Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hirelings in Grim Hack Expanded

Space Thugs, maybe more than just hirelings, but that's the closest thing I had drawn up and scanned...
Hirelings rules for my Grim Hack of WFRP inspired by this wonderfulness:
These are for your standard (unskilled/amateur) torch-bearing types who are willing to go into danger with the party in adventuring/dungeon-delving/exploring type situations. This does not include professional types such as artisans, mercenary companies, etc., which are hired at a much higher rate of pay.
Quantity: The maximum amount of hirelings a party can hire is equal to the first digit of the Fellowship score for the character with the highest Fellowship attribute. For example, if the character Hurst Halberd has a Fellowship of 48, and his is the highest score in the party, the party can have maximum of 4 hirelings.
Light: All hireling provide light as a torch, leaving the party members free to carry weapons and shields, or cast spells without hindrance.
Hauling around crap: Considered to be lightly encumbered while carrying torches and basic supplies including extra rations. They can carry additional loot such as 1 large item each, or 3 small items each, but they are then considered encumbered.
Combat assistance: Hirelings that are not encumbered provide additional attacks in combat for characters using the Expanded Grim Hack rules in the following manner: Each hireling gives a single extra attack to the party, giving one to the character with highest Fellowship attribute, then one to each other character in a descending attribute order. For example, a party of 5 with 4 hirelings, but with one hireling encumbered, would get 3 additional attacks. The first extra attack would go to Hurst Halberd with his Fellowship of 48, the second to Anatoly Klaus with his score of 37, the last goes to Percy Zachariah, who’s Fellowship is 31. The other 2 party members with lesser Fellowship scores would not receive an additional attack.
Note: In my forthcoming Expanded Grim Hack rules, there is NO Attack attribute. All characters are given a single attack, but rolling doubles (a crit) on a successful attack or parry, an immediate additional attack is gained. Exploding damage still applies in these rules.


  1. OK, first what I like.
    I like abstractions which allow the game to move along and simplify things, yet leave room for role playing interpretation. This does that, so by default I like it.
    I like the light and hauling around crap portions, again it simplifies something which is tedious and doesn't' add much to the adventure.

    I don't know about fellowship to decide to whom the hirelings run to aid. Don't get me wrong, it is a good idea. It is logical and makes Fel worth something, which I do like. But it adds a bit of complexity back which I'm not sure is worth it. So, in my mind, it comes to a balancing. On second thought, leave it. It will come up every combat and this is a good way to decide. But I would never use it in a vacuum. For example, hirelings may help the PC fighting a goblin before helping the higher Fel PC fighting a minor demon... i.e. they won't attack stuff that causes fear if they don't have to.
    Second, and most importantly, I think this is too powerful. By giving the player an extra attack, we make the hireling equal to most players in combat! I would rather say each henchmen helping gives +10% or +20% to a player's WS, and/or a free parry thrown in as a defensive help. Maybe they can absorb damage? See comments below.

    Two comments
    1) How are hirelings damaged? Are you envisioning enemy combatants target them like players (this takes away from the "making it easy" point of this exercise), or some abstraction like saying that they "absorb" damage (kind of like armor). For example, if I have two hirelings helping me they absorb 2 points of damage (1 each) after my armor and toughness. They can absorb up to 6 wounds before expiring. I don't know, that seems a bit fiddly, too. Something to think on. Another option would be to say they can "take an attack" meant for the character, they have T3, W5. If they take a hit, and survive it, they flee and you loose their help. That may be good way to also take care of my second comment regarding morale...

    Second comment, I think there should be a morale rule for hirelings. Some ideas: Use leadership to command hirelings to help in combat. Fail the test and they say, no way, I wasn't paid for this! Once in combat, certain triggers require a test (use Fel or Ld?), failure means they flee. Again, may get a bit fiddly. But hirelings should not intentionally fight to death unless cornered. And shouldn't be counted on to automatically fight. I didn't see any rules in WHFRP on this other than loyalty which is more about them following orders when you are away. Maybe I missed it.

    I rambled. Overall, I like it and want to use it but think it should get a few mods especially in how they impact combat.

    1. I don't think I'd want to use the combat option in straight WFRP. For my hacked version I definitely think a Fel check to see if they engage (give the player the ewxtra attack) would be warranted. Perhaps if they take any wounds, they'd automatically withdraw. That way, the extra attack would only last a round or two.

    2. The extra attack could also be a parry, therefor magic user/ranged attack types could benefit.

  2. In my mind the following is gelling as the way I would go with the combat portion.
    Each hireling helping (up to 3) adds +10% to the players attack and offers a free parry attempt (only one regardless of how many hirelings are helping). This is due to the distraction caused by the harrying of the brave hirelings. Should the monster target a hireling and cause damage, the hireling automatically withdraws. Consider hirelings to be T3, W5. Don't bother with hit location and use sudden death chart.

    1. Hmm... better and better! I'm liking this a lot.

    2. Hirelings auto-fail fear/terror checks.

    3. Of course. They are, after all, not brave and perilous adventures and find themselves in a grim world...