When do hireling get their own hirelings

Pretty much what it says…when can hirelings acquire their own meatshields and how does that work in play? I know that at high levels you have a string of vassels with their own vassels…but what if you go on an adventure together?

From what I’ve read, it seems that hirelings can have hirelings as soon as they reach 1st level (because you can’t hire a guy the same level as you).

I can see this getting out of control, but I suppose that a “hireling tree” is susceptible to losing entire branches if on of the “trunk” hirelings decides to strike out on his own (or dies or something).

This makes me wonder, though, if hireling salaries are typically burned off on ale and whores (or whatever), who pays for that hireling tree? Is the PC supposed to foot the bill as an “adventuring write-off”, the way that he’s expected to pay for weapons and armor and such?

“one of”

Also, sorry. Didn’t mean to thread-jack.

No actually that’s a great question. How do they get hired?

The rules as intended are that each hireling, regardless of who hires them, is asking for some percentage of 1 share of the total take. Now, you might try to save 25-100gp (depending on how high your hirelings make it) by demanding that your 1st tier henchman pays the salary of your 2nd tier henchman, but each of them is going to take 15% (plus or minus depending on negotiations) of 1 share when an adventure concludes, and elsewhere alex has said that, no matter how far down the henches go, if they come on the adventure they get half a share of XP.

So, say you are a persuasive bard striking out on your own, and you hire 7 henchmen because you have an 18 charisma. In turn, you ask some these 7 henchman to hire 2 subhenches. In total you would have 21 people asking for 15% of a share. Let’s assume one dies on the adventure to make it an easy 20 for math. As a PC, you are entitled to one share, and your henches and their henches have all agreed to work for 15% of one share. 20 of them at 15% means they’re effectively dividing 3 more shares.

So now you go off to a dungeon, kill 100 XP worth of kobolds, and loot 400gp from their stores. this generates a total of 500XP. each hench, regardless of boss, gets a half share. so 500xp is divided 11 ways (20/2 + 1) or about 45XP. then the loot is divided into 4 shares. you, the bard, get 100gp, and the other 20 people fight over the remaining 300gp and figure out who it goes to.

Not to bad, but the only thing I’m not sure of is who pays the sub-henche’s monthly salary. If the bard has level 1 henchmen they’re going to want 25gp per month, so the bard will, at a minimum be paying 150gp per month for them. It seems likely the bard will also pay for their subhenches, because otherwise they will immediately split their 25gp 2 ways to pay 2 level 0 subhenches 12gp each, and would be unable to afford any more sub-henchmen.

If you read the Against The Giants AP reports, I think they’ve repeatedly lost subtrees…

But if you do it that way; that would imply that PC’s serving a liege don’t have to pay for their henchmen as they could kick the cost up a level.
So the Bard might demand that his henches subhench, only to be told that they can’t afford to.

Interesting point!

Considering that loyalty and all that is based on the behavior and charisma of the direct employer, I suppose it makes sense to have your henchmen cover their henchmen’s monthly wage (and perhaps gear).

You could do it either way and it would likely be fine. In total you might save something on the order of 100-300gp at level 1, 200-600 at 2, etc. Then it depends on what the PCs spend it on: if they spend it on things that go to the XP reserve then that just means the game has a less steep penalty for death (though not non-existant). If they spend it on equipment to go on mercantile adventures or squirrel it away until they can spend it on a stronghold to earn XP, then the game is simply advancing faster, no harm done.

Therefore: the judge can safely declare that either option is the case, and the overall impact to the game will be fairly minor in that it likely won’t crack the economy in half by allowing the option that lets PCs keep more of their money.