Hiring NPCs


Advice

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The rulebook only lists "hirelings". I presume luggage carriers and torchbearers and such.

But what about sturdy NPC guards and other combat-capable individuals?

The rulebook does list the cost of purchasing somebody to cast a level 9 spell, so the concept of high-level NPCs is clearly there.

But what about prices for levelled NPCs? (Guards, thugs, assassins)

For instance, the GMG contains the following Mercenary NPCs:

Bodyguard level 1
Mage for Hire level 3
Bounty Hunter level 4
Monster Hunter level 5

If my party of circus directions would like to hire, say, a band of four Monster Hunters to protect their circus while they are away dungeon-bashing, what would it cost per week?

If no RAW sources (yet) exist, any well-reasoned PF2-aligned suggestions welcome :)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Take average level for the npcs being hired. Decide how much xp the task is worth. Convert that to a fraction of a level. Look at how much gold worth of stuff a pc group would get out of that level and use the same fraction on it.

That's now your baseline cost for non standard individuals. Allow players to negotiate from there.


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I would take the Earn an Income table as a baseline.


Megistone wrote:
I would take the Earn an Income table as a baseline.

Double it at least, for Hazard pay! These guys are putting life and limb on the line and shouldn't settle for what an equal-level service worker makes.


ChibiNyan wrote:
Megistone wrote:
I would take the Earn an Income table as a baseline.
Double it at least, for Hazard pay! These guys are putting life and limb on the line and shouldn't settle for what an equal-level service worker makes.

Yeah, it's probably fair. I meant using the table to make guesses, not just taking the values from there and considering them the correct pay.

Also, if you hire a level 10 NPC to guard against goblin bands, you probably won't pay the same as if the zone was frequently raided by giants. Like for Earn an Income, the table line you use should be the level of the job, not the worker's one. But of course, if you can't find NPCs of 'appropriate' level and the only volunteers are stronger than that, they could ask for a pay that isn't insulting for their ability level.

So again, I'd start from the table, but also listen to other suggestions like the one from ChibiNyan before making a final judgement.


Earn Income feels way too cheap. Adding a bunch of level 5 dudes to your adventuring party would make the difficulty of a level 7 adventure plummet, and the fact you need to pay out maybe 30 gold (1 level per day and dude, x2 for hazard pay) after clearing out Moonstone Halls in three days, cannot hide that you just gained a level's worth of haul without taking the commensurate risks.

In comparison, having a level 5 caster cast a single spell for you costs 18 gold!

The difference in utility-price ratio is enormous.


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Megistone wrote:
Also, if you hire a level 10 NPC to guard against goblin bands, you probably won't pay the same as if the zone was frequently raided by giants.

I disagree. If you hire Zoltan the Black, a level 10 Mercenary Captain, you hire Zoltan the Black no matter what he is to guard against.

If you don't like his price, since you want him to shepherd a few goblins, hire someone else.

I don't know what you're doing for a living, but I bet you won't take a job at 20% pay just because the task is routine. After all, you're spending the time no matter what. You wouldn't like it if your boss only paid you a fraction of your month's pay whenever he felt like you only did boring, easy or tedious tasks.


More generally, it seems there is zero official guidance on this subject.

Hm. Isn't that strange? Hiring NPCs (and not just laborers) is a fairly common thing.


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Zapp wrote:
More generally, it seems there is zero official guidance on this subject.

You should just compile a list of everything that seems to have zero official guidance and make a single thread for it. It would save everybody time.


Zapp wrote:
Megistone wrote:
Also, if you hire a level 10 NPC to guard against goblin bands, you probably won't pay the same as if the zone was frequently raided by giants.

I disagree. If you hire Zoltan the Black, a level 10 Mercenary Captain, you hire Zoltan the Black no matter what he is to guard against.

If you don't like his price, since you want him to shepherd a few goblins, hire someone else.

I don't know what you're doing for a living, but I bet you won't take a job at 20% pay just because the task is routine. After all, you're spending the time no matter what. You wouldn't like it if your boss only paid you a fraction of your month's pay whenever he felt like you only did boring, easy or tedious tasks.

That's why I wrote the following sentence in my post :)

Anyway, when a PC uses Earn an Income they have to go with what they can find. Maybe the great Zoltan has been unemployed for a while, or has a few days spare, and will accept a somewhat lesser pay for a job that is not risky at all for him.
I wouldn't do that for a long time job, but if I was out of work and someone offered me a poorly paid, two weeks-long project, I could consider that.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I don't think any version of DnD has rules for spending money for other people to solve your adventure problems. The general conceit is that they do that to you, not the other way round.


The hireling costs work for the folks not expected to be carrying the weight as if they were a full member of the party... but I agree there's not really any guidance for how much pay an NPC with capabilities similar in scope or potency to a PC.

...but then, the rules don't really cover how to split wealth among PCs, either. And I think this falls in the same territory: make an actual agreement with them, such as giving them a share (or half share, if you're cheap) of the party's income.

Liberty's Edge

Zapp wrote:
Earn Income feels way too cheap. Adding a bunch of level 5 dudes to your adventuring party would make the difficulty of a level 7 adventure plummet, and the fact you need to pay out maybe 30 gold (1 level per day and dude, x2 for hazard pay) after clearing out Moonstone Halls in three days, cannot hide that you just gained a level's worth of haul without taking the commensurate risks.

I'd say that 30 gold paid to that guy for guarding your stuff outside the dungeon (the scenario the OP presented) is more than fair. He's taking very little risk, after all, and expending no resources.

On the other hand, I'd say anyone you take adventuring with you will expect a full share of all the loot you gain.

Zapp wrote:

In comparison, having a level 5 caster cast a single spell for you costs 18 gold!

The difference in utility-price ratio is enormous.

That's the price for using a limited resource on command, which is a slightly different thing than the price to stand around unless something happens.


thenobledrake wrote:
but I agree there's not really any guidance for how much pay an NPC with capabilities similar in scope or potency to a PC.

Thanks.

Let's keep in mind I'm not talking about NPCs that are expected to share the same (extreme) risks as PCs.

I'm specifically talking about guarding the Circus while the PCs are away.

While this might not be as risky as joining the PCs down the dungeon, it is certainly far riskier than what the CRB pay rates expect.

I mean, I could find it reasonable that the Circus is attacked by monsters equal to a Moderate level 5 encounter. You simply can't handle that without a couple of levels under your belt, given the proficiency to level default of PF2.

So any guards must by necessity be more than mere Hirelings, even if they are well out of the PCs league. You simply can't expect players to believe any threats against their circus will be level 1 threats. Not now, when they themselves are level 7.

So yes, I would very much appreciate either official guidance or the next best thing: well-reasoned advice from you guys, taking your PF2 experience in mind, including your best ideas of how the official devs would implement PF2 sensibilities into the question.

I am sure this exists for PF1, but I have found the games are so dissimilar it is hard to gain any insight from such a different game. I would definitely like Paizo to issue official pay rates for hiring NPCs per level, assuming combat-ready NPCs and not just "civilian tasks". For instance, at level 20 you might want level 13 guards to defend against interplanetary threats, and that just is out of scope of anything in the CRB.

Cheers :)


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If you are hiring someone to guard the PCs base of operations, you are hiring someone to - should their hiring not prove to have not been put to the test - contend with the PC's enemies.

That means you're either hiring people that, like the PCs, have the capability of handling those threats, or you are hiring people you know will die if ever called to purpose.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The main reason you would hire people weaker than you is because you can't be every where at once. Yeah the PCs could wipe out any low level bandits that went after their stuff while they were in the dungeon, but they are in the dungeon and their stuff is outside...


thenobledrake wrote:

If you are hiring someone to guard the PCs base of operations, you are hiring someone to - should their hiring not prove to have not been put to the test - contend with the PC's enemies.

That means you're either hiring people that, like the PCs, have the capability of handling those threats, or you are hiring people you know will die if ever called to purpose.

I guess you're right.

Your point is?

That fantasy rules should not support the hiring of NPCs?

Or that the CRB offerings is fine, ensuring any guards die even at level 2?

I guess I don't understand why you avoid answering the question, instead spending so much effort on implying everything is fine and there is never any need for improvement.


Malk_Content wrote:
The main reason you would hire people weaker than you is because you can't be every where at once. Yeah the PCs could wipe out any low level bandits that went after their stuff while they were in the dungeon, but they are in the dungeon and their stuff is outside...

Egg-sacly! :-)


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Zapp wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

If you are hiring someone to guard the PCs base of operations, you are hiring someone to - should their hiring not prove to have not been put to the test - contend with the PC's enemies.

That means you're either hiring people that, like the PCs, have the capability of handling those threats, or you are hiring people you know will die if ever called to purpose.

I guess you're right.

Your point is?

That fantasy rules should not support the hiring of NPCs?

Or that the CRB offerings is fine, ensuring any guards die even at level 2?

I guess I don't understand why you avoid answering the question, instead spending so much effort on implying everything is fine and there is never any need for improvement.

I think that there is, in general -- in Paizo adventures at least -- a social contract that the story happens where the PCs are, not where they aren't, with the exception of important plot moments that count on the MacGuffin getting stolen or whatever while the PCs are dealing with something else. So the party is either wasting money paying guards where nothing bad's going to happen anyway or they are wasting money paying guards who are doomed to fail because the adventure expects the BBEG to kidnap the heir to the throne(/circus/whatever) and if he doesn't the whole AP just kind of trails off into nothing because now book 5, which is built entirely around the party rescuing the heir from the sprawling megadungeon, can't happen.

So, yeah, it's meta, but there it is.


Malk_Content wrote:
I don't think any version of DnD has rules for spending money for other people to solve your adventure problems. The general conceit is that they do that to you, not the other way round.

In the Basic set of the old BECMI d&d there were rules exactly for that: you made an offer and the DM rolled 2d6, looked at the inevitable table, and decided if the NPCs had accepted that.

I don't remember the exact rules, but the best offer you could make was giving them a share of the treasure (half of what a PC was getting).


Zapp wrote:
I guess I don't understand why you avoid answering the question...

I didn't avoid answering the question. I pointed out how what I already said, that you disregarded out of hand, is actually the 'well-reasoned advice" you were asking for but you initially misidentified it.


thenobledrake wrote:
Zapp wrote:
I guess I don't understand why you avoid answering the question...
I didn't avoid answering the question. I pointed out how what I already said, that you disregarded out of hand, is actually the 'well-reasoned advice" you were asking for but you initially misidentified it.

Maybe you need help so let me explain I'm looking for a table such as the one for spellcasting services but for general service, let's say per week.

It would specifically state it's for skilled, levelled, NPCs.

It's prices would be meaningful, in contrast to the Earn Income table, which is abusably inexpensive.

So "answering the question" would entail making a suggestion of some sort, where you work with me, not against me.

Bickering about my parameters isn't answering the question. Instead it's profoundly unhelpful. Not posting at all would be a better alternative in that case.

Hope that helps making the distinction clearer. Cheers


I would start with earn income and multply depending on the hazard of the situation and the reputation of the PC's as well as avalability of mercinaries. (x5 I think is a good start with bonuses for actual encounters/fighting)

I'm sure there will eventully be something giving guidelines for "crew" or guards for different locals but in the meantime I'd just go with whatever seems reasonable at the time depending on the party and the campaine.


Town Guards are probably paid according to earn income equivalent to their level (or less if it's a very low level area). If you're hiring mercenaries to protect your stuff, it would be more expensive for sure, but it's nowhere near "go adventuring with the party" levels of danger and pay. So yeah 2x or 3x the Earn Income for their level, or the level of the task if there's low competition in the market.

If they're joining you on a dungeon crawl or w/e then they're the same as any other party member unless their roles are limited. In which case maybe they can get half a share of loot (or of the reward!) for just following orders in battle.

EDIT: I agree this doesn't really work for APs, which are setup so party can always stick together and nothing crazy happens. Very important for sandbox, though!


ChibiNyan wrote:
Town Guards are probably paid according to earn income equivalent to their level (or less if it's a very low level area).

Absolutely. You could even say the rule is "task level is limited to settlement level" :)

Quote:
If you're hiring mercenaries to protect your stuff, it would be more expensive for sure

Thank you.

Quote:
but it's nowhere near "go adventuring with the party" levels of danger and pay.

Again true. Then again, I'm assuming "adventurer pay" isn't expressed in gold per time at all. Instead "adventurer pay" = "full share".

Quote:
So yeah 2x or 3x the Earn Income for their level, or the level of the task if there's low competition in the market.

Well, no, that sounds extremely cheap, and every minmaxing party would immediately hire a few expendable warm bodies. And it should never be based on the settlement level, always NPC level. (You don't get skilled help for less just because it's a backwater town, not unless the GM wants you to at any rate)

Quote:
If they're joining you on a dungeon crawl or w/e then they're the same as any other party member unless their roles are limited. In which case maybe they can get half a share of loot (or of the reward!) for just following orders in battle.

Indeed. The lowest I would go (for NPCs that "go adventuring" with the party) would be exactly that - "half share" - and that only if they're clearly inferior in combat (perhaps they're brought along for specialist knowledge, such as being Master in a skill no PC is more than Trained in).

Any NPC that is expected to "shed hit points" should get a full share. Not because that's fair, but because that is what's needed to stop players from using the option except when they really REALLY want to. :)

Quote:
EDIT: I agree this doesn't really work for APs, which are setup so party can always stick together and nothing crazy happens. Very important for sandbox, though!

My AP isn't completely stuck to the "rails". I started this thread even though I'm running an AP, since it made sense for the players to ask "how much for decent swords-for-hire while we're in the dungeon?"


I feel the answer should be a significant amount, meaning more than Earn Income, yet not so much as to be entirely prohibitive.

Mostly I feel it is a natural thing for a Core Rulebook to answer.

I think answering "what is the cost of four level 7 swords-for-hire per week?" is just as appropriate and justified as "what would it cost to have a level 7 Cleric cast Remove Curse", and I don't see why the CRB should answer one but not the other.

(Other than space issues, possibly. But then the GMG should have given the answer instead.)


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Zapp wrote:

I feel the answer should be a significant amount, meaning more than Earn Income, yet not so much as to be entirely prohibitive.

Mostly I feel it is a natural thing for a Core Rulebook to answer.

I think answering "what is the cost of four level 7 swords-for-hire per week?" is just as appropriate and justified as "what would it cost to have a level 7 Cleric cast Remove Curse", and I don't see why the CRB should answer one but not the other.

(Other than space issues, possibly. But then the GMG should have given the answer instead.)

Those questions haven't been answered since at least 3rd Ed (the first edition I have experience in) so I don't know why you think it should be a thing now. 5e doesn't have it, PF1 doesn't have it. The game assumes people pay the players to do dangerous things, thats why they are adventurers.

Given that I still think my solution at the start was the best and most fair. Want to know what danger pay looks like for a group of any given level? Look at what the players would expect to get for a similar task. The players can't complain about how much it costs to hire 4 level 2 dudes to guard their caravan when they aren't about when they got paid that much to do the same task 3 levels ago. Let them haggle from there of course.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Malk_Content wrote:
Those questions haven't been answered since at least 3rd Ed (the first edition I have experience in)

Fwiw, from the AD&D Player's Handbook, hirelings!

Quote:

At any time, a character may attempt to hire various different sorts of workers, servants, or guards. The success of such hiring is entirely dependent upon availability of the type desired, wage and bonus offers, and to some extent the character's charisma. Typical hirelings are:

  • Alchemist
  • Armorer
  • Bearer
  • Blacksmith
  • Crossbowman
  • Engineer
  • Linkboy
  • Man-at-arms
  • Steward
  • Teamster
  • Valet

    Your character will have to locate the whereabouts of whatever type of hirelings he or she desires to take into service, and it will be up to your character to determine wages and salaries in the area he or she is in.

    Employment can be by the hour, day, week, month, or year acccording to the desires of the character and agreeability of the persons to be hired. Your referee will handle all such matters as they occur.


  • Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Joana wrote:
    Malk_Content wrote:
    Those questions haven't been answered since at least 3rd Ed (the first edition I have experience in)

    Fwiw, from the AD&D Player's Handbook, hirelings!

    Quote:

    At any time, a character may attempt to hire various different sorts of workers, servants, or guards. The success of such hiring is entirely dependent upon availability of the type desired, wage and bonus offers, and to some extent the character's charisma. Typical hirelings are:

  • Alchemist
  • Armorer
  • Bearer
  • Blacksmith
  • Crossbowman
  • Engineer
  • Linkboy
  • Man-at-arms
  • Steward
  • Teamster
  • Valet

    Your character will have to locate the whereabouts of whatever type of hirelings he or she desires to take into service, and it will be up to your character to determine wages and salaries in the area he or she is in.

    Employment can be by the hour, day, week, month, or year acccording to the desires of the character and agreeability of the persons to be hired. Your referee will handle all such matters as they occur.

  • Which is before 3rd edition and basically tells you nothing of how to handle it past "people can be hired."


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    Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
    Malk_Content wrote:
    Which is before 3rd edition

    Well, yeah, which is why I supplied the information, since you said you had no experience with editions before third. Just to say that older editions did address the matter. ((A)D&D was a very different game, with characters expected to build and maintain headquarters that would continue to operate while the players might be off adventuring.)

    As a follow-up, I went and found the AD&D DM Guide, and there is a table for hireling pay! Mercenary soldiers earned 2 to 6 gp a month, from light footmen up to horsemen. Of course, the economy of the campaign world is so wildly different that I'm not sure how you'd begin to convert it to P2e terms. It cost 100 gp to get an NPC to cast cure light wounds at that time, for example.


    Malk_Content wrote:
    Given that I still think my solution at the start was the best and most fair.

    To be fair, you're probably right.

    If the heroes has to pay out "level five loot" to level 5 mercenaries, "level twelve loot" to level 12 mercenaries, and so on, that at least avoids the shenanigans of Earn Income levels of costs (i.e. "free").

    Haven't checked whether this gels with spellcasting services though. (I mean, a single spell should be cheaper than paying the same cleric or sorcerer to spend his entire day, and presumably most of his slots)


    Joana wrote:
    (A)D&D was a very different game

    Which is precisely the reason for me asking for "any well-reasoned PF2-aligned suggestions" in my OP! :)

    Cheers!


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    Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    Malk_Content wrote:

    Take average level for the npcs being hired. Decide how much xp the task is worth. Convert that to a fraction of a level. Look at how much gold worth of stuff a pc group would get out of that level and use the same fraction on it.

    That's now your baseline cost for non standard individuals. Allow players to negotiate from there.

    I like this method a lot. Let me see if I can clean it up a bit and run through an example.

    Method:

    1. Determine average NPC level. Add the level of all NPCs together then divide by the number of NPCs.

    2. Determine expected difficulty of individual tasks and wealth coefficient. Wealth Coefficient is determined by dividing the XP reward of a task of a certain difficulty by 1000.

    Difficulty: Description: Wealth Coefficient

    Trivial: No chance of death: 0.04
    Low: Slight danger, use of some resources: 0.06
    Moderate: Realistic chance of death, must use resources: 0.08
    Severe: High risk of death, NPC may run away: 0.12
    Extreme: 50/50 chance of death: 0.16

    3. Determine value of task by multiplying the following level specific gold values by the wealth coefficient. The gold values are determined by taking the wealth difference between one level and the next of different leveled characters.

    Level: GP

    1: 15
    2: 45
    3: 65
    4: 130
    5: 180
    6: 270
    7: 380
    8: 500
    9: 700
    10: 900

    4. Add up the task value of all expected tasks. Add cost of living expenses and baseline pay, as necessary.

    Example:

    I want a to hire a guard to fight off nearby goblins from raiding our campsite outside a dungeon. Goblins are level -1, and come in groups of four. That would be a trivial encounter to a group of four 3rd level PCs. I could hire that many NPCs or go for a higher level single guard, or just pay more for higher risk. Let's assume I want one guard at low risk.

    A character can handle 15 xp with of enemies as a low threat task on their own. The only way to make 4 goblins fit that budget is to get them to drop off the creature XP guidelines, by looking for a level 4 NPC.

    So, following the method above:

    1. Average NPC level = 4
    2. Task Difficulty = Low (Guessing a bit here)
    Wealth Coefficient = 0.06
    3. Value of task = 0.06*130gp = 7.8 gp
    4. Assuming 4 goblin attacks repelled = 31.2 gp
    Assuming 1 week of comfortable living = 1gp
    Assuming 1 week of Skilled Hireling Pay = 0.5gp/day = 3.5 gp
    Total cost = 35.7 gp

    Huh. Still looks pretty trivial to me.


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Trivial enough that a guild, noble or city might pay for such individuals! Significant enough that your group of 2nd level characters dont want to spend money on a more experienced mercenary handling their problems.


    I was doing something similar while WatersLethe posted.

    I started from the wealth a PC should get throughout a level, like he did; then I took the Earn Income table and analyzed the ratio between the two at various levels.
    If you consider the best column (Legendary), you need 75 days of (successful) work at level 1 to make the same amout you would make adventuring until you level up; and this number goes up to about 330 at level 19. Let's take a fixed ratio of 100.
    If you gained XP by working, and leveled up after 100 days, that would mean 10 XP per day.
    Now, we have to evaluate the level of danger for the job you are assigning. For example, let's suppose that for your mercenaries defending the encounter you expect, on average, a trivial difficulty fight (40 XP) per day.
    So, supposing the mercenaries are level 10, we take the Legendary column of the Earn Income table (6 gp) and multiply it by 4 (40 XP / 10 XP): wages are 24 gp per day, per person.
    Level 10 mercenaries working this way for 25 days make enough experience to level up, and earn 600 gp each. Compared to the expected 900 gp they should make, that's not far off; and maybe they can also get some more loot from the enemies they offed.

    Now let's compare the spellcasting service prices with Earn Income. If we stick with the Legendary column, a single spell is worth between 15 and 20 days of work. That's pretty consistent, but also very rewarding. I don't think that we can take the spellcasting service prices as a baseline, since that's not something one can expect to do everyday. I mean, yeah, healing, removing diseases... the problem is that the only people with enough money to afford that will be adventurers and probably some nobles, and thus the demand will be very low.


    Earn Income prices are geared towards the PCs. We want a price structure geared away from the PCs.

    It's the difference between income and expenses.

    PF2 is set up so any income is dreary compared to being a hero; while any expense is eye-watering in order to encourage PCs to rely on their own abilities most the time.

    Spellcasting service price might be far from perfect, but at least they got the fundamental nature of being an expense going for them.


    35gp is the price of a level 6 consumable. So a reasonable purchase of a level 6 party.

    That does not sound wrong, a hired guard is badically a consumable (they leave after the job). And the job was to smash some goblins, something easy for level 6 characters.


    As I pointed out, Earn Income and spellcasting services scale more or less in the same way. So you could actually start with either, and just change your multiplier.
    It's wealth by level that scales faster, and that is what being a hero yields.

    EDIT: I must have made an error on my spreadsheet, but I'm not going to redo everything. Spellcasting service does scale faster than Earn Income (about 2x), but not as fast as wealth by level (over 4x).


    Several people discuss the job.

    Forget the job. The price must be dependent on the NPC. Not the job.

    Hiring a group of level 6 thugs should cost (about) the same whether they are asked to steal candy from Level -1 babies, or whether they are to beat up some traveller that turns out to be someone who kills all of the thugs with a single spell.

    You don't get a discount on hiring the fearsome Red Death assassin just because the target is Joe Schmoe, local mayor in Backwater Town. A level 14 assassin costs what a level 14 assassin costs.

    I mean, of course you COULD if the GM decides it should be so. But story based reasons are best left outside "official" price tables.


    People are talking about the job because if you go to a group of level 6 thugs and tell them you want to hire them to literally steal candy from babies, they're probably going to just say "no" to the job - and that'd be before you bring up payment.

    Then you've got the paranoia that can be caused by telling someone you want them to do a super-easy job but pay them like it's standard work. That kind of thing screams "there is something about this job I'm not telling you that I think will make it worth the fee, and you're likely to feel should have gotten you a bonus when it surprises you mid job"


    Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    As someone with two jobs,donovan hourly rate and the other ad hoc contract work, difficulty of the task a absolutely does change the fee for the contract work. I'll charge more to remove bush than I will to trim all your bushes. Even though they take the same amount of time the first is much harder physical labour.


    There's a difference between 'Please clean my house', 'Please watch my horse while I storm the dragon's lair', and 'Please come storming the lair with me'.

    The CRB lists hirelings under 'Services', and sets the price: 1 sp/day for untrained, 5 sp/day for trained hirelings; double that if they are following you on adventure. They are still low level, and probably won't fight.
    Technically, if you are hiring a trained thief to help you disarm the traps in the dungeon, you are still covered by that rule. But the thief will have only a +4 modifier, and will be useless in any place where seasoned adventurers are expected.

    To price an NPC that is higher level, or who needs to do a really dangerous job, we have no hard rules, as it's been pointed out. But we have three examples of how money scales by level: expected character wealth, spellcasting service and Earn Income.
    I have showed how they scale; which one to take and which multiplier to use is up to the GM. And once you have detailed the wage by level, arguing if you should use the job's level or the NPC's is pointless: just do as you prefer.

    PS: I have dusted out my old BECMI sets to look for this rule: it didn't say anything about the pay, just that you added 1 to the 2d6 roll if it was 'good', and subtracted 1 if it was 'bad'. You added 3, instead, if you promised an half share of the treasure found (we are talking about actual fighting hirelings brought along in the dungeon).

    Silver Crusade

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    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
    Zapp wrote:

    Several people discuss the job.

    Forget the job. The price must be dependent on the NPC. Not the job.

    Hiring a group of level 6 thugs should cost (about) the same whether they are asked to steal candy from Level -1 babies, or whether they are to beat up some traveller that turns out to be someone who kills all of the thugs with a single spell.

    You don't get a discount on hiring the fearsome Red Death assassin just because the target is Joe Schmoe, local mayor in Backwater Town. A level 14 assassin costs what a level 14 assassin costs.

    I mean, of course you COULD if the GM decides it should be so. But story based reasons are best left outside "official" price tables.

    Are you telling me that I should be working on a flat rate, and not charge people more if it's some "last-minute picking up after their previous lawyer who bailed" job and charge less if it's helping out an NGO in a sticky situation the government got them into?

    Well, in that case, thank you for stellar career advice, but I won't follow it.

    With warmest greetings and sincerest, kindest regards
    Gorbacz

    Liberty's Edge

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    Zapp wrote:

    Several people discuss the job.

    Forget the job. The price must be dependent on the NPC. Not the job.

    Hiring a group of level 6 thugs should cost (about) the same whether they are asked to steal candy from Level -1 babies, or whether they are to beat up some traveller that turns out to be someone who kills all of the thugs with a single spell.

    You don't get a discount on hiring the fearsome Red Death assassin just because the target is Joe Schmoe, local mayor in Backwater Town. A level 14 assassin costs what a level 14 assassin costs.

    I mean, of course you COULD if the GM decides it should be so. But story based reasons are best left outside "official" price tables.

    Yeah, as others note, this just doesn't make sense at all from a realism perspective.

    And even from a game balance perspective, it still doesn't make a lot of sense. You're paying X money for Y result...what Y is should 100% matter. It's not the only thing that matters, hiring a 14th level woman to assassinate a 3rd level guy should cost more than hiring a 6th level person to do it, but the 14th level woman is gonna charge less for an easier and lower risk job...that's just how basic economics works.

    I mean, by the line of logic you're using, getting a 20th level caster to cast a 1st level spell should cost the same as them casting a 10th level one because they're 20th level, and yet that's completely untrue and for obvious reasons.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

    I mean, there's the whole "I don't get out of bed for less than 2 million" trope. But that's generally for too tier assassins who don't want their time wasted. Such characters can still up their rates for particularly challenging job.


    There are explicit rules provided for hiring minions, just not human ones.

    The Rituals chapter covers the cost of "hiring" high level creatures to work for you. And provides baseline costs for the creation of creatures and the levels of creatures that should available for minions.

    There's no reason you shouldn't apply these rules to "hiring" NPCs as well - look at planar binding, replace all the skill checks with Diplomacy, Society, etc. and take your costs straight from there.

    No need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to do this in a balanced manner, everything's already there for you and you just need to replace it and change some keywords.

    If combat stats don't matter and you're just looking to know what a typical caravan guard costs - that's the Skilled Hireling entry.


    Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
    KrispyXIV wrote:

    There are explicit rules provided for hiring minions, just not human ones.

    The Rituals chapter covers the cost of "hiring" high level creatures to work for you. And provides baseline costs for the creation of creatures and the levels of creatures that should available for minions.

    There's no reason you shouldn't apply these rules to "hiring" NPCs as well - look at planar binding, replace all the skill checks with Diplomacy, Society, etc. and take your costs straight from there.

    No need to reinvent the wheel. If you want to do this in a balanced manner, everything's already there for you and you just need to replace it and change some keywords.

    If combat stats don't matter and you're just looking to know what a typical caravan guard costs - that's the Skilled Hireling entry.

    This is a really good point too.

    And here's this tidbit from Planar Binding:
    "Monetary prices usually range from the cost of a consumable item of the creature’s level for a short and simple task to a permanent magic item of the creature’s level or more to persuade the creature to fight alongside you."

    Which lines up with what someone else said about services costing on the order of a consumable makes sense.


    thenobledrake wrote:

    People are talking about the job because if you go to a group of level 6 thugs and tell them you want to hire them to literally steal candy from babies, they're probably going to just say "no" to the job - and that'd be before you bring up payment.

    Then you've got the paranoia that can be caused by telling someone you want them to do a super-easy job but pay them like it's standard work. That kind of thing screams "there is something about this job I'm not telling you that I think will make it worth the fee, and you're likely to feel should have gotten you a bonus when it surprises you mid job"

    No, your job description might be "guard this place".

    Whether the threat is a single Orc or the Tarrasque doesn't come into it.

    You want level 6 thugs, you pay a level 6 fee.


    Megistone wrote:

    There's a difference between 'Please clean my house', 'Please watch my horse while I storm the dragon's lair', and 'Please come storming the lair with me'.

    The CRB lists hirelings under 'Services', and sets the price: 1 sp/day for untrained, 5 sp/day for trained hirelings; double that if they are following you on adventure. They are still low level, and probably won't fight.

    Absolutely.

    The housemaid, stable boy, scribe or messenger jobs are absolutely covered.

    The "come adventure with me" is also absolutely covered (since "full share" is obviously the going rate).

    It's the in-between levels I'd like regulated.

    That is, a table of costs for hiring a NPC with N levels.

    Just like there's a table of costs for making a caster cast a level M spell (which really is a table of hiring a level N=M*2 caster NPC).


    Gorbacz wrote:
    Are you telling me that

    I am seldom telling you anything - you're making an excellent job of imagining I do over lots of threads.

    In this case, the baseline is obviously that a level N NPC is asked to do something appropriately dangerous for that level.

    Whether it turns out to be much less or much more dangerous is a secondary concern.

    I should definitely be able to recruit a NPC based on his or her level.

    At the very least the table or rule should not presume I get to have a NPC of higher level than the job. So let's not focus on the job's level, but the NPCs' level.

    If the NPC feels the actual job is too dangerous, the GM makes him or her say no.

    But that judgement can't and shouldn't be expressed in the table.

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