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I've only just discovered, almost thirty levels in, that follower leveling works totally different from what I had assumed, and basically I have to reverse my follower strategy. I had assumed that, since my character was approaching level thirty, it was pointless to pick up any follower capped at level thirty because they'd become obsolete too soon. Since level is apparently determined the first time you meet a follower, it's basically the opposite.

So, what interests me is when the level of a follower is set. Is it when you ask them to join you, when you first meet them, or when the character is first spawned? For example, if I walk into Riften and right by Mjoll at around level twelve, and then come back at level twenty five to do her quest, what level would she be at?

On the same note, when/where are housecarls spawned? Do they exist before you become Thane of a hold? Are they created when you first enter the Jarl's longhouse or wherever? Supposing I do all sorts of side quests and skill building and reach level fifty before becoming Thane of, say, Markarth, would that be enough to spawn a top-level housecarl, even if I'd visited Markarth several times before? Or even if I did the quests leading up to becoming Thane at a lower level and just... never spoke to the Jarl about it.

Bottom line, can I get the followers to keep up with my PC, or will I be reduced to luring innocent housecarls into dark alleys and assaulting them with esoteric weapons of insanity?

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    Related answer since patch 1.6, followers have the same level as your character and level up with your character, up to their max level. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 26 '14 at 19:34
  • @JonathanDrapeau You should use that as an answer. – user92092 Nov 26 '14 at 20:06
  • @lea As the Followers page says: These housecarls won't exist in the game until you become a thane; however if you lose your thane status in their original hold, they will remain and will continue to be available as a follower, and will also continue to address you as thane. – user92092 Nov 26 '14 at 20:09
  • @FinnRayment If the link does answer the question, than this question is a duplicate... but since the question ask for more informations than the link provides, I felt it was best to comment than answer or flag at the moment. – Jonathan Drapeau Nov 26 '14 at 20:10
  • @JonathanDrapeau So would now be a good time to answer that extra info? – user92092 Nov 26 '14 at 20:11
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As @JonathanDrapeau said:

Related answer since patch 1.6, followers have the same level as your character and level up with your character, up to their max level. – Jonathan Drapeau

But to answer your question about Housecarls existence, the wiki page gives all the information you need including this line:

These housecarls won't exist in the game until you become a thane; however if you lose your thane status in their original hold, they will remain and will continue to be available as a follower, and will also continue to address you as thane.

Meaning that until you become thane of that hold, they simply do not exist. If you loose your title, they stay.

  • Aha, serves me right for searching through the most highly rated questions. I forgot that the highest voted questions are also the oldest. – lea Nov 27 '14 at 9:43
  • @lea Asked: Yesterday. :P I just look for unanswered. – user92092 Nov 27 '14 at 20:42
  • @lea Quick question, is this the right answer? – user92092 Dec 2 '14 at 4:50
  • I would have to check with the console next time I play. – lea Dec 2 '14 at 6:59
  • @lea Alright then. – user92092 Dec 2 '14 at 8:47

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