RPG plans, designs and ideas
I'm not a big fan of "throw away" NPCs. Kinda violates the whole point and definitely violates the spirit of NPCs, at least as understood by Gygax.
A straight "throw-away" rule is pretty bad, and maybe even the version Jeff Rients posted is too extreme, although he does limit the sacrifice to once a session. But I'm wondering if there's a way to do the same thing in a less extreme way. Maybe a reaction roll to see if the hirelings helps, and if so, splitting damage between the two.