zondag 18 juni 2017

Henchmen and hirelings

For when you need that extra bit of skill, hit points or just an extra hand to hold a torch. Just keep the gold coming their way.

I think that in 20+ years of roleplaying, I've never seen someone hire a retainer. Our only NPCs were foisted on the group by the DM. Just in case my guys want to hire some help they feel they can trust, here's a quicky blog on hired help. Stuff is written for 5E.

Update: now with table of sample hirelings!

Henchmen - trainee PCs

Henchmen are leveled NPCs who join the group as junior partners. They are run by the player who employs them, with DM fiat. Henchmen will join the front line or even test trapped corridors, but only if their employer will step up to the same danger now and then. A player can designate a henchman as their heir, in which case they can step up in case their PC kicks the bucket.
  • any reasonable class; abilities are all 10 to keep things simple
  • join the party for a half share in gold and xp, will level up
  • come with the clothes on their back; party must provide any necessary gear
  • party is expected to pay 50 gp to a deceased mercenary's family, village or guild or have trouble attracting new hirelings in the future.

Mercenaries - hit points for hire

Sure, playing a group consisting only of wizards sounded awesome, but who's going to pull frontline duty while you squishies lob eldritch horror at your enemies? Mercenaries covers swordsmen, spear carriers or crossbowmen for hire. Mercenaries will take frontline duty as ordered, but will refuse to be the party's pack mules or guinea pigs to check out wobbly flagstones.
  • serve the party for a daily fee, 3-5 sp/day per level
  • do not take a share in gold or xp, will not level up
  • use the warrior NPC class with 10 for all abilities
  • more capable mercenaries command a higher fee
  • have their own equipment
  • the party is expected to pay 50 gp to a deceased mercenary's family, village or guild or have trouble attracting new hirelings in the future.

Warrior NPC class and sample mercenaries



Level
HD / HP
Proficiency
Fee (normal  / hazard)
Special
1
1d8 / 8
2
3-5 sp
Fighting style
2
2d8 / 12
2
lvl 1 x2

3
3d8 / 16
2
lvl 1 x3

4
4d8 / 20
2
lvl 1 x4
Ability score / feat
5
5d8 / 24
3
lvl 1 x5

6
6d8 / 28
3
lvl 1 x6
Extra attack
7
7d8 / 32
3
lvl 1 x7

8
8d8 / 36
3
lvl 1 x8
Ability score / feat
9
9d8 / 40
4
lvl 1 x9

10
10d8 / 44
4
lvl 1 x10
Ability score / feat


Fighting styles: as fighter
Ability score / feat: either pick a feat, or add +2 to an ability
Extra attack: can make one extra weapon attack when taking the Attack action
Proficient in all weapons, light & medium armor
Saves: strength and constitution
Skills: pick three from animal handling, athletics, insight, intimidation, perception and survival

Sample mercenaries: level 1


Crossbowman
3 sp/day of employment; rises to 3 gp/day hazard pay
Chain shirt AC 13, hp 8, Crossbow +4 1d10; shortsword +2 1d6
Archery style. Skills: athletics, perception, survival
Level up: favors dexterity - feats: alert, crossbow expert, sharpshooter, tough

Halberdier
4 sp/day of employment; rises to 4 gp/day hazard pay
Scale mail AC 15, hp 8, Halberd +2 1d10, reach
Defense style. Skills: athletics, insight, intimidation
Level up: favors strength - feats: mobile, polearm master, sentinel, tough

Brute
3 sp/day of employment; rises to 3 gp/day hazard pay
Scale mail AC 14, hp 8, Greatsword +2 2d6; reroll 1 or 2 on attack roll
Great weapon style. Skills: athletics, intimidation, survival
Level up: favors strength - feats: dash, great weapon master, savage attacker, tough

Shieldbearer
5 sp/day of employment; rises to 5 gp/day hazard pay
Scale mail / shield AC 16, hp 8, Longsword +2 1d8Protection style. Skills: insight, insight, perception
Can impose disadvantage on melee attack against an ally w/i 5ft
Level up: favors constitution - feats: alert, heavily armored, heavy armor master, shield master

Servants - odd jobsmen

For when you need more than brawn, servants include unskilled porters and torchbearers, and skilled locksmiths, scribes or other experts. They will not fight except to protect their lives. Some will serve as the party's pack mules, others as guinea pigs to check out wobbly flagstones.
  • serve the party for a daily fee, 1-5 sp/day per level
  • do not take a share in gold or xp, will not level up
  • use the expert NPC class with 10 for all abilities
  • more capable servants command a higher fee
  • have their own equipment
  • the party is expected to pay 5 gp to a deceased mercenary's family, village or guild or have trouble attracting new hirelings in the future.

Expert NPC class and sample servants


Level
HD / HP
Proficiency
Fee (normal / hazard)
Special
1
1d6 /6
2
1-5 sp
Skill bonus
2
2d6 /9
2
lvl 1 x2

3
3d6 /12
2
lvl 1 x3
Jack of all trades
4
4d6 /15
2
lvl 1 x4
Ability score / feat
5
5d6 / 18
3
lvl 1 x5

6
6d6 / 21
3
lvl 1 x6
Expertise
7
7d6 / 24
3
lvl 1 x7

8
8d6 / 27
3
lvl 1 x8
Ability score / feat
9
9d6 / 30
4
lvl 1 x9

10
10d6 / 33
4
lvl 1 x10
Expertise

Skill bonus: skilled laborers have +2 to one skill
Jack of all trades: add half your proficiency bonus (round down) to any skills you're not proficient in
Expertise: pick two skills you're proficient in; add double your proficiency bonus. At level 10, pick one more skills to gain expertise in.
Ability score / feat: as PC classes
Extra attack: can make one extra weapon attack when taking the Attack action
Proficient in simple weapons, light armor
Saves: strength or dexterity, and wisdom or intelligence
Skills: pick any three

Sample servants: level 1


Porter
1 sp/day of employment; rises to 1 gp/day hazard pay
Leather armor AC 11, hp 6
Skills: Athletics +2, animal handling, survival
Level up: favors strength - feats: athlete, lucky, resilient

Torchbearer
2 sp/day of employment; rises to 1 gp/day hazard pay
Leather armor + shield AC 13, hp 6, torch +0 1d4+1 fire
Skills: Athletics +2, religion, perception
Level up: favors dexterity - feats: alert, tavern brawler (proficiency with torch!)

Sage
4 sp/day of employment; rises to 4 gp/day hazard pay
Padded armor AC 11, hp 6
Skills: One intelligence skill +2, two other intelligence skills
Level up: favors intelligence - feats: keen mind, linguist, magic intiate, ritual caster

Battlefield healer
3 sp/day of employment; rises to 2 gp/day hazard pay
Studded leather armor AC 13, hp 6
Skills: Medicine +2, persuasion, survival
Can heal up to 4 hp/level each day, spread out over multiple recipients
Level up: favors wisdom - feats: healer, magic initiate

Locksmith
3 sp/day of employment; rises to 3 gp/day hazard pay
Leather armor + shield AC 13, hp 6
Skills: Lockpick/disable trap +2, sleight of hand, perception
Level up: favors dexterity - feats: dungeon delver, resilient

Scout
5 sp/day of employment; rises to 5 gp/day hazard pay
Leather armor AC 11, hp 6, shortbow +2 1d6; dagger +2 1d4
Skills: Stealth +2, athletics, perception
Level up: favors dexterity - feats: alert, observant, skulker

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