There are a couple mega-cool things that popped up recently on blogs I read. Meatshields! The Classic Fantasy Hirelings & Henchmen Generator allows DMs to make simple cannon fodder for their old school campaigns. The DM enters the size of the location, either village/small town or large town/city. For 5 gp, the players can The players can even choose to give an extra 5 gp to the town crier to get some extra (and I assume somewhat better) applicants. The example below gives the general idea of the output.
|Name||Type||Race||HP||Sex||Weapon||Armor||Alignment||Background||Possessions & Knowledge||Notable Features|
|Ulmyr||Torch-Bearer||Human||2||M||Dagger||None||Neutral||Failed Apprentice Mage||Nothing||Yellow teeth|
|Balgar||Man-at-Arms||Human||5||M||Spear, Dagger||Leather||Neutral||Failed Tradesman||Nothing||Pudgy|
|Beyda||Man-at-Arms||Human||4||F||Spear, Dagger||None||Neutral||Street Thug||Nothing||None|
|Corgard||Torch-Bearer||Human||4||M||Dagger||None||Neutral||Beggar||An ink pot||Hook for a Hand|
|Worford||Man-at-Arms||Human||2||M||Club, Dagger||Leather||Chaos||Escaped Slave||Nothing||None|
The two most commonly recruited hirelings are:
- Non-combatant humans who serve as torch-bearers, porters, potion-testers, door-spikers, etc. Suggested rate of pay: 5sp/day.
- Zero-level human men-at-arms. Suggested rate of pay: 1gp/day.
- Zero-level demi-human (dwarf, elf, or halfling) men-at-arms. Suggested rate of pay: 3gp/day.
- First level human henchmen (fighter, cleric, or magic-user). Suggested rate of pay: 1/3 share of employer's treasure.
Another cool OSR thing to play around with is the Weird Things in Rooms (d100) Random Table that popped up on Beyond the Black Gate yesterday. Lots of fun stuff on there to drive those players that assume everything in a room has to be there for a reason right up the proverbial wall. Seriously. Dump this stuff in some room with no reason for them to be there and somebody will spend half the game session trying to figure out what they need to do with it.
Here's a couple examples to wet your whistle:
- 3. A large stone wheel set on one wall, clicks when turned.
- 14. One wall has been painted to look like three windows looking out into a lovely garden.
- 33. Seven fluffy orbs of light dance and float in the air of this room, remaining ever beyond your reach.
- 70. A mannequin stands in one corner wearing a surcoat made from fresh meat.