Thursday, June 18, 2009

Labyrinth Lord Compatible Hirelings Generator and Record Sheet

I was really inspired by Lord Kilgore's draft of a "Labyrinth Minions" maker. I've been meaning to do something similar for a while, now that my campaign is well underway. So, lifting (er, heavily borrowing!) from his draft and working out my own house rules, I came up with a Hireling Generator and combined it with a Hireling Character Record Sheet. I formatted these to fit nicely on 4x6 index cards to go along with my PC/NPC cards. I'll never go back to 3x5, that was making even me blind. I suspect there's only a few who'd be interested in this since most folks use larger record sheets, but for anyone who is:

You can download it here.

(update: you can customize this with your own house rules by using the fillable version of this available here. see also the S&W version.)

A few explanations: obviously your own house rules may differ. I didn't want to necessarily guarantee the success of finding hirelings, esp. in small towns. In my setting, anyone seeking to go dungeoneering is considered seriously loco. Accompanying adventurers is generally something that's done by the desperate, crazy, and eccentric. In a village or small town, where there may be only one inn or tavern, success is not a given. In a larger town it is, but there's a limit as to how many you can find in a day. I think Lord Kilgore's 5gp per attempt seems reasonable, but decided to limit my players to one attempt per day (btw, all of these house rules are not written in stone anywhere even though they're printed on paper).

In terms of weapons and armor, I tend to agree with Robert Lionheart's "Random Hireling Generator" in Knockspell #1. Most potential hirelings are poor, and poorly trained. Thus they aren't equipped with shields, and are prone to having spears and leather armor - if serving as only porters or other non-combatants, they will be armed only with a club or dagger, and only "attack" in self-defense. One of the tables is a bit squinty (you try doing decent layout on a 4x6 index card!), but it won't be used too often.

I included an attack table and saving throws based on 0-level fighters, and tried to leave a little space for notes in case I felt like using anything from the aforementioned Lionheart article in particular. Fonts used were Calibri (Regular & Bold) and Blackmoor LET. I was going to use Blackletter instead of Blackmoor, but it seemed less readible at this size. The Blackmoor font is embedded in the PDF, but if it doesn't display the header correctly for you, you may need to install that font seperately.

Update: Having given this some thought, I changed the hit point distribution table so that hirelings are a little tougher (after all, what 1hp freak would be able to carry your treasure, let alone watch your back as a man-at-arms?). I also re-named the card as "Labyrinth Lord Compatible", which makes me more comfortable as it's certainly not anything official and I wanted to be in full compliance (the thumbnail pictures don't reflect this though). I probably should do something similar with the PC cards, but it doesn't seem as important given that there aren't any dice tables involved...


Telecanter said...

Sweet, I like the way you have the steps numbered in order of steps.

I think I'll have to adapt it myself, if you don't mind. I've also seen several hireling/NPC trait generators floating about, too. Would that be another card, or do you prefer to wing that type of stuff?

Anonymous said...

That is awesome. Based on feedback I got and now seeing this, I'm going to get a revised version of my minion maker up, but I love the table/form combo. And the attack chart and saving throws on there are great!

ladybug said...

Very nice, and you're right...the older I get the squint-y-er my eyeballs are w/the small print...

You've got so much info here-I can't keep up! Loved the '81 catalogue too!

Reese Laundry said...

All this hireling/NPC jazz seems to be all the rage, doesn't it? Another great addition! I'm curious why you felt the need to put the generator tables on a card with the NPC stats rather than keeping them separate.

By the way, thanks for sharing the font choices - helps others who like 'em too.

Sham aka Dave said...

Here's a blurb from the Entourage Approach article I wrote for Fight On! last year that might be of interest for 0e gamers:

All 1st Level Henchmen will begin with some
random equipment, 1d6x10 gold, and an
Adventurer’s Pack. Both Class and Race have
some effect on this determination process.

Fighting Man, Cleric:
Shield and (2d6):
2-10: Leather
11-12: Chain Mail
Magic User: No Armor.

Fighting Man:
Dagger and (2d6):
2-5: Sword
6-7: Hand Axe
8-9: Mace
10-12: Spear
Cleric: Mace, Magic User: Dagger and Staff.

Race Restrictions or Bonus:
Elf: Disregard Class tables. All Elves start with
Sword, Short Bow and Shield.
Halfling: Per class and Sling.
Dwarf: Per class and Hammer

I've been using this for over a year and it kits out 1st level hirelings rather easily.

ze bulette said...

@Telecanter: I don't feel the need to get very many specific traits of hirelings, as I don't generally want to keep track of talents, notable features, dispositions, unusual skills, or "dark secrets" - any one of these item from Lionheart's generator would suffice, and I left room for one on the record sheet side. If any NPC needs these things extensively recorded, they're more than the bit players that hirelings are in my game, and probably deserve their own player card versus sharing one with other hirelings. But if I did want to develop some unusual plot twist using a hireling, the KS#1 article would serve me well so I don't see the need to build something like it myself (check it out if you haven't already!).

@Lord Kilgore: Glad the one who inspired it likes it!

@Koren: I primarily designed this for my own use as GM, so having the generator handy alongside (well, on the other side) of the record sheet cuts down on clutter, critical because of my messy office habits and limited desk space for VOIP gaming. Also, the generator can simply be left off the cards by choosing to only print the 2nd page of the PDF (since one has to manually flip index cards over in any event to print to their other side).

Anonymous said...

This is pure excellent, thank you !

Jeff Rients said...

I like this a lot! To use it I'd probably print both cards onto a single 8.5 x 11 sheet and hand both to the players. Let them roll their own dang hirelings.

Anonymous said...

Hey, just noticed that you put a shout-out to little old Lord Kilgore on the card. That's very kind and very appreciated!

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