What is An Adventurer?

An archetype of heavily armed vagrant that engage in highly dangerous activities, often in exchange for money. They are common to fantasy fiction and games.

Realistically people who do the things that Adventuring parties normally do find themselves doing...

  • Acting as Private Investigators.
  • Recovering Missing Items and Persons.
  • "Acquiring" Items and Persons.
  • Transporting Persons or Goods.
  • Providing personal, locational or organizational security.
  • "Securing" contested areas and or resources.
  • Capturing or killing wanted entities.

Are called "Mercenaries."

My world is by no means realistic, however I have no qualms injecting reality into the fantastical if reality would make things more interesting.

"Adventurers" which are rightfully called Merceneries in my setting. Are part of the Adventurer's guild which provides an array of services to guild members in exchange for a 10% cut on every completed job. Many Adventurers form parties, officially recognized groups that take on jobs together and split the profit from the completion of jobs equally between them;baring an arrangement between the members for a different division of revenue. Adventurer parties are usually small in size rarely much larger than a Fire Team.

However, there are some jobs that, due to their complexity, scale and danger involved, require not just a large numbers of Adventurers, but also working in a coordinated manner, each one possibly with a specific task. When such jobs are to be undertaken a coalition of Adventurer parties is formed.

Who is in charge of the coalition, how is it organized, and how are the various Adventurer parties assigned to the areas where they are most needed?


How are the Parties that formed the coalition paid? An equal share for all members doesn't feel plausible to me on the scale of hundreds if not thousands of people.

  • $\begingroup$ tirades and like. It looks like you consider that organization like relaxed group of smaller almost independent groups, might not work well outside their usual tasks, if they are not used to chain of command. But it depends on number of peoples they have to gather, numbers of peoples to choose from, relations between groups. Tusands and they have to have stricter organization. When hundred is big group it can be handled with less stricter organization or no organization at all(over them) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ I edited it a bit. It seemed to me that you were using the wrong terms. $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 12:07
  • $\begingroup$ please stick to one term, you should stop referring to your adventurers as mercenaries or hunters and just call them adventurerers. $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 12:38

3 Answers 3


Any ad hoc band of humans works best when everyone speaks the same language, uses the same tools, has the same procedure. Is there some sort of Hunter University (or more likely, a vo-tech college) that could coordinate the hiring of its students?

Failing that, if training is more mentor-to-apprentice, maybe each master would put out a call to his/her students for a large job, and they put out the call to their students, and so on, as needed for the size of job. This is consistent with several Eastern epics I've heard told.

  • $\begingroup$ Any one who joins the guilds just trained in it's procedures. Those that joined and have no prior combat training are but through what could be called a Hunter's Academy which teaches one everything that they would need in order to do their jobs. Failure to complete the training or choosing not join the guild after completion, result in the individual begin required to repay the cost of their training. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 10:53

This is a bit like the armies of the late middle ages. Mercenary bands were companies; both in the commercial sense, but also companies in the sense of a unit of up to 100 men. Companies were commanded by a Captain, who was both the commercial and military leader of the band.

While a band of up to 100 trained military professionals would be an impressive force on its own during that time period, the sheer number of mercenary bands and the need for large numbers of trained troops would often lead to wealthier lords or cities hiring multiple mercenary bands.

At this point, there is now an issue of commanding the combined force. The senior or most successful Captain would become the Captain-General and be in charge of the entire force. His Lieutenant would become the Lieutenant-General and the Sergeant Major would become the Sergeant-Major General in charge of troop discipline.

For the mercenary bands you are describing, a similar arrangement would probably be in effect. Since the bands are much smaller than mercenary Companies, the arrangements are probably much more informal, but there will still be a hierarchy of leadership both within the bands and between the leaders of the bands. Like the Captains of a mercenary Company, the leaders of combined forces of Hunters will probably be led by the person with the greatest reputation. If the job is highly specialized, then the hunter teams which specialize in particular aspects of the job will be assigned to those tasks, and leadership and reporting hierarchies established on a task oriented basis.

  • $\begingroup$ In terms of design I was trying to come up with an least semi-plausible and in-universe justification for the typical adventuring parties. But I ran into trouble when I realized that what normally works for small independent Hunter bands, didn't really scale up very well. Which lead me my question. The closest that i had to payment plan for hunter coalitions was to reuse the associate member system. Hunter bands some times need extra members for a job, often a specialist. The associate member would a gain a percentage of the job's fee instead of an equal share. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 14:10

I suggest that the Guild would take charge of creating/organising coalitions.

In my system it would work as follows:

Guild - Handles money. Hires Hunters and teams for the job. Assigns a high up guild member as leader. Hire specialists. Takes 10%.

Leader - Assigned by Guild. Splits hunters into teams. Organises who goes where. Talks to employer. Assigns team leaders. Takes 5%.

Team leader - Organises team of hunters to complete a specific task. Report to leader. Takes 1%.

Specialist - Completes specialist jobs (lock picking, diplomatic relations etc). Takes 1%.

Hunters - Formed into teams. Complete the grunt work (fighting, building, carrying etc). Share out whatever is left evenly.

  • $\begingroup$ What lead you to this structure? I was trying to come up with an least semi-plausible and in-universe justification for the typical adventuring parties. And traditional adventuring parties are independent of any authority beyond there party-leader. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ You were asking about large groups not traditional small parties in the question though. A large party has to have some organisation and this structure allows you to keep the small groups of adventurers model within a larger structure. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 13:53
  • $\begingroup$ The guild Hunter could operate with autonomy while being able to benefit from a larger organization. Every Hunter band has a registered leader, often but not always the person who formed the band. Beyond that there isn't a command structure and the guild doesn't assign Hunter's band members or jobs. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ To barrow a term from gaming the Guild does have match making system. Some times bands which are normally formed by people who have a preexisting relationship, need individuals who posses specific skills or just need extra bodies for a mission. When this happens the band leader will submit a request for an "associate" who fits the criteria of their needs. The guild then will contact all the Hunters who fit the criteria and connect them to the band that submitted the request. Associates do not get an equal share of the fee, instead they get a percentage of it $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Trismegistus what's the percentage? If it's lower than the equal share then why is it that the 'associate' gets a smaller cut of the money? If someone hired me to do my job as a tank vanguard, which literally protects the back line and has one of the highest risk of death, yet I would get a smaller cut of the money even though I played a major role. I would get unhappy about that. You should also put the extra info you put in comments into your question so people can see them. $\endgroup$
    – Skye
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 12:15

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .