Do you like random tables? I do.
Do you like henchmen? I do.
Do you like random henchmen? I hope so …
The following tables can be used to make more interesting, if not useful, henchmen for your classic fantasy game. I think I might adapt these to ACTION X and use them as the default for minions.
Note – for those who don’t play Blood & Treasure (yes, I’m aware that’s 99.99999999% of all gamers), treat a “knack” as succeeding on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6, or as a flat +3 bonus to skill checks
TABLE THE FIRST – HENCHMAN PERSONALITY
1. Sniveling coward – has move of 40 and must check morale before each fight
2. Greedy bastard – tries to steal treasure at every turn
3. Junior paladin – braver and more heroic than he/she should be, but also a Lawful (Good) moralist about things
4. Dastardly spy – working for an opposing group of adventurers, making a map and reporting back
5. Secret cultist – member of a secret chaos cult, will betray the party if possible
6. Sword-for-hire – has to be paid (1×6 x 5 gp) for sticking his neck out, but +1 to hit with swords
7. Old veteran – a bit slower (move 20), but good at solving puzzles
8. Pack mule – can carry 150% normal weight, tends to be quiet and dull
9. Rebellious princess – (or prince) a rich brat who wants adventure but is still in the aristocratic mindset, has a tendency to complain and command
10. Rugged he-man – or she-woman; strong, brave and competent and a bit arrogant
11. Mother hen – very concerned about the adventurers and their health and well-being
12. Hyper-active – gets bored easily, often moves off on his own (especially when carrying something important)
13. Lucky duck – +2 bonus on all saving throws; lucky and knows it
14. Rakish devil – hits on the opposite sex, makes lascivious innuendos at the drop of a hat, has an over-fondness for booze
15. Death magnet – 1 in 6 chance that any random bad thing happens to this poor slob, but they enjoy a +2 bonus to all saving throws
16. Terrible jinx – increases chance of random monster encounters by 1 (or 5%), imposes a -1 penalty to saving throws for all in the party by their mere presence
17. Lazy complainer – move rate of 20, like to rest once per hour, complains about physical exertion, eats double rations
18. Delusions of grandeur – claims skills he or she does not have
19-20. Mundane henchmen – nothing special at all about this henchman
TABLE THE SECOND – HENCHMEN SKILLS
1. Academic – knack at deciphering and appraising the value of goods
2. Acolyte – can cast 1d4 zero-level cleric spells, each once per day; charges double
3. Acrobat – knack for jumping and ???
4. Animal Handler – knack for riding and taming animals
5. Apprentice – can cast 1d4 zero-level magic-user spells, each once per day; charges double
6. Athlete – knack at climbing walls and swimming
7. Deceiver – knack at forgery and disguise
8. Investigator – knack and finding traps and discerning alignment
9. Negotiator – +2 bonus to reaction checks if does the talking and knack for discerning alignment
10. Pick Pocket – knack at move silently and pick pockets
11. Rogue – can backstab for x2 damage once per day, knack at thief skills; charges double
12. Savage – berserker in combat, knack at barbarian skills, comes with loincloth, shield and spear; charges double
13. Sentinel – knack for finding secret doors and listening at doors
14. Shadow – knack for move silently and hide in shadows
15. Spelunker – darkvision to a range of 30 feet, dwarf knacks
16. Survivor – knack at survival and climbing walls
17. Swordsman – has one combat feat of the TK’s choice and comes with chainmail, shield and hand weapon; charges double
18. Thugee – can backstab for +2 damage and use poison safely, knack at assassin skills, comes with black leather armor and two daggers; charges double
19. Whirling Dervish – can attack twice per round with melee weapons, comes with leather armor, short sword and dagger; charges double
20. Woodsman – +1 to hit animals, knack at ranger skills, comes with leather armor, longbow and short sword; charges double
Just thought of this. What if the henchman’s pay scale determines what they’ll do …
Copper a day – will carry torches and bags, but will not fight
Silver a day – as above, plus will fight in second rank
Gold a day – as above, plus will fight in front rank
Platinum a day – as above, plus will check for traps and go into rooms first
4 thoughts on “Building Better Henchmen”
I still love and use the 1e DMG rules for personality and all that.
I love random tables and henchmen so your peanut butter cup is perfect!
A lot of fun stuff here.
I can't believe I'd never heard/thought of a pay scale before. Genius! If a party has more crap to carry than they can…well, carry…they hire a porter. Mayhap he's a whiny local teenager that keeps ogling the half-elf's curves and wets himself at the hint of bloodshed. Maybe he's a hulk that can easily bear the weight and loves to bruise his knuckles on someone's face. Or on old travel guide who knows every game trail and cobblestone for leagues.
Actually I think all of these guys would still ogle the curvaceous half-elf. But if she wasn't trying to get that kind of attention, maybe she should armor up a bit more. We've all seen how they dress 😉
The pay scale idea is very interesting.
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