Henchfolk are an adventuring hero’s most trusted and useful servants. Able to stand with their master in battle, provide spellcasting support or simply stay at home and guard their master’s chattels, henchmen are a good addition to any adventuring party. Henchmen are also the primary managers of adventuring landowners’ workforce, loyal employees who manage the heroes’ lands and businesses


Almost any adventuring hero can attract henchfolk. Once a PC has attained 3rd‐level he can attempt to attract henchfolk. The overall number of henchmen a PC can have is a function of his Charisma and level. Every PC can have a number of henchfolk equal to 3 + 1/2 the PC’s level + the PC’s Charisma modifier. If a henchman dies or leaves the PC, he can be replaced using the method detailed below.

Attracting Henchfolk

There may be many prospective henchfolk in a given community, but if the PC does nothing to attract them he will never employ them.
The locale in which the PC decides to attract henchmen is a crucial factor in determining the final number of prospective applicants. No matter how diligent the PC is at seeking out a
follower, such individuals do not come in an inexhaustible supply. The settlement’s size and location determine the maximum number of applicants. (Of course, the GM can modify these figures if he deems is necessary or desirable).

Thorp 0 0
Hamlet 0 0
Village 0 1
Small town 1 2
Large town 2 5
Small city 3 12
Large city 6 25
Metropolis 10 50

Additionally, a community’s location affects how many suitable individuals may be attracted. A community on a borderland or other contested area is treated as if it were one size larger (so, for example, a small town would count as a large town) in terms of how many potential henchmen live within. Similarly if a community is very stable and does not have significant external threats to contend with, it counts as one size smaller (so a small town would only have as many potential recruits as a village).

Once the PC has determined where he will search for recruits, he must decide which methods to use. A PC can use any or all of the methods outlined below, but each activity can only be undertaken once a month. If the PC elects to use multiple methods at the same time, but this inevitably results in some wasted, duplicated effort.

Posting public notices 50 sp 1d4
Hiring a crier 10 sp 1d2
Hiring agents 300 sp 2d3
Frequenting inns, taverns and so on 2 var. var.

1: Reduce the overall number of applicants attracted by 1 for each additional method used beyond the first, as duplication of effort inevitably results.
2: Buying drinks for prospective henchfolk, bribing barkeeps and servers to mention the employment opportunity to likely applicants and so on. For each 10 sp spent (50 sp maximum), the PC attracts 1d2 applicants.
3: Add the base number available in the settlement.
4: Add the PC’s level to simulate his renown.

Post Public Notices: The PC posts public notices in taverns, inns and in other public places such as market squares and so on.
Hiring a Crier: The PC hires a town crier, or other individual such as a wandering bard, to spread the word of his need for henchmen.
Hiring Agents: The PC hires agents dedicated to finding suitable candidates. Such individuals have contacts in the local community and, although expensive, this guarantees results. A PC employing this method can re-roll one result during the Determine Applicants phase.
Frequenting Inns, Taverns and so on: The PC frequents locations where prospective henchmen can be found – taverns, inns and so on. Such activity is time consuming and the PC can carry out no other activity while recruiting henchfolk.

Interviewing Henchfolk

The PC must interview each prospective henchman to determine if the henchman will serve him (and indeed if the PC wants the henchman in question).

It is considered poor manners to enspell a prospective henchfolk in any way. (This includes divinations such as detect evil, detect thoughts and so on.) Searching or restraining the applicant in any way results in the applicant leaving at the earliest opportunity.

At the start of the interview, treat the prospective henchfolk as indifferent. (Although, the applicant is interested in serving as a henchman, he is also wary of serving under someone he does not yet like or respect.) To make the henchman amenable to enter service, the PC must make him friendly (requiring a DC 15 + henchman Cha modifier Diplomacy check).

Apply the following modifiers to the check:

PC is of an atypical race ‐1
PC is same alignment +1
PC is renown in local area +2
PC is different alignment (one step) ‐1
PC is different alignment (two step) Will not serve
PC is of same religion +2
PC offers signing bonus (per 200 gp value) +1
PC uses magic on the henchman ‐4

If the PC fails to render the prospective henchfolk friendly or better, the applicant decides that he doesn’t want to serve the PC and leaves. If the PC succeeds, the henchman enters service
and the PC must immediately start paying wages and cost of living expenses for the henchman.

Upkeep and Pay

Once a henchman has accepted employment, the PC must provide wages and upkeep. Additionally, as a henchman accompanies his master on adventures, he gains XP. (See “Advancing Henchfolk” for more information).
Upkeep: A henchfolk accepts upkeep up to one level lower than its master’s. (Cost of Living, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook, chapter 12). Additionally, if an adventure requires access to certain equipment (either magical or mundane), the henchfolk’s employer must provide that equipment free of charge.
Pay: All henchfolk draw a monthly wage from their employer equal to 100 sp per level of the henchfolk. Henchfolk accept permanent magical items in lieu of payment as long as the item(s) in question is useful and relevant to the henchfolk’s duties and abilities. Every month a henchfolk goes without pay, his attitude toward is master drops by one step. When a henchfolk becomes unfriendly, he leaves his master unless he is immediately paid double the outstanding debt.

Adventuring with Henchfolk

A henchman accompanies his master on adventures, sharing the risk and reward. While loyal to his master, a henchman is not suicidal and does not sacrifice his life so that his master may live,
or expend significant personal resources at his master’s request. A henchfolk repeatedly abandoned, abused or cheated leaves his master.

A henchman is also not the party’s general servant; he will not fetch and carry for other party members unless ordered to do so by his liege. As with all such interactions in a role‐playing
game, the GM has the final say on what a henchman will or will not do in any given circumstance.

Advancing Henchfolk

As henchmen adventure, they gain experience and rise in level. To determine how many XP a henchman gains from an adventure, divide its level by its master’s level and then multiply
this result by the amount of XP gained by the PC. Add the result to the henchfolk’s XP total. If a henchfolk is adventuring without his master, he gains XP as normal.

When the henchman accumulates enough XP to gain a level, advance him as a normal NPC.

Henchfolk must always be a lower level than his master. If a henchman ever equals or exceeds his master’s level he leaves to seek out his own adventures.

Dismissing Henchfolk

Through in‐game developments or because of other considerations, a player may decide to dismiss a henchman. Roleplay such an event taking into account how the PCs handles the situation. If the henchman and PC part on bad terms, the henchman could rubbish the PC’s reputation or even ally himself with the PCs’ enemies.

See also Hirelings and Mercenaries.

The rules presented here are drawn from Henchfolk & Hirelings by Raging Swan Press. No presumption of ownership of these rules is intended or implied.


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