Do Players roll ability scores for their henchmen?

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Saturno
Joined: 2018-07-29 15:08
Do Players roll ability scores for their henchmen?

My group consists of this crew
-A Thief 3 with a Fighter 2 as henchmen
-A Shaman 3 with his wolf companion
-A Fighter 3, no followers
-A Mage 2 with a Thief 1 as henchmen
-Another Mage 2 with a Warrior 1 as henchmen
-A Barbarian 2 with three Barbarians 1 as henchmen

So it is a pretty big group even without the henchmen. We love the idea of having the followers and I think they are very useful, but until now I was treating them NPCs as having 0 as ability modifiers for everything. Last session the players asked if they could roll their ability scores and allowed.

The Barbarian player, for instance, is already gleaming with excitement because now he can customize his little band, with one being a bit more stealthy, other being more melee heavy, etc. And I think that's positive, it shows that people are invested.

But I answered too soon because now I'm starting to think that this may slow down our already crowded combat with so many specializations. Or maybe rolling scores is the default and I'm wrong, so what you guys think? How this usually works for you?

Aryxymaraki
Aryxymaraki's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

I usually roll ability scores for potential henchmen before introducing them.

Aryxymaraki
Aryxymaraki's picture
Patreon SupporterDomains At War BackerSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2014-01-04 02:20

I usually roll ability scores for potential henchmen before introducing them.

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

All my players henchmen have rolled ability scores. Even the guy who was originally a bandit and who they recruited by force has ability scores that I rolled up as soon as they hired him.

The way I see it, the bonuses granted by ability scores are small enough that they can be safely ignored for any character who'll only be around for a single combat, but if a character is going to stick around and go adventuring with the PCs on a regular basis, it's important to have a more accurate measure of their strengths and weaknesses.

Loswaith
Joined: 2017-05-12 02:19

Our GM rolls them up and if I recall right gives us a bit of a hint as to thier stats (though to be honest I have been paying more attention to the class).  Typically the Henchman's stats determine their class, thus what becomes available to us.

James K
Patreon SupporterLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2014-06-06 17:22

I have a generator script that produces all the henchmen for hire in the settlement. The players tell me what they are looking for and I tell them what’s available. 

GMJoe
Barbarian Conquerors of Kanahu BackerACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Backer
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

Oh! I forgot to mention: In my campaign, PCs usually lean the would-be-henchan's stats as part of the job interview. Assuming they actually hold a job interview, anyway. There's this one mercenary they hired in a hurry because they met her in a dungeon and didn't want to attract random encounters... I'm looking forward to their discovering she's a werewolf.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I roll them up before the henchman joins the team and try to give clues about them in role-play. For instance a low DEX character might stumble or trip on the way to meet the hero, or knock over a drink; a low CHA henchman candidate might be described as having a bad body odor, or just act like an ass; and so on.