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.
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.
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.
Any particular method to avoid being murdered by your Dark Elf lieutenants?
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.
Reasonable answer. Dark Elves tend to be more power-hungry than bloodthirsty, but still.
I feel like this would backfire hilariously.
Would clones of you without your powers not just be weak, powerless mages people who wouldn't be able to do much?
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.
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.
Not if you swing for Star Wars style droids.
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.
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.
Huh, I don't recall. Maybe they did, I don't remember.
Sci-fi's not fantasy, and not traditional, you disappoint me and you lose.
Golems are the fantasy equivalent of robots. Also, golems are heccin cool.
Yes, you're correct. I was wondering why people went off on this skeleton tangent.
Skeletons of course.
Kobolds would be the second choice though.
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)
What about the question implied you get to pick a mixture of things? You also disappoint me.
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.
Not if you specialize in Necromancy. That means skeletons are kind of your only thing.
I mean, Necromancy tends to be control of that which is already dead, but that would be a badass power.
In End's thing, the Necromancer WAS shit at all forms of magic besides Necromancy.
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!"
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I'm going to point out Goblins are never loyal, they're always cunts.
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.
I'd say a big problem would be them turning to stone in the day, leaving you without any defenses.
That's for the Discord server. Here is fine.
Gnolls can build your civilization? You, sir, are a fool.
Dark Elves can't build civilizations? They never seem to have too much trouble building a civilization even despite their infighting.
Perhaps they can build their civilization, but could you trust them to build your civilization?