I was looking over the Hirelings section and I realized after reading it, I still don’t know how to run one.

I was looking over the Hirelings section and I realized after reading it, I still don’t know how to run one.

I was looking over the Hirelings section and I realized after reading it, I still don’t know how to run one. So, if a group has a Priest hireling and they want him to use ‘first-aid’, how is that done in and out of danger?

19 thoughts on “I was looking over the Hirelings section and I realized after reading it, I still don’t know how to run one.”

  1. They can just do it per this move:

    First Aid – When a priest staunches your wounds heal 2×skill HP. You take -1 forward as their healing is painful and distracting

    The skill refers to the hireling’s skill level.

    But, when they are in danger or just frustrated at being used or taken for granted or whatever, you roll this move:

    Order Hirelings – When a hireling find themselves in a dangerous, degrading, or just flat-out crazy situation due to your orders roll+loyalty. On a 10+ they stand firm and carry out the order. On a 7–9 they do it for now, but come back with serious demands later. Meet them or the hireling quits on the worst terms.

    Also: If the hireling’s cost isn’t paid regularly (usually once a session) they’re liable to quit or turn on their employers.

    This is pretty much straight from the SRD.

  2. So, if not in any sort of precarious situation, no roll is needed? A player just role-plays asking Priest Jhora to heal her and than the player’s PC gets 6 or so HP and -1 forward?

  3. I guess that makes sense to not roll all the time. I don’t roll when I want to eat a ration or drink a potion during a break. A Hireling can do a comparable action. It feels weird to have an entity that can heal someone with no variable, like a dice roll. It was ingrained in me that healing through spells is always accompanied by a ‘roll and see what happens’ kind of thinking.

    Thanks Phillip!

  4. No problem. Remember that when their cost hasn’t been met (or if they’re getting greedy or they aren’t very loyal) you should probably be rolling the move. And their cost needn’t be money:

    The Thrill of Victory


    Uncovered Knowledge

    Fame and Glory


    Good Accomplished

    Those are just what the SRD gives, but costs can really be anything. “Pious sacrifices” and “Respecting the dead” might work well to help push drama with your priest. You can always go with a twist as well: “Sadomasochism”, “Simple pleasures”, “Fulfill the martyr’s pilgrimage”

  5. Ray Otus In all honesty, I don’t either. I just have NPC’s that do things in the story that make sense. But it’s nice to know the prescribed rules if players want it.

  6. I haven’t had to use them yet, but I like the idea of mechanically supported people that eat money and possibly crap discontent that the players have to deal with.

    If I had a lower player count, I might try the rules as is, just to round out skills and see what happens.

  7. Jim Jones I’m with you on this. It feels like unnecessary book keeping.

    I’ve never had a group ever say, ‘we need to hire a x’. I think it would make them feel like they are giving the spot light away to an NPC or something.

  8. Jim Jones I guess my players are more selfish than that. Theyd make the story about 5 people who aren’t burglars, try and steal something. Do you think I should explicitly ask them ‘do you guys want to hire help?’

    Also, in your games, is there a difference between Hirelings and followers?

  9. I too struggle with DW Hirelings as well as AW gangs, UW crew, and Legacy companions. My players seem to love them.

    The best I can offer is this: they’re just a tool with a name. Thren the Scholar who they hired is basically the same as having a magical talking book of lore.

  10. Aaron Griffin exactly. The rules are ok. That’s what I dislike about them. They are just ok – not exciting. So I use NPCs and have characters strike bargains with them, but I really should have a look at those rules again, maybe for Plundergrounds.

  11. Aaron Griffin right? They are just npc’s. I don’t like to bloat too much, but really they might as well read ‘while this NPC is in the party, every PC gains this move: heal 2xskill and gain -1 forward.’ or the like.

  12. I like the idea that you have to keep them happy and they won’t do stuff that goes against their own self-preservation unless there is something in it for them.

    There seems like there could be some fun in that, but I would have to play with it more to find out.

  13. Part of the rules I’m playing with for Legacy works like this (Specialist = Hireling):

    Every Specialist has one or more specialties with a rating between +1 and +3 (research +2 or good with a knife +1, for example). They can work in three ways:

    – tell them what to do and roll their specialty – 10+ they do it, 7-9 they do it but their rating drops by 1

    – they assist you in scale, increasing what your action accomplishes

    – they assist you in expertise by spending 1 rating to give you +1 forward

    If they take harm, it also reduces a specialty rating by 1. When they no longer have any rating, they are out of the action in some relevant way

    I could see similar working in DW, if you didn’t want a loyalty/morale component in there.

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