Unit hiring is a gameplay mechanic that allows you to hire your own armies and have them follow you around and fight for you! Almost all of the fighting NPCs in the Mod can be hired in exchange for various sums of silver coins, but which units you can hire depends on your alignment.
Besides the fighting units, there are also farming units to hire (see below).
In order to get started with hiring an army, you must collect some silver coins and then find one of the various captains in the Mod. There are captains for both good and evil factions.
Each trader type has a certain alignment level that you must reach before you can hire units from them. Otherwise, when spoken to they will inform you that you need to gain more reputation, do more evil deeds, prove your trustworthiness, or something to that effect. For example, to hire from a Gondorian Captain you must have at least +150 Gondor alignment.
- Blackroot Vale Bowlords, found in Blackroot Vale Fortresses and Watchforts
- Blue Mountains Commanders, found in Blue Mountains Strongholds
- Bree-land Sherriffs, found in Bree-land Sherriff Offices
- Captains of Bladorthin, found in Vintner Guard Camps
- Dalish Captains, found in Dalish Fortresses
- Dol Amroth Captains, found in Dol Amroth Stables
- Dwarf Commanders, found in Dwarven Towers
- Galadhrim Lords, found in Grand Elven Treehouses
- Gondorian Captains, found in Gondor Fortresses and Watchforts
- Hobbit Shirriffs, found in Hobbit Taverns
- Ithilien Ranger Captains, found in Ithilien Ranger Hideouts
- Lamedon Captains, found in Lamedon Fortresses and Watchforts
- Lebennin Levymasters, found in Lebennin Fortresses and Watchforts
- Lindon Lords, found in Lindon Towers
- Lossarnach Captains, found in Lossarnach Fortresses and Watchforts
- Pelargir Commanders, found in Pelargir Fortresses and Watchforts
- Pinnath Gelin Captains, found in Pinnath Gelin Fortresses and Watchforts
- Ranger Captains of the North, found in Ranger Camps
- Rivendell Captains, found in Rivendell Halls
- Rohirrim Marshals, found in Rohan Fortresses
- Taurethrim Chieftains, found in Taurethrim Chieftain Temples
- Vintner Guard Captains, found in Vintner Guard Camps
- Wood-elf Captains, found in Wood-elven Towers
Servants of the Shadow
- Angmar Orc Chieftains, found in Angmar Towers
- Black Uruk Captains, found in Black Uruk Fortresses
- Coast Southron Warlords, found in Coast Southron Fortresses
- Corsair Slavers, found in Corsair Camps and Corsair Hideouts
- Dol Guldur Orc Chieftains, found in Dol Guldur Towers
- Dunlending Warlords, found in Dunlending Hill Forts
- Easterling Warlords, found in Easterling Fortresses
- Gundabad Orc Chieftains, found in Gundabad Orc Camps and Ruined Dwarven Towers
- Half-troll Warlords, found in Half-troll Warlord Houses
- Mordor Orc Commanders, found in Mordor Towers
- Mordor Orc Spider Keepers, found in Mordor Spider Pits
- Morwaith Chieftains, found in Morwaith Chieftain Huts
- Orc Slavers, found in Orc Slaver Towers
- Rhudaur Hillman Chieftains, found in Rhudaur Hillman Chieftain Houses
- Umbar Captains, found in Umbar Fortresses
- Uruk Chieftains, found in Isengard Camps
First you plant a sapling (oak, birch or beech). Then you must right-click it with a golden Ent draught and if you have the trust of the Ents, you will have a hired Huorn. For this to be successful, you must have at least +500 alignment with Fangorn. As an additional note, the sapling does not get used up in the process, so you only need one sapling to create multiple Huorns for your defence. Successfully growing a hired Huorn earns the achievement "From little Acorns...".
The Hiring Screen - Warriors
Once you have reached the required alignment level to hire from your trader, right-click them and hit the "hire" button. A screen similar to the one to the left be opened.
Displayed at the top of the screen is the name of the trader. In the bar below is the name of the selected unit, accompanied by an example of that unit in the box to the left.
The number next to the silver coin is the unit's price, and the number next to the ring is the alignment level required to hire the unit. If a red seal is shown (like in the example), you need to pledge to the respective faction in order to be able to hire that unit.
Use the two arrow buttons to move through the list of hired units. Units can also be pre-assigned to companies. For more information, see Table of Command.
If you meet all the requirements, the sword button will be highlighted, and you can click it in order to hire the unit! The hired unit will be spawned into the world at your player's position, with a health bar above its head, along with an icon of the weapon it's wielding. Note: These icons are only visible to the player that hired the unit and if this feature is turned on in the configuration file.
The price of hired units will be related to your alignment and whether your are pledged or not to the faction. For example, a Rohirrim Warrior starts out as 60 (), but as you gain Rohan alignment and pledge to them, the price of them will decrease to a final 15 ().
Additionally, the player may buy a Warhorn from a unit hiring NPC (represented by the question mark box in the picture above). For this to happen, the player must have at least 2000 silver coins and at least +1500 alignment with the corresponding faction.
For some frequently asked questions about hired warriors, see here.
Hired units will follow you within their normal navigation range, and they will never despawn. They will attack any nearby enemies or players. They also attack anything that attacks you or is attacked by you, provided that 1) the unit is not already in combat and 2) the mob or player fighting you is not on the same alignment side as the unit.
To gain more control over your hired units you can right-click on them, and then click on the command button. This will bring up a screen allowing you to turn on or off various features such as guard mode and auto-teleport. Hired units can never be made to attack any NPCs or players allied with them. To make a hired unit attack a mob (passive creatures, hostile creatures, or mobs from Vanilla) without it attacking you, or you fighting it, right click on it with a Sword of Command (see below).
You cannot directly hurt your own hired units (including any thrown projectiles; these will bounce off without causing damage) and the units will automatically heal over time when not in combat, at the rate of 1 () per second; this can be sped up if your army includes Banner-bearers. There is currently no limit to the amount of units you can hire. If a unit you have hired dies or is killed, you will be notified via a message in the chat bar (unless set off in the Mod options).
In Update 36, experience and combat levels for hired troops were added. This means that each time a hired unit kills an enemy, they gain one experience. This experience counts towards their combat level and each time a unit reaches a new level they gain 1 (). Animal mounts will also gain the same amount of health, but NPC mounts will share the experience from kills with their rider. As a result of this health increase ability, increasing the combat level of weak soldiers (i.e. Gundabad Orcs), has a great effect on their combat effectiveness, while units that have high health by nature (i.e. Olog-hai), benefit little from increases in combat level. Combat level can be seen above the heads of hired units by sneaking or in the hired unit overview screen shown to the right.
A unit reaching a new level is indicated by a firework going off and a message in the chat similar to this:
Your hired unit Dervorin, the Ranger of the North has reached combat level 2
There is technically no limit to the number of combat levels that can be achieved but note that the amount of experience required for each level increases exponentially, meaning it gets increasingly difficult to reach higher levels. The formula for calculating the experience/mob kills needed to reach a combat level is as follows:
3 x ([Combat Level] - 1) x 1.08([Combat Level] - 2)
This exponential formula means that while getting to combat level 2 only requires 3 kills, getting to level 10 requires 49 kills and getting to 100 requires 560124 kills!
Alignment & conquest
If your hired units successfully land the killing blow on an enemy of their faction, their kills won't earn you any alignment, but if you've pledged to a faction, they will earn you conquest, equivalent to one-quarter the amount that would be earned if you slew that enemy yourself.
The Horn of Command
To gain more control over the hired units, you can use a Horn of Command. These horns are crafted out of a horn and two bronze ingots. When you first craft a horn it will have no special properties, but you can right-click while holding the horn to open up a screen and choose what you want it to do. You can choose between a Halt/Forward Horn of Command and a Summon Horn of Command. The horn can then be blown by holding down the right mouse button for approximately two seconds.
The Halt/Forward horn has two modes. It starts as a Halt horn, and every time it is blown it switches to the alternate mode. When the Halt horn is blown all your hired units will immediately stand still and stop fighting. Units who have been halted will not seek out targets to attack and will not move at all unless pushed. However, if a halted unit is attacked it will fight back on its own. When the Forward horn is blown the units return to their original state.
Note that all units are originally able to move when hired. So if you have a group of halted units and you hire another one, you will need to blow the horn once to release the units and switch it back into Halt mode, and blow it again to halt all the units.
The Summon horn, when blown, teleports all units to your position (as long as they can fit there - if you blow the horn in a small hole, the units probably won't teleport). This horn will of course only summon units in loaded chunks, because units in unloaded chunks are not loaded into the game. With the addition of hired units automatically teleporting to you if you get too far ahead of them (similar to Wolves) the Summon Horn is no longer needed when travelling with units, but it can still be a useful accessory when fighting.
Both horns may occasionally be confused with the warhorn, which is used to summon an invasion. The Horn of Command makes a higher-pitched sound than the warhorn. As well, there will always be a message in chat when an invasion first starts.
If you wish to assign horns of command to specific companies, you need to use the Table of Command.
The Sword of Command
The Sword of Command is used to attack your foes manually. In order to do this, wield the sword and right-click on the unit you want to have slain (this can also be an animal). However, units will never attack an NPC that is allied with their faction. The sword, however, does not deal any more damage than your fists when wielded.
Since Update 36, using the sword of command on a mob will create a marker effect (the sword's texture moving down towards the mob) to display the target.
Since Public Beta 29, this feature allows the player to equip their melee units with armour and weapons. This is a helpful feature as it allows you to take what would normally be a weak unit, and strengthen it. It can also be helpful in a RPG (i.e. giving a Hobbit mithril armour and Sting and naming him Frodo)
How it works:
- Right-click the unit, select the
Commandbutton and then the
Replace Equipmentbutton (shown to the right) to bring up the GUI.
- You can now move weapons and armour from your own inventory to the unit's inventory, or vice versa.
- You can't take the unit's default armour or weapon. They belong to the unit, and will never appear in the inventory.
- After putting your own equipment in the slots, you can take it back out again. If you do, the unit will revert to using their original equipment.
- Units given new equipment will always drop all of it on death. They have the usual rare chance to drop their 'backup' equipment, as well.
- Almost all hired units can be given new equipment, including citizen hireable NPCs who don't spawn with equipment initially. Units that only draw their weapons in combat will continue this behaviour if given a replacement weapon.
- The only exceptions are mobs like wargs, trolls, etc. Also, Half-trolls cannot wear other armour types since they use a different model.
- At the moment, there are no limits on which sets of equipment can be given to which units, i.e. there is nothing stopping you from suiting up elves in Orcish armour. This would be non-trivial, and time-consuming to implement (since material types are not associated to factions). If there is enough demand these restrictions may be added.
- The hired units do not use the durability of their equipment.
Note: This currently does not work for ranged units, because there would be a lot more complexity involved in that - all melee weapons and armour work in basically the same way, but ranged items launch different things. Something else for the future, hopefully.
Main article: Farmhand
Farmhands are a class of hire-able units part of the Mod since Public Beta 14. Unlike warriors, they do not fight in the slightest; their only ability is to farm various crops.
Unit Traders - Farmhands
Note, all of these farmhands can be hired for between 40-80 silver coins, depending on alignment, or between 20-40 silver coins if pledged.
- Bree-land Farmer, found in barns in settlements, trading farmhands.
- Corsair Slaver, found in hideouts and camps, trading slaves.
- Dorwinion vinekeeper, found in vineyards, trading vinehands.
- Easterling farmers, found in settlements, trading farmhands.
- Gondor farmers, found in settlements, trading farmhands.
- Harnennor farmer, found in bazaars and farms, trading farmhands.
- Hobbit farmers, found in farms, trading farmhands.
- Orc slavers, found in towers, trading slaves.
- Rohan farmers, found in villages, trading farmhands.
- Taurethrim farmers, found in farms, trading farmhands.
Gameplay mechanics of the Lord of the Rings Mod
Equipment Modifiers •
Achievements and Quests:
Other / Technical: