Followers & Hirelings Part 1
These ne’er-do-wells are loyal to the character’s coinage not the party, they work together as a “Cohort” but separate from the adventurers on a common goal to be paid & fed, away from a life of tilling the lands or in a stockade. Followers expect to be fed, Hirelings expect to get paid with a bonus share of the loot when successful typically 5-20%.
Pundits expect to be paid very well. Pundits, educate characters to gain class levels, when researching for the characters they expect to be left alone, well-respected, expect witty expensive haggling from them. Players should create and run their own hirelings during an adventure, they are replacement characters if their main characters dies. None of these followers or hirelings aren’t expected to quite go that extra mile as the full PCs do. They’re not going to be the ones to scout ahead in the grim dark monster infested cave systems, or try to open the lock to a trapped chest. Their loyalty is primarily to one PC, not the party. They have some staying power, but if treated badly they will walk away, and most likely spread rumors of poor treatment. A big backpack with a few weeks of preserved food, bulky sleeping bag, coil of 100′ of rope ending an a big ass grappling hook? Good luck fighting or being stealthy with that crap on your person. Give that to the cohort, ask them to come up to the front when you need it. Even stuff like shields and some bigger weapons are best passed off to a nearby cohort. Who is holding the lantern? an armored cohort, that’s who.
Followers: 0 level low skilled workers cost 5sp to 10gp per month jobs range from guides, pack & torchbearers, camp attendants/cooks to guards & lookouts. Followers usually do not have a class and level, they will have a very specific task they’re engaged to undertake for a fixed salary guard this camp while we’re gone, escort us from point A to point B. Exploring and looting a monster-filled dungeon is beyond the things followers are morally capable of doing. About the closest you would get is having the followers guard the packhorses outside a dungeon entrance, and help safely transport any treasure back to safety. If cohorts get killed frequently in your service it will be very difficult to attract more in this part of town, word travels fast round here.
Mercenaries: 1-3 levels lower than the PC they are trained workers, they cost 2-30gp/month. For example, costs per month: footman 2gp, heavy footman 3gp, archer 5gp, light cavalry 10gp, Dwarven mounted crossbowman 15gp, elven longbowman 20gp, heavy cavalryman 20gp, elven mounted bowmen 30gp. If the PCs want the mercenaries to accompany them into a dungeon or into some other type of battle, they earn a bonus of the character’s loot typically 5-20%. However, in order to maintain your Mercenaries’ morale, arms & armor must be kept in good working repair you would also need to hire an armorer for 100gp/month who could tend to all yours and mercenaries’ gear.
Specialists: are significantly more costly. For example, costs per month: alchemist 1,000 gp, animal trainer 500 gp, armorer 100 gp, engineer 750 gp, magic-user 3,000+ gp, sage 2,000 gp, spy 500 gp (per mission, not per month), seaman – rower 2 gp, seaman – sailor 10 gp, navigator 150 gp, captain 250 gp.
Consequences of Mistreatment Tagalongs & Mercenaries earn a death benefit payable to their families or loved ones 1000 gp for mercenaries and 200 gp for tagalongs. Further, the 5e loyalty system applies, When appropriate, the NPC rolls 2d6 against their loyalty score. If the result exceeds their loyalty score, they flee or otherwise stop helping. If the loyalty score reaches 12, then the NPC doesn’t have to roll. But in all cases, if the NPC feels abused, Bad Things may happen. Hirelings & Loyalty Loyalty is an optional rule you can use to determine how far an NPC party member will go to protect or assist the other members of the party (even those she doesn’t particularly like). NPC party members who are abused or ignored is likely to abandon or betray party, whereas an NPC who owes a life debt characters or shares their goals might fight to the death for them. Loyalty can be role-played or represented by this rule. Loyalty Score NPC’s loyalty is measured on a numerical scale from 0 to 20. The NPC’s maximum loyalty score is equal to the highest Charisma score among all adventurers the party, and its starting loyalty score is half that number. If the highest Charisma score changes perhaps a character dies or leaves the group-adjust the NPC’s loyalty score accordingly.