Been quite a while since I last posted, but I am in need of advice.

Been quite a while since I last posted, but I am in need of advice.

Been quite a while since I last posted, but I am in need of advice. The campaign I GM (which passed its year mark in December, yay!) finally includes some hirelings – after many subtle and not-so-subtle hints that my players should take some on. 

They ended up with a pair of Gnomish brothers, one of whom is a fiercely loyal tracker whose cost is the ‘Thrill of Victory’ (by the name of Nutley, his brother was dutifully dubbed ‘Boltington’). Loved how quickly their basic personalities came into focus as a result of the hireling rules. 

Now, apart from the obvious complications that might come from failing to achieve victory in their normal encounters, I was hoping that some GMs might be able to share other ideas they had for this sort of cost – out of all of them, this is the one that causes me the most head–scratching.   

6 thoughts on “Been quite a while since I last posted, but I am in need of advice.”

  1. They may come to feel that they are working for glorified chumps who make terrible decisions. They may question whether they backed the wrong team and end up informing or otherwise serving a villain while in the party’s company. If victories become scarce, they will most definitely question orders that put them in danger, since they will not likely trust the heroes to rescue them if things go wrong.

  2. Those are fair points, Chris McGee, and I should keep that in mind to ensure the hireling’s responses follow the fiction. But alongside that, I’m also wondering what other things might tread upon a hireling’s desire for the ‘Thrill of Victory’ is it only (or predominantly) combat?

    Or, asked another way, how do we define the circumstances of a “victory?” is it on a per hireling basis? is it every type of victory, or is it best to narrowly define it for each hireling (i.e, the thrill of ‘Victory’ in battle, or the thrill of ‘Victory’ over the shadow league)? is that something that should be done ahead of time, or as the hireling’s fiction evolves? is it just an obvious and static definition that I’m over-thinking?

    I’m wondering what others have done, or how their games have evolved, in that respect.    

  3. It’s per hireling. Victory is associated by definition with competition, and in a fantasy game is generally going to refer to combat. You can define victory however you wish, be as metaphorical or existential as you like, as long as your players understand what the hireling’s cost really is and agree to it.

  4. Right. That makes sense. I’ll have to hammer it out with my players, as I took for granted that it referred solely to combat until I started giving it more thought in the days that followed. Heck, they might just prefer it refer solely to combat anyway.


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