My Castle Xyntillan group is quite fond of their hirelings. They’ve got a bunch of them, and the party’s dungeoneering success is due in large part to them. But I’m worried I’m doing the mechanics wrong.
When I started my CX campaign, I had previously only run GLOG, where hirelings are usually classless, 0-level with 5hp and some basic equipment. S&W doesn’t have explicit rules or statblocks for these, so I improvised. I stuck with giving hirelings 5hp flat for combatants and 3 for non-combatatnts, equipment according to their professions, and a +1 to hit for combatants.
I’ve been reading the 1e AD&D DMG, and the rules there hold that hirelings are going to be of 1st level, and may only be of higher level under unusual circumstances or when hired by much higher level characters. So my mechanics actually haven’t been far off. 5hp flat is on the good side of average for the Fighter’s HD, and 3 is on the good side of the ordinary human’s HD. So far so good.
My real questions is about progression and shares. So far, I’ve run hirelings on an upkeep and flat pay basis, charging by the day, but not taking a direct cut of treasure like the party does. As a result, they don’t gain treasure XP or advance.
In the 1e DMG, henchmen/retainers can get shares of treasure, but it’s not explicitly stated if they advance in level as a result. OSE rules have an equivalent half-share rule, and they also advance with XP at that rate.
Also, all of the hirelings thus far have either been non-combatants of Fighter 1 equivalents, no clerics, MUs or Thieves. I’m considering a revamp of the hireling system for the campaign now that the party is back in town.
So how do all of you run retainers, and how would you recommend I run them?