Love, love, love this idea. +1Suppose I am looking for a companion with a specific skill set. As of now, I have to go from tavern to tavern hoping to find one that matches my needs. This is a long and boring process. Sometimes, there are no companions with the skills I want and I have to settle for a companion that has the potential to become what I need in the distant future. Unfortunately, the companions I find are often so high in level that it takes them forever to acquire new points and specialize in the way I need.
I think it would add a great deal to the game if players were able to generate their own loyal companions in the same way as they generate their main character. These generated companions should start at level 1, which would allow them to rapidly level up and specialize in the direction the player wants. Not only would this eliminate the tedium of searching for the right companion, but it would also add a whole new level of enjoyment to the game for people who want to bring their favorite fictional characters into the game with them.
As for how this could be incorporated into the game, I think it could be done through events and/or quests. For example, imagine you see a group of villagers being attacked by looters. Your party swoops in and saves the villagers. After this event, you see the following dialogue.
"A young peasant approaches you. Their parents slain by the bandits, they have nowhere to go. They are forever thankful to you, not only because you saved them, but also because you avenged their fallen family. They want to join your party."
[Choice] Accept (Generate Companion)
If you accept, you get a young and inexperienced companion that you can shape in the way you want.