This Party Only Hires Targets

by mshrm

This post over here got me thinking about something I’ve noticed about my PCs: they don’t like hiring folks. I pitched the idea of hirelings at the last session, but nobody bit.

Rather than hire a torchbearer, they got two torches enchanted with Continual Light by the Church. Alric carries one, and I think TKotBO carries the other in the shield hand. When battle starts, Alric needs both hands to grasp his ax, so the plan is that he should drop the torch. Since they’re enchanted, there’s no worry about the torch going out in the muck. I don’t know if the players have thought through a plan for when the fight moves away from the dropped torch, or what happens when they bump into a no-mana zone.

While discussing the plan for disposing of loot, the idea of hiring an agent for such work came up. Considering the mistrust among the party members, I didn’t think anybody would be too keen on handing all the loot over to Mississippi Jed. With Rho gone, I figured they would be happier splitting up the loot pre-sale, then handling their own arrangements for sale. Silly me!  Everybody’s happy with Jed taking away the loot and coming back with five sacks of coins, despite having no firm agreement about handling fees and the like. None that I’m aware of, anyway.

They didn’t know that they would find themselves in the situation when they left town, of course, but at this point, they’ve got to be asking themselves if a few men-at-arms wouldn’t come in handy right now, as they find themselves facing “a couple dozen orcs” in a congested hallway.  They’ve mentioned, more than once, how they’re weak on ranged attacks, but they’ve never considering hiring a local with a bow.

They really could have used a couple of bearers, when they were packing out the stolen fabric. They barely managed to drag it all back to the mounts. They’re really lucky the wandering monster rolls didn’t have them meet the ogre on that trip.

Speaking of the mounts, they bring to mind one place where the party does have a follower. Alric paid points for Dobby, to make him trustworthy, and now they use him to keep watch over the animals. That’s good, honest work, I’m sure – and it keeps me from wiping out all the mounts as soon as the first wandering monster check comes up – but it’s not like Dobby’s on the fast track to management.

The inspiring post brought up a use for hirelings that sounds like it might be really useful for this party: as a source for replacement PCs. Remember, the first replacement PC was Jim Kadabra, who ended up mis-identified as a necromancer, mugged, stripped, and nearly sold as a slave. (There’s even been some idle jokes about every player owing the group their first replacement characters as a sacrifice.) If it had been a case of “Jim Kadabra, who hired on as a scribe and drawer of maps, but now rises to the occasion after the death of his employer, Rho”, I think Kadabra might have survived long enough to introduce himself.

Personally, I’ve always thought the best use of hirelings was filling out the odds when the GM rolls to see who the cave fisher targets, but that’s probably just me…