Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Morwin the Torch-Bearer

I was pondering the discussion going around about the use of hirelings, and how some groups never use them even when they could. Some players just don't really consider them. Others have dealt with jerk DMs who make every other NPC a doppelganger/evil cultist/etc. and so the players live in perpetual fear of everyone. I don't know what to suggest for those poor souls except finding them a new DM and a healthy group in which to unlearn the terrible things the jerk did to them. However, the players that just don't really consider it? I may have a solution.

“Excuse me?”

Feris turned to see a middle aged, bald man smiling at him. “Yes?”

“I just wanted to introduce myself” he begins, and extends his hand. Feris takes it somewhat hesitantly. “I am Morwin. I figure it’s the best way to start off a relationship.”


“Absolutely! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly worth more than 5 silvers a day, but you are a hard negotiator, and I’m sure that once I’ve proved my worth to you, I’ll be getting 8, maybe 12, and of course that’s only on the days you need my services. I wouldn’t expect you to pay me just to sit around the tap room and sing your praises! I’ll do that for free!!”

“No of course not-”

“You are so correct. Now as I understand it you’ll all be leaving for the dungeon at first light? Right. Now, I’ll have the horses ready, and don’t worry about me, I’ve got a perfectly serviceable mule that I’ll be following along on, and she can carry loot like you wouldn’t believe. So, since I’m the one that’ll be carrying the torches and lanterns and whatnot, I should probably get some coin from you for supplies. Since you seem to expect to be coming back tomorrow evening, I expect we’ll be spending no more than 24 hours in the dungeon, which means we’ll need 22 gold for the lantern and oil, and and at least another 4 gold for torches. Probably wanna double that. A nice even 30 gold then. Gareth the leatherworker, now, he has a nice big backpack going cheap for 4 gold 3 silver, and his sacks are on sale too! Buy a big one; get a small one for free. So if we bump that up to say an even 40 gold, I should be all sorts of ready to help you all out.”

Morwin held out his hand expectantly.

“Morwin, right?”

“Yes sir.”

“You know what we do, right?”

“Yes sir, gold and glory, magic and monsters.”

“And you’re volunteering to go with us, and face the gods only know what?”

“Absolutely not!” Morwin looked pained. “I expect that I’ll be paid a fare wage. Besides… I want a bit of that gold and glory for myself. Even if it means facing the monsters and magic.” His face took on a sheepish grin. “I want a story or two to tell.”

The next morning, just before dawn Morwin waited outside the inn with the horses and his mule all geared up and ready to go. Feris was the first to emerge into the morning mist. “I wasn’t entirely sure I’d see you this morning.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Morwin replied as he hefted Feris’ pack.

Morwin came up randomly on Meatshields! This is what it said:
Morwin, Torch-Bearer, Human, 3hp, Male, Dagger, No armor, Neutral, Glory Seeker, No special equipment, Bald (edited slightly for ease of reading without the table)


  1. Meatshields is awesome! I think henchmen and hirelings really add something to the game if used right.

  2. I like Meatshields too. Going to use it to populate the places where characters go looking for hirelings and the like. And I had a goblin torch-bearer once, who got promoted to PC status after a couple of adventures.

  3. Meatshields is awesome, I totally agree. I would love to see a version where you could add in other options, like goblins. But even without it, it's still a great resource.