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While your player characters represent some of the most dynamic

youths in your town, there are others that dont have your lust for
adventure but might be persuaded to help out for cold, hard coin.
Given time, they might become secure in the lifestyle, and more
interested in the long term, revealing their own talents.

Recruiting Hirelings

Your hometown and other settlements will have a selection of

individuals that can potentially be recruited to adventure with you (see
Hireling Growth, below). In order to recruit a hireling, you must make a
Charisma check with a penalty equal to the number of hirelings and
allies that are known to have died or gone missing on your adventures
(for you personally) and a bonus equal to the number of hirelings
known to have been promoted to allies (for you personally). (This
known status is obviously a touchy subject; if you eventually make it
impossible to recruit hirelings at home, be very careful how much
information reaches the distant towns you try to recruit at.)

For example, if two of your allies and four of your hirelings have died
during your adventures, and you have two allies left, you probably
have a net -2 to your attempts to recruit new hirelings (-6 for deaths,
+4 for allies).

Failing to recruit a hireling marks that one as unavailable until you level
up or do something else impressive for the hirelings town that
changes his or her opinion of you, and that hireling will be unwilling to
go with the group for this adventure (even if another hero attempts
recruitment). Getting just the highly Charismatic heroes to attempt
recruitment has its own problems: that individual must manage all the
hirelings attached to her, and is on the hook if they die.

You can technically have an unlimited number of followers at any one


Hireling Management

Hirelings deduct a half share of XP from the party for each hireling, but
do not actually accrue XP (e.g., if you have five PCs and two hirelings,
group XP awards are divided by six).

Hirelings generally expect a half-silver (five copper) per day per

character level for non-dangerous days, and double that on each day
they were in physical danger (e.g., a day with a fight, every day in the
Hedge, etc.). They also expect a 20-silver-per-level death benefit paid
to their families if they dont return from an adventure, in addition to
their monies owed. For example, if you spend 10 days in the Hedge
with a second level hireling, and that hireling dies, you owe 50 silver to
his family on your return.

Hirelings will generally try to hang back in a fight, and minimize their
risk of actually getting attacked. They often prefer to use ranged
attacks, and, particularly for melee fighters, to not engage until the
second round of the fight once enemies have started beating on
someone else. Getting them to take greater risks requires their
manager to make a Charisma (Command) check, with penalties based
on how risky the action seems. If the party starts taking serious
injuries, managers must also make Charisma (Command) checks to
keep their hirelings from having morale failures and fleeing.

Hireling Traits

Hirelings are treated as if they have perfectly generic ability scores,

either through actually being mediocre or just through not putting in
that much effort. They make most ability tests/skill checks at 10
(though rogues generally will have at least two skills defined). They do
not gain ability bonuses or penalties to combat stats.

Hirelings have average HP for their levels, rounded down, like monsters

Hirelings rarely have particularly good gear or training:

Fighters generally have leather armor and either a two-handed weapon

or a one-handed weapon and simple shield (d10 damage and 12 AC or
d8 damage and 13 AC). They represent people in town with more
athleticism than cleverness.
Rogues generally have a good weapon or leather armor, but rarely
both, and track their Fortunes Favor as an AC bonus (d8 damage and
12 AC or d6 damage and 14 AC). They represent people in town with
more cleverness than athletic potential.
Mages generally have a fractional complement of spells and rituals, a
minor weapon, and no armor (0-2 spells, 0-1 rituals, d4 damage, 10
AC). They represent people in town that seemed like promising
apprentices to the local mages, but who were rejected for being ill
suited before they learned much. They can attempt to learn new spells
and rituals from available books (testing as if they had a score of 10,
for a 50/50 shot of learning most spells and rituals).
Hirelings gain their class abilities, hit die, base attack, and saving
throws. They do not have Fortune Points.

Hireling Growth

Before their first adventures, hirelings generally just have a nickname

and short descriptive blurb. You dont particularly care about their
names, and they likely wont tell you much about their backstory.

After surviving his or her first adventure, you generally learn a bit more
of a sketch about the hirelings backstory and talents (and additional
skills may become apparent).

After surviving his or her second adventure, you generally learn a

hirelings name and may choose to promote him or her to an ally (for
the hero that has been serving as manager most often).

Allies are either hirelings that youve bonded with enough to learn their
names and general personality, or named NPCs you meet in the world
and form a bond with.

Recruiting Allies
You may have a number of allies equal to four plus your Charisma
modifier. This represents total allies youre maintaining ongoing
relationships with, not just allies on the current adventure. If you want
to replace an ally without him or her dying, you either have to figure
out a way to trade with another hero or allow that ally to return to
counting as a hireling (which may reset that allys growth if later
returned to ally status). Allies are generally available to go on
adventures as needed, and may not count against your total if they are
often doing their own things.

Ally Management
Allies continue to deduct a half share of XP, but actually gain it and can
level up.

Allies expect the same pay rate as hirelings, though may be willing to
negotiate for a share of potential treasure instead based on their
experience with how much the party has earned in the past. They
generally expect any of their gear upgrades to be provided by the
party, rather than out of their own income.

Allies are generally much more willing than hirelings to put themselves
in danger for the party, but still may require a Charisma (Command)
check to get them to do something very dangerous or to maintain their

Ally Traits
Allies have tracked ability scores (see below) and calculate their HP in
the same way as player characters.

They can have and use better gear (if the party provides it, see above).

They do not track Fortune Points, but can fortune bond magic items if
provided and can mirror their managers use of Fortune Points on the
same turn, if appropriate. Rogues continue to reflect their Fortunes
Favor class ability as +2 AC.

Ally Growth
Allies slowly gain ability scores over the course of several adventures,
until they are similar in power to heroes. They may do this ad hoc, or
through an ally playbook (see next weeks post).
Beyond the Wall: Ally Playbook

This playbook (similar to PC playbooks in provided stats and skills) that

allows allies to transition from null-stat hirelings to fully fleshed out
characters that could serve as replacement PCs if the existing PCs die.
Apply these stat improvements when its appropriate to answer the
questions (i.e., one per adventure completion with the party).

What are your native talents?

Pick two ability scores to start at 10, the rest start at 8.

What happened the first adventure after you became an ally?

1. You had to flee and/or get help. +2 Str, +1 Dex, +1 Con, Skill:
Athletics or Riding
2. You had to help scout/stay on guard duty. +2 Dex, +1 Con, +1
Wis, Skill: Alertness or Stealth
3. You were deep in hostile wilderness. +2 Int, +1 Wis, +1 Con,
Skill: Animal Lore or Survival
4. You mostly got to stay out of danger and help with the food. +2
Cha, +1 Wis, +1 Con, Skill: Cooking or Hunting
5. You had to help with the injured or sick. +2 Con, +1 Wis, +1 Str,
Skill: Healing or Herbalism
6. You helped with terrifying ancient mysteries. +2 Int, +1 Str, +1
Cha, Skill: Ancient History or Forbidden Lore
7. You got deeply embroiled with the fae or other strange
creatures. +2 Cha, +1 Dex, +1 Int, Skill: Faerie Lore or Folklore
8. You were involved in mystical or philosophical weirdness. +2 Wis,
+1 Str, +1 Dex, Skill: Magic Lore or Religious Lore
9. You had to be on your best behavior among polite society. +2
Wis, +1 Int, +1 Cha, Skill: Etiquette or Politics

After your second adventure as an ally, whats your favorite

part of adventuring so far?
1. The fights! +2 Str, +1 Wis
2. Games and riddles. +2 Dex, +1 Int
3. Proving your toughness. +2 Con, +1 Cha
4. Learning lore and secrets. +2 Int, +1 Dex
5. Learning about strange new folks. +2 Wis, +1 Con
6. Making new friends. +2 Cha, +1 Str
7. Being generally helpful and needed. +1 Str, +1 Con, +1 Cha
8. Learning a little from everyone. +1 Dex, +1 Int, +1 Wis

Now that youve been on three adventures as an ally, which of

the party members do you look up to the most?
1. The strongest warrior in the party. +2 Str, +1 Cha
2. The most nimble scout in the party. +2 Dex, +1 Wis
3. The most stalwart protector in the party. +2 Con, +1 Int
4. The smartest and cleverest person in the party. +2 Int, +1 Dex
5. The most patient and considerate person in the party. +2 Wis,
+1 Str
6. The one that you have a crush on. +2 Cha, +1 Con
7. The one thats lost without your help. +1 Str, +1 Int, +1 Cha
8. The one that doesnt need you, but lets you help anyway. +1
Dex, +1 Con, +1 Wis

After four adventures as an ally, the party is clearly starting to

expect you to fill a role. What do you see your purpose in the
party as?
1. The muscle, standing firm on the front lines. +2 Str, +1 Con,
Skill: Athletics or Intimidation
2. The scout, hanging back and looking for opportunities. +2 Dex,
+1 Wis, Skill: Alertness or Stealth
3. The protector, taking hits so the weaker ones dont have to. +2
Con, +1 Cha, Skill: Riding or Survival
4. The brains, knowing details and secrets. +2 Int, +1 Dex, Skill:
[Any Lore]
5. The heart, keeping track of and coordinating the party. +2 Wis,
+1 Str, Skill: Healing or Socialize
6. The soul, keeping everyone happy and helping with outsiders. +2
Cha, +1 Int, Skill: [Any Social]

After five adventures as an ally, some of your negative

tendencies are starting to become apparent. Whats your
biggest problem?
1. Im lazy, and dont like to do my fair share. -1 Str, +2 Dex, +1 Int
2. My clumsiness tends to get us all in trouble. -1 Dex, +2 Con, +1
3. I keep getting sick and injured. -1 Con, +2 Cha, +1 Dex
4. I cant remember all the things I should have learned. -1 Int, +2
Wis, +1 Str
5. I just dont pay much attention and break things. -1 Wis, +2 Str,
+1 Con
6. Im secretive and distrustful. -1 Cha, +2 Int, +1 Wis

After six adventures as an ally, youre starting to seamlessly

blend with the hero that serves as your leader, learning from
her example and shoring up her weaknesses.
Add +2 to the ability that your leader has lowest, and add either
+1 to the ability your leader has highest or add the skill your
leader uses the most.
After seven adventures as an ally, youve learned almost as
much as you can in a subordinate role and are getting ready to
strike out on your own.
Add +1 to your highest ability and +1 to your lowest ability.

~From System Sans Setting (