As adventurers gain fame and experience they start to attract followers. Followers come from all walks of life, from minstrels and cooks to soldiers and sages.
The maximum number of followers you may have is equal to your Prestige rating, increased by any bonuses you might have from owning a stronghold, or as a reward by the Narrator for accomplishing great deeds.
Followers aren’t the same as the general staff which maintains your stronghold. Followers are loyal, dedicated to you and your cause, can accompany you on adventures, and provide benefits while out in the field. A cook can keep you well-nourished and healthy, and a sage can provide knowledge and advice.
Followers never participate directly in encounters. They fade into the background and come to the fore occasionally when their particular skill is needed. Each follower grants a specific ability or benefit.
Adventurers should take care to protect their followers. While they do not feature directly in combat encounters, they can be killed—indeed, a follower is usually killed by a single attack.
When you recruit a follower, you need to spend gold. In exchange, you get the follower for life. 500 gold recruits an inexperienced follower, 2,000 gold recruits a seasoned follower, and 5,000 gold recruits an expert follower. You only need to pay this once per follower; it is assumed that the amount paid is enough to accommodate the follower for the duration of the campaign. If you dismiss the follower, the Narrator may permit you to reclaim some of that money. If the follower dies, you do not get any money back. Note that not all followers have seasoned or expert versions—carrying a torch isn’t the purview of only experts.
Inexperienced (500 gold). Inexperienced followers are little more than commoners foolish enough to follow adventurers into a dungeon.
Seasoned (2,000 gold). Seasoned followers have either prior employment with adventurers or other experience that prepared them for adventuring.
Expert (5,000 gold). Expert followers are consummate professionals, rare individuals who have had their share of adventures but are comfortable in their role as assistant.
Known for assorted tonics and serums, apothecaries are sometimes mistaken for alchemists but their services are purely medicinal.
Inexperienced. Once per day, an ally treated by the apothecary can make a newagainst a poison or disease.
Seasoned. Once per day, the apothecary can use an antidote to automatically end thecondition on an ally.
Expert. Once per week, the apothecary provides one medicinal of your choosing worth no more than 100 gold. The medicinal must be used within 24 hours or it loses potency.
A bodyguard is tasked with keeping you alive.
Inexperienced. Once only, when you would be reduced to 0 hit points, the bodyguard takes the damage instead. The bodyguard is killed in the process.
Seasoned. Once per day, when you would take damage from an attack the bodyguard takes the damage instead.
Expert. Once per day, the bodyguard leaps in front of you to take all damage that would be dealt to you that round.
Preparing meals over a campfire is an entirely different skill set than cooking in a kitchen. Warm meals are a luxury many adventurers forgo, but consuming only preserved rations can lead to ill health.
Inexperienced. Once per day, when you take aand expend Hit Dice, you heal 1 additional Hit Die.
Seasoned. Once per day, when you and up to 4 allies take aand expend Hit Dice, you heal 1 additional Hit Die.
Whether drawn to adventurers by fate and prophecy, unusual circumstance, or coin for promoting their faith a diviner brings a touch of the beyond with them.
Inexperienced. Once per day, the diviner casts a cantrip or 1st-level spell from the cleric spell list on you or an ally of your choosing.
Seasoned. Once per day, the diviner receives a helpful vision and you gain an expertise die on your next ability check.
Expert. Once per week, the diviner channels a supernatural voice that reveals an event in the near future that grants youon one ability check, , or .
A footpad is a low-level thief.
Inexperienced. Once per day, when in a crowded area, you are able to gain 5 gold per footpad as they mingle with the crowd.
Seasoned. Your footpad can search a town or other settlement in order to gain valuable information or to locate people or objects.
Expert. Once per week, you can direct your footpad to shadow a person. They report back to you after 7 days with detailed notes on every location the person visited, the people the person interacted with, and any purchases the person made.
A healer is able to tend wounds.
Inexperienced. Once per day, the healer restores 1d8+2 hit points.
Seasoned. As inexperienced. In addition, once per day, the healer restores 2d8+4 hit points.
Expert. As seasoned. In addition, once per day, the healer restores 4d8+8 hit points.
Occasionally called translators, interpreters are polyglots who are not only able to speak multiple languages but also quick to learn new tongues.
All. Once per day, when encountering an unknown language, you haveon Intelligence checks to comprehend that language.
Inexperienced. Choose two languages. Your interpreter is proficient in these languages.
Seasoned. Your interpreter can translate all languages currently spoken on the Material Plane.
Expert. Your interpreter can translate all languages whether alien, current, or dead.
Equally adept at performing songs and telling tales, minstrels entertain during long travels and recount adventurers’ heroic deeds.
Inexperienced. Once per day, you gainon a Charisma check.
Seasoned. Once per day, you gain anon an using a weapon you are proficient with, that you are proficient in, or ability check using a skill you are proficient with.
Expert. The ballads, poems, songs, and tales that your minstrel has composed about your deeds spread far and wide.You gain a bonus to yourequal to half your proficiency bonus.
Alternatively known as bearers, adventurers employ porters to carry. Porters are used by most expeditions to transport gear over terrain that pack animals can’t easily traverse, such as across mountains or into dungeons.
Inexperienced. Your porter can carry 10 Supply.
Seasoned. Your porter can carry 20 Supply.
Expert. Your porter can carry 30 Supply.
Sages are specialists frequently consulted by those in search of obscure information. They rarely leave civilization, but sometimes accompany adventures who need their expertise to examine ruins or immovable relics. A sage is very knowledgeable about a single skill. For each sage, choose a skill.
Inexperienced. Once per day, the sage may make a skill check for you as though you were proficient in that skill. In addition, you gain anon the check.
Seasoned. As inexperienced. In addition, once per day you haveon an Intelligence check made to learn or recall a piece of knowledge.
Expert. As seasoned, except that expert sages only grant the following ability when they are proficient in Arcana, Engineering, Nature, or Religion: once per week when the sage is able to see a creature they can learn information about from a Legends and Lore check using a skill they are proficient with, you gainon your first against it.
A smith keeps your weapons and armor in top condition.
Inexperienced. While you have a smith in your employ, any weapon you wield does +1 damage after your smith has fine-tuned it over the course of a.
Experienced. As inexperienced, and your smith takes particularly good care of some of your equipment. At the end of each week choose a number of items equal to your proficiency bonus. The chosen items do not require any maintenance checks as your smith makes sure to keep them in excellent condition.
Seasoned. As experienced, and any armor you wear gains a +1 AC bonus after your smith has fine-tuned it over the course of a long rest. In addition, any armor or weapons you have that are normal quality are treated as fine quality instead, and any fine quality armor or weapons are treated as masterwork quality instead.
Trained to assist warriors with their gear, squires are typically youths of noble blood apprenticing to be knights. However, lowborn adventurers occasionally feign nobility and employ squires of their own. Squires remain close to their master, holding extra weapons and equipment, picking up dropped gear, or carrying their liege’s banner.
Inexperienced. A squire hastens donning and doffing armor, reducing the required time to 1 round for light armor, 1d4 rounds for medium armor, or 2d4 rounds for heavy armor. A squire can also assist in equipping a shield or other weapon, reducing the time required to a bonus action.
Seasoned. As inexperienced. In addition, your squire can identify other warriors and their squires, as well as where they are from and if they are knighted.
Expert. As seasoned. In addition, your squire can announce you in royal courts. You gainand a +5 bonus to your first Charisma check made in a royal court after your squire has introduced you.
Sometimes called “pack handlers,” teamsters load and unload beasts of burden, drive wagons, and manage the feeding and grooming of pack animals.
Inexperienced. Up to 4 mounts and other animals require half the normal Supply.
Seasoned. Up to 4 mounts or animals can carry twice the normal amount of Supply.
Expert. Up to 4 mounts can gallop for 2 hours a day instead of 1.
Also known as a lantern bearer or linkboy, torchbearers provide light during expeditions to dark places, freeing their employers’ hands for other purposes.
Inexperienced. The torchbearer provides bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 20 feet.
Follower Personalities and Backgrounds
Followers should be memorable and have personality, but should also have some reason for agreeing to such dangerous work. You should name and describe each of your followers. The following tables are provided for inspiration to aid in the quick creation of a follower, but you should not feel restricted by them.
1 Eager. Always strives to please their employer.
2 Fatalistic. Believes they are helpless to enact real change.
3 Stoic. Impassive and difficult to provoke.
4 Sarcastic. Prone to wisecracks and mocking criticism.
5 Excitable. Thrilled by new sights and experiences.
6 Optimistic. Possesses a happy-go-lucky attitude regardless of the situation.
7 Dull-witted. Slow to react or process new information.
8 Aggressive. Always first to act or suggest a response.
1 Constantly fiddles with a brass coin.
2 Whittles during free moments.
3 Clumsily fumbles fragile objects.
4 Speaks in a higher pitch when excited.
5 Constantly reads small chapbooks.
6 Stutters during periods of stress.
7 Loves to recite folksy sayings and proverbs.
8 Whistles when nervous.
9 Drinks heavily when stressed.
10 Has terrible eyesight.
11 Loves to taste new foods.
12 Taps their fingers on walls and furniture.
13 Superstitiously avoids things that cause bad luck.
14 Possesses an inexplicable knowledge of fine wine.
15 Collects commonly found items (rocks, feathers, bones, and so on).
16 Plays dangerous games with a small knife when bored.
17 Hums random songs without realizing.
18 Loves gazing at the stars.
19 Doodles with charcoal on spare parchment.
20 Has a lucky charm they kiss for good fortune.
Background Motivation (d8)
1 Owes money to the wrong people.
2 Has always wanted to be a real adventurer.
3 A loved family member died and now they have nothing to live for.
4 Loves gold and sees adventuring as a quick way to make money.
5 Angered a local authority figure and fears they might seek revenge.
6 A relationship ended spectacularly and now they want to leave town.
7 Is a massive fan of yours.
8 Firmly believes that a folktale or other myth demands that they venture across the world.