Making the best of Leadership

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Deryliss
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Making the best of Leadership

Post by Deryliss » Tue Feb 16, 2021 7:02 pm

After having recently tried one of the conjuration-locked specialist wizard paths, I've found myself thinking about the Leadership changes, specifically surrounding the mercenaries and the requirements to use them, and how to make best use of them.

I've seen others speak highly of mercenaries, but usage seems to predicate heavily on massively buffing the henchmen so that they can numerically survive combat. This is usually done by something like a plant-domain cleric applying barkskin, vestment, shield of faith, gmw, zoo buffs, and other lesser buffs until the henchmen can perform as well as necessary.

But what if you do not have access to that wide array of buffs? Many classes that would benefit from henchmen (like wizards) cannot keep up leadership quickly enough to get level-appropriate henchmen either, or easy access to UMD for the ubiquitous barkskin wand.

So here comes this thread. What's your personal experience with Henchmen? How have you built around using them, or how have you maximized them? And is there anything that perhaps should be rolled up into a suggestion for improving them? I have a few thoughts of my own, but I think I'd like to hear those of players more mechanically savvy than myself first.
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Formerly: Marla Feathertoe, Curious Hin; Candice Cross, Diplomat
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Skarain
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by Skarain » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:33 am

Well, I play a Kobold Sorcerer with 0 ranks in Leadership. However, they possess the Noble award and can use Noble-omly henchmen in UD. I do believe UD henches are a little more powerful than surface ones, but even they need buffs to thrive. However, henches have made my life easier, as I do not have Conj/Necro, so having 2x Henches + Greater Planar Binding(which is decouped from Conj bonuses) has made life a lot easier when solo.

The raw Charisma bonus of Sorc + some gear is enough to raise Henches to +1AC/AB, and APR bonus does not stack on top of Haste, so I do not technnically need much at all Leadership. Most UD Henches do not have any Leadership requirement to hire, or if they do, I've met that prequisite without knowing it.

Typically use Player Tool 1 and try to have them kill the same target while mass-hasted.

They do need to be buffed heavily to be of use. I use Sorcerer buffs and Barkskin potions. Temporary Essences did not work when I tried. You can feed Henches potions by dragging them from your inventory to the Henches portrait. That way, even a Mundane or a Conju wizard with banned trans will be able to grant them Zoo buffs. The upcoming Time Calculation should make this usage of potions easier, as under new system hours/level will last longer ingame, making 3h duration potions more long lasting.

I like the system as it allows an alternative for effective caster solo without minion ESF focuses. I dont know if all surface henches are locked behind leadership requirement but i hope not. A major downside is definitely that if you crash, you lose your henches and have to go get them again, so in that sense always faster if manage to group with PCs but is nice to have henched as an option when have to solo.

Xerah
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by Xerah » Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:35 am

I used it a lot when leveling my rogue. This was pre-leadership but I used the Darrowdeep soldiers. It helped things and a lot and I didn't feel like things were too difficult with them. They did need some zoo wands and barkskin though.
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Theter
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by Theter » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:51 pm

I used the 3 early ones on Skal. As a knight i can keep the aggro out of them, until they run too far and then they die in seconds. I do not buff them. So only the rogue one does something really. Thank you, sneak attack.

Deryliss
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by Deryliss » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:37 am

Unfortunately this mirrors my experience so far - henchmen seem quite weak unless you can buff them to kingdom come, which usually involves being a priest to buff their subpar gear.

Further, even with a leadership-primary skill dip I still struggle at times to hire level-appropriate mercs, ie the guldorand mercs requiring 25 leadership.

I will keep testing, but for now it hasn't been quite worth the skill investment as they die very easily in most situations.
"I've always felt like an outsider. You could probably banish me if you cast Dismissal."
Formerly: Marla Feathertoe, Curious Hin; Candice Cross, Diplomat
Currently: Ivridda Ironfoot, Priestess; Amber Goldbrew, Immovable Object

chris a gogo
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by chris a gogo » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:19 am

Having maxed out my leadership on my TF I can say henchmen have helped them a great deal, all the way up to 30, then of course the feature was removed from level 30's so after getting my leadership to 80 it became a wasted investment.
I would advise not to take any feat investments into the skill I wasted an epic focus on something i can no longer use and an epic feat isn't worth giving someone within 20 feet +1 to there fear saves.
Buffing them consisted of animal potions and bark skin this made them more viable for higher level content, there job on my character was as body guard so if anything got close enough to attack me the henchman was set to defend me and would then take the agro off me until I killed it or the henchman did.
I did have to use a lot of healing kits to keep them alive around 30-40 each trip.

Ranks into the skill are still good as the ranks increase the amount of gold you get from boss heads, my character now gets 330% more gold per head than someone with no investment gets.
Doesn't seems like a lot until you consider that's generally 3440 gold per head.
This means you can quite easily make as much on heads as you do in loot form everything else sometime more depending on the dungeon.

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Irongron
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Re: Making the best of Leadership

Post by Irongron » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:28 pm

Henchmen can be used at 30 again (see update topic)

We're adding these in slowly, so expect more in time. Quite a few went in with the Guld update.

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