9 thoughts on “Some quick questions for the group regarding Hirelings.”

  1. Lots! I like Hirelings so much I wrote a whole supplement that makes them into creatures you can really invest in. Simple changes: an attack value and limited injury track, plus a couple of simple order moves, and space to give a Hireling a unique move too.

  2. We had one official hireling in play that I can recall. We were using minis for that part of the adventure, so it was pretty easy for me to keep him top-of-mind when the shite hit the fan. But I had trouble keeping him relevant (or really remembering he was there) when they were just exploring. They party hired him basically as a porter; I don’t think he had any skills, but he should have had more of a personality.

    He became more important after an Order Hirelings check and the ensuing argument gave him some personality, but died (used as a human shield by the artificer against a giant puff adder) shortly after. We never let the artificer’s player live that down.

    Later, the PCs got the help of some rangers (which I’d statted up as monsters and were part of a threat) against a different threat. I treated them as hirelings at that point, which felt weird (like, they used to do d8 damage… now they added a set amount of damage to what the PCs do? huh…).

    Anyhow, I didn’t particularly like the mechanics of either case, so I (like James) wrote my own hireling moves:


  3. I’ve never seen them come up in my games, but I think that’s largely down to campaign / playstyle; dungeon crawling just seems weird with an entourage. I’m sure for certain types of adventures and adventurers they make perfect sense. Pirate crews and mercenary bands spring to mind.

    And ya know, zombie armies, if that’s your thing. Can a necromancer recruit from a graveyard and get hirelings with a Cost of Brains? I’d allow it.

  4. hirelings are great i use them a ton as a GM.

    personally i am a really deadly as a gm.  traps, lvl drain, hords of creatures with wicked and specific effects… all that good nasty stuff.  so i encourage my players to get hirelings to help with what they know will be difficult tasks.  I had to put hirelings in the player’s  way a few times to teach them the value. every player thinks they are superman until they are disembowled by a trap that a hireling could save them from.  an added bonus is that i as  the gm can bring the big guns, and kill a few hirelings to threaten the players.

    i put the responsibility for the hireling’s move on the person who hired them and do what i can  to make hirelings as interesting and relate-able to the party as i can.  

    hirelings give you as a gm so many more things to do on a failed or partial sucsess.  joe the hireling slips as he climbs and grabs the ledge, he is slipping and the minecart full of gems is sliding away, what do you do?  as you move to stab the dragon’s heart kevin the adept decides he isnt getting paid enough for this and threatens to drop the magic glass orb that is keeping the monster asleep unless you pay him now!.  

    players will fall in love with good hirelings, the longer the hireling has been around the more invested the players are.  i had a campaign completely go off the rails becuase the party was trying to rescue a hireling that fell down a pit.  the hireling had been around like 10 sessions and the players spent 2 sessions ignoring every other objective to save him…. they never bothered to save eachotherlike that but this hireling was like… talking loot.  and they wanted him back. 

    hirelings also make unbalanced partys viable.  your party is what a wizard, a theif and a archer/ranger?  hire some warriors and you are fine. 

    hirelings also make good loot.  imps, djini, slaves, life depts, golems.  they have the added benifit of themeing the party.  a good wizard looks like an evil wizard until the evil one has 5 zombie cultest hirelings following him about.

    as far as keeping track of them i count them as resources like adventureing gear. and as a gm i can “make them spend their resources”  i can “split the party”  i can “warn of comming danger” 

    ya they are great, did you have a specific question?

  5. Thank you all for the insight! Considering my whole group is very new to DW, I don’t think I’ll be seeing hirelings pop up for a while. Most of the players haven’t even seen the book and likely have no idea they are an option. I think that once I’ve got more than a few sessions of DMing under my belt, I’ll look at introducing them from the GM side if they fit the adventure.

  6. On our first DW adventure now, (Joe Banner’s Quartz Monolith), we hired a priest to follow us around, hold the torch, and do healbot stuff. He is scared to death. I don’t think he’s going to make it.

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