OSR: Table of Camp Followers

Most OSR, D&D-type games have rules for hirelings and mercenaries. This table is for all the people one step lower on the adventuring ladder. Camp followers won't go into the dungeon for  you. They won't fight for you. In fact, they barely work for you at all. They tend to follow soldiers to and from wars. Most armies were outnumbered by their followers. You can recruit them at the edge of wars or in disorderly cities and villages. Sometimes they turn up unannounced.

Each camp follower costs 5cp per day (35 cp per week, 15 sp per month). If you can't or won't pay them, some might leave, some might starve, and some might steal your purse and run into the forest. Camp followers will scavenge constantly and pick over the remains of any nearby battle, siege, or burned village. They will perform menial tasks for you: washing clothes, airing fabrics, clearing campsites, setting fires, washing pots and pans, preparing basic meals, removing lice, cutting hair, watering horses, fetching water, and all the other day-to-day tasks too dull to include in an RPG.

Soldiers and Camp Followers Resting from a March, Jean-Baptiste Pater

If you roll a result that's not appropriate to your character's background or gender you have 3 options:
1. Reroll
2. Transfer association. Maybe the "Mistress" you rolled isn't your mistress, but another character's mistress. Maybe she's your sister. Maybe she's just someone's mistress and she's following you around now.
3. Discover something about your character's preferences.

Example: you already have a spouse but you've rolled another one. You can reroll, or decide that it's your cousin's spouse, or decide that it's just someone's spouse, we don't know whose, they're probably dead, or decide that you married them both (and hope the Church doesn't find out).

You may also want to roll for your follower's race. A table of names might also be handy.

Roll (1d100) Camp Follower
1 Infant - noisy. If this is your only camp follower, you may roll again.
2 Urchin - follows you around and assists with minor tasks. 
3 Brawler Urchin - will fight and bite anyone and anything, including horses, dogs, and other party members.
4 Wild Urchin - doesn't speak, runs around, finds animals and sticks and puts them in your tent.
5 Cunning Urchin - watches and waits. Has a hoard of 1d10sp, a dagger, and a plan.
6 Militant Urchin - plays at being a solider. Marches around, guards things, challenges passersby.
7 Your Child - resembles you. 1d10 years old. Might vary by race. Unless you have a Spouse, the child is illegitimate.
8 Orphan - you knew at least one of the parents. 1d10  years old, thinks of you as an important figure.
9 Blind Man - navigates with a reed, can see ghosts and spells clearly, refuses to admit this. Twitchy.
10 Blind Man - navigates with a stick, swears like a sailor, can hear changes in the weather.
11 Spouse - beautiful, courteous, and kind. Loyal, but constantly (accidentally) gives you reasons to doubt.
12 Spouse - terrified, hides most of the time, but can both read and write.
13 Spouse - moderately attractive, extremely hard-headed. Can throw a dagger as well as anyone.
14 Spouse - quite ugly, complains, but cooks well and will defend your interests.
15 Spouse - drunk most of the time, surly while sober. Not particularly attached to you.
16 Parent - disapproves of your life choices,  your clothes, your hair, and your companions. Slightly tipsy.
17 Parent - conspires with you and provides wise council. Crippled in the War.
18 Blood-taker - also barber and dentist. No bonuses to healing, but can set broken bones. 
19 Blood-taker - can't shave you or pull teeth but can chop off gangrenous limbs with great success.
20 Deathbed Comfort - has seen a lot of people die and knows the right words. Solemn and quiet.
21 Natural Fool - helpful, cheerful, but truly and profoundly stupid. Really tries though.
22 Natural Fool - helpful, cheerful, and prone to fits of sudden and shocking violence against random targets.
23 Fisherman - depending on location, can bring in 1d10 fish per day. Mostly an excuse to avoid work. Weather-worn.
24 Murderer - killed once, needlessly. Has terrible nightmares. Fears anyone resembling the law or their victim.
25 Cup-Bearer - terrified of any work other than table service. Weeps from time to time for no reason.
26 Old Man - older than your grandfather. Skin like paper. Full of history and details, 50% true.
27 Old Man - bitter and wise. Will offer good but conservative advice. Hates children, singing, fun, priests, and cats.
28 Wounded - hideously scarred but otherwise unharmed. Face is shocking but heart is kind. 
29 Wounded - soldier missing a leg and a hand. Can tutor people in basic combat. Drinks heavily.
30 Wounded - seriously mangled by the War. Tries to help, isn't very helpful. No real talents.
31 Priest - performs daily services. Baptisms, weddings, funerals 5sp to 2gp each.
32 Fallen Priest - performs brief daily services. Baptisms, weddings, funerals 5sp or 1 bottle of wine each.
33 Mad Priest - raving sermons at all hours. Undead creatures, demons, etc. will approach with caution.
34 Old Woman - rarely speaks, stares at things. Vanishes just before danger appears. Can run very, very fast.
35 Old Woman - knows which herbs cure common ailments. Demands liquor and better living conditions.
36 Nurse - will take care of infants or children. If none are around, will perform basic tasks or flirt.
37 Nurse - will take care of infants or children. If none are around, will pray endlessly and scowl at people.
38 Mistress - pregnant and annoyed at you. 
39 Mistress - moderately attractive. Not particularly attached to you.
40 Mistress - moderately attractive and extremely attached to you. Will grow jealous.
41 Druge - couldn't develop a personality at knifepoint. Performs tasks well but is otherwise silent and dull.
42 Guard - idle, narcoleptic, credulous. Will sit in front of something for days though. Feels bad about failures.
43 Farmer - displaced and lost in the wide world. Full of folk wisdom but critical of anything new or strange.
44 Deserter - unsuited for war or real work and under sentence of death if caught. Unshaven. Shivers at night. 
45 Assayer - can accurately determine the value (by weight) of gold, silver, and some gems. Exorbitant rates.
46 Laundress - expert in cleaning, but always distracted by affairs, gossip, spying, or flirting. Causes trouble.
47 Laundress - expert in cleaning. Your clothes and bed will always be clean. Filthy mind, tragically hideous body.
48 Rat-Catcher - scarred fingers. 1 enormous but surly cat or 1 small but vicious dog. Insists rats taste lovely.
49 Merchant - lost all he had, too broken to continue. Knows many things about Foreign Parts, currency, trade.
50 Guy who goes "heh" - probably touched in the head. Squints at things, mumbles, carries heavy objects.
51 Squire - extremely young. Holds your horse and run errands. Runs towards danger, danger is always fatal.
52 Provision-Seller - has a small cart full of items. Journeys into town once a week, if feasible.
53 Carpenter - can make decent camp structures, but needs tools and assistance. Incomprehensible accent.
54 Foreigner - sits to the side and listens. Suspicious until you realize he doesn't speak the language.
55 Enforcer - fight in camp and he breaks your fingers. Face like a slab of meat, hands like iron. Kind otherwise.
56 Wizard Apprentice - dead-brained. Any spells cast on the apprentice bounce in a random direction.
57 Wizard Apprentice - cursed. Pick a Curse, apply a Mutation, or otherwise ruin their life.
58 Wizard Apprentice - disgraced. Cannot cast spells but can detect magic occasionally. Can read and write.
59 Prostitute - will sleep with anyone for 5sp. Offers discounts for novelty.
60 Prostitute - will sleep with anyone not too offensive for 5sp
61 Prostitute - laughably bad at it. Starts off cute, becomes annoying. 3sp (brief)
62 Prostitute - highly experienced. Also can keep accounts, lie convincingly, and handle a knife.
63 Prostitute - visibly diseased. Not fatal, but unattractive to most. 5cp.
64 Scribe - writes things down for you, can do sums. Power goes to their head immediately.
65 Scribe - writes things down for you, can do sums, but very bad at them. Terrified of being exposed.
66 Falconer - birds died, was exiled. Hates birds but knows their secrets. Can whistle really loudly.
67 Astrologer - can cast a horoscope for 5cp, 5sp, or 5gp. They all do nothing. Chest full of papers and tools.
68 Embarrassing Lover - forbidden by culture/status. All they do is hide, fawn over you, and pose suggestively.
69 Rag Picker - a heap of cloth with feet. Can patch anything. Can convert rags into clothing or clothing into rags.
70 Fletcher - makes 20 arrows per day, 5cp each. Requires feathers, wood, iron tips. Good singing voice.
71 Torch-Maker - makes 10 good torches per day, 1cp each. Requires wood, resin, and fiber. Very slow.
72 Holy Man - extremely eccentric, sings to himself, might become a saint one day if he's not careful.
73 Court Attendant - briefly served a great noble. Tells the same stories over and over. Knows some court rituals.
74 Sharpener -carries small pedal grindstone in a cart. 5cp to sharpen a dagger, 15cp for a sword.
75 Minstrel - moderately talented. Will attempt to seduce nearby women in order of attractiveness.
76 Minstrel - no talent but lots of bawdy songs. Has inappropriate preferences in partners.
77 Crier - extremely loud voice, can read, delights in gossip.
78 Night Owl - stays up all night, sleeps all day. No explanation given. Will keep a decent watch.
79 Chicken Keeper - astonishingly lazy. 1d20+2 chickens, loose and troublesome. Sells eggs, 2cp each. 
80 Goatherd - cunning, wizened, and crafty from outwitting goats. 1d6 goats, exploding on a 6. 
81 Shepherd - frantic and depressed from dealing with sheep. 1d6 sheep, exploding on a 6. Sheep die regularly.
82 Swineherd - jolly but crude. 1d4 hogs. If 4, one truly enormous hog the size of a horse instead.
83 Blacksmith - unless provided with a forge and equipment, is just a strong guy with burn scars. Mean and bitter.
84 Whittler - whittles things out of wood. Some are amusing. Will carve icons of saints and beasts by request.
85 Escaped Nun - hard worker, terrified of her family and being captured again. 
86 Gambler - always cheerful, tells amusing tales. Usually broke, sometimes affluent.
87 Dog Trainer - horrible smell, always exhausted.1d6 dogs, 1 of which is usefully trained. The rest are mostly wild. 
88 Rake - in it for the thrill. Utterly debauched and amoral. Will do something fatal eventually.
89 Cidermaker - has a small cart full of barrels. Smells like apples. Always drunk. 2cp for a cup of cider.
90 Cook - reliably produces the same tasteless grey slop, even during famine or sieges. 2cp per bowl. Scowling.
91 Cook - has maintained the same pot of stew since the last War. Flavour varies. 2cp per bowl. Rotund and florid.
92 Cook - can roast any animal. Will gleefully regale you with tales of cannibalism, mutilation, and madness.
93 Cook - tries new ingredients. 2cp for a bowl of latest creation, 1-in-10 chance of being awful/delicious. Haggard.
94 Cook - legendary. Meals cost 5sp but heal +1 HP. Requires flattery and donations.
95 Butcher - 5cp for a rabbit, 5sp for a deer, 1gp for anything larger. Competent, efficient, and corpulent.
96 Shirtless Man - spends most of the time in the sun. Does menial tasks badly but looks good doing them.
97 Freak - deformed in some amusing way. Quite intelligent and a loyal friend, given time. 
98 Scrounger - 50% chance of leaving camp for the day and returning with something useful. 
99 Horse Trainer - calms frightened horses, fixes horrible horse ailments. Thin and twitchy.
100 Scholar - knows more than most people about one specific but useless topic. Literate and educated.


  1. I was paging through the archive, and now I'm wheezing with laughter.

  2. number 88, what's a "rake"?

    1. A scoundrel, a knave, a ne'er do well