Playing as a brigand


This may have come up before, but one thing that’s a little unnatural about the PC progression is the way that the domain game starts at 9th level, at which point people notice your characters awesomeness and come join you. I think it would be awesome to have that structure evolve more organically, and scale with level, as even a 5th level character is pretty awesome, compared to those around him.

Are there systems out there for expanding the henchman idea into something more like an entourage of low level followers that can scale with level? Maybe its possible to tweak the henchman limit to 3x(level-1) HD of followers, for example, to give characters the ability to lead small armies of loyal followers even at low level. Obviously, this is more Assn idea than a mechanic at this point, but consider that a band of brigands consists of on average about 25 men (up to 80!) led by a 4th level fighter and 2 2nd level fighters. How can I get a force like that?

Hire lots of mercenaries? Though brigands are strictly better fighters than mercs…

1: Make a Fighter with no less than average CHA.
2: Achieve 4th level.
3: Recruit 4 3rd level Fighter henchmen.
4: Have each of those 3rd level Fighter henchmen recruit 4 2nd level Fighter henchmen.
5: Have each of those 2nd level Fighter henchmen recruit 4 1st level Fighter henchmen.

Now you lead a force of 4 + 16 + 64 = 84 veteran fighting men, or approximately the size of the largest Brigand band.

Or consider that these are brigands that we’re talking about. They likely have no real loyalty to the leader, simply serving as long as the leader keeps them in spoils. They would not, for instance, follow the leader into an ancient tomb full of traps and monsters. As such, they’re just some sort of hired mercenaries, which is certainly within the scope of the rules.