Friday, February 18, 2011

One Hireling List to Rule Them All

More offerings from the Domain Game today. (I have a surprise for the upcoming King of Dragon Pass post.)

Today I give you the early draft form of the comprehensive hireling and followers list I have been working on. The list is long (over 120 professions at this point) and somewhat involved—we're getting into spreadsheet territory now—so if you are interested boogie over to my sister HC site and download the file marked “labor costs”

I can really use some input here (pretty please) as I am aiming for a nice and full set of options capable of covering periods ranging from Antiquity to the Early Renaissance for the source book. So any suggestions no matter how arcane, fantastic, historically-specific, or wacky are appreciated.

Also you may notice my deflation of expert and craft hirelings wage costs, a departure point from most editions of D&D classic or not. Definitely let me know if you think this is potentially workable in your own home campaigns as I was aiming for a balance between something close to historical (or at least internally logical) wage rates and compatibility with the rates as presented in the game.  


  1. I continue to be amazed by what you are putting out for this, CK. Definitely gonna get that sourcebook when you get it all nailed down.

    Of course I have questions like always. I am little confused by the distinction between the slashes in the free labor section. What do you mean exactly by residental and non?

  2. @Wampus
    Jim, I appreciate the chance to clarify.

    By "residential", the left side before the slash, I mean they are part of your direct retinue and you must provide food, housing, and other needs (highly applicable in the wilderness clearing phase).

    Non means simply that they live in their own place, buy their own food etc.

    Residential hirelings will tend to be more loyal as they lack the relative independence of the latter category.

  3. That's a comprehensive list..!

    Much wracking later, I suggest this paltry few:

    Undertaker, possibly with Embalmer
    Fortune teller
    Prospector, but this might come under Geologist

  4. I'll put an alphabetical list of 125 on my blog. There's some overlap, some class entries (fighter, thief, etc), and some that probably won't apply (con man, etc), but feel free to use them.

  5. Are the costs listed only an initial investment or are they assessed per year or turn or something?

  6. @Ragnorakk
    I will check them out, likely all kinds of parallel evolution going on out there.

    Costs are by the month.

  7. @Porky
    What's a wild and wooly frontier town with an undertaker...and a gardener. Thanks for the suggestions, all added.

  8. the solution for pricing is to lower the size/ weight of coinage . . .

    COST is expressed in bits or pieces of valuable refined, precious ore, often times stamped into coins. We use the conversion rate of 100 pieces = 1# of encumbrance;
    otherwise, each gold piece has a ridiculous rate of exchange. (It takes 3 lbs of gold to buy a short bow?)

    A coin is eight times the size of a piece/ bit
    (two bits = 1 quarter, 4 quarters = 1 troy ounce);
    There are 12 troy ounces in a pound; therefore, one gold royal or silver dollar weights about 38 grams:

    1 copper piece = cost of a beer or a loaf of bread
    10 copper pieces = 1 sp or day’s wage for laborer
    10 silver pieces = 1 gold piece (1gp = 100cp)

    Individual nations and city-states often mint their own coins. Foreign coins can be converted to acceptable tender for a modest fee (1-6%). Adventurers beware; large amounts of foreign coin will often attract unwanted attention of law enforcement and/or the criminal element.

  9. @Clovis
    In own campaign contemporary coins are very light too. Totally agree that as written it would be a ridiculous amount of gold for everyday items.

    Based on feedback (mostly off-site) I am thinking that my wage rates may be a tad too small especially on the higher end of the skill pool. I will probably bump up wages for craft and expert workers something like 20-25%.

  10. actually coins can be heavy
    (one troy ounce = 12 to an emperial pound);
    however, pieces are symbolic

    eight pieces of silver = one silver dollar
    OR 4 silver quarters (aka two bits)

    in my way of seeing things
    (glass is half full),
    each piece is about 5gm of precious metal.

    For the price of gems . . .
    I defer to the Rienster

  11. I like too the idea of making most coins an alloy. Silver mixed with copper, zinc, nickel or the like.

  12. Interestingly, I read today that the average wage of a laborer in the Late Roman Empire was one silver denarius roughly equivalent to US $20 in today's money. So that should work with your own scale.

    With a 10sp:1gp ratio that means my own wage scales are way deflated.

  13. Where is the file currently?