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Hirelings, Followers and Cohorts, and how they work

Rules Questions

I appreciate any light you could shed on the following.

Making a dwarf cleric of Abadar. He has NO combat potential, but he could bargain Asmodeus for the keys to hell's winecellar.

He is level 8, he has leadership, he has a leadership score of 16 and this nets him the following:

  • A level 6 Cohort
  • 25 level 1 followers
  • 2 level 2 followers
  • 1 level 3 followers

He has also employed 30 trained hirelings for 3sp per person, per day, to act as mercenary guards for him.

So now this guy is travelling with a train of his lieutenant and 58 armed guards to protect his merchant caravan.

Question 1 :

What is my CR and APL? I am sure that normally you'd not experience a 1 player party, but for the sake of simplicity. Is my CR altered because of my hirelings? Because of my followers? Because of my cohort? All or some of the above? If my CR/APL is changed how do I calculate the new outcome?

The caravan travel across some plains and some monstrous critter(level appropriate) pops out of the ground, sends guards flying ass over teakettle and starts gnawing on the wagonwheel. Focussed fire occurs and the thing is minced in 1 round.

Question 2 :

How is the EXP shared? Is it shared? Do I get full experience for the encounter, despite the effort of the hirelings, or is it spread across 59 people?

As tends to happen in these worlds, some of the trained hirelings die. They are all buried and their gear is tossed in one of the wagons. As the caravan arrives in a new city, the gear of the dead soldiers is sold and their last wages are mailed, along with the profits, to their families. Now to replace the dead minions.

Question 2 :

The rules for hirelings say that 3sp is the typical daily wage for your everyday mercenary warrior. It also states that this is minimum wage. I assume this means that 3sp trained hirelings of the mercenary variety would equeate to level 1 warriors. What if I wanted to hire level 3 warriors? How about a level 2 ranger? How much would the prize increase? What about spellcasters? They tend to charge by the spell, but let's say I put a journeyman wizard on retainer, paying him... I dunno... 500gp a month for his spellcasting services. Could I freely access his spellcasting?

Thanks in advance


Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Question 1: I think you would have a CR of 12 if everyone is fighting, but you don't want to do that because you don't want to have everyone killed.

Question 2: Experience is not shared. Hirelings and Followers don't level up. Cohorts level up but they gain exp in a different way. Check the Leadership feat for exact details.

Question 3: I would actually have 3 sp be for a level 3 warrior. This is a question for your GM to be honest. If you are the GM, remember that the higher the level the rarer the NPC. Check out the free hireling PDF here on the Paizo site. Just search for it.

Thank you for your response Caleb.

Why do you think the CR would increase? Is it just your judgement or is there a rule somewhere you are using? Could you point me to it?

I agree with you on point 2, but could you perhaps also cite the source for hirelings not leveling up?

And in regards to the hireling pdf, thank you, I'll go look for that :)



Bump for more responses :)

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I just used my judgement on the CR increase. There is a way to figure out the exact CR. However, in your case it is a bit in the grey area because of the range of levels you are dealing with. 30 level 1 warriors would be CR 10 all on their own, but wouldn't really challenge a party with an APL of 8. When added to someone who is level 8 and who has a level 6 cohort, they just become shields and aids. They also become really annoying in combat if you insist on rolling for every last one of them, but that is a different matter. So, adding in your character and the cohort (no followers) you now have two contenders and 30 shields. The hireling warriors help keep foes away from you and you and your cohort kill from a a distance. Considering that you are at CR 7 all on your own I would add in about 5 to adjust for the cohort and the hirelings. Most of that 5 is your cohort.

That isn't how it is supposed to be done, but that is how I got there. You are supposed to look at the CR and the experience point awards they give individually. Add up all the experience points and refer to a table (in link below) to find the CR. That is kind of doing it backwards, as usually you have the CR already and you just split up the experience points to find what you can use in an encounter.

Check out this page on more information on APL and CR.

As for point 2: Do you mean hireling or follower?
Followers do not level up. It says so in the Leadership Feat in the last paragraph. It starts, "Followers don't earn experience and thus don't gain levels."

There isn't enough written about hirelings (officially) to say if they gain levels or not. I would rule that they don't gain experience from encounters, but might have a chance to gain a level every year or so. It would be easier to just hire higher level hirelings.

Note that 3sp/day is for trained hirelings and is a minimum wage. Your GM should set the rate, but I rule in my games that when it comes to mercenaries, 1sp per warrior level or 3sp per level in any of the core classes (fighter, ranger, cavalier.)

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