Hirelings are, quite simply, people who are hired to complete a task, whether it be a short-term contract with a limited duration (several stevedores hired to unload a ship), or an ongoing period of service (servants in a manor or castle). Hirelings, except for soldiers, are generally not taken along on adventures – they remain behind at the PC's stronghold, or are contracted when the PCs are in a city and need their services.

Hirelings are divided into four groups: common hirelings, expert hirelings, sages, and soldiers. Each is described below.

Common Hirelings

Common hirelings are unskilled laborers – teamsters, stevedores, pack handlers, torchbearers, etc. They have manual labor jobs with low pay, but are quite numerous and easy to find in any population center. Unskilled hirelings are generally contracted for short-term service – a few hours to a couple days – though PCs can hire several porters, packbearers, and such to accompany them on an expedition. Unskilled laborers who are contracted into long-term service in the PC's manor, castle, or stronghold are considered to be servants (see below). Generally speaking, common hirelings have no ranks in the Profession skill.

Table 1 lists the most common unskilled hirelings and their daily rates.

Table 1: Unskilled Hirelings

Occupation Daily Wage
Cook 1 sp
Laborer 1 sp
Maid 1 sp
Porter 1 sp
Runner 1 cp*
Stevedore 3 sp
Teamster 5 sp
Torchbearer 1 sp
Valet 2 sp

Cook: Someone who prepares meals.

Laborer: The backbone of any workforce, laborers do menial, generic tasks – digging ditches, cutting and hauling wood, streetsweeping, etc. They usually do not belong to a guild; they can be hired for individual tasks for less than a teamster, stevedore, or other guild-related laborer, but are less reliable.

Maid: A household servant who cleans.

Porter: Someone who is trained at loading, unloading, and handling pack animals, or who can carry large loads himself.

Runner: A messagebearer. Runners are usually young children; they charge their fee per message carried, and can charge up to a silver piece to carry a (small) package.

Stevedore: Someone who is trained at loading and unloading boats and ships of all sizes. Stevedores usually belong to a guild, though many cities have groups of "free" stevedores who get jobs when and as they can.

Teamster: A cart or wagon driver. Teamsters are trained in loading and unloading their vehicles and know how to handle most draft animals.

Torchbearer: Someone who carries torches, lamps, or other light sources.

Valet: A personal servant who is trained to carry out various duties according to his employer's wishes.

Expert Hirelings

Expert hirelings have one or more ranks in a Profession or Craft skill. Their jobs are more specialized and require at least some knowledge and training in order to perform them properly (i.e., earn a living).

As with common hirelings, PCs can contract the services of an expert hireling for an individual task, or for an ongoing period of time (hire an armorer to work for the PC at his castle, e.g.). An expert hireling's wage is twice his Craft or Profession modifier in gold pieces per week (for example, someone with a +4 Profession score would charge 8 gp/week).

If the PC needs something special done, the hireling would negotiate or charge a price based on that task. Generally speaking, the price would be a fee plus expenses (materials and daily wages). The initial fee is a surcharge based on the item's total value and the crafter's expertise – more experienced crafters are in greater demand and can thus charge more for their services.

Generally speaking, the surcharge is 2% of the item's total value times the number of ranks the crafter has. If the item is magical, the fee is increased to 5% (this can exceed 100% of the item's total value). The daily fee is figured as the hireling's Craft ranks times the modifier listed on the table below. (This system uses ranks, not total modifier, since various materials and mastercraft items require minimum ranks, not total bonus; it also prevents a low-level NPC with a high bonus from being able to charge far more for his services.)

For example: Herne finds several adamantine ingots and wishes to make a mastercraft (+1) greatsword from them. Since he doesn't have the skill to do it himself, he seeks out a master weaponsmith (someone with at least 15 ranks in Craft [weaponsmithing]). The person he finds is an old dwarf with 17 ranks and a +25 modifier. The sword's total price is 1,500 gp (50 for the sword, x10 for adamantine, and x3 for mastercraft) and takes 22 days (base 15, x1.5 for mastercraft); the dwarf charges 510 gp (34% of 1500) + 170 gp per day, for a total of 4,250 gp. Herne is lucky he's already provided the adamantine, or he would be paying another 500 gp!

Ranks Daily Fee
1-5 x1
6-10 x2
11-15 x5
16-20 x10
20+ x20

Soldiers are mercenaries, levies, or military forces who fight for their master. They are listed by unit type.

Table 4-1: Unit Types

Unit Type Cost
Archer, longbowman 4 gp
Cavalry, light 3 gp
Cavalry, medium 4 gp
Cavalry, heavy 6 gp
Crossbowman 2 gp
Infantry, light 1 gp
Infantry, medium 2 gp
Infantry, heavy 3 gp
Pikeman 3 gp
Slinger 1 gp

Archer (longbow): Archer units in an army or mercenary company are always longbowmen – shortbows don't have the range to be used from the ground in mass combat. They are always foot soldiers and held back from the line of battle, but can fight as light infantry if necessary, with long- or short swords, maces, or hand axes.

Artillerist: Artillerists are specialized soldiers who operate siege engines (ballistae, catapults, etc.). While anyone with the proper training can operate one of these things, an artillerist brings extra knowledge to the team, which grants a +2 initiative and attack bonus, as he can get the crew to move more quickly and efficiently, and aim the weapon more accurately. Obviously, if the artillerist dies or is incapacitated, the bonuses are lost.

Cavalry: Cavalry are, simply put, mounted infantry. Like infantry (see below), they are divided into three categories: light, medium, and heavy. Under this system, rider and mount are considered one unit, so a few things are slightly different – the hit points are the rider's plus half the mount's; speed is the mount's speed; the Armor Class is stated as two numbers: the first is the mount's AC, plus half the rider's armor bonus, which is used for general attacks against the unit; the second is the rider's AC, which is used for attacks against him directly; the attacks include a +1 bonus for attacking from horseback against a smaller target (since cavalry is most often employed against infantry). Unhorsed cavalry are treated as infantry of the same class (use the statblock for infantry).

Light cavalry are always used as skirmishing units; they are generally well-trained in archery, and often hail from a nomadic tribe. As such, they are harder to control than other units – they are less likely to break and run than irregulars, but are just as prone not to follow orders. They ride either specially-trained light riding horses (nomads only) or light warhorses (standard units), wear leather armor (or no armor at all), and use shortbows and scimitars or sabers.

Medium cavalry are the most common type seen in armies. They ride light warhorses (generally with leather barding) and employ lances or spears as part of a charge to break the enemy lines, then draw their melee weapons to engage in close combat. The riders themselves wear chainmail and light shields, and use longswords, maces, or axes as melee weapons.

Heavy cavalry, like heavy infantry, are the shock troops of an army; very few armies have more than one unit of heavy cavalry. Often, the sight of a couple hundred men in plate mail riding massive warhorses is enough to cause an enemy army to break and run; even if they stand their ground, they are usually ground to a bloody pulp beneath the massive weight and crushing power of the charge. Heavy cavalry ride heavy warhorses with chain barding; they wear breastplate armor and heavy shields, and use lances, along with longswords, battle axes, or heavy maces.

Crossbowman (light or heavy): A unit of crossbowmen can use either light or heavy weapons. Because crossbows have a flat trajectory, they are less effective as indirect fire weapons; crossbowmen are usually set up on hilltops or nearer the action, where they can get clear shots at enemy units.

Light crossbowman can operate either as foot soldiers or light cavalry; the latter typically operate as a skirmishing unit. Heavy crossbowman are always foot soldiers; either type can fight as light infantry. A unit of crossbowmen on foot typically has a screening force of infantry with heavy or tower shields to protect them from charging enemies.

Footmen: This entry covers a wide range of foot soldiers. For purposes of this book, footmen are divided into light, medium, and heavy infantry, and pikemen (pikes, spears, etc.).

Light infantry are generally fast, lightly-armored units used for skirmish actions, or as saboteurs, scouts, or sappers. Many humanoid armies employ light infantry, and some human armies make great use of them (the Spartans were among the best light infantry in the world); irregulars are always considered light infantry. They are typically equipped with short- or longswords (or sometimes spears), studded leather or hide armor, and light shields; some also have ranged weapons – javelins or shortspears – that they throw before engaging in close combat.

Medium infantry are commonly found on the battlefield. They typically wear chain shirts and wield longswords and medium shields (though some units use tower shields and spears); they are usually trained to fight in close unit formation (tower shield units are always trained).

Heavy infantry are not quite as common as medium infantry, but are commonly used by those who can't afford (or can't use) cavalry. They serve as the shock troops of an army, the central unit around which the others form, and always operate in close formation. They wear heavy armor (breastplate or half-plate) and use heavy shields with warhammers, longswords, or battle axes.

Pikemen are equivalent to light or medium infantry; they are generally used to anchor the ends of an army to prevent flanking cavalry charges, though they can be placed before a normal infantry unit to receive a charge, then step aside to let the footmen ahead. Many irregular units use polearms (most polearms evolved from attaching farming implements to the ends of spears or poles). They are equipped with leather armor (or rarely chain shirts), a polearm (commonly a longspear or halberd), and a short sword as a backup weapon for close combat.

Officers: Officers are the leadership of any unit. Without them, a unit is nothing more than a disorganized rabble – a mob. A lieutenant is the lower rank of officer; they can command smaller units on their own, or serve as aides to captains (the higher rank).

A lieutenant is a fighter of 2nd-4th level who can command up to 20 men per level, either directly or through his sergeants. He can have one extra sergeant in addition to those require to command, who serves as an aide. Any unit of 50 men or more must have a lieutenant.

A captain is a fighter of 4th-8th level who can command up to 30 men per level, either through his sergeants or his lieutenants, but not on his own. He can have 1 extra lieutenant or 2 extra sergeants in addition to those required to command; these serve as aides. Any unit of 100 men or more must have a captain.

Sergeant: Sergeants are squad or platoon leaders. They command up to 20 men each, enabling a lieutenant (see above) to extend the range of his command by passing along orders. When recruiting units, sergeants are assumed to be included in the unit makeup (there must be a sergeant for every 20 men minimum, and there can be as many as one per 10 men). Sergeants generally have the same equipment as the men they command, just better quality (masterwork armor and primary weapon). The examples below are for medium cavalry and infantry sergeants.

Slinger: Slingers are very rare outside of irregular units, as the sling is considered a peasant's weapon, not fit for a "real soldier". They are always lightly armored and generally flee before engaging in close combat. If forced to do so, however, they carry simple weapons (usually spears, daggers, or light maces) as backup.

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