Author Topic: Hirelings and NPCs  (Read 4491 times)

Ludanto

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Hirelings and NPCs
« on: May 16, 2011, 08:33:11 PM »
Ok, I understand how hirelings provide their skills.  That's right there in the rules.  But what about when they're just in a fight in the dungeon.  The Paladin tells his Protectors not, "defend the mage", but "kill those goblins".

How do I handle that?  I realize they're all NPCs so I can do whatever I want, but what's the "default"?  Trade harm as established, probably?

Oh, that brings up NPC damage.  It's class-based now.  Do hirelings have a "base" damage?  Half of the corresponding PC die type maybe?  Two to three times their level, like a monster?

evilben

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 08:38:38 PM »
ummm, i suppose if you wanted to have a hireling deal damage id say to use it like the warrior hireling that adds damage to an attack. (but i also think you should have hired a warrior instead of a protector if you wanted that...)

ideas for actually doing that with the class damage die. i would say use the die one step down from what the PC class would do. i think the downside to this is the low low hp that hireling have. if they trade damage they would probably die pretty fast.

Ludanto

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 08:44:30 PM »
Well, I think that hirelings that aren't specifically providing their skill will probably die pretty fast as a rule.  Heck, Protectors probably die a lot even then.

The problem with dropping a die level is that then the GM is rolling dice.  I figured Fighter = d10 / Warrior = 5 might be a fair way to go.

agony

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 09:03:37 PM »
I would handle it like Gangs in Apocalypse World.  Let the character who hired the guy act through the NPC. 

So you hire a Protector and you want him to attack the Zombie.  The player who hired the Protector rolls Hack and Slash and then causes damage (one die step down seems about right).  This way the player can roll damage.

The issue is stats which are kind of wonky.  What strength should a Protector have?

Maybe NPCs have +1 in the single relevant stat to their action (Con for Protector, Strength for Warrior, Charisma for Bard hireling and so on) and 0's in everything else.

So, yeah, using a hireling to directly attack would be a last ditch effort or maybe useful if you're trying to cover a retreat.

evilben

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 09:14:15 PM »
ehh, the zombie that the cleric can raise has +1 to all stats. so i would say at least that.... and maybe a +2 in the stat they specialize in (warrior: str, protector: con, adept: int, etc...)

i would have the player who "owns" the hireling would do the rolling for the hireling.

Ludanto

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 09:26:46 PM »
I don't know.  I think Zombie is an exception, not a rule.  Rolling for NPCs feels wrong.  Even the Ranger's animal companion doesn't have real stats.

Maybe it's a moot point, though.  After all, Protectors aren't paid to be front-line fighters.  Warriors aren't paid to take point.

If the PCs insist, (with Parley, I guess) then it's just an invitation for the GM to make a move:
Deal damage according to the threats present, maybe take damage as well
Use up their resources
Show signs of doom

I might go that way with it.  Thanks for the input.

agony

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 09:42:46 PM »
But you're not really rolling for an NPC.  The NPC is a tool to exercise your character's agency.  Think of the NPC as a weapon not a character.

I don't know about Stats.  If they have +1 in everything then they're better than low level characters.  Plus, the Cleric has to choose that spell and cast it successfully.  All you have to do for a hireling is lay down a small amount of cash.  Plus, if you give him a +2 people are going to stop using the Warrior hireling to add damage and have him attack on his own. 

Ludanto

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 09:54:51 PM »
But if you're not rolling for the NPC, then you're not rolling because it's not a Move in the first place.

I guess if you look at the Moves pretty broadly, setting your goons on somebody might count as "When you attack an enemy in melee", though unlike a weapon, or even an AW gang, you don't really have control over hirelings beyond the skill they agree to provide.

Well, either way, hirelings definitely should (not) get their own stats.

Ludanto

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 10:10:14 PM »
Ah, and now that I think about it, the classic hireling job: carrying stuff!

How much Weight do you suppose a hireling can carry?  Would they even stoop to carrying stuff?  Is it another case of "GM's choice"?

agony

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 11:04:31 PM »
Yeah, I would just pick a middle of the road number like 5 or 6 weight.

evilben

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 01:40:15 PM »
really, if it was my game, i would not allow hireling to go off and do stuff of their own except for in extreme cases when it would all be narrative. the hirelings are not heroes, they are tag a longs that are willing to assist the heroes but do not have the spine to be on the front lines. i would relegate them to using the rules provided in the book for 99% of the stories.

as far as carrying stuff. i would tie it again to the class they would turn into. again probably less (for some, im not sure itd be fair to give the adept less carry then they wizard already gets!) and i remember reading somewhere on these forums that someone had a hireling run off with the loot, now thats funny! i would have it added in if the PCs fails some roll or other in which that might be an acceptable outcome. or the 'lose something valuable' could also pertain to what your hireling is carrying.

sage

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 10:39:24 PM »
We're totally adding some rules about hirelings carrying stuff!

For the other situations, I'd treat it as a chance to make a move. Depending on the exact situation it might even be a hard move: the players are pretty deliberately saying that they'll just trust someone else to handle it.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 06:34:25 PM by sage »

IvanHo

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2011, 03:46:54 PM »
I think hirelings to carry stuff should be their own type. Perhaps a Carrier?
Perhaps they can carry 2-3 times their level? High level Carriers obviously employ carts and or donkeys.

mease19

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2011, 05:02:45 PM »
At this point, why not list mule under hireling?  The trick is that you can instantaneously convert gold to animal feed.  That would then set a precedent for bloodhounds, falcons, truffling-pigs, carrier pigeons, ratting-ferrets, construction elephants, or any other working animal.

sage

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Re: Hirelings and NPCs
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2011, 06:34:55 PM »
Animal hirelings are an option, but we don't want to step on the Ranger's toes too much.