|Don't be like Red Luigi.|
|Pictured: Don Knotts meets|
Patches the Hyena.
That out of the way, what has already been said about the topic in the three mentioned post (and as these things are wont to do, there may or may not be more in the coming days that I forget to mention as the meme spreads) has already been good. Dungeon Fantastic discusses various mechanical consequences to in-character and meta behavior of treating hirelings like disposable pawns, and Gaming Ballistic goes into a bit of editorial on how better to flesh out a hireling so that his or her success, failure, betrayal, or death can have some measure of logical consequence. That being said, I'll try to add to the conversation rather than just duplicate everything being said.
Benefits of Being a Good Boss
- It might be the only direct way to developing a permanent ally. Dungeon Fantasy 15 includes mechanics in the loyalty section for transitioning a hireling to an ally when a very high loyalty is reached. As it is a little difficult to achieve that measure of loyalty, and the advantage isn't expensive, I'd personally think about giving the advantage for free if the permanent relationship negotiation is well role played.
- It might be a path to a positive reputation. Following the previous potential house-ruling of giving away free allies (well, free if you think building a relationship over a very long time is worth nothing) it might be a reasonable boon to give a benevolent employer a positive reputation, favor, or contact group (hiring agency?)
- Another optional house rule, looking at the random traits table on p.31, it is organized with the best traits towards the higher numbers, and the worst towards the lower numbers (aw geeze, good numbers are high? How is a GM supposed to cope with so much inconsistency?) So maybe, borrowing from the idea of getting a reputation as a kind master, better, more talented people are drawn to you, and all levels of this specific reputation go towards bonuses on this table.
Penalties for Being Mean
- Less capable people are trusting someone to be a patron for them, and betrayal by such a person could be somewhat dangerous in a Dungeon Fantasy setting. It is not out of genre for a grieved husband or wife, who may be no match for the heroes, but is willing to go to extreme measures to make them pay. Perhaps a player gains a very secret vengeful enemy. This could manifest by some kinda hiring of an assassin. maybe it was a scorned pious and devout follower who asked the gods for justice, or an insanely desperate dabbler in the occult who makes some kinda pact with a devil.
- Pretty much any of the above mentioned boons can be easily inverted and turned into a punishment. Instead of an ally, the character earns an orphan as a dependant (maybe enforced by some kinda deity.) A negative reputation instead of a positive reputation, and negative modifiers on the random traits for hires.
- It might simply be against one of many popular disadvantages like a code of honor, Sense of Duty, etc. Playing against character means less or no character points for the session, or maybe even more serious repercussions... acquiring the nightmare disadvantage, as the character recalls those pained screams for help every night until they can make amends and come to terms. Holy classes especially might be vulnerable to violating a code to which their divine abilities are contingent.
- Repeated offenders can become villains. I guess this is a valid path for some players, and could even lead to some interesting story developments. Interesting developments like being hunted down by all the king's horses and men, being banned from all cities with orders to be shot on sight, the hosts of hell inviting you to join them, or the servitors of heaven marching to smite.