Friday, 3 November 2017

New Rule: The Coterie

Comments on the last entry raised the possibility of playing a PC sage-with-bodyguard double-act. The sage gets the glory; the bodyguard gets the XP. This keeps sages nicely wimpy (why bother with the frivolities of combat or the hocus pocus party tricks of spellcasting?) while providing an outlet for their XP gains and proper protection for dangerous expeditions. I like the idea.

I wonder if it could be expanded to general play. Every time your character garners enough XP to gain a level you can instead elect to find him a henchman who the XP goes to. Your first level fighter could go up to second level.... or, instead, get a first level thief as a glamorous assistant. The XP left over (because a thief level costs so much less than a fighter one) gets saved towards that nice new first level magic-user you've had your eye on.

The DM might want to restrict the number of henchmen, chiefly at higher levels - big XP rewards could theoretically allow a PC to employ a miniature army of first level thieves. But then again that's not all that different to what happens at name level anyway. There's also a natural break on numbers because XP rewards get diluted the more henchmen there are - if a PC has five henchmen, all getting shares, he garners less XP to spend on his growing throng.


  1. That is an intensely interesting twist on the basic concept of exp/leveling and I'm just gonna slip that card into my deck of Wonderful Things for future use. Bravo!

  2. Get thee a henchman and give him a half-share of everyone's XP, like we did it in the old days.

    the other players love subsidizing your bodyguards

  3. This idea exists as protégés in Hackmaster 5e and may go back to the original Hackmaster.

  4. Crabmen bodyguards being powered like this has to be a thing.