Aug. 2nd, 2017 08:09 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I don't know why I woke up at 5 with a weirdly urgent need to figure out AD&D mages followers, but, that happened.

Turns out mages don't get followers. So that should have been simples.

But it does say they can have just a few henchmen or apprentices, which seems more like what I was thinking on anyway. Followers stay with your stronghold and do not come on adventures, at least according to 2e rules, though memory and forums suggest a lot of players didn't read that line. Henchmen come with you, and share your xp, and level up with you, though if they ever reach the same or higher level they graduate and move on to their own adventures. Henchmen also have an upper limit on numbers, capped by Charisma, and it's a lifetime limit. The reason the rulebook gives is that in a world where you can bring them back from the dead, word will get around if you do not, and people will stop wanting to follow you. But if it's a reputation thing, it seems like 'graduating' would just attract more people? Jere is a friend who will raise you up! Except the only way their level could exceed your own is if they did a lot (a lot) more than you did, and did it solo, so, guess that's a reason for people to stop feeling the need to follow you around.

Jesus must have had maximum Charisma, because he had at least a dozen followers who went with him and leveled up to being names themselves. Charisma 18 to make that happen.

Harrison Wells, the secretly Eobard edition, had precisely two people who stayed with him after all the kabooms, and in some ways through some adventures. That's not difficult to achieve, Charisma could be his low rolled dump stat, as long as it's at least a 5. Fits the whole arrogant/prickly personality bit. But he do keep talking people into things, so it's probably higher. And Hartley almost certainly counted, until he got thrown out to protect the project. And Barry pretty much worshipped the guy, until the big reveal. So that would be 4 people and a Cha in the average 9 to 11 range. Until you get into the more literal worship range of rolled a 17 or 18, maximum henchmen is probably only 5 or 6 anyway.

But it makes you think who counts as a henchman, and whose henchmen they are. I mean Barry as the Flash keeps attracting team - and new versions of Wells, which is a unique way to keep resurrecting a friend - so after the reveal Barry is the adventurer and everyone else his sidekick henchmen. His Cha has to be pretty high. They level up without him because he's either doing the protecting them by sending them away thing (ugh) or he's in the speed force or something, so, eventually he will run out of sidekick, but not in a way that loses the loyalty.

One distinction between hireling and henchman is henchman stays around when the money runs out, because they're not here for the pay. By that metric it's possible Eo!Wells has nobody, but Barry definitely has a large team.

I think the word henchman is a bit rubbish for this concept. Doesn't seem to cover it.

It seems a bit rubbish Mages don't get followers. Priests get followers. And Rangers, though theirs are pretty likely to be animals. Warriors of all sorts. Thieves, but loyalty can be an issue. How is it all those other classes making a name for themselves gets them followers, but none for magic users?

And it can't be a stronghold thing. Wizards build towers. Known for it.
Though pretty often those towers seem empty.
But in some stories they build magic schools too, like unseen university.
which was mostly a pun on invisible college and colleges of magic, but still.
If you get a really famous high level magic user, people will want to learn what they know.
But will they want to stay at his house while he's away, just to make sure nobody breaks in?
Which seems more what followers do.

If followers are basically soldiers, then magic users getting no soldiers could be because nobody much likes magic users, or because they're not part f the feudal hierarchy, or something like that. Soldiers couldn't benefit directly like if they followed a stronger soldier. Apprentices make more sense, but apprentices aren't followers.

It says followers only appear once. That's pretty stupid, no logic to it. I mean, sure, you'd build a castle once, but still.

D&D rules have some weird built in assumptions.

Translating STAR labs to this setup, the vast majority of people there are hirelings, no personal loyalty, in it for a paycheque. A prestigious paycheck, but still. Only a very few would follow Wells into personal danger for the sake of personal loyalty, and those would be henchmen. He don't ever get his own personal army, so, no followers.

It kinda works out.

GURPS doesn't limit you, if you want to buy contacts or allies or ally groups. Buy as many as you have character points for. But as ever the blank page ability to do anything doesn't give you much framework to think which specific thing, so, I poked rules I haven't used since long ago.

DnD assumptions for things like distribution of magery or how many characters are above level zero are interesting too, but mostly so I can argue with their math.

GURPS social advantages stay with your publicly perceived identity, and list the example of a demon possessed Duke, who keeps all their kudos as long as nobody knows.

Which is pretty much what Eobard did to Wells.

He also gets his physical stats and advantages.

But I'm always interested in what he did and did not get mentally and emotionally. How much of Wells got copied over? Was he faking everything or did he get memories too? Sometimes I think canon is clear one way or the other and then I remember Eo is a lying liar who lies. Plus time traveller memories both do and do not change with the changes to the timeline, which has to get super unstable if you're from a future that's in doubt. There's a lot of plausible Eo!Wells and Eobards who have really good reasons for being unstable or distinctly different from other moments of themselves.

GURPS rules are a lot more tuneable and have favors and patrons and contacts and allies and acknowledge that your adventuring party looks like it counts but doesn't, basically because free will. NPCs can be bought super loyal, PCs can do their own thing. So the game mechanics of henchmen don't translate to stories because they're all the same level of free willed once a single writer gets hold of them.

But it's still sort of handy to turn relationships over and see what game mechanics fall out.

... still, probably more handy to have got more sleep.


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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