Posted on December 14, 2018
Henchman Rules for LotFP
In my game I supplement the rules for henchmen in LotFP with the following rules taken from AD&D 1e – these rules (or more likely, the 1981 B/X D&D interpretation of them) seem to be assumed by LotFP but there are a few details missing. Everything in Rules & Magic pp.47-51 is correct and unmodified by these supplemental rules.
A character may employ a maximum number of henchmen equal to 4 modified by the character’s Charisma modifier. Thus, a CHA 3 character can only have 1 henchman, a CHA 18 character can have a maximum of 7. This limit does not apply to other types of retainers – only to henchmen. A character is only restrained with respect to other retainers by their ability to pay.
Henchmen Class Levels
Henchmen are the only retainers who can have class levels. Their maximum level at the time of being hired is the level of their employer minus 2, and they cannot increase to the same level as their employer (always remaining 1 XP short of so doing). A character can have a level 0 henchman, if they really want… they don’t gain a class until level 1 though (which they will automatically reach when their employer reaches level 3).
The LotFP Rules & Magic book lists the general cases in which a henchman’s loyalty is tested. Loyalty is kept confidential by the referee. As per p.47 of Labyrinth Lord (retroclone of B/X D&D), loyalty is tested at the end of an adventure – this is defined as when they are paid out. If the loyalty check is failed, the henchman will gracefully retire rather than let you suicidal idiots needlessly endanger them again before they get a chance to spend their hard-won loot.
Henchmen are entitled to a half share of loot (if they survive). In the AD&D Players Handbook (Appendix V) they effectively get half as many magic items as player characters. This hasn’t come up much in our campaign thus far, but when it has the value of magic items has generally been reasonably accurately known, so the henchman can just be paid out half the value. Either way it works out to a half share of loot anyway. All of a henchman’s treasure is the property of their legal heirs upon their death – any equipment provided by the player characters can be reclaimed by the employer. The henchman’s equipment and expenses should be paid by their employer individually, not out of the party fund.
Ruling for Henchmen XP
Henchmen receive a full share of XP gained for defeating enemies. They gain XP for treasure based on their half share of treasure, however.