player intends the NPC to be an important follower, or just a reliable lackey, few NPCs are likely to refuse the opportunity to associate with an incredibly wealthy patron. If the NPC overcomes many challenges and gains levels, it is fair to allow the PC to suggest class levels, feats, and skills for the minion to pursue (including PC-class levels, if the PC provides suitable training for that purpose). These NPCs are created by and controlled by the GM. In rare instances, the GM may award a loyal follower with this method.


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