Monday, October 11, 2010

Hirelings Revised

It was good to get to play again and be able to make some revisions based on more than theory.  One of my players was having his hireling do literally everything first: open doors, walk into rooms, touch things.  It started irritating me, not only is it craven, but pretty much my idea of evil.

So I decided to formalize my hireling Articles of Agreement.  I'll call it the Oath of Agreement, or the Five Fingers.  And in Nidus, hirelings that follow it and expect it to be followed will wear a red sash.  I call them guilded, but I imagine Nidus as being too chaotic to have a guild, more like the oath and word of mouth is the power.

During our session, I was role-playing the hireling as resistant, and kept doing reaction rolls, but now if the player is insistent on treating his hired help like something disposable word will get out and no one will work for him.  Or their fees will be sky-high.

Here is the Oath:
For 5 gold a day or a half-share of treasure, In good faith I will:
  •   Obey, knowing it puts neither I nor any innocent at risk.
  •   Protect you and yours, knowing you will protect me in return.
  •   Wield gear carefully and well, knowing I will keep it at our journey's end.
  •   Remain resolute, knowing you will never bewitch me without my consent.
  •   Stand serene, knowing in the event of the worst, my remains will be returned respectfully along with a quarter-share to my kin.
Here is a 3x5 card I made to record the hirelings name, traits and encumbrance:

And here is the pdf with my revised rules for acquiring hirelings.

Thanks to rorschachhamster and JDJarvis, I incorporated your ideas into the revised Articles.


  1. Heh, back in my LARP days, I played a hireling to one of my friend's characters. I had a contract that I drew up that gave the left and right limits of what he could and could not make me do.

    Since my buddy had a Japanese-themed Dark Elf and I was an Ogre, I had the clause "Grun will not be ordered to kill himself" in the contract.

  2. Heh, that sounds like a pretty wise provision.

  3. Great sheet! Thanks for sharing! If my group ever decides to seek out hirelings; it will see a lot of use!

  4. You did a great job distilling the rules of engagement for hirelings! I think the Hireling's Guild in my Telengard setting will put this in their contracts.
    The Mercenary's Guild that hires our men-at-arms will have a slightly different oath, probably just changing the first one a bit.

  5. Thanks to both of you, may your hirelings live only as long as they're necessary, haha.

  6. How about Oath-man/woman? That should be descriptive without the problem of Nidus not being structured enough for a guild.