Next Question:    How do I use Hirelings?

Next Question:    How do I use Hirelings?

Next Question:    How do I use Hirelings?

Let’s take the Warrior, for example:


Warriors are not masters of combat, but they are handy with a weapon.

Man-at-arms—When you deal damage while a warrior aids you add their skill to the damage done. If your attack results in consequences (like a counter attack) the man-at-arms takes the brunt of it.

What if I don’t want him to Aid me?  What if I’m The Wizard and hire 2 Warriors and 2 Protectors?   I order the Warriors to dispatch those two goblins and the Protectors to stay back with me.

What happens?

11 thoughts on “Next Question:    How do I use Hirelings?”

  1. Okay, next question:  Is the Ranger’s Animal Companion pretty-much-the-same-only-better?  Just an extension of the character and not really a separate entity?

  2. That depends on if it has certain trainings. If it has guard, it will guard and I would say it does it well unless the fiction says otherwise.

  3. Note that it is “when you deal damage” not “when you hack and slash”, so you would still be able to get bonus warrior damage if you were casting attack spells, as long as he was aiding you. Like “my hireling charges the goblins and keeps their attention while I cast magic missile“.

  4. Cool. And on a missed cast a spell roll, BAM, there goes the warrior in a magic puff.

    The animal companion IS a separate entity. It will obey his master’s orders, but if it’s not actively working with him, then the gm decides (reflecting agenda, principles, soft/hard moves, its trainings, what the fiction dictates, blah blah you know the drill, right?)

  5. I would like to hear more about this too. If I am a wizard and send my warrior to attack the miscreant goblin, what then? How do you determine that the warrior kills the goblin and how do you determine that the goblin kills the warrior. Could I say cool, roll damage for the warrior against the goblin, but roll damage back for goblin to get the warrior? Seems like Hirelings ought to be more than one shot dungeon gear. Could I ask for a defy danger from the wizard (Cha? maybe since he is ordering the warriors?) to see what happens? Or do I just make a soft or hard move as the GM? I too am very confused by Hirelings – would like some more examples and specifics of how it has played out with hirelings in actual games.

  6. Well, if you send your hireling to go kill a goblin, you’re giving your hireling an order. There’s a move for that (p. 37) but it’s all about whether the hireling obeys you or not. There’s a reason for that.

    One of the underlying principles of DW is that it is all about the PCs. Rolling dice for one NPC against another goes against that. So, as the GM, if the player just sent his warrior against a goblin, I get to pick what happens based on what makes sense in the fiction.

    If it’s just a goblin, he probably kills it. They’re not very tough on their own.  

    But is it ever just a goblin? Send him against a handful of goblins and I’m probably going to make a move. “You look over and see your faithful retainer battling the goblins. He’s holding his own for now but one of them is sneaking around to stab him in the back. What do you do?”

    Send him against a horde of goblins? You’re giving me a golden opportunity, and he’s probably going to die.

  7. last time, when people was ordering hirelings to do things for them, I always said “ok, but beware that I’m going to decide what happens, you roll only for your character, for other characters it’s for me to decide their fate”; guess what, they always took back their decision and tried to put their own characters on the front line.

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