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Friday, October 8, 2010

Clone Project: Hirelings

(Edit: this was meant to be scheduled for tomorrow, since I'm going on a day-trip and won't be around. I published it by accident, so it looks like you get an extra post tonight and none tomorrow.)

I'm starting to look at the hireling rules now. This is one of those places with a lot of details and "fluff", which means it's going to be particularly hard to clone. I may, however, be able to get away with a build-a-hireling table, in the same way that I focused on rules to build monster tables or equipment lists rather than cloning the actual, copyright-protected lists.

Hirelings break down into three types:
  • common, including both unskilled labor and armed mercenary types;
  • special, covering skilled labor, crafts, and exotic specialties;
  • unusual, meaning NPCs who are low-level fighters, magic-users, clerics, or "demi-humans".
Common and special hirelings are meant to be hired on a monthly basis, although the common sort should be hire-able over the short-term. The base cost is
  • simple services or labor: 1gp/month (minimum for any hireling)
  • skilled labor: 2.5 gp/month
  • skilled service: 5 gp/month
Add +1 for lightly-armored or +1.5 for heavily-armored warrior types, with an additional +1/+2 for specialists with specific weapons; also add +1 for dwarven hirelings. Round up fractions after applying any of the following multipliers to the adjusted base cost.
  • Elf: x2
  • Orc: x1/2
  • manufacture intricate items: x2
  • manufacture human-sized items: x2
  • wide-area construction: x3
  • isolated (sailors, sentinels at distant outposts, game wardens): x10
  • commander/manager: x10
  • open-ended mission: x10 (up to one year)
  • rare/high demand/extra talented: x10
  • arcane: x100 (includes "rare")
  • sailor: basic labor x isolated = 10 gp/month
  • marine: sailor + (light footman x isolated) = 30 gp/month
  • sea captain: skilled labor (navigation at sea) x isolated x commander = 250 gp/month
  • smith: skilled labor x high demand = 25 gp/month
  • armorer: smith x human-sized x intricate (mail/plate armor) = 100 gp/month
No guidelines are given in the LBBs for short-term rates, but you should probably double the monthly rate to get a weekly/daily rate and multiply that by 10 for a dungeon/wilderness expedition.

Unusual characters are those that AD&D later would call "henchman": NPCs with class levels. Costs appear to be open-ended, although there's a note that it takes at least a 100 gp to entice most humans into service. I was also struck by this passage:
Only the lowest level of character types can be hired. The player wishing to hire a non-player character "advertises" by posting notices at inns and taverns, frequents public places seeking the desired hireling, or sends messengers to whatever place the desired character type would be found (elf-land, dwarf-land, etc).
The important bit here, for me, is that parenthetical bit. It appears to suggest that the default setting does not have towns of mixed race; PC dwarves, elves and halflings may be the only "demi-humans" in town, and possibly the only ones that the townies have ever seen.

Advertising and procurement costs appear to be best handled as 1d6 for asking an individual for information, x10 for a group (buying a round for everyone at a tavern,) x100 for weekly advertising costs.

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