Why? Because somebody needs to guard the horses. You get paid a lot more when you can carry more of the treasure out. It’s good to have someone holding the torch in a dark place while you’re busy slashing down the monsters. They may not be front liners, but it’s good to have a rearguard too.
A character can command a number of minions equal to the character’s Charm rating. The character can command more, because the minions can only handle pretty simple requests, and generally they operate in groups or are at the character’s elbow.
A character can command a number of “guard” level employees (henchmen) equal to the character’s Charm bonus, or the bonus of a relevant attribute.
- Brawn. Warriors.
- Cunning. Thieves, rogues.
- Daring. Bandits, pirates, machismo types.
- Commitment. Acolytes.
- Charm. Anyone.
- Awareness. Scholars, wizards.
In a mixed group, only the Charm bonus determines the maximum number of henchmen.
Leaving Employment. If mistreated, the hirelings test Commitment against the character’s Charm or appropriate attribute; if they succeed, they leave employment. (And that’s only if the character wants them to stay employed anyway.)
Pay Rates. Recommended pay is 3 silver a day for non-combatant minions (torch carriers, porters) and 1 gold a day for minion men-at-arms.
Henchmen (guard level) should be paid 3 gold a day. Those with a talent should be paid 10 gold a day.
If the character picks up a bad reputation, rates may double. Or, if the expedition is going to very dangerous places.
The employer is expected to provide any gear the employee needs for the expedition, like armor, weapons, rations, and so on.
Porters. Those hired on as porters are +1 on Brawn, so they can carry 1 heavy load; more than that, and they fail all tests, so they must be in a safe place. (For handling treasure, assume 500 coins is 1 heavy load.)
Field Promotions. If a DM and a player like a particular hireling, the player can offer to pay 3 Awesome Points to promote the hireling one level. That is, from minion to guard, or from guard to beginning character. Those promoted to beginning characters should be taken over by players, or set out to begin their own career.
- Here is a .pdf of this page.Old School Hack Hirelings
- Hireling generator! (You can use most of it for flavor.)
- Hireling traits! (Just for fun.)