Monday, May 30, 2022

d100 - Why This Hireling Decided To Join

Padding out a Party with Hired Help to assist with Treasure Schlepping or having some additional Free Hands to help Light your way can be an incredibly fun addition to these games. Here’s a Hundred Reasons why someone would potentially risk life and limb to join up with a band of Adventurers on what may just be a very temporary/terminal basis.

My preference is always to avoid portraying my Hirelings as automatons, and they aren’t really intended to be used by the Players as fodder or trap springers. That’s a sure-fire way to earn a very bad reputation back in Town and definitely will dry up the pool of prospects. That is, if it doesn’t anger their kin/friends, or engender an additional complication...hmm...that reminds me of another small table I put together recently:

These are people, sometimes with Families, and generally with a keen sense of self-preservation. More importantly, there’s usually a motivation for participating in these dangerous endeavors. They usually find themselves allying with the PCs because they see it as a way to stack the deck in their favor, but making it home safe is still important to them. If you don’t survive, how are you going to regale your friends with those tales of adventure and spend any hopefully hard-earned shares?

Most Referees do not relish the thought of spending table time “Talking to themselves” so these NPCs can sometimes justifiably fade into the background a bit. To remind myself to portray them, I like to assign them a number (from 1-20, chattier ones get a lower number, and I might assign a second/third number on subsequent delves should they decide to accompany the PCs again). Whenever this number comes up on a die roll, I’m reminded to comment/quip/contribute briefly (this also works for those making those Sentient Swords that are capable of Speech a little less mute). This keeps them a little more present and often provides just enough decoration to make them more memorable should they decide to “stick around” for future forays.

Since they often can serve as a pool for replacement PCs in the event of one succumbs to some of the more horrible fates that await, I suppose you could even consider this a little bit of “Backstory” for the new Character. Giving them a little more motivation or a complication that may just lead to more adventure down the road 😊.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome stuff here. Good ideas for making hirelings more than window dressing. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sketchy hirelings.a time honored tradition

    ReplyDelete

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