Henchman XP share

“The totals for each monster defeated are calculated and added to the value of all XP from treasure, and the sum for all XP is divided among all surviving party members and henchmen evenly, with henchmen receiving a 1/2 share each.”
Does this mean henchmen are allocated a full share, of which half is lost, or are they allocated a half share to start with?
Example: 1000XP split among 4 PCs and 2 henchman.
A. 1000XP / 6 = 166XP. PCs get 166XP each, henchmen 83XP each.
B. 1000XP / 5 = 200XP. PCs get 200XP each, henchmen 100XP each.

A. the more participants, the lower the risk, the fewer xp

I think its B.

It’s B.

blink oookaaay… I meant B :wink:

So henchmen count as 1/2 a person. My poor shield-bearer is gonna have some existential crisis.

They rounded down from three-fifths. badum-tish

“It is absolutely mandatory that experience for non-player characters be computed, bonuses added, and then the whole reduced by 50%. This represents the fact that they are in the hire of some character, and because of this capacity are not as prone to benefit from experience. Note, however, that any skimping on their share of the treasure will naturally have a highly adverse effect on their loyalty to the character.” Supplement I, 1975:13
“The Dungeon Master usually takes all the experience points earned by the party, treasure and monsters defeated, and divides it equally among all surviving members of the expedition.” Holmes D&D 1978:11
“Henchmen and hirelings usually get an equal share of any treasure, although their experience point award may vary at the Dungeon Master’s discretion from half to the full amount awarded to player characters, depending upon their accomplishments.” B1, 1979:5
Ideally, treasure should be divided equally among surviving player characters, with henchmen and hirelings usually receiving an equal share (minus any advance payment already given them).
Henchmen and hirelings may, or may not, be excluded from an equal chance for a magic item. If they are excluded, a DM should note the fact and take it into account when it next comes time to test the henchman’s or hireling’s loyalty.
The hireling receives 1/2 normal experience, since presumably he was only following orders, and not doing his own thinking.” B2, 1981:4
In each case, the established practice is to split treasure equally or as desired, split experience points equally among all participants (PC’s and NPC’s), but then credit only a half share to hirelings. In other words answer A above.
Why the change for ACKS?

I calculated XP as follows when I used ACKS. Assuming 1,000 XP, 4 PCs and 2 henchmen:
1+1+1+1+.5+.5=5 (as in 5 shares to divide between the 6 participants in the adventure)
1,000/5 = 200 per share
Each PC thus gets 200 XP
Each Henchman splits the 5th share of 200 for 100 XP apiece (since they each get half a share).
If you calculate it as “A”, above, you end up handing out less XP than the adventurers got credit for. Checking the math:
4 PCs x 166 XP = 664
2 Henchmen x 83 XP = 166
664 + 166 = 832 XP handed out

Only Supplement 1 seems to exclude one option. The others seem to allow both just fine - as long as henchmen get 1/2 the xp, how it’s apportioned is irrelevant to the other rules.

Beragon - yes, that’s the point. The more hired help you bring along the less XP you get. If you kill a dragon with an army of hirelings you won’t get much XP for it.
Ataraxzy - the D&D rules are intentionally flexible all around, virtually nothing is excluded. Nevertheless, how XP are apportioned can be quite game changing (see Beregon’s post) and the suggested method in each case cited is that XP be initally split equally among all survivors.
So, I’m wondering what the mechanical reason for the change is, and how that is meant to play into the rules. I mean, is it meant to compensate some other loss of XP or simply to advance characters faster than thier D&D counterparts, something like that.

They still get less XP with option B than without the help of hirelings. For example, 1,000 XP divided among 4 characters is 250 per PC.

It’s pretty obvious PCs get less XP either way you do it. It’s just that with “A” the whole adventuring group (PCs + NPCs) ended up getting less XP in total than they actually earned.
Maybe ACKs wanted to clarify it with no ambiguity? Because upon reading those texts you quoted from various sources: they are all quite vague in their explanation of how to actually go about it to my understanding of them. YMMV of course, but I find ACKS’s explanation easier to follow and implement.

Well, I’ll grant you the Gygaxian prose in Greyhawk is typically akward, and I did pull from the older sources on purpose, but I don’t think it gets any clearer than what Moldvay wrote:

At the end of an adventure, the DM totals the XP awards from all treasures recovered plus all monster defeated and then divides the total by the number of surviving characters (both player characters and NPCs) in the party. EXAMPLE: A party of 7 (5 player charactrers and 2 NPCs) goes on an adventure but only 6 come back alive. They killed monstes for a total of 800 XP and also collected 5800 gp in treasure, for a total of 6600 XP. Each character receives 1100 XP at the end of the adventure. (The DM may give each NPC ½ normal experience – 550 XP in this case – since the NPC were ‘directed’ and thus benefit less from the adventure.) Moldvay, 1981:B22

But I think I may have discovered what ACKS is following in the Mentzer edit:

Find the number of shares in the party. NPC retainers count as ½ share for XP division; each character counts as a full share. Mentzer DM guide, 1983:12

That was a rule change I was previously unaware of. Still, my question would be whether there are specific mechanical/statistical reasons ACKS choose to follow Mentzer.

Hi guys! I can’t claim any particular familiarity about how this was officially handled in prior iterations of D&D and related games. In ACKS, the henchmen are treated as 1/2 a player character.

Example: 1 PC and 2 Henchmen find 1,000gp. XP is divided as follows:
(1000/1+.5+.5)=1000/2=500. PC earns 500xp and each henchman earns 250xp, for a total of 1,000xp earned on 1,000gp.

If you were to apply the alternative approach, the math would work as follows:
(1000/3)=333. PC earns 333xp and each henchman earns 161xp, for a total of 666xp earned from 1000gp. This method thus imposes a steep penalty (34%) on xp earned relative to the amount of gold collected.

Additionally, ACKS approach means that henchmen are a bargain–you get the value of another character, but only pay 1/2 the xp. In the alternative approach, taking henchmen is a net drain on your party’s xp.

Since players respond to incentives, ACKS method leads to more use of henchmen than the alternative, which is a desired outcome.

Forgive me, I searched on "henchmen" and looked at several threads but found no answer to my query. Adding to this thread seemed preferable to starting a new one.

"Henchmen are typically hired for a share of treasure (at least 15% of the employer’s income) and a monthly fee for food, lodging and expenses. A henchmen’s monthly fee is based on his level, as noted on the Henchmen Monthly Fee table, below." (p50)

"The totals for each monster defeated are calculated and added to the value of all XP from treasure, and the sum for all XP is divided among all surviving party members and henchmen evenly, with henchmen receiving a ½ share each. For example, if the group kills a 5 HD monster worth 200XP, and finds a gold
statue worth 500gp and a gem worth 250gp, these are added up to 950XP, and divided evenly between the characters." (p114)

I don't understand how these passages interact. For the example above, with a party of 4 PCs and  2 henchmen, with that single monster and those two treasures representing the entirety of the adventure, each of the PCs are getting 150gp and each of the two henchmen are receiving 75gp, correct? (with the PCs earning 190 XP and the henchmen earning 95 XP each). Receiving a half share, isn't a henchman always earning 50% of their employer's income? That seems to make the "at least 15% of their employer's income" caveat meaningless. Or can you get away with giving them less? But then how is XP determined?  See my confusion?

I am not an Autarch, but for me, the answer is that XP is determined by the whole group’s findings, not by your specific take-home gold.

Otherwise, you could run into situations where letting the mage borrow money from the group to make a magic item results in everyone else gaining less XP.

(So for example, the party finds a hundred gold, they split a hundred XP. They can then do whatever they want with the actual physical gold coins; in the case of henchman, that usually involves ‘pay them at least 15% of a share’).

"Henchmen are typically hired for a share of treasure (at least 15% of the employer’s income) and a monthly fee for food, lodging and expenses. A henchmen’s monthly fee is based on his level, as noted on the Henchmen Monthly Fee table, below." (p50)

I'm also finding the above text somewhat confusing. My current understanding is that if 4 PCs went on an adventure with one of the PC's having 2 henchmen a haul 4,000 gp haul of treasure would be divided thus:

1. Each of the 4 PCs would be take a share of 1,000 gp (assuming equal division among non-henchmen party members).

2. The PC with the 2 henchmen would then owe 150 gp to both of his henchmen, leaving him with 700 gp. This does not affect xp earned in any way.

However, it is possible for a PC to have up to 7 henchmen if he has an 18 Charisma. 7 times 15% equals 105%. Such a PC would have to pay extra out of his pocket, and effectively lose wealth. Maybe a PC bringing along all 7 of his henchmen on an adventure deserves to wind up losing money, and maybe this is purposely intended to help limit the number of henchmen taken on any specific adventure, but could someone confirm this interpretation?

Also not an Autardh but we tend to do it as follows:

1. For XP, others have already clarified that henchmen get a half-share of the total XP no matter the actual division of coin. We tend to do the math like this... Let's say that the party earned 3600 XP total and they have 4 party members and 4 henchmen. We double the number of party members (to 8) and add one for each henchman (4) to get 12 shares. Each Henchman gets one share (300 XP) and each party member gets two shares (600 XP). 

2. For treasure, we tend to make that payment based on shares. That said, you do make a good point that when you have 7 henchmen, their shares will add up to more than you actually make. Heh. We've never had the issue so we'd never noticed.

[Edit: meant to reply to Nemomeme at #16.]

Alex's statement on the board is that the opposite is the case:  henchmen get their .15 (or higher) partial share out of the same split the full party members take their full share.  So in your example above, you'd divide 4000 gold by 4.3 (1+1+1+1+.15+.15) and each full member of the party would get 930 gold, while the two henchmen got 140 gold each.  Note that while the party members get a little less, the henchmen get slightly less as well, so the only winner is the one who hires them.  But, he's presumably still on the hook for monthly wages and special equipment.

Potentially this takes something away from characters without or with fewer henchman, but my current group tends to think of them as party resources anyway, so it works out.  In principle I suppose it's up to the players rather than the GM which way they want to handle it, since the effect is negligible on the henches themselves.  If they don't make a deliberate choice though, I'm pretty okay with incentivizing henchmen, given how dangerous the game is without them.

Also, and at risk of flogging a dead horse, the two passages (treasure shares and xp awards) don't interact at all.  Different systems with different splits.