The Book of Hirelings

The Book of Hirelings

An Unnecessary Dungeon World Supplement 

by

Heir Apparent 

Do you need help carrying away all that perfectly legally acquired booty? Have you saved someone and need to escort them home, but wish they were useful? Well, this is the unprofessionally made document for you!

First, this is the format:

Hireling Title

Descriptive Fluff

Skill, Skill

Move Name―What the Move does

Move Name―What the Move does

Move Name―What the Move does

When you ship a hireling over to your game exchange the title for a name, provide the hireling with Skill points, Health, a level of Loyalty to the party, an Instinct and a Cost for their continued work.

One thing to note here is Skills are separated from Moves, why? It just makes the hirelings slightly more powerful, as you can create a new Move for them and have it run off an existing Skill.

Remember: a hireling doesn’t have to come into play with all their Moves, you can add them over time if they live long enough.

Table of Contents

Respectful Servant

Courageous Torchbearer

Ruddy Cook

Foolish Princeling

Fair Heart

Boastful Herald

Personal Attendant

Overworked Doctor

Beady Appraiser

Solemn Lugger

Spectacular Horse

Reformed Minion

Deep Delver

Poetic Journeymaker

Proud Noble

Riddlesome Mentor

Chatty Skull

Professional Romancer

Freed Slave

Gigantic Tortoise

Tormented Warrior

Cheeky Beggar

Little Urchin

Drunken Brute

Stout Matron

Muddy Farmhand

Shaggy Dog

Preoccupied Alchemist

Uncommon Locksmith

Marvelous Parrot

Witch’s Child

Diligent Steward

Soaring Drake

Haggard Blacksmith

Tireless Golem

Respectful Servant

In the shadow of giants (figuratively in this case) stand folk as clever as they are resourceful, who see to it that the whole worlds runs on time. For truly, what is a monarch without servants if not just a person in a heavy hat on an uncomfortable chair?

Serve, Carry

Well Said, Master―When you Parley in a “civil” environment where weapons have yet to be drawn, add +Serve to the roll.

As You Wish, Master―The Respectful Servant can accomplish a mundane task that would usually require more manpower, equal to their Serve.

I’ll Take That, Master―The Respectful Servant has a load of 9+Carry.

As an example for As you Wish, Master, say you need three sailors to rig the sails of a boat, if the Respectful Servant has 3-Serve, they can do it alone. How would that come into play? Well, what if you run out of crew?

Courageous Torchbearer

Call them fools if you like, for they don’t have your training, talent or luck, but they’re brave, and that has to be worth something!

Guide, Lighting

Torchways―When you undertake a Perilous Journey as the scout or trailblazer with the Courageous Torchbearer by your side, roll+Guide if the skill is higher than your Wisdom modifier.

In the Spotlight―When you Defy Danger with Cha or show off your skills to a rapt audience, add Lighting to the relevant roll.

Lantern of Curiosity―When you send the Courageous Torchbearer off on their own, roll+Lighting. On a 10+, pick 3. On a 7-9, pick 2.

  • They find a secret door.

  • They find a clue, piece of information or sign of trouble.

  • They find an item of interest.

  • They do not spring a trap.

  • They do not alert a waiting threat.

  • They do not wander far from you.

Bonus points if the Courageous Torchbearer is a hunchback, deformed or a gravedigger by trade.

Ruddy Cook

Bringing along rations is all well and good, but you’re bound to run out sometime. When you’re in the wilderness having someone that can turn a rabbit into a meal fit for five is a life saver. An army marches on it’s stomach, so the saying goes, and so do adventurers.

Cook

Broth of All Seasons―With time to prepare the Ruddy Cook can make 2+Cook rations.

A Hint of Arsenic―The Ruddy Cook can tell what a meal or drink contains, down to the details of where the ingredients were grown. If food is poisoned, they’ll know.

Three Course Empowerment―With time to prepare, some modest ingredients and access to a kitchen the Ruddy Cook can make just enough rations for everyone which have one of the following effects when consumed.

  • Heal 2xCook HP.

  • Take +1 forward to a Con based roll.

  • The food tastes so good it grants +2 forward to Parley with those that eat it.

You might think Broth of All Seasons is over-powered but honestly most Dungeon World campaigns take place in Not-Europe and as a European I can say without a doubt you can feed five or so people at any time in the wilderness as long as you keep moving. I could go into a big history lesson of why we have agriculture if we could all just forage but you’re all smart people, you watch John Green’s Crash Courses World History, right?

Foolish Princeling

The firstborn is destined for leadership, the second becomes a general, the third rises to prominence in the church. After that though, well, they just sort of hang around. However a few are just stupid and fearless enough to make their lives hard.

Lineage, Wealth

Mama’s Court―When you have the Foolish Princeling get you into a gathering of nobles you have no right to attend, take -1 Lineage.

Just Like My Books!―When you take the Foolish Princeling on a quest and they survive, hold 1 Thrill. Spend your hold 1 for 1 when you Recruit to gain +Thrill to the roll.

Papa’s Gold―When you buy something lavishly expensive using the Foolish Princeling’s gold, take -1 Wealth.

I’m fond of this hireling, because it has in-mechanic effects that reflect the fact you’re ruining this impressionable noble’s life. Nice.

Fair Heart

Innocence is a rarity. The stories of love overcoming the dragon have faded to legends of knights, scoundrels and mages. Still, to some those that dare to live by kindness are simply a different breed of hero.

Innocent, Singer

No Trouble―When you are attacked the Fair Heart will be ignored even when they try to help. When you are imprisoned the Fair Heart will be left behind or kept in a nicer area with a noticeable escape route, such as an open window or crawlspace.

Friend to the Animals―When you allow the Fair Heart to approach a wild animal or magical beast, roll+Innocent. On a 10+, pick 2. On a 7-9, pick 1.

  • The creature is calm in their presence.

  • The creature will try to fulfill one simple task.

  • The creature will attack a given target.

Vital Song―When you Make Camp with the Fair Heart if you would normally heal you heal+Singer HP.

You save a princess or a little kid, thats classic adventure. Now what? With this they’re an asset, maybe even missed when you hand them back for the reward. There are a couple of Princess playbooks- I mean classes- (Roll+Weird when you forget you’re not playing Apocalypse World) if this idea interests you so much you want to play something like a Fair Heart.

Boastful Herald

The mightiest heroes are coming to town! All the way from the mean streets of Erindor, the champions of Underfell, the slayers of the Winged Cyclops, the armour clad lads who’ll win your hearts, it’s… the Crimson Warband! Give it up guys, give it up!

Exaggerate, Messenger

Local Celebrities―When you enter a place of food, drink, or entertainment with the Boastful Herald you will be treated as a friend by everyone present (unless your actions prove otherwise). You also subtract Exaggerate from all prices in town.

Lock the Gate, Arm the Walls―When you send the Boastful Herald to deliver a message to a steading you have passed through before roll+Messenger. On a 10+, pick 3. On a 7-9, pick 2.

  • The message is heeded by the highest authority.

  • They arrive safely.

  • They arrive in good time.

  • They go unseen by the current threat.

Get a Bigger Army―When you send the Boastful Herald to speak with the leader of an army you are about to battle, the opposing force is shaken, and rumours of your power spread throughout the camp. Now roll without modifier. On a 10+, pick 3. On a 7-9, pick 2.

  • They are not captured.

  • They are not maimed.

  • They are not stripped of their belongings (such as a horse).

  • You gain an ally from your enemy’s ranks.

The Minstrel’s final form. Less lute, more trumpet. This hireling is one of my favourites and became one of those minor characters that if it was in a show, everyone would want a spin-off, you know?

Personal Attendant

A knight in shining armour is an imposing image, few realise how much help they need getting all that crap on!

Attend, Hush

Laces and Clasps―When you Take Watch, name 1 ally, the Personal Attendant will have them up and ready for battle even on a Miss. When you simply need to dress quickly the Personal Attendant will aid you.

To the Grindstone―When you Make Camp, the Personal Attendant will care for your gear. Take +1 forward when you begin battle or take +1 armour forward.

Sideways Education―With time to prepare and the right materials the Personal Attendant can make a Hush-use poison with the following effect; Drop of Thall (applied): The target becomes increasingly lethargic leading to eventual paralysis. This lasts for a few hours. It is tasteless.

A kind of sibling to the Respectful Servant, but where that guy gets his hands dirty, this guy gets his underhandedness dirty.

Overworked Doctor

In a world of ignorance and superstition, where the favour of fickle gods can be the difference between life and death, doctors are walking golddust. They’re beloved of the peasantry and sought out by the highest of kings.

Suture, Pry

Stitchwork―When you are pulled away from danger (even if it is relatively close) the Overworked Doctor can close your wounds, avoiding further harm and healing you 2xSuture HP. You take -1 forward as their healing is painful and distracting.

Bedside Manner―When the Overworked Doctor heals someone roll+Pry, they can inquire into their patient’s life and receive an honest answer. On a 10+, ask 2. On a 7-9, ask 1.

  • How did you receive this harm?

  • Are there others in need of aid?

  • Who do you care most about?

  • What do you fear most of all?

Most will now be willingly indebted to the Overworked Doctor.

Begone, my Godfather―With decent supplies in a place of safety and help from all present the Overworked Doctor may be able to save someone that is unconscious and close to death. When you take your Last Breath on a miss the GM may elect a range of time in which you can be saved.

A logical hireling choice, but every doctor needs is to help others, there can be no way in the fiction the Overworked Doctor goes on an adventure every day… Although, Watson did. Still, they’ve got to have a break from it now and again to do what they know they must do.

Beady Appraiser

A hundred thousand civilisations have risen and fallen where you stand. From each of them a million and more works of art and artifice remain; however, that isn’t a staff of magic, it’s just a branch. Put it down.

Appraise, Barter

Scrolls of Identify―When you hand the Beady Appraiser a weapon, armour or item of unknown qualities it takes them no time at all to discern it’s basic properties and worth. They can reveal Appraise number of details.

Cheap Will Cost You―When the Beady Appraiser has time to thoroughly look over an armoured foe they can see an exploitable weakness. Take +1 forward when acting on their advice.

Merchant’s Nightmare―The Beady Appraiser can tell if an item being sold is fake or not as well made as advertised. You also subtract Barter from all prices in town.

I can see a certain type of character, like a gnome, who wants to be in on the adventure even if their only skills involve knowing what something is worth. Otherwise they’re short stint hirelings that become critical steading members.

Solemn Lugger

Loot needs carrying. Heavy stuff needs pushing. The minstrel’s don’t sing about them, the historians don’t mention them, but every adventuring band has one once they reach a certain point in their careers.

Lug, Hench

Mantle of the Ox―The Solemn Lugger has a load of 10+Lug.

Baggage Handler―When you need something the Solemn Lugger is carrying, they can have it out and thrown to your waiting hand in a flash.

Easy Work―When you need to use pure strength to destroy an inanimate object, hold a door closed or lift something large and heavy or the like, add +Hench to the roll.

In another life he might lug guns, but there aren’t any, so they lug bags of gold and whatever other junk you find. The shining example of why you pay for help, the hireling other hirelings look up to with awe and want to be when they grow up. Not really.

Spectacular Horse

Horses are dumb. Cowardly. Surprisingly easy to break. Yet, every once in a while a jet black beast with knowing eyes or a pure white living lightning bolt is born. A steed that not only embodies the concept of the horse, but goes above and beyond it too.

Steed, Cunning

Mount & Blade―When you charge into battle on the Spectacular Horse, roll+Steed. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • You scatter the enemy and strike fear into the weak.

  • You knock a target prone, stunning them and dealing 1d4 damage.

  • You reach a distant target and Hack and Slash immediately.

  • You pass the enemy by and reach a point of momentary safety.

  • You take someone with you or pick someone up on the way.

Battlefield Dominance―When you ride against mounted foes, pick 1 enemy, you gain +1 ongoing to defeat them.

Like the Wind―Even if the Spectacular Horse has been locked in a stable or tied to a tree a quick whistle will bring them to your side.

The secret rule of all mounts is: When you give someone a mount give everyone else one too and make it that kind of campaign.

Reformed Minion

Intelligence is a mark against the rank and file minion, as long as they can guard the chest or raid the village, any higher thought is just trouble for the major villain. Rarely, one bright spark gets it into their head that they’re not on the winning side, and they can prove to be potent allies.

Control, Pillage

Old Habits―The Reformed Minion has the primary Monster Move of their kin, when they use it roll+Control. On a 10+ they do it well. On a 7-9, they do it with particular malice, wasting precious time.

The New Guy―When you send the Reformed Minion under cover amongst the enemy, roll+Control. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • Vital information is gained.

  • Trust is made with an enemy.

  • Supplies or gear is sabotaged.

  • Their duplicity is not discovered.

  • They return quickly.

Back Stabber―When you Hack and Slash with the Reformed Minion at your side add +2 piercing to the damage.

The core rules often talk of gaining an ally from Team Not-Your-Party, but what does that look like in play? It can look like this! If you want.

Deep Delver

You may be a big deal, but you’re not the first adventurer. Though they’re getting on in years a smart hero might seek out a guide in the form of a wizened spelunker with a glint in their eye.

Dungeoneering

Bag of Holding―The Deep Delver always has just the right mundane tool, such as a 10 foot pole, a length of rope, a lockpick or a dry torch.

Stone Whispers―When you traverse a cavern, tomb or dungeon the Deep Delver can sense a quicker yet far more dangerous route to where you want to be (to the loot, to the enemy, to the exit etc.). If you are making a Perilous Journey underground, you always arrive quickly.

Seen it All―When you Make Camp gain hold equal to Dungeoneering, spend this hold 1 for 1 at any time to gain insightful knowledge regarding an enemy or the architecture of an environment. Take +1 forward when you act on the information.

If you’ve been roleplaying since the 80’s, 1.) way to go for surviving a childhood with the constant threat of global nuclear annihilation and 2.) play this however you would have played a character back then and make references to things that don’t make sense in Dungeon World.

Poetic Journeymaker

Sandals and rags. Robes and bare feet. Bald head or bushy beard. They come from all over, and where they’re headed is far, far away.

Faith

Just a Little Further―When you allow the Poetic Journeymaker to be the trailblazer on a Perilous Journey, treat that job as if a player had rolled a +10, however you find you have traveled further than intended.

Koan, Koan, Gone―When you listen carefully to the Poetic Journeymaker tell a tale, flip a coin. Heads, you gain +Faith ongoing to traversing difficult terrain and ignore harsh weather, until you next Make Camp. Tails, you take -Faith ongoing to the same, until you next Make Camp.

No Want, No Weight―The Poetic Journeymaker can carry any treasures as if their were 0 weight. However given the chance they will charitably gift these treasures to the poor or throw one aside if it will keep someone out of harm’s way.

No Want, No Weight is exploitable. Fine and dandy. When you miss on whatever roll, terrible things happen to your precious. This chap is less of a hireling and more of a one-off character who’s passing through.

Proud Noble

The sheriff four towns over is an ass. The lord above her cares for no one, and it only gets worse the higher you go. However, sometimes having a blue-blood on your side, if only for today, can be worth a dozen grateful peasants.

Command

Guards! Guards!―When you have the Proud Noble call in their guards 4+Command arrive to face the threat. If more than half fall in battle, take -1 Command.

Tactician―When you enact a battle plan discussed with the Proud Noble, take +1 ongoing until the plan comes to it’s conclusion or events change significantly.

Court Intrigue―When the Proud Noble spots someone of noble birth they will know some exploitable weakness that they try to hide. When you Parley with them, this weakness is leverage.

What a powerful one. I mean, it doesn’t have the most powerful moves as written, but the things left to the fiction can make this guy a campaign defining ally.

The guards are left for you to make. If you’re up against goblins they’ve got the same stats, likewise for orcs and up. Or maybe they have no stats. It is a mystery.

Riddlesome Mentor

Old, real old. When famine, plague and trolls are as common as the crows that feed on the dead, getting old has a skill to it. Also the fact that these guys might just outlive you if you’re not paying attention is worth noting.

Knowing, Wander

Grey Beard―The Riddlesome Mentor may appear amongst the party as if from nowhere and vanish just as easily (by horse, magic or honed stealth).

Secret Fire―When you Make Camp gain hold equal to Knowing, spend this hold 1 for 1 at any time to gain insightful knowledge regarding the history of the world or the part you will play in it’s future. Take +1 forward when you act on the information.

Just Another Path―When you call for aid from the Riddlesome Mentor in a time of great need, they protect you from an immediate threat seemingly at the cost of their own life. They will return in time. Take -1 Wander when this Move is used, when the Riddlesome Mentor’s Wander is set to 0 they die.

No, there isn’t a prize for getting the reference.

Chatty Skull

It never shuts up. Ever.

Insult, Curious

Choke on a Bone!―The Chatty Skull’s taunts are so potent they leave a sting. If you are in a fight, on a 10+, pick 2. On a 7-9, pick 1.

  • The target marks them for their next attack.

  • The target leaves themselves open as they’re forced to reply.

  • The target takes damage equal to Insult. It is considered a burn.

Out of combat, the Chatty Skull is simply being rude.

I have a Question!―When you Discern Realities with the Chatty Skull floating close, you can ask Curious number questions regardless of the roll. The GM may elect to leave out an important detail when answering questions asked with the Chatty Skull’s Curious.

Cranium Storage―The Chatty Skull has just enough room inside for a couple of small items, such as a potion and a key, or a dagger and a poison.

There is a prize for getting this one. That prize is having played the game.

Professional Romancer

Beauty is power. Power is knowledge. That pretty young thing knows more than they’re letting on, and have the means to acquire even more with naught but a saucy smile.

Nudge, Wink

Clock In―When you send the Professional Romancer to seduce someone roll+Wink. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • The target and the Professional Romancer are lost for the night.

  • The Professional Romancer learns of their plans for the week ahead.

  • The Professional Romancer takes coin or an item of interest.

Take -2 to the roll if the target would obviously not be interested due to preference or oath.

Clock Out―In order to do their job the Professional Romancer dresses extravagantly; in moments they can change into the clothing of a humble peasant and none will believe they are who they are.

These Guys are Alright―When you enter a place of debauchery, petty criminals or illegal entertainment with the Professional Romancer you will be treated as a friend by most people present (unless your actions prove otherwise). You also subtract Nudge from prices within the location.

Are you a bad enough dude to not be really creepy with this hireling? I’m talking to everyone at the table here. Even you. Especially you. There are just so many cool hookers with hearts of gold in fiction I felt I had to make one. You could even swap out some of their Moves as they progress from person of the night to the druid’s trainee or something nice like that.

Freed Slave

Scarred wrists from iron chains. Scarred back from the driver’s whip. A brand and number burnt into each arm. And you complain when the Cleric doesn’t heal you fast enough.

Liberty

Unchained―When you roll to resist arrest, capture or a similar act of defiance with the Freed Slave, add +Liberty to the relevant roll.

Uplifted―When you Recruit roll +1 if you “make it known all will be treated as equals.”

Kid’s a Nature―When you take the Freed Slave under your wing for a short while and give them some material possession of worth to you replace this Move with the initial Move of your Class. Now give them a new 1 point skill which the Move runs on.

It is Django of Django Unchained. I spoiled that one for you, sorry. The next one isn’t a reference to anything, it just came up during play.

Gigantic Tortoise

On the other side of the world, well, unless you’re on the other side of the world right now, but then, who can say which side is which? What I mean is… What was I talking about?

Shell, Carry

Slow & Steady―The Giant Tortoise has a load of 12+Carry.

Natural Armour―The Giant Tortoise will hide within their shell when fighting breaks out. They have armour equal to their Shell. They are so large they can act as cover.

Tortoise All the Way Down―When you Make Camp on the back of the Gigantic Tortoise roll+Carry. On a 10+ pick all three points. On a 7-9 pick the first point.

  • It wanders a little ways.

  • It heads for your destination.

  • It pays attention to possible dangers.

Why they wanted one and why I gave them one is lost to the annals of history. What is known is that it is a walking platform of death for a ranger. Also, don’t let them put chainmail on it.

Tormented Warrior

The longer a sellsword lives, the more evil they witness, the more friends they see fall. They get called the lucky one, the mundane soldier that can survive where only those shining demigods (see: murder hobo) should. But they don’t feel very fortunate.

Battle, Regret

Big Bronze Axe—When you deal damage while the Tormented Warrior aids you, add +Battle to the damage done. If your attack results in consequences they take the brunt of it.

Unfinished Business—When you slay an enemy of the Tormented Warrior, take -1 Regret and add +1 to Battle. When they no longer have Regret, they will retire.

Bitter End―The Tormented Warrior can land the killing blow on any foe, at the cost of their life. If you had a Bond with the Tormented Warrior, take +Bond forward when acting out of revenge.

I really like the Regret system, it gives the party a purpose and gets rid of the guy when he becomes too strong. 

The Bitter End can be dropped if you’re knee deep into a quest against Uwielga the Demon-God of Salt, but if you’re just fighting the monster of the week or some bastard human, let them have it.

Cheeky Beggar

Secrets. Mages have secrets. Thieves have plenty of secrets. But the humble black toothed homeless babbler? They know something the rest of us don’t. They must do, why else are they smiling so?

Scrag

Gutter Sight―When you Discern Realities on the streets the beggar calls home add +Scrag to the roll.

Spare Any Coin?―When you send the Cheeky Beggar to beg from someone they bring out their true colours, if only for a moment. Roll+Scrag. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • Their Alignment or Drive is revealed to the Cheeky Beggar.

  • The Cheeky Beggar is given spare change worth 1 coin.

  • The Cheeky Beggar learns the person’s complete name.

  • The Cheeky Beggar doesn’t keep what they gain to their self.

If the they keep what they gain, the party will have to pay them.

Our Lady Beneath―When you Make Camp in a sewer with the Cheeky Beggar they can ask the rats or the “god of waste” for accurate directions to the closest exit into somewhere in the city above you wish to be by the time you break camp.

That last sentence was a test of your lung capacity.

Little Urchin

No family, no home, no food. So they take what they can, when they can. As they grow they’ll end up stunted in growth and mind… but with the right care a wiry orphan can be molded into something truly great.

Artful, Dodger

Pickpocket―When you steal from someone on the street without their notice, roll+Artful. If you are the Thief, add +Artful to your Tricks of the Trade roll.

Streetwise―When you Defy Danger with Dex wherever the Little Urchin calls home add +Dodger to the roll.

A Little Help―When the Little Urchin’s aid garners you a +10 roll, hold 1 Potential. Spend your hold at any time to gain +1 forward, however, doing so may put the Little Urchin in harm’s way.

In play this guy was the players’ favourite. Bare in mind out of their home turf they’re significantly less useful.

Drunken Brute

In the old days, so they say, adventures began in the pubs and taverns of the countryside. Back then a lot of the “hirelings” were in fact “alcoholics”.

Drink

Game for a Laugh―The Drunken Brute’s drink is ever fluctuating, but with enough ale, they are brave enough to face any danger. The Drunken Brute gains +1 drink whenever you stop at a tavern or spend time at a party and loses -1 drink whenever you Undertake a Perilous Journey or they are heavily wounded.

Seeing Red―When you deal damage while the Drunken Brute aids you, add +Drink to the damage done. If your attack results in consequences the Drunken Brute takes the brunt of it.

Dulled Pain―When the Drunken Brute is harmed, take –Drink from the damage until the battle is done, at which point apply the damage in full.

A basic hireling, and one of the first I cooked up. She was a dwarf, and culturally not considered a drunk. Just very dwarf. 

Don’t set a cap to the Drink skill, let the players ply them with enough booze fell a giant, thats great- Now the Drunken Brute could do a lot of damage, if they weren’t unconscious.

Stout Matron

Not that a good father isn’t important… Mothers though? There is power in a good mother, the kind even wizards (the smart ones) respect. Grandmothers? Woah, watch your step!

Love, Instinct

Mother Hen—When the Stout Matron cides you for your bad behaviour and recommends a better course of action, take +1 forward if you act on her words.

Practical Medicine—When the Stout Matron staunches your wounds heal 2×Love HP. You take -1 forward as their healing is painful and distracting.

Mother Bear―When you Defend add Instinct to the roll. On a Miss the attack from the thing you are defending against redirects to the Stout Matron.

Where would you be without your mother? That is not a rhetorical question. Thought it over? Exactly.

Muddy Farmhand

A know nothing country bumpkin that hasn’t left home yet is cheap pickings for adventurers with tales to tell. But they should well remember just how many heroes started out that way!

Carry, Luck

Pig Hauler―The Muddy Farmhand has a load of 9+Carry.

Grab the Bull―When you deal damage while the Muddy Farmhand aids you add Luck to the damage done. If your attack results in consequences (like a counter attack) you take the brunt of it.

Meant for Greatness―When the Muddy Farmhand survives a quest replace this move with the initial Move of a Class not currently in use. Now give them a new 1 point skill which the Move runs on.

If you feel like the party is low on players, this guy can fill in for any role.

Why don’t they take the brunt of the damage? Because a player always has more health than a hireling, and there are plenty of other ways for them to die.

Shaggy Dog

A dog! Need I tell you how useful a dog is? Alongside fire and the wheel, dogs took humanity (and other races to varying degrees) from prey to masters of their domain.

Dog, Guard

Nose for Details―When the Shaggy Dog is given time to sniff at a trail or recently worn object while Making Camp, when camp is broken they can follow the scent to the next major change in terrain, travel, or weather.

Bark―When you Take Watch add +Dog to the roll.

Your Best Friend—When the Shaggy Dog stands between you and an attack you increase your armor against that attack by Guard, then reduce Guard by 1 until they receive healing or have time to mend.

So how useful is a dog? Most hirelings in this document are assumed to be a cut above the common man, in contrast the Shaggy Dog is based on what I think the lowliest of dogs could achieve.

Preoccupied Alchemist

Did you know that if you mix redroot, gypsy stone and mercury you can make an elixir that will definitely kill you, and most certainly not make you immortal? Most people can deal with materials they don’t understand; it takes considerable effort to really understand the building blocks of the world. 

Alchemy

Eureka!―Given time, materials and workspace the Preoccupied Alchemist can create some potion or object with fantastic properties that has Alchemy number of uses.

Boom-ka!―When you need the Preoccupied Alchemist to come up with something right now, roll+Alchemy. On a +10, they create a 1 use thrown weapon which works well. On a 7-9, they create a 1 use thrown weapon which has direct consequences for the user. On a -6 the Preoccupied Alchemist fails and takes damage.

The Finest Sieve―When you give the Preoccupied Alchemist a magical weapon, armour or item and give them two weeks minus Alchemy days to study it, they can draw out it’s magic. This solidified magic can be utilised by a user of magic to bind it to another weapon, armour or item. When you do, roll+Int. On a 10+ pick 3. On a 7-9 pick 2.

  • The object retains exactly the same powers that were taken.

  • The powers are not diminished.

  • It doesn’t take very long to bind.

  • The object could have more magic bound to it.

I feel like every alchemist’s dream is to settle down someplace nice and turn it into a blasted toxic hellhole, so they won’t be off on too many adventures. Perhaps they come with the Cost: That one ingredient I need.

Uncommon Locksmith

Now, your common locksmith makes locks, that’s a given. But the uncommon variety? They’re much more useful.

Lockwork, Preservation

Open Says Me―When you have the Uncommon Locksmith unlock a door, chest or the like, you may ask the DM Lockwork number of questions about the designers of the lock.

  • What culture were they from?

  • How long ago was it made?

  • What were they hoping to defend against?

  • When was the last time this was opened?

  • How much effort did they put into making this?

Picking the lock takes as long as it must, but the Uncommon Locksmith can always manage it.

Not Paid Enough―When you Defy Danger as a trap springs, you may add +Preservation to the roll. When you do, on a 6- the Uncommon Locksmith will leave at the first opportunity.

Lock Down―With time, materials and access to a workshop the Uncommon Locksmith can make and fit a lock that is very difficult to pick.

Please move on, this one isn’t that good.

Marvelous Parrot

If eagles are at the top of the avian pyramid, then parrots live apart like a mocking jesters. They’re dexterous and smart, but more than that, they can mimic sounds and to a certain extent learn to speak the language of other beings. This one is all that and then some!

Speak, Steal

Impersonation―The Marvelous Parrot can copy the voice and say a few choice phrases of Speak number people or beasts.

Envy of Pirates Everywhere―When you send the Marvelous Parrot to steal a tiny object such as a ring, roll+Steal. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • They don’t attract attention.

  • They take it quickly.

  • They’re not tired from the act.

Pieces of Eight!―When you chat with pirates disguised as a fellow scallywag, the Marvelous Parrot really sells it. When you Parley with pirates on a Miss the Marvelous Parrot says an old phrase that brings a moment of peace and an opportunity.

The best hireling in in my game, or the best ever? You decide. Please note, I hinged an entire adventure on several pirate captains trying to steal the parrot from the party as it knew a magical phrase that would open an enchanted cave filled with decades of ill gotten loot by the wizard’s late uncle, who was basically a sorcerous Long John Silver.

Forgotten Ghost

I can’t remember who they were. What a shame.

Spook

Deadways―The Forgotten Ghost is intangible, has no need to rest and can go about unseen.

OOOooooOOO!―When you have the Forgotten Ghost frighten others roll+Spook. On a +10, they are terrified. On a 7-9, they feel uneasy. On a -6, the Forgotten Ghost is too shy to perform.

If the target is undead or used to the undead, take -3 to the roll.

Final Memento―When you learn about the Forgotten Ghost and help them pass beyond the Black Gates of Death, a treasure horde or item of interest is revealed to you. You know exactly where to go to find it.

Who cares about a dumb ghost no question mark.

Witch’s Child

Listen, in a world of magic, not all things arcane are glamorous (even if they are glamoured). Sometimes, magic takes a hold over someone, whether they ask for it or not. The children of those that dabble in the Arts are one such example. 

Hex

Bright Eyes―When you care for the Witch’s Child, you momentarily see the world as they see it. Describe it.

Blood & Spit―When you allow the Witch’s Child time to work their parent’s magic, you are given grim portents. On a 10+ pick 1. On a 7-9 pick 1, and now a great villain knows where the Witch’s Child is.

  • You know where the most immediate threat to you lurks.

  • You know where you’ll find a person in trouble.

  • You gain a glimpse of a future threat.

When the Witch’s Child does this, take -1 Hex.

Dark Eyes―When the Witch’s Child is harmed, they deal 1d6 piercing damage to whatever hurt them and gain +1 Hex. If they reach 3 Hex, they are lost to you.

This hireling comes with a plot built in to the mechanics, which means it’s pretty much unusable for most people, but I really liked it so here it is. If you use it, hack away “a great villain” into whatever enemy makes sense.

Another weird use of a skill here; you want to avoid bringing the great villain to you, but its the only way to drain Hex so the kid doesn’t turn evil or into a crow or whatever happens. Difficult choices abound!

Diligent Steward

So you’ve spent all your life hating nobility, or not, but I’m trying to be broad here, and you end up in charge of a keep. What do you do? Strongarm a trustworthy clerk or hardened soldier into running the place!

Leadership

Puppet on a String―When you leave the Diligent Steward to manage a steading, players get +Leadership forward when you Recruit and seek Supplies. Once they are in place it is rare that the party will have Outstanding Warrants.

Tangled Webs―When you lie to the population of your steading, for good or ill, roll+Leadership. On a 10+, everyone believes you and their mood changes accordingly. On a 7-9, wise and beloved figures of the steading don’t believe you, and slowly convince the rest over time. On a Miss, only those most loyal to you or the Diligent Steward believe you.

Cultural Influx―When the Diligent Steward has ruled unattested for a full season, add the tag Cosmopolitan to the steading. Members of the party’s races begin to settle in the steading along with a handful of adventurers.

I like the word cosmopolitan and that is how this hireling was born. No idea if it works though. Someone use it and tell me! I’m going to use it whenever I get the slightest chance.

Soaring Drake

Do you want to ride a dragon? Well, firstly, you’re a punk. Secondly, I kind of admire you.

Link, Breath

There Are No Dragon-Lords―When you take to the air on the Soaring Drake, roll+Link to control it. On a 10+ pick 2. On a 7-9 pick 1.

  • You fly to exactly where you want to be.

  • The Soaring Drake doesn’t attack an unwanted target by whatever means it wishes.

My Breath is Death―When you entice the Soaring Drake to release it’s elemental power describe it and roll+Breath. On a 10+ deal 1d4xBreath ranged area damage. On a 7-9 deal 1d4xBreath ranged area damage, the Soaring Drake must now rest when you Make Camp before it can attack in this manner again.

Beating Heart, Beating Wings―When you Hack and Slash with the Soaring Drake within your presence you are alway forceful and messy.

You could drop Link skill and replace it with a character’s Cha, but why should anyone have more chance of controlling a dragon than anyone else? If you’re going for this go all out, wizard dragon rider, fighter dragon rider- Don’t reserve the most control for the bard!

Like any mount, I reckon everyone should get one if someone does, else the rest of the party are left jogging behind it.

Haggard Blacksmith

Metal and fire. Sweat. Labour. Craftsmanship. Time. What it takes to make a blade goes beyond the physical, as any otherwise all powerful sidhe knows all too well.

Smith

Making Metal Sing―When the Haggard Blacksmith has proper time, materials, and access to a workshop, they can create or repair a weapon, armour or item. They may need blueprints or a great deal of time if they’ve never crafted such a thing before.

Hone & Temper―When you Make Camp, the Haggard Blacksmith will care for your gear. Take +1 forward when you begin battle and +1 armour forward.

Fae-Bane―When the Haggard Blacksmith has time to meditate on a weapon (in lotus position or with a pint of ale), it gains the Cold Iron tag. Cold Iron: A bane to fairies. It leaves wounds upon them that will not readily heal. It interferes with the glamours upon their visage.

I kind of want to make a Blacksmith class, but really this is all you need (and love, all you need is love, love, love; love is all you need).

Tireless Golem

Made or found, centuries old or brand new, golems have a shared trait: they don’t stop. Golems make mistakes, but their makers all too readily set them to task only to wake up in the morning sat in the wreckage of their foolish commandment.

Program

Thy Will Be Done―When you order the Tireless Golem to do something roll+Program. On a 10+ pick 3. On a 7-9 pick 2.

  • They don’t misinterpret part of the order.

  • They don’t make a mess or break something.

  • They don’t attract unwanted attention.

  • They don’t go above and beyond your order.

Of the Earth, Again―When the Tireless Golem is destroyed, where it falls becomes a Place of Power. Describe it.

Heart of Clay―Pick an action, such as Defying Danger by Str or keeping hidden with Con, the Tireless Golem now grants you +1 to the relevant roll. When you Make Camp you can alter the Tireless Golem’s heart, allowing you to pick a different action for it to aid you with.

Golems are Jewish. If you give the Tireless Golem a voice, think Oy, Vay!

Yeah, thats it. Want more? Make ‘em.

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