Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Microlite20: Henchmen and Hirelings

As I like to run my M20 games as old-school dungeon crawls, here's some old-school style rules for Hirelings.

A character may retain the services of a number of hirelings equal to his Charisma bonus. He may (at the GM's discretion) have more, but chances are they would need to pay over the odds for them (or treat them exceptionally well).

The stat-block are read as follows:
Stats - instead of full stats, I've listed the appropriate Stat Bonus - if there isn't one listed, the stat is considered to have a +0 bonus (i.e. completely average).
Skills - many people will not be as skilled as the PCs, and as such will normally only have one or two skill bonuses (the rest are considered +0, as with stats.)
HP and AC - as per usual.
Gear - anything they might bring with them into your employ. This can vary at the GM's discretion.
Cost - this represents who much money the Hireling will need to be paid per day to stay with you. If you do not pay them three days in a row, they will leave (and may try to take their money by force). They can also be paid on a monthly or weekly basis, normally with a small decrease to the total (so, a Torchbearer might accept 1sp per week, instead of the expected 14cp).

In the rare case that you are hiring non-human Hirelings (to keep the old-school feel, demihumans should normally be built as slightly weaker-than-average PCs), then use these profiles and add any racial bonuses to the stats and skills.

Your standard, run-of-the-mill peasant. Most are unskilled labourers or young teens, who will take the chance to earn a few extra coins (so long as the risks aren't too great). They might hold their own in a fist-fight, but most won't be too happy when the blades start being drawn. 
Skills - one at +1 (normally Physical, but others may vary)
HP - 4 AC - 10
Cost - 2cp/day

These are your "standard" labourers, guards, or thugs. Many are willing to wield a weapon, though few (if any) will fight to the death for you.
STR +1
Skills - Physical +1, 1 other at +1 (normally Subterfuge).
HP - 6 AC - 12
Gear - Either a short sword and shield or a polearm, leather armour.
Cost - 2sp/day

Should you find yourself unable to locate the services of a Ranger,perhaps the humble Woodsman may be of some use.While they will be fine wit loosing arrows from afar, some might balk at the idea of entering close combat.
DEX +1
Skills - Physical +1, Survival +2, Subterfuge +1
HP - 6 AC - 12
Gear - Longbow and arrows, twin hatchets, leather armour.
Cost - 4sp/day

This could represent the village medicine-man, or a trainee wizard (before gaining full 1st-level privileges). Or maybe even a clergyman of some God, or a cultist. Few are particularly capable in combat, though their knowledge of the arcane might come in useful (and, as magic items cost HP, PC Wizards may hire them to assist in their creation).
Skills - Knowledge +1, Communication +1
HP - 5 AC - 10
Spells Known - 0-level - Detect Magic, Mending, Prestidigitation, Dancing Lights, 1st-level - one spell from either the Wizard or Cleric spell list
Gear - Robes, various material components, spellbook
Cost - 5sp/spell required, or 1gp+5sp/days work.

The Sage is a learned character, a student of one of many different areas of expertise (or perhaps a more "jack-of-all-trades"). These character will not leave their studies to go and adventure, but can be hired to research particularly complicated problems for the players.
Skills - Knowledge +3
HP - 5 AC - 10

Cost - depends on the service required. Mostly 1gp/day, make the MIND+Knowledge roll against a DC, and the difference between the result and the DC is the number of days it takes to find the fact. If the roll is a success, then the fact is either instantly known,or found in a book in next to no time.

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