There is an entire secondary game contained within the 3e Leadership feat.

I’ve been skirting around this issue while developing player powers like spirit familiars and undead minions and beast companions and the like — followers, hirelings, and cohorts are basically another game.

A whole other chapter.

Plenty of others have recognized this, I’m sure I’ve been ‘told’ before. Forgive me, I’m just catching up now — obviously this is going to require separate treatment and a subsystem/mini-game all its own.

Honestly, it may be better this way.

I’ve been working on products and services stuff — those ‘assets’ I was yammering about two weeks ago — and I think I’ve figured out how to apply them. They can serve as multipliers for basic costs.

Game Economy Assets:
x1 Cash (gp)
x3 Labor
x6 Goods
x10 Favor
x15 Magic
x20 Land

Multipliers increase geometrically like fall damage — irony? — and cap at ‘twenty times’ for the same reason as damage dice, based somewhat on intuition but primarily from a desire for consistency and parallelism.

One of my favorite quirks about the term Game Economy Assets?

The abbreviation: GEAs. Think about it.

Anyway. It seems to me like the most effective way of making hirelings, followers, cohorts, and some of the bigger-scale stuff like strongholds playable — is reducing them to one-time costs whose ‘income’ offsets their own ‘depreciation.’

I’ll be looking into how 3e did this in the coming weeks, and see if I can’t find some method of reducing these concepts to easy-to-use stuff.