Sooner or later, all players are going to discover the value of henchmen. However, knowing that henchmen are useful and playing them properly are just not the same. Misused and abused henchmen can quickly destroy much of the fun and challenge of a campaign.

As stressed in the Player's Handbook, a
henchman is more than just a hireling the player character can boss around. A henchman is a PC's friend, confidante, and ally. If this aspect of the NPC is not stressed and played well, the henchman quickly becomes nothing more than a cardboard character, depriving the DM of a tool he can use to create a complete role-playing experience. For the DM, a henchman is just that--a tool, a way of creating an exciting story for the player characters.

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