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Fantasy Henchmen

28 days ago

So, I was having a conversation not too long ago about traditional fantasy henchmen, and debating the various merits of each one. Dark Elves are intelligent and powerful, but they've low numbers and are pretty likely to stab you in the back and murder you, while an army of Gnolls would be fast, strong and numerous, but probably not great at peacefully guarding a city. This inspired me to ask the question on Discord, where the response was quiet as it was dead at the time, so I'll ask the question again here.

I know a lot of you faggots will try to ruin this question, because you're fun-ruining scum, so let's not make it the best fantasy henchmen so we just don't get a shitty answer that, while the best, has sucked the life out of the room. So, what would be your favorite of fantasy henchmen to have? Like, Orcs, Goblins, Humans, Dark Elves, Gnolls, Snake Men, Kobolds, Skeletons, anything.

Personally, I always liked Kobolds. Numerous, loyal, crafty, good at ambushes. Plus, they could create endless trenches and warrens so that conquered land could be secured easily and hard for the enemy to invade.

Fantasy Henchmen

28 days ago

I always liked goblins as cannon fodder, possibly because i played Overlord too much. There's also the fact they are weak, crafty, speedy little things that work decently when massed or for ambush tactics on a cave or forests. There's also the extra challenge of making they work against more powerful races. My personal preference.

My second favorite would be skeletons, because how versatile they are in form. You can have dracolichs, lich mages/necromancer, giant skeletons, humanoids, and pretty much an skeletal version of almost everything. They are also renewable, as in the slayed enemies can be revived to be part of the army, as well as a lack of necessity for supplies, which makes them a challenging foe without overwhelming force.

My third favorite would be kobolds for the reasons you already cited. 

Fantasy Henchmen

28 days ago

I’d avoid any fodder or beast race. I think the upkeep would be too annoying with a large number of disposables. I tend to prefer Dark Elves since they are universally strong in combat and magic. Also, I think their intelligence and stealth tendencies would bring more utility in whatever goal I’m trying to accomplish (assassinations [obviously], summoning, spying, etc.). Plus, they always seem to be well equipped with good gear.  

edit: Microsoft Word fucked up my font.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Any particular method to avoid being murdered by your Dark Elf lieutenants?

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Hmm, I don't think they'd turn on me if they were paid extremely well or if our end-game goals were aligned. So if I wasn't dirty rich in this fantasy, I'd have to ensure our desires are the same. Dark Elves are typically happy killing things, so you can always raise morale with some good ol' fashioned murder... Hopefully I'm not the one getting murdered, but you never know with Dark Elves. I think the risk is worth it to have them in my employment. 

So to answer your question: No, not really. Lol.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Reasonable answer. Dark Elves tend to be more power-hungry than bloodthirsty, but still.

Fantasy Henchmen

28 days ago
Assuming I'd have to be a magical wizard to have minions in the first place, I'd just research a spell to make clones of myself with all the same memories but none of the powers. They would all see the wisdom of working together for the common good and the Greater Me, and never do anything I wouldn't do.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

I feel like this would backfire hilariously.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Would clones of you without your powers not just be weak, powerless mages people who wouldn't be able to do much?

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
And? They're minions. You have humans on your list, these would just be more reliable than some random fantasy thugs and never betray me.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Well yeah, but normal humans include badass, well-trained soldiers. Plus, your clones would definitely betray you, because they'd see the greater good as what's best for the majority of you's, which would probably be a sharing of power.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Personally, I'd go for robots.  I know, that's science fiction, not fantasy, but some fantasy has science fiction as well, and the mad scientist persona suits me.  They may be expensive to build, but they work for free.  You don't have to feed them.  They unfailingly follow orders.  There's no danger of them falling asleep while on sentry duty, which is something henchmen invariably seem to do whenever the heroes arrive.  I wouldn't have to worry about them rebelling, since they'd be programmed not to.  I'd have some easy way of destroying them, just in case they got out of control.

I'd also make certain to review the Evil Overlord List  https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EvilOverlordList to avoid the classic blunders Evil Overlords make.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
Robots are just sci fi Skeletons but with more of a chance to rebel.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Not if you swing for Star Wars style droids.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

The Star Wars Droids rebelled all the time. There's loads of rebellions throughout lore, including one where a droid takes over the Death Star and decides to wipe out the galaxy.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

You know what, I do remember that even the astromech and protocol droids in the KOTOR games had a habit of rebelling. In any case, I made that statement thinking about Trade Federation droids. The battle droids were built to be incapable of openly rebelling and I can't think of a case where any Trade Federation droid went rogue.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Huh, I don't recall. Maybe they did, I don't remember.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Sci-fi's not fantasy, and not traditional, you disappoint me and you lose.

Fantasy Henchmen

23 days ago

Golems are the fantasy equivalent of robots. Also, golems are heccin cool.

Fantasy Henchmen

23 days ago

Yes, you're correct.  I was wondering why people went off on this skeleton tangent.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Skeletons of course.

Kobolds would be the second choice though.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

I'd go for pixies, fairies or something like that. Upkeep virtually nonexistent, And I'd make em poison every enemy rations, sabotage supply lines, or simply drop bombs/poison on adventurers' head while they travel or sleep. Plus, they would be great as spies and at contacting informants.

That aside a few golems would be enough for menial work (and as guards). Depends the scale of the organization and the objectives, though.

(well if I have something like a territory to defend,I'd take something like a combination of kobold/trolls and rely on mercenaries for special tasks)

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

What about the question implied you get to pick a mixture of things? You also disappoint me.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
I'll join the skeleton/zombie club. Easy to get more of them, they're cheap, and they're unlikely to betray me. I'd probably still have a few sentient ones though, humans, dwarves, elves or whatever, for the higher positions. A few good advisors and generals I can trust, maybe a few other necromancers. Executed as soon as I can't be 100 % sure they're completely loyal to me.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
Hobgoblins because why take small wannabe dragons forced to live underground over a glorious orc/goblin combo where you get the best of both races?

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

As a point, to all those who are in the whole "Undead army" camp, that does mean every enemy army is trying extra extra hard to kill you as your army falls with you, and of course magic shenanigans fucking with your control of your army are aplenty. 

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
If you have enough magical power to summon and control an army of skeletons you'd likely be powerful enough to not even need the skeletons anyway.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Not if you specialize in Necromancy. That means skeletons are kind of your only thing.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
If you can control skeletons, why cant you control the skeletons still inside of creatures as well?

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

I mean, Necromancy tends to be control of that which is already dead, but that would be a badass power.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
Excellent plan, have them free themselves from their fleshy prison instead of making you do all the work.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
No one said we have to specialize in anything. Let's assume that, just like in End's Necromancer school, we went to a magic school, and therefor have basic knowledge of other types of magic as well. If someone's good at necromancy, it wouldn't be far fetched to assume that they can cast a shield or a fireball spell as well, and probably some much more dangerous spells as well.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

In End's thing, the Necromancer WAS shit at all forms of magic besides Necromancy.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
Not quite true. Iirc he could still cast fireballs, and still could protect himself with some shield thing. And I think he was able to grow roots as well. So he at least knew the basics.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Yeah, but those were the very basics. The roots things were nothing, and the opening mentions him as being shit and untalented unless he finds his specialty. "Arrgh! You just wish you were good at SOME kind of magic!"

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
That doesn't mean all necromancers'd be like that. The necro woman that he falls in love it is pretty good at other things, iirc. I want to read Necromancer again now.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Sure, but the idea is clear that everyone kind of specializes in a type of magic, and that idea expands into most fantasy worlds. Magic's something you study and work at, and if you want to get really good at something, you have to specialize. Sure, a necromancer might be OK at fireballs and shit, but if you want to raise up Fire Elementals to wipe out towns, you should've specialized in Fire Magic.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago
I suppose a way to be more secure is to have more necros, and make sure to never reveal who's the leader. If one necro falls, others control his minions. Then again, that'd just mean there'd be more people on my own side who'd want to kill me to get more power. So hmm.
And I'm sure I can protect myself with some spells. Maybe I could place a curse over me, so that anyone who kills me would have something even worse happen to them and all that they hold dear. Or I could make a deal with a demon, that always goes well!

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

Fair point, but that does lead to dillemmas. I like the idea of a Necromancer Cabal being led by some evil fucker called the King of Skulls, but that character isn't real, and the leader is constantly changing as necromancer's betray each other and take over.

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

Such are the risks of being a necromancer, already got one foot in the grave, might as well go all the way with it.

So I'm good with the extra risk if it means complete and utter control of the henchmen.

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

The problem with necromancy is that the counter magic seems to be easily accessible (in fact, I'm surprised no one in Necromancer was capable of defeating him with holy magic unless it just wasn't available to them). In Warhammer, the most dangerous legions of undead were defeated twice (although the first case was due to betrayal). Also, undead soldiers usually lack the ability to think on their own, which could be problematic should circumstances change drastically.

On a side note, was the Necromancer capable of of raising skeletons that were just destroyed?

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

There’s magic that can fuck up anything. Some fire wizard could just bring down a rain of fire to wipe out legions of goblins for example.

There was a reference to “holy” magic in Death Song. It didn’t work very well.

Goblins, orcs, etc get defeated all the time. It’s sort of the standard that the good guys win in the end.

They don’t need complex thinking. You just overwhelm with superior numbers and keep raising more dead. Either the enemies you just killed or your own troops that weren’t quite hacked completely apart.

You only need a few of the mildly independent undead to generally herd the rest of them. (But not TOO independent obviously)

I mean yeah it would be taxing with all the micromanaging you’re probably doing, but chances are if you’re going the necromancer route, you didn’t want anything but utter control over everything anyway. And that’s also why you ultimately become a lich to cast off the shackles of a weak mortal form.

And assuming they weren’t completely pulverized and he was bothered to do so, he could.

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

I personally would choose orcs as my favorite.  Not only are they big, tough, and intimidating, but as far as I know they wouldn't get any big ideas about trying to take power and murder me.  I figure as long as I am as loyal and honorable to them as they are to me, then there wouldn't be an issue.  

But if we are allowed to have more then one for variety sake, I would probably pick skeletons as my fodder.  This would be assuming I have necromantic powers or have employed one to do this for me.  I suppose I would also like to get a few Snake Men, as I know nothing about them, but I assume they could poison my enemies at least.  

Fantasy Henchmen

27 days ago

I would choose orcs too. Apart from the reasons you listed, they also normally have some kind of structure or hierarchy of their own, so they would be much simpler to organize. They also traditionally have lots of fighting nous and can hold their own in one v one, so they wouldn't be just mindless fodder. Of course they would probably be more expensive than other races and could cause some problems in times of peace, if not managed well.

Fantasy Henchmen

22 days ago

Yeah, they would need something to do in peace times so they wouldnt get restless.  I suppose the next step after carving out a decent sized territory would be to start clearing out the land of any nasty creatures, or bandits and rogues alike.  Or perhaps merc them out to other kingdoms or lords in nearby territories.  
Although in the meantime there are plenty of unscrupulous ways an up and coming army of orcs could fund itself!

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

Goblins. Generally loyal, some skilled fighters, some magic, high in numbers. Goblins have a bit of a rough streak, but they're dangerous when under the right leadership. They have their own structure which makes organizing them a little easier. I was going to choose skeletons, but they range anywhere from brain dead puppets to fully animated fighters. In both cases, they rely too much on the necromancer to be able to adapt. At least goblins have some sort of rank structure, so they're more flexible.

 

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

I'm going to point out Goblins are never loyal, they're always cunts.

Fantasy Henchmen

26 days ago

Generally loyal being that they'll listen to you if they fear you more than their enemy or if you can trick them. Also, I know of more cases of goblins akkad abandoning their leaders rather than turning on them.

Fantasy Henchmen

24 days ago
Gargoyles. They are almost always seen as tough guard dogs and can hide pretty well in almost any man made environment, given their stoneskin. Also the fact that most can fly, would made flanking enemy positions a breeze during actual combat. In some fantasy depicts them as servants to a highly skilled mage or vampire, and they are usually reserved as semi-bosses or a tough fight. Only problem is that they aren't quite as numerous as some of the other races. They are also known to be somewhat immune to magic which would make dealing with magic enemies easier.

Fantasy Henchmen

23 days ago

I'd say a big problem would be them turning to stone in the day, leaving you without any defenses.

Fantasy Henchmen

23 days ago
And leaving your entire night-time defense system vulnerable to anyone with a hammer.

Fantasy Henchmen

23 days ago
True, I forgot that was a trope they had. Unless I'm willing to afford sun umbrellas for an entire regiment, perhaps they would fit much better as a form of "secret police" or be strictly limited to inside areas.

Fantasy Henchmen

22 days ago
Henchman Can topple civilizations? Can build my civilization?
Orcs Fuck yeah. Maybe.
Goblins Meh. Sure.
Humans Varies. Fuck yeah.
Dark Elves Fuck yeah. Fuck no.
Gnolls Meh. Fuck yeah.
Snake Men Meh. Meh.
Kobolds Meh. Fuck yeah.
Skeletons Varies. Varies.
CYS Members Fuck no. Fuck yeah.

 

Fantasy Henchmen

22 days ago
I think you have CYS Members reversed.

Fantasy Henchmen

22 days ago

That's for the Discord server.  Here is fine.

Henchmen Can topple civilizations? Can build my civilization?
Discord CYS Group Fuck no. Fuck no.

 

Fantasy Henchmen

22 days ago

Gnolls can build your civilization? You, sir, are a fool.

Fantasy Henchmen

21 days ago

Dark Elves can't build civilizations? They never seem to have too much trouble building a civilization even despite their infighting.

Fantasy Henchmen

21 days ago

Perhaps they can build their civilization, but could you trust them to build your civilization?

Fantasy Henchmen

21 days ago

Good point.

Fantasy Henchmen

21 days ago
I think I would have to go with dwarves as a favorite henchman for purposes of taking over someplace or destroying my enemies.

I'd just have them tunnel underneath enemy cities then hold the place ransom or else I collapse the cavern beneath their city and bury them in rubble. Or you know... just do that without warning.