Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Hirelings & Henchmen

Hirelings and henchmen play a significant role in old-school D&D, and I wanted to encourage their use in my Savage Worlds campaign. I thought this was an especially good idea due to the Savage Worlds system being able to so smoothly handle large numbers of characters in combat. However, unfortunately I couldn't find any details in SWEX or the Fantasy Companion relating to the hiring of allies - not even a rough "cost per day / week". So I worked out my own tables, specific to fantasy settings, with guidelines for the costs of locating and hiring mercenaries and neophyte adventurers to join a party.

The PDF can be downloaded here: Hirelings & Henchmen.

It includes a random table for determining an adventurer's profession (Fighter, Wizard, Thief, Cleric, etc), and stats for them all. All the adventurers' stats are created with 5 points in Attributes, 10 points in Skills, and no Edges except those granted by racial background. So they're a step behind starting PCs, which is appropriate.

At present there are no guidelines or tables for hirelings' background, personality or motivations. The table in SWEX can provide a basic hint at personality, but I'd like to add some tables with small snippets of background, motivations and interesting quirks or features. A simple roll on the Minor Hindrances table could add some flavour as well.

The document is somewhat idiosyncratic to my campaign, with a setting-specific list of deities for Clerics, and the assumption that all Elves have supernatural powers. These things can easily be ignored though.


  1. This looks great - excellent work! I'm dying to try Savage Worlds! One of the players in my Labyrinth Lord campaign just got SW and wants to set up an old-west zombie scenario, which sounds quite cool. SW looks like a great rule system.

  2. Glad you like the Hirelings sheet! I think I'll probably upload a slightly modified version which is compatible with the SW Fantasy Companion (ie with my campaign specific stuff removed).

    I've found SW a joy to GM. For me it has just the right level of crunch-factor, and as my group and I gain more experience with the system we keep being pleasantly surprised by how flexible and robust it is.

    It also has a lot of systems which aid improvisation and spur of the moment rulings - two of the most genius being Common Knowledge (characters can just make a simple Smarts roll to know about things appropriate to their backround - no need for all those Knowledge skills!) and Tricks (a simple resolution system for players' descriptions of any kind of crazy combat maneuver).