As player characters advance in wealth and power, they are increasingly likely to require the Semi-permanent services of various sorts of non-player character. In addition to less formal associations and patronages, a character may expect to have the opportunity to acquire and retain hirelings and henchmen. In general, but not in every case, the former are unclassed zero level characters incapable of conventional advancement by level, whilst the latter are classed characters, initially of low level, but capable of level advancement.
In almost all instances, hirelings and henchmen must be entirely equipped by those they serve, and contribute nothing but themselves. Should a player character seek to engage the services of an already equipped non-player character, the game master would be well advised to ensure that the value of any equipment be paid to the prospective retainer as a stipend prior to commencement of service.
It is typically assumed that hirelings are human; if non- human hirelings are sought, then the appropriate costs, terms of service, and availability must be decided in accordance with the dictates of a given milieu.