Understanding followers

Hi folks,

I’m trying to understand some of the finer points on followers, and was hoping the forum could help me out.

  1. When a stronghold is built, most classes end up getting a bunch of soldier/mercenary type followers, and usually a few 1st-3rd level apprentices (or similar). I assume those apprentices require pay, and that their pay would be based on henchmen rates, but do those apprentices count as henchmen (for the purpose of the 4+CHA limit, for instance?)

  2. Do followers gained upon construction of a stronghold ever refresh/renew? I can see that the mercs might not, but I’m confused on the apprentices. Page 141 of ACKS Core says that magi will acquire 1d6 normal men each year to a maximum of 6 apprentices and 12 normal men studying, and that thieves gain 1d6 1st level followers when they gain a level, but I’m not clear on whether other classes do. For example, does a fighter pick up 1d6 1st level fighters each year? (If someone could point out where the book clarifies this, that would be very helpful).

  3. The rules generally suggest that followers who aren’t mercenaries must be fed and housed. Is the intent that you’re actually accounting for the cost of this, and if so, what is the assumption regarding what is provided? I can see that Standard Rations are 3sp to 3gp (big range) per week. Is this what we work off? Would there be any reason to pay more than the 3sp? As a GM I suppose more expensive rations might provide for a morale boost…

  4. For lodging, I assume it’s a case of constructing buildings that would be appropriate for accommodation, which then begs the question of how much space should be provided per person. In my mind 100 square feet of space per person seems to me to be about right for barracks-style accommodation. Am I taking this way further than it was intended to go?

  1. No, they are treated as hirelings. So you can have as many as you can afford, but they can’t go into dungeons or be vassals unless you convert them to henchmen.

  2. Mercenaries becoming veterans is the primary source of new fighters for fighter types. I think the gaining of new clerics is left intentionally vague as it varies from setting to setting, but adopting one of the other classes methods seems reasonable.

  3. For clerics, mercenary followers get 3 gp/month similar to slave soldiers. Increased pay doesn’t have a point as their morale is already +4.

  4. Campaigns has a breakdown of how many units each stronghold building can hold, but if there’s no stronghold, it’s 120 men in a normal townhouse (15 sq ft per person).

Thanks Greatnate, but I’m still a bit confused.

How do mercenaries become veterans? I know 25% of humans will BE veterans, but how do 0th levels become Level 1s?

I don’t think I’ve made myself clear enough on question 3. What I’m trying to understand is that if you have to provide food and lodging for your mercenaries, what does that cost? Lodging is easy, you build accommodation into your stronghold, but I can’t work out what food costs. Is this something most people gloss over as a negligible value?

Campaigns does tell you the unit capacity of buildings, but I understood that to be for the purpose of defending it. If everyone gets 15 square feet, that’s going to be incredibly cramped. That’s 5’ x 3’. You wouldn’t want to roll over while sleeping unless you really like the fellow next to you. Am I reading too far into this?

Mercenaries become veterans when they accumulate 100 XP, typically half the loot and experience for slaying the enemy army goes to the mercenaries and is paid out in accordance to wage. So cataphracts level up quickly and light infantry takes a while (assuming a mixed army).

Food costs are in the wages if you’re hiring a small number of mercenaries, otherwise it’s the bulk of the supply cost for a unit. When does the difference kick in? I’ve always assumed when the group of mercenaries is smaller than 1 company (120 infantry or 60 cavalry), there’s no need to worry about supply, above that line you do.

I do think the 15 sq ft is accurate and historically roomy. A Roman “10 man” tent was only 32 square feet. 15 square feet is what camping tents go by for their listed capacities, it is not comfortable, but they’ll fit.

Since there’s no edit:

I would say that lodging cost are in the wages if they’re tenting and in stronghold upkeep if they’re staying in a stronghold.

A small tent in ACKs is 12 sq ft per person, a large tent 12.5 sq ft per person, I’m sure the mercenaries will be thrilled about another 2.5 sq ft from being in a building.