I see your point, Sky. I think I can see the big picture now.
I would like to see how the non combat unit would help the band, the shield sisters, cooks, armorers, doctors, you name it… sure it will be interesting.
Now I sure agree with you about an avatar with administration skills and perks, but that could unbalance the game as well if not kept in check too.
The idea of having a leader representing ourselves is really to help immersion, not about having an immortal super soldier as a meatshield on the battlefield XD.
Let’s Improve our ideas:
1-There should be a leader, created by ourselves or promoted from shield brothers, this leader would help the band with a wider array of non combat perks/skills and new combat skill too if possible, his resolve would have more impact on the group than most in combat, high or low, so we should choose carefully if he is the promoted variety. The creation of another tab called “tactics” for leading and management perks with different xp for the leader is an idea;
2-If created by ourselves and felled in battle he should lose ALL his “battle”+”tactical” experience and reset stats/perks due to his near death experience, and to be healed he should require the aid of a proper doctor in a town for a fee (or a wandering doctor from his band for more bandages than normal, if it’s added in the future). Which is kind of what happens in the beggining, so it would be a game wise move.
After healed he would have the “near death experience” trait which would have a particular side effect and a few penalties plus temporarily suppresing all his traits, then in two days or more the trait is gone and the normal ones are restored (perhaps it could even random the restored traits, so the results would be unpredictable, no almost death would be the same). So no need to keep reloading, and no game over, but also no insane immortality either.
This alone would prevent players from using him as a meatshield, they would think twice before doing so. The fact that he is reset balances the character, like a fresh recruit. And it is a lot more time saving than going from town to town to hire a desired merc, with the desired background to lead and then renaming him and taking him to the barber and then having him diyng in his first battle, and then repeating the process all over again…;
3-Should he be promoted instead of created then he only will gain a new tab of “tactical” in character screen. if lost in battle then other battle brother can replace him;
4-the leader should be able to choose to participate in battle or not;
5-if he does participate he gains battle experience like other brothers, and “tactical” xp too,
if not, he gains only “tactical” experience, which will improve his management and leadership skills/perks (sky suggested some really good ideas above)
6-Getting your men killed will lose you some “tactical” xp, possibly losing perks if the outcome is too bad;
7-The leader should still receives daily wages, even if he was created. This is to simulate the expenditure he needs to maintain himself daily and to also apply morale penalty if out of gold, the only difference is that he cannot desert;
8-Let’s think some more possibilities and help the designers with more ideas. Perhaps if it’s not added in the game then it could be modded for it instead; :)