Charisma (CHA) measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability is important for how other characters or monsters will respond to a character in an encounter, and affects the morale of hirelings and the number of retainers a character may have.”

-Labyrinth Lord

“Occasionally, there are not enough group members to take on the challenges of the labyrinth. The group may hire NPCs, or retainers, for extra hands. Rarely, the Labyrinth Lord will allow players to play more than one character. However, in these cases characters belonging to the same player cannot offer each other special treatment, such as trading or giving away riches or magical items, unless the Labyrinth Lord rules it acceptable….

Ultimately it is up to the players to decide how their characters will divide treasure and magic items they find on their adventures. However, there are several possibilities that can be offered. One option is to divide treasure evenly. All money can be divided by the number of characters present. Hirelings may accept a 1/2 share, but any less and the hireling will suffer penalties to his morale roll at the end of the adventure.”

-Labyrinth Lord

Labyrinth Lord goes on to generally divide Hirelings into Retainers, and “Specialists and Mercenaries”. Retainers get a share of XP, and advance in levels just like the Player Characters. Specialists and Mercenaries, notably, “…do not accompany characters on adventures. Mercenaries are hired soldiers, and will guard, patrol, and otherwise serve in wilderness settings, but only as part of a larger force, not an adventuring group.”

Swords & Wizardry to the rescue:

“Normal hirelings are assumed to be employed full time by the player character. They are given room and board plus a wage, and the employer supplies any materials needed. (It is possible to employ people for single tasks or short periods; such costs are left up to the Referee.) As a general rule, food for a single person in a rural community such as a castle or village is about 1 gp per month, and perhaps twice that in a city. If the employer does not own a stronghold to house servants and followers, lodging may need to be considered separately. The cost is up to the referee, but staying in an inn, even in a stable, will cost at least 1 sp per night. “


More specific to our needs:

Man-at-Arms (Battles/War)

Upkeep Cost: 1 gp/month in camp or castle. Standard costs of rations if operating in the field (reduced to 10 gp/month if the character is fielding an army with adequate wagons to purchase in bulk).

Wage: If the man-at-arms is a part of the character’s stronghold retinue, he costs nothing. Mercenary infantry cost around 2 gp/month, archers 4 gp/month, and calvary costs 8 gp/month. Sergeants (one required for every 10 men-at-arms) cost twice as normal. Lieutenants (required for every 20), cost three times as normal, and Captains (required for every 60), cost four times as normal.

Initial Equipment: Determine from equipment list.

Man-at-Arms (Dungeon Adventuring)

Upkeep Cost: Cost of rations.

Wage: 2 gp/day or upwards of 5 gp/day

Initial Equipment: Determine from equipment list.

Torchbearer/Other Non-combatant

Upkeep Cost: Cost of rations.

Wage: 1 gp/day

Initial Equipment: Determine from equipment list.


There you go. Retainers are full fledged characters, earn half a share of XP, and half a share of plunder. Specialists earn a wage, plus half a share of plunder; but they don’t earn a share of XP (and they never advance in levels). Also as a technical note, they don’t count against the number of Retainers you can command.

As with most things, we have house rules for how you create a Retainer.

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