Hiring Non-Player Characters to Cast Spells or Use Devices


-
-
-
-
-
NPCs
-
103
-
DMG

It is a certainty that your players will seek outside aid many times during
the course of your campaign. At times a particular spell -- or device able
to deliver a magical power -- will be necessary or very helpful to a party,
and so they will seek out a cleric or magic-user to hire for the service.
The most common spells sought are various cures and informational spells.
The players should know from the outset that there is no free lunch anywhere,
and that the performance of any service is going to cost a ”reasonable” sum.
A few sample prices for spells are listed below.
Note that these charges are based on characters of similar alignment and religion as the
cleric requesting the service at the headquarters of the cleric in question.
 
Cleric Spell Requested  Cost in Gold Pieces (See Below)
astral spell 5,000 per person
atonement 500 per level of experience of the recipient 
augury 300
bless 5 per person per level of spell caster
commune 1,000 plus 500 per question
continual light 500
control weather 10,000
cure blindness 1,000
cure disease 1,000
cure light wounds 100
cure serious wounds 350
cure critical wounds 600
detect evil/good 100 (assumes device checked)
detect magic 150 (assumes device being checked)
dispel evil/good 1,000
dispel magic 100 per level of spell caster
divination 1,000
earthquake 10,000
exorcise 1,000 per level of spell caster
find the path 500 per level of spell caster
gate 50,000
glyph of warding 100 per level of spell caster
heal 200 per point of healing
neutralize poison 1,000
part water 1,000 per level of spell caster
plane shift 4,000
prayer 50 per level of spell caster
protection from evil 50 per level of spell caster
purify food & drink 100
raise dead 1,000 plus 500 per level of spell caster
regenerate 15,000
remove curse 500 per level of spell caster
resist cold 50 per level of spell caster
resist fire 100 per level of spell caster
restoration 10,000 plus a like amount per level of experience of the recipient 
silence 100 per level of spell caster
tongues 500
true seeing 400 per level of spell caster

<* = per level of spell caster?>

Prices can be adjusted for faithful, lower level characters.
Likewise, they can be upped a bit for those who are not regular attendees of services.
If the caster is expected to travel any distance, but not at risk,
factors will be as much as doubled.
If at any risk, the cleric is likely to refuse or charge five or more times the rates shown.

Attack spells are not shown in order to discourage hiring of spell casters for such purposes.
As a general rule, no specially hired spell caster will ever accornpany a party on an adventure of any sort,
except in circumstances planned and directed by the Dungeon Master.

When non-cleric spell casters are hired, they will likewise consider alignment and personal risk in setting fees.
Whether casting spells or using a
magical device supplied to them by the party, there will always be a substantial
charge. Should any of good, particularly lawful good, alignment
complain, note that ”the worker is worthy of his hire” and similar
Scriptural quotes might be called for in order to silence complaints. If
death results due to payment failure, point out that the player has”gone to
his (or her) reward” - how can that be bad? In the event that the cleric
would actually further the cause of the deity and alignment by doing the
service, payment can be deferred until the party has the wherewithal to do
so; however, this deferral will certainly adjust the fee upwards, or possibly
require a normal fee and special service from the party in addition.

To forestall the charming of spell casters in order to get them to perform
services of this nature, note that such characters will always be 25% likely
to cast a spell as close as possible to the opposite of that he or she is
instructed to cast. This is due to the befuddled state of mind and the psychic
duress of the charm spell operating on the individual’s mind.

It is also worth mentioning that NPC spell casters are NOT going to take
continual interruptions too kindly, even if the party so doing is of the same
faith and alignment and pays well. At some point the spell caster will get
fed up with it and begin raising rates. (The players should not rely upon
those outside their group to keep their members viable. They must learn
self-reliance or else pay the price one way or another.)
 
 



 
 

http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=43705&start=15

[quote="Thorkhammer"]Alchemy, you touched on a point/flaw in the mechanics of the game-system that [b]no one[/b], [i]I[/i] am aware of, has been able to coherently explain.

Are HL NPCs just "game cards" like in monopoly, [b]take a chance[/b] and [b]community chest[/b] to be there solely for the players to draw on when sh*t happens to their characters? Or is there supposed to be some coherent world behind all the adventuring?

If the former, then what's the big squawk? just have some L16 schleep/cleric show up and render haste-toot the Restoration spell and then get him outta there!

If the latter, then there's not likely to be many L16 clerics even on the dang world--if there is one at all! The math doesn't support it.

But, I don't want to siderail too far from the issue. So, back to business! :lol:[/quote]

Good question.
Depends on taste (former vs. latter).

As a note, worlds like the FR (and possibly others) have become so detailed that practically every high-level cleric/priest, in each city/town/village is noted, along with basic info like levels & deity.
(They probably even give levels for his dog, as well.)

The first step towards this was in FORGOTTEN REALMS ADVENTURES.
Although a 2E source, the FRA city template is a simple & usable & functional template for this kind of world design.
 

 Cleric Spell Requested
                  Cost in Gold Pieces (See Below)
 

1
 bless5 per person per level of spell caster
 cure light wounds100
 detect evil/good100 (assumes device checked)
 detect magic150 (assumes device being checked)
 protection from evil50 per level of spell caster
 purify food & drink100
 resist cold50 per level of spell caster

3
  augury300
 resist fire100 per level of spell caster
 silence100 per level of spell caster

5
 continual light500
 cure blindness1,000
 cure disease 1,000
 dispel magic100 per level of spell caster
 glyph of warding100 per level of spell caster
 prayer50 per level of spell caster
 remove curse500 per level of spell caster

7
 cure serious wounds350
 divination1,000
 exorcise1,000 per level of spell caster
 neutralize poison1,000
 tongues500

9
atonement500 per level of experience of the recipient
 commune1,000 plus 500 per question
 cure critical wounds600
 dispel evil/good1,000
 plane shift4,000
 raise dead1,000 plus 500 per level of spell caster
 true seeing400 per level of spell caster

11 (req. lesser deity)

 find the path500 per level of spell caster
 heal200 per point of healing
 part water1,000 per level of spell caster

16 (req. greater deity)
astral spell5,000 per person
 control weather10,000
 earthquake10,000
 gate50,000
 regenerate15,000
 restoration10,000 plus a like amount per level of experience of the recipient
 
 

CLOISTERED CLERIC
 

1
 bless5 per person per level of spell caster
 cure light wounds100
 detect evil/good100 (assumes device checked)
 detect magic150 (assumes device being checked)
 protection from evil50 per level of spell caster
 purify food & drink100

3
  augury300

5
 cure blindness1,000
 cure disease 1,000
 dispel magic100 per level of spell caster
 glyph of warding100 per level of spell caster
 prayer50 per level of spell caster
 remove curse500 per level of spell caster

7
 cure serious wounds350
 divination1,000
 exorcise1,000 per level of spell caster
 neutralize poison1,000
 tongues500

9
atonement500 per level of experience of the recipient
 commune1,000 plus 500 per question
 cure critical wounds600
 dispel evil/good1,000
 plane shift4,000
 raise dead1,000 plus 500 per level of spell caster
 true seeing400 per level of spell caster

11 (req. lesser deity)

 find the path500 per level of spell caster
 heal200 per point of healing
 part water1,000 per level of spell caster

16 (req. greater deity)
astral spell5,000 per person
 control weather10,000
 earthquake10,000
 gate50,000
 regenerate15,000
 restoration10,000 plus a like amount per level of experience of the recipient