I’ve run a few sessions of ACKS (more than 5, less than 10), and it is generally a load of fun and has been a huge hit with my group. I can’t figure out how to handle henchmen, though, because I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why anybody would ever sign up to be a henchman.
The party consists of a mage, a thief, and a nightblade, mixed between 1st and 2nd level, so armored henchmen are practically a necessity to stand between them and the many sharp pointy things coming their way. But from a henchman’s point of view, why would you agree to take all of the risk for only a 15% share of treasure?!
To make matters worse, the mage and the thief both have high charisma scores (+2 bonuses) and at least 1 proficiency giving them a further bonus on reaction rolls (2 in the mage’s case), so I can’t even reasonably have the henchmen demand higher pay, because the reaction to hiring/loyalty rolls are, worst case scenario, a 6–and there are lots of loyalty rolls; the rate of henchman turnover is horrific.
So I guess, I’m wondering if we’re doing something wrong, or if the world of ACKS is just full of poor saps willing to throw away their lives to protect brilliantly powerful wizard and his beautiful thief friend in exchange for a pittance?
On a semi-related note, the party has a lot of henchman. Between 3 players, they are fielding about 10 people at any given time. How have other groups handled that size when going into a dungeon? It’s already causing some serious logistical problems when going down 10’ corridors, and I can only expect it to grow worse with time. Is it expected that all the henchmen will go along with the party into the dungeon?
The party decided to leave about half their henchmen at the entrance of the dungeon to guard their bags for the last adventure, and it just happened to be the one time that a group of assassins was stalking the party, and the assassins took advantage of the opportunity to kill the henchmen and steal all the party’s equipment, stranding them in the mountains, so it seems like the group is likely going to never leave anybody or anything up at the entrance ever again.