The articles of agreement, pirate articles, always fascinated me. Here was a force of chaos and anarchy that was held together by a sense of justice and a form of democracy (more than the Queen's navy would ever give them).
Now, I am very leery of anything that makes dungeon exploration mundane. Tales of the great adventurer guilds of the Forgotten Realms really leave me cold. But I think there is room, in a civilized location (i.e. remnants of empire) for a similar set of expectations agreed upon for hired help.
So if players decide to seek help outside my city of Nidus. I think from now on potential hirelings might rquire the pcs to sign an agreement. What would the agreement include? I think it should be simple, might vary for combatants and non-combatants. Maybe as few as five points to the agreement would keep it manageable. Here is a shot at it from the hireling's perspective:
This person upon setting out with the hirer:
- Will obey all orders that don't put themselves or innocents at risk of life, mind, or limb. Unless refusal would interfere with the next tenet.
- Do their best to protect the hirer and the party's concerns.
- Keep any gear they are outfitted with.
- Receive a half-share of treasure found.
- In the event of death, disappearance, or mental destruction, will have a quarter-share of treasure delivered to their closest kin.