I love hirelings. It’s great to build up a powerful player character, but how much cooler is it to be a powerful PC at the head of an entire army? My problem, is that the hireling options currently offered by the D&D 5e books don’t really include what I consider satisfactory options for those inclined to conquer.
That in mind, I decided to write up the Sellsword. A solid fighter with a heart hungry for gold, it’ll fight anyone as long its paid. Just don’t expect them to stay as loyal beyond their sack of gold.
Medium humanoid, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 17 (studded leather, shield)
Hit Points 52 (4d8 + 8)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 9 (-1) 14 (+2) 12 (+1)
Saving Throws Strength +4, Constitution +3
Skills Athletics +4, Survival +3
Senses Passive Perception 12
Proficiency Bonus +1
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
The Scent of Gold. It costs a 25 GP lump sum to hire a Sellsword.
The Sellsword’s willingness to risk their life is affected by how much they’re being paid. A Sellsword paid the base 25 GP will fight for the PCs, but is likely to flee if their health drops below 30 percent. A Sellsword who’s paid more will be more loyal and more courageous on their employer’s behalf.
Whenever the Sellswords loyalties are in question or their employers issue an extraordinary command, the GM should perform/request competing Persuasion DCs. If the Sellsword wins the DC, they will act in their present moment best interest. If their employer wins, they’ll stay loyal or follow the command.
Their employer suffers/gains a penalty/bonus based on the amount they paid the Sellsword at the time of their hiring.
The Sellsword’s employer can offer them more gold to boost their hiring sum and improve their Persuasion bonus. It must be done however, before any Persuasion DC takes place.
|Gold Paid||Employer Persuasion Penalty/Bonus|
In addition to the lump hiring sum, the PCs can also pay for additional option like Skills, Proficiencies, Saving Throws, and increased Ability Scores. These prices are doubled if the PCs are hiring in a small town as opposed to a city.
|Saving Throws||40 GP|
|Incr. Ability Score||50 GP|
Each Sellsword receives an additional 4GP pay each day they’re in the player party’s service. This fee is separate from the individual Sellsword’s hiring sum and upgrade costs. The PCs can choose to hire.
The PCs can hire as many Sellswords as they can afford. The GM should, of course, keep in mind that certain places might not be able to supply large numbers of fighting men and women.
Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack. +3 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit (1d8+3) slashing damage
Crossbow (hand). Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 100 ft., one creature. Hit: (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Mercenaries, soldiers of fortune, scum of the earth; the Sellsword goes by many names. Driven by a thirst for gold and plunder, they’ll go to war for anyone so long as the price is right.
While this fluid loyalty gives them a bad reputation among respectable circles, there are few who would deny their usefulness in times of strife. When war is a foot, a troop of skilled Sellswords can make the difference between victory in war and the shame of defeat.
Just make sure they’re well paid. It’d be a shame to find their swords in your back.