An NPC Becomes a Henchman

There is no set time at which a player character acquires a henchman. Running a player character and a henchman together is more difficult than just a player character alone. Not every player will be ready for this at the same time, so the DM should control which players get henchmen and when. Wait until the player has demonstrated the ability to role play his own character before burdening him with another. If the player does not assume at least some of the responsibility for role-playing the henchman, the value is lost.

Neither is there a set way to acquire a henchman. The DM must use his own judgment. Since a henchman is a friend, consider those things that bind friends together. Being treated as equals, helping without expecting reward, trust, kindness, sharing secrets, and standing by each other in times of trouble are all parts of it.

When a character does these things for an NPC, a bond will develop between them. The DM can allow the player to have more and more control over the NPC, deciding actions, role-playing reactions, and developing a personality. As the player does this, he begins to think of the NPC almost as another player character. When the player is as concerned about the welfare of the NPC as he would be for a normal player character, that NPC can be treated as a henchman.

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